Apr. 23, 2000
song from "The Tempest"
Poem: a song from "The Tempest," by William Shakespeare (1564-1616).
It's the birthday VICTORIA GLENDINNING, born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England (1937). She’s famous for her biographies of Elizabeth Bowen, Edith Sitwell, Vita Sackville-West, and Rebecca West.
It's the birthday of novelist J(ames) P(atrick) DONLEAVY born in Brooklyn, NY (1926). He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and used the G.I. Bill to study at Trinity College in Dublin. His first novel, The Ginger Man (1955), was so bawdy that it wasn't published in its entirety in the United States until 1965.
It's the birthday of novelist VLADIMIR NABOKOV, born in St. Petersburg, Russia (1899), the oldest child in the wealthy family of a prominent liberal statesman. When he was just out of his teens, his family had to flee Russia because of the Bolsheviks, and they lost everything. Not long after that, his father was assassinated. He scrounged for a living in Berlin and Paris, and after hours, wrote novels in Russian. In 1939, faced by the Nazi threat, he once again had to flee and he, his Jewish wife, and baby son barely managed to escape to America. For almost 20 years, Nabokov pursued a quiet life teaching university students, studying butterflies, composing chess problems, and writing. But his quiet life underwent one more major change when he published Lolita, in 1958. This novel about a jaded European professor named Humbert Humbert who becomes obsessed with a pre-teenaged American girl scandalized the English-reading world, and made Nabokov famous. His success enabled him to finally write full time: works such as Pale Fire (1962), Speak, Memory (1967), and Ada (1973). Nabokov died in 1977.
It's the birthday of mystery writer NGAIO MARSH, born in Christchurch, New Zealand (1899). She’s the author of 32 mystery novels, many of them starring Police Inspector Roderick Alleyn.
It's the birthday of poet EDWIN MARKHAM, born in Oregon City, Oregon (1852). He’s famous for his poem, "The Man With a Hoe."
It's the birthday of poet and playwright WILLIAM
SHAKESPEARE, born in Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire,
England (1564). He married a local girl when he was 18, but
then left her behind when he moved to London to make his
fortune. He acted and helped to found a theater company,
called the Lord Chamberlain's company for which he
began to write plays. We have so many colorful turns of
phrase that we say without knowing we're quoting
--to kill… with kindness
--a rose by any other name
--every mother's son
--pound of flesh
--sink or swim
--eaten me out of house and home
--good men and true
--it was Greek to me
--my mind's eye
--the world's mine oyster
--what the dickens
--my heart upon my sleeve
--the milk of human kindness
--I have not slept one wink.
--white as driven snow
--brave new world
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®