Known for his satirical writing, the author and dramatist Henry Fielding (1707-1754) also used his position as a magistrate to co-found the law-enforcing Bow Street Runners. Aside from an early brush with the law, and a general inability to handle his finances, Fielding devoted the majority of his life to the causes of justice.
Poet and dramatist Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury in 1564, and was a contemporary of William Shakespeare. Marlowe was arrested and jailed on various occasions, which included a two-week stint in Newgate Prison on charges of murder. He was killed at the age of 29 after being stabbed above the right eye in a tavern brawl.
One of the foremost metaphysical poets of the Jacobean period, John Donne (1572-1631) was born to a Roman Catholic family, but converted to the Anglican faith during the 1590s, becoming a priest for the order in 1615. He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge -- leaving without a degree from either -- and was appointed as the Dean of London's St Paul's Cathedral in 1621. Relying on friends during his prolonged periods of poverty, Donne engaged in a clandestine marriage, which resulted in a brief period of imprisonment.
Renowned diabolist (Satanist) and poet, Aleister Crowley was born in Warwickshire in 1875. A member of the Golden Dawn, a mystic order in which W.B. Yeats was also involved, Crowley later claimed to be the Beast from the Book of Revelation.
The Petite Chaumière, which literally translates to mean 'Small Thatched Cottage', was a homosexual bar in Montmartre, where the women were commonly dressed as men and a vast array of exotic costume was put on show. In After Dark: The Nocturnal Adventures of Fynes Harte-Harrington, the narrator describes it thus: 'La Petite Chaumiere on the slopes of Montmartre which is a picturesque small cottage-like-building with a rustic front and windows covered in turkey red cotton. Inside the walls are decorated with cubist paintings and a pianist plays. The place is packed but the crowd mixed like La Petit Moulin Rouge.'
Ezra Pound is well known for his experimental use of melody and rhythm in poetry. After his 1914 meeting with Arnold Dolmetsch, he developed an interest in 'monophonic medieval song' and learned to play the clavichord with some success.
Critic and essayist Harold Edmund Stearns was a fellow American expatriate who fell victim to alcohol and gambling whilst attempting to forge a career in Paris. However, he became an expert in the field of horse racing, writing for the European edition of the Chicago Tribune under the pseudonym of Peter Pickem.
Bulgarian painter Jules Pascin (Julius Mordecai Pincas) was known as the 'Prince of Montparnasse'. Born in 1885, he became a leading figure of modernism, combining aspects of Expressionism and Cubism in his works. His constant partying led to serious alcoholism and depression, and he committed suicide in his Montmartre studio in 1930.
Ezra and Dorothy Pound moved into the studio apartment at 70 rue Notre-Dames-des-Champs in December 1921. He had studied many of the Japanese plays -- particularly the Noh -- whilst living with W.B. Yeats in Sussex, England between 1914-1915. Having developed an early admiration for the older poet, he had taken a post as his secretary. Amongst their various fascinations, the pair shared a common curiosity regarding the literary and cultural history of Japan. Pound, who had agreed to become the literary executor of American Orientalist Ernest Francisco Fenollosa (1853-1908) at the request of his widow, was then in receipt of much of the academic's notes, the influence of which would be felt both in Ezra's following works and the repercussions these had on modernism.
Pound's interest in Japan would be an enduring one. When he moved into the Notre-Dames-des-Champs apartment, he took with him a large canvas by Tami Kaume. Pound's daughter, Mary 'Marcher' -- actually born (1925) to mistress Olga Rudge-- later interpreted its puzzling brush strokes as representing 'chaos, the universe or the torso of a giant, crucified.' (James J. Wilhelm, Ezra Pound: The Tragic Years, 1925-1972, p. 74)
English painter Dorothy Pound, born Dorothy Shakespear in 1886, was the daughter of London solicitor, Henry Hope Shakespear. Her mother, Olivia Shakespear, was a novelist and an intimate friend (occasional lover) of W.B. Yeats, although Pound had made the acquaintance of the Shakespears before his work with Yeats began in 1914. Dorothy was 23 when she met Ezra, noting the following in her diary of 1909:
“Ezra”. Listen to it, Ezra! Ezra! - And a third time - Ezra! He has a wonderful beautiful face, a high forehead . . . a long, delicate nose, with little, red nostrils; a strange mouth, never still, & quite elusive; a square chin, slightly cleft in the middle-the whole face pale; the eyes gray-blue; the hair golden-brown, and curling in soft wavy crinkles. Large hands, with long, well-shaped fingers, and beautiful nails.
A good friend of Ezra Pound, the French sculptor Gaudier-Brzeska (born 1891) became a founding member of the Vorticism movement in London after moving there in 1910. With no formal artistic training, he developed a primitive and simplified style of carving, shaping the Head of Ezra from a lump of marble in 1914.
He was killed in the war in 1915. Pound, greatly saddened by Brzeska's death, later memorialised him in his Canto XVI.
Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) was reportedly born to an English mother and American father in a yacht off the coast of Novia Scotia, Canada. Originally named Percy Wyndham Lewis, but soon dropping the ill-favoured 'Percy', he co-founded the Vorticist magazine BLAST. A Battery Shelled (1919) -- perhaps one of Lewis's better known paintings -- reflects his wartime experiences. He went blind in 1951 and consequently focused on his written work for his remaining years.
Set in Paris around the 1830s, La bohème is an opera by Giacomo Puccini. Comprised of four acts, the story follows the tragic love of the seamstress Mimì and the poet Rodolfo. Its cast could be seen as an earlier generation of the impoverished artists and writers of Hemingway's circle. The opera was first performed in 1896 and remains very popular.
Born in America, English poet Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) felt himself more aligned with contemporary artists and works from the States than from Great Britain. Ezra Pound was influential in the success of Eliot's work in more ways than one. Not only did he provide financial support for Eliot, who took a job with Lloyds Bank in London in 1917, but as overseas editor for Poetry magazine he also helped to secure publication for Eliot's first major work, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' (1915). Perhaps most vital, however, was Pound's assistance in editing Eliot's epic modernist poem The Waste Land. The published version (1922) was approximately half the length of the original manuscript. T. S. Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948.
American expatriate, poet and writer Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972) lived on Paris's Left Bank for over 60 years. Her exceptionally wealthy background afforded her many great opportunities and, in a similar way to Gertrude Stein, many of the era's great literary and artistic minds met in her salon. Barney was openly homosexual, with her writings reflecting a strong belief in both feminism and pacifism. In 1927 she founded a 'Women's Academy' in order to aid female writers, as the prominent French Academy was only accessible to men.
French Symbolist poet, critic and writer Remy de Gourmont (1858-1915) was hugely popular during his lifetime. The majority of his published works -- more than fifty in total -- were collections of essays, and he greatly influenced a number of writers, including Blaise Cendrars.
British engineer Major Clifford Hugh Douglas (1879-1952) pioneered a movement for economic reform which promoted the concept of individual freedom from the system. His ideas had global repercussions and formed the basis for Social Credit.
T. S. Eliot's literary magazine The Criterion originally found financial support from the wife of a successful newspaper baron, Lady Rothermere. The first edition, published in October 1922, featured Eliot's epic poem The Waste Land. Eliot remained editor of the journal, which was printed on a quarterly basis, until its final issue in January 1939.
While Alice B. Toklas called Getrude Stein 'Lovey', the latter bestowed the name 'Pussy' on Toklas. Although Toklas is often thought to have been the submissive partner in the relationship, content to take on the role of 'wife', Zak M. Salih conjectures that this may not have always been the case. Conversely, some have argued that the reported exclamation was an exaggeration on the part of Hemingway, who remembered the couple unfavourably after the end of their friendship.
Spanish painter and sculptor José Victoriano González-Pérez (Juan Gris) was born in Madrid in 1887, but spent the majority of his life in France. Both Stein and Hemingway invested in his work, which was highly influential to the movement of Cubism. Gris died in Paris in 1927.
Diagnosed with tuberculosis at the age of 17, Detroit-born Ernest Walsh (1895) spent his childhood in Cuba. A plane crash which followed his enrolment in the army as an air cadet further complicated Walsh's lung complaints.
Whilst Walsh's personal work elicited a somewhat mixed reception, he is best remembered for his editorship of This Quarter magazine, which published many great writers of the era, Hemingway included. He died in 1926 at the age of 31, before the emergence of the magazine's third edition. Co-editor and subsequent mother of Walsh's child, Ethil Moorhead would vehemently retract the first issue's dedication to Ezra Pound in the publication that followed.
Poetry: A Magazine of Verse was founded in Chicago in 1912 by Chicago Tribune art critic Harriet Monroe (1860-1936). The publication, which continues to circulate, transformed the way that poetry was received in the English-speaking world.
English-born American poet Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959) penned some 11,000 poems during his lifetime. Receiving wide recognition and securing publication from the age of fourteen, Guest became known as the People's Poet. He remains the only writer to have been made Poet Laureate of Michigan.
Writer and poet Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India in 1865. Hugely popular during his lifetime, he was the first English language author to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (1907), and remains to this day its youngest recipient. His many works --particularly his children's stories -- are still well-loved, and he has been hailed by many as a literary genius.
The Dial was initially launched in connection with the Transcendentalists in 1840, undergoing a revival in the 1880s as a political publication. However, it was not until 1920 -- under the editorship of both Thayer and Dr. James Sibley Watson Jr. -- that the periodical would be revived as a literary journal. Thayer and Watson created the $2,000 Dial Award in 1921. Publication of the magazine ceased in 1929.
'Portugaise', on the other hand, is the term usually applied to a variety of French oyster with close links to Eastern and Pacific species. The true 'vervy, fast-growing and easy-to-farm portugaise' (Crassostrea angulata), however, was largely wiped out by a disease in the 1970s. It has since been replaced by the similar japonaise (Crassostrea gigas).
With the colossal Ulysses finding publication through Sylvia Beach in March 1921 (see 'Bookmark' for page 16: "To keep my mind off writing..."), James Joyce set down his pen for a year. On 10 March 1923 he began the first two pages of what would eventually become known as Finnegans Wake. After the completion of the initial two sections of the novel in 1926, Transition magazine agreed to serialise it under the title of Work in Progress. However, the book would not be published in full form until 1939. Despite his early support of Joyce, Ezra Pound was amongst the book's many critics, stating 'Nothing so far as I can make out, nothing short of divine vision or a new cure for the clapp can possibly be worth all that circumambient peripherization.'
Regarded as the father of modern realism in Russia, Ukrainian-born writer, satirist and dramatist Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (1809-1852) is perhaps best known for the 1842 novel Mertvye Dushi I-II (Dead Souls). His work is well-known for its exposure of the more grotesque traits of human nature.
Born in the Ukraine (1860-1904), writer and physician Anton Pavlovich Chekhov is widely believed to be the master of short-story form.
(For more on Turgenev, Constance Garnett and Tolstoi, see 'Bookmark' for page 21: "I started with Turgenev").
Katherine Mansfield was the pen-name of Kathleen Mansfield Murry, nee Beauchamp (1888-1923). Born and brought up in New Zealand, she moved to London in 1908 where she became closely associated with other modernist writers, such as D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. Considered forward-thinking and one of the best short-story writers of her time, her work is often compared to that of Anton Chekhov, whose work she greatly admired.
American poet, writer and journalist Stephen Crane (1871-1900) secured his reputation as a prominent literary figure with the 1895 publication of his Civil War novel The Red Badge of Courage. At the time of the book's writing Crane had no first-hand knowledge of battle, however he went on to report as a correspondent for the Spanish-American War in 1896.
His many works provided much inspiration to Modernist literature, and Hemingway included The Red Badge of Courage in his 1942 publication Men at War: The Best War Stories of All Time. In the introduction he noted: it 'is one of the finest books of our literature, and I include it entire because it is all as much of a piece as a great poem is.' The novel was also adapted to a BAFTA-nominated film bearing the same title in 1951.
Widely considered the pioneer of photojournalism, Mathew B. Brady (1822-1896) is famous for his portraits of the rich and famous, as well as his documentation of the Civil War. Frequently risking life and limb for his work, Brady is quoted as saying: 'My greatest aim has been to advance the art of photography and to make it what I think I have, a great and truthful medium of history.'
French author Marie-Henri Beyle (Stendhal, 1783-1842) is believed to have been one of the first writers to apply realism to his works. La Chartreuse de Parme (The Charterhouse of Parma) was published in 1839 and draws on Beyle's personal experiences of battle. The story follows the life of protagonist Fabrice del Dongo, who becomes determined to join Napoleon and participates in the Battle of Waterloo (see 'Bookmark' for page 19: 'But sitting there with the beer...').