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Archive for October, 2010

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The last hanging at Tyburn

Posted in Anniversary, Law, Literature on Saturday, 23 October 2010

picture, prisoner, Tyburn gallows

An unidentified prisoner about to suffer at the gallows before a baying crowd

3 November marks the anniversary of the last hanging at Tyburn gallows in London in 1783. Tyburn became synonymous with the hanging of highwaymen and other rogues in penny dreadfuls, prisoners usually being brought from Newgate Prison to dangle from the “Tyburn tree” – a unique triangular gallows where several felons could be hung at once built near today’s Marble Arch.

The first recorded execution took place at Tyburn in 1196 and the last almost six hundred years later. The last wretch to swing was John Austin, a highwayman convicted of robbery with violence. The noose slipped causing him to choke to death rather than have his neck snapped. Future hangings were carried out at Newgate.

Many more pictures relating to crime and criminals throughout history can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Birth of Daniel Boone

Posted in Adventure, Anniversary, Exploration, Legend on Friday, 22 October 2010

picture, Daniel Boone, American frontiersman, pioneer

Pioneer and folk legend Daniel Boone defends a Kentucky homestead against attack. Illustration by Severino Baraldi

2 November marks the anniversary of the birth of American frontiersman Daniel Boone. Born in Oley Valley, Pennsylvania, in 1734, Boone became a folk hero with his exploration of then wild Kentucky and for blazing the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mountains. Over 200,000 Europeans migrated to Kentucky along the trail over the next 25 years.

Boone fought in the American Revolution, served three terms with the Virginia General Assembly and became an iconic figure when his adventures were published in 1784. He died in 1820, aged 85.

picture, portrait, Daniel Boone

A portrait of Daniel Boone. Illustration by Severino Baraldi

Many more pictures relating to the history of the American Wild West can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Death of George Bernard Shaw

Posted in Anniversary, Literature on Friday, 22 October 2010

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A scene from Pygmalian starring two of Shaw’s most enduring characters, Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle. Illustration by Paul Rainer

2 November marks the anniversary of the death of George Bernard Shaw in 1950. The Irish playwright was born in Dublin on 26 July 1856 and worked as a clerk in an estate office in his teens. He moved to London and became a successful music critic and unsuccessful novelist. His plays began appearing in the 1890s and over 60 were performed, amongst them Mrs Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida and. most famously, Pygmalion, on which the musical My Fair Lady was based.

Shaw was recognised as a major essayist and social activist. He died at the age of  94.

picture, portrait, George Bernard Shaw

A portrait of George Bernard Shaw

Many more pictures relating to plays and playwrights can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

First performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Posted in Anniversary, Theatre on Thursday, 21 October 2010

picture, Shakespeare, The Tempest, Trinculo, Caliban

The false Duke’s jester, Trinculo, discovers Caliban, the son of Sycorax, the witch, who – like Prospero – has been banished to a remote island

1 November marks the anniversary of the first recorded performance of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest in 1611. The play was performed at the Palace of Whitehall in London. Written in 1610-11, it tells the story of Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, who has been usurped by his brother, Antonio. Prospero conjures up a storm to drive his brother and the King of Naples to a remote island where Antonio’s cruel deceit can be revealed and Prospero’s daughter, in love with the king’s son Ferdinand, can take her rightful place.

Many more pictures relating to William Shakespeare and his plays can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Battle of Coronel

Posted in Anniversary, Famous battles, World War 1 on Thursday, 21 October 2010

picture, Battle of Coronel, World War I; Great War; ship

Catastrophe off Coronel as the Germans defeat the British Royal Navy. Illustration by Graham Coton

1 November marks the anniversary of the Battle of Coronel in 1914, which ended in a crushing and humiliating defeat for the British Royal Navy. The British forces under Read-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock were heavily outnumbered by the Germans under Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee and not expecting an engagement off the coast of Chile. However, Cradock took his ships into battle despite the odds and paid the price: the armoured cruisers Good Hope and Monmouth were sunk with the loss of 1,600 whilst German casualties numbered 3.

Many more pictures relating to the history and battles of World War I can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Death of Harry Houdini

Posted in Anniversary, Mystery on Wednesday, 20 October 2010

picture, Harry Houdini, escapology, escapologist

Another daring stunt from Harry “The Handcuff King” Houdini

31 October marks the anniversary of the death of Harry Houdini in 1926. The daredevil escapologist was born Erik Weisz in Budapest in 1874, the son of a Rabbi. The family moved to America in 1878 and young Ehrich Weiss (as he now spelled his name) became a trapeze artist at the age of 9. Heavily influenced by French magician Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, Weiss chose the name Harry Houdini when he became a professional magician.

Houdini’s escapology act encompassed amazing feats, not simply wriggling out of handcuffs and rope bonds, but escaping a prison transport van heading for Siberia and being buried alive.

He died of peritonitis, following the rupturing of his appendix, aged 52.

Many more pictures relating to magic, both real and fantasy, can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Birth of Jan Vermeer

Posted in Anniversary, Art on Wednesday, 20 October 2010

picture, artist Jan Vermeer

Jan Vermeer’s The Artist in his Studio. Illustration by Luis Arcas Brauner?

31 October marks the anniversary of the birth of Dutch painter Jan Vermeer in 1632 – or, rather, of his baptism, as his actual birth date is unknown. Joannis van der Meer was born in Delft, Holland, the son of an art dealer. Jan spent his life as a painter, earning himself a good reputation in his lifetime, although his income was modest as he worked slowly. Rediscovered in the 19th century, he is now considered one of the major Dutch Baroque painters.

Many more pictures relating to art and artists can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

“The Martians have landed!”

Posted in Absurd, Anniversary, Literature on Tuesday, 19 October 2010

picture, cars, driving, panic, War of the Worlds

Reaction to the broadcast of War of the Worlds was immediate panic. Illustration by Andrew Howat

30 October marks the anniversary of the broadcasting of Orson Welles adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds in 1938. The radio show caused an immediate panic as listeners, convinced that there truly was an invasion from Mars in progress, drove terror-stricken from the cities.

Many more pictures relating to authors and their works can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

The Yeomen of the Guard

Posted in Anniversary, History, Law, Royalty on Tuesday, 19 October 2010

picture, Yeomen of the Guard, Tower of London

Yeomen of the Guard with a Yeoman Warder in background. Illustration by Arthur Nash

30 October marks the anniversary of the establishment of the yeomen of the guard in 1485. Established by King Henry VII, the Yeomen of the Guard were created to protect the king and they remain the body guards to the British sovereign to this day, although their role is now purely ceremonial. Their Tudor-style red and gold uniforms are a reflection of their venerable and ancient position.

More pictures featuring Yeomen of the Guard can be found here. Many more pictures relating to royalty throughout history can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.

Death of Frances Hodgson Burnett

Posted in Anniversary, Literature on Monday, 18 October 2010

picture, Little Lord Fauntleroy

Little Lord Fauntleroy was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s most famous creation. Illustration by H. M. Brock

29 October marks the anniversary of the death of author Frances  Hodgson Burnett in 1924. Born Frances Eliza Hodgson in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, on 24 November 1849, she grew up in a well-to-do family until her father died and her widowed mother was forced to sell their house. The family emigrated to Knoxville, Tennessee, when Frances was 16 and she began writing for magazines to earn money for the family.

Her most famous children’s novel was Little Lord Fauntleroy, published in 1886. It featured Cedric, a young boy with golden curls who dressed in elaborate velvet suits.

More pictures of Little Lord Fauntleroy can be found here. Many more illustrations relating to authors and their works can be found at the Look and Learn picture library.