Nov. 17, 1999
There is a Lady Sweet and Kind
Poem: "There is a Lady Sweet and Kind" by Thomas Ford from his Music of Sundry Kinds.
It's MARTIN SCORSESE's birthday, born on Long Island, 1942, director of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and The Last Temptation of Christ. He grew up in an Italian neighborhood on Manhattan's Lower East Side, and though he was interested in films, he decided early on that he'd enter the Roman Catholic priesthood. But that didn't work out, so he started editing movies for other directors and directing short features of his own.
It's author and historian SHELBY FOOTE's birthday, born in Greenville, Mississippi, 1916. After writing several novels, Foote was asked by a publisher to write a short Civil War history. Foote thought it would be a nice change of pace before his next novel, so he agreed. In his Memphis study overlooking the Mississippi River, he began writing with a dip pen and inkwell: "I wanted nothing mechanical between me and the paper, not even a ballpoint pen or typewriter. This anachronistic practice made me take my time; 500 words was a decent day, 1,000 was phenomenal but I sometimes felt as if I was using a teacup to bail out the Mississippi. After four years of bailing, that first volume was published." In all, Foote's Civil War project took 20 years, three volumes, and nearly 3,000 pages. The books came out in 1958, 1963, and 1974 and are titled Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredericksburg to Meridian, and Red River to Appomattox.
It was on this day in 1637 that ANNE HUTCHINSON and her family were banished from the Massachusetts Bay colony. Hutchinson was a 46-year-old mother of 14 children, who'd emigrated from England with her husband and family three years earlier. She set up a weekly meeting in her house for women to come and discuss the sermons they'd heard that week. She believed that the Spirit of God resided in each person and one didn't need the Bible to discern what God had in mind for them.
It's the anniversary in 1558 of the beginning of the ELIZABETHAN ERA, England's Golden Age: the day when Elizabeth I ascended the English throne. Elizabeth came to the throne at 25 years old: a smart, strong-willed young woman who'd reign for 45 years and come to be affectionately called Good Queen Bess. She oversaw the Reformation's re-birth, England's arrival as a world naval power, and a flourishing of the arts; writers John Donne, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare, and composers Thomas Tallis and William Byrd all worked during her reign.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®