Jan. 24, 1999

Ashes of Life

by Edna St. Vincent Millay


Poem: "Ashes of Life," by Edna St. Vincent Millay, from The Early Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay (Penguin: 1998).

Today's the birthday in 1862 of the novelist EDITH WHARTON, born Edith Newbold Jones in New York, author of many novels about upper class society in the early 1900s. Her best-known book, The Age of Innocence, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921—the first time the prize was awarded to a woman.

It's the birthday of the American physician KATE HARWOOD WALLER BARRETT, born in Falmouth, Virginia in 1857, founder of the rescue-home movement for unwed mothers in the 1890s.

It's the birthday of the French author PIERRE BEAUMARCHAIS, born in Paris, 1732, author of the two comedies which later became operas: The Barber of Seville (1776), set to music by Rossini, and The Marriage of Figaro (1784), set by Mozart.

It's the birthday in 1705 in Andria, in the Kingdom of Naples, of the opera singer CARLO BROSCHI, the castrato better known by his stage name FARINELLI. Farinelli was known throughout Europe in the 18th century for his powerful voice, technical wizardry, and musical expression.

It's the birthday of the Roman emperor HADRIAN, born in 76 A.D. near Seville in Spain, most remembered for building the 73 mile-long wall between England and Scotland known as Hadrian's Wall.

It was on this day in 41 A.D. that the Roman Emperor CALIGULA was assassinated by 41 of his officers, just shortly after declaring himself to be a god.

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




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