January 31 Writer Birthdays

1559 – Maximiliaan de Vriendt, Flemish poet who was arrested and tortured for his opposition to the Calvinist regime, but later, after a change in administration, became a civic office-holder and New Latin poet and speechwriter. 1585 – Daniel Schwenter, German poet, mathematician, librarian, inventor, Orientalist, and linguist. 1624 – Arnold Geulincx, controversial Flemish authorContinue reading “January 31 Writer Birthdays”

52 Ancestors, Week 5: Oops, Wrong Village

It’s Week 5 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks project, created by genealogist Amy Johnson Crow. The theme this week: Oops. My “Oops” moment is about the process of uncovering the past. My grandmother had always told us her family was from Serravalle, a village in Marche, Italy. By the time I first visitedContinue reading “52 Ancestors, Week 5: Oops, Wrong Village”

January 30 Writer Birthdays

1590 – Lady Anne Clifford, English diarist, letter writer, patron of the arts, women’s rights activist, and High Sheriff of Westmoreland; poet John Donne said of her that she could “discourse of all things from Predestination to Slea-silk.” 1628 – George Villiers (2nd Duke of Buckingham), English politician and writer of restoration comedies. 1661 – CharlesContinue reading “January 30 Writer Birthdays”

January 29 Writer Birthdays

1455 – Johann Reuchlin, German writer, translator, philosopher, jurist, theologian, classical scholar, and university teacher whose work centered on advancing German knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. 1737 – Thomas Paine, influential English and Colonial American political activist, writer, philosopher, and revolutionary, best known for his pamphlets, “Common Sense,” which demanded the American colonies’ independence fromContinue reading “January 29 Writer Birthdays”

January 28 Writer Birthdays

1582 – John Barclay, French-born Scottish writer, satirist, and neo-Latin poet. 1608 – Giovanni Alfonso Borelli, Italian physiologist, physicist, mathematician, and author; Father of Biomechanics; and first person to design a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus; he became head of Mathematics at the University of Pisa, though Galileo recommended against hiring him. 1841 – Sir HenryContinue reading “January 28 Writer Birthdays”

January 27 Writer Birthdays

1741 – Hester Lynch Thrale Piozzi (born Hester Lynch Salusbury), Welsh diarist, author, salon holder, and patron of the arts; her diaries and correspondence are an important source of information about Samuel Johnson and 18th-century English life. 1826 – Mikhail Yevgrafovich Saltykov-Shchedrin, major Russian writer, editor, and satirist who spent much of his life workingContinue reading “January 27 Writer Birthdays”

January 26 Writer Birthdays

1541 – Florent Chrestien, French writer, satirist, translator, and Latin poet; he was appointed tutor to Henry of Navarre, afterwards Henry IV, who made him his librarian. 1783 – Helmina von Ch├ęzy, German writer, poet, journalist, art critic, literary critic, and librettist who wrote the libretto for Carl Maria von Weber’s opera Euryanthe and theContinue reading “January 26 Writer Birthdays”

January 25 Writer Birthdays

1225 – Thomas Aquinas, influential Italian writer, professor, theologian, friar, and Dominican scholastic philosopher of the Catholic Church who tried to synthesize Aristotelian philosophy with the principles of Christianity; he was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology; much of modern philosophy has either developed or opposed his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics,Continue reading “January 25 Writer Birthdays”

January 24 Writer Birthdays

1287 – Richard de Bury (also known as Richard Aungerville or Aungervyle), English priest, teacher, bishop, writer, and bibliophile who was a patron of learning and one of the first English collectors of books. He is chiefly remembered for his Philobiblon, written to inculcate in the clergy the pursuit of learning and the love ofContinue reading “January 24 Writer Birthdays”