Dictionary of World Biography
Gable, Clark (1901–1960). American film star. His casual and debonair charm, edged sometimes with a cynical aplomb, made him a box-office star. Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939) were two of his most memorable roles. For his light-hearted and amusing part in It Happened One Night (1934) he won an Academy Award.
Gabo, Naum Neemia (originally Pevsner) (1890–1977). Russian-American sculptor, born in Bryansk. With his brother Antoine Pevsner (1886–1962), he was a pioneer of constructivist sculpture, rejecting traditional materials in favour of stainless steel, glass, plastic and wire. He left Russia in 1922 and lived in the US from 1946.
Gabor, Dennis (1900–1979). Hungarian-British electronic engineer, born in Budapest. The inventor of holography, he worked as a research engineer for an electrical company in Berlin from 1927, left Germany in 1933 and moved to England. He first developed holography (three-dimensional imagery) in 1947, but it did not become a commercial proposition until the invention of the laser (1960) provided the necessary light coherence. He was elected FRS (1956), made a CBE (1970) and awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics (1971) for his invention of holography. He wrote many books on scientific and social subjects including Inventing the Future (1963).
Gaboriau, Émile (1835–1873). French writer. Celebrated as a pioneer of the detective novel, L’Affaire Lerouge (1866) was his first great success and created the detective Lecoq.
Gabrieli, Andrea (c.1520–1586) and Giovanni (c.1556–1612). Venetian organists and composers. Uncle and nephew, Andrea was first singer and then organist at St Mark’s. He studied composition with the cathedral’s musical director Adriaan Willaert. He wrote madrigals, and ceremonial music for choir and instruments. Giovanni succeeded his uncle as second organist at St Mark’s (Andrea having become first organist) in 1585. His two main publications were the Sacrae Symphoniae of 1597 and 1615. He is credited with introducing a new approach to orchestration, in that he directed, in detail, the specific instruments and types of voice to be used. Both composers were of great significance in Renaissance music.
Reese, G., Music in the Renaissance. 1954.
Gadda, Carlo Emilio (1893–1973). Italian novelist, essayist and poet, born in Milan. Praised by George *Steiner, little of his work is available in English other than That awful mess on via Merulana (1946; 1957).
Gaddafi, Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar (1942–2011). Libyan soldier and politician, born in Sirte. A Bedouin, he led the coup that deposed King *Idris I in 1969 and as Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council he became Prime Minister of Libya 1970–72 and President 1972–77, after which he established the jamahiriya (‘state of the masses’) system and held a variety of titles, including Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution of Libya 1977–2011. He became increasingly authoritarian, but rejected Islamic fundamentalism and became a Pan-African spokesman. When civil war broke out in 2011, NATO forces intervened and Gaddafi was brutally killed.
First, R., Libya: The Elusive Revolution. 1974.
Gaddis, William (1922–1998). American novelist. His works included J R (1975), Carpenter’s Gothic (1985) and A Frolic of His Own (1994).
Gadsden, James (1788–1858). American soldier. As US Minister to Mexico he negotiated (1853) a treaty, known as the Gadsden Purchase, by which 118,000 square kilometres of territory, now part of Arizona and New Mexico, were acquired by the US.
Gagarin, Yuri Alekseivich (1934–1968). Russian astronaut. A major in the Soviet air force, he was the first man to orbit the earth in a space capsule and return safely (April 1961). He was killed in a mysterious accident.
Gagarin, V., My Brother Yuri. 1974.
Gage, Thomas (1721–1787). English soldier. He was Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in America from 1763, and in 1774 was appointed Governor of Massachusetts. His inflexibility precipitated the War of Independence. The first clash, at Lexington (1775) resulted from an expedition sent by him to seize arms stored at Concord. He was recalled three months later owing to the heavy losses incurred in forcing the colonists from their position on Bunker Hill.
Gainsborough, Thomas (1726–1788). English painter, born in Suffolk. He became famous both for portraits and landscapes and as founder of the ‘English School’ of painting. While living in London (from 1740), he married (1746) an illegitimate daughter of the Prince of Wales and in 1752 returned to Suffolk. It was not, however, until he moved to Bath (1759) that he gained a fashionable clientele. He became (1768) a foundation member of the RA, and settled in London (1774) where he soon rivalled *Reynolds as a painter of celebrities. His most important works were portraits (about 100 full-size and many smaller ones), where the influence of Van Dyck is clear. Of simple and warm character, unlike Reynolds, he needed to feel sympathy with his subject to be at his best, when he achieves a freshness and vitality that is entrancing. He takes a special delight in materials and clothes the sheen and creases of silk, the ripple of lace, the gleam of metal, e.g. in two of his best known works, the Blue Boy and the portrait of the actor Mrs *Siddons. Despite the fashion set by *Poussin for idealised landscapes, Gainsborough who loved the countryside, imparted much of the freshness of an observer’s eye and can at least claim to anticipate *Constable.
Corri, A., The Search for Gainsborough. 1984.
Gaitskell, Hugh Todd Naylor (1906–1963). British politician. Educated at Winchester College and Oxford and later a lecturer in political economy at University College, London he became a Labour MP in 1945. In Attlee’s post-war government he became Minister of Fuel and Power in 1947 and was Chancellor of the Exchequer 1950–51. In 1955 he succeeded Attlee as Leader of the Labour Party by then in opposition. He refused to recognise as binding a resolution passed (1960) by the Labour Party conference in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament, and secured its reversal the following year. His unexpected death from lupus erythematosus deprived the Labour Party of a widely respected leader of great promise.
McDermott, G., Leader Lost. A Biography of Hugh Gaitskell. 1972.
Gaius (Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus) see Caligula
Gajdusek, (Daniel) Carleton (1923–2008). American medical research scientist. Working at the National Institute of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (1958–97), he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1976 for discovering new mechanisms in the origination and dissemination of infectious diseases. He investigated kuru (degenerative disease of the nervous system, found only in New Guinea), and demonstrated its relationship with cannibalism (eating human brains). He also identified chromosomic deficiencies common to Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. He pleaded guilty to charges of sexual offences against young men, was imprisoned 1997–98, then retired to Europe and died in Norway.
Galba, Servius Sulpicius (3 BCE–69 CE). Roman Emperor 68–69. Born to an ancient and rich family, he served as senator and consul and was Governor of Nearer Spain 60–68. He formed an army which overthrew *Nero who then committed suicide. Upright himself, Galba’s advisers were venal and after seven months he was murdered in the Forum by the Praetorian guard. *Vitelius succeeded.
Galbraith, John Kenneth (1908–2006). American economist, born in Canada. Educated at Toronto, California and Cambridge, he taught at Harvard from 1934 and was professor of economics 1949–75. He worked for the Office of Price Administration 1941–43, was Economics Adviser to President *Kennedy and US Ambassador in India 1961–63. One of his books, The Affluent Society (1958) whose title became a popular phrase, directed attention to new phenomena caused by the post-war prosperity of the US and Europe. Many of his astute observations became proverbial. ‘Galbraith’s Law’ described the conviction by conservative governments that having more money is an incentive for the rich, while having less money is an incentive for the poor.
Galen (c.130–201). Greek physician, born at Pergamom, Asia Minor. He studied at the Asklepieion, an ancient hospital in Pergamon, and in Corinth and Alexandria. He directed the Asklepieion and developed many innovative treatments, according to Aelius Aristeides, including the use of massage, mineral springs, mud baths, diet, music therapy, incubation, autosuggestion and analysis of dreams. He lived in Rome from c.161 and became physician to *Marcus Aurelius and later emperors. A prolific writer, he incorporated in his books the whole of Greek medical theory and practice, translated later into Arabic and Latin; they were accepted as authoritative for nearly 1400 years.
Sarten, G., Galen of Pergamon. 1954.
Galerius (Gaius Galerius Valerius Maximianus) (c.260–311). Roman Emperor 305–11. Born in Serdica (modern Sofia), son of a Thracian herdsman, he became an able soldier and destroyed the (Persian) Sassanid empire. *Diocletian appointed him as Caesar in 293. He ruled as ‘Augustus’ in the east and is often blamed for instigating the ‘Diocletian persecution’ of Christians from 303 until the edict of toleration in 311.
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642). Italian physicist and astronomer, born in Pisa. Son of Vincenzo Galilei, a mathematician from an old family which moved to Florence in 1574, he studied medicine at Pisa University (from 1581) before turning to mathematics and physics. When only 18 he made one of his most important discoveries while watching a swinging candelabrum in Pisa Cathedral: identical time was taken by each oscillation whatever the distance covered by the swing. This discovery he used years later for the making of improved pendulum clocks. This led to his being appointed professor of mathematics at Pisa. A more startling discovery, traditionally demonstrated by dropping stones from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, was that objects fall with equal velocity irrespective of their size and weight. This theory contradicted *Aristotle’s teaching and provoked so much hostility that Galileo retired to Florence (1591), but in the next year he was appointed professor of mathematics at Padua, where he remained for 18 years, attracting students from all over Europe. He devised the first thermometer (c.1600) and constructed (1609) improved versions of the refracting telescope first produced by the Dutch Hans *Lippershey about a year earlier. Galileo attained a magnifying power of x 32 and carried out (from 1610) numerous astronomical observations which convinced him that *Copernicus had been right in asserting that the earth rotates round the sun. He observed that the moon’s light was reflected from that of the sun, that its surface was covered by mountains and valleys, and that the Milky Way was composed of separate stars. He also discovered the existence of the four satellites of Jupiter, sunspots (from which he deduced the rotation of the sun), the ‘rings’ of Saturn, and the phases of Venus and Mars.
In 1610, Cosimo II de’Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, had invited him back to Florence and appointed him his philosopher and mathematician extraordinary, a post with a satisfactory salary but no specific duties, which enabled him to continue his observations. In 1611 he was received with honour on a visit to Rome, but after the publication of a treatise on the sunspots (1613), in which he openly adhered to the Copernican theory, he became the object of ecclesiastical displeasure and was persuaded to promise (1616) not to ‘hold, teach or defend’ the new doctrines. After a long peaceful period his greatest work, Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World, appeared (1632), and it was immediately evident that Galileo had not changed his views. His atomic theory—which threatened the basis of the Eucharist—may have provoked his heresy trial (1633). Brought before the Inquisition, on the threat of torture he recanted and because of age and ill health he was allowed to return to Florence, remaining under close house arrest until he died. In 1637 he became blind. (John *Milton was one of his visitors.) Among his later discoveries were the parabolic trajectory of projectiles and the monthly and annual librations of the moon. His misfortunes from the Church’s hostility to his theories may have been compounded by his ironic and irascible nature. In 1992, Pope *John Paul II lifted the Inquisition’s sentence on Galileo. His two daughters became nuns.
Redondi, P., Galileo: Heretic. 1983, trans. 1987; Drake, S., Galileo. 1980; Fölsing, A., Galileo. 1983; Heilbron, J. L., Galileo. 2010.
Gall, Franz Joseph (1758–1828). German physiologist. Regarded as the founder of phrenology, he practised medicine in Vienna (until 1802) and later in Paris. He concluded that human character and abilities depend upon the development of particular areas of the brain and that these can be inferred from the shape of the skull. This inference, no longer accepted as scientific, has been exploited by many quacks.
Gallatin, (Abraham Alfonse) Albert (1761–1849). American politician and diplomat, born in Geneva. Of aristocratic descent, he emigrated to America when 19, under the influence of Rousseau’s idealism. He settled in Pennsylvania and gradually rose in state and national politics. He sat in the US Congress 1795–1801, then as Secretary to the Treasury under *Jefferson and *Madison 1801–14 he reduced the public debt by over $14 million. He was one of the negotiators of the Treaty of Ghent which brought the ‘war of 1812’ with England to an end. He was Minister to France 1816–23 and to Britain 1826–27.
Galle, Johann Gottfried (1812–1910). German astronomer. He first identified Neptune (1846), the existence of which had been predicted by *Leverrier and *Adams.
Galli-Curci, Amelita (1889–1963). Italian coloratura soprano, born in Milan. Largely self-taught, she achieved dazzling success in the operas of *Verdi and *Puccini and was a star of the Metropolitan Opera, New York 1920–30.
Gallieni, Joseph Simon (1849–1916). French soldier. After long and distinguished service, mainly in the colonies, he was Military Governor of Paris in 1914. By mobilising the taxis of Paris to effect a quick troop movement against the German right flank, he played a vital part in the Battle of the Marne. Minister of War 1914–16, he was posthumously made a marshal (1921).
Gallienus (Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus) (218–268). Roman Emperor 253–68: co-Emperor with his father *Valerian 253–60. Gallienus ruled in Italy, Valerian in the east. He ended the persecution of Christians by his father but was assassinated by officers of the Dalmatian army.
Bray, J. J., Gallienus. 1997.
Gallo, Robert Charles (1937– ). American medical researcher. Educated at the universities of Pennsylvania and Chicago, he worked at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, 1965–96 and became head of the tumour cell biology laboratory 1972–96. Regarded as the leading AIDS researcher in the US, he concluded that AIDS was caused by a retrovirus, in which genetic material is made from RNA (not DNA). He wrote Virus Hunting, AIDS, Cancer and the Human Retrovirus 1991 but was badly damaged by a National Institute of Health report (1992) which rejected his claim to have isolated the AIDS virus independent of the work of Luc *Montagnier, with whom he had long feuded. He did not share the 2008 Nobel Prize with Montagnier but received a grant of $15 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2007.
Gallup, George Horace (1901–1984). American statistician. He devised a method of predicting election results and measuring other public reactions by sampling cross-sections of the population. ‘Gallup poll’ became synonymous with public opinion polls.
Galois, Evariste (1811–1832). French mathematician. He conceived the idea of group substitutions in the algebraic theory of equations. He was a political activist, once imprisoned, who suffered official rejection and died in a mysterious duel. Many of his papers were lost. Much of his work was confirmed by *Riemann, 30 years later.
Petsinis, T., The French Mathematician. 1997.
Galsworthy, John (1867–1933). English writer. Educated at Harrow and Oxford, he entered, but soon abandoned, the legal profession and after some years of travel determined to become a writer. His first novel, Jocelyn (1898) attracted little attention but he continued with his chosen theme, the virtues, prejudices and way of life of the upper-middle-class society to which he belonged. His masterpieces were The Forsyte Saga (published 1906–21), a series of novels describing the family of Soames Forsyte (The Man of Property, In Chancery, To Let), and the novels collectively titled A Modern Comedy (1929). His many plays, usually regarded as humane rather than profound, were influenced by the social dramas of *Ibsen and reflect a preoccupation with ethical considerations. They include The Silver Box (1906), Joy (1907), Strife (1909), Justice (1910), The Skin Game (1920), Loyalties (1922) and Escape (1926). He was the first President of International PEN and was awarded the Order of Merit (1929) and the Nobel Prize for Literature (1932).
Dupre, C., John Galsworthy. A Biography. 1976.
Galton, Sir Francis (1822–1911). English statistician, anthropologist, meteorologist and polymath, born in Birmingham. An infant prodigy and half-cousin of Charles *Darwin, he studied medicine at Kings’ College, London, and mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating MA. He travelled in the Middle East and explored southwest Africa. One of the pioneers of meteorology, he devised the current system of weather-mapping and named anti-cyclones. His system of comparing fingerprints is still used by police. His Hereditary Genius (1869) speculated on the factors in human society (especially intermarriage) that encouraged achievement. He developed the study of ‘eugenics’, urging selective breeding to improve the human species. Although paved with good intentions, the path of eugenics has been taken by racists and elitists and in the early 20th century was harshly applied in education, welfare and immigration. He received the Copley Medal in 1910. His ideas were further developed by his disciple and biographer Karl Pearson (1857–1936) who held the Galton Chair of Eugenics at London University 1911–33.
Galvani, Luigi (1737–1798). Italian physiologist. His great contemporary reputation rested on his lectures on comparative anatomy at Bologna University. It is, however, through an electrical discovery that his name (e.g. in ‘galvanise’) has become incorporated in scientific language. He demonstrated (1791) that a frog’s legs will twitch when placed in simultaneous contact with two different types of metal, but incorrectly interpreted the effect as being caused by ‘animal’ electricity, and not, as *Volta afterwards showed, by an electric current flowing between the metals, as in a cell.
Gama, Vasco da (c.1469–1525). Portuguese navigator. He had already made a name for himself as a mariner when he was chosen by King *Manoel the Fortunate to follow up the explorations of Bartolomeo *Diaz, who had reached the Cape of Good Hope (1488). da Gama left Lisbon with four ships and 160 men in July 1497. Having rounded the Cape, the fleet turned northward up the African coast and then sailed eastward across the Indian Ocean to land at Calicut (May 1498). The Indians, at first friendly, turned hostile, and the Portuguese had to fight their way out, the fleet eventually reaching home in September 1499. A second expedition under Cabral founded a factory at Calicut but the 40 men left behind to man it were all murdered. To avenge their death da Gama, supplied this time with 20 ships, sailed in 1502, and after founding the African colony Mozambique again reached Calicut, destroyed 29 of the Indian ships, secured an indemnity and returned with rich booty. After 20 years of comparative inactivity he was sent (1524), now as Viceroy, to make Portugal’s position secure again.
Gambetta, Léon Michel (1838–1882). French Radical politician. He became a lawyer and gained fame by his defence of opponents of *Napoléon III’s regime. After the capitulation at Sedan in the Franco-Prussian War (1870), he joined the provisional government as Minister of National Defence. Leaving besieged Paris by balloon, he went to Tours to organise further resistance. After the war he succeeded in frustrating political attempts to restore the monarchy and was Premier 1881–82. He died after a pistol accident.
Bury, J. B., Gambetta and the Making of the Third Republic. 1973.
Gamelin, Maurice (Gustave) (1872–1958). French soldier. In World War I he was on *Joffre’s staff in 1914 and drew up the orders for the Battle of the Marne and subsequently proved an outstanding divisional commander. A moderate republican and ally of *Daladier, he was appointed Generalissimo of the allied forces in France (Sept. 1939–May 1940). After the German breakthrough he was superseded by *Weygand. He was tried for treason by *Petain’s Vichy regime with Daladier and *Blum in an aborted trial at Riom, then imprisoned by the Germans. He wrote Servir. Les Armées françaises de 1940 (1946).
Gamow, George (originally Georgiy Antonovich) (1904–1968). Ukrainian-American physicist, born in Odessa. Educated in Leningrad, he lived in the US from 1934, teaching in Washington and Colorado. He worked on the evolution of stars and argued that nuclear fusion was increasing the sun’s temperature. He supported *Lemaître’s theory of the expanding universe (1948); however, Fred *Hoyle’s dismissive term ‘big bang’ (1949) caught on, and is often attributed to Gamow. He also hypothesised a coding scheme for elements in genetic structures. He wrote more than 30 books popularising science, including some for children featuring Mr Tompkins.
Gance, Abel (1889–1981). French film director, born in Paris. After working in a lawyer’s office he became an actor, script writer, theatrical producer and in 1911 directed the first of his 50 feature films, La Digue. He directed La Folie du Doeteur Tube (1915: expressionist in style, using optical distortion which anticipated Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), J’Accuse! (1918: remade in 1937), La Roue (1922), Napoléon (1927: an epic projected on a triple screen, converted to sound in 1934), La Fin du Monde (1931: his first talking film), Un Grand Amour de Beethoven (1936), La Vénus A veugle (1940), La Tour de Nesle (1953: his first colour film), Austerlitz (1960) and Bonaparte et la Révolution (1971). He faced major problems in financing and distributing his films. They were notable for vigour, broad sweep and technical innovation, e.g. the use of wide-angle lens, widescreen projection, stereophonic sound, split screen images, hand-held cameras, low angled close ups, and rapid, impressionistic editing, which anticipated many techniques in cinéma-vérité.
Gandhi, Indira Priyadarshini (née Nehru) (1917–1984). Indian politician, born in Allahabad. Daughter of Jawaharlal *Nehru, she was educated in Switzerland, Oxford and with Rabindranath *Tagore. In 1929 she founded a children’s organisation to help the movement for non-cooperation with British rule. In 1942 she married Feroze Gandhi (d.1960), and became a member of the Indian National Congress; she was its president 1959–60. From 1946 she was her father’s personal assistant and played an active part in politics, especially in matters relating to child welfare and social reform. She served on UNESCO’s Executive Board 1960–64. After her father’s death (1964) she became Minister of Information in *Shastri’s Government. When he died she became Prime Minister 1966–77, and won a landslide election victory in 1971. In 1975 she declared a state of emergency and ruled by decree, eventually losing the elections of 1977 to a coalition led by Morarji *Desai. In 1980 her Congress (I) Party was returned to office and she again became Prime Minister. Sikh members of her bodyguard shot her in New Delhi (31 October 1984). Her son Rajiv Gandhi (1944–1991) succeeded as leader of Congress (I) and Prime Minister in 1984. Educated at Cambridge, he became a pilot for Indian Airlines and entered the Lok Sabha after his brother, Sanjay Gandhi (1946–1980), regarded as heir apparent to the Nehru dynasty, died in a plane crash. He won a record majority in the December 1984 election. He was killed by Tamil separatists in a bomb explosion near Madras. His Italian widow Sonia Gandhi (née Maino) refused an offer of the Congress (I) leadership, which passed to P.V.N. *Rao, then accepted it in 1998.
Masani, Z., Indira Gandhi. A Political Biography. 1975.
Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (1869–1948). Indian religious and political leader, born in Porbander, Kathiawar. He was known as Mahatma (in Sanskrit, maha: great, atman: soul) a title first conferred by Rabindranath *Tagore. Son of a chief minister of Kathiawar, he was brought up as a member of a Hindu sect strictly opposed to taking life and therefore vegetarian. A quiet, studious boy, he was married at 13 to Kasturbai Nakanji (1869–1944) but continued his education. In 1888 he sailed to London where he was called to the bar (1891) and in 1893 went to Natal to represent an Indian firm, remaining in South Africa for 20 years (1893–1901, 1902–14). Jailed for refusing to register as an Indian alien, he urged his followers to burn their certificates—also organising passive resistance campaigns. This ultimately compelled the Transvaal Government to recognise the validity of monogamous marriages celebrated according to Indian rites. In 1913 he negotiated an agreement with J. C. *Smuts raising the status of Indian labourers. In South Africa he had become convinced that ‘soul force’ was the strongest power in the world and to maximise it in himself he must renounce sex, meat, tobacco, alcohol, and also threats, violence, coercion and other political weapons. Major influences on Gandhi included the Sermon on the Mount, the doctrine of ‘non-possession’ in the Bhagavad Gita, and writings by *Thoreau, *Ruskin and *Tolstoy. He corresponded with Tolstoy and set up a Tolstoyan commune and school in Phoenix, Natal (1910). He returned to India in January 1915 and with his followers withdrew to an ashram (‘retreat’) at Sabarmati, near Ahmadabad in Gujurat, where he campaigned on behalf of the ‘untouchables’ in the caste system. Britain’s refusal to grant substantial self-government after the war persuaded Gandhi to lead a campaign for Swaraj (‘self-rule’), employing the principles of Satyagraha (‘soul force’, literally ‘firmness in the truth’) which had proved successful in South Africa. He called for ‘non-violent non-cooperation’ with government agencies and hartal (strikes with prayer and fasting) against economic regulation, and founded the influential journal Young India. However, the Amritsar massacre of April 1919 (R. E. H. *Dyer) was an unprovoked response to the hartal campaign. Gandhi urged non-cooperation with the British in all forms: all government posts were to be given up, government schools were to be abandoned, in the place of foreign-made cloth, homespun only was to be used (hence Gandhi’s familiar appearance in a loincloth and homespun blanket and cape). He was opposed to violence in any form but was not always able to control his supporters. Such incidents as the burning of a police station with its inmates at Chauri Chaura (1922) in the United Provinces, forced the authorities to arrest Gandhi, who assumed responsibility. Sentenced to six years’ jail, he was released in 1922 on the grounds of ill-health. He became President of the Indian National Congress Party (1924–35), the only office he ever held, and in 1929 launched a new ‘civil disobedience’ campaign. In March 1930 Gandhi, with hundreds of followers, marched to the sea at Dandi to protest against the imposition of a tax on salt. After the ‘Salt March’ his followers formally broke the law by scooping up taxfree salt. Gandhi was jailed again (1930–31) but released (with 60,000 supporters) after the Salt Law was relaxed by the Viceroy, Lord Irwin (later Earl of *Halifax). A truce made during the abortive Round Table Conference in London (1931) was soon broken and he returned to jail, being released when he began a ‘fast until death’. Winston *Churchill was—and remained—implacably hostile to Gandhi. Jailed for most of 1932 and again briefly in 1933, during the period 1935–41 Gandhi was in virtual retirement although publishing the weekly Harijan and campaigning on behalf of the untouchables. During World War II he gave moral support to Britain, but refused active cooperation on the grounds that Indian consent had not been obtained. Following another civil disobedience campaign (1942) he was interned until May 1944. Despite his alleged retirement from politics he played an active part behind the scenes in the negotiations that gave independence to India (1947) and the appointment of a congress government under *Nehru. He opposed partition, mourning the massacres and forced displacement of Muslim and Hindu minorities. He toured Bengal, preaching unity between Hindus and Muslims. The impact of his renewed fasts alarmed Hindu extremists: at a prayer meeting (30 January 1948) he was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic, Naturam Godse. Combining a natural shrewdness with the character of a saint, Gandhi was one of the most influential and impressive figures of the 20th century. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937, 1947 and 1948 without success. Gandhi’s model of non-violence was adopted by Martin Luther *King; Nelson *Mandela and *Aung San Suu Kyi.
Woodcock, G., Gandhi. 1972.
Gandhi, Rahul (1970– ). Indian National Congress Party politician, born in Delhi. Son of Rajiv and Sonia *Gandhi, he was educated at Cambridge. Leader of the INC 2013–19, he led the party to its worst defeat in 2014, with 19.5 per cent of the aggregate vote. In 2019 Narendra *Modi won again: the INC gained a few seats but the total vote was unchanged.
Gantz, Benny (né Binyamin) (1959– ). Israeli soldier and politician. Chief of the Israel Defence Force 2011–15, he led the Israel Resilience Party, and after a close election in 2020 entered into a power-sharing arrangement with Benjamin *Netanyahu.
Gao Xingjian (1940– ). Chinese novelist, dramatist, director, critic and painter, born in Gangzhou. A political dissident, he left China in 1987 and became a French citizen in 1998 He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000 ‘for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity.’ His best known novel was Soul Mountain (1998). He translated works by *Beckett.
Garbo, Greta (Greta Louisa Gustafsson) (1905–1990). Swedish film star. While working in a Stockholm department store, she studied dancing and acting and achieved great success in the film The Atonement of Gösta Berling (1924). She then went to Hollywood and, with her beauty, sincerity and elusive charm, achieved immediate stardom in silent films. Her first talking part was in Anna Christie (1930), and she later added distinction to the title roles of e.g. Queen Christina (1933), Anna Karenina (1935), Camille (1936) and Ninotchka (1939). She disliked and avoided publicity and any intrusion into her private life, and retired from the screen in 1941 at the height of her fame.
Conway, M., Films of Greta Garbo. 1970.
Garcia. Spanish family of singers. Manuel del Populo Vicente Garcia (1775–1832) born in Seville, became a tenor, actor, impresario, composer and conductor, creating the role of Almaviva in *Rossini’s Barber of Seville (Rome, 1816). He produced operas in New York and Mexico, composed many (mostly unperformed) himself, and became a teacher in Paris where he died. Two of his daughters were outstanding singers, Maria *Malibran and Pauline *Viardot. His son, Manuel Patricio Rodriguez Garcia (1805–1906), was a concert baritone who became a teacher from 1829, first in Paris and (from 1848) in London. He invented the laryngoscope (1854), wrote the first scientific text on the art of voice production, became the teacher of Jenny *Lind and Mathilde Marchesi, received the CVO on his 100th birthday and was painted by John Singer *Sargent.
García Márquez, Gabriel (José de la Concordia) (1928–2014). Colombian novelist and short story writer, born in Aracataca. His novels One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) are passionate epics of life in South America, full of powerful and hypnotic imagery, generally described as ‘magic realism’. He won the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature ‘for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts’. Many of his stories are set in Macondo, a fictional town based on his birthplace.
Gardiner, Sir John Eliot (1943– ). British conductor. Educated in Cambridge and London, he studied with Nadia *Boulanger, founded the Monteverdi Choir in 1964, the London Baroque Soloists in 1978 and l’Orchestre Romantique et Revolutionaire in 1990. He was Director of the Lyon Opera 1983–88 and recorded extensively, notably *Händel, *Bach, *Mozart, and *Beethoven. He wrote Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (2013).
Gardiner, Samuel Rawson (1829–1902). English historian. The scale, scope and accuracy of his work on the early Stuarts, the Civil War and its aftermath make him an authority in this field. His books include History of England 1603–1640 (10 volumes, 1883–84), The Creat Civil War (3 volumes, 1886–91) and The Commonwealth and the Protectorate (3 volumes, 1895–1901).
Gardiner, Stephen (1483–1555). English ecclesiastic. He was *Wolsey’s secretary, and vainly negotiated on *Henry VIII’s behalf for the annulment of his marriage with *Catherine of Aragon. He became Bishop of Winchester (1531), and is remembered as the chief agent in the persecution of the Protestants under Queen *Mary (though he tried, vainly, to save *Cranmer). Yet in 1535 he had accepted Henry VIII’s royal supremacy and had even written a treatise in its support. He spent much of *Edward VI’s reign in prison.
Gardner, Erle Stanley (1899–1970). American detective story writer. He practised as a lawyer in California for 10 years but from 1930 devoted himself to writing. Most of his immensely popular stories end with a dramatic court scene of which the hero is the famous lawyer-detective, Perry Mason.
Garfield, James Abram (1831–1881). 20th President of the US 1881. Born on an Ohio farm, where he worked from the age of 10 (subject of the biography From Log Cabin to White House), he managed to enter and to graduate from Williams College. He then became a teacher, a lawyer, and a general in the American Civil War. A Member of the US House of Representatives 1863–80, during the corrupt era of ‘Reconstruction’ after the Civil War, he became Republican Leader in the House 1877–80. In 1880 he emerged as the compromise Republican candidate for president, an anti-spoilsman, on a balanced ticket with the spoilsman Chester A. *Arthur for Vice President. Garfield was narrowly elected. In July 1881, four months after his inauguration, he was shot by a disappointed office-seeker, Charles J. Guiteau, in Washington DC and died in September.
Garibaldi, Giuseppe (1807–1882). Italian patriot, born in Nice. Son of a fisherman, he became a sailor. Later he joined *Mazzini’s ‘Young Italy’ movement, but after taking part in an abortive attempt to seize Genoa (1834) he fled to South America. The part he played in the insurrection of Brazil’s Rio Grande province and his other interventions in the troubled politics of the continent gave him experience of leading irregulars and a heroic reputation that followed him home. During this period he married Anita Ribera da Silva, who had accompanied his various expeditions and had borne him three children. Back in Italy in 1848 he led an irregular band against the Austrians after the defeat of the Sardinian regular army. Next he played a leading part (1849) in establishing a republican government in Rome after Pope *Pius IX had been forced to flee, but papal authority was restored by French and Neapolitan intervention. His fortunes were now at their lowest, Anita had died from exhaustion and anxiety and he had to flee to New York. He returned (1854) and had settled as a farmer on the island of Caprera near Sardinia when, in 1859, the renewed war between the Austrians and the Sardinians (now under King *Vittorio Emanuele, this time with French support) again called him to battle. Northern Italy was liberated and Garibaldi and his Alpine troops had played a gallant part. In 1860 began his greatest triumph. With his 1,000 ‘redshirts’ he landed in Sicily but met little serious resistance from the troops of King *Francis II and within three months conquered the entire island. He then crossed to the Neapolitan mainland. Francis found himself abandoned and now the only danger lay in a clash between the two liberators, Garibaldi advancing on Naples from the south, Vittorio Emanuele from the north. Good sense prevailed: Vittorio Emanuele was proclaimed king of a united Italy (except Rome and Venice) and Garibaldi, seeking no reward, returned to his island farm. He and his redshirts next appeared in 1866 in the brief campaign in which Italy, as Prussia’s ally against Austria, gained Venice. But Rome remained his dream, and in 1867 he sailed from Caprera, gathered his volunteers and marched on the city. After a preliminary success he was overwhelmed by the French garrison left to protect the pope. It was the withdrawal of that garrison during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) that eventually enabled Rome to become the capital of the Italian state. In that war too, Garibaldi had his last taste of battle. After the fall of his enemy, *Napoléon III, he rallied to the side of the republican government and even achieved some success amid the general defeat. The rest of his life he spent (except for an occasional appearance in the Italian chamber, where he sat as a deputy) at Caprera, crippled by illness. He wrote novels, he signed manifestos, but his strength was in action not the pen. He was a man who never wavered from a single fixed purpose, the unification of divided Italy under Italian rule, and though others planned more wisely for the same ideal it was Garibaldi, with his enthusiasm, his leadership and colourful exploits, that fired the hearts of men and, more perhaps than any other, brought it about.
Ridley, J., Garibaldi. 1975.
Garland, Judy (Frances Gumm) (1922–1969). American film actor and singer. She began her stage career as part of a music-hall act, and began to make films in 1936. Throughout the following 14 years she played leading parts in musicals and comedy films and achieved tremendous following. Her best known films from this period are The Wizard of Oz (1939), a series in partnership with Mickey Rooney (1937–41), and musicals like For Me and My Gal (1942) and Meet Me in St Louis (1944). She later turned to dramatic roles as in A Star is Born (1954), and to concert and cabaret tours. She died in London of a drug overdose. Her daughter Liza Minnelli (1946– ) was acclaimed as an actor and singer, winning an Academy Award for her role in Cabaret (1972).
Garner, Helen (née Ford) (1942– ). Australian writer, born in Geelong. Once a teacher, her novels include Monkey Grip (1977), The Children’s Bach (1984) and Cosmo Cosmolino (1992) and The Spare Room (2008). The non-fiction The First Stone (1995) was deeply controversial. Other works include Joe Cinque’s Consolation (2004), This House of Grief—The Story of a Murder Trial (2014, winner of the 2016 Windham-Campbell Literary Prize in the US) and a collection of essays, in the Janet *Malcolm tradition, Everywhere I Look (2016).
Garner, John Nance (1868–1967). American Democratic politician, born in Texas. A Congressman 1903–33, and strong segregationist, he became Speaker of the House of Representatives 1931–33 and an increasingly unhappy vice president of the United States 1933–41 under Franklin D. *Roosevelt.
Garnett, Edward (1868–1937). English writer and critic. Son of Richard Garnett (1835–1906), *Carlyle’s biographer, his work as literary adviser to the publishers Fisher Unwin, Heinemann, and Jonathan Cape brought him into touch with many authors, and his home became a sort of literary club where advice, kindness and help were always available. He gave much encouragement to *Conrad, *Galsworthy and D. H. *Lawrence. His wife, Constance Garnett (née Black) (1862–1943), introduced a new world of Russian literature to English readers by her translations of *Tolstoy, *Dostoevsky, *Chekhov etc. Their only child, David Garnett (1892–1981), known as ‘Bunny’, novelist and publisher, was in the Bloomsbury Group and a vigorous bisexual. His short fantasy Lady into Fox (1922) won the Hawthornden and James Tait Black Memorial Prizes. He founded the Nonesuch Press, published the letters of T. E. *Lawrence, wrote an autobiography and the novel Aspects of Love (1955).
Garnier, Tony (1869–1948). French architect and planner. Over many years (from 1904) he elaborated his design (Une Cité industrielle, published 1917) for an integrated city for 35,000 people on original and revolutionary lines, some of which he was able to put into practice in Lyon, where he was city architect.
Garrick, David (1717–1779). English actor. As a youth in Lichfield he was briefly a pupil of Samuel *Johnson, whose close friend he became. The two went to London together (1737), Garrick intending to study for the bar. He joined his brother as a wine merchant before making his debut as an actor in 1741. His first part in London was Richard III, he was an immediate success and remained throughout his career the most popular actor of his age in both tragedy and comedy, Lear and Macbeth being among the most memorable of his Shakespearian parts. He was joint licence holder and Director of Drury Lane Theatre from 1747 to 1776 when he was succeeded by *Sheridan. He also wrote several plays (of little merit), and some excellent prologues and epilogues. He remained a member of Johnson’s social group and he was portrayed by *Hogarth, *Gainsborough and *Reynolds.
Oman, C., David Garrick. 1958.
Garrison, William Lloyd (1805–1879). American journalist and reformer, born in Massachusetts. He became editor of two New England newspapers, in which he vigorously attacked slavery; for one article he was briefly imprisoned for libel. The Liberator, in which for 35 years he campaigned for emancipation, first appeared in 1831. In 1833 he was a founder of the American Anti-slavery Society. With a violence and self-righteousness that often injured the causes for which he pleaded, he also supported female suffrage, the abolition of capital punishment, and prohibition.
Gary, Romain (né Kacew) (1914–1980). French-Jewish-Lithuanian novelist, diplomat and hoaxer, born in Lithuania. He won the Prix Goncourt in 1956 with The Roots of Heaven and a second (against the rules) with Life Before Us (1975), published under the name of Emile Ajar.
Bellos, D., Romain Gary. A Tall Story. 2010.
Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn (née Stevenson) (1810–1865). English novelist, born in Chelsea. Brought up by an aunt in Knutsford, Cheshire, the scene of her best known novel Cranford (1853), in 1832 she married a Unitarian minister and moved to Manchester, which provided the background for Mary Barton (1848) and North and South (1855). She also wrote a notable life (1857) of Charlotte *Brontë, which provoked contemporary criticism for its frankness.
Uglow, J., Elizabeth Gaskell. 1993.
Gasperi, Alcide de see De Gasperi, Alcide
Gassendi, Pierre (1592–1655). French philosopher and scientist. He studied at Aix, and obtained a doctorate at Avignon, where he took holy orders. From an early age, studies in natural philosophy occupied his mind, and he became a partisan for the Moderns. His criticisms of Aristotelian philosophy were set out in his Exercitationes Paradoxicae adversus Aristotelos. He entered into deep study of *Epicurus, whose biography he wrote. In regard to philosophies of Nature, Gassendi was an eclectic. A pious Christian, he was aware that no man can penetrate to the heart of Nature’s secrets. But he was a convinced supporter of the atomistic hypothesis of the composition of matter. Atoms were the first things created. Subsequently combinations of molecules formed by collision and complex bodies were built up. He believed that science could best proceed by the measurement of basic particles (weight, speed, acceleration, mass, density) rather than by inventing mythical ‘virtues’ such as ‘powers’, ‘tendencies’ and the other categories of Scholastic thought. Gassendi was of importance as a defender of the autonomy of science in the age of *Galileo’s persecution. He insisted that science was compatible with Christianity, so long as both sides knew their own place. Gassendi made few positive contributions to science in the technical sense. He offered a good approximation of the speed of sound (316.3 metres per second), disproving *Aristotle’s view that this depended on pitch. He defined, accurately, the principle of inertia, seeing it not as a tendency to rest, but the tendency to resist change of state.
Gates, Bill (William Henry) (1955– ). American computer software executive, born in Seattle. A dropout from Harvard College, he worked for Honeywell, then founded the Microsoft Corporation (1976), becoming the first software billionaire. Among his successful software packages were ‘MS-DOS’ and ‘Windows’. He bought a *Leonardo manuscript (the Hammer Codex) in 1994 for $US32.5 million. His wealth was estimated at $US101 billion in 1999 and he was gratified that it had fallen to $51 billion by 2011. In 1994 he created the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which works to eliminate infectious disease, giving priority to HIV-AIDS, polio, malaria and measles, and to promote education. He was awarded an Hon. KBE in 2005.
Gates, Horatio (c.1728–1806). American soldier, born in England. He served with British forces in North America against the French (1754–63), returned to England but emigrated to West Virginia in 1772. Taking up the colonial cause, he was made Adjutant General of the Continental Army in 1775 and became a general in 1777. He defeated British forces at Saratoga in that year and was considered by a group of officers as a replacement for General Washington, a scheme that came to nothing. He was defeated at the battle of Camden, South Carolina, in 1780, was dismissed but returned to the army in 1782. He served as a Whig in the New York State Legislature 1800–06.
Gaudí (y Cornet), Antonio (1852–1926). Spanish (Catalan) architect, born in Reus. He studied in Barcelona from 1869 and developed a Mudejar style, influenced by Moorish building. His works were highly idiosyncratic, fantastic in design and construction, similar in spirit to Art Nouveau. He introduced colour, unusual materials and audacious technical innovations. His main works are around Barcelona, where the huge unfinished Church of the Holy Family is the greatest monument to his ingenuity and decorative virtuosity. He died after being knocked down by a trolley bus. The basilica was consecrated by Pope *Benedict XVI in 2010.
Sweeney, J. J., and Sert, J. L., Antonio Gaudí. 1970; Zerbst, R., Antoni Gaudí. 1991.
Gaudier-Brzeska, Henri (1891–1915). French Vorticist sculptor and painter, born near Orléans. Originally Gaudier, he worked in London from 1910 with Ezra *Pound and Wyndham *Lewis and other members of the Vorticist group, formed an intense relationship with the Polish writer Sophie Brzeska (1873–1925) and added her name to his own. In his four active years as a sculptor he produced powerful work that influenced Jacob *Epstein. Killed as a soldier in World War I, his life was the subject of the book Savage Messiah (1931– revised 2011) by H. S. Ede, filmed by Ken Russell in 1972.
Gauguin, (Eugène-Henri) Paul (1848–1903). French painter, born in Paris. He grew up in Orléans, with his father, and in Lima, Peru, with his mother’s family, became a sailor and joined a stockbroking firm in 1871. He began painting with his friends *Pissarro and *Cézanne, abandoned the stock market in 1883, sent his wife with their five children to her parents in Denmark and devoted the rest of his life to art. Paris proving too expensive he settled in Brittany (1886). After a visit to Martinique and an acrimonious association with Van *Gogh he went (1891) to the South Seas, first to Tahiti and (1901) to the Marquesas, where he died. Originally influenced by the Impressionists, particularly by his friend Pissarro, he parted from them in 1887, dissociating himself from their techniques of breaking up colour. He evolved a decorative style using simplified drawing, and flat, strong, pure and not necessarily naturalistic colouring; outlines, as in cloisonné enamels, were often intensified by black lines. The brilliant colours of Tahiti provided ideal inspiration and he was also influenced by primitive sculpture, as is seen in some of his pictures of serene impassive islanders represented in attitudes of repose. Gauguin’s paintings were a major influence on later non-representational art. His Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?, 1892) was sold privately for $US210 million in 2015.
Goldwater, R., Paul Gauguin. 1957; Gauguin, P., The Intimate Journals of Paul Gauguin. 1985; Sweetman, D., Paul Gauguin. 1995.
Gaulle, Charles André Joseph Marie de see de Gaulle, Charles André Joseph Marie
Gaunt, John of see John of Gaunt
Gauss, (Johann) Carl Friedrich (1777–1855). German mathematician, born in Braunschweig. An infant prodigy, educated at Göttingen University, he gave early proof of his great powers in both pure and applied mathematics, becoming a professor there and director of the observatory (1807). From celestial mechanics and geodesy he turned his attention in the 1830s to electromagnetic theory and research on terrestrial magnetism, establishing most of the important theory for the measurement of magnetic field strengths. Gauss was also, with *Riemann and *Lobachevsky, one of the pioneers of non-Euclidean geometry. The unit of magnetic flux density is named after him. He developed (but did not originate) the concept of ‘normal distribution’, often described as ‘the bell curve’. He received the Copley Medal in 1838.
Dunnington, G. W., Carl Friedrich Gauss, Titan of Science. 1955.
Gautama Buddha see Buddha, The
Gautier, (Pierre Jules) Théophile (1811–1872). French poet, novelist, essayist and critic, born in Tarbes. Prevented by short sight from being a painter, he began to write as a strong supporter of the Romantic movement, but was already mocking its excesses in his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835). His friend *Berlioz set his poems Les nuits d’été (1840). His volume of poems Emaux et camées (1852) was among the principal influences on the ‘art for art’s sake’ movement, which stressed beauty of form and sound rather than significance. Gautier was the first serious writer and critic of dance and also close to the painters *Delacroix and *Manet. His daughter, Judith Gautier (1850–1917), also a novelist, married the poet Catulle *Mendes, and later Pierre *Loti.
Tennant, P., Theophile Gautier. 1973; Grant, R., Théophile Gautier. 1975.
Gaveston, Piers, 1st Earl of Cornwall (c.1284–1314). English courtier. Of Gascon descent, he became the favourite, and perhaps lover, of *Edward II, arousing the hatred of the barons by his swaggering display of power and mocking tongue. Twice they forced his banishment, and his second return led to civil war. Gaveston was forced to surrender, but three of his most powerful opponents kidnapped him and had him beheaded.
Gay, John (1685–1732). English poet and dramatist, born in Devon. After attending a local grammar school, he went to London as a mercer’s apprentice. His political satires and his amiable temperament won him much aristocratic patronage and the friendship of *Pope. His early publications included The Shepherd’s Week (1714) and Trivia (1716), the latter, with its humorous accounts of London life, became extremely popular. Having just dedicated his satiric Fables (1727) to the Duke of Cumberland, he had hoped, when the Duke’s father succeeded to the throne as *George II, for more than the sinecure offered. Thus gibes at *Walpole were included in his triumphant success The Beggar’s Opera (1728), of which he wrote the libretto for an accompaniment of old tunes. Its sequel Polly (1729), though banned from the stage, also brought its author a large sum on publication. His Acis and Galatea appeared as an opera with music by *Händel in 1732. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Armes, S. M., John Gay: Social Critic. 1972.
Gay-Lussac, Joseph Louis (1778–1850). French chemist. He was educated at, and was later professor at, the École Polytechnique, Paris. For a time he worked at the government chemical works at Arcueil, at first mainly on physical properties of gases and liquids. In balloon ascents of up to 7500 m (23,000 ft). he investigated the earth’s magnetic field and atmospheric conditions. In 1808 he put forward his law of gas volumes which states that the volumes of gas (taking part and produced) in a chemical reaction are always in a simple proportion to one another (*Charles, Jacques). With Thénard he made discoveries in inorganic chemistry and also worked out the first satisfactory scheme of organic analysis. He investigated iodine and cyanogen compounds, and in 1815 was the first to isolate cyanogen itself. He also made important improvements in a number of industrial processes, e.g. for the manufacture of sulphuric acid by the Chamber process in which he introduced the so-called Gay-Lussac tower, first used in 1842.
Geddes, Sir Patrick (1854–1932). Scottish biologist, sociologist and town planner, born in Aberdeenshire. Educated in Edinburgh, London and the Sorbonne, his original disciplines were biology and physiology, but his interests were exceptionally broad. He held chairs in Edinburgh and Bombay (Mumbai) and founded his own institution in Montpellier. He wrote The Evolution of Sex (1889), City Development (1904) and Cities in Evolution (1914). He designed the new Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1919), planned the city of Tel Aviv, coined the terms ‘conurbation’ and ‘the second industrial revolution’ (electricity and chemicals), promoted the concept of ‘ecology’ and became an icon of the Green movement.
Boardman, P., Patrick Geddes: Maker of the Future. 1957; Kitchen, P., A Most Unsettling Person. 1975; Welter, V. M., Biopolis: Patrick Geddes and the City of Life. 2002.
Gehrig, (Henry) Lou(is) (1903–1941). American baseballer. He played 2130 consecutive games for the New York Yankees (1925–39), a record that stood until 1995. He died from motor neurone disease (named for him in the US).
Gehry, Frank Owen (originally Goldberg) (1929– ). Canadian-American architect, born in Toronto. He won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1989. His buildings include 8 Spruce Street, Manhattan; the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, 1995–98; the Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris; Dancing House, Prague; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada (CC).
Goldenberger, P., Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry. 2015.
Geiger, Hans (né Johannes) Wilhelm (1882–1945). German physicist. He was best known for research on the alpha particles given off from radioactive substances. For their detection he invented (1908), with *Rutherford, the device known as the Geiger counter. With Ernest Marsden he showed that alpha-particles passing through metal foil were occasionally deflected through large angles, and it was this observation that led Rutherford to formulate (1911) his nuclear model of the atom. Professor of Physics at Kiel, Tübingen and Berlin, during World War II he investigated uranium for use in a bomb.
Geikie, Sir Archibald (1835–1924). Scottish geologist, born and educated in Edinburgh. He worked with the Geological Survey from 1855, became its director in Scotland in 1867 and was director general 1882–1901 for the UK. He was professor of geology at Edinburgh University 1871–82, President of the Royal Society 1908–13 and awarded the OM (1913). His notable Textbook of Geology (1882) was one of his many books that included an autobiography, A Long Life’s Work (1924).
Geim, Sir André Konstantin (1958– ). Russian-Dutch-British physicist, born in Sochi. He held a chair at Manchester and shared the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics ‘for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene’, layers of carbon, one atom thick, also working on superconductivity and the impact of magnetism on water. He is the only scientist (so far) to win a Nobel Prize and an Ig Nobel Prize, in 2000, for his experiments on the levitation of frogs.
Gell-Mann, Murray (1929–2019). American theoretical physicist, born in New York. Educated at Yale, MIT and Chicago (where he studied with *Fermi), he was a professor at the California Institute of Technology 1956–93, working on subatomic particles. He proposed a systematic classification of particles which he called ‘the Eightfold Way’, now generally accepted, that led to his Nobel Prize for Physics in 1969. He also postulated the existence of ‘quarks’ (a name taken from James *Joyce) as the basic building blocks for all matter. With Richard *Feynman, he explained the mechanisms of the ‘weak nuclear force’. His interests included linguistics, archaeology, natural history and the psychology of creativity. He was a co-founder of the Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, which works on complexity theory.
Gell-Mann, M., The Quark and the Jaguar. 1994; Johnson, G., Strange Beauty. Murray Gell-Mann and the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics. 1999.
Gellée, Claude see Claude Lorrain(e)
Geminiani, Francesco (1687–1762). Italian composer and violinist. A pupil of *Corelli, he lived in London for many years and composed works for violin and string orchestra. His book The Art of Playing the Violin (c.1740), the earliest work of its kind, contains valuable information about the technique of his day.
Genet, Jean (1910–1986). French novelist, dramatist and poet, born in Paris. Son of a prostitute, he lived in an orphanage as a child, then with a peasant family, followed by years in a reformatory and jail terms for theft and male prostitution. He began writing in jail with his Our Lady of the Flowers (1943) and was pardoned in 1948. His powerful plays included The Balcony (1956), The Blacks (1959) and The Screens (1961).
White, E., Genet. 1993.
Geneviève, St (c.422–c.512). French religious, born in Naterre. She is said to have taken the veil at the age of 15. When her parents died she went to Paris, where she lived a life of great austerity and when *Attila and the Huns invaded France (451) calmed the panic-stricken inhabitants by her absolute assurance, derived from her prayers and, soon justified, that the enemy would pass the city by. Venerated as the patron saint of Paris, her remains are in the church of Saint-Etienne du Mont.
Genghis known as Genghis Khan (Chinggis Khaan, birth name Temüjin, i.e. blacksmith) (c.1162–1227). Great Khan of the Mongol Empire 1206–27. Born in Delüün Boldog, near Lake Baikal, a member of the Borjigin clan, he succeeded his father, Yesügei, who ruled the tribes in the steppes of central Asia from the Amur River to the Great Wall of China. He gradually extended his authority until in 1206 he took the title Genghis Khan (‘universe ruler’). In c.1212 he followed up China’s refusal to pay tribute by overrunning the country. Next he turned westwards and southwards, and even after he returned to Mongolia (1221) his captains continued the great conquering drives. Thus when he died, the Mongol empire stretched from the Yellow Sea to the Black Sea, and included Korea, Persia, Armenia, Southeast Russia, Turkestan and parts of Siberia and China. His religion was Tengriism, Central Asian shamanism, followed by Mongols, Huns and Turks. He had a reputation for religious tolerance and curiosity, but his conquests aroused terror among Christian and Muslim nations alike and his massacres became legendary. Despite his brilliance as a soldier and ability as a ruler, he left no permanent institutions behind him, though important indirect results of the forces he set in motion were the entry of the Turks into Europe and the Mughal Empire in India. His life has been the subject of 12 films, three television series, five novels and five video games. An international genetic team in 2003 concluded that Genghis had more direct descendants than anyone else in history and that 16 million males had the same Y-chromosome as the Great Khan. He was succeeded by his son Ögedai (c.1186–1241); *Kublai Khan was a grandson. *Timur claimed to be a successor of Genghis but this is doubtful.
De Hartog, L., Genghis Khan: Conqueror of the World. 1988; Turnbull, S., Genghis Khan & the Mongol Conquests 1190–1400. 2003; Weatherford, J., Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. 2004; Man, J., Genghis Khan. Life, Death and Resurrection. 2004.
Gens, Véronique (1966– ). French soprano, born in Orléans. She became a baroque specialist, working with William *Christie, then made memorable CDs of *Mozart’s operas with René *Jacobs. She also excelled in music by *Purcell, *Berlioz, *Debussy, *Ravel and *Poulenc.
Genscher, Hans-Dietrich (1927–2016). German politician. He worked for the Free Democratic Party, became a deputy in the Bundestag 1965–92, and party leader 1974–85. He served as Minister for the Interior 1969–74 and Foreign Minister 1974–82, 1982–92 in both Socialist and Christian Democratic governments.
Gentile da Fabriano (c.1370–1427). Italian painter. He worked on historical frescoes, in the late Gothic style, for the Doge’s Palace at Venice (1409–19) and later in Florence, Siena and Rome. His Adoration of the Magi (in the Uffizi, Florence), with its richly caparisoned procession of kings and the clever foreshortening of the horses greatly influenced Florentine technique.
Gentileschi, Artemisia (1597–1651?). Italian painter, born in Rome. Daughter of the painter Orazio Gentileschi (1563–1638), she painted in the style of *Caravaggio, with brilliant colour and violent action. Agnes Merlet directed the film Artemisia (1998).
Geoffrey V (Plantagenet), Count of Anjou, Duke of Normandy (1113–1151). French nobleman, born (and died) at Château-du-Loir. Part of the Angevin dynasty, he succeeded his father *Fulk (Foulque) V as Count of Anjou in 1129 and was Duke of Normandy 1144–50. He became the second husband of *Matilda, daughter of *Henry I of England, and as father of *Henry II founded the *Plantagenet dynasty.
Geoffrey of Monmouth (c.1100–1154). British chronicler. He became Bishop of St Asaph (Wales) in 1152 and wrote the Historia Regum Britanniae, in which he assembled much of the legendary history of King Arthur, giving it a 12th-century setting. His work influenced Wace and other medieval chroniclers.
Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Etienne (1772–1844). French anatomist and palaeontologist. He specialised in comparative anatomy, working out the principles that enable the scientist to deduce absent organic structures from surviving ones (in the case of defective extinct fossil creatures) and the principle of organic balance. Largely through contemplation of the palaeontological record, which seemed to show a historical succession from primitive to complex forms of life, from the invertebrates up to the mammals, he came to believe, like *Lamarck, in the reality of organic evolution. This he saw as proceeding by a series of big jumps, on the analogy of the embryological production of occasional monsters, when climatic and environmental conditions made survival of existing species precarious. He was bitterly attacked for his evolutionary views by his one-time collaborator, *Cuvier. In his later years, he developed a broad ranging, if somewhat mystical, view of the organic unity of all Nature.
Bourdier, F. ‘Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and his Struggle against Cuvier’ in Schneer, C. J. (ed.), Toward a History of Geology. 1969.
George (Geōrgios/ Georgius), St (d.c.303). Christian martyr, perhaps born in Cappadocia or Syria. It is difficult to distinguish legend from fact. A possible version of his life is that he was a military tribune in the Roman army in Palestine, who, having proclaimed his Christian faith during the persecutions inspired by *Diocletian, was tortured and beheaded at Nicomedia, supposedly on 23 April. The story of St George and the dragon first appears in its present form in The Golden Legend (c.1275). When a dragon appeared before Silence in Libya, its hunger was daily satisfied by a sheep. When sheep failed, men and women were chosen by lot as substitutes. At last the lot fell upon the princess, but when, dressed as a bride, she faced her doom, St George, under the protection of the Cross, appeared and so wounded the dragon that it could be brought into the city and beheaded. A striking resemblance to the Greek story of Perseus and Andromeda is apparent. St George became popular in England during the Crusades, but supplanted *Edward the Confessor as patron saint only in the reign of *Edward III.
George I (Georg Ludwig von Welf-Este) (1660–1727). King of Great Britain and Ireland 1714–27, Elector of Hanover 1698–1727. Born at Osnabrück, he was the son of the Elector Ernst August (d.1698) and *Sophia of the Palatinate. In 1682 he married his cousin Sophia Dorothea of Celle in 1682 but having discovered (1694) her liaison with Count *Königsmark (who was speedily murdered), he divorced her and kept her confined at Ahlden until she died (1726), despite his own many mistresses. Through his mother, a granddaughter of *James I in the Protestant line of descent, he was able to succeed to the British throne by virtue of the Act of Settlement (1701), which excluded the Roman Catholic Stuarts. His reign marked the beginning of a long Whig supremacy, since the Tories were held to be tainted with complicity in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715. His long absences in Hanover and his lack of interest in British politics favoured the development of constitutional government with the rise of Robert *Walpole as de facto Prime Minister. Taciturn, and having little English, he conversed with Walpole in Latin. He was the patron of *Händel. He died of a stroke in the room of his birth and was buried at Osnabrück.
George I (1845–1913). King of the Hellenes 1864–1913. Son of *Christian IX of Denmark and brother of Britain’s Queen *Alexandra, he was chosen king after the abdication of *Otho and proved to be the virtual creator of modern democratic Greece. His invitation (1909) to *Venizelos, the Cretan political leader, to head the government led to the formation of the Balkan alliance against Turkey, the successful Balkan Wars (1912–13) and the creation of a greater Greece. On the eve of a triumph which owed so much to him he was assassinated at Salonica.
George II (Georg August von Welf-Este) (1683–1760). King of Great Britain and Ireland, Elector of Hanover 1727–60. Born in Hanover, son of *George I, he frequently deputised during his father’s long absences in Germany and they rarely met. As King, he maintained *Walpole in office, encouraged to do so by his astute and able wife, Caroline of Anspach, whom he had married in 1705. Though George openly expressed his preference for Hanover and had limited interest in English politics, he was reasonably fluent and no puppet, but also philistine and subject to sudden rages. He successfully played, without liking, his constitutional role and gave his ministers the full benefit of his knowledge of foreign affairs. After the death (1740) of the emperor *Charles VI, George, despite Walpole’s reluctance, fulfilled his obligations under the Pragmatic Sanction to secure the succession to the Austrian inheritance of Charles’ daughter, *Maria Theresa. At Dettingen (1743) he commanded his army in person, the last British sovereign to do so. In 1745 *Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) landed in Scotland and the Jacobite army came as far south as Derby before the danger passed and George could again feel secure. Walpole had fallen in 1742 and, in the years that followed, the Duke of *Newcastle, that industrious purveyor of patronage, was the constant political factor, with *Pitt, Carteret (*Granville), and others giving intermittent support. The opposition centred upon the childish and disagreeable *Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, who predeceased his father. The reign ended in a blaze of glory: the success of the Seven Years’ War, which began in 1756, included the British conquest of French Canada and the destruction of French influence in India. George II was brave, honest, quick tempered but sometimes mean and vindictive; he was also promiscuous before and after Queen Caroline’s death (1737). The Hanoverian Amelia von Walmoden (Countess of Yarmouth) was the most conspicuous of the royal favourites. Succeeded by his grandson, *George III, he was the last British king to maintain the ancient claim to the throne of France.
George (Geórgios) II (1890–1947). King of the Hellenes 1922–24, 1935–47. He succeeded his father *Constantine I after his second abdication (1922), but was himself deposed when the republic was proclaimed (1924). He lived in Romania 1924–32 and England 1932–35. After 12 years of instability in Greece, the authoritarian Prime Minister Geórgios Kondylis organised a fake plebiscite in which 98 per cent voted to restore the monarchy (1935). After the sudden death of Kondylis, the recalled king appointed Ioannis *Metaxas as dictator. In World War II, Greece successfully resisted the Italian attack of 1940 but was overwhelmed in 1941 Germans invaded. He worked with the government-in-exile in England and, after a highly suspect plebiscite (1946), returned to Greece, dying suddenly six months later.
George III (George William Frederick von Welf-Este) (1738–1820). King of Great Britain and Ireland, from 1801 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 1760–1820, Elector and, from 1814, King of Hanover 1760–1820. Born in London, son of *Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, he succeeded his grandfather George *II. As he told his first parliament, ‘Born and educated in this country, I glory in the name of Briton’ and he never visited Hanover where his two predecessors had been born. Tutored by the Earl of *Bute, to whom he was devoted, in 1759 he fell in love with Lady Sarah Lennox, daughter of the Duke of Richmond. Bute persuaded him that he must marry a Protestant princess from Germany. George’s aim, derived from *Bolingbroke’s Idea of a Patriot King, was to choose the best men, irrespective of party, and to govern without ‘influence’ an impossible ambition in the political conditions of the time. His first step to this end was to get rid of his grandfather’s ministers *Pitt and *Newcastle and to install Bute as Chief Minister. This was a mistake, for Bute, already mistrusted as a Scot, a royal favourite and a totally inexperienced politician, earned more unpopularity by bringing the Seven Years’ War to an end on terms held to be disadvantageous to Britain, the victor. Bute was forced to resign in 1763 but continued to advise until 1766. There followed a period of frequent ministerial changes, complicated by the attacks of *Wilkes and his supporters, until George found Lord *North, who by adroit use of patronage, considerable tactical skill and charm of manners managed to stay in office from 1770 to 1782. He could not survive the loss of the American colonies, but after another short period of frequent change (1782–83), George appointed the younger *Pitt, who gradually removed control of government from royal hands. A devout and rigid Anglican, he bought Buckingham Palace (formerly House), restored Windsor Castle, and also lived in Kew. He barely travelled and never left England. George’s refusal to violate his coronation oath by agreeing to any measure of Roman Catholic emancipation created the only real impasse. The last part of the reign was almost totally dominated by the impact of the French Revolutionary and Napoléonic wars. In 1761 George had married Princess *Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, by whom he had nine sons and six daughters. Faithful and devoted as he was, reaction against the atmosphere of happy and rather stuffy domesticity may have contributed to the extravagances of his eldest son (*George IV) who became regent in 1811, when his father after earlier short periods of ‘madness’ (now thought to have been compounded by excessive medication, or possibly porphyria), became blind and incompetent. George’s particular hobby, which earned him the nickname of ‘Farmer George’, was agriculture, and he set up a model farm at Windsor, which he made his permanent home. His well-used library of 65,000 volumes is displayed, enclosed in a six-storey glass tower, in the British Library. In his later years his high, if confused, idealism and his love and concern for England were recognised and his death, after the longest reign in British history to that time, was marked by widespread regret.
Brooke, J., King George III. Rev. ed. 1985; Hadlow, J., The Strangest Family. George III, Queen Charlotte and the Hanoverians. 2014.
George IV (George Augustus Frederick) (1762–1830). King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Ireland and Hanover 1820–30. Born in London, the eldest son of *George III, he reacted against the restraints of a strict and pious father, and on acquiring his own establishment became notorious for extravagance and dissipation. He was, however, intelligent, and the political friends he gathered round him chosen from the Whig opposition as if further to spite and distress his father were men like Charles James *Fox and *Sheridan, who, whatever their tastes in pleasure, were among the most brilliant and cultured men of the age. He secretly married (1785) a Roman Catholic widow, Maria *Fitzherbert, but the marriage, entered into without his father’s consent, was illegal under the Royal Marriage Act (1722). In 1795 he agreed to marry Princess *Caroline of Brunswick but they parted after the birth of Princess *Charlotte. His attempt to divorce her (1820) failed. When, after his father had become insane (1811), he became regent, he failed to satisfy the hopes of his Whig friends and kept the Tories in office. The so-called Regency period in architecture, dress and decoration owed little to his direct encouragement, his own taste being more truly exemplified by the exuberant fantasy of the Brighton Pavilion. As King, George IV was prevented from effective action by languor and illness, but in the last years of his life, while opposing all reform at home, he strongly supported *Canning’s liberal policy abroad.
Hibbert, C., George IV. 2 vols, 1972–73.
George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert) (1865–1936). King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India 1910–36. Son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later *Edward VII) he was born at Marlborough House and trained in the navy. When his elder brother, *Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence died in 1892, George became heir and in 1893 married Princess *Mary of Teck, a great-granddaughter of *George III, formerly his brother’s fiancée. There were six children: Edward (later *Edward VIII), Albert (later *George VI), Mary (Princess Royal, Countess of Harewood), Henry (Duke of *Gloucester), George (Duke of *Kent) and John (1905–1919). The marriage was successful, but George was an intimidating father and Mary a remote mother. He was an avid (and expert) stamp collector and regarded as England’s leading shot, once shooting a thousand pheasants in six hours. As Duke of Cornwall and York he opened the first Commonwealth Parliament in Australia (May 1901) and became Prince of Wales later that year. After his coronation in June 1911 he went to India for the Delhi Durbar (December 1911). In August 1911 he had assented, reluctantly, to the Parliament Act which reduced the power of the House of Lords, was concerned about the prospect of Home Rule in Ireland, and appalled by the outbreak of World War I and the Russian Revolution (although he did not offer asylum to his cousin *Nikolai II). In July 1917 he changed the name of his dynasty from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (*Wettin) to Windsor. The political and social upheavals of the postwar period must have shocked the prejudices of the old-fashioned country gentleman that he was, but he accepted the election of a Labour Government led by Ramsay *MacDonald in 1924 and supported a National Government in 1931. He never flew but from 1932 he broadcast Christmas messages on the BBC, and, at his Silver Jubilee (1935), expressed surprise at the level of public affection. Alone of his family, he was early in recognising the threat of *Hitler and the Nazis. Always a very heavy smoker, the timing of his death was an ‘assisted passage’ by his physician, Bertrand Edward Dawson, 1st Viscount Dawson of Penn (1864–1945), who had saved him from pneumonia in 1928.
Rose, K., King George V. 1983; Cannadine, D., George V. 2014.
George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George) (1895–1952). King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas 1936–52, Emperor of India 1936–47. Son of *George V, born at Sandringham, known as Prince Albert (‘Bertie’) from boyhood, and trained for the navy he was present at the Battle of Jutland (1916). He briefly attended Trinity College, Cambridge 1919–20. In 1920 he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (*Elizabeth). There were two children, the future Queen *Elizabeth II and Princess *Margaret. He visited Australia in 1927 to inaugurate Canberra as capital. He succeeded to the throne on the abdication of his elder brother *Edward VIII (December 1936), was crowned in May 1937 and toured Canada and the US in 1939. His reign was overshadowed by World War II. He and the Queen remained in London during the ‘blitz’ and helped to create the feeling of solidarity among the people. He suffered all his life from diffidence, a stammer, and, in his later years from Burger’s disease and lung cancer.
Wheeler Bennett, J. W., King George VI. 1958; Bradford, S., George VI. 1989.
George, David Lloyd see Lloyd George, David
George, Henry (1839–1897). American economist, born in Philadelphia. Promoter of the ‘single tax’ theory, he went to California at the age of 19 and became, as journalist and editor, interested in current problems. Our Land and Land Policy (1870) was his first work on his chosen subject but it was in Progress and Poverty (1879) that his theory was clearly worked out. Faced with the anomaly that increase in productive power did not appear to lead to a rise in wages and general prosperity, he concluded that the reason lay in the constant increase (as the demand and with it speculation grew) in land values and so in rent, which absorbed the surplus accruing from higher production. His remedy was to bring the increment in land values into public use by a single tax and abolish all others that fall upon industry or discourage thrift.
George, Stefan Anton (1868–1933). German poet. He was the leader of an esoteric group of German poets over whom he exercised influence mainly through his literary journal Blätter für die Kunst (founded 1892). He in turn was clearly influenced by *Baudelaire, *Mallarmé and the French symbolists. His belief was that it was the form rather than the content of verse that was important: metre and word harmonies should create a mental picture irrespective of literal meaning. He left Germany when the Nazis seized power. His most famous disciple was *Rilke. George was also a gifted translator.
Goldsmith, U. K., Stefan George: A Study of His Early Work. 1960.
Gephardt, Dick (Richard Andrew) (1941– ). American Democratic politician. A lawyer, he served in the US House of Representatives 1977–2005, becoming Democratic Leader 1989–2003, and sought the presidential nomination in 1988 and 2004.
Gericault (Jean-Louis-André) Theodore (1791–1824). French painter, born in Rouen. A pupil of Vernet and Guerin, he developed a passion for *Michelangelo, *Caravaggio and *Rubens and evolved from being a copyist to a strikingly original and powerful Romantic who, with his friend *Delacroix, broke the prevailing neo-classical fashion. His works included Charging Chasseur (1812), Wounded Cuirassier (1814), Raft of the Medusa (1819), Derby at Epsom (1821), swirling studies of battles and horses, and five extraordinary portraits of the insane. He had three riding accidents which led to Pott’s disease (tuberculosis of the bone) and an early death.
Gergiev, Valery Aisalovich (1953– ). Russian conductor, born in Moscow. He was director of the Mariinsky Opera, St Petersburg 1988– , chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra 2006–15 and appeared often at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. His specialities included *Mussorgsky, *Tchaikovsky, *Mahler, *Stravinsky, *Prokoviev and *Shostakovich. He enjoyed the patronage of Vladimir *Putin.
German, Sir Edward (E. G. Jones) (1862–1936). English composer. A violinist and conductor, he wrote popular comic operas, notably Merrie England (1902) and Tom Jones (1907), many songs and incidental music to plays, e.g. Henry VIII and Nell Gwyn.
Geronimo (original name Goyathlay) (1829–1908). American Apache leader, born in Arizona. His Indian name meant ‘One who yawns’, the Mexicans called him Geronimo. He fought against Mexican and US occupation and led guerrilla operations in 1874 and 1886. He was captured and confined in Florida (1886–94), then lived in Oklahoma.
Gerry, Elbridge (1744–1814). American politician. He became prominent in Massachusetts politics and was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. As Governor of Massachusetts 1810–12, he rearranged the electoral areas in a way designed to benefit his own Republican party, a practice later known as ‘gerrymandering’. He was Vice President of the US 1813–14.
Gershwin, George (originally Jacob Bruskin Gershowitz) (1898–1937). American composer and pianist, born in Brooklyn. Of Russian-Jewish parentage, he wrote many outstanding songs including ‘Swanee’, ‘Somebody Loves Me’, ‘’S Wonderful’, ‘Love Walked In’, ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘Do It Again’ and experimented with ‘symphonic jazz’ in his Rhapsody in Blue (1924) for piano and orchestra, and in the opera Porgy and Bess (1935). Other important works by Gershwin include the Piano Concerto in F (1925) and An American in Paris, for orchestra (1928). He developed a malignant brain tumour and died after an operation (as did *Ravel, whom he greatly admired, five months later). It has been calculated that his estate had the largest earnings of any major composer. His brother Ira Gershwin (1896–1983) was a lyricist.
Gesell, Arnold Lucius (1880–1961). American psychologist. As director of the Clinic of Child Development 1911–48 and professor of child hygiene at Yale, he acquired great authority on his subject. His best known books are The Child from Five to Ten (1946), Youth: The Years from Ten to Sixteen (1956).
Gesner, Konrad (1516–1565). Swiss naturalist. He produced encyclopaedic surveys of several subjects, from botany to comparative philology. The best known is his Historia animalium (5 volumes, 1551–58), which surveyed all known forms of animals, and provided the foundation for much later work. He also produced bibliographies of all known Greek, Latin and Hebrew writers.
Getty, J(ean) Paul (1892–1976). American oil magnate. He took control of Pacific Western Oil in 1932, changed its name to Getty Oil and amassed a great fortune which he left to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California. He lived in England from 1951 (he never saw his museum) and died there.
Ghazāli, Abū Hāmid Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al- (1058–1111). Persian theologian and mystic, born in Tus. A Sunni, he taught in Baghdad, wrote in Arabic, and was known in the West as Algazel. In his immensely influential The Incoherence of Philosophers, he denounced the adoption of Aristotelean thinking and scientific method by Muslim philosophers and scientists such as *Avicenna. Despite later rebuttal by *Averroës, his work led to a Muslim withdrawal from science, mathematics and discourse with Europe. He became a Sufi mystic and retired to a monastery in Tus.
Ghibellines. Name of an Italian faction of princes that supported Imperial power against the Papacy from the 12th century, derived from a *Hohenstaufen war-cry. Their pro-Papal rivals were the Guelphs, the name derived from the German *Welf dynasty.
Ghiberti, Lorenzo (1378–1455). Italian sculptor and goldsmith, born in Florence. In 1402 he won a competition for designing two bronze doors for the Baptistery of St John in Florence on the theme of Abraham and Isaac. Completed in 1424 these were followed by a second pair (1425–52), called the Porta dei Paradiso, *Michelangelo is said to have remarked that they are ‘worthy to be the gates of Paradise’. In these, Ghiberti abandons the Gothic framework and the scenes are placed in rectangular compartments, the crowded figures in relief against backgrounds displaying his mastery and perspective. His output was small and nothing else he made equalled these famous doors, unsurpassed in their excellence.
Ghirlandaio, Domenico (Domenico di Tommaso Bigordi) (1449–1494). Italian painter, born in Florence. After an apprenticeship as goldsmith, he started painting c.1470. His many frescoes in Florence reveal not only the earnestness and dignity of his style but collectively provide a wonderful panorama of Florentine dress and ways of life. From 1481 to 1482 he worked in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican for Pope *Sixtus IV: he painted the fresco The Calling of St Peter and St Andrew as well as the figures of several popes. In addition to frescoes his work included mosaics in the cathedral at Florence and many fine altarpieces. He employed many assistants, amongst whom was *Michelangelo. His realistic and tender An Old Man and his Grandson (c.1490) is in the Louvre.
Giacometti, Alberto (1901–1966). Swiss sculptor. After 1922 he worked mostly in Paris. At first working from nature, under the influence of Cubism he became (1930–34) the most distinguished sculptor of the Surrealist group. From 1935 he returned to working from nature, developing his very personal style of figures, mostly standing or walking men and women, of exaggeratedly slender proportions. His Man Pointing (bronze; 1947) sold for $US141.3 million in 2015, the highest price ever paid for a sculpture.
Lord, J., Giacometti. 1985.
Giap, Vo Nguyen (1911–2013). Vietnamese general, born in Annam. The son of a mandarin, he became a lawyer, teacher and journalist, and by 1939 was a leader of the Indochinese Communist Party. Imprisoned for some years, his sister was executed by the French and his wife died in jail. During World War II he led Vietminh guerrillas against the Japanese and worked with the Chinese. As Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the People’s Army of Vietnam 1946–81 he defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu (1954) and led the long successful campaign against the South and the US.
Gibbon, Edward (1737–1794). English historian, born in Putney. Educated at Westminster School, he was removed from Magdalen College, Oxford, after 14 months on his temporary conversion to Roman Catholicism. A ‘cure’ was effected by sending him to live with a Calvinist pastor in Lausanne and this persuaded him to become a lifelong agnostic. While there he transformed reading for pleasure into unremitting study, and became engaged to Suzanne Curchod, the future Madame *Necker. His father ordered him to break his engagement and, as he wrote: ‘I sighed as a lover, I obeyed as a son.’ He had ‘a wandering life of military servitude’ as a non-combative major in the Hampshire militia 1760–62, odd training for an historian with brilliant insights about warfare. His first publication was Essai sur l’Étude de la Littérature (1761).
He wrote that on 15 October 1764, on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, ‘the idea of writing the decline and fall of the city first started to my mind’, a project which matured into The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (6 volumes, 1776–88), covering the period from *Trajan and the Antonines to the fall of Constantinople (1453). For its style, lucidity and completeness, it is one of the greatest masterpieces of historical writing. Even now its accuracy (except perhaps on the Byzantine material) can seldom be impugned. He made no secret of his conviction that Christianity weakened the empire, while his obsessive conviction that history is ‘little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind’ may have led him to neglect other factors. Nevertheless, the book is a superb and lasting monument to the ‘Age of Enlightenment’. Gibbon replied to his theological critics in A Vindication … (1779).
He sat, mute, as an MP 1774–80, 1781–83, first as a Whig then as a follower of the Tory, Lord *North. He lived in Lausanne again 1783–87, 1789–93, then returned to London suffering from a huge and disfiguring hydrocele of the scrotum. He died of peritonitis after a failed operation.
Gibbon cut a peculiar, if not ludicrous, figure in society, but the quality of his research and writing is extraordinary.
Swain, J. R., Edward Gibbon the Historian. 1966; Burrow, J. W., Gibbon. 1985; Porter, R., Gibbon: Making History. 1989.
Gibbons, Grinling (1648–1721). Dutch-English woodcarver and sculptor, born in Rotterdam. His work attracted the attention of John *Evelyn who introduced him to *Wren. Gibbons entered the Board of Works and was ‘master carver’ under five British sovereigns. Much of his work, in which flower and fruit motifs predominate, was done for St Paul’s Cathedral, the royal palaces, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, Blenheim Palace and St James’s, Piccadilly, etc.
Green, D., Grinling Gibbons. 1964.
Gibbons, Orlando (1583–1625). English composer. In 1596 he became a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge, and he was appointed organist of the Chapel Royal (1604) and later of Westminster Abbey (1623). He wrote works for keyboard and viols and was a noted composer of Church music (services and anthems such as Lift Up Your Heads) and of madrigals, e.g. The Silver Swan.
Fellowes, E. H., Orlando Gibbons. 1951.
Gibbs, J(osiah) Willard (1839–1903). American mathematical physicist, born in New Haven, Connecticut. Son of a Yale professor, Gibbs studied mathematics and natural philosophy at Yale, and received a PhD in 1863. He travelled widely in Europe in the 1860s and became professor of mathematical physics at Yale 1871–1903. He pioneered chemical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, applying *Clausius’s Second Law of Thermodynamics (as the amount of usable energy in the world diminishes, entropy tends to increase, material systems tend towards equilibrium) to chemical reactions. His ‘phase rule’ explained how equilibria varied when a compound had different phases (e.g. ice, water, steam). He also worked on the electromagnetic theory of light. Gibbs influenced the work of Clerk *Maxwell in England, but had less impact on *Helmholtz and *Planck in Germany, who pursued their researches independently. He received the Copley Medal in 1901.
Wheeler, L. P., Josiah Willard Gibbs. 1970.
Giblin, Lyndhurst Falkiner (1872–1951). Australian economist. Son of a Tasmanian Premier, educated in Cambridge, he worked as a farmer, gold prospector, fur trapper, lumberjack, state MP, soldier (DSO and MC in World War I), statistician, professor of economics (Melbourne) and government advisor. He anticipated the ‘multiplier’ theory, later taken up by J. M. *Keynes, and became the first Keynesian economist in Australia. He had a profound influence on J. B. *Chifley and H. C. *Coombs.
Gibran, Khalil (1883–1931). Syrian-Lebanese poet and artist, in the US from 1895. His metaphysical prose poems, The Prophet (1923) and Jesus, the Son of Man (1928), have been bestsellers for decades, their beauty of language being matched by extreme vagueness of thought.
Gibson, Althea (1927–2003). American tennis player and golfer, born in South Carolina. The first African-American to win international tennis competitions, she played in the US (Forest Hills) championship in 1950, and at Wimbledon in 1951. She won the women’s singles championships in the US and Great Britain in 1957 and 1958.
Gibson, Charles Dana (1867–1944). American black and white artist. His work for the New York periodicals became famous towards the close of the 19th century, and especially his society cartoons for which he created the type known as the ‘Gibson girl’.
Gibson, Guy Penrose (1918–1944). British bomber pilot of World War II. He won the VC when leading the successful low-level bomb attack (1943) which breached the Möhne Dam. By attracting enemy anti-aircraft fire to his own plane he enabled others of the squadron to get through. He lost his life in a bomber raid.
Gide, André (Paul Guillaume) (1869–1951). French writer, born in Paris. His parents were Protestants, but his mother’s family were such recent converts that Gide felt himself born ‘of two faiths’. His father, a distinguished professor of law, died when Gide was 11 and he was brought up by his strict and narrow-minded mother and her friend, Anne Shackleton. His education was interrupted by recurrent psychological troubles. Despite maternal disapproval Gide early determined to become a writer and through Pierre *Louÿs he joined in the literary life of Paris. *Mallarmé’s poetry was a major influence. His mother died in 1895 leaving him a large fortune. Shortly after, he married his cousin Madeleine, whom he had long admired, but the marriage, though never broken up entirely, was unhappy, largely because of Gide’s homosexuality. A founder and literary editor of La Nouvelle Revue Française (from 1908), he rejected the works of his rival—but later, friend—Marcel *Proust. His social conscience led him to help refugees in World War I and in the Spanish Civil War, and later to protest at the treatment of Africans in the Congo. For a time inclined to support communism, he was disillusioned by a visit to Russia (1936). He spent the last years of his life (his wife having died in 1938) in North Africa and Paris. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (1947). His early works, though highly esteemed by fellow writers, made no impact on the public. It was not till Gide was 50, when general literary taste had evolved after World War I, that he received wide recognition; even then his works remained controversial and, in particular, repugnant to most Catholics. (He described his ‘two obsessions’ as being Christianity and pederasty.) But his reputation grew until he was generally regarded as the greatest modern French writer after Proust. His books reflected, with unsparing candour, his innermost feelings and struggles, his search for ‘authentic’ experience, his rejection of the moral conventions of society. They are also, in a sense, a continuing autobiography. His early works, Les Nour ritures terrestres (1897), Saul (1896), L’Immoraliste (1902), La Porte étroite (1909) and Corydon (1911), deal each in a different way with the struggle between the spiritual and sensual sides of his nature. Si le Grain ne meurt (1926) was his actual autobiography, supplemented by his extensive Journal (1889–1947). His later novels, Les Caves du Vatican (1914) and Les Faux-Monnayeurs (1925), were less intimately personal.
Cordle, T., André Gide. 1976; Sheridan, A., Andre Gidé: a Life in the Present. 2000.
Gielgud, Sir (Arthur) John (1904–2000). English actor. A grandnephew of Dame Ellen *Terry, he made his debut at the Old Vic in 1921. He established himself as one of the greatest Shakespearian actors, notably for his subtle interpretation and beautiful speaking voice. He specialised in plays by *Molière, *Congreve, *Sheridan, *Wilde, *Shaw and *Chekhov. He appeared in many films, mostly in character parts, and won an Academy Award in 1981 for Arthur. He directed plays and operas, toured in a Shakesperean recital ‘The Ages of Man’ and wrote an autobiography An Actor and his Time (1979). He was knighted in 1953, receiving a CH in 1977 and the OM in 1996.
Gierek, Edward (1913–2001). Polish politician. His father, a miner, was killed in a mining accident in Silesia, Gierek and his mother emigrated to France, where he joined the Communist Party in 1931. During World War II he was in Belgium. In 1948 he returned to Poland and became organiser of the party in Upper Silesia. He was made head of the government’s heavy industry program in 1954, and a member of the Politburo in 1956. He became First Secretary of the Central Committee after the food-price riots of 1970, promising a less austere economic policy and a modification of Russian communism to national needs. He was forced out of office in 1980.
Gieseking, Walter (1895–1956). German pianist, born in Lyon. An interpreter of great subtlety and refinement, especially in *Debussy and *Ravel, he recorded extensively. He remained in Germany under the Nazi regime and, like *Furtwängler, was accused (but cleared) of cultural collaboration.
Gigli, Beniamino (1890–1957). Italian singer. Considered one of the greatest operatic tenors of his age, he made his debut in 1914 at Rovigo, and later toured widely, making his New York debut in 1920 and his first London appearance in 1930. His voice combined lyricism with power and an apparently effortless production.
Gilberd (or Gilbert), William (1540–1603). English physician, born in Colchester. Known for his work on magnetism and electricity, he became President of the College of Physicians (1599) and physician to both *Elizabeth I (1601) and after her death to *James I. His De Magnete (1600) described the properties of magnets and explained his hypothesis that the earth itself acts as a large magnet. He coined the terms ‘electric’ and ‘pole’. He also investigated frictional electricity, e.g. of amber and glass and tried to find a connexion between magnetism and electricity. The unit of magnetomotive force is named after him.
Gilbert, Sir Humphrey (1537–1583). English navigator, born in Devon. Half-brother of Sir Walter *Raleigh, his conviction that there was a northwest sea route to China was set out in his Discourse of a Discoveriefor a New Passage to Cataia (China), published in 1576, which inspired a series of English seamen to seek the ‘Northwest Passage’. His own explorations were unsuccessful. He was drowned when returning from an expedition in a very small vessel which capsized.
Gilbert, Walter (1932– ). American molecular biologist. Educated at Harvard and Cambridge, he held a chair in molecular biology at Harvard 1968, shared a Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1980 with Fred *Sanger and became a leading figure in the commercialisation of biotechnological research.
Gilbert, Sir William Schwenck (1836–1911). English humorist. Famous for operas written in collaboration with Arthur *Sullivan, after some years in the civil service Gilbert was called to the bar (1864). As a writer he first attracted notice with his Bab Ballads (collected 1869–73). Between 1871 and 1890 he wrote the libretti for the highly successful comic operas, which (from Iolanthe onwards) were played at the Savoy Theatre built by Richard D’Oyly *Carte in 1881. These included Trial by Jury (1875), H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1880), Patience (1881), Iolanthe (1882), The Mikado (1885), The Yeomen of the Guard (1888) and The Gondoliers (1889). He quarrelled bitterly with Sullivan (1890) and the long partnership was dissolved. Two or three years later they resumed collaboration but never achieved the same success. He died after saving a youth from drowning.
Gilbert & George. English collaborative artists: Gilbert Prousch (1943– ), born in Italy, and George Passmore (1942– ), born in England. They studied in London and worked as a team from 1967. They described themselves as ‘singing sculptures’, anti-elitist, but politically conservative and monarchists. As painters and sculptors, they depicted London’s East End and their subjects included religion, patriotism, violence and sex.
Gildas (c.500–570). Roman-British writer. His De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, a highly coloured and obscene medley of events and castigations of contemporary vice, remains the only contemporary authority for the early period of the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain after the departure of the Romans. King Arthur is not mentioned.
Gilels, Emil Grigorevich (1916–1985). Russian pianist, born in Odessa. He achieved a national reputation for his wide repertoire which included bravura works (e.g. *Tchaikovsky), *Mozart, *Beethoven and *Brahms, and did not appear outside the USSR until 1953.
Gill, (Arthur) Eric (Rowton) (1882–1940). British sculptor and engraver. In 1904 he became a stone cutter and attracted notice by his beautifully carved inscriptions. An ultimate result of his interest in lettering were his now widely used typefaces, e.g. Perpetua and Gill Sans (i.e. san serif). From 1910 Gill began also to undertake the carving of stone figures, mainly of religious subjects, symbolic in style but not abstract. Examples in London are the Stations of the Cross in Westminster Cathedral and the Prospero and Ariel sculpture on Broadcasting House. Controversy was aroused by the revelation in 1989 of Gill’s sexual experimentation and violence.
MacCarthy, F., Eric Gill. 1989.
Gillard, Julia Eileen (1961– ). Australian Labor politician, born in Wales. An industrial lawyer and political staffer, she was a Member of the House of Representatives 1998–2013, and became Australia’s first female Deputy Prime Minister 2007–10, also holding the portfolios of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and Social Inclusion. Following a Caucus coup against Kevin *Rudd in June 2010, she became Australia’s first female Prime Minister 2010–13. The election of August 2010 produced a hung Parliament and, although the ALP had a minority of seats she negotiated skilfully with independents to secure passage of an extensive list of legislative reforms in education, disability, health and carbon pricing. As a result of consistent poor polling, in June 2013 she was removed as leader and replaced by Rudd.
Gillard, J., My Story. 2014.
Gillespie, Dizzy (John Birks) (1917–1993). American jazz trumpeter and composer. He became a professional musician in 1935, modelling himself on Roy Eldridge. In 1944 he joined Billy Eckstine’s band and was recognised as a modern jazz innovator. He formed his own orchestra in 1945.
Gillray, James (1757–1815). English caricaturist. Though he continued the tradition of social satire in the manner of *Hogarth, his most important targets were the courts of *Napoléon and *George III and the political world. He often used colour and achieved a huge output, of some 1500 subjects, partly by dispensing with drawings and etching direct on copper. During his last four years he was insane.
Hill, D., Mr Gillray, The Caricaturist. 1965.
Gilmore, Dame Mary Jean (née Cameron) (1865–1962). Australian poet, feminist and social crusader, born near Goulburn. She was a journalist for many years, deeply committed to radical causes, pacifism and justice for Aborigines, but also a gifted lyrical poet. She is commemorated on the Australian $10 note.
Gil Robles, José Maria (1898–1980). Spanish politician. A journalist and leader of Catholic Action in the Cortes 1934–36, he was Minister of War 1935. Despite strong electoral support, he was kept out of power by *Franco and virtually exiled.
Gingrich, Newt(on Leroy) (1943– ). American Republican politician. He was a US Congressman from Georgia 1979–99, and Speaker of the House of Representatives 1995–99, resigning after Republican losses in the 1998 Congressional elections. He campaigned vigorously for the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
Ginsberg, Allen (1926–1997). American poet and guru. Educated at Columbia, his long poem Howl! (1956), an incantatory lament for a lost generation, written in the style of *Whitman, became a gospel for the ‘Beats’ of the 1950s and the ‘hippies’ of the 1960s. He experimented with the poetic effects of psychedelic drugs, was active in the flower power movement and mysticism and closely associated with Jack *Kerouac. He wrote Reality Sandwiches (1963) and The Yage Letters (with William *Burroughs: 1963), appeared in films, public performances, made recordings and published books of photographs.
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (née Bader) (1933– ). American jurist, born in New York City. As an advocate, she persuaded the US Supreme Court to change the law on major issues of gender equity and women’s rights, and served as a Justice of the Federal Court 1980–93 and the Supreme Court 1993– .
Knizhnik, S., and Carmon, I., Notorious RBG. 2015; De Hart, J. S., Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 2018.
Giolitti, Giovanni (1842–1928). Italian politician. He first held office as Finance Minister in 1889. Thereafter he was an almost indispensable figure in all political combinations until *Mussolini’s accession to power (1922). A superb parliamentary manipulator, he was Prime Minister five times 1892–93, 1903–05, 1906–09, 1911–14, 1920–21. He led Italy to victory in the war with Turkey (1911), by which Libya was gained. He did not support Italian entry in World War I, and opposed Mussolini after 1924.
Giorgione (Giorgio da Barbarelli da Castelfranco) (1475/8–1510). Italian painter, born in Castelfranco Veneto. One of the greatest Venetian painters of the High Renaissance, a pupil of Giovanni *Bellini, very little is known about his career and life. A major difficulty lies in the fact that none of his works was signed or dated and that his high contemporary reputation caused him to be much imitated. The difficulties of attribution and dating are therefore particularly great. Those held most likely to be his include Judith (St Petersburg), The Tempest (Venice) and The Three Philosophers (Vienna), which X-ray photography has shown to have originally represented The Three Magi, Laura and Boy with an Arrow (both in Vienna) and an unnamed portrait (San Diego). The background of the famous Dresden Venus was almost certainly painted by *Titian. A spiritual harmony between figures and background, well shown in the Concert Champêtre (Louvre)—if indeed it is his—distinguishes his landscapes. He was the first great romantic artist. In portraiture he shows the beginning of a psychological approach, and his claim to be an innovator is enhanced by a new type of small intimate easel picture for private collectors. He died in Venice of the plague, and several of his paintings were completed by others.
Pignatti, T., Giorgione. 1971.
Giotto di Bondone (1266/7–1337). Italian painter, born near Florence. Famous for having freed his painting from the formalised traditions of Byzantine art, his figures acquire solidity, and their faces, no longer restricted to the stereotyped expressions of the Byzantine style, show variety and individual character. Giotto owed much to *Cimabue, but for showing the way to Renaissance freedom he is rightly held to be a key figure in western art. His main surviving works are three famous sets of frescoes. The earliest, those in the church of St *Francis at Assisi, present difficulties of attribution but the inspiration, if not in every case the execution, is certainly his. Thirty-eight vivid frescoes (1303–05) in the Scrovegni Chapel at Padua, illustrating the Life and Passion of Christ, show Giotto’s work in its full maturity. The third set of frescoes (c.1317), which have lost much of their quality through repainting, are in chapels of the Santa Croce church in Florence. They relate the stories of St Francis and the two St Johns (the Baptist and the Evangelist). Of Giotto’s other work one of the finest examples is the great altarpiece now in the Uffizi at Florence showing the Madonna in glory with the Child and angels. In 1334 Giotto became official architect in Florence where he is believed to have designed the Campanile of the cathedral and almost certainly executed relief decorations on its ground floor.
Battisti, E., Giotto. 1966.
Giraldus Cambrensis (Gerald of Wales) (c.1146–1223). Norman Welsh prelate and chronicler. He went with Prince *John to Ireland (1185) and wrote extensively on the history and topography of that country; his descriptions of Wales are equally valuable. He also wrote lives of St David, St Hugh of Lincoln and others. His books contain much useful information about conditions in the reign of *Henry II.
Jones, T., Gerald of Wales. 1947.
Giraud, Henri Honoré (1879–1949). French general. In World War I, captured by the Germans, he escaped, served in Morocco in the 1920s and commanded the 9th French Army 1939–40. Captured again in 1940, he escaped to Vichy, then to Algeria. After *Darlan’s assassination the Americans made him Commander-in-Chief of French forces 1942–43 and he became co-President of the French Committee for National Liberation with Charles *de Gaulle. Despite *Roosevelt’s support, Giraud proved to be politically inept, tainted by some sympathy for *Pétain’s Vichy regime. So, de Gaulle, reluctantly supported by *Churchill, soon displaced him, and Giraud’s role as Commander-in-Chief became titular only. He was elected as a conservative to the French Constituent Assembly 1945–46.
Giraudoux, Jean (1882–1944). French writer. He wrote a number of novels, e.g. Simon le pathétique (1918) and Bella (1926), but is best known as the author of plays mainly based on classical themes treated satirically in modern terms. They include Amphitryon 38 (1929), Intermezzo (1933), La Guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu (1935) and Électre (1937, translated by Christopher *Fry as Tiger at the Gates, 1955). During Wor1d War II he was head of the French Ministry of Information until the collapse of France.
Cohen, R., Giraudoux: Three Faces of Destiny. 1968.
Girtin, Thomas (1775–1802). English painter and engraver. He was a pioneer and one of the finest exponents of watercolour painting, and revealed its full possibilities. He abandoned the concept of a watercolour as an outline drawing filled in with colour wash, and established a technique that turned it into a fully developed work of art. Much of his work was commissioned by publishers of books of engravings, e.g. of old monasteries and castles.
Giscard d’Estaing, Valéry (1926– ). French politician. A former civil servant, he was employed by the Inspection des Finances 1952–54, and then became a member of the staff of the President of the Council. In 1956 he was elected Deputy for Puy de Dôme. He was made Secretary of State for Finance in 1959, and served as Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs 1962–66 and 1969–74. He was elected President of France in 1974 and defeated in 1981 by François *Mitterrand.
Gissing, George Robert (1857–1903). English novelist, born in Yorkshire. His experience, as a young man in London and the US, of the depressing effects of poverty produced such powerful and pessimistic novels as Demos (1886) and New Grub Street (1891). His later works include the literary study Charles Dickens (1898), and The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (1903), a fictional fulfilment of his own hopes for a serene old age. A historical novel, Veranilda, appeared after his death.
Tindall, G., The Born Exile. 1974.
Giuliani, Rudy (Rudolph William Louis) (1944– ). American Republican politician and lawyer. Mayor of New York City 1993–2002, he gained international recognition after the 9/11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre. He earned $8 million on the lecture circuit in 2006 and wrote two books. He failed in his bid for the Republican nomination for president in 2008 and 2012.
Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi de’Giannuzi) (c.1499–1546). Italian painter and architect. A pupil and assistant of *Raphael in Rome, he helped to finish the stucco ornamentation for the Loggia of the Vatican after the master’s death. In his own work he exaggerated the tendencies of *Raphael’s later period and so came to be regarded as a founder of the Mannerist school. This exaggeration is especially apparent in The Fall of the Giants in the Palazzo del Te at Mantua, where he went to work under the patronage of the ducal Gonzaga family (1524). His finest architectural work there was the reconstruction of the cathedral and the ducal palace, while his drainage of the marshes showed his engineering skill. His method of combining stucco work with fresco panels was imitated all over Europe. *Shakespeare refers to him in A Winter’s Tale.
Gladstone, William Ewart (1809–1898). British politician, born in Liverpool. Son of Sir John Gladstone, a slave owning merchant and MP of Scottish descent, he was educated at Eton and Oxford and at first intended to become an Anglican priest. Indeed, when he accepted an opportunity to enter the first reformed parliament (1832) as Tory member for Newark, it was at least partly in order to benefit the Church. He served as MP 1832–45, 1847–95. Described by *Macaulay as ‘the rising hope of those stern unbending Tories’, the future Liberal Prime Minister was given several junior offices by Robert *Peel before becoming Colonial Secretary 1845–46. When the party split over Peel’s decision to repeal the Corn Laws (1846) Gladstone followed his leader. Until 1853, out of office, Gladstone passed through a period of furious inner turmoil, sexual obsession and self-flagellation. In Naples in 1851 he was appalled by the cruel treatment of political dissidents which profoundly shook his faith in conservatism. However, he was still a Peelite when he joined Lord *Aberdeen’s ministry as Chancellor of the Exchequer 1852–55, but when he again held this office under *Palmerston and Lord John *Russell 1859–66 the transition to Liberalism was made. As Chancellor, Gladstone carried forward Peel’s free-trade policy and accomplished the feat of reducing income tax to 4d. in the pound. The Post Office Savings Bank was introduced in 1861. When Russell became Prime Minister after Palmerston’s death (1865), Gladstone was leader in the Commons, but a brief Conservative administration intervened before he defeated *Disraeli (1868) in a landslide election victory fought with the widened franchise of 1867. Gladstone, now almost 60 years old, became Prime Minister 1868–74, leading the first Liberal Government. Showing how far he had moved from his early Anglican intolerance, he disestablished the Church of Ireland (1869), abolished religious tests for universities, and passed an Education Act that inter alia enabled rates to be used for building non-denominational schools. The Irish Land Act (1870) was an attempt, that ultimately failed, to appease Irish grievances without constitutional change. The secret ballot for elections was introduced in 1872. To these measures must be added the army reforms of Gladstone’s war minister, Edward *Cardwell. Discontent was, however, aroused by weakness in foreign affairs and the Liberal attitude to trade unions. The ministry fell in 1874 and Disraeli returned. Gladstone went into semi-retirement at Hawarden Castle, in Wales (near Chester), a home that came through his wife’s family, and he renewed his studies in theology and *Homer. He re-entered public activity in 1876, denouncing Conservative indifference to the massacre of 12,000 Christians in Bulgaria by the Turks—the first foreign ‘human rights’ case (other than negro slavery) raised in domestic politics. In 1880, although technically not leader of the Liberals, he began a famous whirlwind election campaign in his new seat of Midlothian, and after Disraeli’s defeat became Prime Minister again 1880–85. New reforms included an Act (1884) extending the franchise to farm labourers. But in this and his last two administrations, 1886 and 1892–94, his main preoccupation was with Home Rule for Ireland and his relationship with the Irish Party in parliament under *Parnell. The Home Rule policy was adopted hastily (1886) and without consultation. The issue split the Liberal Party and both Gladstone’s Home Rule Bills (1886 and 1893) were defeated. He finally retired in 1894. Queen *Victoria thought him pompous and he was not offered a peerage because, she wrote, he would have declined it. To many he was held up as a bogeyman, but few politicians have achieved so many lasting reforms or maintained the highest principles with such lofty eloquence. Educational reform bored him and he opposed votes for women. He had a profound influence on Woodrow *Wilson and his concept of ‘liberalism’ shaped political life in Britain until the rise of Margaret *Thatcher. In later years he was known as ‘the Grand Old Man’ (GOM). By his wife Catherine Glynne (1813–1900), Gladstone had eight children. Herbert John Gladstone 1st Viscount Gladstone (1854–1930), was Home Secretary 1905–10 and the first Governor-General of South Africa 1910–14, working closely with Louis *Botha.
Morley, J., Life of Gladstone. 3 vols, 1903; Magnus, P., Gladstone. 1954; Jenkins, R., Gladstone. 1995.
Glass, Philip (1937– ). American composer. He studied at Chicago University, the Juilliard School of Music and with Nadia *Boulanger and founded the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1968. His operas included Einstein on the Beach (1976), Satyagraha (1980), The Civil Wars (1982–84) and Akhnaten (1984). Other works include concertos for violin and cello, six symphonies and four string quartets.
Glass, P., Words Without Music. 2015.
Glazunov, Aleksandr Konstantinovich (1865–1936). Russian composer. His early works are romantic and reveal the influence of his teacher *Rimsky-Korsakov, and of *Tchaikovsky. Later he leaned more toward classical forms. He taught in St Petersburg and *Shostakovich was a student. He wrote eight symphonies, a series of popular concert waltzes, and violin concertos and ballet music (but no operas). Although honoured by the Soviet Government, he emigrated (1928) to Paris, where he died.
Gleeson, (Anthony) Murray (1938– ). Australian jurist. Educated at Sydney University, he was an outstanding advocate, serving as Chief Justice of New South Wales 1988–98 and Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia 1998–2008.
Glendower, Owen see Glyndwr, Owain
Glenn, John Herschel (1921–2016). American politician and astronaut. During World War II he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) five times for his exploits as pilot in the Marine Corps. He was the first to fly across the US faster than sound (1957) and the first American to orbit the earth in space (1962). He served as a Democratic US senator from Ohio 1975–99. He returned to space with NASA in 1998.
Glière, Reinhold Moritzevich (1875–1956). Russian composer, born in Kiev. A pupil of *Taneyev and Ippolitov-Ivanov, he became professor of composition (1913) and director (1914) at the Kiev Conservatoire, and professor of composition at the Moscow Conservatoire (1920). He taught *Prokofiev, *Khachaturian and *Miaskovsky. A prolific composer, Glière was highly honoured by the Soviet Government. His works include several symphonies, of which the best known is No. 3, Ilya Mourometz (1909–11), the ballet The Red Poppy (1926–27) and a Cello Concerto.
Glinka, Mikhail Ivanovich (1804–1857). Russian composer. Rejecting the influence of German and Italian composers, he turned to folk music for his inspiration. His A Life for the Tsar (1836) is the first important Russian opera and one of the first examples of nationalism in music. He also composed the opera Russlan and Ludmilla (1841), after a poem of *Pushkin.
Brown, D., Mikhail Glinka. 1974.
Gloucester, Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of (1900–1974). British prince. The third son of *George V, he made his career in the army and was Governor-General of Australia 1945–47. His widow, Princess Alice (née Montagu-Douglas-Scott) (1901–2004) became the royal family’s second centenarian.
Gloucester, Humphrey, Duke of see Humphrey, 1st Duke of Gloucester
Gluck, Christoph Willibald von (1714–1787). German composer, born in the Upper Palatinate. He studied in Prague, supporting himself as an organist and music teacher. He lived for a time in Italy and London (where he came to know *Händel and *Arne), but spent most of his life in Paris and Vienna where he was court musician to *Maria Theresa 1754–70. In his later operas he avoided excessive vocal display in the interests of dignity and simplicity. They include Orpheus and Eurydice (1762), Alceste (1768), Iphigenia in Aulis (1774) and Iphigenia in Tauris (1779). The last of these won him the final victory in the battle between ‘the Gluckists’ and the supporters of Niccolò Piccinni (1728–1800) (‘the Piccinnists’), representing respectively the French and Italian operatic styles.
Einstein, A., Gluck. 1964.
Glyndŵr, Owain (c.1350–c.1415). Welsh ruler. Descended from the Princes of Powys, he may have studied in London, and served in the English army under *John of Gaunt. Personal disputes over land ownership and increasing resentment of English rule in Wales led to a general rising in Wales about 1400. He took control of the north, winning the support of Henry *Percy (‘Hotspur’). However, *Henry IV defeated (and killed) Hotspur at Shrewsbury (1403). Glyndŵr called a Parliament, negotiated a treaty with France and was the last Welshman to claim the title of Prince of Wales (Tywysog Cymru) 1404–15. However, Henry IV imposed a blockade on Wales, Glyndŵr’s support gradually fell away and in 1412 he disappeared. He is a character in *Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1.
Gneisenau, August Wilhelm Anton, Count Neithardt von (1760–1831). Prussian soldier. The principal reorganiser of the Prussian army after its crushing defeat by *Napoléon at Jena, he was *Blücher’s Chief of Staff at Waterloo.
Gobineau, Joseph Arthur, Comte de (1816–1882). French diplomat, novelist and racial theorist. He served as a diplomat in Newfoundland, Persia, Greece, Brazil and Sweden, and was a widely read novelist, essayist and poet. In his Essay on the Inequality of Human Races (1853–55) he maintained that the white races and especially those of the north are innately superior to all others and that they degenerate when they interbreed with others. This work had great influence in Germany, e.g. on *Wagner, and eventually was used to justify Nazi racial doctrines. He was obsessed with the Vikings and promoted the idea of an Aryan super-race; however, the Nazis failed to observe that he admired the Jews for their survival and achievements.
Godard, Jean-Luc (1930– ). French-Swiss film director and critic, born in Paris. In the 1960s, he was a leader in the ‘nouvelle vague’ with A bout de souffle (1960), Alphaville (1965) and La Chinoise (1967).
Goddard, Robert (1882–1945). American scientist. He was a pioneer in the design of high-altitude rockets (1919) and in the theory of rocket propulsion. His ideas and experiments in the US attracted no government interest but were developed successfully in Germany.
Gödel, Kurt (1906–1978). Austrian-American mathematician, born in Brno (now in the Czech Republic). Trained as an engineer at the University of Vienna, he published a paper, ‘On Formal Theoretical Advances’ (1931), which argued that not all mathematical problems are soluble and that any program for producing consistency in theory will ultimately break down, i.e. that mathematics contains unresolvable paradoxes. Gödel’s ‘incompleteness (or undecidability) theorem’ had an impact comparable to *Heisenberg’s ‘uncertainty principle’ in physics. Gödel lived in the US from 1938 and became a professor at the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, from 1953.
Hofstadter, D. R., Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. 1980.
Goderich, 1st Viscount see Ripon, 1st Earl of
Godfrey (Godefroy) de Bouillon (c.1060–1100). Duke of Lower Lorraine and a leader of the 1st Crusade. With a force of c.15,000 Germans he was prominent in the capture (1099) of Jerusalem, of which he became the first Christian ruler with the title of ‘defender of the Holy Sepulchre’. After his death his brother *Baldwin became first king.
Godiva, Lady (c.1040–1085). English countess. Wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, according to legend, her husband promised to remit a tax he had imposed on the citizens of Coventry if she rode naked through the streets of the city. This she did. The only citizen to look through the shuttered windows was nicknamed ‘Peeping Tom’.
Godolphin, Sidney, 1st Earl of Godolphin (1645–1712). English Tory politician, born in Cornwall. An Oxford MA and favourite of *Charles II, who neatly said of him, ‘he was never in the way and never out of the way’, he became MP 1668–84, holding office as a Lord of the Treasury 1679–84, 1687–88. Created baron in 1684, in 1688 ‘he remained faithful to *James II until the last respectable moment’. *William III restored him to office as First Lord 1690–96 but dropped him after discovering his correspondence with the Jacobites. As Lord High Treasurer 1702–10 under Queen *Anne, he was made a KG and promoted to an earldom in 1706, maintained a favourable political background for *Marlborough’s exploits on the Continent and made available the necessary supplies. Their friendship was cemented by the marriage of Godolphin’s son to Marlborough’s daughter, Henrietta, 2nd Duchess of Marlborough (1681–1733), and both fell from favour together. An able financier, he was a major architect of the Act of Union (1707) with Scotland.
Sundstrom, R. A. Godolphin—Servant of the State 1993.
Godowsky, Leopold (1870–1938). Lithuanian-Jewish-American pianist and composer, born near Kaunas. Trained in Berlin, in the US from 1890, his technical mastery was disguised by an impassive platform manner. He added contrapuntal complexities to arrangements of *Chopin and Johann *Strauss, including the amazing Symphonic Metamorphosis on Artist’s Life (Kunsterleben; 1905). His friends included *Einstein, *Ravel, *Stravinsky and *Gide.
Godoy (y Álvarez de Fana), Manuel Duke of Alcudia, Prince of the Peace (1767–1851). Spanish royal favourite and minister. While serving in the royal bodyguard, he became the lover of Queen Maria Luisa and through her exercised a dominant influence on her husband *Charles (Carlos) IV, becoming Prime Minister 1792–97 and 1801–08. Although moderately enlightened and always anti-clerical, he was corrupt and had a disastrous record in foreign affairs, declaring war on France (1793) and England (1797, 1804), with Spain becoming essentially a French client state. *Napoléon forced Charles’ abdication in 1808 and Godoy accompanied his patrons into exile in Rome. From 1819 he lived in Paris and died there. *Goya painted a memorable portrait of Godoy.
Godunov, Boris Fyodorovich (c.1551–1605). Tsar of Russia 1598–1605. He rose to importance under *Ivan the Terrible, and married a sister of Ivan’s heir, the feeble-minded Fyodor. During Fyodor’s reign (1584–98) Boris acted as regent, and after his death became tsar. He was an able but tyrannical ruler. He was suspected of the murder of Fyodor’s younger brother *Dimitri, who had died mysteriously (1591). Boris was killed in suppressing a revolt stirred up by a pretender claiming to be Dimitri. His life was the subject of *Pushkin’s drama Boris Godunov, best known as an opera by *Mussorgsky.
Grey, I., Boris Godunov: The Tragic Tsar. 1973.
Godwin, William (1756–1836). English author and political thinker. Son of a non-conformist minister, he became an atheist and advocated an ideal society of universal benevolence in which the compulsory restraints of religion, marriage and centralised government should be abolished. His Political Justice (1793) greatly influenced English radicalism and was much admired by *Coleridge, *Wordsworth and *Shelley, but, though it preached anarchy, it also deplored violence, and so its author escaped prosecution. The purpose of his novel The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794) was to expose the domestic and unrecorded despotisms by which human beings destroy each other. In 1796 he married Mary *Wollstonecraft. Their child Mary (Mary Wollstonecraft *Shelley) eloped with (1814), and later married, *Shelley, who was for a time a disciple of Godwin and helped him in his incessant financial difficulties. Godwin’s second wife was, by her first husband, the mother of *Byron’s mistress Claire Clairmont.
Locke, D., The Life and Thought of William Godwin, 1756–1836. 1980.
Godwin of Wessex (1001–1053). Anglo-Saxon nobleman. Earl of Wessex, he advised King *Cnut and supported his sons. *Edward the Confessor, though married to Godwin’s daughter, Edith, resented his domination and banished him (1051), but was forced to submit when he returned with an invading force. On Godwin’s death his power passed to his son *Harold, afterwards king.
Goebbels, (Paul) Joseph (1897–1945). German Nazi propagandist, born in Rhine-Westphalia. From an impoverished Catholic family, he suffered from osteomyelitis and was crippled by an operation on his left foot. He won a PhD in aesthetics from Heidelberg, worked as a tutor, bank clerk and journalist and joined the Nazi Party in 1925, originally as a supporter of *Strasser’s more radical economics. He then backed *Hitler who made him party chief in Berlin. As Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment 1933–45 he mastered all techniques of mass persuasion: films, newspapers, magazines and mass rallies, and was second only to Hitler as an orator (some put him first). In 1944 he became Minister for Total War and was named as Chancellor in Hitler’s will. On 1 May 1945 he killed his wife, six children, dogs and himself. He left very important diaries, later published.
Lochner, L. (ed.), The Goebbels Diaries. 1965.
Goering, Hermann Wilhelm (1893–1946). German Nazi politician and Marshal, born in Bavaria. The son of a colonial governor, his family lost its money and Goering developed his anti-Semitism after his mother married an ennobled Jew. In World War I he was a highly decorated fighter pilot, then a transport pilot for a Swedish company, marrying a wealthy Swedish baroness. He joined *Hitler’s Nazi party in 1921, soon founded the paramilitary SA (‘Brownshirts’ or ‘Storm Troops’) with *Rohm and left Germany after the 1923 Munich putsch, returning in 1926. A Reichstag member 1928–33, and its president 1932–33, Hitler appointed him to a number of posts including Minister-President of Prussia, where he founded (1933) the Gestapo, Air Minister and head of the Luftwaffe (air force), and Minister in charge of the economic preparations for war. He was made a general in 1933 and a field marshal in 1938, the rank of Reich Marshal was invented for him in 1940. In the early stages of World War II he was named Hitler’s deputy and successor, but with the defeat of the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain and the subsequent revelation of Germany’s inadequate air defence he steadily lost influence. In the last days of the régime he plotted to oust Hitler and was already disgraced when he was captured by the Americans. However, during the Nuremberg trials he was far more impressive (and appalling) than any of his colleagues under cross-examination. Condemned to death, he committed suicide by poison the night before he was to hang. His apparent geniality, to which his corpulence and pomposity gave a touch of the ridiculous, masked a greed and brutality equal to that of any of his colleagues.
Butler, E., and Young, G., Marshal without Glory: Hermann Wilhelm Goering. 1973.
Goes, Hugo van der (d.1482). Flemish painter. He worked in Ghent (probably his birthplace) and in c.1475 executed the Portinari Altarpiece which went to Florence where it aroused great admiration. He entered a monastery as a lay brother shortly afterwards, but continued to paint and to travel. He became insane and died young. He ranks as one of the best of the early Netherlands painters, distinguished by a highly perfected technique.
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749–1832). German poet and dramatist, born in Frankfurt-am-Main. Son of a prosperous businessman and official, he owed his love of learning to his father and his gaiety and imaginative gifts to his vivacious mother. Before going to Leipzig University to study law—which he never seriously practised—he already knew much Latin, Greek, French, Italian, English and had studied music. After two years at home, during which he became interested in mysticism and the supernatural, he resumed his legal studies at Strasbourg, where he came under the influence of Herder, who stimulated his interest in folk music, Gothic architecture, *Rousseau and—above all—the works of *Shakespeare. Goethe was prominent in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. In this Strasbourg period, he first became obsessed with the *Faust legend, inspired by a sense of guilt over a love affair. He wrote a version down two to three years later, discovered and published (as Urfaust) only in 1887. His play Götz von Berlichingen (1771–73), based on the life of a medieval knight, was a response to *Herder’s demand for a national drama to match what Shakespeare had done for the English stage. Back in Frankfurt more love affairs provided an autobiographical basis for the novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), written in letter form, which ends with the hero’s suicide. Among his many admirers at this time was the young duke Karl August of Saxe Weimar who invited him to settle at Weimar. Goethe accepted the move readily as it provided him with an opportunity to break his engagement with Lili Schonemann, his accomplished and patrician fiancée. In Weimar he was Minister of State 1776–79, of War 1779–82 and President of the Council of State 1782–86, showing his practical abilities and growing sense of responsibility. Another aspect of his many-sided genius now began to be revealed. To science he made the approach of the ancient or medieval polymath, the importance of the part resting, in his view, on its relationship to the whole. Thus he preferred a synthesis based on intuition and imagination to a reductionist mathematical analysis such as *Newton’s. His most important discoveries, revealed in several books, were in biology and some seemed to anticipate *Darwin’s theories. He found in the human jaw traces of an intermaxillary bone such as apes possess; the leaf, he discovered, was the primary form of the plant. His observation that the skull of vertebrates is a modification of the bones of the spine led him to believe in the basic principle of metamorphosis. In optics, his distrust of the mathematical approach played him false and his conclusions were wrong. His literary work was inevitably retarded by his other activities, but under the influence of a new lover (Charlotte von Stein) he continued to write tender lyrics and acquired a new social grace. His poems are best known as songs: *Beethoven set 10 of them, *Schubert 64 (including some of the greatest: The Erl-King; Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel, Ganymede, Hedgeroses, To the Moon, The Son of the Muses); *Schumann 13 and *Wolf 57 (including several settings of Mignon’s song: Knowest thou the land?). He felt constrained by the demands of public service in Weimar and went off to explore Italy and Sicily 1786–88. In Italy he finished the verse plays Egmont, and Iphigenie begun years before, and additions were made to Faust, which had been taking shape in his head and intermittently on paper since the Strasbourg days. He mused over the specimens in the botanic gardens at Palermo, studied classical art, made hundreds of drawings, and, inevitably, on his return to Weimar was found to have a new love, Christiane Vulpius (1764–1816), who came to live with him, who bore him several children and whom he later married (1806). The Italian visit, too, marked the definite end of the Sturm und Drang period. Almost immediately after his return the French Revolution broke out. As an adviser to the Duke of Weimar, Goethe observed the French victory at the battle of Valmy (Sept. 1792), commenting that ‘a new epoch in the history of the world has begun’. He wrote The French Campaign 1792 (1822). Later repelled by Revolutionary excesses, he came to admire *Napoléon, meeting him on his visit to Weimar as conqueror (1808).
The first part of Faust was at last published in 1808, the second in 1832. The story tells of Faust’s pact to sell his soul to the devil (Mephistopheles), in return for 24 more years of pleasure, knowledge and power, of the seduction and death of Marguerite and of his final redemption. The second part is more classical in form and largely metaphysical in content. Faust is most accessible in operas by *Gounod (1859) and *Busoni (1924), *Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust (1846) and works by Schumann, *Liszt and *Mahler. Goethe directed the state theatre at Weimar 1791–1813, aided by *Schiller, with whom he wrote ballads in rivalry and maintained a fascinating correspondence on aesthetic subjects. In 1796 appeared the first part of his novel Wilhelm Meister, begun 10 years before, describing the wanderings of a stagestruck youth with a theatrical troupe that included Mignon (of operatic fame). In the second part, published in 1830, Goethe is much more concerned with the educational and sociological impact of the travels than with the travels themselves. He continued to write on many subjects, and his lyrics, inspired as before by his transient loves, lost none of their intensity and beauty. Some of the best lyrics in the collection The Divan (West-ostliche Divan, 1819), attributed to Suleika, were written by Marianne Willemer (née Jung) (1784–1860). He believed in life, in accepting it and in living it to the full, that was the essence of his philosophy. He practised it to the end.
Friedenthal, R., Goethe: His Life and Times. 1965; Boyle, N., Goethe: The Poet and the Age. Vol. 1. 1991, Vol. 2, 2000, incomplete; Safranski, R., Goethe. Life as a Work of Art. 2013/17.
Gogarty, Oliver St John (1878–1957). Irish author and wit. By profession a surgeon in Dublin, he is chiefly remembered for the literary reminiscences of As I was Going Down Sackville Street (1937) and as ‘Buck Mulligan’ in *Joyce’s Ulysses. He also wrote several volumes of poetry and was an Irish senator 1922–36.
O’Connor, U., Oliver St John Gogarty. 1964.
Gogh, Vincent van (1853–1890). Dutch painter, born in Zundert. Son of a Calvinist preacher in Holland, after he left school he tried several occupations without success, including working for an art dealer’s firm in Amsterdam and London, teaching, and as an evangelist on the Belgian coalfields, before turning finally to art (1880). His early pictures, e.g. The Potato Eaters, are sombre in tone and subject, a change coming in 1886, when in Paris he came to know the work of *Millet and the Impressionists. But, though he painted some 200 pictures at this time, the Impressionist techniques did not satisfy him and he did not reach his full maturity until he went (1888) to Arles in Provence. Here in the blaze of southern sunshine, he expressed the hidden turbulence of his nature in pictures vibrant with power and cascading with colour. Primary colours, reds, yellows, blues, were squeezed straight from tube to canvas and spread with broad curving brushstrokes. Landscapes, interiors, sunflowers, cafe scenes, self-portraits—the subjects were repeated over and over again during this last period of astonishing productivity. But, though this is seldom discernible in his pictures, his mind was already giving way. In December 1888, as an act of desperation (aggravated by tinnitus), he cut off part of his left ear with the razor he used to threaten *Gauguin. (The celebrated Self-portrait with bandaged ear is a mirror image.) In 1889 he went to a local asylum and in May 1890 put himself under the care of Dr Paul Gachet at Ouvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, and in 70 days he painted 70 pictures. However, at Dr Gachet’s house, he shot himself, dying two days later. Only four or five of Van Gogh’s paintings were sold in his lifetime, and only the understanding help of his brother Theo, to whom he wrote most movingly of his sufferings, saved him from complete destitution and enabled him to struggle on in poverty, and unceasing despair overtook him. His sister-in-law, Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, organised exhibitions and promoted his work, and fakes were circulating by 1900. Of 879 paintings in the 1970 catalogue, perhaps 100 are in doubt. His Irises (1890) was knocked down at auction in New York to the Australian Alan Bond for $US53.9 million in November 1987 and later sold at a lower price to the Getty Museum. The centenary of van Gogh’s death created international interest and in May 1990 his Portrait of Dr Gachet was sold for $US82.5 million to a Japanese collector, Ryoei Saito, who announced that he wanted the painting to be cremated with him on his death. A pen drawing, Garden of Flowers, was sold for $US8.36 million in 1990.
Schapiro, M., Vincent van Gogh. 1950; Pollock, G. and Orton, F., Vincent van Gogh: Artist of His Time. 1978; McQuillan, M., Van Gogh. 1989.
Gogol, Nikolai Vasilyevich (1809–1852). Russian author, born in Sorochintsy. From a Ukrainian family of landed gentry, he went to St Petersburg where, after an unsuccessful attempt to be an actor, he (from 1831) gained literary success with several volumes of short stories and a romantic novel, Taras Bulba (1835), about a Cossack chief. He is best known for the play The Government Inspector, produced in 1836, satirising the bureaucracy. Much of the rest of his life was spent in Rome where he wrote the first part of Dead Souls (1837), a satirical novel in which Chichikov, an adventurer, buys up serfs who have died since the last census but are ostensibly alive since their owners still pay tax on them and use them as security for loans. He destroyed a draft of the second volume in the mood of religious melancholy into which he fell in his later years. Among his best known stories are The Nose, a fantasy about a severed nose which gained a government job on its own merits and the nightmarish The Overcoat. In portraying character, Gogol lacks psychological subtlety, but for sheer imaginative power and caricature he has few equals.
Troyat, H., Gogol: The Biography of a Divided Soul. 1971.
Golding, Sir William Gerald (1911–1993). English novelist. Educated at Marlborough and Oxford, he was a schoolmaster for many years. His novels, which have strong allegorical or symbolic undertones, include Lord of the Flies (1954), Pincher Martin (1956), Free Fall (1959), The Spire (1964), Rites of Passage (1980) and The Paper Men (1983). He received the 1983 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Goldmark, Karl (1830–1915). Hungarian-Jewish composer. He lived mostly in Vienna working as a violinist, music teacher and critic. His works included the popular symphony A Rustic Wedding (1870), and operas, e.g. The Queen of Sheba (1875) and one based on *Dickens’ The Cricket on the Hearth.
Goldmark, Peter Carl (1906–1977). US engineer, born in Budapest. From 1936 he worked for the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) laboratories, devising an early form of colour television and perfecting the microgroove record, electronic video recording (EVR), and electronic scanners used in space probes. He proposed decentralised wired cities to provide for greater access to more services at substantially lower cost.
Goldoni, Carlo (1707–1793). Italian dramatist, born in Venice. He began his career as a lawyer but from 1734 turned to writing plays. In 1761 he accepted an invitation to go to France where he received a pension from the king. This ended with the Revolution and he died in poverty. He is said to have written altogether some 250 plays in French, Italian and in dialect. He was much influenced by *Molière. His plays are well constructed, his characters are real, they behave naturally in comic situations and his satire is seldom unkind. Il servitore di due padroni (The Servant of Two Masters: 1745) was successfully adapted by Richard Bean as One Man, Two Guvnors (2011). Il mondo della luna (The World on the Moon) became an opera by *Haydn (1777).
Goldschmidt, Hans (1861–1923). German chemist. He invented the thermite process, whereby certain metals, e.g. iron, chromium and manganese, can be extracted from their oxides by reduction with powdered aluminium. Great heat is given off during the reaction and a temperature of about 2500°C. is attained. This reaction is used in some types of incendiary bomb, and also in welding.
Goldsmith, Oliver (1728–1774). Anglo-Irish writer. Son of an Anglican Irish clergyman, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. After wandering about Europe he went to London where he failed as a doctor and barely supported himself as a hack writer on almost every conceivable subject. In 1761 he was introduced to Samuel *Johnson and thenceforth was a regular member of his ‘club’. His poem The Deserted Village (1770), showing the Industrial Revolution’s effect on the idyllic village of Auburn, earned immediate acclaim. Equally famous are his novel The Vicar of Wakefield (1776) and the amusing play She Stoops to Conquer (1773), still frequently revived. *Boswell represents Goldsmith as absurd, blundering and vain, but Johnson regarded him highly.
Rousseau, G. S., Oliver Goldsmith. 1974.
Goldwater, Barry Morris (1909–1998). American businessman and politician, born in Phoenix, Arizona. He was a pilot in World War II and Senator for Arizona 1953–65 and 1969–87. From this background he emerged as an extreme conservative and strongly anti-Communist and a staunch supporter of Joseph *McCarthy. His selection as the Republican candidate for the presidency (1964) antagonised many middle of the road voters and led to the decisive Democratic victory of Lyndon *Johnson. He took a major role in securing *Nixon’s resignation (1974). Despite his heavy defeat in 1964, Goldwater’s political agenda became the basis of the presidential victories of Ronald *Reagan (1980, 1984) and George *Bush, père et fils (1988, 2000, 2004).
Goldwyn, Samuel (1882–1974). American film producer, born in Warsaw. He entered the film industry in 1910 and was a co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Notable productions include Wuthering Heights (1938), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1946) and Guys and Dolls (1955).
Gollancz, Sir Victor (1893–1967). English publisher. After army service he became a master at Repton, then set up his own publishing company in 1928. He founded the Left Book Club (1936), campaigned for humanitarian and radical causes, but retained a lifelong enthusiasm for *Stalin.
Gombert, Nicolas (c.1495–c.1560). Netherlandish composer. Probably a pupil of *Josquin, he worked for *Charles V, and his polyphonic choral works include 160 motets, eight settings of the Magnificat and 10 Masses.
Gömbös, Gyula (1886–1936). Hungarian soldier and politician. As Defence Minister 1931–36, he was the effective ruler during the *Horthy regency and promoted his own Fascist ideology.
Gombrich, Sir Ernst Hans (1909–2001). British art historian, born in Vienna. He worked at the Warburg Institute, London 1936–76, held chairs in art history at London and Oxford, and received many international awards as well as the OM in 1988. His books include The Story of Art (1950), which sold six million copies by 1998, Art and Illusion (1960), The Sense of Order (1978), The Image and the Eye (1982) and New Light on Old Masters (1986).
Gômez, Juan Vicente (1864–1935). Venezuelan dictator. A man of little education, brought up in a remote mountainous province (hence his nickname, ‘tyrant of the Andes’), he joined Cipriano Castro’s revolutionary movement and became the chief military support of his regime. He supplanted Castro (1908), became Acting President 1908–10 and President 1910–15, 1922–29, 1931–35, maintaining an almost unchallenged dictatorship until his death. The beginning of oil drilling (1918) enabled him to run the country like a vast and successful business enterprise, and with the aid of the money accruing from the oil exploitation, Venezuela presented the appearance of an orderly, stable and well-run state. Behind the façade Gômez maintained his power by one of the most bloodthirsty and unscrupulous tyrannies in South American history, the full extent of which only became known after his death.
Gompers, Samuel Taylor Barnes (1850–1924). American labour leader, born in London. Of Dutch-Jewish origins, he went to America with his family (1863). In his father’s cigar factory he came to pity the poverty and insecurity of unprotected workers, and devoted his life to trade union organisation. He founded the American Federation of Labor and was its first president (1885–1924). He concentrated on economic issues, wages, hours, conditions, etc. and avoided all political affiliations. His Federation secured great advances for American workers. His autobiography Seventy Years of Life and Labor was published in 1925. He favoured the closed model of ‘craft unionism’ in sharp contrast to the ‘new unionism’ involving unskilled and semi-skilled workers and opposed forming a political labor party.
Gomulka, Wladyslaw (1905–1982). Polish politician. He joined the Communist Party in 1926 and was imprisoned 1933–35, 1936–39. During the German occupation of Warsaw he joined the resistance movement. He was Secretary-General of the Polish United Workers’ (i.e. Communist) Party 1943–48, 1956–70. In 1948 he was accused of deviationism for advocating a ‘Polish way to Socialism’ and imprisoned 1951–56. In the turmoil created by anti-Stalinism (1956) Gomulka was released and obtained Soviet consent to a more relaxed regime. Some of the concessions then granted were later repeated, but Gomulka asserted a measure of Polish independence within the Communist bloc.
Goncharov, Ivan Aleksandrovich (1812–1891). Russian novelist. A public servant for most of his working life, his greatest work was the novel Oblomov (1848–58), an acute psychological study of an indolent and indecisive Russian gentleman of the 19th century.
Goncourt, Edmond Louis Antoine Huot de (1822–1896) and Jules Alfred Huot de (1830–1870). French writers and critics. The brothers Goncourt were inseparable, and collaborated throughout their lives. The taste and sensuality of the 18th century especially appealed to them and they pictured its way of life in a fascinating series of ‘histories’ and ‘lives’. They applied the same technique in their realistic novels of contemporary life. They shocked public and critics alike by choosing to describe characters such as a prostitute and nymphomaniac and writing novels such as Soeur Philomene (1861), Renee Mauperin (1864) and Madame Cervaisais (1869) in a style of vivid impressionism which tended to disdain grammar. They were notable critics of 18th-century art and letters and Edmond encouraged European interest in Japanese art, especially by his study of *Hokusai. The brothers kept (from 1851) a notable Journal des Goncourt. Edmond published nine volumes (1887–95). Edmond left his estate to fund the annual Prix Goncourt, first awarded in 1903.
Grant, R. B., The Goncourt Brothers. 1972.
Gonzaga. Italian noble family. In 1328 Luigi Gonzaga was elected Captain General of Mantua, and from that date until 1707, when the Emperor deposed Ferdinando Carlo, members of the family ruled in the tiny state as marquis (from 1403) and as duke (from 1530).
Gonzalez Marquez, Felipe (1942– ). Spanish politician. Educated at the Louvain University, Belgium, he was active in the Spanish Socialist Party from 1964, became its General-Secretary 1974–97 and was Prime Minister of Spain 1982–96, a record term.
Gonzalo de Córdoba (Gonzalo Fernández) (1453–1515). Spanish soldier, known as ‘El Gran Capitan’. Having fought with distinction against the Moors, he achieved brilliant successes for King *Ferdinand II by expelling the French from Naples and eventually from the whole of Italy (1498). In the renewed war which followed the partition of Granada (1500), he once more occupied Naples and southern Italy and in December 1503 won the most spectacular victory of his career by crossing the Garigliano near Minturno with all the conditions including the weather, in favour of the enemy. (In May 1944 Free French forces achieved a similar victory.) He ended his career as Viceroy of Naples 1504–07 and died in Granada.
Gooch, George Peabody (1873–1968). English historian. Educated at Eton, London and Trinity College, Cambridge, and with independent means, he was a Liberal MP 1906–10 and, with J. S. *Lidgett, editor of the Contemporary Review 1911–60. The volume of his work and his skill in marshalling material made him one of the most impressive recent historians. Among his greatest achievements were History and Historians of the Nineteenth Century (1913) and Germany and the French Revolution (1920). With Harold Temperley he showed immense skill and industry in documenting the origins of World War I. After World War II he reached a wider public with the biographies Frederick the Great, Louis XV, Maria Theresa and Catherine the Great. He was awarded the CH in 1939 and the OM in 1963.
Goodall, Dame (Valerie) Jane (Morris) (1934– ). English primatologist and anthropologist, born in London. Trained as a secretary, and inspired (at first) by L. S. B. *Leakey, she worked for years studying primates in Gombe Stream, Tanzania, gaining a Cambridge PhD, publishing, lecturing and film-making on the behaviour of chimpanzees.
Goodman, Benny (1909–1986). American clarinettist and bandleader. He formed several bands and from 1935 was called the ‘King of Swing’, appearing in films and on radio. He recorded much of the classical clarinet repertoire and commissioned works from *Bartók and *Copland.
Goodyear, Charles (1800–1860). American inventor. After many years of experimentation he discovered (1839) the process for vulcanising (i.e. elasticising and strengthening) crude rubber by mixing it with sulphur and heating it.
Goons, The (1949–60). British comedy group on BBC radio. Its members were Spike (Terence Alan) Milligan (1918–2002), Sir Harry (Donald) Secombe (1921–2001) and Peter (Richard Henry) Sellers (1925–1980). Milligan, the principal writer, performed several roles, acted in many films and was also a prolific novelist, poet and playwright (e.g. The Bed Sitting Room 1973). An Irish national, he became an honorary KBE in 2001. Secombe (‘Neddy Seagoon’) was a powerful tenor who became a popular concert and nightclub artist. Sellers, a gifted character actor, became an international superstar with his performances in many films (e.g. Lolita, Dr Strangelove, Being There and the Inspector Clouseau series). The Goons worked in the tradition of surrealist verbal humour which began with Lewis *Carroll.
Goossens, Sir (Aynsley) Eugene (1893–1962). British conductor and composer, born in London. The family was Belgian and his grandfather and father, Eugene I and II, were both conductors. Educated in Bruges and London, he became a violinist, formed his own orchestra, worked closely with *Beecham and gave the first London performance of *Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring (1921). He was Director of the Rochester Philharmonic 1923–31, the Cincinnati Symphony 1931–46 and the Sydney Symphony 1947–56, also directing the NSW Conservatorium. Principal promoter of the project to build a Sydney Opera House (Joern *Utzon), his career abruptly ended after his arrest for importing pornographic material, at a time of high Puritanism, and he retreated to London. His compositions included two symphonies, two operas and much chamber music. His brother Léon Goossens (1897–1988) was an oboist, regarded as the world’s best, who recorded extensively and had works written for him by *Elgar, *Vaughan Williams and *Britten. His sisters Marie Goossens (1894–1991) and Sidonie Goossens (1899–2004) were harpists.
Rosen, C., The Goossens. 1994; Hubble, A., The Strange Case of Eugene Goossens. 1998.
Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich (1931– ). Russian politician, born in Privolnoye. He worked as a machine operator in Stavropol in 1946, studied law at the Moscow State University and agriculture at the Stavropol Agricultural Institute. Active in the Komsomol, he joined the Communist Party in 1952, rose through the Stavropol Party apparatus and was First Secretary there 1970–78. He served as a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU 1971–91, Secretary for Agriculture (a post that helped him build an important rural support network) 1978–85 and a Politburo member 1980–91. A protégé of Yuri *Andropov, he shared his opposition to the corruption of the *Brezhnev era. Andropov was crippled by illness in his short period as party leader (November 1982–January 1984) and when he died the succession went to K.U. *Chernenko, who died 13 months later. In March 1985 Gorbachev was elected as First (or General) Secretary of the CPSU, retaining office until the position was abolished in December 1991. He initiated major administrative reforms (Perestroika) to modernise the Soviet Union, released *Sakharov from exile and encouraged a policy of ‘openness’ (Glasnost) to new ideas and closer contacts with the West, despite resistance from party conservatives. The last President of the USSR 1988–91, he was Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces and withdrew Soviet troops from Afghanistan in February 1989. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, acceptance of a unified Germany and the rolling back of Communism in eastern Europe, Gorbachev sought closer economic and political ties with the US and Western Europe but he failed to win significant economic aid. He received the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end the Cold War and gave President *Bush cautious support in the 1991 ‘Gulf War’. Extremely popular abroad (unique for a Soviet leader), at home he made an uneasy and ultimately self-defeating alliance with his opponents in the armed forces and the party bureaucracy. His sole power base and proposed instrument for reform, the Communist Party, was a decaying and rigid organisation, deeply opposed to Gorbachev’s proposals. On 19 August 1991, party officials, led by Gennadi Yanayev, Gorbachev’s personal choice as Vice President, organised a coup against him while he was on holidays in the Crimea. He was released within two days because of the resistance of Boris *Yeltsin and reform elements in the KGB and armed forces. The CPSU’s credibility was destroyed and Gorbachev failed to create a popular democratic constituency, a role that went to Yeltsin by default. In December 1991 the USSR and the CPSU were dissolved. Ukraine, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and 10 other republics refused to accept domination by the Russian Federation and a loose Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) replaced the USSR, with no role for Gorbachev. A Gorbachev Foundation was set up in Moscow, he became President of the International Green Cross 1992– , an environmental organisation set up after the Rio Earth Summit, and undertook lecture tours abroad. Among his advisers were Georgi *Arbatov, Edvard *Shevardnadze and Aleksandr *Yakovlev. In June 1996 he received only 0.5 per cent of the votes in the presidential election.
Sakwa, R., Gorbachev and His Reforms. 1991; Gorbachev, M.S., Memoirs. 1995; Taubman, W., Gorbachev. His Life and Times. 2017.
Gorchakov, Mikhail Dimitrievich, Prince (1793–1861). Russian soldier. He fought in the Napoléonic wars, in Turkey and Poland and was Commander-in-Chief in the Crimean War 1854–56, burning and retreating from Sevastopol. He became Governor-General of Poland 1856–61.
Gordian I (Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus) (c.159–238). Roman Emperor March–April 238. His father may have been of Anatolian descent. Gordian was a general, then a Senator, widely read, and in ‘the year of six Emperors’, at the age of 79, he displaced Maximinus Thrax, ruling jointly with his son for only 36 days. He hanged himself on learning of the death of his son, Gordian II (Marcus Antonius Gordianus Sempronianus Romanus Africanus Augustus) (c.192–238), in battle at Carthage. Edward *Gibbon memorably wrote of Gordian II: ‘Twenty-two acknowledged concubines, and a library of sixty-two thousand volumes, attested the variety of his inclinations, and from the productions which he left behind him, it appears that the former as well as the latter were designed for use rather than ostentation.’ Gordian III (Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius Augustus) (225–244), Roman Emperor 238–44, grandson of Gordian I, was the youngest of all Caesars. Popular, he was presumably murdered by agents of his successor, Philip, known as ‘the Arab’.
Gordimer, Nadine (1923–2014). South African novelist. Unhappy at school, she began writing at the age of nine. Her novels include The Lying Days (1953), A World of Strangers (1958), The Late Bourgeois World (1966), Burger’s Daughter (1979), A Sport of Nature (1987) and My Son’s Story (1990) and she also wrote short stories and criticism. She joined the African National Congress, was a strong critic of apartheid and her books were banned in South Africa until 1991 when she won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Gordon, Adam Lindsay (1833–1870). Australian poet, born in Portugal. After an erratic adolescence, he migrated to Adelaide in 1853, becoming a horse breaker, jockey and MP in the South Australian Parliament 1865–66. His poems include ‘The Swimmer’ and ‘The Sick Stockrider.’ He shot himself on the beach at Brighton, Victoria. He is the only Australian writer commemorated in ‘Poet’s Corner’ in Westminster Abbey.
Gordon, Charles George (1833–1885). British major general, born at Woolwich. Of Highland Scottish origins, he joined the Royal Engineers in 1852, served in the Crimean War 1854–56 and in China 1859–65. In the ‘Arrow War’, he took personal responsibility for burning down the Imperial Summer Villa at Jehol (Chengde), China’s Versailles (1860). He commanded the mercenary ‘Ever Victorious Army’ (1863–64) which defended the Qing (Manchu) dynasty against the Taiping Rebellion led by *Hong Xiuquan, returning to Britain as a popular hero, known as ‘Chinese Gordon’. In 1874 he succeeded Samuel *Baker as Governor of the Equatorial Province, in the service of the khedive of Egypt. He fought against the slave trade, contended with disease and corruption and was promoted Governor-General of the Sudan 1877–80, 1884–85. He opened up the Sudan by bringing steamers past the cataracts and swamps of the Nile, launching them on Lake Albert. He was directed to withdraw European and Egyptian citizens from the Sudan, which had been overrun by followers of El *Mahdi who had declared a fatwah. With his small force, he was shut up in Khartoum and after a 317–day siege of incredible hardship the city fell and Gordon and his men were killed. Two days later G. J. *Wolseley’s relief expedition arrived. Public outrage about Gordon’s death contributed to the downfall of *Gladstone’s Government. Gordon’s religious fanaticism and willingness to accept martyrdom meant that he rejected the opportunity for an honourable withdrawal from the Sudan.
Nutting, A., Gordon: Martyr and Misfit. 1966.
Gordon, Lord George (1751–1793). British agitator. Son of the 3rd Duke of Gordon, he entered parliament in 1774. The passing of the Catholic Relief Act (1778) caused him to become President of the Protestant Association and instigate protests which culminated in the Gordon, or ‘No Popery’, riots (1780). Gordon marched to parliament to present a petition at the head of a mob of hooligans which later raged through the city, pillaging, burning and, if opposition was met, killing. Newgate Prison was among many buildings destroyed. After the riots (vividly described in *Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge) had been suppressed by troops, it was estimated that over 400 had been killed. Gordon, acquitted of high treason because of insanity, later became a Jew.
Hibbert, C., King Mob. 1958.
Gordon, Patrick (1635–1699). Scottish soldier. As a boy of 16 he sailed to the Baltic and took part, on both sides in turn, in the Swedish-Polish Wars. He joined the Russian army (1661), attained high rank and became friend and adviser of *Peter the Great.
Gore, Al(bert Arnold, Jr) (1948– ). American Democratic politician, born in Washington. Son and grandson of US senators, and a cousin of Gore *Vidal, he was educated at Harvard, served in Vietnam 1969–71, became an investigative reporter and studied philosophy and law at Vanderbilt. A developer and tobacco farmer, he was a US Congressman 1977–79 and a senator from Tennessee 1985–93. He sought the Democratic nomination for President in 1988 and ran third in the primaries. The High Performance Computing Act (1991), known as ‘the Gore Bill’, promoted the Internet as ‘an information super-highway’. He gained recognition as an ardent conservationist with his book Earth in the Balance (1992). Vice President of the US 1993–2001, serving under Bill *Clinton, he secured the Democratic nomination for president in 2000. He won the popular vote nationally by 540,000 (a total second only to *Reagan’s in 1984) but lost to George W. *Bush in the Electoral College, after a bitter dispute about voting in Florida which was determined by the US Supreme Court on a 5–4 vote. (Ralph *Nader secured 3 per cent of the vote as a Green candidate, thereby helping to elect Bush.) Gore won the 2007 Academy Award for his film An Inconvenient Truth (based on his book, 2006) and shared the 2007 Nobel Prize for Peace with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for his advocacy about human induced climate change.
Górecki, Henryk Mikolaj (1933–2010). Polish composer, born in Czernica. A student of *Messiaen, he taught composition at Katowice and won several international awards. His Symphony No. 3 (‘Symphony of Sorrowful Songs’, 1976) became a critical and popular success in Britain and Europe in 1992.
Gorki, Maksim (Aleksei Maksimovich Peshkov) (1868–1936). Russian novelist, born in Nizhny Novgorod. His pen name Gorki means ‘bitter’ and his birthplace was renamed in his honour 1932–90. Orphaned at the age of five, he was brought up by his grandmother, whose immense fund of Russian folktales gave him a bent for literature. At 12 he ran away to lead a roving and penurious existence in contact with the poorest strata of society. He began to write, and achieved success with Sketches and Stories (1898). His social novels that followed are concerned with the lives of the poor and outcast, and are remarkable for their stark realism. He was involved in revolutionary activities and after the failure of the 1905 revolution left Russia, not to return until 1914, when he engaged in revolutionary propaganda and got to know most of the Bolshevik leaders. He left Russia in 1922 for health reasons and lived in Capri until 1928. When he went back he was received with enthusiasm and hailed as the outstanding Communist novelist, the promoter of ‘social realism’ in Soviet literature.
Among his many works the autobiographical trilogy My Childhood (1913), My Apprenticeship (1916) and My Universities (1923) is considered his best. They were filmed by Mark *Donskoy.
Gormley, Sir Antony Mark David (1950– ). English sculptor, born in London. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was influenced by Buddhism and attempted ‘to materialise the place at the other side of appearance where we all live’. His works include Another Place (1997), 100 figures at Crosby Beach, near Liverpool and Angel of the North (1998), a huge public sculpture near Gateshead. His Inside Australia (2002–03) is a suite of 51 metal figures, set in 10 km² in the (mostly) dry Lake Ballard, 130 km northwest of Kalgoorlie. He was elected RA and FRIBA. His Transport (2010), made of medieval nails, is suspended above the site of *Becket’s tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.
Gort, 6th Baron (Irish peerage) and 1st Viscount (UK), John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker (1886–1946). British field marshal, born in London. Succeeding to his peerage in 1902, he joined the Grenadier Guards (1905), and in World War I won a VC, DSO and two bars, and an MC. After service in India 1936–37, he was promoted over 90 senior officers to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff 1937–39. He led the British Expeditionary Force in France 1939–40 and had major responsibility for the Dunkirk evacuation May–June 1940. *Churchill praised his skill, then exiled him to three difficult and increasingly remote postings, Governor of Gibraltar 1941–42, Governor of Malta 1942–44 and High Commissioner in Palestine and Transjordan 1944–45. He was promoted to a viscountcy one month before his death from liver cancer.
Gorton, Sir John Grey (1911–2002). Australian Liberal politician, probably born in Wellington, New Zealand. Educated at Oxford, he became an orchardist, a pilot in World War II, and a Liberal Senator from Victoria 1950–68. A minister from 1958, he was responsible for science 1962–68 and education 1963–68. On Harold *Holt’s sudden disappearance, Gorton was unexpectedly elected Liberal Leader and became Prime Minister in a Liberal-Country party coalition 1968–71, the first from the Senate. He transferred to the House of Representatives 1968–75. His innovations, attempts to increase Commonwealth power at the expense of the states, caused resentment in the Liberal Party and he resigned when a vote of confidence was lost on a split vote. He left the Liberal Party in 1975, rejoining in 1999.
Hancock, I., John Gorton. 2002.
Gosse, Sir Edmund William (1849–1928). English poet and critic. Son of the zoologist Philip Gosse (1810–1888), a Plymouth Brother, he wrote a critical but compassionate account in Father and Son (1907). He wrote poems, numerous critical works and biographical studies e.g. of *Donne, *Ibsen and *Swinburne. His collected poems appeared in 1911 and his essays in 1912–27. He did much to encourage younger writers and was a great friend of Henry *James. Librarian to the House of Lords 1904–14, he was knighted in 1925.
Gottfried (Gotfrid) von Strassburg (fl. 1200–10). German poet. A leading exponent of the Middle High German epic, his major work Tristan, 20,000 lines long, based on Celtic legend and a poem by Thomas of Brittany, was the principal source of *Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde.
Gottschalk, Louis Moreau (1829–1869). American pianist and composer, born in New Orleans. He studied in Paris, impressed *Chopin and *Berlioz with his playing and wrote picturesque pieces for piano and orchestra.
Gottwald, Klement (1896–1953). Czechoslovak Communist politician, born in Moravia. He was conscripted during World War I with the Austrian army, from which he deserted after Russia’s collapse. He was an early member of the Communist Party in the independent Czechoslovakia and in 1929, having meanwhile become its Secretary-General, entered parliament. In 1938, after violently opposing the Munich agreement, he went to Moscow, becoming Secretary of the Comintern 1939–45. Returning to Prague in 1945, he was Premier of Czechoslovakia 1946–48. Following a coup in 1948, the constitution changed, *Beneš resigned as President and Gottwald succeeded him 1948–53.
Gould, Glenn (Herbert) (1932–1982). Canadian pianist, born in Toronto. A prodigy, he gained an international reputation as a recording artist, especially for his interpretations of J. S. *Bach, but also as an isolate and eccentric who withdrew from concert giving in 1964. However, he continued to record and made radio and television documentaries. He suffered a fatal stroke just after his 50th birthday.
Gould, Jay (1836–1892). American speculator. A surveyor by profession, he began his speculation in tanning but soon turned to railways. A spectacular attempt, with the collaboration of Jim Fisk, to corner gold caused the ‘Black Friday’ panic (24 September 1869). Having overcome *Vanderbilt to gain control of the Erie Railway he was forced to resign (1872) for issuing fraudulent stock. Railway finance continued to be his main activity and he controlled at one time more than half the track in the southwest. He died worth about $70 million. His son, George Jay, continued in the same railroad tradition, but eventually was completely ruined.
Klein, M., The Life and Legend of Jay Gould. 1986.
Gould, Stephen Jay (1941–2002). American palaeobiologist. He taught geology, biology and the history of science at Harvard and became internationally known with his books Ever Since Darwin (1977), The Panda’s Thumb (1980), The Mismeasure of Man (1981), Bully for Brontosaurus (1991), Wonderful Life (1991), Eight Little Piggies (1994), Dinosaurs in the Haystack (1995) and Questioning the Millennium (1997). He proposed the ‘punctuated equilibrium’ theory to explain evolutionary transitions in species.
Gounod, Charles François (1818–1893). French composer, born in Paris. Son of a painter, he became an organist and choir conductor in Paris, closely studied the Church music of *Palestrina and *Bach, and first won attention with a Solemn Mass performed in London (1851). He wrote eight operas of which only two are often performed: Faust (1859), for many years, partly owing to its dramatic story, partly to the melodic idiom for which Gounod was distinguished, the most popular work in the French operatic repertoire, and Romeo and Juliet (1867). He lived in England 1870–75 and during the Franco-Prussian War, and returned to sacred music with the oratorios The Redemption (1882) and Mors et Vita (Death and Life, 1885).
Gower, John (c.1330–1408). English poet. He wrote three long poems, the didactic Speculum Meditantis, a satire in old French, telling of the struggle of seven virtues and seven vices for the possession of man, the Latin Vox Clamantis about the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, and, most important, Confessio Amantis, in Old English, in which stories in the Chaucerian manner take the form of the confessions of a lover weary of life. Gower was a friend of *Chaucer and like him did much to develop English as a language.
Gowers, Sir Ernest Arthur (1880–1966). English civil servant. He campaigned for the writing of good English and wrote several books designed to reduce ‘officialese’ in official documents including Plain Words (1948) and ABC of Plain Words (1951). As Chairman of the Royal Commission on Capital Punishment (1949–53) he became a convinced opponent of hanging and wrote A Life for a Life? (1956).
Gowrie, 1st Earl of, Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore-Ruthven (1872–1955). British soldier, born in Windsor. He won the VC in the Sudan in 1899, served in France and Gallipoli 1914–18 and became Governor of South Australia 1928–34, New South Wales 1935–36 and Governor-General of Australia 1936–45—a record term. His grandson, Alexander Patrick Greysteil Hore-Ruthven, 2nd Earl of Gowrie known as Grey Gowrie (1939– ), was Minister for the Arts 1983–85, Chairman of Sotheby’s 1985–94, and a writer, critic and poet.
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de (1746–1828). Spanish painter, engraver and etcher, born at Fuendetodos, near Saragossa. Son of a poor farmer, very little is known of his early life but he apparently studied in Madrid and in Rome (1771) and was commissioned to paint frescoes at Saragossa Cathedral which he executed in the fashionable *Tiepolo style (1771–81). In 1775 he began working on a series of cartoons for the royal tapestry factory and continued until 1792. His first, neoclassical, period ended in 1778 when he was commissioned to make a series of engravings of *Velázquez’s paintings previously confined to the royal collection. These master works made a profound impression on Goya and the engravings soon spread the fame of both Goya and Velázquez. In 1775 Goya married into a painter’s family and moved up the patronage ladder, becoming a court painter in 1786, Director of the Royal Academy from 1795 and chief painter to the royal family in 1799: he received the patronage of Manuel *Godoy, the Duchess of Osuna and the Duchess of Alba (immortalised in the ‘Naked Maja’, one of the rare nudes in Spanish painting). In 1792 a mysterious illness paralysed him; deaf and subject to hallucinations, this marked the beginning of his third period. His later works flayed the corruption of Church and State and aspects of cruelty and servility in Spanish life. It is astonishing that his portraits Charles IV and his Family and Queen Maria Luisa (both 1800) and Ferdinand VII (18l4), revealing his royal sitters as imbeciles or degenerates, did not lead to his dismissal or arrest. After the French invasion he supported Joseph *Bonaparte’s regime and remained court painter, continuing under the restored Bourbons.
The Prado in Madrid exhibits 122 Goya paintings and 485 etchings and sketches. His most famous series of etchings were Caprices (1799), scathing illustrations of proverbs, popular sayings and grotesqueries,The Disasters of War (1810), Bullfights and Proverbs (both 1814–19). His sketches are piercing, nightmarish visions of horrors and death made sometimes by working thick, gummy ink-blots with the fingers on small pieces of buff paper. The most famous of his wartime paintings was Execution of the Defenders of Madrid (3rd May 1808: painted 1814), with its penetrating tableaux of the horror and futility of violence. Other late paintings include Colossus (1809), Senora Sabasa Garica (1808), The Balloon (1818), The Witches’ Sabbath (1820), and Saturn Devouring one of his Children (1823). He left Spain in 1824 and died in Bordeaux at the age of 82. His fantastic later works look towards the expressionism of 20th-century painters.
Gassier, P. and Wilson, J., Goya: his life and work. 1971; Hughes, R., Goya. 2004.
Gracchi. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (161–133 BCE) and Gaius Sempronius Gracchus (c.159–121 BCE). Roman statesmen and reformers. Their mother Cornelia, the daughter of *Scipio Africanus, was a woman of great character and a devoted citizen of Rome. Tiberius won recognition as a soldier and returned to Rome to press for reforms to alleviate the misery of the peasantry, who were being crushed by the concentration of land and power in the hands of a few. He was elected tribune (133) and proposed a land reform (Lex Sempronia Agraria). To obtain its passage he resorted to methods technically unconstitutional in the face of the opposition of the senate who promoted a riot on the next election day, in which he was beaten to death by a mob, organised by his cousin, Scipio Nasica. In 123 Gaius attempted to carry out similar reforms and introduced laws that benefited small landowners; he also won the support of the Roman wealthy class of equites by a legal reform. The senate was again firmly opposed, Gaius failed to secure re-election (121) and he was killed in disturbances which then broke out. The reform effort of the Gracchi was thus ended and the reactionary policy of the senate led to social and political war, which ruined the Republic (*Marius, *Sulla).
Grace, Princess see Kelly, Grace
Grace, W(illiam) G(ilbert) (1848–1915). English cricketer. A Bristol surgeon, he played for Gloucestershire from 1864 and continued playing first-class cricket until 1908 by which time he was known as the ‘grand old man’ (GOM) of the game. He toured frequently and captained the English team in Australia (1873–74 and 1891–92). He is said to have scored 54,896 runs and to have made 126 centuries in first-class cricket (on pitches that were frequently ill-prepared) and also to have taken 2876 wickets.
Weston, G. N., W. G. Grace: The Great Cricketer. 1973.
Grafton, Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of (1735–1811). English Whig politician. Grandson of Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke, son of *Charles II and Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, he was First Lord of the Treasury 1766–70 in a government dominated by *Pitt the Elder and succeeded him (aged only 33) as Prime Minister 1768–70. A friend of *Wilkes, sympathetic to Unitarianism, he opposed coercing the American colonies but was outvoted by his own Cabinet. Chancellor of Cambridge University 1768–1811, he served as Lord Privy Seal under *North and *Rockingham. In 1769 he divorced his wife by an Act of Parliament and remarried. He was a racing enthusiast and horse owner.
Graham, Billy (William Franklin) (1918–2018). American evangelist. He was ordained (1939) in the Baptist ministry and from 1946 conducted a series of ‘Crusades’ throughout the US, Europe, India, Australia and Africa. He was mildly supportive on civil rights in the US and opposed nuclear proliferation, but backed the Vietnam War and Richard *Nixon.
Graham, Martha (1894?–1991). American dancer and choreographer, predominant influence on modern dance, she created about 150 ballets, all developing the art of body movement as a means of emotional expression and theatrical narrative. She was trained by Ruth St Denis and Ted Shawn in a tradition that drew on a worldwide variety of dance forms. She went to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, as a teacher in 1924 and made her debut as a professional solo artist in 1926. She developed a unique repertoire of body movements to reveal ‘the inner man’; their performance depended on vigorous physical discipline and tremendous virtuosity. Her best known works are probably Appalachian Spring (1944) and Clytemnestra (1958).
McDonagh, D., Martha Graham. 1973.
Graham, Thomas (1805–1869). Scottish chemist, born in Glasgow. Professor of Chemistry at Anderson’s College, Glasgow 1830–37, University College, London 1837–55 and Master of the Mint 1855–69, he worked mainly on the absorption and diffusion of gases and on osmosis. His discovery that the rates of diffusion of two gases are inversely proportional to the square roots of their densities is now known as Graham’s Law. He also investigated the properties of substances in the state between suspension and solution, and named these substances ‘colloids’.
Grahame, Kenneth (1859–1932). Scottish writer, born in Edinburgh. His mother died when he was six and his father abandoned him. Unhappily educated at a school (but not university) in Oxford, he joined the Bank of England in 1879 and rose steadily until he retired as Secretary in 1908. He had a second life as a bohemian, wrote for the Yellow Book, and flirted with ‘paganism’. He wrote the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows (1908), a celebration of a child’s world, and of an idyllic countryside, with no female characters involved. The book had a slow start, but become a classic; however, it marked the end of his creativity. Disastrously married, his only son, Alastair, for whom The Wind in the Willows was written, committed suicide in 1920. Grahame lived in domestic squalor in his last years and left his estate to the Bodleian Library, Oxford. A. A. *Milne dramatised The Wind in the Willows in 1929, as Toad of Toad Hall. The book has been filmed 13 times, Alan *Bennett adapted it for the stage in 1991 and two musicals are based on it.
Green, P., Kenneth Grahame 1859–1932. 1959; Prince, A., Kenneth Grahame. An Innocent in the Wild Wood. 1994; Dennison, M., Eternal Boy. The Life of Kenneth Grahame. 2018.
Grahame-White, Claude (1879–1959). British pioneer of aviation. In 1909, the year in which he started a flying school at Pau in France, he became the first Englishman to gain a proficiency certificate in aviation. He won the Gordon Bennett Cup (1910), and organised the first commercial airfield in England in the same year.
Grainger, Percy Aldridge (1882–1961). Australian composer and pianist, born in Melbourne. He studied in Germany with *Busoni, played for *Grieg and befriended *Delius. Like *Bartók, he was a pioneer collector of folk song, using the gramophone to record harmonic variations. He wrote many popular piano pieces, including Country Gardens, Handel in the Strand, Mock Morris, a touching arrangement of The Londonderry Air, and some major works for orchestra and chorus. He settled in the US in 1914, teaching in Chicago and New York. Eccentric as a performer and in private life, he experimented with indeterminate or aleatory musical forms (*Cage/*Berio) and founded the Grainger Museum of Australian Music in Melbourne (1935).
Bird, J., Percy Grainger. 1982 (revised); Dreyfus, K. (ed.), The Farthest North of Humanness: Letters of Percy Grainger 1901–14. 1985.
Gramm, (William) Phil(ip) (1942– ). American Republican politician. An economist, he taught at the Texas A & M University, became a US Congressman 1979–85 and US senator 1985–2002. A passionate advocate of balanced budgets, he sought the presidential nomination for 1996.
Gramme, Zénobe Théophile (1826–1901). Belgian electrical engineer. The Gramme dynamo (1869) provided a reliable direct current (DC) power source for electric motors and was the precondition for the electric revolution of the 1880s. Gramme also invented an AC motor, but *Tesla’s model (distributed by *Westinghouse) proved far more efficient.
Gramsci, Antonio Francesco (1891–1937). Italian Communist writer, born in Sardinia. Of Albanian descent, he was a hunchback, crippled by illness, probably Pott disease. Educated at Turin University, he became a journalist and a foundation member of the Italian Communist Party (1921) which he led 1923–26. A Deputy 1924–26, he was imprisoned 1926–37, but wrote prodigiously in jail. He proposed polycentrism—the idea that Communist parties should adapt to local circumstances and ideas instead of following a rigid line imposed by Moscow. He rejected the cruder forms of historical materialism and originated the concept of ‘cultural hegemony’.
Joll, J., Antonio Gramsci. 1977; McNally, M., Antonio Gramsci. 2015.
Granados (y Campina), Enrique (1867–1916). Spanish composer and pianist. He studied in Barcelona and Paris and wrote many works for piano, of which the best known were Goyescas (1911–13), poetic evocations of *Goya’s art, including the beautiful ‘Lover and the Nightingale’. His opera Goyescas was premiered in New York in 1916. On their return to Europe the composer and his wife drowned when the Sussex was sunk by a German submarine.
Granby, John Manners, Marquess of (1721–1770). British soldier. Eldest son of the 3rd Duke of Rutland, he first served under *Cumberland in the Jacobite rebellion (1745) and was second in command (from 1758 in command) of the British forces in Germany in the Seven Years’ War. A gallant cavalry charge at the Battle of Warburg was one of the exploits that gave him a hero’s reputation. Several of the veterans who went into inn-keeping named the inns after him and the Marquis of Granby remains a familiar inn sign.
Grandi, Dino, Conte (1895–1988). Italian diplomat. From a noble family, he joined *Mussolini’s Fascist Party (1922) and was Foreign Minister 1929–32. As Ambassador to London 1932–39, during the Italian conquest of Ethiopia, the Spanish War, and the successive crises immediately preceding World War II, he so persuasively presented the case for Mussolini’s ultimate good intentions and his possible detachment from *Hitler that he disarmed effective opposition to his master’s plans. In 1943 he moved the decisive vote in the Fascist Grand Council that brought about Mussolini’s fall.
Grant, Cary (Archibald Alexander Leach) (1904–1986). Anglo-American film actor, born in Bristol. In the US from 1920, he made 73 films between 1932 and 1966, including The Philadelphia Story (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), To Catch a Thief (1955) and North by Northwest (1959). As homosexuality was considered a liability in the Hollywood star system, he was encouraged to marry (and did so five times). He combined good looks, elegance and a gift for comedy. In 1999 the American Film Institute ranked him second to Humphrey *Bogart as the ‘greatest male star of all time’.
Grant, Ulysses S(impson) (originally Hiram Ulysses Grant) (1822–1885). 18th President of the US 1869–77. Born near Cincinnati, Ohio, son of an abolitionist leather merchant, he was trained as an army officer at West Point. He served in the Mexican War and in 1848 he married Julia Dent (1826–1902), whose family were slave owners. Disliking the tedium of army life he retired (1854) but in civil life he was incompetent, and had a low tolerance for alcohol. Recommissioned as a Colonel when the Civil War came, his first major success was in February 1862 when he captured Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in Tennessee, after insisting on ‘unconditional surrender’ (his coinage). However, surprised by Confederate forces at Shiloh (April 1862), he only won narrowly, after suffering 24,000 casualties. He followed this by the capture of Vicksburg (1863) on the Mississippi, which resulted in cutting the Confederate states in two. Further successes in eastern Tennessee persuaded President *Lincoln to make him (1864) commander of the Union armies. As such he devised the strategy—*Sherman’s army to march through Georgia and approach the Confederate capital (Richmond, Virginia) from one side, while Grant himself made a direct attack which brought the war to an end with the Confederate surrender (1865) at Appomattox. Grant’s reputation as the hero of the war secured his nomination as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate (1868). He was elected and served two terms, marred by poor administration, financial scandals and official corruption. Honest himself, though naive enough to accept gifts from wealthy place-seekers, he was exploited and deluded by men whom he had appointed. The Alabama dispute with Great Britain was settled in 1871 by his able Secretary of State, Hamilton *Fish. He tried to settle the issues over which the Civil War had been fought, secured passage of the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution giving political rights to African-Americans, fought and largely suppressed the Ku Klux Klan, and appointed African- and native Americans and Jews to the public service. His Indian Peace Plan, although well-intentioned, failed in execution and more than 200 battles were fought. He contemplated a third term in 1876, had two years of overseas travel (1877–79) and actively sought re-nomination in 1880.
In 1884, he proved his honesty by taking personal responsibility for the debts when a corrupt brokerage firm in which he was a partner failed. To relieve his poverty he wrote his Personal Memoirs, published by Mark *Twain. Grant was dying of throat cancer (caused by his cigar addiction) as he completed his book, which earned $450,000 for his family and is regarded as a masterpiece.
McFeely, W. S., Grant: A Biography. 1982; Chernow, R., Grant. 2017.
Granville, John Carteret, 2nd Earl (1690–1763). British diplomat and politician. Inheriting his father’s title of Baron Carteret at the age of five, he entered the House of Lords when he came of age. As Ambassador to Sweden (1719), he negotiated a series of agreements that paved the way to lasting peace in the Baltic area. On his return he was appointed Secretary of State but *Walpole, jealous of his success, soon transferred him to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant. Intended as political exile, his term of office 1724–30 proved happy and fruitful and enabled him not only to pacify the country but to enjoy the friendship of Dean *Swift. Convinced of Walpole’s hostility, he led the opposition to him from 1733 until his fall 1742. As Secretary of State for the Northern Department 1742–44, Carteret was the dominant figure in *Wilmington's ministry and had charge of Great Britain’s part in the War of the Austrian Succession then taking place on the Continent. The use of British troops on Hanover’s behalf was so unpopular that Henry *Pelham and his brother the Duke of *Newcastle found themselves able to manoeuvre the too brilliant Carteret out of office. In the same year he had inherited the earldom of Granville from his mother, countess in her own right. In 1751 the Pelhams brought Granville back into the Cabinet as Lord President of the Council and, as a much esteemed elder statesman, he stayed in office until he died.
Pemberton, N. W. B., Carteret. 1936.
Granville-Barker, Harley (1877–1946). English playwright, actor and producer. As actor and producer for the London Stage Society, he introduced many of the plays of *Shaw. His own plays include The Voysey Inheritance (1905) and Waste (1907). He also wrote the interesting Prefaces to Shakespeare (published in four series 1927–45) which examine *Shakespeare’s plays from an actor’s and producer’s viewpoint.
Grass, Günter (Wilhelm) (1927–2015). German novelist, poet and playwright, born in Danzig (now Gdansk). He served in the Waffen-SS 1944–45, but did not disclose it until 2006. His allegorical writing, on the condition of Germany during and after the Third Reich, began with the novel Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum, 1959). This was followed by Katz und Maus (Cat and Mouse, 1963), Hundejahre (Dog Years, 1965) and Die Rättin (The Rat, 1987). He received the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature. The citation read (rather oddly): ‘whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history.’
Gratian (Flavius Gratianus Augustus) (359–383). Roman co-Emperor 375–83 with his half-brother, Valentinian II. Though a civilised man and a moderate ruler, he alienated many by his attempts to suppress paganism in Rome by force. When the rebel Maximus crossed from Britain to Gaul Gratian, faced with a mutiny of his troops, fled, and was killed at Lugdunum (Lyon).
Grattan, Henry (1746–1820). Irish politician. A Protestant, educated at Trinity College Dublin, he was a Member of the Irish Parliament 1775–98; 1800–01, which under Poyning’s Law was virtually subservient to the Privy Council. Grattan, a brilliant orator, fought for and secured the right of the Irish Parliament to initiate laws. He advocated the emancipation of Catholics and won for them the right to vote (1793). The measure was thwarted because of *George III’s strong opposition to the election of Catholic MPs, and long delays in securing reform provoked Grattan to resign (1798). He bitterly opposed (but was unable to prevent) the linking of Ireland with Great Britain by the Act of Union, by which *Pitt hoped (vainly as it turned out) to secure Catholic emancipation without political domination. Grattan was elected to the House of Commons 1803–20, and spent most of his remaining years in promoting the cause of emancipation (achieved in 1829).
Graves, Robert von Ranke (1895–1985). English poet, novelist and critic, born in London. Son of Alfred Perceval Graves (1846–1931), Irish poet and folksong collector, he was educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, served in the army during World War I and became known as a poet. (His poetical works were collected in 1959.) From 1929 he lived mainly in Majorca. His autobiography Goodbye to All That appeared in 1929. Later he wrote a series of vivid, scholarly historical novels, notably I, Claudius (1934) and its sequel Claudius the God (1934), Count Belisarius (1938) and Wife to Mr Milton (1943). He also wrote several works attempting to place Christianity in a mythological context, e.g. King Jesus (1946). He translated The Golden Ass of Apuleius (1949) and other classics, and published Greek Myths (1955). His biography of his friend *Lawrence of Arabia appeared in 1938. He succeeded W. H. *Auden as professor of poetry at Oxford University 1961–66.
Seymour-Smith, M., Robert Graves. 1982; Wilson, J. M., Robert Graves. 2018.
Gray, Elisha (1835–1901). American engineer, born in Ohio. He was the first to transmit musical tones across a telegraph wire and made significant improvements to telegraphy generally. His patent application for a telephone was lodged on 14 February 1876, just hours after Alexander Graham *Bell and his claim for priority is still controversial. His consulting firm became part of Western General Manufacturing.
Gray, Thomas (1716–1771). English poet, born in London. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, he was the lifelong friend of Horace *Walpole, with whom he toured the Continent (1739–41). His poetical output was small, but his best poems, e.g. Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, Elegy written in a Country Churchyard, The Progress of Poesy and Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat (i.e. Walpole’s), are among the finest products of the 18th-century reflective tradition, combining sensibility with an Augustan discipline and conciseness of expression. He declined the laureateship in 1757. Apart from visits to Scotland and the Lake District the whole of his adult life was spent in scholarly quiet in Cambridge, where he was professor of modern history 1768–71. Though esteemed as the most learned man in England in this and other fields, he never delivered a lecture, had a pupil or published anything except his poetry. His letters reveal his character to a remarkable degree. His grave in the country churchyard at Stoke Poges, Bucks, believed to be that of the poem, is still a point of pilgrimage.
Golden, M., Thomas Gray. 1964.
Graziani, Rudolfo (1882–1955). Italian soldier. In Ethiopia 1935–36 he successfully led the invasion from the south and remained in the conquered country as Viceroy until 1938. In World War II he was utterly defeated by *Wavell in Libya 1940–41. He was Minister of Defence 1943–44 in *Mussolini’s puppet government in North Italy, set up after his rescue by the Germans from the captivity that followed his fall from power. Graziani was imprisoned 1945–50.
Greco, El (Doménikos Theotokópoulos) (1541–1614). Born in Candia (Iráklion), Crete. In Italy he was called El Grequa and later in Spain El Greco. Few details of his life are known. He was in Venice by 1570 (he probably studied under the then aged *Titian), when he went to Spain is uncertain. His earliest known painting there was done in 1577 in Toledo, where he spent the rest of his life. His early work, reflecting his origin, shows the influence of Byzantine icons, but also the influence of *Michelangelo and Mannerism, and the Venetians (including *Tintoretto and *Bassano). From this he progressed to his extraordinary, very personal religious style expressive both of Spanish fanaticism and his own spiritual ecstasy. His works are finished with passion and power. An other-worldly quality is suggested by the elongated bodies, the bold, almost phosphorescent, colours with sharp contrasts of blue, yellow and green. The emotional rather than the actual content of the subject became increasingly stressed as the Mannerism of his earlier style is modified by a baroque conception of space and movement. Among his masterpieces are The Burial of Count Orgaz (Toledo), View of Toledo (New York), The Scourging of Christ (Madrid) and The Disrobing of Christ (Munich). Despite the religious preoccupation of his painting, he was a humanist, very widely read.
Wethey, H., El Greco and His School. 1973; Bray, X., El Greco. 2004; Marías, F., El Greco of Toledo. 2014, El Greco: Life and Works. 2019; Scholz-Hänsel, M., El Greco. 2016.
Greeley, Horace (1811–1872). American journalist. His interest in political questions led him to found The New Yorker (1834), a newspaper—not to be confused with the magazine. He changed its name to The New York Tribune (1841) and worked closely with *Seward. For 30 years the Tribune exerted tremendous influence, campaigning for social reform. His advice ‘Go West, young man’ became proverbial. Strongly anti-slavery, he finally became a supporter of *Lincoln—somewhat lukewarm, as he was at heart a pacifist. As presidential candidate for the Democrats and Liberal Republican parties (1872) he was heavily defeated by *Grant. He died a month later, insane, after his political defeat, his wife’s death and his displacement at the Tribune by Whitelaw *Reid.
Green, Henry (Henry Vincent Yorke) (1905–1973). English novelist. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he became Managing Director of H. Pontifex & Co., a family engineering works in Birmingham. He wrote a series of highly praised short novels, remarkable for their laconic style and keen social insights, including Blindness (1926), Living (1929), Party Going (1939), Loving (1945) and Doting (1962). His admirers included W. H. *Auden, Rebecca *West, Angus *Wilson and John *Updike.
Green, John Richard (1837–1883). English historian, born at Oxford. Educated at Oxford University, he became a clergyman in London’s East End. Forced by tuberculosis to retire (1865), he wrote his famous Short History of the English People (1874). Essentially a social history, it achieved immense success. His widow, Alice (Sophia Amelia) Stopford Green (1847–1929), was a social historian and Home Rule advocate who served in the Irish Senate 1922–29.
Addison, W. G., J. R. Green. 1946.
Green, Julien (Hartridge) (1900–1998). Franco-American novelist, born in Paris. Of American parentage, he lived mostly in France and wrote almost entirely in French. His novels, while notable for psychological insight, paint a sombre and puritanical picture of French provincial life. They include Adrienne Mesurat (1927), Christine (1928), Le Visionnaire (1934). He was elected to the Académie française in 197l.
Burre, G. S., Julien Green. 1972.
Green, William (1873–1952). American trade union leader. After working as a miner in Ohio he took up trade union organisation and was Secretary and Treasurer of the United Mine Workers of America 1913–24. He succeeded Samuel *Gompers as President of the American Federation of Labor 1924–52.
Greenaway, Kate (née Catherine) (1846–1901). English illustrator, born in London. Daughter of an engraver, she studied at the Slade School, became a successful card and bookplate designer, illustrated children’s books, using chromoxylography (coloured woodblocks) and gained international recognition.
Greene, (Henry) Graham (1904–1991). English novelist and playwright, born at Berkhamsted. Educated at Berkhamsted School (where his father was headmaster) and Balliol College, Oxford, he was a sub-editor on The Times 1926–30, film critic of the Spectator 1935–39, worked in the Foreign Office 1941–44 and later as a publisher. His reputation was first made by Brighton Rock (1938), a thriller of contemporary violence but with some social impact. His conversion to Roman Catholicism introduced a religious element, but serious purpose was always subordinate to swiftly moving narrative. His novels include The Power and the Glory (1940, Hawthornden prizewinner), The Heart of the Matter (1948), The End of the Affair (1951), The Quiet American (1955), the satirical Our Man in Havana (1958), The Burnt Out Case (1961), The Comedians (1966), The Honorary Consul (1973), The Human Factor (1978) and Dr Fischer of Geneva (1980). Two of Greene’s screenplays were filmed by Carol *Reed, The Fallen Idol (1948) and The Third Man (1949). His plays include The Living Room (1953), The Potting Shed (1957), The Complaisant Lover (1959), The Return of A. J. Raffles (1975) and Yes & No (1980). He received the CH in 1966, the OM in 1986 and many international awards, but the Nobel Prize for Literature eluded him, to the anger of his supporters. His brother, Sir Hugh Carleton Greene (1910–1987), was Director General of the BBC 1960–69.
Shelden, M., Graham Greene. The Man Within. 1994; Sherry, N., The Life of Graham Greene. Vol 1 1989, Vol. 2 1994.
Greene, Robert (1558–1592). English poet, playwright, pamphleteer and wit. Autobiographical pamphlets tell of his acquaintance with London’s rogues and swindlers, an aspect of his life also reflected in Greenes groats-worth of witte, bought with a million of repentance (1592). His poems and romances, in which *Shakespeare dipped more than once for a plot, contain passages of lyric beauty, but they and his plays are now mainly of academic interest, Greene probably shared in the composition of Shakespeare’s Henry VI. He is said to have died from a ‘surfeit of pickled herrings and Rhenish wine’.
Greenspan, Alan (1926– ). American financier. Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank 1987–2006, his economic pronouncements had profound international impact.
Greenwood, Arthur (1880–1954). English Labour politician. An economics teacher, he was elected MP 1922–31; 1932–54, serving under Ramsay *MacDonald as Minister of Health 1929–31, and was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 1935–45, under Clement *Attlee. As acting Leader, he played an important role in forcing *Chamberlain’s resignation and supported *Churchill’s ‘no surrender’ policy in the War Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio 1940–42. He became Leader of the Opposition 1942–45 in the House of Commons, to ensure that the National Government was subject to scrutiny. In Attlee’s postwar Labour Government, as Lord Privy Seal 1945–47 he was an architect of the National Health Scheme but alcoholism made him an ineffective administrator. He received a CH in 1945.
Greer, Germaine (1939– ). Australian writer, born in Melbourne. Educated at Melbourne, Sydney and Cambridge universities, she taught English at Warwick University 1968–73. Her The Female Eunuch (1970) was a trenchant attack on the subjugation of women in a male-dominated society. Originally a strong advocate of the sexual revolution, she modified her view in Sex and Destiny (1984). She also wrote The Change (1991), about menopause.
Wallace, C., Greer: untamed shrew. 1997; Kleinhenz, E., Germaine. The Life of Germaine Greer. 2019.
Gregory (Gregorius) I, St (known as ‘the Great’) (540–604). Pope 590–604. A Roman patrician, he was prefect of Rome (c.573) but soon resigned to become a Benedictine monk, and was later summoned to represent the pope at Constantinople 579–86. He was Abbot of St Andreas monastery, Rome, 586–90, until elected by acclamation as Pope, despite his strong objections. As Pope, he extended the area of papal primacy through missions, e.g. that of St *Augustine of Canterbury, and by skilled diplomacy. He did much, too, to spread the rule of St *Benedict among the devotees of monastic life. Many of his letters survive to indicate his constant activities as well as his austere piety. The Gregorian chant is named for him, but it is doubtful whether all or any of the liturgical changes attributed to him were really his. Canonised in 604, in 1298 he was proclaimed as one of the four great Doctors of the Western Church (with Sts *Ambrose, *Jerome and *Augustine).
Gregory VII, St (Hildebrand of Savona) (c.1020–1085). Pope 1073–85. Born in Tuscany, Hildebrand became a Benedictine monk, and a learned and enlightened canon lawyer. As papal envoy (from 1048) and as archdeacon of the Roman church, and cardinal (from 1058), he exercised a strong influence on the ineffectual Popes Stephen IX, Nicholas II and Alexander II. Elected Pope by acclamation, he was successful in winning the ‘investiture controversy’, the claim by monarchs that by investing bishops and clergy with lands and legal protection, they could exercise both spiritual and temporal authority, including the right of appointment. Under Gregory, the papacy claimed universal jurisdiction and he was described as ‘Vicar of Christ’. He enforced the existing discipline of clerical celibacy. In 1074 his attempt to organise a Crusade failed because secular rulers refused to join in. Gregory forced the Holy Roman Emperor *Heinrich IV to do penance at Canossa (January 1077) in the snow. The tables were turned when (1080) imperial troops compelled Gregory to leave Rome and end his life in exile at Salerno. He was canonised in 1606.
Gregory XIII (Ugo Buoncompagni) (1505–1585). Pope 1572–85. Born in Bologna, he became a lawyer, had a late vocation to the priesthood, soon becoming prominent in the Vatican administration, legate to Spain 1564–66 and Cardinal Priest of Sisto 1566–72. On the death of Pius V, he was speedily elected as Pope, despite his age (70). A zealous proponent of the Counter-Reformation, he adopted the reforms of the Council of Trent, promoted the Jesuits and established a university in Rome. He encouraged rebellion against Queen *Elizabeth in Ireland, and struck a medal to celebrate the massacre of Protestants in France on St Bartholomew’s Day (1572). He introduced the Gregorian Calendar (1582), to replace the Julian Calendar, with the year beginning on 1 January. Outside the Catholic world, adoption of the new calendar was slow: Germany in 1700, Great Britain and the American colonies in 1752, Russia in 1918, Greece in 1923.
Gregory XVI (Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari) (1765–1846). Pope 1831–46. A monk, trained in science and philosophy, he worked in the Papal Curia and was elected Pope with support from *Metternich. He opposed modernism, secularism and nationalism, encouraged missionaries and denounced slavery. He set up Egyptian and Etruscan museums in the Vatican.
Gregory, Isabella Augusta, Lady (née Persse) (1852–1932). Irish playwright. Author of the comedy Rising of the Moon (1907), she was a friend of W. B. *Yeats and with him founded the Irish National Theatre Society. She became a director of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, opened in 1904. She believed that the literary revival, of which she was a leader, would further the cause of Irish national independence.
Kohfeldt, M. L., Lady Gregory: The Woman Behind the Irish Renaissance. 1985.
Grenfell, Sir Wilfred Thomason (1865–1940). English medical missionary. He equipped the first hospital ship for the North Sea fisheries. From 1892 he worked in Labrador and Newfoundland and established hospitals, orphanages, schools and agricultural centres for the Eskimos and the fishing communities.
Kerr, J. L., Wilfred Grenfell, His Life and Work. 1959.
Grenville, George (1712–1770). English Whig politician. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he was one of five brothers, all of them MPs. His sister Hester married William *Pitt (the Elder). One of the ‘Boy Patriots’, led by Pitt, as Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer 1763–65 he enacted the imprudent Stamp Act (1765) which inflamed the anger of the American colonists and he also became unpopular by prosecuting John *Wilkes. He was a notorious bore. His son William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville (1759–1834) was a Member of Parliament 1784–90, Foreign Secretary under *Pitt the Younger 1791–1801 and Prime Minister of the ‘All the Talents’ Ministry 1806–07, which abolished the slave trade.
Grenville, Sir Richard (1541–1591). English sailor. Of Cornish descent, he carried *Raleigh’s first colonists to Virginia (1585) and took an active part in the undeclared sea war against the Spaniards. The incident that won him fame occurred when (1591) Lord Thomas Howard’s squadron of 14 vessels encountered 53 Spanish ships off Flores, an island in the Azores. The rest of the squadron escaped, but Grenville disobeyed orders and stayed to fight it out. From 3 p.m. and all through the following night his ship Revenge, as *Tennyson’s poem dramatically relates, beat off 15 Spanish ships in turn, of which four were sunk or foundered. In the morning Grenville, with his ship a wreck and ammunition gone, was forced to surrender, and died of his wounds on a Spanish ship. A less charitable view portrays Grenville as ambitious, cruel and obstinate, and the episode as a useless expenditure of lives.
Gresham, Sir Thomas (1519–1579). English financier, born in London. Founder of the Royal Exchange (1568), much of his life was spent as adviser to Queen *Elizabeth and financial agent of the crown. Gresham’s Law, a 19th-century coinage, summarised as ‘bad money drives out good’, says that when two coins are of equal legal exchange value but one has greater intrinsic value, it will be hoarded while one with lower intrinsic value remains in circulation. Revenue from shops in the Royal Exchange building was used to found Gresham’s College (rebuilt 1841).
Salter, F. R., Sir Thomas Gresham. 1925; Jordan, J. D., The Queen’s Merchant—The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Gresham. 2017.
Greville, Charles Cavendish Fulke (1794–1865). English writer of memoirs. As Clerk of Council in Ordinary 1821–59 he had a unique opportunity for observing and recording with great psychological insight, the public and private lives of the celebrities whom he met. His famous Memoirs appeared (with tactful suppressions) in 1874–87.
Greville, Fulke, 1st Baron Brooke (1554–1628). English writer and courtier. He held office under *Elizabeth of whom he was a favourite and *James I, but is mainly remembered for his life of his friend Sir Philip *Sidney (published posthumously in 1652), which contains vivid contemporary portraits.
Grévy, (François Paul) Jules (1807–1891). French politician, born in the Jura. An opponent of *Napoléon III, a lawyer, republican and freemason, he was President of the Constituent Assembly 1871–73, of the Chamber of Deputies 1876–79 and succeeded Marshal *McMahon, a covert monarchist, as President of the Republic 1879–87. Re-elected in 1885, he was forced to resign because his son-in-law, Daniel Wilson, had been trafficking in honours. A zebra is named for him.
Grey, Dame Beryl (née Groom) (1927– ). English ballerina. She made her first solo appearance at Sadler’s Wells as Sabrina, in Comus, in 1941. She danced with the Sadler’s Wells company 1942–57 and appeared for seasons with the Bolshoi Ballet (1957–58) and Chinese Ballet (1964).
Grey, Charles Grey, 2nd Earl (1764–1845). English Whig politician. Educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, he entered parliament in 1786, joined the opposition and attacked *Pitt for his foreign policy his repressive legislation at home and the Union with Ireland. By 1792 he was already thinking of parliamentary reform and formed the Friends of the People Club with that aim. He joined the Whig ministry (1806) and on *Fox’s death became Foreign Secretary and Leader of the Commons. After he inherited his father’s earldom (1807) he withdrew from politics during the long period of Tory ascendency but returned to lead the Whig party after the August 1830 election and, on *Wellington’s resignation, became Prime Minister 1830–34, the first Whig in office since 1807. He won a clear majority in an election held in July 1831. To secure the passage of the Reform Bill (1832) he persuaded a reluctant *William IV to threaten to create a sufficient number of peers to outvote opposition in the Lords, and the Great Reform Act became law in June 1832. In July 1832 an election was held on the new boundaries, eliminating ‘rotten boroughs’, and enfranchising Birmingham and Manchester. His ministry also secured (1833) the historic measure, proposed by *Wilberforce, abolishing slavery throughout the empire. After a split in the Cabinet (1834) over Irish Church reform, Grey resigned, living in retirement at Howick.
Grey, Sir George (1812–1898). English colonial administrator, born in Lisbon. He explored in Western Australia 1837–39 and became Governor of South Australia 1841–45 and then of New Zealand 1845–53. He ended the war with the Maoris, to whom he was sympathetic. After a spell as Governor of Cape Colony 1854–61, during which he vainly urged South African federation, he had a second term as Governor of New Zealand 1861–67, but became involved in a quarrel concerning the conduct of the renewed Maori War, and was recalled. He returned to enter New Zealand politics and was Liberal Prime Minister 1877–79. He represented New Zealand at the Australasian Convention of 1891, but was cool about the prospect of federation with Australia. An able linguist, his major collection of medieval manuscripts was given to libraries in Cape Town and Auckland. He was buried in St Paul’s Cathedral, London.
Grey, Lady Jane (1537–1554). English claimant to the crown. She was the daughter of Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset (afterwards Duke of Suffolk), and was linked with the royal family through a grandmother, a sister of *Henry VIII. Jane married (1553) Lord Guildford Dudley, son of the Duke of *Northumberland who, as protector of the realm, persuaded the dying boy-king *Edward VI to name Jane as his successor (1553), overruling the Third Succession Act (1543), which provided that the order of succession should be the daughters of Henry VIII, (i) *Mary, a Catholic, and (ii) *Elizabeth, whose legitimacy was in dispute. Four days after Edward’s death, Jane was proclaimed Queen (10 July 1553), with the support of the Privy Council. However, Mary quickly rallied support, the Privy Council switched allegiance, and nine days later Jane was deposed and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Her father joined Sir Thomas *Wyatt’s rebellion and this led to the execution of Jane, together with her husband and her father. She had beauty, intelligence—she read five languages, including Greek and Hebrew—and piety.
Chapman, H., Lady Jane Grey. 1962; Bartlett, D. W., The Life of Lady Jane Grey. 2010; Ives, E., Lady Jane Grey—a Tudor Mystery. 2011; Tallis, N., Crown of Blood. 2017.
Grey Eminence see Joseph, Père
Grey of Fallodon, Edward Grey, 1st Viscount (1862–1933). English Liberal politician. Educated at Winchester and Balliol College, Oxford, where he majored in tennis and scraped a degree, he was a Liberal MP 1885–1916 and Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs in *Gladstone’s last administration 1892–95, when the ‘Grey declaration’ warned the French off the Sudan. In the Liberal Governments of *Campbell Bannerman and *Asquith, he was Foreign Secretary 1905–16, the first to sit in the House of Commons since 1868, and the longest serving. (In that time he made only one short visit to Europe.) During that time he cemented the Triple Entente with France and Russia to counter the threat from Germany and its allies. In the Morocco crisis (1911) his support of France averted war; it was also, largely, through his influence that the Balkan Wars 1912–13 were localised. His role in the events leading to the outbreak of World War I was ambiguous: he told Cabinet little, left commitment to the generals and depended on French initiatives. He retired from office in 1916 due to failing sight. He was created KG (1912), a viscount (1916), was Ambassador to the US 1919–20 and became Chancellor of Oxford University 1928–33. He wrote The Charm of Birds (1927) and books on fly fishing. Historians now judge Grey harshly: he had little interest in the Balkans, failed to grasp the momentum towards war in 1914, was secretive and did not communicate its seriousness to his colleagues.
Trevelyan, G. M., Grey of Fallodon. 1937; Waterhouse, M., Edwardian Requiem: a Life of Sir Edward Grey. 2013.
Grieg, Edvard Hagerup (1843–1907). Norwegian composer, born in Bergen. Leader of a new national school, he studied in Leipzig from 1858, and was influenced by *Mendelssohn and *Schumann. In 1863 he went to Denmark where, in Copenhagen, he met the Norwegian composer Rikard Nordraak (1842–1866) and through him discovered his own folk tradition. His own music was based on this tradition, refined by his own natural lyricism. His works included the Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16 (1868), incidental music to *Ibsen’s Peer Gynt (1874–75), the Holberg Suite for strings (1884), three violin sonatas, many songs and piano solos.
Horton, J., Grieg. 1972.
Griffin, Walter Burley (1876–1937). American architect and town planner. A disciple of Frank Lloyd *Wright, he won the international competition (1912) for the design of Canberra, endured years of frustration at the hands of politicians and bureaucrats but was ultimately vindicated (posthumously). His wife Marion Lucy Mahoney (1871–1961) was a designer and draftsperson with Wright. He died in Lucknow.
Griffith, Arthur (1872–1922). Irish politician. A Protestant, he became a journalist, encouraged the Gaelic revival and influenced Irish nationalist opinion. He founded ‘Sinn Féin’ (‘We Ourselves’) in 1905 and edited a newspaper of that name 1906–14. The movement gradually became increasingly militant and republican. Imprisoned several times (1916–20), he was *de Valera’s deputy when the Irish Republic was declared (1919). With Michael *Collins he led the Irish delegation which signed the treaty (1921) setting up the Irish Free State, and, after de Valera had refused cooperation, he was President of the Republic for the last seven months of his life. He dropped dead in the street.
Griffith, David (Lewelyn) Wark (1875–1948). American film director and producer. Originally a journalist and actor, he entered the film industry in 1908 and made 460 short films in seven years. He made his great contribution to the history of the cinema with the first great American spectacular films: The Birth of a Nation (1915), and Intolerance (1916). He introduced ‘close ups’, ‘flash backs’, ‘fade outs’ and other now familiar techniques.
Schickel, R., D. W. Griffth. 1984.
Griffith, Sir Samuel Walker (1845–1920). Australian politician and judge, born in Wales. Educated in Sydney, he served as Premier of Queensland 1883–88 and 1890–93, becoming principal draftsman (1891) of the Commonwealth Constitution (adopted in 1901), and Chief Justice of Queensland 1893–1903. With the establishment of the High Court of Australia in 1903, Griffith was made Chief Justice, retiring in 1919.
Grillparzer, Franz (1791–1872). Austrian dramatist. He became a lawyer and an increasingly unhappy public servant in the Treasury whose works and mental processes influenced *Kafka, *Musil and *Kraus. His works contrast the exercise of modern totalitarian power (as with *Napoléon) with the bureaucratic style (as with *Joseph II). His plays include King Ottocar, His Rise and Fall (1823), The Waves of Sea and Love (1831) and A Dream of Life (1834).
Grimm, Jakob Ludwig Karl (1785–1863) and Wilhelm Karl (1786–1859). German brothers, philologists and collectors of fairy tales and myths. The development of Germanic languages, law, folklore, sagas and songs was to them a single composite study which one or both pursued down many avenues and recorded in numerous learned books. Jakob was particularly interested in language: ‘Grimm’s Law’ concerns the sound shifts that produced the German language from its Indo-European origins.
Michaelis-Jena, R., The Brothers Grimm. 1970.
Grimond, Jo(seph), Baron Grimond (1913–1993). English Liberal politician. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he was called to the bar (1937) and served in World War II. He was MP for the Orkney and Shetland constituency 1950–83. He succeeded Clement Davies as Liberal Leader 1956–67. In the 1964 election the party vote was almost double that of the previous election at over 3,000,000.
Gris, Juan (José Victoriano Gonzalez) (1887–1927). Spanish Cubist painter. In Paris from 1906, deeply influenced by *Cézanne, he was, with *Braque and *Picasso, one of the leading Cubist artists, enlarging the still-life tradition. He also designed ballet sets for *Diaghilev.
Grivas, Georgios (1898?–1974). Greek soldier, born in Cyprus. During World War II, under the nomme de guerre ‘Dighenis Akritas’, he led guerrilla bands against the Germans and the rival Communist underground. In 1954 he returned to Cyprus to direct the EOKA terrorist forces in support of the Enosis movement for union of Cyprus with Greece. After the settlement (1959) he withdrew, but returned (1964) to command the Greek Cypriot troops. He led a terrorist campaign against the Turks in Cyprus 1971–74.
Grock (Adrien Wettach) (1880–1959). Swiss musical clown. A master of miming, he captivated audiences of all nationalities without uttering a word. The most famous of his acts displayed him in his clown’s makeup in a state of complete bewilderment when confronted with an array of musical instruments whose eccentricities he appeared unable to master, until with a sudden change of mood he revealed himself as a virtuoso performer.
Grocyn, William (c.1446–1519). English humanist scholar. He was educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, and held a number of scholastic and ecclesiastical preferments before becoming (1506) Master of the collegiate Church of All Hallows, Maidstone, where he was buried. He was held in great respect by *Erasmus, Sir Thomas *More and *Colet, and is important as one of the first to teach Greek publicly in England.
Gromyko, Andrei Andreyevich (1909–1989). Russian Communist politician and diplomat, born in Belarus. He became Ambassador to the US 1943–46, Permanent Representative on the UN Security Council 1946–48, Ambassador to Great Britain 1952–53 and Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs 1953–57. As Foreign Minister 1957–85, a record period, he signed (1963) the partial nuclear test ban agreement, played a key role in the detente conferences of the 1970s, and became a Politburo member 1973–88. He was President of the USSR 1985–88.
Gröner, Wilhelm (1867–1939). German general. In World War I he was officer in charge of railways, personnel and supplies, succeeding *Ludendorff as Quartermaster General (October 1918). With *Hindenburg he engineered the Kaiser’s abdication, then worked with *Ebert against the Communists. He became a conservative deputy in the Reichstag 1920–33, was a minister and a strong opponent of the Nazis.
Gropius, Walter (Adolph George) (1883–1969). German architect, born in Berlin. A pioneer of ‘functional’ architecture, of which his early industrial buildings are fine examples; glass and concrete are the chief materials used. In 1915 he married Alma *Mahler (his lover from 1910) and they divorced in 1920. He founded the Bauhaus School (1919) and was its director until 1928, first in Weimar and (from 1926) in Dessau, where his design for the new premises was hailed as a landmark. He left Germany in 1934 and settled in the US after three years in England. He was professor of architecture at Harvard 1937–52.
Fitch, J. M., Gropius. 1960; Wolfe, T., From Bauhaus to Our House. 1981; Isaacs, R., Walter Gropius. 1991; MacCarthy, F., Walter Gropius. Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus. 2019.
Grosseteste (i.e. Bighead), Robert (c.1175–1253). English prelate and scholar, born in Suffolk. Coming from a poor family, he studied theology at Oxford and Paris, became Chancellor of Oxford University 1214–21 and Bishop of Lincoln 1235–53. He anticipated *Aquinas in reviving interest in *Aristotle, brought scholars from the Byzantine Empire to work on Latin translations and wrote a commentary on Posterior Analytics. He also encouraged the study of the Arab contribution to science, especially in light and optics and was the teacher of Roger *Bacon. He emphasised the primacy of the Church over the State and defended the Jews against *Henry III.
Grossman, Vasily Semyonovich (1905–1964). Russian-Jewish author, born in Berdichev. His long novel Life and Fate (1959), was published abroad in 1980, in English translation in 1986 and in the USSR in 1989.
Grossmith, George (1847–1912). English actor and author. Though he achieved great success on the stage, notably in *Gilbert and *Sullivan operas at the Savoy, and wrote hundreds of songs and sketches, it is as the author, with his brother Weedon Grossmith (1854–1919), of The Diary of a Nobody (1892) that he is remembered.
Grosz, George (1893–1959). German satirical artist. He began his career as a savage caricaturist, and after World War I, e.g. in his series Faces of the Ruling Class, he venomously assailed militarists, bureaucrats and capitalists. From 1933 he worked in the US and in World War II he painted anti-war pictures, whose power lay in their macabre and horrifying symbolism.
Bittner, H., George Grosz. 1965.
Grote, George (1794–1871). English historian and politician. He is best known for his History of Greece (begun in 1822 and published in 10 vols, 1846–56), a work of great scholarship infused with a deep and understanding love of Greek civilisation. He actively participated in the founding of University College, London, and was Vice Chancellor of London University from 1862. He refused a peerage (1869).
Clarke, M. L., George Grote, a Biography. 1962.
Grotewohl, Otto (1894–1964). East German politician. After some years as a printer he turned to politics and became prominent as a Social Democratic member of the Reichstag 1925–33. He was twice imprisoned by the Nazis. After World War II, as leader of his party in East Germany when it merged with the Communists, he became the first Minister-President (i.e. Premier) of the German Democratic Republic 1949–64. He became a virtual figurehead, as real power passed to his deputy Walther *Ulbricht.
Grotius, Hugo (Huig de Groot) (1583–1645). Dutch international jurist, born at Delft. He went to Leyden University at the age of 11, and at 15 accompanied a diplomatic mission to *Henri IV of France. On his return he began to practise law at The Hague and soon gained public appointments. He became involved, however, in the violent religious disputes of the time and was sentenced to life imprisonment, escaping in 1621 when his wife managed to get him carried out of prison in a book chest. He went to Paris, was pensioned by *Louis XIII and produced his De Jure Belli et Pacis (1625), the first great work on international law. Beyond its legal aspects it was a plea for more human conduct in the pursuit of war. He also devoted himself unsuccessfully to reconciling the Roman Church and sects of a divided Christendom. Axel *Oxenstierna appointed Grotius as Sweden’s Ambassador to Paris 1634–45. Shipwrecked near Rostok, on a voyage from Sweden to the Netherlands, he soon died and was buried in Delft.
Grouchy, Emmanuel, Marquis de (1766–1847). French marshal. He joined the Revolutionary armies and is said to have been wounded 14 times before he was captured at the Battle of Novi (1799). He fought with *Napoléon’s Grand Army from 1805, was prominent during the retreat from Moscow, rejoined the emperor after his escape from Elba and was made a marshal (1815). He was much criticised, perhaps unjustly, for failing to prevent *Blücher’s junction with *Wellington at Waterloo.
Grove, Sir George (1820–1900). English engineer, musicologist and editor. He built the first cast-iron lighthouse (in the West Indies) and was Secretary of the Crystal Palace Company 1852–73. In his other spheres of activity he edited Macmillan’s Magazine and was a major contributor to Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible. He is best known as editor 1878–90 of the standard work: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He was knighted in 1883. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is currently available online or in print. Knighted in 1883, he was founder and first director of the Royal College of Music 1883–94.
Young, P. M., George Grove, 1820–1900. 1980.
Groves, Leslie Richard (1896–1970). American engineer and army officer. After supervising the construction of the Pentagon in Washington DC, he led the ‘Manhattan Project’ at Los Alomos, New Mexico (1942–45), which produced and tested the first atomic bombs, working with J. R. *Oppenheimer.
Gruen, Victor David (originally Viktor David Grünbaum) (1903–1980). Austrian-Jewish-American architect, born in Vienna. He designed shopping malls/supermarkets. The ‘Gruen effect’ (or ‘Gruen transfer’) describes the impact of a welcoming, open, well-lit, air-conditioned environment, with abundant products and food in reach, which becomes a home away from home, and weakens sales resistance and encourages compulsive spending.
Grundtvig, N(ikolai) F(rederik) S(everin) (1783–1872). Danish bishop, poet, theologian and educator. He was an outstanding hymn-writer and as a philosopher of religion he anticipated and influenced *Kierkegaard. He studied the Icelandic sagas and published a translation of *Beowulf. He also inspired the creation of residential folk high schools and campaigned for liberal causes, including parliamentary government.
Grünewald, Matthias (Mathis Gothardt or Neithardt) (c.1470/1480–1528). German painter, possibly born at Wurzburg. Very little is known of him and the familiar name Grünewald was a misattribution, made nearly 150 years after his death. He was both artist and engineer and worked for the see of Mainz and eventually was court painter (1515–25) to its cardinal archbishop Albrecht of Brandenburg. His mysticism and extreme piety are discernible in all his work, and in his portrayals of the crucifixion he reveals the depth of his compassion. His masterpiece the Issenheim (or Eisenheim) Altarpiece was painted between 1512–16 for a now demolished convent hospital for plague victims at Issenheim in Alsace, dedicated to St Anthony. It is now in a former Dominican chapel at the Unterlinden Museum, Colmar. The altarpiece consists of two fixed panels and two sets of mobile wings, painted on both sides, 10 distinct paintings including the powerful and appalling Crucifixion, The Angelic Concert, The Annunciation, The Resurrection, and a *Bosch-like Temptation of St Anthony. In emotional power it ranks next to *Michelangelo’s works in the Sistine Chapel but was virtually unknown until publicly displayed in 1852. Grünewald achieved none of the fame of his exact contemporary *Durer: he had no pupils and made no woodcuts or engravings. A few other works survive, in Basle, Karlsruhe and Washington. His last years were miserable—suspected of Protestant sympathies, he became a seller of paints and medicine, and died of the plague in Halle. Paul *Hindemith’s opera Mathis der Maler (1938) was based on his life.
Guardi, Francesco de (1712–1793). Venetian painter. His teacher was *Canaletto, who for long was esteemed above Guardi, whose paintings, most of Venice, though superficially similar to those of Canaletto, are in fact far different in their more sensitive treatment of light and colour. Whilst Canaletto is concerned with architectural precision, Guardi takes delight in the fleeting moment, catching the interplay of light and shadow on water, the atmospheric effects on the lagoon and using a technique approaching that of the Impressionists.
Shaw, J. B., The Drawings of Francesco Guardi. 1951.
Guarneri (or Guanieri). Italian family of violin makers in Cremona. The chief were: Andrea (c.1626–1698), taught by Nicolo *Amati, his sons Pietro (1655–1720), who lived in Mantua, and Giuseppe (1666–c.1739), another Pietro, known as Peter of Venice (c.1698–1732), a nephew of Pietro of Mantua; lastly, perhaps the most famous of all, Giuseppe’s son, known as Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù (1698–1744), because his violins were signed IHS, a Latin approximation of the first three letters of the name Jesus (in Greek), familiar in religious ornamentation.
Gubaidulina, Sofia Asgatovna (1931– ). Russian composer, born in Chistopol. Educated in Kazan, encouraged by *Shostakovich, she lived in Germany from 1992. Very prolific, her works include two violin concertos (Offertorium 1980, 2007), Hommage à T S Eliot (1987), Seven Last Words—partita for cello, bayan and strings (1987) and Johannes Passion (2007).
Gucci, Guccio (1881–1953). Italian designer and manufacturer. He worked as a waiter in London, then established a business in Florence (1920) making leather and travel goods, establishing a dynasty and a high reputation for style and quality.
Guderian, Heinz (1888–1954). German general. An expert in mechanised warfare, he planned several of the great German armoured thrusts. He commanded a Panzer corps in the Polish campaign (1939) and the Panzer army in Russia (1941). In 1944, having become Chief of Army staff, he was virtually Commander-in-Chief against Russia. He retired because of ill health in 1945.
Guelphs (or Guelfs). Name of the pro-Papal faction in Italy from the 12th century, which resisted expansion of Imperial power, derived from the German (Swabian) *Welf-Este dynasty.
Guericke, Otto von (1602–1686). German physicist, born at Magdeburg. He was noted for his investigations into pneumatics. He invented the air pump when carrying out experiments to produce a vacuum. His most famous experiment was that of the ‘Magdeburg hemispheres’, in which two hollow copper hemispheres were placed together to form a globe and emptied of air. Teams of eight horses pulling in opposite directions failed to separate them. He also studied electrical attraction and repulsion, obtaining his electricity by friction on a globe of sulphur.
Guesclin, Bertrand du (c.1320–1380). French general. The greatest warrior of the Hundred Years’ War, he won his first battle at Rennes, Brittany (1356–57), then defeated the English in a series of encounters that cleared them from the Seine valley; he was, however, captured at Auray (1364) and subsequently ransomed. He was made Constable of France by *Charles V (1370) and gradually deprived the English of all their possessions there except for a few fortified towns.
Guevara (de la Serna), ‘Che’ (Ernesto) (1928–1967). Argentinian revolutionist. The son of an architect, he studied medicine, became a determined opponent of the Perón regime and left Argentina in 1952. He served in the Popular Front Government of Guatemala until it was overthrown in June 1954. In 1956 he met Fidel *Castro in Mexico, accompanied his guerrillas to the Sierra Maestra as physician, and soon emerged as Castro’s closest aide. In the Cuban Revolutionary Government he was President of the National Bank (1959) and Minister for Industry 1959 65. He left the Cuban Government in 1965 and disappeared. He visited the Congo and North Vietnam, reappearing in 1967 at the head of a guerrilla organisation in Bolivia. In October he was captured and killed by the Bolivian army. His fascinating Diaries were published in 1968.
Guggenheim, Meyer (1829–1905). American industrialist, born in Switzerland. He migrated to Philadelphia (1847) and eventually, with his sons, succeeded in establishing international enterprises for the mining and processing of copper, tin, gold and diamonds. His sons created the well-known Guggenheim Foundations: that of Daniel (1856–1930) was ‘to promote the well-being of mankind’, that of Simon (1867–1941) to help scholars, artists and writers, and Solomon Robert (1861–1949) for the advancement of art. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, opened in 1959, was designed by Frank Lloyd *Wright. Peggy (Marguerite) Guggenheim (1898–1979), a granddaughter of Meyer, ran galleries in London and New York, promoted new artists such as Jackson *Pollock, built up one of the greatest collections of modern art and created a Guggenheim Foundation in Venice where she died. Her second husband was the painter Max *Ernst.
Guicciardini, Francesco (1483–1540). Italian historian of the Renaissance. For much of his life he held distinguished diplomatic and administrative posts in the service of the Medicis, whether in the government of Florence, where he was born, or under the Medici popes *Leo X and *Clement VII. His greatest work The History of Italy, covering the period 1492–1534, is detailed, accurate and shrewd in its judgment of affairs and men.
Guido d’Arezzo (Guido Monaco, or d’Aretino) (c.991/2–c.1050). Italian music theorist and Benedictine monk, born near Arezzo. At monasteries in Pomposa (near Ferrara) and Arezzo, he wrote a textbook Micrologus (c.1026), to teach singers how to read musical notation for new and old works, instead of relying on memory. He devised what was later named ‘tonic solfa’ where the six pitches were called ut (later doh), re, mi, fa, sol, and la. Guido is credited with inventing the modern form of musical notation, where ‘neumes’, a variety of signs on staves, to indicate phrases, pauses and melodic lines, were replaced by notes, indicating pitch and length, and syllables within a word (‘solmization’), in a hexachord (a six-note tone row). His system enabled changes in key by the use of ‘accidentals’, where pitches move from ‘natural’ (♮) up to ‘sharp’ (♯), or down to ‘flat’ (♭). This enabled development from plainchant towards polyphony, writing complex compositions for instruments, exploiting transitions from consonance to dissonance. He probably introduced the mnemonic device of giving the tips and joints of the fingers names of the various notes.
Guido Reni see Reni, Guido
Guillotin, Joseph Ignace (1738–1814). French physician. A member of the Estates General/Constituent Assembly 1789–91, he recommended the use of, but did not invent, the instrument of execution introduced in 1792 and named after him.
Lom, H., Dr Guillotine. 1992.
Guimard, Hector (1867–1942). French architect, designer and decorator. The leading French exponent of Art Nouveau, his most familiar works are the cast-iron plant decorations for the Paris Metro (1898–1901), a style which has been retained. He also designed apartment buildings and the staircase at the Grand Palais, Paris.
Guinness, Sir Alec (1914–2000). English actor. He appeared on the London and New York stage from 1933, in leading roles in, e.g. The Rivals (1938), An Inspector Calls (1948), The Cocktail Party (1949), Ross (1960), and in many films, e.g. Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob, Tunes of Glory and Lawrence of Arabia. In 1958 he won the Academy Award for his role as Major Nicolson in The Bridge on the River Kwai. His main theatrical characteristics were intelligence, wit and versatility. He was knighted in 1959 and awarded a CH in 1994.
Guinness, Sir Benjamin Lee, 1st Baronet (1798–1868). Irish brewer. He enlarged the Dublin brewery of his father, Arthur Guinness, until it became a vast enterprise, and its product, Dublin stout, a household word. His eldest son, Arthur Edward Guinness (1840–1915), was created 1st Baron Ardilaun. His third son, Edward Cecil Guinness, 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847–1927), having amassed a fortune through the business, endowed a trust for slum clearance and rebuilding in Dublin and London and gave to the nation Kenwood, the family mansion on Hampstead Heath, with a fine collection of pictures.
Guiscard, Robert (c.1015–1085). Norman adventurer in Italy. With his brothers he carved out a territory for himself in Calabria and Apulia, with which he was invested by Pope Nicholas II in 1059. With the aid of his brother, *Roger I, Sicily was conquered and added to the family possessions. Robert conceived the idea of seizing Constantinople on behalf of his daughter’s father-in-law, the deposed emperor, Michael VII but, after capturing Durazzo (1082), he returned to support Pope *Gregory VII against the emperor *Heinrich IV. On his way to resume his Byzantine enterprise he died.
Guise. French noble family of Lorraine. The first duke was Claude (1496–1550), whose daughter Mary (1515–1560) married *James V of Scotland and became regent for their infant daughter, *Mary Queen of Scots. Claude’s son, François (1519–1563), Second Duke, helped by his brother, Charles (1525–1574), Archbishop of Rheims and cardinal, led the extreme Catholic party which fought the Huguenots in the religious wars; he was assassinated. The third duke, Henri (1550–1588), was mainly responsible for the massacre of St Bartholomew (1572), for which the connivance of the queen mother, *Catherine de’Medici, had been with difficulty obtained. She subsequently was forced to come to terms favourable to the Huguenots. Guise, in protest, formed the Catholic League, and a triangular contest developed between the League, the Huguenots, and the crown, worn since 1574 by the vacillating *Henri III who at last cut the Gordian knot by arranging for the treacherous murder of Guise at Blois (1588). After Henri’s own assassination (1589) and the succession and conversion to Catholicism of the Protestant leader *Henri of Navarre, the power of the Guises steadily declined.
Guitry, Sacha (Alexandre) (1885–1957). French actor and playwright. With his father Lucien Guitry (1860–1925) and Yvonne Printemps (1895–1977), third of Sacha’s five wives and the heroine of many of his plays, he formed a trio ‘the Guitrys’, who played a dominant role in French theatrical life for a generation. In addition to being a leading actor, producer and manager, he wrote over 100 plays, mainly light comedies, and in later life achieved new success as a film director (e.g. Les Perles de la couronne, 1938). Lucien played opposite Sarah *Bernhardt in many of his favourite parts, e.g. as Armand to her Marguerite Gautier in La Dame aux camélias. Arrested as a collaborator in 1944, he was soon released.
Guizot, François Pierre Guillaume (1787–1874). French politician and historian, born in Nîmes. A Protestant, he was professor of modern history at the Sorbonne 1812–22, 1828–30. Turning to politics, he supported the revolution (1830) against *Charles X, but under *Louis Philippe he headed the right-centre in the chamber, his chief rival being *Thiers. When Minister for Public Instruction 1832–40, he organised primary education; he also restricted the freedom of the press. He was elected to the Académie française in 1836. After briefly being Ambassador in London (1840), he became Foreign Minister 1840–47 and virtually controlled the government. Premier 1847–48, his refusal to concede any reform caused the downfall of the regime. His extensive historical works, several on English history, e.g. Histoire de la révolution en Angleterre 1826–1856, earned him high respect as a historian.
Gulbenkian, Calouste Sarkis (1869–1955). Armenian oil magnate, born in Istanbul. His wealth and his nickname, ‘Mr Five Percent’, were originally based on a holding of one twentieth of the shares of the Anglo-Iranian Petroleum Company. He accumulated a fine collection of paintings and ceramics now in the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon (where he died), leaving most of a huge fortune (estimated at £300 million) to an international trust for educational, artistic and charitable purposes. His son, Nubar Gulbenkian (1896–1972), became a colourful figure on the British social scene.
Gunn, Thom(son William) (1929–2004). English poet. His first volume of poems was Fighting Terms (1954), followed by The Sense of Movement (1957), Positive (with Ander Gunn, about Londoners, 1966), Jack Straw’s Castle (1976) and The Passages of Joy (1982). He taught in California at Stanford 1954–58 and Berkeley 1958–66, 1977 and depicted modern urban society with great skill.
Gur, Mordechai (‘Motta’) (1930–1995). Israeli soldier, born in Jerusalem. A courageous soldier, he led the forces that occupied Jerusalem in 1966. Chief of the Defence Forces 1972–78, he was a Labor MP in the Knesset and Minister for Health 1984–86. Diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he shot himself.
Gurdjieff, George Ivanovich (1874–1949). Russian occult teacher. Of Greek-Armenian parentage, and raised in the Caucasus, he travelled extensively in Central Asia seeking occult knowledge and founded the Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Moscow in 1912. It was re-established at Fontainebleau 1922–36 and among his disciples were Katherine *Mansfield, Hart *Crane and Peter Demianovich Ouspensky (1874–1947). His Meetings with Remarkable Men was published in 1963 and secured a cult following among seekers of the ‘higher consciousness’.
Gurdon, Sir John Bertrand (1933– ). English developmental biologist. Educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, he held chairs in molecular biology and zoology at Cambridge and was Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, 1995–2002. He shared the 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Sinya Yamanaka for their demonstration that mature cells can be converted to stem cells.
Gürsel, Cemal (1895–1966). Turkish soldier and politician. After serving with distinction in World War I and under Kemal *Atatürk, he became Commander-in-Chief in 1958. When replaced (1960), he led a military revolt against the unpopular Prime Minister *Menderes, and became President of Turkey 1960–66, and Prime Minister 1960–61, retiring due to illness.
Gusmão, Xanana (José Alexandre) (1946– ). Timorese politician. President of Timor Leste 2002–07, he was Prime Minister 2007–15, and Minister for Planning 2015– .
Gustaf I (Gustavus Vasa) (1496–1560). King of Sweden 1523–60. From a leading noble family, he led a successful revolt against the rule in Sweden of Christian II of Denmark. By confiscating Church lands he later established a national Protestant Church. He brought under his own direct control some of the lands held by the nobles, and encouraged trade and industry (partly by using a keen business sense to direct many concerns himself), thus bringing about financial stability and economic progress. Risings provoked by his policies were quickly suppressed. In alliance with Denmark he destroyed the domination of the Hanseatic towns and finally obtained from parliament a declaration that his dynasty should be hereditary.
Gustaf II Adolf (Gustavus Adolphus) (1594–1632). King of Sweden 1611–32. Son of *Charles IX by his second wife, he was preferred as king to a cousin with a better hereditary claim. Aided by his chancellor *Oxenstierna, his adviser throughout the reign, he re-organised the administration by defining the spheres of local and central governments with a proper apportionment of finance. Finding himself at war with three countries, he came to terms with Denmark, led a successful campaign against Russia (1617), and then turned against Poland with whom he concluded an armistice on favourable terms (1629). His object throughout was Swedish domination of the Baltic with command of the river mouths and therefore control of trade. In the hopes of achieving this through a Swedish controlled league of Protestant German states, in 1631 he took part, in agreement with the French, in the Thirty Years’ War. He marched victoriously through Germany and at Breitenfeld in Saxony met and defeated the imperial general *Tilly, who was again defeated and mortally wounded at the passage of the Lech (1632). After overrunning much of Germany, Gustaf abandoned an attack on Austria to meet a threat to his rear by *Wallenstein, the result being the Swedish victory of Lutzen near Leipzig, in which Gustaf was killed. Gustaf’s military innovations swept away the last medieval aspects of warfare from his campaigns. He introduced regimental uniforms, better discipline and also insisted on attention to the welfare of his troops. He provided them with lighter and more effective firearms and the consequent increase in mobility and fire power were main contributions to his military success.
Roberts, M., Gustavus Adolphus: A History of Sweden 1611–1632. 2 vols, 1953–58.
Gustaf III (1746–1792). King of Sweden 1771–92. Son of King Adolf Fredrik, of the House of Holstein-Gottorp, he was born in Stockholm. One of the most remarkable 18th-century ‘enlightened despots’, he seized power from the parliamentary factions, the ‘Hats’ (pro-French and anti-Russian) and the ‘Caps’ (pro-Russian and anti-French), dissolved the Riksdag in 1772, granted freedom of the press, abolished torture, guaranteed religious toleration, provided poor relief, reorganised administration and taxation, simplified trade laws and was a great patron of the arts. He founded the Swedish Academy (1786) and the Royal Opera, wrote and acted in plays, and was a great orator and conversationalist. In February 1789, just before the French Revolution, he used the support of the commons to crush the remaining powers of the nobility. However, this did not endear him to constitutional liberals. Recognising that the French Revolution had made enlightened despotism obsolete, he tried to organise an army of intervention and his agent Count Fersen stage-managed the tragi-comic flight of *Louis XVI and *Marie Antoinette to Varennes. Many plots against Gustaf were laid by competing groups and on 16 March 1792, at a masked ball at his own opera house, he was shot in the back by Captain J. J. Anckarstroem and died 13 days later. This incident was the basis of *Verdi’s opera The Masked Ball (1859), although censorship (anxious about the theme of regicide) required its setting to be changed to Boston.
Gustaf V (Oscar Gustaf Adolf Bernadotte) (1858–1950). King of Sweden 1907–50. Son of *Oscar II, during his long life he dined with *Disraeli and *Hitler. He attempted to maintain his monarchical prerogatives, and appointed a ministry (Hjalmar *Hammarskjöld) that kept Sweden out of World War I but was heavily defeated in 1917, after which the king lost his political authority. Fearful of the USSR, Gustaf was sympathetic to Hitler’s invasion in 1941, but Sweden remained neutral in World War II. He was an active tennis player until his 80s. The court made payments to silence a presumed lover, at a time when homosexuality was a criminal offence.
Gustaf VI Adolf (Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf Bernadotte) (1882–1973). King of Sweden 1950–73. In 1905 he married Princess Margaret of Connaught (1882–1920) and, in 1923, Lady Louise Mountbatten (1889–1965). An able archaeologist, he excavated in Greece, China and Italy, published studies on Chinese porcelain and was elected FBA (1958). His British honours were KG, GCB, GCVO and Royal Victorian Chain. He was the last Swedish monarch to have constitutional responsibilities. His son, also Gustaf Adolf (1906–1947), died in a plane crash, and his grandson *Carl XVI Gustaf (1946– ) succeeded.
Gustavus Adolphus see Gustaf II Adolf
Guston, Philip (1913–1980). American painter, born in Montréal. He worked for the Federal Art Project 1935–40, and became one of the pioneers of Abstract Expressionism. His huge, crudely painted canvasses are profoundly disturbing social commentaries about urban life in contemporary US.
Gutenberg, Johannes (Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg) (c.1400–1468). German printer, born in Mainz. The first European to print from movable type, he worked in Strasbourg 1430–44 and his first great achievement was the mass production of metal type from clay matrices, a distinct advance on Chinese or Korean woodblock printing. Around c.1448 he returned to Mainz where a rich goldsmith, Johann *Fust, financed his printing shop. After a quarrel (1455) and an action to recover his money, Fust acquired the press and conducted it with the aid of his son-in-law, Peter Schöffer. Meanwhile Gutenberg received support that enabled him to set up another press. These events and the absence of dates, names or colophons on works printed at Mainz make ascription difficult. The great ‘Gutenberg Bible’ (sometimes called the ‘Mazarin Bible’), generally credited to him, was probably printed in 1455. It is a magnificent edition (in Latin) of 1282 folio pages in double columns, each of 42 lines of Gothic type, decorated by coloured woodcuts in the margin. About 300 copies were printed, of which 45 survive. His next masterpiece was an extraordinarily elaborate Psalter, using multiple inking, which appeared in 1457 over the names of Fust and Schöffer after Gutenberg had lost control of his property. He may have experimented in copper engraving. Many other works are attributed to Gutenberg but without certainty.
Guterres, António Manuel de Oliveira (1949– ). Portuguese diplomat and politician, born in Lisbon. He was an academic, then a Socialist politician, Prime Minister of Portugal 1995–2002, UN High Commissioner for Refugees 2005–15 and Secretary-General of the United Nations 2017– .
Guthrie, Sir (William) Tyrone (1900–1971). British theatre director. He began as an actor and assistant stage manager with the Oxford Repertory Company in 1923. He then worked for the BBC, where he did much to realise the full potential of radio drama. He was Director of the Festival Theatre, Cambridge, 1929–30. His production of James *Bridie’s The Anatomist in London, 1931, was successful and was followed by *Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author (1932). He achieved wide recognition for his fresh approach to traditional plays with his work for the Old Vic Company and at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.
Guthrie, T., A Life in the Theatre. 1960.
Guy, Thomas (c.1644–1724). English philanthropist. He was a bookseller in London from 1668, printer to Oxford University 1679–92 and MP 1695–1707. Successful speculation in South Sea shares enabled him to multiply the fortune made by trade and economical living. He endowed and built Guy’s Hospital, Southwark with £500,000 in 1722.
Guy-Baché, Alice (née Guy) (1873–1968). French film maker, born near Paris. From 1896 to 1922 she made over 400 films, 22 of them of feature length, founding the Solax Company in 1910. The first woman film director, she was forgotten after 1922 and died in the US.
Guzmán Blanco, Antonio (1829–1899). Venezuelan dictator. Leader of the ‘Yellow’ (liberal) faction in the civil wars of the 1860s, he was Acting President 1870–73 and President of Venezuela 1873–77, 1879–84, 1886–87 but, in effect, ruled as dictator for 20 years. He improved the Venezuelan economy, built up infrastructure but failed to help the peasants. Strongly anti-clerical, he became immensely rich and made long trips to Europe, leaving men of straw to rule in his absence. He was in Paris when, in 1889, one of these was overthrown by a revolution. He stayed there until his death.
Gwyn (or Gwynne), Nell (or Eleanor) (1650?–1687). English courtesan. She is said to have started her career as an orange seller at Drury Lane, where she later acted. ‘Pretty, Witty Nell’ was the liveliest and most popular of *Charles II’s mistresses. He is alleged to have said on his deathbed ‘Let not poor Nelly starve’. She bore him two sons, Charles and James Beauclerk, the former of whom became Duke of St Albans. It is said that she persuaded the king to found Chelsea Hospital for veteran soldiers.
Bevan, B., Nell Gwyn. 1969.