Dictionary of World Biography
Raab, Dominic Rennie (1974– ). English Conservative politician. MP 2010– , he was Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 2018 and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 2019– .
Rabelais, François (c.1494–1553). French writer, born near Chinon in Touraine. His father was probably an advocate. He entered (c.1520) the Franciscan Order but transferred, with papal consent, to the Benedictines (c.1524). He seems to have visited several universities and acquired a great range of learning before finally leaving the Order to become a lay priest. In 1532 he graduated in medicine at Montpellier and afterwards practised at Lyons, where he wrote Pantagruel (1532) and Gargantua (1534) under the pseudonym Alcofri bas Nasier, an anagram of his own name. The giant Gargantua is Pantagruel’s father and so in a sense the two books and those which followed are parts of a single work. A third book was published in 1546 and a fourth appeared complete in 1552. The authenticity of a fifth published after Rabelais’ death is doubtful. The books were condemned at various times by the Sorbonne, though it was not the doctrines of the Church that were satirised but the ignorance and obscurantism of monks and priests and the many abuses that had become established. *François I refused to ban them and Rabelais himself was protected by Jean du Bellay, Bishop of Paris (cardinal from 1536), whom he twice accompanied to Rome, probably as his physician. The details of Rabelais’ later life are obscure. Most of the time must have been spent in medical practice. He seems to have again visited Rome more than once. After the condemnation of the third book (1545) he took refuge in Metz and finally received an appointment (which he seems never to have taken up) as curé of Meudon, a small town near Paris. The books, which achieved an astonishing contemporary success (by 1600 more than a hundred editions had appeared), tell of the travels of two giants, Pantagruel and Gargantua, with their companion Panurge. They are a compound of great learning, bawdy wit and satire, expressing in an extreme form and by unusual means the humanism not only of the author but of Renaissance culture generally. Sir Thomas Urquhart (1611–1660) made a famous English translation (Books 1 and 2 published 1653, Book 3 1693) in language almost as exuberant as the author’s own.
Screech, M. A., Rabelais. 1979.
Rabi, Isidor Isaac (1898–1988). American physicist, born in Austria. In 1937 he became professor of physics at Columbia University in New York where he worked on the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei and perfected the molecular-beam resonance method. For this he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics (1944).
Rabi, I., My Life and Times as a Physicist. 1960.
Rabin, Yitzhak (1922–1995). Israeli soldier and Labour politician, born in Jerusalem. He was Chief of Staff of the Israel Defence Forces 1964–68, Ambassador to the United States 1968–73, Leader of the Labour Party 1974–77, 1992–95, Prime Minister 1974–77 and 1992–95, and Minister for Defence 1984–90. In September 1993, in a historic agreement, signed in Washington, limited self-government was given to the Gaza strip and Jericho, in return for PLO recognition of Israel. He shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Yasser *Arafat and Shimon *Peres. In November 1995 he was assassinated by Yigal Amir, a young Israeli extremist.
Rachel (Élisa Félix) (1821–1858). French actor, born in Switzerland. From her first stage appearance in Paris (1837) her greatness as a tragédian was recognised. As she played the great parts of *Corneille, *Racine (above all as Phèdre) and *Voltaire she won renewed acclaim. During the revolution of 1848 her public recital of La Marseillaise provoked a sensation. She had a reputation for avarice and amassed a huge fortune. Through her liaison with Count *Walewski, the emperor’s natural son, she became the mother of a grandson of *Napoléon I.
Rachmaninoff (Rakhmaninov), Sergei Vasilievich (1873–1943). Russian-American composer, pianist and conductor, born in Semyonovo. He studied first at St Petersburg and then (1885–92) at the Moscow Conservatoire, where he was the pupil of *Arensky and *Taneyev and knew *Tchaikovsky, who was a major influence. By the age of 20 he had written the opera Aleko, the Piano Concerto No. 1, the ubiquitous Prelude in C Sharp Minor (its popularity irritated him) and many songs. In his 20s he was conducting, teaching and giving piano concerts. The failure of his Symphony No.1 (1897), due to *Glazunov’s poor conducting, caused three years of acute depression until he responded to treatment by hypnosis. The piano concertos No. 2 (1900–01) and No. 3 (1909), Cello Sonata (1901) and Symphony No. 2 (1906–07) marked his recovery.
Rachmaninoff left Russia immediately after the 1917 Revolution. From 1918 he lived in New York, with an estate in Switzerland, then moved to Los Angeles. He only became a US citizen in the year of his death, remained steeped in the Russian tradition and was never comfortable with English.
Generally regarded as one of the greatest pianists in the history of the instrument, he undertook concert tours quite late in his career, from 1918, when he was 44, essentially because he needed the money. His piano repertoire was very limited but he recorded extensively, from 1919 to 1942, mostly his own music but also *Chopin, some *Schumann and *Beethoven and many short familiar pieces. He rated his conducting more highly than his playing but three times declined appointment as conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Later compositions included Concerto No. 4 (1927, revised 1938), Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934), Symphony No. 3 (1935–38), preludes and études-tableaux for piano, piano transcriptions and Symphonic Dances for orchestra (1940). He died of melanoma in Beverley Hills. His works remain popular because of their melodic strength, emotional intensity, and the dazzling virtuosity of the piano writing.
Norris, G., Rakhmaninov. 1976; Norris, G., Rachmaninoff. 2000; Harrison, M., Rachmaninoff: Life, Work Recordings. 2006; Scott, M., Rachmaninoff. 2011.
Racine, Jean (1639–1699). French dramatist, born in Picardy. Son of a lawyer, he was educated at Port-Royal and influenced there by Jansenist teachings. In Paris, where he sought literary fame, he became a friend of *Molière, *La Fontaine and later *Boileau, meanwhile winning the favour of *Louis XIV with complimentary poems. Molière’s company staged his first play, La Thébaïde, in 1664, but the production of the second, Alexandre le Grand (1665), led to the famous quarrel between the two playwrights. After a fortnight’s run Racine, dissatisfied with the performance of Molière’s company, transferred the production to that of his main rival, at the same time, it is said, stealing his mistress and star actor Mademoiselle du Parc. There were, indeed, many defamatory stories about Racine’s life in Paris at this time, including one said to have been extracted under torture from a well known sorcerer that he had poisoned his mistress, but Racine had the art of making enemies as well as friends and much can be attributed to malice. With the production of his third play, Andromaque (1667), Racine entered his great period. In this play and those that followed he displayed the great human emotions of love, jealousy and hatred at their highest point of intensity with their consequences of crime, madness or death. Though he was bound by the same classical formulas as his predecessors, he achieved freshness by a remarkable simplification of design combined with a psychological subtlety hitherto unknown. Moreover, he was a great poet and his lines are distinguished by their musical cadences.
The plot of Andromaque was taken from *Euripides, as were those of Iphigénie (1674) and Phèdre (1677) a grim tale of illicit passion and jealousy which provides one of the finest parts ever written for a tragic actor. Bajazet (1672), which with Britannicus (1669), Bérénice (1670) and Mithridate (1673) forms a historical group, has an uncharacteristically complicated plot and an atmosphere of oriental intrigue. His only comedy, Les Plaideurs, appeared in 1668. In 1677 the office of royal historiographer enabled him to leave the theatre in dignity and comfort. The event coincided with a ‘conversion’, inspired perhaps by the coming of middle age, the influence of Madame de *Maintenon and Boileau and his own underlying piety inculcated at Port-Royal. To this period belong his last two plays, Esther (1689) and Athalie (1691), both on biblical themes and written for the Maison de Saint-Cyr, the school founded by Madame de Maintenon. With the possible exception of Phèdre, Athalie is considered Racine’s greatest work. Its mighty theme, concerned with God’s anger and divine providence, is enriched by stage effects and choruses of outstanding beauty.
Brereton, G., Jean Racine: A Critical Biography. 1951.
Radcliffe, Ann (née Ward) (1764–1823). English novelist. She was the most important of the writers of the ‘gothick romances’, the fashion for which was set by Horace *Walpole’s Castle of Otranto (1765). The principal ingredients are romantic settings in which occur deeds of darkness, strange and mysterious events, and ‘supernatural’ happenings, afterwards rationally explained. Her best known work is The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), set in a sombre castle in the Appenines. She influenced *Byron and *Scott, but Jane *Austen, in Northanger Abbey, ridiculed her inferior imitators.
Grant, A., Ann Radcliffe. 1952.
Radek, Karl Berngardovich (né K. B. Sobelsohn) (1885–1939). Russian-Jewish author and politician, born in Lviv, now in Ukraine. He became a journalist and supported the German Social Democratic Party from 1904. He was imprisoned several times, fought in the Russian Revolution (1917) and tried to organise a communist revolution in Germany (1918–19). He was a member of the presidium of the Communist International 1919–1923 but his influence declined when the Comintern proved ineffective, and he became head of the Sun Yatsen University for Chinese Students in Moscow 1923–27 until expelled from the Communist Party for having supported *Trotsky. Restored to favour, he wrote for Izvestia and helped draft the 1936 constitution. In 1937 he was sentenced to 10 years’ jail for treason (a surprisingly light penalty) and presumably died there.
Radetzky von Radetz, Johann Josef Wenzel Anton Franz Karl, Graf (1766–1858). Austrian field marshal. He fought against France throughout the Revolutionary and the Napoléonic Wars and was Commander-in-Chief in Austrian Italy from 1831. In the revolutionary year of 1848–49 he defeated the insurgents and their Sardinian allies at Custozza and Novara and forced the surrender of Venice. He held the country in firm control until his retirement (1857). Johann *Strauss the elder wrote the much performed Radetzky March (1848).
Radhakrishnan, (Sir) Sarvepalli (1888–1975). Indian philosopher, born in Madras. Educated in Madras, he held chairs in philosophy at Madras, Mysore and Calcutta before his appointment as Spalding professor of eastern religions at Oxford 1936–52 and he was concurrently Vice Chancellor of Benares University 1938–39. His works on eastern philosophy and religion include History of Indian Philosophy (1923–27), The Hindu View of Life (1927) and An Idealist View of Life (1932). He served as Chairman of UNESCO 1948–49, Ambassador to the USSR 1949–52, Vice President of India 1952–62 and President 1962–69. Awarded a knighthood (later disclaimed) in 1931, he became an Honorary OM in 1963.
Gopal, S., Radhakrishnan. 1992.
Radischev, Aleksandr Nikolayevich (1749–1802). Russian philosopher, poet and radical thinker. In 1790 he wrote Journey from St Petersburg to Moscow, which portrayed the miseries of serfdom and called for a social revolution. He was later sentenced to death, the sentence being commuted to exile in Siberia. He was allowed to return home after the death of *Catherine the Great in 1796. In 1801 he became a member of a law commission but, despairing of any progress towards abolishing serfdom, committed suicide. His writings influenced Russian reformers throughout the 19th century.
Lang, D. M., The First Russian Radical. 1959.
Rae, John (1813–1893). Scottish (Orcadian) explorer and doctor, born in Orkney. He worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company, explored northern and northwestern Canada, explained (1854) the mystery of the loss of Sir John *Franklin and his expedition (enraging Lady Jane *Franklin in the process) and failed to receive appropriate recognition as the discoverer of the Northwest Passage, other than election as FRS and FRGS.
Raeburn, Sir Henry (1756–1823). Scottish portrait painter, born in Edinburgh. After two years in Rome 1785–87 he became a fashionable portrait painter in his birthplace. A keen sense of character, combined with strong colour and vivid effects of light, make his portraits lively as well as realistic. His best painting was The Skating Minister (1794). Sir Walter *Scott was among his sitters, often presented in national costume or on horseback in parkland settings. He became President of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1812, elected RA in 1815, and knighted in 1822.
Raeder, Erich (1876–1960). German sailor. Chief of Staff 1912–18 to Admiral Franz von Hipper, who commanded the battle cruisers in World War I, having been appointed Grand Admiral in 1939, he became Commander-in-Chief during World War II until superseded by Admiral Karl *Dönitz (1943). Condemned by the Nuremberg tribunal to life imprisonment for his part in planning the war and especially the invasion of Norway, he was released in 1955.
Raemaekers, Louis (1869–1956). Dutch cartoonist. The bitter irony of his cartoons attacking the Germans in the Amsterdam newspaper De Telegraaf had a remarkable effect on neutral opinion in World War I.
Raffles, Sir (Thomas) Stamford (1781–1826). English colonial administrator, born at sea. Son of a sea-captain, he joined the East India Company and went to Malaya (1805) as assistant secretary at Penang. In 1811 the British occupied Java (Holland then being under Napoléon’s rule). As Lieutenant Governor 1811–16 Raffles founded the magnificent botanic gardens at Bogor, began restoring Borobudur and wrote a monumental History of Java. On his personal initiative, and despite official misgivings, he founded (1819) Singapore, and so secured British control of Malaya. In 1824 a fire on board the ship on which he was returning to England destroyed his botanical and zoological specimens but with such replacements as he could collect he founded the London Zoological Society, of which he became first president 1824–26. He died of a brain tumour.
Wurtzburg, C. E., Raffles of the Eastern Isles. 1954.
Rafsanjani, Ali Akbar Hashemi (1934–2017). Iranian politician and cleric. Educated in Qom, he was Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly 1980–89 and became President of Iran 1989–97. In 2005 he contested the Presidency again, losing narrowly to Mahmoud *Ahmadinejad and in 2013 was disqualified as a candidate by the Council of Guardians.
Raglan, 1st Baron, FitzRoy James Henry Somerset (1788–1855). British soldier. Eighth son of the 5th Duke of Beaufort, as ADC to the Duke of *Wellington he was present at all the great battles of the Peninsular War, and lost an arm at Waterloo. He served as Wellington’s secretary 1819–52 and on his death received a barony and became Master General of the Ordnance. In 1854 he was appointed to command the British forces in the Crimea. For his victory at Inkerman, although made a field marshal, he was blamed for the misconstrued order that led to the fatal charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava. Though an excellent tactician, he lacked the outstanding qualities demanded of a commander-in-chief. He died of dysentery and clinical depression in the Crimea.
Raikes, Robert (1735–1811). English philanthropist, born at Gloucester. His father was a printer and owner of a local newspaper which he inherited. Concern for the children whom he saw wandering in the streets on Sundays fired him to start a Sunday school (1780), where children might learn to read and repeat the catechism. Newspaper reports led to the scheme spreading to all parts of the country.
Rainborough (or Rainboro), Thomas (d.1648). English soldier and republican. A naval commander in the Parliamentary fleet, he became a colonel in the army and MP for Droitwich 1646–48. In the Putney Debates of the General Council of the New Model Army (October–November 1647), he led the republican officers, in opposition to *Cromwell and *Ireton, proposing manhood suffrage and religious toleration. He was killed by Cavaliers at Doncaster while resisting capture.
Rainier III (Rainier Louis Henri Maxence Bertrand Grimaldi) (1923–2005). Prince of Monaco 1949–2005. Head of the House of Grimaldi which has ruled in Monaco since 1297, he succeeded his grandfather Louis II and married (1956) the film star Grace *Kelly. Much of the tiny state’s revenue is derived from the casino at Monte Carlo.
Rais (or Retz), Gilles de (1404–1440). French soldier and murderer. After fighting with *Joan of Arc at Orléans and being made a marshal by *Charles VII, this Breton nobleman took to necromancy and murder. Over 140 children are said to have been tortured and killed by him before he was taken and hanged. Breton tradition links him with the fairytale figure of Bluebeard.
Rajagopalachari, Chakravarti (1878–1972). Indian politician, lawyer and writer, born near Madras. He joined *Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement, but served as Prime Minister of Madras 1937–39. During World War II he supported the British and opposed the ‘Quit India’ movement. After partition and independence, he was Governor of West Bengal 1947–48 and *Mountbatten’s successor as Governor-General 1948–50, the last to hold that office. He was *Nehru’s choice to become first President of India, withdrawing because of opposition within the Indian National Congress Party. He joined the Cabinet as Minister for Home Affairs 1950–51, resigning over Nehru’s alliance with Russia. He returned to Madras and became a non-elected Chief Minister 1952–54. He left the INC in 1957 and was co-founder of the conservative Swatantra Party in 1959.
Rákosi, Mátyás (1892–1971). Hungarian Communist politician, of Jewish descent. As a young man he worked in a London bank, became a minister under Belá *Kun (1919), and was jailed (1927–40) under *Horthy. As first secretary of the United Workers (i.e. Communist) Party 1945–56 and Prime Minister 1952–53, he took a tough Stalinist line. He coined the phrase ‘salami tactics’—dividing opponents ideologically and cutting them off piece by piece.
Raleigh (or Ralegh), Sir Walter (1552?–1618). English courtier, adventurer and writer, born in Devon. After accompanying his half-brother Sir Humphrey *Gilbert on an unsuccessful colonising expedition to the West Indies (1578), he served in Ireland (1580) and in 1582 went to court as a protégé of the Earl of *Leicester. He quickly won the favour of *Elizabeth I by his good looks, his wit and his fine clothes, and he received estates, trading monopolies in wine and wool, and a knighthood (1585). His haughty impatient manner brought him, however, many bitter enemies. He used his wealth to finance privateering expeditions and colonising schemes, but he was not lucky. He found money for Gilbert’s last and fatal voyage. The attempts (1585 and 1587) to found a colony of Virginia, named after the queen, failed. He did not accompany the expeditions, but by planting on his Irish estates the potatoes his men brought back, and by setting a persuasive example of smoking the tobacco, he popularised the use of both (though they had already been discovered by the Spanish and Portuguese). The rivalry of a new favourite, *Essex, and the discovery (1592) of Raleigh’s liaison with Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the queen’s maids-of-honour (whom he later married), brought temporary disgrace. In 1595 he was again at sea bound for the Orinoco, but gold from the fabled ‘El Dorado’ eluded him, and his discoveries in Guiana stirred few. He shared with *Howard and Essex the credit for the successful Cadiz raid (1596) but by taking no part in the intrigues which brought *James I to the throne, he earned the new King’s suspicious hostility. On trumped-up charges of conspiracy he was condemned to death (1603) and, though finally reprieved, he was confined in the Tower of London until 1616. Then at last he was allowed to lead another gold hunting expedition to Guiana, on condition that he did no injury to Spanish interests (an impossible condition as Spain claimed all these lands). He returned unsuccessful, and to appease the Spanish was executed on the old charge. James had indeed exalted his enemy and by his shameful treatment had turned an unpopular (and arrogant) court favourite into a national hero.
Like many of his contemporaries, Raleigh wrote verse. His political thought, e.g. in The Prerogative of Parliaments (written 1615, published 1628), was liberal and progressive and his religious thought (which brought accusations of atheism) showed wide tolerance. His most famous achievement was his great History of the World (1614), written while in prison. The completed portion carries the story from the creation to the fall of Macedonia (130 BCE). It has little historical value but is a fine example of Elizabethan prose style, much admired by Oliver *Cromwell for its moral lessons.
Adamson, J. H., and Follard, H. F., The Shepherd of the Ocean. 1969; Coote, S., A Play of Passion. 1993.
Rama IV (Mongkut) (1804–1868). King of Thailand (Siam) 1851–68. Originally a monk, he began modernising Thailand, entered into treaties with the US and Britain and introduced the first railway. He had 27 wives and 82 children. Memoirs (1870, 1872) by a Welsh governess Anna Leonowens became the basis of the book Anna and the King of Siam and the musical The King and I.
Rama V (Chulalongkorn) (1853–1910). King of Thailand 1868–1910. Son of Rama IV, he abolished feudalism and slavery, introduced telephones and extended the railways, created postal services, unified weights, measures and currency, built schools and a university and reorganised government along vaguely Western lines.
Rama IX see Bhumibol Adulyadej
Ramakrishna (Gadadhar Chatterji) (1834–1886). Indian mystic. Son of a poor Brahman of Bengal, he lived as a wandering ascetic and in his meditations became convinced that the fundamental unity of Hinduism, Islam and Christianity could be attained by the practice of piety. His teachings were widely spread in America and Europe by his disciple Svami Vivekananda (1862–1902) who on his return to India founded (1897) the Ramakrishna mission for the destitute.
Ramakrishnan, Sir Venki (Venkatraman) (1952– ). Indian-British structural biologist, born in Tamil Nadu. He studied at Baroda, Ohio and Yale, worked at Yale and Utah and moved to Cambridge in 1999. He shared the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry ‘for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome’ (particles of RNA + protein found in cells), using crystallography to explain its three-dimensional structure and how protein production operates at the atomic level. He became President of the Royal Society 2015– .
Raman, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata (1888–1970). Indian physicist, born near Madras. From a landowning family, son of a physics teacher, he graduated from the Presidency College, Madras at 16 and was largely self-educated. Professor of physics at the University of Calcutta from 1917, he became director of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (1933–47), and of the Raman Research Institute (from 1947). He discovered (1928) that when a transparent substance is irradiated with monochromatic sight of a given frequency the scattered light contains additional frequencies characteristic of the substance. This is known as the Raman effect, and study of the Raman spectra so produced gives valuable information about molecular structure. He was knighted in 1929 and awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics (1930).
Ramanujan, Srinivasa (1887–1920). Indian mathematician, born near Madras. A devout Hindu, from the Tamil Brahmin Iyengar caste, he dropped out of college, married an illiterate child bride, worked as a clerk but showed extraordinary gifts as a mathematician and carried out research at Madras University. G. H. *Hardy invited him to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he worked 1914–19, was elected FRS in 1918 and a Fellow of Trinity. Gravely ill (probably hepatic amoebiasis), he returned to India to rejoin his wife and died a year later. His mathematical grasp was partly intuitive, expressed as ‘the thought of God’, and sometimes dismissed as alien to Western reasoning and method. But his output was prodigious, ranging from partition and superstring theory to algebraic geometry, all worked out in his head, without computing and is still relevant nearly a century after his death. One of his lost notebooks is displayed in the Wren Library, Trinity College, next to *Newton’s Principia. The film The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015), based on an earlier book, drew international attention to his work, followed by documentaries, plays and novels.
Kanigel, R., The Man Who Knew Infinity. 1991.
Ramaphosa, (Matamela) Cyril (1952– ). South African political organiser, born in Soweto. He was General Secretary of the African National Congress (ANC) 1991–97 and Chairman of the Constitutional Commission 1994–97. Defeated by Thabo *Mbeki in a bid for the presidency in 1997, despite his socialist principles he went into business and made a fortune. He became Vice President of the ANC 2012–17. He was narrowly elected as President of the ANC in December 2017, pledging to reform both the party and the South African government. When Jacob *Zuma was forced to resign, Ramaphosa was immediately elected as President of the Republic of South Africa in February 2018.
Rambert, Dame Marie (originally Cyvia Rambam) (1888–1982). British ballet producer and teacher, born in Poland. Trained by *Cecchetti, she worked with *Diaghilev’s company (1912–13) but devoted most of her life to teaching. She launched (1931) the Ballet Rambert in London, and from it many important dancers and choreographers have emerged. Among her honours were the Legion d’honneur (1957) and the DBE (1962).
Clarke, M., Dancers of Mercury. 1962.
Rambouillet, Catherine de Vivonne, Marquise de (1588–1665). French literary hostess. During the reign of *Louis XIII she presided (in her ‘blue room’) over one of the most famous salons in French literary history, its guests from c.1615 to 1650 including *Richelieu, *Malherbe, Madeleine de Scudéry, *La Rochefoucauld, *Saint-Evremond, Marie de *Sevigny and *Corneille, whose new plays were read there. The good conversation and refined manners of her salons set a highly civilised model in French social circles.
Rameau, Jean-Philippe (1683–1764). French composer, born at Dijon in the same decade as *Telemann, *Händel, J. S. *Bach and Domenico *Scarlatti. After studying in Italy he became a church organist. In his important Treatise on Harmony (1722) he published the results of some years of study of the composition and progression of chords: in later theoretical works he improved the system he had advanced. He was a prolific composer of keyboard works, chamber music and Church music. His Suite in D (1724) for harpsichord includes Les Cyclopes and L’entretien des muses, dramatic works suggesting vivid images. Rameau was important as *Lully’s successor in the history of French opera, and as a bold innovator in harmony and orchestration. However, his fame came late, after the age of 50. The first of more than 20 operas and ballets to achieve success was Hippolyte et Aricie (1733), from *Racine’s Phèdre but it was also attacked by Lully’s partisans, and the term ‘baroque’, applied for the first time, as a term of abuse. Les Indes galantes (1735), Castor et Pollux (1737) and Dardanus (1739) were enormously successful. He collaborated with *Voltaire on several projects. His last opera, Les Boréades (1764), unperformed in his lifetime, makes dramatic use of a wind machine and special effects.
Girdlestone, C. M., Jean Philippe Rameau. His Life and Work. Rev. ed. 1969.
Ramesses (Rameses or Ramses). Name of 11 pharaohs of Egypt of the XIXth and XXth dynasties. Ramesses I (d.c.1306 BCE) succeeded at an advanced age, founded the XIXth dynasty and began the hypo-style hall at Karnak. Ramesses II (‘the Great’) (d.1224 BCE), grandson of Ramesses I and son of *Seti I, ruled from 1290 to 1224 BCE. He fought the Hittites for 15 years, defeating them in Syria, then made a treaty of friendship. He enlarged Egypt’s power in wars against the Libyans and Nubians. The greatest temple-builder, he extended the temple of Amun at Karnak and erected the Luxor temple, the mortuary temple Ramesseum (*Shelley’s Ozymandias) and the great and small temples at Abu Simbel (lifted 65 metres 1964–68 when the Aswan High Dam raised water levels). He reigned for 66 years and left 100 children. The Exodus of the Israelites might have occurred in his reign. Ramesses III (d.1163 BCE) ruled from 1195, defeated the Libyans, Philistines and the Sea Peoples, exploited gold and copper mines, and built temples at Karnak and West Thebes (Medinet Habu).
Gardiner, A. H. Egypt of the Pharaohs. 1961; Tyldesley, J., Ramesses: Egypt’s Greatest Pharoah. 2000.
Ramón y Cajal, Santiago (1852–1934). Spanish physiologist. Son of a poor barber surgeon in Navarre, after a year as an army surgeon in Cuba (where he contracted malaria), he decided on an academic career in anatomy. In 1883 he became professor of anatomy at Valencia (having made himself, by self-teaching, an expert histologist and microscopist). He became professor of histology at Barcelona in 1887 and at Madrid 1892–1922. He devoted the creative period of his life to the study of the fine structure of the nervous system, concerned above all to discover the functional pathways of the transmission of stimuli. He was acutely aware of the problem of understanding how neural information is passed across anatomical gaps. His researches were published in his massive and highly influential Textura del Sistema Nervioso del Hombre y de los Vertebrados (1904). For this work, he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1906) with Camillo Golgi. His later work focused more on the degeneration and regeneration of nervous structures. His researches confirmed the correctness of the ‘monogenesist’ school which believed that the regeneration of fibres came from the sprouting of the cylinders of the central stump. One of very few internationally famous Spanish scientists, Ramón y Cajal devoted much of his energies to attempting to promote science within the Spanish educational and administrative systems.
Ramos, Fidel (1928– ). Filipino soldier and politician. He served in Korea and Vietnam, became Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces 1986–98, Minister for Defence 1988–92, and was elected as President 1992–98, succeeding Corazon *Aquino.
Ramos-Horta, José (1949– ). Timorese journalist and advocate. After the Indonesian occupation of East Timor in 1975, he was the leading international spokesman for independence, working from Portugal and Australia. He shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for Peace with Carlos Felipe Ximines Belo (1948– ), Bishop of Timor. After independence, Ramos-Horta was Foreign Minister 2002–06, Prime Minister 2006–07, and President 2007–12. He survived an assassination attempt in 2008, was defeated for re-election in 2012 but became UN representative in Guinea-Bissau.
Ramphal, Sir Sonny (Shridath Surandranath) (1928– ). Guyanan lawyer and administrator. He was Secretary-General of the Commonwealth 1975–90 and a member of the *Brandt Commission on Development Issues 1977–79.
Ramsay, Sir William (1852–1916). British chemist. Professor of chemistry at University College, Bristol, and later at University College, London, he was best known for his work on the inert gases: *Rayleigh had found (1892) that atmospheric nitrogen is heavier than nitrogen produced from compounds, and Ramsay’s investigation of this led to the discovery of argon (announced 1894) and of neon, krypton and xenon (1898). Helium, discovered in the sun in 1868, was obtained by Ramsay from a uranium mineral in 1895. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1904).
Ramsey, Allan (1713–1784). Scottish painter. After studying in Italy he returned to Edinburgh but settled in London (c.1762). He became painter to *George III (1767), his portraits of the king and of Queen *Charlotte are in the National Portrait Gallery, London. His intellectual interests made him a friend of *Johnson and the correspondent of *Hume, *Rousseau and *Voltaire.
Ramsey, (Arthur) Michael, Baron Ramsey of Canterbury (1904–1988). English prelate, born in Cambridge. Educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and ordained in 1928, he was professor of divinity at Durham 1940–50 and Cambridge universities 1950–52, Bishop of Durham 1952–56 and Archbishop of York 1952–56. He succeeded Geoffrey *Fisher as the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury 1961–74 and was also President of the World Council of Churches 1961–68. A high churchman and distinguished theologian, he wrote several books. As Archbishop of Canterbury he worked hard to reconcile the differences between the various churches and in 1966 made the first official visit by an English archbishop to the pope since the Reformation. He was made a life peer on his retirement. His brother, Frank Plumpton Ramsey (1903–1930), was a philosopher, mathematician and economist who worked on optimal taxation theory.
Ramsey, A. M., Canterbury Pilgrim. 1974; Chadwick, O., Michael Ramsey, a Life. 1990.
Ramsey, Robert (c.1590–1644). Scottish composer. He became organist at Trinity College, Cambridge, and wrote arresting and original (but neglected) choral works, including ‘How are the mighty fallen’ and ‘Sleep, fleshly birth’.
Ramus, Petrus (Pierre de la Rame) (1515–1572). French scholar. Son of a charcoal burner, he was able to educate himself by taking advantage of his position as the servant of a wealthy scholar. His statement that ‘all *Aristotle said was false’ was symptomatic of a lifelong rebellion against scholastic authority. After some years of travel and exile he returned to France (1571) only to meet his death in the Massacre of St Bartholomew. As well as his explorations in philosophy and a new system of logic for which he became famous, he brought his rational and original mind to bear upon the study of Greek and Latin, mathematics, astronomy and almost every known subject. His followers, known as Ramists, exercised a strong educational influence, notably at Cambridge.
Rand, Ayn (Alisa Rosenbaum) (1905–1982). American writer, born in St Petersburg. Her novels The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957), both filmed, set out her philosophy of ‘Objectivism’, advocating selfishness, individualism and laissez faire capitalism, which prefigured the ‘neo-conservative’ movement of the 1980s. She had a major influence on Steve *Jobs and Alan *Greenspan.
Ranjit Singh (1780–1839). Sikh ruler, known as ‘the Lion of the Punjab’. At the age of 12 he succeeded his father as chief of the Sukerchakias clan, and by his shrewdness and advantageous marriages became leader of the Sikhs. In 1799 he seized Lahore from the Afghans and proclaimed himself Maharajah of the Punjab in 1801. He negotiated with the British (1809) to establish his eastern boundary on the Sutlej River and by 1819 had expelled the Afghans from the Vale of Kashmir. He modernised his army from 1820 and recruited foreign officers (some former veterans of the Napoléonic wars). Although illiterate, he was well informed, tolerant, and a masterly politician and strategist.
Ranjitsinjhi Vibhaji, Maharajah Jam Saheb of Nawanagar (1872–1933). Indian prince and cricketer. Educated at Cambridge University, he played for the Sussex Country club 1895–1904 and for England 1896–97, 1899–1904, playing against Australia 15 times. In 1899 he became the first cricketer to score 3000 runs in a year, achieving 3065 in 1900. Known as ‘Ranji’, he was graceful and popular with an unorthodox style. As ruler of Nawangar from 1907, he built up roads, railways and irrigation. He served as a colonel in France during World War I, represented India at the League of Nations (1920) and received a GCSI and GBE.
Rank, J(oseph) Arthur Rank, 1st Baron (1888–1972). English financier. With a fortune derived from his family’s flour milling interests he gradually gained, by purchase and amalgamation, a predominant position in the production and distribution of British films.
Ranke, Leopold von (1795–1886). German historian. He was noted as a pioneer in the application of modern critical methods to historical sources and for the thoroughness and objectivity with which he documented his narratives. In the preface to the first of his many books, a history of medieval and later Europe, he announced his purpose merely to relate what actually occurred. His best known work is The History of the Popes (1840). Though it is confined to the Counter Reformation period and its author was denied access to the Vatican library, it is numbered among the world’s historical masterpieces. Ranke was over 80 when he started on the world history of which nine volumes (to the 15th century) were complete when he died.
Gooch, G. P., History and Historians in the Nineteenth Century. 1952.
Ransome, Arthur Mitchell (1884–1967). English writer. He reported on the Russian Revolution for the Manchester Guardian and married *Trotsky’s former secretary. Realistic treatment and keen observation characterise his stories of children’s adventures, several of which, e.g. Swallows and Amazons (1931), are concerned with the handling of small boats.
Hart Davis, R. (ed.), The Autobiography of Arthur Ransome. 1976.
Rao, P(amulaparti) V(enkata) Narashima (1921–2004). Indian politician. Educated in science and law, said to be fluent in 16 languages, he was a member of the Andra Pradesh Legislative Assembly 1957–72 and Chief Minister 1971–72. Elected to the Lok Sahba 1972–98, he was Foreign Minister 1980–84, 1988–89, Minister for Home Affairs 1984–85, for Defence 1985, and for Human Resources (including Education) 1985–88. On Rajiv *Gandhi’s assassination he succeeded as leader of the Congress (I) Party and became Prime Minister 1991–96. The first of India’s nine Prime Ministers from the south, he encouraged Manmohan *Singh to begin dismantling the ‘Licence Raj’ system in Dia.
Raoult, François-Marie (1830–1901). French physical chemist. Professor of chemistry at Grenoble (1870–1901), his chief work was the investigation of the changes that occur in the boiling point, freezing point, and vapour pressure of liquids when solids are dissolved in them. From these investigations he was able to deduce the fundamental law (Raoult’s law) relating the vapour pressure of a solution to the concentration of the dissolved substance, and he thus laid the foundations on which *Van’t Hoff built the modern theory of solutions.
Raphael Santi (Raffaello Sanzio) (1483–1520). Italian Renaissance painter, born at Urbino. Son of a court painter, his mother died in 1491 and his father in 1494. Influenced by the works of *Uccello, *Mantegna, *Piero and *Signorelli, he was apprenticed to *Perugino. The Crucifixion (1503) in the National Gallery, London, is an early masterpiece. He left Urbino and lived in Florence 1504–08, when *Leonardo da Vinci and *Michelangelo were working there. His Florentine paintings include The Lady with the Unicorn (1506) and The Deposition of Christ (1507), both in the Borghese Gallery, Rome. He moved to Rome in 1508. The rest of his short life was spent in Rome, where his agreeable nature as well as his astounding gifts ensured immediate success. His 26 surviving portraits include Pope *Julius II (1511), Pope *Leo X (1519), Baldassare *Castiglione (1515), several cardinals and himself. Julius II commissioned him to paint frescoes in four rooms (Le Stanze) in the papal apartments at the Vatican; they include The School of Athens and The Dispute over the Holy Sacrament. After *Bramante’s death he was appointed architect in charge of building St Peter’s but none of his proposals survive. He drew the cartoons for the tapestries in the Sistine Chapel (at the same time painting the mythological Galatea cycle for the Palazzo Farnese). He also produced many large and small altarpieces as well as portraits. Raphael’s output was large for so brief a life though in his last years he left completion of his intentions more and more to his assistants (Giulio *Romano being the most gifted). He died of a sudden fever, according to *Vasari after sexual excess, and was buried in the Pantheon in Rome. Raphael’s nature was receptive rather than dynamic and he absorbed ideas from Leonardo, Michelangelo and ancient sculptures without destroying the unity of his own work. Few, if any, artists have excelled him in the facility with which he transferred his intuitive ideas into paintings.
Fischel, O., Raphael. 1964; Forcellino, A., Raphael. 2012.
Rapp, Jean, Comte (1772–1821). French soldier, born in Alsace. One of the bravest of the revolutionary soldiers, he gained distinction in Germany and Egypt before becoming ADC to *Napoléon. A brilliant charge at Austerlitz won him the rank of a divisional general and for further services he was made a count. He served throughout the Russian expedition, the plan of which he had opposed, and on his return held Danzig for nearly a year.
Ras Tafari see Haile Selassie
Rashi (formed from the initials of Rabbi Shelomo Yitzchaki, i.e. Solomon ben Isaac) (c.1040–1105). Jewish exegete and grammarian, born in Troyes, France. His commentary on the Pentateuch is believed to have been the first Hebrew book to be printed (1475). The Talmud is usually printed with his commentary. He also died at Troyes after wanderings probably confined to Lorraine but greatly expanded by legend.
Rasputin, Grigori Efimovich (1869–1916). Russian mystic and faith healer, born in Pokrovskoye, Siberia. Son of a peasant, he claimed to have experienced a religious vision at a monastery at the age of 18, and became a wandering pilgrim (strannik), visiting Greece and Jerusalem. In 1903 he arrived in St Petersburg, where mystical religion was then fashionable. An introduction to the tsarina *Aleksandra followed and his apparent success in alleviating her son *Aleksei’s haemophilia gave him her complete devotion and confidence. The absence of Tsar *Nikolai II at the front during World War I enabled Rasputin to exploit his power for private gain and the political advancement of his friends. Changes in the ministries became so unpredictable that confusion, easily interpreted as treachery, grew. He seems to have argued that sin, followed by repentance, was a pre-condition for salvation, and chose alcohol and sex as his ways to grace. He had many enemies at court and in the Russian Orthodox hierarchy and his growing opposition to the war aroused foreign concern, especially from British intelligence. A group of conservative nobles, led by Prince Felix Yusopov, decided to kill him but the accounts of his murder (29 December 1916) are contradictory. He was shot four times, clubbed and then thrown into the Neva River. (A British intelligence officer was present and may have fired the fatal shot in the forehead.)
Minney, R. J., Rasputin. 1972.
Rathenau, Walther (1867–1922). German industrialist and politician. Of Jewish origin, his father was the virtual founder of the German electrical industry and Walther was president (1915–20) of the great electrical company abbreviated as AEG. In the republican government after World War I he was Minister of Reconstruction (1921) and in 1922, as Foreign Minister, signed the Russo-German Treaty at Rapallo. Soon afterwards he was assassinated by two young nationalist fanatics.
Rattigan, Sir Terence Mervyn (1911–1977). English playwright. He ranged from brilliant farce, e.g. French Without Tears (1936), to character studies in depth, e.g. that of Lawrence of Arabia in Ross (1960). The Winslow Boy (1946) was based on the Archer Shee case and here, as in The Browning Version (1948), Rattigan introduced poignant situations without sentimental over-emphasis. Other plays include The Deep Blue Sea (1952).
Rattle, Sir Simon (Denis) (1955– ). English conductor, born in Liverpool. Trained as a pianist and percussionist, he worked with the BBC and became principal conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra 1980–98. He won awards for his recordings of *Brahms, *Mahler, *Messaien, *Shostakovich and *Gershwin. He succeeded Claudio *Abbado as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra 2002– . His third wife was Magdelena Kožená (1973– ), Czech mezzo-soprano, and a specialist in *Händel and *Mozart. He received the OM in 2014. He became conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra 2017– .
Ratzinger, Joseph Alois see Benedict XVI
Rauschenberg, Robert (1925–2008). American artist, born in Texas. He studied in Kansas City, Paris and New York and with Josef *Albers, became a designer of stage sets and a choreographer. From 1953 he developed ‘combine paintings’ in which three-dimensional manufactured objects were incorporated into the flat plane of the painting. He worked with lithography and silk screen printing in the 1960s and then to three-dimensional reliefs with fragile materials. With Jasper *Johns, his partner 1954–61, he was important in leading American pop art away from abstract expressionism towards pop art and minimalism, and also encouraged ‘happenings’, spontaneous performance art, a form that John *Cage had pioneered in music and Josef *Beuys in the plastic arts.
Rautavaara, Einojuhani (1928–2016). Finnish composer. Educated in Finland, the US and Germany, he was extremely prolific and much performed. His works include 8 symphonies, 12 concertos, 9 operas, 5 string quartets and many instrumental and choral pieces.
Ravel, Maurice (Joseph) (1875–1937). French composer, born in Ciboure. His father was Swiss-Savoyard, his mother a Basque. He studied in Paris under *Fauré and others and lived an uneventful life. He was a mother’s boy, never married and lived in a doll’s house outside Paris. A chain-smoking dandy, he looked like an erudite jockey but drove an ambulance at the front line in World War I, earned a fortune from his music and travelled to the Britain, the United States and Canada. In October 1932 he suffered a brain injury in a taxi accident. Pick’s disease, a rare neurodegenerative condition, led to five years of memory loss. He died after a brain operation in December 1937. (In July 1937, George *Gershwin also had a fatal brain operation.)
His total output is the smallest of any major composer: 88 works in the catalogue, some were mere fragments, but with an exceptional consistency. His longest ballet, Daphnis et Chloé (1912) and the two operas, L’heure espagnole (1909) and L’enfant et les sortilèges (1925), run for barely 50 minutes each. He never attempted a symphony but described Daphnis as ‘symphonie choréographique’.
Ravel wrote evocative settings for the voice, notably his song cycle Shéhérazade (1903) for soprano and orchestra, settings of poems by Tristan Klingsor. His genius as an instrumental writer and orchestrator is unsurpassed, challenging players to achieve exceptional performance standards. A competent pianist, but not a virtuoso, he showed a perfect understanding of keyboard technique in the Sonatine (1903–05) and in the suites Miroirs (1905, including Alborada del Gracioso, later orchestrated), Gaspard de la Nuit (1908—including Scarbo, one of the most challenging works in the piano literature) and Ma Mère l’oye (Mother Goose, duet, 1908). His chamber works—the String Quartet (1903), the Septet for two violins, viola, cello, flute, clarinet and harp (1905), and the powerful Piano Trio (1914)—have a pellucid clarity. His major orchestral scores reveal unparalleled mastery of technique, but also profound rhythmic sweep and voluptuous sensuality. He orchestrated *Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (1922). *Stravinsky’s dismissal of Ravel as ‘the Swiss watchmaker’ was clever but misplaced.
Ravel’s ‘choreographic poem for orchestra, La Valse (1920), echoes the impact of World War I and contains a distinctive historic perspective. The sumptuous world celebrated in waltzes by *Strauss (Johann and Richard) is turned into savage parody. Boléro (1928), Ravel’s most famous work, achieved international notoriety, to the composer’s irritation. An 18 bar melody is played 18 times, accompanied by an unchanging ostinato rhythm on the snare drum: increasingly complex orchestration leads to a long sustained crescendo until a dramatic key change (from C major to E major), just before a shuddering end.
The two piano concertos, both completed in 1931, are outstanding. Concerto in G major has a beautiful slow movement, containing perhaps the longest single theme in serious music, 44 bars long, Mozartian in style. The witty last movement is inspired by jazz. Concerto in D major for Left Hand, written for Paul *Wittgenstein, is a powerful work with sinister (appropriately) elements and obvious parallels with La Valse, requiring a virtuoso to manage the rhythmic sweep of one hand across the entire keyboard.
Ravel’s music reflects such disparate influences as *Couperin, *Mozart, *Liszt and *Rimsky-Korsakov. His music is less impressionistic and more classical, than *Debussy’s with which it is often compared.
Stuckenschmidt, H. H., Maurice Ravel. 1968; Nichols, R., Ravel. 2011.
Rawlinson, Sir Henry Creswicke, 1st Baronet (1810–1895). English archaeologist, administrator and diplomat. He held many official appointments in India and the Middle East, and was known mainly for his work on cuneiform inscriptions as ‘the father of Assyriology’. His brother George Rawlinson (1812–1902) was Camden Professor of Ancient History at Oxford 1861–89 and author of a notable translation and commentary upon *Herodotus (1858–60). His son, Henry Seymour Rawlinson, 1st Baron Rawlinson (1864–1925), a general, commanded the 4th Army at the Somme (1916). His greatest success, a breakthrough in the Hindenburg Line near Amiens (August 1918), opened the way for the final advance. He commanded British forces in Russia 1919–20 and India 1920–25.
Rawls, John Bordley (1921–2002). American philosopher. Educated at Cornell, he was professor of philosophy at Harvard University 1962–91 and wrote the influential A Theory of Justice (1971).
Rawsthorne, Alan (1905–1971). British composer. He taught 1932–34, but afterwards worked exclusively at composition, establishing a reputation with Symphonic Studies, performed at the Warsaw Festival in 1939. After World War II he wrote concertos for oboe, violin and piano. His music is atonal and his works small in scale.
Mellers, W., Studies in Contemporary Music. 1948.
Ray, John (1627–1705). English naturalist. Son of an Essex blacksmith, he studied botany and zoology at Cambridge University. He spent the years 1658–66 in extensive travels, during which, by observation and collection, he gained a unique knowledge of European flora and fauna. He systematised and classified this vast amount of material in a series of volumes, a foundation on which *Linnaeus and others were to build. He was no mere compiler, however, as he proved and was the first to distinguish between monocotyledons and dicotyledons. Major works were Methodus Plantarum Nova (1682), Historia Plantarum (1686–1704) and Synopsis Methodica Anunalium (1693). Ray was also a philologist and published A Collection of English Proverbs (1670).
Ray, Man (Emmanuel Rudnitzky) (1890–1976). American painter, photographer and film maker, born in Philadelphia. Secretive about his real name, he worked in Paris 1921–40, 1946–76, was involved in the Surrealist and Dada movements, became active in fashion and portrait photography and used new techniques such as solarisation.
Ray, Satyajit (1921–1992). Indian film producer and film director. A Bengali, since 1953 his films have been highly regarded both for their visual beauty and realism. They include Pather Panchali (1956), Apu Sansar (1959), The Coward and the Holy Man (1965), Days and Nights in the Forest (1970) and The Chessplayers (1979). He composes the background music for his own films. In 1947, Ray founded the first Film Society in Calcutta.
Rayburn, Sam(uel Tallifiero) (1882–1961). American Democratic politician. A Texas lawyer, he was a US Congressman 1913–61, Speaker of the House of Representatives 1940–47, 1949–53 and 1955–61 (a record period), and a close confidant of *Roosevelt, *Truman and *Johnson.
Rayleigh, John William Strutt, 3rd Baron (1842–1919). English mathematical and experimental physicist. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he succeeded *Maxwell as Cavendish professor of experimental physics at Cambridge 1879–84, professor of natural philosophy at the Royal Institution 1887–1905, and finally Chancellor of the University of Cambridge 1908–19. His researches covered a wide range of subjects, e.g. sound and other aspects of vibratory motion, scattering of sight and the colour of the sky, the theory of radiation. He discovered (1892) that atmospheric nitrogen is heavier than nitrogen from compounds, which led to *Ramsay’s work on the inert gases. Rayleigh, who succeeded to his father’s title in 1873, received the Copley Medal in 1899, the Order of Merit in 1902, won the Nobel Prize for Physics (1904), and was President of the Royal Society 1905–08. Craters on the Moon and Mars and Asteroid 22740 Rayleigh were named for him.
Strutt, R. J., Life of John William Strutt, Third Baron Rayleigh. 1968.
Raynouard, François Juste Marie (1761–1836). French poet and philologist. A prosperous Paris advocate, he entered the Legislative Assembly (1791), joined the Girondins, and was imprisoned. His poems and tragedies were successful, and in 1807 he was elected to the Académie française, later becoming secretary (1817). He wrote on Provençal language and literature, notably his Lexique Roman (1838–44).
Razi, Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Zsksriyya Al- (known as Rhazes) (c.854–925). Persian physician. His main scientific interests lay in alchemy with a strong empirical concern with descriptions of exact processes, closely related to a descriptive and clinical approach to medicine. Sceptical about *Galen’s theories, he wrote many manuals and distinguished between smallpox and measles. In cosmology and natural philosophy, he took issue with *Aristotle, believing that the world had been created in time and that there were five eternal principles: Creator, soul, matter, time and space. Time was not—as for Aristotle—a measure of movement or process, but rather a boundary principle, existing independently of objects. In the Islamic world, Razi had a high reputation as an alchemist and medical writer, but his scepticism and pugnacious character led to religious and philosophical attack.
Razumovsky, Andrey Kyrillovich, Count (1752–1836). Russian statesman, art collector, amateur violinist and patron of music. Ambassador in Vienna 1792–1807, he was Russia’s main representative at the Congress of Vienna in 1814 and later made a prince. From 1808–14 he maintained the celebrated Razumovsky Quartet. Razumovsky’s name was immortalised through the dedication to him of *Beethoven’s three string quartets, Op. 59, and (with Prince Lobkowitz) the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies. He was a munificent and prodigal patron of art: his enthusiasm for music had drawn him to *Haydn, he knew *Mozart well and had close associations with Beethoven (1796–1816). However, after the destruction by fire of his Vienna palace, he was forced to discontinue his way of life, and lapsed into obscurity.
Read, Sir Herbert Edward (1893–1968). English critic and poet, born in Yorkshire. Educated at Leeds University, he fought in World War I (winning the DSO and MC). His early poetry (Naked Warriors, 1919) was influenced by the carnage. He became an anarchist, curator at the Victoria & Albert Museum 1922–39, professor of fine arts at Edinburgh 1931–33, editor of The Burlington Magazine (1933–38), and promoted the work of T. S. *Eliot, Henry *Moore, Ben *Nicholson and Carl *Jung. He taught at Harvard 1953–54. He was an influential thinker on creativity in education (Education though Art, 1943) and some aspects of philosophy, especially existentialism.
Woodcock, G., Sir Herbert Read. 1972.
Reading, 1st Marquess of, Rufus Daniel Isaacs (1860–1935). British lawyer and administrator, born in London. He worked in the family fruit business, at sea, and on the stock exchange, read at the Middle Temple and became a barrister in 1887, without having a university degree. After establishing a reputation as a brilliant cross-examiner, appointed a QC in 1898, he entered parliament in 1904 as a Liberal and in *Asquith’s Government was Solicitor-General 1910 and Attorney-General 1910–13. He was involved (1912) in the Marconi scandal (favour was alleged to have been shown to the company in return for an opportunity to make private profit), but after a parliamentary inquiry he and other ministers were absolved from blame. He was Lord Chief Justice 1913–21, with a peerage, but led a wartime financial mission to the United States 1915 and served as Ambassador 1918–19. As Viceroy of India 1921–26 he adopted a sympathetic attitude towards Congress moderates but *Gandhi’s leadership was increasingly important. Created a marquess in 1926 (the first commoner to reach this rank since *Wellington, and the only Jew), he became Chairman of ICI 1928–31 and 1931–35. He briefly returned to political life (1931) as Foreign Secretary in Ramsay *MacDonald’s coalition and was Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports 1934–35.
Reagan, Ronald Wilson (1911–2004). 40th President of the US 1981–89. Born in Tampico, Illinois, he graduated from Eureka College and became a radio sports announcer. Between 1937 and 1964 he acted in 54 films, mostly as a second lead. These include Kings Row (1942) and The Hasty Heart (1950). In 1940 he married the leading actor Jane Wyman (1917–2007). They divorced in 1948 and in 1952 he married another actor, Nancy Davis (1921–2016). President of the Screen Actors Guild 1947–52 and 1959–60, he was originally a staunch liberal but became a hard-line conservative in the 1950s. For some years he was an effective spokesman for the General Electric Co., both on television and in public appearances. He supported Barry *Goldwater for president in 1964 and in 1966 was elected Governor of California 1967–74, defeating Edmund G. (‘Pat’) Brown who had beaten Richard *Nixon in 1962. In 1976 he challenged Gerald *Ford in a close race for the Republican presidential nomination. He won the nomination in 1980 and defeated Jimmy *Carter by 51 to 41 per cent of the popular vote, winning 44 states. He proclaimed commitment to small government and to market-force economics, and his administration continued to spend heavily, especially on defence. His robust anti-Communism, appeals to patriotism, support of traditional American values and gifts as a communicator swept him to a second-term victory over Walter *Mondale (1984) in 49 states, with 59 per cent of the popular vote, the highest aggregate in US history. After six years of unusually strong public support, in which he restored confidence in the presidency, his careless or ill-informed handling in 1986 of arm sales to Iran (‘Irangate’) in order to finance ‘Contra’ activity in Nicaragua led to vigorous attacks on his credibility but his popularity remained high. In 1987 he proposed the first trillion dollar ($1,000,000,000,000) Budget to Congress. The savings and loan scandals and the US’s transition from being a creditor to a debtor nation were not held against him and he was often credited with the collapse of Soviet Communism and the ending of the Cold War. George *Bush’s election as president in 1988 was a virtual third term for Reagan. He was awarded the British GCB and the US Medal of Freedom. In 1994 he announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. In 16 Presidential ranking lists by US historians and political scientists, there was a striking divergence in Reagan’s scores, from 6th to 26th, No. 14 in the aggregate.
Reeves, R., President Reagan. 2005; Brands, H. W., Reagan: The Life. 2015; Spitz, B., Reagan. An American Journey. 2018.
Réaumur, René Antoine Ferchault de (1683–1757). French scientist. His work for the Académie des Sciences, of which he became a member in 1708, led him into such diverse avenues of research as metallurgy, turquoise mines and the manufacture of opaque glass. The thermometer which bears his name has the boiling point of water at 80° and the freezing point at zero.
Reber, Grote see Jansky, Karl
Récamier, Françoise Julie Adelaide (née Bernard) (1777–1849). French beauty and wit. Her salon attracted some of the most notable literary and political personalities of the day. Among them were Madame de *Staël, Benjamin *Constant and *Chateaubriand. Her husband, a middle-aged banker, died in 1830. The painter *David perpetuated the charm of Madame Récamier as she reclined at ease.
Trouncer, M., Madame Récamier. 1949.
Redford, (Charles) Robert (1936– ). American actor, director and producer, born in California. He acted in many films including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Sting (1973), The Great Gatsby (1974) and Spy Game (2001). Films he directed included Ordinary People (1980, Academy Award), Quiz Show (1994), The Horse Whisperer (1998), Conspirator (2010) and All Is Lost (2013). An active environmentalist, he received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Redgrave, Sir Michael Scudamore (1908–1985). English actor. He went to the stage after a brief career as a teacher, and gained much of his early experience at London’s Old Vic. He became outstanding as a Shakespearian actor and returned to the familiar parts, but he also adapted his technique to suit the continental classics (e.g. The Father, Uncle Vanya and A Month in the Country) and to modern plays such as The Aspern Papers, where stylish acting combined with acute characterisation was required. His film career, equally varied, included parts in The Importance of Being Earnest, The Browning Version and The Dam Busters. He was knighted in 1959. He married the actor Rachel Kempson (1910–2003) and their three children were all successful performers. Vanessa (1937– ), a stage and film actor, won an Academy Award for her role in Julia (1977). She was a strong opponent of US foreign policy and a PLO supporter. Corin (1939–2010) was an able character actor and Lynn (1943–2010) won an international reputation with Georgy Girl (1966).
Redmond, John Edward (1856–1918). Irish nationalist politician, born in Wexford. A barrister, he was an MP in the House of Commons 1881–1918, led the Parnellite (*Parnell) minority in the Irish Parliamentary Party (from 1891) and the reunited party (from 1900). He accepted *Asquith’s Home Rule Bill (1912–14), but, when Sir Edward *Carson raised a volunteer force in the north to resist it, Redmond countered him with volunteers raised in the south. Civil war was imminent when World War I broke out. Redmond’s failure to engage with the strong revival of Irish culture and his support of the war cost his party the confidence of the Irish electors, but Redmond died before they were swept out of parliament by Sinn Féin.
Redon, Odilon (1840–1916). French Symbolist painter, lithographer and etcher. Influenced by *Goya, he developed a style of fantastic and haunted imagery, which evokes the world of *Poe and *Mallarmé. His later works anticipated the psychedelic art of the 1970s.
Redouté, Pierre Joseph (1759–1840). French flower painter, born in Liège. He went to Paris and became famous in his specialised field, popularised through engravings. Both *Marie Antoinette and the empress *Josephine were among his pupils.
Reed, Sir Carol (1906–1976). English film director. Son of Sir Herbert Beerbohm *Tree, he became an actor and directed 33 films including Odd Man Out (1947), Outcast of the Islands (1952), Oliver! (1968), and three based on Graham *Greene stories The Fallen Idol (1948), The Third Man (1949) and Our Man in Havana (1959).
Reed, John (1887–1920). American journalist. In 1917 he went to the USSR and became a friend of *Lenin. His Ten Days that Shook the World (1919) is considered one of the best eye-witness accounts of the Bolshevik Revolution. He founded a US Communist Party in 1919, returned to the USSR, died of typhus and was buried in the Kremlin Wall.
Reed, Walter (1851–1902). American surgeon and bacteriologist. He joined the US army medical corps (1874) as an assistant surgeon and became (1893) professor of bacteriology at the Army Medical School. He headed a commission sent to Cuba to study yellow fever (1899) and his team proved the thesis of Carlos Finlay that the disease is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. He died of appendicitis.
Rees, Lloyd Frederick (1895–1988). Australian painter. Deeply influenced by *Monet, he achieved a late but sustained reputation with his evocative, atmospheric landscapes.
Rees, Martin John, Baron Rees of Ludlow (1942– ). English radio-astronomer, born in York. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he became Plumian professor of astronomy at Cambridge 1973–91, a Royal Society research professor 1992–2004 and Astronomer Royal 1995– . His books include Before the Beginning (1997) and Just Six Numbers (1999). Master of Trinity College 2004–12 and President of the Royal Society 2005–10, he received the Order of Merit in 2007 and delivered the BBC’s Reith Lectures in 2010, on Scientific Horizons. Asteroid 4587 Rees was named for him.
Reger, (Johann Baptiste Joseph) Max(imilian) (1873–1916). German composer, conductor, pianist and teacher, born in Bavaria. Influenced by *Beethoven, *Wagner, *Brahms and *Bach (an unusual combination), he was extraordinarily prolific, acquiring a largely unjustified reputation for writing turgid, ponderous academic music, rarely performed outside Germany. His Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J. A. Hiller (1907), piano concerto (1910), Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart (1914), violin sonatas and some songs and organ pieces have been brilliantly recorded, leading to a re-evaluation of his achievement. He was professor of composition at Leipzig University 1907–16, conductor of the Meiningen Orchestra 1911–14 and toured extensively.
Regiomontanus (Johann Müller) (1436–1476). German astronomer and mathematician, born at Königsberg. Son of a miller, he studied philosophy at Leipzig and astronomy and geometry under Georg von Peurbach at Vienna, from 1452. It was at this time that he came to recognise the inadequacy of the current astronomical tables (the Alfonsine). On Peurbach’s death, Regiomontanus completed his work on *Ptolemy’s Almagest, which finally appeared in 1496. This digest was a work of current scholarship in its own right. *Copernicus’ careful study of it revealed to him some of Ptolemy’s errors, and stimulated the development of his own system of astronomy. Regiomontanus learned Greek from Cardinal Bessarion, and spent much of the 1460s combing Italy for astronomical manuscripts. His concern was to purify the learning of antiquity. He discovered an important manuscript of the mathematician Diophantus, but did not live to edit it. Amongst his completed works, however, were lectures on astrology and important trigonometrical writings that gave tables of tangents and sines. He was more important as a publisher of astronomical data—he made early use of the printing press—than as a theorist in his own right.
Rehnquist, William Hubbs (1924–2005). American judge. Educated at Stanford, he was Nixon’s Assistant Attorney-General 1968–71, a justice of the US Supreme Court 1971–86 and leader of the conservative (‘strict constructionist’) wing, and Chief Justice 1986–2005. He presided at President *Clinton’s impeachment trial in the Senate (1999).
Reich, Robert B(ernard) (1946– ). American economist. Educated at Dartmouth and Yale, he became a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, worked in government and taught at Harvard. He wrote influential books about the changing global economy including The Work of Nations (1991) and was US Secretary of Labor 1993–97.
Reich, Wilhelm (1897–1957). Austrian-American psychoanalyst, born in Vienna. One of the most controversial figures in the history of psychoanalysis, he lived in the US from 1939, and developed a theory of sexuality based on the ‘orgone’ (a compound word derived from organism and orgasm). He built ‘orgone accumulators’ to treat patients, but was charged with fraud and when he violated an injunction was sent to jail where he died of heart failure and his publications were burnt by court order.
Reichstadt, Duke of see Napoléon II
Reid, Sir George Houstoun (1845–1918). Australian politician, born in Scotland. He emigrated to Australia at the age of seven, was educated in Melbourne, called to the bar (1879) and entered the New South Wales Parliament 1880. As Minister of Public Instruction he introduced 1883–84 a public system of secondary education, became Leader of the Opposition 1891–94 and was Premier 1894–99. In addition to tax simplification and a factories act, he freed the civil service from political control. A strong free-trader, after an initial hesitancy (‘Yes-No Reid’), he supported federation and when the Federal Parliament was formed became the first Leader of the Opposition 1901–04. Prime Minister for 11 months 1904–05 in a Free Trade-Protectionist coalition, he went to London as Australia’s first High Commissioner 1910–16, and became a British MP 1916–18. His obesity caused him to be under-rated, but he was an outstanding debater, strongly liberal, and an able strategist. He was the first Australian Prime Minister to die.
Reid, Thomas (1710–1796). Scottish philosopher. After a number of academic appointments he succeeded Adam *Smith as professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow 1764–80. In his Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense (1764) he argued, against *Hume and others, that in perception we are directly aware of physical objects and not of sensations or ‘ideas’ which may be related to them. He believed that all knowledge is based on self-evident principles established in ‘common sense’, a term that came to be applied to his philosophy as a whole. His larger Essays on the Intellectual Active Powers of Man (1785) is in effect a theory of knowledge based on these principles, while in his Essays on the Active Powers of the Human Mind (1788) he discusses moral issues and arrives at the conclusion that ‘moral approbation implies a real judgement’.
Grave, S. A., The Scottish Philosophy of Common Sense. 1960.
Reiner, Fritz (1888–1963). Hungarian-American conductor, born in Budapest. He conducted the Dresden Royal Opera 1914–21, went to the US in 1922, taught at the Curtis Institute, Philadelphia and directed the Pittsburgh Symphony 1938–48, the Metropolitan Opera 1948–53 and the Chicago Symphony 1953–63.
Reinfeldt, (John) Fredrik (1965– ). Swedish politician and economist. He led the Moderate Party 2003–15, and was Prime Minister 2006–14, handling the global financial crisis (GFC) skilfully.
Reinhardt, Max (1873–1943). Austrian American theatrical producer. He acted at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin 1894–1905 became its director and filled the next 25 years with a remarkable series of some 450 productions, which brought fame to the theatre and himself. As well as the ancient Greek and European classics he staged the works of *Ibsen, *Strindberg and *Shaw. He was closely identified, too, with the Salzburg Festival. He specialised in spectacular productions, e.g. The Miracle in London (1911), which entailed the handling of crowds of performers and remarkable lighting effects. He left *Hitler’s Germany in 1933 and later became a naturalised US citizen.
Adler, G., Max Reinhardt. 1964.
Reis, Piri (d.1534). Turkish admiral and cartographer. Nephew of the pirate Kemal Reis, he served at Lepanto and commanded the Ottoman fleet under *Suleyman the Magnificent. In 1513, at Gallipoli, he compiled a detailed map of the Atlantic, now held in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul, thought to have been based on lost materials, possibly Chinese, including a world map dating from about 1428 and which may have been known to *Columbus.
Reith of Stonehaven, John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron (1889–1971). Scottish administrator, born in Stonehaven. Son of a clergyman, he trained as an engineer and was wounded as an officer in World War I. He became the first general manager of the British Broadcasting Company Ltd 1923–27, and when it became publicly owned, first director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 1927–38. He implanted a tradition of complete integrity in the presentation of news and of educational and cultural zeal, setting out the mission statement ‘inform, educate, entertain’. Autocratic and prudish, his diaries indicate some enthusiasm for *Hitler and *Mussolini. Knighted in 1927, he received a peerage in 1940. Reith was the first chairman of BOAC 1939–40, then became Minister for Works 1940–42 under *Churchill, who detested him. He chaired the Commonwealth Telecommunications Board 1946–50, the National Film Finance Corporation 1948–51 and the Colonial Development Board 1950–59. Created a KT in 1969, the BBC established (1947) an annual series of ‘Reith Lectures’ in honour of his services to broadcasting.
Reith, J. C. W., Into The Wind. 1949; McIntyre, I., The Expense of Glory. 1993; Boyle, A., Only the Wind Will Listen. 1972.
Réjane (Reju), Gabrielle Charlotte (1856–1920). French comedy actor. She acquired a reputation comparable with Sarah *Bernhardt: wit, brilliant technique and subtlety of mood, rather than beauty of face or voice, were the qualities on which she relied for her success.
Remarque, Erich Maria (1897–1970). German-American author. He served in World War I and his novel All Quiet on the Western Front (1929), one of the most realistic and effective war novels enjoyed great popularity and was filmed twice. He lived in Switzerland (1932–39) and then the US, where he became a citizen. In 1958 he married the actor Paulette Goddard (1911–1990), formerly *Chaplin’s wife.
Rembrandt (Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn) (1606–1669). Dutch painter, born at Leyden. Son of a miller, he left university early (1621) to study painting. After three years’ apprenticeship to a local artist he spent six months in Amsterdam with Pieter Lastman who had been to Italy and had become familiar with the work of *Carracci and others. Rembrandt seems to have been more influenced by the Dutch followers of *Caravaggio, who by directing the fall of light from a single direction could create emphasis by contrast and suggest sculptured form. From this technique was developed Rembrandt’s famous chiaroscuro, with several illuminated points gradually fading into the golds and browns of deepening shadow. He returned to Leyden (1625) and soon acquired a considerable reputation and several pupils. Chiaroscuro effects are already to be seen in, for example, Simeon in the Temple.
In 1631 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam and quickly became a fashionable portrait painter, and since his subjects were mostly rich burghers whom he did not have to flatter unduly, provided he gave them the dignity and trappings of wealth, he was free to display his great gift for interpreting human personality. The romantic side of his own character was shown (as indeed earlier at Leyden) by his delight in dressing his sitters in all sorts of fantastic finery, not only silks and satins but furs, turbans and even armour. To indulge this taste to the full he painted large numbers of self-portraits, thus arrayed. Biblical and classical subjects continued to attract him and he excelled in dramatic narrative. Group portraits, of which The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp (1632) was among the first to achieve fame, were also popular and by their greater size provided scope for the stronger colours he now liked to employ. The year 1642 marked a turning point in his life. His wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh (married 1634), whose dowry combined with his own earnings had enabled him to lead the life of a substantial citizen, died in 1642, a year after the birth of Titus, their only child to survive infancy. In the same year the group portrait The Night Watch failed to attract, mainly because the background figures were not sufficiently individualised to please the vanity of the persons portrayed. In the years that followed, Rembrandt’s earning power steadily declined until (1656) his house and possessions were auctioned to pay his debts. But, ironically, the change in his circumstances marked no decline in the powers of the artist, but the reverse. His increasing impatience with the artistic conventions of the time may have frightened off his patrons but it completed his emancipation as an artist. The rich burghers may have been less often seen in his studios, but that only left him freer to concentrate upon the intense inner life of those who took their place and who had no social importance that it was necessary to convey. Some of his most perceptive portraits are of his son Titus, of Hendrickje Stoffels (who became his mistress in 1645, bore him a daughter, Cornelia, and was his constant attendant in old age), and the continuing series of self-portraits reflecting alike the passing years and his changes of mood and style. As regards the latter, Rembrandt was becoming increasingly interested in the texture of his works. He abandons the illusionist convention by which the activity of the paint is always concealed and discovers the emotive power of brush strokes left visible. He no longer pursues the search for the dramatic with its attendant contrasts of light and shade; the vivid colours of the middle years are subdued to the browns, russets and olive greens familiar in his later work. Biblical (and sometimes mythological) subjects recur more often but they are simpler and more serene. Among the most famous of the pictures of these later years are Saul and David and the group portrait of the Syndics of the Cloth-makers Guild. About 300 of his 500 paintings survive, together with 300 etchings and over 1000 drawings.
Haak, B., Rembrandt: his Life, his Work, his Time. 1969; Schama, S., Rembrandt’s Eyes. 1999.
Remington, Frederic (1861–1909). American painter, sculptor and illustrator. He travelled extensively in the West, became a war correspondent, and depicted the violent action of life on the frontier.
Renan, (Joseph) Ernest (1823–1892). French religious writer. Brought up for the priesthood, but after a long period of doubt he abandoned his faith and turned to academic work, and became famous with the first volume of an immense work on the history of the origins of Christianity. This volume, the Vie de Jésus (1863), tells the life story of an ‘incomparable man’. Under *Napoléon III its anti-religious content cost him his professorship, restored after the Franco-Prussian War. He continued his great history and other works, was elected to the Académie française (1878), and became (1883) Administrator of the Collège de France, playing a notable part in the form of French education. The substance of his personal belief was that though God does not exist he is in the process of becoming, through man’s struggle for perfection.
Chadbourne, R. M., Ernest Renan. 1968.
Renault, Louis (1877–1944). French motor car manufacturer. He collaborated with the Germans during World War II and is believed to have been murdered by members of the Resistance. His factories were taken over by the state.
Rendell, Ruth Barbara (née Grasemann), Baroness Rendell (1930–2015). English writer. She wrote 24 detective stories featuring Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford, and also wrote thoughtful novels under the name of Barbara Vine. She was a Labour life peer.
Reni, Guido (1575–1642). Italian painter, born in Bologna. He became one of the most prominent of the Baroque painters, the main influences on his style being *Carracci, under whom he studied, and *Caravaggio, whose contrasting effects of light and shade he adopted, in later years his colours became paler and cooler. His subjects are mainly mythological and Biblical, e.g. Aurora, a famous ceiling painting, and Ecce Homo and Mater Dolorosa.
Rennie, John (1761–1821). Scottish civil engineer. Using technologies developed by *Watt and *Boulton, he built the great Kennet and Avon canal (1794–1810), 140 km long with 104 locks, which linked Bristol and London. Other works include the old Waterloo Bridge in London (1817), London Bridge (incomplete at his death), dockyards at Chatham, harbours and aqueducts in England and Ireland.
Renoir, Jean (1894–1979). French film director. Son of the painter Pierre Auguste *Renoir, he began work as a director in 1924 and established a reputation by a unique blend of lyricism and realism. His films include Nana (1926), Une Partie de Campagne (1936), La Grande Illusion (1938), Le Regle du Jeu (1939) and French Can-Can (1956).
Renoir, J., My Life and My Films. 1974.
Renoir, Pierre Auguste (1841–1919). French painter, born in Limoges. One of the most important of the Impressionists, as a boy he was employed as a painter on porcelain. At Gleyre’s studio in Paris (1861) he met and became friends with *Monet and *Sisley. With them he worked in the open air concentrating on the problems of sunlight and its reflection, for example, on water or human flesh. It was with the latter that Renoir showed his special skill and the exuberant delight that his painting gave him and which he always wished to impart. There is no exotic frailty about his nudes: their flesh is rosy and their limbs are muscular. For Renoir, love of painting and a love of life were inseparable. A more sophisticated gaiety is seen in La Loge, Les Parapluies and Au Théatre: la Première Sortie. He experimented briefly with pointillism but in general he was a more scholarly painter and more concerned with composition, e.g. his large paintings of Bathers in the 1880s, than many of his contemporary Impressionists. He spent most of his life between Paris and the French countryside and, though his hands were crippled with arthritis, continued to paint in his garden near Cagnes to the time of his death. He achieved a total of 6000 paintings. He was happily married.
Drucker, M., Renoir. 1944; Gaunt, W. (ed.), Renoir: Paintings. 1971.
Repton, Humphry (1752–1818). English landscape gardener. He began to design gardens c.1790, sometimes working in partnership with the architect John *Nash. He restored a formal setting to country houses by planting the immediate surroundings of the house in a decorative and obviously artificial style. This was a departure from the carefully ‘natural’ parkland, unrelieved by planted beds, that was formerly prevalent. He wrote Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening. (1794).
Respighi, Ottorino (1879–1936). Italian composer, violinist, conductor and musicologist, born in Bologna. An outstanding orchestrator, he scored piano works by *Rossini for the ballet La Boutique fantasque (1918). He composed several high-spirited ‘pictorial’ orchestral works, e.g. The Fountains of Rome (1917), The Pines of Rome (1924) and Roman Festivals (1929). His edition of Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1935) exemplified his valuable work in reviving interest in early Italian music. He was important in the revival of interest in *Vivaldi. His three Suites of Ancient Airs and Dances (1917, 1923, 1932) and The Birds (1928) were based on works by 17th-century composers.
Reszke, Jean de (1850–1925). Polish tenor. He made his operatic debut at Venice (1874) as a baritone, but developed into one of the most famous tenors of his epoch, especially in Wagnerian roles.
Retz, Gilles de see Rais, Gilles de
Retz, Jean François de Gondi, Cardinal de (1613–1679). French cleric and politician. A colourful character, famed as a young man for his duels, love affairs and wit, he played an important part in the wars and disturbances of the Fronde (1648–53). He was arrested (1652) but escaped from prison (1654) and reached Spain and Italy. In 1662 he became reconciled with *Louis XIV by giving up his archbishopric (in return, however, for generous compensation elsewhere). His Mémoires (published 1717) show a lively talent for describing character and events.
Salmon, J. H. M., Cardinal de Retz. 1969.
Reuchlin, Johann (1455–1522). German humanist. Having mastered Greek and Hebrew (the latter from a Jewish physician) he became the principal promoter of these two languages in Renaissance Germany. He protested successfully against the destruction of Jewish books and did much, by his writing and teaching, to encourage intellectual tolerance.
Reuter, Paul Julius, Baron von (originally Israel Beer Josaphat) (1816–1899). Anglo-German journalist and entrepreneur, born in Kassel. Founder of the famous news agency, as a bank clerk at Göttingen he realised the importance for business of speedy information and organised (1849) the transmission of stock exchange prices between Aachen and Brussels by pigeon post. He moved to Paris and then London where he set up (1851) an office for the collection of, not only share prices, but also news items from the Continent. From these small beginnings sprang the huge international news agency which still bears his name. Reuter became a naturalised British citizen and was created baron in 1871 by the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
Reuther, Walter Philip (1907–1970). American trade union leader. He began to organise workers in the motor industry in 1935. He became (1952) President of the Congress of Industrial Organisation (CIO), and when it merged (1955) with its rival, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) he became Vice President of the new organisation.
Revere, Paul (1735–1818). American patriot, born in Boston. Of French Huguenot descent, he took part in the ‘Boston Tea Party’, the prelude to the War of Independence, but is remembered as the hero of a famous ‘ride’ from Charlestown, near Boston, to Lexington and Concord (April 1775). The story is told in a well known poem by *Longfellow but there were in fact two rides, the purpose of the first being to warn the insurgents to move their stores to Concord, and that of the second, two days later, to raise the alarm that British troops were on the move. Professionally, he was a silversmith, printer, engraver, bellfounder, and metals processor. His work was of exhibition quality and much of it survives.
Green, M., Paul Revere, Man Behind the Legend. 1964.
Reynaud, Paul (1878–1966). French politician. A successful advocate from 1908, he was a member of the Chamber of Deputies 1919–24, 1928–42 and the National Assembly 1946–58. Finance Minister 1938–40, he succeeded *Daladier as Premier March–June 1940 and worked with *Churchill to organise more effective resistance to the German invasion. But most of his Cabinet were defeatist and he was replaced by *Pétain who negotiated a surrender. Detained by the Germans 1940–45, Reynaud was a deputy again 1946–58 and Vice Premier 1953–54.
Reynolds, Sir Joshua (1723–1792). English painter, born in Plympton, Devon. Son of a schoolmaster, he began his art studies under Thomas Hudson (1740–43), and widened his range by practice and study. The turning point came with a visit to Italy (1749–53) during which he made an intensive study of the work and methods of the great masters, *Raphael, *Michelangelo, *Correggio, *Titian and the other Venetians. The rest of his life was spent in London where his record as a fashionable portrait-painter was one of continued and remarkable success. The versatility with which he could adapt his knowledge and technique to the changes of time and fashion amazed his contemporaries. He was equally successful with the formal or informal occasion, the latter often enhanced by a parkland or garden setting. He also shows something of *Van Dyck’s pleasure in the texture and decorative value of fine clothes. He was one of the founders of the Royal Academy (1768) and was its first president, remaining in office for the rest of his life. His prize-giving Discourses retain their value for the student, and also give a valuable account of his own aims. He visited Flanders and Holland (1781) and a renewed study of *Rubens in particular brought fresh life into his later pictures. He painted almost every celebrity of his time (over 2000 in all): Lady Cockburn and her Children and Mrs *Siddons as the Tragic Muse are perhaps the best known of his works. Reynolds, sociable and good-natured, was a member of Dr *Johnson’s circle, almost all of whom he painted.
Waterhouse, E. K., Reynolds. New ed. 1973.
Reza Shah Pahlevi (1878–1944). Shah of Iran (Persia until 1934) 1925–41. A man of unusual energy and untutored intelligence, he rose from the ranks in the army to become a distinguished officer. He led a military coup (1921), became military dictator, and deposed Ahmed Shah, last of the Qajars (1925). As shah he adopted the dynastic name ‘Pahlevi’ to recall an early and famous Persian dynasty. He abolished the veil for women, broke the power of the mullahs (the Muslim clergy) and strove to modernise the country, whose name, he insisted, should be ‘Iran’. His pro-German attitude during World War II led Britain and the USSR to occupy Iran and force him to abdicate (1941) in favour of his son *Mohammed Reza. He died in Johannesburg.
Avery, P., Modern Iran. 1965.
Rhee (Yi) Syng-man (1875–1965). Korean politician, born in Whanghae. Educated at a Methodist school, he became a Christian while imprisoned for nationalist activities by the Japanese, then ruling Korea. In 1904 he went to America. After the failure of the Korean rising of 1919 he was Chairman of the Korean government in exile. On the Japanese defeat, Korea was partitioned on the 38th parallel. Rhee was first president of the Republic of Korea (i.e. the south) 1945–60. When the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea invaded the south (June 1950), Rhee called on the US and UN for aid. An international force, largely American and led by General *MacArthur, helped the South Koreans in a long and costly war to restore the frontier. Rhee was re-elected in 1956 and 1960 but his dictatorial rule had become increasingly unpopular, and after hostile demonstrations (April 1960) he was removed and exiled to Hawaii.
Rhine, Joseph Banks (1895–1980). American psychologist. As head of the laboratory of parapsychology at Duke University, North Carolina, he investigated extra-sensory perception and tried to find scientific explanations for ‘supernatural’ occurrences, e.g. telepathy, clairvoyance, psychical phenomena (ghosts, poltergeists etc). His numerous publications include Extrasensory Perception (1934) and Frontier Science of the Mind (1957).
Rhodes, Cecil John (1853–1902). South African politician and financier, born in Bishop’s Stortford. Son of a clergyman, he went for health reasons to South Africa at the age of 17 and secured many valuable claims at the diamond diggings at Kimberley. Eventually he joined ‘Barney’ Barnato in forming (l888) the De Beers Consolidated Mines Company to unite their interests. Meanwhile he had been to Oxford University, gained a degree and became one of the youngest of self-made millionaires. Already his mind was busy with his dream of a British-controlled Africa from the Cape of Good Hope to Cairo. For this he needed the cooperation of the Cape Dutch and he secured it by promising their leader Jan *Hofmeyr support for the protection of Cape farmers in return for acquiescence in his northward advance. First he limited the expansion of the Dutch South African Republic (the Transvaal) by inducing the British to declare a protectorate over Bechuanaland. With the same motive he purchased from the Matabele chief *Lobengula the mining rights in his territory. As a result the British South Africa Company was formed by royal charter (1889). The creation of Rhodesia soon followed. Rhodes was Prime Minister of the Cape 1890–96. Still in cooperation with *Hofmeyr, he passed an act giving the coloured population votes for their local government. While in pursuit of his expansionist policy he completed the Cape–Cairo telegraph and, to overcome the most difficult obstacle, tried to negotiate a confederation with President *Kruger’s South African Republic (Transvaal). He failed in this. The discovery of gold meant that the Transvaal could remain independent and Kruger refused all political rights to the British and other foreigners (the Uitlanders) who had come to exploit the goldfields and upon whom the country’s prosperity depended. Angry and impatient, he organised the notorious *Jameson Raid (December 1895 – January 1896), an armed incursion from the north that turned into a fiasco when its intended beneficiaries failed to rise. Rhodes was forced to resign when his part in it was discovered, and the divisions it created brought about the Boer War. Rhodes was a supporter of the Liberals in the UK and sympathetic to *Parnell’s Irish nationalism. Rhodes spent much of his remaining life in developing Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe and Zambia). He is buried (with Jameson) at the Malindidzimu Hill (‘View of the World’) in the Rhodes Matopos National Park, Zimbabwe. He never married. Of his huge fortune, all bequeathed for public purposes, he left a large sum for the foundation of Rhodes scholarships at Oxford University for students from the British Empire, the United States and Germany.
Lockhart, J. G. and Woodhouse, C. M., Rhodes. 1963.
Rhys, Ernest (1859–1946). Anglo-Welsh editor. He went to London (1886) and pursued a varied literary career until he was introduced by Edmund *Gosse to J. M. Dent, for whom he produced the famous Everyman’s Library of reprints, which brought great literature within the reach of millions. From 1906 when the first books were published (at a price of 1s.) until Rhys’s death, nearly 1000 titles were issued and 35,000,000 copies sold.
Ribbentrop, Joachim von (1893–1946). German diplomat. Originally a champagne salesman, after working in Canada he joined the Nazi party (1933) and became *Hitler’s adviser on foreign affairs. He negotiated the Anglo-German naval treaty (1935) and served as Ambassador to Britain 1936–38 and Foreign Minister 1938–45. His greatest coup was negotiating the Russo-German Non-Aggression Pact of August 1939 with *Molotov, a condition precedent to the outbreak of World War II. Ribbentrop, despised by the other Nazi leaders, was tried by the Nuremberg Tribunal and hanged.
Bloch, M., Ribbentrop. 1992.
Ribera, Jusepe (or José, known as Spagnoletto, ‘little Spaniard’) (1591–1656). Spanish painter. He studied in Spain and Italy, and eventually settled in Naples (1616) where he became court painter to the viceroys. He adopted *Caravaggio’s style of chiaroscuro and painted subjects such as The Massacre of St Bartholomew with brutal realism.
Ricardo, David (1772–1823). English economist, born in London. Son of Dutch-Jewish immigrants, estranged by his marriage to a Quaker, he became a successful stockbroker, and added to his business experience the theoretical knowledge of economics acquired through his friendship with Jeremy *Bentham and James *Mill to produce the famous Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (1817). In his own words he gives an account ‘of the natural course of rent, profit and wages’. The method of assessing value by the amount of labour put into the production of commodities was later abandoned by him (at least in its unmodified form) but was used by Karl *Marx and so achieved a lasting influence. His theory of ‘comparative advantage’, a refinement of Adam *Smith’s ‘absolute advantage’, argued that, in international trade, nations should concentrate on areas where natural endowments, history or experience, provided cost benefits (e.g. Australian wool). This pointed the way towards Free Trade. Ricardo was MP for an Irish pocket borough 1819–23 (Michael *Porter).
Ricci, Matteo (1552–1610). Italian Jesuit missionary. He learned Chinese and went to China (1583) but was expelled from place after place until allowed to settle in Peking (Beijing) in 1601. Here he attracted interest by showing and explaining European clocks and maps and soon made converts. His adaptation of Christian theology to accord with Chinese custom, however, aroused controversy and disapproval in Rome.
Spence, J., The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci. 1985.
Rice, Condoleezza (1954– ). American administrator, born in Alabama. Educated at Denver and Notre Dame universities, she taught political science at Stanford, and served George W. *Bush as National Security Adviser 2001–05 and Secretary of State 2005–09.
Rich, St Edmund see Edmund of Abingdon, St
Richard I (known as ‘Cœur de Lion’) (1157–1199). King of England 1189–99. Born at Oxford, son and successor of *Henry II and of his queen *Eleanor of Aquitaine. At the time of his father’s death, Richard and his brothers, incited by their mother (by then separated from Henry), were in rebellion against him. Almost immediately after his succession Richard joined the 3rd Crusade provoked by the capture (1187) of Jerusalem by Saladin. He conquered Cyprus (where he married Berengaria of Navarre), proved his military skill by the capture of Acre, but, having quarrelled with, and been deserted by, *Philip II of France and Duke Leopold of Austria, he had to be content with only a sight of Jerusalem before making a truce (1192). On the way home he was wrecked in the Adriatic and while trying to return overland in disguise was caught by his enemy Duke Leopold and imprisoned for two years until a sufficient instalment of the vast ransom demanded had been paid. (The legend that the King’s place of captivity was discovered by the troubadour *Blondel de Nesle is unsubstantiated.) On his return he forgave his brother *John, who had been in arms against him, and spent the rest of his reign defending his French dominions against Philip II. He was killed by a chance arrow shot at the siege of Chaluz. He had spent only a few months in England during his reign, but his justiciars, William de Longchamp and Hubert de Burgh ruled well and the ransom was ungrudgingly paid. Richard earned his nickname for his bravery and was generous and chivalrous. He is buried at Fontevraud-l’Abbaye, Anjou.
Harvey, J. H., The Plantagenets. 1970; Flori, J., Richard the Lionheart Knight and King. 1999.
Richard II (also known as Richard of Bordeaux) (1367–1400). King of England 1377–99. Born at Bordeaux, he was the son of *Edward, the Black Prince, and succeeded his grandfather, *Edward III. During the crisis of the Peasants’ Revolt (1381), Richard, though still under the regency of *John of Gaunt, personally intervened and when their leader, Wat *Tyler, was struck down he courageously took charge and promised to redress their grievances. From c.1382 Richard tried to assert his kingship, but his aims were frustrated by the magnates in his council (Lords Appellant) who objected to the favours bestowed upon members of the court party. Richard tried to resist, but from 1386 to 1389 the Lords Appellant were in complete control. Their divisions destroyed them. Richard regained the initiative and for the next eight years ruled constitutionally and well. But he foresaw danger, and for an expedition to Ireland (1394) he raised an army dependent only upon himself. Thus fortified, he struck back (1397) at his opponents. Execution or exile was their fate, and with parliament packed and submissive he established a despotism that became increasingly severe. He made the mistake, however, of quarrelling with and exiling his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, and more foolish still, sequestrating the Lancastrian estates when his uncle, John of Gaunt, died (1399). While Richard was absent in Ireland, Henry landed in Yorkshire and marched across England gathering adherents. The King returned and, judging the position hopeless, surrendered. He was taken to Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire from which he never emerged. His cause of death is uncertain − he may have been smothered, or starved himself. He was married twice but died childless. Bolingbroke succeeded him as *Henry IV. Richard encouraged the arts and his court became a centre for culture.
Saul, N., Richard II. 1997.
Richard III (1452–1485). King of England 1483–85. Born at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire, son of *Richard, Duke of York, he was created Duke of Gloucester (1461) when his brother *Edward IV deposed *Henry VI, whom he probably murdered (1471) by bashing his skull. In 1472 he married Anne Neville (1453–1485), daughter of *Warwick the Kingmaker. When Edward IV died (1483), the boy king *Edward V succeeded and Richard ruled, as protector. The events that followed arose directly from the hostility to him of the widowed queen, Elizabeth (Woodville), and the swarm of her relations raised to wealth and power by Edward IV. Richard proceeded to isolate the king from his mother, to seize and kill the most prominent of the queen’s relations and then to induce parliament to declare the queen’s marriage invalid and the king a bastard, and consequently to dethrone him. Richard then accepted the crown as next in line of inheritance. Meanwhile, young Edward and his brother Richard were in the Tower of London, where they were killed in circumstances that have never been established: Sir Thomas *More’s narrative (followed by *Shakespeare), which made Richard Crouchback the exemplar of all wicked uncles, may be exaggerated and certainly contains Tudor bias, and, significantly, there is no contemporary accusation of murder against him. Richard, a successful and just administrator and hitherto very popular, now began to lose adherents, a process accelerated when the Lancastrian claimant Henry Tudor (*Henry VII) landed at Milford Haven, and Richard was defeated and killed in the battle which ensued at Bosworth in Leicestershire. Richard’s reputation has had several champions in recent decades, and he is to some extent rehabilitated. In a 1984 television ‘trial’ in Britain, with a former lord chancellor as judge and leading criminal QCs as prosecutor and defence counsel, Richard was acquitted. In September 2012 a skeleton, later convincingly identified as Richard’s, was excavated in a Leicester car park and he was interred in Leicester Cathedral in March 2015.
Cheetham, A., The Life and Times of Richard III. 1972; Horspool, D., Richard III. A ruler and his reputation. 2016.
Richard, Earl of Cornwall (1209–1272). King of the Romans 1257–72. Born at Winchester, son of King *John and brother of Henry III of England, he went on crusade (1240–41). His birth, wealth and integrity enabled him to take an important part in continental politics in the confused period following the death (1250) of the Holy Roman Emperor *Friedrich II. He refused the Sicilian crown offered (1253) by Pope Innocent IV but in 1257 was the successful candidate for the office of King of the Romans (i.e. emperor elect) and was crowned German King at Aachen, but only gained partial recognition. In the baronial civil war in England he tried to mediate but finally sided with his brother, was captured at Lewes and held prisoner until after the Royalist victory at Evesham.
Richard, Duke of York (1411–1460). English prince. Leader of the Yorkist faction against *Henry VI of England, he was a grandson of Edmund, a younger son of *Edward III, but his claim to the throne came through his mother, Anne Mortimer, who was descended from an older son of Edward III. Soon after the outbreak of the Wars of the Roses he was killed at the Battle of Wakefield. Two of his sons became *Edward IV and *Richard III.
Richards, Frank (pen name of Charles Harold St John Hamilton) (1876–1961). English author. Probably the most prolific author of all time (more than 100 million published words), he wrote two weeklies for boys, Gem (as Martin Clifford, 1907–39) and the better known Magnet (as Frank Richards, 1908–40). Magnet, set at Greyfriars School, featured the fat boy Billy Bunter (who later appeared in books, on stage and television), Harry Wharton and Bob Cherry. As Hilda Richards he also wrote girls’ school stories. George *Orwell’s critical essay Boy’s Weeklies (1940) provoked a strong defence by Richards.
Richards, F., Autobiography. 1952.
Richards, I(vor) A(rmstrong) (1893–1979). English literary critic. He taught at Cambridge 1922–29 and Harvard 1939–63 and was a pioneer of New Criticism, applying rigorous scientific and analytical method to the study of texts. With C. K. *Ogden he devised ‘Basic English’.
Richardson, Henry Handel (pen name of Ethel Florence Lyndesay Richardson) (1870–1946). Australian novelist, born in Melbourne. She left Australia in 1888 to study music in Leipzig, but after her marriage to the philologist and German literary scholar John George Robertson (1867–1933) devoted herself to writing and translation. She lived in Germany until 1903, then in England, only returning to Australia for one brief visit in 1912. Her massive first novel Maurice Guest (1908) was set in Leipzig. The Getting of Wisdom (1910), semi-autobiographical, with a lesbian sub-text, was her most successful book, filmed in 1978. In her trilogy The Fortunes of Richard Mahony (1917; 1925; 1929) the central character, loosely based on her father, is a doctor in Victoria in the turbulent period of the Gold Rush (1850s and 1860s), facing intellectual, religious, physical and financial challenges. She conveys the ruthless inevitability of great tragedy, yearned for the Nobel Prize but was never nominated.
Kramer, L., Henry Handel Richardson. 1967; Buckley, V., Henry Handel Richardson. 1970; Niall, B., Friends & Rivals. 2020.
Richardson, Sir Ralph David (1902–1983). English actor. He first won fame by his Shakespearian performances with the Old Vic, and especially in the New Theatre season, immediately following World War II, during which he had done naval service. From the 1930s he was equally well known for his appearances in many films, including Things to Come (1936), Anna Karenina (1948), The Fallen Idol (1948) and The Heiress (1949). Among his stages successes were Arms and the Man, The Heiress, Flowering Cherry. He was knighted in 1947.
Richardson, Samuel (1689–1761). English novelist. Son of a cabinetmaker ‘who understood architecture’, he had a grammar school education, after which he was apprenticed to a London printer, whose daughter he married (1721). He established (1724) his own business in Salisbury Square and managed it successfully for the rest of his life. He was already 50 when at the suggestion of two friends he wrote a book of specimen letters for various occasions for the benefit of those unable to express their own thoughts. From one of these letters, ‘A Father to a Daughter in Service on hearing of her Master’s attempting her Virtue’, sprang Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740), the first of three epistolary novels intended, since Richardson was primarily a moralist, ‘to promote religion and virtue’. Often described as the first modern novel, Pamela, a hugely popular book, was followed by Clarissa (1747–48), a prodigious work in seven volumes where death appropriately follows a lapse from virtue. In Sir Charles Grandison (1753–54) the hero and heroine, their virtue proof against all trials and misfortunes, ultimately and happily unite. Richardson’s influence was various and widespread. Pamela was parodied by *Fielding in Shamela and Joseph Andrews, and *Voltaire made use of it for one of his own plays; Clarissa was translated by the Abbé *Prévost, and *Diderot and *Rousseau were among the author’s fervent admirers.
Duncan Eaves, T. C., and Kimpel, B. D., Samuel Richardson. A Biography. 1971.
Richelieu, Armand Jean du Plessis, Duc de (1585–1642). French statesman and cardinal, born at Richelieu, Poitou. He was a younger son of François du Plessis, grand provost of France, and at the age of 21 was nominated Bishop of Luçon. Representing the clergy at the States-General of 1614, he made contact with the court and in 1616 was appointed Secretary of State as the protégé of Concino Concini, favourite of the Queen Mother and regent *Marie de Médicis. Concini’s assassination (1617), consented to by *Louis XIII to assert his independence, seemed likely to end Richelieu’s career but, by reconciling the king and his mother, he made himself acceptable to both. Richelieu became a cardinal in 1622, Chief Minister in 1624 and for 18 years was virtual ruler of France. He crushed the political power of the Huguenots (1625–29) by reducing the strongholds granted to them as places of refuge by *Henri IV. La Rochelle, the most important, fell (1628) after heroically resisting a siege of 15 months, Richelieu himself ensuring the result by building a huge dyke across the harbour and so preventing relief by the English fleet. Richelieu next had to contend with attempts by the feudal nobility, aided by the king’s vain and foolish brother Gaston, Duke of Orlans, to undermine his power. Plot after plot Richelieu unveiled and punished, and even overcame a desperate attempt by Marie de Médicis, now turned against him, to have her former adherent removed from office. Having created the centralised autocracy of which *Louis XIV was to be the beneficiary, Richelieu turned to foreign affairs. The Thirty Years’ War was raging and with the death of the Swedish king *Gustaf II (1632) the Protestant cause might have foundered and France been at the mercy of Habsburg Austria had not Richelieu, Catholic cardinal though he was, stepped in with subsidy and armed forces to fill the gap. During the last two years of Richelieu’s life (1640–42), Artois, Alsace and Roussillon were occupied by France. Though primarily a politician, Richelieu proved himself a discerning patron of the arts and learning, and in 1635 founded the Académie française, his most abiding memorial. Richelieu was known as ‘Eminence Rouge’, his confidential agent as ‘Eminence Grise’ (*Joseph, Père).
Burckhardt, C. J., Richelieu and his Age. 1940–70; Church, W. F., Richelieu and Reason of State. 1973.
Richler, Mordecai (1931–2001). Canadian novelist and essayist, born in Montréal. His novels include The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959, also filmed), Cocksure (1968), St Urbain’s Horsemen (1971) and Solomon Gursky was Here (1990). He published several collections of essays and edited anthologies of humour.
Richter, Charles Francis (1900–1985). American seismologist. He taught at the California Institute of Technology 1927–70 and in 1935, with Beno Gutenberg, devised the Richter scale for the measurement of earthquakes.
Richter, Gerhard (1932– ). German artist, born in Dresden. Trained in a socialist realist tradition, he escaped to the West in 1961, and worked as a painter, print maker, sculptor and glass worker, in a diversity of styles, influenced by politics, history, science and music, including photorealism, abstraction and pop art. He created a magnificent stained glass window for Köln (Cologne) Cathedral (2007). His Abstraktes Bild sold at auction for $US44.5 million in 2015.
Richter, Hans (originally János) (1843–1916). Austro-Hungarian conductor, born in Hungary. A horn and trumpet player, he became *Wagner’s assistant, conducted the first performance of The Ring cycle (1876) and remained at Bayreuth until 1912. He was chief conductor of the Vienna Court Opera 1880–99, the Hallé Orchestra, Manchester 1899–1911, the London Symphony Orchestra 1904–11, and premiered major works by *Brahms, *Bruckner and *Elgar.
Richter, Johann Paul Friedrich see Jean Paul
Richter, Sviatoslav see Rikhter, Sviatoslav
Richthofen, Manfred, Baron von (1892–1918). German aviator. His exploits as a fighter pilot made him an almost legendary figure in World War I; he is said to have shot down 80 planes before being killed in action. *Goering served in his squadron. His sister, Frieda von Richthofen (1881–1956), married (1914) D. H. *Lawrence.
Rickover, Hyman George (1900–1986). American admiral and engineer, born in Russian Poland. He was responsible for the US Navy’s nuclear submarine project, leading to the commissioning of the Nautilus (1954). He remained on the naval staff until the age of 82.
Ridgway, Matthew Bunker (1895–1993). American soldier. Much of his early service was on the staff, but in World War II he commanded a division in Sicily and Italy 1942–44, and during the liberation campaign in northern Europe 1944–45 the 18th Airborne Corps. He was GOC of the US 8th Army in Korea 1950–51 and succeeded (1951) *MacArthur in the supreme command of UN forces. In 1952 he took over *Eisenhower’s command of NATO forces in Europe and was Chief of Staff of the US Army 1953–55.
Ridgway, M. B., Soldier. 1956.
Riding, Laura (Jackson) (1901–1992). American poet and critic, born in New York. Educated at Cornell, she worked closely with Robert *Graves from 1926 and was a pioneer of the New Criticism.
Ridley, Nicholas (c.1500–1555). English Protestant martyr. A strong but unbigoted supporter of the Reformed doctrines, he became Bishop of Worcester (1547) and of London (1550). As long as *Edward VI was alive he had a powerful influence in the Church and helped Archbishop *Cranmer to prepare the Forty-two Articles. On the king’s death he supported the cause of Lady Jane *Grey, but when Queen *Mary succeeded he was arrested, tried for heresy at Oxford with *Latimer and Cranmer, and burned at the stake.
Ridley, J. G., Life of Nicholas Ridley. 1957.
Riebeeck, Jan van (c.1619?–1677). Dutch administrator. A surgeon, he was sent by the Dutch East India Company (1652) with 70 Dutch burghers to found a settlement at the Cape of Good Hope which could act as revictualling station for ships bound for the East Indies. He remained for 10 years, the settlement he started forming the nucleus of the South African Republic of today. He died in Batavia (Jakarta).
Riefenstahl, Leni (Helene) (1902–2003). German actor, film maker and photographer, born in Berlin. She trained as a dancer, starred in several romantic ‘ice’ pictures in the 1920s and directed four important films: The Blue Light (1932), Victory of Faith (1933), Triumph of the Will, a powerful evocation of Germany’s mood at the time of *Hitler’s accession (1934), and Olympia 1936 (1938). Barred from film making after 1945 because of her Nazi links, she turned to photography and published three dramatic books, The Last of the Nuba (1973), The People of Kau (1976) and Coral Gardens (1978).
Riel, Louis (1844–1885). Canadian insurgent, born in Manitoba. In 1869 he led a rebellion of Métis (mixed European and Indian descent) against the introduction of settled government to Manitoba by the Dominion of Canada. The rising was easily suppressed. Riel fled to the US, then returned, was twice elected as a Dominion MP, but refused to take his seat. He lived in Montana 1879–84 and became a US citizen. Returning to lead an uprising of Métis in Saskatchewan (March 1885), on its defeat Riel was tried for treason, convicted and hanged in Regina.
Davidson, W. M., Louis Riel. 1955.
Riemann, Georg Friedrich Bernard (1826–1866). German mathematician. He studied under *Gauss at Göttingen, where he returned to teach (1851) and was professor of mathematics 1857–66. He put forward (1854) a system of non-Euclidean geometry that includes the idea of a finite but unbounded space capable of any number of dimensions and rejects many of the basic concepts of *Euclid, e.g. the notion that parallel lines meet only at infinity.
Rienzo, Cola di (1313–1354). Italian patriot, born in Rome. Son of an innkeeper, trained as a lawyer, he looked back to the glories of the ancient republic and convinced himself that it was his destiny to restore the squalid city of his own time to its former greatness. He headed a mission (1343) to Avignon, where the papacy was installed in voluntary exile, to secure constitutional reforms from Pope Clement VI. Returning empty-handed, he succeeded by his eloquence in obtaining popular support for the revival of the Roman republic and he was proclaimed Tribune (1347). As long as he used his despotic power to maintain law and order all was well, but by stirring the people against the nobles he provoked fights and bloodshed and his pretensions to exercise the old Roman supremacy over the rest of Italy were resented. Seven months after assuming office he was forced to flee. He went to Prague (1349–50) to enlist the support of the emperor Charles IV in his plans for a revived Roman Empire. Charles sent him captive to Avignon but in 1353 Pope Innocent IV, hoping to use him to restore papal power, sent him back to Rome, where he resumed despotic rule. But now the mob turned against him, stormed the Capitol and killed their former hero. His story is told in *Lytton’s novel and *Wagner’s opera, both called Rienzi.
Rifkind, Sir Malcolm Leslie (1946– ). British Conservative politician. Educated at Edinburgh University, he was MP 1974–97, Secretary of Defence 1992–95 and Foreign Secretary 1995–97.
Rikhter, Sviatoslav Teofilovich (1915–1997). Russian pianist, born in Zhitomir, Ukraine. He worked in the Odessa Opera House as a repetiteur, then studied with Heinrich Neuhaus from 1937. He did not visit the West until 1960. He made highly praised recordings of *Mozart, *Beethoven, *Chopin, *Schubert, *Schumann, *Liszt, *Mussorgsky, *Rachmaninoff, *Bartók, *Prokoviev, *Shostakovich and *Britten.
Riley, Bridget Louise (1931– ). British painter, born in London. Educated at Goldsmiths’ College and the Royal College of Art, she achieved international recognition from 1962. Her paintings were created within the op art tradition, depending on tension between contrasting colours in stripes and curves, leading to an instability of focus so that the canvas seems to be in motion. She received a CH in 1999.
Rilke, Rainer Maria (originally René Karl Wilhelm Johan Josef Rilke) (1875–1926). Bohemian-Austrian poet, born in Prague. After his parents separated, he was unhappily educated at a military school and at Prague, Munich and Berlin universities. His earliest works were melancholy reveries. With *Nietzsche’s friend, Lou Andreas-Salomé, who became his mistress, he visited Russia 1899–1900, met *Tolstoy and developed a mystical preoccupation with its history and religion. His poems became concerned with the interrelationship of God (identified with Life), Man and Death. He married (1901) a pupil of the French sculptor *Rodin, and became his secretary (1905–06) and fervent admirer. Though his spiritual search continued, he learnt from Rodin the importance of form; his poems thus lost much of their vague mysticism and as his vision became more objective he directed it to more concrete themes. His novel The Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge (1910) is partly autobiographical. He lived in Duino, near Trieste 1910–12. After further travels he settled in Switzerland (1919), and with the publication (1923) of the 10 Duino Elegies (1912–15, 1922) and the Sonnets to Orpheus he seemed to have found tranquillity in the cult of beauty. He was preoccupied with the ‘inseparability of uniqueness and transience’ in human life, and the centrality of courage, awareness and aesthetics, and is regarded as the greatest modern German poet. He died of leukaemia.
Holthusen, H. E., Portrait of Rilke. 1971; Prater, D., A Ringing Glass. 1994; Freedman, R., Life of a Poet. 1996; Corbett, R., You Must Change Your Life. 2016.
Rimbaud, (Jean-Nicolas) Arthur (1854–1891). French poet, born in Charleville. He reacted against the dominating puritanism of his mother and an unhappy home life by running away from home several times before settling in Paris (1870). His amazing precocity was shown in all his early pieces and especially in his Le Bateau ivre (The drunken boat) in which the rhythms and images already have the magical quality that appears in the work of the later symbolists. He lived with *Verlaine in Paris from 1871 but the association ended abruptly when Verlaine was sent to prison for firing two shots at Rimbaud who was threatening to leave. But it was Verlaine who made Rimbaud famous with an analysis of his poems in Les Poètes maudits (1884). Rimbaud never knew of this. All his poems were written before he was 20, many under the deliberate stimulation of drink, drugs, or debauchery: all the fragments, Les Déserts de l’amour (1871), Les Illuminations (the basis of a song cycle by *Britten, 1872–73), Une Saison en enfer (1873) are infinitely revealing of a genius in the making and the spoiling. After that he drifted round the world until, in 1883, he reached Abyssinia, where he established a harem and set himself up in trade. His account of his travels there was published in 1928. He had a working knowledge of Latin, English, Italian, Greek, German, Dutch, Russian, Arabic and Amharic. He died in hospital at Marseilles after an amputation for a tumour on the knee.
Starkie, E., Arthur Rimbaud. 3rd ed. 1961; Robb, G., Rimbaud. 2000; White, E., Rimbaud. The Double Life of a Rebel. 2008.
Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai Andreyevich (1844–1908). Russian composer, born in Tikhvin. Born to an aristocratic family, he became a naval officer but joined *Balakirev’s group of ‘nationalist’ composers known as ‘the Five’ (the other three being *Borodin, *Mussorgsky and *Cui), who made it their rule to introduce the themes and spirit of Russian folk music into all their compositions. His first symphony (1861–65), his second (1868, twice revised and eventually published as a symphonic suite, Antar, in 1903), and an opera The Maid of Pskov (1868–72) belong to this period. The group broke up c.1870, but, as all lacked academic training, Rimsky-Korsakov was astonished to find himself appointed (1871) professor at the St Petersburg Conservatoire. He succeeded, none the less, in making himself a master of orchestration and contrapuntal technique, and, though the effects upon his work were at first devitalising, he later achieved the brilliance of Capriccio Espagnol (1887) and Scheherazade (1888). From 1888 he turned to opera but only gave of his best when he had succeeded in shedding *Wagner’s influence with such fairytale operas as Sadko (1894–96), The Snow Maiden (1880–81) and The Golden Cockerel (1906–07), his last work. Rimsky-Korsakov’s fame rests on his outstanding gift for orchestration, which influenced *Debussy, *Ravel and *Stravinsky. He revised and re-orchestrated works by other composers who lacked his technical versatility, especially Dargomyzhski’s Stone Guest, *Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (here the original has more individuality) and *Borodin’s Prince Igor.
Abraham, G., Rimsky-Korsakov: A Short Biography. 1948.
Rinehart, Gina (née Georgina Hope Hancock) (1954– ). Australian mining heiress, born in Perth. Daughter of Lang Hancock (1909–1992), who made a fortune opening up the Pilbara, Western Australia, for iron ore mining, she became Australia’s richest person, with $AU22 billion net worth (2013), and the fourth richest woman in the world. She was a powerful advocate for conservative causes, and was strongly opposed to action on climate change.
Ripon, 1st Earl of, Frederick John Robinson (1782–1859). English Tory/Conservative politician. Educated at Harrow and Cambridge, he became a barrister and MP 1806–27, and held office in every Tory Government between 1809 and 1846. He introduced the Corn Laws (1815) and as Chancellor of the Exchequer 1823–27 was known as ‘Prosperity Robinson’ or ‘Prosperity Fred’. Created Viscount Goderich in 1827, on *Canning’s death he became Prime Minister briefly 1827–28 and had the unique distinction that his Ministry never met parliament. (*Disraeli called him ‘a transient and embarrassed phantom’.) His son, George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon (1827–1909) declared himself a Christian Socialist, first held office as *Palmerston’s Undersecretary for War 1859–63 and retired as *Campbell-Bannerman’s Lord Privy Seal 1905–08. He was Grand Master of the Freemasons 1870–74, then became a Catholic. He chaired the commission that settled the ‘Alabama’ dispute with the US (1871) and, as *Gladstone’s Viceroy of India 1880–84, encouraged moves towards self-government.
Ritz, César (1850–1918). Swiss hotelier. He created Ritz Hotels in London, Paris and New York and his name became synonymous with luxury (as in the adjective ‘ritzy’).
Rivera, Diego (1886–1957). Mexican painter. He studied in Paris where he came to know the principal Cubists and was influenced by the works of *Gauguin. His best known works are large murals and frescoes for which he revived the encaustic methods of the ancient Maya sculptors. His themes were revolutionary episodes from history intended to promote the communist cause. His style was a composite of ‘folk art’, symbolism and Aztec undertones directed towards political ends. He was, for a time, obliged to leave Mexico. After his return (1935) he began to adopt surrealist techniques. His second wife was the painter Frida *Kahlo.
Wolfe, B. D., The Fabulous Life of Diego Rivera. 1963.
Rivera, Primo de see Primo de Rivera y Orbaneia, Miguel
Rizal y Mercado Alonso, Jose Prolasio (1861–1896). Filipino writer and patriot. As a writer he aimed at fostering a desire for Filipino independence. His novels Noli me Tangere (1886) and El Filibusterismo (1891) were eloquent attacks on Spanish misrule. He founded a nationalist society, and was exiled from Manila. When the Filipino revolt of 1896 broke out Rizal was arrested (outside the Philippines), brought to Manila and executed. He is regarded as a national hero.
Rizzio (or Riccio), David (c.1533–1566). Italian musician and secretary, born near Turin. He went to Scotland (1561) and became the favourite and secretary of *Mary Queen of Scots. His arrogant assumption of power and his personal relations with the Queen roused such anger and jealousy that *Darnley, her husband, joined a group of nobles in a conspiracy to murder. The Queen was having supper in her room with Darnley, Rizzio and Lady Argyll, when Lords *Morton and Ruthven burst in and denounced the favourite. Other conspirators appeared and during the ensuing fracas Rizzio was dragged out and immediately stabbed to death.
Robbia, Luca della (1400–1482). Florentine sculptor. A skilled worker in bronze and silver, he is best remembered for his terracotta sculptures to which, in the manner of the Moors in Spain, white and coloured enamels were applied. The Madonna and Child ‘type’, which he developed, perhaps influenced *Raphael’s Florentine Madonna series. Luca’s first dated and justly celebrated major work was the Cantoria or Singing Gallery for Florence Cathedral (1431–38), known for its panels of singing and dancing boys. Luca’s nephew, Andrea della Robbia (1435–1525), his partner and less accomplished successor, is remembered for the medallions of babes in swaddling clothes on the Foundling Hospital in Florence. His sons, including Giovanni della Robbia (1469–1529) and Girolamo della Robbia (1488–1566) carried on the family workshop.
Pope-Hennessey, J., Italian Renaissance Sculpture. 1971.
Robert I see Bruce, Robert
Robert II (1316–1390). King of Scotland 1371–90. Son of Walter the Steward, his hereditary office passed to him and so made him the first king of the *Stewart (Stuart) dynasty. His claim to the throne came through his mother Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert I (Robert *Bruce) and sister of David II, for whom he acted as regent during his captivity in England.
Robert III (1340–1406). King of Scotland 1390–1406. Son and successor of *Robert II, injury from the kick of a horse made him incapable of rule, and power was exercised by his brother, the Duke of Albany. Robert was succeeded by his surviving son *James I.
Roberts, John Glover, Jr (1955– ). American jurist, born in Buffalo. A Harvard graduate, he was a legal administrator under *Reagan and George H. W. *Bush, a judge of the US Court of Appeals 2003–05, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 2005– .
Roberts, Frederick Sleigh, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar, Pretoria and Waterford (1832–1914). British field marshal, born in Cawnpore, India. Educated at Eton and Sandhurst, as a young officer in the Bengal artillery he won the VC during the Mutiny (1858). He became a national hero in the Afghan wars, when in 1880 he led an army of 10,000 men from Kabul through the mountains to the relief of Kandahar, covering a distance of 495 kilometres in 22 days and then defeating the Afghans. After brief service as commander in Natal and Transvaal (1881), he returned to India and was Commander-in-Chief 1885–93, receiving a peerage in 1892. He became Commander-in-Chief in Ireland 1895–99, and was promoted to field marshal (1895). After the serious defeats with which the Boer War opened (December 1899) Roberts was sent out as Commander-in-Chief and quickly retrieved the situation. Pretoria was captured (June 1900) and, though guerrilla warfare continued, organised operations were at an end. On his return, he succeeded *Wolseley as Commander-in-Chief of British Forces 1901–04, until the post was abolished. Promoted to an earldom in February 1901, he became the first recipient of the Order of Merit in June 1902. After 1904, with the threat from Germany in mind, he campaigned in vain for conscription for military service. He condoned threats by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) to use force against the establishment of Home Rule in Ireland, and broke with John *French. He died in France visiting troops in World War I. He had the longest set of post-nominal awards in British history: VC, KG, PC, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE.
Hannah, W. H., Bobs: Kipling’s General. 1972.
Roberts, Tom (Thomas William) (1856–1931). Australian painter, born in Devon. He migrated to Melbourne in 1869 and studied art there, and in London 1881–84. He was a central figure in the Heidelberg School of painters (1887–90), with his friend Arthur *Streeton. Apart from important portraits and landscapes, his iconic paintings include Coming South (1886), Shearing the Rams (1890), A Break Away! (1891), Bailed Up (1895) and The Big Picture (opening of first Commonwealth Parliament, 1903). Back in England 1903–19, 1921–23, he returned to live in Victoria, then Tasmania, where he died.
Robertson, Pat (Marion Gordon) (1930– ). American evangelist, political activist and broadcasting executive, born in Virginia. Son of a conservative Democrat US Senator from Virginia, he became a Southern Baptist minister, founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, was a famous televangelist, sought the Republican nomination for president in 1988 and wrote 13 books.
Robertson, Sir William Robert, 1st Baronet (1860–1933). English soldier, born in Lincolnshire. Son of a tailor, he was a footman in service and joined the army as a private in 1877. After long service in India, he was an intelligence officer under Lord *Roberts in South Africa and subsequently held a succession of staff appointments until he became, on the outbreak of World War I, QMG to the British armies in France and Chief of the Imperial General Staff 1915–18. He commanded the armies on the Rhine 1919–20. He was the only soldier to rise from private to field marshal (1920).
Robertson, W. R., From Private to Field-marshal. 1921.
Robeson, Paul Le Roy (1898–1976). American singer and actor, born in Princeton. Son of a runaway slave who became a Methodist minister, he became an All-American footballer and studied arts and law at Rutgers and Columbia Universities. He appeared as Brutus Jones in Eugene *O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones in New York (1923), London (1925) and in the film (1933) and was a notable Othello (1930, 1943–45, 1959). He achieved his greatest success with the song ‘Ol’ man river’ in Showboat and as Bosambo in Sanders of the River and his resonant bass voice was memorable in Negro spirituals and worksongs. He visited the USSR for concert tours and was blacklisted during the ‘cold war’ for his advocacy of black rights, the peace movement and other radical causes. He lived in England 1958–63.
Duberman, M. B., Paul Robeson 1989; Sparrow, J., No Way But This. In Search of Paul Robeson. 2018.
Robespierre, Maximilien François Marie Isidore de (1758–1794). French Revolutionary leader, born at Arras. Orphaned at 7 and brought up (with his brother Augustin) by maiden aunts, he was a leading lawyer, judge and littérateur in Arras until elected (1789) to the Estates-General, soon renamed the National Assembly. At first little known, he spoke 500 times in the National Assembly—nearly every sitting day. In 1791, having moved to Paris, he was elected to the Paris Commune and consolidated his great support among the Jacobin clubs. His rigidity and honesty earned him *Marat’s description as ‘incorruptible’ (‘the seagreen Incorruptible’ in *Carlyle’s famous phrase), but it was by his speeches and his gift for putting into words what others were feeling that he gradually gained ascendancy in the Jacobin Club, the meeting place of the extreme republicans encouraged and supported by the Paris mob. As leader of the left Jacobins, he made 100 speeches in Paris between September 1791 and August 1792. He opposed declaration of war on Austria (April 1792) bitterly—and predicted its outcome. He was elected as the first of Paris’s 24 delegates to the Convention in September 1792. He proposed and secured the passage of the 1793 Constitution, modelled along the ideas of his idol J. J. *Rousseau. In July 1793 the murder of Marat contributed to the proscription of the Gironde and the election of Robespierre to the Committee of Public Safety, where he served from 27 July 1793 to 26 July 1794. This was his first exercise of power, more as a resident conscience than a minister. He called for a regime based on ‘virtue without which terror is baneful, terror without which virtue is powerless’ and purged the Convention of ‘ultra-revolutionaries’ such as *Hebert (March 1794) and moderate ‘indulgents’ led by *Danton (April 1794). He introduced the ‘Maximum’, rigorous government control of the economy, and planned what was virtually a welfare state. He proposed a state cult based on Rousseau’s ‘civil religion’, seeing this as a compromise between atheism and Catholicism. His great day of triumph, presiding at the ‘Festival of the Supreme Being’ (8 June), marked the beginning of a conspiracy against him by *Tallien, *Fouché and *Barras, corrupt men who feared for their own lives as the Reign of Terror increased in intensity. The battle of Fleurus (June 1794) confirmed that the Committee of Public Safety had placed France militarily in the ascendant, thus removing the main justification of Terror. A scene was staged in the Convention 27 July (9 Thermidor in the Revolutionary calendar) during which Robespierre was denounced and arrested. Next day, after rescue and recapture he was guillotined without trial with 21 other leaders of the Terror. The historians Mathiez and Lefebvre have gone far towards rehabilitating his reputation as a sanctimonious butcher and Crane Brinton has suggested that he was best explained as essentially a religious figure, pledged to destroy corruption and error. Nevertheless he was a flawed character, cold, remote and inflexible. He was a bachelor and owned poodles.
Rudé, G., Robespierre: Portrait of a Revolutionary Democrat. 1985; Jordan, D., The Revolutionary Career of Maximilien Robespierre. 1985; McPhee, P., Robespierre. A Revolutionary Life. 2011.
Robey, Sir George (George Edward Wade) (1869–1954). English music-hall comedian. Educated in Germany, he was a clerk who played in amateur theatre, made his professional debut in London (1891), and soon being known as ‘the Prime Minister of Mirth’. In World War I he had a triumphant success in the revue The Bing Boys are Here. In 1935 he played Falstaff on stage in Henry IV Part I and repeated it in *Olivier’s film Henry V (1944).
Robin Hood. Legendary English folk-hero, probably based on a bandit-rebel active during the reign of *Richard I (1189–99). Robin originally in all probability a hero of oral folktales, appears first ‘formally’ in the 14th-century poems Piers Plowman, but popularity was mainly stimulated by 15th-century ballads. These depict him living in Sherwood Forest as the leader of a gang of outlaws, an expert archer and champion of the poor, particularly active against the injustices and extortions of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Oman, C., Robin Hood. 1973.
Robinson, Edwin Arlington (1869–1935). American poet, born in Maine. Educated at Harvard, he lived in poverty until Theodore *Roosevelt gave him a post in the New York Custom House (1905). He published 26 volumes of epigrammatical and conversational verse in strict classical forms. His best known poem is Miniver Cheevy, from The Town Down the River (1910). He sees man as a creature trapped between his animal and spiritual natures and in each he studies ‘the small Satanic king’: the poet is ‘the modern man seeking light in a dark universe’. The same problems and the same pessimism appear in his great Arthurian trilogy, Merlin (1917), Lancelot (1920) and Tristram (1927). He won the Pulitzer Prize three times.
Robinson, (William) Heath (1872–1944). English illustrator and comic artist. He was best known for his drawings of weird elaborate machines for performing elementary operations.
Robinson, Jackie (John Roosevelt Robinson) (1919–1972). American baseballer, born in Georgia. In 1947 he became the first African-American in a major baseball team (Brooklyn Dodgers), stoically resisted racist attacks and was an important role model.
Robinson, Joan Violet (née Maurice) (1903–1983). British economist. Educated at St Paul’s Girls’ School, London and Girton College, Cambridge, she lectured in economics at Cambridge from 1931 and was a professor 1965–71. She worked with J. M. *Keynes in the 1930s and wrote several lucid textbooks including three volumes of Economic Papers (1951, 1960, 1965).
Robinson, Sir Ken(neth) (1950– ). English educator, born in Liverpool. He studied at Leeds and London universities and was professor of arts education at Warwick 1989–2001. He chaired a UK commission on creativity, education, and the economy (1998) and the report, All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture, and Education proposed radical changes in education, with heavy emphasis on the arts and creativity. He became an influential speaker in TED conferences (Harold *Kroto).
Robinson, Mary (1758–1800). English actor. Known as ‘Perdita’ from her role in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, she played at Drury Lane (1776–80) and became (1779) the mistress of the Prince of Wales (*George IV). She wrote poetry, plays and novels, but despite a pension, she died in poverty.
Robinson, Mary Therese Winifred (née Bourke) (1944– ). Irish politician, born in Dublin. Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Harvard, she became a lawyer, married a Protestant, joined the Labour Party, taught at Trinity and was active in the International Commission of Jurists. As a senator 1969–89, she was an ardent advocate of women’s rights. In November 1990 she was elected as President of Ireland with 53 per cent of the votes, defeating the government’s candidate. She resigned to become United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights 1997– .
Robinson, Sir Robert (1886–1975). English organic chemist. Educated at Manchester, he held chairs at Sydney, Liverpool, St Andrews, Manchester and London before becoming Waynflete professor of organic chemistry at Oxford (1930–55), where he headed a team investigating the chemistry of penicillin. His researches into organic chemistry were mainly in the fields of the alkaloids, plant pigments and phenanthrene derivatives. Knighted in 1939, he was President of the Royal Society 1945–50, won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1947) and received the Order of Merit in 1949.
Rob Roy (‘Red Robert’; Robert Roy MacGregor, in Gaelic: Raibeart Ruadh MacGriogair) (1671–1734). Scottish outlaw. A grazier on the braes of Balquhidder (where he is buried) in southwest Scotland, he maintained an armed band for the protection of his flocks and those of his neighbours as well as for purposes of his own. His exploits, real and legendary, earned him the reputation of a Scottish Robin Hood, robbing the rich for the benefit of the poor, while at the same time pursuing a personal vendetta against the Duke of Montrose.
Robsart, Amy (1532–1560). English noble woman. First wife of Robert Dudley, later Earl of *Leicester, she became estranged, and died of a broken neck at the foot of the stairs at Cumnor Place, Berkshire. This aroused suspicions that she had been killed on her husband’s order (with or without *Elizabeth’s most improbable connivance), to enable him to pursue his ambition to marry the queen. Her story forms the basis for Sir Walter *Scott’s Kenilworth.
Robson, Dame Flora McKenzie (1902–1984). English actor. She made her debut in 1921 and played her first season at the Old Vic Theatre, London, in 1934, after which she appeared frequently in London, on tour and in New York in an unusually wide variety of classical and contemporary plays. Her first film was *Korda’s Catherine the Great (1934). She was made DBE in 1960.
Dunbar, J., Flora Robson. 1960.
Rocard, Michel Louis Lon (1930–2016). French Socialist politician. Son of a physicist, educated at the University of Paris and the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA), he became an inspector general of finances and stood in 1969 as a presidential candidate for the Parti Socialiste Unifie (PSU), which later merged with *Mitterrand’s Socialists. He was Minister for Planning 1981–83, for Agriculture 1983–85 and Prime Minister 1988–91 and had a poisonous relationship with Mitterrand. With Bob *Hawke and Jacques Yves *Cousteau, he played a central role in organising a 50-year moratorium (1991) against mineral exploration in Antarctica. He was Leader of the Socialist Party 1993–94.
Rochefoucauld, Duc de la see La Rochefoucauld, Duc de
Rochester, John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of (1647–1680). English poet and courtier. Son of a Royalist general ennobled by *Charles I, he was one of the profligate wits who attended the court of *Charles II, of whom he wrote ‘He never said a foolish thing, Nor ever did a wise one’. An exaggerated reputation of being a debaucher overshadowed his achievements as a poet. Some of his lyrics are exquisite expressions of tender feeling, and his Satire Against Mankind (1675) sparkles with devastating, sometimes pornographic, wit. Bishop *Burnet described his deathbed repentance.
de Sola Pinto, V. (ed.), Poems by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. 1964.
Rockefeller, John Davison, Sr (1839–1937). American industrialist and financier, born in Richford, New York. The son of a farmer and patent medicine salesman (who later disappeared), his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1853 and he left school at 16. He progressed from bookkeeper to oil well owner in the young oil industry (1862) and in Ohio founded (1870) the Standard Oil Company. This, by 1878, controlled 98 per cent of the American oil industry. In 1892 the monopoly was broken by court order, but he continued to dominate the industry through a holding company (Standard Oil of New Jersey) until he retired in 1911. He gave over $550 million to charity, founded Chicago University and the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research and was reputed to be the richest man in the world. He founded (1931) Rockefeller Center, New York, the largest non-governmental building so far built. His son John Davison Rockefeller, Jr (1874–1960) was an active philanthropist and gave the United Nations the site on which it stands (East River, New York) and his son, Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (1908–1979), was Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs 1944–45 and Undersecretary of State for Health and Public Welfare 1953–54. He was Governor of New York State 1959–73, being the only Republican to score a major victory in 1958. He campaigned as a liberal for the Republican presidential nomination in 1960, 1964 and 1968. Under Gerald *Ford he was appointed as Vice President of the US 1974–77. He was a notable patron and promoter of ethnographic and modern art.
Collier, P. and Horowitz. D., The Rockefellers. 1976.
Rockingham, Charles Watson Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of (1730–1782). English politician. A member of the same family as *Charles I’s famous minister *Strafford, he led the main body of the Whigs after the retirement of *Newcastle, but he had too many outside interests (including the turf) and too little force of character to be a great leader. He favoured the conciliation of the American colonists and was Prime Minister 1765–66 in the government that repealed the Stamp Act. Prime Minister again March–July 1782, he died in office. He owed many of his political ideas to *Burke, his private secretary (1765).
Rodgers, Richard (1902–1979). American composer. He wrote musical comedies in collaboration with the librettists Lorenz Hart (1919–42) and Oscar Hammerstein (1942–60). Among the many successes for which he wrote the music are Pal Joey, Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music.
Rodin, (François) Auguste (René) (1840–1917). French sculptor, born in Paris. He began his art training at the age of 14 but was slow to mature. During a visit to Italy (1875) he was influenced by *Donatello and *Michelangelo, while a tour of French cathedrals (1877), about which he wrote a book, led him to call himself a latter-day Gothic artist. This was true only in the sense that he eschewed the plastic smoothness of the antique and expressed spiritual and emotional stresses through the effect of light and shade on roughened surfaces. After his tour he settled at Meudon near Paris and lived there or in Paris itself for the rest of his life. His most famous works include Danaïde (1884–85), The Burghers of Calais (1884–95), The Kiss (1898) and The Thinker (1904), the last two intended as part of a vast work The Gate of Hell (186 figures), inspired by *Dante’s Divine Comedy, which preoccupied him from 1880. His love affairs with Camille *Claudel and Gwen *John caused lasting damage to both women. Politically, he was a conservative and a moderate anti-Dreyfusard. The poet *Rilke was his secretary 1905–06. Rodin did many sculptures, both busts and full length, of famous subjects e.g. *Balzac, *Hugo, *Baudelaire, *Mahler, *Clemençeau, Bernard *Shaw. In 1914 he presented 18 pieces from his London exhibition to Britain in gratitude for its support of France in World War I. He gave the remainder of his unsold works to France and they are now displayed in the Rodin Museum, Paris. In January 1917 he married Rose Beuret, his long term mistress. She died three weeks later.
Chabrun, J. F. and Descharnes, R., Auguste Rodin. 1967; Butler, R., Rodin: The Shape of Genius. 1993.
Rodney, George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron (1719–1792). British admiral. He served as Governor and Commander-in-Chief in Newfoundland 1748–52, and in the Seven Years’ War (1756–63) destroyed the flat-bottomed boats assembled in Le Havre for the invasion of England (1759) and captured Martinique, Grenada and St Lucia (1761). He defeated the Spanish 1779–82 and gained a great victory (the Battle of the Saints) over the French in 1782. A domineering character, Rodney made many enemies, in and out of the navy.
Spinney, D., Rodney. 1969.
Rodrigo, Joaquin (1902–1999). Spanish composer. Blind from the age of three, caused by diphtheria, he studied with *Dukas in Paris and was influenced by *Satie, *Debussy and Spanish folk music. His Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra (1939) is the most popular ever written. He also wrote Concierto andaluz for four guitars (1967) and a large amount of piano and vocal music.
Roebuck, John (1718–1794). English inventor. He devised (1749) the first commercially practicable method of producing sulphuric acid, and set up (1762) a factory for converting pig iron to malleable iron by means of a blast furnace. He collaborated with *Watt in producing the steam engine.
Roemer, Olaus (1644–1710). Danish astronomer, born in Jutland. He went to Paris (1671) and, working with Picard at the Observatory there, achieved his best known discovery (1675), that the velocity of light is finite, which he deduced from the fact that the observed time of eclipses on one of the satellites of Jupiter varied with the planet’s distance from earth. He returned to Denmark (1681) and was professor of astronomy at Copenhagen 1685–1710 and mayor of the city 1705–10.
Roentgen see Röntgen, Wilhelm Konrad
Roger I (1031–1101). Norman ruler. Count of Sicily 1072–1101. Son of Tancred of Hauteville, he joined his brother the adventurer Robert *Guiscard, in an enterprise by which much of southern Italy as well as Sicily was conquered. Left to rule Sicily, he showed great administrative gifts which enabled him to leave his successor a united state. His second son, Roger II (1097–1154), who succeeded (1105) his brother, united the Norman conquests into a single kingdom of Sicily, Calabria and Apulia (with Naples and Capua also included). Though the Pope and Emperor temporarily combined against him, he extended his absolute rule over Malta and the African coast from Tripoli to Tunis. His Sicilian capital, Palermo, embellished with buildings in a blend of Romanesque and Saracenic styles, became a great meeting place for scholars from the Greek and Arab worlds.
Norwich, J. J., The Normans in the South. 1967; Norwich, J. J., The Kingdom in the Sun 1130–94. 1970.
Rogers, Richard George, Baron Rogers of Riverside (1933– ). English architect, born in Florence. Educated at London University and Yale, in 1971 he won the design competition for the Pompidou Centre (Beaubourg) in Paris with Renzo *Piano. He was also architect for the rebuilding of Lloyds of London, redevelopment of the London Docks, the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, the Inmos factory, Gwent, the Music Research Centre, Paris, and other major projects in Tokyo, Berlin, Florence, Princeton and Quimper. He designed the controversial Millennium Dome at Greenwich. He received the CH in 2008.
Appleyard, B., Richard Rogers. 1986.
Rogers, Will(iam Penn Adair) (1879–1935). American actor and humorist, born in Oklahoma of Indian descent. His cowboy act in vaudeville, with its shrewd and homely monologues filled with sharp criticisms of manners and politics, achieved enormous success. Films, newspapers and books, e.g. Illiterate Digest (1924), provided him with further outlets. He was killed in a plane crash with the aviator Wiley Post.
Roget, Peter Mark (1779–1869). English physician, inventor and lexicographer. His work on the slide-rule earned him his FRS, and his investigations into ‘persistence of vision’ suggested the possibilities of cinematography, but he is best remembered for his Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases (1852).
Rogier van der Weyden see Weyden, Rogier van der
Röhm, Ernst (1887–1934). German Nazi politician. A professional soldier, he joined the National Socialists before *Hitler, and with *Goering founded the Sturm Abteilungen (SA: Storm Troops or ‘Brownshirts’), a semi-military organisation. He was a military instructor in Bolivia 1928–30. After 1933, in Germany, the SA became a huge auxiliary police force, a potential rival to state power. As leader of the SA, Röhm was a potential threat to Hitler, and on 30 June 1934, ‘the Night of the Long Knives’, he was murdered with about 180 others and denounced as a vicious sexual pervert.
Roh Tae Woo (1932– ). Korean soldier and politician. He served in the army of the Republic of Korea until 1981, becoming a four-star general, then entered politics. He was Foreign Minister 1981–82 and Minister for Home Affairs and Sport 1982–88, with responsibility for organising the successful Olympics in Seoul (1988). Elected as President in 1988 as a candidate of the Democratic Justice Party, he served until 1993 after the democratic election of his successor *Kim Young Sam. In 1996, with *Chun Doo Hwan, he was tried for mutiny and sedition, sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment but amnestied in 1997.
Rokitansky, Karl (1804–1878). Austrian pathologist, born in Bohemia. He studied medicine at Prague and later Vienna, where he graduated in 1828. From an early stage he specialised in pathology. His first post was in the pathological department of the Vienna Hospital and he became associate and full professor (1834 and 1844) at the university. Together with a small number of assistants, Rokitansky devoted his time entirely to autopsies, insisted upon making the fullest case histories and claimed to have performed 30,000 autopsies between 1827 and 1866. The results of his research were set down in his Handbook of Pathological Anatomy of 1846. This work revealed unrivalled knowledge of abnormalities. Rokitansky, in particular, worked out the various forms of pneumonia and enumerated their symptoms, studied the atrophy of the liver, was an expert on gastric diseases, and wrote a famous book on the diseases of the artery.
Rokossovsky, Konstantin Konstantinovich (1896–1968). Russian marshal. A major in World War I, he joined the Red Army (1919). In World War II a brilliant turning movement carried out before Moscow (1941) brought him immediate fame. He fought outside Stalingrad (Volgograd), in White Russia and in Poland, where his orders did not include aid to the Warsaw insurrection (1944). In the spring of 1945 he invaded East Prussia and, marching to the north of *Zhukov’s Berlin army, met the British near Lübeck. He was imposed on Poland as Minister of Defence 1949–56.
Roland (de La Platière), Jean Marie (1734–1793). French Girondin politician. An administrator and industrialist in Amiens, he became a leader of the Girondin faction and Minister for the Interior 1792 and 1792–93. His wife Jeanne-Marie Manon Roland (née Phlipon) (1754–1793) ran a celebrated Parisian salon for the Girondins and dominated her husband. On the fall of the Girondins, Roland escaped but his wife was imprisoned, then executed. Roland committed suicide.
Rolfe, Frederick William (known as Baron Corvo, or Fr Rolfe) (1860–1913). English novelist and eccentric, born in London. A schoolteacher, with a deep knowledge of history and art, but bitter and isolated, he became a Catholic convert and a rejected applicant for the priesthood, probably because of his homosexuality. He dramatised his experience in his novel Hadrian the Seventh (1903), where George Arthur Rose, similarly rejected but then admitted as priest, is unexpectedly elected Pope and proceeds to transform the Church before dying as a martyr. Hadrian was later dramatised and also filmed. A morose and embittered drifter, Rolfe lived as a remittance man in Venice, where he died, using the title Baron Corvo. Other novels include Don Tarquinio (1905) and The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole (1909, published 1934).
Symons, A.J.A., The Quest for Corvo. 1934; Woolf, C., and Sewell, B. (eds), New Quests for Corvo. 1965.
Rolland, Romain Edmé Paul Emile (1866–1944). French novelist, biographer and essayist. After studying archaeology and history in Rome he gained his doctorate (1895) at the Sorbonne in Paris with a thesis on the early history of music, and returned there to teach musical history (1904–10). His early plays, e.g. Danton (1900), lacked distinction, and he first achieved success with lives of *Beethoven (1903), *Michelangelo (1906) and *Tolstoy (1911). His major work of this period was the huge novel Jean Christophe (10 volumes, 1904–12), which describes the life of a musical genius in a world of mediocrity. As a pacifist opponent of World War I, he lived in Switzerland from 1914 where he wrote Au dessus de la mȇlée (1915). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1915). Between the wars he wrote another long novel L’Ame enchantée (7 volumes, 1922–33) and showed a lively interest in the nonviolent campaign in India by lives of *Gandhi (1924) and *Ramakrishna (1930). Growing Communist sympathies took him to Russia, where he spent some months with his friend Maksim *Gorki, but he modified his pacifist attitude as the Fascist-Nazi threat developed. His later works include Parla Révolution la paix (1935). He returned to France in 1938 and offered his full support to the Allies. He died in Vézelay.
Barrere, J. B., Romain Rolland. L’âme et l’art. 1966.
Rollo (or Gaange Rolf) (c.846–c.930AD). Viking/Norman warrior. Of Danish or Norwegian origin, he invaded northern France, seized Rouen in 876, and became Duke of Normandy in 911. *William the Conqueror was his great-great-great-grandson.
Rolls, Charles Stewart (1877–1910). English aviator and motor manufacturer. A son of Lord Llangattock, he was a pioneer of motoring and aviation. With F. H. *Royce he founded (1906) the Rolls-Royce Company. He made a two-way cross-channel flight (1910), and he died in a flying accident.
Georgano, G. N. (ed.), The Complete Encyclopaedia of Motorcars, 1885–1968. 1968.
Romains, Jules (pen name of Louis-Henri-Jean Farigoule) (1885–1972). French novelist, dramatist and poet. He taught philosophy in French universities, and wrote plays, e.g. Knock (1923), poetry and novels. He evolved the literary theory of ‘unanisme’ an attempt to convey the collective spirit of a city or locality. His major work is the novel sequence known as Les Hommes de bonne volonté (27 volumes, 1932–46), a vivid panorama of French life between 1908 and 1933, collectively the longest novel ever published. He lived in the US 1940–45 and was elected to the Académie française in 1946.
Romano, Giulio see Giulio Romano
Romanov. Russian dynasty that ruled from 1613 when *Mikhail Romanov was chosen as Tsar; it included *Peter (Pyotr) the Great. The direct male line of descent ended with the death of *Elizabeth (Yelizaveta) in 1762. *Peter III, from the *Oldenburg dynasty, succeeded but adopted the Romanov name, which was used by tsars until *Nikolai II abdicated after the 1917 Revolution.
Kluchevsky, V., The Rise of the Romanovs. 1970.
Romberg, Sigmund (1887–1951). American composer, born in Hungary. He composed over 70 operettas including such great successes as The Student Prince (1924) and The Desert Song (1926).
Romero y Galdámez, St Óscar Arnulfo (1917–1980). Salvadorian prelate. Originally a social conservative, close to Opus Dei, he was Archbishop of San Salvador 1977–80, then denounced the use of terror and assassination and failure to relieve poverty. Killed by a gunman after saying Mass, Pope *Francis took up his cause, resulting in his beatification (2015) and canonisation (2018).
Romilly, Sir Samuel (1757–1818). English lawyer. He had already achieved success at the bar, mainly in chancery practice, when his able pamphlet Thoughts on the probable Influence of the French Revolution on Great Britain (1790) attracted controversy. Solicitor-General 1806–07, and MP 1806–07, 1808–18, he devoted himself to the reform of the criminal law and especially into reducing the number of offences, then some 200, punishable by death. Bill after bill he presented but the results of his perseverance were seen only after his death. He joined the anti-slavery movement and firmly opposed all arbitrary acts (e.g. suspension of Habeas Corpus) by the government. He committed suicide three days after his wife’s death.
Rommel, Erwin (1891–1944). German field marshal. He gained the highest decoration for valour in World War I and in 1933 joined the Nazi party. In World War II he commanded an armoured division in France (1940) and in 1941 was given command of the Afrika Korps sent to rescue the Italians in Libya. This he built up with astonishing speed into a powerful instrument of attack and counter-attack and became known as ‘the Desert Fox’. In July 1942 he drove the British back into Africa as far as El Alamein, but *Auchinleck prevented the Germans from racing on to Alexandria. In October, when Rommel was in Berlin, *Montgomery, with superior forces, won the second Battle of El Alamein, one of World War II’s turning points. This offensive eventually drove Rommel’s forces westward across the Continent into Tunisia, where the German armies finally surrendered. Before this Rommel had been recalled; later he fought in Italy and in 1944 was given command of an army group resisting the Allied invasion of northern France. In July he was seriously wounded when his car was attacked by a British fighter plane. Following the attempted bomb plot on *Hitler (July 1944), Rommel was suspected of complicity and forced to commit suicide (October).
Douglas-Home, C., Rommel. 1973.
Romney, George (1734–1802). English portrait-painter, born in Lancashire. Son of a carpenter, he learnt to draw mainly from copying, but when he went to London (1762) he soon achieved considerable success. He paid his first visit to Paris in 1764 and the delicacy and charm then fashionable there is evident in his work. After a time he ceased to exhibit his pictures and so never became an RA. However, he had no difficulty in attracting sitters especially women, to whose portraits his style with its clean brushwork and clear light colouring was particularly adapted, whereas his drawing and composition were noticeably weak. In 1782 he met and became infatuated with Emma Hart, afterwards Lady *Hamilton, of whom he painted portrait after portrait, many in the theatrical poses in which she took delight. In later life he developed melancholia and lived as a recluse. He was one of the most esteemed English portrait painters of the 18th century, although artistically excelled by *Gainsborough and *Reynolds.
Romney, (Willard) Mitt (1947– ). American businessman and Republican politician, born in Detroit. His father, George W(ilcken) Romney (1907–1995), headed American Motors 1954–62, serving as Governor of Michigan 1963–69, was a presidential aspirant in 1968 and became *Nixon’s Secretary for Housing and Urban Development 1969–73. Mitt Romney was a Mormon missionary in France 1966–68), gained a Harvard MBA, and was a principal of the venture capital firm Bain & Co from 1984. A moderately progressive Governor of Massachusetts 2003–07, he sought the Republican nomination for president in 2008, gained it in 2012, but lost to Barack *Obama after having to appeal to support from conservative ideologists in his party. A critic of *Trump, he was elected US Senator from Utah 2019– . In Donald *Trump’s impeachment trial, Romney voted to convict on the first count (February 2020).
Romulus Augustulus (d. after 476). Roman usurper. Sometimes called the last Roman emperor of the West 475–76, this description is a historical convenience, with no constitutional justification and would have surprised his contemporaries. Romulus was a usurper set upon the throne by his father, a rebel general, the patrician Orestes. Almost immediately the German mercenaries rose against him and their leader *Odovacar (or Odoacer) killed Orestes, contemptuously spared Romulus’s life and proclaimed himself King of Italy. The Roman Empire reverted to its original constitutional form with a single ruler, now resident in Constantinople. A century later *Justinian reasserted the imperial power.
Ronsard, Pierre de (1524–1585). French poet, born in Couture-sur-Loir. Son of a courtier of noble family, his boyhood was spent as a page in the royal service. He accompanied *James V and his bride, Marie de Lorraine, to Scotland where he stayed for three years. In 1540 illness and deafness forced him to give up his career at court and after his father’s death (1544) he went to Paris. Here he became the centre of a small group of poets (later called the Pléiade) whose aim was to improve French poetry by a close study of Greek, Latin and Italian verse, and by the introduction of new words and forms, e.g. the Petrarchan sonnet. The final test should be as for music, that of the ear. Five books of Ronsard’s Odes were published in 1550–52 and the Amours, sonnets addressed to his mistresses, first appeared in 1552. *Henri II made him court poet (1554), an office he retained under *François II and *Charles IX. The first collected edition of his poems appeared in 1560, and was constantly enlarged until his death, that of 1578 containing the Sonnets to Hélène de Surgres. In addition he wrote political poems, e.g. Remonstrance au peuple de France (1562), which reveal his patriotism, and the ambitious, disappointing and unfinished epic Le Françiade (1572). Ronsard has been described as the ‘prince of poets and poet of princes’.
Armstrong, E., Ronsard and the Age of Gold. 1968.
Röntgen, Wilhelm Konrad (1845–1923). German physicist, born in Lennep. Educated in Utrecht and at the Zürich Technical School, he became professor of physics at Strasbourg 1876–79, Giessen 1879–88, Würzburg 1888–94 and Munich 1900–20, and rector of the university of Würzburg 1894–1900. The discoverer of X-rays (X = unknown, also called Röntgen rays) in 1895, he found that when a high-voltage direct current is applied to a discharge tube containing a rarefied gas the resulting stream of electrons from the cathode, if made to bombard a metal target anode, will produce invisible rays capable of passing through many opaque substances. He also made notable contributions to other branches of physics and won the first Nobel Prize for Physics (1901).
Rooke, Sir George (1650–1709). English sailor. He played a distinguished part at Cape La Hogue (1692), the anchorage where 12 French warships taking refuge after their defeat off Cape Harfleur (as well as many troopships and storeships assembled for an invasion of England to restore *James II to the throne) were destroyed. As a reward Rooke was promoted to be Vice Admiral and knighted. Among other important successes was his capture of Gibraltar (1704) with Sir Clowdisley *Shovell.
Roon, Albrecht Theodor Emil, Graf von (1803–1879). German field marshal. After long service on the staff he was Prussian Minister of War 1859–71 and effected the military reorganisation that enabled victory in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and the Franco-Prussian War 1870–71 to be achieved with such remarkable speed and success.
Rooney, Mickey (né Joe Yule, Jr) (1920–2014). American actor. On the stage from infancy, he made his film debut in 1926 and appeared in 140 movies. He was a memorable Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935), starred in 15 Andy Hardy films and as Huckleberry Finn (1939). He became a fine character actor and starred in the Broadway musical Sugar Babies.
Roosevelt, (Anna) Eleanor (née Roosevelt) (1884–1962). American social worker and journalist. A niece of Theodore *Roosevelt, she married her cousin Franklin D. *Roosevelt in 1905 and, although personally estranged from 1918, campaigned hard for him and was a strong liberal influence in the White House. She wrote an influential newspaper column, My Day. She remained a popular figure after FDR’s death, attended the first United Nations Assembly as a US delegate, and served on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights 1946–53.
Lash, J., Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. 1974; Rowley, H., Franklin & Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage. 2011.
Roosevelt, Franklin D(elano) (‘FDR’) (1882–1945). 32nd President of the US 1933–45. Born at Hyde Park, New York, into a distinguished family of Dutch descent he was the only child of James Roosevelt (1828–1900) and Sara Delano (1854–1941). Educated at home, he briefly attended schools in Germany and Switzerland (1891), entered Groton in 1896, then Harvard and Columbia, where he was only a moderate student. Having already married Eleanor *Roosevelt (niece of Theodore) in 1905, he joined a New York firm of lawyers. His branch of the family were Democrats and as an opponent of Tammany Hall, the corrupt party machine, he won election as a N.Y. State Senator 1911–13, He supported Woodrow *Wilson in 1912, and was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy 1913–20. James M. *Cox won the presidential nomination in 1920 and Roosevelt was the vice presidential candidate. They were heavily defeated by *Harding and *Coolidge. In August 1921 at Campobello Island, New Brunswick, he was afflicted with poliomyelitis which left him permanently paralysed: he needed assistance to walk with crutches and was later confined to a wheelchair. In 1922 he returned to work in law, banking and insurance. With the support of his wife, a devoted personal staff (notably his secretary Louis Howe) and a strong political network, he developed a new maturity and toughness. He supported Al *Smith’s unsuccessful campaign for the presidential nomination in 1924. He wrote Smith’s campaign biography The Happy Warrior, when he became the Democratic candidate in 1928 but lost to *Hoover. However, FDR was elected Governor of New York State, serving 1929–33. The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 limited his scope as a social reformer but he won re-election in 1930 with a large majority.
At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in June 1932, he defeated Smith and John N. *Garner of Texas to win the presidential nomination on the fourth ballot, with the support of W. R. *Hearst, and named Garner as candidate for Vice President. He flew to Chicago (an unprecedented gesture) to accept nomination and pledged a ‘New Deal’ for the American people. (Smith was a deeply resentful loser.) Hoover, frustrated by the Depression and 25 per cent unemployment, suffered a humiliating defeat. Roosevelt won 57 per cent of the vote (a popular majority of over 7,000,000 votes), carrying 42 of 48 states. After a short hesitation, he created a team of economic and social advisers, known as the ‘Brain Trust’ and embarked on a policy of ‘relief, recovery, reform … for the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.’ FDR’s own economic knowledge was shaky, but his team took a central role in transforming the US economy. There were three major approaches to tackling the Great Depression—*Stalin’s, *Hitler’s or FDR’s. The ‘New Deal’, although imperfect, offered the only remedy compatible with democracy. If it had failed, democracy might have been fatally damaged, leading to a World War II which was, like the Spanish Civil War, essentially a struggle between Communism and Fascism. Novel remedies were adopted, parallel to, but not directly influenced by, propositions by J. M. *Keynes—budgeting for deficit, encouraging consumption, central control of credit, massive spending on public works. Weekly working hours were cut to 48, child labour abolished, minimum wages set and a ‘Labor Code’ entrenched the principle of collective bargaining. A Social Security scheme was established. The ‘New Deal’ pioneered soil conservation, reafforestation, and flood control, with agencies such as the Civilian Construction Corps (CCC) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), also providing electricity and irrigation. The Public Works Administration (PWA) employed 4,000,000 at its peak. The National Recovery Administration (NRA) virtually abolished laissez faire until the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1935. The psychological effect was immense and FDR was a persuasive advocate in his radio ‘fireside chats’: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, unreasoning terror that paralyses the will.’ Nevertheless, unemployment remained above 12 per cent until 1939. In the 1936 election he defeated Alf *Landon by 46 states to two, winning 61 per cent of the vote (an 8,000,000 majority). Roosevelt, frustrated by the conservative Supreme Court, attempted to appoint six younger judges but Congress rejected this. Encouraged by his wife, he took some hesitant steps towards economic and political rights for black Americans (very difficult when the Deep South voted faithfully for the New Deal) and took no action against segregation or lynching.
From 1920 isolationism had been overwhelmingly popular in the US and FDR was slow to challenge the conventional wisdom. He signed the Neutrality Act (1935) without demur but soon found ways of circumventing it. From 1938 he voiced increasing opposition to Hitler and *Mussolini. In October 1939 he received a warning from *Einstein about the possibility of building atomic weapons, and directed Vannevar *Bush to initiate developments, leading to the ‘Manhattan Project’ (*Fermi, *Oppenheimer) and the beginning of the atomic age. Although he helped Britain with Lend Lease (from September 1940) and built up defence industries, the US avoided military commitment.
FDR won an unprecedented third term in November 1940 with 54.7 per cent of the vote, defeating Wendell *Willkie. (Henry A. *Wallace became Vice President.) He took the US out of the tradition of isolationism that *Washington established, *Monroe defined, *Lincoln maintained and Wilson failed to break. He declared that the US ‘must become the great arsenal of democracy’, proclaimed the Four Freedoms (January 1941), probably influenced by H. G. *Wells, and met *Churchill in August 1941 to conclude the ‘Atlantic Charter’. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (December 1941) took the US into World War II, followed by the inexplicable German declaration of war by Hitler. After 1942 the US became the great allied powerhouse and FDR dominated the overall direction of strategy, providing resources and articulating allied war aims. He clashed privately with his military advisors, opposing a ‘beat Japan first’ strategy, insisting on an allied invasion of North Africa rather than premature landings in Europe. His judgment appears to have been vindicated. He had a clear, sometimes naïve, view about developments in the post-war world, including de-colonisation, the end of European empires and extending democracy. His closest confidant Harry *Hopkins coordinated relations with the Allies. FDR attended conferences at Casablanca (January 1943), Québec (August 1943) and Cairo (November–December 1943). At Teheran (November–December 1943), sandwiched between two parts of the Cairo talks, ‘the Big Three’ (Roosevelt, *Stalin, Churchill) met for the first time and final defeat of the Axis powers was planned.
FDR was nominated for a fourth term in 1944. Because of his failing health, Democratic Party leaders, concerned that Wallace was too radical and unpredictable as a potential successor, secured the nomination of Harry *Truman as Vice President. In November 1944 FDR won 53.4 per cent of the primary vote, and 36 states, to defeat Thomas *Dewey. He was the principal architect of the United Nations, initiated the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and long term moves towards lower tariffs and global trade. In February 1945 he attended his last international conference at Yalta in the Crimea. He was unduly optimistic that he could negotiate with Stalin, appearing to push Churchill aside (something the British voters did for themselves in July) and has been accused of giving the USSR a free hand in eastern Europe. However, the Red Army was already in occupation and in October 1944 at Moscow, Churchill had conceded ‘spheres of influence’ to Stalin, acknowledging Russia’s dominant role. He contemplated resigning as President to become the first UN Secretary-General.
FDR’s powers were weakened by exhaustion, his long physical debility, a mild stroke and possible cancer. In April he died suddenly of a cerebral haemorrhage at Warm Springs, Georgia, while his portrait was being painted, and was buried at Hyde Park.
He remains the most controversial figure in modern US history, denounced variously as ‘Fascist’, ‘revolutionary’, ‘traitor to his class’ and ‘madman’, while his supporters saw him as courageous, optimistic, creative and deeply committed to democracy and human advancement. His political tradition was continued by Truman, *Johnson, *Clinton and *Obama while his style influenced *Reagan. In 20 major studies by historians and political scientists ranking US presidents, FDR came No. 2 in the aggregate, behind *Lincoln and ahead of *Washington.
Leuchtenberg, W. E., Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932–1940. 1963; Schlesinger, A. M., The Age of Roosevelt. 3 vols, 1957–60, Morgan, T., FDR. 1985; Friedel, F., Franklin D. Roosevelt. 1990; Goodwin, D. K., No Ordinary Time. 1994; Black, C., Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Champion of Freedom. 2003; Smith, J. E., FDR. 2008; Butler, S., Roosevelt and Stalin. 2015; Dallek, R. M., Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life. 2017.
Roosevelt, Theodore (‘TR’) (1858–1919). 26th President of the US 1901–09. Born in New York to a rich family which emigrated in the 16th century from Holland, he was admitted to the New York bar in 1881. As a Republican member of his state legislature 1881–84 he took his stand against corruption, but after the death (1884) of his wife (née Alice Hathaway Lee of Boston) and a breakdown of health he became a rancher in North Dakota. In 1886 in London he married Edith Kermit Carow of New York and abandoned the outdoor life of a typical Westerner to return to politics. An ardent hunter, he was also an expert naturalist and birdwatcher. Unsuccessful in his bid for election as Mayor of New York, he was appointed (1889) by President *Harrison to the Civil Service Commission, from which he resigned (1895) to become President of the Board of the New York City police. His spectacular attempt to break the link of corruption between police and underworld made him well known. In 1897 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He resigned on the outbreak of war with Spain (1898) to raise a mounted force known as ‘Rough Riders’ for the Cuban campaign, and gained national attention for leading a charge up San Juan Hill (July 1898). On his return as a national hero he was elected Governor of New York State 1899–1901 and showed in his legislation (e.g. the laws for slum clearance etc.) a zeal for social reform. In 1900 he was elected Vice President of the US and on the assassination of *McKinley (September 1901) succeeded him.
As President he used the presidential power more vigorously than any holder of the office since *Lincoln. He was sympathetic to African-Americans but became preoccupied with falling Anglo-Saxon birth rates, railed against ‘racial suicide’ (1903) and encouraged women to breed.
In 1904 he won 56 per cent of the vote defeating Alton B. *Parker. He helped to settle the great coal strike of 1902, inspired the fight against monopolies (‘trust busting’), the passage of the pure food act (1906) and the enforcement of laws against child and female labour. He established national parks and put conservation and environment issues on the political agenda. His interventions in foreign affairs, e.g. when troops were sent to Venezuela (1902) and Dominica (1904) and the seizure of the Canal Zone to facilitate the building of the Panama Canal, were characteristic of his belief in forceful policies. This was further illustrated by his mediation that brought the Russo-Japanese War to an end (Treaty of Portsmouth, 1905) and won him the Nobel Peace Prize (1906). He coined the maxim: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick!’
In 20 Presidential ranking lists by historians and political scientists, TR scored No. 4 in the aggregate, just behind *Washington.
In 1908 he secured the nomination of his friend William Howard *Taft, who succeeded him as president. The next year he spent hunting in Africa and touring Europe. On his return Taft’s increasing conservatism could no longer command his support. At the Chicago Republican Convention in 1912, he challenged Taft for the nomination but the conservative wing prevailed and Taft won easily. Roosevelt then stood as the candidate of a new Progressive (‘Bull Moose’) party and in the November election the Republicans split. The Democrat Woodrow *Wilson won easily, while Roosevelt came second, with Taft holding only two states. TR explored the Brazilian jungle in a scientific expedition 1913–14. A vigorous advocate of US entry into World War I, he was the leading Republican contender for the Presidency in 1920 until his sudden onset of inflammatory rheumatism followed by a fatal heart attack. In 1927 his sculpture by Gutzon *Borglum joined *Washington, *Jefferson and *Lincoln on Mount Rushmore, South Dakata. In 2001 Bill *Clinton awarded him the Medal of Honor for his gallantry at San Juan Hill. (His son Theodore Roosevelt, Jr (1887–1944), also won the Medal of Honor for his service in Normandy.)
Mowry, G. E., The Era of Theodore Roosevelt. 1900–1912. 1958; Morris, E., The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt. 1979; Mowry, G. E., Theodore Rex. 2001; O’Toole, P., When Trumpets Call. Theodore Roosevelt after the White House. 2005; Morris, E., Colonel Roosevelt 2010.
Root, Elihu (1845–1937). American politician. A lawyer and district attorney, he became Secretary of War under *McKinley and Theodore *Roosevelt 1899–1904 and was Secretary of State 1905–09. US Senator from New York 1909–15, he served on The Hague Tribunal from 1910 and won the Nobel Peace Prize (1912).
Roper, William (1496–1578). English biographer. In 1525 he married Margaret More (1505–1544), collector of the papers and letters—and subsequently the head—of her father Sir Thomas *More. After More’s execution he wrote Mirrour of Vertue in Worldly Greatness or the life of Syr Thomas More (1535, first published in Paris 1626), one of the earliest biographies in English.
Rorem, Ned (1923– ). American composer, born in Indiana. Working in New York and Paris, his works include songs, chamber music, five concertos and three symphonies. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for Air Music for orchestra but may be best remembered for his lively diaries.
Rorty, Richard McKay (1931–2007). American philosopher. His pragmatism, influenced by *Hegel, *Darwin and John *Dewey, attempted to reconcile historicism and naturalism. He held chairs at Virginia and Stanford and gave the 1987 Clark Lectures in Cambridge. His most quoted work was Objectivity, Relativism and Truth (1991).
Rosa, Carl August Nikolaus (1842–1889). German violinist, impresario and conductor, born in Hamburg. He married the soprano Euphrosyne Parepa and formed his first opera company in New York (1867), moving to London (1871) and Cairo. The Carl Rosa Opera Company opened with Figaro in London 1875 and Rosa gave British premieres of The Flying Dutchman (1876), Lohengrin (1880) and Aida (1880).
Rosa, Salvator (1615–1673). Italian painter, born near Naples. He became a pupil of Aniello Falcone, whose taste for battle scenes he acquired. He went to Rome in 1635 and in 1640 to Florence, where he received the patronage of the *Medici. Back in Rome (1649) he became popular, not only for his energetic landscapes in which with his fine use of chiaroscuro he often produced eerie and fantastic effects, but also for his other accomplishments as musician, satirist and poet. Babylon, his satire on Rome, won particular acclaim.
Salerno, L., Salvator Rosa. 1963.
Rosas, Juan Manuel de (1793–1877). Argentinian dictator. After winning popularity as a leader of irregulars in frontier defence against the Indians, he served as Governor of Buenos Aires province 1829–32. More successes against the Indians resulted in his returning (1835) with full dictatorial powers. For the first time since 1810 the country had stable government, but the methods of terrorism by which it was achieved undermined the popularity of Rosas, and a Franco-British blockade when he intervened in Uruguay weakened the country’s economic strength. He was defeated and deposed by General Urquisa (1852) and died in exile in England.
Roscius, Quintus (d.62 BCE). Roman actor. The greatest comedian of his age, he won the patronage of *Sulla and taught oratory to *Cicero, who defended him in a speech, which survives, when he was sued for debt.
Rosebery, 5th Earl of, Archibald Philip Primrose, later 1st Earl of Midlothian (1847–1929). Anglo-Scottish politician and writer, born in London. Educated at Eton and Oxford (where his preference for racing over study led to his expulsion), he inherited his peerage in 1868, and declared three ambitions: to become Prime Minister, marry an heiress and win the Derby. In 1878 he married Hannah de Rothschild (1851–1890). He served under *Gladstone as Undersecretary at the Home Office 1881–83, Commissioner of Works 1884–85, and Foreign Secretary 1886 and 1892–94, leading the Liberal Party’s imperialist wing. He was the first chairman of the London County Council 1889–90, an excellent orator, and a race horse owner who won the Derby in 1894, 1895 and 1905. On Gladstone’s retirement (1894), Queen *Victoria chose him as Prime Minister, in preference to Sir William *Harcourt and Earl Spencer. Rosebery, suffering from insomnia and increasingly isolated from his colleagues, resigned after a snap defeat in the Commons (1895). The Conservatives held office for a decade. He never returned to office and pursued an increasingly independent line. He opposed the entente with France on the grounds that it would provoke a German war and produced a plan of his own for the reform of the House of Lords. He was the richest Prime Minister and, despite his short term in office, well rewarded with a KG, KT, Royal Victorian Chain and a second earldom. His historical studies, e.g. Pitt (1891) and Napoleon, the Last Phase (1901), were well written.
James, R. R., Rosebery. 1963.
Rosenberg, Alfred (1893–1946). German writer and politician, born in Estonia. Of mixed German, Russian and Estonian descent, he studied architecture in Moscow, joined the Nazi Party (1920) and edited its daily newspaper Völkischer Beobachter (from 1921). He tried to create a new ideology, compounded of anti-Semitism, Nordic mythology and mysticism, and his unreadable book The Myth of the 20th Century (1930) promoted the theory of Aryan racial superiority. Even his fellow Nazis regarded him as a crank. Minister for Occupied Territories in the East 1941–44, he was hanged at Nuremberg.
Rosenberg, Julius (1918–1953). American Communist. An electrical engineer, Rosenberg, with his wife Ethel, née Greenglass (1916–1953), was convicted in 1951 on a charge of ‘conspiracy to commit espionage in wartime’ for passing, in early 1945, technical details of detonation devices in US atomic weapons to the USSR (then an ally). The trial was conducted in an atmosphere of Cold War hysteria and they were both convicted and electrocuted. Freedom of Information disclosures indicate there was a reasonable case against Julius (although the penalty is now thought grossly excessive) but the case against Ethel was threadbare, relying entirely on allegations by her brother, David Greenglass, who turned ‘states’ evidence’.
Ross, Harold (Wallace) (1892–1951). American editor. Co-founder of The New Yorker (1925), which he edited until his death, the magazine had a major impact on writing and cartooning. Ross promoted the work of *Thurber, *Arno, *Addams, *Steinberg, *Perelman, *White, *De Vries, Edmund *Wilson, Dorothy *Parker and many others.
Ross, Sir James Clark (1800–1862). British polar explorer. He was the nephew of the Arctic explorer Sir John Ross (1777–1856), under whose command he discovered (1829) the north magnetic pole. While leading a scientific expedition (1839–43) to the Antarctic for the British Government he discovered Mounts Erebus and Terror (named after his two ships) and the Ross Ice Shelf. He was knighted on his return. His last polar expedition (1848–49) searched for Sir John *Franklin.
Dodge, E S., The Polar Rosses. 1973.
Ross, Sir Ronald (1857–1932). British bacteriologist, born in India. After qualifying as doctor (1881) he served in the Indian Medical Service until 1889. During this time he studied the causes of malaria and concluded that it was transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito. This discovery won him the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1902) and a KCB in 1911. As professor of tropical medicine at Liverpool University 1902–12 he carried his studies further in many expeditions to the tropics. He went to King’s College Hospital, London, as physician for tropical diseases (1912) and became (1926) Director of the Ross Institute, founded at London University in his honour. He wrote Memoirs (1923).
Rossellini, Roberto (1906–1977). Italian film director. Son of an architect, he made propagandist films during World War II, then became a leader of the neo-realist school. His Open City (1945) was the first internationally recognised European film after the war, followed by Paisan (1946), Ways of Love (1948) and Stromboli (1949). His affair with Ingrid *Bergman led to an unofficial boycott of their films and his career never recovered, although he continued to be a prolific producer, screenplay writer and operatic director.
Rossetti, Christina Georgina (1830–1894). English poet. Of Italian extraction, sister of Dante Gabriel *Rossetti, her first published verse appeared in 1847. She continued to write poems that showed an exceptional sense of beauty combined with strong religious instincts. The best known collections are Goblin Market (1862) and The Prince’s Progress (1866).
Packer L. M., Christina Rossetti. 1963.
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel (1828–1882). English painter and poet, born in London. Son of Gabriel Rossetti (1783–1854), a political refugee from Naples. He studied art at the Royal Academy School with Ford Madox *Brown, an important influence, and Holman *Hunt. He and *Millais discussed their aim of returning to the principles of pre-Renaissance painting by imposing upon themselves the disciplines of a noble subject, truth to nature and meticulous detail. The result was the formation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848, the year after Rossetti had written his best known poem The Blessed Damozel. The paintings produced (among which was Rossetti’s Ecce Ancilla Domini, now in the National Gallery, London) were received with such abuse that he was discouraged and after 1850 produced no important oil painting for 10 years. In 1860 he painted an altarpiece for Llandaff Cathedral, followed by portraits and pictures in a highly individual imaginative style, with jewelled colouring and of a dreamlike character. The first of the new style portraits was an ethereal, idealised representation of his dead wife, Elizabeth Siddal. Only two years after their marriage (1860) she had died from an overdose of laudanum. In despair he buried his poems with her and only in 1870 were they retrieved and published, but attacked for belonging to the ‘fleshly school of poetry’. His Ballads and Sonnets appeared in 1881. Meanwhile he had continued to paint. His most frequent model was the beautiful wife of William *Morris, with whose ventures in the applied arts Rossetti was closely connected. Of his other pictures the large Dante’s Dream (1870) and The Blessed Damozel (1875–76) are among the best known. Partial paralysis marked the onset of his final illness.
Grylls R., Portrait of Rossetti. 1965.
Rossini, Gioachino Antonio (1792–1868). Italian composer, born at Pesaro. He studied at Bologna, but claimed that he had been more influenced by the music of *Haydn and *Mozart than by his teachers. At 14, he was already working in local theatres, and by the age of 21 he had composed a dozen operas including L’Italiana in Algeri (1813). In all he wrote nearly 40 operas, serious and comic. Most of the latter enjoyed outstanding contemporary success for their vivacity, humour and boisterous spirits. The best known include The Barber of Seville (1816), based on *Beaumarchais—probably his best and certainly his most popular work—La Cenerentola (1817), and Le Comte Ory, which were triumphantly acclaimed in Vienna, Paris and London. His last opera William Tell (1829), based on *Schiller, was premiered in Paris. Suddenly, at the age of 37, he abandoned opera composition and apart from a Mass (1864) his only subsequent major work was his Stabat Mater (1832–41). There were also a few songs and piano pieces, some orchestrated by *Respighi for the ballet La Boutique fantasque and by Benjamin *Britten for Soirées musicales.
Weinstock, H., Rossini. 1968.
Rostand, Edmond (1868–1918). French dramatist and poet, born in Marseille. An early volume of verse, Les Musardises (1890), was followed by a series of light poetic plays, Les Romanesques (1894), La Princesse Lointaine (1896) and La Samaritaine (1897). Fame came with the play Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), based on the life of a 17th-century soldier and poet disfigured by his grotesque nose. This was followed by L’Aiglon (1900) about the life of the son of *Napoléon and Marie Louise at the Austrian court: Sarah *Bernhardt played the young prince. Chantecler, a farmyard fantasy in which Lucien *Guitry appeared (1910), proved disappointing. Rostand was elected to the Académie française in 1901.
Rostovtzeff, Michael Ivanovich (1870–1952). Russian historian. He was a professor at St Petersburg (Leningrad) from 1898 but after the Revolution went to the US, where he was professor of ancient history at Wisconsin 1920–25 and Yale 1925–44. His best known work The Social and Economic History of the Roman World (3 volumes, 1941), is important in being the first application of archaeological research to expand and illuminate ancient history.
Rostropovich, Mstislav Leopoldovich (1927–2007). Russian cellist, pianist and conductor. He made his debut in 1942, became a professor of the Moscow Conservatoire in 1957 and gained an international reputation as a solo cellist. Many works were written for him by *Shostakovich, *Prokoviev, *Britten and other composers. In 1955 he married the soprano Galina (Pavlovna) Vishnevskaya (1926–2012). He left the USSR in 1974, became Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington 1977–94 and received a KBE and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1987. He was an outstanding campaigner for human rights.
Rotblat, Sir Joseph (1909–2005). British physicist, born in Poland. He worked on the ‘Manhattan Project’ which built the first atomic bombs. He was co-founder (1957) of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and shared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize with the organisation.
Roth, (Moses) Joseph (1894–1939). Austrian-Jewish novelist and journalist, born in Galicia. His essays The Wandering Jew (1927) and the novel Radetzky March (1932) were eerily prophetic of the Holocaust.
Roth, Philip (Milton) (1933–2018). American novelist, born in Newark, New Jersey. His books include Goodbye Columbus (1959), Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), Sabbath’s Theatre (1995), American Pastoral (1997) and The Plot Against America (2004). He won the Pulitzer Prize 1997, the Man Booker International Prize 2011 and four PEN Awards for lifetime achievement.
Rothenstein, Sir William (1872–1945). English artist. A friend of *Whistler, he studied in London and Paris and joined the New English Art Club (1894). An official war artist in World War I, he made many fine portrait drawings. As principal of the Royal College of Art 1920–35 he exercised a conservative influence on a generation of artists. He wrote Men and Memoirs (1932). His son Sir John (Knewstub Maurice) Rothenstein (1901–1992), was a critic who wrote studies of *Manet and *Turner, and was Director of the Tate Gallery, London 1938–64. Conservative in his acquisitions, he rejected major European and US contemporary works. He wrote an aggressive three-volume autobiography (1965, 1966, 1970).
Rothermere, Harold Sidney Harmsworth, 1st Viscount (1868–1940). English newspaper proprietor. He worked closely with his brother, Lord *Northcliffe, in many enterprises, providing the business acumen to match the other’s journalistic flair. He bought the Daily Mirror (1914) and founded (1915) the Sunday Pictorial. He took over Northcliffe’s business interests on his death and in turn handed them on to his son. As Air Minister 1917–18 he helped to create the RAF from the Flying Corps and the Naval Air Service and was made a viscount (1919). His newspapers were consistently pro-German 1933–39.
Rothko, Mark (originally Markus Yakovlevich Rothkovitch) (1903–1970). American painter, born in Latvia. His Russian-Jewish family migrated to the US in 1913. He grew up in Oregon and later studied painting in New York. After 1948 he became a leading figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement and his huge, brooding canvasses rely on the use of colour alone for their emotional impact. He is strongly represented in major US galleries and at the Tate in London. He committed suicide and the 658 paintings left in his estate were the subject of bitter litigation between his heirs and his agents. His Orange, Red and Yellow (1961) sold at auction for $US87 million in 2012.
Waldman, D., Mark Rothko. 1978; Breslin, J. E. B., Mark Rothko: A Biography. 1993.
Rothschild, Mayer Amschel (1743–1812). German banker. During the Revolutionary and Napoléonic Wars he ensured the family fortunes (whatever the outcome of the wars) by sending his sons to operate in different European capitals. The eldest stayed with his father at Frankfurt-on-Main and the others went to London, Paris, Vienna and Naples. Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777–1836), the London representative, made more than £1 million by arranging to receive speedy news of the result of the Battle of Waterloo and being able to speculate on the basis of knowledge. His son Lionel Nathan de Rothschild (1808–1879) was, from 1847, repeatedly elected MP for the city of London, but took his seat only when the act removing Jewish disabilities was passed (1858). He arranged the £4 million that enabled *Disraeli to secure for the British Government a controlling interest in the Suez Canal (1875), and was the model for Sidonia in *Disraeli’s Coningsby. His son, Nathan Mayer Rothschild, 1st Baron Rothschild (1840–1915), Liberal MP 1865–85 and raised to the peerage in 1885, was the first Jew to sit in the House of Lords. His grandson, (Nathaniel Mayer) Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild (1910–1990), educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, became a zoologist, succeeded his uncle in the peerage in 1937, joined MI5 and worked in disinformation and espionage. Despite allegations that he was a KGB agent (‘The Fifth Man’), essentially based on his friendship with Guy *Burgess and Anthony *Blunt, his denials were plausible, and—although a Labour peer—he was trusted by Edward *Heath and, to a degree, Margaret *Thatcher. His sister, Dame Miriam Louisa Rothschild (1908–2005), educated at home, was a code-breaker in World War II and conducted research into fleas, butterflies and schizophrenia. His son, (Nathaniel Charles) Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild (1936– ), was a banker, philanthropist and arts administrator, deeply involved in archaeological conservation. He was awarded the OM in 2002. The 4th Baron’s sister, Emma Georgina Rothschild (1948– ), was an economic historian, Professor of History at Harvard and wife of Amartya *Sen.
Morton, F., The Rothschilds. 1962.
Rouault, Georges Henri (1871–1958). French painter, born in Paris. He first trained as a glass painter, which influenced his use of broad black outlines, enhancing the luminous colours in his pictures. His earliest paintings were of religious subjects in the manner of his teacher Gustave *Moreau. Later, as his constitutional pessimism deepened, he painted in passionate and horrified protest scenes in brothels or other places where human misery abounds. In his later work, the horror changes to pity, he returns to religious themes, but they are painted with the same passion and reveal the same distortions as his pictures of everyday life. These distortions are a reminder of his link with the group known as the ‘Fauves’, but though he joined them he was never truly of them: the conventions they used for decoration he used for emphasis; he was in fact an isolated figure in the world of art. His pessimism is seen also in his etchings, e.g. Miserere and Guerre (reminiscent of *Goya).
Courthion, P., Georges Rouault. 1962.
Roubiliac, Louis François (c.1695–1762). French sculptor. Trained in France, he lived in England as a Huguenot refugee from 1727. His works include impressive sculptures of *Shakespeare and *Newton. His reputation was established by a statue of *Händel made (1737) for Vauxhall Gardens. Strong modelling and subtle characterisation, in the style of *Bernini, distinguish his works. His powerful tomb of Lady Elizabeth Nightingale (1761) is in Westminster Abbey.
Whinney, M. D., Sculpture in Britain, 1530–1830. 1970.
Rouget de Lisle, Claude Joseph (1760–1836). French author and composer. He wrote La Marseillaise (1792), the French national anthem, while an engineer officer in the Revolutionary army. It was adopted as a marching song by a Marseilles battalion bound for Paris and its stirring words and music soon gave it national fame.
Rouhani, Hassan (originally Fereydun) (1948– ). Iranian cleric and politician. He secured a PhD in Glasgow and had a diverse career as lawyer, cleric, diplomat and administrator, serving in the Majlis (parliament) 1980–2000 and on the Supreme National Security Council 1989–2005. Regarded as a moderate, he was elected as President of Iran 2013– , winning a second term in 2017.
Rous, Francis Peyton (1879–1970). American physician. Educated at Johns Hopkins University, he worked at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research from 1909 and in 1911 identified the first tumour virus, known as the ‘Rous chicken sarcoma virus’. In 1966 he shared the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on the chicken virus. At 87 he was the oldest recipient of the award and the gap between research and recognition (55 years) is a record.
Rousseau, Henri (known as ‘le Douanier’) (1844–1910). French painter. His nickname derives from his position as a customs officer 1871–85. At the age of 41 he went to Paris to devote his time to painting. He was a naive and natural painter belonging to none of the contemporary groups, but he was able to transfer to canvas with a wonderful child-like assurance the pictures that his vision saw, his memory recalled or his rich imagination conceived. It was as natural to him to paint streets, landscapes, neighbours as the mysterious jungles where tigers prowl. Animals and birds, human beings, he paints them all as they pass before his inner or outer vision, the colour schemes seeming the more original because they are seldom schemed at all. *Gauguin, *Seurat, *Signac and *Pissarro were among his friends and in 1908 *Picasso gave a memorable banquet in his honour.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques (1712–1778). Swiss-French writer and political philosopher, born in Geneva. His father, a watchmaker, abandoned him to relatives. He was apprenticed to an engraver but ran away from his harsh treatment, crossed the frontier into Savoy and found a refuge, half-servant, half-lover, with Madame Françoise-Louise de Warens, a woman of generous affections. In the years of vagrancy that followed he would always be welcomed back to her home and in the domestic interludes found time to study music, literature, and philosophy. In 1744 he was settled in Paris making a living by copying music and writing comedies, and having as mistress a kitchenmaid named Thérèse Levasseur with whom he lived for 25 years. Each of the five children she bore him he deposited on the steps of a foundling hospital, an inconsistency between principle and practice of which he became increasingly ashamed. Meanwhile his opera Les Muses galantes (1747) had led to a correspondence with *Voltaire and an acquaintance with *Diderot, for whose great Encyclopédie he wrote articles on music and political economy. His winning (1749) of a prize for an essay in which he argued that the arts and sciences merely corrupted the natural goodness of man may have encouraged him to develop the theme of the ‘noble savage’ which pervades much of his work. His political thoughts spring from the same romantic origins. In their natural state men are free, equal and good; it is institutions that have made them otherwise. His Discours sur l’origine de l’inegalite parmi les hommes (1755) explains how this came about. Even more influential was his Du contrat social (1762). The famous opening words, ‘Man is born free, but everywhere is in chains’, show the same romantic starting-point, the problem of political association being to enable the noble impulses of free man to find collective expression. Much of the book relates to the way in which there can emerge in a community a ‘general will’ in which the individual wills of each participant will find identification. Sovereignty lies with the people as a whole and is the exercise of the general will. There is an implied contract that each individual hands over all his personal rights to the community on the understanding that the precepts of the general will are observed. Sophistries abound in the book. It provides an intellectual preparation for the French Revolution, but has equally provided texts in support of the state despotisms of our own times. In Émile (1762) Rousseau uses the form of a novel to give views on education that resemble those described as ‘modern’ today: education should release and not inhibit natural tendencies; a child’s natural curiosity should provide the incentive to learn; experience rather than book-learning is the key to knowledge. However, by ‘child’ he meant ‘boy’ and could see little point in educating girls for a life outside domesticity. In a lighter vein La Nouvelle Héloïse (1761), a novel in the form of letters, again takes up the theme of ‘return to nature’ in the context of sex and the family. After his death were published his Confessions (1781), where vanity and candour often compete. There are to be found episodes of his childhood and early manhood, his inner reveries and descriptions of the beauties of nature, and though there are many lapses of judgement and taste in this book, it contains, with its supplementary volume, Réveries d’un promeneur solitaire (1762), some of the most exquisite passages of French literature. Since Emile had provoked a threat of arrest, Rousseau went to Switzerland and then, on David *Hume’s invitation, to England. Signs of delusional insanity began to appear here. (He imagined Hume was plotting against him.) He returned to France (1770) still suffering at times from insanity and died eventually of a heart attack. In 1794 his remains were buried in the Panthéon near those of Voltaire.
Guehenno, J., Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 1966.
Rousseau, Théodore (1812–1867). French landscape painter. He painted in the Auvergne and Normandy before he became a leading figure of the Barbizon school, called after a village in the forest of Fontainebleau (*Millet). Groupings of trees, marshy patches, all the quiet details of an unspoilt countryside are the subjects in which he takes unwearying delight.
Rousseff, Dilma Vana (1947– ). Brazilian economist and politician, born in Belo Horizonte. Of Bulgarian parentage, she became an economist and worked closely with Luis *Lula de Silva, becoming his Minister for Mines and Energy 2003–05 and Chief of Staff 2005–10. She was the first woman (and the first economist) to be president of Brazil 2011–16. In 2015, charged with budgetary offences, she was impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office in August 2016 in a highly partisan vote by the Senate.
Roussel, Albert (1869–1937). French composer. Originally a naval officer, he devoted himself to music from 1893, studying (1898–1907) under Vincent D’*Indy in Paris at the Schola Cantorum, where he was also professor of counterpoint 1902–14. From 1918 he was forced by ill health to live in the country. His orchestral works include four symphonies and the ballets Le Festin de l’Araignee (The Spider’s Banquet, 1912) and Bacchus and Ariadne (1930). He also wrote piano and chamber music. His sturdily individual style blends French influence with that of *Stravinsky.
Rowe, Nicholas (1674–1718). English poet and dramatist. Among the best known of his plays were Tamerlane (1702), The Fair Penitent (1703) and Jane Shore (1714), the last two of which provided excellent parts for Mrs *Siddons. He also published a translation (highly praised by Dr *Johnson) of Lucan’s Pharsalia. His edition of *Shakespeare (1709) divided the plays into acts and scenes. He became poet laureate in 1715.
Rowe, N., Dramatic Works. 1971.
Rowland, Henry Augustus (1848–1901). American physicist. Professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University 1867–1901, he developed methods of producing better and larger diffraction gratings, and made (1882) the first concave grating. The Rowland circle, a circle having the radius of curvature of a diffraction grating, is named after him. He improved on the determinations of the mechanical equivalent of heat made by *Joule. He also investigated electro-magnetic effects and made an accurate determination of the value of the ohm.
Rowland, (Frank) Sherwood (1927–2012). American chemist. Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Irvine 1964–92, he shared the 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Paul *Crutzen and Mario Molina for their work in investigating and explaining depletion of the ozone layer by the use of chlorofluorocarbons, leading to the adoption of the Montréal Protocol (1989).
Rowlandson, Thomas (1756–1827). English draughtsman and caricaturist. Extravagant tastes, love of travel and a zest for life, combined with a determination to pay his way to make him one of the most industrious and prolific of artists. Wherever he went, he drew. He is best known for his book illustrations (e.g. A Sentimental Journey, by *Sterne, and Baron Münchausen’sTravels) and political cartoons and caricatures, the quality of which he and his contemporary *Gillray raised almost to the level of a new art.
George, D. M., Hogarth to Cruikshank. 1967.
Rowling, J(oanne) K(athleen) (1965– ). English novelist, born near Bristol. Educated at Exeter University, she worked for Amnesty International, then taught in Portugal. Her series of seven novels about Harry Potter began with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997). After rejection by 12 publishers, her Harry Potter books sold 500 million copies. She received a CH in 2017.
Rowling, Sir Wallace Edward [Bill] (1927–1995). New Zealand Labour politician. A teacher and army officer, he was a Labour MP 1962–84, Prime Minister 1974–75 and Ambassador to the US 1985–88.
Rowntree, Joseph (1801–1859). English Quaker philanthropist and chocolate manufacturer. He founded the firm at York that still bears his name and helped to found the Friends’ Education Society (1837) as well as schools in York and elsewhere. His grandson (Benjamin) Seebohm Rowntree (1871–1954), also combined his duties as head of the family firm with social work. His Poverty (1901) and Poverty and Progress (1941) resulted from social surveys in York, which set a pattern for later surveys and led to the foundation of the Industrial Welfare Society and similar organisations, in which he was active.
Brigg, A., Seebohm Rowntree. 1961.
Rowse, A(lfred) L(eslie) (1903–1997). English historian, novelist, poet and critic, born in Cornwall. Proud of his working class origins, he was educated at Oxford, taught there but retired to Cornwall in 1952. He made many enemies, published 105 books, including works on *Shakespeare, *Marlowe, *Swift and the *Churchills, and received a CH in 1996.
Cauveren, S., A. L. Rowse: A Bibliophile’s Extensive Bibliography. 2000.
Royal, (Marie-) Ségolène (1953– ). French Socialist politician, born in Dakar. Educated at the ENA, she was a deputy in the National Assembly 1988–92, 1993–97, 2002–2012, Minister for the Environment 1992–93 and Vice Minister for Family and Childhood 2000–02. She adopted Blairite ‘third way’ policies, won the Socialist nomination for President of France, losing to Nicolas *Sarkōzy in 2007. She was the partner of François *Hollande from 1970 to 2007, had four children by him and served as his Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy 2014–17.
Royce, Sir Frederick Henry, 1st Baronet (1863–1933). British engineer. He was founder (with C. S. *Rolls), and for many years engineer-in-chief of the firm of Rolls Royce at Derby.
Bennet, M., Rolls Royce Story. 1974.
Rubbia, Carlo (1934– ). Italian physicist. Educated at Rome and Columbia universities, he was a research physicist at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN), Geneva from 1960, professor of physics at Harvard 1972–88, and Director of CERN 1989–93. He shared the 1984 Nobel Prize for Physics with Simon van der Meer (1925–2011), also at CERN, for their work in demonstrating the existence of massive short-lived particles called bosons.
Rubbra, Edmund Duncan (1901–1986). English composer. Pupil of *Vaughan Williams and *Holst, his compositions include 11 symphonies, a Sinfonia Concertante for piano and orchestra, piano and viola concertos, choral works (including unaccompanied settings of the Mass) and chamber music. He became a lecturer at Oxford University 1947–68. Influenced by the polyphonic composers of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and in the main unaffected by modern trends, his music is reflective in manner.
Rubens, [Sir] Peter Paul (1577–1640). Flemish painter, born in Westphalia. His father, a burgomaster of Antwerp, was exiled during the religious wars. Rubens returned with his mother (1587) after his father’s death, was trained as a court page and was taught art in local studios. Art never consumed Rubens’ full talents. He studied antiquity, absorbed the classics, learnt six languages and became an accomplished diplomat. In 1600 he went to Italy as court painter to the Duke of Mantua and in frequent travels had the opportunity of studying the works of the great Renaissance masters, especially *Titian and *Tintoretto. He absorbed with a natural eclecticism the features of each necessary for the maturing of his own style, which, as he gradually shed the effects of his early Manneristic training, displayed the full exuberance of the Baroque. In 1608 he returned to Antwerp where he became court painter to the Spanish regents. From his studios came a continuous flow of religious pictures, battle pieces and mythological subjects, portraits both singly and in groups. In the first category the Descent of the Cross can be contrasted with the Raising of the Cross (1610, both in Antwerp Cathedral), the latter (and earlier) showing a much greater sense of strain; in the second category, the Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus is well known, and the first Bacchanales, the nudes revelling in their unrestrained sensuality, bear witness to the intoxicating joy of life. Among the portraits, one of the artist himself with his first wife Isabella Brant (d 1626) is of special interest. By 1621, the year in which he depicted for *Marie de Médicis, the French Queen, episodes of her life in a magnificent allegorical sequence, Rubens had reached full maturity. Movement is freer, composition and colour more dramatic, draughtsmanship (e.g. his daring foreshortenings), confident and secure. His masterpiece was probably Fall of the Rebel Angels (c.1621), now in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich.
The death of his first wife left him freer to undertake confidential missions for which he was well equipped by his artistic and diplomatic talents. Thus he negotiated and painted in France (1620–28), in Spain (1628) and in England (1629–30) with *Charles I, to whom he presented Allegory of the Blessings of Peace, and for whom he designed the ceiling panels for the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall and received a knighthood. Whenever he was at home the outflow of his pictures continued. For this purpose he maintained an elaborate organisation of assistants, of whom *Van Dyck was among the chief, others being employed for painting, e.g., fruit and flowers (Jan *Brueghel) or animals. Rubens abandoned court life in 1633 and retired to his estate at Steen with his young second wife Helena Fourment whom he had married in 1630 and who appears in the nude as Andromeda and in several fine portraits, e.g. The Fur Coat. His subjects are little changed but outlines are softer, shadows less opaque and the colours more delicate, often with a silvery tone. Some of his most famous pictures belong to this period, e.g. The Rape of the Sabines (1635), The Judgement of Paris (1638–40) and the ‘martyrdoms’ (1635–40) e.g. Crucifixion of St Peter. Rubens ranks among the greatest of the world’s artists not only because of the brilliance of his painting techniques, his superb draughtsmanship, inventiveness and observation, but also because his buoyant satisfaction with his life, his success, and his art communicates itself through his work.
Wedgwood, C. V., The World of Rubens, 1577–1640. 1967.
Rubinstein, Anton Grigoryevich (1829–1894). Russian composer and pianist. First director of the St Petersburg Conservatorium 1862–67, 1887–91, he toured Europe and the US, as a pianist, but his many compositions, including operas, symphonies, cantatas, and chamber and piano music are now infrequently performed. His brother Nikolai Grigoryevich Rubinstein (1835–1881) was an outstanding pianist, conductor and—to a lesser degree—composer.
Rubinstein, Arthur (1887–1982). Polish-American pianist, born in Łódz, then part of Russia. He first played in public at four, studied in Warsaw, made his debut in Berlin under *Joachim (1900), followed by New York (1906) and London (1912). After early success as a virtuoso, he gained a more serious reputation after 1937 as an interpreter of *Chopin, *Mozart, *Beethoven and *Ravel. A prolific recording artist, he toured incessantly for more than 60 years, appeared frequently on film and television, wrote a lively autobiography and was a witty raconteur. He received an honorary KBE and the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Rublev, Andrei (c.1365–c.1429). Russian icon painter. Trained in the Byzantine tradition, he painted in Zagorsk and Moscow and became a monk. The biographical film Andrei Rublev (1966), directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, was released in 1971 in a censored form.
Rudd, Kevin Michael (1957– ). Australian Labor politician, born in Queensland. Educated at the Australian National University, he became a diplomat, serving in Sweden and China (and achieving mastery in Mandarin), was head of the Queensland Cabinet office 1991–95, and a Federal MP 1998–2013. Shadow Foreign Minister 2001–06, he was Leader of the Opposition 2006–07, and Prime Minister 2007–10, defeating John *Howard. He made powerful enemies in the ALP factions, compounded by concentrating power in his own office. Following polling which suggested a sharp fall in the party’s primary vote, he was removed from the leadership in a coup (June 2010) and replaced by Julia *Gillard. He was Foreign Minister 2010–12, resigning after having been provoked into making a failed bid for the leadership. After polls put the ALP’s primary vote at 29 per cent, Rudd contested the leadership, defeated Gillard in Caucus and was Prime Minister again June–September 2013, then suffered a heavy election loss to Tony *Abbott. He relocated to New York, became a consultant and sought election as Secretary-General of the United Nations in 2016.
Weller, P., Kevin Rudd: Twice Prime Minister. 2014; Rudd, K. M., Not for the Faint-hearted. 2017; The PM Years. 2018.
Rudolf (Franz Karl Joseph) (1858–1889). Austrian Archduke, born near Vienna. The only son and heir of Kaiser *Franz Joseph, he married (1881) Stéphanie, daughter of *Leopold II, King of the Belgians. Regarded as a moderate liberal, he was interested in science and received a KG in 1887. In January 1889 the bodies of Rudolf and his lover, Baroness Marie (but known as ‘Mary’) von Vetsera (1871–1889), were found at his hunting lodge at Mayerling. Both had been shot. Suicide due to an ‘unbalanced mind’ was announced and murder can be presumed, but since all state records were destroyed the details remain obscure. The Mayerling story has been the subject of films, plays, musicals and a ballet.
Rudolf II (1552–1612). Holy Roman Emperor 1576–1612. One of the most ineffective rulers of the Habsburg dynasty, after a half-hearted attempt to stiffen the laws against Protestants he ceased to play an active part in government and withdrew into his palace at Prague where he practised astrology, alchemy and, so it was said, demonology. His interest in more normal science was shown when, on Tycho *Brahe’s departure from Denmark (1597), he gave him a pension and established him, with *Kepler as his assistant, in an observatory near Prague. In 1608 the Habsburg archdukes transferred their allegiance from Rudolf to his brother Matthias to whom the emperor ceded Hungary, Austria and Moravia. Rudolf retained only Bohemia, but this too had to be yielded in 1611.
Rumford, Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count [Graf] von (1753–1814). Anglo-American scientist and administrator, born at Woburn, Mass. From 1770 he was a schoolmaster in Rumford, New Hampshire. His Anglophile views in the events that led to American independence caused him to go to England where he worked for the Colonial Office. His experiments with gunpowder won him election as FRS. He returned to America (1782) as a British officer, but the coming of peace (1783) brought him back to England and he was knighted. The next phase of his career, resulting from a friendship with the Elector Karl Theodor, was in Bavaria where, as Minister of War and Police and also Grand Chamberlain, he introduced army education, drained marshes, established workshops, and provided relief for the unemployed. In 1791 he was made a count of the Holy Roman Empire, choosing his title from his former American home. He received the Copley Medal in 1792. He finally left Bavaria in 1799, eventually settled in France, married *Lavoisier’s widow in 1804 (but separated three years later) and died in Paris. Meanwhile, he had endowed Rumford medals for English and American scientists, had conducted researches and had written a paper (1798) for the Royal Society concerning the causes of heat, his conclusion being that heat was not a substance but a form of motion. He invented more efficient fireplaces, furnaces, ovens, gates and chimneys, which were immediately adopted and made him rich.
Larsen, E., An American in Europe. 1953.
Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī) (1207–1273). Persian poet and mystic, born in Balkhi, Afghanistan. A Sufi, he lived at Rum (now Konya, in Turkey), wrote Mathnawi, a poetic account of Sufism, and was virtual founder of the ‘whirling dervishes’.
Rumsfeld, Donald Henry (1932– ). American administrator and Republican politician, born in Illinois. Educated at Princeton, he served in the US Congress 1963–69 and became Ambassador to NATO 1973–74 and White House Chief of Staff 1974–75. He worked as a CEO in the pharmaceutical and electronics industries and had two terms as Secretary of Defense, 1975–77 and 2001–06. His interests included wrestling and poetry.
Runcie, Robert Alexander Kennedy, Baron Runcie (1921–2000). English prelate. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, he served in World War II, and was Bishop of St Albans 1973–80 and Archbishop of Canterbury 1980–91.
Runciman, Garry (Walter Garrison), 3rd Viscount Runciman of Doxford (1934– ). English historical sociologist. He had an active life as ship owner and company director but as a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge 1959–63, 1971– , was a productive and original sociologist and expert on Max *Weber. He chaired the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice 1991–93 and was President of the British Academy 2001–05. His books include Great Books, Bad Arguments: Republic, Leviathan, and The Communist Manifesto (2010). His son, David Walter Runciman (1967– ), a professor of political theory at Cambridge, wrote The Politics of Good Intentions (2006), Political Hypocrisy (2008), and The Confidence Trap (2013).
Runciman, Sir Steven (James Cochrane Stevenson) (1903–2000). English historian. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, his books include The First Crusade (1951), The Sicilian Vespers (1958) and The Fall of Constantinople 1453 (1965). He received a CH in 1984. The sociologist Garry *Runciman was a nephew.
Dinshaw, M., Outlandish Knight. 2016.
Rundstedt, (Karl Rudolf) Gerd von (1875–1953). German field marshal. Born into an old Junker family, he fought in France, Russia and Turkey in World War I but, despite his seniority, he was passed over in favour of *Brauchitsch for chief command in World War II. He proved himself one of the greatest German generals. He commanded an army group in Poland (1939), he directed the drive across the Meuse (1940), which reached the Channel ports, he was in charge of the great sweep through southern Russia (1941). The massacre of Jews at Babi Yar (September 1941) took place under his command, but he denied direct responsibility. In 1942, he was transferred to the West to prepare for, and resist (1944), the Allied attack. Briefly supplanted by von *Kluge owing to strategical disputes, on his return he staged the last spectacular counter-attack in the Ardennes. Held prisoner in England for a time after the war, ill and old, he was never sent for trial to Nuremberg.
Runeberg, Johan Ludvig (1804–1877). Finnish poet. His works, written (as was then customary) in Swedish, include the long narrative poems The Elk-hunters (1832) and The Tales of Ensign Stal (1848), an old soldier’s memories of the war with Russia of 1808, the opening poem of which has become Finland’s national anthem. King Fjaler (1844) is a romance cycle of the Viking period. Many of Runeberg’s ballads and lyrics were set to music by *Sibelius.
Runyon, Damon (1884–1946). American writer. Originally a sports writer, he gains fame by his stories and sketches of New York characters written in the present tense in a racy, continuously flowing style which gives an exciting immediacy. Among his characters are Harry the Horse, Ambrose Hammer, Little Dutch, Ropes McGonagle and many more. His tales make successful films, e.g. Guys and Dolls (1931), and Little Miss Marker (1934) starring Shirley *Temple.
Rupert of the Rhine, Prince (Ruprecht von Wittelsbach), 1st Duke of Cumberland (1619–1682). Anglo-German general and admiral, courtier and inventor, born in Prague. Son of the elector Palatine *Frederick (Friedrich) V, and of Elizabeth, daughter of *James I of Great Britain, after fighting in the Thirty Years’ War he went to England (1642) to support his uncle *Charles I. His brilliance as a cavalry officer won many successes in the early part of the conflict, though his reckless impetuosity sometimes led him to continue the pursuit instead of returning to consolidate victory. Criticism of his surrender of Bristol (1645) caused him to demand a court martial, which acquitted him. Convinced that the Royalist cause was lost, he urged Charles to negotiate with Parliament. After Charles’ defeat and imprisonment, he continued the Civil War as a privateer in the Caribbean, explored Gambia and invested in the slave trade. He lived in France for a decade. He returned to England after the Restoration and served as an admiral in the Dutch Wars. He was Lord High Admiral 1668–82. His military exploits were supplemented by his achievements as artist, scientist and inventor. He was active in the formation of the Royal Society in 1662 and introduced (but probably did not invent) the mezzotint process. In 1668 he spent the winter in the Arctic, and he helped to found the Hudson’s Bay Company (1670).
Ashley, M., Rupert of the Rhine. 1976; Kitson, F., Prince Rupert. 1994.
Rurik (d.879). Russian ruler and dynastic founder. A Varangian (Scandinavian), he probably reached Novgorod in 962 and after his death his descendants formed principalities in Kiev, Moscow and elsewhere. Indeed, until the failure of the Muscovite line in 1598 with the death of Feodor I, usurpers all over Russia claimed to be of Rurik’s blood. Even in later times Rurik’s descendants were automatically styled ‘prince’.
Rush, Benjamin (1746–1813). American chemist and medical practitioner, born near Philadelphia. He studied medicine at the College of New Jersey, and at Edinburgh under William Cullen and Joseph *Black. He received an Edinburgh MD in 1769, then became professor of chemistry at the College of Philadelphia. In 1789 he moved to the chair of the Theory and Practice of Physick. His chemical thinking closely followed that of Black, but he was more original in his medical outlook. Whereas Cullen had explained most diseases in terms of the nervous system, Rush thought the arterial system more important. Thinking that most diseases originated from excessive tension in the arterial system, he became an enthusiastic exponent of reducing that pressure by heroic quantities of bleeding. Later in his life, his interest turned chiefly towards mental illness, having been placed in charge of the insane at Pennsylvania Hospital in 1787. His Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind (1812) is the first American work of psychiatry. Rush was an ardent supporter of American Independence, being a signatory of the Declaration. He was opposed to slavery and capital punishment, and a promoter of women’s education, being a founder of Dickinson College. He was an important teacher and one of the inspirational figures of American medicine.
Rush, Geoffrey Roy (1951– ). Australian actor and producer, born in Toowoomba. He gained international recognition as a film actor, winning the Academy Award for best actor in Shine (1996), an Emmy Award for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004) and a BAFTA Award for The King’s Speech (2010). He was Australian of the Year (2012) and foundation President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts.
Rushdie, Sir (Ahmed) Salman (1947– ). Indian-British writer. Born in Bombay to a Muslim family on the day of Indian independence, he was educated at Bombay, Rugby School and Cambridge and worked as an advertising copywriter and actor. His novels include Midnight’s Children, about the separation of India and Pakistan on the day of Rushdie’s birth, which won the 1981 Booker Prize, Shame (1983), The Satanic Verses (1988) and The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995). Publication of Satanic Verses led to international protests in the Islamic community and the pronouncing of a fatwah (excommunication and sentence of death) by Ayatollah *Khomeini, who had been satirised in the novel, alleging blasphemy as the justification. Bookshops carrying the book were also attacked and protest marches occurred as far away as China. Rushdie then went into hiding. He also wrote The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (1987), Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981–91 (1991) and books for children.
Rusk, (David) Dean (1909–1994). American administrator, born in Georgia. After a professorship at Mills College, California, and army service (1940–46), he was Deputy Undersecretary of State under *Truman 1946–52, President of the Rockefeller Foundation 1952–61 and Secretary of State under *Kennedy and *Johnson 1961–69. He took a leading role in negotiating for the nuclear test ban treaty (1963) but was a prominent ‘hawk’ during the Vietnam war.
Ruskin, John (1819–1900). English author and art critic, born in London. Son of a wealthy wine merchant, he was brought up in a cultured and religious family, but his mother’s over protectiveness undoubtedly contributed to his later psychological troubles. On his frequent trips in Europe, he took an artist’s and a poet’s delight both in landscape and in works of art, especially medieval and Renaissance. His first great work, Modern Painters (5 volumes, 1843–60), began as a passionate defence of *Turner’s pictures, but became a study of the principles of art. In The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849) and The Stones of Venice (1851) he similarly treated the fundamentals of architecture. These principles enabled him, incidentally, to appreciate and defend the Pre-Raphaelites, then the target of violent abuse. To Ruskin the relationship between art, morality and social justice was of paramount importance and he increasingly became preoccupied with social reform. His concern inspired, among others, William *Morris and Arnold *Toynbee. He founded the Working Men’s College (1854) and backed with money the experiments of Octavia *Hill in the management of house property. He advocated social reforms which later were adopted by all political parties: old age pensions, universal free education, better housing. Nevertheless, he described himself as a ‘violent Tory of the old school, of Walter *Scott—and *Homer’, working with Thomas *Carlyle to defend Edward John *Eyre against prosecution for murder after his violent suppression of a rebellion in Jamaica (1865).
Gothic was for Ruskin the expression of an integrated and spiritual civilisation; classicism represented paganism and corruption; the use of cast iron, and the increasing importance of function in architecture and engineering seemed to him a lamentable trend. He was Slade professor of art at Oxford 1870–79 and 1883–84. His later works, e.g. Sesame and Lilies (1865), The Crown of Wild Olives (1866) and Fors Clavigera (1871–84), contain the program of social reform in which he was so interested. Ruskin married (1848) Euphemia (Effie) Gray (the child for whom he had written The King of the Golden River) but in 1854, after six years of non-consummation, the marriage was annulled and Effie later married the painter John *Millais. Ruskin did not remarry, although on other occasions he fell in love with girls much younger than himself. His last disappointment over Rose la Touche contributed to a mental breakdown and his last years were spent in seclusion at Brantwood on Lake Coniston, where he wrote Praeterita, an unfinished account of his early life. Much of his wealth he devoted to the ‘Guild of St George’, which he founded, and other schemes of social welfare. Ruskin had (despite his sometimes violent views) profound influence on *Gandhi and *Proust.
Rosenberg, J. D., The Darkening Glass. 1961; Hilton, T., John Ruskin. 2002; Cooper, S. F., To See Clearly. Why Ruskin Matters. 2019; Hill, A. Ruskinland. How John Ruskin Shapes Our World. 2019.
Russell. Family name of the dukes of Bedford. The family fortunes were founded by John Russell (c.1486–1555), favourite of *Henry VIII, who created him Earl of Bedford and gave him Woburn Abbey and other Church lands. Drainage of the Bedford Level in the Fens was begun by Francis, the 4th Earl. William, the 5th Earl (1613–1700), who had helped to restore *Charles II, was created 1st Duke of Bedford (1694) by *William III. The names of the Bloomsbury squares (Russell, Bedford, Woburn) recall an enterprising piece of property development by the Russell family (*Russell, Bertrand; *Russell, Lord John; *Russell, Lord William).
Russell, Bertrand Arthur William, 3rd Earl Russell (1872–1970). English philosopher and mathematician, born in Wales. Son of the radical John Russell, Viscount Amberley (1842–1876) and grandson of Lord John *Russell, he studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge where he was a Fellow 1895–1921, 1944–70 and lecturer 1910–15, 1919–21, being elected FRS in 1908. Having also studied philosophy (his Philosophy of Leibniz appeared in 1900), he was particularly well equipped to write (in collaboration with Alfred North *Whitehead) Principia Mathematica (3 volumes, 1910–13), an attempt to show that the truths of mathematics are derivable from the basic truths of logic; this great work had immense influence. The appearance of Problems of Philosophy (1912) marked a gradual transference of interest to less purely abstract fields. He had already abandoned his early Hegelian idealism for a form of realism demanded by his faith in mathematical truth. He now offered a theory of knowledge which had at its centre not idealistic inferences from the unknown but logical constructions out of sense data and other ascertainable phenomena.
He was greatly influenced by Gottlob *Frege and his own student Ludwig *Wittgenstein. With the austerity of Russell’s academic thought is his exuberant championing of the unorthodox view in public life. A characteristic essay explained why he was not a Christian. He defended sexual freedom, and from a study of his own children established a progressive ‘school’. In World War I he was fined and imprisoned (1918–1919) for sedition. A visit to Russia disillusioned him about Communism and he wrote The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism (1920) and several popular books about philosophy, science and education. He succeeded his brother Frank as 3rd Earl in 1931, married four times and had many amours. After being sacked from a New York chair (1940) for his writings on sexuality, he gave lectures at the *Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pa. (1941–42) which became the basis of his popular A History of Western Philosophy (1945). He abandoned his pacifist views in World War II, but later became a notable supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and the Committee of 100. He was imprisoned again in August 1961. Among his many honours were the OM (1949) and the Nobel Prize for Literature (1950).
Russell, B., Autobiography. Vol 1. 1967, Vol. 2. 1968; Clarke, R. W., The Life of Bertrand Russell. 1975; Moorehead, C., Bertrand Russell, 1992; Monk, R., Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude. 1996; The Ghost of Madness. 2000.
Russell, Charles Taze (1852–1916). American preacher. Founder (1872) of the International Bible Students. In 1884 the movement was formed into the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the members of which became known (1931) as Jehovah’s Witnesses. They hold firm pacifist views and believe in the imminence of a second armageddon and a period of 1,000 years when sinners will be given a second chance to reform and repent.
Russell, George William (1867–1935). Irish writer. Better known under his pseudonyms AE, A E and A.E., he was closely linked with other leaders of the Irish literary renaissance, notably W. B. *Yeats, with whom he was associated in the creation (1904) of the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Russell’s drama Deirdre had been produced only two years before. Earlier he had joined Horace Plunkett’s Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS) designed to improve the conditions of poor farmers, and edited the Irish Statesman 1923–30. Among his prose works are Imaginations and Reveries (1915) and Song and its Fountains (1932); his poems are mostly mystical.
Russell, John, 1st Earl Russell (1792–1878). English Liberal politician, born in London. Third son of the 6th Duke of Bedford, educated at Westminster School and Edinburgh University (but leaving without a degree), as Lord John Russell he was MP 1813–17, 1818–61. The nickname ‘Finality Jack’ indicated his firm support for all measures of civil and religious liberty, in the tradition of Charles James *Fox. He was a member of Earl *Grey’s ministry which carried the Parliamentary Reform Act of 1832, which Russell had a principal part in framing. As Home Secretary 1835–39 in Lord *Melbourne’s second ministry he passed the Municipal Reform Act (1835) and the Titles Commutation Act (1836), but a moderate attempt to secure freer trade caused the defeat and fall of the government. To prove that he had the support of the financial community Russell stood for and was elected by the City of London, which he represented until 1861. When *Peel became Prime Minister, Lord John was Leader of the Opposition. He pronounced (1846) in favour of complete repeal of the Corn Laws. The government fell but Russell was unable to form a ministry. Peel returned and, having legislated repeal with Whig support, was immediately defeated and again resigned. Russell now became Prime Minister 1846–52 and proved his worth by coping with the Irish famine and the Chartist agitation, until friction with *Palmerston, his Foreign Secretary (whom he dismissed), broke up the ministry. Russell was Foreign Secretary 1852–53 in Lord *Aberdeen’s coalition but criticisms of the conduct of the Crimean War caused him to resign from Cabinet (1855). As British delegate to the Vienna Conference the compromise he tried to agree with Russia was rejected by Cabinet, and Russell was without office until, in 1859, he came to terms with Palmerston. As Foreign Secretary 1859–65 and Prime Minister 1865–66 he supported the unification of Italy under King *Vittorio Emanuele and maintained British neutrality in the American Civil War. He resigned after failing to secure the passage of a new Reform Bill.
Russell, Mary Annette Russell (née Beauchamp), Countess see Arnim, Elizabeth von
Russell, William, Lord Russell (1639–1683). English Whig politician. Son of the 5th Earl (later 1st Duke) of Bedford, he was a vigorous opponent of the court party, executed for alleged participation in the Rye House plot to assassinate *Charles II on his return from Newmarket. Of Russell’s ignorance of this conspiracy there is no doubt, but it is equally certain that he, Algernon *Sidney and the more violent Whigs were planning rebellion. Popular indignation aroused by the unmasking of the Rye House plotters spread to the others and enabled a charge of treason to be maintained.
Russell, Sir William Howard (1820–1907). Anglo-Irish journalist, born near Dublin. The first, and one of the greatest, war correspondents (a description he disliked), he began his career reporting the stormy politics of Ireland. In 1854, The Times sent him to the Crimea where his vivid descriptions of the great battles of Balaclava and Inkerman shocked readers with revelations of appalling sufferings caused to the troops by the failures of the supply and medical services, the latter leading to the dispatch of Florence *Nightingale. Later he reported the Indian Mutiny (and by his articles stayed indiscriminate punishments), the US Civil War (where he sympathised with the Union but made enemies with his critical reporting) and, finally, the Austro-Prussian, Franco-Prussian and Zulu wars. He founded (1860) the Army and Navy Gazette.
Russell, W. H., Despatches from the Crimea, 1854–1856 (ed. Bentley, N.). 1970.
Ruth, ‘Babe’ (George Herman) (1895–1948). American baseballer, born in Baltimore. The greatest player of the period 1914–35 (often called ‘the Sultan of Swat’), and a left-hander, he established many records, e.g. the most home runs secured in a season (60 in 1927). He played for the Baltimore Orioles (1914), the Boston Red Sox (1914–20) and the New York Yankees (1920–34). After retirement he coached the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Rutherford, Dame Margaret (1892–1972). English actor and comedian. Famous for portraying elderly eccentrics, she was originally a teacher of elocution, and made her stage debut in 1925. Her most famous roles were Madam Arcati in Blithe Spirit (1941) and Miss Whitechurch in The Happiest Days of Your Life (1948). Her film career included the character of Miss Marple in the filmed detective novels of Agatha *Christie. She was made DBE in 1967.
Rutherford, Ernest, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson (1871–1937). New Zealand physicist, born in Nelson. Educated at Canterbury College, Christchurch, he won an exhibition that took him to Cambridge where he worked with J. J. *Thomson on the long series of fundamental researches into radioactivity and the structure of the atom for which he became famous. His progress was marked by professorships of physics at McGill University, Montréal 1898–1907, Manchester 1907–19 and the Cavendish chair at Cambridge 1919–37. With *Soddy, he put forward (1903) the radioactive transformation theory, which showed that radioactivity arises from spontaneous disintegration of atoms. He also deduced the laws governing the transformations producing radioactivity. He suggested (1911) that the atom consists of a minute nucleus around which electrons orbit, and his model of the nuclear atom became the basis of modern concepts of atomic structure. He realised that if the atom could be split artificially, very large amounts of energy would be released. He succeeded in transforming nitrogen into an isotope of oxygen (1919) and thus, for the first time, achieved transmutation of elements. Apart from his own important discoveries, Rutherford was a great teacher and had, as pupils, many eminent scientists, e.g. *Appleton, *Bohr, *Cockcroft, *Walton, *Hahn, *Kapitza, *Chadwick and *Oliphant. He won the 1908 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (a surprise as he had expected Physics), was knighted in 1914, received the Copley Medal in 1922, the OM in 1925, became President of the Royal Society 1920–25 and a baron in 1931. A great experimenter, the next step for him was often the right one, although sometimes his judgment was wrong e.g. his dismissal of nuclear power as ‘moonshine’. One of the greatest figures in the history of science, he had a warm, open nature and a kindly common sense for which he was loved by pupils and contemporaries alike.
Chadwick, J. (ed.), The Collected Papers of Lord Rutherford of Nelson. 1962–1965; Ramsey, A., The Basis of Everything. Rutherford, Oliphant and the Coming of the Atomic Bomb. 2019.
Rutskoi, Aleksandr Vladimirovich (1947– ). Russian soldier and politician. A fighter-bomber pilot, he served in Afghanistan and formed the Peoples’ Party of Free Russia, which included many former CP hardliners. Vice President of Russia 1991–93, he was sacked by *Yeltsin and claimed the presidency himself.
Ruysdael (or Ruisdael), Jacob van (1628–1682). Dutch landscape painter, born at Haarlem. Originally a physician, probably trained by his uncle Solomon van Ruysdael (c.1600–1670), his quiet pictures of dunes, marshes, rivers and woodlands, mostly in golden-brown tones, are inspired with strong feeling and had much influence on the German Romantics, the Mill at Wijk being among the best known. His Scandinavian landscapes are also notable.
Ruyter, Michiel Adrianzoon de (1607–1676). Dutch sailor. He first went to sea as a cabin boy in a merchantman, but having transferred to the navy was a captain by 1635. In the first Dutch War (1652–53), fought during the Commonwealth, he and *Tromp contended with varying fortunes against the English admiral *Blake. In the second Dutch War (1664–67) against England he captured forts on the African coast, preyed upon shipping in the West Indies and fought (1666) a four-day battle against Prince *Rupert and *Monk off Dunkirk. In 1667 he made sensational raids up the Medway to Rochester and the Thames to Gravesend, burning ships as he went. In 1676—Holland and England having come to terms—he took his fleet into the Mediterranean to aid Spain, but died from wounds after a defeat by the French off Sicily.
Ryan, Paul Davis (1970– ). American Republican politician, born in Wisconsin. Catholic, originally inspired by reading Ayn *Rand, he studied at the curiously named Miami University (at Oxford, Ohio) and was a Member of the House of Representatives 1999–2019. Candidate for Vice-President 2012, he was Speaker of the House 2015–19.
Ryckmans, Pierre see Leys, Simon
Rykov, Aleksei Ivanovich (1881–1938). Russian politician. Originally a Social Democrat, he joined the Bolsheviks in 1905. Arrested and imprisoned several times, after the Revolution he was head of the Supreme Council of National Economy 1918–21; 1921–24, Deputy Premier of the USSR 1921–24, a Politburo member 1922–30. He succeeded Lenin as Premier 1924–30. *Stalin dismissed him, but re-entered the government as Commissar for Communications 1931–37 when he recanted his opposition to Stalin’s policies. Charged with complicity in a plot to murder Stalin (1936) he was tried and executed with Nikolai *Bukharin.
Schapiro, L., The Communist Party of the Soviet Union. 1960.
Rylands, ‘Dadie’ (George Humphrey Wolferstan) (1902–1999). English literary scholar and director. A Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge 1927–99, he was close to the Bloomsbury Group, directed many innovative productions of *Shakespeare, *Marlowe and *Eliot, and received a CH in 1987.
Ryle, Gilbert (1900–1976). English philosopher. Educated at Oxford, he tutored at Christ’s College from 1925, served in the Welsh Guards in World War II and was Waynflete professor of metaphysical philosophy 1945–68. He edited Mind 1947–71 and became (with J. L. *Austin) leader of the ‘Oxford school’. His influential work on the analysis of concepts culminated in The Concept of Mind (1949), in which he concluded that many concepts that have been usually considered as reflections of the introspective mind are in fact referable to tendencies to act or behave in particular ways.
Ryle, Sir Martin (1918–1984). British radio-astronomer. He worked on radar during World War II, and at Cambridge (from 1945) developed new techniques involving the use of radar devices and, later, computers, leading to the aperture synthesis interferometer. He directed the Mullard Radio Astronomy Laboratory 1957–84, was a professor of radio-astronomy at Cambridge 1959–84 and Astronomer Royal 1972–84. Discoverer of the quasar, he shared the 1974 Nobel Prize for Physics with Antony *Hewish.
Rysbrack, John Michael (1693–1770). Dutch sculptor. He worked in England from 1720, first worked for James Gibbs and William *Kent on figures for tombs in Westminster Abbey (e.g. Matthew Pryor, *Newton). Later the family tomb (1733) erected for the Marlborough family at Blenheim and the bronze equestrian statue of *William III at Bristol led to a steady flow of commissions. He executed the statue of *George II at Greenwich Hospital and many fine portrait busts (e.g. *Pope, *Milton and Sir Robert *Walpole).
Ryti, Risto Heikki (1889–1956). Finnish politician, economist and banker. A progressive Anglophile, Governor of the Bank of Finland 1923–39; 1944–45, he served as Prime Minister 1939–40 and President of Finland 1940–44. The ‘Continuation War’ with Russia 1941–44 forced him into an uneasy alliance with Nazi Germany, which broke down in 1944. In 1945, under pressure from the USSR, Ryti was convicted of ‘war responsibility’, a new offence. He was sentenced to 10 years jail, but was released and pardoned in 1949.