Brahms' symphony in C minor was written over many years, beginning in 1855 with 'sketches'. It was finally performed in 1876, 21 years later.
The Phi Beta Kappa fraternity was an honor society, promoting the advancement of the liberal arts. First established at the College of William & Mary in 1776, the Phi Beta Kappas were also the first Greek-letter fraternities, as well as one of the oldest undergraduate fraternities in the United States.
Duke University was established in 1837, as a private school. It is located in Durham, North Carolina. With a Methodist and Quaker background, it is founded on private research, as well as extensive academic and athletic programs. Styron went to Duke University in 1943. After service in the war, he returned to Duke, completing his schooling in 1947.
Handel's Water Music is a collection of pieces written for a concert on the River Thames in London in 1717, requested by King George I.
Paolo and Francesca are historical figures who appear as characters in the fifth canto of Dante's epic poem, The Divine Comedy.
Francesca da Rimini was a contemporary of Dante Alighieri. Born the daughter of a Lord of Ravenna, she became the wife of Giovanni Malatesta. This was a marriage of convenience, negotiated as a means of strengthening a newly established peace between Francesca's father's kingdom and that of her husband to be.
Giovanni, though brave, suffered from a deformity that everyone feared would cause Francesca to refuse the match. So the marriage was negotiated and completed in private with Giovanni's brother, Paolo, as an intermediary. During this charade Francesca and Paolo fell in love. Their subsequent adultery earned them a place in Dante's Inferno.