(By which I mean those figures who inevitably get passed over in the sweep of history classes because they punctuate two much more interesting periods. AKA the John Major Cup.)
My long-time favourites: the Directors of France. No, not Godard, Truffaut et al. Think guillotine. Think Terror. Think Robespierre dragged off to be the climactic blood sacrifice to the cause. What comes next? ‘Um’, then ‘er’, then ‘uh’, then ‘oh, Napoleon?’ That was them in charge. So, let’s hear it for the people who ruled France for the four years that everyone skips between the blood & barricades and the short bloke.
Sometimes I think of these one-graf periods as pockets of the landscape kept deliberately uncultivated to encourage natural habitats, the fauna in this case being graduate students, who are naturally drawn to such obscure fields because the richest ones are long taken.