Reader Friday: An Evening’s Conversation

If you could invite any three people from history to your house for dinner and conversation (assuming, of course, they could magically all speak our common language), whom would you select? What would you want to discuss?

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20 thoughts on “Reader Friday: An Evening’s Conversation

  1. Winston Churchill, Sun Tzu, and Niccolo Machiavelli. I would sit back, close my mouth, and open my ears.

  2. Oh my goodness. Couldn’t keep it to three. Jesus, of course, to discuss…well everything! Abraham Lincoln–much has been written about him, good or bad. But I’d like to talk to the man himself.

    And both my paternal grandparents, whom I never ever knew, and my maternal grandparents, whom technically I’ve met but was so young I don’t remember them. I’d like to have a chance to fill a little of that big hole in my heart from never having known them.

    And there’s a long list after that but I’ll stop there. 😎

  3. Anyone remember MEETING OF THE MINDS, a PBS show created by Steve Allen? A group of historical figures would just sit and talk for an hour. An awesome show.

    Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband, because he was a Renaissance man who did a lot of wonderful things for England and its culture. Arthur Conan Doyle, more for his own achievements for England than his writing. And Steve Allen because he could keep up with these two great minds and would happily poke them in conversation.

    The topic, anything they dang well pleased in the general range of history and culture. I would happily sit and listen.

  4. Terrific question. I can’t fault the wise choices of those who commented before me, especially Jesus. So, I’ll include him and play the WHAT IF game for the other two.

    How about Queen Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots, one Protestant, one Catholic, competitors for the crowns of England and Scotland? Ultimately Elizabeth imprisoned Mary and ordered her beheading.

    They never actually met in person. What if they met for tea with Jesus, and me, a fly on the wall? The topic is baked in. How would the story be resolved?

    • That would be interesting!

      I also read that Kateryn Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife and the staunchest protestant, was Mary’s friend. Fascinating dynamic to explore.

  5. I’m also reminded of a book about a dialogue between three men who all died on the same day: Nov. 22, 1963. The three were John F. Kennedy, Aldous Huxley, and C. S. Lewis. Peter Kreeft wrote the book Between Heaven and Hell as a trialogue among them just after death, debating worldviews.

  6. Great question to ponder…

    Aside from relatives who’ve passed on, my first three choices would be:

    Jesus the Christ
    Corrie ten Boom
    And…Adolf Hitler

    Topic? Two Jewish folks and Hitler? I can’t imagine-so, like Joe, I’d sit back, close my mouth and my eyes and open my ears.

  7. Johannes Gutenberg, Isaac Newton, Wilbur Wright

    I’d like to understand what sparked their creativity and inventiveness. Also see their reactions to their impact on the world.

  8. If I was sticking to only western history, I’d pick Katharine of Arragon and Angelica Skyler (hopefully they’re as interesting as the musicals Hamilton and Six make them out to be), and William Shakespeare, just to ask him all the WTF questions that we’re all asking.

    If I were going nonwestern, I’d pack the table with as many prophets and religious figures from Islam as I could.

  9. John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Jack Ruby. As a life-long student of the assassination, I’d like to know what was going through their minds on 11-22-63. (No pun intended).

  10. Lee Harvey Oswald, John Wilkes Booth, and Richard Kuklinski. Having three guys like that help me build one of the ultimate antagonists.

  11. Eddie Rickenbacker, from humble beginnings to race car driver, Ace pilot, automotive and airline founder. Miyamoto Musashi, Japanese sword master. And artist Maxfield Parrish. What couldn’t we talk about: mid-American life Feudal Japan, art, creativity, industry, war, success, defeat.

  12. Monet, Van Gogh, and Lautrec. I’d want to discuss what they think of today’s art, why they chose to ignore the “ugly” in their own time, and if they regret not addressing social ills/politics while so many of their less famous peers did.

    Painters, visual artists, clearly got away with avoiding “ugly”, but writers – not so much. Gritty stories are still more popular than the “pretty”.

    I find this dichotomy between visual and literary intriguing.

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