Friday, March 18, 2011

Wilfred Owen, John Updike, Luc Besson and a Spacewalk

Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VII, was born on March the 18th 1496. I  had several links to choose from, but was particularly taken with the Catherine Howard jewellery so went for this one. I've also included another link to the Mary Rose, said to have been named after her.

On this day in 1766 Britain repealed the enormously unpopular Stamp Act.

The poet and critic Stephane ( Etienne ) Mallarme was born on March the 18th 1842. With Paul Verlaine, Mallarme was a founder of the Symbolist movement. His work inspired musical pieces by Debussy and Ravel amongst others. In 1875 Mallarme translated Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven, the work was illustrated by Edouard Manet. Here is a beautiful portrait of Mallarme by Manet:

Neville Chamberlain, the future Prime Minister, was born on this day in 1869.

March the 18th 1891 saw the opening of the London-Paris telephone system.

The poet and soldier Wilfred Owen was born on this day in 1893. He was killed in combat one week before the end of the war on November the 4th 1918, aged 25. His mother received the news of his death on Armistice Day. I am including a link to an article by Jeremy Paxman I very much enjoyed. Also here is a link to one of his best known poems in draft, Dulce et Decorum Est, part of the British Library Collection.

Sharing a birthday today too is John Updike, he was born in 1932.

The film director Luc Besson also has a birthday today - he was born in Paris in 1959. I have lost count of the amount of times I watched Le Grand Bleu at university.

On March the 18th 1965 Aleksei Leonov, the Soviet Cosmonaut, made history with the first EVA or Spacewalk.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Salvatore of Horta ( d. 1567 ).

There is a scene in Le Grand Bleu where they eat huge bowls of pasta on a terrace by the sea, it always makes me ravenously hungry. I had something along these lines Linguine alla Mollica in Sicily a while ago, it is just fabulous.

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