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Showing posts from December, 2009

Martha Jane Canary (1852 - 1903)

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Martha Jane Canary-Burke (Calamity Jane) May 1, 1852 – August 1, 1903 I was born in Princeton, Missouri in 1852. No one knows much about my early life, but soon after I was born, my mother died. In 1862, my family moved to Virginia City, Nevada, which was then in the early days of the boom. An Indian uprising separated me from my father and brothers, and at the age of 10 I was thrown into the world to make my own way alone. Although I had great friends and very positive opinions of the proper things that a girl could enjoy, I soon gained a local notariety for my daring horsemanship and skill as a rifle shot. Most people thought of me as a hard drinking woman with a preference for men's clothing. I spoke and behaved bawdily, chewed tobacco and was handy with a gun. During my life I was an army scout, a bullwhacker, a nurse, a cook, a prostitute, a prospector, a gambler, a heavy drinker and one of the most foul-mouthed people in the West. I set myself apart from other women

Anais Nin (1903 - 1977)

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Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell February 21, 1903 - January 14, 1977 Erotic Author Bigamist Philanderer I was born in France.  My father was the composer Joaquin Nin, who grew up in Spain but was born in and returned to Cuba.  My mother, Rosa Culmell y Vigaraud, was of Cuban, French, and Danish ancestry.  I moved to the United States in 1914 after my father deserted the family.  In the United States I attended Catholic schools, dropped out of school, worked as a model and dancer, and returned to Europe in 1923. I studied psychoanalysis and briefly practiced as a lay therapist in New York.  I was a patient of Carl Jung for a time as well. Finding it difficult to get my erotic stories published, I helped found Siana Editions in France in 1935.  By 1939 and the outbreak of World War II I returned to New York, where I became a figure in the Greenwich Village crowd. An obscure literary figure for most of my life, when my journals -- kept since 1931 --

Ave Maria by Celine Dion

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One of the most beautiful things about Christmas is the story of the birth of Jesus. Nothing stirs my heart more than that. The birth of a baby is also about the loving mother and one cannot celebrate Christmas without paying homage to Christ's mother. The most beautiful rendition of the Ave Maria I've ever heard is by Celine Dion. It brings tears to my eyes every time. It truly is magnificent. And this is my gift to you. May you have peace in your life and may you know true joy in the coming year. May God bless you all.

Mary of Nazareth

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How did I, a most unassuming young Jewish peasant girl, become the most famous woman in history?  I am shorter than five feet tall, but robust and sturdy.  My strong brown hands are calloused from work. Beneath my veil, I disguise my glossy black hair with a line of red or purple dye running down the center part.  The modest jewellery around my face demonstrates that I am from a decent family. My clothes were of homespun wool or linen, loose-fitting, in one of the soft colors of natural dyes – either a cream, or a deep faded pink, or a soft blue-grey. I wore leather ankle-boots in winter and sandals in summer. And I cut my dusty toenails with a sharp knife. Now that my menstrual periods had started, my parents gave serious consideration to choosing a husband for me. The man they settled on was Joseph, a young man not much older than I was. Joseph was well-regarded by the people around him, too. The proposed marriage contract was worked out between our families. The amount of my d

Enheduana (2285 - 2250 B.C.)

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I am Enheduana, and I am the world's earliest known female writer.  My name means "lord or lady ornament of An (the sky or heaven).  I was an Akkadian princess as well as high priestess of the moon god Nanna (Sin) in Ur.  I am a writer of hymns, many of which still exist today. My father, King Sargon of Akka began the tradition of appointing only the daughters of kings to the post of En of Nanna.  For 500 years afterwards, En Priestesses were so named, just as I was. Lugal-Ane, a rebellious Sumerian King, temporarily dislodged me from my position, in an attempt to show my imperial appointment to be locally unacceptable.  I wrote a hymn called Nin-me-sara to the goddess Inanna.  The Sumerian people believed that I had written it so effectively that my prayers to Inanna were answered with 9 victories thus quelling 9 battles between the Sumerians and the Akkadians.  These victories allowed my nephew, Naram Sin, who was then king, to successfully unite Sumer and Akkad for se

Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952)

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I was born in the town of Chiaravalle in the province of Ancona, Italy in the year 1870 in an era where it was not common to treat children with respect. The old adage applied – Children should be seen and not heart. My father, Alessandro Montessori, worked in an official capacity for the Italian government and was a respected member of the bourgeois civil service. My mother, Renide Stoppani, came from a wealthy, well-educated family known for their devotion to the liberation and unity of Italy. It was my mother who encouraged me towards advanced education and convinced me to register at the Regia Scuola Tecnica Michaelangelo Buonarroti in engineering studies at the age of thirteen. I disliked it greatly and knew that this was not a model for an ideal school. I decided to drop out of my engineering program. My family, friends, and especially my father, all cheered the decision for they were shocked that I would choose such an unlady-like profession. Much to their chagrin, I decided

Love Letter - Mary Wollstonecraft to William Godwin

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Mary Wollstonecraft was the mother of Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein. She fell deeply in love with William Godwin, an English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. By November, 1796, Mary became pregnant with their only child, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. She died two weeks after their daughter's birth. Godwin raised Mary surrounded by philosophers and poets, such as Coleridge and Lamb. He also taught Mary to read and spell her name by having her trace her mother's inscription on the stone. October 4, 1796 I would have liked to have dined with you today, after finishing your essay - that my eyes, and lips, I do not exactly mean my voice, might have told you that they had raised you in my esteem. What a cold word! I would say love, if you will promise not to dispute about its propriety, when I want to express an increasing affection, founded on a more intimate acquaintance with your heart and understanding. I shall cork up all my kindness - yet the fine vo

Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855)

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I was born the daughter of a preacher. Along with my sisters, I was raised in a small parsonage in a Yorkshire village. When I was still a child, I lost my mother. As the eldest, I assumed the role of caring for my sisters. Our home overlooked the village graveyard. To escape from the sight of these surroundings which continually reminded my sisters and I of the loss of our dear mother, we spent our leisure time creating stories of fantasy lands. These fantasy stories often involved our strict, religious aunt. Later in a poem, I wrote: "We wove a web in childhood, a web of sunny air." After various efforts as schoolmistresses and governesses, my sisters and I began to write. Soon thereafter we published a volume of poems under male names. Sadly, our books sold poorly, but this did not deter us. I continued to write and completed several novels. On became an instant success and sold very well upon its release in 1854. The novel continues to be popular today

Love Letters - Pietro Bembo to Lucrezia Borgia

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Lucrezia Borgia was the daughter of the Spanish Cardinal, Rodrigo Borgia, who later became Pope Alexander VI. Much scandal regarding incest and murder surrounds her. She entered into a passionate affair with Pietro Bembo, (1470-1547), a respected poet and scholar who became a Cardinal in the Vatican who became enraptured by her. Born of an aristocratic Venetian family, Pietro Bembo wrote many adoring poems to Lucrezia, and they carried on a long correspondence that continued well after they parted. Theirs was an affair of great affection and respect. Venice October 18, 1503 Eight days have passed since I parted from f.f., and already it is as though I had been eight years away from her, although I can avow that not one hour has passed without her memory which has become such a close companion to my thoughts that now more than ever is it the food and sustenance of my soul; and if it should endure like this a few days more, as seems it must, I truly believe it will in every w

Aradia (1313 - Unknown)

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I was born beneath a full moon in Tuscany on August 13, 1313, a date clearly chosen for magical reasons. August 13 was a feast day of the ancient Italian goddess, Diana. My father was a widower with four grown children from a previous marriage when he married my mother. My mother had many miscarriages. Being a pious woman, she purchased numerous masses said on her behalf that she might have a child. She vowed in her heart that any child born living would grow up to be a priest or nun. Supposedly, after one night of much fasting and prayer, my mother became ravenous. Having finished her vigil, she gathered and ate some walnuts from a tree in Benevento. Shortly thereafter, she discovered she was pregnant. She gave birth to me at the full moon. Though my mother adored me, her only thought was one day I should become a nun, a dedicated bride of Christ. Yet one day, while looking from my window, I spied a nest of baby birds chirping loudly for their mama and papa. I asked, "Ma

Emily Murphy (1868 - 1933)

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WOMEN ARE NOT PERSONS UNDER THE LAW. It’s hard to believe that prior to 1929, women in Canada weren’t considered “persons” under the law. Even worse, women in Canada were also prohibited from owning property. If a woman’s husband died, any property he owned was inherited by the nearest male relative or other male of his choice who would then look after and support the widow. Canadian women were excluded from public office as senators, certain professions and universities. I set out to change all that. I was born in 1868 in Cookstown, a small town in the province of Ontario. My father was a wealthy businessman and landowner involved in law and politics. My grandfather, uncles, and brothers were politicians, judges, or lawyers. My father raised me as an equal to my brothers and encouraged me to join in their adventures. As prominent members of society, my parents encouraged me to receive formal academic education. In 1887, I married an Anglican minister. Together we had four daught

The History of Eggs Benedict

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The true origins of that most popular breakfast, Eggs Benedict are in dispute. There are four versions. The first is about a retired Wall Street stock broker named Lemuel Benedict. In 1942, the year before he died, he did an interview for "Talk of the Town" column of The New Yorker. He claimed that in 1984, suffering from a terrible hangover, he wandered into the Waldorf Hotel desperate to find a cure for his suffering. He ordered buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon and a hooker of hollandaise. When Oscar Tschirky, the famous maître d'hôtel heard about the order, added it to the breakfast and luncheon menus but with a small change. He added a toasted English muffin instead of the egg and ham instead of the bacon. The second gives credit to Commodore E.C. Benedict, a banker and yachtsman, who died in 1920 at the age of 86. Apparently, the commodore gave the recipe to his brother, who gave it to the mother of man named Montgomery and who later gave it to