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10 famous personalities who entered into incestuous marriages
10 famous personalities who entered into incestuous marriages

Throughout history, there has been a taboo on marrying relatives. Today it is known that this is fraught with recessive genes, leading to a number of serious diseases, such as hemophilia, and which are also likely to become the dominant genes in the inbreeding family. One would think that famous and educated people would never allow such a thing, but no matter how it is!

1. HG Wells

H.G. Wells

One of the titans of modern science fiction, Herbert George Wells, who gave the world such works as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, was just an ordinary science teacher in 1891. At 25, he was worried about health and financial problems. This state of affairs only worsened when he married his 16-year-old cousin Isabelle Mary Wells at age 25. In 1894, they separated (according to various sources, by mutual consent or at the insistence of Herbert), and in the same year Wells married Amy Robbins, one of his former students.

Throughout his marriage, Wells was more than just a supporter of the free love movement: he practiced it. Among his mistresses were even respected women writers of the time, such as Violet Hunt. This gave Wells a lot of trouble. His colleague Hubert Bland beat the writer for an affair with his daughter Rosamund, and for a time Pember Reeves pursued Wells, intending to shoot the writer for the same reason. Wells himself did not deny anything, saying about himself: “I am a very immoral person. I hunted people who love me. " Perhaps not surprisingly, someone with this attitude married a cousin.

2. Claudius

Emperor Claudius

Claudius is considered one of the wisest (or at least the most educated) emperors of ancient Rome. At one time, the Roman emperor completely conquered Britain and expanded the borders of the state in North Africa, while finding time to write almost 28 history books in Greek (especially the history of the Etruscans). No one could even think that the emperor would marry a relative, and what … considering that he became emperor only after Caligula was killed, and also that numerous senators and soldiers tried to kill him in the early years of his reign.

This third marriage of Claudius, with his niece Agrippina the Younger (sister of Caligula), actually put an end to his reign. From the very beginning, Agrippina was ambitious and urged the emperor to name her son his successor, despite the fact that Claudius was young enough at that time. Agrippina also poisoned her uncle / husband with mushrooms when her son (who became emperor) Nero was 16 years old. The fact that she was regent until Nero was old enough to take the throne was a very likely motive. True, Claudius should have expected this, given that Agrippina was also suspected of poisoning her previous husband, Passienus Crispus.

3. Albert Einstein

Most of this pioneer in physics is remembered for his work, in particular General Relativity, which revolutionized our understanding of matter, time and energy. Surely everyone has seen pictures of Einstein with disheveled gray hair.But in the early days, when the scientist was still working on his iconic theories, he did what seemed to be vicious even by the standards of other incestuous marriages.

In 1903, Einstein married fellow physics professor Mileva Maric. At that time, they already had an illegitimate daughter, who was fit a year earlier as a result of a romance that began in 1897. However, by 1912, Einstein suddenly became inflamed with feelings for his cousin Elsa, whose existence he had not long known. In 1919, Einstein divorced his first wife, although in 1917 he had already moved to Elsa, who lived with her two daughters from a marriage that ended in divorce. And these are not all the scandals of the brilliant physicist. In 1918, Einstein was seriously considering whether to leave Elsa for the sake of … her daughter Ilze, who worked as his secretary.

4. Cleopatra

Few in the history of mankind have been considered such a romantic character as Cleopatra. Surely everyone has heard of her passionate relationship with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, which resulted in four children, which endangered the future of the Roman Empire. And that's not even talking about her relationship with Ptolemy XIII (and this relationship clearly no one would want to romanticize).

In 51 BC. Cleopatra came to the throne after the death of her father, Ptolemy XII. She was 18 at the time and married her brother Ptolemy XIII, who was only 10 years old. Such an arrangement would not have been all that unusual at the time: Cleopatra's own father was married to his sister Tryphaena in accordance with tradition. The timing of the accession to the throne of the young brother and sister was not good, because at that time Egypt was experiencing hunger and economic problems. This contributed to the fact that Cleopatra and her husband eventually unleashed a civil war, and when Julius Caesar intervened on Cleopatra's side, he killed her younger brother in 47 BC, ending one of the worst marriages in history. humanity.

5. Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

The Gothic horror writer and poet who pioneered the genre of "mystical detective" also "noted" on the basis of incest. Edgar Poe married his cousin Virginia when he was 27 and she was only 13. He also lived with her from the age of seven. The age difference between them was so great that Edgar worked as a private tutor for his wife for many years.

There have been several attempts to protect this marriage. Some have argued that the couple waited several years before formalizing the marriage, and that they were only married because otherwise there would be no legal reason for Edgar to keep Virginia "with him" after he learned that she will be sent to a wealthy relative after her mother's death. Whatever his true intentions, the fact that the writer lived with his wife until her death at the age of 24 from tuberculosis remains a fact.

6. James Watt

James Watt

This Scottish mechanical inventor and surveyor is usually credited with inventing the steam engine, but this is not entirely true. In fact, he took as a basis the Newcomen steam engine, which was already more than 50 years old, and improved it. This gave a significant boost to the industrial revolution. At the same time, few people know about his family life, namely, that in 1764 he married his cousin Margaret Miller.

Little has survived in historical documents about how successful their marriage was. It is known that their marriage lasted nine years (until Margaret's death) and that she gave birth to six children. Watt was not with Margaret at the time of her death, as he was desperately looking for work throughout Britain at the time. In 1776, he married Anne McGregor, who bore him two more children.

7. Atahualpa

Before the invasion of the conquistadors, cultural attitudes toward incestuous marriage varied widely in Central and South America.In the Aztec empire, this was considered, in fact, a serious crime, although in one of the local fundamental myths, their main god Quetzalcoatl drunkenly married his sister. However, in the Inca empire, the emperor was practically required to marry a family member. There were two opposing legends that were believed to be the source of the Inca Empire: Manco Capac married his mother, or the empire was founded by four sisters who married four brothers. However, such marriages were only true for the ruling class. An ordinary person, in the event of incest, could count on being gouged out or executed.

It so happened that Atahualpa was married to his sister when he was the last emperor of the Inca Empire. He fought a civil war with his brother Huascar for five years when the Spanish conquistadors under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro landed on the coast of Peru. Hearing that the Spaniards could free his brother and put him on the throne, Atahualpa ordered the execution of Huascar. It was this execution and the incestuous marriage of Atahualpa that the Spaniards used as a justification for the execution of the emperor.

8. Emperor Suining

The Tang Dynasty in the 8th century AD was one of the golden ages of China and the period when Chinese culture had the most significant impact on Japan. One of the results of this was a change in Japanese taboos. While in China, incestuous marriages have been unacceptable since the beginning of their history, in Japan for centuries, marriages within imperial families were common.

Among them, the 11th Emperor Suining, who married his cousin Sahohime in the 1st century AD, stood out. This was remarkable because it is only one of the few things that are known about him, and due to the almost complete lack of other reliable information about Suining, it led to him being dubbed "legendary." Unusually, this was one of the few surviving facts about the leader of the nation who ruled for 99 years.

9. Charles Darwin

The one who revolutionized the understanding of human biology with his interpretation of The Theory of Evolution married his cousin, which is surprisingly ironic for some people. However, for the author of Origin of Species, the wedding to his cousin Emma Wedgwood in 1838 was a source of regret, unlike all the marriages described above.

The Darwin couple had 10 children, and Charles was well aware that such marriages can cause health problems. Three of his children died of infectious diseases during childhood. The most infamous death was the death of Charles Waring in 1858, as Darwin was forced to miss the first public presentation of his Theory of Evolution in order to attend the funeral. Even of those who lived to adulthood, Darwin said that their health was "unreliable." Darwin went so far as to ask the British government to conduct a survey of married relatives and the health of their descendants, but his request was denied.

10. Philip II of Spain

In the 16th century, Spain was at its peak during the reign of Philip II. And long before they started talking about the British Empire, "the sun never set" over the Spanish Empire. In addition to Spain, the Netherlands, and Southern Italy in Europe, it controlled nearly half of South America and more than half of today's United States of America, not to mention the Philippines. The empire was ruled by part of the famous Habsburg dynasty, which was famous for its incestuous marriages. However, Philip II went even further than most monarchs, as he married female relatives four times.

He first married Maria of Portugal, a cousin (both paternal and maternal), who died three years later, giving birth to Prince Carlos, who had health problems that would have seemed quite familiar to Charles Darwin.He then married Mary Tudor, his first cousin and daughter of Henry VIII. After she died of illness, Philip II sent a marriage proposal to Elizabeth I and did not receive an answer (which is why he supported the Scottish uprising against her). Then Philip II married his second cousin Elizabeth of Valois (this marriage lasted nine years). And finally, Philip's last wife was his niece Anna of Austria. The last marriage lasted 10 years and, apparently, this was enough for Philip II, as he spent the last eight years of his life alone.

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