"Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To digg the dust encloased heare,
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones."
The Ankou, in Breton mythology, is the personification of death. He is variously described as a man or skeleton in a cloak, and a shadow-man wearing a hat that hides his face. In each case he carries a scythe for harvesting the souls of the dead. In some tales he drives a coach pulled by black horses, or pulls a cart to collect the dead.
Charles Dickens' 1852/3 novel Bleak House, details a legal battle waged over a disputed inheritance, in the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. The litigation drags on for generations, and by the time that a resolution is reached, the entire inheritance has been exhausted in legal fees.
Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant) is an 1872 painting by Claude Monet that lent its name to the Impressionist movement. In October 1985 it was stolen, along with eight other paintings, from the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris. The painting was recovered in 1990, and Philippe Jamin and Youssef Khimoun were arrested for the theft. Impression, Sunrise has been back on display in the museum since 1991.
Harriet Martineau (1802 - 1876), was an English social theorist and author of more than 50 books.
Compare this name to that of Possession's protagonist: Roland Michell.
Raphael (1483 - 1520), was an Italian artist and architect and a great master of the High Renaissance. His portraits and painted alterpieces and frescoes for places of worship are still well-known today, and his Putti (cherubs) - a detail from his Sistine Madonna painting - are a popular and oft-copied image. His frescoes still decorate the walls of four rooms in the Palace of the Vatican - known as the Stanze di Raffaello, or Raphael Rooms. When he died at the age of 37, Cardinal Pietro Bembo - a scholar, poet, and literary theorist - wrote a verse to be inscribed on his tomb:
"Ille hic est Raffael, timuit quo sospite vinci, rerum magna parens et moriente mori" which translates as
"Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die."
Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti lost his wife, Elizabeth Siddal, in 1862, to an overdose of laudanum. Rossetti buried the only manuscript of his unpublished poems in her grave, but eventually allowed them to be exhumed, at the urging of his friends.
William Morris (1834 - 1896), was an English artist and designer, writer, and socialist. He was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Arts and Crafts Movement. His designs - intricate repeating patterns, usually featuring flora and fauna - were used on furnishing decorations such as wallpapers and textiles, and these remain popular today. An example of one of these designs, Brother Rabbit, can be viewed here.
The William Morris Society
Morris & Co.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 - 1669), was a Dutch artist, considered to be one of the most important in Dutch history, as well as one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history.
Jean-Baptiste Racine (1639 - 1699), was a French dramatist, primarily a tragedian, producing works such as Phèdre, Andromaque, and Athalie.