Dictionary of World Biography
Baader, Andreas (1943–1977) and Meinhoff, Ulrike (1934–1976). German terrorists. They led the Baader-Meinhoff gang of West German left-wing terrorists, politically most active in the 1970s. Meinhoff was murdered in prison and Baader killed himself.
Babbage, Charles (1791–1871). English mathematician and computer pioneer, born in London. Educated at Trinity College and Peterhouse, Cambridge and elected FRS in 1816 (at the age of 25), he became a co-founder of the Analytical Society (1812), the Astronomical Society (1820) and the Statistical Society (1834). He held the Lucasian chair of mathematics at Cambridge 1828–39, but delivered no lectures. In On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures (1832) he extended Adam *Smith’s work on the ‘division of labour’ and proposed theories that F. W. *Taylor later called ‘scientific management’. He proposed a machine for tabulating mathematical calculations for up to 20 decimal places and received government support 1823–42 for developing the first analytical computer, the programmed mechanical ‘difference engine’, but it was left incomplete. He then designed ‘Difference Engine No. 2’ (1846–49) but it was not built until 1991. (It is now displayed in the London Science Museum.) A small Swedish model, influenced by Babbage, was produced in 1854. From 1837, Babbage planned an ‘analytical engine’ to be fed by sets of Jacquard punch cards read by mechanical ‘feelers’, but it was never completed. It incorporated memory storage and anticipated modern computer techniques, such as ‘conditional transfer’, where intermediate calculations automatically direct the machine to modify its own program. He worked with Ada *Lovelace who published the first algorithm for a computer (1843).
Babbage’s interests included theology, economics, dendrochronology and cryptography. He was a parliamentary candidate in 1832 and 1834, and declined a knighthood. He invented the speedometer, the cowcatcher for trains, and an ophthalmoscope.
Hyman, A., Charles Babbage. 1984.
Bab ed-Din (1821–1850). Persian religious leader. The name (Arabic: ‘gate of faith’) given to Mirza Ali Mohammed of Shiraz, who was recognised by one of the Shi’ite sects as a new prophet. The new religion he preached, Babism, was compounded from Sufism, Gnosticism and the Koran. He and his followers were persecuted and after an ineffectual rebellion in Tabriz the Bab was executed. His disciples took refuge in Turkey and Palestine and from the latter a new leader, Baha Ullah, emerged.
Babel, Isaak Emmanuilovich (1894–1940?). Russian writer, born in Odessa. A friend of *Gorki, he served with the Bolsheviks in the Civil War and was both appalled and exhilarated by the carnage. His works included Tales of Odessa (1923–24), the short story cycle Red Cavalry (1926) and the play Sunset (1928). Arrested in 1939, he was tortured and executed on *Stalin’s orders and rehabilitated in 1954.
Babeuf, François Noël (1760–1797). French socialist and journalist. He found his original occupation as a collector of feudal dues highly distasteful and on the outbreak of the Revolution he immediately gave it enthusiastic support with popular and inflammatory articles. With the advent of the Directory his influence with the leaders waned. He believed strongly in economic as well as political equality and advocated a form of communism, i.e. the equal distribution of the products of labour. His paper and organisation were proscribed. His plan for an insurrection was betrayed and he and 30 of his followers were executed. His theories (known as Babeufism) inspired several later egalitarian movements.
Thomson, D., The Babeuf Plot: The Making of a Republican Legend, 1947.
Babington, Anthony (1561–1586). English conspirator. A wealthy Roman Catholic landowner in Derbyshire, he entered into a conspiracy to murder *Elizabeth I, free *Mary and make her queen. But cipher correspondence was discovered by *Walsingham, Babington fled, and was caught and executed.
Babur (= lion. Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad) (1483–1530). Emperor (Padishah) of India 1626–30. First of the Mughals, born in Uzbekistan, great-great-grandson of *Timur the Great (a.k.a. Tamerlane), he became ruler of Turkestan at the age of 12 but, troubled by constant revolts, he aimed at conquests to the south. After exploratory raids resulting in the occupation of much of Afghanistan he crossed the Indus in 1525 and in 1526 gained a decisive victory at Panipat over the Afghan Emperor of Delhi, confirmed by defeating the Rajputs the following year. In his short period of rule in northern India he improved communications and consolidated the administration of his realm.
Talbot, F. G., Memoirs of Babar. 1968.
Bach, Alexander, Freiherr von (1813–1893). Austrian bureaucrat. A lawyer, as Minister for the Interior 1849–59, he was the architect of a system of mildly reformist bureaucratic activism for the Austrian Empire, used to counter-balance nationalist populism.
Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685–1750). German composer, born at Eisenach. Since the early 16th century, more than 50 of his male relatives are listed as church or town musicians in Thuringia and neighbouring provinces. Youngest son of Johann Ambrosius Bach (1645–1695), who taught him the violin, both his parents died before he was 10. Sebastian then lived with his eldest brother Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721), from whom he learned organ and clavier playing. He sang in several church choirs, studied intensely and walked long distances to hear notable organists. He composed his first instrumental works about 1703 and played violin in the orchestra of Prince Johann-Ernst of Weimar and was organist at the Lutheran churches in Arnstadt 1703–07 and Mühlhausen 1707–08. In 1705 he walked from Arnstadt to Lübeck, more than 400 kilometres, to meet Dietrich *Buxtehude.
Bach wrote more than 1,100 works which were catalogued (1950) by Wolfgang Schmeider as BWV (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis), grouped thematically and followed by a number. Some compositions have been lost and some attributions on the list are disputed.
In the years 1703–08 he composed many complex organ works, revealing his absolute mastery of counterpoint: these include the Toccata and fugue in D minor, BWV 565 (although the absence of an early MS has raised questions about its authorship), and the Passacaglia and fugue in C minor, BWV 582.
In 1707 he married his cousin, Maria Barbara Bach, who bore him seven children, and died in 1720. Bach won a high reputation as an instrumentalist and was court organist to the Duke of Weimar 1708–17. The six ‘Brandenburg’ concertos for orchestra with various combinations of solo instruments are now thought to have been composed in Weimar, despite the publication date of 1721. As Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen’s music director 1717–23, he composed much vivacious instrumental and orchestral music, including four orchestral suites, six suites for solo cello, three sonatas and three partitas for violin (including in No. 2, BWV 1004, the great ‘Chaconne’), concertos for violin and clavier.
In 1722 he married Anna Magdalena Wilcken and they had 13 children. Of Bach’s 20 children, 10 lived into adult life.
After two other musicians (including *Telemann) had refused the position, Bach became Cantor (musical director) and director of the Choir School at Thomaskirche (St Thomas Church), Leipzig, in 1723 and held the post until his death. He also directed music at the Nikolaikirche. To strengthen his position in the many disputes over administration which broke out within the Church, he sought, and gained, the honorary title of court composer to the Elector of Saxony (1736). At Leipzig, he wrote 295 Church cantatas at great speed, mostly in the years 1723–27, to provide variety for the church choir and congregation. The consistently high quality of his huge output is unparalleled. Of the 224 surviving cantatas attributed to him, a few are probably not authentic. His greatest religious works are the sublime Magnificat (1723), Passion according to St John (1724), Passion according to St Matthew (1727) and Easter Oratorio (1735). The Christmas Oratorio (1734) is a group of six cantatas written for the Christmas season. The Mass in B Minor, was a rarity in the Lutheran tradition: a complete mass, sung in Latin, but with impassioned orchestral parts. Of its 26 sections (one repeated), all but three are recycled from earlier works, the earliest composed in 1714. It took its final form in 1749, but was not performed complete until 1859. Despite the spasmodic nature of its composition, it has great architectural strength and sublime expression. He also wrote about 30 ‘secular cantatas’, cheerful works usually commemorating birthdays, weddings or ceremonies.
The 48 preludes and fugues for keyboard, usually known as Das Wohltemperierte Klavier (The Well-Tempered Clavier), in two books (I: BWV 846, 1722; II: BWV 893, 1742), demonstrate Bach’s enthusiasm for ‘equal temperament’—tuning the notes of an octave in keyboard instruments into 12 semitones (the chromatic scale) with equal frequency intervals between each note. Far from being a forbidding set of exercises, the work has an exceptional emotional range, coupled with increasingly complex, but fascinating, challenges to technique.
Bach was the greatest master of polyphonic form but also experimented with rich chordal harmonies in The Goldberg Variations (1742) and in many of his organ works. The great prelude and fugue in E Minor (‘The Wedge’) was written about 1730. The Musical Offering, a set of variations based on a theme given to Bach by *Friedrich II (‘the Great’) (1747) is an encyclopaedia of instrumental counterpoint.
In 1749 he became blind from cataracts. An operation by the English eye surgeon Sir John Taylor was unsuccessful (as he also was with *Händel). Bach died of a stroke in the following year. Originally buried in the old cemetery at Johanniskirche, he was relocated in the church in 1894, then reburied in the Thomaskirche in 1950.
Bach enjoyed only a modest fame compared to his contemporaries Telemann and Händel, and his music was seldom performed, although *Mozart, *Beethoven and *Chopin admired him greatly. Bach’s successor in Leipzig, Gottlob Harrer, did not perform his music.
In 1829 *Mendelssohn revived the St Matthew Passion in Berlin. In 1850 Moritz Hauptmann founded the Bach Gesellschaft, which discovered many works thought to be lost and stimulated a great revival of interest in his life and music. Many critics rank him as the greatest of all composers.
A motif based on the notes B♭A C B (in German notation, B A C H) was used by Bach himself in Art of the Fugue and, as a tribute, in about 400 works by composers including *Schumann, *Liszt, *Brahms, *Rimsky-Korsakov, *Busoni, *Reger, *Schoenberg, *Ives, *Webern, *Schnittke and *Pärt.
Albert *Schweitzer argued in his biography that Bach was not a composer of ‘absolute’ or abstract music, but a poet and mystic whose works were intensely dramatic and pictorial. Paradoxically, he considered that *Wagner’s dramatic intensity had stimulated a fresh approach to Bach’s emotional depth and power.
Three of Bach’s sons were noted musicians (contemporaries ranked them higher than their father). Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710–1784), the greatest organist of his day, composed sonatas, concertos and fantasias for organ and clavier. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714–1788), a brilliant keyboard virtuoso who became chamber musician to Friedrich II in Potsdam (1740–67), then succeeded *Telemann as director of music at five Hamburg churches. He helped to establish sonata form, pioneered ‘harmonic’ music (in contrast to ‘polyphonic’) and wrote some of the earliest symphonies, which influenced *Haydn and *Mozart. He was a forerunner of romanticism and ‘Sturm und Drang’, his music being marked by sudden, unexpected modulations, pauses and emotional tension. He wrote 52 harpsichord concertos, many transcribed for other instruments, e.g. the amazing Flute Concerto in D Minor, H. 426 (1747). The first music by a European composer known to have been performed in Australia was by C. P. E. Bach. Johann Christian Bach (1735–1782) lived in England for 20 years. Known as ‘the London Bach’, he helped to develop symphonic form and influenced the young Mozart.
Schweitzer, A., J.S. Bach, 2 vols. 1905, revised 1966; Hofstadter, D.R., Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. 1980; Wolff, C., Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. 2000; Gardiner, J. E., Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven. 2013; Elie, P., Reinventing Bach. 2013.
Bachelard, Gaston (1884–1962). French historian and philosopher of science, born at Bar-sur-Aube. Some of his early work, such as La Formation de L’Esprit Scientifique (1938) was concerned with the obstacles which had traditionally hampered scientific thinking: metaphysics, anthropomorphism. He wanted to apply *Freud’s work to understand the factors that had repressed scientific intelligence. Thus he saw alchemy as the projection of inner desires, whereas chemistry developed a body of formal experimental practices which took it out of the field of the subjective into the scientific. Bachelard also pioneered a ‘structuralist’ understanding of scientific thought. He tried to uncover the often hidden affinities which linked certain concepts. He believed that science progressed not by gradual evolution, but by sudden leaps from one framework of reference to another.
Dagognet, F., Gaston Bachelard. 1965.
Bachelet Jeria, (Verónica) Michelle (1951– ). Chilean politician, born in Santiago. Her father, an army administrator, was arrested, tortured and died in custody (1974). With her mother she was briefly a refugee in Australia (1975), then went to East Germany. A surgeon, pediatrician and epidemiologist, she was a Socialist moderate who served as Health Minister 2000–02, Defence Minister 2002–04, and became Chile’s first female president 2006–10. She worked for a UN agency in New York, then ran for a second presidential term in 2013, winning 62 per cent of the vote in a second ballot. She became United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights 2018– .
Bacon, Francis, 1st Viscount St Alban, Baron Verulam (1561–1626). English lawyer, scientist, essayist and philosopher, born in London. His father, Sir Nicholas Bacon (1509–1579), was Keeper of the Great Seal to Queen *Elizabeth, his mother an aunt of William Cecil, Lord *Burghley. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge between the ages of 12 and 14, then studied at Gray’s Inn, London, spent a few years in diplomacy and in 1586 became a bencher of Gray’s Inn. He was a Member of Parliament 1584–1617. He became a protégé of the Earl of *Essex but did not scruple to appear for the prosecution when Essex was tried for treason in 1601. Under *James I, Bacon advanced steadily: in 1613 he became Attorney-General and in 1618 Lord Chancellor with the title Baron Verulam. In 1621 he became Viscount St Alban but in the same year was charged with bribery and corruption. He insisted that gifts received had not affected his judgments, but he was imprisoned briefly and banished from court and parliament. Side by side with his public life he followed his literary, scientific and philosophic pursuits. His Essays on such subjects as truth, adversity and death were first published in 1597 and issued in final form in 1625. His philosophic and scientific work was intended to summarise the state of knowledge so far attained and outline a method by which this knowledge could be renewed and advanced. The latter purpose is the theme of Novum Organum, written in Latin, published in 1620 and intended to be part of a great all embracing work The Great Instauration. His method was a kind of tabular analysis of affinities and deviations by which he supposed scientific definition could be reached. The definition of heat arrived at by his method ‘Heat is an expansive motion restrained and striving to exert itself in the smallest particles’ is near the truth but the method in general has not proved useful to later scientists. His great significance in the history of science lies in the stress he gave to the value of experiment and to the failure of scholastic methods to arrive at a true understanding of nature. Other literary work includes The Advancement of Learning (1605) and The New Atlantis (1626), inspired by Sir Thomas *More’s Utopia.
The theory that Bacon was the real author of the Shakespearian plays was first proposed in print in 1856 (independently) by Delia Bacon and William Henry Smith and has generated a vast, self-deluding, literature. *Pope’s description of Bacon ‘as the wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind’ is probably unfair, but it is certain that a lack of moral fibre prevented him in times of crisis from living up to his best intentions.
Anderson, F. H., Francis Bacon: His Career and His Thought. 1962; Mathews, N., Francis Bacon. 1996.
Bacon, Francis (1909–1992). British painter, born in Dublin. Of English parentage, he had no formal training but spent two years in Berlin and Paris, then worked in London 1928–31 as an interior decorator and furniture designer. He exhibited in the 1930s but destroyed almost all of his early work. In 1945 his Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944), now in the Tate Gallery, created violent controversy, showing figures of unrelieved horror, images evoking wartime concentration camps, far removed from serene landscapes or salon painting. Bacon’s works were often inspired by other paintings, photographs or films, for example his Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953), sometimes called ‘the screaming Pope’, images from *Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin and *Muybridge’s photographs of ‘animal locomotion’. Retrospectives were held at the Tate in 1962 and exhibited at the Tate, and in Paris and Washington in 1985. By then many critics considered him the greatest living painter. His Triptych May–June 1973 was sold for $US6.27 million in New York in 1989. He declined the OM. Robert *Hughes wrote (1985) that ‘no other living painter has set forth with such pitiless clarity the tensions and paradoxes that surround all efforts to see, let alone paint, the human figure in an age of photography’. He died of asthma in Madrid. Three Studies of Lucien Freud (1969) was sold at auction in New York for $US142.4 million, a record for any art work.
Leiris, M., Francis Bacon, 1987; Gowing, L. and Hunter, S., Francis Bacon 1989; Farson, D., The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon, 1993; Peppiatt, M., Francis Bacon: Anatomy of an Enigma, 1996.
Bacon, Roger (c.1214–1292). English scientific philosopher, born according to one tradition near Ilchester, Somerset, and to another at Bilsey in Gloucestershire. Though probably educated in Oxford the first certain date in his career seems to be 1236 when he was studying in Paris. In or after 1251 he returned for a time to England and it may have been then that he joined the Franciscans. For 10 years from 1256 he seems to have been in France suffering from ill health and writing little. The last years of his life were spent at Oxford. Roger Bacon was a man of great learning and wrote much (e.g. the vast Opus Maius, 1267–68), on many subjects, but as a systematiser rather than an originator. In philosophy Aristotle provided the basis of his philosophical studies as he did for those of all medieval philosophers. His probings into more arcane subjects such as alchemy were in line with the thought of his time. Some of his opinions and speculations evidently incurred the disapproval of his superiors but of his actual imprisonment the evidence is insubstantial. His popular image was, however, that of a necromancer. It is in experimental science that he produced real achievement, especially in optics. He remains, however, one of the greatest expounders of medieval knowledge and thought.
Crowley, T., Roger Bacon. 1950; Clegg, B., Roger Bacon: The First Scientist. 2003.
Baden-Powell, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron (1857–1941). English youth leader and general. Son of an Oxford professor of geometry, he was educated at Charterhouse and joined the Indian Army in 1876. He campaigned in Afghanistan (1880–81), Zululand (1888), Ashanti (1895–96) and Matabeleland (1896) and became famous as the defender of Mafeking during the Boer War, when he was besieged with 1200 men for 215 days (1899–1900). In 1907 he founded the Boy Scouts movement which became established internationally and which he led as Chief Scout until his death. In 1910 he set up the Girl Guides with his sister Agnes, followed by Sea Scouts, Wolf Cubs and Rover Scouts. He wrote Aids to Scouting (1899), Scouting for Boys (1908) and 30 other books, all illustrated by himself. He received a peerage in 1929 and the OM in 1937. Although Scouts were banned by the Nazis in Germany in 1934, as late as 1939 Baden-Powell thought *Hitler’s Mein Kampf was ‘a wonderful book’. His sexuality was controversial. He lived in Kenya from 1939, and died there.
Jeal, T., Baden-Powell. 1989.
Bader, Sir Douglas (1910–1982). British airman. Despite losing both legs in a flying accident in 1931 he rejoined the RAF, led a Canadian fighter squadron in the Battle of Britain, and had already brought down 15 opponents when (August 1941), after a collision with a German aircraft in France, he was captured and held as a prisoner of war.
Brickhill, P., Reach for the Sky. 1954.
Badoglio, Pietro (1871–1956). Italian marshal. After distinguished service in World War I he was governor of Libya 1928–33 and was in command of the assault on Abyssinia in 1936. At the opening of World War II he was Chief of Staff but resigned in 1940 after Italian defeats in Albania. In 1943 he was made premier of an anti-Fascist government, on *Mussolini’s fall, and at once negotiated an armistice with the Allies. He resigned in 1944.
Baedeker, Karl (1801–1859). German publisher, born in Essen. Son of a printer and bookseller, he established his own business in Coblenz and from 1827 he published the famous Baedeker guidebooks. His son transferred the business to Leipzig.
Baekeland, Leo Hendrik (1863–1944). American chemist, born in Belgium. He migrated to the US in 1889, developed Velox photographic paper and sold it (1899) to George *Eastman. A pioneer of the plastics industry, he discovered (1905) the first thermosetting resin of practical importance named Bakelite. He was appointed an honorary professor of Columbia University.
Baer, Karl Ernst von (1792–1876). Russo-German zoologist, embryologist, ethnographer, and geographer, born in Estonia. He studied at the universities of Tartu and Würzburg, and taught at Königsberg 1817–34, where he discovered the mammalian ovum and the notochord and wrote On the Development of Animals (2 vols, 1828, 1837) which established the basis of the science of embryology. He worked in the Russian Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg 1834–62, explored plant life in northern Siberia, and made discoveries in anthropology and geography. *Darwin used Baer’s work in embryology to advance his evolutionary thesis, but Baer rejected the idea of a common ancestry for animals. He was awarded the Copley Medal in 1867.
Baeyer, (Johann Friedrich William) Adolf von (1835–1917). German organic chemist, born in Berlin. From a military family, Baeyer studied chemistry with *Bunsen at Heidelberg, and later with *Kekulé. He took up teaching positions at the Berlin technical institute and military academy 1860–72 and became professor of chemistry at Strasbourg 1872–75 and Munich 1875–1917. A superb experimenter in the field of organic chemistry, Baeyer devoted most of his life to solving problems of structure. After early work on uric acid, he investigated the carboxylic acids of benzene, and hoped to discover the structure of benzene itself. He isolated barbituric acid which led to the development of barbiturates. His main work, begun in 1865, was upon the synthesis of indigo. He successfully prepared indigo from other reagents, and by 1883 had unravelled the formula of its structure. He declined, however, to collaborate with the synthetic dye industry in making commercial use of his analysis. He turned his attention elsewhere, to studying polyacetylenes and other explosive compounds, and experimenting with oxonium compounds. Baeyer was chiefly an empirical chemist, but his work was of some theoretical interest in underlining the strength of ring structures, and investigating the direction of valence bonds. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1905.
Baffin, William (1584–1622). English Arctic explorer. A voyage to Greenland (1612) and whaling off Spitsbergen (1613–14) provided the experience for two vain attempts to find the Northwest Passage. In the second (1616) he discovered and named Smith’s Sound and Lancaster Sound and explored what is now Baffin Bay and the shores of Baffin Island. In 1617 he abandoned the Arctic for the East and it was while helping the Shah of Persia at the siege of Ormuz that he was killed. He wrote accounts of several of his voyages.
Bagehot, Walter (1826–1877). English political economist, born at Langport, Somerset. After leaving London University he worked in his father’s banking firm and, having married a daughter of its founder, James Wilson, was editor of The Economist 1860–77. He applied great scientific acumen to his rigorous analysis of 19th-century economics and politics. In The English Constitution (1867) he identified two distinct functions in the United Kingdom government, ‘the dignified’ (ceremonial, consensus, apolitical) and ‘the efficient’ (executive, decision-making, partisan, elected). Other books include Lombard Street (1873), Physics and Politics (1875), and Literary Studies (1879).
St John-Stevas, N., Walter Bagehot. 1959; Collected Works of Walter Bagehot. 1966.
Bagration, Piotr Ivanovich, Prince (1765–1812). Russian general. Of Georgian and Armenian descent, he served against the French revolutionary and Napoléonic armies in Italy, Switzerland and Austria and against Turkey in 1809. He commanded an army against *Napoléon during the advance to Moscow in 1812, and was killed at Borodino.
Bahāʾ al‐Dīn Muḥammad ibn Ḥusayn al‐ʿĀmilī (also known as Shaykh‐i Bahāʾī) (1547–1621). Persian architect, astronomer, poet and philosopher, born in Lebanon. He was the architect of the Imam Mosque in Esfahan, begun in 1611, an important teacher and advocate of the heliocentric universe.
Bahadur Shah II, Zafar (Mirza Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar) (1775–1862). Emperor of India 1837–57, the last of the Mughals. Son of Akbar II, he succeeded when the empire was in decline, being completely controlled by the British East India Company. He was a gifted poet and calligrapher, promoting tolerance for all religions. The Indian Mutiny of 1857, although started by Hindus, was regarded as a treasonable attempt to restore the aged Emperor to power, and there were savage reprisals by British forces. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Zafar died in Rangoon (Yangon) and was secretly buried.
Dalrymple, W., The Last Mughal. 2006.
Baha-Ullah see under Bab ed-Din
Bailey, Sir Donald Coleman (1901–1985). British engineer. His invention of a type of bridge which could be carried in sections and quickly erected solved many problems of military transport in World War II and was later adapted for civilian use.
Bailly, Jean Sylvain (1736–1793). French astronomer and politician. He became President of the National Assembly in the opening stages of the Revolution and was Mayor of Paris 1789–91, but retired into private life when blamed for allowing the National Guard to fire on a mob demonstrating against the king. He was later denounced, condemned and guillotined. His great Histoire d’astronomie appeared in five volumes (1775–87).
Bain, Alexander (1818–1803). Scottish philosopher, born in Aberdeen. Educated at Aberdeen, he was professor of logic 1860–81 at the university. His writings, e.g. The Senses and the Intellect (1855), The Emotions and the Will (1859), Mind and Body (1873), cover the borderland territory between physiology, psychology and philosophy. He also wrote textbooks on grammar and logic and a study of James and John Stuart *Mill (1882).
Baird, John Logie (1888–1946). Scottish electrical engineer, born in Helensburgh. A pioneer of mechanically scanned television, he was dogged by ill health and his early inventions failed, but from 1922 he devoted himself to studying the transmission of pictures by wireless waves. In 1924, at a house in Soho, he first transmitted a televised image over several feet, using a mechanical scanning device. This apparatus (now in the Science Museum, London) was publicly demonstrated in 1926 and Baird’s system was given a prolonged test by the BBC. Electronic scanning (*Shoenberg, *Zworykin) was, however, eventually chosen for television systems. Later researches enabled Baird to produce three dimensional and coloured images (1944). In 1927 he also invented a method of direction-finding in total darkness by means of infra-red rays. He made the first ultrashort wave radio transmissions.
McArthur, C., and Waddell, P., Secret Life of John Logie Baird. 1986.
Bajazet see Bayezid
Baker, Sir Benjamin (1840–1907). British engineer. His long association with John *Fowler as consultant showed a record of remarkable achievement. Most spectacular was the Forth railway bridge (opened 1890), for which both were knighted, but they were also responsible for the construction of London’s Metropolitan Railway and Victoria Station. Later Baker designed the Central London and other sections of underground railway. He was consultant for the Aswan dam in Egypt (completed 1902).
Baker, Sir Herbert (1862–1946). English architect, born in Kent. A pupil of Ernest George, while still a young man he secured the patronage of Cecil *Rhodes and a number of commissions for the design of South African houses, churches and public buildings, including the Anglican Cathedrals in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The Union Building, Pretoria, is the most grandiose example. His appointment as joint architect (with *Lutyens) for the government buildings in New Delhi provided an even wider opportunity for him to display his talent for the magnificent. In London his best known works are the Bank of England and Church House, Westminster. Knighted in 1926, he became an RA in 1932 and wrote Architecture and Personalities (1944).
Baker, James Addison III (1930– ). American lawyer and administrator. Educated at Princeton and Texas universities, he was a lawyer in Houston from 1957 and a close political ally of George *Bush. He served Ronald *Reagan as White House Chief of Staff 1981–85 and Secretary of the Treasury 1985–88, and Bush as campaign director 1988, 1992 and Secretary of State 1989–92.
Baker, Dame Janet Abbott (1933– ). English mezzo soprano, born in Yorkshire. In 1956 she won the Daily Mail Kathleen *Ferrier Award, and in the same year made her stage debut at Oxford in *Smetana’s The Secret. She sang throughout Europe and the US in recital, oratorio and opera, appearing at Covent Garden and Glyndebourne. She was particularly admired for stylish performances of *Monteverdi, *Purcell, *Händel, *Mozart, *Berlioz, *Mahler, *Elgar and *Britten. She was made an honorary fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford in 1975 and received a CH in 1994.
Blyth, A., Janet Baker. 1973.
Baker, Josephine (1906–1975). African-American dancer and singer, born in St Louis. At the Folies Bergère, Paris from 1925 she became famous for her beauty (her lover *Simenon referred to ‘the bottom that laughed’) and memorable dress/undress, e.g. girdle of bananas. Like Paul *Robeson she was an important advocate of black rights and racial tolerance. She became a French citizen after World War II as a protest against racial discrimination in the US.
Baker, Sir Samuel White (1821–1893). British traveller, writer and hunter. He lived in Ceylon and wrote Rifle and Hound in Ceylon (1853), built railways in the Balkans and explored Asia Minor. He investigated tributaries of the Nile in Ethiopia (1861–62) and in 1864 discovered Albert Nyanza, which earned him a knighthood and election as FRS. The Ottoman khedive in Egypt appointed him as Governor-General of the Equatorial Nile basin 1869–73 with the rank of major general and pasha. He worked to suppress the slave trade.
Bakewell, Robert (1725–1795). English agriculturalist, born at Dishley, Leicestershire. A pioneer of systematic breeding at Dishley, he greatly improved the standard of cattle, sheep and draught horses. He was best known for his breeding and improvement of Leicester sheep and Dishley cattle.
Pawson, H. C., Robert Bakewell: Pioneer Livestock Breeder. 1957.
Bakst, Léon (1866–1924). Russian-Jewish designer. He lived in Paris from 1906 and his fame rests mainly on the sumptuous sets and costumes he designed for Léon *Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.
Pruzhnan, I., Léon Bakst. 1988.
Bakunin, Mikhail Aleksandrovich (1814–1876). Russian anarchist. An aristocrat by birth and for a short time in the army, he left Russia in 1840, and was condemned in his absence. After taking part in a rising at Dresden during the revolutionary year of 1848 he was handed over to the Russian authorities and imprisoned. Later he was exiled to Siberia, but escaped and reached England in l861. Most of the rest of his life was spent in a struggle with Karl *Marx to decide the form that socialist doctrine should take: Bakunin’s anarchism or Marx’s communism. Bakunin, defeated, was expelled from the International in 1872. His book God and the State, in which he called for militant atheism and the destruction of the State, had a great influence on the nihilist movement, especially in Spain and Italy.
Carr, E. H., Michael Bakunin. 1937.
Balakirev, Mili Alekseivich (1836–1910). Russian composer and pianist, born at Nizhny Novgorod. A pupil of *Glinka, he was a successful pianist, and later taught *Mussorgsky and *Cui. He became a leading member of ‘The Five’ (Cui, Mussorgsky, *Borodin, *Rimsky-Korsakov and Balakirev), a group which revived the nationalist tradition in Russian music. Balakirev, who had to support himself as a civil servant, wrote two symphonies, piano music, many songs and the symphonic poems Tamara (1882) and Russia (1884).
Garden, E., Balakirev. 1967.
Balanchine, George Melitonovich (1904–1983). Georgian-American choreographer, born in St Petersburg. He studied at the Maryinsky Theatre and danced with the Soviet State Dancers before joining *Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe in Paris 1924–29 as ballet master. In the US he founded the School of American Ballet (1934) and the New York City Ballet (1948). He created 170 ballets, including Apollo, Firebird, Orpheus and Agon (Stravinsky), La Valse and Valses Nobleset Sentimentales (Ravel), Nutcracker and Ballet Imperial (Tchaikovsky). He worked closely with Lincoln Kirstein (1907–1996), an art connoisseur, impresario and patron.
Balbo, Italo (1896–1940). Italian airman and politician. A leading Fascist, he was one of the quadrumvirs in *Mussolini’s March on Rome (1922), later reputed to have devised the castor oil treatment to humiliate opponents. Minister for Aviation 1929–31 and a marshal 1931, he flew to Chicago and Rio to promote Italian aviation and his popularity rivalled Mussolini’s. Sent as Governor of Libya 1933–40, he opposed the German alliance. His plane was shot down over Tobruk by Italian guns in unexplained circumstances.
Balboa, Vasco Nunez de (c.1475–1519). Spanish conquistador. In 1513 he became the first European to sight the Pacific when, having ousted his predecessor and made himself governor of Darien, he made an epic march across the isthmus of Panama. Meanwhile complaints at the Spanish court about his seizure of power had led to his being replaced by Pedro Arias de Avilla, who accused him of conspiracy and eventually had him beheaded.
Anderson, C. L. G., Life and Letters of Vasco Nunez de Balboa. 194l.
Baldwin (Baudouin). Name of five kings of Jerusalem. Baldwin I (1058–1118) accompanied his elder brother *Godfrey de Bouillon on the first crusade and in 1100 succeeded him as ‘defender of the holy sepulchre’, immediately taking the title of King and so establishing the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. He gradually asserted his authority over most of the coastal area of Palestine and Syria. His cousin Baldwin II (d.1131) was Lord of Edessa when chosen to succeed him in 1118. He spent most of his reign defending the northern parts of the realm. His son-in-law *Fulk of Anjou succeeded him and his grandson, Fulk’s heir, became Baldwin III (1131–1162) (reigned 1143–62). At the beginning of his reign the second crusade, launched to retake Edessa, was defeated in Asia Minor, but Baldwin was an able ruler who by expelling the Egyptians from Ascalon secured his kingdom in the south. Baldwin IV (1161–1185) (reigned 1173–85), ‘the Leper’, was incompetent. His nephew and successor Baldwin V (1177–1186) died as a child.
Baldwin, James (1924–1987). American writer, born in New York. Educated in Harlem, he began working in Greenwich Village. His novels, e.g. Go Tell it on the Mountain (1954) and Another Country (1963) are concerned with the position of African-Americans in American society, and his non-fiction works, e.g. Notes of a Native Son (1955) and Nobody Knows my Name (1961), contain several of the essays that made him famous in America.
Baldwin, Stanley, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley (1867–1947). British Conservative politician, born at Bewdley. Son of a rich steel manufacturer, educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, he joined the family firm and it was not until 1908 that he entered parliament. After holding junior offices he was President of the Board of Trade when in 1922 leading members of the Conservative Party forced the resignation of *Lloyd George’s coalition. Since most leading Conservatives refused office because of loyalty to Lloyd George, Baldwin gained rapid promotion as Chancellor of the Exchequer 1922–23 under Bonar Law. When fatal illness forced Law to retire, George V chose Baldwin as Prime Minister in preference to *Curzon. He was Prime Minister three times 1923–24; 1924–29; 1935–37 and the all powerful Deputy to Ramsay *MacDonald in the ‘National’ government 1931–35 when he showed great skill in handling people and situations. The potentially disruptive General Strike of 1926 and *Edward VIII’s abdication crisis of 1936 he overcame without bitterness. Although aware of the threat from *Hitler he shirked advocating a rearmament program that would risk electoral defeat. It is true that he knew that the Labour party was even less ready than he to face the military and political problems caused by the resurgence of Germany, but as the man in power he must be held largely responsible for the years of appeasement and their bitter consequences. Baldwin was a cousin of Rudyard *Kipling and his own tastes were contemplative and literary. For many years he was held to be the epitome of the true-blue middle class Englishman.
Middlemas, K. and Barnes, J., Baldwin 1969; Young, K., Baldwin. 1976; Jenkins, R., Baldwin 1987.
Balenciaga, Cristobal (1895–1972). Spanish (Basque) couturier. He became a tailor and dress maker, in Paris from 1936, celebrated for his elegance and simplicity in design.
Balfe, Michael William (1808–1870). Irish composer, violinist and baritone, born in Dublin. He moved to London in 1823, attracted the patronage of *Rossini and sang Figaro in The Barber of Seville in Paris (1828), performed with *Malibran, and was Papageno in the English premiere of The Magic Flute (1838). He composed 29 operas of which only The Bohemian Girl (1843) is still performed.
Balfour, Arthur James, 1st Earl of Balfour (1848–1930). British Conservative politician, born at Whittingehame, East Lothian. Member of an ancient Scottish family, educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, he was an MP 1874–1906 and 1906–22. At the opening of his career he was private secretary at the Berlin Conference of 1878 to his maternal uncle, Robert Cecil, 3rd Marquess of *Salisbury, and subsequently his promotion was rapid (whence the phrase ‘Bob’s your uncle!’). A ruthless but effective Chief Secretary for Ireland 1887–91, he became First Lord of the Treasury (a position which, until then had always been held by the Prime Minister) and Leader of the House of Commons 1891–92, 1895–1902 while Salisbury, Prime Minister, sat in the House of Lords. When Salisbury retired in 1902 Balfour became Prime Minister, but his graceful balancing act between the factions of his party failed to convince the electorate of his ability to rule. He lost his seat when the government was defeated in the general election of 1905. He resigned the party leadership in 1911 and was succeeded by Bonar *Law. The coalitions of World War I restored him to office. He was First Lord of the Admiralty in *Asquith’s coalition, and Foreign Minister 1916–19 under Lloyd George. In 1917 he issued the ‘Balfour Declaration’, promising British support for a Jewish national home in Palestine. As Lord President of the Council 1919–22 and 1925–29, he created links between research and industry. Balfour’s mind was too detached, said his detractors, and his charm too great for a successful politician. He could see both sides of a question too clearly to be decisive in action. This view of his character was reinforced by the title of his first book and a misconception of its contents: A Defence of Philosophic Doubt (1879). Later books were The Foundations of Belief (1900) and Theism and Humanism (1915). Awarded the OM in 1916, he was created Earl of Balfour and a KG in 1922, became Chancellor of Cambridge University 1919–30 and President of the British Academy 1921–30. He was unmarried.
Zebel, S. H., Balfour: A Political Biography. 1974; Adams, R. J. Q., Balfour: the Last Grandee. 2007.
Ball, John (d.1381). English rebel and priest. He preached social equality and his famous sermon at Blackheath on the theme ‘When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then a gentleman?’ helped to provoke the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. He was executed at St Albans.
Balla, Giacomo (1871–1958). Italian painter and sculptor. Associated with the Futurists, his best known work Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (1912) captures movement with wit and vivacity.
Balladur, Édouard (1929– ). French politician and administrator, born in Izmir. He was Georges *Pompidou’s Chief of Staff 1974, Finance Minister 1986–88 under *Chirac’s ‘cohabitation’ with *Mitterrand and Prime Minister 1993–1995. He broke with Chirac and in the 1995 presidential election ran third on the first ballot.
Ballantyne, James (1772–1833), and John (1774–1821). Scottish printers. They were close friends of Sir WaIter *Scott and printed his works. From 1805 he was a secret partner in the firm which, expanding into publishing and bookselling, was known from 1808 as James Ballantyne & Co. The firm’s bankruptcy (1826) involved Scott in a liability of £130,000 so to pay it off he made a heroic writing effort that hastened his death.
Ballantyne, Robert Michael (1825–1894). Scottish author. As a young man he served in Canada in the Hudson’s Bay Company. From 1856 he wrote about 80 adventure books for boys, including Martin Rattler, The Dog Crusoe and Coral Island.
Quayle, E., Ballantyne the Brave. 1967.
Balliol, John de (1249–1315). King of Scotland 1292–96. Son of John de Balliol (d.1268/9), founder of Balliol College, Oxford, whose ancestors came from Bailleul in Normandy. His claim to the Scottish throne came through his mother, Devorgilla, a descendant of King *David I. In 1292 Balliol was chosen by *Edward I of England from 13 contestants to reign as a vassal king, but in 1296 he threw off his fealty. Edward immediately invaded his kingdom and forced him to surrender. Known as ‘Toom Tabard’ (‘Empty Jacket’), after three years’ imprisonment he was permitted to go to Normandy, where he died. His son Edward de Balliol (c.1283–1364) was crowned at Scone in 1332 but could only maintain himself with English help and in 1356, after years of intermittent rule, surrendered all his claims to *Edward III.
Balthus (Balthazar Klossowski de Rola) (1912?–2001). Polish-French painter, born in Paris. His paintings, often of adolescents, appear conventional, but are marked by a disturbing sexual tension, depicting loss of innocence.
Baltimore, David (1938– ). American biologist, born in New York City. Professor of Microbiology at MIT 1972–95 and President of CalTech 1995–2006, he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1975 for discovering the ‘reverse transcriptase enzyme’ which transcribes DNA into RNA.
Baltimore, George Calvert, 1st Baron (1580–1632). English coloniser. He was secretary of state from 1619 until 1625, when he announced himself a Catholic and on resigning received his Irish peerage. In 1627 he visited a colony which he had founded (1621) in Newfoundland, but after two years he decided to seek a warmer climate for his permanent home. He died while in England to obtain a grant for the selected territory. The grant passed to his son, the 2nd Lord Baltimore, who governed the colony, now called Maryland, from England.
Balzac, Honoré de (1799–1850). French novelist, born in Tours. Author of the great novel sequence La Comedie Humaine, he was the son of an eccentric civil servant. His unhappy schooldays are described in the autobiographical Louis Lambert (1832). An attempt to turn him into a lawyer failed, and from 1820 he was in Paris trying to make a living as a writer. An unfortunate speculation in a printing firm involved him in debt which took years to settle. His industry, both in research and in the writing of his novels, was enormous; his eventual earnings equally so. In total his output amounted to about 100 novels, six plays, many pamphlets and a huge amount of correspondence. His first successful novel, Les Chouans (1829) describes, in the Romantic manner of Sir Walter *Scott, a rising in Brittany during the French Revolution. His Rabelaisian Contes drolatiques (1832–37) are medieval tales written in a pseudo 16th century idiom. His vast conception of linking under a single title, La Comedie Humaine, all the novels he had already written and those he planned to write, dates from 1842, his idea being to present an integrated picture of 19th-century France, with scenes of life in Paris, the country, the army, the family. The novels thus linked contain over 2000 characters. He said of himself ‘I penetrate the soul without neglecting the body’, and this claim was vindicated by his genius for delineation of character, made possible by extraordinary powers of observation and imagination. Of the individual novels, the best known include Eugénie Grandet (1833), Le Père Goriot (1834), Cesar Birotteau (1837), La Cousine Bette (1846). His Lettres a l’Etrangere, published after his death, were written to a rich Polish countess, Evelina Hanska, who first wrote to him in 1832 and was soon promising marriage after her husband’s death. This occurred in 1841 and thereafter they met regularly, but they were not married until 1850, only five months before Balzac’s death, which was hastened by travel in the bitter cold of a Polish winter.
Pritchett, V. S., Balzac. 1973.
Ban Ki-moon (1944– ). Korean diplomat and administrator. Educated at Seoul and Harvard universities, he served as a diplomat in India and the US and was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade 2004–06. Elected as Secretary-General of the United Nations 2007– , he faced continued violence throughout the Middle East, failure to secure global action on climate change, and concerns about the administration on the UN itself. He was strong on gay rights, ambiguous about the death penalty.
Bancroft, George (1800–1891). American historian and diplomat. He studied history at Göttingen University and on his return started a school where he began writing his monumental History of the United States (10 volumes, 1834–74). Services to the Democratic party were rewarded with official posts ending with that of minister to Great Britain 1846–49. A strong supporter of Lincoln and Johnson, he was sent as minister to Berlin 1867–74.
Wolfe Howe, M. de, Life and Letters of George Bancroft. 1971.
Banda, Hastings Kamazu (1906–1997). Malawian politician. Educated at a mission school, he emigrated to the US, where, after 15 years’ work, his savings allowed him to take degrees in philosophy and medicine. He moved to Britain and became an LRCP at Edinburgh and thereafter practised in England until 1953. From 1958 he led the independence movement in Nyasaland and headed the Malawi Congress party (founded in 1959), being imprisoned for a time by the British. When the country attained self-government in 1963 Banda became Prime Minister, an office which he retained when in July 1964 Malawi became independent. He was ‘President for life’ 1964–94, after reluctantly accepting international demands for free elections in 1993.
Bandaranaike, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias (1899–1959). Sri Lankan politician. Educated at Oxford University, he became a lawyer and after Ceylon’s independence was minister of health 1947–51 in D. S. Senanayake’s government. He resigned to form the Sri Lanka Freedom party, the basis of the People’s United Front, the victory of which in the election of 1956 resulted in his becoming Prime Minister. He was assassinated by a Buddhist monk in 1959 but his policy of socialism at home (accompanied by expropriation of foreign interests) and neutralism abroad was continued by his widow Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1916–2000), who became the first woman prime minister. Her period of office was one of mounting financial difficulty, communal troubles and administrative chaos, some of it due to forces outside her control. She resigned after electoral defeat in 1965, but again became Prime Minister 1970–77, returning a third time 1994–2000, after the election of her daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga (1945– ) as President of Sri Lanka.
Bandello, Matteo (c.1485–1561). Italian author, born in Piedmont. A Dominican friar, a diplomatist and (1550–54) Bishop of Agen in France, he wrote about 250 short stories (novelle) some of which were used as the basis of works by *Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet), *Lope de Vega and *Byron.
Petrocchi, G., Matteo Bandello. 1949.
Bankhead, Tallulah Brockman (1903–1968). American actor. Famous in the 1920s and 1930s, the hysterical adulation aroused by her husky voice and vibrant personality was even more exuberantly expressed in London than in New York. She continued a successful career in America after World War II and made several films.
Gill, B., Tallulah Bankhead. 1973.
Banks, Sir Joseph, 1st Baronet (1743–1820). English botanist and patron of science, born at Isleworth, near London. Educated at Harrow, Eton and Christ Church, Oxford (which he left without a degree), he inherited a fortune from his father and used it to promote research and exploration for the advancement of botany. He collected plants in Newfoundland and Labrador which won him election as FRS (1766). He accompanied Captain James *Cook in his great voyage in the Endeavour (1768–71), paid for equipment and hired botanists. He became an important authority on, and promoter of, Australia, was the first to grasp that its mammals were mostly marsupials, more primitive than placental mammals, and campaigned for the establishment of a penal colony in New South Wales. He voyaged to the North Atlantic in 1772 and investigated geysers in Iceland. President of the Royal Society 1778–1820, he was created baronet in 1781, privy counsellor in 1797 and GCB in 1815. He encouraged international scientific exchanges, was a patron of *Humboldt and created a major herbarium, where Robert *Brown was librarian and curator, and which became part of the Natural History Museum. Suffering acutely from gout, he could no longer walk after 1806. Preparation of Banks’ Florilegium, a sumptuous edition of engravings of botanical drawings of Australian plants by Sydney Parkinson (1745–1771) cost him a fortune but was not published until 1983.
Adams, P., The Flowering of the Pacific. 1986; O’Brian, P., Joseph Banks: a Life. 1987.
Banksy (1974?– ). Pseudonym of British graffiti artist, thought to have been born in Bristol. He attracted international attention for his street art, marked by dark humour and political satire, which encouraged less gifted imitators around the world. He was also a documentary filmmaker. His works attracted high prices but it is not clear to whom the proceeds were paid.
Bannister, Sir Roger Gilbert (1929–2018). English athlete and neurologist. The first runner to achieve a four-minute mile (6 May 1954), he became a distinguished researcher in neurology, knighted in 1979 and Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, 1985–93.
Banting, Sir Frederick Grant (1891–1941). Canadian physiologist, born in Alliston, Ontario. He graduated in medicine at Toronto University and served with the Canadian Army Medical Corps in World War I. On returning to Toronto, he began research into diabetes in the laboratory of J.J.R. MacLeod. With C. H. *Best he first succeeded in preparing the hormone insulin from the pancreas of dogs (1922). In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine jointly with MacLeod who had merely provided laboratory space and suggested the name ‘insulin’. Banting, furious, divided his share of the prize money with Best. He became foundation director of the Banting and Best Institute for Medical Research, Toronto 1930–41, was knighted (1934) and became an FRS (1935). He was killed while flying to England to conduct research into aviation medicine.
Bantock, Sir Granville (1868–1946). English composer. He started his career as a conductor and was professor of music at Birmingham University 1908–34. His works include a setting for chorus and orchestra of Fitzgerald’s Omar Khayyám, and Fifine at the Fair, an orchestral work based on a poem of Browning. He was knighted in 1930.
Banville, Theodore Faullin de (1832–1891). French poet and critic. He was an ingenious verse technician particularly in his use of medieval verse forms, which he revived. His works, including Les Cariatides (1941), Odes funambulesques (1857) and Les Exiles (1867), won him the admiration of his fellow poets and the title ‘roi des rimes’. Baudelaire described him as the ‘poet of the happy hours of life’; Swinburne as ‘the French Tennyson’.
Bao Dai (‘voice of authority’: personal name Nguyen Vinh Thuy) (1913–1997). Last Emperor of Annam 1932–45. He was first head of state of Vietnam 1949–55, part of which had composed his former realm. In 1954, after the Geneva Conference which followed the French defeat in Indo-China, North Vietnam split off to form a separate Communist state. Bao Dai was still the nominal ruler in the south but showed little inclination for his task and spent much time on the French Riviera. He was deposed in 1955 in favour of *Ngo Dinh Diem.
Barabbas. (fl. c.30 CE). Jewish robber. All four Gospels record that he was freed in response to the acclamation of the mob by Pontius *Pilate during the trial of *Jesus. Pilate had hoped to save one whom he recognised as innocent by taking advantage of a supposed custom that a criminal, chosen by the people, should be released at the time of the Passover.
Baradei, Mohamed Mostafa el- (1942– ). Egyptian administrator and diplomat. Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency 1997–2009, he shared the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize with the IAEA.
Barak, Ehud (1942– ). Israeli soldier and politician. As Labour leader, he defeated *Netanyahu to become Prime Minister 1999–2001. After peace talks with the Palestinians stalled and communal violence returned, he called an early election (Feb. 2001) and lost heavily to Ariel *Sharon.
Barbarossa see Friedrich I (Barbarossa)
Barbarossa, Uruj (c.1482–1518), and Khaireddin (c.1482–1546). Turkish corsairs. Brothers of Greek parentage, their names inspired terror in the Mediterranean area. Uruj, having treacherously murdered the amir, seized Algiers but was soon captured and beheaded. Khaireddin, succeeding him in Algiers, for about 30 years preyed upon Mediterranean shipping and the almost defenceless coasts. He died in Constantinople where he had eventually returned with over 1000 captives and laden with spoils.
Barber, Samuel (1910–1981). American composer, born at West Chester, Pennsylvania. He studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, and wrote some of the most popular of modern orchestral works, including Adagio for strings (1936), Essay for orchestra No. 1 (1937), Symphony No. 1 (1936), Cello concerto (1945), Symphony No. 2 (1944) and Piano Concerto (1963). A singer, he composed a setting of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach for voice and string quartet. His first full-size opera, Vanessa, was performed at Salzburg in 1958. Later works include Anthony and Cleopatra (opera, 1960) and The Lovers (1971).
Barbey d’Aurevilly, Jules Amédée (1808–1889). French novelist. He wrote of La vielle maitresse (1851), L’Ensorcelée (1854) and Les Diaboliques (1874), which, despite the author’s diatribes against the realists, recall *Flaubert in their psychological realism. Barbey d’Aurevilly was an ultra-romantic and a monarchist, his output of polemics against democracy and materialism was enormous.
Canu, J., Barbey d’Aurevilly. 1945.
Barbirolli, Sir John (1899–1970). British orchestral conductor, born in London. Of Italian descent, he was a cellist in major string quartets for many years and conducted the British National Opera Company 1926–29 and the BBC Scottish Orchestra 1933–36. He unexpectedly succeeded *Toscanini as conductor of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra 1936–43. He returned to England to conduct the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester 1943–70, made many recordings and received a CH in 1969.
Rigby, C., John Barbirolli: A Biographical Sketch. 1948.
Barbour, John (c.1320–1395). Scottish poet. He travelled and studied in England and France and held court appointments in Scotland under *Robert II. His only surviving work, The Brus, contains about 13,000 lines of eight-syllable couplets and tells the life-story of Scotland’s hero-king Robert *Bruce. The oldest major literary work written in Scot, it contains many vivid episodes and appears to be an accurate historical source.
Barbusse, Henri (1874–1935). French journalist and novelist. His novels are strongly reminiscent of *Zola’s, but contain elements of existentialist thought. They include L’Enfer (1908) and Le Feu (1916), a grim study of life in the trenches during World War I, in which he served as a volunteer. Barbusse became a Communist sympathiser and a propagandist of internationalist ideas. He died in Moscow.
Barclay, Alexander (c.1476–1552). Scottish poet. He was chaplain of Ottery St Mary, Devon, and later became a monk. He wrote The Ship of Fools (1509), a long satirical poem based on a German original (Brant’s Narrenschiff).
Bardeen, John (1908–1991). American physicist, born in Wisconsin. Educated at the University of Wisconsin, he carried out research in electrical engineering at Harvard and Princeton, working on magnetic mines during World War II. At the Bell Labs 1945–51, he was co-inventor, with W. H. *Brattain and W. B. *Shockley, of the germanium point-contact transistor (1947) for which they shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1956. He broke with the abrasive Shockley and was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois 1951–75. He investigated super-conductivity in metals at very low temperatures and in 1972 shared a second Nobel Prize for Physics with Leon Cooper and John Schrieffer for explaining the phenomenon. Bardeen was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes in the same discipline. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and was elected FRS.
Bardot, Brigitte (Camille Javal) (1934– ). French actor, born in Paris. She started her career as a model and appeared as a ‘cover girl’ for the magazine Elle, but it was as a self-revealing star in such films as Et Dieu crea la femme and Babette’s en va en guerre that she became the symbolic ‘sex kitten’ of the 1950s–60s. She married Roger Vadim, the film director, in 1952 and Jacques Charrier, the actor, in 1959.
Barebone, Praise-God (1596–1679). English clergyman. His odd name was applied in derision to the parliament set up by *Cromwell (1653), of which he was a member. A London leather merchant, he became a noted preacher and a leader of the Fifth Monarchy Sect.
Barenboim, Daniel (1942– ). Argentinian-Israeli pianist and conductor, born in Buenos Aires. He toured internationally from 1954, recorded all the *Mozart piano concertos, and became a successful conductor as well. In 1967 he married the cellist Jacqueline du Pré (1945–1987), who died of multiple sclerosis. He became chief conductor of the Orchestre de Paris 1975–89, the Chicago Symphony 1991–2006 (succeeding *Solti) and the Berlin Staatsoper 1992– . In 1999, with Palestinian writer Edward Said (1935–2003), he founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Parallels and Paradoxes (with Edward Said) was published in 2002 and he delivered the BBC’s Reith Lectures in 2006, In the Beginning Was Sound. He held citizenship from Argentina, Israel, Spain and Palestine. He was awarded an honorary KBE (2011) and became general music director of La Scala, Milan 2011– .
Barents, Willem (d.1597). Dutch navigator and explorer. He led three expeditions (1594–97) in an unsuccessful search for a north east sea passage to Asia, reaching Novaya Zemlya on the first two. On the third he accidentally discovered Spitsbergen and rounded the north point of Novaya Zemlya, the expedition was caught in the ice and forced to winter there. In the June he and his crew escaped in small boats but Barents died on the way. In 1871 his winter quarters were discovered undisturbed.
Barere, Simon (1896–1951). Russian American pianist, born in Odessa. He developed a prodigious technique, but his career languished and the quality of his recordings was only recognised in the 1980s.
Barère (de Vieuzac), Bertrand (1755–1841). French revolutionary politician, known for his eloquence as the ‘Anacreon of the guillotine’. He attached himself to *Robespierre in the Convention and was a member of the Committee of Public Safety 1793–94. Under *Napoléon he became a secret-service agent.
Barham, Richard Harris (1788–1845). English writer. A clergyman who became minor canon at St Paul’s, London, he wrote a series of burlesque verse tales under the pen name Thomas Ingoldsby, many of them based on medieval legends. They were published collectively as The Ingoldsby Legends (1840).
Baring. British family of merchant bankers. The business was founded (1770) by the brothers John and Francis Baring, sons of a German immigrant. Titles borne by members of the family who were successful in fields other than banking are Ashburton, Howick, *Northbrook, Revelstoke and *Cromer.
Baring, Evelyn, 1st Baron Howick of Glendale (1903–1973). English colonial administrator. Son of Evelyn Baring,1st Earl of *Cromer, he was Governor of Southern Rhodesia 1942–44 and Governor of Kenya 1952–59 at the time of the Mau Mau uprising, suppressed by extensive use of execution and torture. He was created KG in 1972.
Baring-Gould, Sabine (1834–1924). English clergyman and writer, born in Devonshire. Member of an old county family, he held a quiet living at Lew Trenchard most of his life, allowing time for a large literary output. He is better remembered for his books on medieval lore and legends, e.g. The Book of Werewolves (1865), than for his many novels. ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ is the best known of his hymns.
Purcell, W., Onward Christian Soldiers. 1957; Dickinson, B. H. C., Baring-Gould, Writer and Folklorist. 1970.
Barker, Sir Herbert Atkinson (1869–1950). English osteopath and bone-setter. A highly controversial figure, without formal qualifications, he was successful in treating injured joints without surgery. His knighthood (1922) irritated the medical profession.
Barklay de Tolly, Mikhail, Prince (1761–1818). Russian soldier, of Scottish descent. He commanded the Russian forces resisting *Napoléon’s march to Moscow (1812). The unpopularity of his policy of continuous retreat into the heart of Russia caused him at last to make a stand and his defeat at Smolensk led to his being replaced by *Kutuzov. On Kutuzov’s death in 1813, Barclay again became Commander-in-Chief. In the earlier part of his career he had lost an arm at Eylau in 1807 and in the same year led the army which invaded Finland and forced the Swedes to sue for peace.
Barkley, Alben William (1877–1956). American Democratic politician. A lawyer, he was a Member of the US House of Representatives 1913–27 and US Senator from Kentucky 1927–49, 1954–56. A loyal New Dealer, he became Harry *Truman’s Vice President 1949–53.
Barmecides. Persian family of predominant influence at the court of the Abbasid caliphs at Baghdad. Their power was ended in 803 by the execution of one and the dismissal of the rest by *Harun al-Rashid. The term ‘Barmecides feast’ is derived from a story in the Arabian Nights telling of a practical joke which consisted of serving a dinner of elaborately named but empty dishes to a starving beggar. He, however, entered into the spirit of the occasion and was rewarded with real food.
Barnabas, St (Hebrew: son of encouragement. Personal name Joses) (d.c.70 CE). Christian apostle. Probably a Cypriot Jew and a cousin of *Mark, according to the Acts of the Apostles he introduced *Paul to the Christian community in Jerusalem and later accompanied him on a missionary journey until differences of opinion led to a parting of the ways. Barnabas went to Cyprus but accounts of his later movements and supposed martyrdom are apocryphal.
Barnard, Christiaan (Neethling) (1922–2001). South African surgeon, born in Beaufort West, Cape Province. Educated at the Universities of Cape Town and Minnesota, in 1958 was appointed director of surgical research at the University of Cape Town and from 1961 was head of the cardiothoracic surgical unit at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Barnard introduced open-heart surgery to the Republic of South Africa, designed artificial heart valves and published much on congenital intestinal atresia. In December 1967 he performed the first human heart transplant operation on Louis Washkansky and became instantly famous. He later worked on arthritis.
Barnard, C. and Pepper, C. B., Christiaan Barnard: One Life. 1970; Barnard, C., Heart Attack: You Don’t Have to Die. 1972.
Barnardo, Thomas John (1845–1905). British social reformer, born in Dublin. At the age of 17 he was an evangelist in the Dublin slums, went to London to study and practise medicine and at Stepney founded the first Dr Barnardo’s Home for destitute boys. A home for girls at Barkingside followed in 1876 and by the time of his death more than 60,000 children had passed through his hands. In the intervening years the scope and scale of the work vastly increased.
Wymer, N., Father of Nobody’s Children. 1954.
Barnato, Barney (originally Barnett Isaacs) (1852–1897). South African financier, born in London. Of Jewish parentage, he arrived in South Africa in 1873, made a fortune by buying up abandoned diamond mines and eventually linked his interests with those of his rival Cecil Rhodes by joining the control of the De Beers Mining Companies. He became a member of the Cape Colony legislature 1888–97. He committed suicide at sea after suffering heavy financial losses.
Barnes, Albert Coombs (1872–1951). American chemist and art collector. With Herman Hille he developed Argyrol, a silver nitrate solution used to prevent blindness in babies, made a fortune and created the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pa. He amassed one of the greatest US collections of modern art and was a notable eccentric.
Schack, W., Art and Argyrol. 1960; Greenfield, H., The Devil and Dr. Barnes. 1987.
Barnes, Julian Patrick (1946– ). English novelist, lexicographer and critic. He worked on the Oxford English Dictionary and as a critic on the New Statesman, Sunday Times and Observer. His successful novels included Before She Met Me (1982), Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), A History of the World in 10½ Chapters (1989), Talking It Over (1991) and The Porcupine (1992). He also wrote several novels under the name Dan Kavanagh, including Duffy (1980) and Going to the Dogs (1987). Nothing to be Frightened Of (2008) was a memoir. The Sense of an Ending (2011), won the Man Booker Prize, and Levels of Life (2013), is a meditation on bereavement after the death of his wife Pat(ricia Olive) Kavanagh (1940–2008), an important literary agent.
Barnes, Thomas (1785–1841). English journalist. Educated at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, and Cambridge, he became an unhappy lawyer and contributed to periodicals edited by his school-fellow Leigh *Hunt. He joined The Times (1809) as dramatic critic and in 1817 was appointed editor. During his 25 years of control The Times was the most formidable organ of opinion in Britain, and Barnes, who was independent of any political party, was the most powerful journalistic influence.
Barnes, William (1801–1886). English clergyman and poet. Having made a detailed study of local speech he became widely known as the author of three series (1844, 1859, 1862) of idyllic and pastoral poetry in the Dorset dialect, collected as Poems of Rural Life in Dorset Dialect (1879). His Outline of English Speechcraft (1878) was an odd attempt to teach English by using only words of native origin.
Dugdale, G., William Barnes of Dorset. 1953.
Barnum, Phineas T(aylor) (1810–1891). American showman. Famed for his flamboyant publicity, in 1834 he entered show business as the exhibitor of such as a black slave whom he claimed to be the nurse of George *Washington and, later, the midget ‘General Tom Thumb’. In 1847 he managed Jenny *Lind’s American tour. His circus, ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, was founded in 1871, being merged with that of his chief competitor, James Anthony Bailey (1847–1906). It soon became an American institution and continued for a generation after his death.
Baroja y Nessi, Pío (1872–1956). Spanish novelist, born in San Sebastian. Son of an engineer-composer, brother of a painter, he studied medicine, practised briefly, then became active in the ‘Generation of 1898’ radicals. He wrote three trilogies, notable for their forceful, rather bare style and their undertone of social discontent: La Tierra Vasca (The Basque Country, 1900–09), La lucha por la vida (The Struggle for Life: 1922–24) and El Mar (The Sea: 1923–30). *Hemingway hailed his Memoirs of a Man of Action (1931), concerned with the 19th-century Carlist wars, as a masterpiece.
Barras, Paul François Jean Nicolas, Vicomte de Barras (1755–1829). French aristocrat and revolutionary politician. He wasted his inheritance and seized the opportunity of the Revolution to restore his fortunes. He was a member of the National Convention 1792–95, joined the Jacobins, and voted for the execution of *Louis XVI. After Bonaparte (*Napoléon) broke the siege of Toulon, a royalist stronghold, in December 1793, Barras massacred about 750 prisoners. However, he was wise enough to see when the people tired of bloodshed and, with *Fouché and *Tallien, organised Robespierre’s overthrow in 1794. A leader of the Directorate 1795–99, he promoted Bonaparte and arranged his marriage to Josephine *Beauharnais. He gained a reputation for avarice and corruption, and, after Bonaparte’s coup d’état in 1799, he was imprisoned and exiled. Returning to France in 1814, he enjoyed wealth but not power.
Barrault, Jean-Louis (1910–1994). French actor and stage director. After training at a drama school and service in World War II he was producer-director at the Comedie Française (1940–47). With his wife Madeleine Renaud (1900–1994) he founded a new company, le Troupe Marigny (1947), which gained an international reputation. His own acting was influenced by his talents as a mime, demonstrated in Marcel *Carné’s film Les Enfants du Paradis (1944). He was director of the Théâtre de France 1959–68 and the Théâtre d’Orsay 1974–81.
Barrault, J. L., Memories for Tomorrow. 1971.
Barrès, Maurice (1862–1923). French novelist, journalist and politician. An extreme nationalist, he acquired notoriety by the fervour of his articles in L’Echo de Paris during World War I. His literary talents were admired even by those who deplored his politics. Among his best known works are Les Deracines (1897) and Les Amities Françaises (1903). He was a Deputy 1889–93; 1906–23 and fiercely anti-Dreyfusard.
Barrett, Elizabeth see Browning, Elizabeth Barrett
Barrie, Sir J(ames) M(atthew), 1st Baronet (1860–1937). Scottish playwright and novelist, born in Kirriemuir. Educated at Edinburgh University, he left Scotland in 1883 and worked as a journalist on the Nottingham Daily Journal before coming to London in 1885. He began writing with novels (e.g. A Window in Thrums, 1889, The Little Minister, 1891), but from 1890 he turned to the theatre and achieved wealth and fame with Quality Street (1902), The Admirable Crichton (1902), Peter Pan (1904), Dear Brutus (1917), Mary Rose (1920) and Shall We Join the Ladies? (1921). He received a baronetcy in 1913, the OM in 1922 and was chancellor of Edinburgh University 1930–37. The whimsical humour of his works gradually lost much of its appeal, but Peter Pan is revived annually: he bequeathed its royalties to the Hospital for Sick Children, London. He had a happy relationship with children, an uneasy one with adults.
Dunbar J., J. M. Barrie. 1970.
Barrow, Isaac (1630–1677). English mathematician, born in London. Son of a merchant, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he became a fellow in 1652 and master 1672–77. His royalist sympathies made life uncomfortable for him, and he left in 1655 for a five year tour of the Continent. Returning at the Restoration in 1660, he became professor of Greek in Cambridge. He took the Lucasian chair of mathematics in Cambridge in 1663. Barrow was a first class teacher. He produced editions of *Euclid’s Elements (1655) and Data (1657) and versions of works by *Archimedes, *Apollonius and *Theodosius. He gave important optical lectures concerning a new method for finding the relationship of a sphere and a curve in a spherical interface. His geometrical lectures were not original, but did digest modern continental writers such as *Descartes, *Huygens and *Pascal to his audiences. Isaac *Newton was a student at Trinity during this period, and it is possible that Barrow’s work made some impression on him. Newton succeeded Barrow as Lucasian professor of mathematics.
Osmond, H., Isaac Barrow: His Life and Times. 1944.
Barry, Sir Charles (1795–1860). English architect. The Travellers’ Club (1829–31) and the Reform Club (1837) in London are good examples of his work in the Italian renaissance style. He won the commission to design the new Houses of Parliament (erected from 1839) to replace the old buildings destroyed by fire in 1834. It was stipulated that the work should be in Gothic style, and Barry, who was essentially a classic architect, therefore obtained some assistance in Gothic detail from A.W.N. *Pugin.
Barry, Sir Redmond (1813–1880). Irish-Australian colonial judge, born near Cork. Son of a general, and an Anglican, he studied in Dublin and migrated to Australia in 1839, settling in Melbourne in 1840. Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria 1852–80, during the Gold Rush period he was exasperatingly energetic and was the driving force in establishing the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the University of Melbourne, the Public Library, the Art Gallery and the Royal Society of Victoria. He was the judge in the Eureka Stockade trials (1855), sentenced Ned *Kelly to death (1880) and is commemorated in paintings by Sidney*Nolan.
Barrymore. American theatrical family, children of the British actor Herbert Blythe (1847–1905) who adopted the stage name Maurice Barrymore and married the actor Georgina Drew. Lionel Barrymore (1878–1954), like his younger brother, John, was successful both on stage and screen but it was in character rather than romantic parts that he excelled. He became paralysed in 1940 but continued to act from a wheelchair. Their sister Ethel (1879–1959) was perhaps the most talented of the trio and in 1928 opened the New York theatre bearing her name. She is especially remembered for parts in plays by *Ibsen and *Shaw, later in Emlyn *Williams’ The Corn is Green (1942–44). John (1882–1942) was the matinee idol of his time, achieving his greatest fame as a Shakespearian actor, particularly in Hamlet and Richard III. From 1925 onwards he was occupied almost exclusively with the cinema, in which he played romantic and dramatic roles in films such as Don Juan and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. In his later years he was incapacitated by alcoholism.
Bart, Jean (1651–1702). French sailor. A hero of the French navy and a fisherman’s son, he rose to command a squadron. He first served with the Dutch navy, and it was only after he had left that service and had achieved fame as a privateer that he was appointed lieutenant of a French man of war. In the War of the Grand Alliance his exploits were a constant menace to the English and Dutch by whom France was opposed. A raid was made near Newcastle. Many ships were sunk and on one occasion he captured a whole flotilla of Dutch corn ships. In 1697 he was received by *Louis XIV and given command of a squadron.
Bart, Lionel (1930–1999). English composer and songwriter. He wrote several successful musicals, including Lock Up Your Daughters, Fings Ain’t Wot They Used t’Be, Oliver!, and Maggie May.
Barth, Karl (1886–1968). Swiss Calvinist theologian, born in Basle. He was professor of theology at Göttingen 1923–25, at Munster 1925–30 and then at Bonn, until he was dismissed in 1934 for opposition to *Hitler. He was appointed to a theological professorship at Basle in 1935, retiring in 1962. Barth’s teaching insists that the word of God as revealed by Jesus Christ is the sole source of religious truth, and that consequently man is unable to solve his own problems by reason and is completely dependent on divine grace and the workings of the Holy Spirit within him. Barth’s theology is systematically set out in his many volumed work Church Dogmatics, publication of which began in 1932.
Hartwell, H., The Theology of Karl Barth. 1964.
Barthes, Roland Gérard (1915–1980). French writer and critic. He developed and updated the ideas of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de *Saussure in promoting ‘semiotics’ (the sociology of signs, symbols and representations) and analysed the impact of film, radio, television and advertising in changing language, fashion and cultural iconography. His books include S/Z (1970), The Pleasure of the Text (1973) and A Lover’s Discourse (1977). He held a chair at the Collège de France.
Bartholdi, Frederic Auguste (1834–1904). French monumental sculptor. He was best known for his Statue of Liberty presented to the US by the French Government in 1886 and set up on Bedloe’s Island, New York harbour.
Bartholomew St (Aramaic: ‘son of Talmai’) (d.c.50 CE). Christian apostle: usually identified with Nathaniel. Almost nothing is known of him but traditions tell of missionary journeys in Asia Minor and India and of being martyred by flaying in Armenia.
Bartholomew, John George (1860–1920). Scottish cartographer and map and atlas publisher. He improved standards of British cartography and introduced into Great Britain the use of contours and systematic colour layering to show relief. His father was Edinburgh map publisher John Bartholomew (1831–1893). He published important atlases of Scotland (1895), England and Wales (1903), An Atlas of Meteorology (1899) and Atlas of Zoogeography (1911), the first two volumes of a major physical atlas. He began work on The Times Survey Atlas of the World, published 1921 by his son, John Bartholomew (1909–1962), also editor of the new Times Atlas of the World (1955).
Gardiner, L., Bartholomew 150 Years. 1976.
Barthou, Jean-Louis Firmin (1862–1934). French politician. He entered politics in 1889, was Premier 1913, Minister of Justice 1913, 1922 and Minister of War 1920–22. As Foreign Minister in 1934, he was assassinated with King *Alexander of Yugoslavia in Marseilles. He wrote biographies of *Mirabeau (1913) and *Lamartine (1916) and in 1918 was elected to the Académie française.
Bartók, Béla (Viktor János) (1881–1945). Hungarian composer and pianist, born in Nagyszentmiklós (now part of Romania). He was taught music by his mother, studied under Laszlo Erkel before entering the Budapest Academy of Music in 1899, and in 1901 he won the *Liszt scholarship. His early works were influenced by Liszt, *Brahms, *Wagner and Richard *Strauss. In 1905 he began to collect and publish Magyar folk songs with *Kodály which had an important influence on his own compositions. In 1907 he became professor of piano at the Academy. Of his earliest mature works, the ballet The Wooden Prince (1917) and opera Bluebeard’s Castle (1918) were most successful. By 1923 he was commissioned to write an orchestral work for the fiftieth anniversary of the union of Buda and Pest (the Dance Suite). He visited Britain 20 times between 1904 and 1938 to give concerts. After tours in the US (1927) and the USSR (1929) he resigned the Academy post (1934) and returned to collecting folk songs for the Hungarian Academy of Arts and Sciences. He composed two violin concertos (1908, 1928), six string quartets (1909, 1917, 1927, 1928, 1934, 1939), among the greatest in the repertoire Mikrokosmos (1926–39), a set of 153 lively exercises for piano, three important piano concertos (1926, 1931, 1945), the virtuosic music for strings, percussion and celesta (1936), sonata for two pianos and percussion (1937, also arranged as a concerto 1943) and divertimento for string orchestra (1939). In 1940 he emigrated to the US and became a research assistant in music at Columbia University continuing his work on folk music. There he published several important collections, including a study of Romanian folk music (3 volumes 1967). His most performed work, Concerto for Orchestra (1943–45), was commissioned by *Koussevitzky. He became a US citizen in 1945. Financially precarious, but too proud to accept financial support from friends and too ill to work, he died of leukemia in New York. He left an unfinished viola concerto. He combined the essential characteristics of Hungarian folk music with traditional music and developed a national, yet individual, style. He was reburied in Budapest in 1988.
Stevens, H., The Life and Music of Bela Bartok. 2nd ed. 1964; Wilson, P., The Music of Béla Bartók. 1992; Gillies, G., The Bartók Companion. 1993; Chalmers, K., Béla Bartók. 1995.
Bartolommeo, Fra (Baccio della Porta) (c.1472–1517). Italian painter. The son of a muleteer, he early found work in a Florentine studio, but under the influence of *Savonarola, whose portrait he painted, he burnt his drawings of nudes and in 1500 joined the Dominican order. Thenceforth all his work was of a religious character, and it was to reflect in turn the influences of *Raphael and *Michelangelo. But his treatment of figures and draperies and his grand static compositions assert his own instincts.
Bartolozzi, Francesco (c.1727–1815). Italian engraver. In 1764 he settled in England, where *George III was to be among his patrons and he became an original member of the Royal Academy, for which he engraved, from Cipriani’s design, the diploma used ever since. His book plates, to be seen in many libraries of the period, were attractive. He spent the last 10 years of his life in Portugal, as director of the National Academy, Lisbon.
Barton, Clara (1821–1912). American social worker. Originally a schoolteacher, she served as a nurse in the American Civil War and the Franco Prussian War. In 1877 she founded the American National Committee which later became the American Red Cross, of which she was president 1882–1904.
Barton, Sir Edmund (1849–1920). Australian lawyer, politician and judge, born in Sydney. Educated at Sydney University, he became a barrister and QC/KC, had broken terms in both houses of the New South Wales Parliament 1879–99 and was Speaker 1883–87 and Attorney-General 1889, 1891–93. He became the most ardent advocate of federation in a state which showed little enthusiasm for it, was elected leader of the 1897–98 Federal Convention (Adelaide and Melbourne) where the constitution was drafted and led the delegation to London that persuaded Joseph *Chamberlain and the British Government to accept it. In January 1901 he became the first Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia and also served as Minister for External Affairs until his appointment as a justice of the High Court of Australia 1903–20.
Bolton, G., Edmund Barton: The One Man for the Job. 2000.
Barton, Elizabeth (c.1506–1534). English mystic, known as ‘the Maid of Kent’. She was a domestic servant who, after a period of illness, began to fall periodically into trance states, during which she uttered prophecies that were taken to be divinely inspired. Unfortunately the monk, Edward Bocking, sent by Archbishop Warham of Canterbury to examine her, tried to make use of her for political ends. In particular she was impelled to prophesy *Henry VIII’s death if he married *Anne Boleyn. Eventually she was arraigned before Cranmer, confessed her imposture and was executed, with Bocking and others.
Bartram, William (1739–1823). American naturalist and traveller. A Quaker, he wrote a well regarded account of Travels through North and South Carolina (1791). *Wordsworth and *Coleridge admired his descriptive powers.
Baruch, Bernard M(annes) (1870–1965). American financier. He made a fortune by speculation by the age of 30 and became a friend and economic adviser to Woodrow *Wilson and Franklin D. *Roosevelt during World Wars I and II, and was also a close friend of Winston *Churchill. As US representative to the UN Atomic Energy Commission 1946–47 he devised the ‘Baruch plan’ for the international control of atomic energy. He coined the term ‘Cold War’ (1947).
Barwick, Sir Garfield Edward John (1903–1997). Australian lawyer, Liberal politician and judge, born in Sydney. An outstanding advocate, he became a KC in 1941, a Federal MP 1958–64, Attorney-General 1958–64 and Minister for External Affairs 1961–64. A potential rival to *Menzies, he was made Chief Justice of the High Court 1964–81 and played an important role in *Kerr’s dismissal of *Whitlam (1975).
Baryshnikov, Mikhail Nikolayevich (1948– ). Russian-American dancer. He became a soloist with the Kirov Ballet, Leningrad 1966–74, defected to the US in 1974 and became director of the American Ballet Theatre 1980–92. He ranked with Rudolf *Nureyev as the greatest male dancer of his time.
Bashkirtsev, Maria Konstantinovna (1860–1884). Russian diarist. Her correspondence (e.g. with de *Maupassant) is of great psychological interest but most remarkable are her diaries (published in 1885), a self study undertaken with a conscious effort to attain exact truth and as a revelation of the exultations and despairs of a talented and precocious girl. She lived in France from early childhood, studied painting, in which she achieved a limited success, and died of tuberculosis.
Bashō Matsuo (originally Matsuo Chūemon Munefusa) (1644–1694). Japanese poet, born near Ueno. From a landowning peasant family, he became servant to a noblemen, then a poetry teacher, contributing to collaborative poems, known as renga. He became the greatest master of haiku (then called hokku), three line poems with 17 syllables (5 + 7 + 5). Bashō was deeply influenced by Zen Buddhism.
Basie, ‘Count’ (William) (1904–1984). American jazz pianist, composer and band leader. Influenced by ‘Fats’ *Waller, Basie’s first band was founded in Kansas City (1935). He became one of the dominant figures of the ‘swing’ era, continuing as a successful performer with a series of bands for more than 40 years, appearing in films and touring internationally.
Basil I (the Macedonian) (c.812–886). Byzantine Emperor 867–886. Founder of the Macedonian dynasty, he gained the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire by murdering his patron Michael III, but raised the empire to the height of its power, codified its laws and beat back Muslim incursions.
Basil II (Bulgaroctonus) (958–1025). Byzantine Emperor 963–1025. Son of Romanus II, he emerged from his minority as a soldier-emperor, described as ‘killer of Bulgars’ from his victories in a long war (986–1018). He shared rule with his brother Constantine VIII but was always dominant and protected the peasants from encroachments by the nobles.
Basil, St (c.329–379). Cappodocian Father of the Church, born in Caesarea. From a noble family, he was a brother of St Gregory of Nyssa. Ordained in 364 and appointed bishop of Caesarea in 370, he succeeded Athanasius as one of the main upholders of Nicene orthodoxy over which he conflicted with emperor *Valens. Monastic rules set out by him are still used with little alteration by communities within the Greek Orthodox Church.
Prestige, G. L., St Basil the Great and Apollinaris. 1956.
Baskerville, John (1706–1775). English typographer, born in Worcestershire. After working as footman, writing master and manager of a Birmingham japanning business, he rose to be one of the most influential designers of type in the history of printing. His editions of *Virgil (1757) and *Milton (1758) followed years of experiments. As printer to Cambridge University (from 1758) he produced many magnificent editions, including the Bible and the Greek New Testament.
Gaskell, P., John Baskerville: A Bibliography. 1959.
Bass, George (1771–1803?). English surgeon and sailor. A ‘surgeon second rate’ in the navy (1789), he served in New South Wales from 1795, explored the coast and inland, finding coal in the Hunter Valley. With Matthew *Flinders he established (1798–99) that Van *Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) was a separate island. He was lost in the Pacific, possibly captured by pirates.
Bassano, Jacopo (or da Ponte) (c.1510–1592). Italian painter, born in Bassano. With his four sons, he developed a popular style of genre painting. His Last Supper (1546) in the Borghèse Gallery, Rome, has disconcerting images of exhausted, quarrelsome disciples.
Bath, 1st Earl of see Pulteney, William
Bathsheba (11th–10th centuries BCE). Israeli queen. Daughter of Eliam, she was seduced by *David who then contrived the death of her husband Uriah the Hittite, by placing him in the forefront of battle. She became David’s queen and the mother of *Solomon.
Batista y Zaldivar, Fulgencio (1901–1973). Cuban soldier and politician. As an army sergeant he organised a ‘sergeants’ revolt’ (1933) against the ruling oligarchy, became Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban forces 1933–40 and de facto ruler, serving as President 1940–44. He retired to Florida with his wealth after a period of stability, reform and corruption. He seized power again in 1952 and as President ruled as a dictator until his overthrow by Fidel Castro (December 1958). Thereafter he lived in the Dominican Republic, then Madeira and finally Portugal.
Batoni, Pompeo Girolamo (1708–1787). Italian painter, born in Lucca. A skilled, prolific and popular artist, he worked especially in portraiture, but also in landscape and was a forerunner of neo-classicism. Many of his portraits are of British subjects, but he also painted popes, emperors and kings.
Batten, Jean Gardner (1909–1982). New Zealand aviator. In 1935 she became the first woman to complete a return flight England–Australia–England. She broke the record for an Atlantic crossing (1936) and flew England–Australia in a record five days 18 hours (1937). In 1982 she disappeared on Majorca.
Mackersey, I., Jean Batten: The Garbo of the Skies. 1990.
Battenberg (later Mountbatten). Anglo-German family name. Descendants of the morganatic marriage of Prince Alexander of Hesse-Dessau were given the name Battenberg in 1851, which was anglicised to Mountbatten in 1917 when anti-German feeling ran high. Louis von Battenberg (*Mountbatten) married a granddaughter of Queen *Victoria; Alexander (1857–1893) was Prince of Bulgaria 1879–86; Henry Maurice (1858–1896) married Victoria’s daughter Princess Beatrice. Henry’s daughter Victoria Eugenie (1887–1969) married *Alfonso XIII of Spain.
Baudelaire, Charles Pierre (1821–1867). French poet, born in Paris. Cherished son of an elderly father who encouraged his artistic appreciation, he never forgave his widowed mother for remarrying. Educated in Lyon and Paris, he was sent to India but stopped off at Mauritius (1841–42). On his return to France he soon spent half his small fortune and though the remainder was tied up he had a constant struggle with poverty throughout his life. He frequented the artistic circle of his friend *Delacroix, and had become known as an original critic before his attraction to the works of Edgar Allen *Poe induced him to spend years on their translation into French. In 1857 he published a collection of poems, Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil), an extraordinary mixture of morbidity, eroticism, mysticism, and acute aesthetic perception, for which author, printer and publisher were prosecuted on grounds of impropriety in 1864. Much of the reputation acquired by his works for immorality and decadence was due to misunderstanding. The unity of all art as a manifestation of the divine essence is one of his most important themes. There is to him unity, too, as well as contrast, between the beautiful and the ugly and evil; man should not shrink from the poor, the wicked or the tortured. He is indeed almost obsessed with human suffering. But above all he is an artist in words who evokes, rather than describes, colours, scents, sensations, sounds, using a glowing imagination and a mastery of poetic symbolism. Other works by Baudelaire include Petits Poèmes en prose and studies of *Balzac, *Flaubert and *Gautier. In later life he became addicted to opium and alcohol. Paralysis with aphasia attacked him in 1866 and his condition progressively worsened until his death.
Leakey, F. W., Baudelaire and Nature. 1968; Richardson, J., Baudelaire. 1994.
Baudouin (Boudewijn) I (Baudouin Albert Charles Leopold Axel Marie Gustave) (1930–1993). King of the Belgians 1951–93. Son of *Leopold III, he succeeded on his father’s abdication, married Dona Fabiola Moray Aragon in 1960, travelled extensively, was interested in astronomy and photography and concerned about global poverty and the environment.
Baudrillard, Jean (1929–2007). Frenchcultural theorist and philosopher, political commentator, and photographer. His work is frequently associated with Postmodernism and Post-structuralism.
Baum, L(yman) Frank (1856–1919). American author. His The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), the popular children’s story, the first of a long series, achieved great success on stage (1901) and was filmed as The Wizard of Oz in 1908, 1925 and 1939.
Baum, Vicki (née Hedwig) (1896–1960). Austrian novelist, born in Vienna. Her Grand Hotel (1930), which used the accidental isolation of a group of people in an artificial setting as the basis of the plot, set a pattern by many other novelists. Its immense success, reinforced by a film version, was never achieved by her later works. She lived in the US from 1931.
Baur, Ferdinand Christian (1792–1860). German theologian. Professor of theology 1826–60 at Tübingen University and the leading Protestant historian of religious dogma, he adopted much of *Hegel’s dialectical method and subjected the New Testament and Church tradition to a rigorous analysis. His followers became known as the ‘Tübingen School’.
Bax, Sir Arnold Edward Trevor (1883–1953). English composer, born in London. He composed the symphonic poems In Faery Hills (1909) and Tintagel (1917) in addition to seven symphonies, concertos for piano, violin and cello, songs, piano works and the choral work Mater, ora Filium … (1921). His richly romantic style is a musical reflection of the ‘Celtic Twilight’ movement in literature. Bax, who was knighted in 1937, was Master of the King’s Musick 1942–53. He wrote an evocative memoir Farewell My Youth (1943).
Scott Sutherland, C., Arnold Bax. 1973.
Baxter, James Keir (1926–1972). New Zealand poet. His parents were radical pacifists, and after an unhappy schooling in the South Island and England, he published his first volume of poetry Beyond the Palisade at 18 (1944). After a sporadic education at three universities, he worked as a postman, teacher and public servant, and became a Catholic (1958). He struggled with alcoholism, was tormented by his linking of sexuality and death, and torn between radical and conservative instincts. His poetry collections included Pig Island Letters (1966), Jerusalem Sonnets (1970) and Autumn Testament (1972). He set up an unsuccessful commune for juvenile drug addicts, and malnutrition contributed to his early death.
Baxter, Richard (1615–1691). English Puritan divine, born in Shropshire. In 1638 he was ordained in the Church of England but never became a strong adherent of any particular denomination, though his pastoral work at Kidderminster (from 1641) is said to have ‘transformed the town’. A chaplain in the parliamentary army in the Civil War, he opposed the King’s execution and worked for the restoration of Charles II. Forced to leave the Church because he rejected episcopacy, he was persecuted as a dissenter and imprisoned (1685–86) after a brutal trial before Judge *Jeffreys. A prolific writer, his best known works are The Saints Everlasting Rest (1650) and an autobiography, Reliquiae Baxterianae.
Bayard, Pierre du Terrail, Seigneur de (c.1473–1524). French soldier, known as ‘le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche’. When only 20 years old he went with *Charles VIII to Italy and in battle after battle he was to be found wherever danger was greatest. His reputation for humanity and piety grew with the fame won by his courage. In the wars of *Louis XII and *François I his exploits continued, but while returning from Italy in 1524 he was mortally wounded by an arquebus shot.
Bayezid (or Bajazet) (c.1360–1403). Ottoman sultan 1389–1402. He succeeded Murad I, greatly extended his dominions in Anatolia and invested Constantinople. The threat to Europe provoked a crusade against him by the emperor Sigismund, but by his victory at Nicopolis on the Danube Bayezid he was able to move into northern Greece. Meanwhile a threat was developing from the rear from the Mongol leader Timur the Lame (*Tamerlane) who entered Anatolia in 1400. Bayezid was defeated and captured at Ankara (1402); he died in captivity. He is a character in *Marlowe’s Tamburlaine the Great.
Bayle, Pierre (1647–1706). French philosopher. Son of a Calvinist minister, he became a Catholic and then reverted to Protestantism. He was professor of philosophy at Sedan 1675–81, of philosophy and history at Rotterdam University 1681–93, and wrote a famous Dictionnaire historique et critique. This acute and urbane work questioned many of the precepts of orthodox religious teaching and influenced *Voltaire, *Diderot and the French Encyclopaedists.
Baylis, Lilian Mary (1874–1937). English theatrical manager. Trained as a violinist, she managed the Royal Victoria Hall, a music hall off Waterloo Road, London, for her aunt Emma Cons from 1898 to 1912. She ran it alone from 1912 and, as the ‘Old Vic’, it became a national institution, notable as ‘the home of Shakespeare’. She received a CH in 1929 and in 1931 acquired the Sadler’s Wells Theatre for opera and ballet.
Bazaine, Achille François (1811–1888). French marshal. Having gained distinction in the Crimean War and against the Austrians in the Italian unification campaign, he was sent to Mexico where, from 1863, he was in supreme command and the main prop of *Napoléon III’s protégé, the ill fated emperor *Maximilian. In the Franco Prussian War, he was forced to take refuge in the fortress of Metz after the defeat at Gravelotte. His surrender with over 150 000 men (October 1870) was a decisive disaster. In 1873 he was court martialled for failure of duty and given a death sentence (commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment). In 1874 he escaped to Spain, where he died.
Bazalgette, Sir Joseph William (1819–1891). English civil engineer. On the recommendation of I. K. *Brunel, he was appointed chief engineer of London’s Metropolitan Board of Works 1856–89 and organised a vast reorganisation of the city’s sewers, regarded as an outstanding achievement in civil engineering.
Beaconsfield, 1st Earl see Disraeli, Benjamin
Beadle, George Wells (1903–1989). American geneticist. Professor at the California Institute of Technology, he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine (I958) with Dr E. L. Tatum of the Rockefeller Institute, for discovering that genes act by regulating definite chemical events.
Beaglehole, John Cawte (1901–1971). New Zealand historian. After a slow climb up the academic ladder, he became professor of Commonwealth History at Victoria University, Wellington 1963–66 and received the OM (1970) in the Cook Bicentennial Year for his scholarly work, including editing the four volume Journals of Captain James Cook (1955–67).
Beale, Sir Simon Russell (1961– ). English actor, author and historian, born in Malaysia. Educated at Cambridge, he made his debut in comic roles but soon excelled on stage as Hamlet, Lear, Falstaff, Richard III and Prospero, in television series as Kenneth Widmerpool, and on radio as George Smiley. He became Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford 2014– and was an outstanding *Beria in the film The Death of Stalin (2017).
Bean, C(harles) E(dwin) W(oodrow) (1879–1968). Australian war correspondent and historian. Born in Bathurst, but educated in England, he became an official war correspondent in 1914, reporting on Gallipoli and the Western Front. He edited The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–18 (12 volumes, 1920–42), writing six volumes himself. He did much to promote the ANZAC legend but was not an enthusiast for Sir John *Monash. A driving force for establishing the Australian War Memorial in Canberra (1941), he declined several offers of a knighthood.
Coulthart, R., Charles Bean. 2015; Rees, P., Bearing Witness. 2016.
Beard, Dame (Winifred) Mary (1955– ). English classical scholar. Professor of Classics at Cambridge 2004– , she was a prolific author, reviewer, blogger and television presenter whose programs on the classical world were highly praised. Her books include Pompeii (2008), SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (2015) and Women & Power (2017).
Beardsley, Aubrey (1872–1898). English illustrator, born in Brighton. Associated with the English Aesthetic movement which his work typifies, he early developed a highly individual two dimensional style, characterised by contrasts of fine richly detailed linework and solid blacks, and by all the preoccupations and morbid tendencies of the Decadents. Among his most famous illustrations are those to *Wilde’s Salome, *Pope’s Rape of the Lock and his own work Under the Hill (1904). He became a Roman Catholic shortly before his early death from tuberculosis.
Symons, A., Aubrey Beardsley. 1972.
Beatles, The (1960–1970). British pop group, born in Liverpool. The group comprised John *Lennon, George Harrison (1943–2001), Sir Paul *McCartney and Ringo Starr (Sir Richard Starkey) (1940– ), and first became cult figures in Germany. From 1963–67 ‘Beatlemania’ was the dominant feature of world pop culture. Lennon and McCartney composed much of the Beatles’ most successful material which revealed a strong lyrical gift, and a yearning for new ideas (e.g. ‘flower power’, eastern religions). Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released in 1967.
Beaton, Sir Cecil WaIter Hardy (1904–1980). English photographer and designer. Originally known for his portraits of the fashionable, he extended his range to include designs of sets and costumes for theatre and films. His costumes for the film Gigi and his colour compositions for the musical success My Fair Lady in both its stage and screen versions, were widely acclaimed. He was the friend and (briefly) lover of Greta *Garbo 1929–51.
Vickers, H., Cecil Beaton.1985.
Beaton (or Bethune), David (1494–1546). Scottish prelate and statesman. Equipped for the Church by studies at the universities of Glasgow, St Andrews and Paris, and qualified as a statesman by skilful diplomacy for *James V, he was created a cardinal in 1538 and became archbishop of St Andrews and therefore primate of Scotland. After the death of James V, when his widow Mary of Guise headed the regency for her young daughter, *Mary Queen of Scots, Cardinal Beaton, though he had to contend with the Protestant faction and other rivals, attained almost supreme power, which he used in the Roman Catholic and French interest. He was murdered by Protestant conspirators in revenge for the execution of George Wishart, a Calvinist preacher. Beaton was a typical Renaissance figure, cultivated, able, brave, intensely individual but largely amoral.
Beatrix (Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard) (1938– ). Queen of the Netherlands 1980–2013. Daughter of Queen *Juliana and Prince *Bernhard, she married Claus von Amsberg (created Prince Claus) in 1966 and succeeded on her mother’s abdication. A gifted painter, she abdicated in favour of her son Willem-Alexander.
Beatty, Sir (Alfred) Chester (1875–1968). American-British-Irish mining magnate, art collector and philanthropist, born in New York. He used his geological knowledge to identify mining sites (few of which he visited), amassed a fortune, became a discriminating connoisseur and a generous patron of libraries, art galleries, museums and cancer research. The Chester Beatty Library in Dublin has the world’s greatest collection of early Gospel fragments.
Beatty, David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl (1871–1936). British admiral of the fleet, born in Cheshire. He joined the Royal Navy in 1884, served with Nile gunboats in the Sudan (1896–98) and in the Boxer Rebellion in China (1900), was naval secretary to Winston *Churchill (1912) and commanded the 1st Battle Cruiser Squadron (1912–16). He directed successful naval actions at Heligoland Bight (1914) and Dogger Bank (1915). At the Battle of Jutland (1916), he lost two of his ships, but escaped the criticism encountered by *Jellicoe. He succeeded Jellicoe as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet 1916–18 and received the surrender of the German fleet in November 1918. Beatty, a capable and flamboyant leader, received an earldom, the OM, and a grant of £100,000 in 1919 and served as First Sea Lord 1919–27.
Chalmers, W. S., The Life and Letters of David, Earl Beatty. 1951.
Beaufort. Name taken by the children of *John of Gaunt and Catherine *Swynford when they were legitimised (1397). One of them, Cardinal Henry Beaufort (1377–1447), bishop of Winchester, was the chief rival of his nephew Humphrey, Duke of *Gloucester, for control of the government of England during the early years of *Henry VI. The cardinal’s brother, John, Duke of Somerset, was grandfather of Margaret Beaufort, mother of *Henry VII, who through her, inherited the claim to the throne of the Lancastrian house.
Beaufort, Sir Francis (1774–1857). British naval hydrographer. In 1805 he devised a scale of numbers (the Beaufort Scale) for expressing wind force. Originally the numbers ran from 0 (calm) to 12 (hurricane that no canvas can withstand) but they have now been given precise values in knots and the scale has been extended to Force 17. Beaufort also devised a system of letters, still in use, for denoting weather phenomena.
Beauharnais. French family that attained distinction during the Revolutionary and Napoléonic periods. Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais (1760–1794), served in the American War of Independence and supported the Revolutionary cause in France, but was executed during the Terror. His widow, *Josephine, became the first wife of *Napoléon Bonaparte. His son, Eugène de Beauharnais (1781–1824), with Napoléon in Italy and the East, was an able and popular viceroy of Italy 1805–14. He was one of the few to gain fresh laurels during the Moscow campaign of 1812, and returned to hold Italy loyally to the last. After Napoléon’s downfall he lived in Munich as Duke of Leuchtenberg.
Beaumarchais, Pierre Augustin Caron de (1732–1799). French playwright, born in Paris. Son of a watchmaker called Caron, as a young man he invented an improved watch escapement and taught the harp to the daughters of *Louis XV. He made a fortune from investment, took the name Beaumarchais from the first of two wealthy widows whom he married, went on secret missions in the king’s service, and supplied arms to the insurgents in the American War of Independence. As a comic playwright he is regarded as second only to *Molière. His plays The Barber of Seville (1775) and The Marriage of Figaro (1784) were sensationally successful and were used as operatic libretti by *Rossini and *Mozart respectively.
Beaumont, Francis (1584–1616). English playwright, born in Leicestershire. The son of a judge, he studied law but from 1603 he devoted himself to literature. From 1606 until his marriage to Ursula Isley in 1613, Beaumont lived with his collaborator and friend John *Fletcher. Beaumont’s part was predominant in The Knight of the Burning Pestle (1609), but the partners can share equal credit for Philaster (1611) and The Maid’s Tragedy (1611). Altogether Beaumont is believed to have had a hand in about 10 of the ingenious and sophisticated tragedies and tragi-comedies attributed to the joint authorship.
Macaulay, G. C., Francis Beaumont: A Critical Study. 1972.
Beaumont, William (1785–1853). American physiologist and surgeon, born in Lebanon, Connecticut. Son of a farmer, he became a village teacher and began to study medicine. After an apprenticeship with a surgeon, he became an assistant in the US Army in North Michigan. In July 1822 he began treating a French-Canadian fur trapper, Alexis St Martin, who had been badly wounded in the stomach by a shotgun accident. The patient recovered (living to the age of 82) but developed a fistula, 25mm across, through which the operation of his digestion could be observed. Over 10 years Beaumont carried out 238 experiments on St Martin, publishing the results in his classic Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice (1833). Beaumont established the presence of free hydrochloric acid in the juice, thus confirming that its action was primarily chemical in nature. He noted that gastric juices were not to be found in the stomach in the absence of food, and that psychological factors could influence their secretion. He also carefully investigated the digestibility of different aspects of diet, and studied the action of stimulants, such as coffee and alcohol, on the workings of the digestive system. His work was highly influential, especially in Germany.
Miller, G., William Beaumont’s Formative Years. 1946.
Beauregard, Pierre Gustave Toutant (1818–1893). American soldier, born in New Orleans. A West Point graduate, he joined the Confederate army on the outbreak of Civil War in 1861, and was appointed to a command at Charleston in South Carolina. His order to fire on Fort Sumter marked the opening of the war, throughout which he held high command with varying success.
Beauvoir, Simone (Lucie Ernestine Maria Bertrand) de (1908–1986). French philosopher and author, born in Paris. Daughter of a lawyer, she was brought up in a conventional Catholic household, studied at the Sorbonne, graduated in 1929, being placed second in the competitive examinations to Jean-Paul *Sartre, her lifelong collaborator (and exploiter). She taught philosophy and literature at lycées in Marseille 1931–32, Rouen 1932–36 and Paris 1936–43, then worked as scriptwriter and editor for Radiodiffusion Nationale 1943–44. She became an important exponent of existentialism. Long assumed to have been Sartre’s disciple, the influence was two-way and her contribution was both original and profound. She joined the board of the review Les Temps Modernes in 1945 and wrote many articles for it. Her most important work was The Second Sex (2 vols, 1949), an encyclopedic study of the human female and still the greatest feminist text, transforming debate about the role of women. Other books included The Mandarins (1954), a novel about Parisian literary circles which won the Prix Goncourt, The Long March (1958), a study of modern China, and the autobiographical Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter (1959), The Prime of Life (1963), Force of Circumstance (1965), A Very Easy Death (1966), All Said and Done (1972) and Farewell to Sartre (1981). She was buried with him at Montparnasse Cemetery.
Bair, D., Simone de Beauvoir. 1990.
Beaverbrook, (William) Max(well) Aitken, 1st Baron (1879–1964). British newspaper proprietor and politician, born in Canada. A cement and timber millionaire when he went to England 1910, he was a Conservative MP 1910–16, and friend and protégé of Andrew Bonar *Law. Created a peer in 1916, he was Britain’s first Minister of Information (1918). The Daily Express, almost derelict when he bought it in 1919, became his life’s work. It became in a sense an enlargement of his own personality, energetic, exciting, entertaining, mischievous and sometimes brash. Later he founded the Sunday Express, and the Evening Standard was taken over in 1929. Beaverbrook’s active interest in every detail and department of his newspaper was maintained throughout his life. He pursued Imperial preference with frantic zeal and clashed with *Baldwin. Under *Churchill, with whom he had an uneasy friendship, he served as Minister for Aircraft Production 1940–41, Minister for Supply 1941–42 and Lord Privy Seal 1942–45. Churchill sent him to Moscow to negotiate with *Stalin (Sept. 1941) and he developed a rapport with *Roosevelt. His great collection of political papers, as well as providing valuable source material for historians (notably his friend and biographer A.J.P. *Taylor), helped him with the writing of Men and Power, 1917–18 (1956) and The Decline and Fall of Lloyd George (1963).
Davie, M. and Chisholm, A., Beaverbrook. 1992.
Beazley, Kim Christian (1948– ). Australian Labor politician. His father Kim Edward Beazley (1917–2007) was *Whitlam’s Education Minister 1972–75. A Rhodes Scholar, he was a Federal MP 1980–2007, Minister 1983–96, and succeeded Paul *Keating as Labor Leader 1996–2001 and (after Mark *Latham) 2005–06: he was then defeated by Kevin *Rudd. He served as Australian Ambassador to the US 2009–16 and Governor of Western Australia 2018– .
FitzSimons, P., Beazley. 1998.
Bebel, (Ferdinand) August (1840–1913). German socialist politician. A founder of the German Social Democratic Party, he was a Member of the Federal German Legislature (Reichstag) 1871–81, 1883–1913, prominent in his opposition to Germany’s nationalist policies, and several times imprisoned. He belonged to the Marxist wing of his party and with Wilhelm *Liebknecht founded the political journal Vorwarts (Forward). His Women under Socialism (1883) compared women to the proletariat and was highly praised by Simone de *Beauvoir.
Beccaria, Cesare Bonesana-, Marchese di Gualdrasco e Villareggio (1738–1794). Italian economist, philosopher and legal reformer, born in Milan. From an aristocratic family, he became an economist, anticipating Adam *Smith, *Bentham and *Malthus, and pioneered statistical analysis. In his work On Crimes and Punishment (Dei delitti e delle pene) published in 1764 he followed *Montesquieu’s assertion that punishment is a function of civil society, not the expression of divine vengeance, advocating abolition of the death penalty and torture as being ‘neither necessary nor useful’. He urged comparative statistical examination of crime rates, that the aims of punishment are reformation and deterrence, and that certainty of apprehension and conviction is a greater deterrent than severity of punishment. His book, widely translated, influenced *Leopold II (then Grand Duke of Tuscany) and *Joseph II and inspired criminal law reformers for more than a century. He proposed the concept of ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ (‘la massima felicità divisa nel maggior numero’), later popularised in English by Bentham.
Becker, Gary Stanley (1930–2014). American economist. Educated at Princeton and Chicago, he taught at Chicago from 1954 and was interested in the relationship of economics and psychology, such as the determining of consumer preference, first set out in an essay ‘A theory of the allocation of time’ (1965). His books include The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle (1975) and A Treatise on the Family (1976). He won the 1992 Nobel Prize for Economics.
Becket, St Thomas (or Thomas à Becket) (1118–1170). English archbishop and martyr, born in London. Son of a rich merchant of Norman descent, having been given a knightly training, he studied theology in Paris, and entered the household of *Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury. Theobald sent him to Bologna and Auxerre to study canon law, and appointed him as Archdeacon of Canterbury in 1154. Theobald persuaded *Henry II to appoint Becket as Lord Chancellor 1155–62, and he became the king’s confidant and chief minister, offending many by his ostentation and pride. Henry was preoccupied with preventing what he regarded as the encroachments of Church courts upon secular jurisdiction. To achieve this, in 1162 he decided that the presumably compliant Becket would be the ideal successor to Theobald as Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope *Alexander III acquiesced. Before enthronement as Archbishop, Becket had to be ordained as a priest. Henry was soon bitterly disappointed: once appointed archbishop, Becket became as devoted to the pope’s cause as he had been to the king’s. Henry was furious and, to escape persecution, in 1164 Becket took refuge in Sens and Pontigny. Becket excommunicated many of his opponents, and there were bitter disputes about land ownership. The pope’s role had been ambiguous but, at last, he supported Becket’s threat to put England under an interdict (essentially withdrawing the right of priests to administer the sacraments). A settlement was negotiated and in December 1170 Becket returned to Canterbury. However, he continued to challenge royal authority, and within weeks Henry, holding court at Bur-le-Roi, near Bayeux, Normandy, reacted with the fatal words indicating his wish for ‘deliverance from this turbulent priest’, or something similar. Four of his knights eagerly took up the hint, proceeded to Canterbury and hacked Becket to death in his cathedral, near the entry to the crypt (29 December 1170). The dead martyr was far more powerful than the living priest. In 1173 the pope proclaimed Becket a saint and the king did public penance in 1174. After Rome and Compostella, Canterbury became one of the greatest European pilgrimage destinations. This was the context for *Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, written 200 years after the murder. In 1538, *Henry VIII ordered the destruction of Becket’s tomb and his remains were scattered.
Barlow, F., Thomas Becket. 1986; Duggan, A., Thomas Becket. 2005; Guy, J., Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel. 2012.
Beckett, Dame Margaret Mary (née Jackson) (1943– ). British Labour politician. She qualified as a metallurgist, was MP 1974–79, 1983– ; Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 1992–94, acting as Leader after John *Smith’s sudden death in 1994. She became Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2001–06, the first female Foreign Secretary 2006–07 and Lord President of the Council 1998–2001.
Beckett, Samuel (Barclay) (1906–1989). Irish dramatist, novelist and poet, born near Dublin. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he lectured in English in Paris (1928–30) and was James *Joyce’s literary assistant and translator. He wrote a monograph on Marcel *Proust (1931) and had an obvious sympathy with Franz *Kafka. He lectured in French at Trinity College, Dublin 1930–32, then returned to Paris where he spent most of his life (1932–37; 1938–89). During World War II he was active in the Resistance.
His important early novel, Murphy (1938), written in English, shows the influence of Joyce, and a second comic novel Watt, completed in 1945, and later dramatised, was published in 1953. Molloy (1951, translated 1955), Malone meurt (1951; Malone dies 1956), and L’Innommable (1953; The Unnamable 1958), a trilogy, written in French and translated by Beckett, are interior monologues which can be read as plays, just as his plays can be read as novels. Beckett showed some affinity with existentialism and his spare, lucid style is minimalist. There is a bracing stoicism in Beckett’s words (from The Unnamable):
‘It will be I? It will be the silence, where I am? I don’t know. I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know. You must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’
Like Eugène *Ionesco, Jean *Genet, Edward *Albee and Harold *Pinter, Beckett was identified with the ‘theatre of the absurd’, in which humans exist in a moral vacuum, unable to communicate, hurtling towards death without the consolation of meaning, either religious or secular. His plays have the quality of chamber music with the beauty of the words (either in French or English) and significant pauses and silence. They include En Attendant Godot, 1952 (Waiting for Godot, 1955), Fin de Partie (1957; Endgame, 1957), All that Fall (1957), Krapp’s Last Tape (1957; La Dernière Bande, 1959), Happy Days (1961; Oh les beaux jours, 1962), Comment c’est (1961; How It Is, 1964) and Quoi où (1983; What Where, 1983).
Waiting for Godot, his most famous work, is a ‘tragicomedy in two acts’. Two men, Estragon and Vladimir, sit near a tree in the country waiting interminably for Godot to arrive. He never does. Later they are joined by the bullying Pozzo, who is trying to sell his slave, Lucky. A boy who seems to know Godot makes an enigmatic appearance. The play’s ambiguities are challenging, even transcendental and it has been performed more than any other contemporary drama.
Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in l969 ‘for his writing, which—in new forms for the novel and drama—in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation’.
Bair, D., Samuel Beckett. 1978; Knowlson, J., Doomed to Fame: the Life of Samuel Beckett. 1996; Cronin, A., Samuel Beckett: the Last Modernist. 1997.
Beckford, William Thomas (1760–1844). English writer and collector. A large inherited fortune enabled him to lead an easy cultured life as a man of letters. His novel Vathek, a tragicomic oriental fantasy, was begun in 1782 and in French. ‘Episodes’ intended to be interpolated were not published until 1912. From 1785 to 1798, partly as the result of a scandal, he spent most of his time in France, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. His Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaca and Batalha (1835), esteemed as his best book, recalls a Portuguese visit made in 1795. Much of his time was, however, spent in building up collections of books and pictures which were eventually housed at Fonthill, a Gothic extravaganza which he commissioned *Wyatt to build for him in Wiltshire (1796–1807). He lived there in hermit-like seclusion.
Beckmann, Max (1884–1950). German painter. A figurative artist, he was associated with the Expressionists, working in Berlin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and New York. His paintings were large, powerful and savage, reflecting despair at human cruelty.
Becquerel. French scientific family. Antoine César Becquerel (1788–1878) served as an engineer in the Peninsular War and in 1837 became professor of physics (working on animal heat, electrochemistry, etc.) at the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle. In this post he was succeeded by his son Alexandre Edmond (1820–1891), whose principal field of study was optics. The same chair was held by Alexandre’s son (Antoine) Henri (1852–1908), who held it for three years before becoming professor of physics (1895) at the École Polytechnique. In 1896, while investigating the fluorescence produced by exposing uranium salts to X-rays, Becquerel discovered that radiation was given off by the uranium salts even when they had not been exposed to X-rays. This ‘radioactivity’ he showed to be a fundamental property of salts of uranium, thorium and other heavy elements. His suggestion that Marie and Pierre *Curie should investigate radioactivity in pitchblende led them to isolate the element radium. Becquerel and the Curies were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903.
Beddoes, Thomas Lovell (1803–1849). English poet. The son of a physician, he studied at Oxford (1820–24) and spent the rest of his life as a doctor in Germany and Switzerland with occasional visits to England. From 1825 he worked on his most important work, a drama called Death’s Jest Book, or the Fool’s Tragedy, which was published posthumously after his suicide in Basle. His morbidity and obsession with death (he described himself as a ‘creeper into worm holes’), is reminiscent of the Jacobean dramatists, but occasionally his lyrics display a delicate and moving poignancy. His collected poems first appeared posthumously in 185l.
Bede (or Baeda), St (c.673–735). English historian and theologian. Known as ‘the Venerable Bede’, he spent most of his life as a Benedictine monk at Jarrow, near Durham, became the greatest scholar in the English Church and a European figure, writing works on grammar, theology and history with standards of scholarship unusual for his time. In On the Reckoning of Time (c.725), he promoted the Christian chronology proposed by *Dionysius Exiguus. He calculated that the creation of the universe occurred in 3952 BC, using Genesis as his source. His main work was The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, still an essential source for the period 597 to 731. He died immediately after completing a vernacular translation of St John’s Gospel and is buried in Durham Cathedral. His influence on the school at York was transmitted by *Alcuin to the court of *Charlemagne. In 1899, he was canonised and proclaimed as a Doctor of the Church by *Leo XIII.
Bedford, John of Lancaster, Duke of (1389–1435). English prince. On the death (1422) of his brother, *Henry V of England, Bedford was regent in France for the boy king *Henry VI. He proved himself able both as a soldier and administrator but found himself confronted by the French national spirit revived by *Joan of Arc.
Beebe, Charles William (1877–1962). American ornithologist and explorer. In 1934 he reached a record depth of 993 m (3,028 feet) in the sea off Bermuda in a bathysphere, a diving bell of his own design, in order to study marine life at intense pressures. He described the experience in Half a Mile Down (1934).
Beecham, Sir Thomas, 2nd Baronet (1879–1961). English conductor, born in St Helens, Lancashire. Son of a millionaire laxative (Beecham’s Pills) manufacturer, educated at Rossall School, Fleetwood, and Oxford, he made his debut in 1905. In 1906 he founded the New Symphony Orchestra and in 1910 initiated a series of opera seasons at Covent Garden. The following year he introduced *Diaghilev’s ‘Ballets Russes’ to London. He strove to establish opera permanently in Britain and to improve operatic and orchestral performances. Admired for the verve and elegance of his interpretations, he was associated particularly with music by *Haydn, *Mozart, *Delius, *Sibelius and Richard *Strauss. He founded the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1932 and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1946, was artistic director at Covent Garden 1932–39, and lived in the US (1940–44). In 1916 he was knighted, succeeded to his father’s baronetcy in the same year, and received a CH in 1957.
Cardus, N., Sir Thomas Beecham. 196l.
Beecher, Henry Ward (1813–1887). American preacher. The brother of Harriet Beecher *Stowe the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, as a Congregational minister he attracted 3000 to Plymouth Church, Brooklyn (1847–87), where he won fame as a preacher of great eloquence and power. He denounced black slavery and advocated temperance and women’s suffrage. A visit to Britain (1863) proved a triumph. In 1874 he was charged with having committed adultery with Mrs Elizabeth Tilton, the wife of prominent journalist, Theodore Tilton, but after a long trial the jury was unable to agree on a verdict.
Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770–1827). German composer, born in Bonn. Of Flemish descent, his father Johann (c.1740–1792), a tenor in the Electoral choir, was Beethoven’s first teacher and took him from school at the age of 11 to exploit his musical talents. Beethoven studied composition (1781–87) with the organist Christian Neefe who stimulated his interest in *Bach. On a journey to Vienna (1787) he played for *Mozart and perhaps had a few lessons from him. He was assistant conductor at the Electoral court (1784–88) and also played the viola in the Bonn opera orchestra. With the financial support of the Elector Maximilian Franz and Count Ferdinand Waldstein, Beethoven was sent to Vienna where he studied with *Haydn, J. G. Albrechtsberger and *Salieri. Apart from short visits to Berlin and Budapest, he remained in Vienna until his death. His acceptance by the highest social circles showed the revolutionary change in the status of composers since Haydn and Mozart. Archduke Rudolph, Prince Lichnowsky, Prince Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz were not only Beethoven’s patrons but also friends and subscribed to a large annuity to keep him in Vienna, despite his rude manners, outbursts of temper and rough appearance.
Beethoven’s works are often classified into three periods, although these classifications cannot be applied arbitrarily. His early music shows the extent of his debt to the Classical masters, especially Haydn and Mozart, with its restraint, balance, subtle emotion and strict observance of form. To this period belong the first two symphonies (1800, 1802); the first two piano concertos (1797, 1795–98); the first 12 piano sonatas; the first six string quartets and many trios. From 1796 Beethoven suffered from acute tinnitus, and by 1798 there was serious hearing loss, a cause of profound personal and professional anguish for 30 years. His deafness was probably caused by otosclerosis, abnormal growth of bone in the cochlea or the stirrup-shaped stapes bones. Alternative diagnoses include nerve damage, lupus or a connective tissue disorder. He rarely played in public after 1808, ceased playing altogether in 1814. He became totally deaf from about 1819 but conducted as late as 1824. After 1801 he also had acute liver trouble, probably alcohol-induced cirrhosis, complicated by malnutrition and possible lead poisoning. He contemplated suicide in 1802.
Between 1802 and 1815 (the second period), Beethoven broke away from the Classical tradition and developed the new ‘romantic’ style, which had been hinted at in the late works of Haydn and Mozart. His symphonies and sonatas were longer than their Classical forebears, more vigorous, with a much greater range of dynamics, tempos, rhythms, key changes, syncopation and harmony. The music was much less predictable and much more emotional in both form and content. Beethoven’s symphonies substituted the scherzo for the traditional minuet and trio movement and are scored for a substantially larger orchestra than Mozart’s. An ardent democrat and republican, Beethoven originally dedicated his Symphony No. 3 in E flat, op. 55 (1804) to *Napoléon but, disillusioned when he proclaimed himself Emperor, changed the dedication and renamed it ‘Eroica’. The longest symphony written to that time, it is marked by a driving urgency, exceptional dynamic range and unprecedented orchestration, leaving behind the world of Haydn and Mozart, just as the impact of the French Revolution and the long turmoil of the Napoléonic Wars transformed European society, its traditions and institutions. The symphony begins starkly with two fierce chords followed by a long powerful theme over a grinding bass. The slow movement is a long, unprecedented, funeral march, followed by a wild scherzo, concluding with a heaven storming set of variations on the theme of Prometheus. Its power and the obsessive repetition of dissonance shocked the Viennese audience. The hero, the creative artist challenging the world and defying death and infirmity, is Beethoven himself.
Other works of this period include the Piano Concertos Nos 3 (1803), 4 (1806), 5 (1809, nicknamed the ‘Emperor’, but not by Beethoven); his Symphony No. 4 in B flat, op. 60 (1806); 15 piano sonatas; the ‘Kreutzer’ (1803) and ‘Spring’ (1805) violin sonatas; much chamber music including five string quartets, string and piano trios including the ‘Archduke’ op. 97 (1811); the Violin Concerto in D major, op. 61(1806); several sets of variations; and the opera Fidelio. Originally titled Leonora, after the heroine, Fidelio was a failure when first performed in 1805. It succeeded in 1814 only after drastic revisions had been made. Four more symphonies were also composed during this period: No. 5 in C minor, op. 67 (1807) probably the most performed in the repertoire; No. 6 in F major, op. 68 (1808, ‘Pastoral’); No. 7 in A minor, op. 92 (1812, described by *Wagner as the apotheosis of the dance’) and No. 8 in F major, op. 93 (1813).
Between 1815 and 1827 (the third period), Beethoven’s music includes his last five piano sonatas, Nos. 28, 29 (the ‘Hammerklavier’, 1818), 30, 31 and 32, the Missa solemnis (1823); the Diabelli Variations (1823); Symphony No. 9 in D minor, op. 125 (1823–24), the ‘Choral’ Symphony, his longest and most innovative, creates a completely new sound, introducing four soloists and a chorus in the last movement, singing *Schiller’s ‘Ode to Joy’. In November 1989 the ‘Choral’ Symphony was played in Berlin when the wall came down because it expresses, as Daniel *Barenboim wrote, ‘a social affirmation of the human being, with promises of fulfilment, of liberation and brotherhood’. The last five string quartets and the Grosse Fuge (1824–27), are the greatest in the repertoire. His favourite among his works (Wagner’s choice as well) was the String Quartet No. 14 in C sharp, op. 131 (1826). Quartet No. 15 in A minor, op. 132 (1825) contains his Heiliger Dankgesang (‘Sacred Song of Thanksgiving’), a profound expression of personal experience and conviction, and a hint of belief in a personal God. The music begins with an attempt to grapple with the stress of existence, pain and uncertainty, moving through questioning to understanding, to resolution, to affirmation and finally to joy.
Beethoven was recognised as a genius by contemporaries but he lost his savings in unwise investment and lived in squalor (although at a good address) in his later years, compounded by anxiety over his hapless nephew Karl (1806–1858). He never married, although he had several brief and pathetic love affairs; he never found his Leonora. Raised as a Catholic, he was a deist with a profound reverence for nature. After a long illness he died of dropsy and jaundice at his lodgings in the Schwarzspanierhaus (demolished in 1904). His funeral was attended by 20,000 people. Beethoven remains the most popular of the greatest composers perhaps because listeners feel that in his constant struggles with fate he never fails to win a victory.
Solomon, M., Beethoven. 1977; Cooper, B. (gen. ed.), The Beethoven Compendium. 1991; Kinderman, W., Beethoven. 1996; Swafford, J., Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph. 2014.
Beeton, Isabella Mary (née Mayson) (1836–1865). English author. Mrs Beeton’s was a household name in British kitchens for over a century. Educated in Heidelberg and trained as a pianist, she married a publisher and began writing on cookery in his Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine. Her famous Book of Household Management (1861) originally appeared in three parts during 1859–60.
Begin, Menachem (1913–1992). Israeli politician, born in Poland. After working as a Jewish youth organiser in Poland he was deported to Siberia by the Russians, released and sent to Palestine. In 1943 he became leader of Irgun Zvai Leumi which adopted more militant tactics against the British than David *Ben Gurion’s Zionists. He led the Likud party in the Knesset and defeated the Mapai to become Prime Minister 1977–83. He welcomed the visit of Egypt’s President *Sadat to Jerusalem (November 1977) and in 1978, with assistance from President Jimmy *Carter, concluded an Israeli Egyptian peace treaty at Camp David, Maryland. Begin and Sadat shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize.
Behan, Brendan (1923–1964). Irish playwright, born in Dublin. Son of a house painter, he was arrested in Liverpool for terrorist activities on behalf of the Irish Republican Army in the early days of World War II. His subsequent years in an institution were described in Borstal Boy (1958). His fame rests on two plays The Quare Fellow (1956) and The Hostage (1958), both owing much to Joan *Littlewood’s production at the Theatre Workshop in East London, and his notorious conviviality and outspokenness.
O’Connor, V., Brendan Behan. 1970.
Behn, Aphra (née Amis) (1640–1689). English author. The first professional woman writer in English, she was brought up in Surinam before returning to England and marrying a merchant called Behn. An adventurous interlude as a spy in Holland followed her husband’s death, and it was only then, after imprisonment for debt, that she took to writing as a career. She wrote two plays and 14 novels, including Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave, which anticipated Rousseau’s ‘noble savage’.
Hahn, H., Aphra Behn. 1951.
Behrens, Peter (1868–1940). German architect, born at Hamburg. He worked as an industrial designer in Munich before being appointed professor of architecture at Darmstadt in 1900. He became the principal architect of the Deutscher Werkbund, founded in 1907, an association of architects and designers formed to meet the needs of and take advantage of the new opportunities provided by industrial building and design. Among the earliest and best known of Behrens’ functional buildings was his turbine factory (1909) in Berlin, built for the great electrical combine AEG, for whom he designed other major buildings and a number of industrial products. Both his architecture and his design are characterised by functional expression and geometric simplicity. *Le Corbusier, *Gropius and *Mies van der Rohe were influenced by his work.
Behring, Emil Adolf von (1854–1917). German bacteriologist. He graduated at Berlin and joined the Army Medical Corps, which he left (1888) to work on immunisation at Koch’s Institute for Infectious Diseases. In 1890, with *Kitasato Shibasaburo, he produced an anti-toxin for use against tetanus. In 1892 he developed an anti-toxin for diphtheria. Paul *Ehrlich demonstrated how it could be produced in greater strength and volume by growing it in horses. In1895 he became a professor at Marburg, where he set up his own laboratories for manufacturing anti-toxins. He won the first Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1901 for his ‘work in serum therapy, especially diphtheria’ (and Ehrlich never forgave his exclusion). He failed in attempts to find a vaccine for tuberculosis but his tetanus vaccine saved many lives in World War I.
Beiderbecke, Bix (né Leon Bismark) (1903–1931). American cornettist, pianist and composer, born in Davenport, Iowa, he was the first to attempt to incorporate concert hall harmonies into jazz improvisation, and the first white musician to be acknowledged an important innovator by African-American contemporaries. He worked with various musicians, including Frank Trumbauer and Jean Goldkette, but died in comparative obscurity. His posthumous reputation grew and he was remembered for the purity of tone of his cornet style, and the impressionistic influences shown in his piano playing. A Beiderbecke cult was initiated with the publicity of Dorothy Baker’s novel Young Man with a Horn (1938).
Béjart. French acting family, closely associated with the playwright *Molière. Joseph Béjart (c.1617–1659) was a strolling player and he joined the Illustre Théâtre and created the parts of Lelie and Eraste in Moliere’s L’Etourdi and Depit amoureux. Louis Béjart (c.1630–1678), brother of Joseph, also a member of the Illustre Théâtre, created the parts of Valere in Depit amoureux, Dubois in Le Misanthrope, Alcantor in Le Mariage force and others. Madeleine Béjart (1618–1672) was head of a company of strolling players to which her sister Geneviève and brothers, Joseph and Louis, originally belonged. It is said she persuaded Molière to enter upon a theatrical career, and her acting boosted the company’s morale in their periods of financial difficulty. She was particularly convincing in the parts of soubrettes (coquettish maids or frivolous young women), several written specially for her by Molière, including Dorine in Tartufe. Her sister Geneviève was more successful as a tragedian. Armande Béjart (1642–1700), Madeleine’s sister or daughter, joined the company at Lyons in 1653 and married Molière in 1662. In 1663 she made her debut as Elise in La Critique de l’École des femmes. In 1665 she and Molière parted, but were later reconciled (1671). She played many important Molière roles including Celimene (modelled on herself) in Le Misanthrope and Angelique in Le Malade Imaginaire. Following Molière’s death in 1673 she kept the company together, and in 1679 it secured Marie Champmesle, an outstanding tragedienne, and subsequently became the Comédie Française, the French national theatre. In 1667 she married Isaac-François Guerin d’Etriche, a leading actor who headed the Comédie Française.
Belasco, David (1853–1931). American dramatist, theatre manager, and actor, born in San Francisco. From childhood he worked in stock touring companies, lived in San Francisco 1873–79 and moved to New York in 1880, becoming an independent producer from 1890. He established the Belasco Theatre in 1906. His lavish productions were marked by technical innovations and new standards of professionalism. However, his taste was conservative and he ignored the emerging major playwrights of Europe and the US. His own plays included Hearts of Oak (1880), The Heart of Maryland (1895), Madame Butterfly (1900) and The Girl of the Golden West (1905)—both used as libretti for *Puccini’s operas, Du Barry (1901) and Lulu Belle (1926). He affected a clerical style of dress and was often called ‘the Bishop of Broadway’.
Belinsky, Vissarion Grigorievich (1811–1848). Russian literary and social critic, born in Helsinki. An associate of *Herzen and *Bakunin, he was attracted to the Western tradition of individualism and gave early support to *Dostoevsky who soon broke with him.
Belisarius (c.505–565). Byzantine general. In the service of the emperor *Justinian, his most successful campaigns were fought when he was trying to win back the former territories of the Roman Empire in Africa and Italy. He defeated the Vandals in Africa (533–34) and in 535 occupied Sicily, whence he proceeded to his main task of expelling the Ostrogoths from Italy. Rome was triumphantly reoccupied in 536 but this was only a beginning and it was not until 540 that the Ostrogoths’ capital at Ravenna was taken. Recalled to repel Persian attacks in the East, he returned to Italy (544) when the Ostrogoths had renewed the struggle. Mainly through lack of support by the emperor, he failed to achieve decisive results and in 549 he was again recalled. Justinian, indeed, found it difficult not to suspect the loyalty of so successful and popular a general and though in the case of Belisarius they were quite groundless, these suspicions continually hampered his career. Indeed in 562 he was even imprisoned for a short time, though only three years earlier the Huns had been driven back from the outskirts of Constantinople by his skill and courage. However, the legend that he was blinded and died a beggar is untrue.
Graves, R., Count Belisarius. 1938.
Bell, Alexander Graham (1847–1922). American inventor, born in Edinburgh. His father was an elocutionist, his mother became increasingly deaf. He attended classes at Edinburgh University and University College, London, and worked with his father as a teacher of the deaf. He migrated to Canada for his health (1870), then went to Boston where he taught ‘deaf mutes’ (as they were then called) and became professor of vocal physiology at Boston University (1873). (He married a deaf student in 1877 and Helen *Keller was one of his later protégés.) He opposed use of sign language and became preoccupied with the mechanical transmission of sound vibrations by wire. He invented the first practical telephone, submitting a patent application on 14 February 1876, only a few hours before Elisha *Gray. (Both used a crude ‘liquid transmitter’, with a vibrating reed touching acidified water, instead of a microphone.) The telephone was an instant success at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition (1876) and the Bell Telephone Company was founded in 1877. (Queen *Victoria had a telephone in 1877 and Melbourne a telephone exchange by 1880.) *Edison’s carbon microphone (1878) improved performance greatly. In return he improved Edison’s phonograph (1880). France awarded him the Volta Prize in 1880 and he used the money to establish the Volta Laboratory in Washington DC, later renamed for him. Bell became a US citizen in 1882, was a co-founder of the magazines Science (1880) and the National Geographic (1898), supported experimentation in aviation, and invented the tetrahedral kite. He studied the genetic basis of deafness and sonar detection and was an advocate for eugenics. He died in Nova Scotia. The decibel (db: measure of intensity of sound) was named for him. His father, Alexander Melville Bell (1819–1905), who also went to America, settled in Washington, DC, in 1881. He invented a system of ‘visible speech’, his methods combining ‘phonetic signs and graphs of the organs and motions of speech’.
Mackay, J., Alexander Graham Bell. 1998.
Bell, Andrew see Lancaster, Joseph
Bell, Clive Arthur Howard (1881–1964). English art and literary critic. He did much by his critical works, e.g. Art (1914) and Since Cezanne (1922), to explain and popularise the Post Impressionists and Fauves. Other works include Civilisation (1928) and Proust (1929). A member of the Bloomsbury group, Bell married Vanessa, daughter of Sir Leslie *Stephen, and sister of Virginia *Woolf.
Bell (né Bolotsky), Daniel (1919–2011). American sociologist. Originally a journalist, he became a socialist, then a liberal, finally a conservative, holding a chair in sociology at Harvard 1969–90. His major works were The End of Ideology (1960) and The Coming of Post-Industrial Society (1973).
Bell, George Kennedy Allen (1883–1958). Anglican prelate. Bishop of Chichester 1929–58, a pioneer of the ecumenical movement, he became close to Dietrich *Bonhoeffer and during World War II campaigned to draw attention to Nazi atrocities.
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian (1868–1926). English traveller, mountaineer, linguist, author and archaeologist. Educated at Oxford (but unable to take out a degree), her travels from 1892 in almost every part of the Middle East were of great importance to the British Government when these lands became battlefields or areas of political contention during and after World War I. She worked with T. E. *Lawrence and, as ‘oriental secretary’, largely drew the boundaries for the new state of Iraq in 1921. A strong supporter of the Hashemite interest, she pushed for the imposition of *Faisal as King of Iraq. She lived in Baghdad, worked at the museum and committed suicide there. She was anti-Zionist and also (oddly) strongly opposed to votes for women.
Meyer, K. E. and Brysac, S. B., Kingmakers. 2008.
Bell, John (1940– ). Australian actor and theatre director, born in Maitland. A Sydney University graduate, he worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, acted, taught and directed in Sydney, and founded the Bell Shakespeare Company in 1990. In addition to *Shakespeare, his company was successful in plays by *Marlowe, “Webster, *Goldoni,*Strindberg and *Williamson.
Bell, J., The Time of My Life. 2002.
Bell, John Stewart (1928–1990). Irish physicist. Educated at Birmingham University, he worked at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire), Geneva, from 1960. ‘Bell’s theorem’ (1964) argues that there is an interconnectedness between subatomic particles that raises fundamental questions about models of, and the nature of, causation.
Bell, Patrick (1801–1869). Scottish inventor, born in Angus. Son of a farmer, his agricultural machinery derived from a practical understanding of a farmer’s needs rather than from specialised training. He invented the first practical reaper for cereal crops and machines for grinding oats and making wheat-flour, and devised equipment for extracting the sugar from sugar beet. He later became a minister in the Kirk.
Bell Burnell, Dame Jocelyn (née Susan Jocelyn Bell) (1943– ). British astrophysicist, born in Northern Ireland. An active Quaker, she studied at Glasgow and Cambridge, where, as a graduate student, working (1967) with Antony *Hewish, she identified the first four pulsars. Hewish, who initially dismissed her observation, went on to share a Nobel Physics Prize in 1974 from which Bell was excluded, one of the most egregious failures in the history of the Prize. She became FRS in 2003 and DBE in 2007.
Bellamy, Edward (1850–1898). American novelist and political writer. His most famous work was Looking Backward (1888), a Utopian romance which influenced socialist ideas of economic organisation and became a bestseller, ranking only behind Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Ben-Hur. Other romances with similar aims were Equality (1897) and The Duke of Stockbridge (1900).
Morgan, A. E., Life of Edward Bellamy. 1944.
Bellarmino, St Roberto Francisco Romulo (1542–1621). Italian cardinal and theologian. He entered the Jesuit Order in 1560 and was ordained, after studying at Louvain and Padua, in 1570 and spent the rest of his life either teaching theology (at Louvain until 1576 and then in Rome) or engaged in theological controversy. Among the most persuasive supporters of the papacy and obliged to denounce the teachings of *Galileo Galilei, he was regarded as a moderating influence and praised for his tolerance and learning. Against his wishes, he was made a cardinal in 1599 and in 1602 Archbishop of Capua. He avoided election to the papacy on the death (1605) of *Clement VIII but was given high office at the Vatican. He was canonised in 1930.
Brodnick, J., Robert Bellarmine: Saint and Scholar. 1961.
Bellingshausen, Faddei Faddeivich (1778–1852). Russian navigator. He led an expedition which, in January 1820, was the first to sight Antarctica, but did not land.
Bellini. Venetian family of painters, Jacopo (c.1400–1470) and his sons Gentile (c.1429–1507) and Giovanni (c.1430–1516). Few of Jacopo’s paintings survive but his many drawings show his work covered a wide range of religious and secular themes and provided a link between the old Venetian style and its Byzantine traditions, and the art of the High Renaissance.
Both sons were probably trained in their father’s studio. Gentile, the lesser of the two, won success as a portrait painter and, in his narrative works, (e.g. The Procession in the Piazza of San Marco) showed a taste for spectacular display. An interlude in Constantinople (1479–81) in response to a request by Sultan *Mohammed II resulted in a number of paintings with an oriental flavour, including a portrait of the Sultan himself (National Gallery, London). Giovanni, the greatest of the Bellini family, is justly regarded as the father of Venetian High Renaissance style, the most important influence on his work being clearly that of his brother-in-law Mantegna. His paintings are characterised by a sense of tragic pathos, quiet dignity and compassion: his masterpiece St Francis in Ecstasy (c.1480) hangs in the Frick Collection, New York. Although mostly a painter of religious subjects, Bellini also executed mythological works such as the famous Feast of the Gods, later completed by *Titian. As the teacher of Titian and *Giorgione, Bellini’s influence upon the next generation was profound. In many of his paintings we see in embryo the mood, the pastoral setting and the soft, warm colours which were to typify the work of his pupils. The well known Doge Leonardo Loredano (National Gallery, London) is one of several fine portraits.
Robertson, G., Giovanni Bellini. 1968.
Bellini, Vincenzo (1801–1835). Italian operatic composer, born in Catania, Sicily. He studied in Naples and his operas, distinguished by their melodic sophistication include I Capuleti e I Montecchi (The Capulets and the Montagues, 1830), La sonnambula (The Sleepwalker, 1831), Norma (1832) and I Puritani (1834), performed with great success in Milan and Paris. His music had an important influence on *Chopin and *Verdi.
Belloc, (Joseph) Hilaire (Pierre) (1870–1953). English writer, born near Paris. Son of a French advocate and his English wife, he was educated at Oxford, became a Liberal MP 1906–10 and first gained fame with his nonsense verse in The Bad Child’s Book of Beasts (1896), followed later by Cautionary Tales (1907). Versatile and prolific, he wrote essays; innumerable discursive travel books, historical studies, e.g. Marie Antoinette (1910), Richelieu (1929) and Napoleon (1932); fantastic or satirical novels, e.g. Mr Clutterbuck’s Election, and serious political works such as The Servile State (1912). In World War I he gained a short-lived reputation as a military critic. He shared with his friend G. K. *Chesterton his Roman Catholic religion, a hatred of the manipulations of finance, a gift for friendship and a romantic nostalgia for the Middle Ages. His sister Marie-Adelaide Belloc-Lowndes (1868–1947), wrote many detective stories and thrillers including The Lodger (1913, and later filmed), an imaginary reconstruction of the *Jack the Ripper murders.
Wilson, A. N., Hilaire Belloc. 1985.
Bellow, Saul (1915–2005). American novelist, born in Québec of Russian Jewish parents. His novels, some of which were filmed, include The Adventures of Augie March (1953), Henderson the Rain King (1959), Herzog (1964) and Humboldt’s Gift (1975). He won the 1976 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Leader, Z., The Life of Saul Bellow. 2 vols, 2015, 2018.
Belshazzar (or Balthasar) (d.c.539 BCE). Babylonian prince. He was regent for his father king Nabonidus (Nabu-Na’id) when Babylon fell to *Cyrus II of Persia (538). Daniel, Chapter 5, tells how the words ‘mene, mene, tekel, upharsim’ (that he had been ‘weighed in the balance and found wanting’) appeared on the walls of the banqueting room and were taken for a warning of the approaching disaster. Belshazzar seems to have been killed that night or shortly afterwards.
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista (1778–1823). Italian traveller and archaeologist. Of humble origins, he was gifted with enormous size and strength, which he exploited as a ‘strong man’ when he came to England in 1803. He also devised a hydraulic engine. A visit to Egypt (1815) stirred his interest in archaeology, or rather, in tomb robbing. He discovered the sepulchre of *Seti I at Thebes (1817), cleared the rock temple of Abu Simbel and opened up the second pyramid at Giza. His clumsy practice and the adventurous circumstances of his Egyptian explorations are described in his Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs, and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia (1820).
Bem, Józef Zachariasz (later, Murad Pasha) (1794–1850). Polish general, engineer and nationalist leader, born in Tarnów, now in Poland, then in Austrian Galicia. He was appointed by *Kossuth to lead Hungarian nationalist forces against the Russians and Austrians during the revolution of 1848–49. On its failure, he fled to Turkey, became a Muslim, was given a command and died in Aleppo, Syria.
Bembo, Pietro (1470–1547). Italian poet and cardinal. He held a commanding position in Italian literature during his lifetime and was mainly instrumental in establishing *Petrarch’s versification and Tuscan vocabulary as standard poetical practice. His dialogue Gil Asolani (1505), which discusses platonic love, and his letters are well known. He was appointed historian to the republic of Venice in 1530.
Benavente y Martinez, Jacinto (1866–1954). Spanish dramatist. Son of a physician, he abandoned the study of law to become an actor and playwright. His very large output includes plays of many different styles and moods satirical, romantic or fantastic. The best known of them is perhaps Los intereses creados (Vested Interests, 1907). Others well known in translation include Saturday Night (1903) and Rose of Autumn (1905). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1922.
Ben Ali, Zine El Abidene (1936– ). Tunisian politician and soldier. Educated in France and the US, he was Minister for Defence and National Security 1977–80 and as Prime Minister 1987 peacefully deposed *Bourguiba, becoming President of Tunisia 1987–2011. He was forced into exile in Saudi Arabia in January 2011.
Ben Bella, Ahmed (1916–2012). Algerian politician. A former sergeant major in the French Army, he was among the early workers for Algerian independence from France and became the leader of the Algerian nationalists in exile. In 1956 an aeroplane in which he was travelling was brought down by the French and he remained in confinement until the cease-fire conference at Evian in 1962. His advance to power in Algeria now became rapid; he displaced Yusuf Ben Khedda to become Prime Minister in September of the same year. A year later (1963) the president Ferhat *Abbas was also removed and, under a new constitution confirmed in a referendum by an overwhelming majority, Ben Bella occupied both offices. He was overthrown in a coup by his second-in-command, *Boumedienne, in 1965.
Merhe, R., Ahmed Ben Bella. 1967.
Benbow, John (1653–1702). British sailor. He first entered the navy (1678) as master’s mate and had risen to be rear admiral at the time of his last and most famous exploit. This took place in August 1702 when he kept up a running fight for four days with a French squadron off St Marta in the West Indies. Virtually deserted by most of his squadron, probably because of his bullying temperament, he fought alone. With his leg smashed by a chain shot he still directed operations. In the following November he died of his wound.
Benda, Julien (1867–1956). French author and philosopher. The work for which he is chiefly remembered is La Trahison des clercs (1927), published in England as The Great Betrayal. The treason is that of intellectuals who apply double standards, surrendering their analytical skills to promote an ideology. Other works are the novel The Yoke of Pity (1912) and La Jeunesse d’un clerc (1936), an intellectual autobiography.
Benedict (Benedictus) of Nursia, St (c.480–547). Italian religious, born at Nursia, near Spoleto (Umbria). Founder of Western monasticism, as a boy of 14 he withdrew from the world, and lived alone in a cave near Subiaco. He became famous for his piety and was soon surrounded by a number of disciples. He founded 12 small monasteries from the most devout of these followers and in c.529 founded a monastery at Monte Cassino, between Rome and Naples, which later became one of the richest and most famous monasteries in Europe. His Regula Monachorum, in addition to the usual spiritual exercises, directs that the monks shall do manual labour by working in the fields, teaching the young and copying manuscripts, following the principle that ‘to work is to pray’ (‘laborare est orare’). St Benedict did not found a particular order and the name Benedictines was applied to all who followed his rule. In 1964 *Paul VI proclaimed him patron saint of Europe.
Benedict XIV (Prospero Lambertini) (1675–1758). Pope 1740–58. Archbishop of Bologna 1731–40, he was one of the wisest and most conciliatory of popes and proved himself one of the most successful at reconciling the interests of the Church with those of the sovereigns. Thus he came to terms with *Friedrich II (‘the Great’) of Prussia concerning the Catholic minority, showed a tolerant attitude to the Jansenists in France, assented to nominations by the Spanish crown to nearly all benefices, and made concordats with Naples and Sardinia.
Benedict XV (Giacomo della Chiesa) (1854–1922). Pope 1914–22. He served in the papal diplomatic service for many years and was Archbishop of Bologna 1907–14, being appointed a cardinal only a few months before his election to the papacy. His attempts to settle World War I by negotiation failed but he did much to alleviate the lot of prisoners of war and other sufferers.
Benedict XVI (Joseph Alois Ratzinger, later known as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) (1927– ). Pope 2005–13. Born in Marktl, Bavaria, he was forced to join the Hitler Youth but deserted from military service. Educated at Munich University, and ordained in 1951, he became a professor of theology at Tübingen 1966–69 and Regensburg 1969–77, and Archbishop of Munich-Freising 1977–81. Although regarded as a progressive during Vatican II, as *John Paul II’s Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Faith 1981–2005 he took a strongly conservative line. Elected as Pope on the fourth ballot, he was the oldest person to have been chosen since 1730. He came under sustained attack for responding inadequately to charges of sexual abuse inside Church institutions. His encyclical Caritas in Veritate (‘Love in Truth’) was published in 2009. In February 2013, he resigned as Pope, the first to do since *Gregory XII in 1415, pleading ‘lack of strength in mind and body’.
Beneš, Eduard (1884–1948). Czechoslovak scholar and politician, born in Kozlány. Of peasant origin, he built up his position solely by his own abilities. Educated in Prague and Paris (where he supported himself by journalism) he returned to become professor of sociology in Prague. During World War I he worked abroad with his political mentor *Masaryk to secure recognition by the Allies of Czechoslovakia’s right to nationhood. So successful were these efforts that the Allied victory in 1918 was followed by the creation of Czechoslovakia as a separate state with Masaryk as President and Beneš Foreign Minister 1918–35. He was the main architect of the Little Entente (Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia), which in alliance with France was intended to sustain the postwar settlement. One of the strongest upholders of the League of Nations, he was President of the Assembly in 1935. He succeeded Masaryk as President of the Republic 1935–38. *Hitler demanded autonomy for Germans living in Sudetenland, the mountainous Czech border region. When Beneš mobilised forces to resist, a peace settlement was negotiated by Germany, Italy, France and the UK at Munich (September 1938). The result was imposed on Czechoslovakia without consultation and Beneš resigned. In London he became President of the provisional Czechoslovak Government in exile 1942–45. Restored as President in 1945, he resigned in June 1948, after the Communists seized power, and he died in September.
Beneš, E., Memoirs. 1954.
Benet, Stephen Vincent (1898–1943). American writer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1929 for John Brown’s Body, a ballad-epic of the Civil War, and in 1944 for his narrative poem Western Star. His story The Devil and Daniel Webster (1937) demonstrated his gift for re-interpreted American legends. His brother William Rose Benet (1886–1950) won the 1942 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his verse-novel The Dust Which is God.
Ben Gurion, David (1886–1973). Israeli politician, born in Poland. He migrated to Palestine in 1906 and in World War I, having been expelled by the Turks as a Zionist, he helped to organise, and served with, a Jewish force under *Allenby. An organiser of the Jewish Mapai (socialist) party, he became the first Prime Minister when Israel was established in 1948. He served as Prime Minister 1948–53 and 1955–63. He sanctioned the attack on Egypt in 1956.
Benjamin (Binyamin) (fl. c.1850 BCE). Hebrew patriarch. Youngest son of *Jacob and Rachel (who died giving him birth). The tribe named after him, with the tribe of Judah, remained loyal to the house of *David when, in the reign of Rehoboam, son of *Solomon, the other 10 tribes broke away to form a separate kingdom.
Benjamin, Judah Phillip (1811–1884). American politician and lawyer, born in the West Indies. Educated at Yale, he was a lawyer in New Orleans, a US Senator from Louisiana 1853–6l, serving as Attorney-General 1861, Secretary of War 1861–62 and Secretary of State 1862–65 in the Confederate Government of Jefferson *Davis. He then became a leading commercial lawyer in England, a QC and author of a classic textbook The Law of Sale (1868).
Benjamin, Walter (1892–1940). German-Jewish literary critic. He worked in Berlin as a literary journalist until 1933 and became a friend of *Brecht, then lived in Paris, committing suicide when refused entry to neutral Spain. He wrote on Marxism, *Baudelaire, the philosophy of history and the material, productive base of art.
Benn, Tony (Anthony Neil Wedgwood-Benn) (1925–2014). British Labour politician. Educated at Oxford, he worked for the BBC, was a Labour MP 1950–60, but had to leave the House of Commons when he became 2nd Viscount Stansgate on the death of his father. He refused to use the title and campaigned for the right to disclaim inherited peerages; this led to the passage of the Peerage Act (1963). Elected MP 1963–83, 1984–2001, he served as Postmaster General 1964–66, Minister of Technology 1966–70, Secretary of State for Industry 1974–75 and Energy 1975–79. In opposition he emerged as leader of Labour’s left and wrote Arguments for Socialism (1979).
Bennett, Alan (1934– ). British playwright and actor. Educated at Oxford University, he lectured in modern history at Magdalen College 1960–62 until his full time involvement as writer and performer in Beyondthe Fringe, with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan *Miller. He wrote plays for the stage including Forty Years On (1968), The Old Country (1977), The Madness of George III (1991), The History Boys (2004), The Habit of Art (2009), People (2012), and television (Talking Heads 1982–88, 102 Boulevard Haussmann 1991, A Question of Attribution 1991).
Bennett, (Enoch) Arnold (1867–1931). English novelist, born near Hanley, Staffordshire. He grew up in one of the ‘Five Towns’ of the potteries, which inspired so many of his novels. He completed his education at London University and subsequently spent most of his working life in London, but the years (1902–10) which he spent in France provided him with a French wife, introduced him to European culture and awakened a taste for fine living. His novels belong to two groups: the first and most lastingly important gives a vivid and naturalistic account of life in the industrial society in which he was brought up, it includes Anna of the Five Towns (1902), The Old Wives’ Tale (1908), Clayhanger (1910), and The Card (1911). To this genre, though with a different setting (Clerkenwell, London), belongs also Riceyman Steps (1923). The second group is more concerned with entertainment than with character study and social comment, to it belong e.g. The Grand Babylon Hotel (1902) and Buried Alive (1908), dramatised (1913) as The Great Adventure. With Edward Knoblock he wrote the play Milestones (1912), which also proved popular. In his later years Bennett achieved a new reputation as literary critic on the London Evening Standard.
Drabble, M., Arnold Bennett. 1974.
Bennett, James Gordon (1795–1872). American journalist, born in Scotland. He emigrated in 1819 and in 1835 founded the New York Herald which was both successful and revolutionary. His son, also James Gordon Bennett (1841–1918), was a pioneer of modern journalism. He commissioned H. M. *Stanley to head the expedition that found Livingstone, and shared with the London Daily Telegraph the financing of Stanley’s great journey in central Africa (1874–77). He established the New York Herald’s reputation as one of the great newspapers of the world, with a brilliant team of reporters.
Bennett, Richard Bedford Bennett, 1st Viscount (1870–1947). Canadian politician, born in New Brunswick. Elected to the House of Commons from Alberta 1911–17, 1925–38, he was Leader of the Conservative Party 1927–38. He defeated Mackenzie *King in 1930, when the depression was deepening, serving as Prime Minister until 1935. A strong economic nationalist, he organised the Imperial Economic Conference in Ottawa (1932) which created a system of tariff preference for the British Empire. His government set up the Canadian Wheat Board, Air Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and legislated on minimum wages and maximum hours of work, pensions and health insurance. In 1938 he retired to Great Britain, receiving a peerage in 1941. He drowned in the bath.
Benois, Alexandre (1870–1960). Russian artist. Of French extraction, his conception of a decor integrated with the dancing and music added a third dimension to ballet. With *Bakst he put these ideas into practice, and did much to contribute to *Diaghilev’s glittering artistic success. Sheherazade and Le Coq d’or are examples of works which owed almost everything to his inspiration. He parted with Diaghilev after World War I and worked with Ida Rubinstein and others. In 1957 he designed for a production of The Nutcracker by the Festival Ballet of London.
Bentham, George (1800–1884). English botanist. He worked in France and for his uncle Jeremy *Bentham, then devoted himself to the taxonomy of plants and compiled the Genera Plantarum (3 vols, 1862–83) with Joseph *Hooker.
Bentham, Jeremy (1748–1832). English utilitarian philosopher, born in London. Son of a solicitor, he was a precocious and prodigious student. After graduating from Oxford in 1763, he studied law under *Blackstone but was dismayed by its anomalies and illogicalities and thus abandoned the idea of going into practice. The publication of his Fragment on Government in 1776 brought him to the friendly notice of Lord *Shelburne, at whose house, by meeting people from the social and political worlds, he was able to gain self-confidence. In 1789, after four fruitful years of travelling in Russia and elsewhere, he published An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, which argues, following *Priestley, that all laws should work for the greatest happiness of the greatest number of people, and sets out a general doctrine of Utilitarianism, which inspired J. S. *Mill and others. He believed that all men seek only their own pleasure, and combined this psychological claim with the moral view that the right action is that one which seems likely to produce more happiness (pleasure or absence of pain) than any other possible action. Utilitarianism, modified by his followers, was the source of much social investigation and reform in the 19th century. In 1785–88, Bentham spent much money and time on a plan for a model prison, the ‘Panopticon’, in which all prisoners could be observed from a single point. Reform and codification of the law to accord with his utilitarian principles remained his chief interest, but in later life he campaigned for a number of specific reforms: the secret ballot, universal suffrage, abolition of capital and corporal punishment, a national system for registering births, deaths and marriages, the ending of transportation of criminals and imprisonment for debt, and the setting up of an international authority to prevent the outbreak of wars. He attacked the idea of ‘natural’ or ‘universal’ human rights as an abstraction (‘nonsense on stilts’), insisting that rights and responsibilities had to be linked to specific structures and attitudes in societies. He founded the Westminster Review in 1823, and was also a founder of University College, London, where, at his wish, his skeleton sits, dressed in his clothes and with a model head.
Mack, M., Jeremy Bentham 1748–1792. 1963.
Bentinck, Lord William Cavendish (1774–1839). English Whig politician. The son of the third Duke of Portland, he was an MP 1796–1803, Governor of Madras 1803–07 and served under Wellington in the Peninsular War. He became Governor-General of Bengal in 1828 and by statutory conferment became the first holder of the title Governor-General of India 1833–35. He abolished suttee (the religious custom of widow burning), suppressed the Thugs (a group of religious assassins), and introduced English as the language of higher education.
Bentley, Edmund Clerihew (1875–1956). English novelist and journalist. He originated the ‘clerihew’, a four-line humorous verse form, and wrote what is regarded as the first of the modern type of realistic detective novels, Trent’s Last Case (1913). The clerihew can be illustrated by:
The Art of Biography
Is different from Geography,
Geography is about maps,
But Biography is about chaps.
Bentley, E. C., Those Days: An Autobiography. 1940.
Bentley, Richard (1662–1742). English classical scholar. Educated at Wakefield Grammar School and at Cambridge, he was master of Trinity College 1700–42. He established his reputation with the Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris (1699), a brilliant contribution to a controversy concerning their authorship. This was followed by editions of *Horace, *Terence, *Cicero and Manilius. A master of textual emendation, noted for his pedantic, quarrelsome and arrogant nature, he has maintained his reputation as one of the greatest of English classical scholars.
White, R. J., Dr Bentley. 1965.
Bentsen, Lloyd Millard (1921–2006). American Democratic politician. A Texas businessman and lawyer, he was a US Congressman 1948–54, defeated George *Bush in 1970 to become a US Senator, serving 1971–92, and ran as vice presidential candidate with Michael *Dukakis in 1988. He became Bill *Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury 1993–94.
Benz, Karl (1844–1929). German motor car pioneer. He produced (1885) a three-wheeled, chain-driven vehicle with a watercooled internal-combustion engine using coal gas as fuel. It travelled at a maximum speed of 24 kph.
Berchtold (von und zu Ungarschitz), Leopold, Graf [Count] von (1863–1942). Austrian diplomat. He served as Ambassador in Paris 1894–99, London 1899–1906 and St Petersburg 1906–12 before his appointment as Imperial Foreign Minister 1912–15. Largely responsible for escalating the assassination of *Franz Ferdinand (1914) into a world war, Berchtold was not a war criminal but a vacillating lightweight: the wrong man in the wrong job at the wrong time.
Berdyaev, Nikolai Aleksandrovich (1874–1948). Russian religious and social thinker, born in Kiev. Originally a Marxist, he returned to the Orthodox Church in 1907, supported the Revolution but was expelled in 1922. He established the Academy of the Philosophy of Religion at Clamart near Paris. He insisted in his books, e.g. The Destiny of Man (Eng. tr.1937) and Spirit and Reality (1939), that history is subject to the control of God, and looked forward to a Christian society, by which term he designated a way of life rather than outward observance.
Vallon, M., Apostle of Freedom. 1960.
Béregovoy, Pierre Eugene (1925–1993). French Socialist politician. Of Russian descent, he became a lawyer and administrator, worked in the Socialist Party apparatus and was Minister for Economy, Finance and Budget 1984–86, 1988–92. He succeeded Edith *Cresson as Prime Minister 1992–93. He shot himself after the crushing Socialist defeat in the May 1993 elections for the Chamber of Deputies.
Berengario da Carpi, Giacomo (1460–1535). Italian anatomist, born in Carpi. He attended Bologna University, received his degree in 1489 and was appointed to the faculty in 1502. He became consultant to famous men, and his attendance upon Lorenzo de’*Medici in 1517, who had received a gunshot wound and a fracture of the skull, led to his book on the subject in 1518. Partly because of its first hand discussion of the different lesions, grouped according to symptoms, Berengario’s book is a classic of neurosurgery. His interest in anatomy grew, and after performing several hundred dissections, he distilled his knowledge into his Commentaria (1521). His accounts of the reproductive organs were particularly important, as also of the greater capacity of the female pelvis. He described the pituitary and pineal glands and noted the corpus striatum. He could find no sign of *Galen’s rete mirabile (the supposed source of animal spirit) though he was traditionalist enough not to dismiss the idea of animal spirit itself. Berengario’s importance lies in his pioneering careful anatomising of the human body, and attempting to correlate his own observations with classical medical opinion. In this—as in his use of medical illustrations—he was engaged in similar work to *Vesalius.
Lind, L. R., Berengario: A Short Introduction to Anatomy. 1959.
Berenson, Bernard (Bernhard Valvrojenski) (1865–1959). American-Lithuanian-Jewish art historian and connoisseur, born in Lithuania. Brought up in Boston and educated at Harvard, he lived in Italy from 1900, became a great authority on Italian Renaissance art and, as adviser to the dealer Joseph *Duveen, enjoyed a position of unparalleled eminence in matters of attribution and connoisseurship. His disciples included Kenneth *Clark. He left his art collection, library and villa I Tatti (near Florence) to Harvard University. His best known work is Italian Painters of the Renaissance (1932).
Secrest, M., Being Bernard Berenson. 1979.
Beresford, Charles Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount (1768–1854). British general. An illegitimate son of the 1st Marquess of Waterford, he played an adventurous part in the French Revolutionary and Napoléonic Wars. After distinguished service in Toulon and Corsica, in General David Baird’s desert march from the Red Sea to Egypt (1801), at the Cape of Good Hope (1806), and at Buenos Aires (1807), he eventually found permanent fame as the successful organiser and commander of the Portuguese army in the Peninsular War. His later life was troubled by controversy over his generalship at Albuera. He bore the Spanish title of Duke of Elvas, and the Portuguese title of Conde de Trancoso and was master general of ordnance in *Wellington’s cabinet 1828–30.
Berg, Alban (1885–1935). Austrian composer, born in Vienna. As a boy he composed many songs which reveal his deeply romantic temperament, but after studying composition with Arnold *Schoenberg (1904–10) he developed his own modification of Schoenberg’s ‘atonal/atonic’ or ‘twelve-tone’ system. His music is notable for its lyricism and dramatic intensity, especially the operas Wozzeck (completed 1921) and Lulu (unfinished). Among his other works are the Lyric Suite for string quartet (1926) and a violin concerto (1935) dedicated ‘to the memory of an angel’ (Manon Gropius). The tone row for the Violin Concerto is: G, B♯, D, F♯, A, C, E, G♯, B, C♯, E♯, F. Berg died of blood poisoning from an abscess on his back caused by an insect bite.
Reich, W., The Life and Work of Alban Berg. 1982.
Berger, Hans (1873–1941). German physiologist. His early work concentrated mainly on the effect blood supply and pressure had on brain action, taking into account the influence of the heartbeat, respiration, and stimulants (e.g. caffeine, cocaine). He then moved on to the brain’s electrical activity. Building on crude 19th-century recordings of electrical activity in animal brains, Berger pioneered the technique of planting needle electrodes under the scalp of patients. He pioneered the use of the electroencephalogram as a tool of diagnosis. His work was neglected in Germany, and shortly after his retirement he committed suicide in a fit of depression.
E. Adrian and B. Matthews, ‘The Berger Rhythm’, Brain, 57 (1934), 355–385.
Bergerac, (Savinien) Cyrano de (1619–1655). French soldier, satirical poet and dramatist. Famous as a duellist and for his enormously long nose, his best known works are two fantastic romances (translated by Richard *Aldington as Voyages to the Moon and the Sun), which influenced *Swift and *Voltaire. He is best remembered as the hero of a play (1897) by Edmond *Rostand.
Bergman, (Ernst) Ingmar (1918–2007). Swedish director and playwright, born in Uppsala. Son of a Lutheran pastor, he had a traumatic childhood, then studied literature at Stockholm University. One of the major influences on cinema since the 1950s, his films show an often uncomfortable psychological penetration, sometimes using symbolism and the grotesque. They include Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), The Seventh Seal (1956), Wild Strawberries (1957), The Devil’s Eye (1961), The Silence (1963), Shame (1968), Scenes from a Marriage (1974), Face to Face (1976), Autumn Sonata (1978), Fanny and Alexander (1983) and Best Intentions (1992), most of which he wrote. He directed the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm 1963–66 and worked in Munich 1976–78. He won many international awards, but never an Oscar.
Wood, R., Ingmar Bergman. 1969.
Bergman, Ingrid (1915–1982). Swedish actor, born in Stockholm. She moved to Hollywood in 1938 and achieved immediate recognition in Intermezzo (1939), Casablanca (1942) and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1945). She appeared in three *Hitchcock films: Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946) and Under Capricorn (1949) and won three Academy Awards for best actor, in Gaslight (1944), Anastasia (1956) and Murder on the Orient Express (1974). She made Stromboli (1949) in Italy and her affair and later marriage with its director Roberto *Rossellini damaged her box office appeal until Anastasia. She made many stage appearances in London, notably in a revival of Hedda Gabler. She appeared in opera (Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake, 1954) and television (as Golda *Meir, 1982). Her last (and possibly best) film was Autumn Sonata (1978), directed by her compatriot Ingmar *Bergman.
Bergoglio, Jorge Mario see Francis
Bergson, Henri Louis (1859–1941). French philosopher, born in Paris. Son of a Polish Jewish musician and an English mother, he studied and taught at the École Normale Supérieure, and became a professor at the Collège de France 1900–14. He married a cousin of Marcel *Proust. He is best known for the theory set out in Time and Freewill (1889) and Creative Evolution (1907), which enjoyed considerable popularity despite its lack of clarity. It is opposed to the view that life evolves in a mechanical way subject to physical laws and thus towards ends that are already fixed. Evolution, rather, results from a life force (‘elan vital’) which is creative and unpredictable in its effects. This life-force, not adequately specified, is in conflict with ‘matter’, by which Bergson appeared to mean the regularity and repetitiveness of the natural world. This latter aspect of the universe is known by what Bergson calls Intelligence, which classifies reality into separate items and kinds, and tends to look upon natural change as a series of different fixed states. The faculty of Intuition, on the other hand, is related to the life-force and gives us knowledge of the kind of change which characterises it: a development not made up of separable stages but one in which past and present run together in an unbroken stream or flux. This was called duration (‘la duree’). Other important works include Laughter (1900) and The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932). A member of the Académie française from 1914, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928.
Jankelevitch, V., Henri Bergson. 1959.
Beria, Lavrenti Pavlovich (1899–1953). Russian (Georgian) commissar. Of peasant origin, and a confidant of *Stalin, he ran the NKVD (Commissariat of Internal Security) 1938–53 and became a Deputy Premier 1941–53, a Marshal of the USSR 1945 and Politburo member 1946–53. On Stalin’s death (1953) he was (with *Malenkov and *Molotov) one of the triumvirate that assumed power. Almost immediately, however, he was accused of treason, tried and shot, an action instigated by *Khrushchev. Beria was mistrusted because he aimed at making his security organisation the ultimate power.
Williams, A., Beria Papers. 1973.
Bering, Vitus Jonassen (1681–1741). Danish navigator. He joined the Russian navy in 1704 and in 1725 was commissioned by Peter the Great to explore the eastern extremity of Siberia. In 1728 he sailed through the Strait (separating Asia from North America), later named after him, but did not then recognise its importance. On a later expedition he reached Alaska. He died after his ship was wrecked on what is now called Bering Island. The naturalist G. W. Steller, who escaped in a boat, wrote an account of the voyage.
Berio, Luciano (1925–2003). Italian composer, conductor and teacher. He was a serial composer (using ‘tone rows’ like *Schoenberg and *Berg), also writing for electronic instruments and tape recorders, and he produced some ‘indeterminate’ or ‘aleatory’ music in which the players themselves determine in what order they play the notes. His best known work was Sinfonia (1968–69). He was married to the American soprano Cathy Berberian (1928–1983) from 1950 until 1966, and wrote virtuosic works for her, even after their marriage ended.
Berkeley, Busby (William Berkeley Enos) (1895–1976). American choreographer and director. After success as a Broadway dance director, he moved to Hollywood in 1930. His imaginative and extravagant mass choreography of young women used new film techniques and created kaleidoscopic imagery, often highly (but subliminally) erotic. His films include Whoopee! (1930), 42nd Street (1933), Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) and The Gang’s All Here (1943). He became a cult figure in the 1990s.
Berkeley, George (1685–1753). Irish philosopher and Anglican Bishop of Cloyne, born in Kilkenny. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he spent several years in London, where he knew *Swift, *Pope and *Addison. In 1728–31 he taught at Rhode Island in preparation for the carrying out of his ill-fated plan to found a missionary college in Bermuda, a government grant for which was later withdrawn. In 1734 he accepted the bishopric of Cloyne in Southern Ireland. There he lived until 1752 when he retired through ill health and went to Oxford, where he died. Berkeley’s philosophy of idealism is centrally a denial of the existence of matter, in the ordinary sense of the word. *Locke had argued that the world of material objects gives rise to ‘ideas’ or subjective sense-impressions in our minds. We are directly aware of only these impressions. Berkeley held that there is no reason to suppose that anything lies behind these impressions: objects depend for their actuality on being perceived (esse est percipi—‘to be is to be perceived’). This doctrine can be easily misunderstood and ridiculed as it appears to violate common sense, but Berkeley is leading the argument to the point that since such impressions must be had by someone if they are to exist at all, and since it is accepted that material objects continue to exist when unperceived by men, their existence must depend upon perception by reason and ultimately by that of Supreme Reason or God. His doctrine, he claimed, therefore refuted scepticism. This is a vast over simplification of the difficult series of arguments presented in his Principles of Human Knowledge (1710) and Three Dialogues between Mylas and Philonus (1713). On his return from Rhode Island he published Alciphron (1732), using the American background as a setting for more dialogues, Platonic in form.
Ritchie, A. D., George Berkeley: A Re-appraisal. 1967.
Berkeley, Sir Lennox (Randal) (1903–1989). English composer, born at Oxford. Educated at Oxford University, he studied under Nadia *Boulanger in Paris and shows the influence of such French composers as *Bizet and *Chabrier. Among his better known works are many songs, the Stabat Mater (1946), the operas Nelson (1954) and Ruth (1956). He tried most musical forms including incidental music for films, cantatas and works for unaccompanied choirs. He was President of the Composers’ Guild and the Performing Right Society.
Berlichingen, Götz von (1480–1562). German (Swabian) knight and adventurer. He lost his right hand in battle and wore an iron one. He was one of the discontented nobles who led the rebellious peasants in the Peasants’ War (1524–26) and later fought against the French and the Turks. His life is the basis of plays by *Goethe (Götz von Berlichingen), *Sartre (Le Diable et le Bon Dieu) and John Arden (Ironhand).
Berlin, Irving (Israel Isidore Baline) (1888–1989). American songwriter, born in Russia. He wrote more than 1000 popular songs including Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1911) and White Christmas, scores for several musicals (e.g. Annie Get Your Gun, 1946) and revues.
Berlin, Sir Isaiah (1909–1997). Russian-Jewish-British political philosopher, born in Riga. He went to England with his parents after the Russian revolution, gained a double first at Oxford and remained there, except during World War II (when he was attached to the British Embassies in Washington and Moscow). He succeeded G. D. H. *Cole as Chichele professor of social and political theory 1957–67 and was first President of Wolfson College 1966–75. His works include Karl Marx (1939), The Hedgehog and the Fox (a study of *Tolstoy’s theory of history, 1953), Historical Inevitability (1954), Four Essays on Liberty (1969), Vico and Herder (1976) and The Crooked Timber of Humanity (1990). He received the OM in 1971 and was President of the British Academy 1974–78. Berlin argued for ‘value pluralism’ and against the rigidity of any system that asserted the right to compel belief.
Gray, J., Isaiah Berlin. 1995; Ignatieff, M., Isaiah Berlin. A Life. 1998.
Berliner, Emile (1851–1929). American inventor, born in Germany. In 1878 he invented the carbon microphone, simultaneously with David *Hughes, followed by a gramophone in 1887. He was best known for his invention (1888) of the disc record for the gramophone, a word which he probably originated. In 1898 he founded The Gramophone Co. Like *Edison and *Bell he failed to grasp the significance of electric recording for music.
Berlioz, (Louis) Hector (1803–1869). French composer, born near Grenoble. Son of a physician, he studied medicine in Paris for some years but loathed it and, after a violent quarrel with his family, began to study music under Lesueur and entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1826. But again his emotional temperament brought him into conflict with his teachers. While a student he fell in love with the Irish actor Harriet Smithson, whom he married in 1833. The marriage was unsuccessful and they separated in 1842. Despite his genius for orchestration, Berlioz never completed his formal studies and was a poor instrumentalist, mastering only the guitar and flageolet. In 1830 his cantata Sardanapale won the Prix de Rome and then he studied in Italy for about a year. He won his first public success in 1832 with a performance of his Symphonie fantastique (1830, subtitled ‘An episode in the life of an artist’), an extraordinarily vivid work describing five scenes (supposed to have been dreamt by Berlioz) in which the artist seeks out his beloved, kills her, is executed and then descends to hell. Berlioz composed most of his orchestral works to a definite literary program and most contemporary critics attacked his addiction to ‘program music’. His later symphonies were Harold in Italy (1834, based on *Byron’s Childe Harold), Romeo and Juliet (1838, with soloists and chorus) and Symphonie funèbre et triomphale (1840, written to commemorate victims of the 1830 Revolution). He also composed the concert overtures Waverley (1827), King Lear (1831), Le Carnaval romain (1844) and The Corsair (1855); the operas Benvenuto Cellini (1838), Beatrice and Benedict (1862, based on *Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing), and The Trojans (1862), an enormous work which Berlioz regarded as his masterpiece, rarely performed because of its great length and the cost of production. Among other works were the song cycle Nuits d’été (1842), the oratorio L’Enfance du Christ (1852) and the operatic cantata The Damnation of Faust (1846). He wrote a great Treatise on instrumentation (1844) and Memoirs (1865). He was a vigorous and vivacious music critic and his writings on his own music did much to attract attention to his genius. *Paganini, *Liszt, and, to a lesser degree, *Schumann were among the few of his contemporaries to acknowledge his place in 19th-century music. His second wife was the singer Marie Recio (d.1862). He travelled widely, giving concerts in England and in Russia. He was appointed librarian of the Paris Conservatoire from 1852 and a member of the French Institute from 1856. Although controversy still rages as to the merit of his compositions, the colour and originality of his orchestration have never been in dispute.
Elliot, J. N., Berlioz. 1967; Cairns, D., Berlioz. 2 vols, 1989, 1999.
Berlusconi, Silvio (1936– ). Italian businessman and politician. From 1969 he created a business empire which included commercial television, a cinema chain, department stores, real estate, insurance, publishing and the Milan A C Milan soccer club. He founded a conservative political party, Forza Italia, and in March 1994 his Freedom Alliance won the elections for the Chamber of Deputies. He became Prime Minister in a coalition government which included neo-Fascist ministers (May–Dec. 1994). He was charged with corruption and his party lost ground in the elections of April 1996. In July 1998 he was sentenced to a prison term but served no time. His party won the May 2001 election and he became Prime Minister again, losing narrowly in April 2006. Prime Minister for the third time 2008–11, he was forced out when his coalition fractured in the parliament, and Italy needed to take unpopular decisions following the ‘Global Financial Crisis’. Convicted of tax evasion in 2012 and sentenced to four years’ jail, he served no time. He led the People of Freedom alliance for the 2013 elections and during the campaign expressed sympathy for *Mussolini’s alliance with *Hitler. His extravagant sexuality, and ‘bunga bunga’ parties, much publicised internationally, seems to have been discounted by Italian voters. His coalition polled 29.1 per cent of the primary vote for the Chamber of Deputies in 2013. In June 2013 he was convicted of abuse of power and paying for sex with an underaged prostitute, and sentenced to seven years jail, suspended while he appealed. His sentence was upheld on appeal, but then commuted in 2014 to ‘community service’.
Bernadette, St (Marie-Bernard Soubirous) (1844–1879). French visionary, born in Lourdes. Daughter of a miller, in 1858 she claimed to have experienced 18 visions in which she saw and spoke with the Virgin Mary. The grotto at Lourdes where the visions occurred have become a major place of pilgrimage for Catholics. There was much controversy at the time and since concerning the event, its interpretation and the subsequent cures, and religious, national and local politics have been at various times involved; but no one has questioned the sincerity of the girl herself. She became a nun, served as a nurse in the Franco Prussian War and died of tuberculosis. She was canonised in 1933.
Bernadotte (af Wisborg), Folke, Count (1895–1948). Swedish diplomat. A nephew of King *Gustaf V of Sweden, in World War II he acted for the Swedish Red Cross in the exchange of wounded prisoners and was an intermediary in conveying an offer of surrender from Himmler to the US and British authorities. While serving as United Nations mediator between Jews and Arabs he was murdered by Jewish terrorists.
Bernadotte, Jean Baptiste Jules (1763–1844). French marshal and Swedish King (as Karl XIV Johan). Son of a lawyer at Pau, he enlisted when 17, was a sergeant when the Revolution broke out and seizing his chance rose (1792–94) from lieutenant to brigadier. He entered the *Bonaparte family circle by marrying Desirée Clary, Napoléon’s first fiancee and a sister of Joseph Bonaparte’s wife. He took part in several of Napoléon’s campaigns and was prominent in Austerlitz, but it was his governorship of the Hanseatic cities (1807–09) that made him known and liked in northern Europe. This explains why in 1810 he was invited by the childless *Karl XIII of Sweden to become his crown prince and de facto ruler. Napoléon accepted on his behalf in the hope of having a faithful ally, but Bernadotte put the needs of his adopted country first and made an alliance with Russia. Accordingly, he was allowed to retain his position when Napoléon fell. As a reward for his services, Norway (acquired from the Danes in 1814) was confirmed by the Congress of Vienna as being in union with Sweden. In 1818 Bernadotte duly succeeded as Karl XIV Johan to the joint throne and proved a popular and successful ruler.
Bernal, John Desmond (1901–1971). British physicist and mathematician, born in Ireland, of Sephardic descent. He studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, worked with William *Bragg and became the great pioneer of X-ray crystallography. Disliked by *Rutherford, and denied a Fellowship, he left Cambridge to become professor of physics at Birkbeck College, London, in 1937. His pupils included Dorothy *Hodgkin, Max *Perutz, Aaron *Klug and Rosalind *Franklin. During World War II he worked on mapping for the Normandy landings (1944). A Communist for some years, he won a Stalin Peace Prize (1953) but was overlooked for a Nobel Prize. A prolific writer, his books include the masterly Science in History (1954).
Swann, B., and Aprahanian, F., J. D. Bernal: A Life in Science and Politics. 1999; Brown, A., J.D. Bernal: The Sage of Science. 2005.
Bernanke, Ben Shalom (1953– ). American economist and banker, born in Georgia. A graduate of Harvard and MIT, he was a professor of economics at Princeton 1996–2002, and chair of the US Federal Reserve 2006– . Originally appointed by George W *Bush, he was reappointed by Barack *Obama.
Bernanos, Georges (1888–1948). French writer, born in Paris. He became one of the best known of the group of Catholic novelists of major importance in modern French literature. Among his best known works are Sous le soleil de Satan (1926, translated into English as The Star of Satan, 1940) and Journal d’un cure de campagne (1936, English version: The Diary of a Country Priest, 1940). His Les Grands Cimetieres sous la lune (1938) contains an unusually strong criticism (for a Roman Catholic) of *Franco’s rule in Spain. During World War II he was in South America, where he wrote Lettre aux anglais (1940–42).
Speaight, R., Georges Bernanos. 1973.
Bernard, Claude (1813–1878). French physiologist, born near Villefranche. He worked in a Lyon pharmacy before studying medicine in Paris. He graduated in 1843 and worked for several years with François *Magendie, professor of medicine at the Collège de France, to whose chair he succeeded in 1855. He is best known for his work on the function of the pancreas in digestion, and for the inference which he drew from his experiments that the production of sugar in the liver is controlled by the nervous system: he isolated and named the sugar-producing substance, ‘glycogen’. He became a member of the Académie française 1868, a Senator in 1869 and received the Copley Medal (1876).
Holmes, F. L., Claude Bernard and Animal Chemistry. 1974.
Bernard of Clairvaux, St (1090–1153). French theologian and reformer, born near Dijon. A member of a noble family, in 1113 he entered the original Cistercian (White Monks) monastery at Citeaux, and in 1115 became the first Abbot of the newly founded monastery at Clairvaux, in Champagne. Clairvaux remained the centre of his activities for the rest of his life and during his tenure of office its numbers rose from 12 to 700. From there he made the famous journeys which led to the foundation of 68 more Cistercian houses, and his reputation as the second founder of the Order. His ascetic and studious life made him one of the most influential men of his time. His stirring eloquence won him the name of ‘Mellifluous Doctor’, and his emphasis on spirituality and devotion still influences Catholicism. His practical achievements were also considerable. In 1131, by securing recognition for Pope Innocent II, he averted a schism, and his preaching before *Louis VII at Vezelay in 1146 stirred support for the Second Crusade. He condemned the teachings of his great enemy, Peter *Abelard.
Bernard of Menthon, St (923–1008). Italian religious. He was founder of the Augustinian hospice near the crest of the Great St Bernard Pass, which bears his name, and is the patron of mountaineers.
Berners, 14th Baron, Gerald Hugh Tyrwhitt-Wilson (1883–1950). English composer, painter and novelist. Eccentric, gifted and versatile, his works include the ballet score The Triumph of Neptune (1926), the novel The Girls of Radcliff Hall (1937), an autobiography, and many paintings.
Zinovieff, S., The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother and Me. 2014.
Berners-Lee, Sir Tim(othy John) (1955– ). English physicist and computer scientist, born in London. Educated at Queens College, Oxford, he worked at CERN (Geneva) and there designed the World Wide Web (WWW, 1989), the gateway to the Internet, linking ‘hypertext’ documents together to form a ‘web’. He also developed a web server, a web browser, the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http://) and Hypertext Markup Language (html). The WWW was made available to the general public in August 1991. He campaigned to ensure that it remained ‘open, non-proprietary and free’. He chaired the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), held a chair at MIT, and became a professorial fellow at Oxford. He was elected FRS (2001) and awarded a KBE (2004) and the OM (2007). He wrote Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web (1999).
Bernhard (1911–2004). German-Dutch prince. A prince of Lippe Biesterfeld, he married (1937) Princess *Juliana, the future Queen of the Netherlands and was father of Queen *Beatrix. He had many scientific, business and sporting interests but was damaged by reports of financial involvement with Lockheed and links with the Nazis.
Bernhardi, Friedrich von (1849–1930). German general and military writer. His book Germany and The Next War (1912) advocated that, where necessary for victory or survival, treaties should be disregarded and battles fought without regard for humanitarian principles. His book, translated in cheap editions, did much to exacerbate anti-German feeling in Allied countries during World War I.
Bernhardt, Sarah (1844–1923). French actor, born in Paris. Daughter of a French father and a Dutch-Jewish mother, she became known as ‘the divine Sarah’, a description that gives an idea of the emotions inspired by her art. More than once she joined the company of the Comédie Française, but the restrictions of the national theatre irked her and she finally left in 1880, formed her own company and from 1899 controlled her own theatre (Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt). She toured frequently and was as warmly acclaimed in London, America and elsewhere as in her own country. She triumphed in the great classical parts, such as in *Racine’s Phedre, and equally in a romantic and tearful melodrama such as the younger *Dumas’ La Dame aux camelias. *Sardou provided her with several parts: she could exploit a delicious comedy sense in *Molière. She even achieved male impersonations as Hamlet or in the title part (*Napoléon I’s young son) in Rostand’s L‘Aiglon. Despite the amputation of a leg in 1915, she continued to act.
Skinner, C. O., Madame Sarah. 1967.
Bernini, Gian (Giovanni) Lorenzo (1598–1680). Italian architect and sculptor, born in Naples. The greatest master of the Italian baroque, he went as a child to Rome, where his youthful skill, fostered and trained by his father, attracted the attention of Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The virtuosity and psychological subtlety of sculptures, such as Apollo and Daphne, Rape of Persephone, and David, commissioned by his patron brought him to the notice of the Vatican, and in 1629 he was appointed architect to St Peter’s by Pope *Urban VIII. He did much work there during the next decades, notably the great bronze baldacchino, 29 m high (1663) and Cathedra Petri (a reliquary throne for St Peter’s chair, with a Gloria above, 1666). It was not until 1667 that he completed his most ambitious and spectacular achievement, the enormous double colonnade which enclosed the piazza in front of the basilica.This consists of 640 columns, each 1.4 metres in diameter, so arranged that the enclosed space acts as an enormous stage in which pilgrims congregate to receive the papal blessing. In 1665 Bernini was invited to France by *Louis XIV. He executed a magnificent bust of the king but his plans to redevelop the Louvre were rejected. Other great works include the statue The Ecstasy of St Teresa (1652) and the church Sant’ Andrea Quirinale (called ‘the Pearl of the Baroque’, completed 1670). Passionate and sometimes violent, Bernini was also an occasional painter, caricaturist, stage designer, playwright and composer. Bernini and *Borromini detested each other.
Hibbard, H., Bernini. 1965; Avery, C., Bernini: Genius of the Baroque. 1997.
Bernouilli. Swiss family of mathematicians, originally from Antwerp. They are completely identified with Basle in Switzerland where they lived and worked (though not exclusively) during their period of fame. They include Jakob Bernouilli I (1645–1705), who wrote about the possibilities of the newly invented calculus; his brother Johann I (1667–1748), much of whose work was concerned with the mathematics of curves; Daniel (1700–1782), a son of Johann who contributed much to the study of hydrodynamics and held chairs in anatomy, botany and physics at Basle. He solved the differential equation now known as Bernouilli’s Equation. Less famous members of the family were Nicolaus I (1687–1759) nephew of Jakob and Johann, Nicolaus II (1695–1726), a son of Johann, Johann II (1710–1790), Johann I’s youngest son, Johann III (1744–1807) and Jakob II (1759–1789) both sons of Johann II. All taught mathematics.
Bernstein, Eduard (1850–1932). German socialist. During years of exile in London he became a close friend of Friedrich *Engels. Bernstein argued that the teaching of *Marx and Engels needed drastic revision in view of the increasing wealth and size of the middle class and slowly improving working class conditions, concluding that class war was not inevitable. Known as the father of ‘revisionism’, he was elected to the Reichstag 1906–12, 1912–18, 1920–28 and, as a pacifist, opposed World War I.
Bernstein, Henri (1876–1953). French dramatist. He became a prolific playwright and theatrical manager in Paris and scored an enormous success with Israel (1906), Le Voleur (1906), Le Secret (1913) and Judith (1922).
Bernstein, Leonard (1918–1990). American composer and conductor, born in Lawrence, Mass. He studied at Harvard and with *Reiner and became a protégé of *Koussevitzky and *Mitropoulos. He composed the ballet Fancy Free (1944), the symphony Jeremiah (1943) and the musicals Candide (1956) and West Side Story (1957). He succeeded Dimitri Mitropoulos as conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1958–69. He wrote several books including The Joy of Music (1959), and made many recordings and films. He toured extensively with the Israel and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras and was much admired for his *Mahler performances.
Burton, H., Leonard Bernstein. 1994; Secrest, M., Leonard Bernstein: A Life. 1995.
Berry. English publishing family, originating in Wales. William Ewert Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose (1879–1954) founded Advertising World (1901) and Boxing (1909), bought the Sunday Times in 1915 and the Daily Telegraph in 1928. With his brother (James) Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley (1883–1968) he controlled many magazines and provincial newspapers. They divided the empire in 1937: Kemsley took the Daily Graphic and Sunday Times, Camrose the Daily Telegraph. Camrose’s second son (William) Michael Berry, Baron Hartwell (1911– ) was chairman and editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph until Conrad *Black bought it in 1987.
Berry, Charles Ferdinand, Duc de (1778–1820). French duke. Younger son of the Comte d’Artois (later *Charles X of France), he returned to France in 1814 and was assassinated in 1820. His posthumous son was Henri, Comte de Chambord (1820–1883). His wife Caroline (1798–1870), a princess of Naples, attempted to raise a revolt in favour of her son, who was recognised by French royalists as Henri V. In 1832 she reached the Vendée, but was captured at Nantes and for a time imprisoned. She died at Palermo.
Berthelot, (Pierre Eugène) Marcellin (1827–1907). French chemist. He became professor at the École Supérieure de Pharmacie in 1859 and at the Collège de France in 1864 where he taught until his death. His career in chemistry was chiefly devoted to synthesis. Beginning with alcohol, he moved on to the synthesis of benzene, acetylene, and compounds of coal tar. He believed that organic compounds of great complexity could be built up out of simple elements and simple carbon compounds. Acetylene seemed to be the starting point in the investigation of hydrocarbons, since from it one could obtain ethylene, methane and benzene. The study of fatty acids interested him equally. Many of his experiments of the 1850s investigated the production of compounds of glycerin through heating it with hydrochloric acid and various fatty acids. These researches, together with similar analysis of sugars, led to studies of fermentation and the preparation of alcohol from ethylene. His work was extremely important in demonstrating the inter-relationship between organic and inorganic chemistry. He carried out important researches on explosives following the French defeat by Germany in the war of 1870. He was a senator 1881–1907, Minister of Public Instruction 1886–87 and Foreign Minister 1895–96. On the political left, he attacked the influence of the Church, particularly in education.
Berthier, Louis Alexandre, Prince of Neuchâtel (1753–1815). French marshal. A soldier’s son, he enlisted in 1770, fought against the British in the war of American Independence and rose to be Chief of Staff of the French army in Italy (1795). He was a friend of *Napoléon Bonaparte, both before and after he became Emperor, and acted as his chief of staff throughout his wars, as well as being Minister for War 1800–06. In 1814 he submitted to Louis XVIII, showed irresolution when he heard of Napoléon’s return from Elba, and, as the Russian armies entered France after Waterloo, committed suicide.
Berthollet, Claude Louis, Comte (1748–1822). French chemist. He studied medicine at the University of Turin, graduating in 1768, then took up chemistry in Paris. During the Revolutionary period in particular he was deeply involved in practical chemistry, seeking improvements in soap, explosives and metals. His theoretical researches into chlorine led to his pioneering its use for bleaching purposes. Berthollet was one of the earliest supporters of *Lavoisier’s anti-phlogiston chemistry. His understanding of oxygen helped in his analysis of ammonia, and in other researches in the chemistry of gases. In later life he became more involved in theoretical issues. In his Essai de Statique Chimique he claimed that the forces of chemical affinity were proportional to the masses of the reacting substances, a view seemingly undermined by *Dalton’s law of definite proportions. Berthollet was a public figure in Revolutionary France. He taught at the École Polytechnique, was a friend of *Napoléon, and became a senator in 1804. At Napoléon’s request he travelled to Egypt in 1796 to collect art treasures and help found the Institute of Egypt.
Bertillon, Alphonse (1853–1914). French criminologist. Son of an anthropologist, he introduced a system of identifying criminals by a series of body measurements (anthropometry). In 1892 nearly 700 French criminals were identified by this method, later replaced by fingerprinting.
Bertolucci, Bernardo (1940–2018). Italian film director, born in Parma. He gained international recognition with his films The Spider’s Strategy (1970), The Conformist (1970), Last Tango in Paris (1972), 1900 (1975), La Luna (1979) and The Last Emperor (1986), which combined powerful, violent or sensual subjects with rich lyricism and elegant imagery.
Bertrand, Henri Gratien, Comte (1773–1844). French general. He entered the army as an engineer and in that capacity fortified Alexandria in the Egyptian campaign. He was prominent at Austerlitz and his bridge-building skill helped to save the army at Aspern. He then became *Napoléon’s adjutant, sharing his exile in Elba (1814–15) and St Helena (1815–21), and writing valuable diaries. After Napoléon’s death, he returned to France, a death sentence imposed in 1817 having been annulled by *Louis XVIII. Elected Deputy in 1831, in 1840 he accompanied the expedition which brought back Napoléon’s remains to France.
Berwald, Franz Adolf (1792–1868). Swedish composer, born in Stockholm. The son of a violinist, he played in orchestras until 1828, then travelled, devoting himself to composition, later managing a glassworks and sawmill. His music was virtually ignored for a century, but his four symphonies (1842–45), strongly influenced by *Beethoven, are now frequently played.
Berwick, James Fitz-James, 1st Duke of (1670–1734). English soldier in France. Illegitimate son of *James II and Arabella Churchill, the sister of the Duke of *Marlborough, he received his title in 1687 from his father, whom he later accompanied into exile. Joining the French army he served with distinction under Marshal *Luxembourg. In 1706 he was created a marshal and by his victory at Almansa established *Louis XIV’s grandson *Philip V on the throne of Spain. During the War of the Polish Succession he was killed at the siege of Philippsburg.
Berzelius, Jöns Jakob, Baron (1779–1848). Swedish chemist, born near Linköping. He studied medicine at Uppsala University, worked in Stockholm from 1802 and was professor of chemistry at the Carolinska Medical Surgical Institute 1815–32. He discovered selenium, thorium and cerium, and first isolated silicon, titanium and zirconium. By consolidating and extending John *Dalton’s work on the atom and compiling the first accurate table of atomic weights he did much to make the advances of modern chemistry possible. He first suggested the modern system of chemical symbols (e.g. H²0 for water, indicating that there are two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen in a molecule of water).
Besant, Annie (née Wood) (1847–1933). British theosophist. After separating from her husband, a clergyman, she became an active free-thinker closely associated with Charles *Bradlaugh, with whom she was tried for immorality after reprinting a pamphlet on birth control, and then an ardent propagandist for socialism. G. B. *Shaw considered her the finest orator he had heard. In 1889 she met Madame *Blavatsky and turned to theosophy. She lived in India from 1895, interested herself in the education of women and, having taken up nationalism, became president of the Indian National Congress in 1917. In later life, she identified a young Indian, Jiddu *Krishnamurti, as a new messiah.
Bessel, Friedrich Wilhelm (1784–1846). German astronomer and mathematician. By studying astronomy in his spare time as a merchant’s clerk and at sea he eventually became director of Königsberg Observatory 1810–46. In 1804 he had recalculated the orbit of *Halley’s Comet from observations that had been made in 1607, and in 1838 he made the first accurate measurement of the distance of a star (61 Cygni). His theory that irregularities in the motion of Sirius and Procyon were due to gravitational pull was confirmed when, as he predicted, ‘dark’ companion stars were subsequently discovered. At the time of his death Bessel was investigating the irregularities in the motion of Uranus that later enabled *Adams and *Leverrier to discover the existence of Neptune. His chief mathematical work was on the functions now known as Bessel functions.
Bessemer, Sir Henry (1813–1898). English metallurgist. In 1856 he invented the ‘Bessemer Converter’, in which some types of pig iron can be directly and economically converted into high grade steel by oxidising the impurities. This was originally achieved by passing air into the converter, but oxygen alone is now used. Bessemer also adapted the first composing machine invented by the Belgian printers Young and Delcambre in Lille. One of the founders of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1869, knighted in 1879, Bessemer wrote an autobiography.
Bessette, St André see André, Frère
Best, Charles Herbert (1899–1978). Canadian physiologist. With F. G. *Banting, he first succeeded in preparing insulin for the treatment of diabetes, and Banting shared his Nobel Prize money when Best was unfairly excluded from the award. He was professor of physiology at Toronto University 1929–67 and received many distinctions, including the US Legion of Merit (1947) the CC (1967) and a CH (1971).
Betancourt, Romulo (1908–1981). Venezuelan politician. He was driven into exile under the dictatorship of Juan Vicente *Gômez, and again in 1939 for his underground activities. On his return he organised the Accion Democratica and was largely responsible for the revolution of 1945 which resulted in his becoming provisional president. In 1948 a military coup d’etat once more forced him into exile, and this time he had to wait 10 years for the tide of fortune to turn and enable him to return in 1958. He was President 1959–64 and proceeded with his program of social and economic reform.
Bethe, Hans Albrecht (1906–2005). German-American physicist, born in Strasbourg. He left Germany in 1933, worked in the US on quantum and solid state theory and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1967.
Bethmann-Hollweg, Theobald von (1856–1921). German politician. Prussian Minister of the Interior 1905–07 and Secretary of State 1907–09, he became a reluctant Imperial Chancellor 1909–17. He was alleged to be shocked and dismayed that Britain should enter the war just for a ‘scrap of paper’ (the treaty with Belgium), but he was considered too moderate by the militarists and dismissed in 1917.
Betjeman, Sir John (1906–1984). English poet and journalist. Educated at Marlborough and Oxford, he wrote several architectural guidebooks, championed Victorian and Edwardian taste, and gained wide recognition for his light verse, mild satire and nostalgic descriptive pieces. His blank verse autobiography, Summoned by Bells (1960), was a popular success. His Collected Poems appeared in 1958. He was Poet Laureate 1972–84.
Bettelheim, Bruno (1903–1990). Austrian-American psychologist, born in Vienna. He worked in the US from 1939 and wrote extensively on child rearing, education and the problems of autism in children. His books include The Uses of Enchantment (1976). He committed suicide.
Betterton, Thomas (c.1635–1710). English actor. Despite disadvantages of face, voice and figure, he was esteemed by *Pepys to be the best actor in the world. All, including *Addison and *Dryden, speak well of him as an actor and man and, when speculation proved his undoing, a public benefit was arranged on his behalf. In 1705 he moved his company from his theatre in Lincoln’s Inn Fields to the new Haymarket Theatre, designed for him by *Vanbrugh.
Gildon, C., Life of Mister Thomas Betterton, The Late Eminent Tragedian. 1970.
Betti, Ugo (1892–1953). Italian poet and playwright. A lawyer, he became a judge 1930–43 but had no involvement with Fascism. He wrote 25 plays on the theme of justice, notably Corruption in the Palace of Justice (1949), The Queen and the Rebels (1951) and The Fugitive (1953). They were translated and widely performed in the last years of his life.
Rizzo, G., Ugo Betti: Three Plays. 1966.
Beuys, Joseph (1921–1986). German sculptor, graphic and performance artist. A Luftwaffe pilot in World War II, he created his own personal mythology and was a pioneer of ‘performance art’, in which the artist him/herself creates an interaction with static art works. He taught at Dusseldorf, was involved in ‘green’ politics and became a major cult figure.
Bevan, Aneurin (‘Nye’) (1897–1960). British Labour politician, born in Tredegar, Monmouthshire (now Gwent). One of the great orators of the House of Commons, he was the son of a miner and worked in a mine as a boy. He had early experience of trade union organisation in the South Wales Miners Federation and gained a knowledge of politics and economics at the Central Labour College. He was elected MP for Ebbw Vale in 1929 and held the seat for the rest of his life. In World War II he often carried on a one-man opposition to the Winston *Churchill coalition government and afterwards in *Attlee’s postwar Labour governments he was the life and soul of the left wing. As Minister of Health 1945–51 he gave the final shape to the National Health Service and secured the passing of the Act. His resignation in 1951 over what he regarded as excessive re-armament was soon followed by the Conservative return to office. In opposition his hostile attitude to the nuclear deterrent was almost as much an embarrassment to his own party leaders as to his opponents. However, as time went on, Bevan’s views and those of his leader, *Gaitskell, tended to converge and Bevan became Deputy Leader of the Party 1959–60. In 1934 he married Jennie Lee (1904–1988). She was Minister for the Arts 1967–70 and became Baroness Lee. Tribune, a publication founded by Bevan, survived his death.
Foot, M., Aneurin Bevan. 2 vols, 1962, 1973.
Beveridge, William Henry Beveridge, 1st Baron (1879–1963). English economist, born in Bengal. Educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, he became a civil servant and Secretary of the Ministry of Food 1919. He directed the London School of Economics 1919–37 and was master of University College, Oxford 1937–44. Social Insurance and Allied Services (1942, usually called ‘the Beveridge Report’) recommended an extension of the ‘welfare state’. His famous Full Employment in a Free Society (1944) was soon adopted as government policy in Britain, Australia and New Zealand and influenced *Truman’s ‘Fair Deal’ in the US. He became a Liberal MP 1944–45 and received a peerage in 1946.
Beveridge, W. H., Power and Influence. 1953.
Bevin, Ernest (1881–1951). British trade union leader and Labour politician, born in Somerset. Son of an agricultural labourer, he left school at 11, working as a van boy and driver. He soon entered and made progress in the trade union movement. At the age of 30 he was an official of the dockers’ union, and the skill with which he put their case earned him the nickname of ‘the dockers’ KC’. But his greatest achievement and monument was the uniting (1922) of 32separate unions into the huge Transport and General Workers Union. In 1940 he entered Winston *Churchill’s wartime coalition as Minister of Labour and proved an outstanding success in keeping industry going and meeting the demands of the services. When *Attlee formed his postwar Labour Government, Bevin’s appointment as Foreign Secretary 1945–5l seemed strange, but his vigorous common sense soon won the respect of those brought up in a more cultured tradition. Among the foremost architects of the Brussels treaty of 1948 (Western European Union) and NATO (1949), he was criticised for his pro-Arab outlook and lack of sympathy towards Israel.
Bullock, A., The Life and Times of Ernest Bevin. 3 vols, 1960, 1967, 1983.
Bewick, Thomas (1753–1828). British wood engraver, born in Northumberland. He was apprenticed to a Newcastle engraver, Ralph Beilby, with whom he afterwards entered into partnership. His best work was in his History of Quadrupeds (1790) and History of British Birds (2 volumes, 1797 and 1804).
Bain, I., Thomas Bewick. 1975.
Beza (or de Béze), Theodore (1519–1605). French theologian, born in Vézelay. As a young man he led a dissipated life in Paris, but after a serious illness he changed his ways, and joined *Calvin at Geneva. He was professor of Greek at Lausanne (1549–54) and, returning to Geneva (1559) to take up a theological professorship, he worked closely with *Calvin, proving his skill as a diplomat by obtaining *Henry of Navarre’s help for the Huguenots. On Calvin’s death (1564) much of the burden of leadership fell upon Beza and he presided at the Huguenot Synods at La Rochelle (1571) and at Nîmes (1572). He was also an important biblical scholar.
Bezos, Jeff (originally Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen) (1964– ). American entrepreneur, born in New Mexico. Educated at Princeton, he became a computer scientist. He founded Amazon.com in 1994 and by 2017 had a net worth of $US100 billion, greater than Bill *Gates. He also invested in newspapers and aerospace and was a major philanthropist.
Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) (1927–2016). King of Thailand 1946–2016. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (where his father studied medicine), he was partly educated in Switzerland and succeeded on the assassination of his brother Ananda Mahidol. He generally remained aloof from Thai politics but intervened twice (1973 and 1992) against military rule. He took an active interest in global environmental problems.
Bhutto, Zulfiqar Ali (1928–1979). Pakistani politician, born in Larkana, Sindh. From a wealthy family of Hindu origin, he studied at the University of California (Berkeley) and Oxford and became a barrister (1953). Minister of Commerce 1958–60 and Foreign Minister 1963–66, he founded the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) in 1967 and described himself as a democratic socialist. Imprisoned 1968–69 by *Ayub Khan’s Government, he won an election victory in West Pakistan in December 1970. Following the war of December 1971 which resulted in the secession of East Pakistan (Bengal) and the creation of Bangladesh, Bhutto became president of Pakistan 1971–73. After the adoption of a parliamentary constitution, Bhutto stepped down to become Prime Minister 1973–77 until his overthrow by a military coup led by General *Zia ul-Haq. Accused and convicted of a political murder, he refused to ask for clemency and was hanged. His daughter Benazir Bhutto (1953–2007), educated at Harvard and Oxford, became leader-in-exile (with her mother) of the PPP. She returned to Pakistan in 1986, was swept into office as Prime Minister 1988, but confronted the opposing forces until her dismissal in 1990 by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan who accused her of nepotism and corruption. Beaten decisively in the 1990 elections, she was re-elected Prime Minister in 1993. Following repeated accusations of corruption she was dismissed again by the president in November 1996. In 1998 she went into self-imposed exile in Dubai, returned in October 2007 to lead her party in the election and was assassinated (27 December 2007) in Rawalpindi, under mysterious circumstances that have never been explained. The PPP won the ensuing election and her husband Asif Ali Zardari (1955– ) became President of Pakistan 2008–13.
Taseer, S., Bhutto A Political Biography. 1979.
Biber, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von (1644–1704). Czech/Bohemian composer. A brilliant violinist, from 1670 he was Kapellmeister for the Archbishop of Salzburg. His Mystery Sonatas (1674), also known as the Rosary Sonatas, 15 works for violin and continuo, are virtuosic, experimental and profound. He was also a prolific composer of choral music, e.g. Plaudite tympana (1682), in 53 parts.
Bichat, Marie François Xavier (1771–1802). French physician, born in the Jura. He studied at Lyon and Paris and in 1797 began giving courses of instruction in anatomy and physiology. He gained his practical experience in some 600 postmortems. His work on body tissues (called by him ‘membranes’) earned him the distinction of being virtually the founder of morbid histology.
Bickerstaffe, Isaac (c.1735–1812). Irish playwright. He became an officer of marines but had to flee abroad in 1772 on a capital charge. The best known of his plays include Love in a Village (1762), The Maid of the Mill (1765) and Lionel and Clarissa (1768). The name ‘Isaac Bickerstaff’ was used as a pen name by both *Swift and *Steele.
Bidault, Georges (1899–1983). French politician and journalist. A leader of the resistance movement during World War II, after the liberation he was appointed Foreign Minister by *de Gaulle 1944–46 and, as founder and leader of the Mouvement Republicain Populaire (Catholic Socialist party), he was Premier 1946, 1949, 1958 and Foreign Minister 1947–48, 1954. In 1962 he became head of the National Resistance Council, violently opposed to de Gaulle’s granting of independence to Algeria. Deprived of parliamentary immunity, Bidault had to operate from abroad, in association with the Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS.) He returned to France in 1968.
Bidault, G., Resistance.1967.
Biden, Joe (Joseph Robinette) (1942– ). American Democratic politician, born in Pennsylvania. An attorney, he served as US Senator from Delaware 1973–2009. Vice President of the United States 2009–17, he was the first Catholic to serve in that office. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2017. He declared his candidature for the Democratic Presidential nomination for 2020. His son Hunter’s business dealings led to Donald *Trump’s application of pressure on Ukraine’s President *Zelensky to obtain damaging material on the Bidens, and were central to the impeachment proceedings against Trump. After a shaky start, he polled well in the ‘Super Tuesday’ primaries, and the other candidates withdrew in his favour. However, the coronavirus pandemic rendered him invisible.
Bierce, Ambrose Gwinnett (1842–1914?). American writer, born in Ohio. He served in the Union army 1861–64, was wounded and promoted major. Apart from journalism, he was the author of cynical, sardonic, often macabre short stories, published in collections such as Can Such Things Be? (1893), and In the Midst of Life (1898), a re-issue of Tales of Soldiers and Civilians (1891). He compiled The Cynic’s Word Book (1906), later republished under the title of The Devil’s Dictionary. He disappeared while on a journalistic assignment in Mexico to join the rebel leader *Villa.
O’Connor, R., Ambrose Bierce: A Biography. 1968.
Bildt, (Nils Daniel) Carl (1949– ). Swedish conservative politician. Member of the Riksdag 1979–2000, he was leader of the Moderate Party 1986–99 and Prime Minister of Sweden 1991–94, in the first centre-right government since 1930. He negotiated Sweden’s entry into the EU (1994) and became Foreign Minister 2006–14. He was UN Special Envoy in the Balkans 1999–2001.
Billroth, (Christian Albert) Theodor (1829–1894). German surgeon, born in Prussia. From a well-connected clerical family, he pursued extensive medical studies at Göttingen and Berlin, receiving his MD in 1852. Director of the Zürich surgical hospital 1860–67, he moved to Vienna in 1867 and there combined a career in pathological anatomy with brilliant innovations in practical surgery. He made extensive studies of wound fever (especially the chemical poisons that produced it). He pioneered the use of antisepsis in Europe, and developed important surgical techniques. He was the first to operate on the oesophagus (1872), the larynx (1872) and to perform stomach re-sections (1881). He was especially skilled in plastic surgery. An expert violin and viola player, he was a friend of *Brahms, who dedicated two string quartets to him, but deeply hostile to *Wagner. He developed ideas on the physiological basis of musical talent, which he wrote up in Wer ist Musikalisch?, published after his death by the music critic, Edouard Hanslick.
bin Laden, Osama see Laden, Osama bin
Bingham, Hiram (1875–1956). American explorer, historian and politician, born in Honolulu. Son and grandson of missionaries, he taught history at Yale 1909–24 and in July 1911 discovered a great Inca religious centre in the Peruvian Andes, abandoned for nearly 400 years, which he named Machu Picchu (‘old peak’). A Republican, he became Governor of Connecticut 1924 and a US senator 1924–33.
Binyon, Laurence (1869–1943). English poet, dramatist and art critic. During World War I he wrote the elegiac poem ‘For the Fallen’, which became enormously popular, especially for war memorials. His Collected Poems was published in 193l. His plays include Arthur (1923) and The Young King (1935). He joined the British Museum staff in 1893 and became keeper of prints and drawings with a special interest in Chinese and Japanese art. He received the CH in 1932 and was professor of poetry at Harvard 1933–34.
Birdseye, Clarence (1886–1956). American businessman and inventor, born in New York. His first employment was as a fur trader in Labrador, where he observed the method used of freezing food in winter when fresh supplies were unobtainable. Returning to the US, he began experiments. In 1924 he was co-founder of the General Seafoods Co. and developed a highly profitable and efficient method of freezing which aimed at preserving original taste.
Birdwood, William Riddell Birdwood, 1st Baron (1865–1951). English field marshal, born in India. Except during the South African War, when he was on *Kitchener’s staff, most of his service had been in India. He commanded the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) in World War I, leading them at the Gallipoli landing and after the evacuation (when he was in command of all troops) in France. He was promoted to command the 5th Army in 1918 in time to lead it to the final victory. In 1925 he was promoted to Field Marshal both in the British and the Australian armies (when John *Monash was only a retired Lieutenant General) and became Commander-in-Chief in India 1925–30. In 1930 he was *George V’s choice as Governor-General of Australia, but *Scullin insisted on *Isaacs. He was Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1930–38 and wrote his memoirs, Khaki and Gown (1941).
Birkbeck, George (1776–1841). English educationist, born in Settle, Yorkshire. He studied medicine at Leeds and Edinburgh. Birkbeck College, London University, founded in 1824, was originally one of the Mechanics Institutes for the education of the working classes, in the establishment of which he played a leading part.
Kelly, T., George Birkbeck, Pioneer of Adult Education. 1957.
Birkenhead, Frederick Edwin Smith, 1st Earl of (1872–1930). English lawyer and Conservative politician, born in Birkenhead. Educated at Oxford, he became a barrister in 1899 and soon acquired an enormous practice. As MP 1906–19 his wit and audacity soon marked him out, but as *Carson’s chief lieutenant (‘Galloper Smith’ was his derisive nickname) he also won a reputation for reckless partisanship in support of the Ulster cause. In World War I coalitions he served as Solicitor-General 1915 and Attorney-General 1915–19; in the latter office he conducted the prosecution in the trial of Sir Roger *Casement. He showed more generosity as an architect of the Irish settlement of 1921. As Lord Chancellor 1919–22 he was responsible for revising the Law of Property Act (1922) Created Earl in 1922, on the breakup of the coalition Birkenhead left office with *Lloyd George. He joined the second *Baldwin Government as Secretary of State for India 1924–28, but his performance was impaired by heavy drinking. His books include International Law (4th ed., 1911) Famous Trials of History (1927) and Law, Life and Letters (1927).
Campbell, J., F. E. Smith. 1983.
Biro, László Jozsef (1899–1985). Hungarian inventor. He patented a ballpoint pen in 1938, escaped to Argentina in 1943 and began manufacturing pens there.
Biron (Bühren), Ernst Johann von (1690–1772). German courtier. Son of a groom, he became Duke of Courland. As the lover of *Anna Ivanovna, Empress of Russia, he was hated for his insolence and greed, and Anna’s death (1740) brought exile in Siberia and temporary eclipse. He was recalled by *Peter III in 1762 and restored to his dukedom by *Catherine the Great.
Birtwistle, Sir Harrison Paul (1934– ). British composer, born in Lancashire. Educated in Manchester and London, he taught in the US and in 1967 formed the Pierrot Players with (Sir) Peter Maxwell *Davies. His works include Silbury Air (1977), Secret Theatre (1984), Earth Dances (1985) and the operas The Mask of Orpheus (1981) and Gawain (1990). He was awarded a CH in 2001.
Bīrūnī, Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al- (973–c.1050). Persian mathematician, astronomer, geographer and polymath. In the ‘Golden Age of Islam’, he had an extraordinary range of interests, made a reasonably accurate estimate of the Earth’s circumference, mastered several languages, including Hebrew and Greek, challenged *Aristotle and *Ptolemy on elliptical orbits, compiled a pharmacopoeia, studied comparative religion and wrote an encyclopedia of India.
Bishop, Julie Isabel (1956– ). Australian lawyer and Liberal politician. Member of the House of Representatives 1998–2019, she was Minister for Education, Science and Training 2006–07, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party 2007–18 and Minister for Foreign Affairs 2013–18. She became Chancellor of The Australian National University 2020– .
Bismarck(-Schönhausen), Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince von, Duke of Lauenburg (1815–1898). German statesman, born in Schönhausen, Brandenburg. From a Junker family, he was deeply influenced by his mother who encouraged him to study law at Göttingen and Berlin with a view to public service. At the university he was bored by the law but developed life-long interests in history and literature. He entered the Prussian civil service in 1835, disliked his duties and was disapproved of for unpunctuality and the excessive demands of his social life. Resignation (1839) and a post as an estate manager in Pomerania followed. He engaged in country pursuits, read and corresponded much and entered into a happy marriage (1847) with Johanna von Puttkamer. He lost all religious belief but supported the Lutheran Church as a force for social stability, together with the monarchy and the army. As a member of the Prussian Landtag (Lower House) 1847–58, he was a crude advocate of royal absolutism, objecting to the lack of authoritative measures for dealing with the liberal risings of 1848–49. As Prussian Ambassador to the German Diet at Frankfurt 1851–59 he quickly acquired the arts of a diplomat and saw how assemblies of this kind could be used for his own ends, which more and more became clarified as the unity of Germany under Prussian leadership with the exclusion of Austria. After serving as Ambassador to Russia 1859–62, and to France 1862, appointments that enabled him to gain the confidence of one emperor (*Aleksandr II) and to study the weaknesses of another (*Napoléon III), Bismarck was called to head the Prussian Government in order to overcome parliamentary opposition to King *Wilhelm I’s army plans. He achieved this by the dissolution of parliament over a legal quibble and at once proceeded with his plans to unify Germany. He was Minister-President (i.e. Premier) and Foreign Minister of Prussia 1862–71 and Chancellor of the North German Confederation 1867–71. A war with Denmark, over ownership of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, was provoked in 1864 and Prussia soon displaced Austria as Germany’s natural leader. Next, Bismarck provoked war with Austria (1866) by claiming control of both Schleswig and Holstein. After seven weeks of savage fighting, in which Bismarck adopted techniques used in the US Civil War, Austria surrendered, but a generous settlement avoided the dangers of extreme bitterness and antagonising Germany’s southern states. The North German Confederation was then set up and Bismarck became Chancellor 1867–71. His next step was to anticipate any possible resistance to his plans by France. By a series of adroit manoeuvres, such as support for the candidature of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern for the vacant Spanish throne and ‘editing’ a telegram from Napoléon III to King Wilhelm, he created a situation which practically forced Napoléon to declare war in July 1870. Once more Bismarck had judged the military situation correctly: by August Napoléon’s armies had been smashed at Sedan and he had been taken prisoner. In January 1871 in Versailles, Wilhelm I was proclaimed sovereign of the new German empire, and Bismarck became first Chancellor 1871–90. For the next 20 years the history of Bismarck was the history of Germany. In 1873, he initiated a campaign (Kulturkampf) to provide for secular education and limit the power of the Roman Catholic Church, provide for secular marriage and expel the Jesuits. In 1878 the new pope, *Leo XIII, was able to negotiate an end to hostilities. His foreign policy was based on a friendly alliance between the three emperors of Germany, Austria, and Russia, and he was able to assert Germany’s leadership in 1878 by getting Berlin chosen as the venue of a conference that successfully settled the Balkan problems created by the Russo-Turkish war. At home he tempered his conservatism with an opportunism which often shocked his friends as it disarmed his opponents. He accepted manhood suffrage and initiated such reforms as the Sickness Insurance Law, the Accident Insurance Law (both subsidised by the employers) and the Old Age and Invalidity Insurance Law (subsidised by the state). But his dictatorial methods were offensive to *Friedrich III who soon died (1888) and to his successor *Wilhelm II who wanted to assert royal authority. In 1890 Bismarck was dismissed. In retirement he was a constant and bitter critic of the emperor’s policies, especially in his memoir Reflections and Reminiscences (1898).
An hysteric, he alternated between outbursts of rage and floods of tears. His personal charm disarmed opponents (e.g. Ferdinand *Lassalle) and he defined genius as ‘knowing where to stop’.
Taylor, A. J. P., Bismarck: the Man and the Statesman. 1955; Steinberg, J., Bismarck. A Life 2011.
Bizet, Georges (Alexandre César Léopold) (1838–1875). French composer, born in Paris. A pupil of *Gounod, he showed early brilliance but received late recognition. His lively Symphony in C major (1855) was unperformed until 1935. He won the Prix de Rome in 1857 and spent three years studying in Italy. His operas include the Pearl Fishers (1863), The Fair Maid of Perth (1867) and Carmen (1875), his last and greatest work, based on a story by Prosper *Mérimée. This was Bizet’s first real success but he died a few months after its first performance. The incidental music to L’Arlesienne (1872) was written for a play by *Daudet.
Dean, W., Bizet. 1965.
Bjelke-Petersen, Sir Joh(annes) (1911–2005). Australian politician, born in New Zealand of Danish descent. A peanut farmer, he was a Queensland MP 1950–87, a Minister from 1963 and Premier 1968–87, a record term, leading the National (formerly Country) Party. He appealed to the traditional values of rural Australia, securing strong support from people who felt alienated from the complexities of modern urban society. In 1987 the abortive ‘Joh for Canberra’ campaign made him a national figure and split Coalition forces.
Bjorling, Jussi (1911–1960). Swedish tenor. He sang with great success in London and New York, with sensitive phrasing, clear diction and a ringing tone, and made many recordings. His father, brothers and son were all accomplished singers.
Björnson, Björnstjerne (1832–1910). Norwegian poet, novelist and dramatist. Son of a Lutheran pastor, he was educated at Molde, Christiania and Copenhagen. He managed theatres in Bergen 1857–59, Christiania 1865–67, lived in Italy 1860–62 and travelled widely throughout Europe, while working as a newspaper editor and taking an active part in politics as an advocate of Norwegian nationalism and republicanism. His marriage to Karoline Reimers in 1858 was followed by one of his most creative periods to which belong the historical dramas King Sverre (1861) and the trilogy Sigurd the Bastard (1862) as well as the peasant novels Arne (1859) and A Happy Boy (1862). In 1874, influenced by his friend *Ibsen, he wrote the first of his modern plays, The Editor, followed by the successful A Bankruptcy (1875) and a political play called The King (1877) which caused considerable offence. The New System (1879) contrasted the honest quest for truth by the younger generation with the hypocrisy of the old. As the years went by Björnson continued to combine political agitation (the liberal victory of 1882 owed much to him) with writing, A Gauntlet (1883) advocated sex equality and two plays under the title Beyond Our Power (1889) also dealt with such controversial topics as miracles and a strike. Also noted as a lyric poet, Björnson wrote ‘Yes, we love this land’ adopted as the Norwegian national anthem. With Ibsen he was one of the great figures of the Scandinavian literary renaissance. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1903.
Black, Conrad Moffat, Baron Black of Crossharbour (1944– ). Canadian investor and publisher, born in Montréal. Educated at Carleton, Laval and McGill universities, he had investments in newspapers, banks, railways, insurance, electronics and retailing. He controlled more than 260 newspapers, large and small, including the Daily Telegraph (London), the Jerusalem Post, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Melbourne Age. He wrote biographies of the former Québec Premier Maurice Duplessis, Franklin D. *Roosevelt and Richard *Nixon. In December 2007, he was sentenced to 78 months’ imprisonment for multiple counts of fraud.
Black, Sir James Whyte (1924–2010). Scottish pharmacologist. A major pioneer in analytical pharmacology, he developed beta-blockers, to inhibit the effects of adrenalin on the heart, and propranolol was used to treat heart attack, angina, high blood pressure and migraine. He also developed the anti-ulcer drug cimetidine (Tagamet), shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988 and received the OM in 2000.
Black, Joseph (1728–1799). Scottish physician and chemist, born in Bordeaux. Educated in Be1fast and at Glasgow University, he took a medical degree at Edinburgh in 1754. He realised that carbon dioxide is chemically distinct from air, and was the first to show the difference between mild and caustic alkalis. Black also propounded the theories of specific and latent heat (the latter was applied by James *Watt to the steam engine with historic consequences) and laid the foundations of calorimetry. He became professor of medicine at Glasgow 1756–66 and of medicine and chemistry at Edinburgh 1766–97.
Black Prince see Edward, the Black Prince
Blackburn, Elizabeth Helen (1948– ). Australian molecular biologist, born in Hobart. Educated at the universities of Melbourne, Cambridge and Yale. Blackburn co-discovered telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes the telomere. For this work on the nucleotide sequence which protects the ends of chromosomes from deteriorating, she shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak. She also worked in medical ethics, and was controversially dismissed from the President's Council on Bioethics in 2004 because of her support for stem cell research.
Blackett, Patrick Maynard Stewart, Baron Blackett (1897–1974). English physicist. He studied under *Rutherford at Cambridge and developed the use of C.T.R. *Wilson’s cloud chamber in the study of atomic structure and cosmic rays. In his cosmic ray studies in 1933 he confirmed the existence of the positron previously discovered by C. D. *Anderson. He also confirmed (1935) the accuracy of *Einstein’s E=mc² equation and worked on the atomic bomb project during World War II. He was professor of physics at Birkbeck College, University of London 1933–37, Manchester University 1937–53 and Imperial College, London 1953–74. In 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, was President of the Royal Society 1965–70 and received a CH, an OM and a peerage.
Blackmore, Richard Doddridge (1825–1900). English novelist. Educated at Blundell’s School, Tiverton, and at Exeter College, Oxford, he gave up the law because of epilepsy and took up writing and gardening. Of his 15 novels, Lorna Doone (1869) is best known. The story is set in Exmoor, with *Monmouth’s rebellion against *James II as one of its episodes. The heroine herself and John Ridd, who rescues her from the Doone clan of robbers and murderers, are among the most romantic characters of fiction.
Blackstone, Sir William (1723–1780). English jurist. Son of a silk mercer and educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, he practised at the bar until 1758, when he became the first Vinerian professor of law at Oxford. In this post he inaugurated courses in English law (only Roman law having been studied there until then). Blackstone was a Tory MP 1761–68, and a Justice of the Common Pleas 1770–80. His Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765–69), a lucid exposition of the whole of English law, exercised an immense influence upon succeeding generations of lawyers, and remains a standard work of reference.
Blackwell, Elizabeth (1821–1910). British woman doctor, born in Bristol. She was taken to America as a child, studied in New York and in 1849 became the first woman medical graduate. Having then come to London to study at St Bartholomew’s Hospital she later (1859) became the first woman on the British medical register. Back in America she organised nursing services during the Civil War. In 1869 she settled in England, and in 1875 she became a professor at the London School of Medicine for Women, which she had helped to establish.
Fancourt, M. St J., They Dared to be Doctors: Elizabeth Blackwell and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. 1966.
Blackwood, William (1776–1834). Scottish publisher. He became prominent by publishing the first series of Sir Walter *Scott’s Tales of My Landlord. Later writers whose books bore the Blackwood imprint included George *Eliot, *Trollope and Charles *Reade. In 1817 Blackwood founded Blackwood’s Magazine as a Tory rival to the Edinburgh Review. Under his descendants it grew to be a national institution.
Blaine, James Gillespie (1830–1893). American Republican politician, born in Pennsylvania. After working as a school teacher, lawyer and journalist he entered the Maine legislature and the US House of Representatives 1863–76, serving as Speaker 1869–75. Allegations of corruption were responsible for his loss of the presidential nomination in 1876 and 1880, but he was US Senator 1876–81 and served as US Secretary of State under *Garfield 1881 and under Harrison 1889–92. In 1884 he was narrowly beaten for the presidency by Grover *Cleveland.
Blainey, Geoffrey Norman (1930– ). Australian economic historian. Professor of history at Melbourne University 1968–88, he was a prolific author whose works include the influential The Tyranny of Distance (1966), Triumph of the Nomads (1977), A Shorter History of Australia (1994) and A History of the World (2000). An optimistic conservative, critical of ‘the black armband’ view of Australian history, he opposed becoming a Republic and was much admired by John *Howard.
Blair, Tony (Anthony Charles Lynton) (1953– ). British Labour politician, born in Edinburgh, as a child he lived briefly in Adelaide, then attended Chorister School, Durham and Fettes College, Edinburgh, before studying law at Oxford. He became a barrister, MP 1983–2007, and a shadow minister 1984–94. After John *Smith died, he became Leader of the Opposition 1994–97. He continued Neil *Kinnock’s revision of party policy, and, under the name New Labour, accepted many of the Thatcherite economic changes. He won the May 1997 election with 44.5 per cent of the vote and a record Labour majority of 179 seats and became Prime Minister. In June 2001 his government was re-elected with a majority of 166 seats. Britain took a leading role in supporting the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and Blair emerged as *Bush’s principal foreign supporter, a decision, based on faulty intelligence, which compromised his reputation for judgment. Nevertheless, in February 2005 he became the longest serving British Labour Prime Minister, winning a third election in May 2005. He supported strong action to combat global warming, urged debt relief for the Third World, and invested heavily in education and health. He resigned as Prime Minister in June 2007, when Gordon *Brown succeeded, and was appointed as Middle East Envoy for the UN, EU, US and Russia. In 2007, he became a Roman Catholic; oddly, no Catholic had ever been a serving British Prime Minister.
Blair, T., A Journey. 2010; Bower, T., Broken Vows. Tony Blair. The Tragedy of Power. 2016.
Blake, Robert (1599–1657). English admiral, born in Bridgewater, Somerset. Son of a merchant and educated at Oxford, he spent his early years at home occupied by business or country pursuits. Election to parliament in 1640 marked his entry into public life and during the Civil War he served with great distinction in the parliamentary land forces, his defence of Taunton for a year winning him great renown. In 1649 he was appointed to command (with two others) the Commonwealth navy. Although he had little naval training he managed to destroy Prince *Rupert’s fleet (1650) and establish Britain’s naval supremacy in the North Sea and English Channel after a series of encounters with the famous Dutch admirals *Tromp and de *Ruyter. In 1654 he sailed to the Mediterranean and destroyed the power of the Tunisian and Algerian pirates. In 1657, having heard of the arrival of the Spanish West Indian Fleet at Vera Cruz, Tenerife, he immediately set sail and destroyed all 16 ships, but as his ship entered Plymouth harbour on its return Blake died suddenly.
Blake, William (1757–1827). English poet, artist and mystic, born in London. His father, a hosier, was a follower of Emanuel *Swedenborg. From the very first he was a highly imaginative child who claimed to see angelic visions. Apprenticed to an engraver (1771–78), he studied briefly with the Royal Academy School and then set up shop in 1784 as a printseller and engraver. His first book of poems, Poetical Sketches (1783), was followed by Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience which includes The Tyger (1794), illustrated like all his later books with his own hand-painted engravings. Poems such as The French Revolution (1791) and America (1793) express a temporary political fervour which he did not retain as his views became more and more imbued with mysticism. His mystical and prophetic works include the Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1791), The Book of Urizen (1794), The Book of Los (1795) and many others, printed from his own copper plates and illustrated with his visionary designs. Nearly all his works have a highly individual symbolism, but while his early poems are notable for their simple language and serene brightness, his later works, with their symbolic characters—Urizen, the author of restrictive moral law, Orc in rebellion against him and Los, the captive champion of light—create an atmosphere of gloom and mystery. However, despair is set aside and mutual love and forgiveness of sin offer revived hope of salvation in the epics the Four Zoas (1796–1804), Milton (1804–08) and Jerusalem (1804–20). Some of *Blake’s finest artistic work went into the illustrations for the Book of Job (1820–26) and for *Dante’s Divine Comedy (left unfinished at his death). His paintings were ignored by the public but he enjoyed the unfailing support and belief of his wife, the friendship and sometimes the financial help of other artists such as *Flaxman and Samuel *Palmer and he remained serenely happy until his death. Most modern critics have acknowledged him as a lyrical poet and visionary artist of supreme power.
Ackroyd, P., Blake. 1995.
Blamey, Sir Thomas Albert (1884–1951). Australian soldier, born in Wagga Wagga. He served as Chief of Staff to *Monash in World War I, was a controversial chief commissioner of police in Victoria 1925–36, commanded Australian troops in the Middle East and Greece 1940–41, and was Commander-in-Chief of Allied land forces in the southwest Pacific area 1942–45 under General Douglas *MacArthur. In 1950 he became the first Australian-born Field Marshal.
Hetherington, J., Blamey: Controversial Soldier. 1974; Horner, D., Blamey. The Commander-in-Chief. 1998.
Blanc, (Jean Joseph Charles) Louis (1811–1882). French socialist politician and author, born in Madrid. He was a dwarf and a twin. After studying law he became a journalist and was attracted to socialism by the utopian schemes of *Saint-Simon and *Fourier. In his Organisation du Travail (1840) he advocated the nationalisation of property and the institution of co-operative workshops to be run by the workers themselves. He became a member of the revolutionary government formed in 1848 and when this collapsed took refuge first in Belgium and then in England. On returning to France after the fall of *Napoléon III (1871), he condemned the Commune, but served for the rest of his life as a leading deputy of the extreme left. He wrote a 12–volume Histoire de la Revolution Française while in exile (1847–64).
Vidalenc, J., Louis Blanc, 1811–1882. 1948.
Blanchett, Cate (Catherine Elise) (1969– ). Australian actor and director, born in Melbourne. Educated at Melbourne University, she gained early success both on stage and with films, taking the leading role in Elizabeth (1998), and received many awards, including an Academy Award (2004) for best supporting actress as Katharine *Hepburn in The Aviator. She and her husband, Andrew Upton, were joint directors of the Sydney Theatre Company 2009–13. She won the Academy Award (2013) for best actress for her performance in Woody *Allen’s Blue Jasmine. She received an AC in 2017.
Blanqui, (Louis) Auguste (1805–1881). French revolutionary socialist. He took an active part in the political risings of 1830, 1839 and 1848 and was exiled and imprisoned for sedition for much of his life. Blanqui coined the term ‘industrial revolution’ (1837), which was taken up by *Engels (1844) and later popularised (1882) by Arnold *Toynbee. He favoured dictatorship by a revolutionary leadership but never used the term ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. He organised several secret political societies in an attempt to gain power by force. Elected President (in absentia) of the Paris Commune 1870, he was amnestied from a life sentence imposed after the Commune and elected a deputy for Bordeaux but never took his seat.
Bernstein, S., Auguste Blanqui and the Art of Insurrection. 1971.
Blasco Ibáñez, Vicente (1867–1928). Spanish novelist, born in Valencia. An active republican, he was jailed several times, exiled twice and served in the Cortes 1901–07. His early novels deal realistically with provincial life and social change. Later he achieved world fame with Blood and Sand (1908), about a bullfighter’s life, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1916), a sensational novel of World War I, both successfully filmed.
Cardwell, R.A., Blasco Ibáñez ‘La Barraca’. 1973.
Blatchford, Robert (1851–1943). English journalist. A socialist and agnostic, he became a lively and prolific pamphleteer writing under the pen name ‘Numquam’. His paper, The Clarion, and his books, e.g. Merrie England (1894), had a strong influence on British socialism.
Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna (née Hahn) (1831–1891). Russian American theosophist, born in the Ukraine. Little is known of her early life but she seems to have travelled widely in the East and even to have penetrated Tibet. She became a keen spiritualist and while living in New York (1873–78) founded, in 1875, the Theosophical Society. From New York she moved to India where the tenets of her mystical creed were said to have evolved. Despite the fact that her psychic powers failed to satisfy the Society for Psychical Research she had about 100,000 followers at the time of her death. Isis Unveiled (1877) was the first of several books. She was succeeded by Annie *Besant as leader of the Theosophists.
Symonds, J., Madame Blavatsky. 1959.
Blériot, Louis (1872–1936). French aviator and engineer. He devoted his personal fortune to the construction of monoplanes and in 1909 made the first aeroplane flight across the English Channel (Calais to Dover in 37 minutes), winning a prize of £1,000 offered by Lord *Northcliffe’s Daily Mail.
Blessington, Marguerite Gardiner (née Power), Countess of (1789–1849). Irish writer. After a first marriage at the age of 14, forced upon her by her father, a small Irish landowner, she married in 1818 the 1st Earl of Blessington. Their house in London became a social and literary centre. *Byron was among the guests, and in 1834 she published A Journal of conversations with Lord Byron. Another friend was the notorious Count *d’Orsay, who was her lover for 12 years and with whom she fled to France in 1849 to avoid imprisonment for debt. Her writings included travel books and many forgotten novels.
Bligh, William (1754–1817). English sailor, navigator and administrator, born in Plymouth. Son of a customs officer, he was master of HMS Resolution (1776–80), during *Cook’s third exploration of the Pacific, and brought back news of his death. He commanded HMS Bounty on an expedition to Tahiti to collect breadfruit plants (1789), with the object of introducing them into the West Indies. On the return journey the ship’s crew, led by Fletcher Christian, mutinied and cast Bligh and 18 of his men adrift in an open boat. The act was probably motivated more by the thought of wives left behind in Tahiti than Bligh’s alleged harshness of discipline. Despite his lack of navigational aids, Bligh sailed 6,701 km (3,618 nautical miles) until picked up 47 days later at Timor. Ten mutineers were captured in Tahiti, and court martialled in 1792: four were acquitted, three pardoned and three hanged. (Christian had escaped to Pitcairn Island.) In 1793 he brought back breadfruit from Tahiti and ackee (Blighia sapida) from Jamaica and was elected FRS in 1801. He served under *Nelson with distinction in the French wars. Bligh was Governor of New South Wales 1806–08, appointed, on the recommendation of Joseph *Banks, to succeed Philip Gidley *King. He clashed with the New South Wales Corps, largely over his attempt to control the traffic in rum, and in 1808 was imprisoned by rebels. After a year under house arrest he sailed for Hobart on HMS Porpoise and remained there until 1810. He was promoted to rear admiral in 1811 and vice admiral in 1814.
Hough, R., Captain Bligh and Mr Christian. 1972; Dening, G., Mr Bligh’s Bad Language. 1992; Salmond, A., Bligh. 2011.
Bliss, Sir Arthur Edward Drummond (1891–1975). English composer. Educated at Rugby and Cambridge, he served in the army during World War I and, after teaching in the US, was director of music for the BBC 1942–44. Among his vivid, somewhat astringent, works are A Colour Symphony (1922), Clarinet Quintet (1932), the music for the film of H. G. *Wells Things To Come (1935), Music for Strings (1935), the ballets Checkmate (1937), Miracle in the Gorbals (1944), and Adam Zero (1946), Piano Concerto (1939) and Violin Concerto (1955). Knighted in 1950, he was appointed Master of the Queen’s Musick in 1953 and received a CH in 1971.
Bliss, A., As I Remember. 1970.
Blix, Hans Martin (1928– ). Swedish diplomat, lawyer and politician, born in Uppsala. Educated at Uppsala, Stockholm, Columbia and Cambridge universities, he was active in the Liberal Party, served as Foreign Minister 1978–79, and Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency 1981–97. As Executive Chair of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission for Iraq 2000–03, he pursued the issue of whether *Saddam Hussein had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and an active nuclear program, but his work was truncated when the US made a pre-emptive strike in March 2003. Blix was bitterly attacked by George W. *Bush for his (understandable) failure to find WMDs. He published Disarming Iraq (2004).
Bloch, Ernest (1880–1959). American composer, born of Swiss-Jewish parents in Geneva. Educated in Switzerland and Germany, he studied the violin under Eugène *Ysäye, and became a teacher and conductor in Geneva. His opera Macbeth was produced in Paris in 1910. He lived in the US from 1916, teaching music in Cleveland 1920–25 and San Francisco 1925–30. He returned to Switzerland 1930–38, taught at the University of California 1939–52, but lived in Oregon. His works include the Israel Symphony (1916) and Schelomo (‘Solomon’), a rhapsody for cello and orchestra (1936). He composed religious works and a large quantity of chamber music, reviving the Handelian form of the concerto grosso. Bloch was a thoughtful composer who never aimed at, or achieved, wide popularity. Many of his compositions have a Hebraic quality, while his violin concerto (1938) uses American Indian themes.
Strassburg. R., Ernest Bloch: A Voice in the Wilderness. 1977; Kushner, D. Z., The Ernest Bloch Companion. 2002.
Blok, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (1880–1921). Russian symbolist poet. Mysticism and romanticism distinguish his earlier poems, such as the cycle Verses about the Lady Beautiful (1904). He applauded the revolution of 1917, about which his poem The Twelve (1918) became famous. Later, his hopes of the new regime were disappointed. He died in poverty.
Kisch, C., Alexander Blok: Prophet of Revolution. 1960.
Blondel de Nesle (fl. c.1200). French troubadour. Tradition relates that when, in 1191, *Richard I (‘Coeur de Lion’), returning from the First Crusade, was imprisoned by Leopold of Austria, Blondel discovered his whereabouts and so enabled his release to be secured by hearing the king responding to his song.
Blondin, Charles (né Jean François Gravelet) (1824–1897). French acrobat. In 1859 he crossed Niagara Falls on a tight rope, varying the act by being blindfolded, and pushing a man in a wheelbarrow.
Blood, Thomas (c.1618–1680). Irish adventurer. In 1671, dressed as a clergyman, he disabled the keeper and actually managed to escape with the crown under his arm while an accomplice carried off the orb. They were pursued, caught and imprisoned but later pardoned by *Charles II.
Bloom, Claire (1931– ). English actor, born in London. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London and after working for the BBC, played Ophelia in Hamlet, Blanche in King John and Perdita in A Winter’s Tale at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1948. In 1952 she co-starred with Charles *Chaplin in the film Limelight and was highly praised. She then concentrated on stage and was noted for moving portrayals of Shakespearian heroines. She also acted in many films including Look Back in Anger, Alexander the Great, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, A Severed Head, and in television series, A Legacy and Brideshead Revisited.
Bloomberg, Michael Rubens (1942– ). American businessman, philanthropist and politician, born in Boston. He amassed a fortune of $US49 billion, was an independent and reforming Mayor of New York City 2002–13, was created an Hon. KBE, and contemplated a run for the Presidency in 2016, but withdrew in case his candidature helped to elect *Trump or *Cruz. In 2020 he made a late entry into the Democratic contest.
Bloomer, Amelia (née Jenks) (1818–1894). American feminist, born in Homer, New York. She was remembered for her introduction of the ‘rational’ style of dressing for women originally a loose skirt and loose trousers gathered at the ankles. This costume and its later modifications came to bear her name. She was an ardent campaigner for temperance and female suffrage.
Blow, John (1648–1708). English musician. He composed the masque Venus and Adonis, in which Venus was played by Mary Davies before *Charles II. He also wrote anthems and songs. For a time he was organist at Westminster Abbey. One of his pupils was *Purcell.
Clarke, H. L., John Blow. A Tercentenary Survey. 1949.
Blücher, Gebhard Leberecht von, Prince of Wahlstadt (1742–1819). Prussian general, born at Rostock, Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He joined the Swedish army in the Seven Years’ War (1757), but having been immediately taken prisoner by the Prussians joined the army of his captors. Having resigned in 1772 he rejoined in 1793 to oppose the French revolutionary armies. In the ensuing campaigns he gained renown as a cavalry header. In 1806, by then a lieutenant general, he was captured after the battle of Auerstadt, but was exchanged a fortnight later for the French general Claude Victor-Perrin. When Prussia re-entered the war in 1813 he cleared Silesia and played an important part in *Napoléon’s decisive defeat at Leipzig. Having fought his way through northern France in 1814 he entered Paris on 31 March. When Napoléon escaped from Elba, Blücher again took the field, was defeated at Ligny (16 June 1815), but rallied his troops and arrived at the decisive moment to complete *Wellington’s victory at Waterloo.
Bluetooth, Harald see Harald Bluetooth
Blum, (André) Léon (1872–1950). French lawyer, writer and Socialist politician, born in Paris. From a secular Jewish family, he was shaken by the *Dreyfus affair and inspired by Jean *Jaurès, who became a mentor. He worked in the civil service, edited Le Populaire 1921–42, 1946–50 and wrote a biography of *Stendahl. A deputy 1919–28, 1929–42, 1946–50, he was the main architect of the Popular Front of left-wing parties, including the Communists, between the wars and was Prime Minister for two short periods (1936–37,1938), the first Jew to head a ministry. For most of World War II he was interned in Germany. He was the foundation President of UNESCO 1946 and President of the Provisional Government of France and Minister of Foreign Affairs December 1946 – January 1947, before the inauguration of the Fourth Republic (Vincent *Auriol).
Blumenbach, Johann Friedrich (1752–1840). German physiologist and anthropologist, born in Gotha. He studied first in Jena, then in Göttingen, where he became professor of anatomy 1778–1835. One of the founders of physical anthropology and comparative anatomy, on the basis of measuring cranial angles and capacity, in 1779 he proposed the division of homo sapiens into five races: ‘Caucasian’ (a term he coined for ‘white race’), Mongolian (‘yellow’), Malayan (‘brown’), Ethiopian (‘black’) and American (‘red’). He believed that Adam and Eve had been Caucasian, and that this was the most beautiful race. Although his thesis was used as a scientific justification for racism, Blumenbach was a liberal who argued against slavery and recognised that racial differences were not innate but shaped by environment, diet and other physical factors. He influenced *Humboldt, was elected FRS and given honours in France, Sweden and the US.
Blunden, Edmund Charles (1896–1974). English poet and critic. His novel Undertones of War (1928) was based on his experiences in the Royal Sussex Regiment in World War I. His poetry, at first mainly pastoral, was issued in collected editions in 1930 and 1940. He also wrote a biography of Leigh *Hunt and discovered and published works by John *Clare. Professor of English literature at Tokyo 1924–27 and at Hong Kong 1953–64, he was elected professor of poetry at Oxford in 1966.
Hardie, A. M., Blunden. 1958; Thorpe, M., The Poetry of Blunden. 1971.
Blunt, [Sir] Anthony Frederick (1907–1983). English art historian. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, recruited as an agent for the USSR, he served in the War Office 1940–45. Surveyor of the King’s/Queen’s Pictures 1945–72, Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art 1947–74, he held Slade chairs of fine art at Oxford 1962–63 and Cambridge 1965–66 and wrote books on Poussin and Blake. In 1979 he was revealed as the ‘fourth man’ (*Burgess and Maclean, *Philby) and stripped of his KCVO.
Blunt, Wilfred Scawen (1840–1922). English poet and traveller. He served in the diplomatic service (1859–70) but it is as a romantic figure that his memory survives—travelling in the Middle East, espousing the cause of Egyptian, Indian or Irish nationalism and writing passionate political verse or tender love poems. He married Baroness Wentworth, a granddaughter of *Byron. His Diaries appeared in 1922.
Lytton, E., Wilfred Scawen Blunt: A Memoir. 1961.
Blyton, Enid Mary (1897–1968). English writer for children. She trained as a nursery teacher, began publishing poetry (1917) and stories (1921), becoming enormously prolific in the 1930s. She published more than 400 titles, selling more than 200 million copies. Her characters, including Noddy and Mr Plod the policeman, were ubiquitous. Her plots were criticised, but not by her readers, as simple-minded, lacking in imagination and unduly conventional.
Boabdil (Abu Abdullah Mohammed XI) (1459–1527/8). Sultan of Granada 1482–92. He was the last Nasrid ruler of the Moorish sultanate of Granada in Spain before its capture (1492) by the troops of *Ferdinand and *Isabella.
Boadicea (or Boudicca) (d.62). Queen of the Iceni, a British tribe in East Anglia. On her husband’s death (c.60) her territory was occupied by the Romans and, so it was said, her daughters ravished. In revenge she gathered an army, destroyed the Roman camp at Colchester and took St Albans and London before being defeated by the Roman governor, Suetonius Paulinus. She then committed suicide to avoid capture.
Dundley, D. R. and Webster. G., The Rebellion of Boudicca. 1962.
Boccaccio, Giovanni (1313–1375). Italian poet and author, born in Paris. Author of The Decameron, a famous collection of amusing, amatory and often bawdy tales, he was the illegitimate son of a Florentine merchant, sent for further study to Naples, where he began his literary career. The prose-work Il Filicolo was followed by the verse romances Filostrato and Teseida (on the legends of Theseus, Palamon and Arcite), on which *Chaucer based his Troilus and Criseyde and his Knight’s Tale respectively. It was in Naples, too, that he fell in love with Maria d’Aquino, an illegitimate daughter of King Robert. The title of his novel Faimena hides her identity. News of his father’s threatened ruin brought him back to Florence in 1340 and there he became close friends with *Petrarch and *Dante, whose biography he wrote and whose poetry he expounded in his later years. The stories of the Decameron (finished in 1358) were ostensibly told by a group of young Florentines sheltering in the country during the plague of 1348. Apart from its intrinsic interest, the Decameron was a stylistic model for future Italian writing, a source for countless other European writers, and a milestone in European literature, representing as it does a move towards realism and wholeheartedly secular themes. In 1362 *Petrarch restrained Boccaccio from destroying his works during a spiritual crisis; he then limited his writing to works of scholarship.
MacManus, F., Boccaccio. 1947.
Boccherini, Luigi Rodolfo (1743–1805). Italian composer and cellist, born in Lucca. He studied in Rome, worked in Vienna, Paris, Madrid and Berlin, and wrote 90 string quartets and nine cello concertos. Although sometimes dismissed as ‘*Haydn’s wife’, he was an important innovator developing the string quartet and quintet and *Mozart admired his concertos. He also wrote choral music and died in poverty in Madrid.
Rothschild, G. de, Luigi Boccherini. 1965.
Bodin, Jean (c.1530–1596). French political philosopher. Trained as a lawyer and appointed king’s attorney by *Henri III, he accompanied the Duke of Alençon on his journey to England to request *Elizabeth I’s hand in marriage. His books reveal views in advance of his time. In one, Les six livres de la république (1576), he introduces the idea of progress in history and anticipates *Hobbes in his statement of the need for a monarchy limited only by the laws of God and nature. His economic theories questioned much of the prevailing mercantilist doctrine.
Franklin, J. H., Jean Bodin and the Rise of Absolutist Theory. 1973.
Bodley, Sir Thomas (1545–1613). English bibliophile, born in Exeter. Brought up in Geneva, he became a fellow of Merton College, Oxford. On retirement from diplomatic work, which took him on several missions abroad, he offered to restore and re-equip *Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester’s library at Oxford University. He devoted himself to this with great enthusiasm, buying books all over Europe and the name Bodleian Library acknowledged his work. He increased his benefaction by endowment and bequeathed the rest of his fortune to the university.
Boece, Hector (c.1465–1536). Scottish historian, born in Dundee. He completed his education at Paris University, where he met Erasmus and other humanist scholars. He was chosen (c.1500) to preside over the new university at Aberdeen. His vast and famous History of Scotland (written in Latin) appeared in 1527. Though it harbours a fair amount of fiction, the author makes some attempt to apply critical standards.
Boehme, Jakob (1575–1624). German mystic, born in Lusatia. Son of peasants, he became a cobbler, but spent much of his time in meditation and profound biblical study. His major works are Aurora, De signatura rerum and Mysterium magnum. In his theory, obscured by cloudy mystical language, all things come into existence by the separation of the original oneness, which is God, the nothing and the all, into discrete elements. Evil, in nature or in man, results from the efforts of single elements to become the whole. Boehme’s works were studied in Holland and England (e.g. by Isaac *Newton) as well as in Germany, and interest in his work was revived in the 19th century, e.g. by *Schelling, *Hegel and *Schopenhauer.
Grunsky, H., Jacob Boehme. 1956.
Boeing, William Edward (1881–1956). American industrialist. A timber merchant in Seattle, he became an airmail contractor between Seattle and British Columbia and founded the Boeing Airplane Co. in 1917. He retired before the planes bearing his name—e.g. B-17 (Flying Fortress) and B-29 (Super Fortress)—became famous.
Boerhaave, Herman (1668–1738). Dutch physician. At Leyden University he studied the whole range of natural sciences, but then specialised in medicine, taking the chair of medicine and botany in 1709. He was also professor of physics from 1714 and chemistry from 1718. The most famous medical and chemical teacher of the 18th century, he attracted students from many countries. The substance of his medical lectures appeared as the Institutiones medicae (1708), but his most important work was his Elementae chemiae (1732). Brought up in the rationalist tradition of *Descartes, Boerhaave was influential in introducing the English science of *Boyle and *Newton to the Continent. He accepted a corpuscular view of matter, and was deeply committed to the ideal of extensive experimentation, and strict quantification. The core of his system of medical ideas remained the mechanical theories of the 17th century, with their emphasis on the body as a system of hydraulics, pumps, physical pressures and devices such as levers and valves. But the nature of vital heat also preoccupied him, and his teachings on the nervous system look forward to the physiology developed by scientists, including *Haller, later in the century.
King, L. S., The Medical World of the Eighteenth Century. 1958.
Boëthius, Anicius Manlius Severinus (c.480–525). Roman philosopher, theologian and administrator, born in Rome. From a patrician family, whose members included emperors and consuls, he was an administrator in the court of the Ostrogothic king *Theodoric the Great, and was appointed senator around 505. His first major work was De mathematica (c.500). His treatise De musica (c.510) was authoritative and many manuscript copies survive. Boëthius wrote extensively upon the corpus of Classical Greek texts, producing translations, commentaries, and fresh treatises in their own right. He was interested in *Aristotle’s logical writings, and was a student of the Neo-Platonists. Most of his writings seem to be didactic in intention, and it is possible that he aimed to provide an encyclopaedic coverage of traditional learning. Boethius produced two works of philosophical theology, on the Trinity, and on the nature of Christ. He attempted to reconcile classical philosophy with Christian theology, using Greek logic to overcome the apparent paradox of the Trinity in which three persons were also one. Easily his most famous work is the Consolation of Philosophy written while in prison. This sets out, within a Neo-Platonic context, to prove that unaided reason can have certainty about the existence of an omnipotent God. He seeks to show that human free will is not incompatible with Divine foresight. It was one of the most popular books in the Middle Ages, and was translated into almost all the European languages. He was imprisoned from 522 and executed in Pavia, on a false charge of treachery.
Barret, H. M., Boethius, Some Aspects of his Times and Work. 1940; Chadwick, H., Boethius, the Consolations of Music, Logic, Theology and Philosophy. 1981; Manerton, J., Boethius. 2004.
Bogarde, Sir Dirk (Derek van den Bogaerde) (1921–1999). English actor and biographer. Between 1947 and 1980, he appeared in more than 60 films, graduating from light comedies to more serious roles, e.g. King and Country (1964), Death in Venice (1971) and The Night Porter (1975). He wrote a highly praised autobiography in six volumes.
Bogart, Humphrey (de Forest) (1899–1957). American film and stage actor. After several years of playing minor parts, his first big success came when he acted with Leslie Howard and Bette Davis as the gangster in The Petrified Forest (1934). This led to a long series of tough dramatic and romantic parts in 75 films including The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Big Sleep, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, The African Queen, Beat the Devil, Sabrina and The Caine Mutiny. In 1947 he married the actor Lauren Bacall.
Bohr, Niels Henrik David (1885–1962). Danish physicist. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was lecturer in physics at Manchester University (1914–16), where he worked with *Rutherford. In 1916 he became professor of physics at the University of Copenhagen, transferring to the Institute for Theoretical Physics when this was founded in Copenhagen (1922). Bohr also helped to develop quantum theory, applying it to the theory of atomic structure (1913), and he put forward the first theory of nuclear structure (1936). He won the Nobel Prize for Physics (1922) and the Copley Medal (1938). In September 1943, he escaped from German-occupied Denmark to neutral Sweden, then to Britain. He then flew to the US and advised on research that produced the atomic bomb. He was very influential in setting up CERN in Geneva (1957) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (1957). Asteroid 3948, a lunar crater and the element bohrium (No. 107) were named for him. His son, Aage Niels Bohr (1922–2009), was director of the Niels Bohr Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen and shared the 1975 Nobel Prize for Physics for work on investigating motion inside nuclei.
Moore. R. E., Niels Bohr, The Man and the Scientist. 1967.
Boileau, Nicolas (1636–1711). French poet and critic. In his satires and burlesques he gives a realistic first-hand portrayal of bourgeois life in the reign of *Louis XIV. He was the friend of many well known writers and especially of *Racine, with whom he shared the honour of being made historiographer royal. His verse treatise L’Art poétique (1674) won great contemporary esteem for its statement of classical literary principles. Renowned in his lifetime as the ‘law-giver of Parnassus’, his reputation did not survive the era of Romanticism, to which his views were anathema.
Brody, J., Boileau and Longinus. 1958.
Boito, Arrigo (1842–1918). Italian poet and composer, born in Padua. He studied in Milan and composed the opera, Mefistofele (1868). He wrote excellent libretti for *Verdi’s Otello and Falstaff.
Bokassa, Jean-Bédel (1921–1996). Central African marshal and politician. He joined the French army in 1939 and was Commander-in-Chief of the Central African Republic’s forces from 1963, seized power in a coup in 1965 and became President 1966–79. In 1976 he proclaimed himself as Emperor but was overthrown in 1979, went into French exile 1979–86, then returned to the CAR to face trial. Sentenced to death, he was reprieved and condemned to forced labour. He was released in 1993.
Boleyn, Anne see Anne (Boleyn)
Bolger, Jim (James Brendan) (1935– ). New Zealand National politician. A farmer, he was a Member of Parliament 1972–98, served as Minister for Labour 1978–84 and for Immigration 1978–81 under *Muldoon and on Labour’s defeat became Prime Minister 1990–97. In 1996, after adoption of an MMP system, he formed a Coalition Government with Winston *Peters of the New Zealand First Party. Jenny *Shipley displaced him as Prime Minister in December 1997. He was Ambassador to the US 1998–2001 and then entered business.
Bolingbroke, Henry of, Duke of Hereford and Duke of Lancaster see Henry IV.
Bolingbroke, Henry St John, 1st Viscount (1678–1751). English Tory politician. Entering parliament in 1701 as member for the family borough of Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, he attached himself to Robert *Harley and intrigued skilfully for the Tory cause. In the Tory Ministry which began in 1710 he became a Secretary of State and conducted the negotiations which led to the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). He became Viscount Bolingbroke in 1712 and, as Harley’s power declined, rose to leadership. He had tried secretly to secure the succession of the Old Pretender (James *Stuart) and had openly dismissed Whig officers, replacing them with Tories. When *George I became king on the death of Queen Anne, he fled to Paris, where he helped to plan the Jacobite rising of 1715. In 1723 he was allowed to return. *Walpole denied him the right to sit in the House of Lords, but Bolingbroke led the opposition to him, particularly with the brilliant letters published in the Craftsman. In his later years he wrote the Idea of a Patriot King (1749), in which he envisaged the king standing above and removed from party faction and serving the interests of the nation as a whole. *George III’s attempt to put these ideas into practice disastrously failed. Bolingbroke is remembered as a brilliant orator, a profligate, and a skilful if unscrupulous intriguer and propagandist.
Dickinson, H. T., Bolingbroke. 1970.
Bolívar, Simón (1783–1830). South American revolutionary soldier, known as ‘the Liberator’, born in Caracas (Venezuela). He came from an ancient Basque family which had lived in Venezuela for 200 years. A tour of Europe during the early years of *Napoléon’s power awakened a mind already inspired by the writings of *Voltaire and *Rousseau to an interest in public affairs. It is said that it was in Rome (1805) that he determined to liberate South America from Spanish domination. He took part, under *Miranda’s leadership, in the formation of the first Venezuelan republic and when that was overthrown was allowed to leave the country unharmed. Eventually, in 1813, in New Granada (Colombia) he was put in command of a force of 600 men and defeated the isolated Spanish detachments one by one to re-occupy Venezuela’s capital at Caracas. But again the Spaniards rallied and restored the situation. Undismayed Bolívar collected a new army, secured Angostura in 1816 and by a daring winter march over the Andes drove the Spanish viceroy from Bogota (Colombia). Venezuela was finally gained after the battle of Carabobo in 1821; the liberation of Ecuador followed almost at once. This was linked with the republic of Gran Colombia (Colombia and Venezuela), already formed under Bolívar’s presidency. Meanwhile General Jose de *San Martin had liberated the South with Chile and had entered Peru, which was Bolívar’s next objective, but all possibility of a clash was avoided by San Martin’s unselfish resignation in Bolívar’s favour. Victories at Junin (August l824) and the final triumph at Ayacucho (December) ended Spain’s era of domination, and Upper Peru was named Bolivia in honour of its liberator. But faction and jealousy prevented his dream of a South American federation and the same influences turned against himself so that he was forced to resort to dictatorial methods which provoked hatred. He resigned from the presidency shortly before his death, but time has reinstated him as the greatest of South American heroes. He died poor in Santa Marta, Colombia and was buried in Caracas.
Masur, G., Simon Bolivar. 1969; Bushnell, D., The Liberator: Simon Bolivar. 1970; Arena, M., Bolívar. American Liberator. 2013.
Böll, Heinrich Theodor (1917–1985). German novelist, born in Cologne. He served in the German forces during World War II and became a full-time writer in 1947. His works, pre-occupied with the implications of German war guilt, attack all forms of authoritarianism and bureaucracy and include The Unguarded House (1954), Billiards at Half-Past Nine (1961), The Clowns (1963), Group Portrait of a Lady (1973) and The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1974). He received the 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature and was President of International PEN 1971–74.
Reid, J. H., Heinrich Böll. 1973.
Bolsonaro, Jair Messias (1955– ). Brazilian politician, born near São Paulo. An army officer, he represented Rio de Janeiro in the National Congress 1991–2018 as an outspoken conservative on social issues and a strong nationalist. Elected as President of Brazil 2019– , with a large majority, he was the first conservative to win since 1990.
Bolt, Robert Oxton (1924–1995). English dramatist, born in Manchester. Educated at Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University, he became a schoolmaster. Flowering Cherry (1957) was his first successful play, a ‘Chekhovian study of failure and self-deception’. His third play A Man for All Seasons (1960), a sympathetic study of Thomas *More, was also filmed (1966). Other plays included The Tiger and the Horse (1960), Gentle Jack (1963), Vivat! Vivat! Regina! (1970). He scripted the films Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Ryan’s Daughter, The Mission and Lady Caroline Lamb (which he directed).
Bolte, Sir Henry Edward (1908–1990). Australian Liberal politician, born in Ballarat. A farmer, he was an army sergeant in World War II and a Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly 1947–72. An unexpected choice as Liberal leader, following the Labor split of 1954–55 he defeated John *Cain and served as Premier of Victoria for a record term 1955–72. Authoritarian, but shrewd and often underrated, he retired at a time of his own choosing.
Boltzmann, Ludwig Eduard (1844–1906). Austrian physicist, born in Vienna. He taught at Graz, Vienna, Munich and Leipzig, worked (independently from *Maxwell) on the kinetic theory of gases and devised the ‘Boltzmann constant’ (the ratio of the mean total energy of a molecule to its absolute temperature). He modified the second law of thermodynamics to introduce the concept of probability; this led to statistical mechanics. He also grasped the significance of information theory and proposed (1894) that ‘entropy is missing information’. Boltzmann hanged himself, feeling isolated over atomic theory.
Bonaparte (Buonaparte). Corsican-French family which migrated from Italy in the 16th century, made famous by *Napoléon I. His father, Carlo Buonaparte (1746–1785), was a lawyer. His mother, Letizia Ramolino (1750–1836), came of an old Corsican family. She was the Madame Mère of imperial history, a strong personality in her own right, who, however, eschewed political power. The fortunes of her other children were dependent upon their famous brother. Joseph (1768–1844), who married Julie Clary (*Bernadotte), was made king of Naples in 1806 and transferred to the throne of Spain in 1808. He was a competent administrator but the Peninsular War prevented effective rule. He abdicated in 1813. After Waterloo he farmed in the US until 1832 and finally settled in Florence. Lucien (1775–1840) was President of the Council of 500 in 1799 and played a decisive part in the coup d’état, which brought Napoléon to power. A republican by conviction he dissociated himself from his brother’s policies but gained a large fortune by speculation. He was captured by the English army on the way to America in 1810 and imprisoned for the rest of the war. Louis (1778–1846), a soldier, married Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of *Josephine, later Napoléon’s empress, in 1802 and was father of the future *Napoléon III. Napoléon made him King of Holland in 1806 but forced him out in 1810 when he refused to join the Continental blockade against English trade. He lived in Switzerland, then in Italy, devoting himself to literature. The youngest of the brothers, Jerôme (1784–1860), married Elizabeth Patterson while in America as a young man. Later, as King of Westphalia 1806–13, he was forced to marry Princess Catherine of Württemberg, and their descendants maintained the Bonapartist claims. Jerôme returned to influence and office under Napoléon III. He was created a marshal of France in 1850. Of the sisters of this imperial brotherhood, Élisa (née Maria Anna Bonaparte, later Baciocchi Lévoy) (1777–1820), was created Princess of Piombino and Lucca in 1805, and Grand Duchess of Tuscany in 1809; after her first husband General Charles Leclerc died, the fascinating and frivolous Pauline (née Maria Paolo Bonaparte) (1780–1825) married Prince Camillo Borghese, was created Process of Guastalla, and became the subject of a semi-nude sculpture, Venus Victrix, by *Canova. Niccolo *Paganini was one of her lovers; Caroline (née Maria-Annonciata Carolina Bonaparte, later Murat) (1782–1839) married Joachim *Murat, Napoléon’s dashing cavalry general and was queen consort of Naples 1808–15.
Markham, F., The Bonapartes. 1975.
Bonar Law, Andrew see Law, Andrew Bonar
Bonaventura, St (Giovanni di Fidenza) (1221–1274). Italian theologian, born near Orvieto. He studied in Paris and entered (1243) the Franciscan Order of friars of which he finally became general (1256). In 1274 he was appointed cardinal and Bishop of Albano. He died during the Council of Lyon, and was canonised in 1482. His mystical philosophy earned him the name ‘seraphic doctor’. As general he did much by tact and personality to reconcile the differences between those who demanded strict adherence to the order of absolute poverty laid down by St *Francis and those who pointed out the impracticability of such rigour, as well as the evils of mendicancy. Bonaventura adopted a middle way: he enjoined the strictest simplicity of life but allowed certain departures from the letter of the rule, e.g. by defending the friars’ right to receive offerings. In disputes between friars and regular clergy he strongly defended the friars’ rights, e.g. to hear confession and preach without clerical permission. Bonaventura’s theological writings remain important.
Bondarchuk, Sergei Fedorovich (1920–1994). Russian film actor and director, born in the Ukraine. A notable stage Othello (1956), his masterpiece was the four-part film War and Peace (1962–67) which he directed and in which he played the role of Pierre Bezukhov. This won the 1968 Oscar for best foreign film.
Bondfield, Margaret Grace (1873–1953). British Labour politician. She became an organiser with the shop assistants’ union, was a Member of Parliament 1923–24 and 1926–31 and the first British woman Cabinet member as Minister of Labour 1929–31. She became a Privy Counsellor (1929) and a Companion of Honour (1948).
Bondi, Sir Hermann (1919–2005). Austrian-British mathematician and cosmologist, born in Vienna. With Fred *Hoyle and Thomas Gold he was a proponent of the now discredited ‘steady state’ theory of the universe. He was a professor at King’s College, London, 1954–85 and Master of Churchill College, Cambridge, 1983–90.
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (1906–1945). German Protestant pastor and theologian, born in Breslau, Prussia (now Wroclaw, Poland). He studied at the universities of Tübingen, Rome and Berlin 1923–27 and was then ordained a Lutheran minister. After working in Barcelona, New York and Britain, he became a lecturer at the University of Berlin in 1931, and from 1933 spoke for the German Protestant opposition to the Nazis. He left Germany in 1933 but returned in 1935 as head of the seminary at Finkenwalk, and as a member of the Military Intelligence Department worked secretly with the resistance. Arrested in April 1943, he was held at Tegel, briefly at Buchenwald, then at Flossenberg, where he was hanged, naked, in April 1945, together with Admiral *Canaris, a fortnight before US troops liberated the camp. His brother and brother-in-law were also executed, elsewhere, for their suspected involvement in the 1944 plot against *Hitler. A radical theologian, Bonhoeffer rejected much of the apparatus of traditional Christianity. His posthumous published works include Letters and Papers from Prison (1953), The Cost of Discipleship (1959) and Acting and Being (1962).
Bethge, E., Dietrich Bonhoeffer. 1970.
Boniface, St (originally Wynfrith) (c.675–754). English missionary, born in Wessex. Educated in Benedictine monasteries at Exeter and Nursling, he became abbot of Nursling in 717. A preliminary mission to Germany failed, but in 718 he went to Rome and was commissioned by Pope Gregory II to resume his task of converting the heathen. His method was to follow up his preaching by building churches and monasteries and planting little colonies of monks and nuns. Successes in Hesse and Thuringia led to his appointment as bishop of a new German church east of the Rhine, which, having become an archbishop (c.732), he divided into the dioceses of Salzburg, Freising, Regensburg and Passau. Re-organisation of the Frankish Church followed and he is reputed to have anointed *Pepin as king. In 753 Boniface resumed his missionary work in Friesland, but in the following year he and 50 of his followers were killed in a pagan attack. He was buried at Fulda Abbey in Hesse, a future centre of learning which he had founded. His feast day is 5 June.
Reuter, T. A. (ed.), The Greatest Englishman. 1980.
Boniface (Bonifatius) VIII (Benedetto Caetani) (1235–1303). Pope 1294–1303. Trained in law and experienced in papal diplomacy he succeeded *Celestine V, whose resignation he helped to bring about. Despite his ability and energy he failed to maintain the temporal supremacy of the papacy against *Edward I of England and *Philippe IV of France. He was attacked by *Dante in the Commedia.
Bonington, Richard Parkes (1801–1828). English painter in France. He grew up in France, devoted himself to water colours until 1824, then turned to oils. A friend of *Delacroix, he greatly admired *Constable, and his seascapes, landscapes and travel scenes were popular in London and Paris.
Bonnard, Pierre (1867–1947). French painter. From about 1890 to 1899 he belonged with *Vuillard and others to a Symbolist group of Post-Impressionist painters called the ‘Nabis’ (after a Hebrew word for prophet), mainly inspired by *Gauguin. Bonnard’s particular circle was known as ‘Intimists’. After 1900, Bonnard developed an individual style, not working, like the Impressionists, direct from nature but from memory. Subtle light and colour effects provide the main theme of subjects such as landscapes, gardens, sailing boats, and nudes in various outdoor and indoor settings.
Ferminger, A., Pierre Bonnard. 1969.
Bonnet, Georges-Etienne (1889–1973). French Radical politician. He served as a Deputy 1924–40 and 1956–68. As Foreign Minister 1938–39, he took part in the Munich Conference, supported ‘appeasement’ and was equivocal under *Pétain.
Boole, George (1815–1864). English mathematician and logician, born in Lincoln. Son of a shoemaker, he was largely self-educated, became a schoolteacher and professor of mathematics at Queen’s College, Cork 1849–64. Boole pioneered modern symbolic logic and his ‘algebra of logic’ is one of the basic principles used in modern computer design, especially in ‘binary switching’, where quantities can be expressed by using only two symbols (0 and 1). ‘Binary logic’ led to the creation of the NOT, AND and OR gates in computers.
Boone, Daniel (1735–1820). American pioneer, born in Pennsylvania. In 1750 his family moved to the frontier of North Carolina. He gained his first experiences of frontier wars as blacksmith and teamster in General Edward Braddock’s campaign of 1755, but the heroic legends that have attached themselves to his name date from when he first entered Kentucky in 1767 and subsequently colonised and opened up the country, hunting, exploring and fighting Indians the while.
Boot, Jesse, 1st Baron Trent (1850–1931). English pharmacist and manufacturer. He worked in his mother’s herb shop in Nottingham from the age of 13 until 1877 when he opened his own shop. This became a limited company in 1888, which subsequently developed into a chain of chemist shops, over 1300 in 1960. His success was due to his realisation of the advantages of selling large quantities of goods at low prices. His gifts and bequests to Nottingham were worth nearly £2 million and included a 150 acre park, and land and buildings for the university. He was created a peer in 1929.
Booth, John Wilkes (1838–1865). American actor. He assassinated President Lincoln as an act of revenge for the Union’s defeat of the Confederacy. He escaped to Virginia, where he was shot by troops. His father, Junius Brutus Booth (1796–1852) was an actor who, having made successes in Shakespearian parts, especially Richard III, emigrated to America in 1821 and there enjoyed a successful career, but, owing to alcoholism and melancholia, died insane. Edwin Thomas Booth (1833–1893), the assassin’s brother, acted with his father for some years. He also acted in Australia in 1854. The success of his Hamlet in New York in 1864 marked him out as one of the foremost actors of the day. During a European tour (1880–82) his Othello, played to *Irving’s Iago, was enthusiastically received. His 1890 recording of a speech from Othello can be heard on YouTube.
Smith, G., American Gothic. 1988.
Booth, William (1829–1912). English religious leader, born in Nottingham. Founder of the Salvation Army, he was an evangelist with the Methodist New Connexion for many years. Having left them to act independently, he founded, in 1865, a mission in Whitechapel, London, which proved to be the forerunner of the Salvation Army, established in 1878. He introduced military methods, uniform and discipline into evangelising work, ‘General’ Booth himself being in supreme command. The organisation, which spread over the world, became known for the rousing music of its open-air services, its shelters for the down-and-out and the courage with which its members penetrated the most degraded districts of the great cities. His son (William) Bramwell Booth (1856–1929), a capable organiser, succeeded his father as ‘General’ 1912–29 and was awarded the CH. Bramwell’s sister, (Cory) Evangeline Booth (1865–1950), directed the Salvation Army in the US 1904–34 and became ‘General’ 1934–39. Bramwell’s daughter, Catherine Bramwell Booth (1883–1985) was an effective publicist for the Army.
Collier, R., The General Next to God. 1965.
Boothroyd, Betty, Baroness Boothroyd (1929– ). English Labour politician. She worked as a political secretary, became an MP 1973–2000 and the first woman to be elected Speaker of the House of Commons 1992–2000. She received the OM in 2005.
Borden, Lizzie Andrew (1860–1927). American accused murderer. She was ‘heroine’ of one of the most famous of American trials and of a rhyme commemorating it. In 1892 her stepmother and father were hacked to death with an axe at their home at Fall River, Massachusetts. She was tried for their murder and acquitted.
Borden, Sir Robert Laird (1854–1937). Canadian politician, born in Nova Scotia. Distantly related to Lizzie Borden, he became prominent as a lawyer before his election to the Canadian Parliament 1896–1904; 1905–20. He led the Conservative Party 1901–20, won the election of 1911 and, as Prime Minister 1911–20, guided the country through World War I. By insisting upon Canada’s signing the treaty of Versailles separately from Great Britain he confirmed its status as a sovereign independent state. He resigned in 1920 and was succeeded by Arthur *Meighen.
Wilson, H. A., The Imperial Policy of Sir Robert Borden. 1966.
Bordet, Jules (1870–1961). Belgian bacteriologist. He won the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1919) for discovering the bacillus of whooping cough.
Borelli, Giovanni Alfonso (1608–1679). Italian scientist. In his early career he was chiefly a mathematician, becoming professor of mathematics at Messina in 1640 and professor at Pisa in 1656. He examined the mechanical basis of respiration, circulation, nerves, and above all muscular activities. He closely studied the processes whereby the brain communicated physical impulses to muscles via the nervous system, and tried to calculate the quantity of force involved. He was interested in the physical force required to pump blood round the body, and studied digestive processes (which he believed were chiefly mechanical rather than chemical). He made accurate observations of Jupiter’s satellites and studied volcanic eruptions on Etna.
Borges, Jorge Luis (1899–1986). Argentinan poet, critic, short story writer and essayist, born in Buenos Aires. He learned English at home (his mother was a translator), was educated in Buenos Aires and Geneva, lived in Spain 1920–21 and became associated with the ultraismo movement in poetry, which he introduced to Argentina. His volumes of poetry include Ferver de Buenos Aires (1923) and Luna de enfrente (1925). His tales, revealing a baroque imagination, a taste for the arcane and an interest in metaphysical problems, appear in such collections as Ficciones 1935–44 (1944, English translation 1962). Other important works include El Aleph (1949), Extraordinary Tales (1955), Labyrinths (1962) and The Book of Imaginary Beings (1967). He was librarian 1938–47, demoted to market inspector by *Perón, but appointed director of the National Library in 1955 just as he became totally blind.
Borghese. Italian noble family, originally from Siena, then Rome. Camillo Borghese became Pope *Paul V. His nephew, Cardinal Scipio Borghese (1577–1633), a patron of *Bernini, built the Villa Borghese to house his treasures. It was rebuilt and extended in 1782 and remains one of Rome’s greatest galleries. The existing collection (now state property) was mainly brought together by Prince Camillo Borghese (1775–1832), husband of *Napoléon’s sister, Pauline. The Borghese palace is one of the most magnificent in Rome.
Borgia, Cesare (1476–1507). Italian soldier. Son of Pope *Alexander VI, he was made a cardinal by his father in 1493 but gave up the office five years later. A mission to France in 1498 carrying papal dispensation for *Louis XII to marry *Anne of Brittany was rewarded with the duchy of Valentinois and the promise of help in the Romagna, which it was Alexander VI’s policy to unite and rule. This aim was achieved by Cesare in three campaigns in which guile and military skill were artfully combined. His father’s death in 1503 caught him ill and unprepared to meet his enemies. Arrested in Neapolitan territory he escaped from a prison to die fighting at last in the cause of his brother-in-law, the King of Navarre. His political tactics, often treacherous, were described with a mixture of horror and fascination in *Machiavelli’s The Prince.
Sacerdote, G., Cesare Borgia. 1950.
Borgia, Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara (1480–1519). Italian noblewoman, born in Rome. Daughter of the Spanish cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, later Pope *Alexander VI, and sister of Cesare, she married first Giovanni Sforza, second the Duke of Biscelgie, and third the Duke of Ferrara. She was often accused of complicity in her family’s crimes and moral excesses, though there is no evidence to support her active participation. In fact, she left a reputation for learning, beauty and charity, and was said to have enjoyed the respect of her subjects. In 1501 she appeared with the mysterious Roman Infant, Giovanni, her supposed natural son. Two papal bulls recognised him first as Cesare’s illegitimate son, then Alexander’s. The latter was probably the true father. This and Lucrezia’s attendance at an infamous orgy held at the Vatican led to rumours of incest. On Alexander’s death in 1503 Lucrezia ceased to be a political pawn and led a more normal life at the court of Ferrara, which became a cultural centre of the Italian Renaissance.
Borglum, Gutzon (1867–1941). American sculptor. Obsessed by the monumental sculptures of ancient Egypt, his works include the huge bust of *Lincoln in the Capitol Rotunda, Washington DC, and the heads of *Washington, *Jefferson, *Lincoln and Theodore *Roosevelt carved on Mt Rushmore, South Dakota (memorably featured in *Hitchcock’s film North by North-West).
Borg Olivier, Giorgio (1911–1980). Maltese Nationalist politician. The political history of Malta in the years preceding independence (September 1964) were largely struggles for power between Borg Olivier’s party, with strong clerical backing, and Dom *Mintoff’s Labour Party. He was Prime Minister 1950–55 (under British rule) and 1962–71.
Boris I (?d.907). Prince of Bulgaria 853–88. Regarded as a national saint, he succeeded his father, and was baptised (865) into the Greek Church, to which he confirmed his allegiance in 870, though in the intervening year he had addressed a questionnaire to Pope Nicholas II, obviously with a view to change. He abdicated in favour of his son Vladimir (888), but four years later left the monastery to which he had withdrawn to blind and depose the new king and substitute his second son, Symeon.
Boris III (1894–1943). Tsar of Bulgaria 1918–43. He succeeded his father *Ferdinand, who had been forced to abdicate after World War I and, despite a strange passion for driving steam trains, was generally regarded as a well-meaning monarch with considerable skill at balancing opposing factions. Willingly or unwillingly, he became *Hitler’s ally in World War II but appears to have refused to send his troops against Russia. He died mysteriously after a visit to Hitler in 1943. His son *Simeon II succeeded him.
Boris Godunov see Godunov, Boris
Borlaug, Norman Ernest (1914–2009). American agronomist. Working in Mexico on wheat and maize improvement from 1944, he became the most important figure in the ‘Green Revolution’, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.
Bormann, Martin (1900–1945?). German Nazi functionary. He joined the Nazi Party in 1927 and was personal secretary to Rudolf *Hess 1933–41. After Hess’ mysterious flight to Scotland, Bormann became *Hitler’s deputy 1941–45, and remained with him until his death. He disappeared at the end of the war, and was tried and condemned to death in absentia at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. There was much speculation that he had escaped to South America, but discovery of remains in 1998 confirmed that he died in Berlin.
Trevor Roper, H. (ed.), Bormann Letters. 1954.
Borodin, Aleksandr Porfirievich (1833–1887). Russian composer, born at St Petersburg. Illegitimate son of a prince, he first trained as a chemist and his musical studies began in 1862 under *Balakirev. His works include three symphonies (one unfinished), the unfinished opera, Prince Igor and In the Steppes of Central Asia.
Dianin, S., Borodin. 1963.
Borotra, Jean (1898–1994). French tennis player. Known as ‘the Bounding Basque’, he won the men’s singles at Wimbledon in 1924 and 1926 and the men’s doubles with Jacques Brugnon in 1932 and 1933. Borotra, Cochet and *Lacoste, who dominated French lawn tennis for many years, were known as ‘The Three Musketeers’.
Borromeo, St Carlo (1538–1584). Italian prelate, born in Arona. From a noble Milanese family, and a nephew of Pope Pius IV, he was made a cardinal before he was a priest. His ordination took place in 1563 and enabled him to become Archbishop of the See of Milan, of which he had so far been only the administrator. Meanwhile as Papal Secretary of State he was attending the final sessions (1563–64) of the Council of Trent and took the leading part in its success by formulating the decisions by which the Roman Church put its house in order and was so enabled to resist the spread of Protestantism. Later in his own diocese he put the reforms into practice, himself setting an example by his austere and simple life. Canonised in 1610, his biography was written by Pope *John XXIII. A kinsman, Federico Borromeo (1564–1631), also Cardinal-Archbishop of Milan, founded the Ambrosian Library there.
Borromini, Francesco (Francesco Castelli) (1599–1667). Italian architect and sculptor, born in Ticino. He worked in Rome with *Bernini, then became his rival, and was noted for his use of spectacular effects and pioneered the Baroque style. He designed three masterpieces in Rome. San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1638–41), appears weightless, with its beehive dome and interplay between concave and convex shapes. Sant’Ivo alla Sapienza (1642–50) has an interior marked by tension between concave and convex elements and has a surging quality, in constant movement. The Re Magi chapel in the Collegio di Propaganda Fide (1660–65), is small, restrained, contemplative and soothing. Borromini was melancholic, probably bipolar, and committed suicide by falling on his sword.
Morrissey, Jake, The Genius in the Design. Bernini, Borromini and the Rivalry that Transformed Rome. 2005.
Borrow, George (Henry) (1803–1881). English author and traveller. Son of a Cornish army captain, he was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Norwich, but studied languages in preference to law. In London he helped compile the Newgate Calendar but soon left (1825) to take up a wandering life, either alone or with gypsies, describing them in Lavengro (1851) and Romany Rye (1857). He worked for the British and Foreign Bible Society in Russia and Spain (1832–40) and wrote The Bible in Spain (1843). Spanish gypsies are the theme of The Zineali (1841). Wild Wales appeared in 1862 and in 1874 Romano Lavo-Lil, a much criticised book on the gypsy language.
Myers, R. R., George Borrow. 1966.
Bosch, Carl (1874–1940). German chemist and engineer, born in Köln. Nephew of Robert Bosch, who produced the first successful spark plug, he studied at Leipzig. Pioneering high pressure chemistry to synthesise nitrates, with Fritz *Haber he developed the Haber-Bosch nitrogen fixation process (1908–09), enabling large-scale production of ammonia and fertiliser. In 1925 he organised the merger of six large German chemical companies to become IG Farben. He shared the 1931 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, was hostile to the Nazis, denied work and became an alcoholic. Asteroid 7414 Bosch was named for him.
Bosch, Hieronymus (originally van Aeken) (c.1450–1516). Dutch painter, born probably at Hertogenbosch. He spent his life in his presumed birthplace and adopted its name. His paintings, strongly imbued with the fantastic and full of bizarre composite figures and grotesques, are perhaps the most extreme expression of the haunted mood of the late Middle Ages; the significance of his symbolism is now largely lost. Among the best known of his works are the Seven Deadly Sins, The Hay Wain, The Earthly Paradise and The Temptation of St Anthony. He was regarded by the Surrealists as an important precursor. His earlier work (e.g. The Adoration of the Kings) follows the tradition of Flemish religious art.
Combe, J., Bosch. 1957.
Bose, Amar Gopal (1929–2013). American-Bengali inventor, born in Philadelphia. Educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he founded the Bose Corporation in 1964, manufacturing outstanding home audio equipment and was a major benefactor to MIT.
Bose, (Sir) Jagadish Chandra (1858–1937). Indian (Bengali) polymath, born in Bikrampur. Educated in Calcutta (Kolkata), London and Cambridge, he experimented in an extraordinary diversity of fields: radio and microwave optics, discovery of millimetre length electro-magnetic waves, plant physiology (inventing the crescograph, which measured comparable electrical responses to stimuli by animal and plant tissues), the polarisation of rays by crystals, the first use of semiconductor crystals as detectors for radio waves, then analysed electrical responses in metals. He was also the first Bengali writer of science fiction and took a deep interest in archaeology. Knighted (1917) and elected FRS (1920), he never received a Nobel Prize but is now regarded as having been (as Sir Nevill Mott said) ‘at least 60 years ahead of his time’. He refused to patent his discoveries and his working conditions at the University of Calcutta were very primitive.
Bose, Satyendra Nath (1894–1974). Indian (Bengali) mathematician and physicist, born in Calcutta (Kolkata). Educated at Calcutta, where he was inspired by (but not related to) J. C. *Bose, he taught at Calcutta and Dhaka Universities, working on X-ray crystallography, relativity and quantum theory. He was also a linguist with profound knowledge of anthropology, zoology, geology and engineering. A pioneer of ‘particle statistics’ (1922), his methodology was adopted by *Einstein, and is now called ‘Bose-Einstein statistics’. He also proposed (1925) what are now called ‘Bose-Einstein condensates’, proposing the clumping together of elementary particles, a concept that was theoretically attractive, but not able to be proven until 2012. The ‘boson’, defined as ‘any of a class of particles, such as the photon, pion, or alpha particle, that have zero or integral spin and obey statistical rules permitting any number of identical particles to occupy the same quantum state’, was named for him by Paul *Dirac. He never received a Nobel Prize but was elected FRS in 1958.
Bose, Subhas Chandra (1897–1945). Indian nationalist leader, born in Orissa. Educated at Calcutta and Cambridge universities, he opposed *Gandhi’s policy of non-violent resistance to the British. In World War II he escaped to Germany and later became head of a provisional government of India under Japanese sponsorship. He is said to have met his death in an air crash. The Kolkata/Calcutta international airport is named after him.
Bossuet, Jacques Bénigne (1627–1704). French bishop, historian, and rhetorician, born in Dijon. Precocious, he was tonsured at the age of 10 and after instruction from (St) *Vincent de Paul became a priest. A master of baroque rhetoric, he was famous for his funeral orations, including those for *Henrietta Maria, widow of *Charles I, and the great *Condé. Bishop of Condom 1669–70, he became tutor to the Dauphin Louis (1661–1711), was elected to the Académie française and had great influence at court until his appointment as Bishop of Meaux 1681–1704. He supported Gallicanism, asserting that the king could exercise jurisdiction over the French Church, approved the revocation (1685) of the Edict of Nantes, removing legal protection for Protestantism (but then urged moderation), and obtained Rome’s condemnation of *Fenelon’s doctrine of Quietism (a passive form of religious mysticism). He wrote Discours sur l’histoire universelle (1681) and corresponded with *Leibniz.
Calvet, J., Bossuet. 1968.
Boswell, James (1740–1795). Scottish author and biographer, born in Edinburgh. Son of Lord Auchinleck, a judge, he was called to the bar but found his main interest in literature. In 1760 he went to London, living as an energetic libertine, and in May 1763 first met Dr Samuel *Johnson, taking notes of the conversations and opinions of the famous lexicographer until his death in 1784. Between 1764 and 1766 he toured the Continent, introduced himself to *Voltaire and *Rousseau and had numerous love affairs. His Account of Corsica (1768) commemorated a visit to the island hero Pasquale di *Paoli. In 1773 he took Johnson to the Hebrides but it was 12 years before the appearance of Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides (1785). In 1791 he published the Life of Samuel Johnson, which has become the most famous biography in the English language. It was the product of careful research as well as being an eyewitness—it has been calculated that Boswell met Johnson on 276 occasions (about 425 days). Yale University Press began publishing his journals in 1950, the private papers in 1993. He had 17 bouts of venereal disease, periods of alcoholism, bipolar mood swings and gambling addiction. His letters to his great friend William Johnson Temple provide biographical detail covering nearly 40 years. After initial support for the anti-slavery movement, he became a partisan of the slave trade.
Pottle, F. A., The Literary Career of James Boswell. 1966; James Boswell, the Earlier Years. 1966; Wain, J., The Journals of James Boswell 1762–95. 1994.
Botha, Louis (1862–1919). South African general and politician, born in Natal. Though an opponent of *Kruger’s Uitlander policies he joined the Transvaal forces as a volunteer in the Boer War, and later captured Winston *Churchill. Later, having been given command, he defeated the British at Colenso and Spion Kop. After the peace of Vereeniging (1902) he bore no bitterness and when Transvaal was given a constitution (1906) became its first premier 1907–10. As first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, and Commander-in-Chief, 1910–19, his main policy was restoring harmony between white South Africans of British and Afrikaner descent. (The role of the blacks was given lower priority.) On the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Botha, strongly supported by his deputy, Jan *Smuts, immediately brought in South Africa on the British side, defeated an Afrikaner rebellion led by Christiaan de Wet and led the troops who occupied (1915) German South West Africa (now Namibia). He attended the Versailles Conference (1919), signed the treaty reluctantly and returned home to die.
Botha, Pieter Willem (1916–2006). South African Nationalist politician. He served as Minister of Defence 1965–78 and succeeded B. J. *Vorster as Prime Minister of South Africa 1978–84. He became the first executive state president under the new constitution 1984–89. Secret negotiations with Nelson *Mandela and the ANC began in 1989 but Botha suffered a stroke and was replaced as party leader by F. W. *de Klerk.
Bothwell, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of (c.1535–1578). Scottish nobleman. After the murder of *Rizzio (1566), he became one of the chief advisers of *Mary Queen of Scots, who had probably first met him when he came to France on a mission to ask help for her mother and regent, Mary of Guise, widow of *James V. When *Darnley, the queen’s second husband, was killed in an explosion (1567), Bothwell was charged with the murder and acquitted, although most historians believe him to have been guilty (and probably Mary as well). Bothwell then abducted the queen (almost certainly with her connivance) and married her, after divorcing his wife. The nobles rose in revolt, and the queen was captured and deposed. Bothwell escaped to Norway. He later became prisoner of the King of Denmark and died in captivity, insane. The popular belief that Bothwell was a boorish, unmannered brute is not borne out by fact: he was reckless, pitiless and unscrupulous but he had the graces of a courtier and was fond of poetry as well as of dancing and dress.
Botticelli, Sandro (Alessandro di Mariano dei Filipepi) (c.1445–1510). Florentine painter. A pupil of Fra Filippo *Lippi, he was patronised by the *Medici family. His early works (e.g. his Birth of Venus, Primavera and Mars and Venus) have a great delicacy, freshness and poignancy coupled with a rare linear subtlety of design. The iconography of the major mythological pieces is highly complex. Although a product of Renaissance humanism as regards content, his painting represents, in its essentially linear manner, the persistence of a ‘Gothic’ tradition which was in slightly archaic contrast to the strongly plastic High Renaissance style evolved by *Leonardo, *Raphael and *Michelangelo, and he declined in popularity after about 1500. Most of his work was done in Florence but in 1481 he was in Rome helping to decorate the Sistine Chapel for Pope *Sixtus IV. After 1497 he became a follower of *Savonarola and most of his later works are religious, ecstatic and anti-naturalistic, like The Adoration of the Magi and The Coronation of the Virgin. He also illustrated Dante’s Divine Comedy with sensitive outline drawings (1492–97). His work was much loved (and extensively forged) in the 19th century.
Argan, G. C., Botticelli. 1957.
Botvinnik, Mikhail Moiseyevich (1911–1995). Russian chess player. He was world champion 1948–57, 1958–60, 1961–63.
Bouchard, Lucien (1938– ). Canadian politician. He was Ambassador to France 1985–88, Minister for the Environment 1989–90 and Leader of the Opposition in the Canadian Parliament 1993–96 after the Bloc Québécois ran second to *Chrétien’s Liberals. His leg was amputated in 1994. He led the campaign for Québec independence in the 1995 referendum and was Premier of Québec 1996–2001.
Boucher, François (1703–1770). French artist. The most typical of the rococo decorators, he was a protégé of Madame de *Pompadour (*Louis XV’s favourite) and was noted for tapestry designs, panelled interiors and gay, slightly improper mythological paintings. Fine examples of his work can be seen in the Wallace Collection, London, and the Frick Collection, New York.
Boucher de Crèvecoeur de Perthes, Jacques (1788–1868). French prehistorian. A customs official at Abbeville, he became an amateur archaeologist and was one of the first to declare that man had existed in the Pleistocene epoch. In 1837 he began collecting roughly worked flints in the Somme gravels and declared them to be of ‘antediluvian’ origin because of their association with extinct Ice Age animals. At first his theories were received with scepticism, but they began to win acceptance after Charles *Lyell pronounced in their favour before the Royal Society in l859.
Boucicaut, Jean II le Meingre de (c.1366–1421). French nobleman and soldier. He fought in Prussia, Spain and France, and was created Maréchal de France. Captured in the catastrophic Crusade of Nicopolis (1396), now in Greece, and ransomed, he later defended Constantinople. He fought at Agincourt (1415), was taken by the English and died in Yorkshire. Famous as a jouster, he created a chivalric order and commissioned magnificent illuminated manuscripts.
Bougainville, Louis Antoine de (1729–1811). French navigator and scientist. After the end of the Seven Years’ War, during which he served with *Montcalm in Canada, he joined the navy and established a French colony in the Falkland Islands. He sailed round the world (1766–79) and rediscovered the Solomon Islands, one of which is named after him. He served with distinction in the War of American Independence but then occupied himself entirely with science. Bougainville was an expert mathematician and a friend of *Diderot and *Rousseau. His membership of the Legion d’honneur was one of several distinctions conferred on him by *Napoléon.
Boulanger, Georges Ernest Jean Marie (1837–1891). French general, born in Rennes. After service in Algeria, Italy and Indochina, he was wounded in suppressing the Paris Commune in 1871. In 1884 he commanded in Tunisia, and was Minister of War 1886–87, attaining immense popularity by his jingoistic policy and unwavering attitude to Germany over an incident involving a frontier arrest. Fears, perhaps exaggerated, of a coup d’etat, caused the removal of his name from the army list. This enabled him to seek election. With a somewhat vague program of parliamentary dissolution and constitutional revision he drew support not only from militarists and monarchists but also from radicals. However, the government and its supporters reacted strongly. Boulanger was defeated in the Marne election (1888) and fearing arrest for treason he went to Brussels where, after the death of his mistress, he committed suicide. The term ‘boulangisme’ was later used to decry any such movement towards military dictatorship.
Boulanger, Nadia Juliette (1887–1979). French teacher, conductor, composer and pianist. She worked in France and the US, took a leading role in the revival of *Monteverdi and her pupils included Lennox *Berkeley, Aaron *Copland, Jean Francaix, Igor Markevitch, Dinu *Lipatti, Elliot *Carter, Philip *Glass and her sister Lili Boulanger (1893–1918), an able composer.
Boulez, Pierre (1925–2016). French composer and conductor, born in Montbrison. He studied mathematics, engineering and music at Lyon, composition with Olivier *Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire (1944–45) and conducting under René Leibowitz. In 1947 he became musical director of *Barrault’s theatre company, the Marigny. In 1954 he founded the Concerts Marigny, avant-garde concerts later known as Domaine Musical. Influenced by Debussy and Stravinsky, his early compositions included Flute Sonatina (1946) and La Visage Nuptial (1946–52). His Structures (1952 and 1961) for two pianos were a turning point in his musical development. His work has produced interesting and sometimes violent criticism and is extremely difficult to perform. By the 1960s he had an international reputation as a composer and conductor, and was musical director of the New York Philharmonic (1971–77) and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (1971–75). He directed Wagner’s Ring cycle at Bayreuth (1976–80) in Patrice Chereau’s production. Georges *Pompidou invited Boulez, after a decade of self-imposed exile from France, to organise IRCAM (Institut de Recherches et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) which he directed 1977–91. He also wrote extensively, including musical theory, aesthetics and on Paul *Klee.
Boulle (or Buhl), André Charles (1642–1732). French cabinet maker. His elaborate marque-tried furniture was in great demand in the reign of *Louis XIV. The description ‘boulle’ is often applied not only to his own work and that of his sons, who worked with him, but to the many imitations of later years. There are examples in the Louvre, in Windsor Castle and the Wallace Collection, London.
Boullée, Etienne-Louis (1728–1799). French architect, born in Paris. After 1780 he planned vast futuristic structures (none actually built) which anticipate 20th-century architectural megalomania. His work was featured in Peter Greenaway’s film The Belly of an Architect (1987).
Boult, Sir Adrian Cedric (1889–1983). English conductor, born in Chester. He received his musical training at Oxford and with *Nikisch in Leipzig. He conducted the City of Birmingham Orchestra 1924–30 (and again 1959–60) but won international recognition as the first chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra 1930–50, admired as one of the world’s greatest ensembles. He made many recordings, became principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1951–57 and received a CH in 1969.
Boult, A., My Own Trumpet. 1973.
Boulton, Matthew (1728–1809). English engineer, born in Birmingham. Best known for his partnership with James *Watt for the construction of steam engines, his main interest lay in the provision of power for the factory in Soho (near Birmingham), where a variety of metal articles, useful or ornamental, were produced. Later Boulton applied steam power to the manufacture of coins. Many scientists and writers (e.g. *Boswell) were among his friends. He was a founder of the Lunar Society (Erasmus *Darwin) and an FRS.
Clay, R., Matthew Boulton and the Art of Making Money. 2009.
Boumédienne, Houari (Mohammed Boukharraba) (1927–1978). Algerian politician, born in Bône. From a poor peasant family, he became a schoolteacher. He joined the National Liberal Front (1954) and became friend and confidant of *Ben Bella whom he supported in becoming the first president of independent Algeria. In 1965 he organised a coup, which deposed Ben Bella and he became the new president. He died in office in December 1978.
Bourassa, Robert (1933–1996). Canadian politician. Educated at Montréal, Oxford and Harvard universities, he became a lawyer, then a bureaucrat and a professor of public finances at Montréal and Laval universities. A moderate on the secession issue, he led the Québec Liberal Party 1970–77, 1983–1994 and was Premier 1970–76, 1985–94.
Bourbon. French noble family that provided dynasties for France, Spain, Naples and Parma. The line, named after a village in central France, was founded when in 1276 Robert de Clermont, a son of King *Louis IX, married Beatrice de Bourbon. The direct line died out but the name and title passed in 1527 to Charles, Duke of Vendôme, whose son married Jeanne d’Albret, Queen of Navarre. Their son *Henri IV became the first of the Bourbon kings. The last of the senior line was *Charles X, though *Louis Philippe of the Orléanist branch reigned 1830–48, and his descendants are the present pretenders. The Spanish Bourbons replaced the Habsburgs after Charles II had died childless and left his kingdom to Louis XIV’s grandson *Philip V. Members of the dynasty continued to reign until *Alfonso XIII left the country in 1930. The Neapolitan Bourbons and the Parma branch stemmed from the Spanish line.
Bourgeois, Léon Victor Auguste (1851–1925). French Radical politician. He defeated *Boulanger in the Marne election of 1888 and subsequently held a long series of ministerial posts. He was prominent internationally at The Hague conferences and in the League of Nations which he helped to found. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920.
Bourgeois, Louise (1911–2010). French-American sculptor and graphic artist, born in Paris. A pupil of *Leger, she lived in the US from 1938 and became a citizen in 1953. Her works were powerful and sexually ambiguous, and include the nine-metre-high metal sculpture of a spider Maman (2000) (at the Guggenheim in Bilbao and in Qatar).
Bourget, Paul (1852–1935). French writer. His novels at first concentrated on the psychological analysis of characters but after his conversion to Catholicism in 1901 they tended to become vehicles for the transmission of traditionalist views. L’Etape (1902) marks the culmination of the first period, during which his best known books include L’Irréparable (1884). On Crime d’amour (1886) and André Cornélis (1887). Le Démon de Midi (1914) is typical of the later period.
Bourguiba, Habib Ben Ali (1903?–2000). Tunisian politician. Son of an officer, he studied law in Paris, became a journalist and founded the Neo-Destour party in 1934. Imprisoned 1934–36, 1938–43, he escaped and travelled for years promoting the cause of Tunisian independence. He was interned again 1952–54 and 1954–55, then after negotiations with the French became Prime Minister under the Bey of Tunis 1955–57. After the proclamation of a Republic, Bourguiba became President 1957–87 until his peaceful overthrow. He was then kept under house arrest.
Boutros-Ghali, Boutros (1922–2016). Egyptian politician and diplomat, born in Cairo. A Copt, educated at Cairo, Sorbonne and Columbia universities, he was professor of international law at Cairo 1949–77 and a prolific author. As Minister of State (i.e. undersecretary) for Foreign Affairs 1977–91, he was an architect of the Camp David accords (*Sadat) leading to the resumption of diplomatic relations between Egypt and Israel. After a brief period as Foreign Minister 1991–92, he became Secretary-General of the United Nations 1992–97. The US vetoed his candidature for a second term.
Bouts, Dirk (or Deiric) (c.1415–1475). Dutch painter, born in Haarlem. One of the most powerful of the Early Netherlandish school, his deeply emotional religious scenes are highly prized. He worked mostly in Louvain and died there.
Boyce, William (1710–1779). English composer and organist. Master of the King’s Musick 1735–79, he also wrote Church music, stage music, chamber and orchestral works and several songs, including ‘Hearts of Oak’. He made a compilation of Church music entitled Cathedral Music (1760–78).
Boycott, Charles Cunningham (1832–1897). English land agent. As agent for Lord Erne in Co. Mayo, Ireland his refusal to lower rents in times of hardship was punished (1880) by complete social and business isolation. This form of protest, invented by the Irish Land League, came to be known as a ‘boycott’.
Boyd, Arthur Merric Bloomfield (1920–1999). Australian painter, born in Melbourne. The most prominent of a distinguished artistic family, he worked in London for many years, and turned from landscape to figurative works, many with literary, biblical or mythological themes, e.g. the Nebuchadnezzar series.
Niall, B., The Boyds. 2002; Bungey, D., Arthur Boyd: A Life 2007.
Boyd-Orr, John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron (1880–1971). Scottish agricultural scientist and dietetic expert. Educated at Glasgow University, he was director of the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen 1914–45, won a DSO and MC in World War and discovered many of the causes (e.g. lack of minerals) of nutritional deficiency in animals and human beings. These he subsequently expounded before many national and international bodies. His report Food, Health and Income (1936) made him famous. An independent MP 1944–45 and Chancellor of Glasgow University 1946–71, he became first Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) 1945–48 and in 1949 received the Nobel Prize for Peace and a peerage. He was awarded a CH in 1968.
Boyer, Charles (1899–1978). French actor, in the US from 1934. He played romantic leads with such actors as Greta *Garbo, Marlene *Dietrich and Ingrid *Bergman, later gaining a second reputation as a skilful character actor, e.g. in Stavisky (1972).
Boyle, Robert (1627–169l). Irish physicist and chemist, born at Lismore Castle, Munster. As his tombstone in Westminster recorded, Boyle was ‘father of chemistry and brother of the Earl of Cork’. Educated at Eton, and by tutors, he travelled extensively in Europe, mastered Latin, French, Italian, Hebrew and Greek, became deeply devout and never married.
His book Sceptical Chymist (sic, 1661), demolished the concept of ‘the four elements’, transforming alchemy into a new discipline (although he kept an open mind on the transmutation of gold), and developed the art of experimentation. He was the first clearly to define an element in the terms we accept today (i.e. as a substance that cannot be split into simpler substances by chemical analysis), and explained that all matter consists of atoms or combinations of atoms in motion. His widely ranging studies included pneumatics and crystallography. He is probably best known for his statement of the law (now known as Boyle’s Law) that, at constant temperature, the volume of a gas varies inversely with the pressure. He founded a series of lectures to prove the existence of God. An original fellow of the Royal Society (1662), he was elected President (1680) but refused to take the oath and declined a peerage.
Maddison, R. E. W., Life of the Honourable Robert Boyle. 1969.
Bracken, Brendan Rendall Bracken, 1st Viscount (1901–1958). British Conservative politician, born in Ireland. Educated in Australia and at Sedbergh, he entered publishing and helped to build up the group of periodicals which centred on the Financial News. A Tory MP 1929–45, 1945–51, and devoted follower of Winston *Churchill, he succeeded Duff *Cooper as Minister of Information 1941–45 and was briefly First Lord of the Admiralty 1945.
Boyle, A., Poor, Dear Brendan. 1974; Lysaght, C. E., Brendan Bracken. 1979.
Bracton, Henry de (d.1268). English ecclesiastic and lawyer. He was an itinerant justice, who eventually became Chancellor of Exeter Cathedral, but his fame arises from his great treatise On the Laws and Customs of England, the first printed edition of which appeared in 1569.
Bradbury, Sir Malcolm (Stanley) (1932–2000). English novelist and critic, born in Sheffield. He held a chair at the University of East Anglia from 1970, and had a profound influence on Ian *McEwan, Kazuo *Ishiguro and W. G. *Sebald. His novels include The History Man (1975) and To the Hermitage (2000).
Bradlaugh, Charles (1833–1891). English radical politician. After working as a soldier and solicitor’s clerk, he became an active pamphleteer under the name of ‘Iconoclast’ and ran the journal National Reformer from 1862. He worked with Annie *Besant 1874–85. Elected as MP for Northampton in 1880, he asked, as an atheist, to be permitted to take an affirmation instead of a religious oath. He was required to take an oath which he did not believe and was unseated following a petition from a common informer. Three by-elections followed and Bradlaugh won them all, only to be refused his seat. He won a fourth in 1885 and was permitted to take his seat in 1886. In 1888 he secured passage of the Affirmation Act.
Bradley, Francis Herbert (1846–1924). English philosopher. A research fellow of Merton College, Oxford 1867–1924, his philosophy of idealism was inspired by *Hegel and yet quite individual. In Appearance and Reality (1893) he argued that the ordinary world of qualities, relations, space, time and selves is in some sense ‘unreal’ and only ‘appearance’. True reality is ‘The Absolute’, which is all encompassing and mental or spiritual in nature. Bradley was a vigorous critic of utilitarianism and his best known writing in ethics is an essay called ‘My Station and Its Duties’, contained in his Ethical Studies (1876). Essays on Truth and Reality appeared in 1914. He received the OM in 1924. His brother Andrew Cecil Bradley (1851–1935), literary critic, was professor of poetry at Oxford 1901–06. He wrote the influential Shakespearian Tragedy (1904) and Oxford Lectures in Poetry (1909).
Wollheim, R., F. H. Bradley. 1959.
Bradley, James (1693–1762). English astronomer, born at Sherborne, Dorset. Educated at Oxford he became vicar of Bridstow in 1719. Even earlier a remarkable talent for astronomy and mathematics had led to his election as FRS (1718). He was a professor of astronomy at Oxford from 1721 until he became astronomer royal in 1742. While attempting to measure stellar parallax he discovered the aberration of light, thus providing the first confirmation by observation of the theory that the earth moved round the sun (*Copernicus). Bradley also discovered nutation (oscillation of the earth’s axis about its mean position).
Bradley, Omar Nelson (1893–1981). American General of the Army, born in Missouri. He served in North Africa 1942–43 and became Commander-in-Chief of US land forces in Europe 1944–45. He succeeded *Eisenhower as US Army Chief of Staff 1948–49 and became the first Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff 1949–53. He backed *Truman on the *MacArthur issue and wrote the memoirs A Soldier’s Story (1951).
Bradman, Sir Donald George (1908–2001). Australian cricketer, born in Cootamundra. He grew up in Bowral, New South Wales. Perhaps the most brilliant and consistent batsman ever known, he first played for New South Wales in 1927 and for Australia in 1928, making the record score for first-class cricket of 452 runs, not out, in a state match against Queensland in 1930. (This stood until Hanif Mohammed scored 499 for Karachi in 1959). His Test batting average was 99.94 runs. He was Australian cricket captain 1936–49, receiving a knighthood in 1949 and an AC in 1979. He became a stockbroker in Adelaide, retiring in 1954.
Bradman, D. G., Farewell to Cricket. 1950; Williams, C., Bradman. 1996.
Bradshaw, John (1602–1659). English lawyer and regicide. The culmination of his career came when he was selected to preside over the trial of King *Charles I, on whom he passed sentence of death in 1649. After the Restoration, his body, buried in Westminster Abbey, was disinterred and hanged.
Bradstreet, Anne (c.1612–1672). American poet. She emigrated to Massachusetts in 1630. Her The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America was published in London in 1650 (second ed., Boston 1678). Her poems represent the first work of literary value to have been produced in New England. She left her Meditations in manuscript.
Bradwardine, Thomas (c.1290/1300–1349). English mathematician. At Oxford University he became a fellow of Balliol in 132l and Merton in 1323, was later chaplain to *Edward III and died of the plague. His philosophical and mathematical works were probably all composed while he was in Oxford. The range of problems that occupied him concerned the physical and mathematical understanding of motion. He was searching for some general formula for understanding speed of motion in terms of the forces which produced and hindered it. His conclusion was that the ratio of speeds of motions follows the ratio of the motive powers to the resistive powers. In some ways, this is a confused notion, but his attempt to study speed in its own right was an important influence upon later medieval writers on physics such as Richard *Swineshead and Nicole Oresme. Bradwardine also wrote on theological subjects. He was concerned to reduce the role of human free will in favour of the Divine Will. In his view, God was free to create whatever kind of world he wished, including one of infinite space.
Obermann, H. A., Thomas Bradwardine. 1958.
Braga, (Joaquim) Teofilo Fernandes (1843–1924). Portuguese writer and politician. Though a leader of the anti-clericals in politics, he was better known as a poet, collector of folklore and author of a monumental history of Portuguese literature. He became provisional president 1910–11 on the deposition of King *Manoel II. He was provisional president again in 1915.
Bragança (or Braganza). Dynasty that ruled Portugal 1640–1910, beginning with *João (John) IV, and Brazil 1822–89, when *Pedro I became emperor.
Bragg, Sir William Henry (1862–1942). British physicist, born in Cumberland. Educated on the Isle of Man and at Cambridge, he became professor of mathematics and physics at Adelaide University 1886–1909 (carrying out Australia’s first X-ray procedure, on his son, in 1895) and held the chair of physics at Leeds University 1909–15 and University College, London 1915–23. He designed the X-ray spectrometer which permitted exact measurement of X-ray wavelengths and crystal structure. His son, Sir (William) Lawrence Bragg (1890–1971) was born in Adelaide and educated there and at Cambridge. He formulated Bragg’s Law which helped to explain and measure the lattice arrangements in crystals and became the basis of X-ray crystallography. He shared the 1915 Nobel Prize for Physics with his father and, at 25, was the youngest Nobel laureate. Bragg senior received a KBE in 1920, the Copley Medal in 1930 and the OM in 1931, was director and professor of chemistry at the Royal Institution, London 1923–40 and president of the Royal Society 1935–40. The younger Bragg was technical adviser on sound-ranging at the British GHQ in France 1915–19, and succeeded *Rutherford both as professor of physics at Manchester University 1919–37 and Cavendish professor of experimental physics at Cambridge 1938–53. Like his father, he directed the Royal Institution 1954–66. His interests were unusually wide: silicates, metals, alloys and proteins and he was a founding father of two disciplines, X-ray crystallography and molecular biology. He received the Copley Medal in 1966 and a CH in 1967. Both Braggs promoted scientific programs for children.
Brahe, Tycho (or Tyge) (1546–1601). Danish astronomer, born in Scania (southern Sweden). At 19 he lost his nose in a duel and wore a silver replacement. The last great astronomer before the use of telescopes, he was attracted to the study of the stars by an eclipse that occurred during his student days at Copenhagen University. In 1572 he identified a supernova (‘Tycho’s star’). Between 1576 and 1580, under the patronage of King Frederik II, he established Uraniberg, a large and well-equipped observatory on the island of Ven (Hveen). There he made a series of astronomical observations more comprehensive and accurate than any previously recorded. Brahe did not accept in full the astronomical system of *Copernicus, for though he believed that the five known planets revolved around the sun he still affirmed that the sun itself, as well as the moon, revolved around the earth. So accurate were his observation, however, that *Kepler was later able to deduce the laws of planetary motion from them. Frederik’s death in 1588 exposed Brahe to the hostility of his fellow nobles, prejudiced against him because of his work and the king’s favour. He went to Prague, where the emperor *Rudolf II provided an observatory for him, and Kepler joined him as an assistant.
Brahmagupta (598–670). Indian mathematician and astronomer, born in Bhinmal (or Ujjain), Rajasthan. He is credited with being the first to use negative and positive numbers and zero (0) as a number, not a placeholder. He worked at an observatory in Ujjain, which now bears his name. He denied the rotation of the earth.
Brahms, Johannes (1833–1897). German composer, born in Hamburg. He was taught first by his father, a double bass player in the Hamburg State Theatre Orchestra, and then studied in Hamburg under Eduard Marxsen (1806–1887). From the age of 15 he appeared in public as a pianist until 1853 when he accompanied the Hungarian violinist Ede Remenyi (1828–1898) on a concert tour, after which he became friendly with Robert *Schumann. Largely because of Schumann’s efforts to promote his music, Brahms began to gain recognition, and was a part-time musician in residence at the court of Detmold. His Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor (1858), conceived on a heroic scale, was initially a failure, later popularised by Clara *Schumann. Brahms remained a close friend of Clara’s. Though he was in love with her, they did not marry after Schumann’s death in 1856. His Quintet in F Minor for Piano and strings (1864) was hailed by Joseph *Joachim as the greatest piece of chamber music since *Schubert.
Brahms settled in Vienna in 1863, where he directed the Wiener Singakademie from 1863 and the concerts of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde 1872–75. Among the great works of his full maturity were The German Requiem (1857–68), the four symphonies (1877, 1878, 1884, 1886), the Violin Concerto in D (1878), the Piano Concerto No. 2 in B Flat (1881), the Double Concerto for Violin and Cello (1887), the Clarinet Quintet (1891), 180 songs, three piano sonatas, ballades, capriccios and intermezzi, three violin sonatas and two sets of ‘Liebeslieder’ waltzes for chorus and piano. Brahms preserved the great musical traditions of the past in a period in which such composers as *Liszt and *Wagner were advocating ‘revolution and progress’ in art; he had a long feud with Wagner on this account. Notwithstanding, the highly personal style he created was influenced by the Romanticism of the time, as in many of his Lieder where he combined lyricism and nostalgia with a striking simplicity. He was a solitary, somewhat anti-social figure, politically conservative (an admirer of *Bismarck), an indifferent Lutheran, and a collector of books and manuscripts, including *Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, *Haydn quartets and Schubert songs. He died of liver cancer and was buried near Beethoven and Schubert. His stature suffered in the late 20th century because of the revival of *Bruckner and *Mahler who took Romanticism far beyond Brahms’s classical restraint. Intensely self-critical, he destroyed much of his output. He was much admired by *Schoenberg.
James, B., Brahms: A Critical Study. 1972; Geiringer, K., Brahms: His Life and Works. 1984; Swafford, J., Johannes Brahms. 1997.
Braid, James (1870–1950). Scottish golfer, born in Fife. He won the British Open championship five times (1901, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1910) and was French champion in 1910. He, Harry Vardon and J. H. Taylor were known among golfers as ‘the great triumvirate’.
Braille, Louis (1809–1852). French teacher of the blind. He became blind after an accident at the age of three. He spent most of his life, as pupil and professor, at the Paris Institution des Jeunes Aveugles. From 1825 he developed the system of ‘raised point’ writing, which is named after him.
Bramah, Joseph (1748–1814). English inventor, born in Yorkshire. He became a carpenter and cabinet maker and moved to London, where he invented or perfected many useful devices. His hydraulic press and security lock were of great value, but his water closet, beer pump and machine for printing serial numbers on bank notes also bear witness to his ingenious and versatile mind.
Bramante, Donato (c.1444–1514). Italian architect. Usually considered the greatest architect of the High Renaissance, he is lastingly famous as the designer of the initial, centralised, plan for St Peter’s Basilica, Rome. His plan, which was commissioned by Pope *Julius II and upon which work began in 1506, was somewhat altered by *Michelangelo and *Raphael, but the original conception remains Bramante’s (except for the nave, which was an extension by Maderna). Other work in Rome includes the Tempietto (1502) in the courtyard of S. Pietro in Montorio as well as parts of the Vatican palace (notably the Belvedere). Before he went to Rome in 1499, Bramante, who was humbly born, had worked mostly in Milan, as a painter. His architectural work there includes the chancel of San Satiro and the domed church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (1492–98). Bramante’s mature work is in a severe, pure Roman classical style.
Foster, O., Bramante. 1956.
Branagh, Sir Kenneth Charles (1960– ). British actor and director, born in Belfast. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and founded the Renaissance Theatre Co. in 1987. His first successful stage production, Another Country (1982) was followed by plays by *Shakespeare, *Ibsen, *Chekhov and later dramatists. His film Henry V (1989), in which, like *Olivier, he directed and played the leading role, was both moving and austere. Dead Again (1990) and Peter’s Friends (1992), both written and directed by Branagh, co-starred his wife Emma *Thompson, who won an Oscar for her role in Howard’s End (1993). They both acted in his film of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing (1993), but separated in 1995. His epic film Hamlet (1997) ran for four hours. Other Shakespearean films include Othello (1995), Love’s Labour’s Lost (2000), and As You Like It (2006). He directed and starred in a memorable Macbeth (2013), making his New York debut with it in 2014.
Brancusi, Constantin (1876–1957). Romanian sculptor. Having been trained in art in Bucharest he went in 1904 to Paris, where he lived for the rest of his life. His work has been described as abstract, but his sculptures are rather symbolic reductions of objects to their essential form, as in his Egg (called by him The Beginning of the World) and Seal. The Musee de l’Art Moderne. Paris, has good examples of his work and a reproduction of his studio. Brancusi has been one of the most important influences on modern sculpture.
Geist, S., Brancusi. 1968.
Brand, Sir Johannes Hendricus (1826–1888). South African politician. A barrister, he was elected to succeed M.W. *Pretorius as President of the Orange Free State 1864–88. His chief aim being to maintain the state’s independence, he refused all British attempts at federation. The Basutos were defeated by him (1865–66) but their territory was safeguarded (at their request) by British annexation. He maintained a cautious neutrality between the Transvaal and Cape Colony. The development of diamond mining underpinned the OFS’s prosperity.
Brandauer, Klaus Maria (1944– ). Austrian actor. He won international recognition for his roles in the films Mephisto (Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, 1981), Colonel Redl (1985), Out of Africa (1985), Druids (2001) and Tetro (2009).
Brandeis, Louis Dembitz (1856–1941). American lawyer and judge. Woodrow *Wilson appointed him as a justice of the US Supreme Court 1916–39, which generated controversy: he was the first Jewish member of the Court and had been a radical advocate of unpopular causes, such as civil liberties and rights for unions, a line he maintained on the bench.
Brandes, Georg Morris Cohen (1842–1927). Danish literary critic. After a tour of Europe, on which he met *Taine, *Renan and J. S.* Mill, he wrote Main Currents in Nineteenth-century Literature (6 volumes, 1872–90), which proclaimed him as a leading supporter of realistic literature, in which problems of everyday life should be discussed. Such views and his belief in free thought roused opposition which affected his career. Later he came to know *Nietzsche whose influence can be seen in his studies of *Shakespeare (1896), *Goethe (1915),* Voltaire (1916) and others. In 1925 he wrote Jesus, a Myth.
Brando, Marlon (1924–2004). American actor, born in Omaha, Nebraska. His naturalistic style of acting, acquired largely at Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio, achieved great popular success in the play and film of Tennessee *Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and such films as The Wild One, Julius Caesar (where he played Antony), On the Waterfront (for which he obtained an Academy award in 1954), The Young Lions, The Ugly American, Last Tango in Paris and The Godfather.
Mizruchi, S., Brando’s Smile. 2014.
Brandt, Willy (Karl Herbert Frahm) (1913–1992). German Social Democratic politician, born in Lübeck. Educated at Lübeck, he made an early mark as a socialist propagandist. After *Hitler came to power he went to Norway to become a Norwegian citizen and during the German occupation in World War II he worked with the Norwegian underground movement. After the war he re-entered German politics and became a member of the Bundestag in 1949. In 1957 he became Oberbürgermeister (Governing Mayor) of Berlin 1957–66 and in 1960 succeeded Erich *Ollenhauer as leader of the West German Social Democratic Party (SPD). He was Chancellor 1969–74, resigning after the arrest of one of his secretaries as a Communist spy. As Chancellor he improved relations with Eastern Europe and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971. He chaired the Independent Commission on Development Issues 1977–79, and the Brandt Report (1980) asserted that East–West (communist v. capitalist) issues would decline in significance and North–South (development v. under-development) problems would increase. He was a member of the European Parliament 1979–83. His books include The Ordeal of Co-existence (1963), Reflections and Letters (1971), People and Politics 1960–75 (1978) and My Life in Politics (1992).
Harprecht K., W. Brandt: Portrait and Self Portrait. 1972.
Brangwyn, Sir Frank (1867–1956). Welsh artist, born in Bruges, Belgium. As a boy he was apprenticed to William *Morris, ran away to sea at the age of 17, and exhibited at the Royal Academy the following year. He achieved his greatest success in mural paintings of great size and rich colouring. Among the finest examples are those in the Skinners’ Hall, London, and the parliament buildings, Winnipeg, Canada. Among other forms of art in which Brangwyn excelled were tapestry and furniture design. He was knighted in 1941.
Branson, Sir Richard Charles Nicholas (1950– ). English entrepreneur, born in Greenwich. He founded the first Virgin store in 1969 and developed interests in aviation, travel, entertainment, film and music.
Branting, Hjalmar (1860–1925). Swedish politician. The virtual creator of the Swedish Social Democratic party, he was its only member in the Riksdag of 1896. Though the party never attained an independent majority in his lifetime Branting was able to form the first socialist government in 1920 and was Prime Minister in 1920, 1921–23 and 1924–25. He had been a strong supporter of the Allies in World War I and as Prime Minister he represented his country at the League of Nations, of which he was a vigorous upholder. He won the 1921 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Brantôme, Pierre de Bourdeille, Seigneur and Abbé de (c.1534–1614). French writer and courtier. In 1561 he accompanied *Mary, Queen of Scots to Scotland and later took part in military expeditions throughout Europe and in Africa. His works, particularly the Vies de dames galantes, are collections of anecdotes, mainly scandalous, that reflect the gay and immoral life of the Valois court.
Braque, Georges (1882–1963). French painter. Son of a decorator, he joined the group known as the ‘Fauves’ (‘wild beasts’) in 1905, then in 1908 began an association with Pablo *Picasso which was to lead first to a monumental, brutal ‘African’ phase (Nude, 1908) and then to the development (about 1910) of the analytical style known as Cubism. In subsequent still lifes’ Braque introduced elements of ‘reality’ into a pictorial context newsprint, stencilled letters etc. After World War I he developed a less revolutionary but highly personal two-dimensional semi-abstract style, mainly in a still-life idiom, to which he brought a remarkable sense of design and significant shape. He also designed ballet settings and jewellery.
Mullins, E. B., Braque. 1969; Danchev, A., Georges Braque: A Life. 2005.
Brasidas (d.422 BCE). Spartan commander in the Peloponnesian War. By a brilliant diversionary campaign in Thrace (424 BCE) he may have saved his country from defeat. In 422 BCE he overtook and defeated the Athenians withdrawing from Amphipohis but both he and his opponent Cheon were killed.
Bratby, John (1928–1992). English painter. A vigorous and colourful artist, his concern was with the immediate environment of daily life, into which he projected both religious and mundane themes. His pictures gained wider recognition after being used in the film of Joyce *Cary’s book The Horse’s Mouth (1958). His writings included novels, a play and a study of Stanley *Spencer (1969).
Bratianu, Ion Constantin (1821–1891). Romanian politician. After the failure of the revolutionary movement of 1848, in which he had been a leading spirit, he lived in exile in Paris but continued to work underground for the unity of the Romanian principalities. He returned to Romania in 1856 and was mainly instrumental in securing the throne for Prince Karl of Hohenzollern (*Carol I). From 1876 to 1888, as leader of the Liberal Party he was seldom out of office. His son, I. C. Bratianu (1864–1927), his party successor, held a comparable position in Romanian politics and was largely responsible for bringing Romania into World War I on the Allied side. A grandson, Constantin (Dinu) Bratianu (1889–1950?), led the liberal opposition to Ion *Antonescu before World War II and, briefly, to the Communist regime that followed it.
Brattain, Walter Houser (1902–1987). American physicist, born in China. Educated at the universities of Oregon and Minnesota, he carried out research at the Bell Labs 1929–67. With William *Shockley and John *Bardeen he invented the point-contact transistor 1947–48. They shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1956 for their investigations.
Brauchitsch, (Heinrich Alfred Hermann) Walther von (1881–1948). German field marshal, born in Berlin. He had a complicated relationship with *Hitler, borrowed money from him, but despised him, contemplated leading a coup, but accepted appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the German Army 1938–41. He directed the conquest of France and planned the abortive invasion of Great Britain. He was dismissed for the failure of the attack on Moscow in 1941, undertaken against his advice, with the Führer becoming Commander-in-Chief himself. Brauchitsch was harsh to civilians in Poland and spineless with Hitler. He died before he could be tried as a war criminal.
Braudel, Fernand (1902–1985). French historian. Educated at the Sorbonne, he taught in Algeria and Brazil, was a prisoner of war (1940–45), held a chair at the Collège de France 1949–72, and edited the periodical Annales 1957–68. Often described as the greatest modern historian (although not in Britain), his major works include The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (1949) and Civilisation and Capitalism 15th–18th Century (3 vols, 1967–79). He was elected to the Académie française in 1984.
Braun, Eva (1912–1945). German model. After some years as a model for Hitler’s friend and photographer Heinrich Hoffman she became *Hitler’s mistress. They were married in the moment of defeat in the bunker headquarters of Hitler in Berlin on 29 April 1945, and both committed suicide the next day.
Braun, Wernher Magnus Maximilian von (1912–1977). German rocket scientist. He was technical director of the missile establishment at Peenemunde 1937–45 and took a major part in the development during World War II of the V2 rocket weapon. From 1950 he worked in the US on rockets for launching missiles and satellites.
Goodrum, J. C., Wernher von Braun: Space Pioneer. 1969.
Brazza, Pierre Savorgnan de (1852–1905). French explorer, born in Rome. He joined the French navy in 1868 and was naturalised in 1874. He explored West Africa 1875–78 and 1879–82, established the course of the Ogoove River 1883–85, became Commissioner-General in the (French) Congo 1886–97 and founded Brazzaville. He died at Dakar.
Breakspear, Nicholas see Adrian IV
Breasted, James Henry (1865–1935). American historian and archaeologist. He was professor of Egyptology at Chicago University 1905–33 and directed several important archaeological expeditions to Egypt and Mesopotamia. His general works include The Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (1912) and The Dawn of Conscience (1933). His History of Egypt (rev. ed. 1928) and Ancient Records of Egypt (translations of Egyptian texts 1906–27) are still in print.
Brecht, Bertolt (1898–1956). German dramatist, poet and director, born in Augsburg. Of middle-class parentage, in 1916 he went to Munich University to study medicine, but his studies were interrupted by World War I in which he served as a medical orderly. His first play, Baal, was written in 1918 and was shortly followed by Drums in the Night. In 1921 he became Dramaturg (resident playwright and adviser) in a Munich theatre, his first plays were produced and brought their author immediate recognition as a powerful new presence in the German theatre. From the first the special character of the Brechtian theatre began to emerge. Brecht demanded, and tried to achieve, both by his writing and by the styles of acting and direction that he developed, a theatre that would deny its audience the satisfaction of emotional involvement, instead they were to be fully aware that they were in a theatre, alert, conscious and ‘ready for action’. In 1924 Brecht went to Berlin, where, under the influence of Erwin Piscator’s revolutionary epic theatre, his work became even more directly propagandist. He was by now a confirmed, if highly independent, Marxist, as he was to remain for the rest of his life. In 1926 he published the first major collection of his poems (Taschenpostille) and met the composer Kurt *Weill, who was to collaborate with him in his most famous musical works, The Threepenny Opera (1928), Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1930) and Happy End (1929). He ruthlessly exploited his mistress-collaborators Elizabeth Hauptmann and Margarete Steffin and his major plays were essentially collective works. The series of didactic plays, the Lehrstücke, aimed at educating the social attitudes of his audience; St Joan of the Stockyards (1929–30) stands out in this period. In 1933 *Hitler came to power and Brecht, now a prominent writer in Germany, went into exile and semi-oblivion with his wife, the actor Helene Weigel. Living mainly in Denmark, Brecht produced some anti-Nazi propaganda plays, The Threepenny Novel, and some of his finest poetry. Then, between 1938 and 194l, he wrote the great and mature works for which he is mainly remembered: The Life of Galileo (1938–39), Mother Courage and Her Children (1939), The Trial of Lucullus (1939), The Good Woman of Setzuan (1938–40), Herr Puntila and his Man Matti (1940–41) and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (1941). In 1941 he went to the US and settled in Hollywood. There he wrote Schweik in the Second World War (1941–44) and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1944–45), but failed properly to re-establish himself as a dramatist. In 1947 he was summoned to appear before the Committee on Un-American Activities, which was investigating Communist infiltration of the film industry. Adopting the Schweikian philosophy of self-interest and survival, Brecht denied his Marxist sympathies and emerged unscathed. He was, in fact, never a member of the Communist Party. Soon after, however, he left the US, and went to Switzerland, where he wrote his last complete play The Days of the Commune (1948–49). In 1949 he returned to East Germany and settled in Berlin. His relations with the East German authorities were uneasy, but his reputation was immense, and he was granted almost unlimited facilities for the production of plays. With these he created the Berliner Ensemble, a theatre company which could at last put into practice the dramatic theories he had spent a lifetime in developing. At the time of his death he was beginning to be recognised in western countries as one of the major figures in 20th-century theatre.
Fuegi, J., Brecht and Company. 1994.
Breivik, Anders Behring (later adopted name Fjotolf Hansen, pen name Andrew Berwick) (1979– ). Norwegian terrorist. A far-right race supremacist, he was fanatically anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. He compiled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, 1518 pages long, under the name Andrew Berwick and published it, by email, on 22 July 2011. On the same day he killed eight people by detonating a fertiliser bomb in Oslo, then fatally shot 69 Labour Party members and teenagers at a summer camp on the island of Utøya, injuring 319 more. Convicted of mass murder and terrorism in July 2011, he was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment, the maximum sentence under Norwegian law. He has repeatedly litigated, without success, claiming ill-treatment in prison. In his manifesto he applauded conservatives, including five Australians, whom he regarded as anti-Muslim, and committed to European cultural hegemony.
Brendel, Alfred (1931– ). Austrian-British pianist. He made his debut in 1948, toured extensively and relocated to London in 1972. He was regarded as a great *Mozart specialist and recorded all the keyboard music of *Beethoven and *Schubert. He also wrote extensively on aesthetics. He was awarded an Hon. KBE in 1989.
Brennan, William Joseph, Jr (1906–1997). American jurist. A justice of the US Supreme Court 1956–90, he was regarded as leader of the liberal wing.
Brenner, Sydney (1927–2019). British biologist, born in South Africa. Of Jewish-Lithuanian descent, he studied at Witwatersrand and Oxford. He developed the use of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans for genetic analysis and succeeded Max *Perutz as director of the Medical Research Laboratory, Cambridge 1979–86. He received a CH in 1986, the Copley Medal in 1991 and shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2002 with Robert Horvitz and John Sulston for ‘discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death’.
Brentano, Franz (1838–1917). Austrian philosopher. Known as ‘the Austrian Socrates’ because his influence depended more upon the spoken than the written word, he taught at Würzburg and Vienna 1866–80. He had a major influence on Tomas *Masaryk, the future president of Czechoslovakia. Through inability to accept papal infallibility he gave up his priesthood in 1873. Much of his work consisted of reviewing and revising *Aristotle’s conceptions of logic and psychology. Parallels between right thinking and right living are discussed in Origin of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong (Eng. tr. 1902).
Breton, André (1896–1966). French poet and critic. He was the pioneer and ideologist of Surrealism, defining it as ‘pure psychic automatism’ and wrote The Surrealist Manifesto (1924). He worked with Louis *Aragon and Tristan *Tzara, was active as an anarchist and was a discriminating collector of paintings and ethnographic art.
Breuer, Josef (1842–1925). German Jewish physician, born in Vienna. A formative influence on the development of psychoanalysis, he undertook medical studies at the University of Vienna. He kept up contacts with the university, but made a living through private practice. Breuer’s main early scientific research lay in the field of physiology, but his fame chiefly rests upon his studies of hysteria, particularly one of his patients, ‘Anna O’. She suffered from severe classic hysteria, including paralysis and aphasia. But Breuer found that, over a long period, by getting her to talk about her distant past, particularly when under hypnosis, a state of catharsis was induced and the symptoms gradually ceased. Thus Breuer had hit upon the ‘talking cure’ which became central to Freudian analytic therapy. *Freud and Breuer collaborated closely in the 1880s on a technique of curing by bringing into consciousness repressed phobias and wishes long consigned to the unconscious. After a series of quarrels their relationship ended in 1896, when Breuer refused to accept Freud’s belief that infantile sexuality was a product of seduction by adults. (Freud himself later abandoned that belief.)
Sulloway, F., Sigmund Freud, Beyond the Psycho-analytic Myth. 1979.
Breuer, Marcel Lajos (1902–1981) American architect, born in Hungary. He studied at the Bauhaus in Germany and designed the first tubular steel chair in 1925. In 1937 he went to the US to teach at Harvard, where *Gropius, the German architect, whose pupil he had been, also came to work. They carried out some schemes in partnership. Breuer was a co-architect of the UNESCO building in Paris (1953–59).
Breughel, Pieter see Bruegel, Pieter
Breuil, Henri Edouard Prosper (1877–1961). French abbé and archaeologist. He was ordained in 1900 but from the first devoted himself to the study of prehistory and became recognised especially as the greatest authority on cave art. He studied and traced the figures of animals etc. in the caves of northern Spain (Altamira etc.) and France (the Dordogne and elsewhere), and by assigning them to the upper Palaeolithic enabled them to be dated approximately between 25,000 and 10,000 BCE. Breuil was professor of prehistory at the Collège de France (1929–17) and wrote many books, including Four Hundred Centuries of Cave Art (1952) and The Painted Rocks of the Sahara (1955).
Brodrick, A. H., The Abbe Breuil. 1963.
Brewer, E(benezer) Cobham (1810–1897). English clergyman and teacher, born in Norwich. His Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1870), generally known as Brewer’s, was a popular reference work, last revised in 2012.
Brewster, Sir David (1781–1868). Scottish physicist, born at Jedburgh. He worked mainly in the field of physical optics, and discovered the law (now known as Brewster’s Law) that when polarisation occurs in a reflected beam of light, the tangent of the angle of polarisation is equal to the refractive index of the reflecting medium. Brewster invented the kaleidoscope, improved the stereoscope and devised a polyzonal lens still used in lighthouses. He received the Copley Medal in 1815. He helped to found the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1831 and was knighted in that year. He wrote an authoritative life of *Newton and many encyclopaedia articles.
Breytenbach, Breyten (1939– ). South African novelist, poet and painter. Writing in Afrikaans, he became deeply opposed to the Nationalist regime and was imprisoned 1975–82. His books included A Season in Paradise (1973), The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist (1984) and Return to Paradise (1993).
Brezhnev, Leonid Ilyich (1906–1982). Russian Communist politician, born in Ukraine. He worked as a surveyor, then as a metallurgist, joining the CPSU in 1931. He met *Khrushchev during the Great Purges and became a senior political officer during World War II. As Party Secretary in the Kazahk Republic 1954–60, he directed the (largely unsuccessful) ‘Virgin Lands’ campaign. He was a candidate member of the Politburo 1952–53, 1956–57 and, after the expulsion of the ‘anti-Party group’, a full member 1957–82. He succeeded Marshal *Voroshilov as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (i.e. President of the USSR) 1960–64 and again 1977–82. When *Khrushchev fell from power (1964) Brezhnev succeeded him as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and so with *Kosygin became one of the two most powerful men in the government. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1972, became a marshal of the Soviet Union in 1976 and his resumption of the Soviet presidency in 1977, an office he held with the post of first secretary, was regarded as the end of an era of collegiate leadership. Brezhnev’s name became proverbial for corruption and nepotism.
Dornberg J., Brezhnev. 1974.
Brian, (William) Havergal (1876–1972). British composer, born in Staffordshire. Largely self-taught, he worked as a clerk, copyist, occasional critic and organist, devoting himself to a frenzy of composition, little of it played in his lifetime, including 32 symphonies and four operas. Symphony No. 1 in D Minor (‘the Gothic’, 1919–27), for an orchestra of 150 and a choir of 400, probably the longest symphony ever performed (about 107 minutes), is available on CD. The film The Curse of the Gothic Symphony (2012) describes the herculean task of organising its Australian première.
Brian Boru (or Bóroimhe) (d.1014). Irish King. Having succeeded his brother as King of Munster in 976, he disputed the authority of Malachy II, the High King, gained supremacy over southern Ireland (997) and eventually (1002) expelled Malachy and usurped his power. The end came when in 1014 he found himself confronted with an alliance between the King of Leinster and the Vikings then holding Dublin. At Clontarf Brian Boru won a complete victory but was himself murdered after the battle. The many O’Briens perpetuate his name.
Briand, Aristide (1862–1932). French radical politician, born at Nantes. he became an advocate, co-founder of L’Humanité with his friend Jean *Jaurès and a Socialist deputy 1902–32. He was Premier of France for six periods 1909–11, 1913, 1915–16, 1921–22, 1925–26, 1929 and Foreign Minister four times 1915–17, 1921–22, 1925, 1926–32. After World War I he advocated reconciliation with Germany and after the Locarno Treaty of 1925 he shared the Nobel Peace Prize (1926) with Gustav *Stresemann. The Briand-*Kellogg Pact outlawing war followed in 1928. He was defeated by Paul *Doumer in a parliamentary vote to elect the President in 1931.
Bridge, Frank (1879–1941). English composer. He studied under Sir Charles *Stanford at the Royal College of Music, and gained recognition as a violist and conductor. Chiefly a composer of chamber music, he also wrote a symphonic suite The Sea (1911) and a tone poem Summer (1916). His style, at first romantic, became astringent and radical in his later years in such works as the second and third string quartets (1920, 1937), Oration: Concerto elegiaco (for cello, 1930), Phantasia for piano and orchestra (1931) and some fine songs. Among his composition pupils was Benjamin *Britten.
Bray, T., Frank Bridge. 1977.
Bridges, Harry (Alfred Bryant Renton) (1901–1990). American trade unionist, born in Melbourne. He worked in San Francisco from 1920, formed the International Longshoremen’s Association and organised a general strike in 1934. He became President of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU) in 1937, and resisted many attempts to have him deported.
Bridges, Robert Seymour (1844–1930). English poet, born at Walmer. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he became a physician in London but was rich enough to be able to retire in 1882. Three volumes of graceful lyrics had already won him recognition as a poet. Later he wrote several plays and the narrative poem Eros and Psyche, now largely forgotten. A collected edition of 1912, followed by a more complete collection in 1936, introduced him as a major poet to a wider world. Bridges was a great friend of Gerard Manley *Hopkins, whose poems he collected and published posthumously in 1918. The two shared a great interest in metrical and rhythmic experiments. Bridges also wrote critical studies of *Keats and *Milton and succeeded Alfred *Austin as Poet Laureate 1913–30. He expressed his philosophical and aesthetic ideas in his last long poem The Testament of Beauty (1929) and received the OM in 1929.
Sparrow, J., Bridges. 1962.
Bridget (or Brigid or Bride), St (c.450–c.525). Irish religious. Little is known of her life except that she founded the first Irish convent, in Kildare.
Bridget, St (c.1303–1373). Swedish visionary. Born of an aristocratic family, she became absorbed in religion only after the death (1344) of her husband by whom she had eight children. For the rest of her life she was seeing and recording visions. Her revelations concerned not only spiritual matters but also political questions. In 1349 she left Sweden after a disagreement with the king and settled in Rome. In 1370, with papal consent, she founded the Augustinian Order of Bridgettines.
Bridgewater, Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of (1736–1803). English nobleman. Responsible for the first canal in England, he commissioned James *Brindley to build a canal from his Worsley coalmines to Manchester. This, later extended to join the Mersey at Runcorn, and subsequent canals, forestalled the railways in providing cheap transport for heavy industrial loads. Bridgewater died unmarried and the dukedom became extinct.
Bridgman, Percy Williams (1882–1961). American physicist. He held professorships at Harvard 1926–54. In 1946 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for his pioneering studies in the physics of very high pressures. He also made valuable contributions to the philosophy of science.
Bridie, James (Osborne Henry Mavor) (1888–1951). Scottish playwright. A physician in Glasgow for many years, he achieved great success with his plays, some whimsical, some pleasantly macabre. They include Tobias and the Angel (1930), The Anatomist (1931), Mr Bolfry (1943), Dr Angelus (1947) and Daphne Laureola (1949). He was one of the founders of the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre.
Luyben, H. L., James Bridie: Clown and Philosopher. 1965.
Brieux, Eugène (1858–1932). French dramatist. Originally a journalist, he wrote many didactic plays aimed at the exposure of social evils and middle-class hypocrisy. His works include the play Les Avariés (Damaged Goods, 1901), dealing with venereal disease.
Briggs, Henry (1561–1630). English mathematician, born in Halifax. His life was spent in the academic world and his fame rests on his simplification of logarithms (invented by Napier in 1614) and his extension of their use. He originated the use of 10 as the most practical base for tables and in his Arithmetica Logarithmica (1624) published logarithms for 30,000 natural numbers, calculated to 14 decimal places. In his Trigonometria Britannica (1633) he gave tables of logarithms of sines and tangents to a hundredth of a degree, calculated to 15 decimal places.
Bright, John (1811–1889). English Radical and Quaker politician, born in Rochdale, Lancashire. The son of a cotton manufacturer he left school at 16 to enter the family business. He already had a reputation for speaking on such subjects as temperance when, in 1841, he joined the Anti-Corn Law League and with his lifelong friend Richard *Cobden campaigned ardently for the repeal of taxes on imported grain. The Corn Laws were repealed under Sir Robert *Peel in 1846. Bright’s parliamentary career began in 1843 when he was elected for Durham, and he represented this and later constituencies, Manchester and Birmingham, until 1889 (apart from 1857–58). He campaigned for electoral reform, opposed *Palmerston’s aggressive foreign policy, especially the Crimean War (‘The angel of death has been abroad throughout the land; you may almost hear the beating of his wings’), and, despite Lancashire’s cotton interests, supported the Union cause in the American Civil War. He served under *Gladstone as President of the Board of Trade 1868–70 and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 1873–74, 1880–82, but resigned over the government’s Egyptian policy and finally broke with Gladstone in 1885–86 on the issue of Home Rule for Ireland. A supporter of laissez faire and an opponent of trades unions and factory legislation, he was one of the greatest parliamentary orators. He died of Bright’s disease (not named for him: see Richard *Bright).
Ausbel, H., John Bright: Victorian Reformer. 1966.
Bright, Richard (1789–1858). English physician, born in Bristol. In 1812 he graduated in Edinburgh after studying at Guy’s Hospital in London. He became a leading London consultant and on the accession of Queen *Victoria became her ‘physician-extraordinary’. His name is perpetuated by the term Bright’s disease, still applied collectively to a number of kidney disorders.
Brillat-Savarin, Anthelme (1755–1826). French lawyer. Famous for his La Physiologie du Goût (1825), a witty treatise on gastronomy, he was mayor of his native Belley near Chambery in 1793, but then took refuge from revolutionary excesses in Switzerland and America. On his return (1796) he became a member of the court of appeals.
Brin, Sergey Mikhailovich (1973– ). Russian-American internet entrepreneur, born in Moscow. His family migrated to the US in 1979, and he studied at the universities of Maryland and Stanford. With Larry *Page he was the co-founder of Google Inc. in 1998 which was floated as a public company in 2004. Brin had a net worth of $US20 billion by 2012.
Brindley, James (1716–1772). English engineer, born in Thornsett, Derbyshire. Apprenticed to a millwright, he set up on his own at Leek (1742) but was still almost illiterate when he was commissioned to design and supervise important canal systems by the Duke of *Bridgewater. Brindley built about 600 kilometres of canals, the longest being the Grand Trunk Canal linking the Mersey with the Potteries, Derby and Birmingham.
Brink, André (Philippus) (1935–2015). South African writer. He wrote both in Afrikaans and English, and taught at the University of Cape Town. Looking on Darkness (1974) was the first novel by an Afrikaaner to be banned in South Africa. A Dry White Season (1979) was successfully filmed.
Brinvilliers, Marguérite d’Aubray, Marquise (c.1630–1676). French murderer. She and her lover, Godin de Sainte-Croix, poisoned her husband and all his family to obtain their fortune and avenge her lover’s imprisonment. The crime remained undiscovered until after Sainte-Croix’s death, when incriminating papers were discovered. The marquise was arrested and beheaded.
Brisbane, Sir Thomas Makdougall, 1st Baronet (1773–1860). Scottish administrator and astronomer. After distinguished army service, close to *Wellington, he was appointed Governor of New South Wales 1821–25. During his term of office the penal code was reformed and a constitution given to the colony. The Brisbane River, discovered in 1823, and the city which was built on its banks were named after him. While in Australia he catalogued over 7000 stars, receiving the Copley Medal of the Royal Society. In 1836 he was made a baronet, and in 1837 a GCB.
Brissot, Jacques Pierre (known as de Warville) (1754–1793). French revolutionary politician, born at Chartres. Son of an innkeeper, he became a lawyer and campaigned for penal reform, abolition of slavery and other liberal causes. In the revolutionary period he was a member of the Legislative Assembly 1791–92 and of the Convention 1792–93 and became a leader of the Girondists, the more moderate faction which was overcome and destroyed by *Robespierre’s extremist Jacobins. Brissot attempted to flee but was caught and guillotined.
Brittain, Vera (Mary) (1893–1970). English writer and pacifist. Her family was prosperous and she read English at Oxford, breaking off study to become a nurse during World War I, in which her brother, fiancé and two close friends were killed. She devoted her life to pacifism and feminism. Her memoir Testament of Youth (1933) was adapted for television (1979) and as a feature film (2014). She married the philosopher (Sir) George Catlin. Shirley *Williams was their daughter.
Bostridge, M., Vera Brittain and the First World War. 2014.
Brittan, Leon, Baron Brittan (1939–2015). British Conservative politician and bureaucrat. Educated at Cambridge and Yale, he became a barrister, MP 1974–88, Home Secretary 1983–85, Secretary of State for Industry 1985–86 and Vice President of the European Commission 1989–99.
Britten, (Edward) Benjamin, Baron Britten of Aldeburgh (1913–1976). English composer, born in Lowestoft. Son of a dentist, educated at Gresham’s School, Holt, he began composing from the age of nine (some early work being preserved in Simple Symphony, 1934), studied under Frank *Bridge and at the Royal College of Music. *Mahler, *Berg and *Shostakovich were important early influences. His first international success was Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge (1937), followed by Les Illuminations (song cycle to poems by *Rimbaud, 1939). A conscientious objector, he lived in the US 1939–42 with his lifelong partner (Sir) Peter *Pears, for whom many works were written, including the Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo (1940), Serenade for tenor, horn and strings (1943), The Holy Sonnets of John Donne (1945), Winter Words (*Hardy, 1953), Nocturne (1958) and Five Canticles (Francis *Quarles, Chester Mystery Play, Edith *Sitwell, two by T. S. *Eliot, 1947–74). His opera Peter Grimes (based on The Borough, by George *Crabbe, 1945), commissioned by *Koussevitzky, with Pears in the title role, was an immediate success and remains in the international repertoire. Other operas include The Rape of Lucretia (after André Obey, 1946), Billy Budd (libretto by E M *Forster and Eric Crozier, 1951), Gloriana (after Lytton *Strachey, 1953), The Turn of the Screw (after Henry *James, 1954), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (after *Shakespeare, 1960), Curlew River (1962) and Death in Venice (adaptation of Thomas *Mann, 1973). The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (Variations on a Theme by Purcell, with commentary, 1945) has been much recorded. In 1947 he founded the Aldeburgh Festival which became the centre of his musical activities and made many recordings as pianist and conductor, including music by *Bach, *Haydn, *Mozart and *Schubert. Among other works were Violin Concerto (1939), Spring Symphony (1949), The War Requiem (1962) and the Cello Symphony (1963, written for *Rostropovich). He also recorded with *Richter and *Arrau. Britten received the CH (1953), the Aspen Award (1964), the OM (1965) and in 1976 became the first musician created a peer. Shostakovich dedicated his Symphony No. 14 to Britten but *Stravinsky disparaged him. He died of congestive heart failure.
Carpenter, H., Benjamin Britten. 1993; Kildea, P., Benjamin Britten: A Life in the Twentieth Century. 2013.
Broad, Charlie Dunbar (1887–1971). English philosopher. Knightsbridge professor of moral philosophy at Cambridge 1933–53, he was best known for his inquiry into the relation between mind and matter, called The Mind and Its Place in Nature, and for a three-volume examination of the work of John Ellis M’Taggart (1866–1925).
Brockhaus, Friedrich Arnold (1772–1823). German publisher. Founder of the firm in Leipzig which has borne his name, he published the encyclopaedic Konversations Lexikon (completed 1811), which has been followed by many encyclopaedias during the history of the family firm.
Brodkey, Harold (1930–1996). American novelist and short story writer, born in Illinois. Educated at Harvard, he taught at Cornell and CCNY and contributed to the New Yorker. His novels included The Runaway Soul (1991) and Profane Friendship (1994). He died of AIDS.
Brodsky, Joseph Aleksandrovich (1940–1996). Russian-Jewish poet, born in St Petersburg. After leaving school, he began writing poetry and was sentenced to hard labour in Arkhangelsk for ‘social parasitism’ 1964–65. He lived in the US from 1972, teaching at the universities of Michigan, Queen’s College, New York, and Mt Holyoake College 1981–96. He was awarded the 1987 Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987 and named as the Poet Laureate of the US in 1991. His poems were translated into English, German and French.
Broglie, Maurice, Duc de (1875–1960). French physicist. As a young man and again in World War I he served in the French navy, but was known for his work on the ionisation of gases, radioactivity and X-rays, of which he obtained the first spectra. He became a member of the Académie française in 1934. His younger brother Louis Victor Pierre Raymond, Duc de Broglie (1892–1987), studied history for a diplomatic career, became a radio engineer in World War I, then took up physics at the University of Paris. He laid the foundations of wave mechanics and his prediction of the diffraction of electrons was confirmed in 1927 by C. J. *Davisson and G. P. *Thomson. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1929, he was professor of physics at the University of Paris 1932–62, a member of the Académie française 1943–87, and a prolific writer. His publications include New Perspectives in Physics (1962).
Bromfield, Louis (1896–1956). American novelist and short-story writer. He won the Pulitzer Prize for 1926 with Early Autumn, his other novels include The Rains Came (1937), Night in Bombay (1940), and Mrs Parkington (1943).
Brown, M., Louis Bromfield and His Books. 1956.
Bronowski, Jacob (1908–1974). British mathematician, humanist and poet, born in Łódz. In England from 1920, educated at Cambridge, he had an encyclopaedic range of interests, worked for government, wrote books on *Blake, broadcast for the BBC and researched in California. With Bruce Mazlish he wrote The Western Intellectual Tradition (1960) and presented an inspiring television series The Ascent of Man (1971–72).
Brontë (originally Brunty or Prunty, the familiar form was adopted after *Nelson was made Duke of Brontë). Anglo-Irish literary family, resident in Yorkshire. Patrick Brontë (1777–1861), born in County Down, was educated in Cambridge and, despite Methodist leanings, ordained as an Anglican clergyman in 1806, serving parishes in West Yorkshire until his death, first Hartshead (1811), then Thornton (1815) and as perpetual curate of Haworth (1820). In 1812 he married Maria Branwell (d.1821). Two daughters, Maria (1813–1825) and Elizabeth (1814–1825), were born in Hartshead; Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne in Thornton. Originally educated at home, after their mother’s death the girls were cared for by their kindly but austere aunt Elizabeth Branwell. Their father became increasingly eccentric and in 1824 they were sent to a hated school for the daughters of the clergy at Cowan Bridge (the Lowood of Jane Eyre). The two older girls were sent home to die of tuberculosis and the younger three soon returned as well. The four surviving children, ardent readers of *Shakespeare, Walter *Scott and *Byron, created literary worlds of their own: Charlotte and Branwell wrote a cycle of plays, stories and poems about the imaginary kingdom of Angria (about 1500 pages of which survive), while Emily and Anne produced the island kingdom of Gondal (only a few fine poems remaining). To avoid personal publicity, scarcely necessary as it happened, the sisters adopted masculine names for their first publication, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, which appeared in 1846 and sold only two copies.
Charlotte Brontë (Currer Bell) (1816–1855) attended Miss Wooler’s school at Roe Head (1831–32), made lasting friendships, returning to teach her siblings. She then taught at Roe Head (1835–38), became a private governess, and a pupil teacher at Constantin Heger’s boarding school in Brussels (1842 and 1843). Her first novel The Professor, set in Brussels, completed in 1846, was rejected and published posthumously (1857). Jane Eyre: An Autobiography, edited by Currer Bell, appeared in 1847. With its romantic intensity, the vividly Byronic Mr Rochester, and the rejection of love through moral conviction, it won immediate success. Shirley (1849) and Villette (1853), also set in Brussels, followed. In 1849 the sisters’ authorship was revealed. Charlotte visited London three times in 1850, meeting *Thackeray, then went to the Lake District, Scotland and Manchester (1851–52). In 1854 she married Arthur Bell Nicholls (1817–1906), her father’s curate, and died nine months later of pregnancy toxaemia, complicated by tuberculosis. Elizabeth *Gaskell became her first biographer (1857).
(Patrick) Branwell Brontë (1817–1848) showed youthful gifts and is remembered only for a striking but incomplete portrait of his sisters. Dismissed as a railway clerk and tutor, he was wayward and unstable. Addiction to alcohol and opium contributed to his early death.
Emily (Jane) Brontë (Ellis Bell) (1818–1848), the most gifted of the family, was the best poet, as Charlotte conceded, and the most powerful novelist. She was a governess in Halifax, taught English and piano in Brussels (1842) while learning French and German, then kept house at Haworth. Emily’s poems are by far the best in the 1846 collection. Her only novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), set on the Yorkshire moors, is a work of great passion and power, suggesting elemental conflict between nature and civilisation, masterfully complex in structure, using time shifts and marked by touches of cruelty. The central character is the passionate Heathcliff, and Catherine Earnshaw is a self-portrait. Criticised for morbidity on publication, it was later recognised as a masterpiece. Emily died of tuberculosis after refusing all medical assistance.
Anne Brontë (Acton Bell) (1820–1849) was most influenced by her aunt and Emily, with whom she created Gondal. Gentle and submissive in character, she worked as a governess and died at Scarborough. Her novels were the autobiographical Agnes Grey (1847) and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), the story of a violent drunkard, partly modelled on Branwell.
Gerin, W., Anne Brontë. 1959, Charlotte Brontë. 1967, Emily Brontë. 1971; Winnifrith, T., The Brontës and Their Background. 1973; Barker, J., The Brontës. 1988.
Brook, Peter Stephen Paul (1925– ). English stage producer and film director. After student productions at Oxford, he worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company, becoming co-director 1962–70. He also produced drama, ballet and opera at Covent Garden, the New York Metropolitan, in Iran and West Africa and (from 1970) in Paris. His films include The Beggar’s Opera, The Lord of the Flies, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Marat/Sade, The Conference of the Birds and Meetings with Remarkable Men. From 1985 until 1989 he toured the world with his production of a Sanskrit epic The Mahabharata, which was then adapted for television and film. He received a CH in 1998.
Brook, P. S. P., The Empty Space. 1968.
Brooke, Sir Alan Francis see Alanbrooke
Brooke, Sir Basil Stanlake see Brookeborough
Brooke, Rupert Chawner (1887–1915). English poet, born at Rugby. Educated at Rugby School, where his father was a master, he studied at King’s College, Cambridge. He epitomised the golden youth of the Edwardian era: beautiful, sexually ambiguous, a questing Fabian. After travelling in Germany, the US and the Pacific he was commissioned in the Royal Naval Division in the early days of World War I and died of blood poisoning caused by an insect bite in Skyros on his way to the Dardanelles. He was the ‘gifted and golden youth’, the poignancy of whose early death typified the tragedy of his generation.
If I should die think only this of me
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England …
are the most famous lines from his two slim volumes of poetry (1911 and 1915).
Hassal, C., Rupert Brooke: A Biography. 1972; Jones, N., Rupert Brooke: Life, Death and Myth. 2016; Delany, P., Fatal Glamour: The Life of Rupert Brooke. 2016.
Brookeborough, Basil Stanlake Brooke, 1st Viscount (1888–1973). Northern Ireland politician, born near Brookeborough. A nephew of Viscount *Alanbrooke, he inherited a baronetcy, served in World War I (CBE, MC), and was a Senator 1921–22. A Member of the Northern Ireland parliament at Stormont 1929–69, he became a Minister in 1933 and succeeded J. M. Andrews as Prime Minister 1943–63. Deeply anti-Catholic, he worsened Catholic v. Protestant divisions in Northern Ireland. He received a viscountcy in 1952 and a KG in 1965.
Brooks, Van Wyck (1886–1963). American essayist, literary critic and translator. He wrote much on the influence of Puritanism on American culture, e.g. in America’s Coming-of-Age (1915). Other works include notable biographies of Henry *James (1925) and *Emerson (1932) and The Flowering of New England (Pulitzer Prize for History, 1936).
Brougham, Henry Peter, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux (1778–1868). British lawyer and politician. Born and educated in Edinburgh, he was admitted to the Scottish bar and became active in journalism, helping to found the Edinburgh Review (1802). In 1805 he moved to London and in 1808 was called to the English bar, and was a Whig MP 1810–12, 1816–30. He won notoriety and popularity as counsel for Queen *Caroline when the ‘bill of divorcement’ brought against her in 1820 by *George IV was withdrawn by the government. A prolific writer, Brougham founded the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1825) and, with others, London University (1828). In parliamentary opposition, he became an advocate for public education and the abolition of slavery (1833). In February 1828 he delivered the longest speech in the history of the House of Commons—six hours. When the Whigs returned to office (1830) he became Lord Chancellor and was prominent in the Reform Bill debates. His eccentricities became so marked that after the defeat of the government (1834) he never held office again. His most important work, if least known, was in law reform, where he followed the principles of Jeremy *Bentham. A carriage built to his design became the prototype of the brougham. He popularised Cannes as a resort, and died there.
Stewart, R., Henry Brougham. 1986.
Brouncker, William Brouncker, 2nd Viscount (1620–1684). English mathematician, born in Ireland. Educated at Oxford, he developed ‘Brouncker’s formula’, which involves ‘generalized continued fractions of π’. He was the first President of the Royal Society 1662–77 and a Commissioner of the Navy 1681–84.
Brouwer (or Brauwer), Adriaen (1606–1638). Flemish painter, born at Oudenaarde. A pupil of Frans *Hals, his pictures of brawls and taverns, in which he displays a strong sense of character, reflect the dissipation of his own life. He died of the plague in Antwerp.
Brown, Sir Arthur Whitten (1886–1948). British engineer and aviator. He was navigator to Sir John William *Alcock on the first non-stop Atlantic flight (June 1919) and received a knighthood.
Brown, Pat (né Edmund George) (1905–1996). American lawyer and Democratic politician. Governor of California 1959–66, he defeated Richard *Nixon in 1962 and lost to Ronald *Reagan in 1966. His son Edmund Gerald (‘Jerry’) Brown, Jr (1938– ), formerly a priest, then a lawyer, was Governor of California 1975–83 and a liberal contender for the presidential nomination in 1976, 1980 and 1992; his sister Kathleen Brown (1946– ) was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor 1994. Jerry Brown was Attorney-General 2007–11 and again Governor of California 2011–19 (the youngest, longest-serving and oldest to hold the office).
Brown, Ford Madox (1821–1893). English painter, born in Calais. Though closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood by style and personal contact he never became a member. Christ Washing St Peter’s Feet, in the National Gallery, London, is a fine example of his mature style, but more characteristic are pictures of historical subjects, such as the murals for Manchester Town Hall which occupied the last years of his life.
Hilton, T., The Pre-Raphaelites. 1970.
Brown, George Alfred, Baron George-Brown, (1914–1985). British politician. He became a local official of the Transport and General Workers Union and was elected as Labour MP for Belper in 1945. In the faction fights of the Labour opposition period he was a loyal supporter of *Gaitskell’s defence policy and was deputy leader of the parliamentary party 1960–70. *Wilson beat him for the leadership in 1963 after Gaitskell died. After Labour won in 1964 he was given the new post of Secretary of State for Economic Affairs 1964–66, but clashed with Treasury and had little influence. He was Foreign Secretary 1966–68, was created a life peer in 1970 and left the Labour Party. He had superior natural gifts, but heavy drinking and an erratic style prevented his rise to the top.
Paterson, P., Tired and Emotional: The Life of Lord George-Brown. 1993.
Brown, (James) Gordon (1951– ). British Labour politician, born in Glasgow. Son of a clergyman, he studied at Edinburgh University, and, after being blinded in the left eye after a football accident, became a lecturer and television journalist, gaining a PhD in 1982 for a thesis on James *Maxton. A Labour MP 1983– , he supported Tony *Blair for Labour’s leadership in 1994, in return for a promise that he would control economic policy in a future government. Brown served as Chancellor of the Exchequer 1997–2007, the longest continuous tenure since 1823, working closely with Blair despite constant speculation about tensions between them, especially over Iraq. He succeeded Blair as Prime Minister in June 2007 and had to cope with the impact of bank collapses in the global financial crisis of 2008–09. The election of May 2010 resulted in a comparatively narrow defeat for Labour, and a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.
Brown, G., My Life, Our Times. 2017.
Brown, John (1800–1859). American abolitionist, born in Connecticut. Attempts to gain a living by cattle trading and land speculation in Kansas proved largely abortive, but as the years went by he developed a fanatical belief in his personal mission to carry out, by force if necessary, the liberation of slaves. For this object he collected considerable sums from well-meaning sympathisers. His plan was to establish places of refuge first in one state and then in another where slaves would gather or be brought, in the belief that such insurrections would force anti-slavery legislation. Virginia was his first choice, but his raid on the US arsenal and rifle factory at Harper’s Ferry proved a fiasco. No one rose in his favour and all 20 members of his tiny force were killed or captured. Brown was condemned for treason and hanged. The emotional fires lit by this futile attempt did much to precipitate the Civil War, during which the song John Brown’s Body became a marching song of the Northern troops.
Oates, S. B., ‘To Purge this Land of Blood’: Biography of John Brown. 1972.
Brown, John (d.1883). Scottish servant. Queen *Victoria’s faithful retainer at her Scottish estate of Balmoral was not only a servant but a privileged friend whose pungent remarks to the sovereign herself and her visitors became legendary.
Cullen, T., The Empress Brown. 1969.
Brown, Lancelot (‘Capability’) (1716–1783). English landscape gardener. His nickname referred to his custom of assessing the ‘capabilities’ of a landscape. As a gardener at Stowe he learnt much from William *Kent, who worked there. Kent’s ideas, improved upon by Brown, involved the abandonment of the formal symmetrical beds and walks of earlier gardens and the laying out of gardens and parks by adapting or simulating the natural features of a landscape. The surroundings of many great country houses, e.g. Harewood and Blenheim, bear witness to his skill. He also designed houses himself, mainly in the Palladian style.
Stroud, D., Capability Brown. 1957.
Brown, Robert (1773–1858). Scottish botanist, born at Montrose. Educated at Edinburgh University, he collected many specimens while surveying the Australian coasts for the *Flinders expedition (from 1801), worked for Joseph *Banks, then became keeper of the botanical department at the British Museum from 1827 until his death. He was awarded the Copley Medal in 1839. The behaviour of pollen grains in water led him to discover and investigate a random movement to which particles in suspension are subjected. *Einstein explained (1905) this movement, known as ‘Brownian motion’, as being due to molecular bombardment.
Browne, Hablot Knight (known as ‘Phiz’) (1815–1882). English artist. He is best known for his illustrations to Pickwick Papers (in succession to Seymour and Bass) and several of Dickens’s later works. He also illustrated books by Charles Lever, Harrison *Ainsworth and *Surtees.
Browne, Robert (1550–1633). English religious leader. He gave his name to the Brownists, afterwards known as ‘independents’ and ‘Congregationalists’. He was related to Queen *Elizabeth’s minister *Burghley, who obtained his release when he was imprisoned for his views. Later he moved with his congregation to Middleburg in Holland but his quarrelsome nature brought disruption, as it did wherever he went. Eventually he accepted Anglican orders but as a rector of Achurch from 1589–1631 he seems to have organised his church on Congregational lines. He died in Northampton gaol where he was incarcerated for an assault.
Browne, Sir Thomas (1605–1682). English scholar, physician and author, born in London. Educated at Winchester and Oxford, he studied medicine at Montpellier, Padua and Leyden Universities, and settled as a physician in Norwich. His famous Religio Medici (published 1642–43) is self-revealing but leaves his actual religion in doubt. In his Pseudoxia Epidemica or Vulgar Errors (1646) he speculates widely on new and old beliefs. His Hydrotaphia or Urn Burial (1658), with which was printed The Garden of Cyrus, was inspired by the discovery of some sepulchral urns in Norfolk. All of his works display vast and curious learning and are couched in a rhythmic, exotic style, rich in imagery.
Keynes, G., A Bibliography of Sir Thomas Browne. 1968.
Browning, Elizabeth (née Barrett) (1806–1861). English poet. Her father, Edward Moulton of Coxhoe Hall, Durham, where she was born, took the name Barrett on inheriting estates in Jamaica. Most of her childhood was spent among the Malvern Hills, but, injured by a fall from a horse at the age of 15, she became a semi-invalid. After her mother’s death (1832) the family moved more than once until in 1838 Elizabeth was living in seclusion with her father in Wimpole Street, London. She had been a precocious child and her poems had long been published and known when, in 1846, Robert *Browning rescued her by an elopement and secret marriage from her father’s jealous affection and from an invalidism continued through habit and nerves. She and Robert lived in great happiness in Florence where their only child Robert (1849–1912), was born. Her works published after her marriage included Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850)—misleading title as they are her own—and Aurora Leigh (1856), a verse-novel. Her elopement is the theme of a play, The Barretts of Wimpole Street, by Rudolf Besier (1930).
Hayter, A., Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 1965.
Browning, Robert (1812–1889). English poet, born in London. Education by private tutors and a background of taste and learning provided by cultured and sufficiently wealthy parents offered the opportunity and inducement to a life of travel and poetry. He visited Russia and Italy, a country which thenceforth dominated his imagination and in which he spent his married life with Elizabeth Barrett *Browning. His first important publication, Paracelsus (1835) brought him the friendship of *Landor, *Dickens and other literary men, but though Men and Women (1855) attracted wider attention, for renown he had to await the issue of his masterpiece The Ring and the Book (1868–69), based on a murder story of Renaissance Italy. Other works include Strafford (1837) and other verse plays now largely forgotten, Sordello (1840), a narrative poem of the Guelph and Ghibelline feuds but described by Browning himself as the ‘development of a soul’, and several dramatic monologues My Last Duchess, Andrea del Sarto, The Bishop Orders his Tomb for which he is now particularly remembered. Of his narrative poems, Pippa Passes, How They Carried the Good News From Ghent to Aix and The Pied Piper of Hamelin are among the best known. Browning obtained much of his story material from books, but his characterisation was based on a close observation of ordinary people moving round him or doing their ordinary work and he approached moral questions unprejudiced by preconceived Victorian ideas. His verse has not the limpid flow or musical rhythm of that of some of his contemporaries. His idioms are sometimes obscure, and his eye often seems more widely open to the grotesque than to the beautiful but these qualities emphasise an individuality which, with his mastery of verse forms, has ensured the survival and enjoyment of his work. He died in Venice and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Griffin, W. H., The Life of Robert Browning. 1966.
Brubeck, Dave (David Warren) (1920–2012). American composer and jazz pianist, born in California. He formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951 and was a prolific composer of complex and sophisticated music in a variety of styles, including ‘cool jazz’. Asteroid 5079 Brubeck was named for him.
Bruce, Sir David (1855–1931). British parasitologist, born in Melbourne, Australia. Having graduated at Edinburgh he became a British army surgeon but his most important work was to be in discovering the causative agents of Malta (undulant) fever, the part played by the tsetse flies of tropical Africa in spreading human sleeping-sickness, and a destructive cattle disease called nagana. Brucellosis is named for him.
Bruce, James (1730–1794). Scottish explorer. Having originally studied law, he became a wine merchant, entered the consular service and acquired enough medical knowledge to enable him to travel as a physician in North Africa and the Middle East. In 1768 he went to Egypt, whence he set out on his famous journey to Abyssinia (Ethiopia). He arrived at Gondar, then the capital, early in 1770; in November he reached the source of the Blue Nile, then considered the main stream. Back in Scotland he married Mary Dundas (1776). It was not until 1790 that his five-volume account of his journey appeared.
Bruce, Robert (1274–1329). King of Scotland (as Robert I) 1306–29. A Scottish national hero, his family was of Norman descent (from Bruis) and his grandfather Robert Bruce contended for the throne in 1291 when John de *Balliol was ultimately chosen. It was his murder of the Red (John) Comyn in the Greyfriars Church, Dumfries, an act for which he was excommunicated, that brought him into the open as national leader against England. He was crowned in 1306 at Scone and was fortunate that England’s warrior King *Edward I died the following year, for though Bruce still had to face some years of varying fortune he gradually asserted his mastery over the country and by his great victory over the English at Bannockburn (1314) assured Scotland’s independence (finally recognised in 1328). He was succeeded by his son (by his first wife) *David II. From his daughter Marjorie (by his second wife) was descended the Stewart (Stuart) dynasty. His brother Edward Bruce crossed with a Scottish force to Ulster in 1315 and succeeded in having himself crowned King of Ireland. He failed, however, to maintain his power, was driven back into Ulster and was killed in 1318 near Dundalk.
Barrow, G. W. S., Robert Bruce. 1965.
Bruce, Stanley Melbourne, 1st Viscount Bruce of Melbourne (1883–1967). Australian politician, born in Melbourne. He spent only 34 of his 84 years in Australia, was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, called to the English bar, served with the Royal Fusiliers in World War I, winning the MC at Gallipoli and a Croix de guerre avec palme. A Member of the House of Representatives 1918–29, 1931–33, he was Treasurer 1921–23. He displaced W.M. *Hughes to become Prime Minister and Minister for External Affairs 1923–29, in a Nationalist-Country Party coalition, with Earle *Page as his deputy. The coalition was overwhelmingly defeated in 1929 over a proposal that the states should in future control industrial arbitration and Bruce lost his seat. He lived in London from 1932, was High Commissioner 1932–45 and President of the League of Nations Council 1936. An arch-appeaser, he made constant excuses about why the Empire should avoid war with *Hitler’s Germany. He represented Australia in Britain’s War Cabinet 1942–45, received a CH in 1927 and a peerage in 1947. Elected FRS in 1944, he was foundation Chairman of the World Food Council (forerunner of the Food and Agriculture Organisation) 1947–51 and first Chancellor of The Australian National University, Canberra 1951–61.
Lee, D., Stanley Melbourne Bruce: Australian Internationalist. 2010.
Bruch, Max (1838–1920). German composer, born in Cologne. He conducted and taught composition in Germany and in England directed the Liverpool Philharmonic Society 1880–83. He was a close friend of *Brahms and is best remembered for his romantic Violin Concerto in G minor (1886) and the Kol Nidrei variations for cello and orchestra (1880).
Bruckner, Anton (1824–1896). Austrian composer, born in Ansfelden, Upper Austria. He studied Bach’s organ works intensively and in 1856 became organist at Linz Cathedral. He was highly regarded as an organist, giving concert performances in Paris (1868) and London (1871). In Vienna, where he settled in 1868, he became organist at St Stephen’s Cathedral and was for many years a revered teacher at the Conservatoire. He never married. In his early life, Bruckner’s musical idols had been *Bach and *Beethoven; at Vienna he became a devotee of *Wagner. He was painfully naive and often ridiculed by his more sophisticated musical contemporaries, but his piety and sincerity emerge from his music. His best known symphonies are No. 3, dedicated to Wagner (1873), No. 4, the Romantic (1874), No. 5 (1877), No. 6 (1881), No. 7 (1883) the best known of the series; its slow movement, intended to commemorate Wagner’s death, incorporates an inversion of themes from Tannhäuser, No. 8 (1886) and No. 9 (1894), dedicated to ‘Our dear God’, and left unfinished.
Watson, D., Bruckner. 1975.
Bruegel (or Brueghel or Breughel), Pieter (c.1526–1569). Flemish painter, born in Breda. He studied at the Antwerp Guild and in 1552–53 travelled through France. Switzerland and Italy making scores of landscape drawings. ancestral to the landscapes of his mature work. In fact, the influence of the Alpine landscape was of infinitely greater significance than that of Italian art, even in the time of *Michelangelo and *Titian. Bruegel’s early grotesque fantasies such as The Fall of The Rebel Angels clearly display the influence of Hieronymus *Bosch, but in his mature works Bruegel shows himself a painter of greater subtlety and humanity than Bosch. Ugly, squat, puppet-like, Bruegel’s tragi-comic characters constitute a teeming and toil-ridden humanity in uneasy truce with their natural environment, but at the same time give a fascinating representation of the peasant life and lore of his time (as in The Peasant Wedding and Children’s Games). The cosmic perspective of Bruegel’s landscapes, the villages crouched at the bottom or teetering on the slopes of huge mountain formations, are a comment on the human condition which contrasts with the anthropocentric world of Italian painting. Bruegel moved from Antwerp to Brussels in 1563 and there spent the rest of his life. His work was well received by his contemporaries and is still greatly admired. Most of his finest works are in Vienna; they include the superb landscape sequence known as The Seasons. Two of his sons achieved a lesser reputation. Pieter II (c.1564–1636/8) became known as ‘Hell Bruegel’ for his nightmare scenes; Jan (1568–1625), known as ‘Velvet Bruegel’, became a court painter at Brussels and was a friend of *Rubens with whom he collaborated. He is best known for his artificial landscapes and flower pictures.
Grossmann. F. (ed.), Pieter Brueghel: Complete Paintings. 1973.
Brummell, George Bryan (known as ‘Beau Brummell’) (1778–1840). English wit and dandy. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he became an intimate of the Prince of Wales (later *George IV) and the leader of fashion in London. He quarrelled with the Prince, lost his fortune through gambling and fled to France in 1816 to escape his creditors. He died in madness and poverty.
Franzero, C. M., The Life and Times of Beau Brummell. 1958.
Brundtland, Gro Harlem (1939– ). Norwegian Labour politician. Educated at Oslo and Harvard universities, she became a physician and a medical administrator. She was Minister for the Environment 1974–79, Leader of the Labour Party 1981–92, and Prime Minister of Norway 1981, 1986–89, 1990–96. She chaired the World Commission on Environment and Development which produced Our Common Future (1987), an important analysis of global poverty and the widening economic gap between North and South, known as the Brundtland Report. She was Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) 1998–2003.
Brunei, Sultan of see Hassanal Bolkiah
Brunel, Isambard Kingdom (1805–1859). British engineer, born in Portsmouth. Son of Sir Marc Isambard *Brunel, he studied at Collège Henri Quatre, Paris and in 1823 entered his father’s firm. His plans for the Clifton suspension bridge were adopted in 183l. He directed work on it, but owing to insufficient funds the bridge was not completed until after his death. Brunel had previously been chief engineer on the Thames tunnel project, also unfinished through lack of money. As chief engineer of the Great Western Railway 1833–46 he was responsible for constructing more than 1,600 km (1,000 miles) of track and many canals, and for the introduction of the broad gauge (2 m) railway. In 1837 he designed the first transatlantic steamer, the Great Western, and later he improved on this design with the Great Britain (1843) and the Great Eastern (1858), each the largest in the world at the time of launching. The Great Britain was the first large vessel driven by a screw propeller, the Great Eastern the first to have a double iron hull. The latter was also notable as the ship responsible for the laying of the first successful transatlantic cable. In addition to his work, Brunel also carried out extensive improvements at docks throughout the country, including Bristol and Plymouth, and worked on large guns, designing a floating armoured barge that was used during the Crimean War. He was an FRS, and Hon. DCL of Oxford. At the opening of the London Olympics in 2012, Brunel (played by Kenneth *Branagh) appeared as a central figure in the creation of modern Britain.
Rolt, L. T. C., Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 1974.
Brunel, Sir Marc Isambard (1769–1849). British engineer, born in France. During the Revolution he took refuge in America, worked there as an engineer and came to England in 1799. He had gained a great reputation for constructional work in dockyards etc. before embarking on his most ambitious and anxious task, the building of the Thames tunnel (1825–43). His son, Isambard Kingdom *Brunel, worked with his father on the tunnel.
Clements, P., Marc Isambard Brunel. 1970.
Brunelleschi, Filippo (1377–1446). Italian Renaissance architect, born in Florence. Originally a sculptor, he turned to architecture after *Ghiberti’s design for the bronze doors of the Florence baptistery was preferred to his own. He studied the classical buildings still existing in Rome. His theories of perspective were influential in Renaissance art. In the Ospedale degli Innocenti (begun in 1419) he introduced the device of supporting arches on the top of columns, a practice subsequently much imitated. His most spectacular achievement was the construction of the remarkable octagonal dome surmounting the cathedral in Florence. Built as a double-shelled cupola, the dome was erected entirely without scaffolding. He also built the churches of S. Lorenzo and S. Spirito.
Manetti, A., Brunelleschi. Eng. trans. 1970.
Brunhilda (Brynhildr) of Austrasia. (d.613). Visigoth princes. She married Sigbert I, ruler of the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia in 566. As regent for her grandchildren (from 595) she exercised power until she was expelled in 599 and finally defeated and captured in 613. She was put to death by being dragged at the heels of a wild horse. She is often confused with the legendary Brünnhilde whose story is told in *Wagner’s opera-cycle The Ring.
Brüning, Heinrich (1885–1970). German politician. An organisor of the Catholic trade union movement, he was a Reichstag member 1924–33 and leader of the Centre Party 1929–33. Chancellor April 1930–June 1932, in a coalition, he introduced stringent economies during the Depression. After the Reichstag election of September 1930, the size of the Nazi and Communist blocs made parliamentary rule impossible, forcing Brüning to rule by presidential decree, a precedent later used by *Hitler. *Hindenburg replaced Brüning with von *Papen in June 1932. Escaping murder attempts by Nazis he took refuge abroad and was a professor at Harvard 1937–52. After returning to Germany he held the chair of political science at Cologne 1952–55 but never entered politics again.
Brunner, (Heinrich) Emil (1889–1966). Swiss theologian. After pastoral work as a minister in the Swiss Reformed Church he eventually became (1924) professor of theology at Zurich University. His views were formed in close association with Karl *Barth, with whom, however, he was in controversy (from 1933) concerning the nature of man. His pamphlet Nature and Grace gives his side of the argument. Among his many other works are Revelation and Reason (Eng. tr. 1943) and Communism, Capitalism and Christianity (1949).
Kegley, C., The Theology of Emil Brunner. 1962.
Bruno, St (c.1030–1101). German monk, founder of the Carthusian order, born in Cologne. Educated in his birthplace, he became rector of the cathedral schools at Rheims. In 1084 he withdrew to found an austere religious order at Chartreuse (Cartusia) in the French Alps. He died in Calabria where he had founded a second monastery. London’s Charterhouse on the site of a Carthusian monastery, recalls the name of St Bruno’s original foundation.
Bruno, Giordano (1548–1600). Italian philosopher, born in Campania. He became a Dominican monk in 1565, but was expelled for scepticism. Put on trial, he fled and led the life of a wandering teacher until in 1581 he obtained protection from *Henri III of France. By 1586, after a vain attempt to obtain employment at Oxford, he was on the move again, and after finding temporary refuge in Wittenberg and Prague returned in 1591 to Italy, where he was handed over to the papal authorities, condemned after a seven-year trial by the Inquisition for his heretical pantheism and burned at the stake in Rome. As well as books on philosophy, he wrote poetry and a play. His philosophy had a profound effect on later thinkers, especially *Spinoza and *Leibniz.
Aquilecchia, G., Giordano Bruno. 1971; Rowland, I. D., Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic. 2008.
Brusilov, Aleksei Alekseivich (1856–1926). Russian general. In World War I his great drives through Galicia achieved spectacular if temporary success, but the last, undertaken in 1917 when he was Commander-in-Chief under the revolutionary provisional government, was halted by desertions of his troops. In 1920 he joined the Red Army in the war against Poland.
Bruton, John Gerard (1947– ). Irish politician. Minister for Industry 1982–86, he promoted Ireland’s technological revolution, becoming Leader of Fine Gael 1990–2001 and Prime Minister 1994–97.
Brutus, Lucius Junius (fl. 509 BCE). Roman consul. He is said to have led the revolt which after the rape of Lucrece caused the expulsion of the last king of Rome,*Tarquinius Superbus, and so was honoured as a founder of the republic. Another legend (for even his existence has been doubted) relates how he sentenced his two sons to death for trying to restore the monarchy.
Brutus, Marcus Junius (85?–2 BCE). Roman soldier and conspirator. Though his interest in philosophy had implanted a distaste for public life, he supported *Pompey in the struggle for power which resulted in *Caesar’s victory at Pharsalus (48), but was pardoned, made governor of Cisalpine Gaul in 46 and praetor of the city of Rome in 44. Persuaded that Caesar planned to make himself king, Brutus reluctantly led the conspirators who murdered him (44). Later he fled from Rome to Macedonia and committed suicide, after his army was defeated at Philippi (*Antony, *Augustus).
Bryan, William Jennings (1860–1925). American Democratic politician, born in Illinois. He became a lawyer in Nebraska, and was a Member of the House of Representatives (1891–95), identifying himself with the ‘free silver’ policy. A famous speech (‘You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold’) won him the Democratic nomination for president at the Chicago convention of 1896, but in the election, as again in 1900 and 1908, he was crushingly defeated. Secretary of State under Woodrow *Wilson 1913–15, he resigned during World War I because of his pacifist views. A strong fundamentalist, in 1925 in the notorious ‘Monkey Trial’ in Dayton, Tennessee he led the prosecution against John T. *Scopes for teaching *Darwin’s evolutionary theories, contrary to state law. He also opposed Darwinism because he considered ‘natural selection’ to be anti-social, justifying domination of the weak by the strong.
Koenig, L. W., Bryan: A Political Biography. 1971.
Bryant, Sir Arthur Wynne Morgan (1899–1985). English historian. Until 1942 he was sympathetic to *Hitler and closer ties with Germany, then wrote 30 popular books which were intensely patriotic and romanticised. These include works on the Napoléonic and Regency periods: The Years of Endurance, The Years of Victory, The Age of Elegance. Restoration England takes the story further back and the field is widened still further by Makers of the Realm and The Age of Chivalry. Subjects of his biographies include *Pepys, *Baldwin, *Nelson and *George V. The Turn of the Tide (1957) and Triumph in the West (1959) are based on the diaries of Lord *Alanbrooke. He received the CH in 1967.
Bryant, William Cullen (1794–1878). American poet and journalist. While practising at the bar he became editor of the New York Evening Post 1829–78, in which capacity he supported liberal causes. including the abolition of slavery, and helped to promote *Lincoln’s election to the presidency. His poetry consists mainly of meditations on nature in the manner of *Wordsworth, but also includes translations of the Iliad and Odyssey. His best known poem is ‘Thanatopsis’ (1817).
McLean, A. F., William Cullen Bryant. 1965.
Bryce, James Bryce, 1st Viscount (1838–1922). British historian and Liberal politician. Educated at Glasgow and Oxford Universities he was Regius professor of civil law at Oxford 1870–93 and an MP 1880–1907. After having held minor offices 1886, 1892–95 he was, as a strong Home-Ruler, a popular Chief Secretary for Ireland 1905–07. His most important political role was as Ambassador to the US 1907–13. After World War I he headed a commission to inquire into German atrocities. He was a staunch supporter of the League of Nations. His many works include The Holy Roman Empire (1864), The American Commonwealth (1888, a major influence on the framers of Australia’s Constitution) and Modern Democracies (1921). He received the OM in 1907.
Bryce, Dame Quentin Alice Louise (née Strachan) (1942– ). Australian official, born in Brisbane. A law graduate, she was an active advocate for affirmative action, serving as Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner 1988–93, Governor of Queensland 2003–08 and the first female Governor-General of Australia 2008–14.
Buber, Martin (né Mordechai) (1878–1965). Austrian-Jewish-Israeli philosopher, born in Vienna. Distantly related to Karl *Marx, he lived in Lviv as a youth, later attended German universities and became deeply influenced by *Kierkegaard and *Nietzsche. He joined the Zionist movement in 1898 and during World War I organised the Jewish National Council in Berlin. An honorary professor at the University of Frankfurt-am-Main 1930–33, he left Germany in 1935 and in 1938 became professor of social philosophy at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
In his most important book, Ich und Du (1923: published in English as I and Thou, 1937), he argued that human existence is an oscillation between Ich-Du (I-You), an unstructured dialogue between man/woman and God, between lovers, or with nature and Ich-Es (I-It), which is material, analytical and a monologue. Religious faith can only be subjective, a yearning form of Ich-Du. Ich-Es is common, Ich-Du is rare.
The history of Israel, as recorded in the Bible, can be interpreted as a dialogue between God and the nation, and here Buber found inspiration for his insistence that the aim of Zionism should be to create a society in direct relationship with God. From 1925 he worked with Franz Rosenzweig (1886–1929) on a German translation of the Hebrew Bible but it was only completed in 1961.
Kohn, H., Martin Buber. 1961; Mendes-Flohr, P., Martin Buber: A Life of Faith and Dissent. 2019.
Bucer (or Butzer), Martin (1491–1551). German religious reformer, born in Alsace. He became a Dominican friar at the age of 14, but, influenced by *Luther and *Erasmus, left the order (1521), married a former nun and settled in Strasbourg, where he became a powerful influence among those preaching reform. He took a middle course in the disputes between Luther and *Zwingli, but found himself unable to sign the Augsburg Confession of 1530. Attempts to reach agreement between the groups of reformers continued with varying success, but Bucer finally found his position in Germany so irksome that in 1549 he accepted *Cranmer’s invitation and went to England. He lectured in theology at Cambridge, where he died.
Hopf, C., Martin Bucer and the English Reformation. 1946.
Buchan, John, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (1875–1940). Scottish author and politician, born in Perth. Son of a Free Church minister, educated at Oxford, he became one of Lord *Milner’s assistants in South Africa, held staff and administrative posts in World War I, was a director of Thomas Nelsons, publishers, until 1929, and a Conservative MP 1927–35, receiving a CH in 1932. Governor-General of Canada 1935–40, he suffered a stroke and died in Ottawa after a brain operation by Wilder *Penfield failed. He wrote about 50 books including biographies (e.g. of Sir Walter *Scott, Julius *Caesar, and Oliver *Cromwell), and novels, of which the most famous, The Thirty Nine Steps (1915), Greenmantle (1916) and The Three Hostages (1924), were about the spy-hunting exploits of Captain Richard Hannay (based in part on Edmund *Ironside), with strong characterisation and a hint of anti-Semitism.
Smith, J., John Buchan. 1965; Lownie, A., John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier. 2003; Buchan, U., Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan. 2019.
Buchanan, George (1506–1582). Scottish humanist and Latin poet. Educated at Paris University, his Franciscanus, a religious satire on the friars, caused his arrest by Cardinal *Beaton and imprisonment at St Andrews. He escaped in 1539 and taught Latin in Bordeaux, where *Montaigne was among his pupils, and Coimbra (Portugal), where he was imprisoned for a time by the Inquisition. He returned to Scotland in 1561 and became a leading member of the Reformed Church. Though he had been for a time tutor to *Mary Queen of Scots, his Detectio Mariae Reginae (157l) exposed her allegedly guilty part in *Darnley’s death. For the last years of his life he was tutor to *James VI. Among many other Latin works was a history of Scotland (1582).
McFarlane, I. D., Buchanan. 1981.
Buchanan, James (1791–1868). 15th President of the US 1857–61. Born in Pennsylvania, he was a lawyer, served as a Democratic member of Congress 1821–31, and as a minister to Russia 1832–34. Elected as US Senator 1834–45, he sought nomination for the presidency in 1844, 1848 and 1852. He served as *Polk’s Secretary of State 1845–49. His absence as minister to Great Britain 1853–56 during critical debates on slavery and states’ rights gave him an appearance of remote neutrality and secured him the presidential nomination at Cincinnati in 1856, defeating Franklin *Pierce, the incumbent. He was elected in November 1856, winning 19 states, over the Republican J. C. *Frémont and former President Millard *Fillmore. As President he adopted a policy of peace at any price. The first seven states left the Union, to form a Confederacy, after *Lincoln’s election in 1860, while Buchanan was still in the White House. He supported the Union cause during the Civil War. ‘Old Buck’ was the only unmarried president, and probably the only gay. In 20 Presidential ranking lists by US historians and political scientists, Buchanan scored No. 39 in the aggregate.
Klein, P. S., President James Buchanan, A Biography. 1962; Baker, J. H., James Buchanan. 2004; Boulard, G., The Worst President—the Story of James Buchanan. 2015.
Buchanan, Pat(rick Joseph) (1938– ). American publicist. He worked in *Nixon’s White House 1969–74, revived the term ‘silent majority’ and devised the Republican Party’s ‘Southern strategy’, became assistant to *Reagan 1985–87. He emerged as a spokesman for the Christian Coalition, a presidential aspirant in 1992, challenging George H. W. *Bush, and again in 1996, and was an advocate for the radical Right.
Buchman, Frank Nathan Daniel (1878–1961). American evangelist, born in Pennsburg, PA. He entered the Lutheran ministry in 1902, then worked for the YMCA, and was a missionary in China. In 1921, he visited England and set up ‘A First Century Christian Fellowship’, renamed (somewhat misleadingly) ‘The Oxford Group’ in 1931 and ‘Moral Re-Armament’ (MRA) in 1938. He preached a doctrine of ‘world-changing through life-changing’, mainly among undergraduates. One method for helping the achievement of these aims was through gatherings, such as house parties, where young men and women were encouraged publicly to confess their difficulties and misdemeanours (often sexual). However, MRA was a significant influence in elements of the anti-*Hitler resistance in Germany. MRA adopted the name ‘Initiatives of Change’ in 2001.
Driberg, T., The Mystery of Moral Rearmament. 1964.
Büchner, Eduard (1860–1917). German organic chemist. His major discovery was the reality of cell-free fermentation, which he demonstrated by obtaining supplies of cell fluid through a complicated process of pulverising yeast. This extract, he showed, would ferment sucrose to ethanol. He attributed this property to a hypothetical enzyme which he termed ‘zymase’. The importance of Buchner’s researches was to show that living cells are not necessary for fermentation. He thus opened up the modern field of enzyme chemistry. Büchner worked on the fermentation processes of many microorganisms e.g. citrous fermentation and acetous fermentation. The general tendency of his work was to show that key life phenomena can be explained in terms of enzyme-catalysed chemical reactions. A strong Bismarckian patriot, he volunteered for service in World War I and died of a shrapnel wound on the front in Romania.
Delbrück, M. and Schrohe, A., Hefe, Gärung und Fäulnis. 1904.
Büchner, Georg (1813–1837). German dramatist, born in Godelau. Influenced by *Shakespeare and the Sturm und Drang movement, he wrote three plays that anticipate the Expressionist movement. Dantons Tod (Danton’s Death, 1835) was first performed in 1902, Leone und Lena (1836) satirised Romanticism and Woyzeck (1836, published 1879) was the basis of Alban *Berg’s opera Wozzeck (1925). A political radical, he died in exile in Zürich.
Mayer, H., Georg Büchner und seine Zeit. 1946.
Buck, Pearl S(ydenstricker) (née Sydenstricker, later Walsh) (1892–1973). American novelist, born in West Virginia. Daughter of Presbyterian missionaries in China, she drew on her long experience of that country to write many novels, several of which, e.g. The Good Earth (1931) and Dragon Seed (1942), became very popular. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. She campaigned actively for feminism, wartime support for China, breaking down Cold War tensions, nuclear disarmament, orphaned children and open recognition of the problems of mental retardation.
Buck, P., My Several Worlds. 1955; Conn, P., Pearl S. Buck: a cultural biography. 1996.
Buckingham, 1st Duke of, George Villiers (1592–1628). English courtier. Son of a Leicestershire knight, he was for many years the favourite (‘Steenie’: ‘my sweet child and wife’) of *James I, and wealth was showered upon him. When a Spanish marriage was proposed for the future *Charles I, Buckingham took the prince on the much ridiculed and unsuccessful visit to Madrid to woo the Infanta Maria in person. When Charles came to the throne (1625), Buckingham remained in power but became increasingly unpopular; after the failure of his expedition to Cadiz only Charles’ dissolution of parliament (1626) saved him from the consequences of impeachment. Attempts to aid the French Huguenots proved equally futile and it was when he was about to embark at Portsmouth on a second expedition to La Rochelle that he was killed by a discontented soldier, John Felton. His son, George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham (1628–1687), was brought up with the royal family after his father’s death and became an intimate of the future *Charles II. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge and was taught by Thomas *Hobbes. He fought with Charles at the Battle of Worcester (1651), then escaped to Rotterdam, returning in 1657. Suspected by both royalists and anti-royalists, he was imprisoned several times. After the Restoration, Charles was cool at first and *Clarendon a powerful enemy. Elected FRS (1661), he was soon back in favour at court and after Clarendon’s fall became the leading minister in the powerful group known by the acronym ‘cabal’ (or CABAL): *Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley (later *Shaftesbury), *Lauderdale, who were dominant 1668–74. He was Chancellor of Cambridge University 1671–74. Parliament denounced him for improper use of government funds and for his open liaison with the Countess of Shrewsbury (who had witnessed the duel in which Buckingham killed her husband), and he was out of favour with the king from 1674 until 1684, when he retired from politics. Remembered as a debauchee and wit, he was one of the most brilliant of the men of the Restoration, part-author of the celebrated satire The Rehearsal (1671) and the ‘Zimri’ of *Dryden’s Absalom and Achitophel. The dukedom became extinct on his death.
Lockyer, R., Buckingham. 1981.
Buckingham and Normanby, 1st Duke of, John Sheffield (1647–1721). English nobleman. He held office under *William and *Mary, and *Anne, wrote indifferent verse and tried to improve *Shakespeare. His townhouse, Buckingham House, completed in 1703, was sold to *George III in 1761, then converted and enlarged from 1825 to become Buckingham Palace.
Buckland, William (1784–1856). English clergyman and palaeontologist. Awarded the Copley Medal in 1822 for pioneering discoveries of fossils, he found the remains of a giant reptile naming it Megalosaurus (‘great lizard’)—later renamed Dinosaurus (‘terrible lizard’) by Richard *Owen. He was Dean of Westminster 1845–56.
Buckle, Henry Thomas (1821–1862). English historian. He wrote two volumes of his History of Civilisation in England (1857–61) intended to be introductory to a much larger work. His new scientific method of history concentrated on mankind as a whole rather than ‘great’ individuals, linked the activities of man with natural conditions such as climate and soil, and had considerable influence on later historians.
Buckley, William F(rank), Jr (1925–2008). American conservative writer. Educated at Yale, he came from a rich Catholic family, wrote well and became a leading figure in the conservative revival in US politics, founding the National Review in 1955 and hosting the television program Firing Line 1966–99. He changed his mind on several issues—civil rights, the war in Iraq and marijuana. He wrote several spy novels.
Buddha, The (i.e. ‘the enlightened one’. His personal name was Siddharta and his family name Gautama) (c.563–483 BCE). Indian religious teacher, born in Kapilavastu (Rummindei), Nepal. Son of Prince Suddhodana of Kappihavastu and a member of the Sakya clan, he was brought up in the luxury and dissipations of an eastern court but his father, already fearing that his contemplative nature might lead him to renounce the world, arranged for him to marry young. But what the father had feared took place some years later. He left his wife and son, Rahula, and became a wandering seeker after truth. Six years of extreme asceticism, which he came to regard as futile, were followed by a mystical experience known as ‘the enlightenment’, said to have come to him while sitting under a Bo or Bode (pipal or wild fig) tree. It was borne in upon him that sorrow and suffering resulted from the craving for life and it was only by abolishing this craving that the cycle of birth and rebirth (i.e. reincarnation) could be broken and a state of nirvana (usually understood as a complete cessation of suffering and craving) attained. Buddha, as he was henceforth called, began the task of spreading the new faith in Benares. Five men who had been his original disciples but had left him were first converted, others soon followed and formed a mendicant order of brethren. Three months each year were spent with the brethren in a monastery in contemplation and discussion, the remainder of the year in wandering about the country, begging bowl in hand, gathering adherents. To attain the cessation of craving, eight ‘steps’ were prescribed: (1) understanding, (2) intention, (3) speech, (4) action and rightness of morals, (5) livelihood, (6) mental control, (7) clearness of thought, (8) concentration. Buddha died after about 45 years of such missionary work. After the 4th century CE Buddhism gradually declined in India but spread as far as China, Korea and Japan. There are about 350 million Buddhists worldwide. Buddhism is the dominant religion in Thailand, Burma, Tibet, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. About 100 million Chinese are Buddhists and a similar number in Japan are adherents of Buddhism and Shinto.
Carrithers, M. M., The Buddha. 1983.
‘Buffalo Bill’ see Cody, William Frederick
Buffet, Bernard (1928–1999). French artist. He suffered poverty and sickness in his youth but from 1948, when he shared the Grand Prix de La Critique, he won success and fame. His pictures are often carried out in a gaunt linear style depicting human misery, but he also achieved success with murals, book illustrations and stage decor. He fell out of fashion in the 1970s. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, he committed suicide with a plastic bag.
Buffett, Warren Edward (1930– ). American investor and banker, born in Omaha. His company Berkshire Hathaway became the centre of a diversified empire and Buffett was one of the world’s richest men, worth $US33 billion in 1998.
Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de (1707–1788). French naturalist, born in Burgundy. Educated at the Jesuit college at Dijon, he spent his early manhood in travel and scientific writings. In 1739 he was appointed director of the Jardin du Roi in Paris (now the Jardin des Plantes, which houses the Zoo). From 1749 onwards he was engaged in publishing a vast Histoire naturelle. In some of his conjectures on the development of animal species he anticipated *Darwin’s theories. His speech on admission to the Académie française included the famous phrase ‘le style est l’homme’.
Fellows, O. E. and Milliken, S. F., Buffon. 1972.
Bugatti, Ettore Arco Isidoro (1881–1947). Italian engineer and designer. He built his first motor car in 1909, designed racing cars and the luxurious Type 41, the ‘Golden Bugatti’ (La Royale) (1920).
Buhl see Boulle, Andre Charles
Buick, David Dunbar (1855–1929). American automobile manufacturer, born in Scotland. His Detroit company failed and was taken over by General Motors in 1908. He became a bookkeeper and died in poverty.
Bukharin, Nikolai Ivanovich (1888–1938). Russian Communist politician and theoretician, born in Moscow. He joined the Bolsheviks in 1906, lived in Oregon and New York 1911–13, then worked with *Lenin in Germany. He returned to Russia to become editor of Pravda 1917–29 and a member of the Politburo 1924–29. He was editor of Izvestia 1934–37 but, as a prominent member of the ‘right opposition’, became one of the victims of Stalin’s purge and was convicted and shot. Bukharin’s widow Anna Mikhailovna Larina (1914–1996), imprisoned and exiled 1939–59, secured his rehabilitation under *Gorbachev (February 1988). His books, including The ABC of Communism (1921), became freely available.
Cohen, S., Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution. 1973.
Bulfinch, Charles (1763–1844). American architect. The first professional American architect, he built the state capitols in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine and designed the dome for the Capitol in Washington DC.
Bulgakov, Mikhail Afanasievich (1891–1940). Russian playwright, novelist and short story writer, born in Kiev. He graduated as a doctor from the University of Kiev in 1916 but left medicine for writing. His first comedies were staged in 1919, but he did not become really successful until the publication of his two satirical stories Deviltry (1923) and The Fatal Eggs (1924). His humour and penetrating satire are also much in evidence in the two comedies Zoyka’s Apartment (1920) and The Crimson Island (1927). In 1925 he published his most successful novel White Guards, later dramatised as Days of the Turbins. Realistic and humorous, his works were extremely popular but his plea for artistic freedom expressed in later works, especially in The Master and Margarita, begun in 1928 but not published until 1966, led to government prohibition from publishing in 1930. This official disapproval ensured 25 years’ neglect of his work after his death in relative obscurity. Publication of his works was resumed in the Soviet Union and abroad in the late 1960s.
Bulganin, Nikolai Aleksandrovich (1895–1975). Russian Communist politician and marshal. He made his reputation as Chairman of the Moscow Soviet (i.e. Mayor) 1931–37 when he directed construction of the underground Metro. He was Premier of the RSFSR 1937–38, ran the State Bank 1938–41 and became *Stalin’s Deputy Commissar for Defence 1944–47 and Minister for the Armed Forces 1947–53. On Stalin’s death he backed *Khrushchev against *Malenkov for CPSU leadership, becoming Minister for Defence 1953–55 and Premier of the USSR 1955–58. He visited Britain, China and India. In 1957 he joined the ‘anti-party group’ against Khrushchev, was soon sacked and given an obscure posting in Stavropol.
Bull, John (1562/3–1628). English composer and organist. Organist of the Chapel Royal London 1591–1607, he left England in 1613 after a mysterious scandal and was organist of Antwerp Cathedral from 1617 to the end of his life. He is highly regarded as a brilliant technical innovator and as one of the founders of the English keyboard repertory. One of his pieces for virginals may be the source of God Save the Queen.
Caldwell. J., English Keyboard Music. 1973.
Bülow, Bernhard Karl Martin, Prince von (1849–1929). German politician and diplomat. A distinguished diplomatic career culminated in his serving as foreign minister 1897–1900 and chancellor 1900–09, his wit, culture and charm winning the support and friendship of Kaiser *Wilhelm II more effectively than his political skill. His ill-judged threats (e.g. to France in the Morocco crisis of 1905) exacerbated the international situation, and his denial that he had read an indiscreet interview given in 1908 by the emperor to the Daily Telegraph (though it had in fact been submitted to the German foreign office) lost him his ruler’s support. His Memoirs (published 1932) are full of interest, but are basically an attempt at justifying his policies and denying responsibility for failure.
Bülow, Hans Guido von (1830–1894). German pianist and conductor. He studied music and law, took up conducting on *Wagner’s advice, then studied piano with *Liszt whose daughter Cosima he married in 1857. (She left him for Wagner in 1869.) He premiered Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger, conducted the Munich Court Opera 1864–69 and the Meiningen Orchestra 1880–85. He toured the US three times and gave the premiere of *Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in Boston in 1875. He had an enormous repertoire, specialising in *Beethoven, but many good judges thought his playing cold and pedantic. He was also a composer and edited keyboard works by *Bach, *Beethoven and *Chopin.
Bultmann, Rudolf Karl (1884–1976). German Lutheran theologian. Professor of New Testament studies at Marburg University (1921–51), he was the most influential pioneer of ‘form criticism’ applied to the Gospels. Much of his work involved ‘demythologising’ traditional teachings. He emphasised what he called the ‘existential’ elements in Christ’s teaching.
Bulwer-Lytton, Edward see Lytton, Edward George Bulwer-
Bunche, Ralph Johnson (1904–1971). American United Nations official. Formerly a lecturer in political science at Howard University, Washington, he became the first African-American to be a division head at the State Department in 1945. In 1946 he became director of the UN Trusteeship Division. He succeeded Count *Bernadotte as UN mediator in Palestine in 1948 and, for his work, won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1950. Later, he worked for the United Nations in Congo, Yemen, Kashmir and Cyprus, receiving the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963.
Bunin, Ivan Alekseivich (1870–1953). Russian writer. Born of an old but impoverished family, he first worked in an Odessa bookshop then travelled widely in Europe and the East, eventually settling down for three years with Maksim *Gorki in Capri. After the Russian revolution he lived in France. Of his novels the best known is The Village (1910) which gives a gloomy picture of Russian peasant life. However, his short stories The Gentleman from San Francisco (1915), Mitya’s Love (1925) and The Well of Days (1930) provide more scope for the lyric vitality of his style. In 1933 he became the first Russian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, a distinction which eluded *Tolstoy, *Chekhov and Gorki. Although admired in his time, Bunin’s works have sunk without trace.
Bunsen, Robert Wilhelm (1811–1899). German chemist, born in Göttingen. Professor of chemistry at Heidelberg 1852–89, in collaboration with *Kirchhoff he developed the new science of spectrum analysis by which elements can be identified from the spectra they emit when heated. This led to the discovery of caesium in 1860 and rubidium in 1861. Bunsen invented several scientific instruments but is best remembered for the simple laboratory burner which bears his name.
Buñuel, Luis (1900–1983). Spanish film director. Noted for the ‘black’ character of his work, his films include the surrealist work Un Chien Andalou (1928) in which Salvador *Dali was his associate, L’Age d’Or (1930), Los Olvidados (1951), Viridiana (1961), Belle de Jour (1966), La voie lactée (1969) and Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie (1972).
Buache, F., The Cinema of Luis Buñuel. 1973.
Bunyan, John (1628–1688). English preacher and author, born near Bedford. Son of a tinker, he became a tinker himself, and served in the parliamentary army in the Civil War. After his marriage (about 1649) he began to undergo profound spiritual experiences and a deep sense of guilt. He was converted, joined the Puritan community of John Gifford (‘Evangelist’ in The Pilgrim’s Progress) in 1653 and became an active preacher. After the Restoration he was arrested for preaching without a licence, refused to give up his activities and was imprisoned at Bedford (1660–72). During his not very arduous confinement—he was even allowed to visit London—he wrote his autobiography Grace Abounding, and several other works. Release followed the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 but he was again in prison for two years from 1675, during which time he wrote the first part of The Pilgrim's Progress, The Life and Death of Mr Badman and The Holy War followed in 1680 and 1682. Bunyan’s considerable gifts as a realistic storyteller in plain but vigorous prose reveal themselves almost in spite of the narrow religious doctrines expressed. The second part of The Pilgrim’s Progress (published 1678) is the most serene and humane of his works; it enjoyed contemporary popularity but had to await the Victorian age for universal esteem.
Sharrock, R., John Bunyan. 1968.
Buonaparte see Bonaparte
Buonarroti, Michelangelo see Michelangelo Buonarroti
Burbage, James (1530/5–1597). English actor, theatrical impresario and builder. In 1576 he built ‘The Theatre’, in Shoreditch, the first permanent theatre in London since the Romans left and there he directed Lord *Strange’s Men, later The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, an acting troupe for whom *Shakespeare wrote and performed. In 1596 Burbage bought ‘The Blackfriars Theatre’. His son Richard Burbage (c.1567–1619) became the pre-eminent actor of his time. He won early fame on the stage but his period of greatest achievement began when he inherited a share of his father’s theatres. In 1598 ‘The Theatre’ was dismantled and its building material used in the first version of ‘The Globe Theatre’. In this enterprise Shakespeare was one of Burbage’s partners and provided him with several of his greatest parts (e.g. Hamlet, Lear, Othello and Richard III). The Lord Chamberlain’s Men became The King’s Men in 1603.
Stopes, C., Burbage and Shakespeare’s Stage. 1973.
Burbank, Luther (1849–1926). American horticulturist, born in Lancaster, Mass. Son of a farmer, he left school early, read *Darwin avidly, began experimenting with plant breeding at 21 and soon developed the Burbank potato. He moved to Santa Rosa in California in 1875. By grafting and cross-pollination he produced 800 improved varieties of plants, including plums, prunes, berries and tomatoes. He produced the nectarine (a peach-plum cross); the spineless cactus, a useful cattle food in desert areas, the Shasta daisy, many lilies and the Fire poppy. He followed *Lamarck’s ideas, knew nothing of *Mendel’s work and influenced *Lysenko.
Burckhardt, Jacob (Christoph) (1818–1897). Swiss historian, born in Basle. After studying history at Basle University and in Berlin under von *Ranke, he taught, became a journalist and editor, travelled extensively in Italy and was professor of history at Zürich 1855–58 and Basle 1858–97. His great interest was the Renaissance, which he interpreted in terms of political and cultural developments. His major work was The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860, published in English 1878). He was extremely influential, especially on his friend *Nietzsche and his disciple Heinrich Wölfflin.
Ferguson, W. K., The Renaissance in Historical Thought. 1948; Ferguson, W. K., Jacob Burckhardt and the Renaissance, 100 Years After. 1960.
Burdett-Coutts, Angela Georgina Burdett Coutts, 1st Baroness (1814–1906). English philanthropist. She was the daughter of the radical MP Sir Francis Burdett (1770–1844), granddaughter of the banker Thomas Coutts (1735–1822), and the richest woman in England. She endowed schools, Anglican churches (including St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide), three Anglican bishoprics, and financed the establishment of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), social housing, training for women and Irish immigration to Canada. She was a close friend of *Wellington (to whom she proposed), *Disraeli, *Napoléon III, *Gladstone and *Dickens. In 1871, she became the first woman raised to the peerage for public services and in 1881 she married her young American-born secretary.
Burger, Warren Earl (1907–1995). American judge. Educated at the University of Minnesota, he became Assistant Attorney-General 1953–56 and a judge of the US Court of Appeals 1956–69. President *Nixon appointed him as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 1969–86. He attempted to curb the liberal tendencies established in the court by his predecessor, Earl *Warren.
Burgess and Maclean. Guy (Francis de Money) Burgess (1911–1965) and Donald (Duart) Maclean (1913–1983), British diplomats and Soviet agents. Burgess, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge joined the Communist Party in the 1930s, worked for the BBC, MI5, and the Foreign Office, serving in Washington. Maclean, educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, also became a Communist in the 1930s and worked for the Foreign Office in Paris, Washington and Cairo. In 1951 they defected to the USSR having been warned by a ‘third man’, later identified as Kim *Philby, that they faced arrest. This episode led to an intense security hunt for the ‘third’, ‘fourth’ and ‘fifth’ men involved in their activities. Philby revealed himself as a KGB officer in 1963 and the ‘fourth man’ was identified in 1979 as the art historian [Sir] Anthony *Blunt. The ‘fifth man’, John Cairncross (1913–1995), linguist, literary scholar, public servant and spy was never prosecuted.
Boyle, A., The Climate of Treason. 1979.
Burgess, Anthony (John Anthony Burgess Wilson) (1917–1993). British novelist and critic, born in Manchester. He taught in England and Malaya, but his work as a serious writer only began in 1959 after he was diagnosed as incurably ill. He then wrote five novels in 12 months. His books include A Clockwork Orange (1962—also filmed), Shakespeare (1971), Napoleon Symphony (1974), 1985 (1978), Earthly Powers (1980), Enderby’s Dark Lady (1984) and Mozart and the Wolf Gang (1991). He was an enthusiastic composer who wrote a symphony and two ballets, translated Cyrano de Bergerac and Oedipus the King, and published much criticism. Despite the quality of his huge output, he won no awards and received no honours (in striking contrast to E. M. *Forster).
Burgess, A., Little Wilson and Big God. 1987; Burgess, A., You’ve Had your Time. 1990.
Burghley, William Cecil, 1st Baron (1520–1598). English statesman. Grandson of David Cecil, a favourite of *Henry VII who raised the family to prominence, he was educated at Cambridge and Gray’s Inn. He held legal office under *Henry VIII. In *Edward VI’s reign he became secretary to the Lord Protector *Somerset, on whose overthrow he was briefly imprisoned, but emerged to become Secretary of State 1550–53. Under *Mary he nominally conformed to Roman Catholicism but was without office. On her death, however, he drafted the proclamation of the accession of *Elizabeth, with whom he had maintained secret contact. As Secretary of State 1558–72 and Lord High Treasurer he guided the queen’s affairs with prudence, loyalty, wisdom and courage for the rest of his life. He became a baron in 1571. Only when he anticipated Elizabeth’s secret wishes by hastening the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, in 1587, did he suffer the full force of her venomous (but politic) rage. Burghley was incorruptible, but the various emoluments and perquisites of office enabled him to build and maintain great houses, where he proved a generous host to his many friends and clients. He was succeeded as chief adviser to the queen by his second son, Robert Cecil, later Earl of *Salisbury.
Beckinsale, B. W., Burghley: Tudor Statesman 1520–1598. 1967.
Burgoyne, John (1722–1797). English general and dramatist. In the American War of Independence, sent to lead an army from Canada against the rebels of the south, he was severely censured for his surrender at Saratoga (1777). He wrote several successful plays including The Maid of the Oaks (1775) and The Heiress (1786). He appears in G. B. *Shaw’s The Devil’s Disciple.
Paire, L., Gentleman Johnny. 1973.
Buridan, Jean (1295–1358). French philosopher. He studied at Paris University, obtained his MA soon after 1320, and became a teacher, and twice rector, there. His death was probably due to plague. Most of the works of his which survive comprise his lecture notes. His writings defend the autonomy of natural philosophy (= science) as a field of study, independent of metaphysics or theology. Buridan saw the characteristic method of science as being that of establishing empirically well-founded generalisations (rather than necessary truths). He did not believe that truths about the physical world could be shown to be rationally necessary, since thereby God’s own infinite freedom would be at risk. Many of his writings about physics are a set of queries around the work of Aristotle. He gave particular attention to the problem of why projectiles continued in motion after they had ceased to be in contact with a source of motion such as a thrower. He formulated a concept that the projectile possessed ‘impetus’ in proportion to the quantity of matter it contained. Such an idea contains within it the seeds of the modern concept of inertia. Buridan speculated upon the possibility of the motion of the earth, believing that for the earth to move might be a simpler explanation of our observations of the heavens, than believing that all other bodies rotated round the earth.
Burke, Edmund (1729–1797). Anglo-Irish politician and political philosopher, born in Dublin. Son of a Protestant solicitor and a Catholic mother, he studied at Trinity College, Dublin, went to London to read law at the Middle Temple, but was mainly occupied by literature. He published A Vindication of Natural Society (1756) and The Sublime and Beautiful (1757) and was an intimate of Dr *Johnson. His political career began in earnest when in 1765 he became secretary to the Whig leader Lord *Rockingham, whose government fell, however, a year later. Burke (who had been MP for Wendover from 1765, and was returned for Bristol in 1774) became the chief organiser of the Whig opposition and in 1770 produced his famous Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, an attack on the ‘King’s friends’ and a defence of party government. His speeches in favour of conciliating the American colonists were also published and are among the finest examples of his oratory. In a famous speech to the electors of Bristol (1774) he insisted that a member of Parliament was a representative, not a delegate: ‘Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment, and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.’ Denunciation of discrimination against Roman Catholics and of the slave trade gave further evidence of his liberal and generous mind. Under the malign influence of Philip *Francis, Burke was persuaded that the brutality and corruption of the East India Company had been directed by Warren *Hastings, the Governor-General, and he moved for his impeachment (1788), at the onset of a long trial before the House of Lords. A turning point in Burke’s political life came with the publication (1790) of his Reflections on the Revolution in France. Here, urging the necessity of political continuity, he found himself revolted by the excesses of violent change. Equally was he estranged from the progressive Whigs and especially Charles James *Fox, with whom he had been so closely allied. He crossed the floor of the house and sat next to his old opponent *Pitt. Thus his political life ended in sorrow and disillusion, but the inspiration of his wonderful eloquence, more effective in the written than the spoken word, survives. ‘Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom, and a great empire and little minds go ill together.’
O’Gorman, F., Edmund Burke: His Political Philosophy. 1973; O’Brien, C. C., The Great Melody: A Thematic Biography and Commentated Anthology of Edmund Burke. 1992; Norman, J., Edmund Burke. Philosopher, Politician, Prophet. 2013; Bourke, R., Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke. 2017.
Burke, Robert O’Hara (1820–1861). Irish-Australian explorer, born in Co. Galway, Ireland. Early episodes in his life included periods of service in the Austrian army and the Irish constabulary before he emigrated (1853) to Australia, where he became an inspector of police, first in Beechworth, then Castlemaine. In August 1860 he set out from Melbourne as leader of an expedition (19 men, 27 camels and 23 horses) to cross Australia from south to north. He succeeded in his purpose by reaching the estuary of the Flinders River on the Gulf of Carpentaria with William John Wills (1834–1861) but both men died of starvation (June 1861) at Cooper Creek, South Australia, on the way back. The expedition was elaborately equipped, but mismanagement and confusion of purpose in the rear, and Burke’s impetuous character, which induced him to press forward without adequate attention to his chain of supplies, or taking advantage of Aboriginal knowledge, brought about disaster. Sidney *Nolan painted two series of works (1949–50; 1961–62) on the Burke and Wills expedition.
Moorehead, A., Cooper’s Creek. 1963; Wilcox, D., Explorers. 1975; Bonyhady, T., Burke and Wills. Melbourne to Myth. 1991; Joyce, E. B., and McCann, D. A. (eds), Burke & Wills: The scientific legacy of the Victorian Exploring Expedition. 2011.
Burke, William (1792–1829). Irish labourer. With another Irishman, William Hare, he found an easy way of making a living by enticing the unwary to enter their Edinburgh lodging house, suffocating them and selling their bodies for dissection. The unsuspecting doctor, Robert Knox, had paid from £8 to £14 each for 15 corpses before inquisitive neighbours summoned the police. Hare saved himself by turning King’s Evidence but Burke was hanged.
Boyle, H., Burke and Hare: The True Story. 1973.
Burlington, 3rd Earl of, and 4th Earl of Cork, Richard Boyle, (1694–1753). Anglo-Irish art patron. His influence was largely employed to further the use of the Palladian style in architecture, of which he had become a great admirer while travelling in Italy as a young man. He often acted as architect, e.g. for his own villa at Chiswick. Burlington House, London, the home of the Royal Academy, stands on the site of his former townhouse.
Burne-Jones (né Jones), Sir Edward Coley, 1st Baronet (1833–1898). Anglo-Welsh painter, designer, illustrator, born in Birmingham. Of Welsh descent, he befriended William *Morris at Exeter College, Oxford, and when they both decided to take up art, they were attracted to *Rossetti and the Pre-Raphaelites. His subjects were mainly legendary or mythological scenes such as The Rose Bower, The Star of Bethlehem, King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid (Tate Gallery, London) and episodes from the Arthurian cycle. Fine draughtsmanship, brilliant colours and romantic treatment are characteristics of his style. With Morris he also designed stained-glass windows, tapestries, mosaics and book illustrations. Long out of fashion, there was a revival of interest from the 1970s and he influenced symbolists in England and France.
Harrison, M. and Waters, B., Burne-Jones. 1973; Wildman, S., Edward Burne-Jones. 1998; Wood, C., Burne-Jones. 1999.
Burnet, Gilbert (1643–1715). Anglo-Scottish prelate and historian, born in Edinburgh. Educated at Marishal College, Aberdeen, he was professor of divinity at Glasgow 1669–74, then came to London to take up a royal chaplaincy. In 1683, having earned disfavour by his condemnation of King *Charles II’s immorality and by his staunch Whiggery, he went to Holland, where he became friend and adviser of the Prince of Orange and chaplain to his wife. When the couple became *William III and *Mary II of Great Britain, he became Bishop of Salisbury. The consummation of his life work was his great History of My Own Time, which appeared posthumously (1724–34), and in which his tolerance, enthusiasm and innocent indiscretions were revealed.
Burnet, Sir (Frank) Macfarlane (1899–1985). Australian medical scientist, born in Traralgon. Educated at Geelong College and Melbourne University, he worked in London at the Lister Institute 1926–27 and the National Institute for Medical Research 1932–33 and became a world authority on Q fever, herpes simplex, influenza and diphtheria. He was assistant director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research, Melbourne 1934–44 and director 1944–65. He published 528 papers, more than 400 on his research. Burnet, essentially an old fashioned, solitary, intuitive researcher, had few collaborators, mostly women, other than Frank *Fenner, Ian Mackay, Gordon Ada and Gus *Nossal. He was rather suspicious of ‘big science’, heavy investment in equipment and setting up research teams, and wary of clinical or applied research. Knighted in 1951, he received the Lasker Award in 1952, the OM in 1958 and the Copley Medal in 1959.
He developed two international reputations, until 1957 as a virologist, then, as perhaps the world’s most distinguished theoretician of immunology. Burnet worked with Fenner on ‘acquired immunological tolerance’, the capacity of organisms to distinguish between ‘self’ and ‘not self’, confirmed experimentally in England by Peter *Medawar and Rupert Billingham. Burnet and Medawar shared the 1960 Nobel Prize for Medicine for this work. (Fenner and Billingham were very unlucky not to have shared the award because Nobel Prizes can be split into two or three, but not four.) In 1957 Burnet published an important paper on ‘clonal selection theory’, a micro-evolutionary explanation of the adaptive nature of antibody production.
In 1961 Burnet became the first ‘Australian of the Year’ and was President of the Australian Academy of Science 1965–69. He had some significant near-misses: he abandoned his work on poliomyelitis although it closely paralleled John *Enders’ Nobel Prize-winning discovery; he failed to explore the phenomenon of haemagglutination (clumping of red blood cells) following attacks of influenza; he demonstrated interferon in action in 1951 but its significance was only recognised by his former co-worker Alick Isaacs in 1957 and he had a notorious blind spot about molecular biology. His books include Viruses and Man (1953), Changing Patterns: An Atypical Autobiography (1968), and Credo and Comment: A Scientist Reflects (1979).
Fenner, F., Frank Macfarlane Burnet 1899–1985. 1987; Sexton, C., Burnet: A Life. rev. 1999.
Burnett, Frances (Eliza) (née Hodgson) (1849–1924). American writer, born in Manchester. Her family emigrated to Tennessee in 1865. She is remembered for Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886) and The Secret Garden (1911).
Thwaite, A., Waiting for the Party: A life of Frances Hodgson Burnett. 1974.
Burney, Fanny (Frances, later Madame d’Arblay) (1752–1840). English novelist and diarist. She married a French officer and lived in Paris (1802–15), then returned to England. Her husband died in 1818. She began to write quite early in life. Evelina, the story of a young girl’s entry into society, had to be published under a pseudonym (1778). It was enormously popular. On her authorship being disclosed she became a friend of Samuel *Johnson. Her second novel, Cecilia (1782), was also a success, but her later works did not prove popular. Her Letters and Diaries (published posthumously) give lively accounts of Dr Johnson, *Garrick and their circle, and of her life at court.
White, E., Fanny Burney, Novelist. 1960.
Burnham, James (1905–1987). American political philosopher. Educated at Princeton and Oxford, he was a Trotskyist who moved steadily to the right, and became an important influence for neoconservatives. The Managerial Revolution (1941) accurately predicted that managerialism would displace ideology/politics in government, and influenced George *Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four.
Burns, John Elliot (1858–1943). English radical politician. He was an active trade unionist, several times jailed, who founded the Battersea Labour League in 1889 and became a London County Councillor 1889–1907 and MP 1892–1918. He refused to join the Independent Labour Party, worked with the Liberals and became the first Cabinet minister drawn from the working class, as President of the Board of Local Government 1905–14. A pacifist, he opposed World War I and resigned as President of the Board of Trade (1914).
Burns, Ken(neth Lauren) (1953– ). American filmmaker, born in Brooklyn. He made a series of documentary films, characterised by the creative use of still photographs, including The Civil War (1990), Baseball (1994), Jazz (2001), Prohibition (2011), The Roosevelts (2014) and The Vietnam War (2017).
Burns, Robert (‘Rabbie’) (1759–1796). Scottish national poet, born near Alloway, Ayrshire. His father, a self-educated tenant farmer, gave him his first lessons and inspired a love of reading encouraged later by John Murdoch, a village schoolmaster. From the age of 14 Burns wrote poems in dialect, but it was only while he and his brother were farming unsuccessfully at Mossgiel 1784–88 that, to obtain money for contemplated emigration to Jamaica, he listened to suggestions for publication. In the meantime he continued a life of hard work, varied by wide reading, and bouts of dissipation, and complicated by his many love affairs. The first edition of his poems (the Kilmarnock edition) appeared in 1786 and its immediate success caused him to be lionised in Edinburgh, where he won popularity by his modesty, intelligence and charm. But he soon tired of patronage and flattery, and having acquired £400 from a second edition he was encouraged to settle on a small farm at Ellisland and marry Jean Armour, one of his many loves. The failure of the farm caused him to accept a post as exciseman at Dumfries. His first generous sympathy with the French Revolution might have threatened this government post, but he was quickly disillusioned and, in 1794, on a patriotic impulse, joined the Dumfriesshire Volunteers. Over work, alcohol and (probably) endocarditis induced by rheumatic fever combined to bring about his early death. The last years of his life as a writer were mainly spent in composing, collecting and adapting song lyrics. In Edinburgh he had met James Johnson, collector and publisher of Scottish songs, and it is to Burns’ cooperation with him (and others) that we owe that wonderful abundance of songs that immortalise his name. They include Auld Lang Syne, My love is like a red red rose, Comin ‘Thro’ the Rye, John Anderson my Jo, Ye Banks and Braes o’Bonny Doon and many just as famous. Burns’ lyrics have been set by many composers, among them *Haydn, *Beethoven (‘The Lovely Lass of Inverness’, 1794), *Mendelssohn, *Schumann, *Ravel (‘Ye banks and braes o’ Bonnie Doon…’, 1909) and *Shostakovich. Burns also achieved success with such masterly satires as Holy Willie’s Prayer and The Holy Fair, and long narrative poems such as The Jolly Beggars, Death and Dr Hornbrook and Tam o’Shanter, all except for the last named belonging to the earlier part of his life. Burns is unique among the great poets (except Shakespeare) in having universal and enduring appeal. He is much admired in Russia.
Daiches, D., Robert Burns and His World. 1971; Douglas, H., Robert Burns. A Life. 1977; McIntyre, I., Robert Burns. A Life. 2009; Crawford, R., The Bard: Robert Burns. 2010.
Burnside, Ambrose Everett (1824–1881). American soldier, politician and industrialist. Famous for having been jilted at the altar by a Confederate spy, and for his side whiskers, he was a popular but not very competent officer in the US Civil War. Commander of the Army of the Potomac 1862–63, he lost the Battle of Fredericksburg, but was given the command in Ohio. Governor of Rhode Island 1866–69, he became a US Senator 1875–81.
Burr, Aaron (1756–1836). American politician, born in Newark, New Jersey. Educated at Princeton College, he served on *Washington’s staff and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the War of Independence, became a successful lawyer in New York and was a US senator 1791–97. In the 1800 presidential election, in which *Adams was defeated, he tied with *Jefferson in the Electoral College and after 36 ballots the result was determined by the House of Representatives, where Alexander *Hamilton ensured Jefferson’s victory and Burr became Vice President of the US 1801–05. In 1804 Hamilton also blocked Burr’s nomination as Governor of New York State. In July 1804 Burr killed Hamilton in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey, was indicted on a murder charge and fled. He tried to set up an independent state comprising the south-western states and part of Mexico. A small expedition was equipped and sailed down the Mississippi but Burr was arrested, tried for treason (1807) and acquitted, mainly on technical grounds. He continued his intrigues abroad (1808–12), but later resumed his law practice in New York City.
Vidal, G. Burr. 1973.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice (1875–1950). American author, born in Chicago. After indifferent success in business, he devoted himself to writing, including science fiction and adventure stories. Beginning with Tarzan of the Apes (1912), he produced 26 books about a feral white child (John Clayton III, Earl of Greystoke) brought up by apes, who became a sophisticated adult. They were bestsellers, the subject of many films, television series and comics. (Even Rudyard *Kipling read them.)
Burroughs, William Seward (1914–1997). American writer, born in St Louis. Educated at Harvard, he worked in advertising, as a detective, bartender, reporter and pest-exterminator, was a heroin addict 1944–58 and lived in France 1959–64 and Britain 1964–73. One of the gurus of the Beat generation, he developed a deliberately disjointed ‘collage’ style in his writing. His books include Junkie (1953), The Naked Lunch (1959, also filmed), Nova Express (1964), Queer (1985) and The Western Lands (1988).
Morgan, T., Literary Outlaw. 1988.
Burton (né Jenkins), Richard (1925–1984). Welsh stage and film actor, born in Pontrhydfen. Educated at Port Talbot Secondary School and Exeter College, Oxford, he served with the RAF, then acted with the Old Vic in London and New York and was a successful Hamlet and Henry V. His films include Alexander the Great (1956), Look Back in Anger (1959), Cleopatra (1963), Becket (1964), The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1965), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966), Exorcist II (1977), Equus (1977) and The Heretic (1977). He produced a film version of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood (1971). He married four times, twice to the actor Elizabeth *Taylor.
Bragg, M., Richard Burton: A Life. 1989.
Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1821–1890). English explorer and writer. While in the Indian army (1843–49), he served with Napier in Sind. In 1853 he became the first Western European to visit the holy places of Mecca when he went on a pilgrimage there disguised as a Pathan Muslim. After exploring Somaliland he discovered Lake Tanganyika with J. H. *Speke in 1858. Speke’s discovery of Lake Nyanza and his claim that it was the main source of the Nile led to a prolonged controversy with Burton, only settled when H. M. *Stanley proved Speke right. Later he was British consul at Fernando Po, Santos, Damascus and Trieste. He described his travels in a long series of vividly written books, but by far his greatest literary achievement, both in size and fame, was his translation of The Arabian Nights (1885–88). He is said to have mastered more than 30 languages.
Wright, T., The Life of Sir Richard Burton. 2 vols, 1968; McLynn, F., Burton: Snow upon the Desert. 1992.
Burton, Robert (1577–1640). English clergyman. Famed as the author of The Anatomy of Melancholy, he spent nearly all his life at Christ Church, Oxford, first as a student and then, having taken orders, as tutor. The work upon which his fame entirely rests first appeared in 1621 and was strongly influenced by *Montaigne’s Essays. The name ‘Democritus Junior’ which appeared on the title page was a reference to *Democritus, ‘the laughing philosopher’ of the ancient Greeks. The book is a whimsical and immensely learned analysis of the various types of melancholia but contains stories of celebrated lovers and is illustrated by quotations from the classical and medieval authors then known.
Busch, Fritz (1890–1951). German conductor and pianist. He directed the Dresden State Opera 1922–33, left Germany when *Hitler took power, went to Denmark and Argentina and became first director of the Glyndebourne Opera (John *Christie) in 1934. He worked in New York 1945–50. His brother Adolf Busch (1891–1952), violinist, conductor and composer, founded the Busch String Quartet in 1919 and the Busch Chamber Players in 1935, performed in Switzerland, England and the US and made many outstanding recordings.
Bush, George Herbert Walker (1924–2018). 41st President of the US 1989–93. Son of Prescott Bush, a US senator from Connecticut, he was educated at Andover and Yale, became a very young naval carrier pilot in World War II, founded the Zapata Petroleum Corporation (1953) in Texas, and then entered politics. He served as a congressman 1967–70, Ambassador to the UN 1970–73, head of the US liaison office to Peking 1974–75, and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 1975–76. He became Vice President of the US under Ronald *Reagan 1981–89. Elected President in 1988, defeating Michael *Dukakis, he was most comfortable in foreign affairs, claimed credit for ending the Cold War and, through the UN, he organised in 1990 an international coalition against Iraq (Saddam *Hussein), after its invasion of Kuwait. After Iraq’s defeat in ‘Operation Desert Storm’ in February 1991, he enjoyed an approval rating of 91 per cent. However, the economy appeared to be sluggish and Bush was perceived to lack what he called ‘the vision thing’ in domestic policy. In November 1992 he was defeated by Bill *Clinton, largely because H. Ross *Perot’s intervention took away many conservative votes. Bush was uncomfortable with the fundamentalist Right in his party but, as the inheritor of Reagan’s political legacy, seemed unable or unwilling to identify or articulate moderate or liberal domestic policies. In the week he left office he resumed bombing Iraq after Saddam failed to meet UN inspection requirements. He was awarded an Hon. GCB in 1997. His sons included George W. *Bush and John Ellis (‘Jeb’) *Bush. He celebrated his 90th birthday with a parachute jump and was, at the time of his death, the longest-lived US President (94 years 6 months 18 days).
Bush, George W(alker) (1946– ). 43rd President of the US 2001–09. Son of George Herbert Walker *Bush, he was born in New Haven, Conn., educated at Andover, Yale and Harvard (where he gained an MBA), then moved with his family to Texas. He worked in the oil business, managed the Texas Rangers baseball team and was governor of Texas 1993–2000. He defeated John *McCain to win the 2000 Republican nomination for President, and, although losing the popular vote nationally by 540,000, defeated Al *Gore narrowly in the Electoral College. (Ralph *Nader ran as a Green candidate.) This followed a fiercely disputed return in Florida, in which the US Supreme Court voted 5–4 against a hand recount of votes in certain counties. This was the first election since 1888 (Benjamin *Harrison) when the winner did not lead in the popular vote. He organised an international coalition against terrorism following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks attributed to Osama bin *Laden and his al-Qaeda group, but gave priority to regime change in Iraq, claiming that Saddam *Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (WMD) threatened world peace. The ‘coalition of the willing’ invaded Iraq in March 2003, claimed victory after 28 days, installed an occupation authority but failed to locate any WMDs and insurrection continued. In 2004, Bush won a second term, defeating Senator John *Kerry. His failure to act decisively after the impact of Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the ‘global financial crisis’ (2008), coupled with the continued fighting in Iraq, and increased defence spending for Afghanistan, made him deeply unpopular towards the end of his term, even in his own party. In nine Presidential rankings by US historians and political scientists, Bush scored No. 31 in the aggregate.
Smith, J. E., Bush. 2016.
Bush, John Ellis (‘Jeb’) (1953– ). American businessman and Republican politician, born in Texas. Son and brother of US Presidents, educated at the University of Texas, Austin, he became a banker, consultant and real estate developer. He married Columba Garnica de Gallo, a Mexican, in 1974, became fluent in Spanish and converted to Catholicism in 1995. Governor of Florida 1999–2007, he was the preferred choice of the Republican establishment for the 2016 Presidential nomination but failed with voters.
Bush, Vannevar (1890–1974). American electrical engineer, born in Massachusetts. Educated at Tufts and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he taught at MIT 1919–38 and in 1925 devised the first analogue computer, used in solving differential equations. President of the Carnegie Institution, Washington 1939–56, he became Director of the US Office of Scientific Research and Development 1941–46 and Chairman of the Joint Research and Development Board 1946–47. Reporting to President Franklin *Roosevelt, he played a unique role in coordinating all major wartime scientific, technological and engineering projects, became the architect of science policy, set priorities and showed superb judgment. He took scientific responsibility for the atomic bomb project (*Oppenheimer), for the development of computing (*Eckert) and even the commercial development of penicillin (*Florey). He became an honorary KBE (1948), was Chairman of MIT 1957–59 and wrote Science Is Not Enough (1967).
Busoni, Ferruccio (Dante Michelangelo Benvenuto) (1866–1924). Italian composer, pianist and conductor, born in Florence. His father was a clarinet virtuoso, his German mother a pianist. He gave his piano debut in Trieste in 1874 and came to be recognised as one of the greatest performers. He made elaborate transcriptions of *Bach’s organ works and the famous Chaconne for solo violin. He wrote a massive piano concerto, including a male chorus (1903–04), and the operas Turandot (1917, not to be confused with *Puccini’s) and Doktor Faust (1916–24), left incomplete, rarely performed but important.
Bustamente, Sir (William) Alexander (1884–1977). Jamaican Labour politician. He studied in the US and worked in Havana and New York, returning to Jamaica in 1934. He established his own trade union and founded the Labour Party in 1943, having left the People’s National party led by his cousin Norman *Manley. He was Chief Minister 1953–55. After the formation of the West Indian Federation in 1958 he worked for the secession of Jamaica and was supported by a referendum held in 1961 and subsequent elections. Jamaica accordingly withdrew and Bustamente became first Prime Minister 1962–67 under independence.
Bute, 3rd Earl of, John Stuart (1713–1792). Scottish aristocrat and royal favourite, born in Edinburgh. Educated at Eton and Leyden University (Netherlands), he divided his time between his Scottish estates, London, and the mansion Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire. He had a passion for botany and antiquities. He became a close friend of *Frederick, Prince of Wales, and his wife, the princess. The friendship with the family survived the prince’s death in 1751. Bute gained a position in the household and became virtually the tutor of the young prince, the future *George III, whose warm affection he won. Unfortunately he instilled into him the doctrines of *Bolingbroke’s Patriot King which claimed for the sovereign a much more active part than George’s abilities could sustain or recent constitutional practice could allow. The test came when *George II died. Bute was brought into the government in 1761, manoeuvred *Newcastle and *Pitt out of office and became First Lord of the Treasury (i.e. Prime Minister) 1762–63. He ended the Seven Years’ War, but was forced to resign due to lack of political support and personal unpopularity. He was the last royal ‘favourite’ in government, but for several years the influence of ‘the minister behind the curtain’ survived. He was a patron of Dr *Johnson, contributing up to £300 p.a., and of Robert *Adam and Tobias *Smollett.
McKelvey, J. L., George III and Lord Bute. 1973.
Buthelezi, Mangosuthu Gatsha (1928– ). Zulu chief and politician. He played the role of his great-grandfather *Cetewayo in the film Zulu (1963) The most powerful Zulu chief, he founded the tribally based Inkatha movement, became Chief Minister of KwaZulu 1976–94, collaborated with Pretoria in return for economic concessions and was a strong critic of the African National Congress. He made the longest recorded speech, lasting for five days. He opposed creation of a unified South Africa under black rule, as this would destroy Zulu autonomy and his own power base. In 1993 he formed an alliance with white extremists against the power sharing arrangements of *de Klerk and *Mandela. He reluctantly took part in the election of April 1994 where his Inkatha Freedom Party won 10 per cent of the vote. He became Minister for Home Affairs 1994–2004.
Butler, Josephine Elizabeth (1828–1906). English social reformer. A fervent supporter of education for women. Between 1883 and 1886, working with Florence *Nightingale, Harriet *Martineau and others, she secured the repeal of acts that discriminated against prostitutes. She also established a pioneer organisation for suppression of the white slave trade.
Bell, E. M., Josephine Butler. 1963.
Butler, Nicholas Murray (1862–1947). American educator. After graduating at Columbia University he studied further in Berlin and Paris. He returned to become professor of education 1890–1901 and president 1901–45 of Columbia University, New York. From 1907 he worked incessantly for international goodwill, and was President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1925–45, sharing the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize with Jane *Addams. His many books included The Meaning of Education (1898 and 1915), Scholarship and Service (1921) and The Path to Peace (1930).
Butler, Reg(inald Cotterell) (1910–1981). British sculptor. He made his name by his linear wrought iron sculpture, such as his Unknown Political Prisoner, which won first prize in an international competition held in London in 1953. He then resumed his interest in modelling. He wrote Creative Development (1962).
Butler, Richard Austen (‘Rab’), Baron Butler of Saffron Walden (1902–1982). English Conservative politician, born in India. Educated at Marlborough and Pembroke College, Cambridge, he was MP for Saffron Walden 1929–65. As a progressive undersecretary for India 1932–37 and an appeasing undersecretary for Foreign Affairs 1938–41 he earned the undying suspicion of Winston *Churchill on two counts. As Minister for Education 1941–45, he initiated the famous Education Act (1944) providing for massive expansion of post-war secondary schooling. In Opposition (1945–51), Butler created the Conservative Research Department which developed new policies essential for re-election. He served as Chancellor of the Exchequer 1951–55, Lord Privy Seal 1955–57, Home Secretary 1957–62, Minister for Central Africa 1962–63 and Foreign Secretary 1963–64, all with great distinction, but was denied the prime ministership in 1957 and 1963. He declined an earldom but accepted a life peerage, with a KG and CH, became Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1965–77 and wrote understandably waspish memoirs The Art of Memory (1982).
Butler, Samuel (1612–1680). English poet, born in Worcestershire. Son of a farmer, he acted as clerk to several of the land owning gentry before he became, in 1661, secretary to Lord Carbery, who appointed him steward of Ludlow Castle. He wrote the long satirical poem Hudibras (1663–78), much admired by *Charles II who seems to have promised him much but delivered little. (Butler later worked for the Duke of *Buckingham.) Hudibrus strings together into a connected whole, burlesques of hypocritical and more or less disreputable, Puritan characters of the Civil War period.
Butler, Samuel (1835–1902). English author, painter and musician, born in Nottinghamshire. Son of a clergyman, he was educated at Shrewsbury (where his grandfather had been a great headmaster) and Cambridge. He refused to enter the Church because of religious doubts, and became a successful sheep farmer at Mesopotamia, South Canterbury, New Zealand (1860–64) instead. On his return to England, he lived alone in London, devoting himself to painting, writing and music, one of his paintings hangs in the Tate Gallery. In 1872 he published the Utopian satire Erewhon. ‘Erewhon’ (an anagram of ‘nowhere’) is a land of’ paradox where, for example, crime is regarded as an illness and illness as a crime. A sequel, Erewhon Revisited, appeared in 1901. Erewhon was followed by a number of semi-scientific works in which he examined the theories of *Darwin, accepting evolution, while giving the credit for it to Darwin’s predecessors, and rejecting natural selection. In its place he offered his own creative view of evolution. In Unconscious Memory (1880) he anticipates the theories of C. G. *Jung. In his later years he became absorbed by *Homer. He translated the Iliad (1898) and the Odyssey (1900) while The Humour of Homer (1892) is a notable piece of literary criticism. The Authoress of the Odyssey proposes the ingenious theory that the Odyssey was written by a Sicilian woman from Trapani. Possibly his best known work, however, is The Way of All Flesh (published in 1903 but written 1873–85), an autobiographical novel in which, through a thinly disguised portrait of his own childhood and youth, he demonstrates the conflict of the generations and the deleterious effects of a typical Victorian upbringing.
Harkness, S. B. The Career of Butler: A Bibliography. 1955.
Butt, Dame Clara Ellen (1872–1936). English contralto. Dedicatee of *Elgar’s Sea Pictures. She toured extensively, often with her husband, the baritone Kennerly Rumford, had a voice of great power and depth (well captured on recordings) and was 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall.
Butterfield, William (1814–1900). English architect. A leading practitioner of the revived Gothic style, he designed churches in a brilliant polychrome style, including All Saints, Margaret Street, London; Keble College, Oxford, and the more subdued St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne and St Peter’s Cathedral, Adelaide.
Thompson, P., William Butterfield. 1971.
Butterworth, George Sainton Kaye (1885–1916). English composer. He collected and was strongly influenced by English folk songs. He composed two song cycles based on poems from *Housman’s A Shropshire Lad and The Banks of Green Willow. He was killed on the Somme in World War I after winning an MC.
Buttigieg, Pete(r Paul Montgomery) (1982– ). American Democratic politician, born in South Bend, Indiana. Of Maltese descent, his father was a professor of literature. Educated at a Catholic school, he studied at Harvard University, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, then worked as a consultant for McKinsey’s. Elected Mayor of South Bend 2012–20, he served as a naval intelligence officer in Afghanistan and outed himself as gay (2015). He announced his candidature for President in 2019 but despite polling well in early Democratic Party primaries in 2020, dropped out and urged support for Joe *Biden. A moderate on economic issues, he was against the death penalty and committed to strong action on climate change.
Buxtehude, Dietrich (or Diderik) (1637–1707). Danish musician. Organist at the Marienkirke in Lübeck from 1668, in 1703 *Händel came to hear his celebrated evening concerts and in 1705 J. S. *Bach walked more than 400 kilometres to hear him play. He was a prolific composer of organ, harpsichord and Church music. Much has been lost but 114 cantatas survive.
Buxton, Sir Thomas Fowell, 1st Baronet (1786–1845). English reformer. On election to parliament 1818–37 he instituted a private inquiry into the administration of prisons, which led to the formation of a prison reform society. He opposed the slave trade and, as leader of the abolitionist group in succession to William *Wilberforce, was instrumental in securing the passage of the 1833 act for the ending of slavery in British possessions.
Byatt, Dame Antonia Susan (née Drabble) (pen name A. S. Byatt) (1936– ). English novelist and academic. Educated at Cambridge, Bryn Mawr and Oxford, she is a sister of Margaret *Drabble. Her novels include Possession (1990), which won the Booker Prize, and Angels and Insects (1992). She also wrote studies of George *Eliot and Iris *Murdoch.
Byng, John (1704–1757). English admiral. Son of Viscount Torrington, and MP 1751–57, at the outset of the Seven Years War (1756), he was sent to prevent French occupation of Minorca, handled his ships badly, was defeated and withdrew to Gibraltar (as he had been instructed). However, as *Voltaire aptly put it, ‘pour encourager les autres’, he was charged with ‘neglect of duty’, court-martialled and shot to death at Portsmouth, despite a strong recommendation to mercy which *George II ignored.
Pope, D., At Twelve Mr Byng was Shot. 1962.
Byng of Vimy, Julian Hedworth Byng, 1st Viscount (1862–1935). English field marshal. Son of the Earl of Strafford, he commanded the IX Corps at the Dardanelles 1915–16 and the Canadian Corps 1916–17, capturing Vimy Ridge in April 1917. He became GOC of the British 3rd Army 1917–19 and led the Cambrai offensive. In the final victorious operations his army captured 67 000 Germans. Byng was Governor-General of Canada 1921–26 and Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police 1928–31.
Byrd, Richard Evelyn (1888–1957). American Arctic and Antarctic explorer. He was the first to fly over the North Pole (1926) and the South Pole (1929), the latter as leader of an expedition (1928–30) in the course of which Marie Byrd Land and other areas were discovered. He led further expeditions to the Antarctic in 1933–35, 1946–47 and 1955–56. Byrd, a naval officer, became a rear-admiral in 1930.
Montague, R., Oceans, Poles and Airmen. 1971.
Byrd, Robert Carlyle (1917–2010). American Democratic politician. He was a welder during World War II, and briefly joined the Ku Klux Klan, which he later repudiated. He served in the West Virginia Legislature 1947–53, the US House of Representatives 1953–59 and the US Senate 1959–2010, setting a world record for length of service as a legislator.
Byrd, William (1539/40–1623). English composer, born in Lincolnshire. A pupil of Thomas *Tallis, although a Roman Catholic he accepted positions in the Anglican Church as organist of Lincoln Cathedral 1563–75, and joint organist (with Tallis) of the Chapel Royal 1575–1623. He also shared with Tallis a monopoly for the printing and selling of music and was often engaged in litigation, much of it concerned with a disputed estate. He composed Masses and motets for the Catholic Church as well as music for the Anglican liturgy, in addition to his great output of madrigals and instrumental pieces (mainly for the virginal). The power of his music and the extraordinary skill of his contrapuntal writing gained him great fame in Europe during his lifetime.
Andrews, H. K., The Technique of Byrd. 1966; McCarthy, K., Byrd. 2013.
Byrnes, James Francis (1882–1972). American lawyer and politician, born in Charleston. He represented South Carolina as a Democratic congressman 1911–25 and US Senator 1931–41, and has been described as the most influential Southerner in the US Congress between John *Calhoun and Lyndon *Johnson. Justice of the US Supreme Court 1941–42, he resigned to take up appointment as Director of the Office of Economic Stabilization 1942–43 and War Mobilization 1943–45 and was often described as *Roosevelt’s ‘Assistant President’. However, his support for the New Deal had cooled and opposition by labour unions cost him the Democratic nomination for Vice President in 1944. As President *Truman’s Secretary of State 1945–47, he became an architect of the Cold War and was elected as a segregationist governor of South Carolina 1951–55. He endorsed *Eisenhower, *Nixon and *Goldwater for the presidency and joined the Republicans in 1964.
Byrnes, J. F., Speaking Frankly. 1947.
Byron, George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron (1788–1824). English poet, born in London. He spent his first 10 years in Aberdeen lodgings with his mother, whose fortune had been frittered away by her husband, ‘mad Jack’ Byron. Much of his childhood was made unhappy by unsuccessful attempts to cure a lame foot, of which he remained painful1y conscious. He inherited the title in 1798 and went to live in the family home, Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire. At Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, he not only read eagerly but took pride in overcoming his lameness by boxing, playing cricket and becoming a powerful swimmer. In 1807 he published Hours of Idleness, which was savagely criticised in the Edinburgh Review. He withdrew it and replied with the satire English Bards and Scotch Reviewers. After leaving Cambridge he travelled to Greece and Albania with his friend J. C. Hobhouse (he swam the Hellespont in May 1810), and his tour was described in the first two cantos of the semi-autobiographical Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (published 1812). The Giaour (1813), The Bride of Abydos (1813) and Lara (1814) also reflect the romantic moods inspired by his travels. He had become famous overnight, was lionised in society, made a few radical speeches in the House of Lords, and engaged in a series of love affairs, not always by his own choice. The half-mad Lady Caroline *Lamb, for example, fell in love with him and pestered him almost to distraction. In 1815, he married an heiress, Annabella Milbanke, but the marriage was unhappy from the start. Conjectures about his incestuous relationship with his half-sister Augusta Leigh, combined with his wife’s complaints of his dark moods of cruelty and despair, made separation inevitable. (His daughter Ada became Countess of *Lovelace.) Ostracised by many of his former admirers, Byron left England for good in 1816 and moved to Switzerland, where he spent happy weeks with the Shelleys. From a life of dissipation and promiscuous love affairs in Venice (1817–19), Byron was rescued by Teresa, Countess Guiccioli, a woman of cultivated tastes who became his mistress. In this Italian period he finished Childe Harold and among other writings produced the drama Manfred (1817), Beppo (1818) and A Vision of Judgement (1822). He also began Don Juan (1819–24), that extraordinary medley of satire, adventure and self-revelation which remained unfinished at his death. Byron’s interest in the cause of freeing Greece from Turkish rule led him to join the liberation committee in 1823. He set out for Greece later in the year; the following April he died of fever at Missolonghi. For much of the 19th century he was regarded as the epitome of the romantic hero, a noble, melancholy wanderer and a passionate lover of freedom, but this judgement, based on his early poems, is largely the creation of his admirers (and in some moods of himself). The truer Byron, repressed in youth and always aware of his deformity, was much more of a satirist in the tradition of *Voltaire, an ironical realist as little blind to his own failings as to those of others, as aware of the savagery, squalor and tedium of life as of its beauty and glory.
Marchand, L. A., Byron: A Biography. 3 vols, 1957; Byron. A Portrait. 1970.