Saturday

Aug. 15, 1998

Summer

by Paul Petrie

SATURDAY 8/15

Today's Reading: "Summer" by Paul Petrie from STRANGE GRAVITY published by The Tidal Press (1984).

The EDINBURGH BOOK FESTIVAL begins today and runs through August in Charlotte Square Gardens, in Edinburgh, Scotland – the biggest book fair in Europe open to the public.

It's JULIA CHILD's birthday, in 1912, born and raised in Pasadena, California. She had a fairly quiet life as the wife of a Foreign Service officer, living in Paris after WWII, and studying at the Cordon Bleu cooking school. But in 1961, when she was 49, her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, came out, and two years later she was on TV with the first of over 300 cooking shows that dished out recipes and advice. She's 86 today and still writing and hosting her PBS cooking show, Baking with Julia."

It's the birthday in Tremadoc, a village in northwestern Wales, 1888, of T.E. LAWRENCE, best known as Lawrence of Arabia, though he also used two or three other names in his life. In the years right before WWI, he worked for the British Museum doing archeological digs along the Euphrates in Syria and Iraq. Then during the war he helped lead the Arab revolt against the Turks, who were allied with Germany. He was captured, tortured, wounded several times, and was one of the great British heroes by the war's end. In 1926, he wrote about his war exploits in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which was a huge hit in England.

It's the birthday of SIR WALTER SCOTT, born in Edinburgh, Scotland 1771. He wrote the first historical novels, books like Rob Roy, Ivanhoe, and The Talisman, most of them set in England or Scotland, and published in the 1820s. He was a prolific writer, and turned out dozens of these novels, as well as poems, and edited works of other writers – much of it to get himself out of debt when his publishing firm went bankrupt.

It's the birthday of NAPOLEON BONAPARTE, born on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, 1769. His parents were both Italian, but he went to school in France and joined the French army when he was in his teens. He rose quickly through the ranks and the soldiers came to love him because he made sure they were properly clothed, equipped and fed. He led them to a string of victories and was crowned emperor in 1804. By 1807 he ruled most of western Europe, but had spread his armies and supply lines too thin. He was defeated first at Leipzig in 1813 and was exiled; then came back to power two years later and was defeated again at Waterloo, and exiled for life to the south Atlantic island of St. Helena.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









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