Saturday, March 31, 2012

Happy birthday, Franz Joseph Haydn

It is the birthday of Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732), one of the most prolific and popular musicians of classical music. Here are two very beautiful and very different pieces by Haydn. Enjoy!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Harry Crews: hell-raiser, writer

Hell-raising author Harry Crews, who attracted a fierce cult following in more than four decades, died Wednesday at 76. To honor him, we offer a slide show of some of his volumes in our collection. He wrote 17 novels and numerous short stories, and magazine articles for Playboy and Esquire.

"A Georgia-born Rabelais, Mr. Crews was renowned for darkly comic, bitingly satirical, grotesquely populated and almost preternaturally violent novels," The New York Times said in an obituary.

He was also known for his wild lifestyle and his drinking.

"Alcohol whipped me. Alcohol and I had many marvelous times together," he once told Chicago Tribune columnist Mary T. Schmich. "We laughed, we talked, we danced at the party; then one day I woke up and the band had gone home and I was lying in the broken glass with a shirt full of puke and I said, `Hey, man, the ball game's up.'"

Tampa author Michael Connelly was a student of Crews at the University of Florida. He was in awe of his professor, whom he saw sometimes at Lillian's, a popular Gainesville bar. "I didn't need to drink there because he was the intoxicant," he told the Tampa Bay Times in an email from Paris. "This was what a real writer was like. I thought, this is like drinking with Hemingway in Key West."

Rest in peace, Harry Crews. 

Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty

Anna Sewell
It is the birthday of English novelist Anna Sewell (1820), whose book Black Beauty (1877) was an immediate bestseller and has become one of the most popular books ever. It was the only book she ever wrote. She wrote it late in life but lived to see it become a success. Sewell injured both ankles at age 14 when she fell while walking home in the rain. The injuries were not treated properly and she remained disabled for the rest of her life, unable to walk or stand without assistance. She depended on horse drawn carriages for transportation and grew to respect horses and the work they did. Black Beauty, which is told as an autobiography of the magnificent horse, reveals the sometimes harsh treatment of working animals in Victorian England. Sewell's health was deteriorating as she wrote the book over seven years beginning in 1871. Her mother helped her by taking dictation or transcribing little slips of paper on which Sewell wrote the final scenes. Sewell died five months after the book was published.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ernst Jünger, conservative philosopher

Ernst Jünger
It is the birthday of German writer Ernst Jünger (1895), whose best known work, Storm of Steel (1920), is his personal account of his experiences as a German officer on the Western Front during World War I. It is a particularly graphic work, especially when depicting the horrors of trench warfare. Still, it is considered a book that glorifies war, and raises the life of a soldier to a mystical experience. It has undergone as many as seven revisions, some toning down the graphic details of the war. It was first published in English in 1929. After the war, Jünger kept his distance from the Nazi Party as it rose to power but he did serve in the German Army, and was stationed in Paris, where he hobnobbed with artistic luminaries such as Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso. He was a prolific writer, producing more than 50 books, including several diaries. He became known as a conservative philosopher and was greatly admired by German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and French President Françios Mitterrand. Jünger used mescaline, ether, hashish, cocaine and LSD. He was a friend of Albert Hofmann, who invented LSD, and took it with him several times. When he was 89, he said the ideology of war in Germany before and after World War I was  "a calamitous mistake." He lived to be 102.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Maxim Gorky, icon of the Soviets

Maxim Gorky
It is the birthday of Russian writer Maxim Gorky (1868), who became an icon as a Soviet writer and a friend of the Bolsheviks after his death in 1936, even though he had his issues with the revolutionaries during his lifetime. As a young man, Gorky worked for newspapers throughout Russia. He wrote essays critical of the czarist regime and became a voice of the downtrodden at the bottom of society. He associated with Marxists and supported social reform, and became a personal friend of Vladimir Lenin. He wrote plays depicting the plight of the poor, most notably The Lower Depths (1902). He came to America in 1906 to help raise money for the Bolsheviks. While staying in the Adirondack Mountains, he wrote his novel, The Mother. He had a falling out with the Bolsheviks over censorship issues. He lived in exile in Capri for many years, partly because of the political climate in Russia. He returned to Russia in 1932 to stay after Joseph Stalin personally invited him to do so. The circumstances surrounding his death gave rise to speculation that he had been killed by Stalin's security forces. However, Stalin was among those who carried his coffin. Bertolt Brecht based his play, The Mother (1932) on Gorky's novel.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Schulberg wrote of Hollywood, boxing

Budd Schulberg
It is the birthday of writer Budd Schulberg (1914), whose novel What Makes Sammy Run? (1941) was a best seller. It exposes the seamy side of Hollywood in the 1930s, with all the power grabbing and backstabbing and scrambling to the top of the filmmaking industry. Schulberg's father was a producer and his mother ran a talent agency. The story of the book was also produced as a Broadway musical. Schulberg's book The Disenchanted (1950) was considered to be about his encounter with a boozy F. Scott Fitzgerald while at Dartmouth College. Schulberg also wrote The Harder They Fall (1954), about corruption in the boxing game. It became a 1956 movie, with Humphrey Bogart in his last film role. For a time, Schulberg wrote for Sports Illustrated. Schulberg also wrote the screenplay for On the Waterfront (1954), which won eight Academy Awards, including best screenplay. The screenplay was based on a 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winning series by Malcolm Johnson published in the New York Sun. What Schulberg wrote was changed by the time it got to the screen, so Schulberg later published a novel called Waterfront that was closer to the original screenplay. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Gregory Corso, youngest Beat poet

Gregory Corso
It is the birthday of the youngest Beat poet, Gregory Corso (1930), who grew up living on the streets in the Lower East Side of New York, did prison terms in New Jersey's toughest institution, audited classes in Greek and Roman literature at Harvard (where he passed as a student until he was found out) and was befriended by Archibald MacLeish (then a dean at Harvard), who let him stay at Harvard as a poet in residence. He met Allen Ginsberg in a lesbian bar in Greenwich Village, where he entertained the patrons with his poetry, and eventually became part of the circle of Beat poets. Corso collaborated with the likes of Jack Kerouac, Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. He hung out with them in Paris and Tangiers and San Francisco. "Corso's a poet's Poet, a poet much superior to me," wrote Ginsberg. "Pure velvet ... whose wild fame's extended for decades around the world from France to China, World Poet." As a child, Corso had been told by his gruff father that his teenaged mother had abandoned the family and returned to Italy. Some 67 years later, he learned she had been abused by his father, put the baby in the care of Catholic Charities and fled to New Jersey, and eventually started a new family. Corso and his mother were reconciled in his later years and developed a good relationship before his death in 2001. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hungarian composer Béla Bartók

It is the birthday of Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881), one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, and a national hero in Hungary. He came to the United States in 1940 to escape the deteriorating political climate in Europe. He was reluctant to move and never felt comfortable in America, especially as a composer. However, his last composition, Concerto for Orchestra, written for the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1944, may be his most popular piece. Here is the first movement. Enjoy!B

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is 93 today

Photo by Voxtheory
It is the birthday of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), who founded City Lights Bookstore (the first U.S. all paperback bookstore) in San Francisco in 1953, published Allen Ginsberg's Howl, and befriended Jack Kerouac, with whom he bonded. Both were Thomas Wolfe fans, both went to Columbia University, both lived in France and both spoke French to their mothers. Ferlinghetti spearheaded the naming of the alley next to his bookstore Jack Kerouac Alley in 1988. He was a mentor of Beat poets and writers of the 1950s, including Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, William S. Burroughs, Michael McClure, Bob Kaufman, and Diane diPrima, though he always considered himself the last of the Bohemians instead of the first of the Beats. Publication of Ginsberg's Howl landed him in court charged with selling obscene material in a landmark First Amendment case that ended in acquittal for both him and Ginsberg, and established precedent for publishing controversial work with redeeming social value. Ferlinghetti wrote the best-selling poetry collection Coney Island of the Mind (1958) as well as more than 50 other poetry collections, journals, plays and fiction.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Roger du Gard won 1937 Nobel Prize

Roger Martin du Gard
It is the birthday of French author Roger Martin du Gard (1881), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1937 for his work, which included The World of the Thibaults, a sweeping saga (in the tradition of Tolstoy, his hero) of two brothers from an upper middle-class family and their world views before and after World War I. The multi-volume work follows the brothers through their entire lives and death. It is known particularly for the detailed realism of its death scenes. In his Nobel acceptance speech, du Gard said he hoped his work would serve the cause of peace. At a time before World War II, when there were again great tensions in Europe, du Gard said he hoped his book would be read by "the old who have forgotten as well as the young who either do not know or do not care – of the sad lesson of the past."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy birthday, Andrew Lloyd Webber

It is the birthday of English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948), whose music for the London stage and Broadway has enchanted fans for more than 40 years. Here is one of the most popular of his songs. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy birthday to the ever-popular J.S Bach!

It is the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685), who is considered one of the greatest composers ever, and no wonder. His Baroque music remains popular in classical circles throughout the world. During his lifetime, he was known principally as an organist, violinist, violist and harpsichordist. His fame as a composer came with the revival of his work in the early 1800s. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Roman poet Ovid wrote of mythology, love

It is the birthday of Roman poet Ovid (43 BC), whose 15-book Metamorphoses may be his most popular work. It tells stories of transformations from Greek and Roman mythology. Ovid also wrote several volumes on love, including Amores (The Loves), Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) and Remedia Amoris (The Cure for Love). Traditionally, he was banished from Rome to Tomis (on the Black Sea in present-day Romania) by the Emperor Augustus in 8 AD, apparently for writing about adultery, according to some scholars. Adultery was a serious crime in ancient Rome. Scholars still debate the reasons for his exile, and, indeed, whether he was banished from Rome at all. In any case, he started a project he called Fasti (The Festivals), which seemed to be planned to cover a whole year in the Roman calendar. Only January through June exist. Some scholars say work on the project was interrupted by his exile because he didn't have access to the vast libraries in Rome.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sir Burton published The Kama Sutra

Sir Richard Francis Burton
It is the birthday of Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821), who wrote of his 1858 exploration of East Africa and discovery of Lake Tanganyika in Lake Regions of Equatorial Africa (1860) and his exploration of West Africa and the Congo River in Two Trips to Gorilla Land and the Cataracts of the Congo (1876). Burton had a long running public feud with his fellow explorer, John Hanning Speke, who had accompanied him on the expedition to Tanganyika. Speke was very much the British imperialist while Burton sympathized with the natives and was often outspoken about British imperialist practices. Burton also served with the British East India Company and learned Muslim customs and behavior. He once traveled in disguise on a pilgrimage to Medina and Mecca and participated in Muslim rituals undetected. He wrote of his experiences in A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah (1855). Burton had an exceptional interest in sexual practices of various cultures and collaborated with his close friend and linguist Foster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot to translate Sanskrit texts and published The Kama Sutra of Vatsayana (1883) and the Ananga Ranga (1885). Burton also translated an adult version of One Thousand and One Nights (later called Arabian Nights). Burton and Arbuthnot formed the Kama Shastra Society in Britain to publish the books privately since they were considered obscene and, therefore, would have been illegal otherwise.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kate Greenaway illustrated children's books

The Pied Piper of Hamlin by Kate Greenaway
Kate Greenaway
It is the birthday of English children's book illustrator Kate Greenaway (1846), whose paintings of children in late 18th century and Regency fashions influenced late 19th century clothing styles. Liberty of London, the famous department store on Regent Street, patterned a line of clothing in the 1880s after her drawings. Kate Greenaway pantaloons and bonnets for children were all the rage in the 1880s and 1890s among mothers who embraced the Arts and Crafts movement. Among here numerous illustrations: Mother Goose; Or The Old Nursery Rhymes (1881), Bret Hart's The Queen of the Pirate Isle (1886) and The Pied PIper of Hamlin (1888) Her paintings were reproduced from hand-engraved wooden blocks and presented more idealized figures than those of her contemporaries, children's artists Randolph Caldecott and Walter Crane. The Kate Greenaway Medal in given annually to an outstanding work of illustration in children's literature.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Prudhomme won first Nobel Prize for Lit

Sully Prudhomme
It is the birthday of French poet Sully Prudhomme (1839), who won the first Nobel Prize for Literature in1901. He used most of the Nobel money to create a poetry prize awarded by the Society of Men of Letters of France. His early work was sentimental and romantic but later he developed a style focused on science and philosophical ideas. His later style was also marked by a strict adherence to formal poetic conventions . Late in life, suffering from poor health, Prudhomme lived as a virtual recluse in a chateau in an artists' commune in the Paris suburbs.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lady Gregory founded The Abbey Theatre

Lady Augusta Gregory
It is the birthday of Irish dramatist Lady Augusta Gregory (1852), founder of The Abbey Theatre (along with William Butler Yeats and Edward Martyn) and collector of Irish folklore. Her family were Anglo-Irish landlords in Galway. She was home schooled and greatly influenced by her Catholic nanny, who spoke Gaelic and introduced her to local legends. Folklore became a lifelong interest and led to the publication of several volumes of local tales, including Chuchulain of Muirthemne (1902), Gods and Fighting Men (1904), A book of Saints and Wonders (1906), A Kiltartan History Book (1909) and The Kiltartan Wonder Book (1910). She also edited the autobiography of her husband, Sir William Henry Gregory (who was 35 years older), and published it in 1894, after his death. Lady Gregory may be best remembered for her work founding the Irish Literary Theatre in 1899 with Edward Martyn (a neighbor) and Yeats (his friend). It failed because of lack of funding in 1901 but in 1904 Lady Gregory, Martyn, Yeats, John M. Synge, Annie Horniman, George William Russell, and William and Frank Fay formed the Irish National Theatre Society, which eventually moved into a theater in Lower Abbey Street in Dublin and became known as The Abbey Theatre. Many of Lady Gregory's plays were presented there, including Spreading the News (1904) and The Rising of the Moon (1907). Synge's The Playboy of the Western World opened there in 1907, causing riots. The rest of the performances were in pantomime.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Max Shulman created Dobie Gillis

Max Shulman
It is the birthday of humorist Max Shulman (1919), who created the character of teenager Dobie Gillis, who yearned to be popular, have money and the admiration of beautiful girls. Gillis was featured in short stories and a television series (CBS, 1959-1963), both written by Shulman, along with the series theme song. He also wrote novels, Barefoot Boy With Cheek (1943), a satire of college life; The Feather Merchants (1944), a humorous look at life in the Army; The Zebra Derby (1951), about a postwar veteran's life as a door-to-door salesman dealing with a bevy of beautiful women; Rally Round the Flag, Boys! (1957), a satire on life in the suburbs in the 1950s; Sleep Till Noon (1959), a slapstick comedy about marriage; Anyone Got A Match (1964), a satire on the tobacco industry, television, the South  and football, and Potatoes Are Cheaper (1971), a semi-autobiographical romp about a young man and his bouts with romance. Shulman also wrote (with Robert Paul Smith) The Tender Trap (1954), a Broadway play that was later a film starring Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds, and the libretto for the Broadway musical How Now, Dow Jones (1968).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sir Hugh Walpole was popular in '20s, '30s

Hugh Walpole
It is the birthday of English novelist Sir Hugh Walpole (1884), whose  popular historical romance, Rogue Harries (1930), is set in 1730 in Cumberland, and tells the story of Francis Herries and her family who settle in a family estate there. Subsequent novels in the series, Judith Paris (1931), The Fortress (1932) and Vanessa (1933) bring the story of the family into the 20th century. Walpole believed the novels maintained the traditions and vitality of the English novel, though it explored nothing new. Walpole was a celebrated author in the 1920s and 1930s, and was in demand as a speaker in Britain and America. Early in his career, Henry James and Joseph Conrad, among others, encouraged his work. Virginia Woolf praised his attention to detail in his writing. In his novel, Cakes and Ale (1930), Somerset Maugham depicted him as superficial and ambitious. Kenneth Clark, T.S. Eliot and J.B. Priestly were among literary giants who sponge to Walpole's defense.  Two biographies, Walpole, Sir Hugh Seymour (1884-1941) (2004) and Hugh Walpole (1952), were published after his death.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy birthday, Jack Kerouac!

Jack Kerouac, Beat poet and author
It is the birthday of writer Jack Kerouac (1922), the iconoclast and Beat poet, whose epic On the Road was hailed as a literary achievement and brought him fame as the voice of a new generation. Kerouac considered himself a Catholic writer. "I'm not a beatnik," he once said. "I'm a Catholic." Biographer Douglas Brinkley said On the Road has been misinterpreted as story of a couple of friends in search of kicks. But, for Kerouac, it was a search for God. Every page of his diary had a prayer or a crucifix or an appeal to God to be forgiven. Kerouac lived with his mother in St. Petersburg when the last book published before his death, Vanity of Duluoz (1968), came out. He frequented such establishments as The Wild Boar in Tampa and The Flamingo in St. Petersburg. He died in St. Anthony's Hospital on October 21, 1969, the result of alcohol abuse. He was 47. A passage from On the Road, though written about others, may describe him best: "I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes Awww!"

We had a great time at the book fair

The 31st Annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair is now history. We had a great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones. The book fair is always one of the delights of the year. Thank you to everyone who attended, and especially to everyone who stopped by our booth.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

He wrote biographies of Barrymore, Durante

Gene Fowler
It is the birthday of legendary newspaperman Gene Fowler (1890), who worked for The Denver Post and famously interviewed Buffalo Bill Cody, asking impertinent questions about his numerous love affairs. As city editor at the Rocky Mountain News, he allegedly kept a pistol loaded with blanks to help sleepy reporters stay alert. Later, he was a colleague in New York of iconic sports writer Damon Runyon at Hearst newspapers. During his Hollywood years, he wrote 17 screenplays, most of them in the 1930s, including The Mighty Barnum (1934), The Call of the Wild (1934), A Message to Garcia (1936), White Fang (1936) and Nancy Steele is Missing! (1937). He was a close friend of W.C. Fields and John Barrymore, about whom he wrote a biography, Good Night, Sweet Prince: The Life and Times of John Barrymore (1944). He wrote other biographies and memoirs, including The Great Magoo (1933) (with Ben Hecht), Father Goose: The Story of Mac Sennett (1934), Beau James: The Life and Times of Jimmy Walker (1949), and Schnozzola: The Story of Jimmy Durante (1951).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ravel's most famous work was Boléro

It is the birthday of French composer Maurice Ravel (1875), whose Boléro (1928) was once held in disdain by critics and described as "a piece for orchestra without music." Ravel's Basque heritage (on his mother's side) influenced his music. His father was Swiss. Ravel toured the United States in 1928 and received an enthusiastic reception. He greatly admired jazz and included some elements in his works. He also admired George Gershwin, whom he met in New York. Boléro was was originally written as a ballet for Russian ballerina Ida Rubinstein in 1928. It was also featured in Carole Lombard's 1934 film, Bolero, in the 1957 Mexican film, Raquel's Bolero, and in the 1980 Bo Derek film, 10.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ring Lardner wrote baseball yarns

Ring Lardner, Sr.
It is the birthday of short story writer and sports columnist Ring Lardner (1885), whose use of American vernacular and wry sense of humor continues to endear him to readers nearly eight decades after his death. In his teens, he began work at the South Bend Tribune, in a job he essentially stole from his brother, was also a sports writer. He started writing the nationally syndicated In the Wake of the News column at the Chicago Tribune in 1913, and became a household name. The Black Sox scandal of 1919 changed the way he wrote about sports and, especially, his beloved baseball. He felt betrayed by the Chicago White Sox, some of whom sold out the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. But he is most remembered for his humorous short stories, notably baseball yarns like You Know Me, Al (1914), a series of vernacular letters by a bush league pitcher, and Alibi Ike (1915), about a player, whose skill on the field was exceeded only by his penchant for making up excuses for his performance. One of Lardner's short stories, The Golden Honeymoon (1922), is the amusing tale of a retired couple who makes a trip on the train to St. Petersburg for vacation.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fuller won Pulitzer for A Soldier's Play

Charles Fuller
It is the birthday of playwright Charles Fuller (1939), whose play, A Soldier's Play (1982), won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Fuller's high school had no books by African Americans, a situation that led him to become a writer. A Soldier's Play tells the story of the search by a black Army officer for the murderer of a black sergeant at a base in Louisiana in 1944, when the military was still segregated. The play tackles the position of blacks in white society. It was critically acclaimed but never played on Broadway. Fuller said that was because he refused to cut the last line, "You'll have to get used to black people being in charge." The play was adapted as the film, A Soldiers Story, in 1984. Earlier, Fuller had won an Obie Award for Zooman and the Sign (1980), about the father of a young girl who was killed on her front porch by a black teen and the struggle to prod the neighbors out of their apathy to rise up against the teen and seek justice.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happy birthday, Antonio Vivaldi!

It is the birthday of Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi (1678), who wrote many violin concertos, operas and sacred choral works. He was well known throughout Europe during his lifetime and today is one of the most popular and often recorded Baroque composers. Here is the Winter movement from Vivaldi's violin concerto The Four Seasons, one of his most popular works.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thomas Otway wrote compelling heroines

Thomas Otway
It is the birthday of English dramatist Thomas Otway (1652), who died at age 34, in debt and poverty, and according to popular tradition, choked on bread provided by charity. Otway is best remembered for his plays, Orphan (1680) and Venice Preserved (1652), which concerns a prominent senator in Venice, his wife, his mistress and a plot against the crown. Perhaps he is most remembered for the compelling heroines  Monimia and Belvidera in those two plays. Critics have lauded the tenderness of the two characters, and especially the love scenes between Belvidera and her husband in Venice Preserved. “More tears have been shed for the sorrows of Belvidera and Monimia than for those of Juliet and Desdemona," wrote Sir Walter Scott. For a century, Otway's tragedies were among the most presented in England, after the works of Shakespeare. Still, biographer Samuel Johnson had little use for Otway's plays or him as a man. "It is the work of a man not attentive to decency, nor zealous for virtue; but of one who conceived forcibly, and drew originally, by consulting nature in his own breast."

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dr. Seuss originally pronounced it Zoice

The Cat in the Hat
It is the birthday of children's writer Dr. Seuss (1904), beloved author of 46 books with wildly imaginative characters that have become iconic in American culture and known worldwide.

Dr. Seuss is the pseudonym for Theodor Seuss Geisel, whose best sellers included Horton Hears A Who! (1954), The Cat in the Hat (1957), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960) and Green Eggs and Ham (1960). His work has been adapted into TV specials and series, feature films, and a Broadway musical and a theme park. His books have sold more than 220 million copies and have been translated into 15 languages.

Seuss was his mother's maiden name. Her parents emigrated from Bavaria in the the 19th century. The family pronounced the name Zoice but most Americans say Soose so Geisel finally went with that. He first started using the Dr. Seuss name on cartoons he drew for a humor magazine at Dartmouth College.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chopin died young, left beautiful music

It is the birthday of Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin (1810), who was a well known child prodigy in Warsaw. He went to Paris at age 20 to escape Russian oppression and never returned. He gave only 30 public performances in his 19 years in Paris but wrote extensively. He also played in intimate salon settings. He died in Paris at age 39, probably of tuberculosis, though the cause of death has been the subject of debate among academics in recent years. He was a prolific composer and wrote 59 mazurkas, 27 études, 20 waltzes, 18 polonaises, plus rondos ballades, impromptus, scherzos, écossaises, piano sonatas, concertos, and other pieces. He also wrote 21 nocturnes, including the one in this video. Enjoy!

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

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