Finding inspiration in historical figures


  Finding inspiration in historical figures

It's a cliché that writing can be lonely. We sometimes forget what we're doing, or feel lost by our imagination, but one thing that never fails to inspire is reading about historical figures who have overcome obstacles and changed the world around them. These innovators have done incredible things in their lifetimes, but they often had trouble getting their ideas out in the first place. Many of their greatest struggles may seem like failures at first glance because they didn't succeed immediately-which is why it's so important to remember that these mistakes and struggles made them who they are today.

For me, this inspiration has always been personal, but that's why I love reading about historical figures.

I am one of the people who dreamt up the idea for this post. I wanted to share some of the many inspirational stories I've come across, so here's a list of ten historical figures who didn't immediately succeed at their goals:

1- Mary Queen of Scots (1542–1587) was born in Scotland and became queen when her brother died in 1542 at age ten. By age twenty-two, she had married the thirty-year old Francis Stewart, Marquess of Bothwell, and they had a daughter together.

Soon they were in a strong relationship, and when Mary's father died and she became queen of the country, she was forced to marry Francis Stewart. Unfortunately for Mary, their marriage became much more about political alliance than true love. As a queen who had no political power, she had to be careful of her actions and often used any means necessary to stay in power. She began wearing men's clothes; tried to persuade Scotland that she was pregnant with her husband's child; and paid people to pretend they had murdered their husbands so that she could have the men executed for treason.

Her husband's death in 1567 didn't get rid of her troubles, and a year later she was accused of murder and tried for treason. Her trial was plagued with rumors about her. One woman said that Mary had given birth to a demon child via a sex doll. Another claimed that she had visited the devil himself at midnight in order to save her life. The people interviewing Mary regularly reported that "she wept blood," which made everyone think she was being forced to commit suicide in the Tower of London rather than put on trial.

After two years of torture and imprisonment, Mary and her husband's supporters stopped the proceedings by storming the courthouse and taking Mary to safety. She was released in 1570, but a year later she was caught again attempting to escape. This time she was sentenced to death, but died before she could be executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire.

Mary Queen of Scots' story is tragic because she had such an amazing life ahead of her with so much potential if she had only been able to take the right steps at the right time. Many people question whether she was a good queen at all, but I believe that she was the only part of Elizabeth I's story who actually succeeded. Even though Elizabeth had years of practice mastering her own court and politics while Mary spent her entire life in a small country with limited resources, she still managed to become one of the most influential monarchs of all time.

2- George Washington (1732–1799) had what he called "the most important affair of my life." In 1755, George Washington was twenty-three years old when he married sixteen year old Mary Ball in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The couple looked forward to a happy life together, but unfortunately Mary "Polly" Washington died less than four months after giving birth to their daughter. 

This was incredibly difficult for Washington because he loved his wife so much. The couple were together for eight years, but they never had a long period of time without tragedy when their daughter died just one year later at age three, followed closely by Mary's sister Betty who passed away shortly afterward. The death of his family hurt Washington deeply, and he wrote in his diary that he had the same feelings as if his "own children" had died.

But despite his personal struggles, he still managed to pursue a career as a soldier. He wanted to prove himself, and he ended up becoming one of the most respected generals in American history at that time after being named Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in 1775.

His life wasn't easy, but Washington's prominent success changed America's history forever. His contribution to our country made him a national hero and won him the title "Father of Our Country." Today his face is depicted on our currency and even printed on license plates. He was even given the highest honor by being buried at Mount Vernon next to his beloved wife Mary Ball Washington.

3- Thomas Edison (1847–1931) was a brilliant inventor who changed almost every aspect of American culture. When he was twenty years old, Edison got his first job working for a telegraph company in New York City. He worked hard to prove himself as an inventor and created the first phonograph in 1877 -a device that could record sounds on a sheet of metal. This device was important because it allowed people to hear music without music boxes or records that had to be played by hand.

In 1884, Edison created "trains" powered by electricity and the same year he founded his own company which soon became General Electric (GE). His "invention factory" as he called it, was like a laboratory where people manipulated all of the materials around them to create new ways of making things. He made major contributions to how we use electricity in our lives, from electric lights to motion pictures.

But Edison's life wasn't always successful. One of his greatest failures was the Tel-Electro-Graph—a device that could send sound over electrical wires and eventually transmit and record sounds for telephone systems. The problem was that no one saw how useful this invention would be until decades after his death.


These stories are remarkable because they show that life can be unpredictable. Even if someone has the perfect career, family, or even a fulfilling life, they might still experience hardships. For example, although Thomas Edison was a successful inventor and businessman throughout his career, he still had to deal with the death of his wife and two of his children. But all three of these people found new ways to succeed despite their great losses. They used their talents in different ways to become a part of history forever.

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