The Power of Two


Long before Bill and Melinda Gates or Jay Z and Beyoncé “ruled the world,” some of the world’s most powerful couples, including royals, artists and outlaws, rose to fame in the 19th and 20th centuries. Join us this month for an intimate view into the lives and legacies of six influential couples in “Power Couples in Modern History.”

Traditionally, a power couple is defined as two individuals of equal accomplishment who come together for greater achievement. However, this dynamic was not the case for one of our couples, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She was perceived as the dominant partner in her marriage to Prince Albert, but behind closed doors they were rivals.

Bonnie & Clyde

Bonnie & Clyde

“One of the most unusual aspects of their marriage was the power Albert held over Victoria from the grave,” said Instructor Newell D. Boyd, Ph.D. “There had been some contentiousness between them in the years before his death, but, upon his untimely death, she became devoted to him in a maudlin manner as never she had when he was still alive. She devoted the remaining 40 years of her life to the idea of promoting the ideal of Albert and his perfection.”

In our upcoming course, you’ll also hear from other Rice faculty and experts on five more couples including Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, the infamous outlaw couple that caught the world’s attention in the early 1930s. They made headlines as they embarked on a crime spree across the middle of the U.S. committing murders and bold robberies. Although, their run together lasted only 21 months, their legacy lives on more than 80 years after their deaths.

On a lighter but just as powerful note, we’ll discuss how Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz captured America’s heart with “I Love Lucy” and their impact on show business. With Valentine’s Day this month, it’s the perfect time to learn more about these power couple love stories beginning Thursday, February 26.

Rachael Shappard


Rachael Shappard, Marketing Coordinator

One thought on “The Power of Two

  1. I am a student in the class.The first subjects were the Roosevelt’s.The instructor, Joseph McFadden, is a nice guy who is an ardent Keynesian economist. He has a provocative opinion on the role of Eleanor and why they were chosen as a Power Couple. My take-a-way was “behind every successful man is a woman who fought him every step of the way”. Lucy Mercer must have been a brilliant AND sweet supportive woman!

    Rice does an excellent job of presenting courses of this ilk.

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