Saturday, March 26, 2011

Aesop's Fables, Robert Frost, Tennessee Williams & Dr. Spock

March the 26th 1484 saw the first print of William Caxton's translations of Aesop's Fables. I didn't know that until a couple of days ago, I found out when researching today. Bizarrely I have been reading several fables to the children recently - I bought a couple of copies to give as gifts and have sort of  rediscovered them. The more I pursue my day to day fact-finding the more coincidences I encounter. It's fascinating. I've also included a link to the British Library collection of Incunabula - you know the expression you learn something new every day - anyway - also known as 15th Century books produced with moveable type.

The physicist and inventor Benjamin Thompson was born on this day in 1753 in Massachusetts. His study and research into properties of heat would would form part of the revolution in thermodynamics, more reference details here.

On March the 26th 1780 the first Sunday newspaper was printed in the UK - the British Gazette and Sunday Monitor. I wonder what the late Sunday morning breakfast was in 1780...

OK so I've had a good run on the birthdays of people I hugely admire, today is no exception. In fact it is a biggie. On March the 26th 1874 probably my all time favourite poet Robert Frost was born in San Francisco. It's hard for me to know where to start or stop with Robert Frost; since I can remember if I am dithering on a decision these lines pop into my head from The Road Not Taken :

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages  hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - 
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.  

A Question

A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth, 
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth 

This wonderful quotation from Frost:  'The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; I'm against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.' He read at President John F. Kennedy's Inauguration in 1961, I found this account.

This superb image courtesy of the United States Library of Congress:

From Wikipedia:

I wrote recently of my absolute appreciation for the film adaptation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I realised I hadn't looked at anything by him for ages so went and picked up a copy of The Glass Menagerie - another one for my Book Blub - I didn't realise at the time of writing that  Tennessee Williams was born on March the 26th 1911 in Columbus Mississippi. See what I mean about coincidence ?

Leonard Nimoy, Erica Jong and Patrick Suskind all have a birthday today - 1931, 1942 and 1949.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Larissa.

My son loves meringue. I can't stand meringue. I said we could make them today  - what's that thing about confronting phobias....A friend emailed me with an apparently foolproof recipe. Wish me luck.

Another friend mentioned that is is National Cherry Blossom Day in Washington. Fabulous.

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