Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Cotton Mather

Cotton Mather was born on 12 February, 1663 and died on 13 February, 1728 was a socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister, prolific author, and pamphleteer. Cotton Mather was the son of influential minister Increase Mather. Cotton Mather is often remembered for his connection to the Salem witch trials.

Cotton Mather was named after his grandfathers, both paternal (Richard Mather) and maternal (John Cotton). Cotton Mather attended Boston Latin School, and graduated from Harvard in 1678, at only 16 years of age. After completing his post-graduate work, he joined his father as assistant Pastor of Boston’s original North Church (not to be confused with the Anglican/Episcopal Old North Church). It was not until his father’s death, in 1723, that Cotton Mather assumed full responsibilities as Pastor at the Church.

Author of more than 450 books and pamphlets, Cotton Mather’s ubiquitous literary works made him one of the most influential religious leaders in America. Cotton Mather set the nation’s “moral tone,” and sounded the call for 2nd and 3rd generation Puritans, whose parents had left England for the New England colonies of North America to return to the theological roots of Puritanism.

The most important of these, Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), is composed of 7 distinct books, many of which depict biographical and historical narratives which later American writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, and Harriet Beecher Stowe would look to in describing the cultural significance of New England for later generations following the American Revolution. Cotton Mather’s text thus was one of the more important documents in American history because it reflects a particular tradition of seeing and understanding the significance of place. Cotton Mather, as a Puritan thinker and social conservative, drew on the figurative language of the Bible to speak to present-day audiences. In particular, Cotton Mather’s review of the American experiment sought to explain signs of his time and the types of individuals drawn to the colonies as predicting the success of the venture. From his religious training, Cotton Mather viewed the importance of texts for elaborating meaning and for bridging different moments of history (for instance, linking the Biblical stories of Noah and Abraham with the arrival of eminent leaders such as John Eliot, John Winthrop, and his own father Increase Mather).

The struggles of 1st, 2nd and 3rd-generation Puritans, both intellectual and physical, thus became elevated in the American way of thinking about its appointed place among other nations. The unease and self-deception that characterized that period of colonial history would be revisited in many forms at political and social moments of crisis (such as the Salem witch trials which coincided with frontier warfare and economic competition among Indians, French and other European settlers) and during lengthy periods of cultural definition (e.g., the American Renaissance of the late 18th and early 19th century literary, visual, and architectural movements which sought to capitalise on unique American identities).

A friend of a number of the judges charged with hearing the Salem witch trials, Cotton Mather admitted the use of “spectral evidence,” (compare “The Devil in New England”) but warned that, though it might serve as evidence to begin investigations, it should not be heard in court as evidence to decide a case. Despite this, he later wrote in defense of those conducting the trials, stating:

“If in the midst of the many Dissatisfaction among us, the publication of these Trials may promote such a pious Thankfulness unto God, for Justice being so far executed among us, I shall Re-joyce that God is Glorified…”.

Highly influential due to his prolific writing, Cotton Mather was a force to be reckoned with in secular, as well as in spiritual, matters. After the fall of James II of England in 1688, Cotton Mather was among the leaders of a successful revolt against James’s Governor of the consolidated Dominion of New England, Sir Edmund Andros.

Cotton Mather was influential in early American science as well. In 1716, as the result of observations of corn varieties, he conducted one of the 1st experiments with plant hybridisation. This observation was memorialised in a letter to a friend:

“My friend planted a row of Indian corn that was coloured red and blue; the rest of the field being planted with yellow, which is the most usual colour. To the windward side this red and blue so infected 3 or 4 rows as to communicate the same colour unto them; and part of ye 5th and some of ye 6th. But to the leeward side, no less than 7 or 8 rows had ye same colour communicated unto them; and some small impressions were made on those that were yet further off.”

Of Cotton Mather’s 3 wives and 15 children, only his last wife and 2 children survived him. Cotton Mather was buried on Copp’s Hill near Old North Church.

A smallpox epidemic struck Boston in May 1721 and continued through the year.

The practice of smallpox inoculation (as opposed to the later practice of vaccination) had been known for some time. In 1706 a slave, Onesimus, had explained to Cotton Mather how he had been inoculated as a child in Africa. The practice was an ancient one, and Cotton Mather was fascinated by the idea. Cotton Mather encouraged physicians to try it, without success. Then, at Cotton Mather’s urging, 1 doctor, Zabdiel Boylston, tried the procedure on his only son and 2 slaves–1 grown and 1 a boy. All recovered in about a week.

In a bitter controversy, the New England Courant published writers who opposed inoculation. The stated reason for this editorial stance was that the Boston populace feared that inoculation spread, rather than prevented, the disease; however, some historians, notably H. W. Brands, have argued that this position was a result of editor-in-chief James Franklin’s (Benjamin Franklin’s brother) contrarian positions. Zabdiel Boylston and Cotton Mather encountered such bitter hostility, that the selectmen of the city forbade him to repeat the experiment.

The opposition insisted that inoculation was poisoning, and they urged the authorities to try Zabdiel Boylston for murder. So bitter was this opposition that Zabdiel Boylston’s life was in danger; it was considered unsafe for him to be out of his house in the evening; a lighted grenade was even thrown into the house of Cotton Mather, who had favoured the new practice and had sheltered another clergyman who had submitted himself to it.

After overcoming considerable difficulty and achieving notable success, Zabdiel Boylston traveled to London in 1724, published his results, and was elected to the Royal Society in 1726.

New Englanders perceived themselves abnormally susceptible to the Devil’s influence in the 17th century. The idea New Englanders now occupied the Devil’s land established this fear. It would only be natural for the Devil to fight back against the pious invaders. Cotton Mather shared this general concern, and combined with New England’s lack of piety, Cotton Mather feared divine retribution. English writers, who shared Cotton Mather’s fears, cited evidence of divine actions to restore the flock. In 1681, a conference of ministers met to discuss how to rectify the lack of faith. In an effort to combat the lack of piety, Cotton Mather considered it his duty to observe and record illustrious providences. Cotton Mather’s first action related to the Salem Witch Trials was the publication of his 1684 essay Illustrious Providences. Cotton Mather, being an ecclesiastical man believed in the spiritual side of the world and attempted to prove the existence of the spiritual world with stories of sea rescues, strange apparitions, and witchcraft. Cotton Mather aimed to combat materialism, the idea that only physical objects exist.

Such was the social climate of New England when the Goodwin children received a strange illness. Cotton Mather seeing an opportunity to explore the spiritual world, attempted to treat the children with fasting and prayer. After treating the children of the Goodwin family, Cotton Mather wrote Memorable Providences, a detailed account of the illness. In 1682 the Parris children received a similar illness to the Goodwin children; and Cotton Mather emerged as an important figure in the Salem Witch trials. Even though Cotton Mather never presided in the jury; he exhibited great influence over the witch trials. In 31 May, 1692, Cotton Mather sent a letter “Return of the Several Ministers,” to the trial. This article advised the Judges to limit the use of Spectral evidence, and recommended the release of confessed criminals.

Critics of Cotton Mather assert that he caused the trials because of his 1688 publication Remarkable Providences, and attempted to revive the trial with his 1692 book Wonders of the Invisible World, and generally whipped up witch hunting zeal. Others have stated, “His own reputation for veracity on the reality of witchcraft prayed, “for a good issue.” Charles Upham mentions Cotton Mather called accused witch Martha Carrier a ‘rampant hag.’ The critical evidence of Cotton Mather’s zealous behaviour comes later, during the trial execution of George Burroughs {Harvard Class of 1670}. Upham gives the Robert Calef account of the execution of Mr George Burroughs;

Mr George Burroughs was carried in a cart with others, through the streets of Salem, to execution. When he was upon the ladder, he made a speech for the clearing of his innocency, with such solemn and serious expressions as were to the admiration of all present. Mr George Burroughs’ prayer (which he concluded by repeating the Lord’s Prayer) was so well worded, and uttered with such composedness as such fervency of spirit, as was very affecting, and drew tears from many, so that if seemed to some that the spectators would hinder the execution. The accusers said the black man stood and dictated to him. As soon as he was turned off, Mr Cotton Mather, being mounted upon a horse, addressed himself to the people, partly to declare that he (Mr George Burroughs) was no ordained minister, partly to possess the people of his guilt, saying that the devil often had been transformed into the angel of light…When he [Mr George Burroughs] was cut down, he was dragged by a halter to a hole, or grave, between the rocks, about 2 feet deep; his shirt and breeches being pulled off, and an old pair of trousers of one executed put on his lower parts: he was so put in, together with Willard and Carrier, that one of his hands, and his chin, and a foot of one of them, was left uncovered.

The 2nd issue with Cotton Mather was his influence in construction of the court for the trials. Bancroft quotes Mather, “Intercession had been made by Cotton Mather for the advancement of William Stoughton, a man of cold affections, proud, self-willed and covetous of distinction.” Later, referring to the placement of William Stoughton on the trial, which Bancroft noted was against the popular sentiment of the town. Bancroft referred to a statement in Cotton Mather’s diary;

The time for a favour is come,” exulted Cotton Mather; “Yea, the set time is come. Instead of my being a made a sacrifice to wicked rulers, my father-in-law, with several related to me, and several brethren of my own church, are among the council. The Governor of the province is not my enemy, but one of my dearest friends.

Bancroft also noted that Cotton Mather considered witches “among the poor, and vile, and ragged beggars upon Earth”, and Bancroft asserts that Cotton Mather considered the people against the witch trials to be ‘witch advocates.’

Chadwick Hansen’s Witchcraft at Salem, published in 1969, defined Cotton Mather as a positive influence on the Salem Trials. Chadwick Hansen considered Cotton Mathers handling of the Goodwin Children to be sane and temperate. Chadwick Hansen also noted that Cotton Mather was more concerned with helping the affected children than witch-hunting. Cotton Mather treated the affected children through prayer and fasting. Cotton Mather also tried to convert accused witch Goodwife Glover after she was accused of practicing witchcraft on the Goodwin children. Most interestingly, and out of character with the previous depictions of Cotton Mather, was Cotton Mather’s decision not to tell the community of the others whom Goodwife Clover claimed practiced witch craft. One must wonder if Cotton Mather desired an opportunity to promote his church through the fear of witchcraft, why he did not use the opportunity presented by the Goodwin family. Lastly, Chadwick Hansen claimed Cotton Mather acted as a moderating influence in the trials by opposing the death penalty for lesser criminals, such as Tituba and Dorcas Good. Chadwick Hansen also notes that the negative impressions of Cotton Mather stem from his defense of the trials in, Wonders of the Invisible World. Cotton Mather became the chief defender of the trial, which diminished accounts of his earlier actions as a moderate influence.

Some historians who have examined the life of Cotton Mather after Chadwick Hansen’s book share his view of Cotton Mather. For instance, Bernard Rosenthal noted that Cotton Mather often gets portrayed as the rabid witch hunter. Bernard Rosenthal also described Cotton Mather’s guilt about his inability to restrain the judges during the trial. Larry Gregg highlights Cotton Mather’s sympathy for the possessed, when Cotton Mather stated, “the devil have sometimes represented the shapes of persons not only innocent, but also the very virtuous.” John Demos considered Cotton Mather a moderating influence on the trial.

After the trial, Cotton Mather was unrepentant for his role. Of the principal actors in the trial, only Cotton Mather and William Stoughton never admitted guilt. In fact, in the years after the trial Cotton Mather became an increasingly vehement defender of the trial. At the request of then Lieutenant-Governor William Stoughton, Cotton Mather wrote Wonders of the Invisible World in 1693. The book contained a few of Cotton Mather’s sermons, the conditions of the colony and a description of witch trials in Europe. Cotton Mather also contradicted his own advice in “Return of the Several Ministers,” by defending the use of spectral evidence. Wonders of the Invisible World appeared at the same time as Increase Mather’s Case of Conscience, a book critical of the trial. Upon reading Wonders of the Invisible World, Increase Mather publicly burned the book in Harvard Yard. Also, Boston merchant, Robert Calef began what became an 8 year campaign of attacks on Cotton Mather. The last event in Cotton Mather’s involvement with witchcraft was his attempt to cure Mercy Short and Margaret Rule. Cotton Mather later wrote A Brand Pluck’d Out of the Burning and Another Brand Pluckt Out of the Burning about curing the women.

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Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born on 13 April, 1743 and died on 4 July, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson died a few hours before the death of John Adams, his compatriot in their quest for independence, then great political rival, and later friend and correspondent. John Adams is often rumoured to have referenced Thomas Jefferson in his last words, unaware of his passing.

Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd President of the United States (1801–1809), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of republicanism in the United States. Major events during his presidency include the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804–1806).

As a political philosopher, Thomas Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment and knew many intellectual leaders in Britain and France. Thomas Jefferson idealised the independent yeoman farmer as exemplar of republican virtues, distrusted cities and financiers, and favoured states’ rights and a strictly limited federal government. Thomas Jefferson supported the separation of church and state and was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779, 1786). Thomas Jefferson was the eponym of Jeffersonian democracy and the co-founder and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party, which dominated American politics for a 1/4 century. Thomas Jefferson served as the wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781), 1st United States Secretary of State (1789–1793) and 2nd Vice President (1797–1801).

A polymath, Thomas Jefferson achieved distinction as, among other things, a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor, and founder of the University of Virginia. When President John F. Kennedy welcomed 49 Nobel Prize winners to the White House in 1962 he said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.” Thomas Jefferson has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

Thomas Jefferson was born into a family closely related to some of the most prominent individuals in Virginia, the 3rd of 8 children. Thomas Jefferson’s mother was Jane Randolph, daughter of Isham Randolph, a ship’s captain and sometime planter, and first cousin to Peyton Randolph. Thomas Jefferson’s father was Peter Jefferson, a planter and surveyor in Albemarle County (Shadwell, then Edge Hill, Virginia.) Thomas Jefferson was of Welsh descent. When Colonel William Randolph, an old friend of Peter Jefferson, died in 1745, Peter Jefferson assumed executorship and personal charge of William Randolph’s estate in Tuckahoe as well as his infant son, Thomas Mann Randolph. That same year the Jeffersons relocated to Tuckahoe where they would remain for the next 7 years before returning to their home in Albemarle whereupon Peter Jefferson was appointed to the Colonelcy of the county, a very important position at the time.

In 1752, Thomas Jefferson began attending a local school run by William Douglas, a Scottish minister. At the age of 9, Thomas Jefferson began studying Latin, Greek, and French. In 1757, when he was 14 years old, his father died. Thomas Jefferson inherited about 5,000 acres (20 km²) of land and dozens of slaves. Thomas Jefferson built his home there, which eventually became known as Monticello.

After his father’s death, he was taught at the school of the learned minister James Maury from 1758 to 1760. The school was in Fredericksville Parish near Gordonsville, Virginia, 12 miles (19 km) from Shadwell, and Thomas Jefferson boarded with James Maury’s family. There he received a classical education and studied history and science.

In 1760 Thomas Jefferson entered The College of William & Amp; Mary in Williamsburg at the age of 16; he studied there for 2 years, graduating with highest honours in 1762. At The College of William & Amp; Mary, he enrolled in the philosophy school and studied mathematics, metaphysics, and philosophy under Professor William Small, who introduced the enthusiastic Thomas Jefferson to the writings of the British Empiricists, including John Locke, Francis Bacon, and Isaac Newton (Thomas Jefferson called them the “3 greatest men the world had ever produced”). Thomas Jefferson also perfected his French, carried his Greek grammar book wherever he went, practiced the violin, and read Tacitus and Homer. A keen and diligent student, Thomas Jefferson displayed an avid curiosity in all fields and, according to the family tradition, frequently studied 15 hours a day. Thomas Jefferson’s closest college friend, John Page of Rosewell, reported that Thomas Jefferson “could tear himself away from his dearest friends to fly to his studies.”

While in college, Thomas Jefferson was a member of a secret organisation called the Flat Hat Club, now the namesake of the William & Amp; Mary student newspaper. Thomas Jefferson lodged and boarded at the College in the building known today as the Sir Christopher Wren Building, attending communal meals in the Great Hall, and morning and evening prayers in the Wren Chapel. Thomas Jefferson often attended the lavish parties of royal governor Francis Fauquier, where he played his violin and developed an early love for wines. After graduating in 1762 with highest honours, he studied law with George Wythe and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1767.

In addition to practicing law, Thomas Jefferson also represented Albemarle County in the Virginia House of Burgesses beginning in 1769. Following the passage of the Coercive Acts by the British Parliament in 1774, he wrote a set of resolutions against the acts, which were expanded into A Summary View of the Rights of British America, his 1st published work. Previous criticism of the Coercive Acts had focused on legal and constitutional issues, but Thomas Jefferson offered the radical notion that the colonists had the natural right to govern themselves. Thomas Jefferson also argued that Parliament was the legislature of Great Britain only, and had no legislative authority in the colonies. The paper was intended to serve as instructions for the Virginia delegation of the 1st Continental Congress, but Thomas Jefferson’s ideas proved to be too radical for that body. Nevertheless, the pamphlet helped provide the theoretical framework for American independence, and marked Thomas Jefferson as one of the most thoughtful patriot spokesmen.

Thomas Jefferson served as governor of Virginia from 1779–1781. As governor, he oversaw the transfer of the state capital from Williamsburg to the more central location of Richmond in 1780. Thomas Jefferson continued to advocate educational reforms at the College of William and Mary, including the nation’s 1st student-policed honour code. In 1779, at Thomas Jefferson’s behest, William and Mary appointed George Wythe to be the 1st professor of law in an American university. Dissatisfied with the rate of changes he wanted to push through, he later became the founder of the University of Virginia, which was the 1st university in the United States at which higher education was completely separate from religious doctrine.

Virginia was invaded twice by the British during Thomas Jefferson’s term as governor. Thomas Jefferson, along with Patrick Henry and other leaders of Virginia, were but 10 minutes away from being captured by Banastre Tarleton, a British colonel leading a cavalry column that was raiding the area in June 1781. Public disapproval of his performance delayed his future political prospects, and he was never again elected to office in Virginia.

After returning from France, Thomas Jefferson served as the 1st Secretary of State under George Washington (1789–1793). Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton began sparring over national fiscal policy, especially the funding of the debts of the war, with Alexander Hamilton believing that the debts should be equally shared, and Thomas Jefferson believing that each state should be responsible for its own debt (Virginia had not accumulated much debt during the Revolution). In further sparring with the Federalists, Thomas Jefferson came to equate Alexander Hamilton and the rest of the Federalists with Tories and monarchists who threatened to undermine republicanism. Thomas Jefferson equated Federalism with “Royalism,” and made a point to state that “Hamiltonians were panting after…and itching for crowns, coronets and mitres.” Thomas Jefferson and James Madison founded and led the Democratic-Republican Party. Thomas Jefferson worked with James Madison and his campaign manager John J. Beckley to build a nationwide network of Republican allies to combat Federalists across the country.

Thomas Jefferson strongly supported France against Britain when war broke out between those nations in 1793. Historian Lawrence S. Kaplan notes Thomas Jefferson’s “visceral support for the French cause,” while agreeing with George Washington that the nation should not get involved in the fighting. The arrival in 1793 of an aggressive new French minister, Edmond-Charles Genêt, caused a crisis for the Secretary of State, as he watched Genêt try to violate American neutrality, manipulate public opinion, and even go over George Washington’s head in appealing to the people; projects that Thomas Jefferson helped to thwart. According to Schachner, Thomas Jefferson believed that political success at home depended on the success of the French army in Europe:

Thomas Jefferson, aquatint by Tadeusz Kościuszko Jefferson still clung to his sympathies with France and hoped for the success of her arms abroad and a cordial compact with her at home. Thomas Jefferson was afraid that any French reverses on the European battlefields would give “wonderful vigor to our monocrats, and unquestionably affect the tone of administering our government. Indeed, I fear that if this summer should prove disastrous to the French, it will damp that energy of republicanism in our new Congress, from which I had hoped so much reformation.”

Thomas Jefferson at the end of 1793 retired to Monticello where he continued to orchestrate opposition to Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. However, the Jay Treaty of 1794, orchestrated by Alexander Hamilton, brought peace and trade with Britain – while James Madison, with strong support from Thomas Jefferson, wanted, Miller says, “to strangle the former mother country” without actually going to war. “It became an article of faith among Republicans that ‘commercial weapons’ would suffice to bring Great Britain to any terms the United States chose to dictate.” Thomas Jefferson, in retirement, strongly encouraged James Madison.

As the Democratic-Republican candidate in 1796 he lost to John Adams, but had enough electoral votes to become Vice President (1797–1801). Thomas Jefferson’s arliamentary procedure, but otherwise avoided the Senate.

Working closely with Aaron Burr of New York, Thomas Jefferson rallied his party, attacking the new taxes especially, and ran for the Presidency in 1800. Consistent with the traditions of the times, he did not formally campaign for the position. Prior to the passage of the 12th Amendment, a problem with the new union’s electoral system arose. Thomas Jefferson tied with Aaron Burr for 1st place in the Electoral College, leaving the House of Representatives (where the Federalists still had some power) to decide the election.

After lengthy debate within the Federalist-controlled House, Alexander Hamilton convinced his party that Thomas Jefferson would be a lesser political evil than Aaron Burr and that such scandal within the electoral process would undermine the still-young regime. The issue was resolved by the House, on 17 February, 1801 after 36 ballots, when Thomas Jefferson was elected President and Aaron Burr Vice President. Aaron Burr’s refusal to remove himself from consideration created ill will with Thomas Jefferson, who dropped Aaron Burr from the ticket in 1804 after Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

After leaving the Presidency, Thomas Jefferson continued to be active in public affairs. Thomas Jefferson also became increasingly concerned with founding a new institution of higher learning, specifically one free of church influences where students could specialise in many new areas not offered at other universities. Thomas Jefferson believed educating people was a good way to establish an organised society, and also felt schools should be paid for by the general public, so less wealthy people could obtain student membership as well. A letter to Joseph Priestley, in January, 1800, indicated that he had been planning the University for decades before its establishment.

Thomas Jefferson’s dream was realised in 1819 with the founding of the University of Virginia. Upon its opening in 1825, it was then the 1st university to offer a full slate of elective courses to its students. One of the largest construction projects to that time in North America, it was notable for being centered about a library rather than a church. In fact, no campus chapel was included in his original plans. Until his death, Thomas Jefferson invited students and faculty of the school to his home; Edgar Allan Poe was among those students.

Thomas Jefferson is widely recognised for his architectural planning of the University of Virginia grounds, an innovative design that is a powerful representation of his aspirations for both state sponsored education and an agrarian democracy in the new Republic. Thomas Jefferson’s educational idea of creating specialised units of learning is physically expressed in the configuration of his campus plan, which he called the “Academical Village.” Individual academic units are expressed visually as distinct structures, represented by Pavilions, facing a grassy quadrangle, with each Pavilion housing classroom, faculty office, and residences. Though unique, each is visually equal in importance, and they are linked together with a series of open air arcades that are the front facades of student accommodations. Gardens and vegetable plots are placed behind surrounded by serpentine walls, affirming the importance of the agrarian lifestyle.

Thomas Jefferson’s highly ordered site plan establishes an ensemble of buildings surrounding a central rectangular quadrangle, named The Lawn, which is lined on either side with the academic teaching units and their linking arcades. The quad is enclosed at one end with the library, the repository of knowledge, at the head of the table. The remaining side opposite the library remained open-ended for future growth. The lawn rises gradually as a series of stepped terraces, each a few feet higher than the last, rising up to the library set in the most prominent position at the top, while also suggesting that the Academical Village facilitates easier movement to the future.

Stylistically, Thomas Jefferson was a proponent of the Greek and Roman styles, which he believed to be most representative of American democracy by historical association. Each academic unit is designed with a 2 story temple front facing the quadrangle, while the library is modeled on the Roman Pantheon. The ensemble of buildings surrounding the quad is an unmistakable architectural statement of the importance of secular public education, while the exclusion of religious structures reinforces the principal of separation of church and state. The campus planning and architectural treatment remains today as a paradigm of the ordering of manmade structures to express intellectual ideas and aspirations. A survey of members of the American Institute of Architects identified Thomas Jefferson’s campus as the most significant work of architecture in America.

The University was designed as the capstone of the educational system of Virginia. In his vision, any citizen of the commonwealth could attend school with the sole criterion being ability.

Although he was born into one of the wealthiest families in the United States, Thomas Jefferson was deeply in debt when he died.

Thomas Jefferson’s trouble began when his father-in-law died, and he and his brothers-in-law quickly divided the estate before its debts were settled. It made each of them liable for the whole amount due – which turned out to be more than they expected.

Thomas Jefferson sold land before the American Revolution to pay off the debts, but by the time he received payment, the paper money was worthless amid the skyrocketing inflation of the war years. Cornwallis ravaged Thomas Jefferson’s plantation during the war, and British creditors resumed their collection efforts when the conflict ended. Thomas Jefferson was burned again when he co-signed notes for a relative who reneged on debts in the financial panic of 1819. Only Thomas Jefferson’s public stature prevented creditors from seizing Monticello and selling it out from under him during his lifetime.

After his death, his possessions were sold at auction. In 1831, Thomas Jefferson’s 552 acres (223 hectares) were sold for $7,000 to James T. Barclay. Thomas Jefferson is buried on his Monticello estate, in Charlottesville, Virginia. In his will, he left Monticello to the United States to be used as a school for orphans of navy officers. Thomas Jefferson’s epitaph, written by him with an insistence that only his words and “not a word more” be inscribed, reads:

HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON
AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Thomas Jefferson has been described by many people as a thin, tall man, who stood at approximately 6 feet and remarkably straight.

“The Sage of Monticello” cultivated an image that earned him the other nickname, “Man of the People.” Thomas Jefferson affected a popular air by greeting White House guests in homespun attire like a robe and slippers. Dolley Madison, wife of James Madison (Thomas Jefferson’s secretary of state), and Thomas Jefferson’s daughters relaxed White House protocol and turned formal state dinners into more casual and entertaining social events. Although a foremost defender of a free press, Thomas Jefferson at times sparred with partisan newspapers and appealed to the people.

Thomas Jefferson’s writings were utilitarian and evidenced great intellect, and he had an affinity for languages. Thomas Jefferson learned Gaelic in order to translate Ossian, and sent to James Macpherson for the originals.

As President, he discontinued the practice of delivering the State of the Union Address in person, instead sending the address to Congress in writing (the practice was eventually revived by Woodrow Wilson); he gave only 2 public speeches during his Presidency. Thomas Jefferson had a lisp and preferred writing to public speaking partly because of this. Thomas Jefferson burned all of his letters between himself and his wife at her death, creating the portrait of a man who at times could be very private. Indeed, he preferred working in the privacy of his office than the public eye.

Thomas Jefferson was an accomplished architect who was extremely influential in bringing the Neo-Palladian style—popular among the Whig aristocracy of Britain—to the United States. The style was associated with Enlightenment ideas of republican civic virtue and political liberty. Thomas Jefferson designed his famous home, Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia; it included automatic doors, the 1st swivel chair, and other convenient devices invented by Thomas Jefferson. Nearby is the only university ever to have been founded by a U.S. president, the University of Virginia, of which the original curriculum and architecture Thomas Jefferson designed. Today, Monticello and the University of Virginia are together 1 of only 4 man-made World Heritage Sites in the United States of America. Thomas Jefferson also designed Poplar Forest, near Lynchburg, in Bedford County, Virginia, as a private retreat from a very public life. Thomas Jefferson is also credited with the architectural design of the Virginia State Capitol building, which was modeled after the Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France, an ancient Roman temple. Thomas Jefferson’s buildings helped initiate the ensuing American fashion for Federal architecture.

Thomas Jefferson’s interests included archeology, a discipline then in its infancy. Thomas Jefferson has sometimes been called the “father of archeology” in recognition of his role in developing excavation techniques. When exploring an Indian burial mound on his Virginia estate in 1784, Thomas Jefferson avoided the common practice of simply digging downwards until something turned up. Instead, he cut a wedge out of the mound so that he could walk into it, look at the layers of occupation, and draw conclusions from them.

Thomas Jefferson enjoyed his fish pond at Monticello. It was around 3 feet (1 m) deep and mortar lined. Thomas Jefferson used the pond to keep fish that were recently caught as well as to keep eels fresh. This pond has been restored and can be seen from the west side of Monticello.

In 1780, he joined Benjamin Franklin’s American Philosophical Society. Thomas Jefferson served as president of the society from 1797 to 1815.

Thomas Jefferson was an avid wine lover and noted gourmet. During his years in France (1784–1789) he took extensive trips through French and other European wine regions and sent the best back home. Thomas Jefferson is noted for the bold pronouncement: “We could in the United States make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe, not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good.” While there were extensive vineyards planted at Monticello, a significant portion were of the European wine grape Vitis vinifera and did not survive the many vine diseases native to the Americas.

In 1801, he published A Manual of Parliamentary Practice that is still in use. In 1812 Thomas Jefferson published a 2nd edition.

After the British burned Washington, D.C. and the Library of Congress in August 1814, Thomas Jefferson offered his own collection to the nation. In January 1815, Congress accepted his offer, appropriating $23,950 for his 6,487 books, and the foundation was laid for a great national library. Today, the Library of Congress’ website for federal legislative information is named THOMAS, in honour of Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson’s 2-volume 1764 edition of the Qur’an was used by Rep. Keith Ellison in 2007 for his swearing in to the House of Representatives.

In a letter to Francis Hopkinson of 13 March, 1789, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“ I never had an opinion in politics or religion which I was afraid to own. A costive reserve on these subjects might have procured me more esteem from some people, but less from myself. ”

Though his religious views diverged widely from the orthodox Christianity of his day, throughout his life Thomas Jefferson was intensely interested in theology, spirituality, and biblical study. Thomas Jefferson’s religious commitment is probably best summarised in his own words as he proclaimed that he belonged to a sect with just 1 member.

Thomas Jefferson was raised in the Church of England at a time when it was the established church in Virginia and only denomination funded by Virginia tax money. theologian Avery Dulles reports, “In his college years at William and Mary [Jefferson] came to admire Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and John Locke as 3 great paragons of wisdom. Under the influence of several professors he converted to the deist philosophy.” Avery Dulles concludes:

“ In summary, then, Thomas Jefferson was a deist because he believed in one God, in divine providence, in the divine moral law, and in rewards and punishments after death; but did not believe in supernatural revelation. Thomas Jefferson was a Christian deist because he saw Christianity as the highest expression of natural religion and Jesus as an incomparably great moral teacher. Thomas Jefferson was not an orthodox Christian because he rejected, among other things, the doctrines that Jesus was the promised Messiah and the incarnate Son of God. Thomas Jefferson’s religion is fairly typical of the American form of deism in his day. ”

Before the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson was a vestryman in his local church, a lay position that was informally tied to political office at the time. Thomas Jefferson also had friends who were clergy, and he supported some churches financially.

At the start of the Revolution appears that Thomas Jefferson employed theist terminology in the United States Declaration of Independence where he wrote the words “Creator” and “Nature’s God.” Thomas Jefferson believed, furthermore, it was this Creator that endowed humanity with a number of inalienable rights, such as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

In 1776 Thomas Jefferson also proposed a motto for the United States Seal. Thomas Jefferson’s proposal was, “Rebellion to tyrants is Obedience to God.” Thomas Jefferson suggested that the seal should feature an image of the Biblical Hebrews being rescued by God via the Red Sea.

For Thomas Jefferson, separation of church and state was a necessary reform of the religious “tyranny” whereby a religion received state endorsement, and those not of that religion were denied rights, and even punished.

Following the Revolution, Thomas Jefferson played a leading role in establishing freedom of religion in Virginia. Previously the Anglican Church had tax support. As he wrote in his Notes on Virginia, a law was in effect in Virginia that “if a person brought up a Christian denies the being of a God, or the Trinity …he is punishable on the 1st offense by incapacity to hold any office …; on the 2nd by a disability to sue, to take any gift or legacy …, and by 3 year’ imprisonment.” Prospective officer-holders were required to swear that they did not believe in the central Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation.

From 1784 to 1786, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison worked together to oppose Patrick Henry’s attempts to again assess taxes in Virginia to support churches. Instead, in 1786, the Virginia General Assembly passed Thomas Jefferson’s Bill for Religious Freedom, which he had 1st submitted in 1779 and was 1 of only 3 accomplishments he put in his own epitaph. The law read:

“ No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

In his 1787 Notes on the State of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson stated: “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make half the world fools and half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the world…”

Thomas Jefferson sought what he called a “wall of separation between Church and State,” which he believed was a principle expressed by the First Amendment. This phrase has been cited several times by the Supreme Court in its interpretation of the Establishment Clause. In an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, he wrote:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”

Regarding the choice of some governments to regulate religion and thought, Thomas Jefferson stated:

“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

Deriving from this statement, Thomas Jefferson believed that the Government’s relationship with the Church should be indifferent, religion being neither persecuted nor give any special status.

“If anything pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished in the same manner and no otherwise as it had happened in a fair or market”

Thomas Jefferson refused to issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and thanksgiving during his Presidency, yet as Governor in Virginia he did issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and thanksgiving. Thomas Jefferson’s private letters indicate he was skeptical of too much interference by clergy in matters of civil government. Thomas Jefferson’s letters contain the following observations: “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government,” and, “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. Thomas Jefferson is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” “May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government.” While opposed to the institutions of organised religion, Thomas Jefferson invoked the notion of divine justice in his opposition to slavery: “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice can not sleep forever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!”

While the debate over Thomas Jefferson’s understanding over the separation of Church and state is far from being settled, as are his particular religious tenets, his dependence on divine Providence is not nearly as ambiguous. As he stated, in his 2nd inaugural address:

“I shall need, too, the favour of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”

During the presidential campaign of 1800, the Federalists attacked Thomas Jefferson as an infidel and a Deist, claiming that Thomas Jefferson’s intoxication with the religious and political extremism of the French Revolution disqualified him from public office. However, historian Edward Larson writes that, “Although Thomas Jefferson may have been a Deist at one time, by 1800 he probably was a Unitarian. Thomas Jefferson’s private writings from the period reveal a profound regard for Christ’s moral teachings and a deep interest in the gospels and comparative religion.”

During his presidency, Thomas Jefferson attended the weekly church services held in the House of Representatives. Thomas Jefferson also permitted church services in executive branch buildings throughout his administration, one author writes that this was because Thomas Jefferson “believed that religion was a prop for republican government”.

From his careful study of the Bible, Thomas Jefferson concluded that Jesus never claimed to be God. Thomas Jefferson therefore regarded much of the New Testament as “so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture”. Thomas Jefferson described the “roguery of others of His disciples”, and called them a “band of dupes and impostors”, describing Paul as the “first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus”, and wrote of “palpable interpolations and falsifications”. Thomas Jefferson also described the Book of Revelation to be “merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams”. While living in the White House, Thomas Jefferson began to piece together his own condensed version of the Gospels, omitting the virgin birth of Jesus, miracles attributed to Jesus, divinity and the resurrection of Jesus. Thus, primarily leaving only Jesus’ moral philosophy, of which he approved. This compilation titled The LIFE AND MORALS OF JESUS OF NAZARETH Extracted Textually from the Gospels Greek, Latin, French, and English was published after his death and became known as the Jefferson Bible.

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, but he had high esteem for Jesus’s moral teachings, which he viewed as the “principles of a pure deism, and juster notions of the attributes of God, to reform [prior Jewish] moral doctrines to the standard of reason, justice & philanthropy, and to inculcate the belief of a future state.” Thomas Jefferson did not believe in miracles. Biographer Merrill D. Peterson summarises Thomas Jefferson’s theology:

“First, that the Christianity of the churches was unreasonable, therefore unbelievable, but that stripped of priestly mystery, ritual, and dogma, reinterpreted in the light of historical evidence and human experience, and substituting the Newtonian cosmology for the discredited Biblical 1, Christianity could be conformed to reason. 2nd, morality required no divine sanction or inspiration, no appeal beyond reason and nature, perhaps not even the hope of heaven or the fear of hell; and so the whole edifice of Christian revelation came tumbling to the ground.”

Thomas Jefferson’s experience in France just before the French Revolution made him deeply suspicious of Catholic priests and bishops as a force for reaction and ignorance. Similarly, his experience in America with inter-denominational intolerance served to reinforce this skeptical view of religion. In an 1820 letter to William Short, Thomas Jefferson wrote: “the serious enemies are the priests of the different religious sects, to whose spells on the human mind its improvement is ominous.”

Thomas Jefferson also expressed general agreement with his friend Joseph Priestley’s Unitarian form of Christianity. In an 1822 letter to Benjamin Waterhouse he wrote, “I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its conscience to neither kings or priests, the genuine doctrine of only one God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.”

In a 1825 letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“I am anxious to see the doctrine of one god commenced in our state. But the population of my neighborhood is too slender, and is too much divided into other sects to maintain any one preacher well. I must therefore be contented to be an Unitarian by myself, although I know there are many around me who would become so, if once they could hear the questions fairly stated.”

Thomas Jefferson’s last words were, “I resign myself to my God, and my child to my country.”

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Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Washington Irving

Washington Irving was born on 3 April, 1783 and died on 28 November, 1859. Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer and historian of the early 19th century. Washington Irving was best known for his short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”, both of which appear in his book The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. Washington Irving’s historical works include biographies of George Washington, Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and several histories of 15th-century Spain dealing with subjects such as Christopher Columbus, the Moors, and the Alhambra. Washington Irving also served as the U.S. minister to Spain from 1842 to 1846.

Washington Irving made his literary debut in 1802 with a series of observational letters to the Morning Chronicle, written under the pseudonym Jonathan Oldstyle. After moving to England for the family business in 1815, he achieved international fame with the publication of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. in 1819. Washington Irving continued to publish regularly—and almost always successfully—throughout his life, and completed a 5-volume biography of George Washington just 8months before his death, at age 76, in Tarrytown, New York.

Washington Irving, along with James Fenimore Cooper, was the 1st American writer to earn acclaim in Europe, and Washington Irving encouraged American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allan Poe. Washington Irving was also admired by some European writers, including Sir Walter Scott, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Francis Jeffrey, and Charles Dickens. As America’s 1st genuine internationally best-selling author, Washington Irving advocated for writing as a legitimate profession, and argued for stronger laws to protect American writers from copyright infringement.

Washington Irving’s parents were William Irving, Sr., originally of Shapinsay, Orkney, and Sarah (née Sanders), Scottish-English immigrants. They married in 1761 while William was serving as a petty officer in the British Navy. They had 11 children, 8 of which survived to adulthood. Their 1st 2 sons, each named William, died in infancy, as did their 4th child, John. Their surviving children were: William, Jr. (1766), Ann (1770), Peter (1772), Catherine (1774), Ebenezer (1776), John Treat (1778), Sarah (1780), and Washington.

The Irving family was settled in Manhattan, New York City as part of the city’s small vibrant merchant class when Washington Irving was born on April 3, 1783, the same week city residents learned of the British ceasefire that ended the American Revolution. Consequently, Washington Irving’s mother named him after the hero of the revolution, George Washington. At age 6, with the help of a nanny, Washington Irving met his namesake, who was then living in New York after his inauguration as president in 1789. The president blessed young Washington Irving, an encounter Washington Irving later commemorated in a small watercolor painting, which still hangs in his home today. Several of Washington Irving’s older brothers became active New York merchants, and they encouraged their younger brother’s literary aspirations, often supporting him financially as he pursued his writing career.

A disinterested student, Washington Irving preferred adventure stories and drama and, by age 14, was regularly sneaking out of class in the evenings to attend the theater. The 1798 outbreak of yellow fever in Manhattan prompted his family to send him to healthier climes upriver, and Washington Irving was dispatched to stay with his friend James Kirke Paulding in Tarrytown, New York. It was in Tarrytown that Washington Irving became familiar with the nearby town of Sleepy Hollow, with its quaint Dutch customs and local ghost stories. Washington Irving made several other trips up the Hudson as a teenager, including an extended visit to Johnstown, New York, where he passed through the Catskill mountain region, the setting for “Rip Van Winkle”. ” of all the scenery of the Hudson”, Wshington Irving wrote later, “the Kaatskill Mountains had the most witching effect on my boyish imagination”.

The 19 year old Wshington Irving began writing letters to The Morning Chronicle in 1802, submitting commentaries on New York’s social and theater scene under the name of Jonathan Oldstyle. The name, which purposely evoked the writer’s Federalist leanings, was the 1st of many pseudonyms Washington Irving would employ throughout his career. The letters brought Wshington Irving some early fame and moderate notoriety. Aaron Burr, a co-publisher of the Chronicle, was impressed enough to send clippings of the Oldstyle pieces to his daughter, Theodosia, while writer Charles Brockden Brown made a trip to New York to recruit Oldstyle for a literary magazine he was editing in Philadelphia.

Concerned for his health, Washington Irving’s brothers financed an extended tour of Europe from 1804 to 1806. Washington Irving bypassed most of the sites and locations considered essential for the development of an upwardly-mobile young man, to the dismay of his brother William. William wrote that, though he was pleased his brother’s health was improving, he did not like the choice to “gallop through Italy… leaving Florence on your left and Venice on your right”. Instead, Washington Irving honed the social and conversational skills that would later make him one of the world’s most in-demand guests. “I endeavor to take things as they come with cheerfulness”, Washington Irving wrote, “and when I cannot get a dinner to suit my taste, I endeavor to get a taste to suit my dinner”. While visiting Rome in 1805, Washington Irving struck up a friendship with the American painter Washington Allston, and nearly allowed himself to be persuaded into following Washington Allston into a career as a painter. “My lot in life, however”, Washington Irving said later, “was differently cast”.

A younger Washington Irving returned from Europe to study law with his legal mentor, Judge Josiah Ogden Hoffman, in New York City. By his own admission, he was not a good student, and barely passed the bar in 1806. Washington Irving began actively socialising with a group of literate young men he dubbed “The Lads of Kilkenny”. Collaborating with his brother William and fellow Lad James Kirke Paulding, Washington Irving created the literary magazine Salmagundi in January 1807. Writing under various pseudonyms, such as William Wizard and Launcelot Langstaff, Washington Irving lampooned New York culture and politics in a manner similar to today’s Mad magazine. Salmagundi was a moderate success, spreading Washington Irving’s name and reputation beyond New York. In its 17th issue, dated 11 November, 1807, Washington Irving affixed the nickname “Gotham”—an Anglo-Saxon word meaning “Goat’s Town”—to New York City.

In late 1809, while mourning the death of his 17 year old fiancée Matilda Hoffman, Washington Irving completed work on his 1st major book, A History of New-York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, by Diedrich Knickerbocker(1809), a satire on self-important local history and contemporary politics. Prior to its publication, Washington Irving started a hoax akin to today’s viral marketing campaigns; he placed a series of missing person adverts in New York newspapers seeking information on Diedrich Knickerbocker, a crusty Dutch historian who had allegedly gone missing from his hotel in New York City. As part of the ruse, Washington Irving placed a notice—allegedly from the hotel’s proprietor—informing readers that if Mr. Knickerbocker failed to return to the hotel to pay his bill, he would publish a manuscript Knickerbocker had left behind.

Unsuspecting readers followed the story of Knickerbocker and his manuscript with interest, and some New York city officials were concerned enough about the missing historian that they considered offering a reward for his safe return. Riding the wave of public interest he had created with his hoax, Washington Irving—adopting the pseudonym of his Dutch historian—published A History of New York on 6 December, 1809, to immediate critical and popular success. “It took with the public”, Washington Irving remarked, “and gave me celebrity, as an original work was something remarkable and uncommon in America”. Today, the surname of Diedrich Knickerbocker, the fictional narrator of this and other Washington Irving works, has become a nickname for Manhattan residents in general.

After the success of A History of New York, Washington Irving searched for a job and eventually became an editor of Analectic magazine, where he wrote biographies of naval heroes like James Lawrence and Oliver Perry. Washington Irving was also among the 1st magazine editors to reprint Francis Scott Key’s poem “Defense of Fort McHenry”, which would later be immortalized as “The Star-Spangled Banner”, the national anthem of the United States.

Like many merchants and New Yorkers, Washington Irving originally opposed the War of 1812, but the British attack on Washington, D.C. in 1814 convinced him to enlist. Washington Irving served on the staff of Daniel Tompkins, governor of New York and commander of the New York State Militia. Apart from a reconnaissance mission in the Great Lakes region, he saw no real action. The war was disastrous for many American merchants, including Washington Irving’s family, and in mid-1815 he left for England to attempt to salvage the family trading company. Washington Irving remained in Europe for the next 17 years.

Washington Irving spent the next 2 years trying to bail out the family firm financially but was eventually forced to declare bankruptcy. With no job prospects, Washington Irving continued writing throughout 1817 and 1818. In the summer of 1817, he visited the home of novelist Walter Scott, marking the beginning of a lifelong personal and professional friendship for both men. Washington Irving continued writing prolifically—the short story “Rip Van Winkle” was written overnight while staying with his sister Sarah and her husband, Henry van Wart in Birmingham, England, a place that also inspired some of his other works. In October 1818, Washington Irving’s brother William secured for Washington Irving a post as chief clerk to the United States Navy, and urged him to return home. Washington Irving, however, turned the offer down, opting to stay in England to pursue a writing career.

In the spring of 1819, Washington Irving sent to his brother Ebenezer in New York a set of essays that he asked be published as The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. The 1st installment, containing “Rip Van Winkle”, was an enormous success, and the rest of the work, published in 7 installments in the United States and England throughout 1819 and 1820 (“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” would appear in the 6th issue), would be equally as successful.

Like many successful authors of this era, Washington Irving struggled against literary bootleggers. While in England, his sketches were published in book form by British publishers without his permission, an entirely legal practice as there were no clear international copyright laws. Seeking an English publisher to protect his copyright, Washington Irving appealed to Walter Scott for help. Walter Scott referred Washington Irving to his own publisher, London powerhouse John Murray, who agreed to take on The Sketch Book. From then on, Washington Irving would publish concurrently in the United States and England to protect his copyright, with John Murray being his English publisher of choice.

Washington Irving’s reputation soared, and for the next 2 years, he led an active social life in Paris and England, where he was often feted as an anomaly of literature: an upstart American who dared to write English well.

With bothb Washington Irving and publisher John Murray eager to follow up on the success of The Sketch Book, Washington Irving spent much of 1821 travelling in Europe in search of new material, reading widely in Dutch and German folk tales. Hampered by writer’s block—and depressed by the death of his brother William—Irving worked slowly, finally delivering a completed manuscript to John Murray in March 1822. The book, Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists, A Medley (the location was based loosely on Aston Hall, occupied by members of the Bracebridge family, near his sister’s home in Birmingham) was published in June 1822.

The format of Bracebridge was similar to that of The Sketch Book, with Washington Irving, as Crayon, narrating a series of more than 50 loosely connected short stories and essays. While some reviewers thought Bracebridge to be a lesser imitation of The Sketch Book, the book was well-received by readers and critics. “We have received so much pleasure from this book,” wrote critic Francis Jeffrey in the Edinburgh Review, “that we think ourselves bound in gratitude . . . to make a public acknowledgement of it.” Washington Irving was relieved at its reception, which did much to cement his reputation with European readers.

Still struggling with writer’s block, Washington Irving traveled to Germany, settling in Dresden in the winter of 1822. Here he dazzled the royal family and attached himself to Mrs. Amelia Foster, an American living in Dresden with her 5 children. Washington Irving was particularly attracted to Mrs. Foster’s 18-year-old daughter Emily, and vied in frustration for her hand. Emily finally refused his offer of marriage in the spring of 1823.

Washington Irving returned to Paris and began collaborating with playwright John Howard Payne on translations of French plays for the English stage, with little success. Washington Irving also learned through Payne that the novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was romantically interested in him, though Washington Irving never pursued the relationship.

In August 1824, Washington Irving published the collection of essays Tales of a Traveller—including the short story “The Devil and Tom Walker”—under his Geoffrey Crayon persona. “I think there are in it some of the best things I have ever written,” Washington Irving told his sister. But while the book sold respectably, Traveller largely bombed with critics, who panned both Traveller and its author. “The public have been led to expect better things,” wrote the United States Literary Gazette, while the New-York Mirror pronounced Washington Irving “overrated.” Hurt and depressed by the book’s reception, Washington Irving retreated to Paris where he spent the next year worrying about finances and scribbling down ideas for projects that never materialised.

While in Paris, Washington Irving received a letter from Alexander Hill Everett on 30January, 1826. Alexander Hill Everett, recently the American Minister to Spain, urged Washington Irving to join him in Madrid, noting that a number of manuscripts dealing with the Spanish conquest of the Americas had recently been made public. Washington Irving left for Madrid and enthusiastically began scouring the Spanish archives for colourful material.

The palace Alhambra, where Washington Irving briefly resided in 1829, inspired one of his most colourful books. With full access to the American consul’s massive library of Spanish history, Washington Irving began working on several books at once. The 1st offspring of this hard work, The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, was published in January 1828. The book was popular in the United States and in Europe and would have 175 editions published before the end of the century. It was also the 1st project of Washington Irving’s to be published with his own name, instead of a pseudonym, on the title page. The Chronicles of the Conquest of Granada was published a year later, followed by Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus in 1831.

Washington Irving’s writings on Columbus are a mixture of history and fiction, a genre now called romantic history. Washington Irving based them on extensive research in the Spanish archives, but also added imaginative elements aimed at sharpening the story. The 1st of these works is the source of the durable myth that medieval Europeans believed the Earth was flat.

In 1829, Washington Irving moved into Granada’s ancient palace Alhambra, “determined to linger here”, he said, “until I get some writings under way connected with the place”. Before he could get any significant writing underway, however, he was notified of his appointment as Secretary to the American Legation in London. Worried he would disappoint friends and family if he refused the position, Washington Irving left Spain for England in July 1829.

Arriving in London, Washington Irving joined the staff of American Minister Louis McLane. Louis McLane immediately assigned the daily secretary work to another man and tapped Washington Irving to fill the role of aide-de-camp. The 2 worked over the next year to negotiate a trade agreement between the United States and the British West Indies, finally reaching a deal in August 1830. That same year, Washington Irving was awarded a medal by the Royal Society of Literature, followed by an honourary doctorate of civil law from Oxford in 1831.

Following Louis McLane’s recall to the United States in 1831 to serve as Secretary of Treasury, Washington Irving stayed on as the legation’s chargé d’affaires until the arrival of Martin Van Buren, President Jackson’s nominee for British Minister. With Van Buren in place, Washington Irving resigned his post to concentrate on writing, eventually completing Tales of the Alhambra, which would be published concurrently in the United States and England in 1832.

Washington Irving was still in London when Van Buren received word that the United States Senate had refused to confirm him as the new Minister. Consoling Van Buren, Washington Irving predicted that the Senate’s partisan move would backfire. “I should not be surprised”, Washington Irving said, “if this vote of the Senate goes far toward elevating him to the presidential chair”.

Washington Irving arrived in New York, after 17 years abroad on 21 May, 1832. That September, he accompanied the U.S. Commissioner on Indian Affairs, Henry Ellsworth, along with companions Charles La Trobe and Count Albert-Alexandre de Pourtales, on a surveying mission deep in Indian Territory. At the completion of his western tour, Washington Irving traveled through Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, where he became acquainted with the politician and novelist John Pendleton Kennedy.

Frustrated by bad investments, Washington Irving turned to writing to generate additional income, beginning with A Tour on the Prairies, a work which related his recent travels on the frontier. The book was another popular success and also the 1st book written and published by Washington Irving in the United States since A History of New York in 1809. In 1834, he was approached by fur magnate John Jacob Astor, who convinced Washington Irving to write a history of his fur trading colony in the American Northwest, now known as Astoria, Oregon. Washington Irving made quick work of Astor’s project, shipping the fawning biographical account titled Astoria in February 1836.

During an extended stay at Astor’s, Washington Irving met the explorer Benjamin Bonneville, who intrigued Washington Irving with his maps and stories of the territories beyond the Rocky Mountains. When the 2 met in Washington, D.C. several months later, Bonneville opted to sell his maps and rough notes to Washington Irving for $1,000. Washington Irving used these materials as the basis for his 1837 book The Adventures of Captain Bonneville.

These 3 works made up Washington Irving’s “western” series of books and were written partly as a response to criticism that his time in England and Spain had made him more European than American. In the minds of some critics, especially James Fenimore Cooper and Philip Freneau, Washington Irving had turned his back on his American heritage in favour of English aristocracy. Washington Irving’s western books, particularly A Tour on the Prairies, were well-received in the United States, though British critics accused Washington Irving of “book-making”.

In 1835, Washington Irving purchased a “neglected cottage” and its surrounding riverfront property in Tarrytown, New York. The house, which Washington Irving named Sunnyside in 1841, would require constant repair and renovation over the next 20 years. With costs of Sunnyside escalating, Washington Irving reluctantly agreed in 1839 to become a regular contributor to Knickerbocker magazine, writing new essays and short stories under the Knickerbocker and Crayon pseudonyms.

Washington Irving was regularly approached by aspiring young authors for advice or endorsement, including Edgar Allan Poe, who sought Washington Irving’s comments “on William Wilson” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”. Washington Irving also championed America’s maturing literature, advocating for stronger copyright laws to protect writers from the kind of piracy that had initially plagued The Sketch Book. Writing in the January 1840 issue of Knickerbocker, he openly endorsed copyright legislation pending in the U.S. Congress. “We have a young literature”, Washington Irving wrote, “springing up and daily unfolding itself with wonderful energy and luxuriance, which… deserves all its fostering care”. The legislation did not pass.

Washington Irving at this time also began a friendly correspondence with the English writer Charles Dickens, and hosted the author and his wife at Sunnyside during Dickens’s American tour in 1842.

In 1842, after an endorsement from Secretary of State Daniel Webster, President John Tyler appointed Washington Irving as Minister to Spain. Washington Irving was surprised and honoured, writing, “It will be a severe trial to absent myself for a time from my dear little Sunnyside, but I shall return to it better enabled to carry it on comfortably”.

While Washington Irving hoped his position as Minister would allow him plenty of time to write, Spain was in a state of perpetual political upheaval during most of his tenure, with a number of warring factions vying for control of the 12-year-old Queen Isabella II. Washington Irving maintained good relations with the various generals and politicians, as control of Spain rotated through Espartero, Bravo, then Narvaez. However, the politics and warfare were exhausting, and Washington Irving—homesick and suffering from a crippling skin condition—grew quickly disheartened:

“I am wearied and at times heartsick of the wretched politics of this country. . . . The last 10 or 12 years of my life, passed among sordid speculators in the United States, and political adventurers in Spain, has shewn me so much of the dark side of human nature, that I begin to have painful doubts of my fellow man; and look back with regret to the confiding period of my literary career, when, poor as a rat, but rich in dreams, I beheld the world through the medium of my imagination and was apt to believe men as good as I wished them to be.”

With the political situation in Spain relatively settled, Washington Irving continued to closely monitor the development of the new government and the fate of Isabella. Washington Irving’s official duties as Spanish Minister also involved negotiating American trade interests with Cuba and following the Spanish parliament’s debates over slave trade. Washington Irving was also pressed into service by the American Minister to the Court of St. James’s in London, Louis McLane, to assist in negotiating the Anglo-American disagreement over the Oregon border that newly-elected president James K. Polk had vowed to resolve.

Returning from Spain in 1846, Washington Irving took up permanent residence at Sunnyside and began work on an “Author’s Revised Edition” of his works for publisher George Palmer Putnam. For its publication, Washington Irving had made a deal that guaranteed him 12% of the retail price of all copies sold. Such an agreement was unprecedented at that time. On the death of John Jacob Astor in 1848, Washington Irving was hired as an executor of Astor’s estate and appointed, by Astor’s will, as 1st chairman of the Astor library, a forerunner to the New York Public Library.

As he revised his older works for Putnam, Washington Irving continued to write regularly, publishing biographies of the writer and poet Oliver Goldsmith in 1849 and the prophet Muhammad in 1850. In 1855, he produced Wolfert’s Roost, a collection of stories and essays he had originally written for Knickerbocker and other publications, and began publishing at intervals a biography of his namesake, George Washington, a work which he expected to be his masterpiece. 5 volumes of the biography were published between 1855 and 1859. Washington Irving traveled regularly to Mount Vernon and Washington, D.C. for his research, and struck up friendships with Presidents Millard Fillmore and Franklin Pierce.

Washington Irving continued to socialise and keep up with his correspondence well into his 70s, and his fame and popularity continued to soar. “I don’t believe that any man, in any country, has ever had a more affectionate admiration for him than that given to you in America”, wrote Senator William C. Preston in a letter to Washington Irving. “I believe that we have had but one man who is so much in the popular heart”.

On the evening of 28 November, 1859, only 8 months after completing the final volume of his Washington biography, Washington Irving died of a heart attack in his bedroom at Sunnyside at the age of 76. Legend has it that his last words were: “Well, I must arrange my pillows for another night. When will this end?” Washington Irving was buried under a simple headstone at Sleepy Hollow cemetery on 1 December, 1859.

Washington Irving and his grave were commemorated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his 1876 poem, “In The Churchyard at Tarrytown”, which concludes with:

How sweet a life was his; how sweet a death!
Living, to wing with mirth the weary hours,
Or with romantic tales the heart to cheer;
Dying, to leave a memory like the breath
Of summers full of sunshine and of showers,
A grief and gladness in the atmosphere.

Washington Irving is largely credited as the 1st American Man of Letters, and the 1st to earn his living solely by his pen. Eulogizing Washington Irving before the Massachusetts Historical Society in December 1859, his friend, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, acknowledged Washington Irving’s role in promoting American literature: “We feel a just pride in his renown as an author, not forgetting that, to his other claims upon our gratitude, he adds also that of having been the 1st to win for our country an honourable name and position in the History of Letters”.

Washington Irving perfected the American short story, and was the 1st American writer to place his stories firmly in the United States, even as he poached from German or Dutch folklore. Washington Irving is also generally credited as one of the first to write both in the vernacular, and without an obligation to the moral or didactic in his short stories, writing stories simply to entertain rather to enlighten.

Some critics, however—including Edgar Allan Poe—felt that while Washington Irving should be given credit for being an innovator, the writing itself was often unsophisticated. “Irving is much over-rated”, Poe wrote in 1838, ” and a nice distinction might be drawn between his just and his surreptitious and adventitious reputation—between what is due to the pioneer solely, and what to the writer”.

Other critics were inclined to be more forgiving of Washington Irving’s style. Henry Makepeace Thakeray was the 1st to refer to Washington Irving as the “ambassador whom the New World of Letters sent to the Old”, a banner picked up by writers and critics throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. “He is the first of the American humorists, as he is almost the first of the American writers”, wrote critic H.R. Hawless in 1881, “yet belonging to the New World, there is a quaint Old World flavour about him”.

Early critics often had difficulty separating Washington Irving the man from Irving the writer—”The life of Washington Irving was one of the brightest ever led by an author”, wrote Richard Henry Stoddard, an early Washington Irving biographer—but as years passed and Washington Irving’s celebrity personality faded into the background, critics often began to review his writings as all style, no substance. “The man had no message”, said critic Barrett Wendell. Yet, critics conceded that despite Washington Irving’s lack of sophisticated themes—Irving biographer Stanley T. Williams could be scathing in his assessment of Washington Irving’s work—most agreed he wrote elegantly.

Washington Irving popularised the nickname “Gotham” for New York City, later used in Batman comics and movies, and is credited with inventing the expression “the almighty dollar”.

The surname of his Dutch historian, Diedrich Knickerbocker, is generally associated with New York and New Yorkers, and can still be seen across the jerseys of New York’s professional basketball team, albeit in its more familiar, abbreviated form, reading simply Knicks.

One of Washington Irving’s most lasting contributions to American culture is in the way Americans perceive and celebrate Christmas. In his 1812 revisions to A History of New York, Washington Irving inserted a dream sequence featuring St. Nicholas soaring over treetops in a flying wagon—a creation others would later dress up as Santa Claus. Later, in his 5 Christmas stories in The Sketch Book, Washington Irving portrayed an idealised celebration of old-fashioned Christmas customs at a quaint English manor, which directly contributed to the revival and reinterpretation of the Christmas holiday in the United States. Charles Dickens later credited Washington Irving as a strong influence on his own Christmas writings, including the classic A Christmas Carol. The Community Area of Irving Park in Chicago was named in Washington Irving’s honour.

The Irving Trust Corporation (now the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation) was named after him. Since there was not yet a federal currency in 1851, each bank issued its own paper and those institutions with the most appealing names found their certificates more widely accepted. Washington Irving’s portrait appeared on the bank’s notes and contributed to their wide appeal.

Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside, is still standing, just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge in Tarrytown, New York. The original house and the surrounding property were once owned by 18th-century colonialist Wolfert Acker, about whom Washington Irving wrote his sketch Wolfert’s Roost (the name of the house). The house is now owned and operated as a historic site by Historic Hudson Valley and is open to the public for tours. A memorial to him stands near the entrance to Sunnyside in the village of Irvington, which renamed itself in his memory, and visitors to Christ Episcopal Church in nearby Tarrytown, where he served as a vestryman in the last years of his life, can see his pew. Washington Irving’s name is also frequently mentioned in Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 in which his name is signed on papers.

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Club Feet or Foot Series-Disabled Legend George Gordon Byron

George Gordon Byron, later Noel, 6th Baron Byron FRS was born on 22 January 1788 and died on 19 April 1824. George Gordon Byron was an English poet and a leading figure in Romanticism.

Amongst George Gordon Byron’s best-known works are the brief poems “She walks in beauty,” and “So, we’ll go no more a-roving,” and the narrative poems Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and Don Juan. George Gordon Byron is regarded as one of the greatest European poets and remains widely read and influential, both in the English-speaking world and beyond.

George Gordon Byron’s fame rests not only on his writings but also on his life, which featured extravagant living, numerous love affairs, debts, separation, and marital exploits. George Gordon Byron was famously described by Lady Caroline Lamb as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”

George Gordon Byron served as a regional leader of Italy’s revolutionary organisation the Carbonari in its struggle against Austria. George Gordon Byron later travelled to fight against the Ottoman Empire in the Greek War of Independence, for which Greeks revere him as a national hero. George Gordon Byron died from a fever in Messolonghi in Greece.

The mountain Lochnagar is the subject of one of George Gordon Byron’s poems, in which he reminsces about his childhood. George Gordon Byron was born in a house on Hollis Street in London, the son of Captain John “Mad Jack” Byron and his 2nd wife, the former Catherine Gordon, heiress of Gight in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. George Gordon Byron’s paternal grandparents were Vice-Admiral John “Foulweather Jack” Byron and Sophia Trevanion. Vice Admiral John Byron had circumnavigated the globe and was the younger brother of the 5th Baron Byron, known as “the Wicked Lord.”

George Gordon Byron was christened George Gordon at St Marylebone Parish Church, after his maternal grandfather, George Gordon of Gight, a descendant of King James I. This grandfather committed suicide in 1779. George Gordon Byron’s mother Catherine had to sell her land and title to pay her husband’s debts. John Byron may have married Catherine for her money and, after squandering it, deserted her. Catherine regularly experienced mood swings and bouts of melancholy.

Catherine moved back to Scotland shortly afterward, where she raised her son in Aberdeen. On 21 May 1798, the death of George Gordon Byron’s great-uncle, the “wicked” Lord Byron, made the 10-year-old the 6th Baron Byron, inheriting the title and estate, Newstead Abbey, in Nottinghamshire, England. George Gordon Byron’s mother proudly took him to England. George Gordon Byron only lived at his estate infrequently as the Abbey was rented to Lord Grey de Ruthyn, among others, during George Gordon Byron’s adolescence.

In August 1799, George Gordon Byron entered the school of William Glennie, an Aberdonian in Dulwich. George Gordon Byron would later say that around this time and beginning when he still lived in Scotland, his governess, May Gray, would come to bed with him at night and “play tricks with his person.” According to George Gordon Byron, this “caused the anticipated melancholy of my thoughts–having anticipated life.” Mary Gray was dismissed for allegedly beating George Gordon Byron when he was 11.

George Gordon Byron received his early formal education at Aberdeen Grammar School. In 1801 he was sent to Harrow, where he remained until July 1805. George Gordon Byron represented Harrow during the very 1st Eton v Harrow cricket match at Lord’s in 1805. After school he went on to Trinity College, Cambridge.

George Gordon Byron’s names changed throughout his life. George Gordon Byron was christened George Gordon Byron in London. “Gordon” was a baptismal name, not a surname, honouring his maternal grandfather. In order to claim his wife’s estate in Scotland, George Gordon Byron’s father took the additional surname Gordon, becoming John Byron Gordon, and he was occasionally styled John Byron Gordon of Gight. George Gordon Byron himself used this surname for a time and was registered at school in Aberdeen as George Byron Gordon. At the age of 10, he inherited the English Barony of Byron, becoming Lord Byron, and eventually dropped the double surname (though after this point his surname was hidden by his peerage in any event).

When George Gordon Byron’s mother-in-law died, her will required that he change his surname to Noel in order to inherit half her estate, and so he obtained a Royal Warrant allowing him to “take and use the surname of Noel only”. Very unusually, the Royal Warrant also allowed him to “subscribe the said surname of Noel before all titles of honour”, and from that point he signed himself “Noel Byron” (the usual signature of a peer being merely the peerage, in this case simply “Byron”). George Gordon Byron was also sometimes referred to as Lord Noel Byron, as if “Noel” were part of his title, and likewise his wife was sometimes called Lady Noel Byron. Lady Byron eventually succeeded to the Barony of Wentworth, becoming Lady Wentworth; her surname before marriage had been “Milbanke”.

While not at school or college, George Gordon Byron lived with his mother at Burgage Manor in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, in some antagonism. While there, he cultivated friendships with Elizabeth Pigot and her brother, John, with whom he staged 2 plays for the delight of the community.

During this time, with the help of Elizabeth Pigot, who copied many of his rough drafts, he was encouraged to write his 1st volumes of poetry. Fugitive Pieces was the 1st, printed by Ridge of Newark, which contained poems written when George Gordon Byron was only 14. However, it was promptly recalled and burned on the advice of his friend, the Reverend Thomas Becher, on account of its more amorous verses, particularly the poem “To Mary”. Pieces on Various Occasions, a “miraculously chaste” revision according to George Gordon Byron, was published after this.

Hours of Idleness, which collected many of the previous poems, along with more recent compositions, was the culminating book. The savage criticism this received— anonymously, but now known to be the work of Henry Peter Brougham— in the Edinburgh Review prompted his 1st major satire, “English Bards and Scotch Reviewers”. The work so upset some of these critics they challenged George Gordon Byron to a duel.

Some early verses which George Gordon Byron had published in 1806 were suppressed. George Gordon Byron followed those in 1807 with Hours of Idleness, which the Edinburgh Review, a Whig periodical, savagely attacked. In reply, George Gordon Byron sent 4th English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (1809), which created considerable stir and shortly went through 5 editions. While some authors resented being satirized in its 1st edition, over time in subsequent editions it became a mark of prestige to be the target of George Gordon Byron’s pen.

After his return from his travels, the 1st 2 cantos of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage were published in 1812, and were received with acclaim, making George Gordon Byron famous overnight. In his own words, “I awoke one morning and found myself famous.” George Gordon Byron followed up his success with the poem’s last 2 cantos, as well as 4 equally celebrated Oriental Tales, The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, and Lara, which established the Byronic hero. About the same time, he began his intimacy with his future biographer, Thomas Moore.

A more complete picture of George Gordon Byron’s personal life has only been possible in recent years with the freeing up of the archive of John Murray, George Gordon Byron’s original publishers, which had formerly withheld compromising letters and instructed at least 1 major biographer (Leslie A. Marchand, 1957) to censor details of his bisexuality.

George Gordon Byron’s 1st loves included Mary Duff and Margaret Parker, his distant cousins, and Mary Chaworth, whom he met while at Harrow. George Gordon Byron later wrote that his passion for Mary Duff began when he was “not [yet] 8 years old” and was still unforgettable in 1813. George Gordon Byron refused to return to Harrow in September 1803 due to his love for Mary Chaworth; his mother wrote, “He has no indisposition that I know of but love, desperate love, the worst of all maladies in my opinion. In short, the boy is distractedly in love with Miss Chaworth.” In George Gordon Byron’s later memoirs, “Mary Chaworth is portrayed as the 1st object of his adult sexual feelings”

George Gordon Byron returned to Harrow in January 1804 to a more settled period which saw the formation of a circle of emotional involvements with other Harrow boys recalled with great vividness: ‘My School friendships were with me passions (for I was always violent).’ The most enduring of those was with the young Earl of Clare – 4years George Gordon Byron’s junior – whom he was to meet unexpectedly many years later in Italy (1821), to great intensity of feeling. George Gordon Byron’s nostalgic poems about his Harrow friendships, ‘Childish Recollections’ (1806), express a sense of melancholy at the passing of youthful freedoms, even a prescient ‘consciousness of sexual differences that may in the end make England untenable to him.’

“Ah! Sure some stronger impulse vibrates here,
Which whispers friendship will be doubly dear
To one, who thus for kindred hearts must roam,
And seek abroad, the love denied at home.”

While at Trinity, he met and formed a close friendship with a 15 year old choirboy by the name of John Edleston. About his “protégé” he wrote, “He has been my almost constant associate since October, 1805, when I entered Trinity College. George Gordon Byron’s voice 1st attracted my attention, his countenance fixed it, and his manners attached me to him for ever.” In his memory George Gordon Byron composed Thyrza, a series of elegies. George Gordon Byron wore a ring of Edleston’s for the 13years until he died. In later years he described the affair as ‘a violent, though pure love and passion’. This however has to be read in the context of hardening public attitudes to homosexuality in England and the severe sanctions (including public hanging) against convicted or suspected offenders. The liaison on the other hand may well have been ‘pure’ out of respect for Edleston’s innocence, in contrast to the (probably) more sexually overt relations experienced at Harrow School.

In an early scandal, George Gordon Byron embarked in 1812 on a well-publicised affair with the married Lady Caroline Lamb that shocked the British public. George Gordon Byron eventually broke off the relationship, but Lady Caroline Lamb never entirely recovered, pursuing him even after he tired of her. Lady Caroline Lamb was emotionally disturbed and lost so much weight that George Gordon Byron cruelly commented to her mother-in-law, his friend Lady Melbourne, that he was “haunted by a skeleton.” Lady Caroline Lamb began to call on him at home, sometimes dressed in disguise as a page boy, at a time when such an act could ruin both of them socially. One day, during such a visit, she wrote on a book at his desk, “Remember me!” As a retort, George Gordon Byron wrote a poem beginning: “Remember thee!” and ending “Thou false to him, thou fiend to me.” Lady Caroline Lamb famously said George Gordon Byron was “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”

As a child, George Gordon Byron had seen little of his half-sister Augusta Leigh; in adulthood, he formed a close relationship with her that has been interpreted by some as incestuous and by others as innocent. Augusta Leigh gave birth on 15 April 1814 to a daughter, Elizabeth Medora Leigh.

Eventually George Gordon Byron began to court Lady Caroline’s cousin Anne Isabella Milbanke (“Annabella”), who refused his 1st proposal of marriage but later accepted. They married at Seaham Hall, County Durham, on 2 January 1815. The marriage proved unhappy. George Gordon Byron treated her poorly and showed disappointment at the birth of daughter (Augusta Ada), rather than a son. On 16 January 1816, Lady Byron left him, taking Ada with her. On 21 April, George Gordon Byron signed the Deed of Separation. Rumours of marital violence, adultery with actresses, incest with Augusta Leigh, and sodomy were circulated, assisted by a jealous Lady Caroline. In a letter, Augusta quoted him as saying: “Even to have such a thing said is utter destruction & ruin to a man from which he can never recover.”

George Gordon Byron racked up numerous debts as a young adult due to what his mother termed a reckless disregard for money. George Gordon Byron’s mother Catherine lived at Newstead during this time, in fear of her son’s creditors.

From 1809 to 1811, George Gordon Byron went on the Grand Tour then customary for a young nobleman. The Napoleonic Wars forced him to avoid most of Europe, and he instead turned to the Mediterranean. Correspondence among his circle of Cambridge friends also suggests that a key motive was the hope of homosexual experience, and other theories saying that he was worried about a possible dalliance with the married Mary Chatsworth, his former love (the subject of his poem from this time, “To a Lady: On Being Asked My Reason for Quitting England in the Spring.”)George Gordon Byron travelled from England over Spain to Albania and spent time at the court of Ali Pasha of Ioannina, and in Athens. For most of the trip, he had a traveling companion in his friend John Cam Hobhouse.

While in Athens, George Gordon Byron had a torrid love affair with Nicolò Giraud, a boy of 15 or 16 who was teaching him Italian. George Gordon Byron sent Giraud to school at a monastery in Malta and bequeathed him £7,000 sterling – almost double what he was later to spend refitting the Greek fleet. The will, however, was later cancelled.

After this break-up of his domestic life George Gordon Byron again left England, forever as it turned out. George Gordon Byron passed through Belgium and continued up the Rhine River. In the summer of 1816 he settled at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva, Switzerland with his personal physician, John William Polidori. There George Gordon Byron befriended the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s future wife Mary Godwin. George Gordon Byron was also joined by Mary’s stepsister, Claire Clairmont, with whom he had had an affair in London. George Gordon Byron initially refused to have anything to do with Claire Clairmont, and would only agree to remain in her presence with the Shelleys, who eventually persuaded George Gordon Byron to accept and provide for Allegra, the child she bore him in January 1817.

Kept indoors at the Villa Diodati by the “incessant rain” of “that wet, ungenial summer” over 3 days in June, the 5 turned to reading fantastical stories, including “Fantasmagoriana”, and then devising their own tales. Mary Shelley produced what would become Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus and Polidori was inspired by a fragmentary story of George Gordon Byron’s to produce The Vampyre, the progenitor of the romantic vampire genre. George Gordon Byron’s story fragment was published as a postscript to Mazeppa; he also wrote the 3rd canto of Childe Harold. George Gordon Byron wintered in Venice, pausing his travels when he fell in love with Marianna Segati, in whose Venice house he was lodging, and who was soon replaced by 22-year-old Margarita Cogni; both women were married. Margarita Cogni could not read or write, and she left her husband to move into George Gordon Byron’s Venice house. Their fighting often caused George Gordon Byron to spend the night in his gondola; when he asked her to leave the house, she threw herself into the Venetian canal.

In 1817, he journeyed to Rome. On returning to Venice, he wrote the 4th canto of Childe Harold. About the same time, he sold Newstead and published Manfred, Cain, and The Deformed Transformed. The 1st 5 cantos of Don Juan were written between 1818 and 1820, during which period he made the acquaintance of the young Countess Guiccioli, who found her first love in George Gordon Byron, who in turn asked her to elope with him. It was about this time that he received a visit from Thomas Moore, to whom he confided his autobiography or “life and adventures,” which Thomas Moore, Hobhouse and George Gordon Byron’s publisher, John Murray, burned in 1824, a month after George Gordon Byron’s death.

George Gordon Byron had a child with Anne Isabella Milbanke (“Annabella”), who was Augusta Ada Byron, Lady Byron, later Lady Wentworth:

The Hon. Ada Augusta Byron (10 December 1815-29 November 1852), later Countess of Lovelace

Ada Lovelace, notable in her own right, collaborated with Charles Babbage on the analytical engine, a predecessor to modern computers.

George Gordon Byron also had 1 illegitimate child with Claire Clairmont, stepsister of Mary Shelley and stepdaughter of Political Justice and Caleb Williams writer, William Godwin:

Clara Allegra Noel-Byron (12 January 1817-20 April 1822).
Allegra is not entitled to the style “The Hon.” as is usually given to the daughter of barons since she was illegitimate. Born in Switzerland in 1817, Allegra lived with George Gordon Byron for a few months in Venice; he refused to allow an Englishwoman caring for the girl to adopt her, nor for her to be raised in the Shelleys’ household. George Gordon Byron wished for her to be brought up Catholic and not marry an Englishman. George Gordon Byron made arrangements for her to inherit 5,000 lira upon marriage or reaching age 21, provided she did not marry a native of Britain. However, the girl died at 5 years old of a fever in Bagna Cavallo, Italy while George Gordon Byron was in Pisa; he was deeply upset by the news. George Gordon Byron had Allegra’s body sent back to England to be buried at his old school, Harrow, because Protestants could not be buried in consecrated ground in Catholic countries. At one time he himself had wanted to be buried at Harrow. George Gordon Byron was indifferent towards Allegra’s mother, Claire Clairmont.

George Gordon Byron eventually took his seat in the House of Lords in 1811, shortly after his return from the Levant, and made his 1st speech there on 27 February 1812. A strong advocate of social reform, he received particular praise as one of the few Parliamentary defenders of the Luddites: specifically, he was against a death penalty for Luddite “frame breakers” in Nottinghamshire, who destroyed textile machines that were putting them out of work. George Gordon Byron’s 1st speech before the Lords was loaded with sarcastic references to the “benefits” of automation, which he saw as producing inferior material as well as putting people out of work. George Gordon Byron said later that he “spoke very violent sentences with a sort of modest impudence” and thought he came across as “a bit theatrical”. In another Parliamentary speech he expressed opposition to the established religion because it was unfair to people of other faiths. These experiences inspired George Gordon Byron to write political poems such as “Song for the Luddites” (1816) and “The Landlords’ Interest” (1823). Examples of poems in which he attacked his political opponents include “Wellington: The Best of the Cut-Throats” (1819) and “The Intellectual Eunuch Castlereagh” (1818).

Ultimately, George Gordon Byron resolved to escape the censure of British society (due to his perceived sodomy and allegations of incest) by living abroad, thereby freeing himself of the need to conceal his sexual interests. George Gordon Byron left England in 1816 and did not return for the last 8 years of his life, even to bury his daughter.

In 1816, George Gordon Byron visited Saint Lazarus Island in Venice where he acquainted himself with Armenian culture through the Mekhitarist Order. George Gordon Byron learned the Armenian language from Fr. H. Avgerian and attended many seminars about language and history. George Gordon Byron wrote “English grammar and the Armenian” in 1817, and “Armenian grammar and the English” (1819) in which he quoted samples from classical and modern Armenian. George Gordon Byron participated in the compilation of “English Armenian dictionary” (1821) and wrote the preface where he explained the relationship of the Armenians with and the oppression of the Turkish “pashas” and the Persian satraps, and their struggle of liberation. George Gordon Byron’s 2 main translations are the “Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians”, several chapters of Khorenatsi’s “Armenian History” and sections of Lambronatsi’s “Orations”. When in Polis he discovered discrepancies in the Armenian vs. the English version of the Bible and translated some passages that were either missing or deficient in the English version. George Gordon Byron’s fascination was so great that he even considered a replacement of Cain story of the Bible with that of the legend of Armenian patriarch Haik. George Gordon Byron may be credited with the birth of Armenology and its propagation. George Gordon Byron’s profound lyricism and ideological courage has inspired many Armenian poets, the likes of Fr. Ghevond Alishan, Smbat Shahaziz, Hovhannes Tumanyan, Ruben Vorberian and others.

George Gordon Byron had a bust sculpted of him by Bertel Thorvaldsen at this time.

In 1821 to 1822, he finished Cantos 6–12 of Don Juan at Pisa, and in the same year he joined with Leigh Hunt and Percy Bysshe Shelley in starting a short-lived newspaper, The Liberal, in the first number of which appeared “The Vision of Judgment.” George Gordon Byron’s last Italian home was Genoa, where he was still accompanied by the Countess Guiccioli, and where he met Charles John Gardiner, 1st Earl of Blessington and Marguerite, Countess of Blessington and provided the material for her work Conversations with Lord Byron, an important text in the reception of George Gordon Byron in the period immediately after his death.

George Gordon Byron lived in Genoa until 1823 when— growing bored with his life there and with the Countess — he accepted overtures for his support from representatives of the movement for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. On 16July, George Gordon Byron left Genoa on the Hercules, arriving at Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands on 4 August. George Gordon Byron spent £4000 of his own money to refit the Greek fleet, then sailed for Messolonghi in western Greece, arriving on 29December to join Alexandros Mavrokordatos, a Greek politician with military power. During this time, George Gordon Byron pursued his Greek page, Lukas Chalandritsanos, but the affections went unrequited. When the famous Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen heard about George Gordon Byron’s heroics in Greece, he voluntarily resculpted his earlier bust of George Gordon Byron in Greek marble.

Alexandros Mavrokordatos and George Gordon Byron planned to attack the Turkish-held fortress of Lepanto, at the mouth of the Gulf of Corinth. George Gordon Byron employed a fire-master to prepare artillery and took part of the rebel army under his own command and pay, despite his lack of military experience, but before the expedition could sail, on 15 February 1824, he fell ill, and the usual remedy of bleeding weakened him further. George Gordon Byron made a partial recovery, but in early April he caught a violent cold which the bleeding — insisted on by his doctors — aggravated. The cold became a violent fever, and he died on 19 April. It has been said that had George Gordon Byron lived, he might have been declared King of Greece.

Lord Byron on his deathbed as depicted by Joseph-Denis Odevaere c.1826 Oil on canvas, 166 × 234.5 cm Groeninge Museum, Bruges. Note the sheet covering his misshapen right foot.Alfred, Lord Tennyson would later recall the shocked reaction in Britain when word was received of Lord Byron’s death. The Greeks mourned Lord Byron deeply, and he became a hero. The national poet of Greece, Dionysios Solomos, wrote a poem about his unexpected loss, named “To the Death of Lord Byron.” Βύρων (Vyron), the Greek form of “Byron”, continues in popularity as a masculine name in Greece, and a suburb of Athens is called Vyronas in his honour.

Lord Byron’s body was embalmed, but the Greeks wanted some part of their hero to stay with them. According to some sources, his heart remained at Messolonghi. According to others, it was his lungs, which were placed in an urn that was later lost when the city was sacked. Lord Byron’s other remains were sent to England for burial in Westminster Abbey, but the Abbey refused for reason of “questionable morality.” Huge crowds viewed his body as he lay in state for 2 days in London. Lord Byron is buried at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Hucknall, Nottingham.

At her request, Ada Lovelace, the child he never knew, was buried next to him. In later years, the Abbey allowed a duplicate of a marble slab given by the King of Greece, which is laid directly above Lord Byron’s grave. Lord Byron’s friends raised the sum of £1,000 to commission a statue of the writer; Thorvaldsen offered to sculpt it for that amount. However, when the statue was completed in 1834, most British institutions it was offered to turned it down for more than 10 years as it remained in storage– the British Museum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and the National Gallery in turn. Trinity College, Cambridge finally placed the statue of Lord Byron in its library.

In 1969, 145 years after Lord Byron’s death, a memorial to him was finally placed in Westminster Abbey. The memorial had been lobbied for since 1907; The New York Times wrote, “People are beginning to ask whether this ignoring of Lord Byron is not a thing of which England should be ashamed… a bust or a tablet might put in the Poets’ Corner and England be relieved of ingratitude toward one of her really great sons.”

Upon his death, the barony passed to a cousin, George Anson Byron, a career military officer and George Gordon Byron’s polar opposite in temperament and lifestyle.

In 1833 his publisher, John Murray, released the complete works in 17 duodecimo volumes, including a life by Thomas Moore.

Although George Gordon Byron falls chronologically into the period most commonly associated with Romantic poetry, much of his work looks back to the satiric tradition of Alexander Pope and John Dryden. The most striking thing about George Gordon Byron’s poetry is its strength and masculinity. Trenchantly witty, he used unflowery and colloquial language in many poems, such as “Written after Swimming from Sestos to Abydos.” George Gordon Byron’s talent for drama was expressed in the vibrantly galloping rhythms of “The Destruction of Sennacherib.” However, poems such as “When We Two Parted” and “So We’ll Go No More A-Roving” express strong feelings in simple and touching language. George Gordon Byron made little use of imagery and did not aspire to write of things beyond this world; the Victorian critic John Ruskin wrote of him that he “spoke only of what he had seen and known; and spoke without exaggeration, without mystery, without enmity, and without mercy.”

George Gordon Byron’s attitude towards writing poetry is summed up well in a letter to Thomas Moore on 5th July 1821:

I can never get people to understand that poetry is the expression of excited passion, and that there is no such thing as a life of passion any more than a continuous earthquake, or an eternal fever. Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such a state?

George Gordon Byron’s magnum opus, Don Juan, a poem spanning 17 cantos, ranks as one of the most important long poems published in England since Milton’s Paradise Lost. The masterpiece, often called the epic of its time, has roots deep in literary tradition and, although regarded by early Victorians as somewhat shocking, equally involves itself with its own contemporary world at all levels—social, political, literary and ideological.

George Gordon Byron published the 1st 2 cantos anonymously in 1819 after disputes with his regular publisher over the shocking nature of the poetry; by this time, he had been a famous poet for 7 years and when he self-published the beginning cantos, they were well-received in some quarters. It was then released volume by volume through his regular publishing house. By 1822, cautious acceptance by the public had turned to outrage, and George Gordon Byron’s publisher refused to continue to publish the works. In Canto III of “Don Juan,” Byron expresses his detestation for poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The figure of the Byronic hero pervades much of his work, and George Gordon Byron himself is considered to epitomize many of the characterestics of this literary figure. Scholars have traced the literary history of the Byronic hero from John Milton, and many authors and artists of the Romantic movement show George Gordon Byron’s influence during the 19th century and beyond, including Charlotte and Emily Bronte. The Byronic hero presents an idealised but flawed character whose attributes include: having great talent, exhibiting great passion, having a distaste for society and social institutions, expressing a lack of respect for rank and privilege, thwarted in love by social constraint or death, rebelling, suffering exile, hiding an unsavoury past, arrogance, overconfidence or lack of foresight, and ultimately, acting in a self-destructive manner.

George Gordon Byron was a bitter opponent of Lord Elgin’s removal of the Parthenon marbles from Greece, and “reacted with fury” when Elgin’s agent gave him a tour of the Parthenon in which he saw the missing friezes and metopes. George Gordon Byron penned a poem, “The Curse of Minerva,” to denounce Elgin’s actions.

Lord Byron, by all accounts, had a magnetic personality. Lord Byron obtained a reputation as being extravagant, melancholy, courageous, unconventional, eccentric, flamboyant and controversial. Lord Byron was independent and given to extremes of temper; on at least 1 trip, his traveling companions were so puzzled by his mood swings they thought he was mentally ill. Lord Byron enjoyed adventure, especially relating to the sea.

Lord Byron believed his depression was inherited, and he wrote in 1821, “I am not sure that long life is desirable for one of my temper & constitutional depression of Spirits.”

Lord Byron was noted even during his time for the extreme loyalty he inspired in his friends. Cam Hobhouse said, “No man lived who had such devoted friends.”

George Gordon Byron’s adult height was about 5’10”, his weight fluctuating between 9 1/2 to 14 stone (133–196 pounds). George Gordon Byron was renowned for his personal beauty, which he enhanced by wearing curl-papers in his hair at night. George Gordon Byron was athletic, being competent at boxing and an excellent swimmer. At Harrow, he played cricket despite his lameness.

From birth, George Gordon Byron suffered from an unknown deformity of his right foot, causing a limp that resulted in lifelong misery for him, aggravated by the suspicion that with proper care it might have been cured. However, he refused to wear any type of mechanical device that could improve the limp, although he often wore specially made shoes that would hide the deformed foot.

Lord Byron and other writers such as his friend John Cam Hobhouse left detailed descriptions of his eating habits. From the time that he entered Cambridge he went on a strict diet to control his weight. Lord Byron also exercised a great deal and at that time wore a great number of clothes to cause himself to perspire. For most of his life he was a vegetarian and often lived for days on dry biscuits and white wine. Occasionally he would eat large helpings of meat and desserts, after which he would purge himself. George Gordon Byron’s friend Cam Hobhouse claimed that when he became overweight, the pain of his deformed foot made it difficult for him to exercise.

George Gordon Byron is considered to be the 1st modern-style celebrity. George Gordon Byron’s image as his own Byronic hero personified fascinated the public, and his wife Annabella coined the term “Byromania” to refer to the mania surrounding him. George Gordon Byron’s self-awareness and personal promotion are seen as a beginning to what would become the modern rock star; he would instruct artists painting portraits of him not to paint him with pen or book in hand, but as a “man of action.”

While George Gordon Byron first welcomed fame, he later turned away from it by going into voluntary exile from Britain.

George Gordon Byron had a great fondness for animals, most famously for a Newfoundland dog named Boatswain; when Boatswain contracted rabies, George Gordon Byron reportedly nursed him without any fear of becoming bitten and infected. Boatswain lies buried at Newstead Abbey and has a monument larger than his master’s. George Gordon Byron at one point expressed interest in being buried next to Boatswain. The inscription, Byron’s “Epitaph to a Dog,” has become one of his best-known works, reading in part:

Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferosity,
and all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
BOATSWAIN, a DOG,
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803,
and died at Newstead Nov.r 18th, 1808.
George Gordon Byron also kept a bear while he was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge (reputedly out of resentment of Trinity rules forbidding pet dogs—he later suggested that the bear apply for a college fellowship). At other times in his life, George Gordon Byron kept a fox, monkeys, a parrot, cats, an eagle, a crow, a crocodile, a falcon, peacocks, guinea hens, an Egyptian crane, a badger, geese, and a heron.

The re-founding of the Byron Society in 1971 reflects the fascination that many people have for George Gordon Byron and his work. This society has become very active, publishing a learned annual journal. Today some 36 International Byron Societies function throughout the world, and an International Conference takes place annually. Hardly a year passes without a new book about the poet appearing. In the last 20 years, two new feature films about him have screened, and a television play has been broadcast.

George Gordon Byron exercised a marked influence on Continental literature and art, and his reputation as a poet is higher in many European countries than in Britain or America, although not as high as in his time, when he was widely thought to be the greatest poet in the world. George Gordon Byron has inspired the works of Franz Liszt and Giuseppe Verdi.

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Club Feet or Foot Series-Disabled Legend Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was born on 15 August 1771 in College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland and died on 21 September 1832. Sir Walter Scott was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet popular throughout Europe during his time.

In some ways Sir Walter Scott was the 1st English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers all over Europe, Australia, and North America. Sir Walter Scott’s novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of The Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor.

Sir Walter Scott’s childhood at Sandyknowe farm, seen across the lochan from Smailholm Tower, introduced him to the Borders. Sir Walter Scott was the son of a solicitor, the young Walter Scott survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that would leave him lame. To cure his lameness he was sent in that year to live in the rural Borders region at his grandparents’ farm at Sandyknowe, adjacent to the ruin of Smailholm Tower, the earlier family home. Here he was taught to read by his aunt Jenny, and learned from her the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends which characterized much of his work. In January 1775 he returned to Edinburgh, and that summer went with his aunt Jenny to take spa treatment at Bath in England. In the winter of 1776 he went back to Sandyknowe, with another attempt at a water cure being made at Prestonpans during the following summer.

In 1778 Sir Walter Scott returned to Edinburgh for private education to prepare him for school, and in October 1779 he began at the Royal High School of Edinburgh. Sir Walter Scott was now well able to walk and explore the city as well as the surrounding countryside. Sir Walter Scott’s reading included chivalric romances, poems, history and travel books. Sir Walter Scott was given private tuition by James Mitchell in arithmetic and writing, and learned from him the history of the Kirk with emphasis on the Covenanters. After finishing school he was sent to stay for 6 months with his aunt Jenny in Kelso, attending the local Grammar School where he met James Ballantyne who later became his business partner and printed his books.

Sir Walter Scott began studying classics at the University of Edinburgh in November 1783, at the age of only 12, so he was a year or so younger than most of his fellow students. In March 1786 he began an apprenticeship in his father’s office, to become a Writer to the Signet. While at the university Sir Walter Scott had become a friend of Adam Ferguson, the son of Professor Adam Ferguson who hosted literary salons. Sir Walter Scott met the blind poet Thomas Blacklock who lent him books as well as introducing him to James Macpherson’s Ossian cycle of poems. During the winter of 1786–87 the 15 year old Walter Scott saw Robert Burns at one of these salons, for what was to be their only meeting. When Robert Burns noticed a print illustrating the poem “The Justice of the Peace” and asked who had written the poem, only Sir Walter Scott could tell him it was by John Langhorne, and was thanked by Robert Burns. When it was decided that he would become a lawyer he returned to the university to study law, 1st taking classes in Moral Philosophy and Universal History in 1789–90.

After completing his studies in law, he became a lawyer in Edinburgh. As a lawyer’s clerk he made his 1st visit to the Scottish Highlands directing an eviction. Sir Walter Scott was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1792. Sir Walter Scott had an unsuccessful love suit with Williamina Belsches of Fettercairn, who married Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet.

Sir Walter Scott’s childhood at Sandyknowes, close to Smailholm Tower, introduced him to tales of the Scottish Borders. At the age of 25 he began dabbling in writing, translating works from German, his 1st publication being rhymed versions of ballads by Bürger in 1796. Sir Walter Scott then published a 3 volume set of collected Scottish ballads, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. This was the 1st sign of his interest in Scottish history from a literary standpoint.

Sir Walter Scott then became an ardent volunteer in the yeomanry and on one of his “raids” he met at Gilsland Spa Margaret Charlotte Charpentier (or Charpenter), daughter of Jean Charpentier of Lyon in France whom he married in 1797. They had 5children. In 1799 he was appointed Sheriff-Deputy of the County of Selkirk, based in the Royal Burgh of Selkirk.

In his earlier married days, Sir Walter Scott had a decent living from his earnings at the law, his salary as Sheriff-Deputy, his wife’s income, some revenue from his writing, and his share of his father’s rather meagre estate.

After Sir Walter Scott had founded a printing press, his poetry, beginning with The Lay of the Last Minstrel in 1805, brought him fame. Sir Walter Scott published a number of other poems over the next 10 years, including the popular The Lady of the Lake, printed in 1810 and set in the Trossachs. Portions of the German translation of this work were later set to music by Franz Schubert. One of these songs, Ellens dritter Gesang, is popularly labelled as “Schubert’s Ave Maria”.

When the press became embroiled in pecuniary difficulties, Sir Walter Scott set out, in 1814, to write a cash-cow. The result was Waverley, a novel which did not name its author. It was a tale of the “45” Jacobite rising in the Kingdom of Great Britain with its English protagonist Edward Waverley, by his Tory upbringing sympathetic to Jacobitism, becoming enmeshed in events but eventually choosing Hanoverian respectability. The novel met with considerable success. There followed a succession of novels over the next 5 years, each with a Scottish historical setting. Mindful of his reputation as a poet, he maintained the anonymous habit he had begun with Waverley, always publishing the novels under the name Author of Waverley or attributed as “Tales of…” with no author. Even when it was clear that there would be no harm in coming out into the open he maintained the façade, apparently out of a sense of fun. During this time the nickname The Wizard of the North was popularly applied to the mysterious best-selling writer. Edward Waverley’s identity as the author of the novels was widely rumoured, and in 1815 Sir Walter Scott was given the honour of dining with George, Prince Regent, who wanted to meet “the author of Waverley”.

In 1819 he broke away from writing about Scotland with Ivanhoe, a historical romance set in 12th-century England. It too was a runaway success and, as he did with his 1st novel, he wrote several books along the same lines. Among other things, the book is noteworthy for having a very sympathetic Jewish major character, Rebecca, considered by many critics to be the book’s real heroine – relevant to the fact that the book was published at a time when the struggle for the Emancipation of the Jews in England was gathering momentum.

As his fame grew during this phase of his career, he was granted the title of baronet, becoming Sir Walter Scott. At this time he organised the visit of King George IV to Scotland, and when the King visited Edinburgh in 1822 the spectacular pageantry Sir Walter Scott had concocted to portray George as a rather tubby reincarnation of Bonnie Prince Charlie made tartans and kilts fashionable and turned them into symbols of Scottish national identity.

Sir Walter Scott included little in the way of punctuation in his drafts which he left to the printers to supply.

Beginning in 1825 he went into dire financial straits again, as his company nearly collapsed. That he was the author of his novels became general knowledge at this time as well. Rather than declare bankruptcy he placed his home, Abbotsford House, and income into a trust belonging to his creditors, and proceeded to write his way out of debt. Sir Walter Scott kept up his prodigious output of fiction (as well as producing a biography of Napoléon Bonaparte) until 1831. By then his health was failing, and he died at Abbotsford in 1832. Though not in the clear by then, his novels continued to sell, and he made good his debts from beyond the grave. Sir Walter Scott was buried in Dryburgh Abbey where nearby, fittingly, a large statue can be found of William Wallace—one of Scotland’s most romantic historical figures.

When Sir Walter Scott was a boy he sometimes travelled with his father from Selkirk to Melrose, in the Border Country where some of his novels are set. At a certain spot the old gentleman would stop the carriage and take his son to a stone on the site of the battle of Melrose (1526). Not far away was a little farm called Cartleyhole, and this he eventually purchased. In due course the farmhouse developed into a wonderful home that has been likened to a fairy palace. Through windows enriched with the insignia of heraldry the sun shone on suits of armour, trophies of the chase, fine furniture, and still finer pictures. Panelling of oak and cedar and carved ceilings relieved by coats of arms in their correct colour added to the beauty of the house. More land was purchased, until Sir Walter Scott owned nearly 1,000 acres (4 km²), and it is estimated that the building cost him over £25,000. A neighbouring Roman road with a ford used in olden days by the abbots of Melrose suggested the name of Abbotsford.

The last of his direct descendants to inhabit Abbotsford House was his great-great-great granddaughter Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott (8 June 1923 – 7 July 2004). Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott inherited it from her elder sister Patricia in 1998. Patricia and Jean turned the house into one of Scotland’s premier tourist attractions, after they had to rely on paying visitors to afford the upkeep of the house. It had electricity installed only in 1962. Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott was at one time a lady-in-waiting to Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester; patron of the Dandie Dinmont Club, for a breed of dog named after one of Sir Walter Scott’s characters; and a horse trainer, one of whose horses, Sir Wattie, ridden by Ian Stark, won 2 silver medals at the 1988Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.

Among the early critics of Sir Walter Scott was Mark Twain, who blamed Sir Walter Scott’s “romanticisation of battle” for what he saw as the South’s decision to fight the American Civil War. Mark Twain’s ridiculing of chivalry in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, in which Mark Twain has the main character repeatedly utter “great Scott” as an oath, is considered as specifically targeting Sir Walter Scott’s books. Mark Twain also targeted Sir Walter Scott in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn where he names a sinking boat the Walter Scott. 3 crooks drown on this wreck.

From being one of the most popular novelists of the 19th century, Sir Walter Scott suffered from a disastrous decline in popularity after the First World War. The tone was set early on in E.M. Forster’s classic “Aspects of the Novel” (1927), where Sir Walter Scott was savaged as being a clumsy writer who wrote slapdash, badly plotted novels. Sir Walter Scott also suffered from the rising star of Jane Austen.
Considered merely an entertaining “woman’s novelist” in the 19th century, in the
20th Jane Austen began to be seen as perhaps the major English novelist of the 1st few decades of the 19th century. As Jane Austen’s star rose, Sir Walter Scott’s sank, although, ironically, he had been one of the few male writers of his time to recognise Jane Austen’s genius.

Sir Walter Scott’s ponderousness and prolixity were fundamentally out of step with Modernist sensibilities. Nevertheless, Sir Walter Scott was responsible for 2 major trends that carry on to this day. 1st, he essentially invented the modern historical novel; an enormous number of imitators (and imitators of imitators) would appear in the 19th century. It is a measure of Sir Walter Scott’s influence that Edinburgh’s central railway station, opened in 1854 for the North British Railway, is called Waverley Station. 2nd, his Scottish novels followed on from James Macpherson’s Ossian cycle in rehabilitating the public perception of Highland culture after years in the shadows following southern distrust of hill bandits and the Jacobite rebellions. As enthusiastic chairman of the Celtic Society of Edinburgh he contributed to the reinvention of Scottish culture. It is worth noting, however, that Sir Walter Scott was a Lowland Scot, and that his re-creations of the Highlands were more than a little fanciful. Sir Walter Scott’s organisation of the visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822 was a pivotal event, leading Edinburgh tailors to invent many “clan tartans” out of whole cloth, so to speak. After being essentially unstudied for many decades, a small revival of interest in Sir Walter Scott’s work began in the 1970s and 1980s. Ironically, postmodern tastes (which favoured discontinuous narratives, and the introduction of the ‘first person’ into works of fiction) were more favourable to Sir Walter Scott’s work than Modernist tastes. Despite all the flaws, Sir Walter Scott is now seen as an important innovator, and a key figure in the development of Scottish and world literature.

Sir Walter Scott was also responsible, through a series of pseudonymous letters published in the Edinburgh Weekly News in 1826, for retaining the right of Scottish banks to issue their own banknotes, which is reflected to this day by his continued appearance on the front of all notes issued by the Bank of Scotland.

Many of his works were illustrated by his friend, William Allan.

In addition to Landseer, fine portraits of him were painted by fellow-Scots Sir Henry Raeburn and James Eckford Lauder.

Sir Walter Scott is commemorated in Makars’ Court, outside The Writers’ Museum, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh.

Selections for Makars’ Court are made by The Writers’ Museum; The Saltire Society; The Scottish Poetry Library.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Dr Clayton Valli

Dr Clayton Valli died on 7 March, 2003. Dr Clayton Valli was the author of numerous articles and books on linguistics and on American Sign Language poetry. Dr Clayton Valli gave workshops and presentations across the country that raised awareness and appreciation for the movement, meter, and rhythm in ASL poetry. Dr Clayton Valli own poetic works, which have drawn international recognition for their aestheticism and contribution to literary scholarship, are available on video, taped both by him and by other ASL artists.

A frequent visitor and presenter in the Rochester area, Dr Clayton Valli gave several workshops on ASL poetry at the University of Rochester. Dr Clayton Valli also visited classes and was a keynote presenter at the Second National ASL Literature Conference, which was held at the University in 1996.

Dr Clayton Valli also made an impact in Canada, working at the Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf in Milton, Ontario. Dr Clayton Valli provided teacher training workshops in ASL poetry for the Ontario ASL Curriculum Team. Dr Clayton Valli helped to pioneer the worldwide movement to develop an ASL-as-a-first-language curriculum for Deaf children.

Dr Clayton Valli was born in Massachusetts and attended the Austine School for the Deaf in Vermont. Dr Clayton Valli attended the University of Nevada, Reno, where he graduated with a B.A. in Social Psychology in 1978. In 1985, he received his M.A. in Linguistics from Gallaudet University. Dr Clayton Valli’s Ph.D. in Linguistics and ASL Poetics from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio which he received in 1993 made him the first person ever to achieve a doctorate in ASL poetry. Dr Clayton Valli was also the 1st individual to identify the features of ASL poetry as a literature genre in its own right.

Dr Clayton Valli authored and co-authored many books about ASL linguistics and literature. Dr Clayton Valli was also a reviewer for the Ontario monograph Teacher Research in a Bilingual-Bicultural School for Deaf Students. But it is his craft as an ASL poet and his contribution to ASL literature for which he is most remembered. Dr Clayton Valli’s poems “Cow and Horse” and “Dandelions” are known and loved by Deaf children and adults across the continent.

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Harold MacGrath

Harold MacGrath was born on 4 September, 1871 and died on 30 October, 1932. Harold MacGrath was an American author, Harold MacGrath was a bestselling American novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. In an article in the 23 April, 1932 issue of The Saturday Evening Post written under the title “The Short Autobiography of a Deaf Man,” Harold MacGrath told the public how he had struggled early in life as a result of a hearing impairment. At a time in history when deaf people were almost automatically considered as lacking intellectual acuity, he had hid this from his employer and others. Harold MacGrath’s success made him a very wealthy man and although he travelled the world extensively.

Harold McGrath is also known occasionally as Harold McGrath, he was born in Syracuse, New York. As a young man, he worked as a reporter and columnist on the Syracuse Herald newspaper until the late 1890s when he published his first novel, a romance titled “Arms and the Woman.” According to the New York Times, his next book, “The Puppet Crown,” was the No.7 bestselling book in the United States for all of 1901. From that point on, Harold MacGrath never looked back, writing novels for the mass market about love, adventure, mystery, spies, and the like at an average rate of more than one a year. Harold McGrath would have 3 more of his books that were among the top ten bestselling books of the year. At the same time, he penned a number of short stories for major American magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, and Red Book magazine. Several of Harold MacGrath’s novels were serialized in these magazines and contributing to them was something he would continue to do until his death in 1932.

In 1912, Harold MacGrath became one of the first nationally-known authors to write directly for the movies when he was hired by the American Film Company to do the screenplay for a short film in the Western genre titled “The Vengeance That Failed.” Harold MacGrath had 18 of his 40 novels and 3 of his short stories made into films plus he wrote the story for another 4 motion pictures. 3 of his books were also made into Broadway plays. 1 of the many films made from Harold MacGrath’s writings was the 1913 serial The Adventures of Kathlyn starring Kathlyn Williams. While writing the 13 episodes he simultaneously wrote the book that was published immediately after the 29 December, 1913 premiere of the first episode of the serial so as to be in book stores during the screening of the entire 13 episodes.

Among Harold MacGrath’s short stories made into film was the 1920 Douglas Fairbanks Production Company’s feature-length adventure film The Mollycoddle based on Harold MacGrath’s short story with the same title that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1913. Directed by Victor Fleming, it starred Fairbanks, Ruth Renick, and Wallace Beery and was distributed through the newly created United Artists. It is said that during this same time, a young Boris Karloff, who previously had a few uncredited film roles, chose his stage name for his first screen credit in 1920 from the Harold MacGrath novel “The Drums of Jeopardy” which had also been published by The Saturday Evening Post in January of that year and which featured a Russian mad scientist character named “Boris Karlov.” The name “Boris Karlov” was used from Harold MacGrath’s book for the 1922 Broadway play, but by 1923 with actor Boris Karloff using the similar sounding variation, the film version renamed the character as “Gregor Karlov.”

Harold MacGrath’s success made him a very wealthy man and although he traveled the world extensively, Syracuse, New York was his home and it was there in 1912 that he built an English country-style mansion renowned for its landscaped gardens. In an article in the April 23, 1932 issue of The Saturday Evening Post written under the title “The Short Autobiography of a Deaf Man,” MacGrath told the public how he had struggled early in life as a result of a hearing impairment. At a time in history when deaf people were almost automatically considered as lacking intellectual acuity, he had hid this from his employer and others. Harold MacGrath died at his home in Syracuse a few months after the article was published.

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