Category Archives: People

Auld Lang Syne

Auld Lang Syne

There is a common joke that Auld Lang Syne is one of the most popular songs of which no one knows the full lyrics! Other than the chorus, this is largely the truth. Back in my long ago days of celebrating New Year’s Eve at a party, I can’t recall ever hearing more than the… CONTINUE READING…

Romance Poet: Anna Seward

Romance Poet: Anna Seward

Anna Seward  (1747-1809)   ANNA SEWARD was born in Derbyshire, in 1747. She was the daughter of a clergyman and the only one of four children to reach adulthood. She did not attend school but was tutored by her father and introduced to classical works such as Milton at a very early age. Her love… CONTINUE READING…

Elizabeth Gurney Fry: Prison Reformer

Elizabeth Gurney Fry: Prison Reformer

Elizabeth Gurney was born in Norwich, England in 1780 to an influential and extremely wealthy Quaker family. Her father, John Gurney, was a partner in Gurney’s Bank, and her mother Catherine was from the Barclay family, founders of Barclays Bank. In 1798, when only 18, Elizabeth heard the preaching of American Quaker William Savery, who… CONTINUE READING…

Christmas Carols: Silent Night

Christmas Carols: Silent Night

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night” ~Luke 2:8 Unlike most Christmas carols, the origins of Silent Night are rooted in well-established facts AND steeped in dramatized legend. The Facts: Father Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), a young priest in the parish church at Oberndorf (a village on the… CONTINUE READING…

Handel, composer of “Messiah”

Handel, composer of “Messiah”

In 1741 George Frideric Handel wrote Messiah, his greatest musical creation, at the age of 56 in a single wild writing jag lasting 24 days. According to Newman Flower’s George Frideric Handel: His Personality and His Times: “He (Handel) completed the first part in seven days, the second part in nine days, the third part… CONTINUE READING…

Dorothea de Lieven

Dorothea de Lieven

This Regency individual intrigued me early on and those of you so fortunate as to have read my novels know that I included this notorious woman a couple of times. Before I get into a dissertation about her, let me just say that one aspect of the fun in writing a literary piece set in… CONTINUE READING…