Monday, 27 March 2017

A Bit of History and Currently Reading

Continuing my perusal of Treasures of Use and Beauty, the Great Historical Events portion, I move now in the 1400's. One of the most famous personalities of this period, especially in respect to the Americas is the one and only, Christopher Columbus. The majority of entries in this book relating to this century feature Columbus. I'll probably provide two entries for the 1400s as it is a bigger entry than the preceding ones. So here you go, the 1400s

"1447. Christopher Columbus is born at Genoa - exact date disputed
1461. He goes to sea at the age of fourteen - his first voyage on the Mediterranean
1467. At the age of twenty he visits Iceland and the Northern Seas
1470 - 74. He conceived the idea that by sailing west he would reach the East Indies - that continent must lie in that direction
1471. He applies to the Senate of Genoa and the courts of Portugal, Spain and England for aid. He is refused.
1492. April 17. - Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain grant him a commission. Isabella fitting out the expedition at her own expense; August 3. - He sails from the port of Palos with three small vessels and ninety men; August 13. - He arrives at the Canary Islands; September 6. - He left the Canaries, and, when out of sight of land his men become dejected and beg of him to return. He encourages them and restores confidence; October 1. - Not having discovered land his officers and crew threaten mutiny, but with great effort he quiets them; October 12. - Land discovered, when his men prostrate themselves at the feet of Columbus and beg his forgiveness. On landing he finds the shores lined with naked inhabitants. Columbus named this island San Salvador, and continued his voyage in search of gold; October 28 - He discovers Cuba and numerous other small islands, all of which are inhabited, and fins small quantities of gold; December 6 - Columbus sailed eastward; December 24 - One of his vessels is lost in a storm off the coast of Hayti. The natives assist him in landing and treat him with kindness..."

I'll continue with the 1400`s in my next post. More excitement from Columbus and other famous explorers.

Letters of Affection

As I've been reading through these letters from historical personalities, I have been thinking of our daily news coverage of the current President of the US and his proclivities toward Twitter usage and the thought of future generations reading them to get a perspective of our time, makes me shudder. People knew how to correspond back then, how to write letters, to put two sentences together without making one cringe. Maybe 45 would learn something by reading some of the letters and correspondence from his earlier predecessors in the Presidential office. I doubt it though. Anyway, I shouldn't rant, it wouldn't achieve anything but some minor self-satisfaction. :)

So today, I present an extract of a letter from then Gen. George Washington to Miss Nellie Custis (his step-daughter), providing some advice in selecting a husband.

"Men and women feel the same inclination towards each other now that they have always done, and which they will continue to do, until there is a new order of things; and you, as others have done, may find that the passions of your sex are easier raised than allayed. Do not, therefore, boast too soon, nor too strongly of your insensibility. * * Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is, therefore, contended that it cannot be resisted. This is true in part only, for like all things else, when nourished and supplied plentifully with aliment, it is rapid in its progress; but let these be withdrawn, and it may be stifled in its growth. Although we cannot avoid first impressions, we may assuredly place them under guard. * * When the fire is beginning to kindle and your heart growing warm, propound these questions to it. Who is this invader? Have I a competent knowledge of him? Is he a man of good character? A man of sense? For, be assured sensible woman can never be happy with a fool. What has been his walk of life? * * * Is his fortune sufficient to maintain me in the manner I have been accustomed to live, and as my sisters do live? And is he one to whom my friends can have no reasonable objection? If all these interrogatories can be satisfactorily answered, there will remain but one more to be asked; that, however, is an important one. Have I sufficient ground to conclude that his affections are engaged by me? Without this the heart of sensibility will struggle against a passion that is not reciprocated.

Yours affectionately

George Washington."

As a matter of interest, Nellie married Washington's nephew, Lawrence Lewis, in 1799. Throughout her life she regarded herself as a preserver of George Washington's legacy.

Currently Reading

As always, I have 4 books on the go. I hope to finish one more before the end of March, that being Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves. This is the second book in the Vera Stanhope mystery series. The Crow Trap was the first and most enjoyable. I'm about 1/3 of the way through this second book and, like the first, I'm enjoying the story, the characters and the way that Cleeves develops her plot.

2. The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper. I have started this already but haven't made quite as much progress as I'd have liked, but I have been focusing on one book at a time to finish some off by month's end. This was Cooper's last book in the Leatherstocking series, written in 1841, but, in order of the adventures of Natty Bumpo, The Deerslayer, it is the introduction to his story. I'm enjoying what I've read so far, very much. It's nicely accessible for a book written almost two centuries ago.

3. The Wrong End of Time by John Brunner. This is the 2nd last book in my 12 + 4 Science Fiction challenge.

"The time is the future. The place, an America so isolated by fear (hmmmm) that it is cut off from the rest of the world by a massive defence system. Into this armed, barricaded state comes a young Russian scientist bearing a strange - and almost unbelievable story.

Superior, intelligent life - of a far higher order than any on earth - has been detected near the planet Pluto. Immune themselves by virtue of their far greater intelligence, these Aliens are about to destroy the planet Earth."

4. Tender Death by Annette Meyer. Back a few years, I read Free Love, a detective mystery by Annette Meyers and enjoyed very much. I bought this book shortly afterwards and unfortunately it has sat on my bookshelves for about 7 years or so. This is the 2nd book in the Smith and Wetzon mystery series.

"Xenia Smith and Leslie Wetzon. "Executive search specialists." Boardroom detectives. They seek out Wall Street's top guns and steal them away from their employers. They're headhunters - and they go for the big game.

When a wealthy Fifth Avenue widow takes a walk out of her twentieth-story window, Wetzon suspects that the old lady's Russian immigrant nurse may have given her a nudge. And Peepsie Cunningham's death is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon the body count is rising faster than the Dow Jones average, as Wetzon struggles to uncover a billion-dollar scandal in the booming home health-care business - a scandal that somehow involves Wetzon's own partner... in a scam that could get two experienced headhunters killed.

Next up will be my March purchases and then my monthly summary. Have a great week!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails