Eleonora Duse (1858–1924), Italian actress. Duse was the innovator of a technique she described as "elimination of self" to internally connect with the character she was portraying and allow expression to occur.
La Locandiera ("The Mistress of the Inn"), a 3-act comedy by Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni, premiered in 1753. Duce played the lead role in a command performance for Queen Victoria in 1894.
The poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" was written by English Romantic poet John Keats (1795–1821) in 1819.
The Ladies' Home Journal is an American magazine founded in 1883, concerned with "women's issues": home economics, beauty, food, relationships.
The narrator is being ironic.
The story of Paolo and Francesca is told in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Francesca was to marry the deformed Giovanni by proxy through his brother Paolo, but she fell in love with Paolo, and they became lovers.
Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play by William Shakespeare about a couple of young lovers from feuding households.
Dr. Thomas Brown (1605–1682), English author, in Chapter V of his essay Hydriotaphia (or Urn Burial) wrote, "What song the sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture."
Blaise Pascal (1623–1662), French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. "The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."
Charles Stewart Parnell, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party from 1875 to 1891, had an affair with Katharine O'Shea, which eventually caused his political downfall.