Dictionary of World Biography
Dagobert (Dagobertus) I (605–639). King of Austrasia 623–29, of the Franks 629–39, of Neustria and Burgundy 634–39. He succeeded his father Chlothar II, was the last powerful Merovingian king, and the first to be buried at St Denis. He briefly reunited the whole kingdom of the Franks. St Eloi, a goldsmith and patron saint of craftsmen, was his treasurer.
Daguerre, Louis-Jacques-Mandé (1787–1851). French painter and physicist, born at Cormeilles, Seine-et-Oise. He invented the daguerreotype, the first practical process of photography. He worked first as an officer for inland revenue, then as a scene painter for the opera. He opened the Diorama in Paris (1822), an exhibition of panoramic views, different effects achieved by changes in lighting. In the same year J. N. *Niepce produced the first permanent photograph, though it was of poor quality and required eight hours’ exposure time. Learning of Daguerre’s experiments in the same field, he joined him in 1829. After Niepce’s death in 1833, Daguerre continued with their work and in 1839 was able to publish his daguerreotype process, which required only 20–30 minutes exposure time. By this process permanent pictures (single images) were produced on an iodised silver plate, called a daguerreotype. His publications include Historie et description des procédés de daguerréotypie (1839). Made an officer of the Legion of Honour, he and Niepce’s heir were granted annuities in 1839.
Gernsheim, H. and A., L. J. M. Daguerre. Rev. ed. 1968.
Daimler, Gottlieb Wilhelm (1834–1900). German pioneer motor manufacturer, born in Württemberg. His success rested on his production (after earlier experiments with coal gas as a fuel) of a light, petrol-driven combustion engine, patented in 1883. He founded (1890) the Daimler car company at Cannstatt and in 1900 produced the first Mercédès cars (named after the daughter of his financial backer Emil Jellinek). The Daimler and *Benz companies merged in 1926.
Daladier, Édouard (1884–1970). French politician, born in Carpentras, Provence. Son of a baker, he taught history at Grenoble and elsewhere before moving to Paris. After fighting in World War I, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies (1919) and eventually succeeded Herriot as leader of the Radical Socialist party. He was Prime Minister 1934 and 1938–40 and negotiated the Munich agreement (1938) with *Hitler, *Mussolini and Neville *Chamberlain. He was arrested (1940) by the Vichy Government, interned by the Germans (1942–45) and became a deputy again 1946–58.
Dalai Lama, The (Tenzin Gyatso) (1935– ). Tibetan religious leader, born in Taktser in Ando province. From a peasant family, he was identified as the 14th Incarnation as a child and enthroned at Lhasa in 1940. He assumed political power in 1950 just after *Mao’s victory in China, asserted Tibet’s claim to autonomy, attempted to negotiate with Beijing, but withdrew to India after Chinese military action (1959). He campaigned for Tibetan independence but took up human rights and humanitarian causes generally and received the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.
Dalcroze, Émile Jaques see Jaques-Dalcroze, Émile
Dale, Sir Henry Hallett (1875–1968). English physiologist, born in London. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was Secretary of the Royal Society 1925–35, Director of the National Institute for Medical Research 1928–42, Director of the Royal Institution, London 1942–46, and President of the Royal Society 1940–45. He shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1936) for his work on the chemical transmission of nerve impulses. He was awarded the Copley Medal (1937) and the OM (1944).
Dalén, (Nils) Gustav (1869–1937). Swedish engineer, born in Stenstorp. In 1906 he was appointed chief engineer of the AB Gas Accumulator (AGA) company which marketed acetylene gas. He researched into gases and turbines, improved hot-air turbine engines and the Laval steam turbine. By 1909 he was appointed managing director and invented Agamassan, the substance which absorbs acetylene with no risk of explosion. In 1912 he won the Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing the automatic sun valve (‘solventil’ in Swedish), regulating the flow of gas according to the intensity of light. It was widely used (as ‘the Dalén light’) in bouys and unmanned lighthouses. He was blinded by an explosion during an experiment (1913) but continued his research until his death. He patented the AGA cooker in 1922.
Dalhousie, James Andrew Broun-Ramsay, 1st Marquess of (1812–1860). Scottish administrator. Son of the 9th Earl of Dalhousie, a general, he lived in Canada as a child, was educated at Harrow and Oxford and elected MP in 1837. After being President of the Board of Trade 1845–46, he became Governor-General of India 1848–56. His first years were marked by the Second Burmese and the Sikh Wars, as a result more of Lower Burma and the Punjab were annexed. The annexation of Oudh, however, was much criticised. Dalhousie initiated a system of primary education, introduced railways and the telegraph, developed roads, trade and the postal service, and inaugurated major irrigation schemes. Created marquess in 1849, he succeeded *Wellington as lord warden of the Cinque Ports 1853–60.
Dali, Salvador Felipe Jacinto (1904–1989). Spanish painter and sculptor. Through the influence of *De’Chirico and Max *Ernst, he became (from 1929) one of the principal exponents of Surrealism, a form of irrational art, deeply influenced by *Freud’s work on the unconscious mind. Dali’s paintings of nightmares or hallucinations often include figures drawn and painted with extreme realism. In addition to his paintings he made films (notably Un Chien Andalou, with *Buñuel, 1928), designed ballets, wrote an autobiography and other books. A retrospective exhibition of his work was held in Paris in 1980.
Gerard, M., Salvador Dali. 1974.
Dalton, (Edward) Hugh (John Neale) Dalton, Baron (1887–1962). British Labour politician. Educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge he taught economics and worked with his close friend J. M. *Keynes before becoming a Labour MP 1924–31, 1935–59. Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs 1929–31, in *Churchill’s wartime coalition he became minister. In 1945 he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in *Attlee’s Labour Government, but resigned (1947) after a leakage of his budget proposals. He was Minister of Town and Country Planning 1950–51, and in 1960 became a life peer.
Dalton, John (1766–1844). English chemist, born in Cumberland. Son of a Quaker weaver, he spent most of his adult life in Manchester as a teacher and private tutor. Earlier, while teaching at Kendal (from 1781), he began a series of 200,000 meteorological observations which he continued throughout his life. He revived the theory, originating in ancient Greece, that matter is not continuous but made up of atoms, and he showed that such an atomic theory is consistent with the observed laws of constant, multiple and reciprocal proportions. He published these ideas, with a table of atomic weights and a list of chemical symbols, in A New System of Chemical Philosophy (1808). In the physical field he did much research into the constitution of gases and their expansion when heated, and into the force of steam. Dalton and his brother were colour-blind, and he was the first to give a detailed description of this deficiency.
Thackray, A., John Dalton: Critical Assessment of His Life and Science. 1973.
Damasus I, St (c.305–384). Pope 366–84. Born in Rome, son of a priest and deaconess from Lusitania, he was sometimes violent in his methods, overcame a rival pope, made many enemies and asserted papal primacy. He changed the liturgical language of the Church from Greek to Latin. The Council of Rome (382) settled the contents of the Bible and he commissioned his secretary *Jerome to produce the Latin ‘Vulgate’ translation.
Damien, Father (Joseph de Veuster) (1840–1889). Belgian Catholic missionary. A member of the Picpus Society (Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary), he went to the Hawaiian Islands in 1864 and from 1873 served at the leper colony at Molokai. After 16 years of selfless devotion he contracted leprosy and died on the island.
Farrow, J., Damien the Leper. 1955.
Damocles (4th century BCE). Syracusan courtier. Having expressed his envy of *Dionysius’ power, the ruler then seated him at a banquet beneath a sword suspended by a single hair. The story was popularised by *Cicero and *Horace and quoted by *Chaucer.
Dampier, William (1652–1715). English navigator, born in Somerset. He went early to sea and had taken part in several voyages before he became engaged (from 1679) in buccaneering along the South American coasts and further afield. On one such expedition (from 1683) he crossed the Pacific, touching on the Philippines, China and (in January 1688) King Sound, Western Australia. This brought him government employment. In 1699 he was commissioned to chart the east coast of New Holland in HMS Roebuck, and while failing in this, explored the coasts of northwest Australia, New Guinea and New Britain. When wrecked off Ascension Island on the return voyage, goats and turtles provided his diet for five weeks. He was soon at sea again, once more a privateer. The sailing master of one of his two ships was the prototype of Robinson Crusoe, Alexander *Selkirk, who was marooned (1704) on one of the islands of Juan Fernández. Dampier sailed with Woodes Rogers on the expedition that found and rescued him (1709). Dampier wrote vivid accounts of his voyages. He was probably the first navigator to have explored every continent except Antarctica.
Lloyd, C., William Dampier. 1966; Rutherford, A., and Preston, M.J., A Pirate of Exquisite Mind. 2004.
Danby, Thomas Osborne, 1st Earl of (later 1st Duke of Leeds) (1631–1712). English politician. He entered parliament (1665) and as a strong supporter of the king and the established Church was quickly promoted. In 1674 he became Chief Minister to *Charles II, but was impeached (1678) by the Commons on a number of charges, the worst of which were concerned with secret negotiations, on Charles’ behalf, with *Louis XIV and accepting bribes. The Commons rejected the king’s immediate pardon, and Danby was imprisoned until 1684. After *James II’s accession his zeal for the established Church led him to take an active part in promoting the revolution (1688) that placed *William and *Mary on the throne. He was virtually Prime Minister 1688–99 but lost his influence after being charged with bribery (1695) and retired.
Browning, A., Danby. 3 vols, 1944–51.
Dance, George (?1695–1768). English architect. Son of a London merchant, he started his career as a mason and in 1735 became surveyor to the City of London. Among the buildings he designed were the Mansion House (1739–53), St Botolph’s, Aldgate (1741–44), and the facade of Guy’s Hospital (1764). His son, also George Dance (1741–1825), who succeeded his father as city surveyor, was responsible for many London buildings and churches, e.g. Newgate Prison (1770–78, demolished 1902), All Hallows London Wall (1765–67), and the Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln’s Inn (1806–13, later reconstructed). As designer of country houses he was also in great vogue. He was an original member of the Royal Academy, where he became professor of architecture (1798).
Stroud, D., George Dance, Architect. 1971.
Dandolo, Enrico (c.1107–1205). Venetian patrician. Elected as Doge of Venice in 1192, when he was blind and about 85, he provided transport for and accompanied the 4th Crusade, which he successfully diverted to the capture of Constantinople (1204). The islands and territories acquired by Venice were the foundations of its power in the Near East. Among the spoils were the four bronze horses which now surmount the doorway of St Mark’s Cathedral (Venice).
Daniel (6th century BCE). Jewish exile in Babylon. He gave his name to a book in the Bible. He is said to have won favour with King Nebuchadnezzar for his ability to foretell the future, for interpreting the words that presaged Belshazzar’s doom and, finally, for his miraculous preservation when he was thrown into a lion’s den for refusing to obey a royal decree that conflicted with his religion.
D’Annunzio, Gabriele (1863–1938). Italian poet, novelist, dramatist, politician, born in Pescara. Son of an influential landowner, educated at the University of Rome, his first poems, Primo vere, were published in 1879 and a prose continuation Terra Vergine appeared 1882, as did Canto Nuovo, followed in 1889 by an autobiographical novel Il Piacere. In 1892 he began reading *Nietzsche who influenced his later works, several of which featured grasping, completely amoral Nietzschean heroes. He served as Deputy 1897–1900, supported the Allies in World War I, became an aviator and lost an eye. After the war he occupied Fiume with a force of volunteers, ruled as dictator from 1919–21, and became a national hero. Later he became an ardent fascist. He retired to Gardone Riviera and devoted himself to writing memoirs and confessions. His other important works include the two plays La figliadi Jorio (1904) and Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien (1911) the poetic works Laudi del cielo, del mare, della terra e degli eroi (1899), Alcyone (1904) and the novel Il trionfo della morte (1894). A prolific writer, he produced work of great passion and exuberance, and showed an individual and skilful use of language which influenced subsequent Italian literature. In his style of writing he broke away from the intellectualism of the 19th century, for which he was much criticised.
Julian, P., D’Annunzio. 1973; Hughes-Hallett, L., The Pike. 2013.
Dante Alighieri (or Durante degli Alighieri) (1265–1321). Italian poet, born in Florence. His prominent family belonged to the *Guelf (pro-papal) faction in Florentine politics. Nothing certain is known about his education but he was formidably learned. In his first major work, La Vita Nuova (1283–92), a sequence of 31 love poems, we are introduced to ‘Beatrice’, the love of his life. The poet met her when he was nine and she was eight, and became enchanted. They met again when she was 18 and occasionally afterwards. Her death (1290) left him utterly forlorn. Her identity is a famous literary puzzle. The accepted version is that the ‘glorious lady of his mind’, as he describes her, was Bice (or Beatrice) Portinari, who married Simone de Bardi, a banker. Others suggest that the name merely masks an unknown lady, while a third theory argues that she personifies his ideal of love. In his sorrow he turned to theology and became interested in politics. In 1291 he married Gemma Donati, by whom he had three sons and two daughters.
His political ventures were disastrous. Florence was a Guelf city but the party was divided into two factions, the moderate ‘Whites’ (Guelfi Bianchi) and the extreme papal supporters, the ‘Blacks’ (Guelfi Neri). Dante, a ‘White’, rose to be on the Supreme Council of One Hundred. He joined the Apothecaries Guild, was elected a prior (senior magistrate) in 1301 and joined diplomatic missions to San Gemignano and possibly Paris. In Rome, on a mission to Pope *Boniface VIII, when the ‘Blacks’ seized power, he was convicted in absentia (1302) of barratry (selling political offices), and was sentenced to two years exile and an enormous fine. He remained in exile for the rest of his life having refused to pay the fine, with a sentence of burning at the stake if he returned to Florentine territory. He refused a conditional pardon in 1316. (The city council of Florence, not wanting to be too hasty, rescinded his conviction in June 2008.) His years of exile were in Lucca, Verona and, after 1318, Ravenna.
About 1307, he began Commedia (the word originally means a transition from confusion to certainty, or misery to joy), which *Boccaccio renamed La Divina Commedia.
Set in Easter (or the week before) 1300, over seven days (Thursday to Wednesday), The Divine Comedy consists of three books (canticas)—Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso—divided into ‘cantos’ (34 + 33 + 33), 100 cantos in total, 14,233 lines, written in tercets (terza rima in Italian, units of three lines), with the rhyming scheme aba/bcd/cdc and so on, running to about 430/500 printed pages.
The Divine Comedy describes Dante’s own spiritual development as he overcomes a mid-life crisis, presenting a vivid account of the mediaeval view of hell, purgatory and heaven, and life as a journey.
It is encyclopaedic in range, Michelangelesque in ambition, and draws heavily on many sources, including *Homer, *Virgil, Greek and Roman mythology, Old and New Testament, Ptolemaic cosmology and the theology of St *Augustine and St Thomas *Aquinas.
This epic poem, completed in 1321, written in the Tuscan dialect, was immediately recognised as a masterpiece, and helped to standardise the Italian language. Dante’s Italian is closer to the modern language than Shakespeare’s English is to ours.
It was translated into Spanish in 1428, French in 1596, and the complete version in English as late as 1802, due to Anglican resistance to Catholic orthodoxy. (At least 60 English translations of the complete work have been published and perhaps 100 of Inferno.)
The Divine Comedy has been memorably illustrated by Domenico di Michelino, Sandro *Botticelli, William *Blake, Gustave *Doré and Salvador *Dali, and inspired music by *Liszt and *Tchaikovsky.
The poet is guided through Hell and Purgatory (and Limbo) by *Virgil who has been sent by Beatrice. Ultimately, Beatrice leads him to Heaven. The Divine Comedy is written with extraordinary passion, obsessed with sin and punishment, often violent and scatological but also musical and serene. In the nine Circles of Hell, he assigns many personalities of his own and other times, judging them on political and moral grounds.
Colin Burrow refers to Dante’s ‘delicacy, his violence, his irony, his ability to soar into the divine abstraction of desire, his combination of physical immediacy and metaphysical urgency, his material weight and his spiritual profundity’.
Among Dante’s lesser works, the Latin De Vulgari Eloquentia (1303–04) includes a classification of dialects and reveals his aim to secure a unified Italian tongue. Convivio (Feast, 1304–07), in which he discusses his moral and philosophic ideas, is the first important treatise written in Italian rather than Latin. De Monarchia (c.1313) discusses the relations of emperor and pope and the concept of a universal empire, and by then he was probably in the *Ghibelline faction.
By using the vernacular in a major work, Dante is considered as the father of European literature, not only Italian. Dante died in Ravenna and is buried there, but Florence is eager for the remains to be returned.
T. S. *Eliot wrote: ‘[T]ake the Comedy as a whole, you can compare it to nothing but the entire dramatic work of Shakespeare … Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third.’ Dante was much admired by Ezra *Pound, James *Joyce, Samuel *Beckett and Leon *Trotsky.
Moore, E., Studies in Dante. 1969; Hawkins, P. S., Dante: A Brief History. 2007; Bemrose, S., A New Life of Dante. 2009; Santagata, M., Dante: The Story of His Life. 2016.
Danton, Georges Jacques (1759–1794). French revolutionary politician, born in Champagne. Originally an advocate in Paris, he was one of the founders of the radical Cordeliers’ club (1790) but later identified himself with the moderate Jacobins, although he claimed credit for the revolt of the Paris sections (10 August 1792) which led to the overthrow of the Legislative Assembly and suspension of the monarchy. For two brief periods he was the most powerful leader in France, first as Minister of Justice (but de facto Minister of War) from August to October 1792 and President of the Jacobin club (1793) and the leading spirit in promoting national resistance as Prussian troops neared Paris with his bold challenge: ‘De l’audace, encore l’audace, et toujours l’audace!’. He proclaimed that the revolutionaries had the moral right to initiate wars of national liberation outside France. He was a member of the Convention 1792–94. His second term in power was as virtual leader of the Committee of Public Safety from April to July 1793, but when his moderate policies failed he was displaced by the extremist leader *Robespierre, who had long been his rival. Danton and his friend Camille *Desmoulins were denounced and guillotined. A great orator, known as the ‘the *Mirabeau of the mob’, he was susceptible to bribery, flattery and friendship and died rich.
Hampson, N., Danton. 1978.
Da Ponte, Lorenzo (original name Emanuele Conegliano) (1749–1838). Italian librettist, born in Vittorio Veneto. Of Jewish parentage, he was converted to Roman Catholicism by the Bishop of Cendea, whose name he took. He moved to Vienna (1780), became a friend of *Mozart and wrote the libretti for his operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. He lived in London 1793–1805 and in 1805 moved to the US where he became a storekeeper in New Jersey for a time. He was the first professor of Italian at Columbia University 1825–38.
Darby, Abraham (1677–1717). English iron-master and inventor, born near Dudley, Worcestershire. He patented (1707) a method of casting iron pots in sand moulds. Having taken over a blast furnace at Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, he brought about Britain’s supremacy as an iron producing country by discovering (1709) a method of using coke instead of charcoal for the smelting of iron ore. A further development came when his son, the second Abraham Darby (1711–1763), successfully produced malleable iron from coke smelted pig iron. His son, the third Abraham Darby (1750–1791), helped to construct the cast-iron bridge over the Severn at Coalbrookdale, the first of its kind.
Raistrick, A., Dynasty of Ironfounders. 1953.
Darius I (‘the Great’, Greek form of Darayavaush) (548–486 BCE). King of Persia 521–486 BCE. The death (522) of *Cambyses found Persia in the midst of civil war and Darius, who belonged to a junior branch of the royal line, had to fight hard for his throne. Gradually he restored order to the empire, continued the reorganisation of the administration begun by *Cyrus, and linked the provinces with the capital by highways of which the royal road from Sardis to Susa was the most famous. The Achaemenid Empire extended from Egypt to India and included part of the Balkans. He was tolerant towards the Jews, who were permitted and assisted to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. After successful invasions of northwest India, Thrace and Macedon, Darius sent three expeditions that failed to conquer Greece: in the second his armies were defeated by the Athenians at Marathon (490), and the third was foiled by a rebellion in Egypt. He was succeeded by his son, *Xerxes. Darius is mentioned in Daniel v. 31, and subsequently.
Darius III (d.330 BCE). King of Persia 336–330 BCE. His reign was marked by the conquest of his empire by *Alexander the Great, who inflicted a series of defeats, culminating with Arbela (331) in the Tigris valley. Darius fled but was murdered by the Bactrian satrap Bessus, in the belief that his death would appease Alexander. Barsine, Darius’ daughter, was taken by Alexander as a second wife.
Darlan, (Jean Louis Xavier) François (1881–1942). French admiral. He joined the navy in 1902 and was Commander-in-Chief of the French fleet 1939–40. Strongly anti-British, he joined *Pétain’s Government as Minister for Marine 1940–41, becoming Premier and Foreign Minister 1941–42, then, after the Germans insisted that *Laval return to government, Commander-in-Chief of all Vichy forces. However, after *Eisenhower’s invasion in November 1942, Darlan negotiated to surrender North Africa to the allies, in return for being recognised as Chief of State. Enigmatic and ambiguous, he was assassinated in Algiers on Christmas Eve by a young monarchist who was executed two days later.
Smith, F., The Ship Aground. 1940.
Darnley, Henry Stuart, Lord (1545–1567). Scottish nobleman. Consort of *Mary Queen of Scots, he was the son of the 4th Earl of Lennox, whose mother, Margaret, sister of England’s *Henry VIII, had married the Earl of Angus after the death of her husband *James IV. Darnley was therefore a cousin of Mary, whose second husband he became in 1565. Their son, the future James VI of Scotland (later *James I of England), was born the following year. After the murder of her favourite *Rizzio, in which Darnley played a leading part, the queen came to hate her husband, but when he became ill there was an apparent reconciliation. He was brought from Glasgow to Edinburgh, but was almost immediately killed when the house where he was staying, at Kirk o’Field, was blown up with gunpowder. The Earl of *Bothwell, already aspiring to take Darnley’s position, was clearly guilty despite the show of a trial, at which he was acquitted. The strong probability of Mary’s complicity has been the subject of continued controversy. Darnley, a man of cultivated tastes, was homosexual and politically inept.
Darrow, Clarence Seward (1857–1938). American lawyer. He appeared for the defence in many controversial cases, notably for Eugene *Debs in the railway strike case (1894), for Loeb and Leopold in the ‘thrill-murder’ case in Chicago (1924) and for John T. *Scopes in the Dayton, Tennessee, ‘Monkey Trial’ (1925), where he battled with W. J. *Bryan. He strongly opposed capital punishment, and none of his clients was ever sentenced to death.
Darwin, Charles Robert (1809–1882). English naturalist, born in Shrewsbury (on the same day as Abraham *Lincoln). His father Robert Waring Darwin, a physician, was the son of Erasmus *Darwin and his mother, Susannah Wedgwood, the daughter of Josiah *Wedgwood. After attending Shrewsbury Grammar School he studied medicine at Edinburgh and divinity at Christ’s College, Cambridge, but his inclinations turned him to botany and geology. He had a profound, lifelong admiration for Alexander von *Humboldt. As naturalist on the naval survey ship, HMS Beagle, making a voyage round the world, he investigated (1831–36) the fauna, flora and geological formations of many areas, including Brazil, Argentina, the Galapágos Islands, New Zealand, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia. He never left Britain again. He became Secretary of the Geological Society of London 1838–41 and was elected FRS (1839). In the same year he married his cousin Emma Wedgwood (1808–1896) who bore him 10 children. He and his wife inherited a fortune and he was a shrewd investor leaving an estate of £146,911 (the equivalent of £16.6 million in 2017 value). By 1838 he had become convinced of the mutability of species and *Malthus’ Essay on the Principle of Population helped him to grasp the mechanism of his famous theory of ‘natural selection’. However, he treated his discovery as a deadly secret for 20 years. Darwin lived and worked in secure seclusion at his home at Down House, Kent, and had long periods of debilitating illness, probably Chrone’s disease (inflammatory bowel syndrome), compounded by chronic depression. In 1842 he published The Structures and Distribution of Coral Reefs, which contains the now generally accepted theory of the origin of coral formations. From observations made during the Beagle expedition, he had become convinced that species had gradually evolved from earlier, simpler life forms in an unbroken descent from monocellular life instead of being immutable as was generally held (although *Thales, *Empedocles, *Aristotle, *Montesquieu, *Buffon, Erasmus *Darwin, *Lamarck and others speculated otherwise). Darwin’s great achievement was to propose a scientific explanation of how this transformation takes place. The most important factor, he considered, was ‘natural selection’: because of slight differences (many of them heritable) in their characteristics, some members of a species are better fitted than others for survival under the conditions of their environment and are therefore the most likely to live long enough to reproduce. In this way the variations passed on to the next generation tend to be those that favour the survival of the fittest. Although communicated privately to several colleagues, this theory remained unpublished until 1858 when A. R. *Wallace sent to Darwin from Malaya a manuscript putting forward a similar theory which he had worked out independently. Darwin then, in a paper before the Linnaean Society, announced their joint conclusions and in 1859 published his major work, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. The work provoked furious opposition from clergy and others who saw it as an attack on the doctrine of the special creation of man, but with the support of T. H. *Huxley and many other eminent scientists the theory of evolution (although Darwin did not use the word in his text) gained widespread acceptance. He received the Copley Medal of the Royal Society in 1864, but not for his work on evolution. In 1871 Darwin published The Descent of Man, which provoked fresh controversy by its insistence that man and the anthropoid apes must have a common ancestor.
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), his third work on evolutionary theory, explores biological factors in human behaviour.
Darwin did not originate the concept of ‘social Darwinism’ (‘the survival of the fittest’) and argued that humans had essentially the same physical and intellectual potential. The science of genetics later took up many of Darwin’s ideas (*Mendel). He was buried in Westminster Abbey (against his wishes). Darwin had a profound influence on Karl *Marx.
Darwin’s name is commemorated in place names, the city of Darwin, in the Northern Territory, Australia, craters on Mars and the Moon, Asteroid 1991 Darwin, and more than 250 species, mostly insects, but including the extinct primate Darwinius, Darwinopterus and Darwinsaurus, birds and a frog.
Desmond, A. and Moore, J. Darwin. 1991; Browne, J., Charles Darwin: Voyaging. 1996; Browne, J., The Power of Place. 2002; Gopnik, N., Angels and Ages. 2009.
Darwin, Erasmus (1731–1802). English medical practitioner and philosopher of science, born at Elton Hall, Nottinghamshire. Best remembered as a forerunner of his grandson Charles *Darwin in developing evolutionary theories, his conclusions were essentially reached by philosophic speculation rather than scientific observation. He studied medicine at Edinburgh and took his degree at Cambridge. He practised as a doctor in Nottingham and with increasing success at Lichfield, when his fame even reached *George III. Meetings of Lichfield’s Lunar Society were attended by Matthew *Boulton, James *Watt, Josiah *Wedgwood, and Joseph *Priestley. Darwin moved from this congenial environment to Derby (1802). The Botanic Garden (1789–91) is an odd work written in rhyming couplets and, among other eccentricities, personifying the forces of nature, but it contains, especially in the notes, a mass of miscellaneous information. His immense range of interests included sewerage, flying machines, temperance, canals, and female education in boarding schools. His Zoonomia or the Laws of Organic Life (1794–96) anticipates evolutionary theory. He envisages the possibility of an animal having the faculty of self-improvement and able to pass on ‘those improvements by generation to its posterity world without end’.
Hele, D., Erasmus Darwin. 1963.
Darwin, Sir George Howard (1845–1912). English astronomer, born in Down, Kent. The fifth child of Emma and Charles *Darwin, he studied law at Cambridge for six years, then returned to Trinity College to pursue his interests in mathematics and astronomy. Elected FRS in 1879, he became Plumian professor of astronomy and experimental philosophy, Cambridge 1883–1912. Essentially a mathematical cosmologist, his major work was on the origin of the Moon, which he argued had been drawn from planet Earth, when it was still molten, by solar tides, estimating this to have occurred about 50 million years ago. Neither hypothesis is now accepted. Recent research concludes that the Moon was fractured from Earth by a giant impact about 4.5 billion years ago. Darwin received the Copley Medal in 1911.
Darzi, Ara Warkes, Baron Darzi of Denham (1960– ). Armenian-British medical specialist, born in Baghdad. His family relocated to Ireland as refugees and, after training in Dublin, he moved to London in 1990, and became an outstanding surgeon, developing keyhole and robotic techniques. Professor of Surgery at Imperial College, London, 1996– , he was Under-Secretary for Health 2007–09 and proposed major reforms to the National Health Service. He received a peerage in 2007 and the OM in 2016.
D’Aubigny, Charles François (1817–1878). French landscape painter. After a residence of a few years in Italy he lived mainly near Paris (the last 20 years on a houseboat on the Seine). Associated with the Barbizon school, he is noted for his successful impression of atmosphere and half-light.
Daudet, Alphonse (1840–1897). French novelist, born at Nîmes. He went to Paris at the age of 17 and became a secretary to the Duc de *Morny, publishing his first work, Les Amoureuses, a book of poems, in 1857. He confirmed his reputation with the collection of short stories Lettres de mon moulin (1866) and Contes du lundi (1873), and many novels which include Le petit chose (1868), with its memories of his own childhood. Best known of all is Tartarin de Tarascon (1872), first of a series centred on this delightful Provençal character. *Bizet wrote the music for his only play L’Arlésienne (1872). Daudet’s ironic and sensitive work is notable for its realism. His son, Leon Daudet (1867–1942), editor of L’Action Française, was an unscrupulous but brilliant propagandist for the royalist cause.
Sachs, M., The Career of Alphonse Daudet. 1965.
Daumier, Honoré (1808–1879). French painter and caricaturist, born in Marseille. Of poor parentage, in 1832 he drew a cartoon of King *Louis Philippe which earned him six months’ imprisonment. Throughout his life Daumier was victim of poverty and a savage critic of social injustice, he especially satirised the malpractices and foibles of lawyers and other members of the rich bourgeoisie, and the regime of *Napoléon III provided some excellent targets. The effectiveness of his lithographs derives from bold silhouettes defined by an energetic line and strongly marked lights and darks. In his paintings, whose near uniformity of style renders them difficult to date, Daumier made a still more imaginative play with strong shapes. His Don Quixote series constitutes a revolutionary reduction of form and narrative to the barest essentials. Daumier’s paintings range between this extreme of modernism and a wholly romantic treatment of the commonplace (e.g. Tireur de Bateau).
Rey, R., Daumier. 1966.
Davenant, Sir William (1606–1668). English poet and playwright, born in Oxford. Son of a tavern keeper, gossip, repeated by John *Aubrey, that he was *Shakespeare’s illegitimate son lacks supporting evidence. His first play The Cruel Brother was produced in 1627. For the next 11 years he entertained the court of *Charles I with a series of tragedies, comedies and masques, and became Poet Laureate in 1638. During the Civil War he was knighted (1643) by Charles for his military services. He followed Queen Henrietta Maria into exile and in 1650, while on the way to America, was captured by a parliamentary frigate and briefly imprisoned. His best known works are the tedious epic Gondibert (1651) and The Siege of Rhodes (1656), said to have been the first English opera. After the Restoration he was active in the London theatre, and collaborated with *Dryden on a new version of The Tempest (1667).
Nethercot, A. H., Sir William D’Avenant: Poet Laureate and Playwright Manager. 1967.
Davenport, Thomas (1802–1851). American inventor. A blacksmith from Rutland, Vermont, in 1835 he built the first successful rotary electric motor, later adapting it for use in a drill and printing press.
David (Dawid) (d.c.970 BCE). King of Israel and Judah c.1010–970 BCE. According to 1 Samuel, he was born in Bethlehem, the eighth son of Jesse, a farmer. Originally a shepherd, he became a gifted singer and lyre player, winning King *Saul’s favour by assuaging his melancholy. He became an intimate of his son Jonathan and married Saul’s daughters Michal (but without issue) and, later, Merab. He became the object of Saul’s obsessions, especially after the prophet *Samuel anointed David as his successor. In the war against the Philistines, David killed the giant, Goliath. Forced into exile, after Saul and Jonathan were killed by the Philistines, he was proclaimed king, set up his court at Hebron and later built a new capital at Jerusalem, where he brought the Ark of the Covenant, and from which he ruled all Israel. Stories of his later life include the revolt of his favourite son Absalom, whose death he lamented so deeply. Overcome by lust, cruelty and his desire for Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite, he sent her husband into certain death in battle. He had eight wives and many children. The ‘Psalms of David’ are attributed to him; some may be authentic, for example the beautiful lament for Saul and Jonathan. The Messianic hopes of the Jews were fixed upon the royal line of David and the New Testament emphasises the genealogical links between him and *Jesus Christ. David was succeeded by his son *Solomon.
David (Dewi), St (d.c.589). Welsh monk and bishop. The details of his life are clouded by legend but he seems to have been a leading figure in the monastic revival in Wales, Cornwall, Ireland and Brittany during the 6th century. His bishopric of Mynyw (Menevia) was renamed St David’s (in Pembrokeshire) in his honour, and his shrine was a famous place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages (from c.1000). Canonised in 1120, he is the patron saint of Wales. St David’s Day is 1 March.
David I (c.1080–1153). King of Scotland 1124–53. Younger son of *Malcolm III, on his father’s death (1093) he was sent for safety to the English court. Here he became friendly with the future *Henry I who married his sister *Matilda. He married (c.1113–14) a daughter of Waltheof and so acquired the English earldoms of Huntingdon and Northumberland. Having succeeded his brother *Alexander I in 1124, he supported Henry’s daughter, the empress Matilda, against *Stephen in her struggle for the English throne. Though defeated at Northallerton he secured terms that allowed him to extend his kingdom to the Tees and Eden. He completed the alignment of the Scottish Church with that of the rest of western Christendom by increasing the number of bishoprics and founding many monasteries, e.g. Holyrood and Melrose. During his reign he introduced important changes in law and administration.
David II (1324–1371). King of Scotland 1329–71. He succeeded his father, Robert *Bruce, as a child, but owing to the confused state of his country was sent to France in 1334. Returning in 1341, he invaded England in 1346 but was captured at Neville’s Cross (by *Edward III’s troops). After an imprisonment in England lasting 11 years, he was ransomed for a huge sum of which only half had been paid when he died childless.
David, Jacques Louis (1748–1825). French painter. He worked under Joseph-Marie Vien from 1765. After winning the first prize of the Académie des Beaux Arts he went to Italy, where he studied for some years. With the exhibition (1785) in Paris of his picture The Oath of the Horatii David became the leader of the neo-classical movement. It is a painting of great austerity and dramatic clarity with serious political undertones. During the Revolution David served as a member of the Convention 1792–95, and was briefly its president. From this period date some of his finest portraits and a haunting drawing of *Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine. Under the Consulate and Empire David’s paintings embraced stilted, antiquarian interpretations of classical subjects (Leonidas at Thermopylae), huge compositions of great occasions such as The Coronation of Napoleon, and excellent, if sometimes over-romanticised, portraiture (e.g. Madame Récamier and Napoleon on Horseback). With the return of the monarchy David lived as an exile in Brussels. From this period dates the wonderful, compassionate yet severely realistic portrait of The Three Ladies of Ghent. Conflicting trends appear in David’s paintings. He moves from pure neo-classicism to freer use of light and colour, reverts to a stilted classicism albeit with a relaxation in its style. He exerted considerable influence as the teacher of, among others, *Ingres, Gérard and Gros.
Hautecoeur, L., Louis David. 1954.
Davies, Sir John (1569–1626). English poet and lawyer. Attorney-General for Ireland and later Lord Chief Justice of England (though he died before he could take up office), his poetry is ‘philosophical’ in approach: Orchestra (1596) sees nature through a sustained metaphor of dancing and Nosce Teipsum (1599) considers the nature of man and his soul. His reputation as a wit is justified in Hymns to Astraea (1599), a series of nimble acrostics on the name Elizabeth Regina. T. S. *Eliot praised his poetry. He also wrote in prose on Irish history. His wife, Eleanor Touchet (d.1652), generally regarded as insane, became a prophetess, foretold the death of *Charles I and produced a series of cryptic pamphlets during the 1640s and early 1650s.
Davies, Sir (Peter) Maxwell (1934–2016). British composer and conductor. Educated at the Royal Manchester College of Music (where he was professor of composition 1965–80), and Manchester University, he also studied in Rome and Princeton. He directed the Pierrot Players 1967–71 with (Sir) Harrison *Birtwistle, and the Fires of London 1971–87, and won many awards for his recordings. A prolific composer, his works include the opera The Martyrdom of St Magnus (1976), four symphonies, concertos for violin, oboe, trumpet, cello and guitar, chamber music, songs and film scores. He lived in Orkney from 1971, became Master of the Queen’s Music 2004–2014, and wrote 10 string quartets for Naxos. He received a CH in 2014.
Davies, (William) Robertson (1913–1995). Canadian novelist, playwright, poet, critic, essayist, editor and academic, born in Ontario. He edited The Examiner, which his family owned, 1942–55, taught at Toronto University and was Master of Massey College, 1963–81. His masterpiece, known collectively as The Deptford Trilogy, comprises three novels, Fifth Business (1970), The Manticore (1972) and World of Wonders (1975). He was extremely prolific, diverse in his interests, with a passionate interest in theatre, and won many awards.
Davies, William Henry (1871–1940). British poet, born in Monmouthshire. For a time apprenticed to a picture-framer, in his early twenties he went to America. He lived as a tramp for many years, lost his right leg while jumping a train and returned to England. He described his early life in Autobiography of a Supertramp (1908). The first volume of his poems, printed privately in 1905, attracted the attention of Bernard *Shaw, who did much to help him.
Hockey, L., W. H. Davies. 1971.
Davis, Sir Andrew Frank (1944– ). English conductor. He was organ scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, conductor of the Toronto Symphony 1975–88, the Glyndebourne Opera 1988–2000, the BBC Symphony Orchestra 1989–2000, the Lyric Opera of Chicago 2000– and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra 2013–19.
Davis, Bette (1908–1989). American film actor. Famous for the dramatic intensity with which she entered into her parts, she made 88 films between 1931 and 1989, won Academy Awards for Dangerous (1933) and Jezebel (1938) and received eight more nominations, a record. Her best films include The Petrified Forest, Dark Victory, All This and Heaven Too, The Little Foxes, All About Eve, Wedding Breakfast and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Her autobiography, The Lonely Life, was published in 1963.
Davis, Sir Colin Rex (1927–2013). English conductor. He was chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra 1967–71, Royal Opera House Covent Garden 1971–86, the Bavarian State Radio Orchestra 1983–95 and the London Symphony Orchestra 1995–2006 and received a CH in 2001. He made outstanding recordings of *Sibelius, *Berlioz, *Bruckner, *Mozart and *Elgar.
Davis, Dwight Filley (1879–1945). American official. A national doubles lawn tennis champion (1899–1901), as an enthusiastic Harvard law undergraduate he was donor (1900) of the Davis Cup, an international award for national teams, competed for annually (except for 12, mostly wartime, years). He served as Secretary of War 1925–29 and Governor-General of the Philippines 1929–32.
Davis, Jefferson (1808–1889). American politician, President of the Confederate States of America 1861–65. Born in Kentucky, he lived in Mississippi from childhood, became an officer in the US army, but resigned in 1835 after eloping with his commander’s daughter. Returning to Mississippi, he became a cotton planter. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1845, but resigned (1846) to serve in the Mexican War. Afterwards he returned to politics as a senator 1847–51, 1857–61 and was Secretary of War 1853–57 under President *Pierce. When Mississippi seceded from the Union (1861) Davis withdrew from the Senate, and in February was chosen by the Congress of seceding states as President of the Confederacy. In the ensuing Civil War 1861–65 Davis failed to adequately coordinate the civil and military administrations, and was regarded by many as unduly hesitant and moderate. At the end of the war treason charges against him were dropped. He returned home to live in obscurity and wrote The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (1878–81).
Davis, John William (1873–1955). American lawyer. He was a congressman 1911–13, Solicitor General 1913–18 and Ambassador to the UK 1918–21. At the 1924 Democratic convention the party was hopelessly deadlocked between Al *Smith and W. G. *McAdoo (a ‘dry’ supported by the Klan) and on the 103rd ballot Davis was chosen. In the following campaign against *Coolidge he seemed to avoid major issues (e.g. prohibition) and as a corporation lawyer for the Morgan banking interests he lost union voters, carrying only 12 states in the South. In 1953 he emerged from retirement to argue against the compulsory integration of African-American children in schools in the Deep South.
Davis, Miles Dewey (1926–1991). American bandleader, trumpeter and composer, born in Illinois. Son of a dentist and a teacher, he studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He was a pioneer of ‘cool jazz’, attempted to combine elements of jazz and rock, and experimented with electronic effects.
Davis, Sammy, Jr (1925–1990). American actor, singer, dancer, born in New York City. He appeared in his uncle’s all-black family troupe at the age of four and developed an extraordinary range of skills, including instrumentalist and mimic. He appeared on Broadway from 1956, in 26 films and countless nightclubs, often working with Frank *Sinatra. He lost an eye and a hip, converted to Judaism and the Republican Party.
Davisson, Clinton Joseph (1881–1958). American physicist. In 1937 he shared, with Sir George *Thomson, the Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on the diffraction of electrons by crystals. He showed that electrons reveal wave-like, as well as corpuscular, properties.
Davitt, Michael (1846–1906). Irish nationalist politician. He joined the Fenians in 1865 and served seven years in jail (1870–77) for his revolutionary activities. He migrated to the US and was influenced by the ideas of Henry *George. He became the co-founder, with C. S. *Parnell, of the Land League, and campaigned for reduced rents and peasant ownership of the land. The League was suppressed in 1880 and Davitt was jailed for sedition 1881–82, 1883. He advocated secularism, socialism, collectivism and land nationalisation for Ireland, but denounced terrorism, adopting a policy of passive resistance. Elected in 1882, but unseated, he was an anti-Parnellite MP 1892–93, 1895–99. He founded the Irish Land League (1898), toured Australia in 1899 and Russia in 1903.
Davout, (sometimes spelled d’Avout or Davoust), Louis-Nicolas, Duke of Auerstädt, Prince d’Eckmühl (1770–1823). French marshal. One of *Napoléon’s ablest commanders, known as ‘the iron marshal’, he fought under him in Egypt, at Austerlitz (1805), Auerstädt (1806), after which he received his dukedom, and at Eckmühl and Wagram in 1809. He was a despotic governor of Warsaw 1807–10, accompanied Napoléon to Moscow and after the return from Elba was Minister of War. He lost all his titles and rank after the Bourbon restoration, but was later pardoned and, in 1819, made a peer of France.
Davy, Sir Humphry, 1st Baronet (1778–1829). English chemist, born in Penzance. Son of a woodcarver, educated at a local grammar school, he became apprenticed to a surgeon-apothecary and was influenced by the writings of *Boyle and *Lavoisier. He became superintendent (1798) of the laboratory in the Pneumatic Institute, Bristol, established to investigate the medical effects of inhaling gases. He discovered (1799) the anaesthetic properties of laughing gas. He was a friend of *Coleridge, deeply imbued with Romanticism. As professor of chemistry at the newly established Royal Institution in London 1802–13, he isolated sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, barium and strontium by using an electric current to decompose their fused salts. He formulated a theory of the electrical nature of chemical affinity (not verified for more than a century) and analysed many substances such as metallic oxides and acids, suggesting what elements were responsible for their properties. He recognised iodine, chlorine and fluorine as elements, but failed to isolate the last two. In 1812 he took on Michael *Faraday as his assistant, received a knighthood, married and went on a honeymoon tour of Europe with his wife and Faraday. His name was given to the miner’s safety lamp he invented (1815) to meet the problem of fire-damp. He received a baronetcy in 1818. Davy was President of the Royal Society 1820–27, succeeding Joseph *Banks, but he found the job frustrating, did no more experimental work and developed a deep resentment of Faraday. He died of a stroke.
Knight, D., Humphry Davy: Science and Power. 1993.
Dawes, Charles Gates (1865–1951). American banker, administrator and Republican politician, born in Ohio. A Chicago banker, he was a Brigadier in World War I, and first Director of the Bureau of the Budget 1921–22. As Director of the Allied Reparations Commission 1923–24 he proposed the ‘Dawes Plan’ for securing German repayment of war debts to the Allies. He served as Vice President of the US 1925–29, shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 1925 with Austen *Chamberlain, and was Ambassador to Great Britain 1929–32.
Dawson, Peter (1882–1961). Australian singer, born in Adelaide. A baritone, notable for his diction, he recorded for almost 50 years and composed many successful ballads under the name J. P. McCall.
Day, Dorothy (1897–1980). American social activist. She became a socialist, a supporter of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and a journalist on The Masses. Converted to Catholicism, she was co-founder of The Catholic Worker (1933) and a devoted supporter of liberal causes.
Day Lewis, Cecil (1904–1972). British poet, born in Ireland. Regarded with W. H. *Auden and Stephen *Spender as one of the ‘Thirties group’ of poets, his work includes A Hope of Poetry (1934), The Friendly Tree (1936), Overtures to Death (1938) Collected Poems (1954) and an autobiography, The Buried Day (1960). Created CBE in 1950, he was professor of poetry at Oxford 1951–56 and Poet Laureate 1968–72. Under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake he wrote several accomplished detective stories. His son Daniel (Michael) Day Lewis (1957–), an actor, won an Oscar for My Left Foot (1989) and starred in The Last of the Mohicans (1993) and In the Name of the Father (1993).
Dayan, Moshe (1915–1981). Israeli soldier and statesman, born Deganya, Palestine (now Israel). In 1937 he was a member of the guerrilla force under British Captain Orde *Wingate, organised to fight Arab rebels in Palestine and to form the nucleus of a Jewish army. Dayan formed the Haganah (Jewish militia) but the band was declared illegal and Dayan imprisoned 1939–41. Freed to serve in World War II, he led a Palestinian Jewish company against the Vichy French in Syria, and lost an eye. His black patch became his trademark.
He commanded the Jerusalem area in the Israeli war of independence (1948), and later headed the delegation in armistice negotiations. From 1953–58 he was Chief of Staff, and planned and led the 1956 invasion of Sinai Peninsula, which gained him the reputation of an outstanding military commander. In 1966 he published Diary of the Sinai Campaign. Retired as chief of staff, he was elected to the Knesset (parliament) as member of the Labour Party. In 1959 he was appointed Minister of Agriculture by Prime Minister *Ben Gurion, and served until 1964. In 1967 when war with the Arabs was imminent, Dayan was appointed Minister of Defence by popular demand. He directed the extremely successful attack on Egypt, Jordan and Syria in the 6–Day War. A symbol of security to the Israelis, he played a large part in the post-war period in determining policy in Arab territory occupied by Israeli forces.
Teveth, S., Moshe Dayan. 1973.
Deák, de Kehida, Ferenc (1802–1876). Hungarian politician. He entered parliament in 1833, liberated his serfs and supported progressive taxation. He was minister for justice after the rising in 1848 against rule by Austria, but resigned when *Kossuth seized power, and after his overthrow retired to his estates for six years. On Austria’s defeat by Prussia (1866) he conducted the negotiations by which Hungary became an equal partner with Austria in the Habsburg Empire. Hungary was granted a constitution in 1867 and Deák was the leading figure in the Hungarian Assembly until his death.
Kiraly, B. K., Ferencz Deák. 1975.
Deakin, Alfred (1856–1919). Australian politician, born in Melbourne. A barrister and a journalist, he was a Member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly 1879; 1880–89; 1889–1900 and soon became one of the leaders of the Liberal party. In 1883 he joined a coalition ministry, and as Minister of Public Works and Water Supply won international repute for his irrigation plans. He then became one of the most persuasive advocates of Australian federation. He was Attorney-General in *Barton’s first Commonwealth Government and Prime Minister three times 1903–04, 1905–08, 1909–10, for a total of four years 10 months and 10 days, winning elections in 1903 and 1906 but without an outright majority. His first two governments were protectionist, the third was a protectionist-free trade coalition. Member of the House of Representatives 1901–13, he undertook a mission to the United States in 1915 but soon sank into dementia.
An idealist and intellectual with a deep interest in spiritualism, he created what has been called ‘The Australian Settlement’, five principles that dominated politics until the 1960s: White Australia, Industry Protection, Wage Arbitration, State Paternalism and Imperial Benevolence. (All have disappeared.) He secured passage of the Invalid and Old Age Pensions Act (1908) but resigned before its proclamation. He speech on the Judiciary Act (1903), creating the High Court, against strong state objections, promoted a strong national vision. He also supported imperial preference and compulsory military training.
He declined all honours. His The Federal Story was published in 1944.
Brett, J., The Enigmatic Mr Deakin. 2017.
Dean, Brett (1961– ). Australian composer, born in Brisbane. He played the viola in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 1985–99, composed a viola concerto (2004) and won the Grawemeyer Award for Composition in 2009 for his violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing, featuring letters by *Brahms, van *Gogh, Hugo *Wolf and Ned *Kelly. His opera Bliss, based on Peter *Carey’s novel, was premiered in Sydney in March 2010. Hamlet (2017) premiered at Glyndebourne Opera to great acclaim.
Dean, James (Byron) (1931–1955). American actor. Despite the brevity of his career, he was a spectacular screen success, embodying the restlessness of mid-50s American youth with his performance in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). His two other major films were East of Eden (1955) and Giant (released 1956). After his death in a car accident he acquired international cult status.
Deane, Sir William Patrick (1931– ). Australian jurist, born in Melbourne. Educated in Sydney and a Federal Court Judge 1977–82, he was a judicial activist as a Justice of the High Court 1982–95. He became Governor-General of Australia 1996–2001 and expressed passionate concern on many social issues, including global poverty and Aboriginal welfare.
DeBakey, Michael Ellis (1908–2008). American surgeon, born in Louisiana. He developed new techniques in cardio-vascular surgery, taught at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston and published 1500 articles.
de Bono, Edward (Francis Charles Publius) (1933– ). British academic and author, born in Malta. Educated in Malta and at Oxford, he lectured in medicine at Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard. He established the Cognitive Research Trust in 1971, promoted the concept of ‘lateral thinking’ and urged the teaching of thinking as a discrete part of formal education. His many popular books included: Lateral Thinking (1970), The Greatest Thinkers (1976), Wordpower (1977), and de Bono’s Thinking Course (1982).
Deborah (fl. c.1125 BCE). Hebrew prophet. Wife of Lapidoth, and the only woman judge in Israel, she persuaded Barak to free her people from Canaanite oppression. With him she led an army against Sisera and the Canaanites, and soundly defeated them at the Battle of Esdraelon. A long period of peace ensued. Scholars generally accept the ‘Song of Deborah’ (Judges v) as a genuine contemporary document, one of the oldest biblical records and one of the most brilliant poems in the Bible.
De Botton, Alain (1969– ). Swiss-British writer, philosopher and documentary maker, born in Zürich. He came from a rich Sephardic family in Switzerland but was educated at a school in Oxford and at Cambridge University. He wrote a series of lucid and engaging books which sold prodigiously, including How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997), The Consolations of Philosophy (2000), The Art of Travel (2002), Status Anxiety (2004) and The Architecture of Happiness (2006). His interests turned towards architecture and filming.
Debré, Michel Jean Pierre (1912–1996). French politician. A senator 1948–58, he backed General *de Gaulle’s resumption of power (1958) and was appointed Minister of Justice. He drafted the new constitution which was adopted by a referendum in December 1958, and in January 1959 he became the first premier of the Fifth French Republic until replaced by *Pompidou in 1962. He served as Minister for Finance 1966–68, Foreign Affairs 1968–69 and Defence 1969–73.
Debs, Eugene Victor (1855–1926). American union leader and Socialist. He was active in the organisation of railway workers from 1875, and in 1893 became President of the American Railway Union. For his part in the Pullman strike (1894) he was imprisoned for contempt of court. He founded the US Social Democratic Party (1897) and was Socialist candidate for the presidency in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920. He was again imprisoned (1918–21) for alleged sedition in World War I. He advocated organising trade unions on an industry-wide basis.
Ginger, R., The Bending Cross: A Biography of Eugene Victor Debs. 1949.
Debussy, (Achille-) Claude (1862–1918). French composer, born at St-Germain-en-Laye. He entered the Paris Conservatoire when he was 10 and studied composition for a time under *Massenet. He was pianist in the household of Nadezhda von Meck, who had been *Tchaikovsky’s patron, and travelled with her (1880–82) in Italy, Switzerland and Russia. He won the Prix de Rome with L’Enfant prodigue (1884) and studied in Italy until 1887. Both drawn to and repelled by *Wagner, he was influenced by *Berlioz, *Mussorgsky and *Fauré, exposure to Javanese music, by Symbolist poets, *Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites, and French Impressionist painters. He reacted against classical forms, declaring the symphony to be dead. He described critics who called him an ‘impressionist’ as ‘imbeciles’ because his writing was exceptionally precise not hazy, preferring to identify himself with the Symbolists. The String Quartet (1893) and Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune (1894), a ballet score, based on a poem by *Mallarmé, were the first works of his maturity. He was primarily occupied with the opera Pélleas and Mélisande (libretto by *Maeterlinck) from 1894 to 1902; its success earned him wider recognition. Printemps (1896), Nocturnes (1899), La Mer, his masterpiece (1905), Images (1906–12) and the ballet Jeux (1913) demonstrate his genius as an orchestrator. He composed two books of Préludes (1909–10; 1911–13) for piano, many piano solos and songs and incidental music to *D’Annunzio’s Le Martyre de St Sébastien (1911). A fine pianist, he made some acoustic recordings as an accompanist, and toured Europe giving many concerts. Politically, he was a conservative patriot, mildly anti-Dreyfusard. His last works were three sonatas for piano and cello (1915), flute, viola and harp (1915), piano and violin (1917), written in neo-classical style. His music had a profound influence on *Janáček, *Bartók, *Messiaen, *Boulez and—up to a point—*Ravel and *Stravinsky, even *Puccini. In his last years he suffered from rectal cancer and was burdened by debt.
Walsh, S., Debussy. A Painter in Sound. 2018.
Decatur, Stephen (1779–1820). American naval commander. During the war against Tripoli pirates in the Mediterranean (1801–05), under fire from 141 guns he entered the harbour and boarded and burned the captured ship Philadelphia, a feat that Nelson described as the ‘most daring of the age’. He captured the Macedonian in the ‘war of 1812’ against Britain but was forced to surrender in 1814. In 1815 he resumed the contest with the pirate regimes of Algeria, Tunis and Tripoli, defeated them and obtained indemnities. Violence pursued him to the last: he was killed in a duel. To Decatur, Americans owe the toast ‘May she be always in the right: but my country, right or wrong.’
Decius (Gaius Messius Quintus Decius, later Traianus Augustus) (201–51). Roman emperor 249–51. Born in Serbia, he was a soldier, senator and consul in Rome, and a governor in Spain, raised to the purple by his troops. In 250 he imposed an oath of loyalty to himself and compulsory sacrifices to the Roman gods. This was not specifically aimed at Christians, and Jews were exempted, nevertheless, it became the first serious persecution suffered by Christians since 177: there were some executions and many exiles and apostates. Decius was killed in battle at Abritus (modern Razgrad, in Bulgaria).
Dee, John (1527–1608). English astrologer, mathematician and reputed magician. He was educated at Cambridge and Louvain and travelled extensively. Although he was imprisoned by *Mary Tudor under suspicion of arranging her death by magic, he impressed *Elizabeth I with his scientific and occult skills. Many of his interests previously dismissed by historians and others as ‘on the lunatic fringe’ of learning and enquiry are now seriously investigated, Dee has been recognised as one of the most enterprising and intelligent, if still somewhat ambivalent, figures of the Elizabethan period.
Ackroyd, P., The House of Doctor Dee. 1993.
Deeping, Warwick (1877–1950). English writer. He wrote about 60 novels. The best known, Sorrell and Son (1925), was a shrewd description of the English class system.
Deffand, Marie de Vichy Chamrond, Marquise du (1697–1780). French literary hostess. Her salons were famous in 18th-century Paris. The witty and lively conversations there are recalled in her letters to *Voltaire and Horace *Walpole, with whom she developed a passionate friendship in her old age.
Defoe, Daniel (1660–1731). English writer, born in London. Son of a prosperous tallow chandler, James Foe, of Flemish descent, Daniel adopted the name Defoe. Excluded as a nonconformist from Oxford and Cambridge, he became a hosier and general merchant. By 1700 he was known as a vigorous political pamphleteer. The issue of an ironic pamphlet which purported to be an attack on the Dissenters but in reality was directed against the Anglican High Church resulted (1703) in imprisonment, the pillory and bankruptcy. This crisis necessitated a volte-face. Though a Whig, he started the Review with the aid and patronage of *Harley, leader of the moderate Tories. When *George I came to the throne he reversed the process by getting control of Tory periodicals and, gradually, without attracting attention, reconciling their policies.
At the age of 60 he started the new career as a prolific writer of fiction that brought him so much renown. In 1719 appeared Robinson Crusoe, based on the experiences of Alexander *Selkirk; Moll Flanders (1721) leads the story of a lady of easy virtue through many episodes to an ending of penitence and prosperity. Other works include A Journal of the Plague Year (1721), Jack Sheppard (1724) and Roxana (1724). The History of Apparitions (1727) is among the books showing his continuing interest in the supernatural revealed by The Apparition of Mrs Veal (1706). His Tour Thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain (3 vols, 1724–26) displays the author as a shrewd and observant traveller. He wrote a vast amount of hack-work, sometimes under pseudonyms, on economic, social, political and historical matters, all of it very competent and readable.
Sutherland, J. R., Defoe. 1954.
De Forest, Lee (1873–1961). American physicist and engineer. He introduced the ‘grid’ into the thermionic valve and so made possible the large-scale amplification of radio signals. In 1916 De Forest was responsible for the transmission of the first radio program, and in 1923 he invented a technique for recording sound on film. He later also devised a process for transmitting photographs by radio (E. H. *Armstrong).
De Forest, L., Father of Radio. 1950.
Degas, (Hilaire-Germain) Edgar (1834–1917). French painter and sculptor, born in Paris. From a prosperous mercantile family, he studied with Louis Lamothe, a follower of *Ingres and although at first he seemed likely to become an academic painter, he developed into one of the great innovators of his time after coming to know Manet and his circle. In 1874 he took part in the first Impressionist Exhibition (he exhibited in seven of their eight exhibitions). He had private means and unlike many of the Impressionist painters did not depend on selling his pictures. After the Franco-Prussian War he turned in his painting to such unposed subjects as ballet girls and models in their off-duty moments, working girls and cabaret artists, showing a detached objectiveness of great power. He used a wide variety of media—oil, gouache, tempera, pastel—the last increasingly as his eyesight failed. *Renoir thought him superior to *Rodin as a sculptor. He was a misanthrope and anti-Semite.
Rich, D., Degas. 1954.
De Gasperi, Alcide Amadeo Francesco (1881–1954). Italian politician, born in Pieve Tesino, in the Austrian Tyrol (now the Italian Trentino). He studied philology, became an editor and was elected to the Austrian Reichsrat 1911–17. When his native province was joined to Italy at the end of World War I, he became active in the PPI (Partito Popolare Italiano) and a member of the Chamber of Deputies 1921–24. After a brief enthusiasm for *Mussolini, he became a strong anti-Fascist and was imprisoned 1927–28. After his release (1928) he withdrew from politics and worked in the Vatican library. He founded (1944) the Christian Democratic party which, like the pre-war Popular party that it replaced, had Vatican support. When Italy became a republic he was its first Prime Minister 1946–53. Under his leadership Italy joined NATO.
de Gaulle, Charles André Joseph Marie (1890–1970). French general and statesman, born in Lille. His father (a reluctant Dreyfusard) taught philosophy at a Jesuit college. Trained at the Military Academy at St Cyr, he was commissioned in 1909, fought at Verdun and became a prisoner of war in Germany 1916–18: captivity not only saved his life but forced him to study. He served under *Weygand in Poland against the Red Army 1919–21. In 1924–25, as a lecturer at St Cyr he first formulated his ideas about tactics and especially the use of mechanised forces, which were published in France in 1932–34 and in English as The Army of the Future (1940). Little notice was taken in France but his basic ideas were adopted by the German general staff and later used in the ‘Blitzkrieg’ attacks of 1940. In June 1940, promoted brigadier, de Gaulle was appointed under-secretary of war, but France was already defeated and a few days before the French armistice he went to London, where he declared himself the leader of the Free French. The numbers of the troops at his disposal were few, and neither *Roosevelt nor *Churchill found him an easy colleague, but gradually he succeeded, by his personality and self-dedication, in creating, not only in his own mind but in the minds of millions of his fellow countrymen, an identification between himself and a new and glorious France, untarnished by defeat. In the later stages of the war, as leader of the Resistance movement he was associated with France’s most active patriots and when the moment of victory came he was clearly the only man who could lead his country. In attempting to do this through a coalition of all parties, including the Communists, he failed; moreover the constitution’ of the Fourth Republic seemed to him no better than the old. His sense of frustration caused him to resign (1946) and found a new party, the ‘Rally of French People’ (RPF), but despite its electoral success (40 per cent of the votes in 1947) he felt the curb of party ties and retired from its leadership in 1953. He was thus free of all party commitments when in May 1958, after the failure of successive governments to defeat or conciliate the Algerian rebels, and the prospect of a military coup, the Fourth Republic virtually collapsed, and he accepted President René *Coty’s invitation to form a government. Almost his first act was to bring in a new constitution, that of the Fifth Republic, passed by referendum, which gave the President almost unlimited power. As President of France 1959–69, de Gaulle ruled decisively and while the legislature was still a forum for discussion and advice he deprived it of any decisive role. He faced the facts of the Algerian situation and gave the country full independence (1962), thus making himself a target for frequent attempts at assassination by aggrieved French colonists. He repeated this pattern throughout the French territories, all of which became free, held to France only by language, economic ties and the vague description of French communities. Domestically de Gaulle was helped by the general prosperity of western Europe. He brought France into the European Economic Community, but maintained his support for it only so long as France’s autonomy was unassailed and the needs of her agriculture served, and lest French hegemony be challenged he banned Britain’s entry. In foreign affairs he saw western Europe as a third great power under Franco-German leadership. He welcomed the security of the American alliance but resented the curbs of NATO and asserted France’s independence by manufacturing nuclear weapons and recognising the People’s Republic of China. In the presidential election of 1965, he defeated *Mitterrand by a smaller margin (55 per cent to 45 per cent) than expected. France was rocked by strikes and mass demonstrations, led by workers and students, in May 1968, and de Gaulle seemed to lose his nerve. In 1969, when a further referendum on reform of the Senate was defeated, he resigned unexpectedly and retired to the country. De Gaulle had significant personal advantages—his height, his magnificent rhetoric, the clarity of his writing and thinking all marked him out as a great national leader. Moreover he had succeeded in the task to which he dedicated himself in 1940. His singleness of purpose, his obduracy and his prestige, within a framework of his own devising, dispelled the disillusion and frustration of a defeated and tortured France.
Crozier, B., De Gaulle: The Warrior. 1973, De Gaulle: The Statesman. 1974; Jackson, J., A Certain Idea of France. The Life of Charles de Gaulle. 2018.
De Gennes, Pierre-Gilles (1932–2007). French physicist. Educated in Paris, he served in the navy, with the French Atomic Energy Commission, and was a professor at the Orsay University 1961–71 and the Collège de France 1971–76. He worked on magnetism, liquid crystals (as used for displays in calculators, watches and computers) and polymers, and won the 1991 Nobel Prize for Physics for his contribution to understanding how complex forms of matter behave during the transition from order to disorder. He worked at increasing public understanding of science, gave superb lectures in French and English and wrote satirical poetry.
Degrelle, Léon Marie Joseph Ignace (1906–1994). Belgian Fascist politician. He led the Rexist party (from 1935) and collaborated with the Nazis during World War II. He served as a colonel in the Waffen-SS, escaped to Norway in 1945 and then to Spain, remaining there until he died.
de Havilland, Sir Geoffrey (1882–1965). English aviation pioneer. He built his first plane in 1908 but it never flew. He then joined the Army Aircraft Factory at Farnborough, where he produced the BE1, DH2, DH4, and DH9, which played an important part in World War I. He formed his own firm in 1920. Perhaps the best known of his many commercial aircraft was the tiny Moth, which was priced within the reach of many hundreds of private flyers. In World War II the most successful of his achievements were the multi-purpose Mosquito and the Vampire jet; after the war came the Comet. Two of his three sons were lost in test flying. He received the OM in 1962.
Dekker, Thomas (c.1572–1632). English dramatist, poet and pamphleteer. His plays are lively and realistic and are notable for their witty dialogue. His plays include The Shoemaker’s Holiday (1600), Old Fortunatus (1600), The Honest Whore (1604, Part II 1630). Among the most interesting of his many pamphlets is The Gull’s Hornbook (1609), a racy account of London’s places of public resort. His collaborators included Ben *Jonson, *Middleton, *Massinger, John *Ford, and *Webster.
de Klerk, Frederik Willem (1936– ). South African Nationalist politician, born in Johannesburg. He was a nephew of J. G. *Strijdom and his father served as a minister in *Verwoerd’s Government. Educated at Potchefstroom University, he practised law 1961–72 and after a brief period as a professor became a Member of the House of Assembly 1972–89. He was Minister for Posts and Telecommunications 1978–79, of Mines and Energy 1979–82, of Internal Affairs 1982–85 and National Education and Planning 1985–89. He succeeded P. W. *Botha as State President 1989–94 and introduced a series of reforms, including the release of Nelson *Mandela, lifted the ban on the African National Congress, securing majority support at a ‘whites only’ referendum for the abolition of apartheid and working towards a common electoral roll for future elections. He was attacked by the ANC for not proceeding fast enough but there was broad international support for his initiatives and sporting boycotts, and trade sanctions were lifted. He shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela with whom he collaborated in working towards a Government of National Unity based on universal suffrage. In the election of 1994 the National Party won 20.4 per cent of the vote and de Klerk became Second Deputy President. In May 1996 the Nationals withdrew from the Government of National Unity and he retired as party leader in August 1997.
de Kooning, Willem (1904–1997). American painter, born in Rotterdam. He settled in New York in 1926 and became a leading abstract expressionist, best known for his powerful images of women, varying from sensual to aggressive.
Rosenberg, H., De Kooning Drawings. 1967.
De La Beche, Sir Henry Thomas (1796–1855). English amateur geologist. He travelled extensively in the 1820s through Britain and Europe, and published widely in descriptive stratigraphy. He was a scrupulous fieldworker, stressing the primacy of facts and distrusting theories, as can be seen from his Sections and Views Illustrative of Geological Phenomena (1830) and How to Observe (1835). In the 1830s De La Beche conceived the idea of government-sponsored geological investigation of areas of Britain. He personally undertook a survey of Devon, for which he was paid £500. He then persuaded the government to formalise this arrangement, and in 1835 the Geological Survey was founded with De La Beche as Director. The Survey began work in Cornwall and on the South Wales coalfield, flourished and expanded. De La Beche’s career reached its peak with the establishment of a Mines Record Office and then the opening in 1851, under the aegis of the Geological Survey, of the Museum of Practical Geology and the School of Mines in London.
McCartney, P., H. T. De La Beche. 1978.
Delacroix, (Ferdinand Victor) Eugène (1798–1863). French painter, born in Charenton-Saint-Maurice. The illegitimate son of *Talleyrand, he was the great leader of Romanticism in painting and the defender of colour (at the expense of draughtsmanship, though he drew admirably) and movement. He opposed *Ingres’ more static line and balance. He had been in Baron Gros’ studio, knew the dying *Géricault, studied *Rubens and the Venetians, was a friend of *Bonington and admired *Constable’s Hay Wain so much that he repainted the sky in The Massacre at Chios (1824) just before it was exhibited. He admired English colour and freshness of handling. The exuberance both of his colours and of his subjects (mainly contemporary or exotic) was much attacked. His visit to North Africa (1832) provided many new subjects, e.g. scenes from Arab life and animals fighting. From the mid 1830s he undertook large-scale official decorations, e.g. the ceiling of the Salon d’Apollon in the Louvre (1849), works in the libraries of the Palais Bourbon and the Senate (1838–47) and murals in St Sulpice Church. His Journals give a remarkable picture of Parisian life and of the many celebrities who were his friends. His careful studies of colour and the prominence he gave to it had a great effect on later painters, notably *Renoir, *Degas and *Cézanne.
Jullian, P., Delacroix. 1963.
de la Mare, Walter John (1873–1956). English poet, born in Kent. Of Huguenot descent, he retired from his employment with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in 1908 to give his full time to writing, which included book reviewing as well as poetry. In his volumes of short poems Songs of Childhood (1902), The Listeners (1912), and Peacock Pie (1913) he evoked a delicate and enchanting fantasy world. He also wrote short stories, children’s books, and novels, e.g. The Return (1910) and Memoirs of a Midget (1921). The latter won the Hawthornden and James Tait Black prizes. He received a CH in 1948 and the OM in 1953.
Cecil, D., Walter de la Mare. 1973; Whistler, T., Imagination of the Heart. 1993.
Delane, John Thaddeus (1817–1879). English journalist. After working as a parliamentary reporter he was editor of The Times (1841–77), and his knowledge of world affairs, his innumerable sources of information, extraordinary flair for news and complete independence of judgment gave his paper a prestige and influence that extended far beyond his own country. His attacks during the Crimean War on the mismanagement responsible for shortages of food, warm clothing and ordinary necessities, revealed by the famous Times correspondent W. H. *Russell, are an example of the way in which he could unseat a government.
De la Roche, Mazo (1885–1961). Canadian novelist. Her novel Jalna (1927) was the first of a series which told the story of the Whiteoaks family and achieved an enormous popular success.
De la Roche, M., Ringing the Changes. 1957.
Delaunay, Robert (1885–1941). French painter. Influenced by *Cézanne and the Post-Impressionists, he made vibrant use of colour which he applied to Cubism. He developed his own theory of ‘colour orchestration’, called ‘Orphism’ by the poet *Apollinaire, which in turn influenced the German Blaue Reiter Expressionists and painters in the US and Australia. His wife Sonia Delaunay-Terk (née Stern) (1885–1979), born in Russia, painted in Orphic style and was an important textile designer.
De la Warr, Thomas West, 12th Baron (1577–1618). English administrator. He was the first Governor of Virginia 1610–11 and rescued the colony from ruin. The American state and river Delaware are named after him.
Delbrück, Max (1906–1981). German American molecular biologist. He trained in physics under Niels *Bohr and biology with T. H. *Morgan and was a professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology 1947–81. His work on phage (a virus that attacks bacteria) and genetic recombination in bacteria laid the basis for molecular biology and he won the 1969 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Deledda, Grazia (1875–1936). Italian novelist, born in Sardinia. She wrote novels in the verismo style, many reflecting harsh conflicts in Sardinian life, including Elias Portolu (1903), Ashes (1910) and The Mother (1920). She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926.
Delibes, (Clément Philibert) Léo (1836–1891). French composer. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, and spent most of his life in Paris where among his musical occupations were those of organist and chorus master with opera companies. His compositions include the very successful ballets Coppélia (1870) and Sylvia (1876) and the comic opera Lakmé (1883).
De L’lsle, William Philip Sidney, 1st Viscount (1909–1991). English politician, soldier and administrator, born in London. A descendant of Sir Philip *Sidney, he was educated at Eton and Cambridge, served with the Grenadier Guards, rising to major, and won the Victoria Cross at Anzio (1944). A Conservative MP 1944–45, he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Pensions 1945 and Secretary of State for Air 1951–55. He held directorships in banking and insurance and became the last UK resident to be appointed (1961) as Governor-General of Australia, serving until 1965.
DeLillo, Don (1936– ). American novelist, playwright, essayist and short story writer. Educated at Fordham University, he became an advertising copywriter. His novels include Americana (1971), White Noise (1985), Libra, a plausible fictional treatment of John *Kennedy’s assassination (1988), Mao II, a powerful story of a reclusive intellectual challenged by mass political action (1991), Underworld (1997), Falling Man (2007) and Point Omega (2010). He has been much praised by fellow writers but failed to win major awards.
Delius, Frederick (Theodore Albert) (1862–1934). English composer, born in Bradford. Of German descent, as a young man he went to Florida to grow oranges, became a music teacher in Virginia, and, on returning to Europe, moved to Leipzig where he first made his mark as a composer. From 1890 he lived in France. His music, rhythmic, rhapsodic, and harmonically luxuriant, was at first poorly received except in Germany. Its acceptance in England, where alone it has obtained a lasting hold, came largely through the efforts of Sir Thomas *Beecham, whose performances were a model for other interpreters. His works include Paris: The Song of a Great City (1899), Brigg Fair (1907), Eventyr (1917), concertos for violin (1918) and cello (1921), the opera A Village Romeo and Juliet (1901), Appalachia (traditional songs, 1903), Sea Drift (*Whitman, 1903), A Mass of Life (*Nietzsche, 1905) and A Song of the High Hills (textless: 1911) for orchestra and chorus, chamber music and songs. In later years, blind and paralysed from syphilis, he dictated his work to the musician Eric Fenby (1906–1997), who wrote a memoir of him. He received the CH in 1929.
Fenby, E., Delius. 1971.
Deller, Alfred (George) (1912–1979). English counter-tenor. He worked in the furniture trade for 13 years, sang in the choirs in Canterbury (1940–47) and St Paul’s (1947–62) Cathedrals and, with the encouragement of Michael *Tippett, revived the art of the counter-tenor (male alto) after 300 years of neglect, except in Anglican choirs. A natural baritone, Deller sang falsetto with exceptional breath control and masterly ornamentation. He devoted himself to the alto repertoire of *Dowland, *Purcell (himself an accomplished counter-tenor), *Buxtehude, *Händel, *Bach and *Britten, and made many recordings. Alan Blyth remarked on ‘Deller’s otherworldly sound, at once ethereal yet strangely sensual’.
Delors, Jacques Lucien Léon (1925– ). French politician, economist and administrator, born in Paris. Educated at the University of Paris, he worked for the Banque de France 1945–62, 1973–79, and became a public servant specialising in labour programs and social research. He was Minister for the Economy and Finance 1981–84 and President of the Commission of the European Communities 1985–94.
De Mille, Cecil B(lount) (1881–1959). American film director. He entered the film industry in 1913, founded the Paramount Company and pioneered the production of such lavish and spectacular films as The Ten Commandments (1923, 1957), The Sign of the Cross (1932), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). His daughter Agnes de Mille (1908–1993), a dancer from 1928, won fame as choreographer for musical comedies such as Oklahoma (1943) and Brigadoon (1947). She also devised her own ballets, e.g. Fall River Legend (1948) and The Rib of Eve (1956).
Demirel, Süleyman Göndoğdu (1924–2015). Turkish politician. He became an electrical engineer, worked in the US for five years, then taught English at a technical university. He led the Justice Party 1964–81 and the True Path Party 1987–93 and was Prime Minister 1965–71, 1975–77, 1977, 1979–80, 1991–93 and President 1993–2000.
Democritus (c.460–370 BCE). Greek philosopher, born in Abdera, Thrace. Known as ‘the laughing philosopher’, he was amused at the weaknesses of mankind. His atomic theory stimulated the thought of many future thinkers. The essence of it was that the only ultimate realities are (a) atoms, minute, solid, invisible and indestructible, (b) void. The atoms, whirring in the void, combine and coalesce in an infinite number of patterns and shapes which present ‘images’ to the senses. He is known to have left a vast quantity of writing on every aspect of human knowledge. Unfortunately only 200 or 300 fragments survive and almost all that is known of his work is at second hand.
De Morgan, William Frend (1839–1917). English potter, designer and novelist. Influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, William *Morris, and Islamic decoration, he designed stained glass and decorative tiles, and invented lustre glazes. He wrote seven popular novels.
Demosthenes (c.384–322 BCE). Athenian orator and politician. Having studied law and oratory to regain his inheritance from fraudulent guardians, he became a speech writer for litigants in the courts. When 30 years old he entered politics. By two series of brilliant speeches known as the Olynthiacs and the Philippics he tried to convince the Athenians and their allies of the danger from *Philip of Macedon. The Athenians did indeed go to war but failed to save Olynthus. From 346 to 340 Demosthenes was actively building up a coalition but it was decisively defeated by Philip at Chaeronea (338). Demosthenes vindicated himself in one of his greatest speeches, On The Crown, a reply to an attack by his great rival *Aeschines on a proposal to award him a crown of honour. In 325, however, he went into exile after being charged (probably falsely) with embezzling money from the state treasury. He returned after *Alexander the Great’s death but an attempt to throw off the Macedonian yoke again met with disaster. Fleeing from the battlefield, Demosthenes was caught by the enemy and took poison.
Dempsey, Jack (né William Harrison) (1895–1983). American boxer, born in Colorado. A cultural icon of the 1920s, he was world heavyweight boxing champion 1919–26, defeating Jess Willard, then losing to Gene *Tunney.
Dench, Dame Judi(th Olivia) (1934– ). English actor, born in Yorkshire. She demonstrated exceptional versatility in stage, screen and television, and was best known internationally for playing ‘M’ in James Bond films from 1995 to 2015. She also gained awards for performances in plays by *Shakespeare, *Chekhov, *Wilde and *Coward, and in film adaptations of Jane *Austen and Charlotte *Brontë and portrayals of Queens *Elizabeth I and *Victoria. A Quaker, she was a passionate campaigner for causes and received a CH in 2005.
Deneuve, Catherine (née Dorleac) (1943– ). French film actor. Sister of the actor Françoise Dorleac (1942–1967), from 1956 she made more than 60 films including Les parapluies de Cherbourg (1964), *Polanski’s Repulsion (1964), *Bunuel’s Belle de jour (1967),Tristana (1970), Benjamin (1967), Mayerling (1969), *Truffaut’s Le Sauvage (1975), Le dernier metro (1980), The Hunger (1983) and Indochine (1992), Place Vendôme (1999), Palais Royal (2006) and Potiche (2011). Her extraordinary beauty and cool, intelligent acting left an unforgettable impression, although many of her films were of poor quality. She married the English photographer David Bailey and had sons by the director Roger Vadim and the actor Marcello *Mastroianni. In 1985 she became the model for Marianne, symbol of the French Republic in statues and stamps.
Deng Xiaoping (Teng Hsiaop’ing) (1904–1997). Chinese Communist politician, born in Sichuan province. Son of a landlord, he studied in Paris, working at a Renault plant, joined the CCP in 1925 and spent 1926 at university in Moscow. He served as an officer and political commissar in the Red Army in Jiangxi and Shaanxi and later in the People’s Liberation Army. In 1933 he was demoted and imprisoned for being too close to *Mao but took part in the Long March (1934–36) and became General Secretary of the Central Committee in 1936. He was political commissar of the PLA 8th Route Army 1937–51 and a Central Committee member 1943–66. Vice Premier 1952–66, he became a Politburo member in 1955 and Secretary-General of the CCP in 1956–66. During the ‘cultural revolution’ he was denounced with *Lui Shaoqi as a ‘capitalist roader’, forced from office, publicly humiliated, and he attempted suicide (1967). Forced to work as a manual labourer until 1969, in April 1973 he was reinstated as Deputy Premier and took charge of government operations during *Zhou Enlai’s last illness. He rejoined the Politburo and in 1975 became PLA Chief of Staff. In April 1976 he was dismissed from all posts, denounced again as a ‘capitalist roader’ and subjected to a campaign of attack for months. In July 1977 he was restored as 1st Deputy Premier, Vice Chairman of the CCP, and PLA Chief of Staff, working with Chairman *Hua Guofeng until forcing him to resign in 1981. Deng’s supporters, heirs of *Zhou Enlai, then took charge of government, party and armed forces. In 1978 he visited Tokyo to conclude the China–Japan Friendship Treaty and toured the US in 1979. He closed down the communes, proposed an ‘open door’ economic policy, encouraged the entry of foreign capital and negotiated the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty. However, the CCP maintained a political monopoly and Deng was largely responsible for crushing pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square (June 1989). He gave up all official posts in 1989 but, despite age and failing health, continued to be recognised as ‘paramount leader’, promoting ‘market force socialism’.
Salisbury, H., The New Emperors: Mao and Deng. 1992; Deng, M. M., Deng Xiaoping: My Father. 1995.
Denikin, Anton Ivanovich (1872–1947). Russian general. He rose from the ranks and after the first Russian Revolution was imprisoned for supporting *Kornilov’s attempted revolt against *Kerensky’s Socialist Government but escaped to raise an army in the south. Meanwhile (November 1917) the Bolsheviks under *Lenin had seized power and Denikin’s ‘White’ army, with Allied support, occupied the Ukraine and northern Caucasus. As Bolshevik power grew, the ‘Red’ army gradually forced the ‘Whites’ back to the Crimea and in 1920 Denikin abandoned the struggle. He died in exile in France.
de Niro, Robert (1943– ). American film actor, born in New York. He starred in Martin *Scorsese’s Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976) and Goodfellas (1990) and won Academy Awards for his roles in The Godfather Part II (1974) and Raging Bull (1980). Other films include The Mission (1986) and Awakenings (1990).
Denis (Dionysius), St (d.c.258). Italian martyr: patron saint of France. Sent from Rome (c.250) to convert the Gauls, he won many converts in and around Paris, and became the first bishop. During one of the periodical persecutions of Christians, Denis, with two others, was beheaded at Montmartre by order of the Roman Governor. According to the pious legend, he walked (head tucked under his arm) to the site of the Abbey of St Denis, a distance of 5.5km. Founded (c.630) by King *Dagobert, the Abbey acquired great wealth and for centuries was the burial place of French kings.
Denning, Alfred Thompson Denning, Baron (1899–1999). English judge. Educated in Oxford, he became a judge in 1944, a Lord of Appeal 1957–62 and Master of the Rolls 1962–82. His judgments attracted professional controversy because of his interest in filling in gaps in the law, reflecting deeply held social convictions (e.g. that unions should be held accountable for strike losses). He received the OM in 1997.
Dennis, C(larence) J(ames) (1876–1938). Australian poet and journalist. He worked as a journalist in Adelaide and Melbourne and achieved success with his volumes of vernacular verse tales, The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke (1915), The Moods of Ginger Mick (1916) and The Glugs of Gosh (1917).
Depardieu, Gerard (1948– ). French actor, director and producer. He starred in Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), The Green Card (1990), Germinal (1994), Les Miserables (2001), Mammuth (2010), Life of Pi (2012) and many other films. In 2013, irritated at proposed increases in income tax, he became a Russian citizen.
de Paul, St Vincent see Vincent de Paul, St
Depretis, Agostino (1813–1887). Italian politician. A supporter of *Mazzini, he was a journalist and founded the journal Il Progresso in Turin (1850). As Premier of Italy 1876–78, 1878–79, 1881–87 he developed the policy of trasformismo, an attempt to accommodate a variety of policies without ever making clear or painful choices.
De Quincey, Thomas (1785–1859). English writer, born in Manchester. Son of a merchant, he was famous as the author of Confessions of an English Opium Eater. The experiences which gave rise to this book began at Worcester College, Oxford, where he went in 1803 after running away from Manchester Grammar School and a year’s adventurous and hard wandering which had undermined his health. The Confessions first appeared in the London Magazine in 1821 and from then onwards he became one of the leading essayists of his day. In 1809 he went to live at *Wordsworth’s old home, Dove Cottage, Grasmere, and thus came to know well the Lakeland poets, Wordsworth himself, *Coleridge and *Southey, though his later brilliant accounts of them in his Literary Reminiscences (1834–40), published after his removal to Edinburgh in 1828, were waspish enough to cause offence. In 1816 he married Mary Simpson, daughter of a Lakeland farmer, who bore him a large family and did much to curb his addiction to opium. In all his writing de Quincey uses a beautiful and rhythmical, if sometimes intricate, prose. He had a genuine interest in German philosophy, to which he tried to direct English attention.
Hayter, A., Opium and the Romantic Imagination. 1968.
Derain, André (1880–1954). French painter. He was one of the original ‘Fauves’ (a word meaning ‘wild beasts’ and referring to the sense of violence and heightened intensity imparted by strong colour and distortion) and much influenced by *Cézanne, *Vlaminck and *Matisse. Before 1914 he used very bright colour and (often) a pointillist technique. His later works are more academic and mostly painted in browns and greens.
Sutton, D., André Derain. 1959.
Derby, Edward Geoffrey Smith Stanley, 14th Earl of (1799–1869). English politician. He first entered the House of Commons (where his dash and brilliance won him the nickname the ‘Rupert of debate’) in 1820 as a Whig, and supported the Reform Bill (1832). As Colonial Secretary he carried the act for the emancipation of West Indian slaves (1833), however, from 1834 he was a Conservative. On his father’s death (1844) he led the wing of his party in the Lords opposed to *Peel’s free-trade policy. He was leader of the Conservative Party 1846–68, the longest period for any British politician. Prime Minister for three short terms (1852, 1858–59 and 1866–68), he was, with *Disraeli, responsible for the passing of the second Reform Bill (1867). He was a classical scholar who translated The Iliad (1864), a keen sportsman, and cared little for office. (He declined to form a ministry in 1855.) His great-grandson, Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby (1865–1948), racehorse owner and friend of *George V, proposed the ‘Derby scheme’ for recruitment before the introduction of conscription (1916) and was Secretary of State for War 1916–18, 1922–24.
Derrida, Jacques (1930–2004). French philosopher, born to a Jewish family in Algiers. Educated in Algiers and at the École Normale Superieure, Paris, he taught at the Sorbonne and the ENS. He emphasised the primacy of written language over speech and was a pioneer of ‘deconstruction’, a rigorous analysis of the language used in literary texts which concluded that authors often convey meaning through unconscious (or conditioned) selection of vocabulary, for example by using masculine terminology. Deconstruction was an important element of ‘postmodernism’ with its radical attack on assumptions about intrinsic literary merit in particular texts e.g. the classics. His books included Of Grammatology (1967), Writing and Difference (1967), Margins of Philosophy (1972), What is Poetry? (1991) and The Other Heading (1992).
Peeters, B., Derrida. 2013.
Desai, Morarji Ranchhodji (1896–1995). Indian politician. A Gujerati, he became a public servant, a follower of Mahatma *Gandhi from 1930 and was imprisoned five times. He became Chief Minister of Bombay 1952–56, and served in the Union Government as Minister for Commerce 1956–58, Minister for Finance 1958–63 and 1967–69, and Deputy Prime Minister 1967–69. He contested the Congress leadership against Indira *Gandhi in 1966, supported by the traditionalists, founded the Janata Party, and became Prime Minister 1977–79 in a coalition united only by opposition to Mrs Gandhi.
Descamps, Chevalier Edouard Eugène François, Baron (1847–1933). Belgian jurist and politician. A professor at Louvain, he was an ardent proponent of an International Court of Justice, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 27 times (without success). He was the world’s first Minister for Sciences and Arts 1907–10.
Descartes, René (1596–1650). French philosopher, mathematician and scientist, born at La Haye, Touraine. Educated by the Jesuits, he was impressed by the certainty of mathematical conclusions, which he tried to make the basis of his philosophical system. From 1628 he lived and worked in Holland for 20 years. In 1649 Queen *Christina of Sweden invited him to live in Stockholm, but he died there after a few months. In his philosophy, he attempted to set out an account of the universe based on undoubted premises from which all else could be rigorously deduced. Following the method which came to be known as ‘Cartesian’, he found that there was only one thing that he could not possibly doubt: since he did have certain thoughts, whether or not true, he must exist as ‘a thinking substance’ (cogito ergo sum: ‘I think, therefore I am’). He went on to establish the existence of his own body, of other ‘extended substances’ and hence of the material universe, and of God. A dualism of spirit and matter, so complete that the one cannot exercise influence on the other without the intervention of God, was a fundamental part of his system, which provoked criticism by later psychologists. His approach was highly mechanistic and he regarded animals as animated machines (machinae animatae) and infinitely exploitable. His work, set out in Discourse de la Méthode (1637), Méditations de prima philosophia (1641) and Principia philosophiae (1644), was the first great philosophy written in French. It also established literary style which has been of immense influence. In mathematics, he instituted a system of co-ordinate geometry, the application of algebra to geometrical problems, and although he mistakenly believed, at least initially, that scientific investigation should proceed by a priori deduction, he did important experimental work in optics. He is thought to have been a sincere Catholic and after *Galileo had been condemned by the Inquisition he withdrew from publication an early work that advanced the Copernican system of the universe.
Vrooman, J. R., René Descartes: A Biography. 1970.
Deschanel, Paul Eugène Louis (1856–1922). French politician, born in Brussels. Elected as Deputy in 1885, he was President of the Chamber of Deputies 1898–1902 and 1912–20, but was never a minister. A member of the Académie française (1899), and a prolific author, he was elected President of the Republic in February 1920 (heavily defeating Georges *Clemenceau). He fell off a moving train and was lost, an event which caused embarrassment, ridicule and, in September, resignation. This did not prevent his election to the Senate 1921–22.
Desmoulins, Camille (1760–1794). French revolutionary politician. A lawyer and journalist in Paris, despite his stammer, he helped to rouse the mobs at the storming of the Bastille (14 July 1789). He was a member of the National Assembly 1789–91 and of the National Convention 1792–94. In his newspaper, Le Vieux Cordelier, he attacked the terrorism of *Robespierre and his party, and was guillotined with his friend *Danton.
De Soto, Hernando (c.1500–1542). Spanish explorer. He was with *Pizarro in the conquest of Peru, landed in Florida (1539), explored northwards as far as what are now the Carolinas, and then westward to the Mississippi, which he discovered and crossed in 1541.
DesRochers, Alfred (1901–1978). French Canadian poet. His collections L’Ofrande aux vierges (1929) and Ãl’Ombre de l’Orford (1930) revealed his remarkable gift for evoking the way of life of the country people in the province of Québec.
Dessalines, Jean Jacques (c.1758–1806). Haitian adventurer. After taking part in the slave revolt (1791) he became a provincial governor under *Toussaint L’Ouverture. After the latter was captured he renewed the struggle, forced the French to surrender and in 1804 proclaimed Haitian independence. With British support he drove the French out of Haiti (1803), proclaimed himself as the emperor Jacques I (1804–06), but his cruelty and extortions led to his assassination.
Dessay, Natalie (1965– ). French coloratura soprano, born in Lyon. After studying ballet and acting, she began her operatic career in 1992, achieving international recognition for her versatility, virtuosity and dramatic gifts, excelling in *Händel, *Mozart, *Donizetti, *Bellini and *Strauss.
Deterding, Henri Wilhelm August (1865–1939). Dutch oil magnate, born in Amsterdam. He was a bank clerk until he went to the East Indies to seek his fortune. In 1896 he joined the Royal Dutch Oil Company, of which he had become Director General by 1902. The merger with the British ‘Shell’ company in 1907 made the Royal Dutch-Shell group one of the strongest oil combines in the world. Awarded an honorary KBE in 1920, he was Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell until 1936 when his sympathy for the Nazi regime led to a board revolt.
Deutscher, Isaac (1907–1967). English writer, born in Poland. He was a prominent Communist journalist in Poland until expelled from the party for his anti-Stalinist position. He fled to England (1939) and wrote for leading British periodicals. His biography Stalin (1949) was authoritative.
De Valera, Eamon (1882–1975). Irish republican politician, born in New York. After his father, a Spanish artist, died, he returned to his mother’s family in Ireland, graduated at the Royal University, Dublin and became a mathematics teacher. He joined the nationalist Irish volunteers (1913) and was sentenced to death for his part in the Easter rebellion (1916), but was reprieved and, in 1917, released. He was elected Sinn Féin member of East Clare in 1917 but never took his seat. Another term of imprisonment (1918–19) was ended by a daring escape from Lincoln Jail. In 1919 he became head of the insurgent Irish government but did not accompany the negotiating team to London in 1921. He was bitterly opposed to concessions made by Arthur *Griffith and Michael *Collins and led the militant republicans in the ensuing civil war. In 1927 he finally abandoned his extremist attitude, formed a new political party the Fianna Fail (‘Soldiers of Destiny’), which he led in the Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives). After defeating *Cosgrave in the 1932 election he became Prime Minister and held office 1932–48, 1951–54, 1957–59. (In 1937 when the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland—Poblacht Na hÉireann—the title of President of the Executive Council was replaced by Taoiseach.) Eire remained neutral during World War II but did not leave the British Commonwealth until 1948, when John *Costello defeated de Valera. He became President of the Republic 1959–73. Devious and autocratic, de Valera remains an intensely controversial and enigmatic figure.
Fitzgibbon, C. and Morrison, G., The Life and Times of Eamon De Valera. 1974; Coogan, T.P., De Valera: Long fellow, long shadow. 1993.
De Valois, Dame Ninette (Edris Stannus) (1898–2001). British ballet director, choreographer and dancer, born in Ireland. She danced under *Diaghilev and from 1926 to 1930 was choreographer at the Old Vic Theatre, London. In 1931 she founded and became artistic director of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, now known as the Royal Ballet, retiring in 1963. She received the CH in 1981 and the OM in 1992. Her 100th birthday was celebrated in June 1998.
Walker, K. S., Ninette de Valois. 1987.
Devereux, Robert see Essex, 2nd Earl of
Devonshire, 4th Duke of, William Cavendish (1720–1764). English Whig politician and courtier. He was First Lord of the Treasury (i.e. Prime Minister) 1756–57, in a seven months ministry dominated by *Pitt the Elder, and Lord Chamberlain 1757–62. A collateral successor, Spencer Compton Cavendish, 8th Duke of Devonshire (1833–1908), educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, was, as Marquess of Hartington, MP 1857–91, a Minister under *Gladstone, and Leader of the Liberal Party 1875–80. He declined invitations to lead a government in 1880, 1886 and 1887. He broke with Gladstone over Home Rule (1886) and led the Liberal Unionists, serving under *Salisbury as Lord President of the Council 1895–1903. In 1892 he married his mistress, Louisa, Duchess of Manchester, known as ‘the double Duchess’, and was Chancellor of Cambridge University 1892–1908.
De Vries, Peter (1910–1993). American novelist, born in Chicago. The son of Dutch immigrants, he studied at Calvin College, became a freelance writer (1931), editor of Poetry (1942) and a staff writer on the New Yorker. His dead-pan, multi-punned humour exposes many aspects of life without individual responsibility in a commercialised mass society. His novels include: No, But I saw the Movie (1952), Comfort Me with Apples (1956), The Mackerel Plaza (1958), The Blood of the Lamb (1962), The Cat’s Pajamas and Witch’s Milk (1968), Without a Stitch in Time (1972), The Glory of the Hummingbird (1974), I Hear America Swinging (1976) and Madder Music (1977).
Dewar, Sir James (1842–1923). Scottish physical chemist, born in Kincardine. Educated at Edinburgh University, he was Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy, Cambridge, 1875–1923, and Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution, London, 1877–1923. He is best known for his extensive researches into the properties of matter at very hot temperatures. He invented the vacuum-jacketed flask, often referred to as a Dewar flask, the parent of the present-day vacuum flask. He showed that liquid oxygen and ozone are magnetic, and he was the first to prepare liquid and solid hydrogen. With Sir Frederick Abel he invented cordite. He received the Copley Medal in 1916.
De Wet, Christiaan Rudolph (1854–1922). Boer soldier and politician. A successful guerrilla leader in the Boer War (1899–1902), he never accepted the political implications of defeat. He wrote Three Years’ War (1902). Believing that the outbreak of World War I (1914) provided an opportunity to re-establish a Boer republic, he led a rising against the *Botha government. He was captured and briefly imprisoned.
Dewey, George (1837–1917). American admiral. He led the US fleet in the Spanish American War (1898–99), destroyed the whole Spanish squadron and captured Manila (1898), and became a popular hero in the US.
Dewey, John (1859–1952). American philosopher. Important for his advancement of progressive education and professor of philosophy at Michigan, Chicago and Columbia universities, he was influenced by the pragmatism of *Peirce and William *James. He thought of philosophy as something relevant to practical problems, his views being sometimes crudely summarised as ‘truth is what works’. In fact his thoughts covered a much wider field, as such books as Reconstruction in Philosophy (1920) show; he also wrote on psychology, logic and ethics. His views on education, through the many translations of his School and Society (1900) and Democracy and Education (1916), achieved international influence. On the grounds that ‘education is life, not a preparation for life’ and that a ‘school is a community in miniature’ he held that children should be faced with practical concerns and real problems rather than given traditional instruction, he emphasised ‘learning by doing’.
Berstein, R. J., John Dewey. 1966; Ryan, A., John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism. 1995.
Dewey, Melvil Louis Kossuth (1851–1931). American librarian. In 1876 he devised the ‘Decimal Classification and Relative Index’ for library books, widely adopted in public libraries not only in the US but in many other countries.
Dewey, Thomas Edmund (1902–1971). American Republican politician and lawyer, born in Michigan. Educated at Michigan and Columbia universities, he became a special prosecutor to root out organised crime in New York State 1935–38, winning a national reputation. District Attorney of New York County (Manhattan) 1938–41, he was narrowly defeated for Governor of New York in 1938. A leader of the moderate Republicans, at the 1940 National Convention, aged 38, he won the first three ballots for the presidential nomination, but lost to Wendell *Willkie. As Governor of New York State 1943–55, he enforced the death penalty and there were 90 executions. He became Republican candidate for President in 1944 (losing to Franklin *Roosevelt) and in 1948 (losing unexpectedly to *Truman). He helped *Eisenhower win the 1952 Republican nomination. Offered the Chief Justiceship of the US by Eisenhower and *Nixon, he declined. Dewey was very able but oddly unlikeable. Theodore *Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice Longworth, lethally despatched him as ‘the little man on a wedding cake’.
Hughes, R., Thomas E. Dewey. 1944.
De Wint, Peter (1784–1849). English landscape painter, born in Staffordshire. Son of a doctor of Dutch origin, he was particularly fond of Lincolnshire, where the broad expanses of flat country made the luminous washes in which he delighted particularly appropriate. As his work as a drawing master kept him in London for the early part of each year, many of his pictures show harvest scenes. A large collection is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
De Witt, Johan (or Jan) (1625–1672). Dutch statesman. Son of the burgomaster of Dordrecht, his family was traditionally opposed to the House of Orange. He took part in the administration of his native city until he became (1653) Grand Pensionary of Holland (an office which, as developed by him, made him the head of the largest of the Dutch provinces and predominant in the country as a whole). He connived with Cromwell that the peace treaty with England (1654) should stipulate that the House of Orange (which favoured the royalist cause in England) was to be excluded from all its offices. His foreign policy aimed at an alliance with France, so as to leave himself free to assert Dutch maritime power. Intervention in the Baltic proved profitable and some striking successes were achieved in an indecisive war with England (1666–67) but an unforeseen alliance between England and France created a crisis, in which the Dutch turned to their traditional saviours, the House of Orange. De Witt resigned in 1672 but a fortnight later, when visiting his brother Cornelius who had been imprisoned on a charge of conspiracy, he was killed by an angry mob of Orange partisans.
Diaghilev, Sergei Pavlovich (1872–1929). Russian ballet impresario, born in Novgorod. In pursuit of an idea of introducing Russian art to western Europe, he presented (1908) *Chaliapin in a season of Russian opera in Paris. He followed this up with his famous ‘Ballets Russes’ presented in Paris (1909) and London (1911) in the conviction that in ballet he could form a union of all the arts. To this end he secured the services of dancers of outstanding skill—*Pavlova, *Nijinsky, *Karsavina and Lopokova—and choreographers such as *Fokine and *Massine: he commissioned *Benois, *Bakst, *Matisse, *Picasso, *Braque and others to design the decor and *Debussy, *Ravel, *Stravinsky and *Prokofiev to compose ballet scores. The Revolution broke his links with Russia, but with Paris as its headquarters his company continued to enjoy the highest reputation. He retired to Venice and died there.
R. Buckle, Diaghilev. 1979.
Diana (Diana Frances, née Spencer) (1961–1997). Princess of Wales. Daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer, she became a kindergarten assistant and married *Charles, Prince of Wales in 1981. They had two sons, *William (b.1982) and *Harry (b.1984). The princess was the subject of enormous media coverage, at first adulatory, then critical. After a period of damaging media speculation about the marriage, Charles and Diana separated in December 1992. After encouraging damaging attacks on the Royal family in books, newspapers and television, she agreed to a divorce in 1996, then devoted herself to major causes (AIDS, leprosy, land mines). Killed in a car crash in Paris with her lover Dodi al-Fayed (31 August 1997), her death and funeral created unexpectedly intense international public reaction.
Dias, Bartolomeu (c.1450–1500). Portuguese navigator. Of noble birth, he became interested in geographical discoveries at the court of *João II who sent him to explore the west African coast. In January 1488, driven by storms, he rounded the Cape of Good Hope (originally called the Cape of Storms), without seeing it. Owing to the discontent of his crew, he turned back without exploring the coast of east Africa. His discovery showed the route to India, but when he sailed with da *Gama in 1497 he was sent back after a short distance. He was drowned in 1500 on a voyage to Brazil.
Diaz, Armando (1861–1928). Italian general of World War I. He succeeded *Cadorna as Commander-in-Chief after the disaster at Caporetto (1917), retrieved the situation and by his decisive victory at Vittorio Veneto (October 1918) forced the Austrians to accept an armistice a few days later.
Diaz (del Castillo), Bernal (1492–1581). Spanish soldier and historian. He was with *Cortés in Mexico 1519–21 and wrote the important True History of the Conquest of New Spain (1532).
Diaz, Porfirio (1830–1915). Mexican soldier and president. Originally a supporter of the liberal president *Juarez, he shared his triumph after the withdrawal of the French and the execution of their protégé, the emperor *Maximilian. Feeling himself inadequately rewarded, he twice vainly opposed Juarez for the presidency (1867 and 1872). In the latter year Juarez died and in 1876 Diaz took up arms to prevent his successor, Manuel Gonzales, from embarking upon a second term. Having achieved his object, Diaz ruled as a dictator for the next 34 years. By enforcing law and order and by proving himself the friend of big business in the development and modernisation of the country, he greatly increased the state’s revenues, but the discontents of nationalists, resentful of foreign control of their resources, of liberals, eager for democracy, and of the impoverished Indians and exploited peasants, accumulated. In 1911 Diaz was forced into exile by *Madero.
Godoy, J. F., Porfirio Diaz. 1976.
Dickens, Charles (John Huffam) (1812–1870). English novelist, born near Portsmouth. Both his parents provided models for future characters: his father (an improvident clerk in the naval dockyard) for Mr Micawber, his mother for Mrs Nickleby. When his father was imprisoned (1824) for debt in the Marshalsea in London (see Little Dorritt, 1855–57) Charles, then 12, worked for some months pasting on labels in a blacking factory, an experience that left much bitterness behind. After two more years at school he worked as a lawyer’s clerk (1827–30) and then, having learned shorthand, became a parliamentary reporter, an apprenticeship in journalism which stood him in good stead. In 1833 he began to write, for the Monthly Magazine and other periodicals, a number of short sketches of places seen and personal encounters that were collected under the name of Sketches by Boz (1836), Boz being his pen name for some years. Its success led to a suggestion by the publishers Chapman and Hall that he should write the text to fit a series of plates by the artist Robert Seymour. Dickens’ counter proposal that the pictures should illustrate the text was accepted and his first great success. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club began to appear, serialised in parts like many of the later novels. In 1836, Seymour, who died before the second part had appeared, was replaced by ‘Phiz’ (Hablot K. *Browne), Dickens’ illustrator for over 20 years. The gallery of humorous eccentrics portrayed in this work, Pickwick himself, Sam Weller, Mr Winkle and the rest was to be constantly enlarged as the years went by. It is sometimes urged that the balance of the plot of the novels is upset by the intrusions of such characters as Pecksniff (Martin Chuzzlewit, 1843), Mr and Madame Mantalini (Nicholas Nickleby, 1839), Mr Boffin (Our Mutual Friend, 1865). A vein of autobiography occurs in many of the novels, especially in David Copperfield (1849–50).
London itself, the sprawling, vulgar, fog bound, Cockney metropolis, is the setting of most of his novels, but sometimes he goes back into history for dramatic plots, the Gordon riots in Barnaby Rudge (1841) and the French Revolution (influenced by *Carlyle’s famous book) in A Tale of Two Cities (1859). Mystery and crime always attracted him, partly no doubt because of his great friendship with Wilkie *Collins, and are a feature especially of the more elaborately planned novels of his later period, e.g. Bleak House (1859), Great Expectations (1861), and the last, unfinished, Edwin Drood (1870), to which many distinguished writers such as G. K. *Chesterton have tried to conjecture the solution. Especially when depicting children ill or doomed to die—Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (1843), Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop (1841) or Paul in Dombey and Son (1846)—Dickens can be over-sentimental. He is most effective as a satirist when he flays the nouveaux riches, the pompous and the hypocrites, or finds targets in the delays of the civil service (‘Circumlocution Office’) and the law. Any form of exploitation of the young or helpless by a schoolmaster, such as Wackford Squeers in Nicholas Nickleby, by a crook, such as Fagin in Oliver Twist (1838), or by a ruthless employer such as Bounderby in Hard Times (1854) earns his abhorrence.
Dickens was unhappy in his private life. An early love for Maria Beadnell (David Copperfield’s Dora) was rejected. His marriage in 1836 to Katharine Hogarth was clouded a year later by the death of her dearly loved younger sister Mary (Little Nell); it finally was ended by separation 20 years later. Dickens maintained an intimate but complicated relationship with Nellie (Ellen) Ternan (1839–1914) from 1857 until his death. His son, Sir Henry Fielding Dickens (1849–1933), was a barrister, KC and judge.
Both *Dostoevsky and *Tolstoy admired Dickens. George *Orwell argued that Dickens describes, wonderfully, eloquently, evocatively, but he does not analyse, nor does he prescribe. His novels are never contemporary; he always writes of some decades earlier. There is a manic, driven, dark side to Dickens, shown in four areas: his constant exploitation of women, exceptional even for his time, his racism and celebration of cruelty, applauding atrocities following the Indian Mutiny, his growing sympathy for the Confederate cause in the US Civil War and his support for E. J. *Eyre after the bloody suppression of the Jamaica rebellion (1865).
Dickens wrote many short stories and sketches, A Child’s History of England (1851–53), and American Notes for General Circulation (1842) and Pictures from Italy (1846), which illustrated his travels. He was first editor (1846) of the Daily News, he edited Household Words (1850–59) and All The Year Round (1859–70). He toured the US in 1842, 1867 and 1868, Canada in 1842 and Britain constantly, giving public readings from his novels, a total of 471 performances. This enabled him to display his extraordinary ability as an actor, which had a mesmerising effect on audiences, but exhausted him and hastened his death.
Dickens is one of the few authors who, after the publication of his first success, has been a continuous bestseller for 175 years. Modern criticism has rediscovered the richness of his imagination, the depth of his insight, and the consummate skill with which he combines the many disparate strands of his works. Dickens was one of the greatest 19th-century novelists in any language, demonstrating ‘demonic and disturbed’ elements, the odd combination of evil and comedy. Dickens was a darker, more conflicted, more powerful writer than generally recognised, even by his ardent supporters; a giant of world literature.
Collins, P., A Dickens Bibliography. 1970; Collins, P., Dickens, the Critical Heritage. 1971; Ackroyd, P., Dickens. 1990; Tomalin, C., Charles Dickens. A Life. 2011; Douglas-Fairhurst, R., Becoming Dickens. The Invention of a Novelist. 2011; Callow, S., Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World. 2012.
Dickinson, Emily Elizabeth (1830–1886). American poet, born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her father, a lawyer, served briefly in the Massachusetts Legislature and the US Congress and had been treasurer of Amherst College. She rarely left her birthplace and at the age of 23, possibly after an unhappy love affair, became a recluse, seeing only her family and a very few intimates and began writing poetry, intensely personal and daringly original in language and form, often written on small pieces of paper, including bills and envelopes. No one, not even her friends, recognised the merit of her poems, now numbered 1,775. Her most productive years were 1860–64, during the Civil War, although she never mentions it specifically. Epilepsy was probably a major factor in her seclusion and poetic intensity. Her brother’s mistress, Mabel Loomis Todd (1856–1932) edited three volumes of her poems (1890, 1891, 1896), the first two with T. W. Higginson, winning immediate recognition, but her sharp originality was timidly modified and lost until a new edition by Thomas Johnson in 1955. Her themes are those within her narrow experience, love, nature the changing seasons, the birds, frogs and insects that inhabited her garden and her edgy relationship with God.
Reading her is like making a telephone call to an inner life.
I cannot live with You –
It would be Life –
And Life is over there –
Behind the Shelf …
Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality …
Faith is a fine invention
When Gentlemen can see –
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all …
Sewall, R. B., The Life of Emily Dickinson. 1974; Habegger, A., My Wars are Laid Away in Books: The Life of Emily Dickinson. 2002; Gordon, L., Lives Like Loaded Guns: Emily Dickinson and Her Family Feuds. 2010.
Diderot, Denis (1713–1784). French encyclopaedist, born in Langres, Champagne. He was an important member of the group of scholars and sceptical thinkers known as philosophes, who created the climate of opinion, known as the ‘enlightenment’, critical of the Ancien Régime. In this, his own great Encyclopédie played a most important part. Before embarking upon this enterprise Diderot had led a bohemian life and earned a precarious livelihood by writing plays, novels and art criticism, but the exuberance of his personality, his enthusiasm and wide knowledge gave him a secure place in intellectual society. The basis of the Encyclopédie (1751–72), for which he shared editorial responsibility with the mathematician d’*Alembert, was the English Cyclopaedia of Ephraim *Chambers, which he was asked to translate, but the conception was constantly enlarged until it became a vast work of 17 volumes of text and 11 of plates. The intention of the work, which became the focus of the rationalism and anti-clericalism of the age, was to show the interconnexion of all branches of knowledge. Diderot wrote many articles himself on philosophical and mechanical subjects and gathered as contributors some of the greatest men of his time, including *Voltaire, *Rousseau (a great friend of Diderot, with whom he quarrelled in 1757), *Montesquieu, *Turgot and *Buffon. Diderot, who had suffered imprisonment for his Letter on the Blind (1749), one of the many works in which he set out his materialistic philosophy, had some trouble with the censorship, but comparatively few articles were banned. Diderot’s last years were made easier by a kindly gesture of *Catherine the Great, who bought his library and appointed him its custodian. He went to St Petersburg (1774) and before returning had written for the benefit of his patroness a plan for a Russian university, a proof of the amazing industry and versatility that made him one of the most universal influences of his era.
Furbank, P. N., Diderot: A Critical Biography. 1992; Curran, A. S., Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely. 2019; Zaretsky, R. Catherine & Diderot. 2019.
Diefenbaker, John George (1895–1979). Canadian politician. Educated at the University of Saskatchewan, after service in World War I he became a successful barrister. He was a Progressive Conservative MP 1940–79 and party leader 1956–63. Prime Minister of Canada 1957–63, he won the greatest majority in Canadian history (until 1993) in 1958. In 1963 his opposition to a US contention that nuclear warheads for Canadian missiles were a necessary part of North American defence led to a rift in his Cabinet, his resignation and electoral defeat.
Diemen, Anthony van (1593–1645). Dutch administrator. As Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies 1636–45 he commissioned Abel *Tasman’s voyages of exploration. The island off Australia named Van Diemen’s Land was renamed Tasmania in 1853.
Diesel, Rudolf (1858–1913). German inventor, born in Paris. He moved to England and studied engineering and thermodynamics in Germany. The engine which bears his name, an internal-combustion engine in which the fuel is ignited by heat following compression, was patented in 1892. After having been nearly killed in an explosion of an earlier model, he produced his first successful engine in 1897. He disappeared at sea.
Nitske, W. R. and Wilson, C. M., Rudolf Diesel: Pioneer of the Age of Power. 1965.
Dietrich, Marlene (1901–1992). German-American film actor and cabaret performer. After starring in her best known film, The Blue Angel (1930), in Germany, she went to Hollywood. She became an American citizen in 1937. She often played the part of an adventuress in films which included The Flame of New Orleans (directed by René *Clair), Destry Rides Again, Foreign Affair and Witness for the Prosecution. She died in Paris.
Dilke, Charles Wentworth (1789–1864). English writer and critic. A public servant, and friend of *Keats, he was the anonymous author of The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties (1821), which had a significant influence on *Marx. His grandson, Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke, 2nd Baronet (1843–1911) was a politician, born in London. After graduating at Cambridge, he travelled extensively in the Australian colonies (1867–68) and wrote the influential Greater Britain: A Record of Travel in English-Speaking Countries During 1866 and 1867 (2 vols, 1868). He was MP for Chelsea 1868–86, an imperialist radical with republican leanings. Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs 1880–82 he joined *Gladstone’s Cabinet as President of the Local Government Board 1882–85. Chairmanship of a royal commission on housing and work on parliamentary redistribution showed his interest in social conditions at home, while he closely associated himself with the imperial and colonial views of his (then) fellow radical Joseph *Chamberlain. In 1885–86 as a co-respondent in a divorce case, he was subject to devastating cross-examination and this destroyed his political prospects. (Adultery had never harmed *Palmerston.) Though he re-entered parliament (1892) and his brilliant books on foreign and colonial affairs were highly praised, he never returned to high office. In his later years he worked closely with trade unions and Labour MPs.
Jenkins, R., Sir Charles Dilke. 1958; Nicholls, D., The Lost Prime Minister: Life of Sir Charles Dilke. 1995; Jenkins, R., Dilke: A Victorian Tragedy. 1996.
Dill, Sir John Greer (1881–1944). British field marshal, born in Ulster. He served in France, India and Palestine and was *Churchill’s Chief of the Imperial General Staff, May 1940–November 1941. Churchill thought him defeatist because in discussions on strategy he failed to fight back (as also happened with *Wavell). Sent to Washington as head of the Joint Staff Mission 1942–44, he achieved unexpected and brilliant success by winning the confidence of *Marshall, *Hopkins, *Leahy and, through them, *Roosevelt. He died in Washington and was buried at Arlington.
Dillinger, John (1903–1934). American gangster. After serving nine years of a sentence for robbery with violence he headed a gang of escaped convicts who terrorised the states of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. He was eventually shot resisting arrest.
Dillon, (Clarence) Douglas (1909–2003). American administrator, born in Geneva. In 1931 he joined the family firm of investment bankers, and after navy service in World War II, became Chairman in 1953. Appointed by President *Eisenhower as Ambassador to France 1953–57, although a Republican, he became Secretary of the Treasury 1961–65 under Presidents *Kennedy and *Johnson.
DiMaggio, Joe (Joseph) (1914–1999). American baseball player, born in California. Played for the New York Yankees 1936–51 and had an outstanding record as a batter. He was briefly married to Marilyn *Monroe (1954) and loyally supported her until she died.
Dimitri (1581–1591). Russian prince, son of *Ivan IV. When his elder brother Fyodor became tsar, he was removed from the court and died mysteriously. The regent, Boris *Godunov, who reported that he had fallen on a knife during an attack of epilepsy, was accused by his enemies of murder. Subsequently several ‘false’ Dimitris appeared, of whom one, after defeating Boris’s troops, was crowned tsar in 1605, but was murdered by the nobles in the following year. *Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov gives a version of the story. See Dimitri, False.
Dimitry (Ivanovich) Donskoy (c.1350–1389). Grand Prince of Moscow 1359–89. Son of Ivan II (‘the Fair’), and Grand Prince of Vladimir from 1363, he asserted his dominance over rival princes but his real importance lies in the fact that, by his two victories over the Golden Horde at the River Vozha and more decisively at Kulikovo (1380), near a crossing of the River Don (hence his additional name), he destroyed the legend of Tartar invincibility. Moreover, even though subsequently defeated, his prestige was so great that the princes of Moscow were thenceforth regarded as national rulers. One of the heroes of Russian history, he is a saint in the Orthodox Church.
Dimitri, False. Name given to three pretenders to the Muscovite throne during the Time of Troubles (1605–13). On the death of Fyodor I (1598), Boris *Godunov succeeded and the First False Dimitri challenged his right to the throne and claimed to be Dimitri, the son of *Ivan IV, who had died mysteriously in 1591 while still a boy. He is thought to have been, in fact, Yuri Otrepyev, a noble.
Threatened with exile he fled to Lithuania and in 1604 invaded Russia at the head of an army. In 1605 Boris died and Dimitri was proclaimed Tsar, but soon alienated his supporters and was murdered in 1606. Rumours that the First Dimitri had survived led to the appearance of a second pretender who quickly gained support and established his court at Tushino (1608). Initially very successful, he was ousted by Vasily Shuysky, the boyar who had murdered the first Dimitri and become tsar (1606), and was assassinated by one of his own followers (1610). In 1611 the Third False Dimitri, possibly a deacon named Sidorka, gained the allegiance of Cossacks who were ravaging Moscow’s environs, but he was betrayed in 1612 and executed in Moscow.
Dimitrov, Georgi Mikhailovich (1882–1949). Bulgarian Communist politician. A printer, he came into international prominence when in 1933 he was tried in Berlin and acquitted on a charge of setting fire to the Reichstag, a crime almost certainly committed by his Nazi accusers. He was Secretary of the Communist International (Comintern) in Moscow 1934–43 and Premier of Bulgaria 1946–49.
d’Indy, Vincent see Indy, Vincent d’
Dine, Jim (1935– ). American painter. Widely exhibited, his subjects were mostly ordinary objects, e.g. shoes, dressing gowns, tools, but invested with a life of their own.
Dinesin, Isak (Karen, Baroness Blixen) (1885–1962). Danish novelist. Writing mostly in English, she lived in Kenya 1914–31, managing a coffee plantation, and her non-fiction works included Out of Africa (1937) and Shadows on The Grass (1960). She updated the Gothic novel with her Seven Gothic Tales (1934), Winter’s Tales (1942) and Anecdotes of Destiny (1958).
Thurman, J., Isak Dinesen. 1982.
Dingaan (d.1840). Zulu chief. He was half-brother of *Shaka, whom he murdered (1828). After permitting the Boers to settle in Natal, he killed a party of 60 under Piet Retief (1837), an act revenged by Andries *Pretorius (1838). ‘Dingaan’s Day’ was celebrated by Boers in South Africa for decades.
Dio, Cassius (Cassius Dio Cocceianus) (c.55–235). Greek historian, born in Bithynia. After a long period of distinguished public service under the emperor Commodus and his successors, he retired to write a comprehensive history of Rome in 80 books, of which Books 36–50 survive. His careful use of the best available sources give value to his record.
Millar, F., A Study in Cassius Dio. 1964.
Diocletian (Gaius Valerius Aurelius Diocletianus, originally Diocles) (245–313). Roman Emperor 284–305. Born in Dalmatia, from a modest background, he became a cavalry commander and was proclaimed emperor at a council in Nicomedia after he had overcome a rival claimant, Carinus. In order to rule and defend the vast empire, in 293 he created a tetrarchy (‘rule of four’) in which administration was decentralised, shared with *Maximian (as co-emperor, or ‘Augustus’, in the west) and two ‘Caesars’, virtually junior emperors, *Constantius Chlorus and *Galerius. Dioletian remained in a dominant position but ruled from the east as ‘Augustus’. His main concern was to maintain the great armies necessary to defend the empire and he introduced a tax system to enable him to do so. Sons of soldiers had to serve and landowners to provide recruits, a regular land tax was introduced, based on acreage, productivity and labour employed, but this had the effect of making taxation a hereditary responsibility and of tying the peasantry to the land. His attempt to curb inflation by price control under the edict of 301 failed. Diocletian had been cautiously conservative about religion, but in 303, probably at the urging of Galerius, he instituted public ceremonies of sacrifice to the Roman gods, intended as a unifying factor throughout the empire. This was anathema to Christians and led directly to the fourth and most serious campaign of persecution, which lasted until 311, involving executions, banishment and the destruction of churches. After 21 years as emperor, Diocletian abdicated and induced Maximian to resign as well. This was the first voluntary abdication by an emperor, demonstrating Diocletian’s achievement in ending decades of fratricidal anarchy. Constantius Chlorus and Galerius became co-emperors, and Severus and Maximin were made Caesars. Apparently the scheme of succession had worked but confusion soon followed. The vast palace at Split (Croatia) was built for his retirement.
Williams, S., Diocletian and the Roman Recovery. 1997.
Diogenes (c.412–323 BCE). Greek ‘cynic’ philosopher, born at Sinope (on the Black Sea). His father was a magistrate convicted of ‘defacing the currency’. Forced into poverty Diogenes found that it enabled him to lead a life in accordance with his belief in entire self-sufficiency and freedom from ordinary desires and conventions. He spent a wandering life begging his way and sleeping in the open or in such shelter as he could find, perhaps even in the proverbial tub. In Athens, where he was often to be found, he was called ‘Cynic’, a word much changed in meaning which then meant simply that he lived like a dog. He died, so legend goes, by eating raw cuttlefish in order to prove that cooking is unnecessary. Apparently he wrote plays and described an ideal republic where there were no armies or family life, but none of his work survives.
Dionysius (c.430–367 BCE). Tyrant of Syracuse 405–377 BCE. He was able to seize and maintain power in Syracuse, a Greek colony in Sicily, by playing on the fears of his subjects of the Carthaginians who held a substantial part of the island. Much of his reign was occupied by this task, and varied by his own expeditions against the Greek colonies in southern Italy. Dionysius was a poet and a patron of letters.
His son Dionysius II (c.390–344 BCE) succeeded him and ruled despotically until ejected in 356 by a fleet sent from Greece under Dion, who temporarily restored the republic. Dionysius regained power in 347.
Dionysius Exiguus (d.c.545). Roman monk and scholar, born in Scythia. Among the most learned men of his time, he worked in Rome from about 500, collecting and translating canons and documents of the early Christian era, and became abbot of a monastery in Rome, where he died. In 525, he proposed the Christian chronology, beginning with the birth of *Jesus Christ in Anno Domini I (i.e. ‘Year of our Lord’ = year 754 in the Roman calendar). His starting date was arbitrary: probably four to eight years too late. *Bede later proposed BC (‘Before Christ’) numbering.
Dior, Christian Ernest (1905–1957). French fashion designer. After World War II he launched the ‘New Look’, which brought the period of wartime austerity in women’s clothes to an end. He also revolutionised the world of haute couture by having simplified versions of his models reproduced for the mass market.
Dioscorides, Pedanius (fl. c.60–77 CE) Greek physician, probably born in Anazarba, Cilicia. He pursued botanical studies, largely with a view to the use of herbs for pharmaceutical purposes. Several works survive which may be attributed to him, though the only one that is certainly genuine is his De Materia Medica. This became probably the most influential of all herbals, being used throughout the Middle Ages down to the 17th century. Dioscorides described each plant, gave its habitat, indicated for what diseases it was a specific, and gave an account of its preparation for medical use, and dosage. One of his claims was that his work was better organised than earlier herbals. Out of the five books the first dealt with aromatics and oils, the second with animals, pot herbs and sharp herbs, the third with roots, juices and seeds, the fourth was a continuation of the third, and the fifth covered wines and minerals. It is impossible now to know whether Dioscorides merely collected the pharmaceutical lore of his day, or made significant innovations.
Dirac, P(aul) A(drien) M(aurice) (1902–1984). British physicist, born in Bristol. Of Swiss parentage, he studied electrical engineering at Bristol and mathematics at Cambridge, becoming a pioneer of wave (quantum) mechanics. In 1928 he predicted the existence of the positron, a positively charged particle of the same mass as the negatively charged electron. This was observed by *Anderson in 1932. He was Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge 1932–69, and a research professor in Florida 1971–84. Dirac shared the 1933 Nobel Prize for Physics with *Schrödinger. He received the Royal (1939) and Copley (1952) Medals of the Royal Society and the OM (1973).
Farmelo, G., The Strangest Man: the Hidden Life of Paul Dirac. 2009.
Disney, Walt(er Elias) (1901–1966). American producer of cartoon films, born in Chicago. He devised the first successful film cartoon (Oswald the Rabbit) in 1923 and won immense popularity for the medium with his Mickey Mouse pictures and such favourite characters as Pluto and Donald Duck. Later he produced many full-length cartoon films in colour, e.g. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938), Fantasia (1940) and Bambi (1942). His nature films, e.g. The Living Desert (1953), won many Academy awards. In films such as Treasure Island (1950) he used living actors and combined live actors with cartoons in Mary Poppins (1965). He set up (1955) a vast amusement park in California called Disneyland.
Finch, C., The Art of Walt Disney. 1973.
Disraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (1804–1881). English Conservative politician and novelist, born in London. He was the son of Isaac D’Israeli (1766–1848), an Anglicised Sephardic Jew whose literary talents (e.g. his Curiosities of Literature) won him the friendship of *Byron, *Scott and *Southey. Benjamin was brought up as a Christian and studied law. His brilliant first novel, Vivian Grey (1826), won him immediate acclaim. After making the ‘grand tour’ of Europe and the Near East, he began (1831) the life of a man-about-town, remarkable for his novels and brilliant attire. After four unsuccessful attempts, he became a Tory MP 1837–76. In 1839 he married Mary Anne Evans (1792–1872), widow of his friend Wyndham Lewis. Her wealth gave him financial independence and enabled him to buy Hughenden, Berkshire, later their home. The marriage, though childless, was happy. She was created Viscountess Beaconsfield in 1868.
In parliament, Disraeli addressed himself to advocating the ideas he later embodied in his political novels Coningsby (1844) and Sybil (1846). The Tory party as he envisaged it should no longer be representative merely of a small class of country gentlemen but should meet the needs of the growing electorate enfranchised by the Reform Act. Loyalty to the Church, the crown and a vision of national greatness combined with material and social progress had, he thought, a greater appeal than the Liberal slogan ‘of peace, retrenchment and reform’. He found an opportunity to make his mark when Sir Robert *Peel’s decision to repeal the Corn Laws split the Tory Party. Disraeli became leader of the ‘Young England’ group of Tories who believed that protection for British agriculture was essential, and his biting attacks on the new policy led to Peel’s political eclipse.
He bought for Britain a controlling interest in the Suez Canal, had Queen *Victoria made Empress of India (1876), annexed the Transvaal (1877) and at the Congress of Berlin (1878) from which he brought back ‘peace with honour’, did much to ensure that the Russo-Turkish conflict did not develop into a European war and greatly impressed *Bismarck who commented, ‘Der alte Jude, das ist der Mann’ (‘The old Jew, that is the man’). Meanwhile his ambition to extend his party’s interest in social welfare brought into being an act giving legal protection to trade unions, a great Factory Act, and a Public Health Act. He was created Earl of Beaconsfield in 1876 and KG in 1878. In the 1880 election, in response to higher taxes and a trade recession, the electorate returned an overwhelming Liberal majority. Disraeli died the following year.
Blake, R., Disraeli. 1966; Weintraub, S., Disraeli. 1993.
Dix, Otto (1891–1969). German painter. He joined the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement, which extended Expressionism but rejected abstraction. He painted working class life, some portraits and later turned to mysticism.
Dixon, Sir Owen (1886–1972). Australian jurist, born in Melbourne. Educated at Melbourne University, he became a Justice of the High Court of Australia 1929–52, serving during World War II as Minister to the US 1942–44, and Chief Justice 1952–64. He served as UN mediator in Jammu and Kashmir (1950) over the border dispute between India and Pakistan. Regarded as one of the greatest judges in the common law world, he was awarded the OM in 1963. In 1965 he declined appointment as Governor General.
Ayres, P., Owen Dixon. 2003.
Djilas, Milovan (1911–1995). Yugoslav politician and author. One of the most active of the partisans during World War II he was, when *Tito came to power, at first the most trusted and certainly the most intellectually gifted of his lieutenants. He backed Tito in breaking with the Cominform but in 1954 he fell into disfavour for advocating greater democracy and in 1956 was imprisoned for supporting the Hungarian uprising. In 1957 he published The New Class, highly critical of communism in practice. He was subsequently imprisoned again for ‘revealing official secrets’ in his book Conversations with Stalin (published outside Yugoslavia in 1962).
Dobell, Sir William (1899–1970). Australian painter. Trained in London, influenced by *Renoir and *Soutine, he was Australia’s leading portrait and landscape artist in the 1940s and 1950s.
Dodd, Charles Harold (1884–1973). English Congregational clergyman and biblical scholar. Professor of divinity at Cambridge University 1935–49, he had the general direction of the work of translation required for The New English Bible (New Testament published 1961, Old Testament and Apocrypha 1970).
Dodge, John Francis (1864–1920) and Horace Elgin Dodge (1868–1920). American manufacturers, both born in Michigan. John was a manager, Horace an engineer. Originally components manufacturers for Henry *Ford, they became heavy investors in Ford’s company. In 1914 they began manufacturing under their own names. Both died of influenza and in 1928 their firm was bought by the *Chrysler Corporation, which used the Dodge brand name for trucks and, later, compacts.
Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge see Carroll, Lewis
Dodsley, Robert (1703–1764). English publisher. While in service as a footman he was encouraged to write by Daniel *Defoe. He published poems and plays, on the profits of the first of which, The Toyshop (1735), produced at Covent Garden, he established himself as a bookseller and publisher of (among others) *Pope, Lord *Chesterfield, *Goldsmith, *Gray, *Sterne and Dr *Johnson, in whose Dictionary he had a share. In 1758, with Edmund *Burke, he founded the Annual Register.
Doherty, Peter Charles (1940– ). Australian immunologist, born in Brisbane. Trained as a veterinarian at the University of Queensland, he took his PhD in Edinburgh, worked at The Australian National University and in Memphis, Tennessee and shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Rolf Zinkernagel (1944– ) for their research on how T cells recognise target antigens in combination with MHC (major histocompatibility complex) proteins. He was a Laureate Professor in Microbiology and Immunology at Melbourne University 2002– and the author of several books, including The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize (2005), A Light History of Hot Air (2007) and Seasonal Chickens (2012). He was a vigorous contributor to public debate.
Dohnányi, Ernö (1877–1960). Hungarian composer, pianist and conductor, born in Pozsony. A friend and promoter of *Bartók, he was director of the Budapest Academy 1919 and 1934–41, and became musical director of Hungarian broadcasting 1931–34. His earlier music, notably the Rhapsodies for Piano and the Cello Sonata, was strongly influenced by *Brahms. His most popular works are Variations on a Nursery Song (1919) and Ruralia Hungarica (1926). He lived in the US from 1948.
During World War II, he stayed in Hungary then in Austria, leading to unsubstantiated accusations of Fascist collaboration. Long investigation confirmed that he acted very courageously to protect Jews, and was not in the Richard *Strauss class. He became a US citizen after the war, lived and taught in Florida and (like Bartók) died in New York.
His son, Hans von Dohnányi (1902–1945), grew up in Germany after his parents divorced and became a lawyer. He worked in the German administration, but became active in the resistance, and was involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler (20 July 1944). He was condemned by the SS and hanged on a piano wire, as was his brother-in-law Dietrich *Bonhoeffer. Hans’ son Christoph von Dohnányi (1929– ) became conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra 1984–2002.
Dolci, Danilo (1924–1997). Italian social worker. He studied architecture in Rome but from 1952 devoted himself to a campaign for better living conditions in Sicily. He not only denounced economic extortion by landlords and Mafia terrorists but showed by his own example, and that of his fellow workers, how the poor could improve their own lot by shaking off their fatalistic lethargy, by improving methods of work and by mutual help. He survived many attempts upon his life.
Mangione, J., World Around Danilo Dolci: A Passion for Sicilians. 1973.
Dole, Bob (Robert Joseph) (1923– ). American Republican politician, born in Russell, Kansas. Severely wounded in World War II, he became an attorney and was a US Congressman 1961–69, Senator from Kansas 1969–96, *Ford’s vice presidential candidate (1976), and Republican Senate Leader 1985–96. He sought the Republican nomination for President in 1980 and 1988, winning it in 1996, but losing to Bill *Clinton. His wife Elizabeth Dole, née Hanford (1936– ), also an attorney, was US Secretary of Transportation 1983–87 and for Labor 1989–90. She was President of the American Red Cross 1991–98, and a US senator 2003–09.
Dolin, Sir Anton (real name Patrick Healey Kay) (1904–1981). British ballet dancer, choreographer and writer. He studied ballet under *Nijinsky and was premier danseur with the Old Vic Sadler’s Wells Company 1931–35. Later, with Alicia *Markova, he formed the Markova-Dolin Ballet (1935–5l).
Doll, Sir (William) Richard Shaboe (1912–2005). English physician and epidemiologist. Educated in London, he was an architect of the National Health Service. His research, with Bradford Hill and Richard Peto, demonstrated the link between smoking and lung cancer. He also worked on radiation and asbestos as carcinogenic agents. Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford 1969–79, he received a CH in 1996.
Dollfuss, Engelbert (1892–1934). Austrian politician. Of peasant origin, a devout Catholic, only 150 cm tall, he was decorated for bravery and became a prisoner in World War I, graduated LLD from Vienna University and worked for the Chamber of Agriculture. He became a leader of the Christian Social (CS) Party, and was Minister for Agriculture 1931–34, Foreign Minister 1932–34 and Chancellor 1932–34. Nationalist and anti-Semitic, he developed Austro-fascism, which was corporatist and Catholic, with affinities to the Italian and Portuguese models. Faced with the fierce hostility of Socialists and Nazis, both, by their resort to violence, providing him with justification for raising a private army and for dictatorial rule. His ruthless shelling (1934) of the flats of Viennese workers and his flouting of democratic sentiment deprived him of the help and sympathy of those who might have been his staunchest allies against the Nazis, by whom he was murdered, during an attempted coup d’état. He was known as the ‘pocket chancellor’.
Brook-Shepherd, G., Dollfuss. 1961.
Dolmetsch, (Eugene) Arnold (1858–1940). British musician and instrument maker, born in France. He was a great authority on early music and musical instruments, who settled (1917) with his family at Haslemere, in Surrey, where he demonstrated that composers’ works could be best appreciated if played upon the instruments for which they were composed. His sons continued his work; Carl Dolmetsch (1911–1997) was a noted recorder player.
Domagk, Gerhard (1895–1964). German biochemist. One of the pioneers of chemotherapy, in 1934 he discovered the antibacterial action of the red dye prontone, demonstrated that the effective agent was the sulphanilamide that prontone produced in the body, and thus showed the way for the application of a wide range of sulphanilamide drugs. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1939), but declined it on instructions from the Nazi government.
Domènech i Montaner, Lluis (1850–1923). Spanish (Catalan) architect, born in Barcelona. His World Heritage listed buildings in Barcelona include the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital of St Pau.
Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri) (1581–1641). Italian painter, born in Bologna. He went to Rome (1602), assisted Annibale *Carracci in the decoration of the Farnese Gallery but was soon accepting commissions on his own. He carried on the traditions of the Carraccis but developed a more severely classical style for the many ceilings and murals that he worked on in Rome and Naples. His most ambitious achievement was for the choir (1624–28) of S. Andrea della Valle, Rome.
Domingo, Placido (1941– ). Spanish opera singer, born in Madrid. Brought up in Mexico, where he made his debut (1961), he sang at the New York Met from 1968 and Covent Garden from 1969. He achieved great success in the major dramatic roles in *Verdi’s operas. He was also an able operatic conductor and appeared in films.
Dominic, St (Domingo de Guzman) (c.1170–1221). Spanish (Castilian) priest and founder of the Dominican Order, born in Caleruega. He became a canon of Osma Cathedral. In 1205 he adopted voluntary poverty, in his missionary journeys, to convert the Albigensians (Cathars) of Languedoc, and he gathered a group of followers round him. He played an ambiguous role in Pope *Innocent III’s savage Crusade against the Albigensians 1209–15. He attended the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and petitioned Innocent for permission to establish an Order of Preachers (OP: known as the ‘Black Friars’) for the conversion of heretics. He established his headquarters in Toulouse. Told that the order must follow an existing rule he chose that of St Augustine, but he soon adopted absolute poverty, so that in fact a new order of mendicant friars came into being. To equip the friars for their task of preaching, an elaborate educational system was evolved. Each ‘house’ contained a doctor of theology, each province contained one or more houses for advanced studies and selected students were sent to the universities. In 1220 a new constitution was drawn up. The priors, who ruled the ‘houses’, were grouped under provincial priors subject to a master general. The legislative and disciplinary bodies were ‘chapters’, mainly elected, the supreme body being the annual general chapter, for which a complicated system was created to ensure that it was efficient and representative. This departure from the authoritarian rule of former religious orders was unique. Dominic died at Bologna, and was canonised in 1234. He saw the Order as a body of learned and ascetic defenders of the faith, and he was the first to put intellectual work as the first requirement of a friar. Dominic remains intensely controversial: was he attractive and open or closed and repellant? He is sometimes—but wrongly—credited with inventing the rosary.
Vicaire, M. H., Saint Dominic and His Times. 1964.
Domitian (Titus Flavius Domitianus) (51–96). Roman Emperor 81–96. He was a son of the emperor *Vespasian, a younger brother of *Titus, and the last of the Flavian dynasty. He fought defensively and, on the whole successfully on the German and Danubian frontiers, and his administration of Italy and the provinces was efficient. As his reign progressed, however, he not only persecuted Jews and Christians but developed suspicions of any who seemed capable of aspiring to power. The employment of informers followed by murders and confiscations provoked a palace conspiracy in which he was assassinated.
Donatello (Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi) (1386/7–1466). Florentine sculptor. The greatest sculptor before *Michelangelo, he also exerted great influence on the painters of the Paduan School and even on the Venetians. He introduced the ‘heroic’ style of sculpture, figures slightly larger than life infused with that feeling of determination and force so closely associated with the early Renaissance, and first exemplified in his St Mark (1412). His relief of St George killing the Dragon (c.1417) is the earliest datable example of the application of the new theory of perspective to sculpture. A further example is his very low relief in bronze of Salome (in Siena). His bronze, David, is one of the earliest free-standing nudes.
He was apprenticed to *Ghiberti, whom he helped (1403) to carve the doors of the Baptistery, and shortly after was working on the Cathedral in Florence on which he continued to work intermittently for the next 30 years. He also worked at times in Rome and Padua. In his later years Donatello experimented with expressionistic and dramatic distortion, e.g. the Magdalen in carved wood (c.1445) which inspired the tense and dramatic quality of Florentine painting of the period.
Dongen, Kees (originally Cornelis Theodoris Maria) van (1877–1968). Dutch-French painter, born in Rotterdam. He lived in Paris from 1897, was briefly in the Fauves, then moved to Monaco and painted many figure studies and portraits.
Dönitz, Karl (1891–1980). German sailor. A submarine commander in World War I, as a firm adherent of *Hitler he played an important part in the secret building of a submarine fleet in the years preceding World War II, in which he directed the submarine campaign with ruthlessness, administrative efficiency and tactical skill. In 1943 he became Grand Admiral and succeeded *Raeder as naval Commander-in-Chief. Hitler named him his successor and he was thus nominally head of state when Germany surrendered. He was condemned to 10 years’ imprisonment by the Nuremberg court for war crimes.
Dönitz, K., Memoirs. 1959.
Donizetti, Gaetano (1797–1848). Italian opera composer, born at Bergamo. His early work reflected *Rossini’s influence but he developed a more personal style. He composed about 70 operas (the total is uncertain, because many were reworked and renamed), including three set in Tudor England: Anna Bolena (1830, his first great success), Maria Stuarda (1834) and Roberto Devereux (1837). The most performed, Lucia di Lammermoor (1835), was based on a novel by Walter *Scott. Among the best known are L’elisir d’amore (1832), Lucrezia Borgia (1833), La Favorita (1840), Don Pasquale and Maria di Rohan (both 1843). He suffered from syphilis, becoming paralysed and insane.
Ashbrook, W., Donizetti. 1965.
Donleavy, J(ames) P(atrick) (1926–2017). Irish-American novelist, born in New York City. Trained in Dublin as a microbiologist, his novels include The Ginger Man (1955, also a play 1959), A Singular Man (1963), The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B (1968), The Onion Eaters (1971) and Leila (1983) and Wrong Information Is Being Given Out at Princeton (1998).
Donne, John (1571–1631). English poet and cleric, born in London. The son of a merchant, and, through his mother, grandson of the dramatist John *Heywood, he was brought up among adherents of Roman Catholicism, which he rejected in his twenties. He studied at both Oxford and Cambridge, and later at Lincoln’s Inn, soon gaining a reputation as a man-about-town of profligacy, wit and much learning. He sailed with *Essex against Cadiz in 1596 and again in 1597, in 1598 he became secretary to Lord Egerton, whose niece, the 16-year-old Ann More, he secretly married. He served briefly as MP 1602–03, 1614–15. With no dowry and a constant succession of children the couple lived in great poverty until, having become a fervent believer in Anglicanism, at last in 1615 he took holy orders. He now attained a new reputation as a great preacher, becoming Dean of St Paul’s in 1621.
His poetry is inspired by the phases of his life and is sensual, passionate, witty, subtle and deeply religious. The metrical form of the stanza is rough, the imagery vivid:
Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root …
‘I runne to Death, and Death meets me as fast, and all my Pleasures are like Yesterday’ is in his ‘Holy Sonnet VII’, and the famous passage beginning, ‘No man is an island entire of itself’, concluding with ‘Never send to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee’ is in his ‘Meditation XVII’. ‘A Hymn to God the Father’ turns on the punning in the name/ word ‘Donne/done’. He is regarded as the greatest of the English metaphysical poets.
Keynes, G. L., A Bibliography of Dr John Donne. 1964; Lim, K., John Donne. An Eternity of Song. 2005; Stubbs, J., Donne. The Reformed Soul. 2006.
Donskoy, Mark Semyonovich (1901–1981). Russian film director. After studying medicine and law, he worked in film under *Eisenstein and became a director, achieving his greatest critical success with the trilogy based on Maksim *Gorki’s autobiography: My Childhood (1938), My Apprenticeship (1939) and My Universities (1940)
Doolittle, Hilda (1886–1961). American poet (pen name H. D.). One of the first, and most consistent, Imagist poets writing in English, she was a notable Greek scholar and the classical influence is apparent in her work. She married Richard *Aldington in 1913. They lived in France and divorced in 1937.
Guest, B., Herself Defined. The Poet H.D. and Her World. 1985.
Doolittle, James Harold (1896–1993). American airman. After service as a flying officer in World War I, he won renown by his victory in the Schneider Trophy of 1925. As a civilian (from 1930) he became known as a test pilot and for aerobatic feats. Recalled to the service in World War II, he led the first raid on Tokyo (April 1942), a spectacular achievement which brought a series of promotions, culminating with the appointment to command of the 8th US Air Force (1944). After the war he was a businessman involved in insurance, oil and aeronautics.
Doppler, Christian Johann (1803–1853). Austrian mathematical physicist. He became professor of mathematics at Prague (1841) and professor of experimental physics at Vienna (1850). Although he wrote a number of mathematical works, his name is associated mainly with his contributions to physics. In 1842 he described in principle the phenomenon (later verified experimentally) now known as the ‘Doppler effect’—that the pitch of sound (a siren, for example) rises as the source approaches the hearer and falls with increasing distance. He also hypothesised that stars would have a violet shift as they approached, a red shift as they receded, work confirmed by Armand Fizeau and William *Huggins.
Doré, Gustave (1832–1883). French artist. Famous for his book illustrations, early success came with his illustrations for *Balzac’s Contes drolatiques. Other works he illustrated include *Dante’s Inferno and Paradiso, *Cervantes’ Don Quixote and *Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. In his Paris studios he employed at times as many as 40 assistants working on his woodcuts. His style was often sensational and macabre. The drawings done for London (1871), which influenced Van *Gogh, are held to be his best work.
Rose, M., Gustave Dore. 1945.
Doria, Andrea (1468–1560). Genoese soldier and statesman. Born of a noble family, he became a mercenary in the service of the papacy, Naples, and other Italian states. He also restored Genoese rule in Corsica. After the expulsion of the French King *Louis XII from Italy he restored the Genoese republic (1512), but entered French service (1522) when *François I again imposed his suzerainty. A quarrel over François’ treatment of Genoa caused Doria to change sides and put his services and the Genoese fleet at the disposal of François’ rival for power in Italy, the emperor *Charles V. Now the virtual autocrat in a restored Genoese republic, Doria was engaged for several years in fighting the Muslim pirates of the Barbary Coast, in the course of which he captured Tunis (1535).
Doriot, Jacques (1885–1945). French collaborator. Elected as a Communist Deputy in 1924, and Mayor of St Denis in 1931, he broke with the Left in 1934 and became a strong supporter of *Hitler. He was killed in an air raid.
Dornier, Claude (1884–1969). German aircraft pioneer and builder, born in Kempten. Leaving Munich technical college he began work for Ferdinand von *Zeppelin, in his airship factory at Friedrichshafen (1910) and in 1911 designed the first all-metal aeroplane. Zeppelin allowed him to establish a separate factory, the Dornier Aircraft Works. After World War I during which wooden and metal fighter planes built to his design were used, Dornier was given complete control of his factory. During the 1920s he built very successful seaplanes. In 1929 he produced DOX, then the world’s largest aircraft, although not a financial success, with 12 engines and a passenger capacity of 169. Dornier twin-engined bombers became standard Luftwaffe type in World War II. After the war Dornier moved to Spain because aircraft building was prohibited in Germany by the Allies. When the ban was lifted in 1955 he opened a factory near Munich which produced US designed ‘Starfighters’.
Dorsey, Jack Patrick (1976– ). American computer programmer, born in Missouri. He developed web programs for the despatch of taxis and coordinating emergency services. With ‘Biz’ *Stone, he was the co-founder of Twitter in 2006.
Dos Passos, John Rodrigo (1896–1970). American novelist, born in Chicago. Educated at Harvard College, he was an ambulance driver in World War I. Three Soldiers (1921) was a powerful novel about war. His best known work is the trilogy U.S.A., consisting of The 42nd Parallel (1930), Nineteen Nineteen (1932) and The Big Money (1936). With a quickly moving, constantly switching technique of the cinema in these and later books he expresses his concern with the cultural, social and political developments of the ‘American way of life’. Originally on the far left, he moved steadily to the right and campaigned for *Goldwater and *Nixon.
Wrenn, J. H., John Dos Passos. 1961.
Dost Mohammed Khan (1793–1863). Amir of Afghanistan 1826–63, known as the ‘Great Amir’. In 1839 he was overthrown by the British. Having regained power in 1842, he eventually (1855) made a treaty of friendship with the British, after they had defeated the Afghans’ hereditary enemies, the Sikhs.
Dostoevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821–1881). Russian novelist, born in Moscow. His father, a doctor, was murdered (1839) by his serfs at his country home, an event that haunted Dostoevsky all his life. He studied at the Military Engineering College at St Petersburg but resigned (1844) to take up a literary career. His first novel Poor Folk (1846), achieved considerable success. Disaster overtook him when he was arrested (1849) on a charge of sedition (on the flimsiest of grounds) and condemned to be shot. He was already facing the firing squad when a reprieve arrived. He had to endure four years as a convict and two of exile in Siberia which undermined his health, an experience he described in his Memoirs from the House of the Dead (1861). On his return from exile he engaged in journalistic enterprises which failed and left him deep in debt a state aggravated by his passion for gambling. The unhappy marriage which he had contracted while in Siberia ended in 1863 on the death of his wife. In 1865 he travelled to Germany with a young woman, Polina Suslova, to retrieve his fortune by an ‘infallible’ method of winning at roulette which, of course, failed. On his return he set about writing a potboiler to satisfy his creditors (The Gambler). He engaged Anna Snitken as stenographer and soon married her. They had again to go abroad to avoid creditors, a humiliating time for Dostoevsky. His wife gradually restored order to his finances and they returned to Russia. In his later years he evolved a peculiar Slavophilism compounded of hatred for aristocrats and socialists alike, and of religious obsessions. However, even in his lifetime he won recognition both inside and outside Russia as a great novelist.
His greatest novels are Crime and Punishment (1866) and the unfinished Brothers Karamazov (1881). *Freud called Karamazov ‘the most magnificent novel ever written’. Dostoevsky probed more deeply into the mind than any previous novelist, especially into the abnormal and criminal mind. His other novels include Memoirs from the Underworld (1864), The Idiot (1869) and The Devils (The Possessed) (1871–72).
Dostoevsky and *Tolstoy, close contemporaries, had a distinctly uneasy non-relationship, with different perspectives, mutually suspicious, eyeing each other off from the distance like two old bears. Curiously, they never met. Dostoevsky declared his admiration for Tolstoy, but Tolstoy professed indifference until just before he died. Dostoevsky would have been less than human not to have resented Tolstoy for his energy, health, Olympian bearing, confidence, wealth and fame, while he was epileptic, deeply depressive, a compulsive gambler and often in penury.
During the Soviet era, Dostoevsky was dismissed as neurotic, morbid, mystical and reactionary, potentially anti-Soviet. As George *Steiner wrote: ‘Dostoevsky came to be recognised as a dangerous foe, as an engenderer of subversion and heresy … Tolstoy, on the contrary, was securely enshrined in the revolutionary pantheon …’
Steiner, G., Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. 1958; Grossman, L., Dostoevsky. 1974; Frank, J., Dostoevsky 4 vols, 1976ff, incomplete; Frank, J., Dostoevsky 5 vols, 1976–2002, 1 vol. condensation 2009; Coetzee, J. M., The Master of Petersburg. 1994.
Doubleday, Abner (1819–1893). American general. For many years he was credited with inventing (1839) the game of baseball at Cooperstown, NY, but revisionists now assert that the game is a variant of the English ‘rounders’ and that the modern rules were set in 1845 by Alexander Jay Cartwright. In the Civil War, Doubleday’s troops fired the first shots at Fort Sumter, SC (1861) and he commanded a corps at Gettysburg.
Doughty, Charles Montagu (1843–1926). English author and traveller. To write Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888), he mastered Arabic and lived (1876–78) among the tribesmen, disguised as an Arab. The book is written in a consciously archaic style. He also wrote verse dramas and epic poems, e.g. Adam Cast Forth (1908) and The Dawn in Britain (1906).
Douglas, Lord Alfred Bruce (1870–1945). British poet. Son of the 8th Marquess of *Queensberry, he is chiefly remembered for his association with Oscar *Wilde, leading to his trial and imprisonment. He was a lyric poet of some attainment.
Hyde, H. M., Lord Alfred Douglas. 1984.
Douglas, Clifford Hugh (1879–1952). British economist. An engineer, known by his military rank of major, he published in 1919 his economic theory (Social Credit), intended to overcome the chronic shortage of purchasing power which he held to be the cause of economic depression. The method to be adopted was a carefully regulated distribution of money which he called a ‘national dividend’. Douglas attracted many followers, especially in Canada. Social Credit governments held office in Alberta 1935–71 and British Colombia 1952–72, 1975–86 but adopted few of Douglas’s policies.
Douglas, Donald Wills (1892–1981). American aircraft manufacturer. In 1920 he founded the Douglas Aircraft Company, and produced his first aeroplane, the Cloudster, in 1922. The Douglas Commercial (DC) series began with DC-1 (1933). The DC-3 (1935) was phenomenally successful, some aircraft remaining in service for more than 40 years. The ‘Dakota’, one of the safest and most widely used aircraft for military and civilian transport during and after World War II, was a development of the DC3. Douglas lost market share to *Boeing which adopted jet engines earlier and was merged with the McDonnell Company in 1967. The DC-9 rivals the Boeing 737 in medium haul aviation, but Boeing’s 747 (‘Jumbo’) was far more successful than the DC-10 for intercontinental flights.
Douglas, Gavin (c.1475–1522). Scottish poet and prelate. Third son of the 5th Earl of Angus, after the disaster at Flodden he joined the English faction and was appointed Bishop of Dunkeld (1515), but after the French party had regained power (1520) he had to retire to England where he died of the plague. He wrote moral allegories (The Palice of Honour and King Hart), but his fame rests on his verse translation into Scots of *Virgil’s Aeneid, said to be the first rendering of a classical work into any form of English.
Douglas, (George) Norman (1868–1952). Scottish writer. After three years (from 1893) in the diplomatic service, he went to live in Italy and settled on the island of Capri, the ‘Nepenthe’ of his famous novel South Wind (1917), a witty, amoral story of the interplay of character in a small community. His travel books, e.g. Old Calabria (1919), are scholarly, while the author portrays himself in Looking Back (2 vols, 1933).
Greenlees, I., Norman Douglas. 1957.
Douglas, Sir Roger Owen (1937– ). New Zealand accountant and politician. A Labour MP 1969–90, he was Minister of Broadcasting 1973–75 (under *Kirk), and an intensely controversial Minister of Finance 1984–88 (under *Lange). He introduced free-market Thatcherite economic changes (known as ‘Rogernomics’), cutting tariffs, deregulating the labour market, introducing a Goods and Services Tax (GST), and reducing government expenditure. He clashed with Lange, virtually forcing his resignation (1989). In 1993 he founded the ACT (Association of Consumers and Taxpayers) and was again MP 2008–11.
Douglas, Stephen Arnold (1813–1861). American Democratic politician, born in Vermont. He moved to Illinois, becoming a judge at the age of 27. He served in the US House of Representatives 1843–47 and Senate 1847–61. His interest in westward expansion made him demand that the Nebraska-Kansas region should be opened to settlement and that it should be left to the settlers to decide whether slaves should be introduced. This attitude cost him the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1852 and 1856 though he retained his seat as senator for Illinois in a contest with Lincoln (1858) and was nominated for the presidency in 1860. The Democratic party was split three ways and in the election, Lincoln, the candidate of the new Republican Party, which opposed extending slavery, won.
Johannsen, R. W., Stephen A. Douglas. 1973.
Douglas, T(homas) C(lement) (1904–1986). Canadian politician, born in Scotland. He became a Baptist minister in Saskatchewan and was a Member of the Canadian House of Commons 1935–44, 1961–79. He founded the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and as Premier of Saskatchewan 1944–61 led North America’s first socialist government. He was Federal Leader of the New Democratic Party 1961–71.
Douglas, William O(rville) (1898–1980). American jurist. Professor of law at Yale University 1931–39, he was a prominent supporter of civil rights and the New Deal. His appointment as a justice of the US Supreme Court (1939) by President Roosevelt aroused considerable controversy. He served a record term, retiring in 1975 after a stroke.
Douglas-Home, Sir Alec see Home, Alec Douglas-, Baron Home of the Hirsel
Douglass, Frederick (Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey) (1817?–1895). American abolitionist, born in Maryland. Son of a slave mother and a white father, he escaped from slavery (1838) and devoted himself to the anti-slavery movement. His autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, first published in 1845, was constantly updated. In the Civil War he organised black units to help the northern army and campaigned for the rest of his life for civil rights for blacks. He was an early advocate of female suffrage. He filled government posts in Washington DC, and was Minister to Haiti 1889–91.
Douglass, F., The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. 1947; Bontemps, A., Free at Last. 1971.
Doumer, Paul (1857–1932). French radical politician. A deputy 1889–96 and 1902–12, and senator 1912–31, he served as Minister of Finance 1895–96, 1921–22 and 1925–26. As Governor-General of Indo-China 1897–1902, he set up a centralised administration which survived until 1945. President of the Senate 1927–31, he became 13th President of the Republic 1931–32, defeating *Briand. He was assassinated by a Russian anarchist, Paul Gorgulov.
Doumergue, Gaston (1863–1937). French politician. Elected as a radical socialist deputy in 1893, he moved steadily to the right, serving as Premier 1913–14, 1934, President of the Senate 1923–24, and President of the Republic 1924–31.
Dowding, Hugh Caswell Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron (1882–1970). British airman. His life as a pilot began in 1914 when as a young artillery officer he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. In 1919 he became a group captain in the RAF. Thereafter he held important administrative posts until in 1936 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Fighter Command. He held this post until 1940, when his brilliantly successful direction of the Battle of Britain proved the efficiency of the plans he had already prepared. He fell out with *Churchill, was eased out of the RAF, and received a barony in 1943 as a consolation prize.
Wright, R., Dowding and the Battle of Britain. 1969.
Dowland, John (1563–1626). Anglo-Irish composer, singer and lutenist, possibly born in Dublin. His First Booke of Songs or Ayres of Foure Partes with Tableture for the Lute appeared in 1597, running to five editions by 1613. His second and third books of airs appeared while he was abroad (1600, 1603). He was a highly paid musician at the court of Christian IV of Denmark 1598–1606, then from 1612 played for *James I. His second Lachrymae, accounted some of the finest instrumental consort music of the time. He is now remembered chiefly for his songs, among the most beautiful ever written, including ‘Flow my tears...’, ‘Come heavy sleep...’ and ‘Come again’.
Downer, Alexander John Gosse (1951– ). Australian Liberal politician, born in Adelaide. From a patrician political family, he worked as an economist in a bank, then as a diplomat, until election as a Member of the House of Representatives 1984–2008. Briefly Leader of the Opposition 1994–95, under John *Howard he was Australia’s longest serving minister for foreign affairs 1996–2007. He was High Commissioner to the United Kingdom 2014– .
Downing, Sir George (1623?–1684). English soldier and diplomat. He served in *Cromwell’s army in Scotland and was prominent among those who offered Cromwell the crown. He was British resident at the Hague under Cromwell and *Charles II. From the sale of estates left by his grandson, Sir George Downing (1684?–1749), Downing College, Cambridge, was founded, after whom Downing Street, Whitehall is named. No. 10 Downing Street became the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury/Prime Minister in 1735.
Doxiadis, Constantinos Apostolos (1913–1975). Greek architect and city planner, born in Bulgaria. He became an architect in the 1930s, served in the Greek underground during World War II and was administrator of Marshall Plan aid in Greece (1947–5l). A change of government and breakdown in health led Doxiadis to migrate to Australia where his architectural qualifications were not recognised. While working as a farmer in Western Australia (1951–52) he devised the principles of ekistics (the science of human settlements). After returning to Europe he won an international reputation for his prophetic work on the coming world city ‘Ecumenopolis’, needed to accommodate the population explosion. He was commissioned to design or restore many cities, e.g. Islamabad, Khartoum, Louisville (Ky.), and parts of Philadelphia and Washington DC. He founded his own university in Athens.
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan (1859–1930). British novelist, born in Edinburgh. He graduated in medicine at Edinburgh and there encountered Dr Joseph Bell whose methods of deductive reasoning reappeared in Doyle’s fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. After practising medicine in Southsea (1882–90) he turned to authorship, and in A Study in Scarlet (1887) he introduced Holmes and his friend Dr Watson. The short stories of which the detective was the hero first appeared in the Strand Magazine and were collected as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1891) and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894). In the last tale Holmes (of whom his author was wearying) fell off a cliff but popular demand led Conan Doyle to retrieve him for The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1904), His Last Bow (1918) and The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes (1928). Doyle himself regarded more highly his historical novels, e.g. The White Company (1891) and Brigadier Gerard (1896). In later life he became a convinced spiritualist and wrote a History of Spiritualism (1926).
Pearson, H., Conan Doyle: His Life and Art. 1961.
Doyle, Richard (1824–1883). British caricaturist, painter and illustrator, born in London. The son of John Doyle (1797–1868), a famous caricaturist, he was taught by his father, and at 15, published the Eglington Tournament or The Days of Chivalry Revived. From 1843 he was a regular contributor to Punch. He illustrated many books, e.g. *Thackeray’s The Newcomes and *Dickens’ Christmas books, and painted landscapes, in particular, fantastic fairyland scenes, in water colour and oils, e.g. In Fairyland, Pictures of the Elf-World.
Hambourg, D., Richard Doyle. 1948.
D’Oyly Carte, Richard see Carte, Richard D’Oyly
Drabble, Dame Margaret (1939– ). English novelist, biographer and editor, born in Sheffield. Educated at Cambridge, she was a sister of the novelist A. S. *Byatt, and married (Sir) Michael Holroyd, biographer of G. B. *Shaw. Her novels include The Millstone (1965), The Middle Ground (1980), The Radiant Way (1987) and The Gates of Ivory (1991). She edited The Oxford Companion to English Literature (1985).
Draco (7th century BCE). Athenian lawmaker. The word ‘draconian’ preserves his memory. His code of laws (621 BCE) was of such severity that even laziness was punishable by death.
Drake, Sir Francis (c.1540–1596). English sailor, explorer, privateer and slave trader, born in Tavistock, Devon. From 1565 he took part in expeditions organised and led by his kinsman, Sir John *Hawkins, to carry slaves from West Africa to the West Indies. Later he was active in the unofficial sea war with Spain secretly encouraged by Queen *Elizabeth, who shared in the plunder but denounced it as piracy if occasion demanded. On one such voyage he raided Spanish settlements on the Panama Isthmus (1572) and was the first Englishman to sight the Pacific. He aimed to reach this ocean when he set out with four small ships in December 1577. Two were still with him when (August 1578) he entered the Straits of Magellan, but when at last after being driven south he was able to sail northward up the South American coast he was, through the loss of one vessel and the return of the other, reduced to a single ship. After provisioning himself from coastal settlements and capturing a rich prize, he crossed the Pacific, eventually reached Java and headed for the Cape of Good Hope and home, which he reached in September 1580, having been the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Despite Spanish protests, Elizabeth knighted him on board his ship. After another voyage to the Indies in search of plunder (1585–86), in the course of which he picked up and brought back 180 disillusioned colonists from Virginia, he turned to the task of forestalling the Armada by destroying as many Spanish ships as he could before they sailed. In 1587 he ‘singed the King of Spain’s beard’ by entering Cadiz harbour and destroying, without loss, 33 enemy ships. When the Armada finally appeared (1588) Drake, who according to the familiar story was playing bowls at Plymouth, declared that there was time ‘to win this game and to thrash the Spaniards too’. As Vice Admiral he commanded a division of the English fleet, out-fought the enemy in the Channel (he captured the Rosario off Portland) and later pursued them northwards up the east coast. The next few years were peaceful but in 1595 he left with Hawkins for the West Indies on a last unsuccessful voyage, but both died of dysentery. Drake was buried at sea in the Caribbean, off Portobelo, Panama. Drake Passage (Spanish: Pasaje de Drake), connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, is named for him.
Williams, N., Francis Drake. 1973; Sugden, J., Sir Francis Drake. 1990; Cummins, J., Francis Drake. 1995.
Drayton, Michael (1563–1631). English poet, born in Warwickshire. He owed support and education to the patronage of Sir Henry Goodere, whose daughter Anne was named ‘Idea’ in his sonnets. Already as a child he was writing verse and in time attempted almost every kind of verse, eclogues in the manner of *Spenser, pastorals, odes, sonnets (including the famous ‘Since there’s no help, come let us kiss and part’), historical poems (e.g. Piers Gaveston, c.1593), imaginary exchanges of letters in verse between such famous lovers as *Henry II and Fair Rosamund and finally the unique Poly-olbion (i.e. having many blessings, 1612–22), a poetic topographical survey of England.
Berthelot, J. A., Drayton. 1961.
Dreiser, Theodore (1871–1945). American novelist, born in Indiana. Brought up in a poor and strict religious family, his own sexual repression and experience as a reporter of sordid life in St Louis, Chicago, New York and other cities gave him an insight into the problems of sex and ambition which are the themes for his frank and realistic novels, which offended his contemporaries. His first novel, Sister Carrie, appeared in 1900 and was followed by e.g. Jennie Gerhardt (1911), The Genius (1915) and his best known work, An American Tragedy (1925), which tells how obsession with sex and money leads a weak-willed boy to plan murder. He also wrote several autobiographical works, e.g. A Book about Myself (1922). Dreiser’s later socialism inspired his Tragic America (1931).
Swanberg, W. A., Dreiser. 1965.
Dresser, Christopher (1834–1904). British product designer, born in Glasgow. Trained as a botanist, with a PhD from Jena, he pioneered design as an essential aspect of mass production in furniture, metalwork, ceramics, glassware, carpets and wallpaper, and was attacked by *Ruskin.
Dreyfus, Alfred (1859–1935). French soldier, born in Mulhouse. Victim of a famous miscarriage of justice, son of a Jewish industrialist, at the time of the affaire (1894) he was an army captain in the War Office, suspected of being the author of a letter (known as the bordereau and extracted from the German Embassy by a French agent) announcing the dispatch to the German military attaché of certain secret documents. On flimsy evidence based on similarity of handwriting Dreyfus was arrested, found guilty of ‘collusion with a foreign power’, sentenced to life imprisonment, stripped of his rank, degraded and transported to Devil’s Island, remaining there 1895–99. In 1896 evidence was found by Colonel Georges Picquart indicating that the real culprit was Major Ferdinand Walsin *Esterhazy. Anti-Semitic prejudice in the army, combined with the effect on discipline of admitting the facts, prevented the case being reopened. A massive counter-campaign, in the course of which Émile *Zola wrote his famous open letter J’accuse, at last secured a retrial (1899). By the use of forged documents Dreyfus was again found guilty, but President *Loubet at once ordered a pardon and his release, subject to an implicit admission of guilt. In 1906 after a full review held in Rennes, his conviction was finally quashed and Dreyfus was restored to his army rank. He took part in World War I. In 1930 the published papers of Colonel Schwarzkoppen, the German military attaché of the time, confirmed Esterhazy’s guilt.
Chapman, G., The Dreyfus Trials. 1972; Read, P. P., The Dreyfus Affair. 2012.
Drinkwater, John (1882–1937). English dramatist, poet, actor and critic, born in Birmingham. One of the leading Georgian poets, now unread, he was a co-founder of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and wrote some successful historical plays, notably Abraham Lincoln (1918), which was filmed (1930) by D. W. *Griffith. He wrote two volumes of autobiography, Inheritance (1931) and Discovery (1932).
Drucker, Peter F(erdinand) (1909–2005). American social scientist, born in Vienna. In the US from 1937, he taught in New York and California and wrote important texts on management, shrewdly predicting major social changes: they included The Age of Discontinuity (1969) and Management for the Future (1992).
Drummond, (James) Eric, 16th Earl of Perth (1876–1951). British diplomat. After serving as private secretary to H. H. *Asquith, Sir Edward *Grey and A. J. *Balfour, he was the first Secretary-General of the League of Nations 1919–33, became Ambassador to Italy 1933–39 and succeeded to his peerage in 1937.
Drummond, William (1585–1649). Scottish poet. Known as ‘Drummond of Hawthornden’, he studied at Edinburgh and abroad and succeeded his father as laird of Hawthornden in 1610. He was a Royalist and Episcopalian, though he played no active political part, and became the friend of Michael *Drayton and Ben *Jonson, whose visit to Hawthornden in the winter of 1618–19 is recalled in Drummond’s lively Conversations. He wrote learned and ornate verses, religious, amatory and pastoral, in a style that belongs rather to the age of Spenser than to his own and which derives from his study of Petrarch and the Pléiade (*Ronsard). His best known prose work is The Cypress Grove (1623), a meditation on death. He also wrote a history of Scotland.
Fogle, F. R., A Critical Study of William Drummond. 1952.
Dryden, John (1631–1700). English poet and dramatist, born in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire. From a well established family, he was educated at Westminster, under the famous Dr Richard Busby and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He seems to have had some secretarial post in *Cromwell’s Government but was quite ready to welcome *Charles II (Astraea Redux, 1660) and was a consistent Tory for the rest of his life. His marriage (1663) to Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the Earl of Berkshire and sister of his friend Sir Robert Howard, the dramatist, assured his place in the literary world. He retired to his father-in-law’s house in the country in the plague year of 1665 and remained there to write Annus Mirabilis (1667), which relates the events of the Dutch War of 1665–66 and the Great Fire. In 1668 he became Poet Laureate. He had already written plays, but the success of The Indian Emperor (1667), a tragedy about the love of *Montezuma’s daughter for *Cortez, the conqueror of Mexico, encouraged him to continue, and over 20 plays, tragedies, comedies and satires followed. The one best remembered is All for Love (1678), a version of the Antony and Cleopatra story. His earlier plays were written in rhyming couplets. This was his first in blank verse.
In 1679 he was attacked and beaten in the street as a result of another of his activities, political satire. His best known poem in this field is the allegorical mock-epic Absolam and Achitophel (1681), in which the title parts represent *Monmouth and *Shaftesbury. Charles II is David, *Buckingham is Zimri and so on. Many of Dryden’s best lyrical poems appear as songs in his plays, but he also wrote odes, including Alexander’s Feast (1679), which he thought the best of his poetry. His Hind and the Panther (1678) indicated his conversion to Roman Catholicism which, after the expulsion of *James II, cost him his laureateship. His much admired translation of *Virgil’s The Aeneid (1697) remains in print. Much of his voluminous prose writing was on historical subjects or literary criticism, his Essay on Dramatic Poesie was published as early as 1668. His last major work was a collection of Fables (1699), of which the preface is a fine example of late 17th-century prose. Dryden’s greatness was fully acknowledged by the time of his death and he was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Myers, W., Dryden. 1973.
Drysdale, Sir (George) Russell (1912–1981). Australian painter, born in Sussex to an Anglo-Australian pastoral family. His spare, harsh landscapes captured the outback and the people who lived there.
Du Barry, Marie Jeanne Bécu, Countess (1743–1793). French mistress. She was a dressmaker’s daughter who rose to fortune by her good looks and vivacity. Her association with *Louis XV lasted from 1769 until his death (1774) but she took no part in politics. On the outbreak of the Revolution (1789) she fled to England but rashly returned in 1793, when she was arrested and guillotined.
Laski, P. M., Trial and Execution of Madame du Barry. 1969.
Dubcek, Alexander (1921–1992). Czechoslovak politician, born in Uhrovec, Slovakia. Partly educated in Russia, he became a factory worker, joined the resistance movement in World War II and fought in the 1944–45 Slovak uprising against the Germans. After World War II he graduated in law and worked his way up in the CP hierarchy. In 1960 he was appointed industrial secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and in 1962 made a full member of the Presidium. He replaced Karol Bacilek as Slovak Communist Party leader in 1963 and was Czechoslovak party leader 1967–69. After student riots in Prague in 1968, President Antonin Novotny resigned, and in the so-called ‘Prague spring’ Dubcek offered ‘socialism with a human face’, granted press freedom and rehabilitated political victims of the Stalinist years. On 9 April 1968 a reform program entitled ‘Czechoslovakia’s Road to Socialism’ was announced and these moves aroused Soviet concern about a possible domino effect in Eastern Europe. The *‘Brezhnev Doctrine’, asserting that the USSR had the right to intervene in the affairs of its satellites, led to immediate invasion. Dubcek was replaced as Secretary-General of the CP by Gustav Husak, made Ambassador to Turkey 1969–70, expelled from the CP (1970) and worked in the forestry industry (1971–88). After the ‘velvet revolution’ of 1989 (*Havel), Dubcek became President of the Federal Parliament 1990–91.
Shawcross, W., Dubcek. 1970.
Du Bellay, Joachim (1522–1560). French poet. Born to a noble family, he became a leader of the group of poets called the Pléiade (*Ronsard). He wrote many ardent and melancholic Petrarchan love sonnets and an important literary treatise, La Deffence et illustration de la langue françoyse (1549), the manifesto of the Pléiade. He was the friend and fellow student of Ronsard.
Du Bois, W(illiam) E(dward) B(urghardt) (1868–1963). American scholar and black civil rights leader, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He taught economics and history at Atlanta University (1897–1910) and devoted himself to sociological research into blacks in America. He published Souls of Black Folk (1903) in which he opposed Booker T. *Washington’s accommodation strategy and in 1905 founded the Niagara Movement, whose members, black intellectuals, agitated for African-American rights. This merged with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which he helped form. He was editor of its journal, Crisis, but resigned from the movement in 1934, to return to writing and teaching. However, he rejoined the NAACP in 1944 as research director. His membership of the Communist party dated from 1961 and in 1962 he emigrated to Accra, Ghana, and renounced US citizenship. Earlier he had advocated independence for African colonies.
Weinberg, M. (ed.), W. E. B. Du Bois: A Reader. 1970.
Du Bois-Reymond, Emil Heinrich (1818–1896). German scientist. His early researches were into the well-known phenomenon of discharges from electric fish. He then moved on to investigate the presence of electrical charges in nervous impulses in general, particularly in muscle contractions. By devising ever more sensitive apparatus he was able to detect discharges in very localised muscle tissues, and he laid the foundations for almost all subsequent work in electro-physiology. He had strongly held views about scientific metaphysics. He condemned the vitalist beliefs that were prevalent in Germany in his day, denied that Nature contained life-forces independent of matter, insisting that all force resided at some place in the material world.
Dubos, René (Jules) (1901–1982). French-American microbiologist. Working at Rockefeller University from 1927, he conducted early research into the isolation of antibacterial substances from various soil micro-organisms, which led to the discovery of major antibiotics. His publications included Bacterial and Mycotic Infections in Man (1948), Pasteur and A Modern Medicine (1960) and Man, Medicine, and Environment (1968). He was editor of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. He won the Pulitzer Prize for So Human an Animal (1968) and coined the maxim: ‘Think globally, act locally.’
Dubuffet, Jean (1901–1985) French painter, born in Le Havre. He worked in the wine trade until 1942, then developed his own art brut, influenced by *Klee and the Surrealists, rough, dreamy and often child-like collages.
Duccio di Buoninsegna (c.1255–c.1319). Italian (Sienese) painter. His influence on the Sienese school was comparable with that of *Giotto in Florence. He has been called ‘the last and greatest representative of the Byzantine tradition’, but he imparted to his figures a liveliness and individuality quite unlike Byzantine portraiture. Duccio was a master of narrative, his finest work, the Maestà, painted for Siena Cathedral, consisting of 26 scenes from the Passion of Christ. He used much gold and surface pattern. An earlier work of his, the Rucellai Madonna, in Florence, was once ascribed to *Cimabue.
Duchamp, Marcel (1887–1968). French-American painter. Associated with several modern movements including Futurism and Cubism, he became one of the leading Dadaists, the anti-aesthetics, anti-‘art’ protesters and precursors of Surrealism. His Nude Descending a Staircase (two versions, 1913) caused a sensation in New York in 1913. He lived in the US from 1915 and spent eight years working on The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors Even (1915–23, Philadelphia), a famous and controversial 3–metre high glass and metal composition. He became an American citizen in 1955.
Lebel, R., Marcel Duchamp. 1959.
Dudamel (Ramirez), Gustavo Adolfo (1981– ). Venezuelan conductor and violinist. He was an outstanding product of El Sistema, the music education program begun in 1975 by José Antonio Abreu (1939–2018) and which has trained many thousands of young instrumentalists to professional standards, Dudamel conducted the Simón Bolívar Orchestra 1999– and was appointed as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic 2009– .
Dudley, Edmund (c.1462–1510). English lawyer. One of the main instruments through whom *Henry VII made his financial exactions, he was executed by *Henry VIII. His son, John Dudley, became Duke of *Northumberland. John’s elder son, Lord Guildford Dudley, married and shared the fate of Lady Jane *Grey, and his younger son became Elizabeth’s favourite, the Earl of *Leicester.
Dufay, Guillaume (c.1400–1474). Flemish composer, probably born in Hainaut. Founder of the Burgundian School, a chorister at Cambrai Cathedral (1409), c.1420 he entered the service of Carlo Malatesta of Rimini, and in 1428 became a member of the Papal Choir at Rome. As a canon of Cambrai (from 1426), he supervised the cathedral music. The greatest composer of his time of Church and secular music, he created the style which is characteristic of the Burgundian composers and links late medieval music with that of the Renaissance, and the later Franco-Flemish composers. His works include 87 motets, 59 French chansons and seven Masses.
Dufferin and Ava, Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of (1826–1902). British politician and diplomat, born in Florence. A great-grandson of *Sheridan, he was educated at Eton and Oxford, held junior office under *Russell, *Palmerston and *Gladstone, and was Governor-General of Canada 1872–78 and Ambassador to Russia 1879–81. As Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire 1881–84, he went to Egypt and was involved in the reconstruction (*Cromer) after the defeat of Arabi Pasha’s rebellion (1882). As Viceroy of India 1884–88, he dealt diplomatically with the Russian threat through Afghanistan and was confronted with the quarrel with King Thibaw of Upper Burma, which led to that country’s annexation. His career ended with two more ambassadorial posts, in Rome 1888–91 and Paris 1891–96. He died under a cloud after the collapse of the London and Globe Finance Corporation (1901), which he chaired.
Du Fu (Tu Fu) (712–770). Chinese poet, born in Honan Province. He came from a family of scholars and public servants under the Tang dynasty but failed examinations and suffered professional frustration, isolation and poverty. He met and admired *Li Bo and may have been a Daoist. Generally considered the greatest of all Chinese poets, his densely packed ‘regulated verse’ is full of haunting images, such as his self-description as a ‘shabby parrot’.
Hung, W. Tu Fu, China’s Greatest Poet. 1952.
Dufy, Raoul (1877–1953). French painter. One of the original ‘Fauves’ (*Derain, *Matisse), Dufy was noted for his varied use of colour, lively subjects (e.g. race meetings, regattas, flag-bedecked streets) and simplified form. He also designed wall decorations, textiles and ceramics. His drawing is swift and calligraphic. His La Fée electricité (1936–37), the world’s biggest mural (60m x 10m), is now in the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris.
Cogniat, R., Raoul Dufy. 1962.
Du Gard, Roger Martin (1881–1958). French novelist and dramatist. He won the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature for his long series of novels about middle-class life in France, Les Thibault (1922–40).
Du Guesclin, Bertrand see Guesclin, Bertrand du
Duhamel, Georges (1884–1966). French novelist. He studied medicine, and his La Vie des Martyrs (1917) describes his experiences as an army surgeon in World War I. Among his best known novels are those in the Chronique des Pasquier (10 vols, 1933–43), in which every character in the circle of the Pasquier family is portrayed with observation, humour and understanding. Duhamel was elected to the Académie française in 1935.
Dukakis, Michael Stanley (1933– ). American Democratic politician. Of Greek descent, he was educated at Harvard, became a lawyer and lectured at Harvard 1979–82. He was Governor of Massachusetts 1975–79, 1983–91, and defeated Jesse *Jackson to win the Democratic nomination for president in 1988. He was beaten by George H. W. *Bush.
Dukas, Paul Abraham (1865–1935). French composer. He studied and afterwards taught (1910–13, 1928–35) at the Paris Conservatoire. The orchestral piece The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1897) is his best known work. The opera Ariadne and Bluebeard (1907), based on *Maeterlinck’s play, and the dance-poem La Peri (1912) are still performed.
Dulles, John Foster (1888–1959). American lawyer and diplomat, born in Washington. Son of a Presbyterian minister, he was educated at Princeton University and the Sorbonne. Two relatives were Secretary of State: his grandfather John W. Foster and uncle Robert *Lansing. He practised law in New York from 1911 but developed a keen interest in foreign affairs, in which, through a number of official and unofficial posts, he gradually became an acknowledged expert. Though a Republican he was employed (1950–51) by President *Truman to negotiate the treaty with Japan, and when *Eisenhower won the presidency he became Secretary of State 1953–59. His resistance to any concession to the communist countries, carried sometimes to the brink of war (hence the word ‘brinkmanship’ applied to his tactics) sometimes alarmed his allies, whose interests (e.g. at Suez) he did not appear to support with such fervour as they felt themselves entitled to expect. Cancer forced him to resign. His son, Avery Robert Dulles (1918–2008), became a Catholic, a Jesuit theologian and a Cardinal. His brother, Allan Welsh Dulles (1893–1969), was director of the Central Intelligence Agency, 1953–61.
Hooper, T., The Devil and John Foster Dulles. 1973.
Dumas, Alexandre (1803–1870). French novelist, known as Dumas père. His father, illegitimate son of the Marquis de la Pailleterie, dropped this name for that of Dumas, the name of Alexandre’s mother, a woman of Negro descent. His father was a general in the Revolutionary armies who left his family in poverty. Alexandre came to Paris to seek his fortune, which he achieved with a number of long-forgotten historical melodramas. From 1836 he turned to historical romances and built up what amounted to a factory for their production. In a single year (1844) it is said that more than 40 complete works were issued. 1500 novels were published under his name, most by hackwriters (his nègres). Dumas used his astonishing fertility of invention to supply plots, outline the sequence of events and write any purple passages that were required: a motley and changing collection of assistants did the rest. Nevertheless the best of his books have that remarkable gusto and vitality, which are Dumas’ own special contribution. Foremost are The Three Musketeers (1844) with its sequels Twenty Years After (1845) and The Viscount of Bragelonne (1850). Of almost equal popularity are The Count of Monte Cristo (1845), The Man in the Iron Mask (1845), The Queen’s Necklace and Black Tulip (both of 1848). His vitality spread to other fields, he travelled widely, made love prodigiously, and took part in the wars of Italian reunification (1859–60).
Craig Bell, A., Alexandre Dumas. 1950.
Dumas, Alexandre (1825–1894). French playwright, known as Dumas fils. Illegitimate son of the elder *Dumas, of the many successful plays he wrote between 1852 and 1887, only one, the first (which began as a novel), La Dame aux Camelias (1852), is still remembered. It is the affecting love story of a dying courtesan, and later provided a magnificent part for Sarah *Bernhardt, and Greta *Garbo on film. *Verdi’s opera La Traviata (1853) was based on the play. Although, like his father, the younger Dumas led an irregular life, all his plays point a moral, made abundantly clear (from 1867) in provocative prefaces. Dumas fils was elected to the Académie française in 1875.
Du Maurier, Dame Daphne (1907–1989). English novelist and playwright, born in London. Daughter of Sir Gerald *Du Maurier, in 1932 she married (Sir) Frederick Browning, later a general. Her sexuality is mysterious but she and her father had a mutual obsession. Her novels, usually stories with a Gothic or menacing theme are mostly set in Cornwall, where she lived. They include The Loving Spirit (1931), her first, and Rebecca (1938), her most successful. Alfred *Hitchcock filmed Jamaica Inn (1939), Rebecca (1940) and The Birds (1963) and Nicolas Roeg Don’t Look Now (1973). Other works (some also filmed) include Frenchman’s Creek (1942), My Cousin Rachel (1951), The Scapegoat (1957) and her father’s biography Gerald (1934).
Du Maurier, George Louis Palmella Busson (1834–1896). English novelist and cartoonist, born in Paris. In London from 1860, he illustrated several books and became a cartoonist on Punch. He also wrote the novels Peter Ibbetson (1892) and Trilby (1894), the story of the hypnotist Svengali, later dramatised and filmed several times. His son, Sir Gerald Du Maurier (1873–1934), was a famous London theatrical manager and actor, knighted in 1923, noted for his delicate understatement in comedies.
Ormond, L., George du Maurier. 1969.
Dumont d’Urville, Jules-Sebastian-César (1790–1842). French navigator and naturalist. He brought the Venus de Milo to France (1820) and *Charles X to England (1830). He explored the Pacific (1826–29) and Antarctic waters (1838–39, 1840), sighting Terre Adélie, named for his wife. He was killed, with his family, at Meudon in France’s first major railway accident.
Dumouriez, Charles François (1739–1823). French soldier. He served with distinction in the Seven Years War, but it is as the general who saved Revolutionary France from the Prussians and Austrians that he is remembered. By skilful manoeuvres he stemmed the enemy onrush in Champagne and after he had successfully withstood the Prussian cannonade at Valmy (September 1792) he forced a retreat. He followed this up with a victory (November 1792) at Jemappes near Mons, which put the Austrian Netherlands (Belgium) in French power, but in the next year he was defeated near the Belgian village of Neerwinden and, in fear of the consequences, defected to the enemy, settling in England in 1804.
Dunant, (Jean) Henry (or Henri) (1828–1910). Swiss philanthropist, born in Geneva. Founder of the Red Cross, he organised emergency aid services for those wounded in the Battle of Solferino (1859), and proposed in Un Souvenir de Solferino (1862) the formation of voluntary relief societies in all countries. He also advocated an international agreement relating to war wounded. In February 1863 the International Committee of the Red Cross was established and the first conference, with representation from 16 nations, was held in October. The first Geneva Convention was adopted in August 1864.
Dunant was regarded as too ambitious and idealistic by pragmatists on the committee and he became isolated. His business ventures in Algeria collapsed, he was forced into bankruptcy in 1867 and left Geneva, never to return, living in Paris 1870–74. He founded the Common Relief Society and the Common Alliance for Order and Civilization. He argued for the abolition of slavery, disarmament, creating an international court arbitration, fair treatment of prisoners of war, the creation of an independent Palestine and a ‘world library’, which anticipated both UNESCO and the internet. Originally a Calvinist, he became deeply anti-clerical.
Between 1875 and 1895, he was isolated, forgotten, and assumed dead. From 1892 he lived alone in a nursing home at Heiden, where he died, and which is now a museum. He was ‘rediscovered’ by a newspaper interview in 1895, which was reprinted throughout Europe. He received many honours and shared the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, with Frédéric *Passy, a pacifist. He spent none of his prize money. He was, understandably, paranoid and depressive in his last decades, pursued by creditors. He insisted that there should be no funeral ceremony: ‘I wish to be carried to my grave like a dog … I am a disciple of Christ as in the first century, and nothing more.’ He was buried in Zürich.
The Henry Dunant Medal, created in 1963, funded by Australia, is the highest international award by Red Cross.
Pandit, H. N., The Red Cross and Henry Dunant. 1969.
Dunbar, William (c.1460–c.1530). Scottish poet. Little is known of his early life except what can be deduced from his poems. He was most probably a Franciscan friar whose wanderings as a mendicant friar took him to England and France. Later (c.1500) as a secular priest he entered the service of *James IV: in 1501 he accompanied the diplomatic mission to London that negotiated the king’s marriage to *Henry VII’s daughter Margaret, whom in 1503 he welcomed to Scotland with the allegorical poem The Thrissil and the Rois (The Thistle and the Rose). An increase in his pension is mentioned in 1510 but after that nothing certain is known. The Dance of the Seven Deadly Sins is the best known of his other allegories. An elegy, The Lament for the Makers (i.e. poets), mourns the death of *Chaucer and his successors. Dunbar was a metrical artist, who wrote with vigour, enjoyment and with humour, sometimes of a Rabelaisian kind.
Scott, T., Dunbar. 1966.
Duncan I (c.1001–c.1040). King of Scots 1034–40. He succeeded his grandfather, Malcolm II, but little is known of him except for his murder by *Macbeth, which provided the theme for *Shakespeare’s tragedy.
Duncan, Isadora (1878–1927). American dancer. She lived in Europe from 1906 and her interpretative dancing, with bare feet and in flowing draperies, caused a sensation, as did her eccentric behaviour. She married the Russian poet Sergei *Yesenin (1922) but they separated in 1923. She died in an accident when her scarf caught in the wheel of a moving car.
Duncan, I., Isadora. 1968.
Dundee, John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount (known as ‘Bonnie Dundee’) (1649–1689). Scottish soldier. He won the name ‘Bonnie Dundee’ when, after the revolution that brought *William III and *Mary to the throne, he raised the Highlanders in the cause of *James II. At the battle fought in the pass of Killiecrankie, Perthshire, he out-manoeuvred and out-fought the enemy but was killed in the moment of victory. Earlier in his career the Scottish Presbyterians, whom he harried by order of the royal government, had bestowed on him the sobriquet of ‘Bloody Claverhouse’, but he does not seem to have shown exceptional cruelty by the standards of the time.
Scott, A.M., Bonnie Dundee. 1989.
Dundonald 10th Earl see Cochrane, Thomas
Dunlop, Sir (Ernest) Edward (‘Weary’) (1907–1993). Australian surgeon. He acquired heroic status for his leadership of Australian prisoners of war held by the Japanese in Java and on the Thailand-Burma railway, recorded in The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop (1986). He urged reconciliation with the Japanese and closer links between Australia and Asia.
Ebury, S., Weary; the Life of Sir Edward Dunlop. 1995.
Dunlop, John Boyd (1840–1921). Scottish inventor. Originally a veterinary surgeon, he invented (1887) the first successful pneumatic tyre, made of rubber tubing bound with linen tape, as a result of trying to improve one of his son’s toys. The invention was patented in 1888 and in 1889 he was associated with Harvey du Gros (to whom he later assigned the patent) in setting up a factory in Dublin. Dunlop himself never made a large sum from his invention, nor was he closely associated with its development.
Dunois, Jean d’Orléans, Comte de (1402–1468). French soldier. Natural son of Louis, brother of *Charles VI, he was known as the ‘Bastard of Orléans’. Comrade-in-arms of *Joan of Arc, he was the most successful of the French leaders who fought the English in France. He defended Orléans until the French, inspired by Joan, forced the English to raise the siege, and, in 1429, won with her the Battle of Patay. After Joan’s death he took Chartres, freed Paris, and had soon reduced the English hold on France to Normandy and Guienne; the former he regained in 1448–50, the latter in 1455.
Duns Scotus, Johannes (c.1265–1308). Scottish theologian, born near Roxburgh. He joined (c.1280) the Franciscans at Dumfries and was ordained priest at Northampton in 1291. By this time he seems to have been studying at Oxford and spent almost all the rest of his life studying or teaching there and in Paris and, briefly, just before he died, at Cologne. His work consisted mainly of commentaries on the Bible, *Aristotle and the Sentences of Peter *Lombard. He gained an immense reputation for learning and owed his appellation doctor subtilis to the manner in which he criticised Thomas *Aquinas’s views concerning the harmony of faith and reason. He argued that assent to such concepts as the immortality of the soul cannot be attained by reason but must spring from a wish to believe. In theology he was orthodox and gave the strongest support to the doctrine of the Virgin Mary’s Immaculate Conception. Realism was the basis of his philosophy and he accepted the theory that a universal matter forms a common basis of everything that exists. His followers assailed the new learning of Renaissance humanists and in turn were attacked for pedantry and casuistry. The word ‘dunce’, derived from his name, thus unfairly came to mean a blockhead.
Dunstable (or Dunstaple), John (d.c.1453). English composer. He worked for the English courts in England and France, under the patronage of the Duke of *Bedford. Rhythmically and harmonically radical, interested in mathematics and astrology, he challenged *Pythagoras’ harmony by writing chords using 3rds and 6ths.
Dunstan, St (c.924–988). English prelate and statesman, born at Glastonbury. Abbot of Glastonbury for many years, after *Athelstan’s death (939), Dunstan’s advice was constantly sought by his successors, but it was only when *Edgar became king (959) that, as Archbishop of Canterbury, he attained full power. A great scholar himself, he encouraged education, but his greatest achievements were the revival of monasticism and association of the monasteries with the life of the lay community. The peace and prosperity associated with Edgar’s reign was largely due to Dunstan’s influence.
Duckett, E. S., Saint Dunstan of Canterbury. 1955.
Dunstan, Don(ald Allan) (1926–1999). Australian Labor politician, born in Fiji. Premier of South Australia 1967–68, 1970–79 he had a national reputation as a reformer, campaigning against White Australia, sexual discrimination and the death penalty, and promoting Aboriginal causes, multiculturalism and the arts.
Duparc, (Marie Eugène) Henri (1848–1933). French composer. He studied law, then composition under *Franck, and destroyed all his works except for 13 magnificent songs (1868–84). From the age of 36 he was crippled by hyperaesthesia and withdrew to the country, maintaining an interest in literature, painting and his family.
Dupleix, Joseph François (1697–1763). French administrator. When he was 23 years old his father, a shareholder in the French East India Company, arranged for him to be given a post on the Council at Pondicherry, the company’s headquarters near Madras. He was so successful there, and later in Bengal, that in 1741 he was made Governor-General of all the French Indies. He now set about the fulfilment of his great ambition of creating a French empire in India. To this end he impressed the Indians by adopting oriental luxury, intervened in the local intrigues and supported, with diplomacy and troops, rulers in Hyderabad and the Carnatic upon whom he could rely. War between France and England, and Clive’s military victories, transformed the situation and as Dupleix’s difficulties increased his enemies in Paris became increasingly active until in 1754 he was recalled. He died in 1763 with reputation tarnished and fortune gone.
Du Pont, Eleuthère Irénée (1771–1834). American industrialist, founder of the chemical firm. His father, a French economist,Pierre Samuel du Pont (1739–1817), took him and the rest of his family to America in 1799. In 1801 Eleuthère started a gunpowder mill at Wilmington, Delaware, which grew into the vast industrial combine of E. I. Du Pont de Nemours, which now manufactures a great array of chemical and allied products ranging from explosives to paints, plastics, synthetic fibres, etc.
Durant, William C(rapo) (1861–1947). American industrialist. A speculator and promoter, he worked with David *Buick and founded General Motors in 1908 as a cooperative, decentralised competitor to *Ford, including such brand names as Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile. He lost control of GM (1920) and the corporation had to be rescued by the *du Ponts.
Durant, Will(iam James) (1885–1981). American historian. Educated at Columbia University, his The Story of Philosophy (1926) became a bestseller. His 11–volume series The Story of Civilization (1935–75), completed with his wife Ariel Durant (née Chaya Kaufman) (1898–1981), was detailed, comprehensive, analytical, tolerant and readable, reflecting their socialist utopianism.
Dürer, Albrecht (1471–1528). German painter and engraver, born in Nuremberg. Son of an immigrant Hungarian goldsmith, he was apprenticed to Martin Wolgemut, a painter and engraver. He travelled widely in Germany from 1490 to 1494, returning to Nuremberg to marry Agnes Frey. He first became famous for his engavings, woodcuts and book illustrations, then for his paintings. His Self-portrait (1498), now in the Prado, is an assured, even arrogant, masterpiece showing confidence in his capacity and social standing. Most of his life was spent in Nuremberg, except for visits to Venice (1494–95 and 1505–07), after which his paintings (e.g. the Rosenkranz altar-piece, and The Ascension of the Virgin and the later ‘Four Apostles’, now in Munich), show the marked influence of Venetian painters such as Giovanni *Bellini. The best of his portraits suggest the simplicity of sculpture, and his characterisation can, at least, be compared with that of *Holbein.
In general, Dürer stands between the Gothic and Renaissance periods, more interested in new techniques than new subjects. This is especially evident in his woodcuts and engravings, where the medieval preoccupation with the macabre is often combined with mathematical exactitude in reproducing the proportions of the human figure and a mastery of perspective. By a number of technical improvements he was able, too, to give a much greater flexibility to these branches of his art. His most important engravings include The Knight, Death and the Devil (1513), Melancholia (Melencolia I) and St Jerome in His Study (both 1514). In woodcuts he abandons the colour of tradition and achieves contrast by making the figures stand out from a hatched background. He used the woodcut process even for pictures of great size. The Triumphal Arch of the Emperor contained 92 blocks and was over 3m. high. His output was enormous, with book illustrating and designing for the fine arts to be added to his other works. In addition, over 1000 drawings exist in the great public collections of the world. His animal and plant studies in watercolour are the first known. He wrote treatises on artistic theory, and a diary.
Wölfflin, H., The Art of Albrecht Dürer. 1971; Campbell-Hutchinson, J., Albrecht Dürer: A Biography. 1990; Bartrum, J., Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy. 2002; Wolf, N., Albrecht Dürer. 2010.
Durham, John George Lambton, 1st Earl of (1792–1840). British politician and administrator. He came of an old Durham family and was MP for the county 1813–28, when he was created a baron (the earldom came in 1833). ‘Radical Jack’, as he came to be called, was one of the most progressive members in the Cabinet of his father-in-law, the Whig leader Lord *Grey, and he took a prominent part in the drafting of the Reform Bill (1832). After a short spell as Ambassador to Russia 1835–37, he was appointed Governor-General of the provinces of Canada (1838) with a mission to report and advise on the situation arising from the French-Canadian rebellion. E. G. *Wakefield was one of his advisers. The famous Durham Report (1839) recommended the union of Upper and Lower Canada, as a means of integrating the English and French, and local self-government for all the provinces. He also envisaged the federation of the provinces, which took place in 1867.
Cooper, L., Radical Jack. 1959.
Durrell, Lawrence George (1912–1990). British novelist and poet. He spent part of his youth in Corfu, and during World War II was a press officer in several parts of the Middle East. This background helped him to write a highly successful series of novels The Alexandria Quartet (1956–59) beginning with Justine, which gave a vivid and atmospheric portrayal of Alexandria, and some of the odder personalities among its inhabitants. His brother Gerald Durrell (1925–1995), author and naturalist, wrote My Family and Other Animals (1956) and similar books describing their life in Corfu. He founded the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust in 1963.
Dürrenmatt, Friedrich (1921–1990). Swiss playwright and novelist. His tragi-comic plays include Romulus the Great (1949), The Marriage of Mr. Mississippi (1952), The Visit (1956) and The Physicists (1962).
Duryea, Charles Edgar (1861–1938) and J(ames) Frank (1869–1967). American automobile pioneers and inventors, born in Illinois. In September 1893, in Springfield, Mass., the brothers produced the first US motor vehicle, with a one-cylinder internal combustion engine, just ahead of Henry *Ford. The brothers quarrelled bitterly with each other over claims to priority.
Duse, Eleonora (1859–1924). Italian actor. She came of a family of Venetian actors, appeared on the stage at the age of four, played Juliet when she was 14, and at the age of 20 was acclaimed as great. Thereafter, whether in Italy or in the capitals and great cities of the world, where she frequently toured, her fame was rivalled only by that of Sarah *Bernhardt. She thought *Ibsen the greatest dramatist of her time and played many of his parts, *Maeterlinck’s plays too, attracted her, while her love for the poet Gabriele *d’Annunzio, the subject of his novel Il Fuoco (1900), made her the ideal interpreter of his dramatic poems.
Signorelli, O., Eleonora Duse. 1959.
Duterte, Rodrigo Rao (also known as Digong) (1945– ). Filipino lawyer and politician. He boasted of his role in extra-judicial killings of suspected drug offenders, became Mayor of Davao City 2013–16 and a popular hero. He was President of the Philippines 2016– , the oldest person to have been elected, and the first from Mindinao. His claims to have killed drug dealers seem to have been exaggerated.
Dutilleux, Henri (1916–2013). French composer. His music, reflecting the influences of *Debussy, *Ravel, *Stravinsky and *Bartók, brilliantly orchestrated and imaginative, includes a violin concerto written for Isaac *Stern, a cello concerto for *Rostropovich, two symphonies, chamber music, piano works, song cycles and Mystère de l’instant (1989) for strings, percussion and cembalon.
Dutton, Peter Craig (1970– ). Australian Liberal politician, born in Brisbane. After service in the Queensland police, he was a Federal MP 2001– and a Minister under *Abbott, *Turnbull and *Morrison. He took a hard line on asylum seekers, became an icon of the Right, challenged Turnbull’s prime ministership but lost narrowly to Scott Morrison.
Duval, Claude (1643–1670). French highwayman. He went to England at the restoration of *Charles II, and by the gallant manner and daring with which he carried out his robberies became a hero of ballad and legend. He was hanged at Tyburn.
Duvalier, François (1907–1971). Haitian politician. Known as ‘Papa Doc’, and a physician by profession, he did much good work in combating malaria before entering politics. Before becoming President (the sixth in 10 months) in 1957 he had held the ministries of Labour and Public Health. Once in power his personality seemed to change. He violated the constitution by extending his term of office, became increasingly dictatorial in his methods and, unable to trust the army, he raised a force of brutal police known as the Tonton Macoute (‘bogeymen’), to bolster his reign of terror. His son Jean-Claude Duvalier (1951–2014), known as ‘Baby Doc’, succeeded as President for Life 1971–86, moderated his father’s excesses but was exiled (February 1986).
Diederich, B. and Burt, A., Papa Doc! Haiti and its Dictator François Duvalier. 1972.
Duveen, Joseph, 1st Baron Duveen (1869–1939). English art dealer. The business of his father, Sir Joseph Joel Duveen (1843–1908), who had added a wing to the Tate Gallery and presented many pictures to the nation, was greatly extended by the son, who achieved an almost legendary success in inducing European owners to sell, and wealthy Americans to buy, many of the most important pictures in the world still in private possession. He continued the family tradition of making munificent gifts to British public collections and received his peerage in 1933.
Behrman, S. N., Duveen. 1952; Secrest, M., Duveen: A Life in Art. 2005.
Dvořák, Antonin Leopold (1841–1904). Czech (Bohemian) composer, born near Prague. Son of a butcher and innkeeper, he was familiar from boyhood with the folk music of the countryside. He showed early musical talent, was taught the organ piano and viola by his schoolmaster, was accepted as a pupil at the Prague Organ School (later the Conservatoire), and at 21 became a viola player (under *Smetana) in the orchestra of the National Theatre. His overture to an opera, King and Collier, secured him his first public recognition. From 1880 he was a friend of *Brahms, who admired his early works and helped to secure their publication. In his vigorous and warmly emotional music, Dvořák made much use of Czech folk dances. His Slavonic Rhapsodies became extremely popular and were performed throughout Europe and America. From 1884 he visited England seven times and wrote The Spectral Bridge, the Requiem, an oratorio, St Ludmilla, and his Symphony No. 8 in G Major especially for English audiences. In 1892–95 he was director of the New York National Conservatorium. To this period belong the best known of his nine symphonies, No. 5 (now known as No.9) in E Minor. From the New World (1893), contains reminiscences of Negro themes. He directed the Prague Conservatoire 1901–04 and wrote 14 operas, few still in the repertoire. However, *Wagner’s works encouraged a late revival of interest with Dimitrij (1882), Jacobin (1897), Kate and the Devil (1899), Rusalka (1900) and Armida (1903). He wrote 12 string quartets, the exhilarating Piano Quintet No. 2 (1887), many songs, e.g. Songs my mother taught me, religious music, e.g. Stabat Mater (1883), and a Cello Concerto (1895), the greatest in the repertoire.
Hughes, G., Dvořák. His Life and Music. 1967.
Dyck, Sir Anthony Van see Van Dyck, Sir Anthony
Dyer, Reginald Edward Harry (1864–1927). British soldier, born in Murree, Pakistan. He rose to the rank of brigadier in the Indian army. In April 1919, in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, following a general strike, Dyer ordered his troops, without provocation or warning, to machine gun crowds at a festival in the Jallianwala Bagh gardens. There was a high death toll: 379 in the British account, more than 1000 in the Indian. The Amritsar massacre transformed *Gandhi’s role and he began his campaign to end British rule in India. Dyer had strong imperialist supporters in Britain, but was censured and forced to retire in 1920. Even *Churchill condemned him, but *Kipling remained a supporter.
Wagner, W. A., Amritsar 1919: An Empire of Fear and the Making of a Massacre. 2019.
Dylan, Bob (real name Robert Zimmerman) (1941– ). American singer and composer, born in Duluth. Minnesota. After a turbulent childhood, he travelled round the country, imitating the folk singer Woody Guthrie in his life and singing style. He adopted his professional name from the poet Dylan *Thomas. He first performed professionally in coffeehouses, but was not recognised as a musician of real talent until the release of his first record albums (1962–64). Two of his songs, Blowin’ in the Wind and The Times They are A Changin’ were adopted by the civil rights movement. His melodies and angry and sometimes cynical lyrics were tremendously popular and he became a cult figure. Some of his songs were considered by critics to be serious poetry (e.g. in Highway 61 Revisited, 1965). In 1965 he adopted electronic instruments and a new musical form: folk rock. After a motorcycle accident, he released an album John Wesley Harding (1968) which furthered his growing tendency to introspection and used country and western arrangements, as did his Nashville Skyline (1969). The 1970s saw what some consider to be some of his finest mature work, e.g. in the albums Blood on The Tracks (1974) and Desire (1975). In 1979 Dylan, now divorced, professed himself to be a Christian. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature 2016 ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’, he was slow to acknowledge it.
Grey, M., Song and Dance Man. 1973.
Dyson, Sir Frank Watson (1868–1939). English astronomer. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he worked on the distribution and movement of the stars and with the structure of the universe. As Astronomer Royal 1910–33, he persuaded the BBC (1924) to broadcast the six pip signals that were the first accurate time checks available to the general public. In observing an eclipse of the sun in Brazil in 1919 he tested and confirmed *Einstein’s theory of the effect of gravity on the path of light.
Dyson, Sir James (1947– ). English inventor and industrial designer. His inventions include the ‘dual cyclone’ bagless vacuum cleaner, the air-blade hand dryer and a hairdryer. Elected FRS in 2015 and given the OM in 2016, he supported Brexit.
Dzerzhinsky, Felix Edmundovich (1877–1926). Russian Communist politician. Of Polish noble descent, he was imprisoned for revolutionary activities several times, and was the first head of the post-revolutionary secret police (Cheka) 1917–24, and of its successors the OGPU and GPU.