Friday, April 18th, 2014
Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr / Podcast


Deja Vu

January 17, 2013

Mystery Date


Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

2012: A Notre Dame football player is facing questions about an internet romance gone wrong. Manti Te’o, a linebacker on the team, announced the death of his girlfriend during the 2012-2013 college football season—the only problem? The girlfriend, whom Te’o knew only through the Internet, never existed in the first place. The New York Times reports:

The university investigation found that the motive for creating a fake persona to trick Te’o had simply been the sport of it. Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s athletic director, said Te’o was targeted for the ruse because of his trusting nature.

Te'o, in his statement, said that over an extended period he had developed an emotional relationship with a woman he met online. He did not say whether they had met in person, but he said they had maintained a relationship online and on the phone, “and I grew to care deeply about her.” He said he hoped “people can understand how trying and confusing this whole experience has been.” Swarbrick said Te’o told him that he had never met Kekua in person.

1540: The unlucky-in-love Henry VIII turned to trusted advisor Thomas Cromwell to arrange his fourth marriage. Choosing the German Protestant princess Anne of Cleves, Cromwell commissioned a portrait by painter Hans Holbein, but the artist may have exaggerated the princess’ charms. Before the ceremony, Henry and his inner circle tried to catch a stolen moment with the bride-to-be, but he was displeased with her from the start, reportedly telling Cromwell after their wedding night “I liked her before not well, but now I like her much worse.” The marriage, which was annulled four months later, was never consummated. An account by the Spanish ambassador Eustace Chapuys set the scene:

On New Year’s Eve the duke of Norfolk with other knights and the barons of the exchequer received her grace on the heath, two miles beyond Rochester, and so brought her to the abbey of Rochester where she stayed that night and all New Years Day. And on New Years Day in the afternoon the king’s grace with five of his privy chamber, being disguised with mottled cloaks with hoods so that they should not be recognized, came secretly to Rochester, and so went up into the chamber where the said Lady Anne was looking out of a window to see the bull-baiting which was going on in the courtyard, and suddenly he embraced and kissed her, and showed here a token which the king had sent her for New Year’s gift, and she being abashed and not knowing who it was thanked him, and so he spoke with her. But she regarded him little, but always looked out the window…and when the king saw that she took so little notice of his coming he went into another chamber and took off his cloak and came in again in a coat of purple velvet. And when the lords and knights saw his grace they did him reverence…and then her grace humbled herself lowly to the king’s majesty, and his grace saluted her again, and they talked together lovingly, and afterwards he took her by the hand and led her to another chamber where their graces amused themselves that night and on Friday until the afternoon.
Bookmark and Share
Love this? Subscribe to Lapham's Quarterly today.

Post a Comment

Note: Several minutes will pass while the system is processing and posting your comment. Do not resubmit during this time or your comment will post multiple times.

Recent Posts
  1. Hair Apparent — 03/31/2014: Western media speculates on North Korean grooming standards; in 1698, Peter the Great taxes beards.
  2. Golden Menageries — 02/24/2014: In Ukraine, an ousted leader’s menagerie is exposed; in 1794, France wonders about the place of caged animals in the new republic.
  3. Right of Return — 02/12/2014: A new law encourages the return of Sephardic Jews to Spain; in 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella issue an edict with long-lasting consequences.
Deja Vu Archive
  1. April 2014
  2. March 2014
  3. February 2014
The brutalities of progress are called revolutions. When they are over we realize this: that the human has been roughly handled, but that it has advanced.
Victor Hugo, 1862
Events & News
January 27 / Purchase tickets for "Death & Comedy" a celebration of readings from our two most recent issues at Joe's Pub. More

Vague Premonitions

The Great Beyond

Current Issue Revolutions Spring 2014
Audio & Video
LQ Podcast:
Orlando Figes
The Russian historian describes the Revolution’s retreat in the 1920s from its high communist ideals under the New Economic Policy.
Lewis H. Lapham is Editor of Lapham's Quarterly. He also serves as editor emeritus and national correspondent for Harper's magazine.
Recent Issues