Kylie Minogue OBE DHSc

Australian singer, recording artist, songwriter and actress Kylie Ann Minogue, OBE was born 28 May 1968 . After beginning her career as a child actress on Australian television, she achieved recognition through her role in the television soap opera Neighbours, before commencing her career as a recording artist in 1987. Her first single, “The Loco-Motion”, spent seven weeks at number one on the Australian singles chart and became the highest-selling single of the decade. This led to a contract with songwriters and producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman. Her debut album, Kylie (1988), and the single “I Should Be So Lucky”, both became huge hits particularly in Australia and the United Kingdom. Minogue was Initially presented as a “girl next door”, however She attempted to convey a more mature style in her music and public image. Her singles were well received, but after four albums her sales were declining, and she left Stock, Aitken & Waterman in 1992 to establish herself as an independent performer.

Her next single, “Confide in Me”, reached number one in Australia and was a hit in several European countries in 1994, and a duet with Nick Cave, “Where the Wild Roses Grow”, brought Minogue a greater degree of artistic credibility. Drawing inspiration from a range of musical styles and artists, Minogue took creative control over the songwriting for her next album, Impossible Princess (1997). Minogue returned with the single “Spinning Around” and the dance-oriented album Light Years, and performed during the closing ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Her music videos showed a more sexually provocative and flirtatious personality and several hit singles followed. “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” reached number one in more than 40 countries, and the album Fever (2001) was a hit in many countries, including the US, a market in which Minogue had previously received little recognition. In 2005, in the middle of a concert tour, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, forcing her to cancel the tour. After treatment, she resumed her career in 2006 with the Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour. In 2009, she embarked upon her For You, For Me tour, her first concert tour of the US and Canada.

Minogue has achieved worldwide record sales of more than 68 million, and has received notable music awards, including multiple ARIA and Brit Awards and a Grammy Award. She has mounted several successful and critically acclaimed concert world tours and received a Mo Award for “Australian Entertainer of the Year” for her live performances. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by Queen Elizabeth II in 2008 “for services to music”. In the same year she was appointed by the French Government as a Chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the junior grade of France’s highest cultural honour, for her contribution to the enrichment of French culture. In 2011 her hit single “I Should Be So Lucky” was added to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Sounds of Australia registry. The same year, Minogue was awarded an honorary Doctor of Health Science (D.H.Sc.) degree by Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom of for her work in raising awareness for breast cancer. In November 2011, on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the ARIA Music Awards, Minogue was inducted by the Australian Recording Industry Association into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Kylie Minogue’s latest album Golden was released in April 2018.

Matt Stone (South Park)

Best known for being the co-creator of South Park along with his creative partner and best friend Trey Parker, the American actor, voice artist,animator, screenwriter, director, producer and musician, Matthew Richard “Matt” Stone was born May 26, 1972 in Houston, Texas, he attended Heritage High School and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder,becoming their first student to double major in film and mathematics. Matt Stone and and his friend Trey Parker launched their largely collaborative careers in 1992, making a holiday short titled Jesus vs. Frosty. Their first success came from Alferd Packer: The Musical, subsequently distributed as Cannibal! The Musical. From there he made another short entitled Jesus vs. Santa, leading him and college friend Parker to create South Park. He has four Emmy Awards for his role in South Park, winning for oth “Outstanding Programming More Than One Hour” and “Outstanding Programming Less Than One Hour”

In 1992, Stone and Parker created the short film Jesus vs. Frosty, which included four boys, two resembling Stan Marsh and Kyle Broflovski, one called Kenny who looked likeCartman, and a fourth unnamed boy who looked like Kenny. Both Jesus and Cannibal! The Musical were made while they were students at the University of Colorado film school, studying under both Stan Brakhage and Jerry Aronson. After the duo releasedCannibal! The Musical, they were asked to make another animated short. They came down to two ideas: one a sequel to Jesus vs. Frosty, and one about a character that would later be recurring in South Park, Mr. Hankey. They chose to write about the four boys, and Stone and Parker produced 13 episodes for season 1. The video landed in the hands of Comedy Central who thought it was hilarious and South Park is currently still under contract.

 

In 1999, Stone and Parker made South Park bigger, longer and uncut and the film’s music was nominated for an Academy Award.As of 2007, Parker is credited with directing and writing the vast majority of South Park episodes, and voicing most of the regular and guest characters, leading fans to question Stone’s involvement in the creative process. On September 25, 2013, South Park’s seventeenth season will premiere. In 1997, they also released Orgazmo and In 1998, they starred in (but did not write or direct) BASEketball, another feature film, while being renewed for a second season of South Park. In 2001, the duo announced they would do 39 shorts between the lengths of 2 and 5 minutes. Although originally thought to be South Park related, they decided they would do something different. The result was the shorts Princess. The content was so extreme that it was cancelled after two shows aired. In 2001, they also created That’s My Bush!, another television series, which was cancelled after one season. In 2004, they made a parody film, entitled Team America: World Police.

Stone is also a member of the band DVDA with Parker, for which he plays bass and drums. DVDA’s songs have appeared in many of the duo’s productions, including Orgazmo, BASEketball, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and Team America: World Police. On January 14, 2013, Stone and Parker announced that they would be starting a film production company called Important Studios. Inspired by the production work of Lucasfilm and DreamWorks,

Sir Ian McKellen

English actor Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE was born 25 May 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire. Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, his family moved to Wigan. They lived there until Ian was twelve years old, before relocating to Bolton in 1951, after his father had been promoted. McKellen’s father was a civil engineer and lay preacher, and was of Protestant Irish and Scottish descent. Both of McKellen’s grandfathers were preachers, and his great-great-grandfather, James McKellen, was a “strict, evangelical Protestant minister” in Ballymena, County Antrim. His home environment was strongly Christian, but non-orthodox. When he was 12, his mother died of breast cancer; his father died when he was 24. His great-great-grandfather Robert J. Lowes was an activist and campaigner in the ultimately successful campaign for a Saturday half-holiday in Manchester, the forerunner to the modern five-day work week, thus making Lowes a “grandfather of the modern weekend. McKellen attended Bolton School (Boys’ Division), and his acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre, of which he is now the patron.

An early fascination with the theatre was encouraged by his parents, who took him on a family outing to Peter Pan at the Opera House in Manchester when he was three. When he was nine, his main Christmas present was a wood and bakelite, fold-away Victorian theatre from Pollocks Toy Theatres, with cardboard scenery and wires to push on the cut-outs of Cinderella and of Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet. His sister took him to his first Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, by the amateurs of Wigan’s Little Theatre, shortly followed by their Macbeth and Wigan High School for Girls’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with music by Mendelssohn, with the role of Bottom played by Jean McKellen. In 1958, McKellen won a scholarship to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he read English literature.While at Cambridge, McKellen was a member of the Marlowe Society, where he appeared in 23 plays over the course of 3 years. At that young age he was already giving performances that have since become legendary such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi, Cymbeline (as Posthumus, opposite Margaret Drabble as Imogen) and Doctor Faustus.

McKellen made his first professional appearance in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, as Roper in A Man for All Seasons. After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers. In 1965 he was a member of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, which led to roles at the Chichester Festival. With the Prospect Theatre Company, McKellen made his breakthrough performances of Richard II and Marlowe’s Edward II at the Edinburgh festival in 1969. During the 1970s and 1980s McKellen performed frequently at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, portraying several leading Shakespearean characters including Macbeth and Iago in Othello. In 2007 he appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company, productions of King Lear and The Seagull. In 2009 he appeared in Waiting for Godot at London’s Haymarket Theatre, opposite Patrick Stewart. He is Patron of English Touring Theatre and also President and Patron of the Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain, an association of amateur theatre organisations throughout the UK. In late August 2012, he took part in the opening ceremony of the London Paralympics, portraying Prospero from The Tempest.

McKellen’s career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction and He started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their highly regarded repertory company. In 1965 McKellen made his first West End appearance. In 1969 he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead parts in Shakespeare’s Richard II and Marlowe’s Edward II, firmly establishing himself as one of the country’s foremost classical actors. In the 1970s McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain.

Over the years he has gained fame for many notable film roles, which include Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films, both of which introduced McKellen to a new generation.

Over the years McKellen has been the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Critics’ Choice Awards. He has also received two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nomination. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours. He has been openly gay since 1988, and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide. He was made a Freeman of the City of London in October 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lilac Day

Lilac Day takes place annually on 25 May in remembrance of the Glorious Revolution of Treacle Mine Road which took place during the Discworld novel Night Watch. Following Pratchett’s diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s in 2007, fans also Wear the Lilac in celebration of Terry Pratchett and to raise awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s research.

The Revolution of Treacle Mine Road took place during the Discworld novel Nightwatch and is analoguous to events in Les Miserables and the Paris June Revolution. It ended the increasingly tough reign of ex-patrician of Ankh-Morpork, Lord Winder. Tension had been rising, and while the nobility arranged a quiet succession by Lord Snapcase in the background, the people on the streets started a revolution and attacked Watch Houses all over the city of Ankh-Morpork. A few streets around Treacle Mine Road were barricaded at first. Soon more people started barricading streets, barricades were moved forward and merged together, covering at least a quarter of the city – including the food industry. The resulting area was called The People’s Republic of Treacle Mine Road. The watchmen of the Treacle Mine Road Watch House led the Republic together with some enthusiastic angry young men, among them the then-living Reg Shoe.

A change in history resulted in Sam Vimes under the name of John Keel saving the Republic until Lord Snapcase became Patrician. Unfortunately Many people died, after an attack planned by Carcer, which was prompted by Snapcase’s concerns about what “Keel” could get up to if left alone for a month in the city. In remembrance of these events Each year, on the 25th of May, a group of survivors of the uprising gathers at Small Gods’ Cemetery to honor the casualties with lilacs and, affectionately, one hard-boiled egg (from Madam Roberta Meserole). The seven killed were mostly Watchmen from Treacle Mine Road : John Keel, Cecil Clapman, Horace Nancyball, Billy Wiglet, Dai Dickins, Ned Coates, and, temporarily, Reg Shoe. The 25th of May is also memorialized, among those who survive, by the wearing of lilac on that date. Persons known to wear it include Sam Vimes, Fred Colon, Nobby Nobbs, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, and, improbably, Havelock Vetinari (he, at the time a young assassin, has kept his and his aristocratic aunt Lady Roberta Meserole’s, involvement secret.

Sir Roger Moore KBE

English actor Sir Roger George Moore KBE tragically died 23 May 2017 following a short battle with cancer. He was born 14 October 1927 in Stockwell, London. He attended Battersea Grammar School, but was evacuated to Holsworthy, Devon, during the Second World War, and attended Launceston College school. He was further educated at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School in Amersham, Buckinghamshire and then attended the College of the Venerable Bede at the University of Durham, but did not graduate. At 18, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Moore was conscripted for national service. On 21 September 1946, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps as a second lieutenant. He was promoted to captain, commanding a small depot in West Germany and also oversaw entertainers for the armed oforces passing through Hamburg. Immediately prior to his national service, he studied for two terms at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, during which his fees were paid by film director Brian Desmond Hurst, who also used Moore as an extra in his film Trottie True. At RADA, Moore was a classmate of his future Bond co-star Lois Maxwell, (Miss Moneypenny) Moore left RADA after six months in order to seek paid employment as an actor. At the age of 17 Moore appeared as an extra in the film Caesar and Cleopatra alongside Stewart Granger (1945).

During the early 1950s, Moore worked as a model, appearing in print advertisements for knitwear (earning him the amusing nickname “The Big Knit”). Moore’s first television appearance was in 1949 in The Governess by Patrick Hamilton, portraying Bob Drew alongside Clive Morton and Betty Ann Davies. Moore signed with MGM in 1954, appearing in Interrupted Melody—billed third under Glenn Ford and Eleanor Parker—a biographical movie about an opera singer’s recovery from polio and in The King’s Thief starring Ann Blyth, Edmund Purdom, David Niven and George Sanders. He appeared In the 1956 film Diane, portraying Prince Henri alongside Lana Turner and Pedro Armendariz. He also appeared in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents in 1959 titled “The Avon Emeralds and starred in The Miracle (1959), alongside Carroll Baker. Moore Moore also appeared in “The Angry Young Man”, an episode of the television series The Third Man starring Michael Rennie as criminal mastermind Harry Lime.

Moore appeared as, Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in the TV 1958–59 series Ivanhoe, adapted from Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 romantic novel. Set during the era of Richard the Lionheart, and focussing on Ivanhoe’s conflict with Prince John. The series also featured Robert Brown as the squire Gurth, Peter Gilmore as Waldo Ivanhoe, Andrew Keir as villainous Prince John, and Bruce Seton as noble King Richard. Christopher Lee and John Schlesinger were also among the show’s guest stars. Moore also portrayed “Silky” Harris in the 1959–60 western The Alaskans, set during the Klondike Gold Rush around 1896, alongside Dorothy Provine as Rocky, Jeff York as Reno and Ray Danton as Nifty. He then appeared as “14 Karat John” in the two-part episode “Right Off the Boat” in the drama The Roaring 20s, with Rex Reason, John Dehner, Gary Vinson and Dorothy Provine.

Moore was then cast as Beau Maverick, the English cousin of frontier gamblers Bret Maverick (James Garner), Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) and Brent Maverick (Robert Colbert) in the series Maverick, debuting as Beau Maverick in “The Bundle From Britain”. He also appeared with Garner, as a different character in a retooling of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 comedy of manners play entitled “The Rivals”. Director Robert Altman wrote and directed the episode “Bolt from the Blue” featuring Will Hutchins as a frontier lawyer plus Lee Van Cleef and John Carradine as vicious bank robbers. Leading ladies included Kathleen Crowley Mala Powers, Roxane Berard, Fay Spain, Merry Anders, Andra Martin and Jeanne Cooper. In 1962 Lew Grade cast Moore as Simon Templar in a new and highly successful adaptation of The Saint, based on the novels by Leslie Charteris. This gave Moore international stardom and established his suave, quipping style. Moore also directed several episodes of the later series. The Saint ran from 1962 for six seasons and 118 episodes. Moore also appeared in two films: Crossplot, and The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970) Directed by Basil Dearden. Between 1971 and 1972 Moore starred alongside Tony Curtis in 24 episodes of The Persuaders! Featuring the adventures of two millionaire playboys across Europe. Both True Entertainment andChannel 4 have since repeated The Avengers and The Persuaders!

In 1964 Moore made a guest appearance as suave British Secret Agent James Bond in the comedy series Mainly Millicen. By 1966 Moore became aware that he might be a contender for the role. However, George Lazenby was cast in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Connery played Bond again in Diamonds Are Forever 1971. Moore was approached, took over the role of Bond from Sean Connery in 1972, and made his first appearance as 007 in Live and Let Die becoming the third actor to portray Bond, after Sean Connery and George Lazenby. Moore portrayed Bond as a debonair playboy with of sense of humour and a skilled detective with a cunning mind. Following Live and Let Die, Moore continued to portray Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974); The Spy Who Loved Me (1977); Moonraker (1979); For Your Eyes Only (1981); Octopussy (1983); and A View to a Kill (1985). In 2004, Moore was voted ‘Best Bond’ in an Academy Awards poll, and he won with 62% of votes in another poll in 2008. In 1987 he hosted Happy Anniversary 007: 25 Years of James Bond.

Moore also starred in Gold alongside Susannah York, and also portrayed an adventurer in Africa opposite Lee Marvin in Shout at the Devil (1976), a commando alongside Richard Burton, Stewart Granger and Richard Harris in the The Wild Geese (1978), a counter-terrorism expert opposite Anthony Perkins in the thriller North Sea Hijack (1979), an obsessed millionaire who looks like Roger Moore in Cannonball Run (1981) and posed as a famous movie star, in Curse of the Pink Panther (credited as “Turk Thrust II). In1990 he appeared in the films My Riviera and Bed & Breakfast. He also appeared in the The Quest and portrayed the Chief in Spice World. Between 1998 and 2002 he starred in all four ITV Pantos: Jack and the Beanstalk; Cinderella; Aladdin and Dick Whittington as Baron Wasteland; the Master of Ceremonies; Widow Twankey and The Mayor And played an amorous homosexual man in Boat Trip. The British comedy show Spitting Image also parodied Roger Moore in the spoof, The Man with the Wooden Delivery, featuring James Bond, Margaret Thatcher and Mikhail Gorbachev. Moore appeared in an advertisement for the Post Office in 2009 and portrayed a secret agent in the Victoria Wood Christmas Special whose mission was to eliminate another agent who looked like Pierce Brosnan. In 2010 Moore provided the voice for Lazenby in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. In 2011 Moore co-starred in the film A Princess for Christmas with Katie McGrath and Sam Heughan and also guest-hosted Have I Got News For You.

In 1991 he was Appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and was the voice of Father Christmas or ‘Santa’ in the 2004 UNICEF cartoon The Fly Who Loved Me. He was created a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) on 14 June 2003. The citation on the knighthood was for Moore’s charity work. In 2008, the French government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and he also receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 7007 Hollywood Boulevard becoming the 2,350th star installed. In 2012, Moore was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Hertfordshire, for his outstanding contributions to the UK film and television industry for over 50 years. Moore was also named one of GQ’s fifty best dressed British men and he read Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Claus and Big Claus” for the children’s fairytales app GivingTales in aid of UNICEF, together with a number of other British celebrities, including Michael Caine, Ewan McGregor, Joan Collins, Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, David Walliams, Charlotte Rampling and Paul McKenna. Moore was also involved in the production of a video for PETA that protests against the production and wholesale of foie gras. Sadly Moore was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2013, which left him unable to drink martinis. He had to learn to walk again after a bout of pneumonia, and had a pacemaker fitted after collapsing on stage.

Victor Hugo

French poet, novelist, and dramatist Victor Marie Hugo sadly passed away 22 May 1885. He was born 26 February 1802 in Besançon, France. Hugo’s childhood was a period of national political turmoil. Napoléon was proclaimed Emperor two years after Hugo’s birth, and the Bourbon Monarchy was restored before his eighteenth birthday. The opposing political and religious views of Hugo’s parents reflected the forces that would battle for supremacy in France throughout his life. Since Hugo’s father was an officer in the army, the family moved frequently and Hugo learned much from these travels. On a childhood family trip to Naples, Hugo saw the vast Alpine passes and the snowy peaks, the magnificently blue Mediterranean, and Rome during its festivities.ugo published his first novel the year following his marriage (Han d’Islande, 1823), and his second three years later (Bug-Jargal, 1826). Between 1829 and 1840 he would publish five more volumes of poetry (Les Orientales, 1829; Les Feuilles d’automne, 1831; Les Chants du crépuscule, 1835; Les Voix intérieures, 1837; and Les Rayons et les ombres, 1840), cementing his reputation as one of the greatest elegiac and lyric poets of his time.Like many young writers of his generation, Hugo was profoundly influenced by François-René de Chateaubriand, the famous figure in the literary movement of Romanticism and France’s preeminent literary figure during the early 19th century.

In his youth, Hugo resolved to be “Chateaubriand or nothing,” and his life would come to parallel that of his predecessor in many ways. Like Chateaubriand, Hugo would further the cause of Romanticism, become involved in politics as a champion of Republicanism, and be forced into exile due to his political stances. The precocious passion and eloquence of Hugo’s early work brought success and fame at an early age. His first collection of poetry (Odes et poésies diverses) was published in 1822, when Hugo was only twenty years old, and earned him a royal pension from Louis XVIII. Though the poems were admired for their spontaneous fervor and fluency, it was the collection that followed four years later in 1826 (Odes et Ballades) that revealed Hugo to be a great poet, a natural master of lyric and creative song.Victor Hugo’s first mature work of fiction appeared in 1829, and reflected the acute social conscience that would infuse his later work. Le Dernier jour d’un condamné (The Last Day of a Condemned Man) would have a profound influence on later writers such as Albert Camus, Charles Dickens, and Fyodor Dostoevsky.

A documentary short story entitled Claude Gueux appeared in 1834, concerning a real-life murderer who had been executed in France. This was later considered by Hugo himself to be a precursor to his great work on social injustice, Les Misérables. Hugo’s first full-length novel would be the enormously successful Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame), which was published in 1831 and quickly translated into other languages across Europe. One of the effects of the novel was to shame the City of Paris into restoring the much-neglected Cathedral of Notre Dame, which was attracting thousands of tourists who had read the popular novel. The book also inspired a renewed appreciation for pre-Renaissance buildings, which thereafter began to be actively preserved. Hugo also began planning a major novel about social misery and injustice as early as the 1830s, but it would take a full 17 years for Les Misérables to be realized and finally published in 1862.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame begins on Epiphany (6 January), 1482, the day of the Feast of Fools in Paris, France. Quasimodo, a deformed hunchback who is the bell-ringer of Notre Dame, is introduced by his crowning as the Pope of Fools.Esmeralda, a beautiful Gypsy with a kind and generous heart, captures the hearts of many men, including those of Captain Phoebus and Pierre Gringoire, a poor street poet, but especially those of Quasimodo and his adoptive father, Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame. Frollo is torn between his obsessive love and the rules of the church. He orders Quasimodo to kidnap her, but the hunchback is suddenly captured by Phoebus and his guards who save Esmeralda. Quasimodo is sentenced to be flogged and turned on the pillory for one hour, followed by another hour’s public exposure. He calls for water. Esmeralda, seeing his thirst, offers him a drink. It saves him, and she captures his heart. However Esmeralda is later charged with the attempted murder of Phoebus, whom Frollo actually attempted to kill in jealousy after seeing him about to have sex with Esmeralda, and is tortured and sentenced to death by hanging. As she is being led to the gallows, Quasimodo swings down by the bell rope of Notre Dame and saves her taking her to the cathedral under the law of sanctuary. Frollo later informs Pierre Gringoire that the Court of Parliament has voted to remove Esmeralda’s right to sanctuary so she can no longer seek shelter in the church and will be taken from the church and killed. Clopin, a street performer, hears the news from Gringoire and rallies the Truands (criminals of Paris) to charge the cathedral and rescue Esmeralda. When Quasimodo sees the Truands, he assumes they are there to hurt Esmeralda, so he drives them off. Likewise, he thinks the King’s men want to rescue her, and tries to help them find her. She is rescued by Frollo and her phony husband Gringoire. But after yet another failed attempt to win her love, Frollo betrays Esmeralda with tragic results.

Les Misérables remains Hugo’s most enduringly popular work. It is popular worldwide, and has been adapted for cinema, television and stage shows. The story begins in 1815 in Digne, as the peasant Jean Valjean, is released from Toulon prison by Inspector Javert after spending 19 years imprisoned for stealing bread. Myriel The Bishop of Digne is the only person to offer the convict food and shelter, and saves his life when he is caught stealing the bishop’s silver. Valjean Promises Bishop Myriel to start a new life elsewhere. Eight years later, Valjean has become a factory owner and mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer. Fantine , one of his workers, is dismissed by the foreman because of her illigitimate daughter Cossette and is forced to become a prostitute. However During an argument with an abusive customer, Javert, now a police inspector in Montreuil, arrests Fantine, but Valjean takes her to a hospital and promises a dying Fantine he will care for Cosette. After a brief confrontation with Javert, Valjean flees and pays innkeeper Madame Thénardier and her dodgy husband to take Cosette in and raise her.sadly though they mistreat Cosette while indulging their own destitute daughter Éponine. Nine years later, Paris is in turmoil because Jean Maximilien Lamarque, the only man in the government who shows any sympathy for the poor, is nearing death.

So a street urchin named Gavroche, incites the prostitutes and beggars to take action, while a student revolutionary and young firebrand named Marius Pontmercy and his friend Enjolras organize a group of idealistic students to protest against the Governments treatment of the poor. While organising the protest Marius becomes friends with the Thenardiers’ daughter, Éponine, then he meets Cosette and they fall in love. Later The Thénardiers gang are prevented from robbing Valjean and Cosettes ‘s house by Javert, who does not recognise Valjean until after he escapes. Valjean refuses to tell Cosette about his past or Fantine and decides to flee Paris with Cosette. Later, Éponine laments that her love for Marius will never be reciprocated as he joins the other students who are preparing for the upcoming conflict; while Javert briefs his soldiers as he reveals his plans to spy on the students.

With the June Rebellion underway, the students interrupt Lamarque’s funeral and begin their assault on the army. They build a barricade when Javert, disguised as one of the rebels, volunteers to “spy” on the government troops. When Javert lies that the government will attack the next morning, he is exposed as a spy. Éponine, mortally wounded, returns to the barricades and professes her love for Marius before her death. Valjean, searching for Marius in the barricades, saves Enjolras. Despite being allowed to execute Javert, Valjean tells the inspector that he is not in his debt. As the students reminisce for the night, Valjean prays to God to save Marius from the oncoming assault.Although most Parisians have abandoned the rebels, Enjolras resolves to fight on, however When Gavroche is killed, Enjolras and the students realize they could end up paying a heavy price if they resist and some escape into the sewers hotly pursued by Javert and his men

The shortest correspondence in history is said to have been between Hugo and his publisher Hurst and Blackett Following the publication of Les Misérables in 1862. Hugo was on vacation when. He queried the reaction to the work by sending a single-character telegram to his publisher, asking “?”. The publisher replied with a single “!” to indicate its success.After the success of Les Misérables Hugo turned away from social/political issues for his next novel, Les Travailleurs de la Mer (Toilers of the Sea), published in 1866, which depicts Man’s battle with the sea and the horrible creatures lurking beneath its depths and this spawned an unusual fad in Paris: Squids. From squid dishes and exhibitions, to squid hats and parties, Parisians became fascinated by these unusual sea creatures, which at the time were still considered by many to be mythical. Hugo returned to political and social issues in his next novel, L’Homme Qui Rit (The Man Who Laughs), which was published in 1869 and painted a critical picture of the aristocracy.His last novel, Quatre-vingt-treize (Ninety-Three), published in 1874, dealt with a subject that Hugo had previously avoided: the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. Though Hugo’s popularity was on the decline at the time of its publication, many now consider Ninety-Three to be a work on par with Hugo’s better-known novels. Hugo is still considered one of the most well-known French Romantic writers. In France, Hugo’s literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Among many volumes of poetry, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame).

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Scottish physician and writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was born 22nd May 1859. He is most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes, generally considered a milestone in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger. He was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. He was born at 11 Picardy Place, Edinburgh, Scotland and was sent to the Roman Catholic Jesuit preparatory school Hodder Place, Stonyhurst, at the age of nine (1868-1870). He then went on to Stonyhurst College until 1875. From 1875 to 1876 he was educated at the Jesuit school Stella Matutina in Feldkirch, Austria.From 1876 to 1881 he studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, including periods working in Aston in Birmingham, Sheffield and Ruyton-XI-Towns in Shropshire . While studying, Conan Doyle began writing short stories. His earliest extant fiction, “The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe”, was unsuccessfully submitted to Blackwood’s Magazine. His first published piece “The Mystery of Sasassa Valley”, a story set in South Africa, was printed in Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal on 6 September 1879.

Later that month, on 20 September, he also published his first non-fictional article, “Gelsemium as a Poison” in the British Medical Journal. In 1882 he joined a former classmate at a medical practice in Plymouth, however he soon left and set up an independent medical practice in Southsea. While waiting for patients, Conan Doyle again began writing stories and composed his first novels, The Mystery of Cloomber, not published until 1888, and the unfinished Narrative of John Smith, which would go unpublished until 2011. He amassed a portfolio of short stories including “The Captain of the Pole-Star” and “J. Habakuk Jephson’s Statement”, both inspired by Doyle’s time at sea. His first significant piece, A Study in Scarlet, appeared later that year in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual and received good reviews. The story featured the first appearance of Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes. A sequel to A Study in Scarlet called The Sign of the Four appeared in Lippincott’s Magazine in February 1890.

Following the success of these stories Conan Doyle then went on to write many more Sherlock Holmes short stories including A Scandal in Bohemia, A Case of identity, The Red Headed league, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, The Man wth the Twisted Lip and The Five Orange Pips. In 1890 after studying ophthalmology in Vienna, Conan Doyle moved to London, first living in Montague Place and then in South Norwood. He set up a practice as an ophthalmologist. He wrote in his autobiography that not a single patient crossed his door. This gave him more time for writing, and in November 1891 he wrote to his mother: “I think of slaying Holmes… and winding him up for good and all. He takes my mind from better things.” His mother responded, “You won’t! You can’t! You mustn’t!”In December 1893, in order to dedicate more of his time to what he considered his more important works (his historical novels), Conan Doyle had Holmes and Professor Moriarty apparently plunge to their deaths together down the Reichenbach Falls in the story “The Final Problem”. Public outcry, however, led him to bring the character back in 1901, in The Hound of the Baskervilles, though this was set at a time before the Reichenbach incident.

In 1903, Conan Doyle published his first Holmes short story in ten years, “The Adventure of the Empty House”, in which it was explained that only Moriarty had fallen; but since Holmes had other dangerous enemies—especially Colonel Sebastian Moran—he had arranged to also be perceived as dead. Holmes ultimately was featured in a total of 56 short stories and four Conan Doyle novels, and has since appeared in many novels and stories by other authors. ‘The Final Problem’ was published in 1913 and ‘The Valley of Fear’ was serialised in 1914.

Conan Doyle sadly passed away on 7 July 1930. after having a heart attack at the age of 71. His last words were directed toward his wife: “You are wonderful.” The epitaph on his gravestone in the churchyard reads, in part: “Steel true/Blade straight/Arthur Conan Doyle/Knight/Patriot, Physician, and man of letters”. A statue honours Conan Doyle at Crowborough Cross in Crowborough, where he lived for 23 years and There is also a statue of Sherlock Holmes in Picardy Place, Edinburgh, close to the house where Conan Doyle was born. His Sherlock Holmes stories remain popular today and have also been adapted for screen and television multiple times, with actors such as Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Brett and Robert Downey Jnr all portraying Sherlock Holmes.