Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger

The controversial novel Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger was published 16 July 1951. It concerns  Chap named Holden Caulffield who is attending Pencey Preparatory, an exclusive private school in Agerstown, Pennsylvania, on the Saturday afternoon During a football game between Pencey rival school Saxon Hall. Holden ends up missing the game. As manager of the fencing team, he loses their equipment on a New York City subway train that morning, resulting in the cancellation of a match, so his history teacher Mr. Spencer expels him until after Christmas. Spencer is a well-meaning but long-winded middle-aged man. To Holden’s annoyance, Spencer reads aloud Holden’s history paper. Holden returns to his dorm, but he is interrupted by his dorm neighbour Ackley, and then argues with his roommate Stradlater, over a composition that Holden wrote for him about Holden’s late brother Allie’s baseball glove. A womanizer, Stradlater has just returned from a date with Holden’s old friend Jane Gallagher however Holden thinks Stradlater might be mistreating Jane.

Holden then decides he has had enough of Pencey Prep and catches a train to New York City, where he plans to stay in a hotel until Wednesday, when his parents expect him to return home for New Years vacation. He checks into the dilapidated Edmont Hotel and later spends an evening with three tourist women in their 30s from Seattle in the hotel lounge. Then Following a visit to Ernie’s Nightclub in Greenwich Village, Holden agrees to have a prostitute named Sunny visit his room. However Holden’s attitude toward the girl changes and he becomes uncomfortable with the situation, and tells her that all he wants to do is talk, at which point she becomes annoyed and leaves. Holden then has a run in with Sunny’s pimp Maurice.

After a short sleep, Holden, lonely and in need of personal connection, telephones Sally Hayes, and they agree to meet that afternoon to attend a play. Holden leaves the hotel, checks his luggage at Grand Central Station and has a late breakfast. He meets two nuns, one an English teacher, with whom he discusses Romeo and Juliet. Holden shops for a special record, “Little Shirley Beans,” for his 10-year-old sister Phoebe. The play he sees with Sally features Broadway stars Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Afterward Holden and Sally go skating at Rockefeller Center, where Holden impulsively invites Sally to run away with him to the wilderness, however She declines, acts uninterested, so Holden Gets Angry but apologises immediately afterwards however Sally storms off. After that, Holden sees the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall, watches a film, and gets very drunk.

Holden then visits his younger sister Phoebe with whom Holden shares a selfless fantasy -He pictures himself as the sole guardian of thousands of children playing an unspecified ‘game’ in a huge rye field on the edge of a cliff. His job is to catch the children if, in their abandon, they come close to falling off the brink; to be, in effect, the “catcher in the rye”. Because of this misinterpretation, Holden believes that to be the “catcher in the rye” means to save children from losing their innocence. Holden then visits his former and much-admired English teacher, Mr. Antolini, who offers advice and a place to sleep for the night. Mr. Antolini, tells Holden that wishing to die for a noble cause is the mark of the immature man, while it is the mark of the mature man to aspire to live humbly for one. This is at odds with Holden’s ideas of becoming a “catcher in the rye”. So Confused and uncertain, he leaves Mr Antolini and Phoebe decides to go with him…

Bloomsday

Bloomsday takes place annually on 16 June. The event commemorates the life of Irish writer James Joyce, The date was chosen as it is the date during which the events of his novel Ulysses (which is set on 16 June 1904) are relived. It is observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and elsewhere. Joyce also chose the date as it was the date of his first outing with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle. The name is derived from Leopold Bloom, the protagonist of Ulysses The English compound word Bloomsday is usually used in Irish as well, though some publications call it Lá Bloom.

On the 50th anniversary of the events in the novel, John Ryan (artist, critic, publican and founder of Envoy magazine) and the novelist Brian O’Nolan organised a pilgrimage along the Ulysses route. They were joined by Patrick Kavanagh, Anthony Cronin, Tom Joyce (a dentist who, as Joyce’s cousin, represented the family interest) and AJ Leventhal (a lecturer in French at Trinity College, Dublin). Ryan had engaged two horse-drawn cabs, of the old-fashioned kind, in which in Ulysses Mr. Bloom and his friends drive to Paddy Dignam’s funeral. The party were assigned roles from the novel. Cronin stood in for Stephen Dedalus, O’Nolan for his father Simon Dedalus, John Ryan for the journalist Martin Cunningham, and A.J. Leventhal, being Jewish, was recruited to fill (unknown to himself according to John Ryan) the role of Leopold Bloom. They planned to travel round the city through the day, starting at the Martello tower at Sandycove (where the novel begins), visiting in turn the scenes of the novel, ending at night in what had once been the brothel quarter of the city, the area which Joyce had called Nighttown. The pilgrimage was abandoned halfway through, when the weary pilgrims succumbed to inebriation and rancour at the Bailey pub in the city centre, which Ryan then owned, and at which in 1967 he installed the door to No. 7 Eccles Street (Leopold Bloom’s front door), having rescued it from demolition. A Bloomsday record of 1954, informally filmed by John Ryan, follows this pilgrimage.

James Joyce was born in Dublin and here The day involves a range of cultural activities, including Ulysses readings and dramatisations, pub crawls and other events, some of it hosted by the James Joyce Centre in North Great George’s Street. Enthusiasts often dress in Edwardian costume to celebrate Bloomsday, and retrace Bloom’s route around Dublin via landmarks such as Davy Byrne’s pub. Hard-core devotees have even been known to hold marathon readings of the entire novel, some lasting up to 36 hours. The James Joyce Tower and Museum at Sandycove, site of the opening chapter of Ulysses, hosts many free activities around Bloomsday including theatrical performances, musical events, tours of the iconic tower and readings from Joyce’s masterpiece. Every year hundreds of Dubliners often dress as characters from the book. On Bloomsday 1982, the centenary year of Joyce’s birth, Irish state broadcaster RTÉ transmitted a continuous 30-hour dramatic performance of the entire text of Ulysses on radio. A five-month-long festival, ReJoyce Dublin 2004, took place in Dublin in 2004. On the Sunday before the 100th “anniversary” of the fictional events described in the book, 10,000 people in Dublin were treated to a free, open-air, full Irish breakfast on O’Connell Street consisting of sausages, rashers, toast, beans, and black and white puddings. The 2006 Bloomsday festivities were cancelled, the day coinciding with the funeral of Charles Haughey.

There are also many people of Irish descent in the United States and Bloomsbury is celebrated in many places including Washington, D.C. Where a marathon dramatic reading of Ulysses was held at The Georgetown Neighborhood Library, located at 3260 R Street, NW, in Washington, D.C.In which Twenty-five writers, actors, and scholars read Ulysses aloud in its entirety, a project which took more than 33 hours. The reading concluded with opera singer Laura Baxter performing Molly Bloom’s soliloquy in its entirety. In Philadelphia The Rosenbach Museum & Library, which is home to Joyce’s handwritten manuscript of Ulysses, celebrated Bloomsday in 1992, with readings by actors and scholars at the Border’s Bookstore in Center City. Philadelphia also closed the 2000-block of Delancey Street for a Bloomsday street festival. In addition to dozens of readers, often including Philadelphia’s mayor, singers from the Academy of Vocal Arts perform songs that are integral to the novel’s plot, Traditional Irish cuisine is also provided by local Irish-themed pubs. The Rosenbach’s Bloomsday festival featured two hours of readings at the main branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, an hour of readings at Rittenhouse Square, and concluded with five hours of readings on the steps of the museum, at 2008–10 Delancey Street.

New York City has several events on Bloomsday including formal readings at Symphony Space and informal readings and music at the downtown Ulysses’ Folk House pub The Irish American Bar Association of New York celebrates Joyce’s contribution to the First Amendment, with an annual keynote speech named after John Quinn, the Irish-American lawyer who defended Joyce’s New York publishers in their obscenity trial in 1922. In 2014, New York celebrated Bloomsday with “Bloomsday on Broadway,” which includes famous actors reading excerpts of the books, and commentators explaining the work between segments. The 2016 celebration includes a competition for the Best Dressed Molly and Leopold Bloom. In Kansas City, Missouri – the Irish Center of Kansas City currently hosts the Bloomsday celebration, started at Bloomsday Books, KCMO in 1995 and hosts readers of Ulysses, screens a documentary, alongside Irish dancers and a performance by Dublin balladeer Eddie Delahunt. In Syracuse, New York – The Syracuse James Joyce Club holds an annual Bloomsday celebration at Johnston’s BallyBay Pub, at which large portions of the book are either read aloud, or presented as dramatisations by costumed performers. The club awards scholarships and other prizes to students who have written essays on Joyce or fiction pertaining to his work. The city is home to Syracuse University, whose press has published or reprinted several volumes of Joyce studies.

In Detroit, Michigan There was a marathon reading of Joyce’s Ulysses at Casey’s Pub. In Los Angeles The Hammer Museum hosts an annual Bloomsday celebration including: live Irish music, a Guinness happy hour, a public reading of the “Lestrygonians” episode, and a dramatic reading of “Sirens”. While in Cleveland, OhioThe Nighttown Restaurant/Jazz Club holds an annual read of the novel on Bloomsday which is performed by local enthusiasts. In Wichita, Kansas Bloomsday is honoured by a presentation on James Joyce (often by Dr. Marguerite Regan) as well as readings from Ulysses and Irish folk music. In Norfolk, Virginia The Irish American Society of Tidewater, Virginia, held a Bloomsday Happy Hour at Smartmouth Brewery Featuring Live Irish music provided by the band Glasgow Kiss, and IAS members attended dressed as James Joyce with fedoras, round glasses, eye patches, etc.). In Portland, Maine Readings from Ulysses take place at the Irish Heritage Center. While in Worcester, Massachusetts – long running annual celebration with readings from Ulysses at 7 sites around the city. Organized annually by the Worcester County Poetry Association.

G. K. Chesterton

Prolific English writer G.K Chesterton sadly died 14 June 1926. He was born 29th May 1874. He published works on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction. Chesterton has been called the “prince of paradox”. Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories— first carefully turning them inside out.” For example, Chesterton wrote “Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.”Chesterton is well known for his reasoned apologetics and even some of those who disagree with him have recognized the universal appeal of such works as Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man.

Chesterton, as a political thinker, cast aspersions on both progressivism and conservatism, saying, “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” Chesterton routinely referred to himself as an “orthodox” Christian, and came to identify successful h a position more and more with Catholicism, eventually converting to Roman Catholicism from High Church Anglicanism. George Bernard Shaw, Chesterton’s “friendly enemy” according to Time, said of him, “He was a man of colossal genius”. Biographers have identified him as a successor to such Victorian authors as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, John Henry Cardinal Newman, and John Ruskin.Among his best known works are The Napoleon of Notting Hill, Heretics, Charles Dickens: A Critical Study, The Man Who Was Thursday, Orthodoxy, Manalive, Father Brown short stories (detective fiction), Eugenics and Other Evils, Saint Francis of Assisi (1923), Doubleday, The Everlasting Man & Saint Thomas Aquinas. A lot of these can currently be found on the Project Gutenberg Website.

Jerome K. Jerome

Best known for the humorous travelogue Three Men in a Boat, the English Writer and Humourist Jerome K Jerome, sadly died 14 June 1927. He was born 2nd May 1859 in Caldmore, Walsall, England, and moved to London, where He attended St Marylebone Grammar School. 14 June 1927). The young Jerome wished to go into politics or be a man of letters, but the death of his father at age 13, and his mother at age 15, forced him to quit his studies and find work to support himself. He was employed at the London and North Western Railway, initially collecting coal that fell along the railway, and remained there for four years. In 1877, inspired by his older sister Blandina’s love for the theatre, Jerome decided to try his hand at acting, under the stage name Harold Crichton. He joined a repertory troupe that produced plays on a shoestring budget, Jerome was penniless at the time.

After three years on the road and with no evident success, the 21-year-old Jerome decided he’d had enough with stage life, and tried to become a journalist, writing essays, satires and short stories, but most of these were rejected. Over the next few years he was a school teacher, a packer, and a solicitor’s clerk. Finally, in 1885, he had some success with On the Stage — and Off, a comic memoir of his experiences with the acting troupe. Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, a collection of humorous essays, followed in 1886. On 21 June 1888, Jerome married Georgina Elizabeth Henrietta Stanley Marris (a.k.a. Ettie), nine days after she had divorced her first husband. She had a daughter from her previous, five-year marriage, nicknamed Elsie (her actual name was also Georgina). The honeymoon took place on the Thames “in a little boat,” a fact which was to have a significant influence on his next, and most important work, Three Men in a Boat.

Jerome sat down to write Three Men in a Boat as soon as the couple returned from their honeymoon. In the novel, his wife was replaced by his longtime friends George Wingrave (George) and Carl Hentschel (Harris). This allowed him to create comic situations which were nonetheless intertwined with the history of the Thames region. The book, published in 1889, became an instant success and is still in print. Its popularity was such that the number of registered Thames boats went up fifty percent in the year following its publication, and it contributed significantly to the Thames becoming a tourist attraction. The book has also been adapted to movies, TV and radio shows, stage plays, and even a musical. Its writing style influenced many humorists and satirists in England and elsewhere. Following on from this success Jerome dedicated all of his time to writing and wrote a number of plays, essays and novels, but was never able to recapture the success of Three Men in a Boat.In 1898, a short stay in Germany inspired Three Men on the Bummel, the sequel to Three Men in a Boat. While reintroducing the same characters in the setting of a foreign bicycle tour, the book was unable to capture the life-force and historic roots of its predecessor, and only enjoyed a mild success.

In 1902 he published the novel Paul Kelver, which is widely regarded as autobiographical. His 1908 play The Passing of the Third Floor Back introduced a more sombre and religious Jerome. This was a tremendous commercial success but was condemned by critics.During World War I, he volunteered as an ambulance driver for the French Army but this experience was said to have dampened his spirit, as did the death in 1921 of his stepdaughter, Elsie. In 1926, Jerome published his autobiography, My Life and Times. Shortly afterwards, the Borough of Walsall conferred on him the title Freeman of the Borough. During these last years, Jerome spent more time at his farmhouse in Ewelme near Wallingford. Sadly in June 1927 Jerome suffered a paralytic stroke and a cerebral haemorrhage during a motoring tour and lay in Northampton General Hospital for two weeks before succumbing on 14 June. He was cremated at Golders Green and his ashes buried at St Mary’s Church, Ewelme, Oxfordshire. Elsie, Ettie, and his sister Blandina are buried beside him. His legacy lives on in the form of a French graphic novel series named Jérôme K. Jérôme Bloche after the author and There is a street named after him called Jerome Road in Alumwell and Walsall Museum has some of Jerome’s writing equipment on permanent display.

W. B. Yeats

Irish writer & Nobel laureate William Butler Yeats was Born 13th June in 1865 at Sandymount in County Dublin, Ireland. the family then relocated to the Pollexfen home at Merville, Sligo to stay with her extended family, and Yeats considered the area his childhood and spiritual home. Its landscape became his “country of the heart”. The Butler Yeats family were highly artistic; his brother Jack became an esteemed painter, his sisters Elizabeth and Susan Mary became involved in the Arts and Crafts Movement And Yeats grew up as a member of the former Protestant Ascendancy. In 1867, the family moved to England . At first the Yeats children were educated at home. Where Their mother told them Irish folktales. John provided an erratic education in geography and chemistry, and took William on natural history explorations of the nearby Slough countryside. On 26 January 1877, Yeats entered the Godolphin school,which he attended for four years, and was fascinated by biology and zoology. On 1880 the family returned to Dublin, living at first in the suburbs of Harold’s Cross and later Howth. In October 1881, Yeats resumed his education at Dublin’s Erasmus Smith High School. William also spent a great deal of time at his Father’s studio, and met many of the city’s artists and writers. he also started writing poetry, and, in 1885, the Dublin University Review published Yeats’s first poems, as well as an essay entitled “The Poetry of Sir Samuel Ferguson”.

Between 1884 and 1886, William attended the Metropolitan School of Art (The National College of Art and Design) where He wrote a poem which was heavily influenced by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Yeats’s works drew heavily on Shelley, Edmund Spenser, pre-Raphaelite verse, William Blake, Irish mythology and folklore. In 1891, Yeats published “John Sherman” and “Dhoya”. The family returned to London in 1887. In March 1890 Yeats joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and co-founded the Rhymers’ Club, with Ernest Rhys, a group of London-based poets who met regularly in a Fleet Street tavern to recite their verse. Yeats later renamed them “the Tragic Generation” in his autobiography, and published two anthologies of the Rhymers’ work, in 1892 and 1894. He collaborated with Edwin Ellis on the first complete edition of William Blake’s works, and rediscovered a forgotten poem, “Vala, or, the Four Zoas”.

Yeats also became interested in Emanuale Swedenborg and mysticism, spiritualism, occultism and astrology and became a member of the paranormal research organisation “The Ghost Club”. His mystical interests—also inspired by a study of Hinduism, under the Theosophist Mohini Chatterjee, and the occult and he wrote a fantasy poem which was serialized in the Dublin University Review. His first solo publication was the pamphlet Mosada: A Dramatic Poem (1886), followed by The Wanderings of Oisin and Other Poems (1889). “The Wanderings of Oisin” is based on the lyrics of the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology and was inspired by Sir Samuel Ferguson and the Pre-Raphaelite poets.His other early works, include Poems (1895), The Secret Rose (1897), and The Wind Among the Reeds (1899). In 1885, Yeats was involved in the formation of the Dublin Hermetic Order. And the Dublin Theosophical lodge also opened in conjunction with Brahmin Mohini Chatterjee, who travelled from the Theosophical Society in London to lecture. Yeats attended his first séance and became heavily involved with the Theosophical Society and with hermeticism, particularly with the eclectic Rosicrucianism of the Golden Dawn. He was admitted into the Golden Dawn in March 1890 and took the magical motto Daemon est Deus inversus—translated as Devil is God inverted or A demon is a god reflected. He was involved when Aleister Crowley was sent to repossess Golden Dawn paraphernalia during the “Battle of Blythe Road”. After the Golden Dawn ceased and splintered into various offshoots, Yeats remained with the Stella Matutina until 1921.

In 1889, Yeats met 23 year old heiress Maud Gonne, Gonne admired “The Island of Statues” and she had a lasting effect on Yeats thereafter.In 1891, he visited Gonne in Ireland and proposed marriage, but she rejected him, Yeats proposed to Gonne three more times: in 1899, 1900 and 1901. She refused each proposal, and in 1903, to his horror, married the Irish nationalist Major John MacBride. Yeats then continually derided and demeaned John MacBride both in his letters and his poetry. Then Much to Yeats’ delight Gonne’s marriage to MacBride, was a disaster, then Gonne began to visit Yeats in London. After the birth of her son, Seán MacBride, in 1904, Gonne and MacBride seperated however Yeats’s relationship with Gonne remained unconsummated until 1908? In 1896, Yeats met Lady Gregory through their mutual friend Edward Martyn and became involved with a new generation of younger and emerging Irish authors, including Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, J. M. Synge, Seán O’Casey, and Padraic Colum, and Yeats was one of those responsible for the establishment of the “Irish Literary Revival” movement. Then In 1899, Yeats, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and George Moore established the Irish Literary Theatre for the purpose of performing Irish and Celtic plays. Working with two Irish brothers with theatrical experience, William and Frank Fay, Yeats’s unpaid yet independently wealthy secretary Annie Horniman, and the leading West End actress Florence Farr, the group established the Irish National Theatre Society. on 27 December 1904 they opened the Abbey Theatre, performing Yeats’s play Cathleen Ní Houlihan and Lady Gregory’s Spreading the News .

In 1902, he helped set up the Dun Emer Press to publish work by writers associated with the Revival. This became the Cuala Press in 1904, and inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1909, Yeats met the American poet Ezra Pound. From 1909 until 1916, the two men wintered in the Stone Cottage at Ashdown Forest, with Pound nominally acting as Yeats’s secretary. However The relationship got off to a rocky start after Pound rearranged Yeats own poetry without permission and published it. Pound was also influenced by Japanese Noh plays which he had obtained from Ernest Fenollosa’s widow. Thea provided Yeats with a model for the aristocratic dramas he intended to write, including At the Hawk’s Well, in 1916. The emergence of a nationalist revolutionary movement from the ranks of the mostly Roman Catholic lower-middle and working class Also made Yeats reassess some of his attitudes. Yeats was an Irish Nationalist at heart, looking for the kind of traditional lifestyle displayed through poems such as ‘The Fisherman’. However, as his life progressed, he sheltered much of his revolutionary spirit and tried to distance himself from the intense political landscape and the Easter Rising until 1922, when he was appointed Senator for the Irish Free State.

In 1916, 51 years old Yeats was determined to marry. Meanwhile John MacBride had been executed by British forces for his role in the 1916 Easter Rising, and Yeats thought that his widow might remarry so he proposed to Maud Gonne again and she duly refused. So He set his sights on her 21year old daughter.” Iseult Gonne , Maud’s second child with Lucien Millevoye, but was again rejected so Yeats proposed to 25-year-old Georgie Hyde-Lees, whom he had met through Olivia Shakespear., and the two were married in 1916 having two children, Anne and Michael. They also experimented with automatic writing, and George contacted a variety of spirits and guides they called “Instructors” while in a trance. The spirits communicated a complex and esoteric system of philosophy and history, which the couple developed into an exposition using geometrical shapes: phases, cones, and gyres.the results were subsequently published in “A vision”. In December 1923, Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”. This led to a significant increase in the sales of his books,

In 1922 Yeats’ appointed to the first Irish Senate in 1922, and was re-appointed for a second term in 1925. During a incendiary debate on divorce, which Yeats viewed as a confrontation between Roman Catholics and Protestants. He delivered a series of speeches that attacked the “quixotically impressive” ambitions of the government and clergy, likening their campaign tactics to those of “medieval Spain.” The resulting debate has been described as one of Yeats’s “supreme public moments”, and began his ideological move away from pluralism towards religious confrontation.

He retired from the Senate in 1928 due to ill health and began to question whether democracy could cope with deep economic difficulty, particularly after the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression. After the First World War, he became sceptical about the efficacy of democratic government, and anticipated political reconstruction in Europe through totalitarian rule. His later association with Ezra Pound drew him towards Benito Mussolini. In 1934 At the age of 69 he was ‘rejuvenated’ by a Steinach operation and the last five years of his life Yeats found a new vigour and had a number of relationships with younger women including the poet and actress Margot Ruddock, and the novelist, journalist and sexual radical Ethel Mannin and despite age and ill-health, he remained a prolific writer. And In 1936, he became editor of the Oxford Book of Modern Verse, 1892–1935.

W.B. Yeats tragically died at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France, on 28 January 1939, however he has left an enduring legacy. He was originally buried at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. However In September 1948, Yeats’ body was moved to Drumcliff, County Sligo, on the Irish Naval Service corvette LÉ Macha. The person in charge of this operation for the Irish Government was Sean MacBride, son of Maud Gonne MacBride, and then Minister of External Affairs.

Charles Dickens

Renowned Victorian novelist Charles Dickens sadly died at Gad’s Hill Place, on 9 June 1870. He was born 7 February 1812 in Landport, Portsea. He moved to Norfolk Street, Bloomsbury then to Chatham, Kent. He spent his early years outdoors and reading voraciously. He received a private education at William Giles’s School, in Chatham. In 1822 the Dickens family moved from Kent to Camden Town, in London. Unfortunately his His Father John Dickens continually lived beyond his means and the Dickens family, apart from Charles, were imprisoned in the Marshalsea debtor’s prison in Southwark, London in 1824.Charles himself was boarded with family friend Elizabeth Roylance in Camden Town. whom Dickens later immortalised, “with a few alterations and embellishments”, as “Mrs. Pipchin”, in Dombey and Son. Later, he also lived in the house of an insolvent-court agent who was a good-natured, kind old gentleman, with a quiet old wife”; who he had a very innocent grown-up son; these inspired the Garland family in The Old Curiosity Shop. Dickens left school and began working ten-hour days at Warren’s Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near Charing Cross railway station, pasting labels on blacking. The terrible working conditions made a deep impression on Dickens and influenced his writing and kindled his interest in socio-economic reforms and improving labour conditions,

Whilst in Marshalsea, John Dickens’s paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Dickens, died and bequeathed him the sum of £450 and Dickens was released from prison. Under the Insolvent Debtors Act, After paying his creditors, he and his family left Marshalsea for the home of Mrs. Roylance and Charles attended the Wellington House Academy in North London, although his mother did not immediately remove him from the boot-blacking factory which soured their relationship. Righteous anger stemming from his own situation and the conditions under which working-class people lived, became major themes of his works. This unhappy period in his youth features in his favourite, and most autobiographical, novel, David Copperfield. From 1827 until 1828 Dickens worked at the law office of Ellis and Blackmore, attorneys, of Holborn Court, Gray’s Inn, as a junior clerk. He then became a freelance reporter. reporting legal proceedings. This experience informed works such as Nicholas Nickleby, Dombey and Son, and Bleak House. In 1833 Dickens’s first story, A Dinner at Poplar Walk was published in the London periodical, Monthly Magazine. In 1834 he becoming a political journalist, reporting on parliamentary debate covering election campaigns for the Morning Chronicle.

His journalism, in the form of sketches in periodicals, formed his first collection of pieces Sketches by Boz, published in 1836. his first novel, The Pickwick Papers, was also published in March 1836. Dickens became editor of Bentley’s Miscellany and also wrote Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop and, Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty as part of the Master Humphrey’s Clock series. In 1836, he married Catherine Thomson Hogarth the daughter of George Hogarth, editor of the Evening Chronicle. Dickens and his family lived in London for two years. Dickens’s younger brother Frederick and Catherine’s 17-year-old sister Mary also moved in with them. Sadly Mary died in 1837 and her death is fictionalised as the death of Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop. In 1842, Dickens and his wife travelled to the United States and Canada and supported the abolition of slavery. In 1851 Dickens moved into Tavistock House where he wrote Bleak House, Hard Times and Little Dorrit.

In 1856 he moved to Gad’s Hill Place in Higham, Kent. In 1857, Dickens hired professional actresses for the play The Frozen Deep, which he and his protégé Wilkie Collins had written. Dickens, was very philanthropic and in 1858 he was approached by his friend Charles West, who founded Great Ormond Street Hospital, to help during a major financial crisis.So In 1858, Dickens spoke at the hospital’s first annual festival dinner at Freemasons’ Hall and later gave a public reading of A Christmas Carol at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church hall. The events raised enough money to enable the hospital to purchase the neighbouring house, No. 48 Great Ormond Street, increasing the bed capacity from 20 to 75. In 1858 Dickens began a series of public readings in London followed by a tour of England, Scotland and Wales. He then wrote The novelsA Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. He also worked as the the publisher, editor & major contributor to, the journals Household Words and All the Year Round. Dickens also became interested in the paranormal was one of the early members of The Ghost Club. Arctic Exploration also featured in Dickens’s writing The heroic friendship between explorers John Franklin and John Richardson gave Dickens the idea for A Tale of Two Cities, The Wreck of the Golden Mary and the play The Frozen Deep.

IN 1865, Dickens was involved in the Staplehurst rail crash. The first seven carriages of the train plunged off a cast iron bridge under repair. The only first-class carriage to remain on the track was the one in which Dickens was travelling. This inspired the short ghost story The Signal-Man in which the central character has a premonition of his own death in a rail crash and is based around several previous rail accidents, such as the Clayton Tunnel rail crash of 1861. The Staplehurst crash deeply traumatized Dickens, and his normally prolific writing shrank to completing Our Mutual Friend and starting the unfinished The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

In 1867 Dickens sailed to America and met Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his American publisher James Thomas Fields. His final appearance was at a banquet the American Press held in his honour at Delmonico’s on 18 April and boarded his ship to return to Britain shortly after. Between 1868 and 1869, Dickens gave a series of “farewell readings” in England, Scotland, and Ireland, until he collapsed on 22 April 1869, at Preston in Lancashire showing symptoms of a stroke. Dickens began work on his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. After, he witnessed an elderly pusher known as “Opium Sal in an Opium Den in Shadwell, who subsequently featured in his mystery novel. On 2 May, he made his last public appearance at a Royal Academy Banquet in the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales, paying a special tribute to his friend, illustrator Daniel Maclise.

Sadly On 8 June 1870, Dickens suffered another stroke at his home, after a full day’s work on Edwin Drood, and he died the following day five years to the day after the Staplehurst rail crash 9 June 1865. Contrary to his wish to be buried at Rochester Cathedral “in an inexpensive, unostentatious, and strictly private manner,” he was laid to rest in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey. A printed epitaph circulated at the time of the funeral reads

To the Memory of Charles Dickens (England’s most popular author) who died at his residence, Higham, near Rochester, Kent, 9 June 1870, aged 58 years. He was a sympathizer with the poor, the suffering, and the oppressed; and by his death, one of England’s greatest writers is lost to the world.”

Five days after Dickens’s interment in the Abbey, Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley also delivered a memorial eulegy. Dickens’s will stipulated that no memorial be erected to honour him. The only life-size bronze statue of Dickens, cast in 1891 by Francis Edwin Elwell, is located in Clark Park in the Spruce Hill neighbourhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States. The couch on which he died is preserved at the Dickens Birthplace Museum in Portsmouth. However Dickens’ novels remain popular and have been adapted for stage, screen and Television numerous times

Iain M.Banks

Prolific Scottish author Iain Banks sadly died 9 June 2013 . He was born 16 February 1954 in Dunfermline, Fife, to a mother who was a professional ice skater and a father who was an officer in the Admiralty. An only child, Banks lived in North Queensferry until the age of nine, near the naval dockyards in Rosyth where his father was based. his family then moved to Gourock due to the requirements of his father’s work.After attending Gourock and Greenock High Schools, Banks studied English, philosophy and psychology at the University of Stirling (1972–1975). he wrote his second novel TTR during his first year at university.Following graduation Banks chose a succession of jobs that left him free to write in the evenings. These posts supported his writing throughout his twenties and allowed him to take long breaks between contracts, during which time he travelled through Europe, Scandinavia and North America. He was an expediter analyser for IBM, a technician (for British Steel) and a costing clerk for a Chancery Lane, London law firm during this period of his life.

Banks decided to become a writer at the age of 11 and completed his first novel The Hungarian Lift-Jet at 16. Following the publication and success of The Wasp Factory (1984), Banks began to write full-time. His editor at Macmillan, James Hale, advised him to write one book a year and Banks agreed to this schedule. Banks’s first science fiction book Consider Phlebaswas released in 1987. The Crow Road (1992) was adapted as a BBC television series and Espedair Street (1987) was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.Banks cited Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Aldiss, M. John Harrison and Dan Simmons as literary influences. Banks published work under two names. His parents had intended to name him “Iain Menzies Banks”, but his father made a mistake when registering the birth and “Iain Banks” became the officially registered name. Despite this error, Banks continued to use his middle name and submitted The Wasp Factory for publication as “Iain M. Banks”. Banks’ editor enquired about the possibility of omitting the ‘M’ as it appeared “too fussy” and the potential existed for confusion with Rosie M. Banks, a romantic novelist in the Jeeves novels by P.G. Wodehouse; Banks agreed to the omission. Following three mainstream novels, Banks’s publishers agreed to publish his first science fiction (SF) novel Consider Phlebas. To create a distinction between the mainstream and SF novels, Banks suggested the return of the ‘M’ to his name and the author’s second title was consequently confirmed.

He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks, and science fiction as Iain M. Banks. his first successful novel was The Wasp Factory and following the publication and success of The Wasp Factory (1984), Banks began to write on a full-time basis. His first science fiction book, Consider Phlebas, was released in 1987, marking the start of the popular The Culture series. His books have been adapted for theatre, radio and television. In 2008, The Times named Banks in their list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945″.in April 2013. By his death in June 2013 Banks had published 26 novels. His twenty-seventh novel The Quarry was published posthumously. Banks was also the subject of The Strange Worlds of Iain Banks South Bank Show (1997), a television documentary that examined his mainstream writing, and was also an in-studio guest for the final episode of Marc Riley’s Rocket Science radio show, broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music. aradio adaptation of Banks’s The State of the Art was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2009; the adaptation was written by Paul Cornell and the production was directed/ produced by Nadia Molinari. in 1998 Espedair Street was dramatised as a serial for Radio 4, presented by Paul Gambaccini in the style of a Radio 1 documentary. In 2011 Banks was featured on the BBC Radio 4 programme Saturday Live. Banks reaffirmed his atheism during his Saturday Live appearance, whereby he explained that death is an important “part of the totality of life” and should be treated realistically, instead of feared.

Banks appeared on the BBC television programme Question Time, a show that features political discussion. In 2006 Banks captained a team of writers to victory in a special series of BBC Two’s University Challenge. Banks also won a 2006 edition of BBC One’s Celebrity Mastermind; the author selected “Malt whisky and the distilleries of Scotland” as his specialist subject. His final interview with Kirsty Wark was broadcast as Iain Banks: Raw Spirit on BBC2 Scotland on Wednesday 12 June 2013. Banks was involved in the theatre production The Curse of Iain Banks that was written by Maxton Walker and performed at theEdinburgh Fringe festival in 1999. Banks wrote the music for some of the songs that were featured in the production and collaborated with the play’s soundtrack composer Gary Lloyd, who also composed the score for a musical production of the Banks novel The Bridge. lloyd explained his collaboration with Banks in a Guardian article prior to the opening of the The Curse of Iain Banks.