Definitions

Christopher

Christopher

[kris-tuh-fer]
Sauer, Christopher: see Sower, Christopher.
Sower or Sauer, Christopher, 1693-1758, American printer, b. Germany. In 1724, Sower came to America where he worked first as a tailor and then as a farmer. He learned clockmaking and herbal medicine, and in 1738 he founded a printing shop in Germantown, Pa., using types imported from Germany. A book he printed in 1738 was the first German book printed in America. In the same year he established the first German periodical in America, at first a quarterly, later a monthly. In 1743 he printed a German Bible, the second Bible printed in America (the first was the Bible translated into "the Indian Language" in 1663 by John Eliot). His son Christopher Sower, 1721-84, established in Germantown the first type foundry in America in 1772. He printed the second Sower German Bible in 1763, the third in 1776. He was a bishop of the Baptist Dunker sect and attacked slavery from the pulpit and the family newspaper. Accused of treason, Sower suffered imprisonment, abuse, and confiscation of his property as a result of clearly stating his pacifist principles during the Revolution.

See F. Reichmann, Christopher Sower, Sr., 1694-1758: An Annotated Bibliography (1943).

Lasch, Christopher, 1932-94, American historian, b. Omaha, Neb., grad. Harvard, 1956, Ph.D., Columbia, 1961. After teaching at the Univ. of Iowa (1961-66) and Northwestern Univ. (1966-70), he became a professor of American history at the Univ. of Rochester. In his early works, The New Radicalism in America (1965) and The Agony of the American Left (1969), he offered a sharp analysis of the limitations of liberal activism. He was critical of what he perceived to be the self-centered and shallow nature of American culture. In his later works, his impatience with conventional liberal and progressive responses to American social problems are central themes. These works include Haven in a Heartless World (1977), The Culture of Narcissism (1979), The Minimal Self (1985), and The True and Only Heaven (1991).
Polhem, Christopher, 1661-1751, Swedish inventor and industrialist. After studying engineering techniques used in Germany, the Netherlands, France, and England, Polhem set up a mechanical laboratory that gave considerable impetus to Swedish technology. He constructed water-powered machines such as rollers and shearing machines employed in the fabrication of metal products. In gratitude for his services the Swedish government ennobled him in 1716.
Fry, Christopher, 1907-2005, English dramatist, b. Bristol as Christopher Fry Harris. Like his friend and mentor, T. S. Eliot, he was one of the few 20th-century dramatists to write successfully in verse. Fry's first major success was The Lady's Not for Burning (1949), a wry comedy set in the Middle Ages in which love overcomes prejudice and hypocrisy. His other works include Venus Observed (1950), The Dark Is Light Enough (1954), Yard of Sun (1970), and English versions of plays by Anouilh (Ring Round the Moon, 1950, The Lark, 1955), Giraudoux (Tiger at the Gates, 1955), Ibsen (Peer Gynt, 1970), and Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac, 1975). Among his screenplays were Ben Hur (1959; Academy Award) and The Bible (1966).

See his autobiography (1978); studies by E. Roy (1968), S. M. Wiersma (1970), and G. Leeming (1990).

Morley, Christopher, 1890-1957, American editor and author, b. Haverford, Pa., grad. Haverford College, 1910. He was a Rhodes scholar. Morley was one of the founders of the Saturday Review of Literature, of which he was an editor from 1924 to 1940. A prolific author, he wrote more than 50 books. His novels, generally in a light vein, include Parnassus on Wheels (1917), The Haunted Bookshop (1919), Thunder on the Left (1925), and Kitty Foyle (1939; filmed 1940). He also revised and enlarged Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (1937, 1948).
Gist, Christopher, c.1706-1759, American frontiersman, b. Maryland. Commissioned by the Ohio Company to explore their western lands. In 1750 he descended the Ohio River, explored E Kentucky, and crossed to Roanoke, N.C.; he thus penetrated the Kentucky region 18 years before the more celebrated Daniel Boone. The next season he more carefully traversed and mapped the Ohio watershed in western Virginia. He accompanied George Washington in 1753-54 on his historic trip to order the French out of the Ohio valley and on the journey twice saved Washington's life. On Gen. Edward Braddock's expedition (1755) against Fort Duquesne, Gist served as a guide. He died of smallpox in the Cherokee country, where he had gone to enlist the Native Americans' aid against the French. An expert woodsman and surveyor, he was highly regarded by his contemporaries.

See his journals ed. by W. M. Darlington (1893).

Anstey, Christopher, 1724-1805, English poet and satirist. He is known chiefly for The New Bath Guide (1766), a series of poetical episodes humorously depicting contemporary life at Bath. This work was widely read in its time and may have influenced Tobias Smollet's Humphrey Clinker.
North, Christopher: see John Wilson.
Wordsworth, Christopher, 1774-1846, English clergyman, educator, and writer; youngest brother of William Wordsworth. He was master of Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1820 to 1841. Most noted of his books is Ecclesiastical Biography (6 vol., 1810).

His second son, Charles Wordsworth, 1806-92, became a prelate in Scotland. From 1847 to 1854 he was warden of Trinity College, Glenalmond, Perthshire. In 1853 he was consecrated bishop of St. Andrews, Dunkeld, and Dunblane. He was deeply interested in reuniting the churches of England and Scotland. His many books include Shakespeare's Knowledge and Use of the Bible (1864).

See his Annals of My Early Life, 1806-46 (1891) and Annals of My Life, 1847-56 (ed. by W. E. Hodgson, 1893).

Christopher Wordsworth, 1807-85, English prelate and scholar, was the youngest son of Christopher Wordsworth. Ordained a priest in 1835, he was headmaster (1836-44) of Harrow and thereafter canon and then archdeacon of Westminster until in 1869 he was consecrated bishop of Lincoln. He wrote Athens and Attica (1836) and other works of classical scholarship, but he is most noted for his editing of the entire Bible, with commentaries—the New Testament (1856-60) and the Old Testament (1864-70).

See biography by J. H. Overton and E. Wordsworth (1888).

Gadsden, Christopher, 1724-1805, American Revolutionary leader, b. Charleston, S.C., educated in England. He returned to Charleston (1746) and became a wealthy merchant. At the Stamp Act Congress (1765) he was one of the first to urge colonial union against England's policy of taxation. Gadsden served (1774-76) in the Continental Congress and favored independence. In the struggle over the South Carolina constitution in 1778 he was a radical, favoring separation of church and state and popular election of senators. He was captured when the British took Charleston (1780), and imprisonment by the British broke his health. He later helped to secure ratification of the Constitution and still later opposed the Jeffersonians.

See R. Walsh, ed., The Writings of Christopher Gadsden, 1746-1805 (1966).

Christopher, Saint [Gr.,=Christ bearer], 3d cent.?, martyr of Asia Minor. His characteristic legend is that one day when he was carrying a little child over a river, he felt the child's weight almost too great to bear. The child was Jesus, carrying the world in his hands. Hence St. Christopher is usually represented as a giant, with the Holy Child on his shoulder; he leans on a staff. He is the patron of travelers, hence the practice of wearing his medal on journeys. His name was dropped from the liturgical calendar in 1969. Feast: July 25.
Christopher, Warren M. (Warren Minor Christopher), 1925-, U.S. government official, b. Scranton, N.Dak. He studied law at Stanford Univ. (1946-49) and was a clerk to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (1949-50). He has been in private practice several times and had been appointed to a number of government posts before serving (1967-69) as deputy attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson. As deputy secretary of state under President Jimmy Carter, he was the chief American negotiator in the 1981 talks that ended the Iranian hostage crisis. Appointed secretary of state (1993-97) by President Bill Clinton, Christopher was particularly involved in seeking Arab-Israeli peace agreements and in negotiating a peace in Bosnia. He also served as chairman of the Independent Commission on the Los Angeles Police Department.

See his memoirs, In the Stream of History (1998) and Chances of a Lifetime (2001).

Columbus, Christopher, Ital. Cristoforo Colombo, Span. Cristóbal Colón, 1451-1506, European explorer, b. Genoa, Italy.

Early Years

Columbus spent some of his early years at his father's trade of weaving and later became a sailor on the Mediterranean. Shipwrecked near the Portuguese coast in 1476, he made his way to Lisbon, where his younger brother, Bartholomew, an expert chart maker, lived. Columbus, too, became a chart maker for a brief time in that great maritime center during the golden era of Portuguese exploration. Engaged as a sugar buyer in the Portuguese islands off Africa (the Azores, Cape Verde, and Madeira) by a Genoese mercantile firm, he met pilots and navigators who believed in the existence of islands farther west. It was at this time that he made his last visit to his native city, but he always remained a Genoese, never becoming a naturalized citizen of any other country. Returning to Lisbon, he married (1479?) the well-born Dona Filipa Perestrello e Moniz.

By the time he was 31 or 32, Columbus had become a master mariner in the Portuguese merchant service. It is thought by some that he was greatly influenced by his brother, Bartholomew, who may have accompanied Bartholomew Diaz on his voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, and by Martín Alonso Pinzón, the pilot who commanded the Pinta on the first voyage. Columbus was but one among many who believed one could reach land by sailing west. His uniqueness lay rather in the persistence of his dream and his determination to realize this "Enterprise of the Indies," as he called his plan. Seeking support for it, he was repeatedly rebuffed, first at the court of John II of Portugal and then at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Finally, after eight years of supplication by Columbus, the Spanish monarchs, having conquered Granada, decided to risk the enterprise.

Voyages to the New World

First Expedition

On Aug. 3, 1492, Columbus sailed from Palos, Spain, with three small ships, the Santa María, commanded by Columbus himself, the Pinta under Martín Pinzón, and the Niña under Vicente Yáñez Pinzón. After halting at the Canary Islands, he sailed due west from Sept. 6 until Oct. 7, when he changed his course to the southwest. On Oct. 10 a small mutiny was quelled, and on Oct. 12 he landed on a small island (Watling Island; see San Salvador) in the Bahamas. He took possession for Spain and, with impressed natives aboard, discovered other islands in the neighborhood. On Oct. 27 he sighted Cuba and on Dec. 5 reached Hispaniola.

On Christmas Eve the Santa María was wrecked on the north coast of Hispaniola, and Columbus, leaving men there to found a colony, hurried back to Spain on the Niña. His reception was all he could wish; according to his contract with the Spanish sovereigns he was made "admiral of the ocean sea" and governor-general of all new lands he had discovered or should discover.

Second Expedition

Fitted out with a large fleet of 17 ships, with 1,500 colonists aboard, Columbus sailed from Cádiz in Oct., 1493. His landfall this time was made in the Lesser Antilles, and his new discoveries included the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico. The admiral arrived at Hispaniola to find the first colony destroyed by the indigenous natives. He founded a new colony nearby, then sailed off in the summer of 1494 to explore the southern coast of Cuba. After discovering Jamaica he returned to Hispaniola and found the colonists, interested only in finding gold, completely disorderly; his attempts to enforce strict discipline led some to seize vessels and return to Spain to complain of his administration. Leaving his brother Bartholomew in charge at Hispaniola, Columbus also returned to Spain in 1496.

Third Expedition

On his third expedition, in 1498, Columbus was forced to transport convicts as colonists, because of the bad reports on conditions in Hispaniola and because the novelty of the New World was wearing off. He sailed still farther south and made his landfall on Trinidad. He sailed across the mouth of the Orinoco River (in present Venezuela) and realized that he saw a continent, but without further exploration he hurried back to Hispaniola to administer his colony. In 1500 an independent governor arrived, sent by Isabella and Ferdinand as the result of reports on the wretched conditions in the colony, and he sent Columbus back to Spain in chains. The admiral was immediately released, but his favor was on the wane; other navigators, including Amerigo Vespucci, had been in the New World and established much of the coast line of NE South America.

Fourth Expedition

It was 1502 before Columbus finally gathered together four ships for a fourth expedition, by which he hoped to reestablish his reputation. If he could sail past the islands and far enough west, he hoped he might still find lands answering to the description of Asia or Japan. He struck the coast of Honduras in Central America and coasted southward along an inhospitable shore, suffering terrible hardships, until he reached the Gulf of Darién. Attempting to return to Hispaniola, he was marooned on Jamaica. After his rescue, he was forced to abandon his hopes and return to Spain. Although his voyages were of great importance, Columbus died in relative neglect, having had to petition King Ferdinand in an attempt to secure his promised titles and wealth.

Historical Perspective

Columbus was not the first European mariner to sail to the New World—the Vikings set up colonies (c.1000) in Greenland and Newfoundland (see Leif Ericsson and Thorfinn Karlsefni)—but his voyages mark the beginning of continuous European efforts to explore and colonize the Americas. Although historians for centuries disputed his skill as a navigator, it has been proved that with only dead reckoning Columbus was unsurpassed in charting and finding his way about unknown seas. During the 1980s and 90s the long-standing image of Columbus as a hero was tarnished by criticism from Native Americans and revisionist historians. With the 500th anniversary of his first voyage in 1992, interpretations of his motives and impact varied. Although he was always judged to be vain, ambitious, desirous of wealth, and ruthless, traditional historians viewed his voyages as opening the New World to Western civilization and Christianity. For revisionist historians, however, his voyages symbolize the more brutal aspects of European colonization and represent the beginning of the destruction of Native American peoples and culture. One point of agreement among all interpretations is that his voyages were one of the turning points in history.

Bibliography

See J. M. Cohen, comp., The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus (1969); biographies by S. E. Morison (1942), E. D. S. Bradford (1973), H. Koning (1982), and F. Fernández-Armesto (1991); J. Axtell, Beyond 1492 (1992); W. D. and C. R. Philips, The Worlds of Christopher Columbus (1992); M. Dugard, The Last Voyage of Columbus (2005).

Isherwood, Christopher, 1904-86, British-American author. After the appearance of his first novel, All the Conspirators (1928), Isherwood went to Germany. The four years he spent there furnished him with the material for what are probably his best novels, The Last of Mr. Norris (1935) and Goodby to Berlin (1939; reissued as The Berlin Stories, 1946); these books formed the basis for John Van Druten's play, I Am a Camera (1951), and for the Broadway musical Cabaret (1966). The Berlin novels, which report on the period of social and political unrest during the Nazi rise to power, illustrate Isherwood's general concern with the problem of the intellectual in a tyrannical society.

A close friend of W. H. Auden, Isherwood collaborated with him on the dramas The Dog Beneath the Skin (1935), The Ascent of F6 (1936), and On the Frontier (1938), as well as on Journey to a War (1939), a book on China. Isherwood emigrated (1939) to the United States, becoming a citizen (1946). During the 1940s his interests turned to Hinduism; see his Essentials of Vedanta (1969). Among his later works are Prater Violet (1945), The World in the Evening (1954), Down There on a Visit (1962), A Single Man (1964), and Meeting by the River (1967) and a study of his parents, Kathleen and Frank (1971). Isherwood was an early advocate of discarding the taboos against homosexuality, a subject discussed in his memoir, Christopher and His Kind (1972).

See K. Bucknell, ed., Diaries: 1939-1960 (1997) and Lost Years: A Memoir, 1945-1951 (2000); J. J. Berg and C. Freeman, ed., Conversations with Christopher Isherwood (2001); biography by P. Parker (2004); studies by C. G. Heilbrun (1970), P. Piazza (1978), S. Wade (1991), and K. Ferres (1994).

Wheeldon, Christopher, 1973-, British ballet dancer and choreographer, studied Royal Ballet School, London. A contemporary classicist and the outstanding young choreographer of the early 21st cent., Wheeldon creates dances that are lyrical, witty, sensual, and innovative, works that honor ballet's traditions while simultaneously expanding its boundaries. After winning the prestigious Prix de Lausanne for his choreography at 17, he joined (1991) the Royal Ballet's corps de ballet. In 1993 he moved to the New York City Ballet (NYCB), beginning in the corps and later (1999) becoming a soloist. He also began choreographing, first for the NYCB's school and later for the company, which produced his first major work, Slavonic Dances (1997). Turning to choreography full-time in 2000, Wheeldon served (2001-8) as the NYCB's principal choreographer. Among his best-known works are Scènes de Ballet (1999), Polyphonia (2001), Morphoses (2002), After the Rain (2005), and Klavier (2006). In 2007 he founded his own New York-based troupe, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, for which he has choreographed the complex Commedia (2008) and other works. He also has commissioned new scores from various composers and new ballets from other choreographers.
Newport, Christopher, 1565?-1617, English mariner, commander of early voyages to Virginia. He commanded a privateering expedition to the West Indies (1592) that returned to England with the Spanish vessel Madre de Dios, the richest prize ever taken by the Elizabethan privateers. He was employed by the London Company to command their expeditions to Virginia. On the first voyage he sailed from England with Capt. John Smith and other colonists in Dec., 1606, and arrived near the site of Jamestown in May, 1607. He returned to England in July and sailed again for the colony in October with the "first supply" of emigrants and provisions, reaching Jamestown in Jan., 1608, to find the colonists greatly reduced and in dissension. Later that year he brought the "second supply" from England and explored the country beyond the falls of the James River. On his fourth voyage from England (1609), Newport was wrecked on the Bermudas with Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers and did not reach Virginia until May, 1610. In 1611 he made his last voyage to Virginia, taking Sir Thomas Dale to the colony. In his later years Newport made three voyages for the East India Company, dying at Bantam, in present Indonesia, on the last.
Smart, Christopher, 1722-71, English poet. A graduate of Cambridge, he lived in London writing poems, editing a humorous magazine, and producing plays. His one great poem, Song to David (1763), an inspirational piece containing superb imagery, was written while he was confined in an asylum for a religious mania. He is also known for his idiosyncratic and often anthologized paean to his cat, Jeoffry, from the surviving fragments of his Jubilate Agno, which was also written during his confinement but not published in a definitive edition until 1954.

See study by F. E. Anderson (1974).

Dresser, Christopher, 1834-1904, British designer, pioneer of modern industrial design, b. Scotland, He moved (1847) to London, where he studied (1847-54) at the Government School of Design. He began his career as a botanist, teaching and writing several books. Dresser contributed floral designs to Owen Jones's Grammar of Ornament (1856), and by the time he wrote The Art of Decorative Design (1862), had turned most of his attention to design. He introduced to British design elements from many cultures, especially Japan, where he traveled in 1876. Eschewing the overly ornamental, he created ceramics, metalwork, silver, glass, textiles, wallpaper, and other items, many of them sleek forerunners of modern design. Unlike his contemporary William Morris, who shunned the mass-produced, Dresser was particularly important in introducing modern industrial techniques, working directly with manufacturers to produce elegant, affordable products. His other books include Principles of Decorative Design (1873) and Japan, Its Architecture, Art and Art Manufactures (1882).

See studies by W. Halén (1993), S. Durant (1993), M. Whiteway (2002 and 2004), and H. Lyons (2005).

Marlowe, Christopher, 1564-93, English dramatist and poet, b. Canterbury. Probably the greatest English dramatist before Shakespeare, Marlowe, a shoemaker's son, was educated at Cambridge and he went to London in 1587, where he became an actor and dramatist for the Lord Admiral's Company. His most important plays are the two parts of Tamburlaine the Great (c.1587), Dr. Faustus (c.1588), The Jew of Malta (c.1589), and Edward II (c.1592). Marlowe's dramas have heroic themes, usually centering on a great personality who is destroyed by his own passion and ambition. Although filled with violence, brutality, passion, and bloodshed, Marlowe's plays are never merely sensational. The poetic beauty and dignity of his language raise them to the level of high art. Most authorities detect influences of his work in the Shakespeare canon, notably in Titus Andronicus and King Henry VI. Of his nondramatic pieces, the best-known are the long poem Hero and Leander (1598), which was finished by George Chapman, and the beautiful lyric that begins "Come live with me and be my love." In 1593, Marlowe was stabbed in a barroom brawl by a drinking companion. Although a coroner's jury certified that the assailant acted in self-defense, the murder may have resulted from a definite plot, due, as some scholars believe, to Marlowe's activities as a government agent.

See his Works and Life (6 vol., 1949-55); biographies by F. S. Boas (1940), C. Norman (rev. ed. 1971), C. Kuriyama (2002), and P. Honan (2006); studies by J. E. Bakeless (1942), P. H. Kocher (1946), H. Levin (1952, repr. 1964), W. Sanders (1969), J. B. Steane (1964, repr. 1970), R. Erikson (1987), C. Nicholl (1992), and D. Riggs (2004).

Sir Christopher Wren, detail of an oil painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1711; in the National elipsis

(born Oct. 20, 1632, East Knoyle, Wiltshire, Eng.—died Feb. 25, 1723, London) British architect, astronomer, and geometrician. He taught astronomy at Gresham College, London (1657–61) and Oxford (1661–73), and did not turn to architecture until 1662, when he was engaged to design the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford. Though Classical in form, the theatre was roofed with novel wood trusses that were the product of Wren's scholarly and empirical approach. As King's Surveyor of Works (1669–1718), he had a hand in the rebuilding of more than 50 churches destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Meanwhile, he was evolving designs for Saint Paul's Cathedral, a work that occupied him until its completion in 1710. Other works, generally in the English Baroque style, include the classical Trinity College library, Cambridge (1676–84), additions to Hampton Court (begun 1689), and Greenwich Hospital (begun 1696). Wren was buried in Saint Paul's; nearby is the famous inscription: “Reader, if you seek a monument, look around.”

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(born Nov. 16, 1873, Florence, Ala., U.S.—died March 28, 1958, New York, N.Y.) U.S. composer, cornetist, and bandleader known for integrating blues elements into ragtime, changing the course of popular music. Handy worked as a soloist and conductor with several bands around the turn of the century and became active as a music publisher in Memphis (1908) and later New York (1918). Handy's compositions, including “St. Louis Blues,” “Beale Street Blues,” and “Memphis Blues,” became favourites of singers and instrumentalists in the 1920s, helping to codify the blues as a framework within which to improvise.

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Sir Christopher Wren, detail of an oil painting by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1711; in the National elipsis

(born Oct. 20, 1632, East Knoyle, Wiltshire, Eng.—died Feb. 25, 1723, London) British architect, astronomer, and geometrician. He taught astronomy at Gresham College, London (1657–61) and Oxford (1661–73), and did not turn to architecture until 1662, when he was engaged to design the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford. Though Classical in form, the theatre was roofed with novel wood trusses that were the product of Wren's scholarly and empirical approach. As King's Surveyor of Works (1669–1718), he had a hand in the rebuilding of more than 50 churches destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Meanwhile, he was evolving designs for Saint Paul's Cathedral, a work that occupied him until its completion in 1710. Other works, generally in the English Baroque style, include the classical Trinity College library, Cambridge (1676–84), additions to Hampton Court (begun 1689), and Greenwich Hospital (begun 1696). Wren was buried in Saint Paul's; nearby is the famous inscription: “Reader, if you seek a monument, look around.”

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(flourished 3rd century; Western feast day July 25; Eastern feast day May 9) Patron saint of travelers and motorists. He is said to have been martyred in Lycia under the Roman emperor Decius (circa 250). Legends depict him as a giant who devoted his life to carrying travelers across a river. One day a small child asked to be transported, and in the middle of the river the child became so heavy that Christopher staggered under the burden. The child revealed that the saint had been carrying Christ and the sins of the world, thus giving rise to Christopher's name (Greek: “Christ-Bearer”). His historicity is doubtful.

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(born Jan. 9, 1803, Nayhingen, Württemberg—died March 7, 1888, Charleston, S.C., U.S.) German-born U.S. public official. He immigrated to the U.S. in his teens and became a successful lawyer in Charleston, S.C. After South Carolina seceded from the Union (1860), he helped draft the provisional constitution of the Confederacy and was appointed its secretary of the treasury (1861–64). To raise money, he issued increasing amounts of paper currency, which depreciated greatly by 1863. Held responsible for the collapse of Confederate credit, he resigned in 1864. After receiving a presidential pardon, he returned to the practice of law.

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(baptized Feb. 26, 1564, Canterbury, Kent, Eng.—died May 30, 1593, Deptford, near London) British poet and playwright. The son of a Canterbury shoemaker, he earned a degree from Cambridge University. From 1587 he wrote plays for London theatres, starting with Tamburlaine the Great (published 1590), in which he established dramatic blank verse. Tamburlaine was followed by Dido, Queen of Carthage (published 1594), cowritten with Thomas Nashe; The Massacre at Paris (circa 1594); and Edward II (1594). His most famous play is The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus (published 1604), which uses the dramatic framework of a morality play in its presentation of a story of temptation, fall, and damnation. The Jew of Malta (published 1633) may have been his final work. His poetry includes the unfinished long poem Hero and Leander. Known for leading a disreputable life, he died a violent death at age 29 in a tavern brawl; he may have been assassinated because of his service as a government spy. His brilliant, though short, career makes him William Shakespeare's most important contemporary in English drama.

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(born May 22, 1826, New Boston, N.H., U.S.—died July 6, 1906, Cambridge, Mass.) U.S. legal educator. He studied law at Harvard (1851–54) and practiced in New York City until 1870, when he accepted a professorship and then the deanship at Harvard Law School (1870–95). His case method of teaching law, in which students read and discussed original authorities and derived for themselves the principles of the law, eventually became dominant in U.S. law schools. His Selection of Cases on the Law of Contracts (1871) was the first case-method textbook.

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orig. Christopher William Bradshaw

(born Aug. 26, 1904, High Lane, Cheshire, Eng.—died Jan. 4, 1986, Santa Monica, Calif., U.S.) British-born U.S. writer. Educated at Cambridge University, he became close friends with W.H. Auden, with whom he traveled and collaborated on three verse dramas, including The Ascent of F6 (1936). He lived in Berlin from 1929 to 1933; his two novels about this period, later published together as The Berlin Stories (1946), inspired the play I Am a Camera (1951; film, 1955) and the musical Cabaret (1966; film, 1972). A pacifist, he moved to southern California at the beginning of World War II, where he taught and wrote screenplays. His later fiction and memoirs reflect his homosexuality. A follower of Swami Prabhavananda, he wrote and translated works on Indian Vedanta.

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orig. Christopher Murray Grieve

(born Aug. 11, 1892, Langholm, Dumfriesshire, Scot.—died Sept. 9, 1978, Edinburgh) Scottish poet. In 1922 he founded the monthly Scottish Chapbook, in which he published his lyrics and sparked the Scottish literary renaissance. A radical leftist, he rejected English as a medium and scrutinized modern society in verse written in “synthetic Scots,” an amalgam of various dialects. A noted work is the extended rhapsody A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle (1926). He later returned to standard English in such volumes as A Kist of Whistles (1947) and In Memoriam James Joyce (1955). He is regarded as Scotland's preeminent poet of the early 20th century.

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orig. Christopher Harris

(born Dec. 18, 1907, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Eng.—died June 30, 2005, Chichester, West Sussex) British playwright. He worked as an actor, director, and playwright before achieving success with The Lady's Not for Burning (1948), an ironic comedy in verse set in medieval times. Noted for his wit and his religious preoccupations, he wrote other verse plays, including Venus Observed (1950), A Sleep of Prisoners (1951), The Dark Is Light Enough (1954), and A Yard of Sun (1970). He also wrote several television plays and collaborated on the screenplays of Ben Hur (1959) and Barabbas (1962).

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Italian Cristoforo Colombo Spanish Cristóbal Colón

(born between Aug. 26 and Oct. 31?, 1451, Genoa—died May 20, 1506, Valladolid, Spain) Genoese navigator and explorer whose transatlantic voyages opened the way for European exploration, exploitation, and colonization of the Americas. He began his career as a young seaman in the Portuguese merchant marine. In 1492 he obtained the sponsorship of the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I for an attempt to reach Asia by sailing westward over what was presumed to be open sea. On his first voyage he set sail in August 1492 with three ships—the Santa María, the Niña, and the Pinta—and land was sighted in the Bahamas on October 12. He sailed along the northern coast of Hispaniola and returned to Spain in 1493. He made a second voyage (1493–96) with at least 17 ships and founded La Isabela (in what is now the Dominican Republic), the first European town in the New World. This voyage also began Spain's effort to promote Christian evangelization. On his third voyage (1498–1500) he reached South America and the Orinoco River delta. Allegations of his poor administration led to his being returned to Spain in chains. On his fourth voyage (1502–04) he returned to South America and sailed along the coasts of present-day Honduras and Panama. He was unable to attain his goals of nobility and great wealth. His character and achievements have long been debated, but scholars generally agree that he was an intrepid and brilliant navigator.

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(flourished 3rd century; Western feast day July 25; Eastern feast day May 9) Patron saint of travelers and motorists. He is said to have been martyred in Lycia under the Roman emperor Decius (circa 250). Legends depict him as a giant who devoted his life to carrying travelers across a river. One day a small child asked to be transported, and in the middle of the river the child became so heavy that Christopher staggered under the burden. The child revealed that the saint had been carrying Christ and the sins of the world, thus giving rise to Christopher's name (Greek: “Christ-Bearer”). His historicity is doubtful.

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(baptized Feb. 26, 1564, Canterbury, Kent, Eng.—died May 30, 1593, Deptford, near London) British poet and playwright. The son of a Canterbury shoemaker, he earned a degree from Cambridge University. From 1587 he wrote plays for London theatres, starting with Tamburlaine the Great (published 1590), in which he established dramatic blank verse. Tamburlaine was followed by Dido, Queen of Carthage (published 1594), cowritten with Thomas Nashe; The Massacre at Paris (circa 1594); and Edward II (1594). His most famous play is The Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus (published 1604), which uses the dramatic framework of a morality play in its presentation of a story of temptation, fall, and damnation. The Jew of Malta (published 1633) may have been his final work. His poetry includes the unfinished long poem Hero and Leander. Known for leading a disreputable life, he died a violent death at age 29 in a tavern brawl; he may have been assassinated because of his service as a government spy. His brilliant, though short, career makes him William Shakespeare's most important contemporary in English drama.

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orig. Christopher William Bradshaw

(born Aug. 26, 1904, High Lane, Cheshire, Eng.—died Jan. 4, 1986, Santa Monica, Calif., U.S.) British-born U.S. writer. Educated at Cambridge University, he became close friends with W.H. Auden, with whom he traveled and collaborated on three verse dramas, including The Ascent of F6 (1936). He lived in Berlin from 1929 to 1933; his two novels about this period, later published together as The Berlin Stories (1946), inspired the play I Am a Camera (1951; film, 1955) and the musical Cabaret (1966; film, 1972). A pacifist, he moved to southern California at the beginning of World War II, where he taught and wrote screenplays. His later fiction and memoirs reflect his homosexuality. A follower of Swami Prabhavananda, he wrote and translated works on Indian Vedanta.

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(born Jan. 9, 1803, Nayhingen, Württemberg—died March 7, 1888, Charleston, S.C., U.S.) German-born U.S. public official. He immigrated to the U.S. in his teens and became a successful lawyer in Charleston, S.C. After South Carolina seceded from the Union (1860), he helped draft the provisional constitution of the Confederacy and was appointed its secretary of the treasury (1861–64). To raise money, he issued increasing amounts of paper currency, which depreciated greatly by 1863. Held responsible for the collapse of Confederate credit, he resigned in 1864. After receiving a presidential pardon, he returned to the practice of law.

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orig. Christopher Harris

(born Dec. 18, 1907, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Eng.—died June 30, 2005, Chichester, West Sussex) British playwright. He worked as an actor, director, and playwright before achieving success with The Lady's Not for Burning (1948), an ironic comedy in verse set in medieval times. Noted for his wit and his religious preoccupations, he wrote other verse plays, including Venus Observed (1950), A Sleep of Prisoners (1951), The Dark Is Light Enough (1954), and A Yard of Sun (1970). He also wrote several television plays and collaborated on the screenplays of Ben Hur (1959) and Barabbas (1962).

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(born May 22, 1826, New Boston, N.H., U.S.—died July 6, 1906, Cambridge, Mass.) U.S. legal educator. He studied law at Harvard (1851–54) and practiced in New York City until 1870, when he accepted a professorship and then the deanship at Harvard Law School (1870–95). His case method of teaching law, in which students read and discussed original authorities and derived for themselves the principles of the law, eventually became dominant in U.S. law schools. His Selection of Cases on the Law of Contracts (1871) was the first case-method textbook.

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Italian Cristoforo Colombo Spanish Cristóbal Colón

(born between Aug. 26 and Oct. 31?, 1451, Genoa—died May 20, 1506, Valladolid, Spain) Genoese navigator and explorer whose transatlantic voyages opened the way for European exploration, exploitation, and colonization of the Americas. He began his career as a young seaman in the Portuguese merchant marine. In 1492 he obtained the sponsorship of the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand II and Isabella I for an attempt to reach Asia by sailing westward over what was presumed to be open sea. On his first voyage he set sail in August 1492 with three ships—the Santa María, the Niña, and the Pinta—and land was sighted in the Bahamas on October 12. He sailed along the northern coast of Hispaniola and returned to Spain in 1493. He made a second voyage (1493–96) with at least 17 ships and founded La Isabela (in what is now the Dominican Republic), the first European town in the New World. This voyage also began Spain's effort to promote Christian evangelization. On his third voyage (1498–1500) he reached South America and the Orinoco River delta. Allegations of his poor administration led to his being returned to Spain in chains. On his fourth voyage (1502–04) he returned to South America and sailed along the coasts of present-day Honduras and Panama. He was unable to attain his goals of nobility and great wealth. His character and achievements have long been debated, but scholars generally agree that he was an intrepid and brilliant navigator.

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