Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.

November 20: Thomas Chatterton (1752)

It was on this date, November 20, 1752, that the poet generally regarded as the first Romantic poet in English, Thomas Chatterton, was born in Bristol, the posthumous son of a local schoolmaster. Poverty and rejection were the story of his life, but in the brief 17 years of his existence, Chatterton forged mediæval poetry and prose of such quality — the “Rowley Poems” — that it deceived even Horace Walpole.

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Originally published October 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.

Ronald Bruce Meyer

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February 26: Victor Hugo

To a census-taker, who asked him in 1872 if he was a Catholic, Hugo replied, "No. A Freethinker." Hugo predicted that Christianity would soon disappear, but men would still believe in God.



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