Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, English author of Frankenstein

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851) was an English writer. As a teen she fell for romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Unfortunately Percy was already married. Still you can’t tell teens anything and she ran off with him. They traveled Europe ending up in a Swiss chalet belonging to Lord Byron. Here she wrote Frankenstein during a dramatic storm – think lightening and thunderous downpour, although it could have been a light sprinkle. Anyway eventually Shelley’s wife died and the pair married. That didn’t last long as Percy sank sailing during a another storm and Mary, wanting predictable weather went back to England.

Illustration by Kathleen McGuinness. Visit her watercolor portraits.

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Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet, (1838-1875) was a French pianist and composer.

Georges Bizet, (1838-1875) was a French pianist and composer. A musical child prodigy his opera Carmen premiered right before his death in 1875 and is now performed all over the world.

Illustration by Kathleen McGuinness. Visit her watercolor portraits.

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Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a German philosopher
Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

German philosopher born in Poland

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) was a cantankerous German philosopher born in Poland. A fun guy, he developed a pessimistic philosophy. He believed that man having a will to live is the cause of all suffering and wrote deep philosophic tomes like his World as Will and Representation. Still, at least he wrote nice stuff about religious tolerance.

Illustration by Kathleen McGuinness. Visit her watercolor portraits.

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Baruch Spinoza

Spinoza was Dutch philosopher and one of the great rationalists, a leading figure of the Dutch Golden Age.
Spinoza was Dutch philosopher and one of the great rationalists, a leading figure of the Dutch Golden Age.

Philosopher just before Enlightenment

Baruch Spinoza born Benedito de Espinosa (1632-1677) was a cool Portuguese philosopher. His thinking helped bring about the Enlightenment. He invented a modern way of viewing one self in relation to the universe. No longer was the universe passing out favors or punishments. The universe was, well the universe, and for our part prayer or meditation was a good idea. Spinoza was one of the great rationalists of his time and a leading figure of the Dutch Golden Age.

Illustration by Kathleen McGuinness. Visit her watercolor portraits.

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Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson, revered American poet
Emily Dickinson, revered American poet

Emily Dickinson was a revered American poet (1830-1886). She was a member of a prominent family with strong ties to its community in Massachusetts. She was reclusive most of her life. Her talent was a unique ability to distill meaning from the ordinary things and translate them into poetry.

Illustration by Kathleen McGuinness. Visit her watercolor portraits.

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Herman Melville

Herman Melville was an American novelist, Renaissance poet and a short story writer. His masterpiece Moby Dick chronicled a duel between a great while whale and Captain Ahab of the whaling ship Pequod.
Herman Melville was the American writer who wrote Moby Dick.

American author

Herman Melville (1819-1891) was an American novelist, poet and a short story writer. He was a seaman in his youth. His masterpiece Moby Dick is about a duel between a great white whale and a whaling ship captain Ahab. The whale sinks the ship along with Captain Ahab at the end of the book. Despite this the book has been required reading for millions of school kids.

Illustration by Kathleen McGuinness. Visit her watercolor portraits.

Herman Melville T-shirts available on Amazon.com for only $19.95

Franz Joseph Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was an Austrian composer of the German Classical period.
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was an Austrian composer of the German Classical period.

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was an Austrian composer of the German Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio. He has been called the Father of the Symphony and the Father of the String Quartet.

Though Haydn spent much of his career on the estate of a wealthy family his music circulated and during his life he was the most celebrated composer in Europe. Haydn was a friend and mentor of Mozart, a tutor of Beethoven.

Illustration by Kathleen McGuinness. Visit her watercolor portraits.

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