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Welcome to Continental Lodge #287's Home Page. We Fraternally invite you to view our Communication and visit us on our regular meeting night.  We meet on the first Wednesday of the month at Grand Lodge, 71 West 23rd Street in the Renaissance Room on the 6th Floor at 7:30PM.  Our Brothers meet for dinner prior to the meetings. Check the Communication for location and feel free to join us..... Dutch of course!!
Be Well, God Bless and let our Brotherly Love Spread Around the World!!!

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If you are not already a member of our ancient & honorable fraternity, and would like additional information, please contact this Lodg or any  of our fraternity. Although we cannot directly solicit members, we will be pleased to respond to your interest by answering your questions and will gladly provide a petition at your request.

 

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Robert Sengstacke Abbott Francis Bellamy Samuel L Clemens Carlo Collodi
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Timothy Fortune Edward Gibbon Alex Haley
John H Johnson Rudyard Kipling Sir Walter Scott Jonathan Swift
Leo Tolstoi Voltaire Lewis Wallace Booker T Washington
  H. G. Wells    

 

 

H. G. Wells

H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent. His father was a shopkeeper and a professional cricketer, and his mother served from time to time as a housekeeper at the nearby estate of Uppark. His father's business failed and to elevate the family to middle-class status, Wells was apprenticed like his brothers to a draper, spending the years between 1880 and 1883 in Windsor and Southsea. Later he recorded these years in KIPPS (1905). In the story Arthur Kipps is raised by his aunt and uncle, and who is apprenticed to a draper. After learning that he has been left a fortune, Kipps enters the upper-class society, which Wells describes with sharp social criticism.
In 1883 Wells become a teacher/pupil at Midhurst Grammar Scool. He obtained a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in London and studied there biology under T.H. Huxley. However, his interest faltered and he left without a degree in 1887. He taught in private schools for four years, not taking his B.S. degree until 1890. Next year he settled in London, married his cousin Isabel and continued his career as a teacher in a correspondence college.
After some years Wells left Isabel for one of his brightest students, Amy Catherine, whom he married in 1895. As a novelist Wells made his debut with The Time Machine, a parody of English class division, and a satirical warning that human progress is not inevitable. It was followed by such science fiction classics as THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1896), in which a mad scientist transforms animals into human creatures, The Invisible Man (1897), a Faustian story of a scientist who has tampered with nature in pursuit of superhuman powers, The War of the Worlds (1898), a novel of an invasion of Martians, THE FIRST MEN ON THE MOON (1901), prophetic description of the methodology of space flight, and THE WAR IN THE AIR (1908), a hybrid that places Kipps-like Cockney hero in the context of a catastrophic aerial war.
Dissatisfied with his literary work, Wells moved into the novel genre, with LOVE AND MR. LEWISHAM (1900), strenghtening his reputation as a serous writer with Kipps, TONO-BUNGAY (1909), THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLY (1909), an ode to vanished England. He also published critical pamphlets attacking the Victorian social order, among them ANTICIPATIONS (1901), MANKIND IN THE MAKING (1903), A MODERN UTOPIA (1905).
Passionate concern for society led Wells to join in 1903 the socialist Fabian Society in London, but he soon quarreled with the society's leaders, among them George Bernard Shaw. This experience was basis for his novel THE NEW MACHIAVELLI (1911), where he draw portraits of the noted Fabians. At the outbreak of war in 1914 Wells was involved in a love affair with the young English author Rebecca West, which influenced his works and life deeply.
After WW I Wells published several non-fiction works, among them THE OUTLINE OF HISTORY (1920), THE SCIENCE OF LIFE (1929-39, written in collaboration with Sir Julian Huxley and George Philip Wells), and EXPERIMENT IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY (1934). At this time Wells had gained the status as a popular celebrity, continuing to write prolifically. He lived through World War II in his house on Regent's Park, refusing to let the blitz drive him out of London. His last book, MIND AT THE END OF ITS TETHER (1945) expressed pessimism about mankind's future prospects. Wells died in London on August 13. 1946. Return to Last Page

 

 

Booker T Washington

Booker T. Washington recalled his childhood in his autobiography, Up From Slavery. He was born in 1856 on theBooker T. Washington Burroughs tobacco farm which, despite its small size, he always referred to as a "plantation." His mother was a cook, his father a white man from a nearby farm. "The early years of my life, which were spent in the little cabin," he wrote, "were not very different from those of other slaves."

He went to school in Franklin County - not as a student, but to carry books for one of James Burroughs's daughters. It was illegal to educate slaves. "I had the feeling that to get into a schoolhouse and study would be about the same as getting into paradise," he wrote. In April 1865 the Emancipation Proclamation was read to joyful slaves in front of the Burroughs home. Booker's family soon left to join his stepfather in Malden, West Virginia. The young boy took a job in a salt mine that began at 4 a.m. so he could attend school later in the day. Within a few years, Booker was taken in as a houseboy by a wealthy towns-woman who further encouraged his longing to learn. At age 16, he walked much of the 500 miles back to Virginia to enroll in a new school for black students. He knew that even poor students could get an education at Hampton Institute, paying their way by working. The head teacher was suspicious of his country ways and ragged clothes. She admitted him only after he had cleaned a room to her satisfaction.

In one respect he had come full circle, back to earning his living by menial tasks. Yet his entrance to Hampton led him away from a life of forced labor for good. He became an instructor there. Later, as principal and guiding force behind Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which he founded in 1881, he became recognized as the nation's foremost black educator.

Washington the public figure often invoked his own past to illustrate his belief in the dignity of work. "There was no period of my life that was devoted to play," Washington once wrote. "From the time that I can remember anything, almost everyday of my life has been occupied in some kind of labor." This concept of self-reliance born of hard work was the cornerstone of Washington's social philosophy.

As one of the most influential black men of his time, Washington was not without his critics. Many charged that his conservative approach undermined the quest for racial equality. "In all things purely social we can be as separate as the fingers," he proposed to a biracial audience in his 1895 Atlanta Compromise address, "yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress." In part, his methods arose for his need for support from powerful whites, some of them former slave owners. It is now known, however, that Washington secretly funded anti segregationist activities. He never wavered in his belief in freedom: "From some things that I have said one may get the idea that some of the slaves did not want freedom. This is not true. I have never seen one who did not want to be free, or one who would return to slavery."

By the last years of his life, Washington had moved away from many of his accommodationist policies. Speaking out with a new frankness, Washington attacked racism. In 1915 he joined ranks with former critics to protest the stereotypical portrayal of blacks in a new movie, "Birth of a Nation." Some months later he died at age 59. A man who overcame near-impossible odds himself, Booker T. Washington is best remembered for helping black Americans rise up from the economic slavery that held them down long after they were legally free citizens.

 

 

Lewis Wallace

Although he would have much preferred to be remembered as a highly successful military hero, Lew Wallace has been thwarted in this ambition and is best known as an author. Born in Indiana, he had worked as a clerk and early displayed a fascination for Mexico which would affect him in later years. During the Mexican War he served as a second lieutenant in the lst Indiana but saw only minor action. In 1849 he was admitted to the bar in his native state and seven years later entered the state senate.
       With the outbreak of the Civil War he offered his services, and his assignments included: adjutant general of Indiana (April 1861); colonel, 11th Indiana (April 25, 1861); colonel, 11th Indiana (reorganized August 31, 1861); brigadier general, USV (September 3, 1861); commanding 3rd Division, District of Cairo, Department of the Missouri (February 14-17, 1862); major general, USV (March 21, 1862); commanding 3rd Division, Army of the Tennessee (February 17-June 1862); commanding 8th Corps, Middle Department (March 22, 1864-February 1,1865 and April 19-August 1, 1865); and also commanding the department (March 22, 1864-February 1,1865 and April 19-June 27, 1865).
       His career got off to a promising start when he routed an inferior Confederate force at Romney, Virginia. Promoted to brigadier general, he was given charge of a newly organized division in the midst of the operations against Fort Donelson and was soon rewarded with a second star. However, that spring his reputation plummeted after the battle of Shiloh. On the first day his division was stationed north of the main army at Crump's Landing, and a series of contradictory orders from Grant forced him to countermarch his command and delayed his arrival on the main battlefield until the fighting was nearly over. He redeemed himself on the second day, but a scapegoat was needed for the near disaster the day before and this was Wallace. Sent home to await further orders, he offered his services to Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton and, despite his high rank, took temporary command of a regiment during the emergency posed by Kirby Smith's invasion of Kentucky. With Cincinnati threatened, Wallace was placed in charge of a mostly civilian defense force. Through a show of tremendous energy he was able to save the city without a major fight. He was then head of the commission which examined Buell's handling of the invasion and other boards until placed in charge in Maryland in early 1864. There he bought valuable time for the defenders of Washington during Early's drive into the state when he made a stand at Monocacy with an inferior scratch force.
       At the close of the war he sat on the court-martial which tried the Lincoln conspirators and presided over that which sent Andersonville chief Henry Wirz to the gallows. He then joined a movement to aid the Juarez forces against Maximilian in Mexico. He tried to raise money and troops and even accepted the title of major general from the Juarez group. On November 30, 1865, he resigned from the U.S. service, but his Mexican venture collapsed and he realized little of the money which he had hoped to gain from it. In later years he was governor of the New Mexico Territory and a diplomat to Turkey. As a prolific writer, who often drew upon his own experiences, he is best remembered for Ben Hur.- A Tale of the Cbrist, one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century. Return to Last Page

 

 

Voltaire

Voltaire, assumed name of François Marie Arouet (1694-1778), French writer and philosopher, who was one of the leaders of the Enlightenment.
Voltaire was born in Paris, November 21, 1694, the son of a notary. He was educated by the Jesuits at the College Louis-le-Grand.
Voltaire quickly chose literature as a career. He began moving in aristocratic circles and soon became known in Paris salons as a brilliant and sarcastic wit. A number of his writings, particularly a lampoon accusing the French regent Philippe II, duc d'Orléans of heinous crimes, resulted in his imprisonment in the Bastille. During his 11-month detention, Voltaire completed his first tragedy, (Edipe, which was based upon thr (Edipus tyrannus of ancient Greek Dramatist Sophocles, and commenced an epic poem on Henry IV of France. (Edipe was given its initial performance at the Théâtre-Français in 1718 and received with great enthusiasm. The work on Henry IV was printed anonymously in Geneva under the title of Poème de la ligue (Poem of the League, 1723). In his first philosophical poem, Le pour et le contre (For and Against), Voltaire gave eloquent expression to both his anti-Christian views and his rationalist, deist creed.
A quarrel with a member of an illustrious French family, the chevalier de Rohan, resulted in Voltaire's second incarceration in the Bastille, from which he was released within two weeks on his promise to quit France and proceed to England. Accordingly he spent about two years in London. Voltaire soon mastered the English language, and in order to prepare the British public for an enlarged edition of his Poème de la ligue, he wrote in English two remarkable essays, one on epic poetry and the other on the history of civil wars in France. For a few years the Catholic, autocratic French government prevented the publication of the enlarged edition of Poème de la ligue, which was retitled La Henriade (The Henriad). The government finally allowed the poem to be published in 1728. This work, an eloquent defense of religious toleration, achieved an almost unprecedented success, not only in Voltaire's native France but throughout all of the continent of Europe as well.
In 1728 Voltaire returned to France. During the next four years he resided in Paris and devoted most of his time to literary composition. The chief work of this period is the Lettres anglaises ou philosophiques (English or Philosophical Letters, 1734). A covert attack upon the political and ecclesiastical institutions of France, this work brought Voltaire into conflict with the authorities, and he was once more forced to quit Paris. He found refuge at the Château de Cirey in the independent duchy of Lorraine. There he formed an intimate relationship with the aristocratic and learned Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet, who exerted a strong intellectual influence upon him.
Voltaire's sojourn at Cirey in companionship with the marquise du Châtelet was a period of intense literary activity. In addition to an imposing number of plays, he wrote the Élements de la philosophie de Newton (Elements of the Philosophy of Newton), and produced novels, tales, satires, and light verses.
Voltaire's stay at Cirey was not without interruptions. He often traveled to Paris and to Versailles, where, through the influence of the marquise de Pompadour, the famous mistress of Louis XV, he became a court favorite. He was first appointed historiographer of France, and then a gentleman of the king's bedchamber; finally, in 1746, he was elected to the French Academy. His Poème de Fontenoy (1745), describing a battle won by the French over the English during the War of the Austrian Succession, and his Précis du siècle de Louis XV (Epitome of the Age of Louis XV), in addition to his dramas La princesse de Navarre and Le triomphe de Trajan, were the outcome of Voltaire's connection with the court of Louis XV.
Following the death of Madame du Châtelet in 1749, Voltaire finally accepted a long-standing invitation from Frederick II of Prussia to become a permanent resident at the Prussian court. He journeyed to Berlin in 1750 but did not remain there more than two years, because his acidulous wit clashed with the king's autocratic temper and led to frequent disputes. While at Berlin he completed his Siècle de Louis XIV, a historical study of the period of Louis XIV (1638-1715).
For some years Voltaire led a migratory existence, but he finally settled in 1758 at Ferney, where he spent the remaining 20 years of his life. In the interval between his return from Berlin and his establishment at Ferney, he completed his most ambitious work, the Essai sur l'histoire générale et sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations (Essay on General History and on the Customs and the Character of Nations, 1756). In this work, a study of human progress, Voltaire decries supernaturalism and denounces religion and the power of the clergy, although he makes evident his own belief in the existence of God.
After settling in Ferney, Voltaire wrote several philosophical poems, such as Le désastre de Lisbonne (The Lisbon Disaster, 1756); a number of satirical and philosophical novels, of which the most brilliant is Candide (1759); the tragedy Tancrède (1760); and the Dictionnaire philosophique (1764). Feeling secure in his sequestered retreat, he sent forth hundreds of short squibs and broadsides satirizing abuses that he desired to expose. Those who suffered persecution because of their beliefs found in Voltaire an eloquent and powerful defender. The flavor of Voltaire's activities could be summarized in the phrase he often used: écrasons l'infâme ("let us crush the infamous one"). With this phrase, he referred to any form of religion that persecutes nonadherents or that constitutes fanaticism. For Christianity he would substitute deism, a purely rational religion. Candide, in which Voltaire analyzes the problem of evil in the world, depicts the woes heaped upon the world in the name of religion. He died in Paris, May 30, 1778.
Voltaire's contradictions of character are reflected in his writings as well as in the impressions of others. He seemed able to defend either side in any debate, and to some of his contemporaries he appeared distrustful, avaricious and sardonic; others considered him generous, enthusiastic, and sentimental. Essentially, he rejected everything irrational and incomprehensible and called upon his contemporaries to act against intolerance, tyranny, and superstition. His morality was founded on a belief in freedom of thought and respect for all individuals, and he maintained that literature should be useful and concerned with the problems of the day. These views made Voltaire a central figure in the 18th-century philosophical movement typified by the writers of the famous French Encyclopédie. Because he pleaded for a socially involved type of literature, Voltaire is considered a forerunner of such 20th-century writers as Jean Paul Sartre and other French existentialists. 
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Leo Tolstoi

The novels of Russia's greatest writer, Leo Tolstoi, captured the vastness of the Russian landscape and the complexity of itswpe2.jpg (4818 bytes) people. His social and moral ideals spread to all parts of the world. His massive `War and Peace' is regarded as a milestone in the development of the Western novel.
Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi was born in the village of Yasnaya Polyana in the central Russian province of Tula. The date was Sept. 9, 1828, but it was August 28 according to the calendar being used at the time.
Tolstoi' s parents, Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoi and Princess Marya Nikolaevna Volkonskaya, were married in Moscow in 1822. They came from distinguished families of the Russian nobility. The couple moved to her family's estate at Yasnaya Polyana in 1823 with their first child, Nikolai. There Sergei, Dmitri, and Leo were born. The household was a happy one. Tolstoi re-created many of the scenes of his childhood in his writings.
Tolstoi's mother died in 1830 after the birth of a daughter, Marya. Seven years later the count died. Relatives and friends cared for the orphans until they were taken to Kazan' to live with an aunt in 1841. Leo showed intelligence, sensitivity, and imagination early in life. In 1836 a tutor had predicted literary fame for the boy.
Tolstoi entered the University of Kazan' in 1844. He soon became dissatisfied with the educational system. His study of the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau encouraged his rebellious attitude and greatly influenced his moral, social, and educational beliefs. In 1847 Tolstoi left the university, saying that he had lost faith in religion and prayer.
In 1851, tired of the irresponsible life-style he had chosen, he accompanied his brother Nikolai, a military officer, to the Caucasus. There Leo joined the army in 1852. In 1854 he was commissioned an officer and served bravely in the Crimean War until 1856. He used and described his army experiences in many of his stories and novels.
Tolstoi 's first published work appeared in the Russian magazine Contemporary in 1852. It was based on his own memories and was titled `Childhood'. More stories and accounts of the Crimean campaign were soon published. He was a well-known author by 1856.
In 1862 Tolstoi married Sofya Andreevna Behrs. They lived in Yasnaya Polyana for the next 48 years. They had 13 children.
Tolstoi's epic novel of Russian life during the time of Napoleon, `War and Peace', was completed in 1869. His other famous works include `Anna Karenina', published in 1877; `The Death of Ivan Ilyich' (1886); `The Power of Darkness', a play written in 1886; `Master and Man' (1895); and `Resurrection' (1899).
After 1879 Tolstoi changed his way of life. He determined to live by a code of nonviolence, universal love and forgiveness, and simplicity. This moral crisis was recorded in his essay `Confession' (1879). His writings became increasingly devoted to his beliefs. Some of them were `The Kreutzer Sonata' (1889), ` The Kingdom of God Is Within You ' (1893), and `What Is Art?' (1897). Tolstoi 's creed attracted many followers, who were called Tolstoians.
Tolstoi was often in opposition to the Russian government and the church. Many of his works were censored, and his followers were persecuted. Tolstoi, however, was protected from harm by his worldwide fame and the love the Russian people had for him.
Tolstoi and his family were driven apart by conflicts in their beliefs. At the age of 82 he left Yasnaya Polyana, intending never to return. He became ill on the journey and died on Nov. 20, 1910 (Gregorian calendar), at the railroad station of Astapovo in Ryazan' Province. Return to Last Page

 

 

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift was born on November 30, 1667 in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Protestant Anglo-Irish parents: his ancestors had been Royalists, and all his life he would be a High-Churchman. His father, also Jonathan, died a few months before he was born, upon which his mother, Abigail, returned to England, leaving her son behind, in the care of relatives. In 1673, at the age of six, Swift began his education at Kilkenny Grammar School, which was, at the time, the best in Ireland. Between 1682 and 1686 he attended, and graduated from, Trinity College in Dublin, though he was not, apparently, an exemplary student.
In 1688 William of Orange invaded England, initiating the Glorious Revolution: with Dublin in political turmoil, Trinity College was closed, and an ambitious Swift took the opportunity to go to England, where he hoped to gain preferment in the Anglican Church. In England, in 1689, he became secretary to Sir William Temple, a diplomat and man of letters, at Moor Park in Surrey. There Swift read extensively in his patron's library, and met Esther Johnson, who would become his "Stella," and it was there, too, that he began to suffer from Meniere's Disease, a disturbance of the inner ear which produces nausea and vertigo, and which was little understood in Swift's day. In 1690, at the advice of his doctors, Swift returned to Ireland, but the following year he was back with Temple in England. He visited Oxford in 1691: in 1692, with Temple's assistance, he received an M. A. degree from that University, and published his first poem: on reading it, John Dryden, a distant relation, is said to have remarked "Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet."
In 1694, still anxious to advance himself within the Church of England, he left Temple's household and returned to Ireland to take holy orders. In 1695 he was ordained as a priest in the Church of Ireland, the Irish branch of the Anglican Church, and the following year he returned to Temple and Moor Park.
Between 1696 and 1699 Swift composed most of his first great work, A Tale of a Tub, a prose satire on the religious extremes represented by Roman Catholicism and Calvinism, and in 1697 he wrote The Battle of the Books, a satire defending Temple's conservative but beseiged position in the contemporary literary controversy as to whether the works of the "Ancients" -- the great authors of classical antiquity -- were to be preferred to those of the "Moderns." In 1699 Temple died, and Swift traveled to Ireland as chaplain and secretary to the Earl of Berkeley.
In 1700 he was instituted Vicar of Laracor -- provided, that is, with what was known as a "Living" -- and given a prebend in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. These appointments were a bitter disappointment for a man who had longed to remain in England. In 1701 Swift was awarded a D. D. from Dublin University, and published his first political pamphlet, supporting the Whigs against the Tories. 1704 saw the anonymous publication of A Tale of a Tub, The Battle of the Books, and The Mechanical Operation of the Spirit.
In 1707 Swift was sent to London as emissary of Irish clergy seeking remission of tax on Irish clerical incomes. His requests were rejected, however, by the Whig government and by Queen Anne, who suspected him of being irreligious. While in London he he met Esther Vanhomrigh, who would become his "Vanessa." During the next few years he went back and forth between Ireland and England, where he was involved--largely as an observer rather than a participant--in the highest English political circles.
In 1708 Swift met Addison and Steele, and published his Bickerstaff Papers, satirical attacks upon an astrologer, John Partridge, and a series of ironical pamphlets on church questions, including An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity.
In 1710, which saw the publication of "A Description of a City Shower," Swift, disgusted with their alliance with the Dissenters, fell out with Whigs, allied himself with the Tories, and became the editor of the Tory newspaper The Examiner. Between 1710 and 1713 he also wrote the famous series of letters to Esther Johnson which would eventually be published as The Journal to Stella. In 1713 Swift was installed as Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin -- a promotion which was, again, a disappointment.
The Scriblerus Club, whose members included Swift, Pope, Congreve, Gay, and Arbuthnot, was founded in 1714. In the same year, much more unhappily for Swift, Queen Anne died, and George I took the throne. With his accession the Tories fell from power, and Swift's hopes for preferment in England came to an end: he returned to Ireland "to die," as he says, "like a poisoned rat in a hole." In 1716 Swift may or may not have married Esther Johnson. A period of literary silence and personal depression ensued, but beginning in 1718, he broke the silence, and began to publish a series of powerful tracts on Irish problems.
In 1720 he began work upon Gulliver's Travels, intended, as he says in a letter to Pope, "to vex the world, not to divert it." 1724-25 saw the publication of The Drapier Letters, which gained Swift enormous popularity in Ireland, and the completion of Gulliver's Travels. The progressive darkness of the latter work is an indication of the extent to which his misanthropic tendencies became more and more markedly manifest, had taken greater and greater hold upon his mind. In 1726 he visited England once again, and stayed with Pope at Twickenham: in the same year Gulliver's Travels was published.
Swift's final trip to England took place in 1727. Between 1727 and 1736 publication of five volumes of Swift-Pope Miscellanies. "Stella" died in 1728. In the following year A Modest Proposal was published. 1731 saw the publication of Swift's ghastly "A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed."
By 1735, when a collected edition of his Works was published in Dublin, his Meniere's Disease became more acute, resulting in periods of dizziness and nausea: at the same time, prematurely, his memory was beginning to deteriorate. During 1738 he slipped gradually into senility, and finally suffered a paralytic stroke: in 1742 guardians were officially appointed to care for his affairs. Swift died on October 19, 1745. Return to Last Page

 

 

Sir Walter Scott

Novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott was born in 1771 in Edinburgh, one of six surviving infants from twelve. 
At eighteen months he took ill with poliomyelitis but pulled through although with a lame right leg. He was well educated, studying at Edinburgh University.  In 1792 he was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates, becoming Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire from 1799 and Principal Clerk to the Court of Session from 1806.  He was married in 1797 to French Charlotte Charpentier, who bore him four children.
Fired by the tales and poems he heard as a child recuperating from his illness at his grandfather’s farm, Scott’s first love was literature and writing. His first works were the fusing and re-working of traditional tales and ballads. 
Soon this developed into a new form of writing, bringing history into romantic adventures.  He produced contemporary works on the history of Scotland, Napoleon, France and past writers.He lived very expensively with a house in Edinburgh on Castle Street during court term and another in the country,  Abbotsford, near Melrose, which he purchased in 1812 and had rebuilt, with extensions to his land also. 
With income from his legal work, his writing and shares in his publishing and printing companies, his life went well until January 1826 and a collapse of the economy.  There was no limited liability at that time and he found himself with debts from his businesses of £120,000. 
Rather than declare bankruptcy he began an unbearably tough work regime to pay his creditors.  Then, the following May, his wife died.  From 1830 he worked through four strokes before dying in September 1832.
Scott’s work has moved in and out of fashion and he has even been criticised for writing about history while the American and Industrial Revolutions were occurring. 
He explained his need to write tales set in historical Scotland because he was aware of his country ‘daily melting and dissolving into those of her sister and ally’.  In his work he tried to capture the essence of an earlier, still independent and proud Scotland.
 It is a mark of his writing ability that the world’s ‘shortbread tin lid’ perception of Scotland descends entirely from his works of fiction  in images today’s historians cannot hope to correct.  Return to Last Page

 

 

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling, born in Bombay, India, on December 30, 1865, made a significant contribution to English LiteraturePortraitin various genres including poetry, short story and novel. His birth took place in an affluent family with his father holding the post of Professor of Architectural Sculpture at the Bombay School of Art and his mother coming from a family of accomplished women. He spent his early childhood in India where an ‘aya’ took care of him and where under her influence he came in direct contact with the Indian culture and traditions. His parents decided to send him to England for education and so at the young age of five he started living in England with Madam Rosa, the landlady of the lodge he lived in, where for the next six years he lived a life of misery due to the mistreatment - beatings and general victimization - he faced there. Due to this sudden change in environment and the evil treatment he received, he suffered from insomnia for the rest of his life. This played an important part in his literary imagination (Sandison A.G.). His parents removed him from the rigidly Calvinistic foster home and placed him in a private school at the age of twelve. The English schoolboy code of honor and duty deeply affected his views in later life, especially when it involved loyalty to a group or a team.

Returning to India in 1882 he worked as a newspaper reporter and a part-time writer and this helped him to gain a rich experience of colonial life which he later presented in his stories and poems (Martinez, Gabriel A.). In 1886 he published his first volume of poetry, ‘Departmental Ditties’ and between 1887 and 1889 he published six volumes of short stories set in and concerned with the India he had come to know and love so well. When he returned to England he found himself already recognized and acclaimed as a brilliant writer. Over the immediately following years he published some of his most exquisite works including his most acclaimed poem "Recessional" and most famed novel "Kim". In 1907 Kipling won the Nobel prize in literature in consideration of the power of observation, originality of imagination, virility of ideas and remarkable talent for narration which characterized his writings. Death of both his children, Josephine and John, deeply affected his life. Both these incidents left a profound impression on his life, which his works published in the subsequent years after their deaths displays. Between 1919 and 1932 he traveled intermittently, and continued to publish stories, poems, sketches and historical works though his output dwindled. As he grew older his works display his preoccupation with physical and psychological strain, breakdown, and recovery. In 1936, plagued by illness, he passed away into the world beyond, leaving behind a legacy that will live for centuries to come.

Kipling’s works span over five decades, with Tennyson and Browning still writing and Hardy and Yeats unheard of, when his first work Schoolboy Lyrics hit the press (Page, Norman). He wrote during the period now known as the Victorian Age. According to English and Western Literature, conservatism, optimism and self-assurance marked the poetry of this age. Though Kipling’s works achieved literary fame during his early years, as he grew older his woks faced enormous amount of literary criticism. His poems dealt with racial and imperialistic topics which attracted a lot of critics. Critics also condemned the fact that unlike the popular model of poetry, Kipling’ poetry did not have an underlying meaning to it and that interpreting it required no more than one reading. Maguills Critical Survey of Poetry indicates that some critics even attributed the qualities of coarseness and crudeness to his poetry. As Kipling grew older his poetry came under even more scrutiny and doubts began to arise about poetic abilities. These views of the critics come as a surprise due to the fact that even in face of his dwindling reputation in literary circles, his popularity among the masses persisted without change. In fact due to his ability to relate to the layman as well as the literary elite through his works, he joined a select group of authors who reached a worldwide audience of considerable diversity. Kipling’s reputation started a revival course after T.S.Eliot’s essay on his poetic works where Eliot describes Kipling’s verse as "great verse" that sometimes unintentionally changes into poetry. Following Eliot’s lead many other critics reanalyzed Kipling’s verse and revived his poetic reputation to the merited level. In his lifetime Kipling went from the unofficial Poet Laureate of Great Britan to one of the most denounced poet in English Literary History. In contrast to the path his reputation took, Rudyard Kipling improved as a poet as his career matured and by the time of his death Kipling had compiled one of the most diverse collection of poetry in English Literature.
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John H. Johnson

Because schools in Arkansas offered blacks no education beyond the 8th grade, Johnson’s mother, a widow, Photo of John H. Johnsonsaved for two years in order to move her family to Chicago so that her son could continue his high school education. There, he became an honor student and served as class and student council president and edited the school newspaper and yearbook. While attending the University of Chicago at night, Johnson spent his days as an office boy with a life insurance company. It was here that he devised the idea of a magazine for a black readership. Negro Digest, first published in 1942, was financed originally with $500 his seamstress mother raised by pawning their furniture. In less than a year, circulation was up to 50,000. Johnson now controls the nation’s largest black-owned company, which has revenues in excess of $140 million. He is publisher of Ebony, Jet, and EM, plus, Johnson engages in other businesses, including Fashion Fair Cosmetics, Ebone Cosmetics, Supreme Beauty products and three radio stations. Return to Last Page

 

 

Alex Haley

American biographer, scriptwriter, author who became famous with the publication of the novel ROOTS, which traces hisAlex Haley ancestry back to Africa and covers seven American generations as they are taken slaves to the United States. The book was adapted to television series, and woke up an interest in genealogy, particulary among African-Americans.
Alex Haley was born in Ithaca, N.Y. His father was a teacher of agriculture. The family moved to the small town of Henning, Tennessee, when Alex Haley was an infant. In Henning Haley heard stories from his maternal grandmother, Cynthia Palmer, who traced the family genealogy to Haley's great-great-great-great-grandfather, who was an African, called "Kin-tay" and brought by slave-ship to America.
During WW II Haley enlisted in the Coast Guard and started to write adventure stories to stave off the boredom, and getting a new rating - Chief Journalist.
After twenty years of service Haley left the Coast Guard in 1959 to become a full-time writer. His first major work was THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X, which appeared in 1992, had immense effect on the black power movement in the United States.
In 1965 Haley stumbled upon the names of his maternal great-grandparents, when he was going through post-Civil War records in National Archives in Washington, D.C. This resulted to odyssey, where on basis of family histories and research Haley travelled by safari to the village of Juffure, to trace his own ancestor and to meet with a native griot, oral historian, who could name Haley's own ancestor Kunta Kinte.
When Roots appeared in 1976 it gained critical and popular success, although the truth and originality of the book faced also criticism. James Baldwin considered in his New York Times review, that Roots suggest how each of us are vehicle of the history which have produced us. On the other side - representing a minority opinion - Michael Arled viewed the book and television series as Haley's own fantasies about Going Home. It was also claimed that the griot in Juffure was a well-known trickster and told Haley just what he wanted to hear. However, Haley donated money to the village of Juffure for a new mosque. He had also founded in the early 1970s with his brothers the Kinte Foundation to collection and preservation of African-American genealogy records.
In 1977 Roots won the National Book Award and a special Pulizer Prize. The book sold in one year more than million copies. It challenged the view of black history as explored in such works as Stanley M. Elkin's Slavery (1959). Slaves did not give up all their ties to African culture, but humor, songs, words, folk beliefs survived. The book also showed that the oppressed never became docile: Kunta Kinte suffered amputation of a foot for his repeated attempts to run away.
Haley himself commented that the book was not so much history as a study of mythmaking. "What Roots gets at in whatever form, is that it touches the pulse of how alike we human beings are when you get down to the bottom, beneath these man-imposed differences."
Haley's next literary project was history of the town of Henning and a biograph of Frank Wills, the security quard who discovered the Watergate break-in. In television series Palmerstown, USA (1980) Haley collabotated with producer Norman Lear. The series was based on author's boyhood experiences in Henning. Return to Last Page

 

 

Edward Gibbon

English historian and scholar, the supreme historian of the Enlightment, who is best known as the author of the monumentalgibbon.jpg (13673 bytes) THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, often considered as the greatest historical work written in English. "It was at Rome... as I sat musing amidst the ruins of the Capitol, while barefoot friars were singing vespers in the Temple of Jupiter, that the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind." However, Gibbon's first works were written in French.
Edward Gibbon was born in London into a prosperous family. He was a sickly child and his education at Westminster and at Magdalen College, Oxford, was irregular. Gibbon was expelled from Magdalen College for turning into Roman Catholism. sent in 1753 by his father to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he boarded with a Calvinist pastor and rejoined the Anglican fold. In Lausanne he fell in love with Suzanne Curchod. Their relationship was ended by his father and Gibbon remained unmarried for the rest of his life.
From 1759 to 1762 Gibbon hold a commission in the Hampshire militia, reachinf the rank of colonel. In 1764 he visited Rome and was inspired to write the history of the city from the death of Marcus Aurelius to the year 1453. After his father died Gibbon ound himself in some difficulties, but he was able to settle in London to proceed with his great work. The first volume appeared in 1776, with public reaction to Gibbon's ironical treatment of the rise of Christianity. Between 1774 and 1783 he sat in the House of Commons, and become a lord commissioner of trade and plantations.In 1774 he was elected to Dr Johnson's Club. From 1783 Gibbon spent much of his time in Lausanne and in England with Lord Sheffield (John Baker Holroy) in his Sussex and his London House. Lord Sheffield prepared later Gibbon's MEMOIRS OF MY LIFE AND WRITINGS for publication (1796) and MISCELLANEOUS WORKS (1796).
The last three volumes of The History were published in 1788. Although Gibbon's conclusions have been modified, the command of historical perspective and literary style have preserved his place as the forerunner of English historiographers.On the other hand, his personal habits were peculiar - according to some contemporary comment Gibbon was so filthy that one could not stand close to him. How did Lord Sheffield manage to do so?
Gibbon was also a member of the circle that was formed around him - Note: In his youth in Switzerland Gibbon met also Voltaire, who had settled in 1755 near Geneva. - "Gibbon is not merely a master of the pageant and the story; he is also the critic and the historian of the mind." (Virginia Woolf).
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1788) - Gibbon covers more than 13 centuries from the 2nd century AD to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Christianity is dealt with in detail, he examines the encroachment of the Teutonic tribes who eventually held the Western Empire in fee, the rise of Islam, and the Crusades. Gibbon viewed the Roman Empire as a single entity in undeviating decline from the ideals of political and intellectual freedom that had characterized the classical literature he had read. For him, the material decay of Rome was the effect and symbol of moral decadence. With powerful narrative, fluid and musical prose, and persuasive arguments the work has a permanent place of honour in historical literature.

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Timothy Thomas Fortune

1856-1928), The leading black American journalist of the late 19th century.
The son of slaves, Fortune attended a Freedmen's Bureau school for a time after the Civil War and eventually became a compositor for a black newspaper in Washington, D.C. Moving to New York City about 1880, he soon began a career in journalism as editor and publisher of a newspaper first called the New York Globe (1882-84), then the New York Freeman (1884-87), and finally the New York Age, editing the latter (with interruptions) from 1887 until he sold it in 1907.
In his well-known editorials in the Age, Fortune defended the civil rights of both Northern and Southern blacks and spoke out against racial discrimination and segregation. He also wrote the book Black and White (1884), in which he condemned the exploitation of black labour by both agriculture and industry in the post-Reconstruction South.
Fortune was the chief founder in 1890 of the Afro-American League, which, though it collapsed in 1893, was an important forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Though always a militant defender of black rights, Fortune had by 1900 allied himself with the more moderate Booker T. Washington, a move that would eventually compromise Fortune's reputation and lead to a decline in his influence. From 1923 until his death he edited the Negro World, the journalistic organ of the movement led by Marcus Garvey.
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. He was raised in the Roman Catholic faith. While Doyle was training to becomeSir Arthur Conan Doyle a doctor he started to read Darwin, Spencer, and Huxley. Their writings and his own disenchantment with religion caused him to become an agnostic.
In 1887 at the age of 28, Doyle became interested in the possibility of Thought Transference. Working with a friend who was an architect he wanted to see if it was possible to transmit diagrams back and forth. Doyle later wrote he had shown beyond any doubt he was able to convey his thoughts without words.
Once Doyle was convinced thought transference was possible between living beings he started to become interested in investigating the possibility of messages being transmitted in a similar way from the world beyond.
In the late 1800's Table Turnings were very popular and Doyle attended a large number. One of the most remarkable physical mediums of the day was Daniel Douglas Home (a fellow Scotsman) and Doyle managed to sit with him several times. This was the time in Doyle's life that he became interested in mysticism, which he later replaced with Spiritualist beliefs.
As a member of the Society for Psychical Research he amassed an extensive library of Spiritualist writings along with his own. A few of the books he wrote on Spiritualism are The New Revelation, The Vital Message, Wanderings of a Spiritualist, The Case for Psychic Photograpy, Memories and Adventure and the list goes on.
It was almost 20 years from the time Doyle first began his research into Spiritualism until in 1916 he publicly declared that he had possessed positive knowledge of life after death.
We all have a turning point in our life and Doyle reached his just after World War I. His youngest son Kingsley died of pneumonia. Doyle's belief in survival after death became his primary concern. A year after his son's death he attended a seance held by a Welsh medium where his son spoke to him. He later wrote, "It was his voice and he spoke of concerns unknown to the medium." Shortly after that he saw his mother and nephew, in his words, "As plainly as I ever saw them in life!"
During Doyle's travels he drew large crowds who were probably first attracted by his name, but stayed to be won over by his sincerity. Doyle illustrated his lectures with slides of Spirit photographs he had taken and developed himself.
He never denied the existence of some fraud among mediums and psychic practitioners, but asserted it was far less common than was supposed. He always felt the issue of fraud was clouded by mediums who, suffering from a temporary failure of real psychic power, would then cheat a little.
He was opposed to all church dogma, but retained a deep respect for the principles of Christianity as well as Islam and Buddhism.
In a recorded talk shortly before his death, Conan Doyle said:
      "People ask, 'What do you get from Spiritualism?' The first thing you get is that it absolutely removes all fear of death. Secondly, it bridges death for those dear ones whom we may love. We need have no fear that we are calling them back, for all we do is to make such conditions as experience has taught us will enable them to come if they wish, and the initiative lies always with them. They have many times told us that they would not come back it it were not God's will, and it makes them intensely happy to help and comfort us, to tell us about their happy life in that world to which we are in our turn destined to come."  Return to Last Page

 

 

Carlo Collodi

CARLO COLLODI is the pen-name of CARLO LORENZINI (1826-90). Collodi is the name of the little village in Tuscany where his mother wascollodi.gif (9241 bytes) born. He was born in Florence, the son of a cook and a servant, and spent his chilhood as much in the rough and tumble of the streets of his native Florence as in the classroom. No doubt this stood him in good stead in his two periods as a soldier - once in 1848 when Tuscany rose in revolt against its Habsburg rulers, and again in the war between Italy and Austria in1859.
Collodi starded his writing career as a newspaperman: he wrote for other papers, and also started his own satirical paper Il Lampione (The Lanter) - but the government closed it down. Later he became a government official himself, working as a civil servant for the education department and trying to push through much-needed educational reforms.
In the 1850s, he began to have a variety of both fiction and non-fiction books published. Once, he translated some French fairy-tales so well that he was asked whether he would like to write some of his own. The result was his fist major success, Giannettino, which is a kind of educational fairly- tale. He now devoted himself to writing for children" becouse adults are too hard to please"!
In 1881, he sent to a friend, who edited a newspaper in Rome, a short episode in the life of a wooden puppet, wondering whether the editor would be interested in publishing this "bit of foolishness" in his children's section. The editor did, and the children loved it. The adventures of Pinocchio were serialized in the paper in 1881-2, and then published in 1883 with huge success. The fist English-language version was just as successful on its publication in 1892. The 1940 Walt Disney cartoon has ensured that the character of Pinocchio remains familiar: but the book is far richer in the details of the adventures of the naughty puppet in search of boyhood. Return to Last Page

 

 

Samuel L Clemens

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri on November 30, 1835, one of six children. When Samuel was four, his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri a little town on the west bank of the Mississippi River. His father, John Marshall Clemens, was a freethinker, a persuasion not at all uncommon in the Midwest of that period. He is also said to have been stern and puritanical, and was not Samuel's favorite parent. One of Samuel's biographers, Edward Wagenknecht, declares that his temperament was inherited from his mother, Jane Lampton Clemens, who was conventionally religious, but not fanatically .
After his father died, Clemens left school at the age of fourteen and became apprenticed as a printer, but soon decided that what he really wanted to do was to become a river pilot, and he set about "the stupendous task of learning the twelve hundred miles of the Mississippi River between St. Louis and New Orleans -- of knowing it as exactly and unfailingly, even in the dark, as one knows the way to his own features." He followed this career from 1857 to 1861, a brief period in his young life. However, his experiences as a river pilot, as well as his boyhood life in Hannibal, provided much of the raw material for his subsequent literary work. His pseudonym was, as everyone knows, the call of a Mississippi steamer's "leadsman" when a depth of two fathoms had been sounded.
His writing career began in 1862 as a newspaper journalist, and his gift for humorous writing was soon recognized. His earliest literary mentors were Artemus Ward and Bret Harte. The piece that first made him famous was "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." He went on, however, to much more substantial writings, including Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, A Tramp Abroad, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Tragedy of Pudd'n Head Wilson, The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg, and The Mysterious Stranger. His book, The Gilded Age, bequeathed its name on late nineteenth century America. One of his biographers, Justin Kaplan, expresses the view that Mark Twain "had probably the most richly endowed natural talent in American literature." He was a life-long friend of William Dean Howells, and was acquainted with many of the celebrities of his time, including Ulysses S. Grant, Henry Ward Beecher, Robert G. Ingersoll, Joel Chandler Harris, and James Russell Lowell. In his extensive travels abroad he established friendships with Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, and many others.
Twain fell in love with England and spent a great deal of time there. For some years, he was better known and better liked in England than in his own country.
Throughout his life, Mark Twain was an unpolished diamond. The word "urbane" could never have been applied to him. He was moody and experienced frequent periods of despondency interspersed with periods of elation. In psychological parlance he would doubtless be described as manic-depressive. His depressed periods, however, were often not without real cause. In addition to money problems, he experienced personal tragedies. Only one of his four children, Clara, survived him. The deaths of a son and two daughters were a lasting grief. Although he suffered frequent bouts of illness himself he survived his beloved wife, Olivia, whose death in 1902 was a terrible blow to him. Most of the financial worries which plagued him so often were the result of his impulsive nature and weakness for get-rich-quick schemes, as well as his extravagant tastes.

Being often desperately in need of money -- which in part accounts for his enormous literary output -- he was anxious for his books to be a financial success. In his struggles to keep out of debt, he was aided by two institutions that flourished in his day but have since vanished from the American scene. One was the subscription publishing system: an enterprising publisher would employ a large number of travelling salesmen who would retail the books to subscribers throughout the country, thereby assuring a contracting author a large volume of sales. The other was the lyceum system, likewise maintained by entrepreneurs who organized nation-wide lecture tours for popular lecturers, of whom Twain was one of the foremost.
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Robert Sengstacke Abbott

Black newspapers did not attain commercial success until Robert S. Abbott founded the Chicago Defender in 1905.Robert S. Abbott Capitalizing on the sensationalist techniques developed by William Randolph Hearst, Abbott designed the Defender as a paper for the masses. Abbott initially avoided politics, but the paper came into its own when he concentrated on muckraking stories about the black community. By 1920, the Defender had a circulation of 283,571.

Chicago Defender was founded in 1905 by Robert S. Abbott on May 5. Abbot was a graduate of Hampton Institute in Virginia and Kent School of Law in Chicago. Forbidden to practice law because of racial discrimination, Mr. Abbott turned to the skill he had learned at Hampton printing. With 25 dollars, a table and a typewriter, he began publishing the Chicago Defender from his kitchen.
In its original concept, the Chicago Defender was a weekly publication. Over the years, the influence and the circulation of the Defender grew. It was one of the first African American newspapers in this country to reach a circulation of more than 100,000. During the era classified by the historians as the "Great Migration," 19 15 to 1948, the Chicago Defender and Mr. Abbott played a major role.
Using its pages, Mr. Abbott was able to influence more than 50,000 African Americans to leave southern states and come to Chicago, where the opportunities for employment, education and personal freedom were immensely greater. On February 4, 1956, Mt. Abbott's nephew, John H. Sengstacke founded the Chicago Daily Defender. This publication grew to become the largest Afri can American daily in the country. Continuing the work of his uncle, he used the Defender to help "improve the quality of life" for all Americans.
He was directly involved in the desegregation of the U. S. armed forces. He also worked closely with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to create jobs in the United States Postal Service for African Americans. The Chicago Daily Defender today is a newspaper that brings readers world wide coverage of news, excellent features and a myriad of other sections which compose the modern publication. The Defender does not limit its news columns to African American subjects. Instead, it covers the full spectrum of news. But of course, its major audience is the African American market and its purpose is to fulfil l the African American need for a publication dedicated to this cause.  Return to Last Page

 

 

Francis Bellamy

Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).

Francis Bellamy in his sermons and lectures and Edward Bellamy in his novels and articles described in detail how the middle class could create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. The government would run a peace time economy similar to our present military industrial complex.
The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth's Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader's Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall Forum, located in downtown Boston.
In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute - his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'
His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and  the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.
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