Friday, July 9, 2010

Thomas Paine National Historica

The Thomas Paine National Historical Association, founded January 29, 1884 in New York City, is among the oldest historical associations in the United States. Our mission, to educate the world about the life, times and works of Thomas Paine, is designed to ensure Paine's rightful place in history as the preeminent founder of the United States of America. He was, in fact, the first person to coin this phrase. In the course of his lifetime, Paine was an outstanding political and social influence upon the entire world.

Dr. Moncure Conway was elected the Association's first president. A noted writer, abolitionist, and confidant to Abraham Lincoln, Conway is credited with writing the first comprehensive biography of Paine in 1892. In 1925, under the leadership of President William van der Weyde and Vice-President Thomas Alva Edison, the Association undertook the initiative to build a museum to house the priceless documents and artifacts of Paine's life. Since then, the Thomas Paine National Historical Association has been located in New Rochelle, New York on the site of Thomas Paine's farm and shared by the Museum, Thomas Paine Cottage, and Thomas Paine Monument. In addition to the acquisition, preservation, and conservation of documents and artifacts relating to Thomas Paine, the Association offers educational programs, public speakers, presentations, and special events that illuminate Paine's political and social philosophy and demonstrate its relevance to the issues of the day.

"London has always provided the landscape for my imagination. It becomes a character - a living being - within each of my books."


London, England


Clare College, Cambridge; Yale University, US

Other jobs

Critic and journalist

Did you know?

One of his lesser-known early works is Dressing Up, a history of drag and transvestism.

Critical verdict

Ackroyd began his literary career as a poet before moving into fiction, and has also written imaginatively convincing biographies of TS Eliot, Dickens, Blake and Thomas More. He excels in the dual narrative - two voices separated by centuries - and has consistently focused on London, its change and its continuity, as his subject and structure. Combining accessibility with scholarship and extensive research, his work has blurred the boundaries between biography and fiction and been critically and commercially successful.

Recommended works

Hawksmoor; Chatterton (shortlisted for the Booker Prize); his compelling Blake biography; the inexhaustible London: The Biography.


Ackroyd follows in the tradition of the great chroniclers of London, Wiliam Blake and Charles Dickens.

Now read on

Perfume by Patrick Süskind echoes Ackroyd's sensory reimagining of the past; The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles adopts the history-spanning dual narrative. Michael Moorcock's Mother London focuses on the capital as a locus of history, while Iain Sinclair also searches out London's dark past.

Recommended biography

Iain Sinclair remarked that Ackroyd's grandly ambitious London: The Biography "very rapidly announces itself as Peter Ackroyd: The Autobiography".


Metafiction and Myth in the Novels of Peter Ackroyd (1999) by Susana Onega is the first full-length study of Ackroyd's 'historiographic metafiction'.

Useful links and work online

Online work
· Excerpt: The Life of Thomas More
· Excerpt: Milton in America

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rg Gregory (1928 - present)

Born Southampton 1928; Army (Education Corps) England and Germany 1946-49; King’s London (English degree 49-52); teacher Hampshire, Uganda, Shropshire 53-72; Word And Action 72-03 (retired on 75th birthday). Six children (one dead) from two long relationships; married again June 2006. Have lived in Dorset since 1972. Moving to Market Drayton Shropshire end of August 2006. 
Teacher (English /Drama) 52-72; Founder/Member of Word And Action (Dorset) – Language-Arts organisation - 72-03; Poet (haiku to book-length poems); Director/Actor/Playwright,Theatre-in-the-Round since 59; Inventor of Instant Theatre (participatory performances for all-ages); Polemical books/articles (education/theatre); Early short-stories / late novels; Word-art productions. 
Poems over the years in many small magazines. Publications include Glimpses of Dorset (1996); Imperfect Eden – over 9-hour recording of 10,000 line poem in rhyme royal about childhood in Southampton in the 1930s. (2001). 
Collections of poems: The Simple Stream; Heart’s Fangs, The Desiring Discus (3 anthologies of poems 1945-1989). Poems from the Year of the Metal Horse (1990-91). Towards Jerusalem (1989-93). Beyond Jerusalem (1993-95). Bee-attitudes (1995-97). Bluefish (1998-1999). The Millennial Edge (2000-01). Flower Power (2002). Herod’s Legacy (2003-04). The Rescue Package (2005). 
Sequences: Crossing the Line (1966). Proverbs of Hell (1971). Thirteeners* (1978). Imperfect Eden (2001). 
(* In 1978 invented the THIRTEENER, a kind of rough sonnet, limited to three rhymed endings. Have practised the form since over 200 times. ) 
Book-length single poems: My Cuttings (poem plus 58 collages – photo-play - 1972). The Ansty Experience (1993). 
Themed Collections: Action Poems. Growing-Up Poems. Enigmas and Obsessions. Long Poems. Potpourri for Christmas. A Tipple of Shorts. 
Poem-graphics: computer graphics – over 500 at A6, A5 and A4 sizes – using short and shortish poems of my own). 
Other: Over twenty verse plays for school, youth and adult groups (all written for performance in the round). Ten Chapbooks on literary, dramatic and educational themes. 
Much non-published work – inc The Group Dream – a commentary on 130 stories from Instant Theatre (over 600 pages long; 8 years to write). 
Have worked as playwright, director, actor, with school, youth and adult groups – always in the round since 1959. Much poetry in performance. Now give “animated readings” of my work – reading from text performances in the round. Have run many courses in the making of plays and poems; in the philosophy and practice of Instant Theatre. 
Believe prose and poetry have different functions. In prose use all punctuation devices meticulously. In poetry have graduated to using lower case, brackets, dashes and apostrophes. The movement of my poems strongly affected by this deliberate style.

Helen Dunmore (1952 - present)

Born in Yorkshire in 1952, Helen Dunmore studied English at York University and taught in Finland for two years before publishing her first book. She has worked as a writer, reader, performer and eacher of Poetry and Creative Writing, tutoring residential writing courses for the Arvon Foundation and taking part in the Poetry Society's Writer in Schools scheme. She has also taught at the University of Glamorgan, the University of Bristol's Continuing Education Department and for the Open College of the Arts. She also reviews for The Times and The Observer, contributes to arts programmes on BBC Radio and has been a judge for the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Book of the Year award. 

Her poetry collections include The Apple Fall (1983), The Sea Skater (1986), which won the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award in 1987, The Raw Garden (1988) and Short Days, Long Nights: New and Selected Poems (1991). Her novels include Zennor in Darkness (1993), winner of the McKitterick Prize, a fictional account of
D. H. Lawrence's life in Cornwall during the First World War; the acclaimed A Spell of Winter (1995), about a brother and sister brought up by their grandfather in his decaying house in the country, winner of the first Orange Prize for Fiction; Talking to the Dead (1996), a tale of two sisters locked in an intense, obsessive relationship; Your Blue-Eyed Boy (1998), the story of a judge's fight to take control of both her professional and personal lives; and With Your Crooked Heart (1999), a story of two brothers, set in contemporary London. She is also the author of two collections of short stories, Love of Fat Men (1997) and Ice Cream (2000). 

She has written a number of books for children, including Secrets (1994), which won the Signal Poetry Award, and the novels Brother, Brother, Sister, Sister (1999) and The Zillah Rebellion (2001).

Her recent novel for adults, The Siege (2001), shortlisted for both the Whitbread Novel Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, is set during the siege of Leningrad in 1941. Mourning Ruby (2003), is a story about memory, love and history. 

Helen Dunmore is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her latest book is House of Orphans (2006), a historical novel set in Finland. 

Ros Barber (1964 - present)

Ros Barber (born 1964) is a British poet and writer. Barber was born in Washington D.C., where her father was working for the US government, and grew up in Essex, later moving to Sussex to study for a Biology degree. Both parents are physicists by training, and Barber has a strong interest in science and mathematics which comes through in the formal aspects of many of her poems. 

Her first full collection of poetry, How Things Are On Thursday (Anvil, 2004) came after seventeen years of appearing frequently in anthologies, poetry magazines and prize shortlists. Not the Usual Grasses Singing (Four Shores, 2005), the result of a public art commission, is a book about the Isle of Sheppey written entirely in rhyming couplets. Her next book from Anvil, Material, is due to be published in early 2008. She also writes fiction. 

Many of Barber's personal poems are concerned with the constrained expression of high emotion; she works frequently in form (both rhyme and metre), and conveys human difficulties with honesty, directness, and a wry, dark humour. She is well known in the South of England for her public poetry commissions, which are largely site-specific or place based, connecting landscapes or urban environments to their histories. 
Writing in a richly imagistic but accessible style, and adept and transferring both her voice and the voices of others to the page, Barber is also a striking performer of her own work. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Master of Wuxia Novel Writer: Jin Yong (THE LIST OF HIS NOVELS)

1.          The Book and the Sword -  (first published on The New Evening Post in 1955)

2.         Sword Stained with Royal Blood -  (first published on Hong Kong Commercial Daily in 1956)

3.         The Legend of the Condor Heroes -  (first published on Hong Kong Commercial Daily in 1957)

4.         Flying Fox of Snowy Mountain -  (first installment appeared on the first issue of Ming Pao in 1959)

5.         The Return of the Condor Heroes -  (1959)

6.         Other Tales of the Flying Fox - (1960)

7.         Blade-dance of the Two Lovers -  (first published on Ming Pao in 1961)

8.        Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre -  (first published on Ming Pao in 1961)

9.         A Deadly Secret -  (first published on Southeast Asia Weekly in 1963)

10.     Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils -  (1963)

11.     Ode to Gallantry -  (1965)

12.     The Smiling, Proud Wanderer -  (first published on Ming Pao in 1967)

13.     The Deer and the Cauldron -  (1969-1972)

14.     Sword of the Yue Maiden - (1970)

A Master of Wuxia Novel Writer: Jin Yong

Louis Cha, GBM, OBE  born 6 February 1924), known with his pen name Jin Yong is one of the most influential modern Chinese-language novelists. Co-founder of the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao, which he started in 1959, he was the paper's first editor-in-chief and held this position until 1993, when he retired. He has also written and directed two films.

Cha's fiction, which are of the Wuxia ("martial arts and chivalry") genre, has a widespread following in Chinese-speaking areas, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and United States. His fourteen novels and a short fiction composed between 1955 and 1972 earned him a reputation as one of the finest Wuxia writers ever. He is currently the best-selling Chinese author alive; over 100 million copies of his works have been sold worldwide (not including unknown number of bootleg copies)

Cha's works have been translated into Korean, English, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Burmese and Thai and he has many fans abroad as well, thanks to the numerous adaptations of his works made into films, television series, manhua (comic books), and video games.
A native of Haining county, Zhejiang province, Republic of China, with ancestry from Wuyuan, a county of Shangrao prefecture in Jiangxi province, Cha is the second of seven children from an illustrious family of scholars; his grandfather was a jinshi. Cha was an avid reader of literature from an early age, especially of wuxia fiction, and of the classical fiction. He was once expelled from his high school for openly criticizing the Nationalist regime as autocratic. He first studied at the famous Hangzhou High School  in 1937 but was dismissed in 1941 and then he studied in Zhejiang Province Jiaxing High School, and was admitted to the Faculty of Foreign Languages of the Central University, located in Chungking (Chongqing).Cha later transferred to the Faculty of Law at Dongwu University to major in International Law, with the intention of working as a foreign relations official.

In 1947, Cha entered Shanghai's newspaper Ta Kung Pao as a journalist. One year later, he was posted to the Hong Kong division as a copyeditor. He would reside in Hong Kong for the rest of his life. When Cha was transferred to Hsin Wan Pao as Deputy Editor, he met Chen Wentong, who in 1953 wrote his first wuxia novel under the pseudonym Liang Yusheng . Chen and Cha became good friends, and it was under the former's influence that Cha began work on his first serialized martial arts novel, The Book and the Sword, in 1955. In 1957, while still working on wuxia serializations, he quit his previous job and worked as a scenarist-director and scriptwriter at the Great Wall Movie Enterprises Ltd and Phoenix Film Company.

In 1959, together with fellow high-school mate Shen Pao Sing  Cha founded the Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao. Cha served as its Editor-in-Chief for years, writing both serialized novels and editorials, amounting to some 10,000 characters per day. His editorials were well respected, and Ming Pao gradually gained a reputation as one of Hong Kong's most highly rated press. His novels also earned him a large readership. Cha wrote his last wuxia novel in 1972, after which he officially retired from writing, and spent the remaining years of that decade editing and revising his literary works instead. The first complete definitive edition of his works appear in 1979. In 1980, Jin Yong wrote a postscript to Wu Gongzao's tai chi classic Wu Jia Taijiquan, in which he described influences from as far back as Laozi and Zhuangzi on contemporary Chinese martial arts.

By then, Cha's Wuxia novels have earned great popularity in Chinese-speaking areas. All of his novels have since been adapted into films, TV series and radio series in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. The important characters in his novels are so well-known to the public that they can be alluded to with ease between all three regions.

In later years in the 1970s, Cha was involved in Hong Kong politics. He was a member of the Hong Kong Basic Law drafting committee, although, after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, he resigned in protest. He was also part of the Preparatory Committee set up in 1996 to supervise Hong Kong's transition by the Chinese government.

In 1993, Cha prepared for retirement from editorial work, selling all his shares in Ming Pao. Together with the royalties from his works, Cha's personal wealth is estimated at some HK$600 million.

JK Rowling gives new book green light

Best-selling author Harry Potter J K Rowling has given her imprimatur to a new book about her wizard boy by superfan Melissa Anelli, who runs a Potter fan web site. USA Today says Rowling, who earlier this year won a lawsuit to block another fan from publishing a Potter lexicon, has written the foreword to Anelli's tome, Harry, a History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon.

Rowling writes that she's impressed by Anelli's fan site, Leaky Cauldron (, which gets more than a million hits a month.

Anelli says she thinks "there is a chance" Rowling may write an eighth Potter book. "If she returns to it, the book will be about Albus Severus Potter (son of Harry and Ginny Potter)," she says.

Mitja Čander

Mitja Čander was born on 9 March 1974 in Maribor. He studied comparative literature at the Faculty of Art, Ljubljana University. He entered the Slovene literary arena in the 1990s. He started working as an editor with the student magazine Tribuna. Between 1995 and 2000 he was editing the literary supplement of the Maribor literary magazine Dialogi; since 1996 he has been editor of the literary collection Beletrina, which has transformed the former concept of literary publishing in Slovenia. In 2001 he edited the anthology of Slovene short prose written by younger Slovene authors, which has so far been published in English, Hungarian, Rоmanian, Croatian and Serbian translations (Macedonian and German translations are underway). Since 1992, Čander has published a considerable number of critical essays about Slovene and world literature. For his work he has received two major awards: the Stritar Award (1998) for the best young critic, and the Glazer Prize (2000) awarded by the city of Maribor for prominent achievements in the sphere of culture. Čander is also involved in various cultural activities for the young, and works as a columnist, dramaturge and screenwriter for documentary films. 

Zapiski iz noči (Notes from the night) is the author’s first book of essays compiled betwen 2001 and 2003. It was awarded as the best first book. He is already writing his second book dedicated to contemporary Slovene prose.


Amitav Ghosh, a pioneer of English literature in India, was born in Calcutta (Now Kolkata) in the year 1956. Amitav Ghosh has been raised and educated at the same time in as different locations as Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Iran, Egypt, India and the United Kingdom. He completed his higher studies in England where he went on to receive his Ph.D. in social anthropology from Oxford University. After completing his Ph.D. he decided to pursue his career in writing.

Amitav Ghosh is acclaimed in the literary world for his works on fiction, travel writing and journalism. His long list of accomplishment includes books like The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In an Antique Land and Dancing in Cambodia. His previous work, The Glass Palace, was an international bestseller that sold more than a half-million copies in Britain. Recently published there, The Hungry Tide has been sold for translation in twelve foreign countries and is also a bestseller abroad. Among awards, Ghosh has won France's Prix Medici Etranger, India's prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Pushcart Prize.

The fictions of Amitav Ghosh are marked by extreme themes that go side by side with post-colonialism. Nevertheless it will be nothing short of insult, for an author of his repute, to say that his works are formulaic. It is practically impossible to label his works. It can be added here that his topics are much more unique and personal. The appeal of Amitav' s work lies in his ability to weave "Indo-nostalgic" elements into more serious, heavier themes. The Government of India conferred Amitav Ghosh with Padma Bhushan. He now divides his time between Harvard University, where he is a visiting professor, and his homes in India and Brooklyn, New York. He is planning to shift back to India.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brad Pitt ( 1963 - )

Brangelina: The Untold Story of Brad Pitt and Angelina JolieIn 2007, he was listed on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list of affluent individuals. That’s not the only list that Brad Pitt has graced. He was elected to the select group of only three men when he was voted not once but twice as People Magazine’s "Sexiest Man Alive".

Brad Pitt is one of those men who could likely step into the role of a politician at any point and be well received. However, if he isn’t careful, he’ll be walking in his partner’s shadows. Joined without wedding bells ringing in the distance, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are a couple. They have four children together and the couple has been able to raise their family in New Orleans and California without too many unconventional pressures.

Brad Pitt, is now a father first. However, no one would know or care if it wasn’t for his quick rise to claim the fame he earned. Brad Pitt went to the University of Missouri at Columbia before he became a Hollywood A-lister. He trained under the notorious Roy London when he first found his place in Beverly Hills.

With small roles on Head of the Class, Another World, 21 JumpStreet and other television parts, Pitt was on his way. As success began to call his name, he found parts in the popular movies Thelma and Louise and Too Young to Die.

Soon, Legends of the Fall and the movie Seven would turn Mr. Pitt into a mega-star. By the time Oceans Eleven and Mr. and Mrs. Smith rolled around, Brad Pitt was a household name.

Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston and the couple seemed like the All-American poster couple for matrimony. However, Mr. and Mrs. Smith changed things for Mr. and Mrs. Pitt. Soon, Jennifer Aniston filed for divorce and Brad Pitt was spotted vacationing with Angelina Jolie. However, Jolie came out publicly denying that an affair was already underway prior to Pitt’s separation. Still, the evidence was clear. Brad and Angelina were an item.

Today, Brad Pitt and his family are hot media topics when they travel. Brad Pitt and his family enjoy their role in philanthropy efforts and work hard to make a significant difference for better lives. He continues to act in films but thanks to his film credits, he can be a little choosy when accepting roles.

Tom A ( 1957 - -99999 )

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Leroy Gordon Cooper

Leroy Gordon Cooper, Jr., was one of the seven original astronauts in Project Mercury, the first manned-space effort by the United States. He flew the longest space flight of the project, was the first American to sleep in orbit, and the last American to fly alone in earth orbit thus far. Born in Oklahoma to a farming family, he attended public schools and was an active Boy Scout, achieving the second highest rank of Life Scout. He joined the Marine Corps in 1945, and then received an officer's commission to the U.S. Army after completing three years of study at the University of Hawaii. He met his wife while at university. Trudy Cooper was the only wife of a Mercury astronaut who held a private pilot's license.
In 1949, Cooper transferred his commission to the Air Force and received flight training. His first flight assignment came in 1950 in Germany, where he flew F-84 Thunderjets and F-86 Sabres. He continued his university studies at the University of Maryland European Extension. Four years later he returned to the US and studied two more years at the Air Force Institute of Technology. In 1957 he completed the BS in aerospace engineering. At that point, Cooper was assigned to the Experimental Flight Test School at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He served as a test pilot and project manager testing the F-102A and F-106B. He logged more than 7,000 hours of flight time, and flew all types of commercial and general aviation airplanes and helicopters.

With his extensive educational and practical background, Cooper was a prime candidate for the Mercury program. He was summoned to Washington, D.C. for a NASA briefing on the project. Cooper went through the lengthy and stressful selection process with the other 109 candidates but expressed no surprise when he was accepted to the program. Each Mercury astronaut was assigned to a different part of the project. Cooper specialized in the Redstone rocket (and developed a personal survival knife for astronauts to carry). He served as chair on several committees as well. His first flight into space took place on May 15, 1963 aboard the Mercury-Atlas 9 spacecraft during the last Mercury mission. He orbited the earth 22 times and logged more time in space than the previous five Mercury astronauts combined, 34 hours, 19 minutes and 49 seconds. He was not only the first American astronaut to sleep in orbit, he also fell asleep on the launch pad during a countdown. His cool attitude prevailed towards the end of the flight, when the capsule had a power failure. Using his self-devised, clever manual skills he was able to re-orient the capsule for re-entry entirely on his own, resulting in NASA's rethinking of design for future capsules.

Cooper later flew as command pilot on the Gemini 2 and Gemini 12 flights. He was selected as a backup commander for Apollo 10 and was scheduled to fly to the moon as commander of Apollo 13. However, he had a falling out with NASA, and Alan Shepard was chosen instead. Cooper retired from NASA and the Air Force in 1970, with the rank of colonel. His post-NASA years were filled with serving on corporate boards and as technical consultant for more than a dozen companies. During the 1970s he worked for The Walt Disney Company as they developed the Epcot Center. After his divorce from Trudy, Cooper married Suzan Taylor in 1972. The couple had two daughters of their own and raised the two daughters from his first marriage. Later in life Cooper developed Parkinson's disease. He died at age 77 from heart failure in his California home.

Arthur Korn

Arthur Korn was born in Breslau (now Wroclaw), Silesia on 4 June 1891. He studied at the Königliche Kunst und Kunstgewerbeschule (Royal Art and Trade School) in Berlin, and after WWI he worked briefly at the office of expressionist architect Erich Mendelsohn. After military service during World War I, he joined the office of Erich Mendelsohn in Berlin, where he had already gained some pre-war experience in urban planning.

In the 1920's Korn became an advocate of Berlin's modernist architectural movement, and he associated with Bauhaus architects such as Walter Gropius and Ernst May. He published Glas. Im Bau und als Gebrauchsgegenstand (published in English as Glass in Modern Architecture) in 1929. In that book, Korn wrote, "[Glass] 'is noticeable yet not quite visible. It is the great membrane, full of mystery, delicate yet tough.''

Although he experience great popularity as an architect in Berlin, he was forbidden to practice in Nazi Germany, as he was Jewish. He left Berlin and first moved to Yugoslavia, then to London in 1938. He then joined the Modern Architectural Research (MARS) Group where, as chair of the town planning subcommittee, he drew up the modernist MARS plan for post-war London published in 1942.

Between 1941 and 1945 he taught architecture and planning at the Oxford School of Architecture, then, from 1945 at the Architectural Association in London. He retired in 1965 before moving to Austria in 1969.