Monday, March 07, 2011

Manzoni, Sir John Herschel, the RHS and the South Pole

Alessandro Manzoni was born on this day in 1785. Best known for his work  I Promessi Sposi - The Betrothed.  I read it as a student and loved it.

On March the 7th 1792 Sir John Herschel was born. A mathematician, astronomer and chemist, he originated the use of the Julian Day system in astronomy, invented the actinometer, and named many of the moons on Saturn and Uranus. He also discovered the photographic 'fixer'. He is sometimes credited with first using the term photography - however sources say Hercules Florence said it first. He did however give us the photographic terms positive and negative. He was also a father of twelve and is buried in Westminster Abbey. 

The Royal Horticultural Society, then known as the Horticultural Society of Great Britain,  came into being on this day in 1804 - created by John Wedgwood, the son of Josiah.

March the 7th 1872 saw the birth of the artist Pieter Cornelis - Piet - Mondrian in Amersfoort, Netherlands. Here is a link to some of his work at the Tate.

The composer Maurice Ravel was born on this day in 1875.

Alexander Graham Bell received his patent for the telephone on March the 7th 1876.

Roald Amundsen successfully reached the South Pole on December the 11th 1911,  the announcement of their success was made upon their arrival in Hobart, Australia on March the 7th 1912.

On this day in 1923 The New Republic published the Robert Frost poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Drausinus, Bishop of Soissons. His shrine was visited by Saint Thomas Becket before his martyrdom.

I have spent far too long reading up on the South Pole expeditions, it's just fascinating. I love Gravlax  but have never made it. Wish me luck.

As a well timed addendum, my son is doing a comprehension on Scott's letter to 'his widow' - have a look here :'To my widow'.

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