Joanna the Mad

Let's talk about our cover girl: Joanna the Mad. Her title intrigued me from the instant I read it. The idea of a beautiful, "mad" woman is tantalizing.

Madness, by itself, is an alluring topic to me. Since madness is completely subjective, a person's definition of it is self-describing.

Let me give you an example: there's a famous ski hill about 60 km from here. For many people I know, skiing is an important - even defining - part of their lifestyle.

I, on the other hand, never go skiing. To me, spending a few thousand a year to drive up a big hill where it's minus 5 degrees (while it's probably about plus five down here) for the weekends - now that's madness. If I have leisure time (which is rare), I'd rather go out in my backyard, maybe with a glass of wine or sherry, and do a few chores.

"You never go skiing? That's madness! You don't know what you're missing!"

(But I do know.)

To Joanna: I don't want to make any decisive statements about her, because I think sources from the 1500s are pretty hard to research these days - I don't have time to do it, anyway. However, if you read about her, it seems she inherited tremendous power but was allegedly plotted against first by her husband, next by her father, and finally by her own son. Essentially, they wanted her power and possibly had her branded "mad" to justify taking it.

If she really was usurped by any or all of those three men, is taking her side. We welcome her and we salute her.

To all others out there who won't conform, we likewise welcome you and salute you. Pursuing art may be madness, but perhaps it's just akin to pruning your apple tree on December 30, a perfect ski day.

Joanna, you're now the Queen of - and our face of the day.

Wikipedia was a source for this article.

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