Tag Archives: Dutch

Almanac – March 30

1844 – Paul Verlaine born. French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.

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1853 – Vincent van Gogh born.  Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art.

After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died aged 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted (although no gun was ever found).His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.

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1905 – Albert Pierrepoint born. English hangman, he executed at least 400 people, about half of them war criminals.

Pierrepoint was often dubbed the Official Executioner, despite there being no such job or title. The office of executioner had traditionally been performed by the local sheriff, who increasingly delegated the task to a person of suitable character, employed and paid only when required. Pierrepoint continued to work day jobs after qualifying as an Assistant Executioner in 1932 and a Chief Executioner in 1941, in the steps of his father and uncle.

Following his retirement in 1956, the Home Office acknowledged Pierrepoint as the most efficient executioner in British history.There is no official tally of his hangings, which some have estimated at more than 600; the most commonly accepted figure is 435.

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1925 – Rudolf Steiner died. Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher. At the beginning of the 20th century, he founded a spiritual movement, anthroposophy, as an esoteric philosophy growing out of idealist philosophy and with links to theosophy.

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2004 – Timi Yuro died.  American singer and songwriter. Sometimes called “the little girl with the big voice,” she is considered to be one of the first blue-eyed soul stylists of the rock era.

According to one critic, “her deep, strident, almost masculine voice, staggered delivery and the occasional sob created a compelling musical presence.”

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Almanac – March 27

1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, was put in quarantine for the second time, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869 – November 11, 1938) was identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have (unintentionally) infected some 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook.

She was forcibly isolated twice by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation.

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1972 – M. C. Escher died.  Dutch graphic artist,  known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints featuring impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations.

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2000 – Ian Dury died.  English singer, lyricist, bandleader, artist, and actor who initially rose to fame during the late 1970s.  Founder and lead singer of Kilburn & the High Roads and Ian Dury and the Blockheads.

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MATA HARI – Femme Fatale

 

 

As today is the 95th anniversary of the execution of  Mata Hari, today’s  offering from our bookstore is –

FEMME FATALE

LOVE, LIES & THE  UNKNOWN LIFE OF

MATA HARI

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AUTHOR-           Pat Shipman

PUBLISHED-
    Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London. 2007

FORMAT–           Hb, 450pp, illustrated, refs, notes, index

CONDITION-
    Used…ex-library stock, so expect library stamps/marks/stickers.

                                    Dust-jacket, slight wear.
                                    Book in good, sound & clean condition

 

Mata Hari was  the prototype of the beautiful but unscrupulous female agent who uses sexual allure to gain access to secrets, if she was indeed a spy.

In 1917, the notorious dancer Mata Hari was arrested, tried, and executed for espionage. It was charged at her trial that the dark-eyed siren was responsible for the deaths of at least 50,000 gallant French soldiers.

Irrefutably, she had been the mistress of many senior Allied officers and government officials, even the French Minister of War: a point viewed as highly suspicious. Worse yet, she spoke several European languages fluently and travelled widely in wartime Europe. But was she guilty of espionage ?

For all the publicity Mata Hari and her trial received, key questions remain unanswered. These questions concern not only her inadequate trial and her unproven guilt, but also the events in her personal life.

What propelled Margaretha Zelle, destined to be a Dutch schoolteacher, to transform herself into Mata Hari, the most desirable woman in early 20th-century Paris ?

She danced before enthusiastic crowds in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Milan and Rome, inspiring admiration, jealousy, and bitter condemnation.

This biography pinpoints the powerful yet dangerous attributes that evoked such strong emotions in those who met Mata Hari. Hitherto the focus has been on espionage. This is the first account to explore the events that shaped her life and caused the transformation from rural Dutch girl to international femme fatale.

This book is available (1 copy only) from Wolfs head bookstore for just 1.50 GBP plus P&P in the UK. More details and price convertor for customers outside the UK at this link –
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