Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2011-10-31
October 31: John Keats

John Keats (1795) It was on this date, October 31, 1795, that British poet John Keats was born in London. His family was close, and when his father died in an 1804 riding accident, and his mother died of tuberculosis six years later, the 15-year-old Keats, two brothers and a sister, turned to each other. […]

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2011-10-25
October 25: Geoffrey Chaucer

Geoffrey Chaucer (d. 1400) It was on this date, October 25, 1400, that the first great poet in the English language, Geoffrey Chaucer, died at his home in London. His date of birth is unknown, though it is probably around 1340-1343. Chaucer became a celebrated poet during his lifetime, which did not interfere with his […]

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2011-08-31
August 31: Théophile Gautier

Théophile Gautier (1811) On this date, August 31, 1811, French poet and journalist Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was born in Tarbes, in the southwestern region of France. Although he was inclined to paint, he was influenced by Victor Hugo to write poetry and got a job at the Chronique de Paris with help from Honoré […]

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2011-08-28
August 28: Sturm und Drang und Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749) It was on this date, August 28, 1749, that Germany's greatest poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, was born in Frankfurt am Main. Initially trained in the law, from age 16, he took to letters under the influence of his mother. He joined the rebels of the Sturm und Drang (storm […]

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2011-08-06
August 6: Alfred Tennyson

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809) It was on this date, August 6,* 1809, that Victorian English poet Alfred, first Baron Tennyson, was born at Somersby, Lincolnshire, the fourth of twelve children fathered by a clergyman. Commonly known as Alfred, Lord Tennyson, he wasn't a Lord until he at length accepted a baronetcy from Queen Victoria in […]

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2011-08-04
August 4: The Necessity of Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792) It was on this date, August 4, 1792, that the third-greatest British poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, was born at Field Place near Horsham, the son of a Member of Parliament. Along with developing a strong dislike for political tyranny, after reading the radical writings of Thomas Paine, William Godwin and Baron […]

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2011-08-03
August 3: Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke (1887) It was on this date, August 3, 1887, that the Edwardian British poet W.B. Yeats called "The most handsome man in England," Rupert Brooke was born in Rugby. He was educated at Rugby School (where his father was housemaster) and King's College, Cambridge, distinguishing himself as both student and athlete. He was […]

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2011-07-27
July 27: Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell (1777) It was on this date, July 27, 1777, the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell was born in Glasgow, the youngest of the eleven children. Once destined for the ministry and the law, he studied at Glasgow and Edinburgh and became life-long friends with Walter Scott. In 1799 Campbell published a poem called “Pleasures […]

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2011-07-27
July 27: Giosuè Carducci

Giosuè Carducci (1835) It was on this date, July 27, 1835, that Nobel-winning Italian poet Giosuè Alessandro Michele Carducci was born in Valdicastello, a small town in the Province of Lucca in the northwest corner of the region of Tuscany. He studied philosophy at the University of Pisa, was professor of literature at Bologna University, […]

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2011-07-20
July 20: Erik Axel Karlfeldt

Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1864) It was on this date, July 20, 1864, that Nobel-winning Swedish poet Erik Axel Karlfeldt was born in Folkärna, in the rural province of Dalarna, central Sweden. His father was a lawyer, his mother a devout Lutheran. While supporting himself as a teacher, Karlfeldt completed his University of Uppsala studies and […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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May 5: John William Draper

“Faith is in its nature unchangeable, stationary; Science is in its nature progressive; and eventually a divergence between them must take place.”



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