Zen Mischief


Anthony Powell
Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Waugh
Lewis Carroll
Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)
John Betjeman
Sir John Betjeman
John Betjeman
Samuel Pepys, Diarist and founder of the Civil Service
Eric Gill
Eric Gill
William Byrd
William Byrd
Richard Feynman
Prof. Richard Feynman
Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu

Heroes, My Very Own Heroes

Like most of us, I have people in whom I have an irrational interest … my heroes. This interest is not just an enjoyment of their work (I don't invariably enjoy their work) but an unexplained interest in them as as people. There is something about each of these people which I find fascinating: this may be something I can't explain (why I'm interested in Evelyn Waugh I have no idea) or it may be because of their work or that I find something about them particularly admirable (William Byrd's recusance, for instance).

Most of these people already have some Web presence, so all I intend to do here is to provide some short biographical notes on each one and links to the most important Web sites for each of them. If you know of any site relating to any of these people and it isn't listed below, I would very much like to know; please send me a an E-mail. Thanks.

In no particular order, this strange bunch of bed-fellows are …

 


Anthony Powell

Anthony Dymoke Powell, 1905-2000. English novelist, biographer and literary critic.

All the information about Anthony Powell may be found on the Anthony Powell Society site. This started life as my Anthony Powell Resources Pages in the mid-1990s and is still the only comprehensive Anthony Powell resource on the Web.

As a consequence of developing the Anthony Powell Resources Pages I was a founder member of the Anthony Powell Society in June 2000, and have been the Society's Honorary Secretary, conference organiser and Webmaster ever since.

 


Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Arthur StJohn Waugh, 1903-1966. English novelist, travel writer & biographer. Educated at Lancing and Hertford College, Oxford. Converted to Roman Catholicism in 1930. Private schoolmaster 1924-27. First book Rossetti published 1928 by Duckworth. Correspondent for The Graphic and The Times in Africa; war correspondent for Daily Mail in Abyssinia; journalist at the coronation of Haile Selassie. War service included the mission to Jugoslavia in 1944. Married Hon. Evelyn Gardiner 1928; divorced 1929; annulled 1935. Married Laura Herbert, 1937. Died, Easter Day 1966, in Somerset.

 


Lewis Carroll

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, alias Lewis Carroll, 1832-1898. Writer of Alice in Wonderland and other fantasy tales for children. Victorian photographer, Oxford mathematics don and Church of England cleric. Born at Daresbury, near Warrington, Cheshire; the third of eleven children of a Church of England cleric. Educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford. BA, 1854; MA, 1857; ordained Deacon in 1861. Lecturer in Mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford 1855-1881. Alice in Wonderland originated as an oral tale for Alice Liddell (daughter of the Dean of Christ Church); subsequently published 1865. Followed by Through the Looking-Glass, 1871, and The Hunting of the Snark, 1876. Pioneer photographer chiefly remembered for his photographs of children.

 


John Betjeman

Sir John Betjeman, 1906-1984. Poet, writer on architecture, journalist & broadcaster. Born Highgate, Middlesex. Educated at Marlborough and Magdalen College, Oxford; left Oxford without a degree. Preparatory school master. Assistant Editor of Architectural Review, 1930. First book of poetry Mount Zion published 1931. General Editor of the Shell Guides, 1934. Worked for Films Division of Ministry of Information, 1939-41. UK Press Attaché in Dublin, 1941-43. From 1950s worked as a book reviewer, broadcaster and journalist. Zealous defender of many buildings threatened with demolition and antagonist of modern architecture. Champion of the English parish church and neglected Victorian buildings. Anglo-Catholic. Awarded CBE, 1960. Knighted, 1969. Appointed Poet Laureate, 1972. Married Lady Penelope Chetwode, 1933.

 


Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys, 1633-1703. English Restoration diarist and father of the English Civil Service. Son of a London tailor. Educated St Paul's School, London and Trinity Hall & Magdalen College, Cambridge. Clerk of the King's Ships and Clerk to the Privy Seal, 1660. Surveyor General of the Vitualling Office, 1665. Secretary General to the Admiralty, 1673-79 and 1684-89. Detained as a suspect in the Popish Plot, 1679-80. MA, 1660. Fellow of the Royal Society, 1664. President of the Royal Society, 1684-86. Member of Parliament, 1673-79 and 1685-87. Diary written 1660-1669 in cipher; original MS now in Madgalen College, Cambridge. Diary is not only interesting for its personal confessions and for its detail of daily life, but is a major contemporary source documenting the Restoration of the Monarchy (1660), the Plague of London (1665), the Great Fire of London (1666) and the Dutch naval attacks on London (1665-67). Married Elizabeth St Michael, 1655.

 


Eric Gill

Arthur Eric Rowton Gill, 1882-1940. English Catholic stone carver, engraver, artist and typographer. Born Brighton; son of a clergyman. Educated at Chichester Art School. Studied lettering under Edward Johnston. Converted to Catholicism, 1913. Carved the Stations of the Cross of Westminster Cathedral 1913-18. Carved the Prospero & Ariel figurehead for Broadcasting House, London. Designer of 10 printing typefaces including Perpetua and Gill Sans. ARA, 1937. Engraver, illustrator & printer of many books. Founder of Catholic arts communities at Ditchling (Sussex), Capel-y-ffin (Wales) and Piggots (Buckinghamshire).

 


William Byrd

William Byrd, 1538?-1623. English Elizabethan recusant composer, musician and music publisher. Probably born in Lincolnshire. Pupil of Thomas Tallis, possibly at the Chapel Royal. Organist of Lincoln Cathedral, 1563. Joint Organist of Chapel Royal, 1569. Granted a monopoly, with Thomas Tallis, of issuing printed music and music paper, 1575. With Tallis, published Pies Cantiones, 1575 Composed first English madrigals, 1588. Gradualia Mass settings, 1605 & 1607. Prolific composer for both Catholic and Anglican churches; generally considered the greatest of the Tudor composers. Lived obscurely as a Catholic recusant in Harlington, Middlesex, 1578-88. Arrested a number of times for recusancy, but always discharged with a light penalty (compared with the internment of many others), presumably due to royal patronage.

 


Richard Feynman

Richard Phillips Feynman, 1918-1988. American physicist and Nobel Laureate. Born New York. Educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During World War II worked at Los Alamos on the first atomic weapons. Taught at Cornell University, 1945-1950, and at University of California Institute of Technology (CalTech) from 1950. Made considerable advances in theoretical Physics. Nobel Prize for Physics, 1965. Hero of the Challenger enquiry.

 


Other (Slightly Lesser) Heroes