by Alexander Macbain
Alexander Macbain was born July 22, 1855 in Scotland into poverty. His native language was Gaelic, but he attended local schools and learned English. He assisted with the Ordnance Survey in Scotland and Wales from 1871-74, but he enjoyed school and returned to earn an MA in Philosophy from King’s College. He was deeply devoted to all things history and language, and published a great deal on Gaelic language, and even served as the editor for Celtic Magazine, and then Highland Monthly. Some of his publications include: Celtic Burial, in Transactions of the Inverness Scientific Society and Field Club, Celtic Mythology and Religion and Personal Names and Surnames of Inverness.
This edition is dedicated to Robert Cooper, librarian and archivist extraordinary of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Scotland.
by Lafcadio Hearn
On August 10, 1856, the Last Island hurricane ravaged the Louisiana coast, claimed at least 183 lives, and split an island in two, officially known as Isle Dernière, but commonly referred to as Last Island. A ship, The Star, was scheduled to pick up vacationers, but ended up being blown ashore, and the captain, Abe Smith, saved at least forty people from the blowing sand, water and winds. It was believed that there were approximately 400 people on the island during the storm, and half of them perished. After the storm subsided, not only were all built structures on the island destroyed, the island itself became a sandbar.
Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was inspired by these events to create this historical novel. It follows a Spanish fisherman who comes to Last Island to look for useful items among the debris. Instead, he finds a young child survivor of the storm. The tale follows her life and the surprising turn of events. It offers an interesting portrayal of Louisiana at the time. Hearn wrote a great deal about Louisiana, as well as Japan. Some of Hearn’s other books include: La Cuisine Creole: A Collection of Culinary Recipes (1885), Gombo Zhebes (1885), and Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894).This edition is dedicated to Francisco Alacantra, hoping he will find Hearn interesting.
by Adolphus William Ward
Adolphus William Ward was born on December 2, 1837 in London to a family of means. His father, John Ward, was an English diplomat. After his schooling, he being a professor of history and literature at Owens College. He also helped to found Victoria University and Withington Girls’ School. Additionally, he was the president of Royal Historical Society from 1899-1901. In 1913, he was knighted.He wrote a great deal, but arguably his most famed work is History of English Dramatic Literature to the Age of Queen Anne (1875). He edited many works as well, including the Cambridge History of English Literature, alongside A. R. Waller.
George Howells Broadhurst was born on June 3, 1866 in Walsall, England. In 1882, he moved to the United States and became a playwright. He was successful, and moved into other aspects of theater production, such as being a producer, theater owner, and manager. He owned theaters across the United States, including New York, Baltimore, Milwaukee and San Francisco.Arthur Hornblow was born during 1865 in Manchester, United Kingdom. He enjoyed a life of writing and success. He worked as an editor for Theater Magazine, and then his career took off when he wrote several successful plays. His son, Arthur Hornblow, Jr. also found success in theater.
by Lady Gregory
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Isabella Augusta, who went as Lady Gregory, was a famed Irish dramatist deeply involved in all things theater, including being a theater owner. She primarily was a writer, and received much accolades for her work, later being recognized for spawning the Irish Literary Revival. In part, this was due to her writing plays based on Irish folklore and mythology, which helped give it renewed power and value. She also used “Kiltartanese” which is a mix of English with Gaelic.
Lady Gregory enjoyed a life of estates, world travel, salons and privilege. Born to a family with a 6,000 acre estate, she married well to Sir William Henry Gregory. She and her husband traveled to India, Egypt and Italy, among other places. Influenced by her experiences, Lady Gregory wrote in support of political causes such as the Urabi Revolt in Egypt, as well as support for Irish nationalism. She spent much of her later years in theater, until she passed away at the age of 80 due to breast cancer.
by John Addington Symonds
John Addington Symonds was born on October 5, 1840 in Bristol, England. He became well known as a poet, researcher, and teacher. Biographers have often remarked on Symonds’ bisexuality as being a significant influence on his life. He was in multiple relations with men and women throughout his life. These relationships often overlapped. For example, while married to his wife, Janet Catherine North, he enjoyed a four year relationship with Norman Moor. Controversially, Symonds was interested in and advocated for pederastic relationships. Moor was in his teens when he was romantically involved with Symonds. In 1873, Symonds wrote A Problem in Greek Ethics, which was a historical, detailed look at pederastic relationships in early Greek history. Much of Symonds works have not been published because they often dealt with homosexuality and were considered very taboo.
by Rabbi Dr. Bernard Drachman
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Rabbi Dr. Bernard Drachman was born on June 27, 1861 in New York City. He received his early education at High School, Jersey City, NJ, and the Hebrew Preparatory School before going on to earn his B.A from Columbia College. Afterwards, he earned his rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau, thanks to a scholarship. He also earned a Ph.D from the University of Heidelberg. As an American born rabbi, it was difficult for him to find a position in an Orthodox synagogue. However, he was dedicated and extremely knowledgeable and found his way to serve. He officiated as rabbi to the Oheb Sholom congregation in Newark from 1885-87, then the Congregation Beth Israel Bikkur Cholim in New York city from 1887-89, and later to that of the congregation Zichron Ephraim. He also served as a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary.