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What historical figures have been highlighted by their intellectual achievements as well as by their physical beauty?

For some reason I just loved this question when I saw it. Perhaps because I've come across some highly intellectual people in history that when their contemporaries talked about them they seemef to emphasize their physical beauty just as much as they emphasizef their intellectual prowess.

Top of my list in this category is none other than RUPERT BROOKE.

Rupert Brooke was a World War I poet whose poems are still widely read today. They are particularly captivating due to their rather colorful and optimistic nature. Rupert Brooke wrote of war and going to war as though he was writing a romantic story, which of course endeared him to aristocrats with pro war sentiments.

But as the war went on and people started to get disillusioned with the whole affair his poems began to be criticized for their romanticizing nature of war, and more poets began to be recognized who wrote more of their experiences with the harrowing and destructive side of war.

One thing everyone always admired about Rupert Brooke, though, regardless of his war sentiments, was his remarkable handsomeness. (Perhaps that was why he was so romantic!) He was so handsome that even W.B Yeats declared that he was "the handsomest young man in England today."

Even Virginia Woolfe who was a contemporary and friend couldn't help but gush about his handsomeness while she wrote a searing critique of his war sonnets. Everybody loved him and he was congenial, and in my opinion, he was also a damn good poet. One of the ones I absolutely can not get tired of reading!

Sadly though he died very young, with his beauty still intact. Rupert Brooke died of Malaria he contacted while traveling with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force as a volunteer. He died in April 1915 and he's buried in Greece where his soul still reposes today in the splendor of that great place.

Now scond (and last) on my list is OSCAR WILDE.

If you've ever come across the book "The Picture of Dorian Gray", you would know that there is no other book that portrays hedonistic essence with such a splendor and vitality than Oscar Wilde did in Dorian Gray.

The eponymous protagonist is an handsome young man, and many believe of course that the book is semi autobiographical in a lot of ways.

Wilde was a genius. No doubt about that. And he was also very handsome. So he definitely fits the scope of this question. His life, however, wasn't always very rosy, since he was an intellectual who was deeply against the norms and folly of his day and age and severly mocked and criticised this continuously in his plays and novels.

Known for his trenchant wit, Wilde could always come up with a laconic saying or epigram that would tactfully lampoon the average Englishman of the Victorian era into submission.

He was, of course, himself an Irish. But to my knowledge he seemed to spend most of his time in England and wrote a lot about it. So much so that he was even jailed in an English prison for about two years. For being an homosexual.

He had tried to keep this a secret since it was obviously a huge and punishable offense in Victorian England to be homosexual. But while he got into a legal tangle with the parents of his love interest they clapped back at him with accusations of homosexualism and he was found guilty in the end.

Wilde's life, despite his great looks and his genius, and maybe BECAUSE of his great looks and hus genius, didn't turn out to be so pleasant. He lost a little bit of his mental health while in prison and in the end he died in destitute in Paris at the age of 46.

I just realized there really is such a cruel but true lesson to be gotten from the lives of both of these man of great intellect and looks that I have mentioned above.

In life we'll hear that great looks alone doesn't guarantee happiness and then we'll hear again that great intellect alone also does not guarantee happiness. And the story of both Rupert Brooke and Oscar Wilde both goes to prove the extent to which those sayings are true.

It shows that in fact not only does having great looks or having great intellect alone doesn't guarantee you great happiness in life, you might even have them TOGETHER and still live a very tumultuous life.

At any rate though there's the consolation that these great men would forever be remembered by history--either for their great looks or their great intellect.




Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, known as Hedy Lamarr, was born in Vienna on November 9, 1914 and died in Orlando (USA) on January 19, 2000. She was a prominent American film actress and naturalized Austrian inventor. It was the co-inventor of the first version of the widened spectrum that would allow long-distance wireless communications. Hedwig was the only child of a marriage of secularized Jews. His mother, born in Budapest, and his father, born in Lviv, belonged to bourgeois Jewish families, the mother was an outstanding pianist and the banker father.

Since she was a child she stood out for her intelligence and was considered by her teachers as gifted. She started her engineering studies at the age of 16, but three years later, in 1933, she abandoned engineering, attracted by her artistic streak, and started in the Berlin theater as a student of director Max Reinhardt.  Thus began his film career, and soon would be world famous for the sequence of the film Ecstasy (1933), which appears completely naked, first at the edge of a lake and then running through the Czech countryside and even acted an orgasm. By this scene she would be known as the first woman in film history to appear naked in a commercial film. 

Attracted by the film, the arms industry magnate Friedrich Mandl arranged a marriage of convenience with his parents and was promised in marriage against his will. Hedy later described that time as an authentic slavery. During his seclusion he maintained a passionate relationship with his assistant. This relationship allowed him to obtain the necessary help to escape. In a bizarre love story, Hedy got the necessary infrastructure to prepare a complete escape plan and escape forever from the clutches of her husband. She fled through the bathroom window of a restaurant, from there to a car to Paris (France), while being closely chased by her husband's bodyguards, although the version that she tells in her autobiography is something different. She tells that she administered a sleeping pill to her assistant and was able to leave her house disguised as this one (she had recently hired her for this purpose, because it seemed physically to her). In this way he was able to reach the train station and travel to Paris by this means. Hedy had taken advantage of the loneliness of matrimonial confinement to continue her engineering studies, and to use her intelligence to obtain from the clients and suppliers of her husband the details of the weapons technology of the time. This knowledge was transferred by the actress to the authorities of the United States years later; also some meetings served as a guide to devise and patent, in the 1940s, the technique of frequency switching, which would return notoriety in the last years of his life.  


This is Hedy Lamarr, a Hollywood actress who, together with George Antheil, developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes that used a spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to avoid jamming. She and Antheil developed their system at the beginning of WW II. It was widely adopted by the U.S. Navy in the 1960's and the principles are Bluetooth today, for example. She was added to the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.

Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler November 9, 1914 Vienna, Austria-Hungary. She had Jewish ancestry both on her maternal and paternal sides of the family but her mother had abandoned Judaism and Lamarr was raised Catholic Hedy Lamarr divorced her husband and moved to America in 1937 to pursue her acting career which she felt was impossible with while being married to her controlling husband.