Ludwig II of Bavaria

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Ludwig II of Bavaria, Mad King Ludwig

photo, public domain

Here you see Ludwig II of Bavaria (which is part of present-day southern Germany). I’ve been fascinated with him for years, and most every year I taught, I’d share his story with the kids in my classroom (let’s face it — he’s a lot more interesting than a unit on “community helpers”). He was born in 1845, and his most lasting contribution was to build Neuschwanstein, which served as inspiration to Walt Disney for his theme park castles.

Back in the early ’90s, I applied for a National Endowment for the Arts summer reading grant for teachers. I proposed that I’d like to read more about Ludwig II, and my application was rejected. My husband guessed that the NEA had little interest in funding study of a dead, white European king, and after giving it some thought I had to agree.

The next summer, I wrote a proposal suggesting I’d like to read about Henry VIII the wives of Henry VIII, and — here’s the kicker — I called it “Striving to Find a Voice: the Wives of Henry VIII.” Can you guess that this proposal was a winner? It was, and I learned a bit about tailoring applications to the intended audience.

Ludwig II is the subject of a new writing project I’m working on, so I’ll share bits and pieces with you regarding him. In the meantime, if there’s anything you’d like to know about Ludwig, let me know. I think he’s totally fascinating. His name, by the way, is pronounced LOOT vig.

He loved the French Kings Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, and he often dined with them (no, they weren’t alive at the time. But that didn’t stop Ludwig from setting the table for them and holding imaginary conversations with them as he ate).

Who says history isn’t interesting?

6 thoughts on “Ludwig II of Bavaria

  1. (no, they weren’t alive at the time. But that didn’t stop Ludwig from setting the table for them and holding imaginary conversations with them as he ate)

    That struck me as probably the funniest thing I’ll read all day! 😀

  2. Wow! Ludwig is quite an interesting character from the past! I had never heard that about the imaginary dinner conversations. I’d heard that Ludwig was delusional, but this is over the top. Can’t wait to read more…

  3. In 1960 I worked with a woman from Germany. She talked about “Mad King Ludwig.” Was he descended from Juana the Mad?

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