Let’s just power through a few days all at once. I’ll not do too much research on any one.
3/31 Andrew Marvell (born 1621), John Donne (died 1631).
I cannot remember what took me away from this, and it’s a danged shame I didn’t get back to it. Of course I know what happened! It was Tuesday. I must have intended to get back to it after supper. Marvell was especially interesting. He was a lyric poet and friend of Milton. I found him in the crappy old book, A Restoration Reader (James Holly Hanford, ed., The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., Indianapolis. 1954). This of course threw me into a tizzy to learn more about the Restoration– restoration of the British Crown after Cromwell. Fascinating period. Good Book, too.
The readings from Donne were: “The Dream”; “The Will”; “Death”; “A Burnt Ship.” It’s Donne. I’m sure you can find them in any
crappy old English Anthology you have laying around.
4/1 Agnes Repplier (born 1855). Under Personal Life, the very first thing that infallible source mentions is that she was a heavy smoker. WTF? This would have not been worth the effort, IMHO. Reading: “A Plea for Humor.” Anyone who has to plea for humor is probably pretty humorless, again, in my humble opinion.
On 4/2 we turned the page in our Guide to Daily Reading.
Dreams, books are each a world; and books, we know, are a substantial world, both pure and gold. Round these, with tendrils, strong as flesh and blood, our pastime and our happiness will grow.William Wordsworth
4/2 Nothing happened. The Daily Readings are: “Jefferson” (not a clue other than that it is in Vol. 16-PtI: 43-70 of The Pocket University set of readings); “Nelson’s Victory over the Danish Fleet” (some history); “The Battle of the Baltic” (poem).
4/3 Washington Irving (born 1783). This probably would have been fun. I like A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker (1864). Daily Readings: “Wouter Van Twiller” (from A History… ; “The Voyage” (selected passages, maybe this)
Which brings us to today, Saturday April 4, 2020.
4/4 Nothing happened. No one of note was born, died, disappeared, or was liberated. I find that hard to believe. Let us turn to Anniversaries and Holidays: A Calendar of Days and How to Observe Them (Hazeltine, 1928, 2nd 1965). Fabulous
crappy old book, by the way. … Holy cow! Lots of cool people were born or died today.
- John Napier (d. 1617), inventor of the logarithm
- Grinling Gibbons (b. 1648), English master wood carver
- Dorthea Lyne Dix (b. 1802), pioneering reformer of “prisons, almshouses, and insane asylums”
- Sir William Siemens (b. 1823), English physicist, inventor of methods to improve steel manufacturing
- William Henry Jackson (b. 1843), photographer, explorer. “He produced the pictorial records of the Wyoming Badlands which convinced congress that this region should be set aside as Yellowstone National Park.”
Guide to Daily Reading 4/4
- Browning’s “Home-Thoughts from Abroad“
- Macaulay’s “Bryon the Poet”