Archive for Writers

Moss Hart

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags , , on December 13, 2021 by Cade

October 24, 1904 – December 20, 1961

With the help of a beloved aunt, Moss Hart grew up enamored by the possibilities of the theater. To be able to create worlds and characters that weren’t bound by the economic or social insecurity he saw everyday was thrilling to him. So, growing up in New York City, it was no surprise when he started to write about these worlds and characters. By the time he was in his mid-20s, Hart had his first hit on Broadway: a play called Once in a Lifetime that he cowrote with George S. Kaufman. Kaufman and Hart would go on to collaborate on a string of hit plays including You Can’t Take it With You, George Washington Slept Here and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Continue reading

James Baldwin

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags , , on November 22, 2021 by Cade

August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987

How does one sum up James Baldwin in a single, concise blog post?

He was an influential writer and activist who pondered and expounded upon what it meant to be black in the height of the American civil rights movement, what it meant to be gay long before societal acceptance had begun to take hold, and what it mean to be, frankly, human, in a century that saw progress and cyclical violence all at the same time. Continue reading

William Shakespeare

Posted in Holy Trinity Church (UK) with tags , , on April 23, 2021 by Cade

April 26* 1564 – April 23 1616

It’s an odd juxtaposition that, considering he is near-universally regarded as the greatest English writer in history, so little is known about the actual life of William Shakespeare. The MAN was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, UK in April of 1564. By 1600, the LEGEND was already well on his way into the history books. The details of his private life are mostly lost to years and lack of records, but by 1592, Shakespeare was in London, acting and writing plays. He was most closely associated with the acting troupe, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, who originated most of his plays.  The troupe quickly became one of the most successful in London. In 1599, they built the Globe theatre where they performed to increasingly rave reviews and eventually caught the eye of newly coronated King James I.  With the monarch’s backing, the troupe rebranded in 1603 as The King’s Men. By this point, the six shareholders in the troupe, including William Shakespeare, were not only the toast of the town, but were very, very rich. Around 1613, Shakespeare retired to Stratford, where he died 3 years later at the age of 52. Continue reading

Mark Twain

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (Elmira) with tags , on September 9, 2019 by Cade

twain1November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was arguably the most famous riverboat pilot in history.

He also – apparently – liked to write a little.

Young Sam Clemens grew up on the banks of the Mississippi river. His sole ambition as a boy was to pilot a riverboat…which he eventually did. After some time spent on the river, he found his way west to work with his brother in the Nevada territory. It was in Nevada where Clemens first began his work as a professional writer when his mining career floundered. In 1863, he wrote his first humorous piece for the Territorial Enterprise newspaper. He signed it as “Mark Twain” – boatman slang for water that was 12 feet deep, or safe to travel for the riverboats. Continue reading

Emily Dickinson

Posted in West Cemetery (MA) with tags , , on July 15, 2019 by Cade

dickinson1
December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines MELANCHOLY as “depression of spirits dejection”

See also: Emily Dickinson

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born, lived her entire life, and died in Amherst, Massachusetts. From a young age, Emily was troubled by and consumed with the idea of death. Losses throughout her life – beginning with her cousin and close friend, Sophia, when she was 14 – piled on and Dickinson withdrew more and more from social life as the decades went on. She was known later in life as a recluse who corresponded copiously with friend and relatives both near and far – some of whom she never met in person. Continue reading

Garry Marshall

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , , , on December 19, 2018 by Cade

November 13, 1934 – July 19, 2016

Garry Marshall was an immensely successful producer, director and writer whose contributions to American television could hardly be missed for much of the 1970s and ’80s. After coming up as a joke writer on shows like The Joey Bishop Show, Make Room for Daddy and The Dick Van Dyke Show, Marshall created and produced a string of hits of his own, including Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple and Mork and Mindy. He wrote, acted, directed and just about everything in between. His career as a feature film director found notable success, as well, with box office smashes like Pretty Woman, Overboard, Beaches and The Princess Diaries. Continue reading

Jackie Collins

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on November 12, 2018 by Cade

October 4, 1937 – September 19, 2015

Jacqueline “Jackie” Collins was a British-American novelist and television host who wrote more than 30 best-selling romance novels over the course of her 40 year career. After following older sister, Joan, from England to Hollywood in the late 1950s and trying her hand at acting, Jackie found more joy in telling stories. At the encouragement of her then husband, she completed and published her first novel, The World is Full of Married Men, in 1968. The book was well-received and – more importantly – controversial. Critics called it “filthy” and “disgusting.” It was banned in countries like South Africa and Australia. So, naturally, it was a hit. Collins went on to write other best-sellers like Hollywood Wives, Chances, The Stud, Dangerous Kiss and Drop Dead Beautiful. Continue reading

Jonathan Swift

Posted in St. Patrick's Cathedral (Ireland) with tags , on July 10, 2018 by Cade

November 30, 1667 – October 19, 1745

Author, satirist and all-around political rabble-rouser, Jonathan Swift, is most widely known for his creation: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships…which is colloquially and mercifully shortened as: Gulliver’s Travels. Born in Ireland, Swift received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Trinity College in Dublin. He spent a lot of time in England involving himself in the rise and fall of the Tory government in the early 18th Century. He wrote some of his most scathing satire during this period and eventually ticked off Queen Anne enough that he was effectively “banished” back to Ireland, where friends were able to get him appointed as the Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Continue reading

Christy Brown

Posted in Glasnevin Cemetery with tags , , on June 18, 2018 by Cade

June 05, 1932 – September 07, 1981

Christy Brown was a writer and artist who, due to having cerebral palsy, wrote and painted with the toes on his left foot. His autobiography, aptly named “My Left Foot” was adapted into the 1989 Academy Award-winning film starring Daniel Day-Lewis. One of 13 (surviving) children, Brown’s family was instrumental in nurturing his talent despite pressure to send him off to a hospital to be raised. In all, Christy wrote several novels, memoirs, poetry collections and painted dozens of stylized paintings. He was married in 1972 and his life and health began to fall apart. Continue reading

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Posted in Glasnevin Cemetery with tags , , on June 12, 2018 by Cade

July 28, 1844 – June 08, 1889

“And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”

God’s Grandeur – Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins was temporally a Victorian poet, but due to his innovative use of language, alliteration, meter and rhyme, he is widely considered one of the first modernist poets. His use of “sprung rhythm” – a term he coined to shake off the restrictive nature of the conventional meters in English poetry at the time – varied the accent syllables in his verses and allowed him to construct and rhyme freely. His work was a precursor to the free verse movements of the 20th century. A Jesuit priest who grew up in an incredibly artistic family, Hopkins’ work regularly focused on religion and nature…often at the same time.

Continue reading