Tag Archives: Percy Bysshe Shelley

Almanac – April 07

1739 – Dick Turpin executed. English highwayman whose exploits were romanticised following his execution in York for horse theft.

Turpin may have followed his father’s profession as a butcher early in life, but by the early 1730s he had joined a gang of deer thieves, and later became a poacher, burglar, horse thief and murderer. Forget the romantic image, he was just another thug from Essex.

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1836 – William Godwin died.  English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He is considered one of the first exponents of utilitarianism, and the first modern proponent of anarchism.

Godwin is most famous for two books that he published within the space of a year: An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, an attack on political institutions, and Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, which attacks aristocratic privilege, but also is the first mystery novel.

Based on the success of both, Godwin featured prominently in the radical circles of London in the 1790s. In the ensuing conservative reaction to British radicalism, he was attacked, in part because of his marriage to the pioneering feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft in 1797 and his candid biography of her after her death.

 Their daughter, Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley) would go on to write Frankenstein and marry the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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1915 – Billie Holiday born. American jazz singer and songwriter. Nicknamed “Lady Day” by her friend and musical partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz and pop singing.

Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. Critic John Bush wrote that Holiday “changed the art of American pop vocals forever.”

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1920 – Ravi Shankar born.  Indian musician and composer who played the sitar. He has been described as the best-known contemporary Indian musician.

In 1956, he began to tour Europe and the Americas playing Indian classical music and increased its popularity there in the 1960s through teaching, performance, and his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison of the Beatles.

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Almanac – March 03

1756 – William Godwin born. English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He is considered one of the first exponents of utilitarianism, and the first modern proponent of anarchism.

 Godwin is most famous for two books that he published within the space of a year: An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, an attack on political institutions, and Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams, which attacks aristocratic privilege, but also is the first mystery novel. Based on the success of both, Godwin featured prominently in the radical circles of London in the 1790s.

 In the ensuing conservative reaction to British radicalism, Godwin was attacked, in part because of his marriage to the pioneering feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft in 1797 and his candid biography of her after her death.

Their daughter, Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley) would go on to write Frankenstein and marry the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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1765 – William Stukeley died. English antiquarian who pioneered the archaeological investigation of the prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury, work for which he has been remembered as “probably… the most important of the early forerunners of the discipline of archaeology”.

Becoming involved in the newly fashionable organisation of Freemasonry, he also began to describe himself as a “druid“, and incorrectly believed that the prehistoric megalithic monuments were a part of the druidic religion. However, despite this he has been noted as being a significant figure in the early development of the modern movement known as Neo-druidry.

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1863 – Arthur Machen born.  Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His novella “The Great God Pan” (1890; 1894) has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror (Stephen King has called it “Maybe the best [horror story] in the English language”). He is also well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons.

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1951 – Jackie Brenston, with Ike Turner and his band, recorded “Rocket 88″, often cited as the first rock and roll record, at Sam Phillips‘ recording studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

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2006 – Ivor Cutler died. Scottish poet, songwriter and humorist. He became known for his regular performances on BBC radio, and in particular his numerous sessions recorded for John Peel‘s influential radio programme, and later for Andy Kershaw‘s programme. He appeared in The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour film in 1967 and on Neil Innes‘ television programmes.

The hallmarks of Cutler’s work are surreal, bizarre juxtapositions and close attention to small details of existence, all described in seemingly naive language. In performance his delivery was frail, halting and minimally inflected. His writing sometimes edged into whimsy or the macabre. Many of his poems and songs are in the form of conversations delivered as a monologue

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Almanac – February 23

1723 – Richard Price born. British moral philosopher and preacher in the tradition of English Dissenters, and a political pamphleteer, active in radical, republican, and liberal causes such as the American Revolution.

He fostered connections between a large number of people, including writers of the Constitution of the United States. He spent most of his adult life as minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, where possibly the congregant he most influenced was early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who extended his ideas on the egalitarianism inherent in the spirit of the French Revolution to encompass women’s rights as well.

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1821 – John Keats died. English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his work only having been in publication for four years before his death.

Although his poems were not generally well-received by critics during his life, his reputation grew after his death, so that by the end of the 19th century he had become one of the most beloved of all English poets.

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1958 – David Sylvian born. English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan.

His subsequent solo work is described  as “a far-ranging and esoteric career that encompassed not only solo projects but also a series of fascinating collaborative efforts.”

Sylvian’s solo work has been influenced by a variety of musical styles and genres, including jazz, avant-garde, ambient, electronic, and progressive rock.

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Almanac – February 01

St. Bride’s Day

St Bride – or Brigid – was supposed to have helped out at the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In reality she’s a christianization of the great Celtic goddess Brigit.

This is the Day of Bride
The Queen will come from the mound
This is the Day of Bride
The serpent will come from the hole

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1851 –  Mary Shelley died. English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818).

She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

 

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1911 – Edward Mylius was sentenced to one year in prison for accusing George V of bigamy.

 

 

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February 1, 2013 · 13:33

Almanac – August 30

1797 – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley born. English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet  Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

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1812 – The Observer reported: “Mr. J. Toupin, while on a sailing expedition last week, with a party of ladies and gentlemen, about a mile from Exmouth Bay, discovered an animal resembling the description given of the Mermaid.

One of the boatmen threw it some pieces of boiled fish, which it ate with apparent relish. A medical gentleman offered a reward of 20 pounds…in consequence of which all the fishermen are busily preparing to ensnare it.”

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1918 – London’s policemen went on strike against wages lower that those of unskilled workers, long hours, badly organized and unpaid overtime. Technically a mutiny, the action ended when concessions were granted.

Lloyd George was later to claim that Britain was “nearer to Bolshevism” that night than she was ever to be again.

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1995 – Sterling Morrison died. Guitarist with The Velvet Underground. Victim of  non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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Almanac – August 4

1577 – A supernatural Black Dog disrupted a service at the church of the Holy Trinity, in Blythburgh, Suffolk.

“A strange and terrible tempest” struck the building and toppled the spire through the roof, where it shattered the font. Three people were killed and others badly scorched. Claw marks were subsequently discovered on the church door.

The entity then went on to Bungay church, where it left two worshippers “strangled at their prayers” and a third “as shrunken as a piece of leather scorched in a fire.”

 

 

1693 – Date traditionally ascribed, erroneously,  to Dom Perignon‘s invention of Champagne.  He was a French Benedictine monk who made important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine in an era when the region’s wines were predominantly still and red. Popular myths frequently  credit him with the invention of sparkling Champagne, which however  didn’t become the dominant style of Champagne until mid-19th century.

The famous champagne Dom Pérignon, the préstige cuvée of Moët & Chandon, is named after him.

 

 

1792 – Percy Bysshe Shelley born. One of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language.  The novelist Mary Shelley (née Godwin) – creator of Frankenstein –  was his second wife.

 

1901 – Louis Armstrong born. American jazz trumpeter and singer,  coming to prominence in the 1920s as an inventive cornet and trumpet player.  Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the music’s focus from collective improvisation to solo performance. With his instantly recognizable deep and distinctive gravelly voice, he was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was also greatly skilled at scat singing (vocalizing using sounds and syllables instead of actual lyrics).

1940 – Timi Yuro born. American soul and R&B singer-songwriter,  considered to be one of the first blue-eyed soul stylists of the rock era and creator of one of my all-time favorite Northern Soul  tracks,   “It’ll Never Be Over For Me”.

 

 

 

 

2007 – Lee Hazlewood died.  American country and pop singer, songwriter, and record producer, most widely known for his work with guitarist Duane Eddy during the late 1950s and singer Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s.

Hazlewood had a distinctive baritone voice that added a resonance to his music. Hazlewood’s collaborations with Nancy Sinatra as well as his solo output in the late 1960s and early 1970s have been praised as an essential contribution to a sound often described as “Cowboy Psychedelia” or “Saccharine Underground”.

Mr. Frankenstein

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Almanac – July 8th

1822Percy Bysshe Shelley, English poet died, less than a month before his 30th birthday,  drowned in a sudden storm while sailing back from Leghorn (Livorno) to Lerici in his schooner, Don Juan. Shelley claimed to have met his Doppelgänger, foreboding his own death.

1908Louis Jordan, American saxophonist born.

 

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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