On this day: the premiere of Giselle in 1841

Carlotta Grisi as the first Act I Giselle (1842)

Carlotta Grisi as Giselle the year after the premiere

The Paris Opera Ballet (then the Ballet du Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique) premiered the romantic tragedy Giselle on the 28th of June 1841. The first performance featured Italian ballerina Carlotta Grisi in the title role.

To this day Giselle is considered one of the most important ballets, and the role of Giselle is considered the Hamlet of ballet roles, as it is the most prestigious and dramatic, requiring good technique and superb acting skills.

The story is of a nobleman, Albrecht, who falls in love with a peasant girl, Giselle, and disguises himself as a commoner to be with her. When his real fiancée arrives, Giselle goes mad and dies, becoming one of the ghostly Wilis, spirits destined to spend eternity gaining revenge for their early deaths. Giselle manages to save Albrecht from this fate.

 

On this day: Northern Ireland’s parliament opened in 1921

On the 22nd of June, 1921, Robinson and Cleaver Department Store in Belfast was photographed decorated for the State Opening of the first Northern Ireland parliament.

Source

Ulster_Welcomes_Her_King_&_Queen_Robinson and Cleaver Department Store in Belfast, decorated for the State Opening of the first Northern Ireland parliament. June 22, 1921.

200 years since the Battle of Waterloo

There will be a million or more history blogs running pieces on the two-hundredth anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat. In fact, some have been blogging about it all year.

I won’t go into details here, but here’s a depiction of the battle, which took place on the 18th of June, 1815, by Irish painter William Sadler II (1782–1839). *

The Battle of Waterloo by Irish painter William Sadler II (1782–1839)

On this day: The Battle of Quatre Bras in 1815

Fought two days before the Battle of Waterloo, this was one of the most significant and famous battles of the Napoleonic Wars. Between four and five thousand were lost on each side. *

Black Watch at the Battle of Quatre-Bras, 1815, by William Barnes Wollen (1857 – 1936).

Wollen,_Battle_of_Quatre_BrasBlack Watch at the Battle of Quatre-Bras, 1815, by William Barnes Wollen (1857 - 1936).

On this day: The Duchess of Richmond’s Ball in 1815

The Duchess of Richmond’s famous ball was held in Brussels on the 15th of June, 1815. The following day thousands would be slaughtered in the Battle of Quatre Bras, and then on the eighteenth Napoleon would finally be defeated at Waterloo.

The ball was essentially one last celebration before the final (successful but bloody) attempts to end Napoleon’s power. *

The Duchess of Richmonds famous ball was held in Brussels on the 15th of June 1815. The following day thousands would be slaughtered in the Battle of Quatre Bras.

Prayers before war work

This image appeared in The War Illustrated on the 12th of June, 1915.

In the picture is the British 10th (Irish) Division at their camp at Basingstoke.

The caption for the picture read:

PRAYERS BEFORE WAR WORK—An impressive Church of England service in the open was held at Basingstoke, in the presence of the officers and men of the 10th Division of Irish troops. This photograph shows the soldier congregation seated on the grass awaiting the sermon. In the background the enormous camp of tents is seen.

Source

Photo from The War Illustrated 12 June 1915. Caption reads PRAYERS BEFORE WAR WORKAn impressive Church of England service in the open was held at Basingstoke.