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Makemakean Does Various Graphical Things!

The original wikibox I did for Henrik Palmstierna:

(I ended up retconning the whole driving the Russians out of Ingria and annexing that as well, because it all seemed too brutal and tasteless, and made it pretty much impossible to sympathize with him as a character...)



Thande has discouraged me against using historical parallelism in constructing my Swedish Strangerverse, his arguments being that usually, attempts to do parallelism between different countries are plainly impossible because every country has its own unique political history and traditions which sort of makes it impossible to have good analogues between countries that aren't incredibly forced. Other people will say that the reason parallelism is a bad idea is because it's, well, essentially lazy, and they will point to Turtledove's TL-191 as an example. Anyone can take German history and just replace all the German names with American ones, can't they.

And I have tried to follow Thande's advice.

However, every now and again you come across a particular photograph of a particular individual with just the right name and just the right look and then the temptation becomes too much. So, when I was looking at members of the Swedish noble family Palmstierna, I came across this weird photo of a stern-looking gentleman from sometime in the mid-19th century. The interesting thing about him is his determined, serious, no-nonsense face, which looks plainly ridiculous when you notice that the man is actually wearing a rokoko-style wig, many decades after such wigs had fallen out of fashion, and that just started a series of neurochemical events in my brains, which-...

Well, anyway, ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Swedish Lord Palmerston!

(and possibly the darkest installment yet in the Swedish Strangerverse series, as in this chapter, the Swedes begin engaging in some of the less glorious aspects of imperialism (again))

Count Palmstierna grew up in a time of great difficulties for Sweden. The Napoleonic Wars were raging, and at a time a young aristocratic man like him was expected to go to university, Sweden was fighting a hopeless war against France, Denmark, and Russia, without any allies to speak of. Palmstierna instead took service in the army, and throughout the Napoleonic Wars, Palmstierna saw action in Swedish Pomerania, Scania and Finland. It was first after the Congress of Brussels in 1816 that Palmstierna was finally honourably discharged and he could pursue his studies at Uppsala University. In the election of 1819, Palmstierna stood for the Riksdag as a nominal Cap for Uppsala University's constituency[1] and was duly elected a member of the upper house. Palmstierna did not have much faith in Fleetwood's vision of a "Great Sweden" centralized in Stockholm, and supported the Caps in the election of 1821, his fierce rhetoric in favour of the Caps vision of the "Federal Kingdom" winning him many friends and a junior ministerial post in the government in the Department of War, which saw him overseeing work on constructing railroads in Finland.

By 1825, he broke with the Caps however on account of their desire to reduce military spending in Finland (which Palmstierna considered vital), and so crossed the floor and joined the Hats. When the Hats returned to government in 1827, Palmstierna was promoted to become the President of the College of War, a position he ended up holding throughout the War of the Long Winter. The War of the Long Winter took a hard hit on the Hats however, and their popularity dropped as the government introduced further and further economic centralization, Görtz-style austerity measures, and controversially postponing the scheduled elections in 1830 to 1831. The Crowns left the composition government as a consequence of this, and reorganized as the Skeptical Party, issuing a list of demands for cooperating with either of the two big ones. Palmstierna lost his seat in the election of 1831, and he had to rely on his father stepping aside to let him take his seat in the House of Knights[2].

Palmstierna would spend the next 12 years brooding in opposition, before the Hats finally could reclaim the Chancery Presidency in 1844. This time, Palmstierna was rewarded for his loyalty with the prestigious portfolio of State Minister for Foreign Affairs, second in the cabinet only to the Chancery President himself. When Franzén died of a heart attack on March 13, 1847, the Hats advised the young King Arthur to appoint the veteran politician Chancery President.

The exact series of events which lead to the Swedish intervention in the Slesvig War is still subject to debate. Though the official version at the time was that it was Queen Frederica, a Danish princess, who convinced her husband of the moral imperative of one Scandinavian nation coming to the aid of another, most historians believe that this is a retroactive construction to protect the image of the royal family, and it appears that King Arthur was very skeptical about Swedish intervention for a long time, until Count Palmstierna forced his hand by unilaterally declaring the government's decision to send Swedish troops to Holstein, and the Swedish navy to attack Prussia, and that Arthur could only play along with the charade to avoid looking like he wasn't in control of his own government.[3]

Whatever happened, the war proved a remarkably popular affair, and at its conclusion, the Dano-Swedish alliance successfully defended the Danish claim to Schlswig-Holstein. Arthur could hardly dismiss the celebrated Chancery President, even though he might have wanted to.

Palmstierna again caused trouble little more than a year later when called home the Swedish Ambassador to the Empire of the Russias following Czar Constantine I's invasion of the Ottoman Empire. Much to the King's dismay, Palmstierna held speeches calling to mind Swedish-Ottoman friendship during the Great Nordic War, and called the Russian barbarians. The King soon found out that (without him having even been consulted), the Swedish government was in secret negotiations with Lord Salisbury's government in London to make the Euxine War into the Baltic-Euxine War, and again the King's hand was forced as Palmstierna saw to it that the Eastern Army invaded Russia.

Of course, Palmstierna's arrogance would eventually annoy not only the King, but also Lord Salisbury over in London. The British had allowed Sweden to grow after the Napoleonic War, as Lord Melville at the time had considered Sweden a "useful buffer against the Russians", but Salisbury's eyebrow was raised when Palmstierna (without consulting either the French or the British) sent the Swedish navy to bombard St. Petersburg to the ground. In his memoirs written many years later, Salisbury would reflect that he had been 'played' by the Swedes, having dismissed them at the start of the conflict as merely providing a diversion in the north to allow for British advances in the Black Sea to go smoother. Instead, he feared, the Swedes had made use of a conflict between the Britons and the Russians to further their own geopolitical plans.

Indeed at the end of the war, Palmstierna's behaviour in north-eastern Russia had had a truly gruesome effect, as over a million Russian men, women and children had been driven from their homes, their towns destroyed, even the once mighty St. Petersburg being burned to the ground. To this day, Palmstierna is a very controversial name in some parts of Europe, and his policy in the East has been likened to contemporary American policies of Indian removal.

By paying a terrible price in terms of human lives and human decency, at the conclusion of the war, Sweden regained all of Karelia and Ingria, at the place where St. Petersburg had stood, the city of Nyenskans was (re-)built.





[1] We got University constituency in Sweden in OTL at some point during the first half of the 19th century (can't remember when), and weirdly enough, those elected for these constituencies took their seats not in the Estate of Peasant or the Estate of Burghers but in the Estate of Clergy.

[2] The Swedish House of Knights worked in such a way that every noble family had a single vote, and in theory, they could send whoever they wanted to deliver that vote. Usually this meant that the head of the family had the vote, but it would still be technically possible for a senior member to step aside to allow a younger man the seat.

[3] Can be compared with OTL, in which Charles XV wanted Sweden to intervene in the Holstein matter, but whose Prime Minister Louis De Geer kept Sweden from ever committing to the cause, thereby, some would argue, permanently destroying the hopes of a Scandinavian union.
 

Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
Published by SLP
Location
Paris
Hang on, what version of billiards are they playing here. You're having them play with stripes before 1889! This won't do, my good sir, from you, this is a bad miss! #NeverOffBrand
 
Hang on, what version of billiards are they playing here. You're having them play with stripes before 1889! This won't do, my good sir, from you, this is a bad miss! #NeverOffBrand
I beg forgiveness. I know next to nothing of billiards, but nonetheless, these are generally the kind of little small details I take pleasure in, and so I will kick myself for missing something as vitally important by my own standards as that.
 
To be clear, what I meant was don't do parallelism if you want it to be taken seriously. There's a certain project that may see the light of day eventually that involves a great deal of parallelism, but it's explicitly A Bit Of Fun.
Well, I mean, the view I take is that it all ultimately depend on what kind of a story you want to tell. If they story you want to tell is about the world-building itself, then I personally think it's kind of lazy. If the world you build is merely meant to be a backdrop for another story you want to tell, then that is an entirely different matter.

Like, the future history world of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest is far from plausible, and kind of outright silly, but the reader accept that, because he didn't write that book so much as to tell a story of "this is a future that can plausible happen, and this is how we get there", but rather because he wanted to tell a story of people living in such a future. Same really with Nineteen Eighty-Four, Orwell was more interested in telling a story of the mindset of people living in a perfectly totalitarian society than he was in sketching out what necessrily was plausible to happen.

If you're focusing on a story about people living in a society that has emerged because of obvious parallelism, then that's one thing. If that parallelism in itself is the story, then that is different.

But I won't lie. Pretty much everything I do is just because it's A Bit Of Fun.
 

Thande

Zordrak, Lord of Nightmares
Published by SLP
But I won't lie. Pretty much everything I do is just because it's A Bit Of Fun.
The problem is these things have a habit of getting out of control; as I mentioned in my recent post, LTTW used to be my non-serious side project. (It kind of still is in some ways, but people have decided it's worthy of respect so I feel the need to put a bit more effort in).
 
By the way, @Thande , if you feel that my conception is a bit too close to Harry Church for your comfort, pray just tell me, and those elements are removed faster from canon than the theory of special relativity does allow for! ;)
 

Thande

Zordrak, Lord of Nightmares
Published by SLP
By the way, @Thande , if you feel that my conception is a bit too close to Harry Church for your comfort, pray just tell me, and those elements are removed faster from canon than the theory of special relativity does allow for! ;)
Don't worry about it, after all NAEW only ended up being written because you kept badgering me to do it :p
 

Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
Published by SLP
Location
Paris
Inked and coloured an old self-portrait I made back in, it must have been 2011, methinks...

View attachment 10261

...something to put on my own website I'm making.

I think I may have to revise the design I use for my own self-portrait when it comes to Apprentice Tablemaster Lindh. Still, I like the waistcoat.
Oh, no, it's completely wrong. Where's the bubbling energy sparking in the eyes, the mobile brow with the fervid and funny imagination? Or the sweet smile?
 

Alex Richards

Etched Swiftly.
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
Monsieur,

He holds a steaming cup of coffee/tea in his hand. Would it be doing such if he had a chance to drink it yet?
I'm reminded of the fact that the my first trip to see @Redolegna in Paris last November only confirmed the running gag that we are the same person only English/French respectively (due to the fact that his Offenbach fandom is matched only by my Gilbert and Sullivan fandom).

I've got a cupboard full of different varieties of leaf teas.

He's got a cupboard full of different types of coffee.
 
I'm reminded of the fact that the my first trip to see @Redolegna in Paris last November only confirmed the running gag that we are the same person only English/French respectively (due to the fact that his Offenbach fandom is matched only by my Gilbert and Sullivan fandom).

I've got a cupboard full of different varieties of leaf teas.

He's got a cupboard full of different types of coffee.
Well, a Frenchman would never drink coffee out of so big a cup, no. They only ever drink espresso volumes.

One of the parts of visiting France that really annoys me is the troubles I have to go through ordering a proper cup of coffee from a clerk who doesn't speak English, let alone Swedish:

"Errr-... pardon, monsieur, je voudrais acheter un tasse de café? Non, un propre tasse de café. Non, non, pas un tasse de café qui vous possédez, un propre tasse de-... Non, pas un tasse de café qui est netoyé, je voudrais un tasse de café qui est dans un grand tasse-...! Non, non! Pas un tasse de café américain, je ne suis pas-... oui, je suppose que je suis un-... pas un espresso dans un verre de eau chaud, je voudrais un tasse de-... ah, forget it! Fucking French asshole! We never should have accepted all that silver from you to go to war with the Germans anyway! Fucking turd...! Jävla fransoser!"
 
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Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
Published by SLP
Location
Paris
Well, a Frenchman would never drink coffee out of so big a cup, no. They only ever drink espresso volumes.

One of the parts of visiting France that really annoys me is the troubles I have to go through ordering a proper cup of coffee from a clerk who doesn't speak English, let alone Swedish:

"Errr-... pardon, monsieur, je voudrais acheter un tasse de café? Non, un propre tasse de café. Non, non, pas un tasse de café qui vous possédez, un propre tasse de-... Non, pas un tasse de café qui est netoyé, je voudrais un tasse de café qui est dans un grand tasse-...! Non, non! Pas un tasse de café américain, je ne suis pas-... oui, je suppose que je suis un-... pas un espresso dans un verre de eau chaud, je voudrais un tasse de-... ah, forget it! Fucking French asshole! We never should have accepted all that silver from you to go to war with the Germans anyway! Fucking turd...! Jävla fransoser!"
They were punishing you for misremembering your grammatical genders, ouiouioui.
 

Ares96

Liver Deep, Mountain High
Published by SLP
I'm reminded of the fact that the my first trip to see @Redolegna in Paris last November only confirmed the running gag that we are the same person only English/French respectively (due to the fact that his Offenbach fandom is matched only by my Gilbert and Sullivan fandom).

I've got a cupboard full of different varieties of leaf teas.

He's got a cupboard full of different types of coffee.
I still think primarily of him and @Ciclavex as the same person, despite the latter not having any confirmed diehard light opera fandom that I know of (happy as I am to be proven wrong on this).
 

Alex Richards

Etched Swiftly.
Patreon supporter
Published by SLP
Location
Derbyshire
Well, a Frenchman would never drink coffee out of so big a cup, no. They only ever drink espresso volumes.

One of the parts of visiting France that really annoys me is the troubles I have to go through ordering a proper cup of coffee from a clerk who doesn't speak English, let alone Swedish:

"Errr-... pardon, monsieur, je voudrais acheter un tasse de café? Non, un propre tasse de café. Non, non, pas un tasse de café qui vous possédez, un propre tasse de-... Non, pas un tasse de café qui est netoyé, je voudrais un tasse de café qui est dans un grand tasse-...! Non, non! Pas un tasse de café américain, je ne suis pas-... oui, je suppose que je suis un-... pas un espresso dans un verre de eau chaud, je voudrais un tasse de-... ah, forget it! Fucking French asshole! We never should have accepted all that silver from you to go to war with the Germans anyway! Fucking turd...! Jävla fransoser!"
You see I just work on the basis that, when in Rome and all that, coffee will come in small, strong cups, and if I want volume it'll have to be tea.
 

Thande

Zordrak, Lord of Nightmares
Published by SLP
Well, a Frenchman would never drink coffee out of so big a cup, no. They only ever drink espresso volumes.

One of the parts of visiting France that really annoys me is the troubles I have to go through ordering a proper cup of coffee from a clerk who doesn't speak English, let alone Swedish:

"Errr-... pardon, monsieur, je voudrais acheter un tasse de café? Non, un propre tasse de café. Non, non, pas un tasse de café qui vous possédez, un propre tasse de-... Non, pas un tasse de café qui est netoyé, je voudrais un tasse de café qui est dans un grand tasse-...! Non, non! Pas un tasse de café américain, je ne suis pas-... oui, je suppose que je suis un-... pas un espresso dans un verre de eau chaud, je voudrais un tasse de-... ah, forget it! Fucking French asshole! We never should have accepted all that silver from you to go to war with the Germans anyway! Fucking turd...! Jävla fransoser!"
This brings up my recent trip to Italy where the Colombian-Lancastrian guide had to tell people not to order a 'latte' because they'll give you a pint (well, litre) of milk, that ordering a cappucino after noon makes them think you are mad, and that just ordering 'caffe' without further context will result in espresso by default.

I'm glad all coffee tastes equally foul to me so I don't have to worry about any of this. (Come to think of it, that's also true of wine...maybe I just dislike all beverages stereotypically associated with France for some reason. No wait, hang on, cidre.)
 

Redolegna

Champagne Socialist
Published by SLP
Location
Paris
You see I just work on the basis that, when in Rome and all that, coffee will come in small, strong cups, and if I want volume it'll have to be tea.
Also my new machine does make coffee in mug size now, so he just needs to visit.

I'm glad all coffee tastes equally foul to me so I don't have to worry about any of this. (Come to think of it, that's also true of wine...maybe I just dislike all beverages stereotypically associated with France for some reason. No wait, hang on, cidre.)
This is why you voted Leave.