Dictionary of World Biography
Saarinen, Eero (1910–1961). American architect, born in Finland. Son of the architect Eliel Saarinen (1873–1950), his family lived in the US from 1923. Eero’s buildings include the General Motors technical centre at Detroit, the TWA terminal at Kennedy Airport, the US Embassy in London, and major buildings at MIT, Yale and Dulles Airport, Washington.
Temko, A., Eero Saarinen. 1962.
Sabatier, Paul (1854–1941). French chemist. Professor of chemistry at Nîmes, Bordeaux and Toulouse, he is best known for his discovery (1899), with Jean-Baptiste Senderens (1856–1937), of the method of converting oils into fats by hydrogenation over a catalyst of finely divided nickel. This is the basis of present-day manufacture of margarine from materials such as palm oil and whale oil. He won the 1912 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
Sabatini, Rafael (1875–1950). English novelist, born in Italy. His popular historical novels and adventure stories include Scaramouche (1921), Captain Blood (1922) and The Black Swan (1932).
Sabin, Albert Bruce (1906–1993). American virologist, born in Russia. He graduated in medicine from New York University, worked for the Rockefeller Institute, Cincinnati University and the National Institute of Health. A rival of Jonas *Salk, he developed an oral vaccine against poliomyelitis which was adopted universally.
Sabine, Sir Edward (1788–1883). British soldier and scientist. After being commissioned in the Royal Artillery he accompanied several voyages of exploration as an astronomer. He carried out much research on terrestrial magnetism and discovered the connexion between sunspots and magnetic disturbances on the earth. He was President of the Royal Society 1861–71.
Sacagawea (‘Bird Woman’) (1787?–1812). American Indian (Shoshone) guide. Married to a Canadian trapper, she accompanied the expedition of *Lewis and *Clark (1805).
Sacco, Nicola (1891–1927), and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (1888–1927). Italian anarchists, resident in the US. Following the murders of a paymaster and a guard at a shoe factory in South Braintree, Mass. (April 1920), they were tried and convicted at Dedham (1921) on circumstantial evidence. Because they were anarchists, it was widely believed that they were the victims of political prejudice. International protests followed but appeals were refused and they were electrocuted. In 1977, following a review, Governor Mike *Dukakis declared them to have been ‘unfairly tried and executed’. Their case has been the basis for many books, a film, documentaries, songs and art works. Further research suggests that Sacco was probably guilty and Vanzetti innocent.
Russell, F., Tragedy in Dedham. 1971; Sacco and Vanzetti: The Case Resolved. 1986; Avich, P., Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background. 1991; Watson, B., Sacco and Vanzetti: The Men, the Murders, and the Judgment of Mankind. 2007.
Sacheverell, Henry (1672–1724). English clergyman. He shared rooms with *Addison at Oxford and later became well known as a ‘High-Church’ preacher. He preached at Derby and St Paul’s, in 1709, sermons so violent in their denunciation of the Act of Toleration and the Whig ministry that he was impeached and, despite his skilful defence and the encouragement of a yelling crowd of supporters outside, was suspended from preaching for three years. At the end of this time the government had changed, Sacheverell was invited to speak before the House of Commons and became rector of St Andrew’s, Holborn, where he is buried. Quarrels with parishioners and Jacobite intrigues occupied his remaining years.
Holmes, G., The Trial of Doctor Sacheverell.1973.
Sachs, Hans (1494–1576). German poet and Meistersinger. A shoemaker by trade, he became a ‘master singer’ in the Nuremberg guild (1517), wrote more than 4000 ‘master songs’ and led the guild from 1554. An enthusiastic Lutheran, he is the central figure in Wagner’s opera, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868).
Sacks, Oliver Wolf (1933–2015). British writer and neurologist. Educated at Oxford, he worked in the US from 1962 and wrote a series of successful books about neurological conditions and treatment, including Migraine (1970), Awakenings (1973, also filmed), The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat (1985, also an opera) and Seeing Voices: a Journey into the World of the Deaf (1989). Uncle Tungsten (2001) is a memoir of boyhood.
Sackville-West, Victoria Mary (‘Vita’) (1892–1962). English poet, novelist and gardener, born in Knole, Kent. Daughter of 3rd Baron Sackville, she was largely educated at home. She married (1913) Sir Harold *Nicolson, and was the lover of Virginia *Woolf. In Knole and the Sackvilles (1922) she described her family’s historic home, and set her novel The Elizabethans (1930) there. Her long poem The Land (1927) won the Hawthornden Prize. Best remembered as a gardener, especially at Sissinghurst Castle, Kent, she received a CH in 1948.
Sadat, Mohamed Anwar el (1918–1981). Egyptian soldier. He was commissioned in 1938, rising to the rank of colonel. He took part in the army officers’ coup of 1952 which deposed King Farouk and was Minister of State 1955–56, Speaker of the United Arab Republic National Assembly 1961–69 and Member of the Presidential Council 1962–64. Vice President of Egypt 1964–66 and again in 1969, he was elected President in October 1970. Particularly noted for his initiative in going to Israel for peace talks in November 1977, his action put an end to a longstanding policy of Israeli–Egyptian confrontation. A peace treaty was finally signed in 1979. He shared the Nobel Prize for Peace with Prime Minister Begin in 1978. He was assassinated by dissident officers.
Sadat, M. A. el, In Search of Identity. 1978.
Saddam Hussein (1937–2006). Iraqi politician, born in Tikrit. Educated in Baghdad and Cairo, he was a militant in the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party and twice exiled. In 1968, the Ba’athists seized power, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr (1914–1982) became President of Iraq 1968–79, and Saddam, Deputy Chair of the Revolutionary Command Council, was Vice President 1968–79. Saddam pushed the ailing al-Bakr to resign and as President of Iraq and Commander-in-Chief of the Iraqi armed forces 1979–2003, he exercised absolute power. Secular Iraq was at war with Islamic fundamentalist Iran 1980–88 and both sides received material aid from the US. He suppressed minorities, especially the Kurds. In August 1990 Iraq occupied Kuwait and this led to the formation of an international coalition organised by President *Bush under UN auspices, which imposed economic sanctions and resulted in military invasion. The Iraqi forces were heavily defeated by ‘Operation Desert Storm’ in the Gulf War in February 1991. Saddam was forced to give up Kuwait but he remained in power, still a popular hero. UN forces resumed air attacks in January 1993. Saddam’s failure to open up weapons storage sites to UN inspectors led to threats of US air attacks (February–March 1998), a situation averted by a settlement negotiated by the UN Secretary-General Kofi *Annan. In December 1998 after Saddam’s refusal to cooperate with UN arms inspectors, the US and UK launched four days of attack on Baghdad: this merely consolidated his position. The US led a ‘coalition of the willing’ against Iraq, claiming that ‘weapons of mass destruction’ posed a serious threat to world peace. Iraq was occupied in April 2003 after 28 days of fighting, but continuous acts of violence continued. Saddam disappeared but was found near Tikrit in December 2003, and his trial for the murder of Shi’ites in 1982 began in November 2005. After an appeal court upheld his death sentence, Saddam was speedily hanged in Baghdad.
Sade, Donatien Alphonse François, Marquis de (1740–1814). French author. He fought in the Seven Years’ War, and was imprisoned many times for crimes of wanton cruelty (hence the word ‘sadism’). To avoid a death penalty he lived for a time in Italy but returned (1777) and was again imprisoned. Released in 1791, he began to publish a number of ‘novels’ (e.g. Justine) which are in part sexual fantasy, in part pseudo-philosophical attempts to justify his vices. He also wrote a melodrama, Otiern. He was confined on the orders of *Napoléon in a criminal lunatic asylum where he died.
Gorer, G., The Life and Ideas of the Marquis de Sade. 1963.
Sa’di (or Saadi) (Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī) (1210–1291). Persian poet, born and lived in Shiraz. His many books are concerned with morals and ethics and his long poem Bustan, and Gulistan, a miscellany in verse and prose, are still highly regarded and used as models of style in Iranian schools.
Safdie, Moshe (1938– ). Canadian architect, born in Israel. He worked with Louis *Kahn, created the controversial Habitat ’67 for the Montréal Expo, and taught urban design at Harvard 1978–89. Other buildings included the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the Toronto Ballet and the Museum of Civilisation, Québec.
Sagan (originally Quoirez), Françoise (1935–2004). French novelist. Her books, Bonjour Tristesse (1954) and Aimez-vous Brahms? (1959), probe with frankness and subtlety the sexual relationships of sophisticated youth in her social environment and achieved immense contemporary success. Later novels had less impact. She also wrote the plays Château en Suede (1960), Les Violons, parfois (1961) and Un piano dans l’herbe (1970).
Said, Edward Wadie (1935–2003). American-Palestinian academic and critic, born in Jerusalem. Educated at Princeton and Harvard, he became professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University 1977–2003. His book Orientalism (1978) was enormously influential, and Said was identified (and attacked) as a pioneer of multiculturalism and the post-structural Left. A strong advocate for Palestinian statehood, he broke with Yasser *Arafat, and worked on cultural causes with Daniel *Barenboim.
Saigo Takamori (1827–1877). Japanese field marshal. A samurai from Satsuma, he was a notable warrior, famous for his bravery and height (1.8m), who led imperial troops in the final overthrow of the shogunate. He urged invasion of Korea (1873) and resigned in a fury when his plans were rejected. He led the Satsuma revolt (January–September 1877) against foreign influence and the adoption of western technologies during the Meiji restoration, but was defeated by a conscript peasant army. Wounded in battle, he asked a friend to behead him. Japanese militarists in the 1930s regarded him as a hero.
Morris, I., The Nobility of Failure. 1980.
Sainsbury. English retailing dynasty. John James Sainsbury (1844–1928), a London grocer, began a chain of stores that expanded throughout Britain. Family members became active in philanthropy, politics and support for the arts, science and mental health. There were three life peers (two Labour, one Tory); the Sainsbury Wing at the National Gallery, London; the Sainsbury Institute for Art in East Anglia; a Sainsbury Laboratory in Cambridge.
Saint Arnaud, Jacques Leroy de (1796–1854). French soldier. After achieving a high reputation in Algeria, he was created a marshal for helping to effect the coup d’état by which *Napoléon III became Emperor. He commanded French troops cooperating with the British in the Crimean War and took part in the Battle of the Alma. He died nine days later.
Saint-Beuve, Charles Augustin (1804–1869). French critic. After studying medicine he took to journalism and joined the group of Romantic writers of whom Victor *Hugo was the centre. Successful neither with his own poems nor a self-analytical novel, Volupté (1835), he turned to criticism, an art form much more suited to his natural scepticism. In a long series of critical studies beginning with Portraits littéraires (1832–39) and Portraits le femmes (1844), he arrived at his literary verdicts by identifying himself with the writers concerned, aided in this by his medical knowledge, psychological insight and analytical mind. His thoroughness is shown in his vast Histoire de Port Royal (1840–60) which, in order to explain the characters and background of the learned members of this headquarters of Jansenism, includes a series of vivid portraits of such great 17th-century figures as *Corneille, *Molière, *Racine. After the revolution of 1848, Sainte-Beuve withdrew for a time to Belgium, but soon returned and became reconciled with the new regime. He was given teaching posts at the Collège de France and the École Normale Supérieure and, with a critical article produced regularly week after week, became one of the great literary figures of the Second Empire, and is considered one of the greatest critics.
Lehmann, A. G., Sainte-Beuve: a Portrait of the Critic 1804–1842. 1962.
Saint-Evremond, Charles de Saint-Denis de (1616–1703). French critic and essayist. Having offended *Mazarin by incautious criticism, he was imprisoned in the Bastille and later took refuge first in Holland and then in England where he spent the rest of his life except for a five-year interval following a flight from the plague of 1665. From 1675 he was in devoted attendance upon Hortense, Duchesse de Mazarin, who had also fled from her uncle’s displeasure. He kept in close touch with Paris, and the essays and correspondence of this wise and witty observer of the literary and political scene long remained popular. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Saint-Exupéry, Antoine Marie Roger de (1900–1944). French aviator and writer. He became a pilot in 1926, pioneered several commercial air routes, and despite his age flew for the French Air Force in World War II. He disappeared on a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean. Flying had always fascinated him, and he conveyed the rare sense of exaltation he derived from flying in books such as Vol de nuit (1931) and Pilote de guerre (1942). In this way he inspired a whole generation of flyers. Thought and fantasy make a successful blend in his children’s story Le Petit Prince (1943).
Saint-Gaudens, Augustus (1848–1907). American sculptor, born in Dublin. Of French-Irish parentage, he settled in New York in 1875 and was highly praised for his memorials (*Lincoln, *Sherman, Mrs Henry *Adams, *Farragut) and coin designs.
Saint-Just, Louis Antoine Lon de (1767–1794). French revolutionary. One of the most implacable of the extremist section, he voted for the death of *Louis XVI, and later turned against the Girondins. He was a member of the Committee of Public Safety, and a follower and friend of *Robespierre, whose downfall he shared, being executed two days after his leader.
Curtis, E. N., Saint-Just,Colleague of Robespierre. 1955; Soboul, A., Proceedings de Saint-Just Symposium. 1968.
Saint Laurent, Yves (Henri Donat) (1936–2008). French couturier, born in Algeria. He worked for and succeeded Christian *Dior as the dominant figure in French fashion, and also manufactured shirts, ties and stockings. He designed stage sets and costumes for films (e.g. Belle de Jour, 1967), ballets and plays.
St Laurent, Louis Stephen (1882–1973). Canadian lawyer and Liberal politician, born in Quebec. After a distinguished career as a lawyer and academic, he was recruited into government by his friend Mackenzie *King as Minister for Justice 1941–46, then succeeded King as Secretary of State for External Affairs 1946–48. As King’s preferred successor, St Laurent became the Liberal Party Leader and Prime Minister 1948–57. His government was heavily defeated by *Diefenbaker’s Progressive Conservatives in 1957.
Saint-Saëns, (Charles) Camille (1835–1921). French composer, pianist and organist, born in Paris. An infant prodigy, he first attracted recognition as a pianist, playing all *Mozart’s concertos and *Beethoven’s sonatas. *Liszt praised him, especially as an organist, and he played at the Madeleine Church 1857–77. He studied composition with Halévy at the Paris Conservatoire and was also an accomplished writer, linguist and amateur scientist. He promoted the music of *Bach, *Mozart and *Wagner, and toured extensively, visiting Russia, the US, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Algeria. Of his 13 operas only Samson et Dalila (1877) remains in the repertoire, of five symphonies (only three of them numbered), the ‘Organ’ symphony No. 3 (1886) is often played and recorded. His best known work, Le carnaval des animaux (1886), a brilliant set of parodies, was not performed until 1922, at his direction, except for ‘The Swan’. He also composed five piano, three violin and two cello concertos, Marche heroique (1871), Le rouet d’Omphale (1872) and Danse macabre (1875). He taught *Fauré and was a contemptuous antagonist of *Debussy and *Stravinsky.
Saint-Simon, Claude Henri, Comte de (1760–1825). French social philosopher. Belonging to the same family as the Duc de *Saint-Simon, he fought in the American War of Independence, but during the French Revolution was suspected an aristocrat and briefly imprisoned though he resigned his title. His ‘experiments in living’, undertaken to prepare him for his task as a social philosopher reduced him to poverty, but his self-confidence was unbounded, as was shown by his unsuccessful proposal to Madame de *Staël on the grounds that the marriage of two such remarkable people would produce an even more remarkable child. His thought was revealed in such books as Du Systeme industriel (1821) and the more important Nouveau Christianisme (1825). The latter contained his fundamental precept, which was the Christian ‘Love one another’. This was to be put into practice by reorganising society so that it should be controlled by industrial chiefs instead of military or feudal leaders and by scientists instead of priests. His ideas were, however, diffuse and vague and Saint-Simon can be described as the ‘founder of socialism’ only through the activities of his followers and his influence on such thinkers as *Comte.
Booth, A. J., Saint-Simon and Saint-Simonism. 1971.
Saint-Simon, Louis de Rouvroy, Duc de (1677–1755). French writer of memoirs. Having resigned a commission in the King’s Musketeers because of failure to gain promotion, he attended court and from 1710 to 1723 he lived at Versailles, an embittered observer of a way of life he shared but affected to despise. After the death of *Louis XIV (1715) he was a member of the regency council but never played an effective political role. His fame rests on his posthumously published Memoires which he began to write in their final form in 1740. With malice and prejudice but with unique powers of memory and observation he recalls quarrels, love affairs, intrigues, dress, mannerisms and personal foibles with an authenticity and minuteness of detail seldom if ever equalled in descriptions of court life.
St Vincent, 1st Earl of, John Jervis (1735–1823). English admiral of the fleet. He served with *Wolfe in Québec and in the West Indies during the Seven Years’ War (1756–63). MP 1783–94, he was Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet 1795–99, and, with *Nelson’s support he defeated the Spanish fleet at Cape St Vincent (the southwest extremity of Portugal) in February 1797 and was created earl. A moderate reformer, he was First Lord of the Admiralty 1801–04.
Sakharov, Andrei Dimitrievich (1921–1989). Russian nuclear physicist. A pupil of Pyotr *Kapitza and Igor Tamm, he gained his PhD for work on cosmic rays and led research on hydrogen fusion, playing a decisive role in creating the hydrogen bomb (1953). After 1958 he campaigned against nuclear proliferation, calling for Soviet-American friendship and a convergence of capitalism and Communism in his Progress, Co-existence and Intellectual Freedom (1968). In 1970 he founded the Committee for Human Rights. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1975. In 1980 he was exiled to Gorky and kept under police surveillance. Reports of his failing health led to international concern about his welfare. In December 1986 *Gorbachev allowed him to return to Moscow. He became the leader of the democratic movement in the USSR and was elected to the Congress of Peoples’ Deputies in 1989, where he exerted an immense moral and intellectual influence. Within 11 months, at the height of his influence, he was dead.
Saki (pen name of Hector Hugo Munro) (1870–1916). Scottish author, born in Burma. Son of a colonial inspector-general of police, about 1900 he started in journalism in London as a political satirist on the Westminster Gazette and was the Morning Post correspondent in Russia and France (1902–08). The first of the volumes of fantastic, elegant and witty short stories for which he became famous was published in 1904 under his pseudonym and in 1912 appeared his novel The Unbearable Bassington. Interest in his work was later revived by television versions of many of his stories and a collected edition of his works (1963). He was killed in France during World War I.
Saladin (Salahal Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub) (1137–1193). Sultan of Egypt and Syria 1174–93. Born in Mesopotamia of Kurdish origin, he succeeded his uncle as Vizier of Egypt (1169). In 1171 the Caliph of the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt died. No successor was appointed and in 1174 Saladin was confirmed as Sultan of Egypt and Syria by the Caliph of Baghdad. He consolidated his hold over Syria, and conquered Mesopotamia (1180). He ruled his new empire from Damascus and in 1187 invaded the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem. The fall of the city provoked the 3rd Crusade, during which *Richard Coeur de Lion won back the coastal towns from Acre to Jaffa. Saladin retained Jerusalem but allowed pilgrims access. His chivalry was much admired by the Crusaders and he was a just and efficient ruler as well as a fine soldier. He built many roads and canals.
Salam, Abdus (1926–1996). Pakistani physicist. He was a pioneer in the study of superfields and directed the International Centre for Physics, Trieste, 1964–93. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics for attempting to reconcile the weak and electromagnetic interactions in elementary particles. He won the Copley Medal in 1990.
Salazar, Antonio de Oliveira (1889–1970). Portuguese dictator. Originally trained for the Church, he became professor of economics at Coimbra University (1916) and was General Carmona’s Minister of Finance 1928–32 and Prime Minister 1932–68. Having introduced a modified form of fascism, he ruled as virtual dictator and rescued the country from financial chaos. He was sternly repressive of opposition but avoided any spectacular display of power. He kept Portugal neutral in World War II while proving his loyalty to the ancient British alliance by granting facilities in the Azores. In 1968 he suffered a stroke and was unaware that he was no longer premier at the time of his death in 1970.
Salieri, Antonio (1750–1825). Italian composer, born near Verona. A protégé of *Gluck, he served as court composer to the Habsburg emperors from 1774–88 (when *Mozart was a young rival) and music director 1788–1824. He composed 42 operas, instrumental, orchestral and sacred music. Suggestions that he poisoned Mozart, the basis of a dramatic poem (1830) by *Pushkin and an opera by *Rimsky-Korsakov, were revived in Peter *Shaffer’s play Amadeus (1979): the poisoning was almost certainly metaphorical. Salieri was a friend of *Haydn and teacher of *Beethoven, *Schubert and *Liszt.
Salinas de Gortari, Carlos (1948– ). Mexican politician. Educated at the National University of Mexico and Harvard, he became a statistician, entered the Department of Finance and became its Director-General 1978–79. He directed economic and social policy in the Budget Ministry 1979–81 and was Minister for Planning and Federal Budget 1982–87. Selected as the Party of Revolutionary Institutions (PRI) candidate in 1987, he was elected narrowly as President of Mexico and served 1988–94. He concluded the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Canada in 1992. In 1995 he went into exile in the US after his brother Raul was charged with assassinating a party official.
Salinger, J(erome) D(avid) (1919–2010). American writer. He won acclaim with his novel The Catcher in the Rye (1951), the acutely observed story of a boy’s teenage problems. Franny and Zooey (1961) and his short stories continued to deal with the subject of adolescents’ ways of seeing and problems.
Hamilton, I., In Search of J.D. Salinger. 1986; Beller, T., J. D. Salinger. The Escape Artist. 2014.
Salisbury, 1st Earl of, Robert Cecil (1563–1632). English statesman, born in Westminster. Son of William Cecil, Baron *Burleigh, and a cousin of Francis *Bacon, he was briefly educated in Cambridge and the Sorbonne and became a silent MP. Appointed as Secretary of State 1596–1612 by Queen *Elizabeth, he succeeded his father as Lord Privy Seal 1598–1608. He dealt successfully with the rebellion of *Essex but was increasingly occupied with the intrigues by which he secured the succession of the Scottish James VI as *James I of England. Not unnaturally, he was retained in office (as Lord Treasurer from 1608). He discovered the Gunpowder Plot and was largely responsible for the downfall of Sir Walter *Raleigh, whose bellicose attitude towards Spain conflicted with his own pacific policy. Salisbury showed wisdom and moderation as a ruler but lacked his father’s personality and was extremely conscious of the spinal deformity (scoliosis) that gave him a dwarf-like appearance. He was created Baron Cecil (1603), Viscount Cranbourne (1604) and Earl of Salisbury (1605). He devoted much time to building and adorning of Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, still the family’s palatial seat.
Salisbury, 3rd Marquess of, Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil (1830–1903). English Conservative politician, born in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. After an unhappy childhood, he attended Eton and Oxford, left early and visited South Africa, Australia and New Zealand 1851–52. A Member of Parliament 1853–68 (as Viscount Cranbourne), he served as Secretary of State for India 1866–67, 1874–78 and Chancellor of Oxford University 1869–1903. Foreign Secretary for 12 years 1878–80, 1885–86, 1886–92, 1895–1900, he found this office very congenial. He went with *Disraeli to the Congress of Berlin where he revealed an independent mind unhampered by party shibboleths. He served three terms as Prime Minister June 1885–January 1886, July 1886–August 1892, June 1895–July 1902, a total of nearly 14 years. He declined Queen *Victoria’s offers of a dukedom in 1886 and 1892. He was mainly concerned with agreements that secured peace in Egypt and the Mediterranean lands, and with the problems of African partition. He worked closely with *Bismarck but refused an alliance. He was a keen amateur botanist and astronomer, bored with the routine of politics, and deeply anti-democratic. He allowed his ministers to retain involvement in business, despite conflict of interest, and the ‘spoils system’ was applied in judicial and imperial appointments and honours. He was succeeded as Conservative leader and Prime Minister by his nephew Arthur *Balfour. So many family members were accommodated in government that the term ‘Hotel Cecil’ was applied as a sneer. His successors in the marquessate and his younger sons, Robert (Viscount *Cecil of Chelwood) and Hugh (Lord Quickswood), were all politically prominent.
Kennedy, A. L., Salisbury, 1830–1903. Portrait of a Statesman. 1953; Roberts, A., Salisbury: Victorian Titan. 1999.
Salk, Jonas Edward (1914–1995). American microbiologist. During World War II he was a consultant on epidemic diseases and afterwards held a series of professorships at the University of Pittsburgh. He produced (1954) a successful vaccine against poliomyelitis. In 1963 he founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies at La Jolla, California, which he directed until 1975. He married the painter Françoise Gilot, *Picasso’s companion and biographer.
Sallust (Gaius Sallustius Crispus) (86–35/6 BCE). Roman historian. Having served under *Caesar and enriched himself as a proconsul in north Africa, he bought *Caesar’s villa at Tivoli, there built the famous ‘Sallustian gardens’ and settled down to write histories of the Catiline conspiracy and the Jugurthine wars as well as the more general Histories, of which only fragments survive.
Syme, R., Sallust. 1964.
Salmond, Alex(ander Elliot Anderson) (1954– ). Scottish Nationalist politician, born in Linlithgow. MP (United Kingdom) 1987–2010; 2015–17, he led the Scottish National Party (SNP) 1990–2000, 2004–14. He was First Minister of Scotland 2007–14, resigning after a referendum on Scottish independence was defeated.
Salomé, Lou(ise) Andreas- (or Luíza Gustavovna Salomé) (1861–1937). Russian psychoanalyst, writer and fascinator, born in St Petersburg. Daughter of a general, her ancestry was French and German. She studied in Zürich, was twice proposed to by *Nietzsche, became the lover and muse of *Rilke, had a close relationship with *Freud and, from 1887, a celibate marriage to the linguist Carl Friedrich Andreas. She wrote studies on *Ibsen, Nietzsche and Rilke, many novels, pioneered the study of female sexuality and appeared as a character in plays, films and an opera.
Astor, D., Lou Andreas-Salomé, 2008; Vickers, J., Lou von Salomé. 2008.
Salomon, Johann Peter (1745–1815). German impresario, violinist and composer. A friend of C.P.E. *Bach, he lived in London from 1781, gave solo concerts, conducted, brought *Haydn to England for two successful seasons and was dedicatee of his Symphonies Nos 93–104.
Samaranch Torello, Juan Antonio (1920–2010). Spanish diplomat, born in Barcelona. He was Ambassador to the USSR 1977–80, President of the International Olympic Committee 1980–2001 and created a marquess in 1991.
Samson (Shimshon) (fl. 11th century BCE?). Hebrew hero. From the tribe of Dan, he was one of the ‘judges’ of Israel and probably an authentic hero of the war against the Philistines. The Bible tells how he was charmed by the Philistine Delilah to reveal that the secret of his strength lay in the flowing locks on one who had taken the Nazarite vow. She cut off his hair, and thus weakened, he was captured, blinded and taken to Gaza, where, with a last effort of renewed strength, he pulled down the supporting pillars of the temple, killing both himself and his enemies. *Milton’s Samson Agonistes is a poetic reconstruction of the tale.
Samuel (Shmu’el) (fl. 1040 BCE). Hebrew prophet. The last of the Hebrew ‘judges’ and the first of the prophets, when the people were attacked by the Philistines, inspired by God and yielding to the persuasions of the people, he anointed *Saul as the first king of Israel and Judah, but later broke with him and chose *David as his successor.
Hertzberg, H. W., I and II Samuel: A Commentary. 1964.
Samuel, Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount (1870–1963). English-Jewish politician and administrator, born in Liverpool. Educated at Oxford, he became a Liberal MP 1902–18, 1929–35, served as a Minister under *Campbell-Bannerman and *Asquith, was Home Secretary 1916 but resigned when *Lloyd George became Prime Minister. After World War I, he became the first British High Commissioner to Palestine 1920–25, Leader of the Liberal Party 1931–35 and again Home Secretary 1931–32 in the National Coalition. He wrote on philosophic and autobiographical themes, including In Search of Reality (1957), and received the OM in 1958.
Samuelson, Paul Anthony (1915–2009). American economist. Educated at Chicago and Harvard, he was a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1940, a proponent of *Keynes’s ideas during wartime government work and wrote a standard text Economics (1948), which has remained in print. He advised the *Kennedy and *Johnson administrations and won the 1970 Nobel Prize for Economics.
Sancroft, William (1617–1693). English prelate, born in Suffolk. After living abroad during the Commonwealth period he returned at the Restoration and rose quickly in the Church to become Dean of York and (1664) of St Paul’s, and (1678) Archbishop of Canterbury. The same out-spokenness which he is said to have used at *Charles II’s deathbed marked the dealings of this robust Tory High Churchman with later monarchs. He was the leader of the seven bishops tried by order of *James II for presenting a petition against having to read out publicly the Declaration of Indulgence, their acquittal being regarded as the starting point of the Glorious Revolution. However, having taken an oath of allegiance to James, Sancroft refused one to *William and *Mary. He was therefore deprived of his see and ejected from Lambeth Palace. He retired to the Suffolk village of his birth.
Sand, George (Aurore-Lucile Dupin) (1804–1876). French novelist, born in Paris. She was brought up by her grandmother, an illegitimate daughter of Marshal de Saxe, at the château de Nohant, in the province of Berry; it is now a museum maintained in her memory. She grew up with feminist views, an independent mind and a romantic disposition. After an incompatible marriage to Baron Dudevant, she went to Paris (1831) where she lived with Jules Sandeau, from whose name her pseudonym was derived. Her novels tended to be linked with the circumstances of her life: Indiana (1832) glorifies free love, Elle et lui (1859) and Lélia (1833) relate to her love affair with *Musset; her socialism inspired other novels. Meanwhile her search for the perfect lover went on but she could offer only an excess of sentiment or maternal care for the passion demanded. Her love affair with the exiled and ill *Chopin (1838–47) was the nearest to her needs but even that progressed with bickering and ended with bitterness. The château at Nohant was her most constant and abiding love and there, after 1848, she retired to write rustic novels, e.g. La Mare au Diable (1846), and to show in her Histoire de ma vie (20 volumes, 1855) and her Correspondance (1882 and 1904) that her own life and character were more interesting than anything she could invent.
Cate, C., George Sand: A Biography. 1975.
Sandburg, Carl (1878–1967). American writer, born in Galesburg, Illinois. He led a wandering life collecting folksongs and ballads, and writing his own poems in the idiom of the country people he met. His collecting produced, e.g. The American Songbag (1927). His own verse is in such books as Smoke and Steel. His most ambitious enterprise was a four-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln (1926–42) which won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for history. His Collected Poems won the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.
Sanders, Bernie (Bernard) (1941– ). American politician, born in Brooklyn. His father migrated from Poland in 1921 and his mother was of Russian-Jewish descent. Educated at the University of Chicago, he moved to Vermont in 1968, had a variety of jobs, including carpenter and film maker, and was Mayor of Burlington 1981–89. US Congressman 1991–2007 and Senator from Vermont 2007– , he contested the Democratic nomination for President against Hillary *Clinton in 2015–16. In 2020 he was a major contender for the Democratic nomination, identified himself as a ‘socialist’, but after polling strongly in early primaries fell behind Joe *Biden and withdrew in April.
Sandwich, John Montagu, 4th Earl of (1718–1792). English politician. Despite notorious profligacy he held several ministerial posts during an undistinguished career, including terms as First Lord of the Admiralty 1748–51, 1763 and 1771–82. The Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii) were named after him by Captain *Cook. He is best known for inventing the sandwich to enable him to eat without interrupting his play at cards.
Sanger, Fred(erick) (1918–2013). British biochemist. Educated at St John’s College, Cambridge, he worked for the Medical Research Council (originally Unit) of Molecular Biology, Cambridge 1951–83. He won two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry: in 1958, for determining the first complete structure and the amino-acid sequencing of a protein (bovine insulin); in 1980, sharing the award for work on determining the chemical structures of elements in DNA. He was awarded the Copley Medal (1977), the CH (1981) and the OM (1986).
Sanger, Margaret (née Higgins) (1883–1966). American birth control advocate. Born to a large family, she worked as a teacher, nurse and set up the first US birth control clinic in Brooklyn (1916). She founded the American Birth Control League in 1921 and organised the first World Population Conference in Geneva in 1927. She also advocated more passionate and enjoyable sex and her lovers included H. G. *Wells and Havelock *Ellis.
San Martín, José de (1778–1850). Soldier, born in Yapeyù (Argentina). Having returned to Spain with his parents from South America as a child, he served with the Spanish army in the Peninsular War but in 1812 again crossed the Atlantic and volunteered his services to the revolutionary government of Buenos Aires. In 1816, independence was declared with his support. Regarding the whole of Spanish America as a single country he enlarged the area of independence by a daring march over the Andes, by passes across four cordilleras up to 4,000 metres high, into Chile; the Spaniards were defeated at Chacabuco, and Santiago occupied. Chileans and Argentineans, helped by a naval contingent under *Cochrane, now combined to liberate Peru. San Martin occupied Lima (1812) and declared himself ‘protector’, but the interior was still in Spanish hands while *Bolívar had reached Ecuador. The two ‘liberators’ met but, as they were unable to agree, San Martin with characteristic self-denial withdrew. He left South America (1824) and died in poverty and exile at Boulogne. He was buried in Buenos Aires.
Santa Anna, Antonio López de (in full, Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón) (1794–1876). Mexican soldier and politician. Having helped to overthrow *Iturbide he led a successful Liberal revolution in 1828. He forced the surrender of a Spanish expedition sent to recover Mexico. He held the office of President of Mexico 11 times between 1833 and 1855, but his exercise of power was erratic and after a few months he would retire to the country. Originally a liberal, he became conservative and gained support from both church and army. His victory over the Texans at the Alamo in March 1836 was soon followed by defeat by Sam *Houston. Victory over a French debt-collecting expedition (1838) made him again a popular hero. Another period of dictatorship (1841–46) was followed by exile, but he returned to lead the Mexicans to defeat against the US (1847–48). In 1853, he was again dictator, but was overthrown again in 1855. After many years in exile in Cuba and the United States, where he tried to promote cockfighting and chiclets (the basis of chewing gum), he was amnestied (1874), old, crippled and nearly blind.
Santamaria, B(artholomew) A(ugustine) (‘Bob’) (1915–1998). Australian political activist, born in Melbourne. He worked for the Catholic Rural Movement, founded the National Civic Council, campaigned passionately against Communist influence in trade unions and was a major figure in the Labor split (1954–55) which kept the ALP out of office nationally until 1972 (*Whitlam) and in Victoria until 1982. He encouraged Catholics to become active in the Liberal and National parties and was an effective publicist on television and in print.
Henderson, G., Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man. 2014.
Santayana, George (Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás) (1863–1952). Spanish philosopher, novelist, essayist and poet, born in Madrid. He lived in the US 1872–1912, studied at Harvard, Berlin and Cambridge, and taught philosophy at Harvard 1889–1912, where his students included Robert *Frost, Gertrude *Stein, Felix *Frankfurter and T. S. *Eliot. He never became a US citizen, left in 1912 and never returned, living first in England, then, from 1924, in Rome. In his philosophy he was sceptical about proving the existence of matter or indeed anything, and suggested that ordinary beliefs derive from ‘animal faith’. His view of the world was thus a species of naturalism. He also accepted, in a somewhat poetic way, the existence of a realm of universals or essences similar to the ‘forms’ of *Plato. His philosophical ideas are contained in The Life of Reason (5 volumes, 1905–06), Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923) and the ‘realm’ series, The Realm of Essence (1927), … of Matter (1938) and … of Spirit (1940). His more general books include Sense of Beauty (1896), a novel, The Last Puritan (1936), two volumes of poetry and autobiographical works. All reveal the author’s wisdom and cultivated wit.
Cory, D., Santayana: The Later Years. 1963.
Santos-Dumont, Alberto (1873–1932). Brazilian aviation pioneer, born in Palmira, Minas Gerais. The son of a rich coffee producer, after building balloons and airships in France he experimented with aeroplanes and became the first man to fly one in France (1906). He campaigned for the creation of the Iguaçu National Park (1916). He committed suicide (or was murdered) in Sao Paolo. His birthplace was renamed for him.
Sappho (b.c.600 BCE). Greek poet. Born in Lesbos where she spent most of her life, her poems, with one or two exceptions, survive only in fragments. Passionate, graceful and intensely personal, they are mostly addressed to a group of young women, perhaps fellow devotees of the love goddess Aphrodite. She was married and had at least one daughter. Enough remains of her work to support the belief of the ancients that she was the greatest poetess of their time.
Saragat, Giuseppe (1898–1988). Italian Socialist politician. He led a minority group of Socialists that broke away from *Nenni’s leadership in protest against the alliance with the Communists. He founded (1947) the Social Democratic party, which entered into coalition with the Christian Democrats. Deputy Premier 1947–49 and 1954–57, he was President of Italy 1964–71.
Saramago, José (1922–2010). Portuguese novelist. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998, the first awarded to a writer in Portuguese.
Sarasate (y Navascues), Pablo Martin Meliton (1844–1908). Spanish violinist and composer. A brilliant player in the *Paganini tradition, he wrote many works that have remained in the repertoire, including Zigeunerweisen (1878) and The Carmen Fantasy (1883).
Sarasvati, Dayanand (1820–1883). Indian religious reformer. He founded (1875) an association called the Arya-Samaj which claimed for all Hindu castes the right to study the Vedas. The many adherents of the society form one of the most progressive elements of modern Hinduism.
Sardou, Victorien (1831–1908). French writer. The most successful playwright of his day, for 40 years from 1860, when he was first acclaimed, he produced success after success, the result not only of his superb technique but of his gift for creating parts specially adapted to the particular talents of the great players of his time. Thus the title roles of Fedora (1882), La Tosca (1887) and Cismonda (1894) were created by Sarah *Bernhardt and the comedy Madame Sans Gene (1893) was written for *Réjane. He also wrote for *Irving and others. His plays now seem artificial, and revivals are rare.
Sargent, John Singer (1856–1925). American artist, born in Florence. He studied painting there and in Paris, moved to England (1884) and soon won great success as a fashionable portrait painter. lf his work sometimes seems too facile, he showed at his best a brilliant technique (e.g. in evoking the shimmer of satin) modelled on that of *Velázquez, and an eye for character, at times too penetrating for the comfort of his sitters (e.g. the Wertheimer portraits at the Tate Gallery, London). In America he worked on a series of decorative paintings for public buildings, including the Evolution of Religion for the Boston Library.
Olson, S., John Singer Sargent. 1986.
Sargent, Sir (Harold) Malcolm (Watts) (1895–1967). English orchestral conductor. Trained as an organist and composer, he was Chief Conductor of the Royal Choral Society from 1928, conducted concerts for children sponsored by Robert *Mayer, and became Musical Director of the Hallé Orchestra 1939–42, the Liverpool Philharmonic 1942–49 and the BBC Symphony 1950–57. He conducted the London Proms with great success, recorded many choral works and became an accomplished broadcaster.
Sargon I (or Šarru-ukīn) of Akkad (d.c.2284 BCE). King of the Akkadian Empire c.2334–2284 BCE. His origins were mysterious: found in bulrushes (like Moses) and raised by a gardener, he became a cupbearer to the king of Kish, whose successor Lugal-zage-si he deposed. With its capital at Akkad, his kingdom, by conquest, included all of Sumeria, extending to the edge of Arabia, Syria and Anatolia. Sargon is referred to in Isaiah 20:1.
Sargon II (d.705 BCE). King of Assyria 722–705 BCE. He inaugurated a period of great expansion by conquering Elam and Babylonia, subduing the Medes and extending his power from Anatolia to Egypt. He exiled whole nations of conquered peoples to the remoter reaches of his territories. The excavations of his palace at Khorsabad bear witness to his magnificence.
Sarközy (de Nagy-Bócsa), Nicolas Paul Stéphane (1955– ). French politician, born in Paris. Son of a Hungarian father and Greek-Jewish mother, he became a lawyer, municipal councillor, Minister for the Budget 1993–95, for the Interior 2002–04, 2005–07, and for the Economy 2004. Combative in style, he won political support from a coalition stretching from the centre to far right. Leader of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) 2004–07; 2014–16, he led in the first ballot for President of France (April 2007) and won 53 per cent of the vote in the second round (May 2007), defeating Ségolène *Royal, serving as President of France 2007–12. He was created an honorary GCB in March 2008. Defeated in 2012 by François *Hollande, he sought the presidency in 2017 but lost decisively in the primaries. In 2018, he was arrested and charged with bribery.
Sarmiento, Domingo Faustino (1811–1888). Argentinian politician. A rural schoolteacher who was exiled to Chile, he became an influential journalist and his book Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism (1845) was an important examination of the gaucho tradition and culture and an attack on the *Rosas regime. Elected as Argentina’s first civilian president 1868–74, he introduced public education in primary, secondary and technical schools.
Sarnoff, David (1891–1971). American entrepreneur, born in Russia. He worked for *Marconi, became a pioneer broadcaster and a founder of RCA (Radio Corporation of America, 1921) and NBC (National Broadcasting Company, 1926) which developed radio and television networks in the US. He was President 1930–47 and Chairman 1947–70 of RCA/NBC.
Saro-Wiwa, Ken(ule Beeson) (1941–1995). Nigerian writer and political activist. A leader of the Ogani people, he was arrested by Nigeria’s military rulers, charged with murder and hanged with eight others after a rushed trial.
Saroyan, William (1908–1981). American author. Of Armenian descent, his first work was a volume of short stories, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze (1934). He wrote a number of novels and plays, including The Time of Your Life (1939) for which he was awarded (but did not accept) a Pulitzer Prize. The Human Comedy (1943) exemplifies the simplicity and optimism of much of his work.
Saroyan, W., The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills. 1952.
Sartre, Jean-Paul (1905–1980). French philosopher, playwright and novelist, born in Paris. A nephew of Albert *Schweitzer, he was educated at the École Normal Supérieure and the Sorbonne. In 1929 he met Simone de *Beauvoir, who shared his life from 1931 until his death, as mistress intermittently and confidante always and whom he exploited shamelessly, despite her strong feminist views. He taught (1931–39) at lycées in Le Havre, Laon and Paris and published the novel La Nauseé (1938, Nausea) and the short stories Le Mur (1939, Intimacy). After brief army service he was a prisoner of war 1940–41. During German occupation of Paris, Sartre became a successful playwright with Les Mouches (1942, The Flies) and Huis-clos (1943, No Exit). His major philosophical works were L’Etre et le néant (1943, Being and Nothingness, translated 1956) and L’Existentialisme est un humanisme (1946, Existentialism and Humanism, 1948). Identified as the founder of existentialism (although *Kierkegaard was there first), his philosophy is often summarised as ‘man’s existence precedes his essence’, by which is meant that a man’s essence or essential being is determined by the facts of his nature. Standing alone in a godless world, man can, within the limits of these facts, determine and develop his own essence: thus men choose to make themselves what they become and they are therefore responsible for what they are.
He remained in France during the Occupation and, despite his known ‘leftist’ politics seems—like Pablo *Picasso—to have been left alone. Having avoided political engagement before and during the war, Sartre became hyperactive from 1945. He edited the influential left-wing journal Les Temps modernes 1945–80 and became leader of left-bank literary society in Paris. He had an increasingly antagonistic rivalry with Albert *Camus. He pursued radical causes after the war, was an avid Stalinist 1952–56, then switched allegiance to *Mao, finally to *Castro. Clive James wrote: ‘Sartre … never actually killed anybody. But he excused many who did, and most of those never actually killed anybody either: they just gave orders for their subordinates to do so.’ He campaigned against *de Gaulle and US intervention in Vietnam. Other works include the novels L’Age de raison (1945, The Age of Reason) and Le Sursis (1945, The Reprieve), the play Les Mains sales (1948, Dirty Hands), a biography of his protégé Jean *Genet (1952), some film scripts, the autobiography Les Mots (1963, Words) and a huge unfinished work on *Flaubert (1972). He was awarded, but declined, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1964, on the grounds of his opposition to bourgeois society. Buried at Montparnesse cemetery, Simone de Beauvoir is next to him.
Cohen-Solal, A., Sartre: A Life. 1987.
Sassoon, Siegfried Loraine (1886–1967). English poet. Member of an ancient Jewish family from Baghdad, his father was disinherited for marrying a Christian. He dropped out of Cambridge, but became an officer in World War I, winning a MC and befriending Wilfred *Owen. The disgust produced by his experiences in World War I produced the fierce satire of Counter-attack (1918) and Satirical Poems (1926). He also wrote a series of semi-autobiographical works including Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man, which won the Hawthornden Prize (1929), Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930) and Sherston’s Progress (1936). Other books more directly autobiographical followed, e.g. The Old Century (1938).
Sassoon, S. L., Siegfried’s Journey 1916–1920. 1945; Egremont, M., Siegfried Sassoon. 2005.
Satie, Erik Alfred Leslie (1866–1925). French composer, born in Honfleur. An eccentric (a fanatical collector of umbrellas), he lived obscurely until, from 1910, he was hailed as leader of the younger, more advanced composers, notably of the groups ‘L’École d’Arcueil’ and ‘Les Six’. His work, harmonically advanced, also influenced *Ravel and other contemporaries. He wrote limpid, beautiful piano works, including the three Gymnopedies (i.e. ‘naked feet’, 1888, two later orchestrated by *Debussy); some with bizarre titles (e.g. Three Pear-shaped Pieces and Limp Preludes for a Dog); ballets, e.g. Parade (1917), commissioned by *Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes with sets and costumes by *Picasso; the more serious symphonic drama Socrate (1919); and a Messe des pauvres (1895).
Myers, R., Erik Satie. 1948.
Sato Eisaku (1901–1975). Japanese politician. Younger brother of *Kishi Nobusuke, he gained a law degree at Tokyo Imperial University and became a railway administrator until elected a member of the Diet 1949–75. A follower of *Yoshida Shigeru, he was a major figure in forming the Liberal Democratic Party, served as Finance Minister 1957–60 under his brother, and minister of nuclear science, energy and technology 1960–64. As Prime Minister 1964–72, he was identified with Japan’s rapid economic expansion and concluding the 1969 Sato-Nixon treaty with the US. The award to him of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1974 was greeted with some international scepticism. Sato was a complex character—forceful and ruthless, but also a gifted calligrapher.
Satyarthi, Kailash (1954– ). Indian social activist. He founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (‘Save the Children Movement’) in 1980, campaigned against child labour, and for children’s rights, and shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 with *Malala Yousafzay.
Sauckel, Fritz (né Ernst Friedrich Christoph) (1894–1946). German Nazi administrator. From a poor working-class background, he rose through the party hierarchy. As General Plenipotentiary for Labour Deployment 1942–45, in control of manpower in occupied territories, he deported millions of slave labourers. He was hanged after condemnation by the Nuremberg Tribunal.
Sa’ud, Abdulaziz Ibn see Ibn Sa’ud, Abdulaziz
Saul (Sa’ul) (d.c.1012 BCE). First King of Israel and Judah. Son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, he was anointed by the prophet *Samuel in response to the need for a single warrior king to lead the Hebrew tribesmen in unity against the Philistines. A melancholic, Saul was at first successful, but his jealousy of *David and the bitter quarrel that followed so weakened national unity that he was defeated by the Philistines and killed at the Battle of Mount Gilboa.
Saul, John Ralston (1947– ). Canadian novelist, essayist and lecturer, born in Ottawa. Educated at McGill University, he wrote collections of penetrating essays about the dilemmas of modern society, including Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (1992), The Doubter's Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense (1994) and The Unconscious Civilization (1995). His wife, Adrienne Clarkson (née Poy) (1939– ), broadcaster and journalist, born in Hong Kong, was Governor-General of Canada 1999–2005.
Saunders, Dame Cicely Mary Strode (1918–2005). English physician and social worker. Author of Care of the Dying (1960) and Living with Dying (1983), she founded St Christopher’s Hospice, Sydenham in 1967 and became recognised as leader of the palliative care and hospice movement. She was awarded the OM in 1989.
Saussure, Ferdinand de (1857–1913). Swiss linguist. The father of modern linguistics and a pioneer of ‘structuralism’ who anticipated ‘semiotics’, he distinguished between ‘synchronic’ linguistics (language at any given moment) and ‘diachronic’ linguistics (language as it evolves over time). He was a professor at the University of Geneva from 1891 (Roland *Barthes).
Saussure, Horace Bénédict de (1740–1799). Swiss scientist. Professor of Philosophy at Geneva University 1762–86, he gained fame for his exhaustive studies of Alpine botany, geology and meteorology. He invented the anemometer. His experiments with glass ‘hot boxes’, capturing radiant heat from the Sun (1767), anticipated research on the ‘Greenhouse effect’ and he developed a solar oven. He offered a prize won (1786) by two guides, for the first ascent of Mont Blanc; he made the climb himself in the following year. His Voyage dans les Alpes (1779–96) is a personal record of seven expeditions. A lunar crater is named for him. His daughter Albertine Adrienne de Saussure (later Necker) (1766–1841) was a strong advocate for education for girls and having a life outside marriage. Ferdinand de *Saussure was his great-grandson.
Sauvé, Jeanne Mathilde (née Benoît) (1922–1993). Canadian Liberal politician. She was a teacher, journalist and broadcaster, MP 1972–84, minister for science and technology 1972–74 and the environment 1974–75, Speaker of the House of Commons 1980–84 and the first woman Governor-General 1984–90.
Savage, Michael Joseph (1872–1940). New Zealand politician, born in Victoria. He arrived from Australia in 1907, entered parliament in 1919, and in 1935 became the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. His pledge to Britain at the outbreak of World War II became historic, ‘Where she goes we go—where she stands we stand.’ He died in office.
Savage, Richard (1697?–1743). English poet and dramatist. He claimed the 4th Earl Rivers and Anne, Countess of Macclesfield as his parents, a theme he pursued in his poems The Bastard (1728) and The Wanderer (1729). His best known play was The Tragedy of Sir Thomas Overbury (1724) in which he performed. His life was colourful and after a timely reprieve he escaped hanging for murder (1727). He died in debtors’ prison. The Life of Savage (1744) by his friend Samuel *Johnson, more colourful than accurate, was the first literary biography written in English.
Holmes, R., Dr Johnson and Mr Savage. 1993.
Savall (i Bernadell), Jordi (1942– ). Catalan (Spanish) composer, conductor and viol player. Educated in Barcelona and Basle, he was a specialist in medieval and baroque music, founding Hespèrion XX (known since 2000 as Hespèrion XXI) in 1974 and Le Concert de Nations in 1989, recording and touring extensively. His wife Montserrat Figueras (1941– 2011) was an outstanding soprano.
Savery, Thomas (1650?–1715). English engineer. He patented (1698) a ‘fire engine’ which by direct steam pressure could raise water to a height of 1,330 metres (4,050 feet). The patent did not expire until 1733 and was held to cover the very different engine of Thomas *Newcomen. Savery was elected FRS in 1705.
Savonarola, Girolamo (1452–1498). Florentine preacher. In 1475 he became a Dominican friar. He was sent to the convent of S. Marco in Florence in 1481 and again in 1490, after which he gained enormous influence by his sermons denouncing corruption, sensuality and luxury. When the ‘Scourge’ constantly predicted by him came (1494) in the form of the French army, which drove out the *Medici, he emerged as the dominating figure of the new republic. Many great works of art (as well as rich dresses and other signs of luxury) perished in the ‘bonfire of vanities’ on the grounds that they commemorated pagan cultures. Savonarola was blamed for the inefficient administration of the republic as well as for his adherence to the French alliance. He was excommunicated (1497) by Pope *Alexander VI who was building an alliance against the French. His opponents in Florence gained the upper hand and after a trial by papal commissioners for heresy, Savonarola with two companions was strangled and burned.
Ridolfi, R., Life of Girolamo Savonarola. 1959.
Savoy (Savoia). Burgundian dynasty, founded by Umberto Biacamano (Humbert the Whitehanded), which ruled the county of Savoy (south of Lake Geneva) from 1003. Its members became kings of Sicily, then of Sardinia, Piedmont and of Italy 1861–1946.
Saxe, Maurice, Comte de (1696–1750). French soldier. Usually known as Marshal de Saxe, he was an illegitimate son of *August II of Saxony and Countess Aurora von Königsmark. As a boy he ran away to join *Marlborough’s army in Flanders; in 1711 he was fighting with Russo-Polish forces, and next with Prince *Eugène against the Turks. Made Duke of Courland, he had to withdraw in 1729 and thereafter fought only for France. In the War of the Austrian Succession he invaded Bohemia and took Prague (1741). He became a marshal in 1744, and defeated the Duke of *Cumberland at Fontenoy (1745), and again at Laffett (1747), whereas on other occasions he lost the full benefit of victory by failure to pursue. He wrote a book on the art of war, Mes Reveries (1757).
Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (or Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha). German dynasty that provided sovereigns of Belgium, Great Britain and Bulgaria. The family name—rarely used—was *Wettin.
Saxe-Coburggotski, Simeon Borisov see Simeon II
Saxo Grammaticus (also known as Saxo cognomine Longus) (c.1150–c.1220). Danish historian and cleric. Secretary to the Archbishop of Lund, he wrote, in Latin, Gesta Danorum (16 volumes), the first complete history of Denmark. Early books relate episodes from the Danish and Norse legendary past, including the story of Amleth (Hamlet), in Books 3 and 4, written about 1216. The last volume describes struggles with the Slavs in the Baltic. The surname ‘Grammaticus’ was added in the 15th century to commemorate Saxo’s learning.
Say, Jean Baptiste (1767–1832). French economist. In preparation for a business career he spent some of his early years in England. On his return to Paris he became a journalist and wrote effectively about the new economic theories of Adam *Smith. He was the most influential economist in France. His chief work was Traite d’économie politique (1803). He later lectured on political economy at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers and (from 1831) at the Collège de France.
Sayers, Dorothy L(eigh) (1893–1958). English novelist, poet, playwright and translator, born in Oxford. Educated at Somerville College, Oxford, she wrote 28 volumes of detective fiction, distinguished by fine writing, e.g. Busman’s Holiday (1933) and The Nine Tailors (1934), in which the hero is an aristocratic detective, Lord Peter Wimsey. Her religious works include the series of radio plays The Man Born to be King (1942). She regarded the translation of *Dante’s The Divine Comedy (Hell, 1949; Purgatory, 1955 and Paradise, 1962, completed by Barbara Reynolds) as her greatest achievement.
Scalfaro, Oscar Luigi (1918–2012). Italian politician and lawyer. A Christian Democrat deputy 1948–92, he served in many ministries and became a compromise choice as President of Italy 1992–99.
Scalia, Antonin Gregory (1936–2016). American jurist, born in New Jersey. Educated at Harvard, he was a Justice of the US Supreme Court 1986–2016, a ‘strict constructionist’, interpreting the US Constitution as it would have been understood by the Founding Fathers (no Mothers involved).
Scaliger, Joseph Justus (1540–1609). French scholar. Of Italian descent, he was son of the scholar Julius Caesar Scaliger (1484–1558), notorious for his scurrilous attacks on *Erasmus. At the University in Paris he acquired a complete mastery of Greek and Latin and some Hebrew; he also became a Protestant. After travels in Italy and England he was professor (1570–72) at *Calvin’s academy at Geneva and then for 20 years lived in France with the Roche-Pozay family. During this time he produced the editions of *Catullus, *Tibullus and *Propertius which made him famous, and above all his De Emendatione Temporum (1583) by which he is ranked as the founder of the modern science of chronology. He spent his last years at Leyden University preoccupied with controversies engendered by his arrogant disposition, which did not prevent his recognition as one of the greatest scholars of the age.
Scanderbeg see Skanderbeg, George Castriota
Scarlatti, Alessandro (c.1659–1725). Italian composer, born at Palermo, Sicily. He was maestro di cappella (i.e. court or household musician) to the eccentric Queen *Christina of Sweden in Rome, to the viceroy of Naples, and to Cardinal *Ottoboni. He wrote over 100 operas of which 35 survive, as well as about 600 cantatas for solo voices, and choral works. He is believed to have invented or introduced the aria da capo which was of fundamental importance in 18th-century opera. For the opera Tigrane (1715) horns were introduced into the orchestra.
Dent, E. J., Alessandro Scarlatti. 1960.
Scarlatti, (Giuseppe) Domenico (1685–1757). Italian composer and harpsichordist, born in Naples. Son of Alessandro *Scarlatti, in Rome he wrote operas for the exiled Queen of Poland, and church music, including Stabat Mater (1715) for St Peter’s 1715–19. He worked in Lisbon 1719–27, in Rome again 1727–29, then in Spain, first in Seville, then Madrid, where he died. In Spain, he was a patron of the castrato *Farinelli and composed his famous keyboard sonatas, some of them called Essercizi, of which 555 survive; short brilliant works, in binary form (two matching parts, often repeated), mostly in one movement, catalogued ‘K’ by Ralph Kirkpatrick, written for harpsichord (or, possibly, the early piano forte).
Kirkpatrick, R., Domenico Scarlatti. 1953.
Scarron, Paul (1610–1660). French writer. Known (from 1643) as a writer of burlesque verse, equally successful was Le Roman comique (1651–57), a satiric novel about strolling players which provided an agreeable contrast to the artificial romances then in vogue. From 1638 he was half paralysed. When a beautiful 15-year-old girl, Françoise d’Aubigné, was taken to visit him (1651) she wept in pity. The pity was mutual: it grieved him that so lovely a girl should be so poor, he offered to provide a dowry and when she refused he proposed marriage. They were married in 1652 and she showed her gratitude by watching over his health and his career for the rest of his life. She was later better known as Madame de *Maintenon.
Schacht, Hjalmar Horace Greeley (1877–1970). German financier. He became President of the Reichsbank 1923–30 and 1933–39 and, as *Hitler’s Minister for the Economy 1934–37, was much admired for the manoeuvres by which he enabled German rearmament to be financed. He lost to *Goering in a power struggle over direction of the German economy. He claimed at the Nuremberg trials that he had never been a Nazi and was acquitted. A sentence of imprisonment by the German denazification court was quashed on appeal.
Schacht, H. H. G., My First 76 Years. 1955.
Schama, Sir Simon Michael (1945– ). Anglo-American historian, born in London. Educated at Cambridge, he was professor of history at Harvard 1980–94 and of the humanities at Columbia 1994– . His books include The Embarrassment of Riches (1987), Citizens (1989), Landscape and Memory (1995), Rembrandt's Eyes (1999) and The Power of Art (2006). His television documentaries include A History of Britain (2000), John Donne (2009) and Shakespeare (2012)
Scharnhorst, Gerhard Johann David von (1756–1813). Prussian officer. After the Prussian defeats in the Napoléonic Wars he undertook (1807), with August *Gneisenau, the complete reorganisation of the Prussian army, and forged the more efficient forces which won victories (e.g. Leipzig, 1813) against the French.
Schatz, Albert Israel (1920–2005). American microbiologist. He studied at Rutgers University, and as a graduate student identified (1943) that streptomycin, found in soil, was effective as an antibiotic in treating tuberculosis. His supervisor, Selman *Waksman, appropriated sole credit for the discovery. It was only in 1994 that Schatz’s priority was recognised.
Scheel, Walter (1919–2016). German politician. He served in the Luftwaffe during World War II, became a merchant banker and was a Bundestag member 1953–74 and Leader of the Free Democratic Party 1968–74. He was Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister 1969–74, and President of the Federal Republic of Germany 1974–79.
Scheele, Carl Wilhelm (1742–1786). Swedish chemist. He made many important discoveries while working as an apothecary. Using very primitive equipment, he identified and isolated eight elements (chlorine, manganese, barium, molybdenum, tungsten, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen)—more than any other chemist—but was strikingly unlucky and his priority was not recognised for decades. He discovered oxygen in 1772 (two years before Joseph *Priestley did so independently) but did not publish his findings until 1777. He was the first to prepare chlorine, phosphorus, hydrogen sulphide, glycerine, and many organic acids. He also discovered the action of light upon silver salts, a reaction basic to photographic reproduction. His work disproved the phlogiston theory three years ahead of *Priestley and *Lavoisier. His death was hastened by his practice of tasting elements (such as mercury) on which he was working. The mineral from which tungsten is extracted was named scheelite for him.
Scheer, Reinhard (1863–1928). German sailor. During World War I he was appointed (January 1916) Commander-in-Chief of the High Seas Fleet and was in command at the Battle of Jutland (May 1916, *Jellicoe). After Jutland, he called for unrestricted submarine warfare and became Chief of Naval Staff August–November 1918.
Schiele, Egon (1890–1918). Austrian expressionist painter and designer. A follower of *Klimt, he developed a tight linear style and his figure drawings show great virtuosity. An important painter in the Sezessionist school, he died of influenza, aged 28.
Schiff, Sir András (1953– ). Hungarian-Jewish-British pianist and conductor, born in Budapest. An outstanding interpreter of *Bach, *Mozart, *Beethoven, *Schubert and *Schumann, he toured extensively and became a British subject in 2001.
Schikaneder, Emanuel (1751–1812). Austrian dramatist, actor and theatre director. He wrote the libretto for *Mozart’s opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute, 1791), a Masonic allegory, and created the role of Papageno.
Schillebeeckx, Edward (1914–2009). Belgian-Dutch theologian, born in Antwerp. He joined the Dominicans and became professor of theology at Nijmegen University 1958–83. As adviser to the radical Dutch bishops he was suspected of heresy by conservatives in the Vatican. His many books include the magisterial Jesus (1974, published in English 1979), Christ (1977: 1980) and Jesus in Our Western Culture (1987).
Schiller, Ferdinand Canning Scott (1864–1937). English philosopher. He taught at Corpus Christi College, Oxford 1897–1926 and was professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California 1926–36. His chief contribution to English philosophy was his part in the revival of the empirical tradition. Under the influence of William *James, with whom he formed an early friendship, he emphasised that the primary cause of human thinking is the need to act. He looked on pragmatism as a form of philosophical humanism, which rejected, as secondary or unreal, metaphysical idealism and the formal logic that so often fortified it. He had a deep knowledge of the physical sciences, wrote on eugenics, and was an active member of the Society for Psychical Research. His more general works include Studies in Humanism (1907) and Logic for Use (1929).
Schiller, (Johann Christoph) Friedrich von (1759–1805). German poet and dramatist, born at Marbach near Stuttgart. His father was a captain in the service of the Duke of Württemberg, at whose instigation the promising boy became (1773) a pupil at the new academy for officers and public servants. He became an army surgeon but absented himself without leave to watch a performance of his first play Die Räuber (1782, The Robbers) at Mannheim. For a similar offence he was briefly imprisoned, fled from the Duke’s service and took refuge at Mannheim where, after an interval, he was appointed theatre poet. He continued to write plays but it was after a move (1785) to Leipzig and Dresden, on the invitation of admirers, that he completed his first dramatic masterpiece Don Carlos (1785), which, though involved with the fate of the unhappy son of *Philip II of Spain, finely expressed the 18th-century ideals of political and religious liberty. His next moves were to Weimar and Jena where he was professor of history 1789–99 and published his History of the Revolt of the Netherlands (1788) and History of the Thirty Years War (1789–93). After an illness from which he was slow to recover, he studied *Kant’s philosophy, especially those parts relating to aesthetics, and wrote essays on such subjects as the nature of tragedy, the meaning of beauty, and aesthetic education. His philosophic poems of this time reflect the same themes. From 1794 he was a close friend of *Goethe and in 1799 he settled at Weimar to be near him. To the last period of his life belong some of his greatest plays, The Death of Wallenstein (1799), Mary Stuart (1800), The Maid of Orleans (1881) and William Tell (1804). He is also well known for his lyrics and ballads (e.g. Die Glocke, in which the processes of casting a bell symbolise the events and influences that make up the life of man).
Mainland, W. F., Schiller and the Changing Past. 1957.
Schindler, Oskar (1908–1974). German entrepreneur. Although a Nazi Party member, he saved more than 1,100 Jews in factories in Poland and Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust (1943–45), became honoured as a ‘righteous gentile’ in Israel, died in Argentina and was buried in Jerusalem. Thomas *Keneally’s book Schindler’s Ark (1982) was filmed as Schindler’s List (1993) by Steven *Spielberg.
Schinkel, Karl Friedrich (1781–1841). German architect, town planner, painter and stage designer. He laid out Berlin, worked in classic, Gothic and romantic traditions and designed atmospheric productions of works by *Mozart and *Goethe.
Schirach, Baldur von (1907–1974). German Nazi politician. Youth leader of the Nazi Party 1936–40 and Gauleiter of Vienna 1940–45, he was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment by the Nuremberg tribunal.
Schlegel, August Wilhelm von (1767–1845). German critic. In 1797 he became professor of literature at Jena, and his lectures there and at Berlin and Vienna provide a clear exposition of the romantic viewpoint. He is best known, however, for his translations of *Shakespeare’s plays (1798–1810) and of *Dante, *Calderon and Camães. His brother, Friedrich von Schlegel (1772–1829), is regarded as the finest critic produced by the Romantic movement and, with *Hegel, one of the most important influences on German thought of his period. He also wrote poetry and a novel, Lucinde (1799), based on his own love affair with a daughter of the philosopher Moses *Mendelssohn. He was among the first in Germany to study Sanskrit.
Schleicher, Kurt von (1882–1934). German general and politician. He served on the general staff in World War I and became politically important in 1932 as Defence Minister in June and Chancellor in December. His attempt to find a basis of power by alternately angling for the support of the Nazis and of the trade unions lost him the confidence of all. He resigned in January 1933 and was murdered during the Nazi’s ‘Night of the Long Knives’ in June 1934.
Schleiden, Mathias Jakob (1804–1881). German botanist, born in Hamburg. He practised law unhappily, took up botany as a hobby and after studying in Göttingen and Berlin, became professor of botany at Jena 1839–64. His life-long concern was to orientate botany away from the obsession with classification which had followed from the work of *Linnaeus. His interest was in plant physiology, with cellular structure and growth. With *Schwann he helped to formulate the notion of the cell structure of plants. He believed wrongly that cells formed out of a nucleus and then became encased in cell walls. Schleiden pursued a great variety of plant studies with the aid of the microscope. He was involved with the pathology of plants, and investigated fungoid infections that attacked plant roots. He was a strong supporter of *Darwin.
Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, Jr (1917–2007). American historian, born in Ohio. Son of a historian of the same name, he taught at Harvard 1946–61, became special assistant to President *Kennedy 1961–63 and held the chair of humanities at the City University of New York 1966– . His books include The Age of Jackson (1945), and A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House (1965), which both won a Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Roosevelt (3 volumes, 1957–60) and Cycles of American History (1986).
Schlieffen, Alfred, Graf von (1833–1913). German soldier. He was a staff officer in the Prussian Wars of 1866 and 1870 and Chief of the Imperial General Staff 1891–1906. From 1894 he later developed a strategic plan for future wars by which France would be attacked through Belgium whilst only a holding operation would be fought on the Russian front. This plan was closely followed in both 1914 and 1940.
Schliemann, Heinrich (1822–1890). German archaeologist. He amassed a fortune as a merchant and contractor in Russia and in the US, retiring in 1868 to devote himself to archaeology. He mastered 15 languages. He claimed to have been fascinated by *Homer from childhood and dreamed of proving that The Iliad had a historical basis. He accepted in 1868 Frank Calvert’s identification of Hisarlik as the site of Troy (Ilium) but the slow granting of permission to excavate delayed his major work until 1871–73. He worked at Troy 1876, 1882, 1889–90. He found nine layers of occupation and assumed that Homer’s Troy was second from the bottom (Troy II). In 1890 his assistant Wilhelm Dörpfeld (1853–1940) persuaded him that Troy II was a millennium too early, the correct level being Troy VI or VIIa (c.1250 BCE). In 1876 his excavations at Mycenae proved the richness of its civilisation and made him world famous. He also worked at Orchomenos (1880–81, 1886) and Tiryns (1884) with Dörpfeld. He wrote several books about his discoveries, including Troia (1884), written in collaboration with Dörpfeld. He planned to excavate Knossos (Arthur *Evans) and Ithaca but died suddenly in Naples. His second wife Sophia Engastromenos (1852–1932) worked on the excavations with him. The artefacts in ‘Priam’s Treasure’ were displayed in Berlin, taken to the USSR in 1945, and most are exhibited at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. Negotiations for its return began in 1993. It is now generally agreed that the objects long predate Priam’s Troy, as recorded in The Iliad.
Moorehead, C., The Lost Treasures of Troy. 1994; Traill, D. A., Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit. 1995.
Schmeling, Max(imilian Adolph Otto Siegfried) (1905–2005). German boxer, born in Pomerania. In 1930 he won the world heavyweight championship in New York when Jack Sharkey was disqualified; however, in 1932 Sharkey regained the title.
Schmidt, Brian Paul (1967– ). American-Australian astrophysicist, born in Montana. He grew up in Alaska and went to university in Arizona and at Harvard. In 1994 he moved to Australia, where he held a chair at The Australian National University and worked at the Mt Stromlo observatory. He shared the 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics with Saul Perlmutter and Adam Riess ‘for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae’, and worked on ‘dark energy’. He was elected FAA and FRS, and awarded an AC in 2013. He became Vice-Chancellor of The Australian National University 2015– .
Schmidt, Helmut (Heinrich Waldemar) (1918–2015). German politician, born in Hamburg. He joined the Social Democratic Party in 1946 and was active in Land politics in Hamburg as Manager of Transport Administration 1949–53 and Senator for Domestic Affairs 1961–65. He became a member of the Bundestag 1953–61, 1965–87. Chairman of the Social Democratic Party in the Bundestag 1967–69, he was appointed Minister of Defence 1969–72, Minister of Finance 1972–74 and Federal Chancellor 1974–82. He was a gifted pianist.
Schmidt. H., Balance of Power. 1970; Schmidt. H., Als Christ in der Politischen Entscheidung. 1976.
Schnabel, Artur (1882–1951). Austrian pianist, teacher and composer, born in Lipnik, then in Moravia, now in Poland. A pupil of Theodor *Leschetizky, he lived in Berlin 1900–33 and became internationally famous for his interpretations of *Beethoven, *Mozart, *Schubert and *Brahms. In 1932 he recorded all 32 Beethoven sonatas. He toured Australia in 1938 and lived in the US from 1939. His advanced compositions were in the style of *Schoenberg.
Schneerson, Menachem Mendel (1902–1994). American rabbi, born in Nikolayev, Russia (now Ukraine). In 1950 he succeeded his father-in-law as chief rabbi of the Lubavitcher (Hasidic) sect, with its headquarters in New York, with 200,000 followers and synagogues worldwide. Some followers believed him to be the Messiah.
Schnittke, Alfred (1934–1998). Russian composer, born in Engels. Son of a German-Jewish journalist who migrated to the USSR, he studied in Vienna. Enormously prolific, his works included nine symphonies, eight concertos, six concerti grossi, chamber music, three operas, three ballets, many choral works and film scores. His piano quintet (1976) and three sonatas for violin and piano are powerful and original. He was professor of composition at the Hamburg Hochschule 1989–98.
Schnitzler, Arthur (1862–1931). Austrian physician dramatist and novelist. His medical profession made him interested in psychological problems, usually erotic but sometimes morbid. He is at his best in cycles of short plays, e g. Anatol (1893) and Reigen (1900) in which one or more characters of one play are carried on into the next. (The French film La Ronde was based on his work.) Schnitzler was a Jew and the theme of Professor Bernhardi (1912) is conflict between a Jewish doctor’s sense of duty and Roman Catholic principles in an anti-Semitic country.
Schoenberg (Schönberg), Arnold (Franz Walter) (1874–1951). Hungarian-Czech-American composer, theorist, teacher and painter, born in Vienna. Raised in an Orthodox Jewish family, Schoenberg struggled with religion as he did with politics and aesthetics, became a Lutheran in 1898, and reconverted to Judaism in 1933. He worked as a bank clerk, was largely self-taught as an instrumentalist but had some lessons in composition from Alexander von Zemlinsky. His early work, notably Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night: string sextet, 1899) attempted to reconcile the influences of *Wagner and *Brahms. His massive cantata Gurre-Lieder (Songs of Gurre: 1911), for four soloists, four choruses and large orchestra, in a romantic post-Wagnerian idiom, is based on Danish legend. He then began a process of discarding traditional tonality, based on a key in the diatonic (seven-note) scale, adopting the chromatic (twelve-note) scale. He first used this transformation in The Book of the Hanging Gardens (1908, settings of Stefan *George) and the monodrama Erwartung (1909). The word ‘atonal’ was applied to his works, but not by Schoenberg who insisted that he used pitches and chords that continued to relate to a tonic centre. In Pierrot lunaire (1912), a cycle based on poems by Albert Giraud, employing ‘speech song’ and instrumental accompaniment, he developed ‘the twelve-tone row’ in which notes in the chromatic scale are arranged in an arbitrary order. It is hypnotic and compelling. Schoenberg and his disciples Alban *Berg and Anton *Webern are sometimes described as the Second Viennese School, although it is not clear who attended the first one.
Influenced by the Expressionists, Schoenberg became a prolific painter, notably self-portraits, exhibiting with *Kandinsky’s Blaue Reiter group. He was an expert chess and tennis player. The period 1916–23 was his ‘years of silence’. Almost all his work from the Serenade (1923) onwards was composed according to the twelve-tone row, one of the most important innovations in the history of music. The tone row for his Violin Concerto (1936), one of his most accessible works, is: A, B♭, E♭, B, E, F♯, C, D♭, G, A♭, D, F. Later works include the String Quartets Nos. 3 (1927) and 4 (1936), the Piano Concerto 1942), Ode to Napoleon (1943), A Survivor from Warsaw (1947), expressing passionate fury about the Holocaust, and the opera Moses und Aron, which was unfinished at his death. He lived in Vienna (apart from a few years in Berlin) until, at 51, he became a professor at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin. Dismissed by the Nazis in 1933, after a brief stay in Paris he went to the US where he taught in New York and Boston, then became a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. Schoenberg wrote, with good reason: ‘… if it is art, it is not for all, and if it is for all, it is not art.’ (1946).
Reich, W., Schoenberg: A Critical Biography. 1971; Rosen, C., Schoenberg. 1975.
Scholl, Andreas (1967– ). German counter tenor. Born into a family of singers, he studied in Switzerland with René *Jacobs, and developed a style of exceptional agility, musicality and interpretive depth, especially in works by *Vivaldi, *Händel and *Bach.
Scholl, Sophia Magdelena (1921–1943). German resister. A student in Munich, she became active in the White Rose, a non-violent resistance group. She and her brother Hans Scholl were convicted of treason for handing out leaflets and both were guillotined.
Schöngauer, Martin (c.1430–1491). German artsist, born in Colmar, Alsace. Son of a goldsmith, he studied (and taught?) at Leipzig and was influenced by the Flemish masters, especially Rogier van der *Weyden. His masterpiece, The Madonna of the Rose Garden (1473), the only surviving painting certainly by him, is in St Martin’s Dominican church in Colmar. He was the greatest German engraver before *Durer and 115 of his plates survive.
Schopenhauer, Arthur (1788–1860). German metaphysical philosopher, born in Danzig (now Gdansk). Best known for his view that will is the reality of the universe, he was a lecturer in philosophy at Berlin (1820–31) and suffered a dramatic reverse when he deliberately lectured at the same time as *Hegel and did not win away students. Influenced by eastern philosophy, he stressed the existence of human suffering and is sometimes called the philosopher of pessimism. His major work is The World as Will and Idea, the will being the active principle, a blind irrational impulse, a term which includes all active processes, even those of gravity or motivation. The ‘idea’ on the other hand was merely something received, a brain picture, a nothing of itself and with no exploratory function such as would be implied in such phrases as ‘intellectual intuition’. Schopenhauer’s ethical system rests on sympathy which to him is much more than fellow feeling, the actual identification of self with another. But asceticism he places even above sympathy, since through it is attained the subjection of the will to live and the intellect is freed to pierce the veil of illusion. Schopenhauer spent the last 30 years of his life in isolation at Frankfurt-am-Main. He gained little acceptance until old age and received few academic distinctions. His subsequent influence has been partly due to his emphasis on the irrational.
Gardiner, P., Schopenhauer. 1963.
Schreiner, Olive (Emilie Albertina) (1855–1920). South African author, born in Lesotho. Daughter of German missionaries, she wrote The Story of an African Farm (1883), an outspoken story of life in a Boer homestead and of spiritual problems similar to her own. Its rebellious attitude to the subordination of women caused much controversy at the time. She supported Cecil *Rhodes, then broke with him on the issue of political rights for women and blacks. She wrote Woman and Labour (1911), became a pacifist and corresponded with *Gandhi.
First, R., and A. Scott, Olive Schreiner. 1980.
Schröder, Gerhard Fritz Kurt (1944– ). German Social Democratic politician. He was a lawyer and administrator, Bundestag deputy 1980–86, Minister-President of Lower Saxony 1990–98, and SPD candidate for Chancellor 1998, defeating Helmut *Kohl and forming a coalition with the Greens. He was Chancellor 1998–2005 until defeated by a coalition led by Angela *Merkel. Married four times, known as ‘Audi man’ or ‘Lord of the Rings’, he left politics and entered business. He became close to Vladimir *Putin.
Schrödinger, Erwin (1887–1961). Austrian theoretical physicist. Educated at Vienna University, after a comparatively mediocre career, he had a sudden burst of creativity in a period of six months in 1926 when he wrote several brilliant papers which tackled major problems in quantum theory. He became professor of physics at Berlin University 1927–33. He was largely responsible for the development of wave mechanics, for which he deduced the fundamental equation (Schrödinger’s wave equation). This makes it possible to treat atomic structure on a more mathematical basis than is permitted by *Rutherford’s mechanical model. With *Dirac, Schrödinger won the Nobel Prize for Physics (1933). He taught in Rome and Oxford and was professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Dublin 1939–56. His book What Is Life? (1944) influenced a generation of young scientists to turn from physics to the biological sciences. He also wrote Nature and the Greeks (1954).
Moore, W.J., Schrödinger: Life and Thought. 1989; Gribbin, J., Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution. 2012.
Schubert, Franz Peter (1797–1828). Austrian composer, born in Vienna. Son of a schoolmaster, he was the 12th of 14 children (only 5 surviving infancy). He showed precocious musical talent, and from 1808 studied at the choir school in Vienna which provided singers for the Imperial Court chapel, and his teachers included *Salieri. In 1813, the year he left school, he composed his first symphony. In 1814, when he went to teach at his father’s school, he composed his first opera The Devil’s Pleasure Palace, the first six masses. Schubert was the first major Austrian composer to express the pleasure-loving, nostalgic and partly rustic atmosphere of Vienna, in the many songs and dances in which folk influence is discernible. He wrote in the Viennese classical tradition, with extraordinary melodic gifts and an increasing mastery of complex forms.
His lyricism, which has never been surpassed, found its finest expression in his songs (Lieder), which number 651 in the Deutsch (D) catalogue and he created the modern art of song. He set 63 of *Goethe’s poems, some in several versions, beginning with Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel (1814), ending with Mignon’s Song (Knowest thou the land?: 1826), and including some masterpieces: The Erl-King (Erlkönig), Hedgeroses, To the Moon, and The King of Thule. (Sadly, the poet was indifferent.) He also set texts by *Schiller, *Klopstock, *Shakespeare, *Heine, Wilhelm Müller and Friedrich von Matthisson. In 1815 he wrote 145 songs (nine on a single day) including many of his best. The song cycle Winterreise (Winter Journey), 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller, set for baritone and piano is, appropriately, chilling.
Schubert wrote four operas, none of which were performed in his lifetime and have only been rarely performed since, and was strikingly lacking in theatrical gifts, despite the drama, pathos and psychological insight of his songs. Choruses, both sacred and profane, poured from his pen. Twenty of his songs and many popular piano pieces were published in 1821. He derived his small income from music sales and teaching.
In 1816 he gave up school teaching, living a more or less hand-to-mouth existence, returned to his father’s school in 1817, then was a music master in Count Johann Esterhazy’s household in Hungary in 1818 and 1824. Schubert, a convivial character with many friends, frequently played and sang at concert parties (Schubertiaden) and receptions. He never married. The Piano Quintet (‘The Trout’, 1819) and Symphonies No. 4 (1816), 5 (1816) and 6 (1818) were rarely played until the 1930s.
Much of his finest music dates from his last years e.g. the song cycles Die Schöne Müllerin (Müller, 1823) and Die Winterreise (Müller, 1827), the famous Symphony No. 8 (Unfinished, 1822: first performed 1865), and Symphony No. 9 (The Great, 1825–28: first performed 1839, but regarded as too long and ignored for decades). Later chamber works include the Octet in F (1824), the String Quartets in A Minor (1824), D Minor (Death and the Maiden, 1824) and G Major (1826). The String Quintet in C major, D 956 (two violins, one viola, two cellos), written in the year of his death but unperformed until 1850, is his masterpiece, full of a passionate intensity and symphonic in its range, lyrical, dramatic, tragic, even violent at times. The Adagio is one of the greatest movements in all music: it cuts to the heart. The Quintet is especially poignant because Schubert faced an early death, while his creative powers were still developing. He was a prolific writer for piano, including 21 Sonatas, the Wanderer Fantasy (1822), two sets of four Impromptus, the Fantasy in F Minor for piano duet, the Moments musicaux and many lively dances. The last three Piano Sonatas, ranking with *Beethoven’s, were written only months before he died, and were dedicated to *Schumann (who failed to appreciate them). They were published first in 1838. Sonata No. 21 in B flat major, D. 960, is a long masterpiece, poignant, threatening, self-revelatory, and confronting.
The misfortunes of his last years—ill health, financial difficulties, failure (1826) to obtain salaried posts were offset by belated recognition. He met the dying Beethoven, who appreciated his work. In March 1828 his only public concert took place in Vienna where, in November, he died of typhoid fever at the age of 31. He had long suffered from syphilis, complicated by alcoholism, which makes his productivity all the more astounding. Schubert, the shortest lived of the great composers, was much influenced by Beethoven, and suffered by appearing to be in his shadow (an accusation which later haunted *Brahms). This was only an optical illusion. Schubert plumbed the depths of human emotion, of isolation, the separated soul, as few others have, before or since. He was buried next to Beethoven and had a profound influence on *Bruckner and *Mahler.
Deutsch, O. E., Schubert. A Documentary Biography. 1977; Rosen, C., The Romantic Generation. 1995; Mackay, E. N., Franz Schubert. A Biography. 1996; Newbould, B., Schubert: The Music and the Man. 1999; Gibbs, C. H., The Life of Schubert. 2000; Bostridge, I., Schubert’s Winter Journey. 2015.
Schumacher, Ernst Friedrich (1911–1977). British economist, born in Germany. He lived in Britain from 1937, worked for the National Coal Board, then devoted himself to promoting ‘intermediate’ and alternative technology. His book, Small is Beautiful (1973) was a major bestseller.
Schuman, Robert (1886–1963). French politician, born in Luxembourg. He first became a deputy in 1919, played an active part in the Resistance during World War II and after the war was a prominent member of the MRP (Mouvement Républicain Populaire). Prime Minister 1947–48, as Foreign Minister 1948–53 in 10 administrations he proved himself a strong supporter of European integration. The ‘Schuman plan’ led to the European Coal and Steel Community (ratified 1952). In 1958 he became first president of the European Parliamentary Assembly.
Schumann, Clara Josephine (née Wieck) (1819–1896). German pianist and composer, born in Leipzig. Daughter of the important piano teacher Friedrich Wieck (1785–1873), she was a child prodigy, toured extensively and composed many piano pieces and songs. Despite her father’s passionate opposition, she married Robert *Schumann in 1840, bore eight children between 1841 and 1854 and supported him during his mental breakdown. The intimate friend (but not lover) of Johannes *Brahms, she disapproved of *Liszt’s florid style, introduced the practice of playing from memory, was recognised as the definitive interpreter of *Beethoven *Chopin, Schumann and Brahms, and taught in Frankfurt. She toured Britain 16 times.
Schumann, Elisabeth (1888–1952). German soprano. She sang opera and lieder, and was a member of the Vienna State Opera 1919–37. Much of her international success came from her recordings of songs by *Schubert. She settled in New York in 1938.
Schumann, Robert Alexander (1810–1856). German composer, born in Zwickau in Saxony. Son of a publisher and bookseller, he showed early musical ability but went as a law student to Leipzig, where he was unhappy, and to Heidelberg where law competed unsuccessfully with music and a gay and extravagant social life. From 1830 he was committed to music, studying piano with Friedrich Wieck, whose daughter (Clara *Schumann) he married. His hopes of a career as a virtuoso were ended by an injury to his right hand. He founded and edited The New Journal of Music (Leipzig, 1834–44) in which his vividly written criticisms did much to promote the reputations of *Chopin and *Berlioz. Of his compositions in this first period the set of piano pieces known as Carnaval were inspired by an early love affair, while his love for Clara is immortalised in the C Major Fantasia, the Kreisleriana, the Etudes Symphoniques (1837) and other piano works. In 1840 he was absorbed by the romantic poems of *Heine, many of which he turned into songs. In 1841 he turned to composition on a more extended scale: the Symphony No. 1 (Spring), the first version of the Symphony No. 4 and the first movement of the Piano Concerto (completed 1845) date from this year. In 1842 there followed three String Quartets and the great piano Quintet (op. 44). His first large choral work, Paradise and the Peri, was finished in 1843. A move to Dresden with its opera house suggested experiment in the theatrical field (e.g. incidental music for *Byron's Manfred). The directorship of the Dusseldorf Orchestra 1849–1853 proved too much for his health and mental stability, and despite the solace of the friendship of the young *Brahms, he tried to drown himself (1854) and spent his last two years in an asylum at Endenich, near Bonn, at his own request. He presumably suffered from a manic-depressive disorder, complicated by heavy drinking, and died of malnutrition.
Except for the Symphony No. 3 (Rhenish), two violin sonatas and the cello concerto (op. 129, 1850), his works in the last phase show a decline in creative power. With notable exceptions he was not at his best in the large instrumental works which demanded extended abstract musical thinking. He made his unique contribution in those miniature forms (the character piece for piano and the song) which he was able to fill at the prompting of a poet's idea. His Dichterliebe cycle and Liederkreis collection (both 1840) provide the perfect musical counterparts to the romantic poetry of *Heine and *Eichendorff respectively, and Schumann is ranked amongst the greatest of song composers.
Chissell, J. Schumann. 1967; Ostwald, P., Schumann—the inner voice of a musical genius. 1985; Worthen, J., Robert Schumann. Life of a Musician. 2007.
Schumpeter, Joseph Alois (1883–1950). Austrian economist. He served as Minister for Finance 1919–20 in the first Austrian republican government, became professor of economics at Bonn in 1925 and in 1932 moved to the US where he held a Harvard chair until his death. His Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) and History of Economic Analysis (1950) were enormously influential. His third wife, Elizabeth Boody (1898–1953), an economic historian, edited his work.
Schuschnigg, Kurt Alois Josef Johann von (1897–1977). Austrian politician, born in the Tyrol. A lawyer, he was a Christian Social deputy 1927–38, serving under *Dollfuss as Minister for Justice 1932–33 and Education 1933–34. An Austro-Fascist, with strong links to the Catholic Church and *Mussolini’s regime, he opposed *Hitler’s policy of annexation of Austria. After Dollfuss’ murder, he became Chancellor of Austria 1934–38 until forced out after the Anschluss. Imprisoned 1938–45, he was a professor of political science at St Louis University, Missouri, 1948–67.
Schuschnigg, K. von, Austrian Requiem. Eng. ed. 1947.
Schütz, Heinrich (in Latin Henricus Sagittarius) (1585–1672). German composer, born in Saxony. He studied in Venice under Giovanni *Gabrieli, became an organist in Kassel and worked in Dresden from 1615 until his death, except for short periods in Venice (where he may have known *Monteverdi) and two years in Copenhagen. He wrote the first German opera, Dafne (1627, now lost), and much Church music, including three Passions (Luke, John, Matthew) and Christmas Oratorio. His Seven Words from the Cross (1645) and Resurrection (1623) represent a link between the 16th-century polyphonic composers and the accompanied choral works of *Bach and *Händel. He wrote more than 500 works.
Schuyler, Philip John (1733–1804). American politician. He was a member of the colonial assembly (from 1768) and delegate to the Continental Congress (1775). As well as being Commissioner for Indian affairs, he sat in Congress between 1778–81 and was a senator 1789–91 and 1797–98. He was a leader of the Federal Party in New York and helped to prepare the state’s Constitution.
Schwab, Charles Michael (1862–1939). American industrialist. He worked his way up from being a stake-driver to become first President of the United Steel Corporation (1901–03) and President of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation (from 1903).
Schwann, Theodor (1810–1882). German physiologist, born in Cologne. Educated in Berlin, Bonn and Würzburg, he worked with J. P. *Müller and all his great achievements were in the 1830s, investigating the chemistry of life processes. He devoted himself to the study of digestion, and discovered the enzyme ‘pepsin’. He worked on the formation of sugar solutions and the role of yeast in ferments. His denials of spontaneous generation led to experiments on sterilisation which *Pasteur was later to build upon. Schwann is perhaps best known for his contributions to cell theory in plants and animals. He was concerned with showing the differentiation of cell structure in very different tissues (e.g. cartilage and bones). All aspects of animals and plants were either cells or their products. Cells had a physiological and chemical life of their own, which was, however, subordinate to the overall life of the organism. He coined the term ‘metabolism’. Professor of Anatomy at Louvain 1838–47 and Liege 1847–80, he was awarded the Copley Medal in 1845.
Schwarzenegger, Arnold Alois (1947– ). American actor and politician, born in Austria. In the US from 1968, he worked as a body-builder and appeared in the films The Terminator (1984) and Kindergarten Cop (1990). After a referendum recalled the Governor of California, Grey Davis, in September 2003, Schwarzenegger, the Republican candidate, was elected to succeed him, serving until 2011.
Schwarzkopf, Dame (Olga Maria) Elizabeth (Friederike) (1915–2006). German soprano (naturalised British). Her career flourished after World War II with the encouragement of her husband Walter Legge (1906–1979), record producer and founder of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Her enormous ability as singer and actor, combined with striking good looks, made her the most admired operatic and concert soprano of her time, and she made several films. She was a notable Countess in Figaro and Feldmarschall in Rosenkavalier, and made many lieder recordings.
Schwarzkopf, H(erbert) Norman (1934–2012). American general. Son of a brigadier, he grew up abroad, then graduated from West Point and the University of Southern California. He served in Vietnam, Grenada and Washington, and was appointed as Commander of the UN’s ‘Operation Desert Storm’, in which 500,000 troops (mostly US) defeated Iraq in the Gulf War (1991). He wrote an autobiography It Doesn’t Take a Hero (1992).
Schweitzer, Albert (1875–1965). French-German (Alsatian) medical missionary, theologian, philosopher, organist, biographer, born in Kayserberg, Alsace. Son of a Lutheran pastor, he studied organ in Mulhouse, theology in Strasbourg, and gained a PhD in Paris with a thesis on *Kant. His German and French Organ Building and Organ Art (1906) was influential in reviving interest in baroque organs, but he remained an enthusiast for *Cavaillé-Coll’s instruments. He first became known as an interpreter of J. S. *Bach and wrote an authoritative biography (1905/08, translated into English by Ernest *Newman). With C.-M. *Widor, he edited The Complete Organ Works of J.S. Bach (8 vols, 1912–14). (He also made some much-admired recordings.) His controversial book The Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906, translated 1910) argued that *Jesus’ mission was to warn of an impending end of the world. In 1905 Schweitzer decided to become a medical missionary in Africa and, after qualifying in medicine in Strasbourg, he established a mission hospital at Lambaréné in French Equatorial Africa (now Gabon), treating leprosy, sleeping sickness and other tropical diseases. He worked there 1913–17, 1923–65, apart from a period of internment in World War I (1917–18) and concert and lecture tours in Europe (1919–23, 1928, 1935, 1937, 1949–50, 1952–53) to raise funds. In 1949 he visited the US. He was criticised for neglecting modern methods of hygiene, e.g. by letting wives and children accompany the patients to hospital and cook meals etc. in the hospital precincts. His answer was that his methods won the affection and trust of those for whom he worked and that the fear of hospital was removed. Improvements were, however, gradually introduced. In his Civilisation and Ethics (1923) he urged adoption of the philosophy of ‘reverence for life’ (Ehrfurcht vor dem Leben). The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle (1931), a revisionist work, explains Paul in the context of Hellenism and is sharply critical of *Luther’s interpretation. He wrote several autobiographical works, e.g. From my African Notebook (1936). In the early years of the Cold War, Schweitzer was often linked with Albert *Einstein and Bertrand *Russell in campaigning against atomic weapons. He received the 1952 Nobel Prize for Peace, having been nominated 30 times since 1930. His Nobel Prize address is a careful examination of the causes of war and attempts to create organisations, which can eliminate the risk of annihilation. He refers to the horrors of World War II, including atomic bombs, fire bombings and displacement of refugees but, bizarrely, made no reference to *Hitler, the Holocaust, the Middle East or Africa. He used his Nobel Prize money to build a leprosarium and died in Lambaréné.
His many honours included election to the Académie française (1953) and the British OM (1955). He was a second cousin of Jean-Paul *Sartre and related by marriage to the conductor Charles *Munch.
Seaver, G., Albert Schweitzer: The Man and His Mind. 6th ed. 1969; Brabazon, J., Albert Schweitzer. 1975; Brabazon, J., Albert Schweitzer: A Biography. 2000; Oermann, N. O., Albert Schweitzer: A Biography. 2016.
Schweppe, (Jean) Jacob (1740–1821). German-Swiss inventor, born in Hesse. A jeweller in Geneva, he followed the experiments of Joseph *Priestley and invented a machine that produced the first aerated soft drinks. He was in commercial production by 1783 and set up a factory in London in 1792.
Schwinger, Julian Seymour (1918–1994). American theoretical physicist, born in New York. He was Robert *Oppenheimer’s assistant on the ‘Manhattan Project’, shared the 1965 Nobel Prize for Physics with Richard *Feynman and Sin-Itiro *Tomonaga for their work in formulating quantum electrodynamics.
Schwitters, Kurt (1887–1948). German artist and poet. A leader of the Dada movement, he developed three dimensional collages (collectively called Merz—from the German word Kommerz), using everyday objects. He lived in England from 1940.
Sciascia, Leonardo (1921–1989). Italian novelist, born in Sicily. He wrote thrillers that attacked the Mafia, Red Terrorism and Church indifference, and served in the European Parliament.
Scipio Aemilianus, Publius Cornelius (185–129 BCE). Roman general. The adopted son of Publius Scipio, the son of *Scipio Africanus, he was elected consul (147), commanded the Roman forces in the Third Punic War and after a long siege took and utterly destroyed Carthage (146). Back in Rome, he became a leader of the conservative opposition to the reforms (especially the agrarian law) of his brother-in-law Tiberius Gracchus (*Gracchi). Scipio’s death was generally believed to be a political murder.
Astin, A. E., Scipio Aemilianus. 1967.
Scipio Africanus, Publius Cornelius (236–183 BCE). Roman general. Having gained self-confidence and public esteem in battle against *Hannibal in Italy, he was appointed, at the early age of 27, proconsul in Spain. One by one he reduced the Carthaginian strongholds and by 207 had conquered the whole country, thus depriving Hannibal of his base. He was elected consul (205) but instead of directing his forces against Hannibal, still in Italy, he conceived the plan, which he carried out against strong opposition, of going direct to Africa and by a threat to Carthage itself ensuring Hannibal’s recall. So it transpired. Scipio was victorious on the plains outside Carthage and Hannibal’s army on its return was surrounded and destroyed at Zama (202). For the next 10 years Scipio’s prestige gave him almost unlimited power, though his love of all things Greek and a policy to accord with it created a conservative opposition under Marcus Porcius *Cato. Scipio’s campaign (190–189) against *Antiochus of Syria provided an opportunity for his enemies. Lucius Scipio, Africanus’s brother, was asked to account for using part of the indemnity received from Antiochus as a bonus to his troops. Africanus, who realised that he was the real target, was insulted by what he felt to be base ingratitude and retired from public life. By his victories and breadth of vision he had ensured the future of Rome as a great imperial power.
Scullard, H. H., Scipio Africanus: Soldier and Politician. 1970.
Scofield, (David) Paul (1922–2008). English actor. He created the stage role of Thomas *More in Robert *Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons (1962) and *Salieri in Amadeus (1979) and toured as Hamlet and Lear. His films include John Schlesinger’s The Train (1964), A Man for All Seasons (1966, for which he won an Oscar) and Peter *Brook’s King Lear (1971). He received the CH in 2001.
Scopes, John Thomas (1901–1970). American teacher. After being dismissed for teaching the Darwinian theory of evolution (forbidden by Tennessee law), he was the protagonist of the famous ‘monkey’ trial at Dayton, Tenn. (1925). Defended by Clarence *Darrow against a prosecution led by William Jennings *Bryan, he was fined $100 but the sentence was reversed on appeal.
Scorsese, Martin (1942– ). American film director, screenwriter and actor, born in New York. He began making documentaries in the social realist tradition and his feature films include Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), King of Comedy (1982), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and The Age of Innocence (1993).
Scott, C(harles) P(restwich) (1846–1932). English newspaper editor, born in Bath. Educated at Oxford, he was editor of the Manchester Guardian 1872–1929 and made it a radical force, supporting Home Rule for Ireland and opposing the Boer War. Scott was a Liberal MP 1895–1906 but insisted ‘Comment is free, but the facts are sacred’. When the proprietor J. E. Taylor died in 1905, Scott bought the paper.
Scott, Sir (George) Gilbert (1811–1878). English architect. After being articled to a London firm he gained a major success by winning (1844) an open competition for designing St Nikolai Church, Hamburg (now a ruin). From then on he was constantly in demand for building new churches, mainly in the Gothic style, and restoring old ones, including Westminster Abbey and the cathedrals of Hereford, Salisbury, Chester, Ripon, Exeter, St Albans and Bath Abbey. Among his secular works were Reading Gaol (1844), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1868), St Pancras railway station and hotel (1868) and the Albert Memorial (1872) in London.
Clark, K., The Gothic Revival. Repr. 1950.
Scott, Sir Giles Gilbert (1880–1960). English architect. Grandson of Sir George Gilbert *Scott, he won a competition for designing the Anglican Cathedral for Liverpool (1902) and supervised its construction for many years. Among his other designs were those for the Cambridge University Library, the new Bodleian Library, Oxford, the new Waterloo Bridge, London, the new chamber of the House of Commons after World War II (designed 1944, completed 1950), and the Battersea Power Station (converted to the Tate Modern). He received the OM in 1944.
Scott, Michael (1175–1234). Scottish scholar. He translated parts of *Aristotle from Arabic and became official astrologer to the emperor *Friedrich II. His magical powers are referred to by *Dante. Some of his works survive. He was buried at Melrose Abbey, where his grave is still marked.
Scott, Sir Peter Markham (1909–1989). British ornithologist and artist. Son of Robert Falcon *Scott, he worked for the conservation of endangered species partly through the World Wildlife Fund but principally through his own Wildfowl Trust at Shimbridge which he founded in 1946. He led ornithological expeditions to Iceland, the Galapagos Islands and the Antarctic.
Scott, P., The Eye of the Wind. 1961.
Scott, Robert Falcon (1868–1912). English sailor and Antarctic explorer. He joined the navy (1881) and was promoted captain in 1906. He led two expeditions to the Antarctic: the first (1901–04) explored the Ross Sea area, in a second voyage (begun 1910) to the same area he commanded the Terra Nova and among his objectives, which included much scientific and exploratory work, was a sledge journey to the South Pole. When Scott and his four companions, E. A. Wilson, L. E. G. *Oates, H. R. Bowers and E. Evans reached their goal (18 January 1912) they found that the Norwegian explorer Roald *Amundsen had been there a month earlier. Disappointment became tragedy when, already delayed by a sudden drop in temperature, intense blizzards, and illness, the party remained in its tent until provisions were exhausted. Scott recorded the last days in his diary, later discovered and published in 1913.
Solomon, S., The Coldest March. 2001; Fiennes, R., Captain Scott. 2003.
Scott, Sir Walter, 1st Baronet (1771–1832). Scottish writer, born in Edinburgh. Partly crippled by polio (1773), he was increasingly lame throughout life. To please his father, an Edinburgh lawyer, he studied law and advanced in the profession, but medieval history and the Romantic literature becoming popular in Germany were his more fruitful regions of study. The collection Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802–03) was followed by his own original The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808) and several more ballads. Popular fame and wealth immediately ensued, the latter encouraging him to start building what was intended to be the ancestral home of Abbotsford on the Tweed near Melrose. He now turned from poetry to prose and Waverley (1814), published anonymously, introduced the great romantic and historical series known as the Waverley novels, from their author’s thin disguise as ‘the author of Waverley’. The best known include Guy Mannering (1815), Rob Roy (1818), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819) which inspired *Donizetti’s opera, Ivanhoe (1819), The Monastery and its sequel The Abbott (both 1820), Kenilworth (1821), Quentin Durward (1823) and The Talisman (1825). Fiercely reactionary, he was created a baronet in 1820.
Coincident with the publication of Woodstock (1826) came the disaster that shadowed Scott’s last years. Partly to meet the cost of Abbotsford he had entered into partnership with his friend James *Ballantyne, the publisher. The firm crashed, Scott, with his delicate sense of honour, refused bankruptcy and with immense courage and industry assumed the task of repaying in full a sum of £130,000 due to creditors. This was eventually achieved by the sale of copyrights after his death, hastened by strain and exhaustion. The quality of his work inevitably declined but to this last period belong three more novels (e.g. Anne of Geierstein), the collection of stories from Scottish history titled Tales of a Grandfather (1828–30), and his Life of Napoleon (1827).
Scott’s particular form of romanticism is out of fashion, his characterisation was often poor, but some of his historical portraits, e.g. of *Louis XI of France in Quentin Durward, are remarkable. He played an important part in the development of the historical novel. In his Journal (March 1826), he wrote, after commenting on Jane *Austen, ‘The big bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting, from the truth of the description and the sentiment, is denied to me.’
Abbotsford passed eventually to Scott’s granddaughter Charlotte (child of his daughter Sophie and J. G. *Lockhart, his biographer), then to her descendants. Scott’s fame was spread by the Caledonian diaspora. (In Melbourne alone, four suburbs are named for his home and novels.)
Johnson, E., Sir Walter Scott: The Great Unknown. 1970; Lincoln, A., Walter Scott and Modernity. 2007; Duncan, I., Scott’s Shadow. 2007; Kelly, S., Scott-Land. 2010.
Scott, Winfield (1786–1866). American soldier and politician, born in Virginia. Originally a lawyer, he served in the War of 1812 in Canada and was wounded, led campaigns against the Black Hawks, Seminoles, Creeks and Cherokees, becoming a skilled negotiator in ending the Patriot War (1837–38). He sought the Whig nomination for President in 1840, 1844 and 1848, losing, in turn, to *Harrison, *Clay and *Taylor. As Commanding General of the US Army 1841–61, he introduced French tactics, and in the Mexican War (1846–48) defeated *Santa Anna and captured Mexico City. He won the soubriquet ‘Old Fuss and Feathers’. In 1852 as an anti-slavery candidate he defeated Millard *Fillmore for the Whig presidential nomination, but lost to Franklin *Pierce (who had been a subordinate in Mexico). He remained loyal to the Union in the Civil War, retiring in November 1861.
Scott Moncrieff, C(harles) K(enneth) (1889–1930). Scottish writer and translator. Educated at Winchester and Edinburgh University, he translated Beowulf and *Stendhal, served as an officer in World War I and was injured. From 1921 until his death, he devoted himself to translating *Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu, as Remembrance of Things Past, a masterpiece in its own right, poetic but not always strictly literal. He lived in Italy from 1923, in Florence, Pisa and Rome, reporting to British Intelligence on *Mussolini and the Fascist regime. He also translated *Pirandello.
Findlay, J., Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C. K. Scott Moncrieff, Soldier, Spy and Translator. 2014.
Scriabin (or Skryabin), Aleksandr Nikolayevich (1872–1915). Russian composer and pianist. A contemporary of *Rachmaninoff at the Moscow Conservatoire, he became professor of pianoforte there 1898–1904. His early piano works were strongly influenced by *Chopin. After leaving Moscow he devoted himself to composition and lived in Switzerland, Belgium and France. Later under the influence of theosophy he developed doctrines that attached religious significance to all forms of art, and in his compositions subordinated everything to the achievement of ecstasy for which purpose he used such effects as clanging bells, incantations and blaring trumpets. The orchestral works Poem of Ecstasy (1908) and Prometheus (1911) and the last five piano sonatas (Nos. 5–10) illustrate this development. In his later works he introduced a harmonic system based on a ‘mystic’ chord of ascending fourths.
Scribe, (Augustin) Eugène (1791–1861). French dramatist. He was a prolific writer of plays that entertain mainly by the skill of the plot and clever denouements, e.g. Adrienne Lecouvreur (1849, later an opera by *Puccini). He also wrote about 90 libretti, for operas by *Adam, *Auber, *Bellini, Boieldieu, *Donizetti, *Halévy, *Meyerbeer, *Offenbach, *Rossini and *Verdi. He believed that the function of the theatre was to amuse, not to be a reflection of life or a means of instruction.
Scullin, James Henry (1876–1953). Australian Labor politician, born near Ballarat. He was a grocer, journalist and union organiser, a member of the House of Representatives 1910–13, 1922–49 and Leader of the Australian Labor Party 1928–35. His term as Prime Minister 1929–32 coincided with the onset of the Great Depression in which Australia was severely hurt. His party split over means of combatting the crisis, with Jack *Lang defecting to the Left and J. A. *Lyons to the Right. In the December 1931 election, the ALP national vote fell to 26.7 per cent and Lyons led the United Australia Party to a landslide victory.
Sculthorpe, Peter Joshua (1929–2014). Australian composer, born in Launceston. After studying in Melbourne and Oxford, he taught composition at Sydney University 1963, becoming a Professor in 1992. Encouraged by the conductor Sir Bernard Heinze (1894–1982) and by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (now Corporation) his music was frequently performed. His works include 15 string quartets, Irkanda I and Irkanda IV for violin, Cello Dreaming, and Sun Music I, II and III, Earth Cry for didgeridoo and orchestra (1986), Kakadu (1988) for orchestra and Port Arthur In Memoriam (1996). Naxos and ABC/Eloquence produced two valuable collections of Sculthorpe’s music.
Seaborg, Glenn Theodore (1912–1999). American physicist, born in Michigan. Educated at the University of California at Los Angeles and Berkeley, he worked on transuranic elements with Edwin *McMillan and shared the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics with him. He co-discovered (and named) the elements plutonium (No. 94), americum (95), curium (96), berkelium (97), californium (98), einsteinium (99), fermium (100), mendelevium (101) and nobelium (102). He chaired the US Atomic Energy Commission 1961–71 and campaigned for an end to nuclear testing. Seaborgium (106) was named for him in 1994, and Asteroid Seaborg in 1995.
Searle, Ronald (1920–2011). British artist and cartoonist. He published his first work in 1935 and joined Punch in 1956. He was also attached to Life from 1955 and to the New Yorker from 1966. He published 60 books (21 with collaborators) of drawings and cartoons in a detailed, linear style and first gained wide popular success with his grotesque school children, whom he drew as inky-fingered caricatures of juvenile delinquency. The most famous of these, the girls of St Trinian’s, appeared in the early 1950s.
Sebald, W. G. (Winfried Georg Maximilian) (1944–2001). German novelist and poet, born in Bavaria. A graduate of Freiburg University, he mostly worked in England after 1966 and was a lecturer at the University of East Anglia 1970–87 and professor 1987–2001. Despite his fluency in English, he wrote entirely in German. He wrote four ‘prose-fictions’, which combine elements of novels, histories and documentaries: Vertigo (1990), The Emigrants (1992), The Rings of Saturn (1995) and Austerlitz (2001). His works deal with the suppression of memory, the decay of civilization and the impact of the Holocaust. He had just begun to achieve international recognition when he died in a car crash in Norwich, after suffering an aneurysm. His work is powerful, disturbing and mysterious.
Sebastião (Sebastian) I (1554–1578). King of Portugal and the Algarves 1557–78. A posthumous child, he succeeded his grandfather *João III. He grew up with an antipathy to women and a fanatical sense of mission to lead a crusade against the Muslims of North Africa. He sailed to Morocco in 1578 but was defeated and never seen again. The mystery of his disappearance produced impostors and led to the growth of a legend that he would return to deliver Portugal in time of need.
Seddon, Richard John (1845–1906). New Zealand politician, born in Lancashire. He emigrated to Australia in 1863 and then went to the Westland goldfields of New Zealand (1866). First elected to the House of Representatives in 1879, he became (1891) a minister in the Liberal Government of John Ballance, whom he succeeded as Prime Minister 1893–1906. Known as ‘King Dick’, he straightened the affairs of the Bank of New Zealand, assisted Britain in the Boer War with New Zealand troops, introduced Imperial Preference (1903), and annexed the Cook Islands. He was no socialist but to control prices he introduced state coal-mining (1901), fire insurance (1903), and house-building (1905). He died at sea.
Sedgwick, Adam (1785–1873). English geologist. Son of the curate of Dent in Yorkshire, he studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, and became a Fellow in 1810. Despite having no knowledge of the subject, he was appointed Professor of Geology at Cambridge 1818–73, learned on the job and became one of the foremost British geologists. An empirical geologist, with strong Christian sentiments, he disapproved of *Lyell’s Uniformitarianism, was suspicious of Glacial Theory, and rejected all theories of evolution, especially *Darwin’s. He excelled in two fields, in palaeontology, especially palaeozoic fossils, and in understanding the stratigraphy of the British Isles, using fossils as an index of relative time. His greatest work lay in the geology of Wales, bringing to birth the concept of the Cambrian System on which he eventually quarrelled with *Murchison, another proponent of the Devonian system. He was awarded the Copley Medal in 1863.
Speakman, C., Adam Sedgwick. 1982.
Sedley, Sir Charles (1639–1701). English poet and dramatist. A member of the circle of wits and profligates who surrounded *Buckingham and *Rochester at the court of *Charles II, he wrote charming lyrics, excellent translations of *Virgil and *Horace, and plays, e.g. the comedies The Mulberry Garden (1667), based on *Molière’s L’École des maris, and Bellamira (1687).
Segovia, Andrés (1893–1987). Spanish classical guitarist. Regarded during his active period as the greatest in the world, he made his debut at 14 and established an international reputation mainly with Spanish music. He inspired many works for the guitar, notably by *Villa-Lobos, Ponce and Castelnuovo-Tedesco and adapted pieces by *Bach and *Mozart. He was ennobled as Marqués de Solobrefia in 1981.
Segrè, Emilio Gino (1905–1989). American nuclear physicist, born in Italy. Professor of physics at the University of Palermo 1935–38, he then worked in the US, where he became professor of physics at the University of California 1946–72. He helped to prepare artificially the elements technetium (No. 43) and astatine (No. 85), which are below uranium in atomic number but not found naturally on earth. Segrè was a pioneer in the investigation of anti-matter and discovered (1955) the anti-proton. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics (1959). His publications include Nuclei and Particles (1964).
Seidler, Harry (1923–2006). Australian architect, born in Vienna. Of Jewish-Romanian parentage, he escaped to London in 1938 and was briefly interned in Canada, studied architecture in Manitoba, then won a scholarship to Harvard where he worked with *Gropius and *Breuer, and in Boston with *Aalto. In Sydney from 1948, he designed more than 180 buildings, including the Australian Embassy in Paris. He was associated with *Niemeyer in Brasilia. The Grand Tour, Travelling the World with an Architect's Eye (2004) presents 1000 photographs by Seidler.
O’Neill, H., A Singular Vision: Harry Seidler. 2013.
Sejanus, Lucius Aelius (d.31 CE). Roman politician and conspirator. A favourite of *Tiberius, he ran the praetorian guard, arranged murders inside the imperial family, but was detected in treachery and executed.
Selden, John (1584–1664). English jurist, parliamentarian and scholar. From 1621 he sat almost continuously in parliament. He helped to draw up the Petition of Right and (1629–31) was imprisoned in the Tower, but though he sat in the Long Parliament his refusal to vote for the attainder of *Strafford made him suspect and he gradually withdrew from public life. His Titles of Honour (1614) and History of Tithes (1618) still have value, but most of his learned works are long forgotten and he is remembered mainly for his Table Talk (1689), a record collected by his secretary of his conversations and remarks during his last 20 years. He was also an orientalist whose collection of manuscripts came to the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The Selden Society (for legal publications) was founded in his honour.
Seleucus I Nicator (d.280 BCE). Macedonian general, founder of the Seleucid dynasty. After the death of *Alexander the Great (323) his conquests were divided among his generals. By 312 Seleucus, one of the ablest and most ambitious, had married a Persian princess and ruled Babylonia. He gradually enlarged his empire until it included much of Asia and extended from Syria to India. He was assassinated. Under his successors, known as the Seleucids, the eastern provinces were gradually lost and the power of the dynasty continued in Syria until 64 BCE, when the country was conquered by the Romans, though the Hellenistic culture introduced by the Seleucid dynasty survived.
Selim I (‘the Grim’, in the West; in his empire ‘the Steadfast’) (1467–1520). Turkish Sultan 1512–20. Son of *Mehmet II and father of *Süleyman, he was also Caliph 1517–20. The Ottoman Empire expanded threefold during his reign. He occupied Egypt in 1517 and died as he was about to invade Hungary. He was also a gifted poet.
Selkirk, Alexander (1676–1721). Scottish seaman. While serving under William *Dampier on a privateering expedition he was marooned (1704). According to one account he was left at his own request on one of the Juan Fernandez Islands in the Pacific. He was rescued (1709) and his story inspired *Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe.
Sellars, Peter (1957– ). American theatre and opera director, born in Pittsburgh. The most innovative director of his time, he worked at many international festivals. His productions included works by *Aeschylus, *Shakespeare, *Bach, *Mozart, *Ligeti and John *Adams.
Sellers, Peter see Goons, The
Selznick, David O(liver) (1902–1965). American film producer, born in Pittsburgh. He worked in publishing and real estate, then moved to Hollywood and, after an unhappy period with Paramount, MGM and RKO, became the most important independent producer. His films include Anna Karenina (1935), David Copperfield (1935), Gone with the Wind (1939), Rebecca (1940), Duel in the Sun (1946) and The Third Man (1949). He married the actor Jennifer Jones (1919–2009). She won the 1943 Academy Award for best actress in The Song of Bernadette, appeared in Madam Bovary (1949), Beat the Devil (1953) and Love is a Many Splendoured Thing (1957), and married the industrialist, philanthropist and art collector Norton Simon, whose gallery in Pasadena she chaired.
Semenov, Nikolai Nikolayevich (1896–1986). Russian physical chemist. Assistant professor of physics at Leningrad Polytechnic Institute 1928–31, he directed the Academy of Sciences Institute of Chemical Physics 1931–66 and was professor of physical chemistry at Moscow State University 1944–66. He carried out important researches in chemical kinetics and shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1956) with *Hinshelwood for their important discoveries in this field.
Semmelweis, Ignác Philipp (1818–1865). Hungarian obstetrician. Working in a Vienna hospital he discovered in 1847 that the death rate from puerperal fever was far higher (10 per cent against 3 per cent) in the ward attended by doctors who had come straight from post mortem rooms than in that attended by midwives. He worked in Pest from 1849. By insisting on adequate use of antiseptics he reduced the death rate from infection to 1 per cent. The value of his work was recognised after his death but provoked much controversy at the time. Infected by a cut, he died of septicaemia in an asylum.
Gortvay, G., and Zoltán, I., Semmelweis, his Life and Work. 1968.
Sen, Amartya Kumar (1933– ). Indian economist and philosopher, born in Bengal. Educated at Calcutta and Cambridge, he held chairs in Calcutta, London, Oxford and was professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard 1987–97, 2004– and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge 1998–2003. He wrote Poverty and Famines (1981), Inequality Reexamined (1992), Development as Freedom (1999), Rationality and Freedom (2004) and The Idea of Justice (2009). He devised the Human Development Index (HDI) as an alternative to the gross domestic product (GDP) figures to measure quality of life. He won the 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics for his fundamental work on development and welfare economics, restoring an ethical dimension, combining tools from economics and philosophy. He received a CH in 2000 and was awarded more than 90 honorary degrees.
Senanayake, Don Stephen (1884–1952). Ceylonese (Sri Lankan) politician. He led Ceylon’s independence movement, and as Minister of Agriculture 1941–46 he achieved much in irrigation and land reclamation. He became (1948) the first Prime Minister of the newly created dominion, dying in office after falling from a horse. His son, Dudley Senanayake (1911–1973), was Prime Minister 1952–53, 1960, 1965–70.
Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (c.4 BCE–65 CE). Roman tragedian and politician, born in Córdoba. His fame as an orator roused the jealousy of *Caligula and almost cost him his life. Under *Claudius the favour of the Emperor’s sister brought the hostility of *Messalina, the Emperor’s wife, and Seneca was banished to Corsica. He was recalled (49 CE) to be tutor to the young *Nero and when his pupil became Emperor provided five years (the famous quinquennium Neronis) of model government. Later he became involved in a conspiracy and was forced to commit suicide. As a philosopher he inclined towards modified Stoicism and wrote essays on such subjects as Calm of Mind, Shortness of Life. He is better known for his nine surviving verse tragedies, which elaborate the familiar classical stories (Medea, Phaedra, Oedipus etc); with much melodrama, moralising and horror, they influenced Elizabethan drama and *Corneille and *Racine. Though Seneca’s private life was blameless, he lacked strength of character, became a time-serving flatterer and condoned vices he could not prevent. He even wrote the oration defending Nero’s matricide of *Agrippina. Nevertheless, as his 124 Moral Epistles show, he was, in his timid way, a seeker after virtue.
Senghor, Leopold Sédar (1906–2001). Senegalese politician and poet. A Member of the French National Assembly 1945–58, he became President of Senegal 1960–80 and was elected to the Académie française in 1983.
Sennacherib (d.681 BCE). King of Assyria 705–681 BCE. He successfully maintained the empire of his grandfather, *Tiglath-Pileser III and his father *Sargon II. He destroyed Babylon, constantly in revolt, and punished a revolt in Judea (see 2 Kings) by laying waste part of the country and besieging Jerusalem. His greatest achievement was the building of a large part of the capital city of Nineveh (on the Tigris opposite Mosul), where magnificently carved reliefs illustrated his campaigns. The remains of magnificent aqueducts near Mosul suggest that the famous ‘Hanging Gardens’, one of the world’s seven wonders, were actually in Nineveh, not Babylon. He is the subject of *Byron’s The Destruction of Sennacherib. He was murdered by his sons and succeeded by his youngest, *Esarhaddon.
Sennett, Mack (Michell Sinott) (1880–1960). American film director and producer, born in Québec. He worked in film from 1908, as an actor, then director, and formed Keystone Films in 1912, directing a long series of comic shorts which featured Charles *Chaplin and later the Keystone Kops. He was a victim of the transition to talking films but received a special Academy Award in 1937.
Senussi (or Sanusi), Muhammad ibn Ali as- (c.1787–1859). Arab religious and political leader, born in Algeria. Claiming descent from *Fatimah, he established an order or fraternity that aimed at a return to the pure and simple Islamic doctrines untainted by later ‘reformers’. Forced to leave Arabia, he established himself and his followers in Cyrenaica, where the Senussi, whose numbers grew eventually to over 200,000, formed a semi-independent state under him and his successors. The Senussi proved the most tenacious opponents of the Italian regime that succeeded that of Turkey after the war of 1911–12. Their leader Muhammad *Idris became the first (and only) king of Libya in 1951.
Septimius Severus, Lucius see Severus, Lucius Septimius
Sequoia see Sequoyah
Sequoyah (Ssiquoyah or Sequoya, also known as George Giss) (c.1770–1843). American Cherokee silversmith and soldier, born in Tuskegee, Tennessee. From 1809 he developed a written form of the Cherokee language, a syllabary, adopting Latin, Greek and Arabic letters. The genus sequoia is probably not named for him (1847).
Serra, Junipero (1713–1784). Spanish missionary, born in Mallorca. A Franciscan friar, he worked in Mexico (1750–69), then established nine missions in California along the Camino Real. He was sympathetic to the Indians and introduced them to European agriculture.
Serra, Richard (1939– ). American sculptor, born in San Francisco. Of Spanish and Russian-Jewish descent, he studied at the University of California, also working at a steel mill, then studied painting at Yale, where Josef *Albers and Philip *Guston were influential, and won a *Fulbright Scholarship to work on sculpture in Rome. Serra produces huge metal works made from Cor-ten steel sheets. His works are not objects, but intended to transform space. His Torqued Ellipses (1996ff), stimulated by *Borromini’s San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, in Rome, challenged clock time and spacial perceptions. The Hedgehog and the Fox (1999), inspired by an essay of Isaiah *Berlin, is at Princeton University. The Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao features a collective permanent exhibition of eight works by Serra, with the collective name The Matter of Time (1994–2005), described by Robert *Hughes as ‘the greatest sculpture of the past century’, it incorporates Snake, a trio of sinuous steel sheets, 4.3 metres high, with a total length of 31.7 metres. The Te Tuhirangi Contour (1999/2001), at the Gibbs Farm, New Zealand, 257 m x 6 m, with an 11° lean, is made of 56 Corten steel plates. East-West/West-East (2014) was erected in the Qatari desert. Serra also produced films, prints and drawings.
Sertorius, Quintus (123–72 BCE). Roman soldier. In the civil war between *Sulla and *Marius, Sertorius was among the most successful of the latter’s generals and, after Sulla’s victory, withdrew to Spain of which he had obtained complete mastery by 77. Assassinated by a disloyal adherent, he was described by *Mommsen as ‘one of the greatest men, if not the very greatest man, that Rome had hitherto produced’.
Servetus, Michael (Miguel Serveto) (1511–1553). Spanish theologian and physician. While studying law at Saragossa and Toulouse he became interested in theology, an interest heightened by visits to Italy and Germany, where he encountered *Bucer and other reformers. An essay on the Trinity (1531), though not going so far as to express Unitarian views, was far from orthodox. In 1536 he went to Paris to study medicine and from 1541 practised at Vienna. He is famous for his demonstration of the pulmonary circulation of the blood. After secretly printing Christianismi Restitutio (1553) he was denounced to the Lyons inquisitor, but escaping from arrest he went to Geneva, where John *Calvin ruled with rigid intolerance. Servetus, whose views were as antagonistic to the reformers at Geneva as to the Catholics, was again arrested and, after a prolonged trial, was burned alive in Geneva.
Wilson, E. M., A History of Unitarianism. 1945.
Service, Robert William (1874–1958). Canadian poet. Famous for his songs and ballads told in the rough idiom of the frontier country, the best known, often used as a recitation, is ‘The shooting of Dan McGrew’. Titles of his verse collections include Songs of a Sourdough (1907) and Rhymes of a Rolling Stone (1912). He also wrote novels.
Seth, Vikram (1952– ). Indian novelist and poet, born in Kolkota. His mother became Chief Justice of India, his father was an executive with a shoe manufacturer. Educated at Oxford and Princeton, his books include From Heaven Lake: Travels through Sinkiang and Tibet (1983), Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986) and a successful novel of almost unprecedented length (1349 pages) in English, A Suitable Boy (1993). An Equal Music (1999) was also a bestseller.
Seti I (Menmaartre Set) (d.1279 BCE). Egyptian pharaoh of the XIXth dynasty 1290–1279 BCE. Son of *Ramesses I and father of *Ramesses II, his capital was Memphis.
Seurat, Georges (1859–1891). French painter. At the Salon des Indépendants (1884) he exhibited Une Baignade (now in the Tate Gallery, London), the first of the huge pictures in which he excelled. With *Signac and *Pissarro he developed, under the influence of optical theorists, the ‘pointillist’ technique by which the canvas is covered with dots of unmixed colour (‘confetti’ according to the scoffers) which merge at a distance into the required tones. This technique was the hallmark of the neo-Impressionists, more distinctive of Seurat was the nobility he gave to ordinary activities by strictly disciplined composition.
de Hauke, C., Seurat et son oeuvre. 1961; Russell, J., Seurat. 1985; Rewald, J., Seurat. 1990.
Severus, Alexander see Alexander Severus
Severus, (Lucius) Septimius (146–211). Roman Emperor 193–211. Born in Leptis Magna, now in modern Libya, he was governor of Upper Pannonia (parts of Austria and Hungary) when news of the murder of *Pertinax reached his troops, who immediately proclaimed him Emperor. He marched at once to Rome and, having overcome his rivals, turned against the Parthians, annexed northern Mesopotamia and built forts in Arabia and Mauretania. He introduced a complicated administrative system involving strict delimitation of function under imperial control. By encouraging troops to live and marry in the frontier regions, he increased the incentive to vigorous defence at the cost of mobility. In 208 he completed *Hadrian’s Wall in stone, and with an army of 40,000 attempted to conquer Caledonia (Scotland) and after protracted asymmetrical warfare with the Scots, reached the Central Lowlands. He became fatally ill and died at Eboracum (York). The Romans then retreated to Hadrian’s Wall. Septimius established a dynasty (Severan), was succeeded by his son *Caracalla and deified by the Senate. The claim by *Eusebius that he persecuted Christians appears to be wrong.
Elliott, M., Septimius Severus in Scotland. 2018.
Sévigné Marie de Rabutin-Chantel, Marquise de (1626–1696). French noblewoman. After the death of her husband in a duel (1651) she went to Paris where she wrote to her daughter in Provence her famous letters, which record with wit and apparent spontaneity her impressions of society in Paris and the provinces at the time of *Louis XIV.
Seward, William Henry (1801–1872). American Republican politician, born in New York. An attorney, he entered state politics as a Whig and was Governor of New York 1839–43. As a US senator 1849–61, he campaigned for emancipation of the slaves, sought Republican nomination for the presidency in 1860, lost to *Lincoln but became Secretary of State 1861–69. He drew up the Emancipation Proclamation (1863). After Lincoln’s murder (he was stabbed on the same night) he continued to serve under Andrew *Johnson and was statesman enough to foresee the advantage to be obtained by the purchase (1867) of Alaska from Russia, although this was denounced as ‘Seward’s folly’. His incomplete Autobiography was published in 1877.
Sewell, Anna (1820–1878). English author, born and died in Norfolk. From a Quaker family, she was crippled in an accident and is remembered for a single book, Black Beauty (1877), written to draw attention to the cruel treatment of animals.
Seymour, Edward see Somerset, 1st Duke of
Seymour, Horatio (1810–1886). American Democratic politician. Governor of New York State 1853–54 and 1863–64, he was drafted as Democratic candidate for president (1868), being narrowly defeated by U. S. *Grant in the popular vote, losing heavily in the Electoral College.
Seymour, Jane see Jane Seymour
Seymour of Sudeley, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron (1508?–1549). English nobleman. Brother of Edward Seymour, Duke of *Somerset, and of Jane *Seymour, third wife of *Henry VIII and mother of *Edward VI, he married Henry’s widow *Catherine Parr. In 1547 he was appointed Lord High Admiral but two years later was beheaded for intrigue against his brother, who had become protector of England during Edward’s minority.
Seyss-Inquart (né Zajtich), Arthur von (1892–1946). Austrian Nazi politician. A lawyer, he was Chancellor and Governor of Austria for two days (March 1938) after *Hitler’s annexation (Anschluss), administrator of southern Poland 1939–40, and Reichkommissar in the Netherlands 1940–44. He was Foreign Minister for a few days (1945) after Hitler’s suicide. For the brutality of his rule in the Netherlands he was sentenced to death by the Nuremberg tribunal and hanged.
Sforza, Carlo, Conte (1872–1952). Italian diplomat. After a period of successful foreign service and a short spell (1920–21) as Foreign Minister, he resigned when *Mussolini came to power. He lived in Belgium and (from 1940) in the US, where he became prominent for his anti-Fascist views. After Mussolini fell he helped to form the provisional government of 1944 and was Foreign Minister under de *Gasperi 1947–51.
Sforza, Ludovico (‘Il Moro’) (1451–1508). Italian nobleman, Duke of Milan 1482–99, known as ‘The Moor’ for his dark skin. His father, Francesco Sforza (1404–1466), was a famous condottiere who fought on both sides in the struggle between Venice and Milan but whose allegiance was finally determined by his marriage to Bianca, an illegitimate daughter of the Visconti Duke of Milan. This enabled him to become duke in 1450. The duchy passed to his son, then to his grandson the seven-year-old Gian Galeazzo Sforza (1476–1494) whose authority was usurped by his uncle Ludovico, strongly suspected of hastening his death. The court of Ludovico, and his brilliant wife Beatrice d’Este became a centre of Renaissance culture, *Leonardo da Vinci being the most famous of the artists he befriended and employed. Ludovico was expelled (1499) by *Louis XII of France and, after failing to regain his duchy, was imprisoned at Loches on the Loire, where he died.
Shackleton, Sir Ernest Henry (1874–1922). British Antarctic explorer, born in Ireland. He was with *Scott on his first voyage of exploration, and sailing in the Nimrod he led his first expedition (1907–09) during which the magnetic pole and a record southern latitude of 88°23’ were reached. His second expedition (1914–16) was an attempt to cross Antarctica from the Weddell to the Ross Sea. After his ship, the Endurance, had been crushed by ice, Shackleton and five companions made a hazardous journey to bring relief. All were in fact saved. He helped to organise the northern expeditionary force intervening in the Russian Civil War (1918–19) and died in South Georgia while on a third voyage to Antarctica. He wrote about his expeditions in, e.g. Heart of the Antarctic (1909) and South (1919). His son, Edward Arthur Alexander Shackleton, Baron Shackleton (1911–1994) was an explorer, writer, BBC producer, Labour MP 1946–55 and Minister 1964–70, awarded a KG, AC and FRS.
Huntford, R., Shackleton. 1985.
Shadwell, Thomas (1642–1692). English poet and dramatist. His first play, The Sullen Lovers (1668), was followed by 16 more, the best of them comedies and the majority successful. As plays were used for political propaganda, he was, as a Whig, unable to produce plays from 1681, when the party fell into disfavour, until the revolution of 1688. In 1689 he replaced the Tory *Dryden as Poet Laureate. Shadwell’s reputation for dullness is largely due to the brilliant but cruel lampoon of him in Dryden’s MacFlecknoe, in fact he often presents a vivid and entertaining picture of contemporary life.
Shaffer, Peter Levin (1926–2016). British playwright. His plays include Five Finger Exercise (1958), The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964), Equus (1973) and Amadeus (1979). All were successful in Britain and the US and also as films. His twin brother Anthony Shaffer (1926–2001) wrote Sleuth (1972) and many film scripts.
Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of (1621–1683). English politician. In the Civil War he first fought as a Royalist, but in 1644 went over to the parliamentary side. A member of *Cromwell’s Council of State, by 1659 he was imprisoned as a suspected royalist. Thus at the Restoration he was favoured by *Charles II, created Baron Ashley in 1661 and from then until 1672, when he was made Earl of Shaftesbury, he acted as Chancellor of the Exchequer (from 1667 as a member of the famous Cabal ministry). Lord Chancellor 1672–73, always disliked, he was then dismissed by Charles II and became the force behind the movement to exclude the Roman Catholic Duke of York (*James II) from the succession, making use of the infamous Titus *Oates to ‘expose’ a Catholic plot. In the ensuing reaction Shaftesbury was acquitted of treason but took refuge in Amsterdam where he died.
The most skilful politician of his day, he was the virtual founder of the Whig Party. His methods were devious, but, as is shown by his association with John *Locke and the part he played (1679) in amending the Habeas Corpus Act, he had liberal causes at heart. An envenomed satirical portrait of him is contained in *Dryden’s Absalom and Achitopel.
Haley, K. H. D., The First Earl of Shaftesbury. 1968.
Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of (1671–1713). English philosopher. His chief work, Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times (1711) discusses virtue, integrity, self-respect and the ‘Affections’ which he believed men had naturally for themselves, other men and even fellow living creatures. The good of society and the good of the individual in the nature of things run into one another. Men have a ‘moral sense’—he introduced the term—which enables them to separate right from wrong.
Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of (1801–1885). English philanthropist. As Lord Ashley he was an MP 1826–51 until he succeeded to the peerage. He took the lead in securing the passage of a succession of Factory Acts and the Coal Mines Act of 1842. Among the many improvements he secured were the appointment of factory inspectors to ensure that children under nine were not employed in the mills, and that women and children should not work underground in the mines. Another of his measures prohibited the employment of children (such as Tom in *Kingsley’s Water Babies) to climb and clean chimneys; he was closely associated with the ‘Ragged Schools’ movement, and legislation to provide lodging houses for the poor; he helped the work of Florence *Nightingale and numerous other good causes. Politically he was a strong Tory and in religion strictly evangelical. He is commemorated by the statue of Eros (Love) in Piccadilly Circus, London.
Shah Jahan (1592–1666). Emperor of India 1627–58. The fifth of the Mughals, he fought successfully against the Deccan princes but several attempts to recover Kandahar from Persia eventually failed. He was an able ruler and by skilful financial management maintained a court of the greatest magnificence (he constructed the ‘peacock throne’). He built the palace and great mosque at Delhi, and at Agra the beautiful ‘pearl mosque’ and the Taj Mahal, the most famous of all his buildings, erected as a mausoleum (1631–53) for his favourite wife Arjumand (the more familiar Mumtaz is a description—‘ornament’—not a name). In 1658 he fell ill and his son *Aurangzeb, successful in a struggle for the succession, deposed him and held him prisoner until his death. *Dryden’s Aureng-Zebe (1676), is based loosely on these events.
Shahn, Ben(jamin) (1898–1969). American artist, born in Lithuania. He was a painter, photographer, lithographer and graphic designer, who achieved early fame with his 23 paintings on the *Sacco and Vanzetti executions (1930). He had a wide range, from political issues to abstractions.
Shaka (Chaka or Tshaka) kaSenzangakhona (c.1787–1828). Zulu chief 1816–28. A military genius, sometimes called ‘the black Napoléon’, he began the Difaqane (Mfecane) or ‘Crushing’ which destroyed rival tribes in the Natal and Transvaal area, leading to depopulation. (After his death this gave an opportunity for the Boer ‘Voortrekkers’ under *Pretorius to occupy the Transvaal.) He became psychotic after his mother died (1827) and was murdered by his half-brother *Dingaan.
Shakespeare, William (1564–1616). English dramatist and poet, born at Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire, on St George’s Day, 23 April. Very few of the traditional stories of his early life can stand up to serious examination. His father, John Shakespeare (c.1529–1601) was a glover and wool-dealer who became an alderman, bailiff and money-lender in Stratford and, after a period of financial difficulty and obscurity, received a grant of arms in 1596. His mother, Mary Arden (c.1537–1608), came from a landed family whose genealogy could be traced to Anglo-Saxon times.
Educated at the King’s New School (which had covert Jesuit connections), he would have been well grounded in Latin and rhetoric. Some scholars suggest that he was a servant or teacher in Catholic households in Lancashire 1581–82 (a variant of John *Aubrey’s story that he was ‘a schoolmaster in the country’) and he seems to have known five men who were executed as recusants. The next positive evidence of Shakespeare’s existence is the licence to marry Anne *Hathaway (1582). The christenings of their children are recorded, that of his elder daughter Susanna in May 1583, that of the twins Judith and Hamnet in February 1585. The boy Hamnet died aged 11 but Judith married and survived her father; his granddaughter Elizabeth (d.1670), the daughter of Susanna, who had married John Hall, a Stratford physician, was his last known descendant. A familiar, but less likely, legend relates that he left Stratford (c.1585) to avoid prosecution for poaching on the estate of Sir Thomas Lucy of Charlecote. He probably arrived in London between 1585 and 1587, drawn by the appeal of city life and growing realisation of his own talents, probably as an actor-writer with ‘Lord *Strange’s Men’, an acting troupe, in theatres originally managed by James *Burbage. A disparaging reference to Shakespeare in 1592 by the dramatist Robert *Greene confirms that he was well established in London. Circumstances favoured him: nine open-air theatres were built in London in Shakespeare’s lifetime, beginning in 1576, some accommodating audiences of up to 3000, remarkable for a city of 200,000 people. There was an ever increasing demand for plays and spectacles (including bearbaiting), a situation unprecedented until the explosive impact of cinema and television more than 300 years later.
London’s theatres were closed in 1592–94 because of the plague. When they re-opened, Shakespeare was with ‘The Lord Chamberlain’s Men’, which acted at court, as actor, writer and probably director. In 1603 the company was renamed ‘The King’s Men’, under *James I’s patronage.
Shakespeare’s writing mirrors the circumstances of his times: drama in the theatre filled a psychological gap after the suppression of the Mass and abandonment of mystery plays, the upsurge of patriotic feelings after the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, and publishing poetry when the theatres were closed.
There was an extraordinary burst of creativity in drama towards the end of the Elizabethan and in the early Jacobean periods, unparalleled until the literary explosion in Russia in the 19th century. Shakespeare’s contemporary dramatists and poets included *Spenser, *Sidney, *Greene, *Middleton, *Marlowe, *Nash, *Jonson, *Kyd, *Webster, *Beaumont, *Fletcher, *Tourneur, *Dekker, *Ford, Thomas *Heywood, George Wilkins, *Donne and the Metaphysical poets. Francis Meres, in Palladis Tania. Wit’s Treasury (1598), rated Shakespeare highly both in comedy and tragedy.
Shakespeare’s first published works were the narrative poems Venus and Adonis (1593), very successful and much reprinted, and The Rape of Lucrece (1594), both based on *Ovid and dedicated to Henry Wriothesley, the young Earl of Southampton. Most of the sonnets may date from this period.
Eleven plays (13 including disputed attributions) are based on mistaken /double identity. Answers to the questions ‘Who are you?’ or ‘Are you who you say you are?’ could be matters of life or death in Elizabethan England, after convulsive changes from Catholicism, to Anglicanism, back to Catholicism and returning to modified strains of Anglicanism.
Three of Shakespeare’s plays (As You Like It, Twelfth Night, The Tempest) do not specify a location, 14 are set (in whole or in part) in England, 12 in Italy (Northern Italy 6, Ancient Rome 4, Sicily 3,), 5 (in whole or part) in France, 2 in Turkey (Ephesus and Ancient Troy), 2 in Athens and Ancient Britain, 1 each in Bohemia, Croatia (Illyria), Egypt, Denmark, Scotland, Lebanon (Tyre), and Vienna.
Some have several locations, for example Henry V in England and France, Antony and Cleopatra in Rome, Alexandria, Messina and Athens, Othello in Venice and Cyprus.
He drew on material from *Homer, *Terence, *Plautus, *Virgil, Ovid, *Seneca, *Plutarch, *Boccaccio, *Chaucer, *Caxton, *Bandello, *Holinshed, *Montaigne and the Geneva Bible (especially Job and St Matthew.)
In Shakespeare’s time, all the female characters, some of the greatest in all drama—Juliet, Lady Macbeth, Gertrude, Rosalind, Desdemona, Cleopatra, Portia, Beatrice—were played by men or boys. There are only two functional marriages in the 38 plays, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Claudius and Gertrude, suggesting that Shakespeare took a bleak view of the institution. Bill Bryson’s conclusion that there is ‘no evidence that Shakespeare had a warm relationship with any other human being’ is probably correct.
The earliest plays included the political-historical tetralogy Henry VI Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and Richard III (1589–92). The Henry VI plays, popular in their time, are now sometimes cut and bracketed together and performed as a single work. However, Richard III is a dramatic masterpiece, despite the unremitting Tudor partisanship of Shakespeare’s portrayal of *Richard.
The Comedy of Errors (a free adaptation of Plautus) and Titus Andronicus (from Seneca) are also early and despite skill in plot construction and versification, there are crudities which disappeared as the playwright matured. When the later tetralogy Richard II, Henry IV Part 1 and Part 2 and Henry V (1594–99) is compared with the first, it is clear how far Shakespeare’s power and psychological insight have strengthened, notably in *Henry IV’s torment about the murder of *Richard II.
Sir John Falstaff, fat, scheming and disreputable, Shakespeare’s greatest comic creation, is a central character in Henry IV, parts 1 and 2, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and his death is reported in Henry V.
In comedy, Shakespeare was gaining an increased sureness of touch in combining farcical incident with subtle understanding of human nature, demonstrated in The Taming of the Shrew, which, with The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Love’s Labour’s Lost, was almost certainly written before 1594. Some of his most popular plays were written in the period 1594–99: Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, followed by The Merchant of Venice and The Merry Wives of Windsor, and another history play, King John, now rarely performed.
Increasingly rich, in 1597 he bought New Place, a substantial house in Stratford. In 1599 Shakespeare’s company acquired the Globe Theatre, which burned down in 1613.
On the eve of *Essex’s rebellion in February 1601, his supporters commissioned a special performance of Richard II, where a weakening sovereign is overthrown. Shakespeare’s company was never accused of complicity in the plot: the play was well known and it was clearly a commercial transaction.
Shakespeare’s finest comedies were Much Ado About Nothing (1598), As You Like It (1599) and Twelfth Night (1600–02).
As a playwright he now reached his zenith, beginning with Julius Caesar (1599), the first of three Roman plays based on Plutarch, with powerful characterisation of Brutus—by far the longest part, Mark Antony and Caesar, and a chilling cameo of Octavian (the future Caesar *Augustus.)
The second and third of the Roman plays were Antony and Cleopatra (1606–07) and Coriolanus (1608).
Antony and Cleopatra, written in 42 scenes, is a complex epic, involving love, betrayal and conflicting loyalties, and critical opinion has long been divided on its ranking. Shakespeare borrowed from Plutarch and Virgil (whose account of Dido and Aeneas was in part a tactful account of Cleopatra and Antony, their contemporary prototypes). Frank *Kermode marvelled at the play’s ‘glamour … and magnificence’ and the contrasts between ‘melting Alexandria and … rigid, stony Rome.’
Coriolanus, a dark, rarely performed, late play, considered superior to Hamlet by T. S. Eliot, is the most overtly political work in the canon, with a disconcerting contemporary relevance: the central character’s chilling sense of his own honour drives his ambition and self-justification.
Hamlet (1600–01) is the longest, greatest, most performed, most filmed, most quoted of all the plays and the one most resembling a novel, with its seven interior monologues (soliloquies), exploring the problem of self-knowledge and emotional paralysis. Then came Othello (1604), with its themes of sexuality, race and treachery, King Lear (1605–06), the darkest of all, with its paroxysms of grief, a metaphor for reversion from civilization to barbarism, and Macbeth, psychologically one of the most complex (1605–06).
Troilus and Cressida (1602), Measure for Measure (1603) and All’s Well that Ends Well (1604–05) are sometimes described as Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’, where the boundary between comedy and tragedy is becoming blurred and mood changes are sudden and sometimes inexplicable.
Cymbeline (1610), set in Ancient Britain, is an extraordinary mixture of genres, full of anachronisms but with fine poetry. The Winter’s Tale (1610–11) is a complex and uneven work about separation in families: a return to life after 16 years. Kermode points to ranting and pathology in the first part, then calm and acceptance in the last acts
His last completed play, The Tempest (1610–11), shows his creative powers at their highest and the character of Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan, a magus-like figure on a remote island, seems to be strongly autobiographical and may have been played by Shakespeare himself. The Tempest, the most musical of the 38 plays, represents a farewell to his creative life in the theatre.
Montaigne’s influence, with its intense speculation about the inner life and its contradictions, is apparent in Hamlet and King Lear and he is quoted (without attribution) in The Tempest. Montaigne’s Essays were translated by John *Florio who, like Shakespeare, enjoyed the patronage of the Earl of Southampton.
The plays are not dated and attempts to arrange them in chronological order have provoked endless controversy. At least 18 were published in Shakespeare’s lifetime in quarto form, and they are of particular interest because of their relevance to specific productions, so that the name of an actor may appear in the text instead of the character played.
A collected edition of 36 plays, known as the First Folio, appeared posthumously in 1623, and the names of the editors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, friends and fellow-actors, vouched for its general authenticity, although the texts were drawn from actors’ reconstructions and spellings and rhymes are inconsistent. The First Folio includes the rarely performed Timon of Athens (1605–06, probably written with Thomas *Middleton), the pageant play Henry VIII (1613, mostly written by John Fletcher) but excludes the collaborations Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1607, with George Wilkins?), and The Two Noble Kinsmen (1613, Fletcher). Cardenio, based on a story in *Cervantes’ Don Quixote, and a collaboration between Shakespeare and Fletcher, performed in 1613, is now lost.
About 750 copies were printed, selling for £1. Eighteen plays, including Macbeth, only survive because they appear in the First Folio. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC holds 82 of the surviving copies.
Shakespeare’s plays are generally far longer than those written by his contemporaries.
The Sonnets were published in book form, possibly without authorisation, in 1609: Sonnets Nos. 1–126 are homoerotic, addressed to a ‘fair youth’, Nos. 127–154 to an unidentified ‘dark lady’. The dedication, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe (or T.T.) to ‘Mr W. H.’, as the ‘onlie begetter’ of the sonnets, has caused much unresolved speculation.
Very little is known about Shakespeare’s life: what he read (other than the obvious sources), if he travelled, the inspirations for his powerful and original ideas, his political or religious beliefs, his sexual orientation. The richness, diversity and depth of his work led to the rise of ‘bardolatry’ in the 18th century but the meagre evidence of his personal life raised some questions, although it was not until 1856 that alternative authors were proposed. Francis *Bacon came first, then Edward de Vere, Earl of *Oxford. The 19th-century fiction that creative writing had to be autobiographical was picked up by *Freud, who should have known better.
Seventy-nine alternate candidates have now been proposed. Three are royal, 16 are peers or peeresses, one a cardinal, one a saint, and 32 are published authors. None is remotely plausible. (J. S. *Bach also had an enigmatic interior life but his authorship is virtually unchallenged.)
Slips in writing about Europe or classical antiquity provide support for Shakespeare’s authorship: no writer from a university would expose himself to such errors. Ulysses quotes Aristotle. There are clocks in Julius Caesar. There are striking examples of anatopism, having something out of place. The Winter’s Tale refers to the coasts (and also a desert) of Bohemia. Characters in Two Gentlemen of Verona sail from Milan to Verona (although he might have been referring to travel by canal), and from Milan to the Adriatic in The Tempest. The only banks in Venice were mercantile and lovers would not be sitting on them. Shakespeare was a man of genius who trawled and reworked the secondary sources rather than having direct exposure to life outside England. His Venetians, Romans, Athenians, Sicilians, Ancient Britons are essentially Londoners.
Shakespeare’s last five years were divided between London and New Place, Stratford, where his wife had remained. He died there on his birthday, 23 April 1616 (the same date as Cervantes, but 10 days later under the unreformed Julian calendar), and is buried in Holy Trinity Church. A GPR (ground penetrating radar) scan of Shakespeare’s grave (2010) suggests that the skull is missing, possibly stolen in the 1790s. New Place was substantially rebuilt in 1702, finally demolished in 1759. Archaeology continues on the site and the gardens have been imaginatively restored.
Shakespeare’s plays remained popular in his lifetime and some 20 years after. The theatres closed from 1642–60 during the Civil War and the Commonwealth, and as fashions changed his work suffered some eclipse. (After the Restoration, *Pepys recorded seeing 15 performances of plays by and 26 adaptations of Shakespeare and 76 performances of plays by Beaumont and Fletcher). However, *Dryden, and later *Johnson, proclaimed his pre-eminence, which has never been challenged since.
Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, were the first plays by Shakespeare performed in Australia (1800).
More than 270 operas are based on Shakespeare’s plays, the finest being by *Purcell, *Berlioz, *Bellini, *Thomas, *Verdi, *Gounod, *Vaughan Williams, *Tippett, *Britten, *Bernstein and *Adès.
There have been more than 400 television productions or films of Shakespeare’s plays, beginning with short excerpts from the silent era, e.g. King John (1899).
In Shakespeare’s hands blank verse became an instrument of great delicacy whether for dialogue, narrative, description or argument; adaptable equally to any plot or situation, tragic or comic. His vocabulary was exceptionally large for his time: David Crystal cautiously estimates that Shakespeare used between 17,000 and 20,000 words, allowing for divergent spellings, definitions and ambiguities. Bill Bryson credits Shakespeare with the coinage, or first recorded use, of 2,035 words (including ‘accommodation’, ‘addiction’, ‘assassination’, ‘barefaced’, ‘bloodstained’, ‘courtship’, ‘fashionable’, ‘frugal’, ‘generous’, ‘gossip’, ‘hobnob’, ‘lack-lustre’, ‘leapfrog’, ‘majestic’, ‘moonbeam’, ‘mountaineer’, ‘negotiate’, ‘obscene’, ‘premeditated’, ‘quarrelsome’, ‘rant’, ‘restoration’, ‘scuffle’, ‘torture’ and ‘vast’), 170 of them in Hamlet. His works have been translated more than any other author and many characters are household names. No writer has given more continuous delight or shown greater insight into the heart and mind, although we know so little of his own.
Chambers, E. K., William Shakespeare: A Study of Facts and Problems. 1930; Tillyard, E. M. W., The Elizabethan World Picture. 1966; Schoenbaum, S, Shakespeare’s Lives. 1993; Kermode, F., Shakespeare’s Language. 2000; The Age of Shakespeare. 2004; Wood, M., In Search of Shakespeare. 2003; Greenblatt, S. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. 2004; Ackroyd, P., Shakespeare: The Biography. 2005; Rosenbaum, R., The Shakespeare Wars. 2006; Bate, J., Soul of the Age: the Life, Mind and World of William Shakespeare. 2008; Bryson, B., Shakespeare.The World as a Stage. 2009.
Shalmaneser III (d.824 BCE). King of Assyria 859–824 BCE. Son and successor of Ashur-pasir-pal, after regaining control of the Phoenician cities he achieved the great victory commemorated by the Black Obelisk in the British Museum, which shows the biblical King Jehu of the Israelites and other rulers bowing before him.
Shalom Aleichem (‘Peace be upon you!’, pseudonym of Shalom Rabinowitz) (1859–1916). Russian-Jewish writer, born in the Ukraine. Originally a rabbi, he wrote first in Russian and Hebrew, devoting himself to Yiddish after 1883 and producing more than 40 volumes. His plays and stories describe life in small Jewish towns during the tsarist era. The story cycle, Tevye and his Daughters, was adapted by Joseph Stein for the play Fiddler on the Roof, later a successful film (1971). He moved to the US, became known as the ‘Jewish Mark Twain’, and died in New York.
Samuel, M., The World of Shalom Aleichem. 1943.
Shamir, Yitzhak (1915–2012). Israeli politician, born in Poland. Migrating to Palestine in 1935, he was an activist in the Stern Gang and imprisoned by the British during World War II. A Knesset member 1973–96, he became Speaker 1977–80, Foreign Minister 1980–83 and succeeded Menachem *Begin as Prime Minister 1983–84. In a ‘national unity’ coalition he became Foreign Minister again 1984–86 and Prime Minister 1986–92.
Shannon, Claude Elwood (1916–2001). American mathematician, electrical engineer and cryptographer, born in Michigan. A graduate of the University of Michigan, in 1937, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he recognised Boolean logic (George *Boole) as being central to the operation of a universal computer (a discovery made independently by Victor Shestakov in Moscow in 1935, but not published until 1941). A cryptographer in World War II, he worked at the Bell Labs 1941–56 and taught at MIT 1956–78. His paper ‘The Mathematical Theory of Communication’ (with Warren Weaver, 1949) is regarded as the beginning of information theory: he developed *Boltzmann’s insight (1894) that ‘entropy is missing information’ and pointed to entropy as the link between energy and information. The ‘Shannon number’ (10120) was his calculation of the number of possible moves in a game of chess.
Campbell, J., Grammatical Man. 1982; Gleick, J., The Information. 2011; Nahn, P. J., The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age. 2013; Soni, J., and Goodman, R., A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age. 2017.
Sharif, (Mian Muhammad) Nawaz (1949– ). Pakistani politician and businessman, born in Lahore. Appointed Premier of Punjab 1985–88 by President *Zia ul-Haq, he became leader of the Pakistan Muslim League and was Prime Minister of Pakistan 1990–93 (removed by the military, then lost the following election), 1997–99 (replaced by Pervez *Musharraf after an army coup) and 2013–17, being removed by the Supreme Court following charges of corruption. (His brother was named as his successor.)
Sharon (originally Scheinermann), Ariel (1928–2014). Israeli soldier and politician, born in Palestine. He served in the police and army, and, as Defence Minister 1981–83, took responsibility for the murders of Palestinian detainees by Lebanese Phalangists at Chatila and Sabra in 1982. Foreign Minister 1996–99 and Leader of the Likud 1999–2005, he defeated Ehud *Barak to become Prime Minister 2001–06. A secular Jew, he took tough military action against the Palestinian intefada, but after *Arafat’s death he negotiated with the Palestinian Authority and formed a coalition with Labour. In 2005 he cleared Israeli settlers from the Gaza strip. This split Likud which he left in November 2005, forming a new centre party, Kadima, but in January 2006 he suffered an incapacitating stroke. His party won the March 2006 elections, but Sharon remained in a vegetative state.
Sharp, Cecil James (1859–1924). English collector of folk songs and dances. He began collecting folksongs in 1903 and thereafter made it his life’s work. Like *Grainger, he helped save the English folk tradition from extinction, although he bowdlerised a good many songs. He wrote English Folk Song—Some Conclusions (1907) and founded (1911) the English Folk Dance Society. The London headquarters of the English Folk Dance and Song Society is named after him.
Shastri, Lal Bahadur (1904–1966). Indian politician, born in Uttar Pradesh. Son of a schoolmaster, he became one of the most active workers for the Indian National Congress Party and for nine years was imprisoned for civil disobedience. He served in three of *Nehru’s Cabinets, as Minister for Railways 1952–56, for Transport and Communications 1956–61 and for Home Affairs 1961–64. On Nehru’s sudden death he succeeded as Prime Minister 1964–66. Much of his brief term of office was occupied with disputes with Pakistan and the frontier war that followed. He had just reached an agreement for a ceasefire at a conference held under Soviet auspices at Tashkent when he died. Of very small stature, he had a gentle, persuasive manner that commanded much affection.
Shaw, G(eorge) Bernard (1856–1950). Anglo-Irish dramatist, born in Dublin. He paid little attention to school subjects but acquired a cultural background at art galleries and concerts. After five years in a Dublin land agent’s office, he went to London (1876), where his mother, a singing teacher, supported him while he wrote unsuccessful novels and haunted the British Museum to improve his education. He was already a vegetarian, teetotaller, and non-smoker, and now, having studied *Marx, became a socialist. As a St Pancras Borough councillor 1879–1903, he observed social distress at close range. He was among the first members of the Fabian Society (1884) and, having overcome his shyness, became a noted public speaker. His professional career began when as ‘Corno di Bassetto’ he was music critic on the Star (1888–90) and on The World (1890–94). He was a champion of *Wagner, wrote The Perfect Wagnerite (1898), and also warmly championed *Ibsen when he was appointed dramatic critic of The Saturday Review, then under the editorship of Frank *Harris. Since his defence of Ibsen was combined with attacks on *Shakespeare, Shaw doubly shocked many of his readers, but others revelled in the flippant irreverence of his style and were stimulated by his paradoxes. Thus when his first play Widowers’ Houses was produced (1892) he had at least a nucleus of fervent support to set against the general disapproval. Nevertheless, his next play, The Philanderers (1893), was rejected by managements and the third, Mrs Warren’s Profession (1893), by the censor (until 1924). These ‘unpleasant plays’ were followed by ‘pleasant’ ones: Arms and the Man (1894), Candida (1894), You Never Can Tell (1895–96), and The Devil’s Disciple (1896). After a serious illness (1898) Shaw gave up regular journalism and married Charlotte Payne-Townsend (d.1943). He was always grateful for the money she then brought although his own earnings were soon to become prodigious. To what extent his emotions were involved with women is questionable. He was probably too self-centred for love and was at his happiest when in flirtatious correspondence with women he admired, e.g. Ellen *Terry or Mrs Patrick *Campbell. For the former he wrote Captain Brassbound’s Conversion (1899). He had already written Caesar and Cleopatra (1898–99), a delightfully modern conception of a historic theme, for Johnston *Forbes-Robertson, his favourite actor. His views on creative evolution are expounded (1901–03) in Man and Superman (and he returned to the theme in the epic Back to Methuselah of 1917–20), a play which with John Bull’s Other Island, Major Barbara and some of his earlier ones was produced under the management of Harley *Granville-Barker at the famous repertory season at the Court Theatre. This finally brought the full recognition for which he had worked so long. Pygmalion (based on a Greek legend) was completed in 1912 and performed in Vienna and New York before its London première in 1914. Heartbreak House, begun just before World War I, during which Shaw’s political views made him unpopular, analysed the breakdown of European society in a domestic setting evocative of *Chekhov. The most financially successful of his plays was Saint Joan (1924) which was followed by the political satire The Apple Cart (1929). In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature which he had previously declined. Among the non-dramatic works of his later period the best known are The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928) and The Black Girl in Search of God (1932). He declined the OM. He developed a perverse enthusiasm for *Mussolini, *Hitler and *Stalin, visited the USSR and New Zealand, but not Australia. In old age, Shaw became obsessed with the idea of simplifying English spelling and left most of his money for that end. Shaw’s wit made his audiences laugh and his flippancy often made them angry. These reactions would not have displeased him for his purpose was, by goading, provoking, ridiculing or cajoling them, to make them think. The subjects of Shaw’s plays became anachronistic and they are now rarely performed. However, Pygmalion, a great success as a film (1938), directed by Gabriel Pascal, was transformed into the musical My Fair Lady (1956), by Alan Jay Lerner (script and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music), and performed throughout the world for six decades.
Holroyd, M., Bernard Shaw. 4 vols, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992. 1 vol. abridgement 2011; O’Toole, F., Judging Shaw. 2017.
Shaw, Richard Norman (1831–1912). English architect. Under the influence of William *Morris he broke away from current Victorian Gothic and returned, in many London and country houses, to the classic principles of Georgian architecture and to traditional craftsmanship and use of materials. His London buildings included New Scotland Yard (1891), the Gaiety Theatre (1905), now demolished, and the Piccadilly Hotel (1905).
Shaw, Sir Run Run (Shao Renleng) (1907–2014). Hong Kong-Chinese film producer and philanthropist, born in Ningbo. He grew up in Singapore, established a film studio in Shanghai and moved to Hong Kong in 1937. He became a dominant figure in television and endowed many schools and universities.
Shawn, William (1907–1992). American journalist. He worked on The New Yorker from 1933 and was its editor 1952–87.
Shchedrin, Rodion Konstantinovich (1932– ). Russian composer and pianist, born in Moscow. The son of a composer and teacher, he was deeply influenced by *Prokofiev, and composed some much performed works, notable for their wit and panache, including the Carmen Suite (1967, for strings and percussion), the ballet Anna Karénina (1972), five concertos for orchestra, six piano concertos and three symphonies. In 1958, he married Maya Plisetskaya (1925–2015), prima ballerina at the Bolshoi 1960–90.
Shelburne, 2nd Earl of, William Petty, later 1st Marquess of Lansdowne (1737–1805). English Whig politician, born in Dublin. Following distinguished army service in Germany in the Seven Years War he entered politics. After joining George *Grenville’s ministry (1763) he became closely associated with Chatham (William *Pitt) both in office, as Secretary of State 1766–68, and later in opposition to Lord *North and his American policy. Again Secretary of State 1782 under *Rockingham, on his death he formed a government as First Lord of the Treasury (i.e. Prime Minister) 1782–83, notable because *Pitt the Younger served as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Shelburne was a man of great ability and a natural radical (favouring free trade, Roman Catholic emancipation and parliamentary reform) but the time was not ripe, his political shifts and turns to approach his objectives were misunderstood and secured him the nickname ‘the Jesuit of Berkeley Square’. Given a consolatory marquessate on retirement (1784), he was a patron of the arts and a collector of manuscripts, purchased for the British Museum in 1807.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft (née Godwin) (1797–1851). British novelist. Daughter of the rationalist philosopher William *Godwin and the feminist writer and radical Mary *Wollstonecraft, she became the second wife of the poet Percy Bysshe *Shelley. She wrote Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus, about a man who created a monster (1818), and three other novels.
White, N. I., Shelley. 2nd ed. 1947; Shelley, P. B., Letters (ed. F. L. Jones), 1964; Leighton, M., Shelley’s Mary: A Life of Mary Godwin Shelley. 1973; Mellor, A. K., Mary Shelley. 1990; Schor, E. (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Mary Shelley. 2003; Seymour, M., Mary Shelley. 2000.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792–1822). English poet, born near Horsham, Sussex. Grandson of a baronet, at Eton he read Enquiry into Political Justice by his future father-in-law William *Godwin, a book that did much to encourage his desire to reform contemporary social systems. He was expelled from Oxford (1811) for writing The Necessity for Atheism. This led to a breach with his father which left the poet constantly short of money. Soon afterwards he married his sister’s school friend, the beautiful 16-year-old Harriet Westbrook, childish even for her years. Even on the prolonged honeymoon Shelley needed the mental stimulus of his great friend Thomas Jefferson Hogg who committed the quickly forgiven indiscretion of falling in love with Harriet. In London Shelley joined the radical Godwin circle: Shelley and Harriet were already estranged when he fell violently in love and (1814) eloped with Mary Godwin; they married two years later, when Harriet drowned herself. Shelley always refused to accept responsibility for her death, as he had never hidden his views about free love, but he was deeply wounded when the courts gave the care of his children by her into other hands. From 1818 the Shelleys lived in Italy where he, while composing some of the loveliest lyrics ever to be written in English, became involved in the tangled financial, emotional and political affairs of the Godwins, *Byron and Leigh *Hunt. In 1822 the Shelleys were living in a villa at Lerici on the Gulf of Spezia and on 8 July while Shelley, after a meeting with Byron, was sailing back from Leghorn (Livorno) his boat, the Ariel, was upset in a storm; he and his two companions were drowned. His ashes are buried in Rome, near *Keats. Shelley had first revealed his greatness as a poet by long poems, e.g. Queen Mab (1813) and Alastor (1816), but with the exception of his verse plays, of which the greatest are The Cenci (1819), a grim tale of incestuous passion and Prometheus Unbound (1820), he is best remembered by his songs and odes. Ode to a Skylark, Ode to the West Wind and Adonais (1821), the great lament for the poet Keats, are among the many familiar titles. Mary Shelley’s son by the poet inherited his grandfather’s baronetcy.
White, N. I., Shelley. 2nd ed. 1947; Shelley, P. B. Letters (ed. F. L. Jones), 1964.
Shepard, Sam (Samuel Shepard Rogers) (1943–2017). American dramatist. After some years of wandering in the Midwest, he began writing a series of plays which John Lahr described as ‘dreamscapes of the American landscape where past and present coexist’. They include: Chicago (1966), Red Cross (1966), Tooth of Crime (1974), Buried Child (1979, Pulitzer Prize), Curse of the Starving Class (1985) and A Lie of the Mind (1985).
Sheppard, Jack (1702–1724). English criminal. Whilst apprenticed to a London carpenter he took to crime (1720). In 1724 he was caught four times but always escaped, on one occasion forcing six of Newgate Prison’s great doors. On the last occasion he was held and hanged at Tyburn before a vast and admiring crowd. He was the hero of many ballads and of a novel by Harrison *Ainsworth.
Sheraton, Thomas (1751–1806). English furniture designer, born at Stockton-on-Tees. Before moving to London (c.1790) he was a journeyman cabinet-maker and may later have supervised the manufacture of some furniture, but his style became influential through his illustrated design manuals, notably the Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book (1791). Sheraton furniture is distinguished by lightness and simplicity, an emphasis on straight, vertical lines and a preference for inlay decoration.
Fastnedge, R., Sheraton Furniture. 1962.
Sheridan, Philip Henry (1831–1888). American soldier, born in New York State. A captain when the Civil War began (1861), *Grant soon gave him command of all the cavalry of the army of the Potomac and he became famous for his spectacular raids behind the enemy lines, in one of which he reached the outskirts of Richmond, the Confederate capital. Later as commander of the army in the Shenandoah Valley 1864–65, he at first showed unwonted caution, but while he was absent his army suffered a severe setback at Cedar Creek. A dramatic ride back to the battlefield enabled him to reverse the situation with a counter-attack in which 24 guns were taken. Sheridan displayed his dash and brilliance to the full as Grant’s principal lieutenant in the operations leading to the surrender at Appomattox. He was Commander-in-Chief of the US army 1883–88.
Sheridan, Richard (Butler) Brinsley (1751–1816). Anglo-Irish dramatist and politician, born in Dublin. The son of an actor, his mother, Frances Sheridan (1724–1766), was a minor novelist and dramatist. Having fought two duels on behalf of Elizabeth Ann Linley with whom he eloped and (1773) married, he soon won fame with his three brilliant comedies, The Rivals (1775), The School for Scandal (1777) and The Critic (1779). The Duenna (1775) and others are much inferior. He bought *Garrick’s share of the Drury Lane Theatre (1776), assumed the managership and built (1794) a new theatre, burnt down in 1809. He was a Whig MP 1780–1812, a friend of Charles James *Fox and an imprudent advisor to the Prince of Wales (later *George IV), and was appointed Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs 1782, Junior Secretary to the Treasury 1783, Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall 1804–07 and Treasurer of the Navy 1806–07. He became renowned as an orator, especially for his speech in the Commons (1787) calling for the impeachment of Warren *Hastings, and was a manager of the prosecution in the long drawn out trial. When fire destroyed Drury Lane Theatre (1809), Sheridan was financially crippled and arrested for debt (1813). He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Sherman, William Tecumseh (1820–1891). American soldier, born in Ohio. When the Civil War broke out (1861) Sherman, who had abandoned his career as an officer to become a banker and a lawyer, was a professor at the Louisiana military academy. He at once rejoined the Union army, commanded a brigade at Bull Run and saved the day at Shiloh. Appointed by *Grant to command in the southwest he captured Atlanta (September 1864). Unable to bring his opponent, Hood, to battle, he began in November the great march through Georgia which created a wide band of destruction from Atlanta to the port of Savannah. The march incurred lasting odium, and its military usefulness has been a matter of controversy ever since. It seems certain that then, and on other occasions, Sherman showed himself more adept at destroying communications than in coming to grips with the enemy. He was Commander-in-Chief of the US army 1869–83. In 1884 he rebuffed attempts to draft him as Republican candidate for president with the words: ‘I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.’ His brother, John Sherman (1823–1900), was a US senator from Ohio 1861–77 and 1881–97, Secretary of the Treasury 1877–81, sponsored the Anti-Trust Act (1890) that bears his name and became Secretary of State 1897–98.
Wilson, E., Patriotic Gore. 1962.
Sherriff, Robert Cedric (1896–1975). English dramatist. His play about World War I, Journey’s End (1929), achieved an outstanding success not repeated by his later work.
Sherrington, Sir Charles Scott (1857–1952). English physiologist, born in London. He studied at Cambridge and St Thomas’s Hospital, London, where, after research into cholera in Spain and Italy, he became a lecturer in physiology. Later appointments included professorships at Liverpool University 1895–1913 and Oxford 1913–35. He introduced the term ‘synapse’ (1897) to describe the point of transmission of neurons. His work on the nervous system and its control of muscles was of great importance, especially on the effects of reflex actions. He was elected FRS (1893) and PRS 1920–25, won the Royal (1905) and Copley (1927) medals and received the OM (1924). With E. D. *Adrian, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1932) for ‘their discoveries regarding the function of neurons’. His books include Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906) and Man on his Nature (1940). He was also a poet and an inspiring teacher whose students included Howard *Florey and John *Eccles.
Sherwood, Robert Emmet (1896–1957). American author. His successful plays include Idiot’s Delight (1936), Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1939) and There shall be no Night (1941). He wrote some of President Franklin *Roosevelt’s speeches and won the Pulitzer Prize (1949) for Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History.
Shevardnadze, Eduard Amvrosis dze (1928–2014). Georgian politician. Active in the Komsomol and Communist Party in Georgia, he became Interior Minister 1965–72 and First Secretary 1972–85, gaining a reputation for toughness. A member of the CPSU Politburo from 1985, *Gorbachev unexpectedly appointed him as Soviet Foreign Minister 1985–90. Despite his lack of international experience, he played a central role in ending the Cold War. He resigned dramatically in December 1990, warning of dictatorship and protesting against Gorbachev’s increased dependence on opponents of reform. A founder member of the Democratic Reform Movement 1991, After the break-up of the USSR, he became the effective head of an independent State of Georgia as Head of State 1992–95 and President 1995–2003.
Shi Huang Di see Qin Shihuang
Shinwell, Emanuel, Baron Shinwell (1884–1986). English politician. He entered parliament as Labour member for Linlithgow in 1922 and became Financial Secretary to the War Office in 1929. He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Mines in 1924 and again 1930–31. In Attlee’s Government he was Minister of Fuel and Power 1945–47, and Minister for War 1947–50 and of Defence 1950–51. In 1986 he became the oldest peer in British history.
Shinwell, E., I’ve Lived Through It All. 1973.
Shipley, Dame Jenny (Jennifer Mary, née Robson) (1952– ). New Zealand National politician. MP 1987–2002, she displaced Jim *Bolger as Prime Minister 1997–99, until defeated by Helen *Clark.
Shirley, James (1596–1666). English dramatist. After leaving Oxford he became a Roman Catholic and took up teaching but soon began writing for the stage. He wrote over 40 plays: the tragedies, e.g. The Maid’s Revenge (c.1626), The Traitor (1631) and The Cardinal (1641), are undistinguished, but the comedies, e.g. The Gamester (1633), later adapted by *Garrick, and The Lady of Pleasure (1635), were revived after the return of *Charles II (1660) and strongly influenced Restoration comedy. He died from stress and exposure during the Great Fire of London.
Shockley, William Bradford (1910–1989). American physicist, born in London. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, worked at the Bell Labs 1936–55 and conducted research on radar in World War II. He was co-inventor with *Brattain and Bardeen of the germanium transistor and shared with them the Nobel Prize for Physics (1956). He had already determined that silicon was superior to germanium, but colleagues refused to work with him. He relocated to Silicon Valley, California, became a professor at Stanford University 1963–75 and held controversial views on eugenics, intelligence and race.
Shoenberg, Sir Isaac (1880–1963). Russian-British engineer. He worked in England for *Marconi from 1914, pioneered stereo recording and, in parallel with *Zworykin in the US, developed electronic scanning techniques for television which were adopted by the BBC, displacing *Baird’s mechanical scanning.
Sholokhov, Mikhail Aleksandrovich (1905–1984). Russian novelist. In his first major work, And Quiet Flows the Don and its sequel The Don Flows Home to the Sea (1928–40), he gave an account of the events leading up to and following the Revolution and Civil War (in which he fought in the Red army) and the effects on a Cossack village. His second epic, Virgin Soil Upturned (1932–33), dealt with the collectivisation of agriculture. They Fought for their Country (from 1959) is an epic of World War II. He also published many short stories and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1965.
Shore, Jane (d.1527?). English mistress of *Edward IV. Wife of a London goldsmith, famed for her beauty and wit, she was accused of sorcery and forced to do public penance by *Richard III. Sir Thomas *More writes of her and her story is the theme of ballads and of a tragedy by Nicholas *Rowe.
Shorten, Bill (William Richard) (1967– ). Australian Labor politician and union official, born in Melbourne. Educated at Xavier College, Monash and Melbourne Universities, and working briefly as a lawyer, he became a trade union official, and National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) 2001–07. Federal MP 2007– , he was the architect of a national disability policy, and served as Minister for Workplace Relations 2011–13 and for Education 2013. An effective and assiduous advocate, supported by the Right, he became the first Labor leader chosen by a combination of votes in the Caucus and ALP branch members, and was Leader of the Opposition 2013–19.
Shostakovich, Dimitri Dimitrievich (1906–1975). Russian composer, born in St Petersburg. Son of an engineer of Polish descent, he was a child prodigy, entering the Petrograd Conservatorium at the age of 13 to study under *Glazunov. He won early recognition with his vivacious Symphony No. 1 (1925), No. 2 (1927) being dedicated to the October Revolution. His output included songs, choral works, many orchestral suites (mostly drawn from other compositions), the opera The Nose (after *Gogol, 1928) and the ballet The Age of Gold (1930). His 36 film scores, nine for *Kozintsev, written, as he said, ‘to pay the rent’, include New Babylon (1928), The Gadfly (1955), Hamlet (1964) and King Lear (1970), and music was adapted for many stage productions.
Brooding seriousness and ironical gaiety are the dominant moods of Shostakovich’s music.
A magnificent pianist himself, his piano works include 24 preludes Op. 34 (1932–33), Concerto for Piano and Trumpet, Op. 35 (1933), Piano Quintet quintet Op. 57 (1940), 24 preludes and fugues, Op. 87 (1950–51), and Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 102 (1957).
His opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1934) was an outstanding success until seen by *Stalin, leading to a denunciation in Pravda and a 30–year ban. To conform with political reality he duly changed his style with the popular Symphony No. 5 (1937). Symphony No. 7 (the Leningrad, 1941) commemorates the German siege and was an immediate international success.
Fifteen powerful string quartets, a form in which he vied for mastery with Belá *Bartók, appeared between 1938 and 1974. He originally planned to write 24, one in each key, major and minor. No. 8 in C (1943) is the most played, followed by No. 2, No. 4 and No. 13, but all are outstanding, particularly the last six, which like *Beethoven’s, explore an inner world and can be profoundly disturbing.
He admired *Mussorgsky, re-orchestrated Boris Godunov (1939–40) and orchestrated his Songs and Dances of Death (1962).
In 1948 *Zhdanov attacked Shostakovich for ‘bourgeois formalism’ and dismissed him from the Moscow Conservatorium. Despite decades of frustration (and fear) he learnt how to reconcile Soviet ideological demands and his own creativity in some of his finest works: Symphonies No. 8 (1943), No. 10 (1953), No. 13 (1962), No. 14 (1969) and No. 15 (1971).
He was probably the greatest composer of symphonies since *Mahler, who had been a profound influence, and certainly since *Sibelius.
Symphony No. 13 (Babi Yar) in B flat minor, op. 113, a long work, turns on five poems by Yevgenyi *Yevtushenko, for bass, male chorus and orchestra. It begins with a meditation on the Nazi massacre of Jews at Babi Yar in 1943, and ends with ‘A Career’, a despairing cry against the cynical acceptance of playing safe to secure promotion.
Violin concertos (1948, 1967) were written for *Oistrakh, cello concertos (1959; 1966) for *Rostropovich and a violin sonata, Op. 134 (1968) for Oistrakh and *Rikhter.
Diffident and obsessive, a heavy drinker and smoker, a sports enthusiast, constantly exhibiting physical tension, he joined the Communist Party in 1960, largely as a protective measure, and had trophy status at international peace congresses. He outwardly conformed to successive regimes (serving as a member of the Supreme Soviet 1962–75) but his music can be understood as a profound protest. The book Testimony: The Memoirs of Shostakovich (1979), edited by Solomon Volkov, remains deeply controversial, with some parts apparently authentic, others conjectural. His son Maksim Dimitrievich Shostakovich (1938– ) was a conductor and pianist.
MacDonald, I., The New Shostakovich. 1990; Fay, L. E., Shostakovich: A Life. 2000; Wilson, E., Shostakovich: A Life Remembered. rev. 2006.
Shovell, Sir Clowdesley (1650–1707). English admiral of the fleet, born in Norfolk. He ran away to sea, and from being a cabin boy rose by sheer ability to become a rear admiral. When he was a lieutenant he burned four pirate ships in the Mediterranean (1674). He was knighted for his conduct at the Battle of Bantry Bay (1689). At Cap La Hogue (1692), now a rear-admiral, he burned 20 enemy ships. He served as MP 1695–1707. He took part in the capture of Barcelona (1705) but failed at Toulon (1707). On the way home his ship struck a rock and sank off the Scilly Isles, and he and 800 aboard were lost. How his body came to be found in Cornwall is a mystery (was it washed ashore? or was he murdered after landing?). He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Shrapnel, Henry (1761–1842). English soldier. An artillery officer in the Duke of *York’s army in Flanders (1793), he invented the spherical caseshell, first used in 1804 and later named after him. It explodes in the air at a fuse-controlled height and propels bullets in a forward cone. He became a lieutenant general in 1837.
Shrewsbury, 1st Earl of, John Talbot (1388?–1453). English commander. His exploits in the period when *Joan of Arc’s death was followed by the decline of English power made his name one of odium and terror to the French. Among his successes were a victory over the Burgundians at Crotoy (1437) and the recapture of Harfleur (1440). A reckless and precipitate attack at Castillon (1453) brought defeat and death.
Shriver, Lionel (originally Margaret Ann) (1957– ). American-British novelist, born in North Carolina. Her novels include We Need to Talk About Kevin (2003), So Much for That (2010), and Big Brother: A Novel (2013). She became a British citizen in 2012.
Shultz, George Pratt (1920– ). American administrator. Educated at Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he taught economics in Chicago, serving as Secretary of Labor 1969–70, Director of the Office of Management and Budget 1970–72, and Secretary of the Treasury 1972–74. He was President of the Bechtel Corporation, engineers, 1975–82, and Secretary of State 1982–89.
Sibelius, Jean (Johan Julius Christian) (1865–1957). Finnish composer, born in Hämeenlinna. Regarded as an embodiment of national culture, after abandoning law for music he studied in Helsinki, Berlin and Vienna (under *Goldmark). His gifts were early recognised by the Finnish authorities with a grant for life which enabled him to devote himself to composition. Though not a conscious nationalist in music—he did not base his work on folklore—he was interested in Finnish mythology. He first won international recognition with the tone poem En Saga (1892, revised 1902). The first movement of the Symphony No. 2 (1902) introduces Sibelius’s individual approach to formal structure: the movement is built up not from two clearly defined groups of subjects as in classical sonata form, but from a number of short phrases that gradually fuse and develop organically. This method, apparent also in the last movement of the Symphony No. 3 (1907), was to dominate the rest of the series. No. 4 (1911), remarkable for the compression of its material, economical orchestration and bitterness of mood, was followed by the glowing and expansive No. 5 (1915, revised 1916, 1919), the restrained No. 6 and the one movement No. 7 (1924). Comparable with the symphonies in mood and sometimes in manner, are the tone poems The Bard (1913), Luonnotar (1910) for soprano and orchestra, The Oceanides (1914) and Tapiola (1926), the last of his important works. He also wrote incidental music for plays (e.g. *Maeterlinck’s Pelléas et Mélisande and *Shakespeare’s The Tempest) and songs. His idiom was unmistakably personal in its melodic, harmonic and orchestral expression. The comparative lack of lyricism in his music and its preoccupation with nature (especially its sinister aspect) must partly account for lack of appreciation outside Scandinavia and the English-speaking world. His structural changes have not been significantly adopted. Long promoted by *Koussevitzky and *Beecham, his work was neglected after the revival of interest in *Mahler’s symphonies (and, to a degree, his own contemporary Carl *Nielsen) until taken up by Leonard *Bernstein, Colin *Davis and Lorin *Maazel.
Layton, R., Sibelius. 1965; Blum, F., Jean Sibelius: An International Bibliography. 1965; Grimley, D., Jean Sibelius and His World. 2011.
Sica, Vittorio de (1901–1974). Italian film director and actor. After a stage career which began in 1923 he made films such as Bicycle Thieves (1948), Miracle in Milan (1950) and Umberto D. (1951) in which pathos, whimsical humour and a keen sense of character are combined. As a character actor in such films as Bread, Love and Dreams, he also won high esteem.
Sickert, Walter Richard (1860–1942). British painter of Danish descent, born in Munich. He studied in London at the Slade School and under *Whistler, and in Paris with *Degas. In 1886 he began to exhibit at the New English Art Club which he helped to found, and lived mainly in London, Dieppe and Venice. After returning to London (1905) he headed a group of artists who formed (1911) the ‘Camden Town Group’, which later (1913) became part of the ‘London group’. Under Degas’ influence he painted scenes of theatre life but many of his subjects were the dark rooms and dismal streets familiar to him from his early London days, painted in the subdued colour schemes he had learnt from Whistler, using French Impressionist and post-Impressionist techniques. In later years he introduced colour and sunshine into his pictures using a fuller and richer palette. He became an ARA in 1924 but, having been elected RA in 1934, resigned a year later. In Portrait of a Killer (2002), the writer Patricia Cornwell, after extensive research costing $US6 million, concluded that Sickert was Jack the Ripper—but her verdict was unpersuasive.
Sickert, W. R., A Free House. 1947; Baron, W., Sickert. 1973; Sutton, D., Walter Sickert. 1976; Sturgis, M., Walter Sickert. A Life. 2005.
Sickingen, Franz von (1481–1523). German knight. After serving as a soldier of fortune under *François I of France and the emperor *Charles V, he conducted, on behalf of the Protestant reformers, his own private war against the ecclesiastical princes. Placed under the ban of the empire, he died of wounds while besieged in his own castle. His death symbolised the end of the independent power of German knighthood.
Sickles, Daniel Edgar (1819?–1914). American soldier and politician. A New York attorney and state politician, he was a US Congressman 1857–61 and 1893–95. He married (1852) the daughter of Lorenzo *da Ponte’s ward. In 1859 he was tried for murdering her lover, Philip Barton Key, son of Francis Scott *Key, and acquitted on the grounds of ‘temporary insanity’. He served as a major-general in the Civil War, losing a leg at Gettysburg, then, as Minister to Spain 1869–73. He became the lover of *Isabella II.
Siddons, Sarah Kemble (1755–1831). English tragic actor. She came of a famous stage family, the Kembles, and was a sister of John *Kemble. At the age of 17 she married a member of her father’s company, and two years later made her debut (1775), under *Garrick’s management at Drury Lane as Portia. She was not notably successful and for the next six years she toured the provinces. She made a triumphant return to London (1782) and until her retirement (1812) dominated the London stage. In tragic roles, above all as Lady Macbeth, perfection was claimed for her, beauty of face, form and voice being allied with vibrant emotional power. She is immortalised in paintings by *Gainsborough and, as The Tragic Muse, by *Reynolds.
Sidgwick, Henry (1838–1900). English moral philosopher. Educated at Cambridge, he taught there from 1859 and became Knightsbridge professor of moral philosophy 1883–1900. A disciple of J. S. *Mill, in his Methods of Ethics (1874) he compared three approaches to decision making: hedonism (self interest), utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number) and intuitionism (instinct). In 1888 he founded the Society for Psychical Research. He campaigned against religious texts and founded Newnham College (1876) to promote education for women. His wife Eleanor Mildred Sidgwick (née Balfour) (1845–1936) was President of Newnham College 1892–1910.
Sidmouth, 1st Viscount see Addington, Henry
Sidney, Algernon (1622–1683). English radical. Son of the 2nd Earl of Leicester and a grandnephew of Sir Philip *Sidney, in the Civil War he fought for the parliamentary forces. Though he opposed Cromwell’s Protectorship he was forced after the Restoration to live as an exile on the Continent until 1677. After another visit to France (1679) during which it was alleged (without proof) that he was bribed by *Louis XIV, he returned to England and was arrested after the discovery of the Rye House plot to murder *Charles II on his way back from Newmarket. Tried by Judge *Jeffreys, he was condemned on doubtful evidence for treason, and beheaded. His name was officially cleared in 1689. His Discourses Concerning Government, attacking the patriarchalism of *Filmer and advocating aristocratic republicanism, were printed in 1689.
Sidney, Sir Philip (1554–1586). English poet, scholar, courtier and soldier, born in Penshurst, Kent. Nephew of Robert Dudley, Earl of *Leicester, he was educated at Shrewsbury and Oxford. Travels as a young man enabled him to absorb continental and especially Italian culture, and on his return to *Elizabeth I’s court he seemed, with his looks, his birth, talents and chivalrous attitude to life, the English personification of the Renaissance ideal. There were numerous portraits (including miniatures) painted of him. Ill-timed advice to the Queen against her proposed French marriage robbed him of her favour, but he returned to court in 1583 and was knighted. He married (1583) the daughter of Sir Francis *Walsingham. After his death at Zutphen (where he was said to have passed a cup of water to a wounded soldier in even greater need) during Leicester’s campaign to aid the Dutch against the Spaniards, he became a national hero. Over 200 poems were produced in commemoration of his death.
None of his works was published in his lifetime. Arcadia, a pastoral prose romance with poems interspersed, was begun in 1580 and published in 1590. The Apologie for Poetrie (called in a later edition Defense of Poesie) was written about the same time; it was the first application of Italian critical methods to English poetry. Astrophel and Stella, consisting of 108 Petrarchan sonnets and 11 songs, is believed to have been inspired by his love for Penelope Devereux, daughter of the 1st Earl of Essex, after she had been forced to marry against her will (1580).
His sister Mary Sidney (1561–1621) married the 2nd Earl of Pembroke, was a lady in waiting to *Elizabeth I, a patron of Edmund *Spenser, a gifted translator and a powerful (if neglected) poet.
Duncan-Jones, K., Sir Philip Sidney. Courtier Poet. 1991.
Siemens, (Ernst) Werner (1816–1892). German electrical engineer, born in Lenthe. He invented the pointer telegraph (1846), the self-excited dynamo, new techniques for electoplating, the first electric tramway (1879) and electric train (1881). With Johann Georg Halske he founded Siemens & Halske in 1847 and it became the largest international telegraph construction company. His brother Sir William (Karl Wilhelm) Siemens (1823–1883), Anglo-German engineer, was born in Hanover. He first visited England in 1843 and 1844 to launch two of his own and his brother’s processes and settled there to take advantage of the more favourable patent laws. His principal researches were on applications of heat and electricity. Among his many inventions were a gas-fired regenerative furnace (1848) later used for open-hearth steel production, an early platinum resistance thermometer (1871), and the electric arc steel furnace (1879). He also designed the steamship Faraday, which laid the first transatlantic cable (1874). He was naturalised in 1859, elected FRS in 1862, became President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 1882 and received a knighthood in 1883.
Scott, J. D., The Siemens Brothers. 1958.
Sienkiewicz, Henryk (1846–1916). Polish novelist. His early novels belong to the idealistic school but in 1883 he published Fire and Sword which, with The Deluge (1884) and Pan Michael (1887), pictured the troubled scene of the 17th century in Poland. With Quo Vadis? (1896), a story of Nero’s persecution of Christians, he won an international reputation, later enhanced by The Crusaders (1900), which told of the Polish struggle against the Teutonic knights. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1905).
Sieyès, Emmanuel Joseph, Comte (1748–1836). French politician. Often known by his pre-Revolutionary title, Abbé Sieyès, his pamphlet, Qu’est-ce que le tiers état?, written on the eve of the revolution and indicating the role the ‘third estate’ might take in bringing about constitutional change, had great influence. In the early days he was a prominent adherent of *Mirabeau in the National Assembly and helped to draw up the Constitution of 1791. Later, though he voted for the king’s execution, he was cautiously inactive. ‘I survived’ was his answer when asked what part he had played in ‘the Terror’. At first he refused to join the Directory but became a member when it was reformed under *Barras’s leadership (June 1799). But he saw the need for further change: ‘We must have a head and a sword’, he said. For ‘the head’ he did not have to look far, for the ‘sword’ he chose the popular General *Bonaparte and joined with him in staging the revolution of 18 Brumaire (9 November 1799). Unfortunately, Bonaparte was not content to be ‘sword’ alone. He emerged as First Consul and Sieyès’ constitution was doctored to ensure Bonaparte’s primacy. Disappointed, Sieyès refused to be Second Consul and was compensated by a seat in the Senate and a large estate. He was an exile in Brussels after Napoléon’s defeat, returning after the 1830 Revolution.
Signac, Paul (1863–1935). French painter. With *Seurat and *Pissarro he was a pioneer of ‘pointillism’, but with greater intensity, and a major theorist of Neo-Impressionism.
Signorelli, Luca (1441?–1523). Italian painter. A member of the Umbrian school, and a follower of *Piero della Francesco, his apocalyptic frescoes in Orvieto Cathedral, including a powerful Last Judgment, anticipated (and probably influenced) *Michelangelo.
McLellan, D., Luca Signorelli’s Last Judgment Cycle at Orvieto. 1992.
Sihanouk see Norodom Sihanouk
Sikorski, Wladyslaw (1881–1943). Polish soldier and politician. In the Poland made independent by World War I he distinguished himself against the Russians (1920). He was Prime Minister (1922–23) and then Minister of War, but soon resigned after opposing the dictatorship of *Pilsudski. After Poland was overrun at the beginning of World War II he became Prime Minister of the government in exile, at first in France and then in England, raising troops among the Polish miners in northern France and elsewhere. He was killed in an air crash.
Sikorsky, Igor Ivanovich (1889–1972). Russo-American aeronautical engineer, born in Kiev. He studied engineering at the St Petersburg Naval Academy, in Paris and in Kiev, built experimental helicopters (following an idea of *Leonardo da Vinci) in 1909 and 1910 and on their failure turned to fixed wing aircraft. In 1913 he flew the first four-engine aircraft. The Bolshoi (Le Grand) and the ‘Clippers’ introduced by Pan American Airways in 1937 were a modification of his design. He lived in the US from 1919. Sikorsky’s first successful single-rotor helicopter was flown in September 1939.
Sikorsky, I. I., Recollections and Thoughts of a Pioneer.1964.
Silhouette, Étienne de (1709–1767). French administrator. As Minister of Finance (1759), he acquired such a reputation for parsimony that his name was given to likenesses obtained cheaply by tracing the shadow of a face in profile thrown by a lighted candle on to a sheet of paper and then blackening the enclosed space.
Sillanpäa, Frans Emil (1888–1964). Finnish novelist. The Finnish Civil War of 1918 provided the background of Mark Heritage (1919), by which he first became known. The Maid Silja (1931, Fallen Asleep While Young) brought international acclaim. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1939).
Silone, Ignazio (Secondo Tranquilli) (1900–1978). Italian novelist. Communist and socialist by turns, he was imprisoned several times by *Mussolini before escaping to live in Switzerland (until 1944). His best known novel, Fontamara (1933), describes the effects of Fascism on an Italian village. Other works include The School for Dictators (1938), The Secret of Lucca (1958), and a play, The Story of a Humble Christian (1969).
Simenon, Georges (Joseph Christian) (1903–1989). Belgian novelist, born in Liège. He left school at 16, became a journalist and in 1922 went to Paris, where he wrote more than 400 short popular novels under 16 different pseudonyms. In 1930 he published the first of 80 detective novels featuring Inspector Maigret: some were translated into 50 languages, and sold 500 million copies, 55 were filmed and 279 used in a popular television series. Maigret’s popularity diverted attention away from Simenon’s penetrating psychological novels. As André *Gide wrote to Simenon: ‘You are living on a false reputation—just like Baudelaire or Chopin … You are much more important than is commonly supposed.’ Suspected of collaboration, he left France and lived in the US 1945–55, then in Switzerland. Simenon published more than 200 novels in his own name and autobiographical studies, When I was Old (1972) and Intimate Memoirs (1981).
Marnham, P., The man who wasn’t Maigret. 1992.
Simeon II (Simeon Borisov Saxecoburggotski) (1937– ). Tsar of Bulgaria 1943–46. Son of *Boris III, he was subject to a regency until deposed by *Dimitrov’s Communist Government. He went into exile in Spain, married an heiress and succeeded in business. He returned to Bulgaria, formed the National Movement which won the Parliamentary elections and became Prime Minister 2001–05.
Simeon Stylites, St (c.390–459). Christian ascetic, born in Cilicia. He is said to have spent about 30 years in preaching and contemplation on the top of a tall pillar (Greek stylos, hence his name), near Antioch. This feat, which attracted many imitators, is the subject of a poem by *Tennyson.
Simić, Charles (originally Duśan) (1938– ). Serbian-American poet and essayist, born in Belgrade. His family migrated to the US in 1954. He was educated in New York, then taught in New Hampshire. He won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for the collection The World Doesn’t End, was extremely prolific as poet and essayist, wrote the memoir A Fly in the Soup (2000) and became Poet Laureate of the US 2007–08. His urgent, immediate, economic style is reminiscent of Emily *Dickinson.
Simnel, Lambert (c.1475–c.1525). English pretender. Of humble birth, he was carefully coached by a priest, Roger Simon, to play the part of the Earl of Warwick, son of the Duke of Clarence and nephew of *Edward IV. He was ‘recognised ‘by Warwick’s aunt, the Duchess of Burgundy, was taken to Ireland (1486) and crowned in Dublin as Edward VI (1487). With a small Yorkist following and a few mercenaries sent from Burgundy, he then crossed to England, but was defeated and captured near Stoke-on-Trent. As a sign of contempt *Henry VII employed him in the royal kitchen.
Simon, St (Shimon in Aramaic, known as ‘the Less’, ‘the Canaanite’ or ‘the Zealot’) ( fl. 1st century CE). Christian apostle. One of the 12, his name is often linked with St *Jude and he is said to have been martyred in Persia.
Simon, Herbert Alexander (1916–2001). American social scientist. He held chairs at the Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, from 1949 and was professor of computer science and psychology 1965–81. He worked on the ‘behavioural’ theory of how firms work and on computer modelling. His books include The Sciences of the Artificial (1969) and Human Problem Solving (with Alan Newell, 1972). He won the 1978 Nobel Prize for Economics.
Simon, John Allsebrook Simon, 1st Viscount (1873–1954). English lawyer and politician, born in Manchester. Son of a Congregational minister, he was elected to a fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, and was called to the bar in 1899. He had a brilliant legal career (KC in 1908) and having entered parliament as a Liberal (1906) was Solicitor-General 1910–13, Attorney-General 1913–15, and then Home Secretary. He resigned (1916) in opposition to conscription in World War I and after brief military service returned to the bar, where for a time his income was £50,000 a year. His declaration that the May 1926 General Strike was illegal contributed to his collapse. He chaired a statutory commission on Indian constitutional reforms 1927–30. In 1931 he adhered to the coalition as Leader of the National Liberals, and was Foreign Secretary 1931–35, Chancellor of the Exchequer 1937–40 and Lord Chancellor 1940–45. He was a distinguished lawyer but, despite the force and clarity of his intellect, lacked the human qualities that would have made him a great politician.
Simon, J. A., Retrospect. 1952.
Simon, (Marvin) Neil (1927–2018). American playwright. Simon’s plays were skilfully crafted and subtly written, numerous and phenomenally successful in their middlebrow appeal on television, stage and film. They include The Odd Couple (1965), Sweet Charity (musical, 1966), Plaza Suite (1968), California Suite (1976) and Biloxi Blue (1984).
Simon, Paul (1942– ) and Art(hur) Garfunkel (1941– ). American songwriters and singers. Simon and Garfunkel achieved great success as a singing duo 1964–71, performing their own spare, elegant, evocative works including The Sounds of Silence; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme; Bridge over Troubled Water; Scarborough Fair and Mrs Robinson. Simon, educated at Brooklyn Law School, won many awards as a composer and toured extensively after 1972. Garfunkel, educated at Columbia University, was a lyricist and actor who appeared in several films e.g. Catch 22 and Carnal Knowledge.
Simons, Menno (1492–1559). Dutch religious leader. After the suppression of the Anabaptists he organised the less fanatical remnants into a religious group known as Mennonites. More concerned with a Christian life than dogma, among their tenets are adult baptism and refusal to bear arms, to take oaths or to serve in public office. They were persecuted from the 1530s, many settled in West Prussia and from 1683 in Pennsylvania. *Catherine the Great invited them to set up colonies in the Ukraine in 1770 but a century later many Russian Mennonites migrated to Canada and the US.
Dyck, C. J., A Legacy of Faith: The Heritage of Menno Simons. 1962.
Simpson, Sir James Young, 1st Baronet (1811–1870). Scottish physician. Professor of medicine and midwifery at Edinburgh University 1839–70, he introduced the use of anaesthetics in childbirth (1847), using ether at first. He discovered (1847), the anaesthetic properties of chloroform previously used only as an antiseptic. The original antagonism to its use was overcome when it was given to Queen *Victoria for the birth of Prince Leopold. In 1866 he was made a baronet. He anticipated the discovery of Röntgen (or X-) rays.
Simpson, O(renthal) J(ames) (1947– ). American footballer, broadcaster and actor, born in San Francisco. He was an outstanding running back, first in college, then professional football, breaking records and winning many awards. He achieved legendary status, made many television advertisements, acted in films and became a sports broadcaster. He distanced himself from controversies about race and Vietnam. In June 1994 his former wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ron Goldman, were stabbed to death. Simpson was charged with murder. His televised trial (and acquittal, in October 1995) became a media sensation and also revealed sharp racial divisions about attitudes to crime and the law. After a civil trial, Simpson was ordered to pay $US33.5 million in damages to the family of the murder victims (Feb. 1997).
In 2008 he was convicted, in Nevada, of armed robbery and kidnapping and sentenced to 33 years in jail. He was released on parole in 2017.
Sinan (Koca Mi’mâr Sinân Âğâ, known as ‘Sinan the Architect’) (c.1491–1588). Turkish architect, born in Cappadocia. Of Christian parentage, he became a military engineer in the Janissaries, then chief architect for the sultanate, constructing 130 mosques, 34 palaces and many other public buildings. The mosques of Sultan *Süleyman I in Istanbul and Sultan Selim at Edirne and the Sokolovic bridge (1577) in Bosnia are considered to be his masterpieces. 196 of his works survive.
Sinatra, Frank (Francis Albert) (1915–1998). American singer and film actor, born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He began his career as a crooner with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands in the 1930s, and made his first film in 1941. The most popular and successful of his early films were Anchors Aweigh (1945) and On The Town (1949). As an actor, the best of his 40 films were From Here to Eternity (1953, winning him an Oscar), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He also gained an international audience as a cabaret singer. His style changed from the romantic to the abrasive c.1960, but he remained extremely popular, and a figure of legendary influence in politics and business.
Kaplan, J., Frank. The Voice. 2010.
Sinclair, Archibald Henry Macdonald, 1st Viscount Thurso (1890–1970). British Liberal politician. He served in World War I, becoming very close to *Churchill. An MP 1922–45, he was Secretary of State for Scotland 1931–32, Leader of the Liberals 1935–45 and Secretary of State for Air 1940–45 in the wartime coalition.
Sinclair, Ian McCahon (1929– ). Australian National politician. A lawyer and grazier, he was a Commonwealth MP 1963–98, Minister 1965–72, 1975–79, 1980–83, Leader of the National Party 1984–89, Chairman of the Constitutional Convention on the Republic 1998 and Speaker of the House of Representatives 1998.
Sinclair, Sir Keith (1922–1993). New Zealand historian. Professor of history at Auckland University 1963–87, his books include The Origins of the Maori Wars (1957), A History of New Zealand (1959) and A Destiny Apart (1986).
Sinclair, Upton (Beall) (1878–1968). American novelist and socialist. He wrote over 70 novels, most dealing with social evils. They include The Jungle (1906), an exposure of conditions in Chicago stockyards, The Moneychangers (1908), King Coal (1917) and Oil (1927). With World’s End (1940) he began a series of 11 novels about his hero Lanny Budd. It provides, in the form of fiction, a socialist view of contemporary history. He founded End Poverty in California (EPIC), ran as Democratic candidate for governor (1934) and was narrowly defeated.
Sinclair, U. B., The Autobiography of Upton Sinclair. 1962.
Singer, Isaac Bashevis (1904–1991). American novelist and journalist, born in Poland. He emigrated to America in 1935 and joined the staff of the Jewish Daily Forward. Writing entirely in Yiddish, his novels and short stories include The Slave (1962), The Manor (1967) and The Estate (1969). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978.
Singer, Isaac Merrit (1811–1875). American inventor. He patented (1851) a practical sewing machine. Although he lost a suit for infringement brought by Elias Howe, his company was already well established, soon took the lead in manufacturing sewing machines and became the first multinational corporation. He lived in France from 1861.
Singer, Peter Albert David (1946– ). Australian philosopher. Educated at Melbourne and Oxford universities, he was a professor of philosophy at Monash University 1977–79, and gained international recognition for his works on bioethics. His Animal Liberation (1975) raised novel ethical issues about exploitation and infliction of pain on animals. He held a chair in bioethics at Princeton 1999– but also taught at Melbourne University, and was a prolific writer and fearless controversialist.
Singh, Manmohan (1932– ). Indian economist and politician, born in the Punjab. A Sikh, he was educated at Oxford and Cambridge, and became a bureaucrat, academic and UN official. As Minister for Finance 1991–96 he changed economic direction, moving away from the interventionist model (sometimes called the ‘Licence Raj’ system) introduced by Jawaharlal *Nehru. Regarded as a technocrat, he unexpectedly became Prime Minister 2004–14, with the support of Sonia *Gandhi. India’s growth rate reached 9 per cent in 2007, but inflation was high and adopting further market-based reforms proved unpopular.
Sisi, Abdel Saaed Hussein Khalil Fatteh el- (1954– ). Egyptian soldier and politician, born in Cairo. Commissioned in 1977, he undertook training in the UK and US, and was Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief 2012–14, reaching the rank of field marshal. He directed the coup that overthrew President Mohamed *Morsi in 2013, suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood and was elected President of Egypt 2014– .
Sisley, Alfred (1839–1899). French painter, born in Paris. Of English parentage, he became a landscape painter, influenced by *Corot, a friend of *Monet, and a major figure among the Impressionists, although his colour range was rather subdued. The quality of his work was only recognised posthumously and he died poor.
Sitting Bull (Tantanka Iyotake) (1834–1890). American Indian chief. He was head of the Dakota Sioux from 1875, led them in the war of 1876–77 and defeated George *Custer’s cavalry at the Battle of Little Bighorn (1876). He escaped to Canada, returning to appear in William F. *Cody’s Wild West show (1885). With eight others he was murdered by Native American police.
Sitwell, Dame Edith Louisa (1887–1964). Sir Osbert, 5th Baronet (1892–1969) and Sir Sacheverell, 6th Baronet (1897–1988). English writers. Children of the eccentric Sir George Revesby Sitwell, 4th Baronet (1860–1943), it is probable that this formidable (though essentially kindly) personality was unconsciously instrumental in transforming his children into a closely knit literary clan. Their actual work was, however, highly individual. Edith Sitwell, by using startling or grotesque images, odd epithets (e.g. ‘periwigged green leaves’) and many other arresting techniques, e.g. the adaptation of poetry to dance rhythms, escaped from the conventional constraints of the poetry of her time. A miscellany called Wheels (1916–21), funded by her brothers, friends and herself, helped to make her work more widely known. Her best known collection was Façade (1923), declaimed with great success to chamber accompaniment by William *Walton. Her Collected Poems were issued in 1930. Among her prose works are a perceptive biography of *Pope (1930), The English Eccentrics (1933), and The Queens and the Hive (1962), in which are interwoven the stories of *Elizabeth I and *Mary Queen of Scots.
Osbert Sitwell's elegantly satirical verse and prose had a limited appeal before he reached a much wider public with his diverting and idiosyncratic autobiographical works, beginning with Left Hand, Right Hand (1945) and later including The Secret Tree (1946) and Laughter in the Next Room (1949).
Sacheverell Sitwell's books were confined to the arts, especially of southern Europe. They revealed a fastidious taste, an alert eye for landscape and a curiosity about the unknown. He wrote on Mozart (1932) and Liszt (1935), but more characteristic are Southern Baroque Art (1931), British Architects and Craftsmen (1945) and Gothic Europe (1969). He also published numerous small volumes of poetry.
Pearson, J., Façades. 1978.
Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere) (1414–1484). Pope 1471–84. Born in Liguria, he became a Franciscan, head of the order, and a notable preacher and theologian. Once elected as Pope, he abandoned Franciscan austerity, expanded the power of the Papal state and stacked the college of cardinals with members of powerful families, including six of his nephews, one of whom became Pope *Julius II. He approved the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, condoned slavery in South America, annulled the decrees of the Council of Constance, called for a crusade against the Turks, became involved in a murderous plot against the Medici in Florence and encouraged the sale of indulgences. However, he was a notable patron of art and architecture, created the Sistine Chapel (named for him) and the Vatican archives, built bridges, widened roads and restored old churches.
Sixtus V (Felice Peretti) (1521–1590). Pope 1585–90. During his short term of office he proved himself one of the most effective of the counter-Reformation popes. He suppressed banditry in the papal states, disciplined the factious Roman nobility, and finished the dome of St Peter’s. He reformed the ecclesiastical administration by raising the number of cardinals in council to 15, each with a separate sphere of responsibility. He hastened the revision of the Vulgate. In foreign affairs, he prompted the Armada against England, but supported the compromise by which *Henri IV became King of France.
Sjón (pseudonym of Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson) (1962– ). Icelandic poet, novelist, playwright and lyricist, born in Reykjavik. His pen name (meaning ‘sight’) is an abbreviation of his given name (Sigurjón). Sjón frequently collaborated with the singer Björk and performed with The Sugarcubes as ‘Johnny Triumph’. His works have been translated into more than 25 languages.
Skallagrímsson, Egill (c.910–990). Viking-Icelandic poet and warrior. Egil’s Saga (c.1230) recounts his varied, often violent, exploits.
Skanderbeg (Skënderbej or Iskender Bey: Gjergj Kastrioti) (c.1403–1468). Albanian national hero. He rose high in Turkish service, but when an attempt was made to conquer Albania he renounced Islam and in 1443 led a national rising of the Albanian and Montenegrin chiefs. With some support from Venice, Naples and the Pope, he preserved Albanian independence for over 20 years. But as the years passed his followers dwindled and support from outside failed, his cause died with him.
Skelton, John (c.1460–1529). English poet, born probably in Norfolk. He became tutor to Prince Henry (*Henry VIII), was ordained (1498) and spent most of his time in London, where he became notorious for his wild life, buffoonery and practical jokes. Eventually, having offended *Wolsey by his satires on the clergy, e.g. Colyn Cloute (1522), he took sanctuary in Westminster Abbey where he remained till his death. One of his best known works, The Tunnying of Elynour Rummyng, describes a drunken woman’s revels. His metrical lines (Skeltonics) have been described as ‘voluble, breathless doggerel‘, but deserve a higher reputation. His one surviving morality play, Magnyfycence, was possibly written as a guide to good government for the young Henry.
Skinner, B(urrhus) F(rederic) (1904–1990). American experimental psychologist. He taught at Harvard from 1931 and was professor of psychology 1947–75. Skinner became the major proponent of ‘behaviourism’, an extension of the work of *Pavlov and J. B. *Watson, which asserts that behaviour should only be examined empirically and objectively as a series of reactions to stimuli. Skinner’s teachings aroused much controversy because they assumed a mechanistic view of human experience, with no recognition of ‘inner states‘. He wrote Science and Human Behaviour (1953), Walden Two (1948) and Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971).
Skryabin, Aleksandr Nikolayevich see Scriabin, A. N.
Slade, Felix (1790–1868). English antiquary and collector. He left £350,000 to found art professorships at Oxford, Cambridge and London universities. The Slade School of Art, London, is named after him.
Slim, William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount (1891–1970). British soldier, born in Bristol. Commissioned in 1914, he served in Gallipoli (1915) and India (1917–20, 1926–34, 1939–40). In World War II he commanded an Indian division in the Middle East and the 15th Corps in Burma before being appointed to command the 14th Army 1943–45. In this capacity he was responsible for halting the Japanese offensive in Burma and for directing the great campaign by which Mandalay, Rangoon and the rest of the country were eventually liberated. He served as Chief of the Imperial General Staff 1948–52, becoming a field marshal in 1949 and Governor-General of Australia 1953–60. His Defeat into Victory (1956) was one of the best books of World War II.
Slim, W. J., Unofficial History. 1959.
Sloan, Alfred P(ritchard), Jr (1875–1966). American industrialist. Educated at MIT, he ran a ball bearing company 1901–16, then joined General Motors (founded in 1908 by William C. *Durant), becoming its president 1923–37 and chairman 1937–56, at a time when its sales overtook the *Ford Motor Co. He worked with the engineer C. F. *Kettering to improve car design and founded the Sloan-Kettering Institute for cancer research in New York (1945).
Sloane, Sir Hans, 1st Baronet (1660–1753). British physician. After studying medicine in France he made a journey to the West Indies from which he brought back (1689) some 800 species of plants. He then settled in practice in Bloomsbury, London. His undiminished interest in natural history was, however, shown by his book A Voyage to the Islands of Madeira (1707 and 1725). When the colony of Georgia was founded (1732–33) as a refuge for debtors, Sloane was one of the promoters. The great collection of books, manuscripts and curiosities that he handed over to the nation (1749) became the nucleus of the British Museum. He was made a baronet in 1716.
Slovo, Joe (1926–1995). South African politician, born in Lithuania. Trained as a lawyer, he became leader of the South African Communist Party, was tried for treason and exiled for 27 years. His wife, Ruth First (1925–1982), biographer of Olive *Schreiner, was killed by a letter bomb. Originally a Stalinist, he became a supporter of *Gorbachev and liberal economic reforms. In *Mandela’s Government of National Unity he was Minister for Housing 1994–95.
Smart, Christopher (1722–1771). English poet. Though a scholar of distinction, he was forced to leave Cambridge owing to debts, and his whole life was dogged by poverty. Most of his early work was trivial but, after a serious illness followed by attacks of insanity, he turned to religion and, besides a poetical version of the Psalms, wrote his tender, imaginative masterpiece A Song to David. In similar vein is his Rejoice in the Lamb. He died in a debtors’ prison.
Smart, (Frank) Jeffrey (Edson) (1921–2013). Australian painter, born in Adelaide. He worked in Adelaide, and Sydney from 1951, moving to Italy in 1963. His hyper-realistic paintings make familiar scenes of modern life—streetscapes, road signs, building sites, scaffolding, container trains, decaying walls—seem dreamlike or unnerving, e.g. Container Train in the Landscape (1983–84).
Smeaton, John (1724–1792). English engineer, born in Leeds. Son of a lawyer, he was intended to enter his father’s firm, but from boyhood showed the keenest interest in mechanics and engineering. He was elected FRS in 1753 and won fame when he rebuilt the Eddystone Lighthouse (1756–59) to a new and successful design. He also rediscovered the lost Roman formula for making cement. For his work on the mechanical laws governing the construction of wind and watermills he received the Royal Society’s Copley Medal (1759).
Smetena, Bedrich (1824–1884). Czech composer, born in Litomysl. Founder of the Bohemian Nationalist school, his father was the manager of a country brewery. He studied music in Prague and taught music in a nobleman’s family and then in a school of his own. In 1856 he went to Sweden as a conductor to the Philharmonic Society of Göthenburg and in the next few years he wrote some symphonic poems (e.g. Wallenstein’s Camp) on non-Czech subjects. Back in Prague in 1861, he eventually became the chief conductor of the Provisional Theatre, where the Austrians allowed plays and operas to be given in Czech. Of his eight patriotic operas, The Bartered Bride (produced 1870), a gay peasant comedy, is the most popular. Apart from the operas his best known works are Ma Vlast (My Country), a cycle of six symphonic poems (1874–79), and two string quartets (1876 and 1882). From 1874 he struggled against the handicaps of deafness and mental illness by which he was finally incapacitated. *Dvorák, *Suk and others maintained the nationalist tradition of Czech music he created.
Clapham, J., Smetana. 1972.
Smiles, Samuel (1812–1904). Scottish writer. After studying medicine at Edinburgh, and working as a surgeon in Leeds, an editor and a secretary to railway companies, he achieved enormous success with his Self-Help (1857), translated into 17 languages, a collection of lives of great or successful men held up as models to Victorian schoolchildren. This was followed by, e.g. Thrift (1875) and Duty (1880). He also wrote several biographies, e.g. George Stephenson (1857).
Smith, Adam (1723–1790). Scottish economist, born at Kirkcaldy, Fife. Posthumous child of a comptroller of customs, he studied at Oxford University for seven years before returning to Scotland where he was one of the brilliant intellectual circle of which David *Hume became the best known member. As professor of moral philosophy at Glasgow 1752–64 he gained fame as a lecturer and wrote Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). He travelled in France (1764–66) as tutor to the young Earl of Buccleuch and in Paris met *Turgot and *Necker and discussed their economic ideas. In 1776 he settled in London where he joined Samuel *Johnson’s literary circle. In the same year he published his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, the original source of most future writing on political economy. He was opposed to the monopolistic mercantilism (e.g. Navigation Acts, trading monopolies such as the East India Company etc.) that had dominated previous economic thinking, but neither was he an uncritical advocate of laissez-faire. He believed, with Hume, that enlightened self interest (‘the invisible hand’) would promote public welfare, but insisted in all his works on the maintenance of the link between individual freedom and such moral obligations as kindness, sympathy and justice. Individual freedom releases the energy that produces wealth, but the wealth can only grow by the consumption of goods, not by being hoarded as gold. He also saw that unfettered individual enterprise must be combined with the division of labour (i.e. specialisation) to maximise efficiency. Specialisation entails the need for markets, which in turn need a common purchasing medium, a conclusion leading to considering methods of determining money values. Thus, one by one, he considered the many interlocking factors of political economy. There was a revival of interest in Smith’s ideas with the rise of economic rationalism in the 1980s. Smith has been considered the founder of the study of political economy as a separate discipline.
Rae, J., Life of Adam Smith. Repr. 1965; Ross, I. S., Life of Adam Smith. 1995.
Smith, Al(fred Emanuel) (1873–1944). American Democratic politician, born in New York City. After acute poverty in childhood, he rose rapidly in the New York Democratic machine, serving four terms as State Governor 1918–20 and 1922–28. In 1928 he was the Democratic presidential candidate, the first Catholic nominee of a major party, but lost heavily to *Hoover. He was a ‘wringing wet' opponent of prohibition, and campaigned against child labour and for state parks. In 1932 he contested the presidential nomination against Franklin D. *Roosevelt, failed and was a bitter loser.
Smith, David (Roland) (1906–1965). American sculptor, born in Indiana. He worked as a rivetter for Studebaker, then built locomotives and tanks. He became a pioneer of welded and assembled metal sculptures, making use of industrial forms, later moving into Cubism. He was killed in a motor accident (Anthony *Caro).
Smith, George (1824–1901). English publisher. A founder of Smith & Elder (1846), he appointed *Thackeray as editor of his new Cornhill magazine (1860) and also started the Pall Mall Gazette (1880). Among the famous writers whose works he published were George *Eliot, the *Brownings, Mrs *Gaskell and Anthony *Trollope. The original edition of the Dictionary of National Biography (1885–1900) was his biggest publishing achievement.
Smith, George (1840–1876). English Assyriologist. Trained as a bank note engraver, he worked for the British Museum and deciphered cuneiform tablets that *Layard found in Ninevah. In 1872–73 he discovered and translated The Epic of Gilgamesh, an Akkadian creation legend.
Smith, Ian Douglas (1919–2007). Zimbabwean (Rhodesian) politician, born in Rhodesia. A RAF pilot 1941–46, he was elected to the Southern Rhodesian Parliament in 1948, became a founder of the Rhodesian Front (1961), devoted to maintaining rule by the white minority. Prime Minister 1964–79, he broke off negotiations with Britain over moving to a multiracial system and adopted a unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI, Nov. 1965), which remained in force until 1979 when a negotiated settlement was reached. He served in the Zimbabwean Parliament 1980–88 under Robert *Mugabe’s regime.
Smith, John (1580–1631). English adventurer. He had already had an extraordinary career as a soldier of fortune mainly in service against the Turks during which he escaped from slavery and as a Mediterranean pirate when (1605) he joined the expedition to colonise Virginia. Captured by Indians, he was saved, it was said, by the young Princess *Pocahontas, whom he subsequently married. He wrote books about the colony as well as a highly coloured autobiography.
Smith, John (1938–1994). British Labour politician, born in Scotland. Educated at Glasgow University, he became a barrister in 1967 and a QC. He was an MP 1970–94, a junior minister from 1976 and Secretary of State for Trade 1978–79. In Opposition he served as Treasury Spokesman 1987–92, then succeeded Neil *Kinnock as Leader of the Labour Party 1992–94. He died of a heart attack and was buried in Iona.
Smith, Joseph (1805–1844). American religious teacher, born in Vermont. Founder of the Mormons, he was the son of a farmer and from boyhood claimed to have had visionary experiences. In 1830 he published the Book of Mormon, the original of which, inscribed on gold plates, was said to have come into his hands (with instructions for translation, using two magic stones called Urim and Thummim) as the result of an angelic visitation from the angel Moroni. The book purported to be supplementary to the Bible and to contain divine revelations to Mormon, a prophet of the era, concerning the history of a second ‘chosen people’ who came from Jerusalem and inhabited America before the Indians. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was founded in 1830 and attracted many converts as well as much ridicule and persecution, which forced the ‘saints’ to move several times before they found a permanent home. In 1843 Smith split the community, then settled in Illinois, by announcing a divine message favouring polygamy. More persecution followed. In 1844 he announced his intention to stand for the presidency. Smith and his brother Hyrum were arrested on charges of conspiracy and were murdered by a mob that broke into the jail at Carthage, Illinois.
Smith, Dame Maggie (Margaret Natalie) (1934– ). English actor, born in Essex. She made her stage debut in 1952, winning critical acclaim with *Shakespeare, *Ibsen, *Wilde, *Chekhov, *Coward and Alan *Bennett. She appeared in more than 60 films and won Academy Awards for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) and California Suite (1978). She starred in Gosford Park (2001), Quartet (2012) and some Harry Potter films and was the Dowager Countess of Grantham in the television series Downton Abbey. She received a CH in 2014.
Smith, Sir Matthew (1879–1959). English painter, born at Halifax, Yorkshire. He studied art in Manchester, London and eventually Paris, where he joined the school of *Matisse. His life thereafter was spent between France and England. His scale is large, his composition simplified and bold, and both are admirably suited to the luxuriance and translucence of his colours: for subjects he turned to flowers, fruits and nudes. He was knighted in 1954.
Smith, Sir Ross (1892–1922) and Sir Keith (1890–1955). Australian aviators, born in Adelaide. After service in World War I, the brothers won (1919) the Australian Government’s £10,000 prize for the first Australian-manned aircraft to fly from England to Australia within 30 days. Ross Smith was killed in an air crash.
Smith, Stevie (Florence Margaret Smith) (1902–1971). British poet, born in Hull, Yorkshire. She published several collections of verse, three novels and two critical editions: one of T. S. *Eliot’s verse, one of children’s poetry. She won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (1969). There is a great sense of humour, even comedy, in her work, at the same time as a sense of isolation and blankness, and a preoccupation with death. Her Collected Poems appeared in 1975.
Dick, K., Ivy Compton Burnett and Stevie Smith. 1971.
Smith, Sydney (1771–1845). English clergyman, journalist and wit, born in Essex. Educated at Winchester and Oxford, he became a tutor in Edinburgh and co-founder with Francis *Jeffrey and Henry *Brougham of the Edinburgh Review (1802). He returned to London in 1803 and wrote vigorously against slavery, transportation, prison conditions and the game laws, and for Catholic emancipation and the Reform Bill. He lectured in moral philosophy at the Royal Institution, held several rural livings and was canon of St Paul’s 1831–45. His wit shone at Lady Holland’s Whig soirées and anticipates *Gilbert and *Wilde; but he was wise too, viz: his advice against melancholy. Some of his expressions are still part of the language: ‘out of the ark’, ‘a square peg in a round hole’. He called Daniel *Webster ‘a steam engine in trousers’ and *Macaulay ‘a book in breeches’.
Smith, William (1769–1839). British cartographer. Known as ‘Strata’ Smith, his achievement was to determine the succession of English strata from the coal measures up to the chalk in greater detail than previously and to establish their fossil specimens. His greatest work lay in mapping. Smith rightly saw the map as the perfect medium for presenting stratigraphical knowledge. In developing a form of map that showed outcrops in block, he set the essential pattern for geological mapping throughout the 19th century.
Cox, L. R., William Smith and the Birth of Stratigraphy. 1948; Winchester, S., The Map that Changed the World. 2001.
Smith, W(illiam) Eugene (1918–1978). American photojournalist. A war correspondent for Life magazine, who made outstanding photo-essays, marked by psychological insight, including Pittsburgh (1956ff), Japan (1963) and Minamata (1975).
Smith, W(illiam) H(enry) (1792–1865). English newsagent. He built up a small firm inherited from his parents by creating a speedy country delivery service, using fast carts, coaches and eventually railways. His son, also W(illiam) H(enry) Smith (1825–1891), secured contracts for most of the railway book stalls, became a Conservative MP 1868–91 and was First Lord of the Admiralty 1877–80 and First Lord of the Treasury 1886–91. His widow was created Viscountess Hambledon.
Smithson, James Macie (1765–1829). English chemist, born in Paris. Natural son of the 1st Duke of Northumberland, he studied chemistry and mineralogy. In 1826 the Royal Society rejected a paper he had written and in revenge he left the reversion of £105,000 to found an institution in Washington ‘for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men’. This was the basis of the great Smithsonian Institution.
Smollett, Tobias George (1721–1771). British novelist, born in Dumbartonshire. He trained for medicine in Glasgow, went to London in 1739 and in 1740 sailed with the fleet to the West Indies as surgeon’s mate. It was not until The Adventures of Roderick Random was published (1748) that he achieved literary success. The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751) followed, and thus encouraged, Smollett started an intensive publishing career in Chelsea. Of the many works produced there by himself and his collaborators, the best was The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771). His last years were mainly occupied by travels in search of health, injured by hard work and the worries due to the ease with which he gave and took offence. He died near Leghorn (Livorno). In construction and characterisation his picaresque novels do not equal those of *Fielding, but he had a great gift for narrative and a very observant eye.
Knapp, L. M., Tobias Smollett: Doctor of Men and Manners. 1949.
Smuts, Jan Christiaan (1870–1950). South African soldier and politician, born in Cape Colony. After attending Victoria College, in Stellenbosch, he completed his education at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he won high honours in law. Admitted to the bar in Cape Colony (1895), he entered politics but turned against *Rhodes after the Jameson Raid. Leaving the Cape for the Transvaal he became President *Kruger’s Attorney-General. In the latter stages of the Boer War he proved himself one of the most successful guerrilla leaders, penetrating deep into Cape Colony with his raids. He played a leading part at the Peace Conference of Vereeniging (1902). In the following years he became a close political associate of *Botha and together they built up the South African Party. When the Union of South Africa was formed (1910), Botha became Prime Minister. Smuts served as Minister of Defence 1910–24 and Finance 1912–13 and 1915–19. Like Botha, he supported Britain strongly in World War I, and as GOC of British forces in East Africa 1916–17 he fought against *Lettow-Vorbeck. He joined *Lloyd George’s war Cabinet in London as Minister without Portfolio (1917–18), responsible for organising the RAF and, at the Paris Peace Conference (1919), he was a major architect of the League of Nations. On Botha’s death, Smuts succeeded as Prime Minister 1919–24. Defeated by *Hertzog, he became Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister in a coalition 1933–39. He became Prime Minister again 1939–48 on the outbreak of World War II, when parliament overturned Hertzog’s neutrality policy. Trusted by *Churchill, he served in his War Cabinet and was promoted to field marshal in 1941. His most enduring achievements were probably in international affairs, planning the United Nations and writing the preamble to its charter. He was the only person to sign the charters of both the League of Nations and the United Nations.
In South Africa, he attempted to weld together Europeans of British and Afrikaner (Dutch) descent, but saw no practical alternative to segregation, although he softened its impact by providing (limited) welfare and easing travel restrictions for Africans. An admirer of Mahatma *Gandhi and a strong sympathiser with Zionism, he was criticised as hypocritical for insisting that South Africa’s racial policies were purely domestic matters. His minor concessions on race were anathema to many white voters and after 1945 he steadily lost ground to the Nationalists in rural areas and narrowly lost the 1948 election, despite his United Party winning 49 per cent of the vote. Dr Daniel *Malan became Prime Minister and introduced strict apartheid. Smuts’ subtle and agile intelligence sometimes led outwitted opponents to charge him with duplicity. (He was known as ‘Slim Jannie’.)
Awarded the CH (1917) and OM (1947), he was Chancellor of Cambridge University 1948–50, published several books on holistic philosophy and was an amateur botanist.
Hancock, W. K., Smuts. 2 vols, 1962, 1968.
Smyth, Dame Ethel Mary (1858–1944). British composer and feminist. She studied in Leipzig, and her early operas, the best known of which is The Wreckers (1906), were produced in Germany. A comic opera, The Boatswain’s Mate (1916), was founded on a short story by W. W. Jacobs. She also wrote much chamber music and a Mass in D. She was imprisoned (1911) for her activities as a suffragette, and composed a marching song for the movement.
Snellius, Willebrord (or Willebrord Snel van Roijen) (1591–1626). Dutch mathematical physicist. He succeeded his father as professor of mathematics at Leyden 1613–26 and is best known for the general law (1621), named after him, governing the refraction of light when it passes into a medium of different density. This law which had eluded *Kepler, was published in a slightly improved form (1637) by *Descartes, without acknowledgement. The lunar crater Snellius is named for him.
Snorri Sturluson (1179–1241). Icelandic historian and mythologist. He was a chieftain, active in politics as a member of the Althing. One of the most versatile medieval historians, he wrote Heimskringla, a great history of the Norwegian kings, showing critical abilities and much insight into character. His Younger Edda surveyed Norse mythology and traditions, with the aim of giving help and guidance to poets in search of a theme. He was killed during a violent civil war, followed by Norwegian control of Iceland. His nephew, Sturla Thordson, was author of the Sturlunga Saga.
Snow, C(harles) P(ercy), Baron Snow (1905–1980). English novelist and physicist. Educated at Leicester, London and Christ's College, Cambridge, as a scientist and a civil servant he was much concerned with the cleavage between humane and scientific traditions of culture and wrote The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1959). His novels, e.g. The Masters (1951), The Affair (1959) and Corridors of Power (1964), explore the manipulations by which decisions are achieved in a university and in government. The critic F. R. *Leavis detested him. He was a member of the Labour Government (October 1964) as Parliamentary Secretary to the new minister of technology, and resigned in March 1966. He married the novelist Pamela Hansford Johnson (1912–1981), author of The Unspeakable Skipton (1959).
Snow, John (1813–1858). English physician and epidemiologist, born in York. Son of a colliery worker, he was apprenticed to a surgeon in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and later studied in London. He made several fundamental contributions to evidence-based medicine, pointing to deficiencies in bread as a factor in rickets, and calculated dosages for the use of ether and chloroform in anaesthesia. In September 1854 he identified a water pump in Broad Street, Soho as a transmission point for cholera, rejecting the prevailing ‘miasma’ theory. He never married and died of a stroke. In 2003, a poll of British doctors ranked Snow as the greatest physician of all time and his bicentenary was commemorated in 2013.
Snowden, Philip, 1st Viscount Snowden (1864–1937). British politician. Crippled by a cycling accident, he studied economics and became a public servant. A Labour MP 1906–18, 1922–31, and an ardent free trader, he was Chancellor of the Exchequer 1924, 1929–31. When the Government split in 1931 he supported Ramsay *MacDonald at first, but broke with the National Government in opposition to Imperial Preference and became increasingly isolated and bitter.
Snowdon, 1st Earl of, Antony (Charles Robert) Armstrong-Jones (1930–2017). English photographer, designer and film maker. In 1960 he married Princess *Margaret; they divorced in 1978. He was, despite his royal links, an exceptionally gifted photographer who published several books of portraits and made successful television documentaries.
Soane, Sir John (1753–1837). English architect. Son of a builder, after working under George *Dance the younger, he won a Royal Academy Gold Medal and a travelling studentship (1776–80). On his return he evolved an austere, highly individual modification of the classical style. From 1788 he was architect to the Bank of England, the rebuilding of which occupied 40 years. He built the Dulwich College picture gallery and the founder’s mausoleum (1811–14), three London churches and many houses. His house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields is a museum of prints, drawings, paintings and archaeological relics.
Stroud, D., The Architecture of Sir John Soane. 1961.
Soares, Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes (1924–2017). Portuguese Socialist politician. Educated in Lisbon and Paris, he was imprisoned 12 times under *Salazar’s regime, then exiled in Paris. He served as Prime Minister 1976–85 and President of Portugal 1986–96. Soares was a very prolific writer.
Sobchak, Anatoli Aleksandrovich (1937–2000). Russian lawyer and politician, born in Siberia. Working as a lawyer in Stavropol 1960–64, he became an adviser to *Gorbachev, won a doctorate in law at Leningrad University and was appointed a professor. He attracted attention in the USSR Congress of Peoples’ Deputies 1989–91 and was elected Mayor of Leningrad/St Petersburg 1990–96. He played a decisive role in Leningrad in defeating the August 1991 coup against Gorbachev and reform.
Sobers, Sir Garfield (Garry St Auburn) (1936– ). Barbadian cricketer. A left-handed batsman and bowler, he made 8,000 test runs and took 200 wickets. He captained the West Indies test side 1953–74 and in 1958 made the record score of 365 not out in a test match.
Sobieski, Jan (1624–1696). King of Poland as Jan III 1674–96. Born in Galicia, he became a soldier and, after being engaged in constant warfare with Turks and Tartars, rose to be Polish Commander-in-Chief. A great victory over the Turks at Khotin (1673) made him a national hero and in the next year he was elected King. In 1683 he won European renown by putting the cause of Christendom before any considerations of national policy and marching to rescue Vienna from the Turks. Aristocratic faction and intrigue at home disturbed his reign.
Socinus, Faustus (Fausto Sozzini) (1539–1604). Italian theologian. He was known for his anti-Trinitarian doctrines adopted from his uncle Laelius Socinus (Lelio Sozzini) (1525–1562). He left Italy (1575) to pursue his theological studies, thence he went to Transylvania and in 1579 to Poland where he remained for the rest of his life. Reason was the test he applied to doctrines and it was as an offence against reason that he condemned Trinitarianism, though he accepted the immortality of the spirit (but not of the body). He rejected the divinity of Christ, and the doctrine of Original Sin. Socinianism survived in Transylvania into the 20th century, and was influential elsewhere in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Socrates (c.469–399 BCE). Greek philosopher, born in Athens. Son of Sophroniscus, a friend of *Aristides and possibly a sculptor, he left no writings and the only first-hand evidence concerning his life and thought comes from *Plato and *Xenophon; the former makes him the chief spokesman of his dialogues, but the ideas expressed may well be those of Plato though the method of eliciting them is almost certainly Socratic. The known facts are simple: Socrates served and showed courage in the Peloponnesian War; the rest of his life was spent in Athens where he frequented public places such as markets and gymnasia and talked with anyone who would listen, but delighted especially in the company of young men of good mind and pleasing appearance. That these were most often to be found among the young aristocrats (*Alcibiades, Critias etc.) may have helped to estrange him from the general populace. He was ugly, with thick lips, bulging eyes and flat nose; he walked barefoot, wore the simplest of garments and was indifferent to comfort; but he was no ascetic and could outdrink any of the other guests at a banquet. As it is clear from the caricature of him in The Clouds by *Aristophanes, he was regarded as a sophist, but though he knew, and probably disputed with, sophists he had no use for their verbal pedantries. Nor was he a follower of any school of philosophy. His interests did not extend to the workings of the universe, that each of his followers and friends should learn to know himself was the aim to which his dialectical method was applied. He was no propounder of truths, he only guided the search for truth, or that part of it which lay within the mind of each of his companions. His method was to feign ignorance and then by question and answer to get nearer and nearer to the heart of the matter without achieving a final solution. The achievement of knowledge, he argued, would be the achievement of virtue, for virtue is the knowledge, in its fullest philosophical sense, of what ought to be done, and vice is correspondingly ignorance.
A minor mystery about his character was his claim to be guided in emergencies by a daimonion (divine sign) which, since it was peculiar to himself, had more affinity with intuition than conscience. Whatever its exact nature, his talk of it may help to explain the charge of blasphemy that was coupled with that of corrupting the morals of young men when he was brought to trial by the restored democracy in 399. He was convicted by a jury of 501 by 280 votes to 221, then condemned by a 360:141 vote, when 80 who supported acquittal then chose death. He refused an opportunity of escape and after an interval of 30 days took hemlock, the customary alternative to execution. A moving account of his last day is contained in Plato’s dialogue Phaedo, in which Phaedo describes him as ‘the wisest and justest and best of all men I have ever known'.
Guthrie, W. K. C., A History of Greek Philosophy. Vol 3. 1969; Stone, I. F., The Trial of Socrates. 1989.
Soddy, Frederick (1877–1956). English chemist. He was professor of chemistry at Glasgow 1904–14, Aberdeen 1914–19 and Oxford 1919–36. With *Rutherford he put forward (1903) the radioactive transformation theory showing that radioactivity arises from the spontaneous disintegration of atoms. Soddy’s work led to the discovery that certain atomic species, which he called isotopes, could have the same atomic number but different atomic weight. He was elected FRS in 1910 and won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1921). Among his important books are Radioactive Elements (2 vols, 1912–14) and Matter and Energy (1912). He also wrote extensively (and eccentrically) on economics.
Soeharto see Suharto
Soekarno (or Sukarno, his personal name is given as Achmed or Koesnosoro) (1901–1970). Indonesian politician, born in Surabaja, East Java. His father was a Javanese Muslim school teacher, his mother a Balinese Hindu. He graduated as an engineer in 1925 and in 1927, with D. M. Kasuma, became co-founder of the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI). He fought against Dutch colonial rule, being imprisoned (1930–31) and exiled to remote islands (1933–42). After the Japanese invaded the Netherlands East Indies, Soekarno worked with them, visited Japan in 1943, and was made President of the Java central council and of Putera (‘Centre of People’s Power’), a nationalist Islamic body. On Japan’s sudden collapse in August 1945, he proclaimed Indonesian independence and with Mohammed *Hatta set up a provisional government. He was Head of Provisional Government 1945–49, and President of the Republic 1949–67. The British occupied Indonesia and supported the restoration of Dutch rule, at least on a temporary basis, and four years of conflict followed, in which the islands were partitioned in a Netherlands-Indonesian Union. In 1949 the Netherlands recognised Indonesia as a federal state and withdrew; in December the United States of Indonesia was proclaimed. Named ‘President for Life’ in 1963, he was also Prime Minister 1963–67. He did much to stimulate a sense of national identity but his rule was marred by extravagance, corruption and caprice. For all his shortcomings as an administrator he was an extraordinary orator and master of communication. Following an abortive coup against the army by the Communist Party (PKI) in September 1965, probably with Soekarno’s connivance, he lost power to General *Suharto and was removed from the presidency in March 1967. Muslim puritans disapproved of his private life (*Megawati Soekarnoputri).
Solomon (Shlomo, also Yedidyah) (c.990–c.931 BCE). King of Israel c.970–c.931. Son of *David and *Bathsheba, under him the kingdom reached its widest limits and his wealth and luxury became proverbial. Known as a great builder, he is credited with the construction of the great temple at Jerusalem that bore his name. Surrounded by his concubines he ruled as an oriental despot, and his way of life offended the austere nationalists led by the prophets, while heavy taxation alienated popular support. These causes, combined with tribal jealousies, brought about the partition of the country in the next reign. Solomon left behind him a tradition of great wisdom and supernatural powers. He may have written parts of the biblical Book of Proverbs, but the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes and the apocryphal works attributed to him are much later. The royal dynasty of Ethiopia claimed descent from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.
Solomon (Cutner) (1902–1988). English pianist, born in London. Son of an East End tailor, he made his debut in 1911, toured extensively and made many recordings, retiring in 1956 after a stroke. He had a superb technique, but his interpretative skills were even greater, especially in *Beethoven, *Chopin, *Schumann and *Brahms. He never used his surname.
Solon (c.638?–559 BCE). Athenian legislator and poet. It seems that he first gained popularity by using poetry to express political aims (e.g. the relief of economic distress). As archon (594–563) he was given unlimited power to make economic and constitutional reforms. He started with his revolutionary Seisachtheia (shaking off of burdens) by which all debts were cancelled, land forfeited for debt restored, and those who had pledged their persons as security for debt were freed from slavery. The acceptance of such pledges was in future forbidden. Currency reforms and encouragement of homegrown food (e.g. corn for wine) were among his other measures. He divided the citizens into classes, by economic standards, rights and duties being prescribed accordingly. Though the people as a whole were more widely represented in the assembly and the courts, Athens was as yet far from being a democracy. After completing his reforms, he refused the offered role of ‘tyrant' and spent several years in travels, about which many legends were told. He is numbered among the Seven Sages of Greece.
Solow, Robert Merton (1924– ). American economist. Educated at Harvard, he taught statistics and economics at MIT from 1949 and won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1987 for his pioneering work on the impact of technology on economic growth and his advocacy of selective government intervention.
Solti, Sir Georg (né György Stern) (1912–1997). Hungarian-British conductor. A pupil of *Bartók, *Kodály and *Dohnányi, he was an excellent pianist, turning to conducting after World War II. He was musical director of the Munich State Opera 1946–52, the Frankfurt Opera 1952–61, Covent Garden Opera 1961–71, the Chicago Symphony 1970–91, the Orchestre de Paris 1971–75 and the London Philharmonic Orchestra 1979–83. He won many awards with his recordings, e.g. the first complete *Wagner Ring cycle (1965).
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isayevich (1918–2008). Russian novelist and dissident thinker, born in Rostov-on-Don. Son of an office worker, he studied mathematics at Rostov and Moscow universities, served as an artillery officer and was decorated for bravery. He spent eight years (1945–53) in a forced labour camp in Kazakhstan for criticising *Stalin obliquely in a letter: this was the basis for One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962). During a three-year exile in Central Asia he was cured of cancer; he used this experience in Cancer Ward (1967). Officially rehabilitated in 1957, he became a teacher at Ryazan and, in 1962 during a period of thaw, *Khrushchev allowed his first book to be published. The First Circle (1968), set in 1948, described Marfino prison where skilled personnel worked on special KGB projects. Expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union in 1969, he was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature but was prevented from receiving the prize in Stockholm. Later books include August 1914 (1972) and The Gulag Archipelago (1974), a study of a network of Soviet concentration camps, Lenin in Zurich (1975), and The Oak and the Calf (1980). In 1974 he was expelled from the USSR, settling first in Switzerland, then (1975) in Vermont, USA. He returned to live in Russia in 1994.
Scammell, M., Solzhenitsyn: A Biography. 1984.
Somare, Sir Michael Thomas (1936– ). Papua New Guinean politician. A teacher and journalist, he became Chief Minister 1972–75 under Australian rule and the first Prime Minister of independent Papua New Guinea 1975–80, 1982–85, 2002–11. He was awarded a PC, GCMG and CH. In 2011 a constitutional crisis erupted when parliament ruled that Somare’s prolonged absence due to illness disqualified him from being Prime Minister, but the Supreme Court attempted to overturn the decision.
Somers, John Somers, 1st Baron (1652–1716). English Whig politician. A barrister, he defended the Seven Bishops put on trial by *James II, and played an important part in drafting the Bill of Rights. As Keeper of the Seal he presided over *William III’s informal Cabinet councils and was one of the king’s most trusted advisers. Impeached by his opponents he lost office in 1700 but was briefly restored to power (1708–10) under Queen *Anne.
Somerset, Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of (1506?–1552). English nobleman. He became prominent on the marriage of his sister *Jane Seymour to *Henry VIII. Soon after the accession of his nephew, the boy-king *Edward VI, he was created Duke of Somerset and virtually ruled the country as Lord Protector. His rough wooing of *Mary Queen of Scots on behalf of his master led to the victory of Pinkie (1547), after which Mary was sent to France for safety. In England he hastened the growth of Protestantism, and his personal acquisitiveness, coupled with mildness, made him vulnerable to the intrigues of the Earl of Warwick (afterwards Duke of *Northumberland), who engineered his downfall and execution.
Sommerfeld, Arnold Johannes Wilhelm (1868–1951). German theoretical physicist. He worked in Munich on quantum mechanics and proposed a modification to *Bohr’s model of the atom. His pupils included *Rabi, *Pauling, *Pauli, *Heisenberg and *Bethe.
Sondheim, Stephen Joshua (1930– ). American composer and lyricist, born in New York City. A dominant figure in American musical theatre, and a winner of eight TonyAwards, his compositions include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1963), Company (1970), A Little Night Music (1973), Sweeney Todd (1979), Sunday in the Park with George (1984, Pulitzer Prize), Into the Woods (1988) and Passion (1994).
Song (or Sung). Chinese dynasty which ruled 960–1279, sometimes called ‘Northern Song’. Printing, ceramics and gunpowder were developed in this period.
Song Ziwen (or Soong Tse-Ven; called in the West, T.V. Soong) (1891–1971). Chinese politician. Son of a well known industrialist, he held many offices in Guomintang governments including that of Prime Minister 1944–47. One of his sisters married *Sun Yatsen, the other *Chiang Kaishek.
Sontag (née Rosenblatt), Susan (1933–2004). American critic, novelist and director, born in New York. After graduating from Chicago University at the age of 18, she worked at Harvard and Oxford, then published a series of highly original speculative works on philosophy and education, including Against Interpretation (1966), On Photography (1977), Illness as Metaphor (1978), AIDS and Its Metaphors (1989) and the novels The Volcano Lover (1992) and In America (2000).
Sophia of Hanover (formerly Sophia of the Palatinate, née Witttelsbach) (1630–1714). Electress-consort of Hanover 1692–1698. Born in The Hague, her parents were *Frederick V of the Palatinate and *Elizabeth, daughter of *James I of Great Britain. Sophia married (1658) Ernst August von Welf-Este, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1629–1698) who became Elector of Hanover in 1692. The Act of Settlement (1701) excluded Roman Catholics from succeeding to the British throne. Sophia’s descent from James made her, as a non-Catholic, the heiress: the Act provided that, if Queen *Anne was not survived by her children, the Crown would pass to the Electress Sophia and her descendants. Sophia died in June 1714; seven weeks later Anne, much younger, followed and Sophia’s son succeeded as King *George I.
Sophocles (c.495–406 BCE). Greek dramatist, born at Kolonos, near Athens. A member of a prosperous family, he is said to have led a boys’ choir which celebrated the naval victory of Salamis. Later, having failed as an actor owing to the weakness of his voice, he devoted himself to writing plays. A mark of his success was that he won first prize at the great festival of the god Dionysus 18 times. Of over 100 plays written by him only seven survive complete. Ajax, almost certainly the earliest, takes up the hero’s story from the point when he is driven to suicide by anger and disappointment at not being awarded the arms of Achilles. Conflicts provoked by refusal to accord him honourable burial are the theme of the play, which ends with a change of decision by King Agamemnon. In Antigone the theme is similar, but the efforts of the Theban princess (the title role) to bury her brother Polynices result in a series of tragic events, including her own death. Oedipus the King (Oidipous Tyrannos better known by the Latin name Oedipus Rex), usually considered his masterpiece, and the sequel Oedipus at Colonus (the latest of the surviving plays) tell the terrible story of Oedipus, King of Thebes, who, having discovered that unknowingly he had killed his father and married his own mother, came in his last years, an old, blinded and impoverished exile, to seek his death. Electra is Sophocles’s version of the events that followed the murder of the hero’s mother Clytaemnestra, the unfaithful wife of Agamemnon. The Trachiniae (Maidens of Trachis) tells of the death of Heracles at the hands of his wife Deianira who gives him poison in the belief that it is a love charm. Philocteles is the story of a Greek hero who, stricken by a loathsome disease, is abandoned by his companions on the way to Troy, but is at last induced to come to their aid with his magic bow. Sophocles, who first introduced a third actor, was the most technically accomplished of all Greek dramatists, both in construction and dramatic language. He is essentially interested in human character and the interplay of one character upon another. Matthew *Arnold wrote that he ‘saw life steadily and saw it whole’.
Kitto, H. D. F., Greek Tragedy. 3rd ed. 1961.
Sopwith, Sir T(homas) O(ctave) M(urdoch) (1888–1989). British aircraft designer. He founded Sopwith Aviation in 1912 and his aircraft ‘Camel’ and ‘Pup’ were used by the RAF in World War I. Bankrupt in 1926, he went into partnership with Harry *Hawker and designed the Hawker Hurricane. He was also a successful yacht designer.
Sordello (d.c.1270). Italian troubadour, born near Mantua. His love lyrics and other surviving poems are written in Provençal. He is mentioned several times in *Dante’s Purgatorio and is the hero of Robert *Browning’s Sordello.
Sorel, Georges (1847–1922). French civil engineer and social philosopher. Deeply influenced by *Marx and *Nietzsche, and profoundly pessimistic about the future of European civilisation, he was bitterly opposed to bourgeois morality, parliamentarianism and utilitarianism, which he saw as cowardly evasions of history. He became successively a liberal conservative (1889), Marxist revisionist (1893), Dreyfusard (1897), revolutionary syndicalist (1902), supporter of Action française (1910), and Bolshevik sympathiser (1919). In Reflections on Violence (1908) he urged a ‘myth’ of a heroic view of man and urged the use of (psychological) violence against the force of the State: out of such a confrontation would come a new order. Both *Mussolini and *Trotsky admired him.
Sorensen, Soren Peter Lauritz (1868–1939). Danish biochemist. As director of the chemical section of the Carlsberg Laboratory, his chief researches were on amino acids, proteins and enzymes. He is best known for his introduction of the pH scale for expressing acidity and alkalinity in terms of hydrogenion concentration. On this scale neutrality is represented by a pH value of 7, different degrees of acidity and alkalinity are represented by pH values respectively below and above 7.
Sorge, Richard (1895–1944). Russian spy, born at Baku. The most audacious modern spy, he studied in Berlin and became a journalist, penetrating the German diplomatic service and working in Japan (1933–41). His espionage coups were not given full credit in Moscow and he was arrested (1941) and hanged in Tokyo.
Soros, George (1930– ). Hungarian investor, born in Budapest. A pupil of Karl *Popper, he achieved extraordinary success as a currency speculator, with an income of $US1.3 billion in 1993. The Soros Foundation encouraged democracy in Eastern Europe and Soros was critical of some aspects of economic liberalism.
Soult, Jean-de-Dieu, 1st Duke of Dalmatia (1769–1851). French marshal. After serving in the ranks he rose to become a general (1799) in the French Revolutionary armies and in 1802 was created a marshal. He played a decisive role at Austerlitz (1805) and commanded the right wing at Jena (1806). In 1807 he drove the British forces from Spain, and was made a duke in 1808. In the subsequent campaigns against *Wellington in the Peninsula he fought with varying fortune but could never achieve a decisive success and, as *Napoléon became less able to reinforce him, was gradually driven back. In 1813 he was unable to prevent Wellington breaking through into France. Soult acted as Chief of Staff to Napoléon in the Waterloo campaign, after which he was banished. Recalled in 1820, he became a partisan of *Louis Philippe, was created Marshal General in 1830 and served as Minister of War 1830–34, 1840–44 and Premier 1832–34, 1839–40, 1840–47.
Sousa, John Philip (1854–1932). American bandmaster and composer, born in Washington. Son of a Portuguese father and a Bavarian mother, he was leader of the band of the US marine corps (1880–92) and then formed his own band, with which he toured the world. Known as ‘the March King’, he composed 136 marches, marked by swaggering vitality and imaginative scoring, including The Stars and Stripes for Ever and The Washington Post.
Soustelle, Jacques (1912–1990). French anthropologist and politician. He studied and wrote about Aztec culture in Mexico, turning to politics during World War II when he joined *de Gaulle’s Free French movement. He was a Deputy in the National Assembly 1945–46, 1951–58 and 1973–78, and Governor-General of Algeria 1955–56. He played a leading role in organising the coup that restored de Gaulle to power in 1958, was Minister for Information 1958–59 and for Overseas Development 1959–60. He broke dramatically with de Gaulle over the decision to grant Algerian independence and joined the OAS (Organisation armée secrète). He was exiled in 1961, amnestied in 1968, and elected to the Académie française in 1983.
Southampton, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of (1573–1624). English nobleman. Best known as the man to whom *Shakespeare dedicated Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece, he may have been the ‘Mr W. H.’ and the ‘lovely boy’ of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. He lost the favour of *Elizabeth I after his secret marriage to Elizabeth Vernon, and was imprisoned for his part in *Essex’s rebellion (1601). *James I pardoned him (1603) and he took part in a number of commercial and colonial enterprises, including the expedition to Virginia (1605). He died of fever on an expedition to the Netherlands to help the Dutch.
Southcott, Joanna (1750–1814). English ‘prophet’, born in Devonshire. A domestic servant, in 1792 she began to claim divine inspiration for prophecies in prose and verse announcing the imminent ‘second coming’ of *Jesus Christ. At 64 she claimed that she was about to give miraculous birth to a Prince of Peace, but her own death intervened. An intensive propaganda continues for the opening of a box or boxes left by her. A box was opened in 1927 but no documents or articles of importance were found.
Southey, Robert (1774–1843). English writer. A close friendship with S. T. *Coleridge marked his first years after leaving Oxford University. The two friends married sisters and in 1803 the two couples shared Greta Hall, Keswick. When Coleridge left Keswick that winter he entrusted his wife and family to Southey’s care. Southey remained there for the rest of his life, one of the renowned Lakeland poets, with his friend *Wordsworth nearby. *Landor, *Lamb and Walter *Scott were also among his friends, and the younger writers such as *Carlyle and Charlotte *Brontë were helped by his kindness. A mainstay of the Tory Quarterly Review, he was made Poet Laureate in 1813. Overwork brought about his mental breakdown in 1839. Much of his vast output of poetry and prose, which included epics such as The Vision of Judgement (1820) and a valuable History of Brazil (1810–19), is now forgotten, even his lives of *Nelson and *Wesley, and the children’s classic The Three Bears.
Simmons, J., Southey. 1945.
Soutine, Chaim (1893–1943). Russian-Jewish-French painter, born near Minsk. Living in Paris from 1913, he suffered great hardship. His convulsive and heavily painted expressionist works, often featuring human depravity and carcasses in the slaughterhouse, were a major influence on Francis *Bacon. He also painted many studies of cooks, hotel valets and page boys.
Southwell, St Robert (1561–1595). English Jesuit and poet. A distant cousin of *Shakespeare, he ministered to Catholics despite the threat of execution for priests who failed to leave England. His poems include ‘The Burning Babe’ and ‘New Heaven, New War’. He was arrested in 1592, tortured and executed. He was beatified in 1929 and canonised in 1970.
Soyer, Alexis Benoît (1809–1858). French chef de cuisine. He fled to London from the 1830 revolution in France. He was chef to the Reform Club and became the most famous cook of his time. He was sent to the Crimea to reform the army’s food commissariat, and introduced the ‘Soyer Stove’. Soyer wrote a variety of cookery books.
Morris, H., Portrait of a Chef. 1938; Arnold, A., Adventurous Chef. 2002; Brandon, R., The People’s Chef. 2004; Cowen, R., Relish: The Extraordinary Life of Alexis Soyer. 2006.
Soyinka, Wole (Akinwande Oluwole Babatunde) (1934– ). Nigerian playwright, poet and novelist. Educated at Ibadan and Leeds universities, he wrote in English, worked at London’s Royal Court Theatre and returned as professor of drama at Ife in 1972. His works include the plays The Invention (1955) and Death and the King’s Horseman (1975), and the autobiography Ake (1982). In 1986 he became the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Spaak, Paul-Henri Charles (1899–1972). Belgian socialist politician. A lawyer, elected as deputy in 1932, he was Foreign Minister five times 1936–38, 1939–46 (serving in the government in exile in London 1940–45), 1947–49, 1954–58 and 1961–66 and Prime Minister thrice 1938–39, 1946, 1947–49. A founding father of the United Nations, he was the first President of the UN General Assembly 1946–47. A strong advocate of European economic integration, he worked closely with Robert *Schumann and Jean *Monnet, becoming President of the European Coal and Steel Community 1952–54 and Secretary-General of NATO 1957–61. He was awarded the Charlemagne Prize in 1957 and received a British CH, the US Medal of Freedom and many other honours.
Spaatz, Carl Andrews (1891–1974). American airman. He joined the American Army air force in 1916, and in 1941 was sent to Britain to organise the 8th Air Force which worked in close association with the British Bomber Command. He commanded (1943) all Allied forces taking part in the North African campaign. He was head of the US Army Air Force 1946–48.
Spacey, Kevin (Fowler) (1959– ). American actor, director and writer, born in New Jersey. He starred as Frank Underwood in the powerful television series House of Cards, was an outstanding Richard III on stage, and appeared in many films including The Usual Suspects (1995) and American Beauty (1999), receiving Academy Awards in both, and in Margin Call (2011). He was artistic director of the Old Vic, London, 2004–15, and became an Hon. KBE in 2015. His career was derailed in 2017 by accusations of sexual predation.
Spallanzani, Lazzaro (1729–1799). Italian zoologist. He studied law at Bologna and entered orders. In 1757 he became Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Reggio, moving on to Modena in 1763 and to the chair of Natural History at Pavia in 1769, where he divided his time between zoological research, teaching natural history and travelling. His reputation rests upon his skill as an experimenter in many fields of natural history. He carried out a notable series of experiments disproving spontaneous generation, by demonstrating that no life formed in sealed containers. He was a pioneer student of the chemical action of gastric juices in digesting foodstuffs. He hypothesised that this was due to the action of acids, but failed to locate these. In embryology, Spallanzani was a staunch preformationist, believing that the new creature already existed in microscopic form complete in the embryo.
Spark, Dame Muriel Sarah (née Camberg) (1918–2006). British novelist, born in Edinburgh. Her first published novel was The Comforters (1957). She wrote also some verse and criticism and a play, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961). Her novel The Mandelbaum Gate (1965) won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Like most of her work, it takes an ironic view of the results when personalities interact. Later books include The Abbess of Crewe (1974), The Only Problem (1984) and Symposium (1990).
Sparks, Jared (1789–1866). American journalist, Unitarian minister and biographer. He edited the North American Review (1824–31) and began in 1832 his Library of American Biography. He was later President of Harvard 1849–53. He edited the writings of George *Washington and Benjamin *Franklin.
Spartacus (d.71 BCE). Thracian gladiator. He led a slave revolt against the Romans (73–71 BCE). The insurrections began in Capua where 73 members of a school of gladiators broke out to become the nucleus of a slave army of nearly 100,000 men. Spartacus won several victories but was finally defeated and killed by the forces of Marcus Licinius *Crassus. Thousands died in the final battle or were later rounded up and executed.
Speer, Albert (1905–1981). German architect. His buildings attracted *Hitler’s interest and on the death of Fritz *Todt he became Minister of Armaments and Munitions 1942–45, producing a record-breaking 3,031 fighter planes in the month of September 1944. He prevented Hitler’s scorched earth policy being fully implemented in March–April 1945 and urged the Fuhrer to capitulate. He was sentenced to 20 years’ jail at the Nuremberg trials for his use of slave labour. On his release he published the valuable memoirs Inside the Third Reich (1969).
Schmidt, M., Albert Speer: The End of a Myth. 1985; Sereny, G., Albert Speer. 1995.
Speidel, Hans (1897–1984). German soldier. *Rommel’s Chief of Staff for a time in World War II, he was imprisoned (1944) for alleged participation in the attempt to assassinate *Hitler. Commander-in-Chief of the new West German army 1955–57, his appointment (1957) to command the NATO forces in Central Europe marked an important stage in the postwar history of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Speke, John Hanning (1827–1864). British explorer. After service in the Indian army he joined Richard *Burton to explore Somaliland (when he narrowly escaped with his life). Three years later (1857) the same two explorers were sent by the Royal Geographical Society to look for the great lakes of Central Africa. They reached Lake Tanganyika together but Speke was alone when he discovered Lake Nyanza and concluded (rightly) that it must be the source of the Nile. Burton disagreed and to settle the dispute Speke made another journey in 1860 (with Captain J. A. Grant) and followed the river emerging from the lake far enough to be sure that it was identical with the Nile. Burton still refused to be convinced. On the day before a public meeting to discuss the issue, Speke accidentally shot himself. He wrote Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile (1863).
Spelman, Sir Henry (1562–1641). English antiquary. He made major contributions to the study of English medieval history, including writings on sacrilege and titles and his Glossarium Archaiologicum, produced over nearly 40 years. He is credited with the introduction of the term ‘feudalism’. His son Sir John Spelman (1594–1643), also a historian, was an MP, a Royalist theorist and author of Life of Alfred the Great (published posthumously, 1678).
Spence, Sir Basil Urwin (1907–1976). British architect, born in Bombay. He worked in the office of Sir Edwin *Lutyens for a year before World War II. He produced (1951) the winning design for the rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral and became its architect. Among other appointments he was consultant architect to Edinburgh, Nottingham, Sussex and Southampton universities and for Basildon new town. He was president of the RIBA (1958–60), knighted in 1960 and received the OM in 1962. He designed the ‘Beehive’ extension to the New Zealand Parliament in Wellington.
Spencer, Sir (Walter) Baldwin (1860–1929). Australian anthropologist, born in Lancashire. Professor of biology at Melbourne University 1887–1919, with Francis James Gillen (1856–1912) he conducted outstanding pioneering anthropological surveys of Aborigines, wrote The Native Tribes of Central Australia (1899) and had profound but unacknowledged influence on Bronislaw *Malinowski.
Spencer, Herbert (1820–1903). English philosopher, born in Derby. Son of a schoolmaster, he became first a teacher and then a railway engineer, and worked at this profession, with occasional incursions into journalism, until 1843 when he became subeditor of the Economist. In his first book, Social Status (1850), he tried to show that social equilibrium would finally result from laissez-faire liberalism, if allowed to work unchecked. His subsequent defence on individual freedom against the encroaching power of the state, The Man versus the State (1854), was one of the most widely read books of the day. His next work, The Principles of Psychology (1855), propounded the theory that life is an ‘adjustment of inner relations to outer relations’ and went on to examine particular relations, e.g. association, reflex action, memory and reason. In 1860, only partly influenced by the publication (1859) of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, he launched his vast Programme of a System of Synthetic Philosophy, aimed at linking all fields of knowledge on the basis of a principle that evolution is a kind of progress from homogeneity to an organised heterogeneity, the whole being dependent on an unknowable force which sets the whole system in motion. The series of books issued to illustrate this theme include works on biology, sociology, psychology, education and ethics. Nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1901 and for Literature in 1902, he is buried opposite *Marx in Highgate Cemetery.
Peel, J. Y. D., Herbert Spencer: The Evolution of a Sociologist. 1971.
Spencer, Sir Stanley (1891–1959). English painter. Except during his service in Macedonia in World War I, he lived and worked in his native village of Cookham, Berkshire. The murals (1927–32) in the memorial chapel at Burghclerc, near Newbury, are his finest works. Equally impressive is the huge Resurrection in the Tate Gallery, London.
Rothenstein, W., Stanley Spencer. 1945; Mulvaney, J., Morphy, H. and Petch, A., My Dear Spencer. 1997.
Spender, Sir Stephen (Harold) (1909–1995). English poet and critic. At Oxford, he became, with his friends *Auden and *Day Lewis, one of the group of young poets who contributed to New Signatures (1932). In 1930 his own first volume of poetry, Twenty Poems appeared. He worked in Spain for the Loyalists, and his Poems from Spain (1939) reflect this period. His Collected Poems appeared in 1954. He also wrote fiction and literary criticism, eg. The Destructible Element (1935), and a poetic drama, Trial of a Judge (1938). From 1939 to 1941 he was co-editor, with Cyril *Connolly, of the monthly Horizon and in 1953 was co-editor of Encounter.
David, H., Stephen Spender. 1992; Spender, S., World Within World. 1951; Sutherland, J., Stephen Spender. 2004.
Spengler, Oswald (1880–1936). German philosopher. After some years as a teacher he came into sensational prominence with the publication (1918) of the first volume of Untergang des Abendlandes (Volume II, 1922, Eng. trans. The Decline of the West, 1926–29). His theme was that civilisations are subject to the same laws of growth and decay as individuals.
Spenser, Edmund (c.1552–1599). English poet, born in London. He left Cambridge University in 1576, and in 1580 became secretary to Lord Grey, Lord Deputy of Ireland. A year earlier he had published his first major work, The Shepheardes Calendar, dedicated to his friend Sir Philip *Sidney. After leaving Lord Grey’s service he remained in Ireland in official appointments, living (from 1588) at Kilcolman Castle, Co. Cork, where he continued work on his great epic The Faerie Queene. In 1589 he went to London with Sir Walter *Raleigh to arrange for the publication of its first three books. Disappointed in his hopes of preferment, he returned to Ireland (1591), where he described his recent visit in Colin Clouts come home againe. The next three books of The Faerie Queene were published in 1596. This famous epic, which he left unfinished at his death, is an allegory (modelled to some extent on Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso) of the England of his time, in which *Elizabeth appears as Gloriana, Queen of Fairyland. Much of the allegory is no longer easily comprehensible but the adventures of the knights can be enjoyed as separate episodes and there still remains the sensual delight of the poem’s rich colouring and its metrical charm. It is written in what are now known as Spenserian stanzas. His other works include Astrophel (1586), an elegy on Sir Philip Sidney, and the sonnet sequence Amoretti, which immortalised his courtship of an Elizabeth (supposedly Elizabeth Boyle) whom he married in 1594. Epithalamion was probably written to celebrate the event, while the double wedding of the two daughters of the Earl of Worcester was commemorated by Prothalamion (1596). The prose work View of the Present State of Ireland (1596) was a defence of English policy. When Kilcolman was burnt by insurgents (1598), the last books of the Faerie Queene were probably destroyed. Spenser returned to London where he died in poverty but was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Judson, A. C., The Life of Edmund Spenser. 1945; Hadfield, A., Edmund Spenser. A Life 2012.
Speransky, Mikhail Mikhailovich, Count (1772–1839). Russian administrator. Son of a priest, he became *Aleksandr I’s secretary and Minister of State 1809–12, proposing liberal constitutional reforms until forced into exile by fierce hostility from the nobles. Under *Nikolai I he took a prominent part in the proceedings against the Decembrist conspirators, codified Russian law (in 45 volumes, 1830) and studied the peasantry.
Sperry, Elmer Ambrose (1860–1930). American inventor. He designed and manufactured numerous devices incorporating the principle of the gyroscope, among them the gyroscopic compass and stabilisers for ships. He also made improvements in the manufacture of electrical machinery and introduced (1915) the high-intensity searchlight.
Sperry, Roger Wolcott (1913–1994). American neurobiologist and neurophysiologist, born in Connecticut. He studied literature and psychology at Oberlin, zoology at Chicago, primate biology at Harvard and was professor of psychobiology at Caltech 1954–84. Elected FRS, in 1979 he won both the Wolf Prize and the Lasker Prize. He shared the 1981 Nobel Prize for Medicine ‘for his discoveries concerning the functional specialization of the cerebral hemispheres’, one half being awarded to David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel for their research on visual field processing. The ‘left’ hemisphere of the brain is dominant in language, speech, logic, numbers, calculation and specific memory, while the ‘right’ brain processes pattern and spatial recognition, aesthetics, music, creativity and interpretation.
Spielberg, Steven (1947– ). American film director and producer, born in Cincinnati. He made a series of extraordinarily successful films, notable for strong story lines, spectacular special effects and action, including Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. (1982), Colour Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1988), Jurassic Park (1993), Amistad (1997) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Schindler’s List (based on Tom *Keneally’s Schindler’s Ark, 1993), won seven Academy Awards, including best picture and best director. Later films include Munich (2005), True Grit (2010), War Horse (2011) and Lincoln (2012).
Spielrein (or Shpilrein), Sabina Naftulovna (1885–1942). Russian-Jewish physician and psychoanalyst. She studied medicine in Zürich, and became closely associated with Carl *Jung, as patient, student, colleague and probably lover. Her research anticipated Jung’s concept of transformation and *Freud’s ‘death wish’. She was killed with her family by a Nazi death squad.
Kerr, J., A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Spielrein. 1993.
Spinoza, Benedict de (Baruch Despinoza) (1632–1677). Dutch philosopher of Jewish-Portuguese descent, born in Amsterdam. Given a traditional Jewish education, he became lax in his observances, was estranged from his people, and was excommunicated (1656). While earning his living as a lens grinder he learnt Latin and absorbed western culture. A version (1663) of *Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy was the only book published under his own name during his lifetime, but Theological Political Treatise (1670) was generally recognised as his. While admitting that human passions necessitate strict obedience to the state, the book pleaded for liberty for the philosopher to express his ideas. Despite the uproar that it caused (difficult now to understand), he was offered (1673) a professorship by the Elector Palatine but preferred to devote himself to completing his greatest work, the posthumously published Ethics (1677). Beginning from the notion of substance, which may be roughly described as having properties or attributes but not being such itself, he proceeds by classically deductive argument to establish that nature is identical with God, the being who possesses infinite attributes but is not the personal God of Christianity. He sees man’s mind as part of the divine one and for that reason incapable of exercising free will in an absolute sense. With the same integrating pantheistic vision he argues that man’s highest good is his knowledge of his union with nature or intellectual love of God (amor Dei intellectualis). He died of a lung disease aggravated by the glass dust produced by lens grinding.
Hampshire, S., Spinoza. 1956.
Spock, Benjamin McLane (1903–1998). American physician. About 50 million copies of his books on the care of children have been sold in America, Britain and many other countries. They include A Baby’s First Year (1950) and Feeding Your Baby and Child (1955). He was professor of child development at Western Reserve University, Ohio 1955–67.
Spode, Josiah (1733–1797). English manufacturing potter. He learned to make earthenware from Thomas Whieldon of Fenton, and set up his own factory at Stoke on Trent in 1770. His successor, Josiah Spode II (1754–1827) is credited with perfecting a formula for bone china c.1800 which has been the basis of the English tableware industry ever since. He was potter to *George III. The firm of Spode was bought by William Copeland in 1833 and amalgamated with Wedgwood in 1964.
Spohr, Ludwig (1784–1859). German violinist and composer, born in Brunswick. He was aided in his studies by the Duke of Brunswick. After being musical director at theatres in Vienna and Frankfurt he was Kapellmeister at the Court of Hesse Kassell 1822–57. He composed many violin concertos, operas, oratorios, symphonies and chamber music. One oratorio, Die Letzten Dingen (1826), had a long vogue in England as The Last Judgement.
Spreckelson, (Johan) Otto von (1929–1987). Danish architect. A professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, he won an international competition for the design of La Grande Arche at La Defense, Paris, an important monument opened in 1989 to commemorate the French Revolution.
Springsteen, Bruce (Frederick Joseph) (1949– ). American composer, singer and instrumentalist, born in New Jersey. Guitarist, pianist and harmonica player, he worked in a diversity of genres, ranging from hard rock to heartland rock, gaining international fame with his albums Streets of Philadelphia (1994) and The Rising (2002), and his CD sales amounted to 200 million. He won 20 Grammy Awards and an Academy Award and toured constantly, appealing to devoted followers in very long concerts. He was a social activist and a strong *Obama supporter. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Spurgeon, Charles Haddon (1836–1892). English Baptist pastor. His preaching attracted vast congregations and the huge Metropolitan Tabernacle, seating 6000, was built to cope with these. (It burnt down in 1898.) He withdrew from the Baptist Union in 1887 on theological grounds. He was a prolific author, publishing weekly sermons.
Staël-Holstein, Anne Louise Germaine (née Necker, known as Madame de Staël) (1766–1817). French author, born in Paris. Daughter of the financier Jacques *Necker, she married (1785) Baron Erik Magnus Staël von Holstein (1749–1802), the Swedish Ambassador in Paris. She was regarded as the most intellectual and cultured woman of her time and her salons, both in Paris and later at her Swiss home at Coppet, were attended by many of her most brilliant contemporaries. Her efforts to attract *Napoléon Bonaparte (who disliked clever women) failed, they became bitter enemies and in 1803 he ordered her to leave Paris. She went to Germany and there met *Schiller, *Goethe and August von *Schlegel. A later visit resulted in De l’Allemagne (1810), which did much to introduce German Romanticism to France. It was suppressed by Napoléon. To escape his enmity she visited Vienna, Russia, Stockholm and England (where she was warmly welcomed). After the Emperor’s downfall she again presided over salons in Paris and Coppet. Her literary career had opened (1788) with a panegyric of *Rousseau. In De la littérature (1800) she compared French literature unfavourably with German and English. Her two novels, Delphine (1802) and Corinne (1807), contain self-portraits and relate to her long liaison (1794–1808) with Benjamin *Constant. Considérations sur la Révolution Française and the autobiographical Dix Années d’exil appeared posthumously.
Herold, C., Madame de Staël. 1964.
Stafford, Sir Edward William (1819–1901). New Zealand politician, born in Edinburgh. He became a large sheep owner in the Nelson settlement. As Prime Minister 1856–61, 1865–69 and 1872 he pursued an unpopular policy of centralisation, but was a capable administrator. He returned to England in 1874 and was knighted in 1879.
Stahl, Georg Ernst (1660–1734). German scientist. Son of a Protestant minister, and inclined to Pietist views himself, Stahl studied medicine at Jena and taught there from 1683 until he was appointed professor at Halle in 1693. From 1716 he was personal physician to *Friedrich I of Prussia. His medical writings stressed that living bodies possess some sort of soul, or life-source, which cannot be simply reduced to the total of the separate organs. This was at bottom a religious conception, but it harmonised with his chemical interest in gases and his concern with heat. In chemistry he developed the concept of phlogiston, a substance contained within combustible bodies and given up when burnt. In smelting metals, phlogiston was assumed to be transferred from the charcoal to the ore. The idea of phlogiston tied together the chemistry of combustion in the 18th century until *Lavoisier’s rethinking of the subject, and the development of the concept of oxygen (taken out of the air on combustion).
Partington, J. R., A History of Chemistry. 1961.
Stählberg, Kaarlo Juho (1865–1952). Finnish politician and judge. He was a lawyer, judge, professor and a member of the Finnish Diet who drafted the republican constitution of 1917 when Finland seized its independence during the Russian Revolution. He became the first President of Finland 1919–25. In 1930 he was kidnapped by the pro-Fascist Lapua movement and lost the presidential elections of 1931 and 1937 by very narrow margins.
Stair, John Dalrymple, 1st Earl of (1648–1707). Scottish politician. His father was the first codifier of Scots law, and on his death (1695) he became 2nd Viscount Stair. Eminent as a lawyer, he was Advocate-General under *James II and *William III, whose cause he strongly supported. As Secretary of State at the time of the Massacre of Glencoe (1692) he was held chiefly responsible and was forced to resign. Later he played a part in preparing the Act of Union (1707) and securing its passage through the Scottish Parliament. On the morning after one of his most convincing speeches he was found dead.
Stakhanov, Aleksei Grigorevich (1905–1977). Russian miner. He worked in coal mines from 1927, and in 1935 achieved notoriety by cutting 12 tons of coal per shift (seven being the norm). He was praised by *Stalin who inaugurated the ‘Stakhanovite movement', designed to raise production in Soviet industry.
Stalin (Dzhugashvili), Josef Vissarionovich (1879–1953). Russian (Georgian) Communist politician, born in Gori, Georgia. Son of a shoemaker, educated at the Tiflis (Tbilisi) Theological Seminary, he was expelled for ‘propagating Marxism’ to his fellow students. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1898 and when the party split into factions in 1903 he became a Bolshevik organiser in the Caucasus, using the name ‘Koba’ (and sometimes ‘Soso’). He was imprisoned and escaped five times 1903–12. He met *Lenin in 1905, attended Congresses in Stockholm (1906) and London (1907) and founded Pravda (‘Truth’) in 1911. Known as Stalin (‘man of steel’) from 1913, he led the Bolsheviks in the Duma (1913), wrote Marxism and the Nationalities and was exiled in Siberia 1913–17 until released by *Kerensky’s Government. After Lenin’s second 1917 Revolution, Stalin was a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party 1917–53, Commissar for Nationalities 1917–23 and for the Worker-Peasant Inspectorate 1919–23. His first wife Yekaterina Svanidze had died in 1907, leaving a son who died as a prisoner of war. He married Nadejda Sergeyena Alleluya in 1918 and she committed suicide in 1932. (His son Vassily, an airforce general, became an alcoholic. His daughter Svetlana, later Peters, left the USSR and became a US citizen.) His third wife, married in 1935, was Rosa Kaganovich. In the Civil War, Stalin was active in the defence of Tsaritsyn (later renamed Stalingrad, now Volgograd) in 1918 but his success deepened the enmity of *Trotsky, Commissar for War. As General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) 1922–53, he made this post the most powerful in the USSR. A dull speaker and even duller writer, he was persistently underrated by his rivals. When Lenin died (1924) Stalin soon eliminated his closest associates, the ‘Old Bolsheviks’. He promoted the concept of ‘socialism in one country’, believing that the best way to ensure Communist supremacy was to build up the USSR’s industrial base, in contrast to Trotsky’s advocacy of the ‘permanent revolution’. The ‘Left Opposition’ (Trotsky, *Zinoviev, *Kamenev) was removed in 1926–27 and the ‘Right Opposition’ (*Rykov, *Bukharin, Tomsky) by 1930. The first Five Year Plan was announced in 1928, involving the forced collectivisation of agriculture, elimination of the kulaks and industrialisation, followed by the second (1933) and third (1938) Plans. The ‘Great Purges’ of 1934–38 were provoked by the murder of S. M. *Kirov and a series of show trials were held 1936–38. Victims included Bukharin, Kamenev, Zinoviev and Rykov. Of Lenin’s Politburo, only Stalin survived by 1938. His closest advisers were V. M. *Molotov and A. N. Poskrebyshev. Stalin executed 446 of 621 senior officers in the Red Army, including Marshal *Tukhachevsky. The Nazi-Soviet pact (August 1939), purely opportunistic, led directly to *Hitler’s invasion of Poland and the outbreak of World War II. Stalin rejected warnings of Hitler’s plans to invade the USSR. When ‘Operation Barbarossa’ began in June 1941, after a short hesitation, Stalin showed decisive leadership in the ‘Great Patriotic War’ and succeeded in identifying the CPSU with the cause of national survival. He was Premier of the USSR 1941–53, Commissar for Defence and Commander-in-Chief 1941–46, taking the titles of Marshal (1943) and Generalissimo (1945). He took a dominant role at the Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam Conferences. His strategic grasp and mastery of detail was admired by *Alanbrooke and Henry *Stimson. Since wartime deaths numbered about 22,000,000 and the Red Army had occupied Eastern Europe, he was in a strong position to force Allied agreement to the extension of Soviet control. The USSR declared war on Japan in August 1945. Stalin was dismissive of *Mao, regarding him primarily as a Chinese nationalist and urged him to work with *Chiang. By 1948 the Cold War was at its height, *Tito had left the Soviet bloc and cultural and scientific conformity were imposed by A. A. *Zhdanov and T. D. *Lysenko. Stalin claimed expertise in linguistics and the arts and was credited with having written works on Marxist theory and history which were distributed and translated by the million, but essentially unreadable. The USSR exploded its first atomic bomb in September 1949. Mao proclaimed the Chinese Peoples’ Republic in October 1949 and two months later met Stalin in Moscow. Relations were uneasy at best, and the outbreak of the Korean War (June 1950), engineered by Stalin, was an unwelcome surprise for China which was blamed by the US. After a mild thaw in 1952, a new purge aimed at ‘cosmopolitans’ was imminent when Stalin died, having held absolute power for longer than any other ruler. His body was preserved next to Lenin’s in Red Square. In 1956 at the 20th Party Congress, *Khrushchev attacked his character, operating methods, terrorism and cultivation of the ‘cult of personality’. His body was removed from the Lenin Mausoleum in 1961.
With the opening up of Soviet archives and years of careful scholarship, it appears that Stalin was directly responsible for about 6 million civilian deaths from executions in purges, the liquidation of kulaks and ‘The Great Terror’, with 3 million more dying from starvation caused by his policies. These totals, while monstrous, are less than half of previous estimates. Nevertheless, Stalin preserved the USSR during World War II and played the central role in defeating Nazism.
Payne, R., Rise and Fall of Stalin. 1965; Ulam, A., Stalin. 1973; Bullock, A., Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives. 1991.
Stambolijski, Aleksandur (1879–1923). Bulgarian politician. He founded the Agrarian party and dreamed of a Balkan federation that would be part of a ‘Green International’ unifying the peasants of all Eastern Europe. Imprisoned for opposing King *Ferdinand’s pro-German policy in World War I, he became Prime Minister on his abdication (1918). He lost popularity by favouring the country people at the expense of the towns and by compromising with Yugoslavia on the Macedonian question. His regime was overthrown, and he was assassinated.
Standish, Myles (c.1584–1656). American colonist. He came of a Lancashire family and had made a career as a soldier of fortune when he was hired by the Pilgrim Fathers to accompany them on the Mayflower (1620). His skill in handling the American Indians was indispensable to the safety of the colony in its early years and he remained one of its most important members for the rest of his life. He is the subject of poems by *Longfellow and *Lowell.
Stanford, Sir Charles Villiers (1852–1924). English composer, conductor and teacher, born in Dublin. Organist at Trinity College, Cambridge 1873–92, he studied in Berlin and Leipzig and became professor of composition at the Royal College of Music 1883–1924 and at Cambridge 1887–1924. He wrote seven symphonies, concertos for clarinet and violin, much choral music and several operas. He was a sharp critic, a *Bach enthusiast and an excellent teacher whose students included *Vaughan Williams, *Holst, *Ireland, *Butterworth, *Bliss and *Howells.
Stanhope, Lady Hester Lucy (1776–1839). English traveller. Daughter of the 3rd Earl Stanhope, she kept house for her bachelor uncle, the younger *Pitt, for the last three years of his life, which included his second premiership (1804–06). In 1810 she startled her aristocratic friends by going to the Levant, where on the slopes of Mount Lebanon she lived the life of an Oriental princess, entertaining friends, dispensing charity, and influencing the neighbouring tribes. Her prodigality exhausted her fortune and her last years were spent in poverty.
Stanhope, Philip see Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of
Stanislavsky, Konstantin (Konstantin Sergeyevich Alekseyev) (1863–1938). Russian actor and producer. As co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre (1898), which he directed until his death, he devised the famous ‘method’ in which actors are trained to develop their own conception of their roles and to analyse and express emotion in an entirely natural manner. Stage settings have to be realistic. After the Russian Revolution it was discovered that his ‘method’ was in exact accord with the doctrine of ‘socialist realism’. As actor and producer, he was accorded the highest distinctions, including the Order of Lenin (1937). His house is preserved as a museum and the street in which he lived named after him.
Stanislavsky K., An Actor Prepares. Eng. ed. 1980; Stanislavsky K., My Life in Art. Repr. 1980.
Stanisław I see Leszczyński, Stanisław
Stanisław II Augustus Poniatowski (1732–1798). King of Poland 1764–95. The favourite of *Catherine the Great, she secured his election. He attempted reforms but after three partitions by Russia, Prussia and Austria (1772, 1793, 1795) his kingdom disappeared.
Stanley. English noble family. In 1485 Thomas Stanley (1435–1504) was created 1st Earl of Derby for the decisive contribution that he and his brother Sir William Stanley made to the victory of *Henry VII at the battle of Bosworth Field (1485). The sovereignty of the Isle of Man was held by the Stanley family from 1406 until it passed to the Dukes of Atholl in the 18th century. Among Stanleys prominent in politics were the 14th and 17th earls of *Derby.
Stanley, Fiona Juliet (1946– ). Australian paediatrician and epidemiologist, born in Sydney. Working in Perth, she became a specialist in maternal and child care, demonstrated the linkage between low levels of folic acid and spina bifida and became an effective advocate of public health measures, and the use of biostatistics in setting priorities.
Stanley, Sir Henry Morton (1841–1904). British explorer and journalist, born in Wales. An orphan (then known as John Rowlands), he ran away from the workhouse at the age of 15, sailed to America as a cabin boy and was adopted by a New Orleans merchant, whose name he assumed. After the Civil War (during which he served on both sides) he became a reporter and joined (1867) James Gordon *Bennett’s New York Herald. After assignments with Robert *Napier in Abyssinia, in Egypt (for the opening of the Suez Canal) and elsewhere in the East, he was sent (1869) to find David *Livingstone, then missing in Africa. The meeting, made historic by Stanley’s casual greeting ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume?’, took place at Ujiji on Lake Tanganyika (27 Oct. 1871), but after exploring the lake together they parted company, Stanley returning to Zanzibar and England while Livingstone, now re-equipped and re-provisioned, remained. Publication of Stanley’s book How I Found Livingstone (1872) caused him to be feted as a hero, and after an interlude with *Wolseley on the Ashanti campaign, he was jointly commissioned (1874) by the New York Herald and the London Daily Telegraph to make another African expedition, which succeeded in solving several geographical problems, including the exact course of the Congo. A book followed each of his exploits, e.g. Through the Dark Continent (1878). From 1879 he established on behalf of King *Leopold II of the Belgians the trading stations on the Congo that led to the foundation of the Congo Free State. On his last journey (1887–89) he overcame immense hardships to rescue *Emin Pasha, and discovered the Mountains of the Moon (Ruwenzori range). To complete an astonishing career he was a Unionist MP 1895–1900. He was awarded a GCB in 1899.
Farwell, B., The Man Who Presumed.1957; McLynn, F., Stanley. 1991.
Starling, Ernest Henry (1866–1927). English scientist. Son of a barrister, Starling studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital from 1882, qualifying MB in 1889. From 1887 he was demonstrator at Guy’s and from 1890 was researching part-time with Schafer at University College, London. Working with William Maddock Bayliss, Starling pioneered the study of hormones, the chemical messengers of the body produced by the endocrine glands. He then moved on to research on the heart, being interested in its response to stress in the body organism at large. Starling was a turbulent man of strong views. He campaigned for educational reform, demanding a larger place for science in the school curriculum and in national priorities. His contributions to physiology are amongst the most important of the early 20th century. Four times nominated for a Nobel Prize, he died in Jamaica on a cruise.
Starmer, Sir Keir (1962– ). English lawyer and Labour politician. A graduate of Leeds and Oxford, he became a barrister, specialising in human rights, a QC and Director of Public Prosecutions 2008–13. MP 2015– , he was a shadow minister under Jeremy *Corbyn, with whom he clashed. He won the leadership of the Labour Party with 56.2% of the popular vote and became Leader of the Opposition 2020– .
Stas, Jean Servais (1813–1891). Belgian chemist. He studied organic chemistry under Jean Baptiste André Dumas of Paris and later worked with him, he was professor of chemistry 1840–45 at the École Royale Militaire, Brussels. He greatly improved methods for determining atomic weight and obtained much more accurate values for the common elements.
Stassen, Harold Edward (1907–2001). American Republican politician. A lawyer, and a progressive, he was Governor of Minnesota 1939–43, served in the US Navy 1943–45, and was President of the University of Pennsylvania 1948–53. He sought the Republican presidential nomination nine times, running third in 1948, then with diminishing credibility.
Stauffenberg, Claus, Graf Schenk von (1907–1944). German soldier. From a Swabian aristocratic family, he served as an army officer and joined a conservative group which attempted to assassinate *Hitler in July 1944. He was immediately executed.
Stavisky, Serge Alexandre (1886?–1934). French speculator, born in Kiev. He promoted a series of fraudulent companies and as the scale of his operations grew he cultivated government and municipal officials, involving many of them in his transactions. His final and most ambitious plan was to obtain control of the issue of bonds, secured by goods pledged with the municipal pawnshops, and soon a flood of worthless bonds began to circulate. Though alerted, the police delayed action until Stavisky had disappeared. When traced to a villa near Chamonix he committed suicide to avoid arrest. The scandal mounted as more and more well known people were suspected of being involved, demonstrations in Paris led to the fall of the government and the scandal did much to shake national confidence in the years before World War II.
Stead, Christina (Ellen) (1902–1983). Australian novelist. She lived in Europe and the US 1928–74 and achieved international recognition with her scarifying novel The Man Who Loved Children (1940). Dark Places of the Heart (1966) is the story of a radical lesbian in the north of England.
Rowley, H., Christina Stead: A biography. 1993.
Steele, Sir Richard (1672–1729). English essayist and dramatist, born in London. He was educated at Charterhouse and Oxford, joined the army, but soon took to writing. His first works were the plays The Funeral (1702), The Lying Lovers (1703) and The Tender Husband (1705). The second of these introduced ‘sentimental comedy’, which, in contrast with Restoration drama, treated lapses from virtue sentimentally rather than with ribaldry. He started (1709) the Tatler, on which he was soon joined by an old school friend. Joseph *Addison. It contained a mixture of news, social comment, essays etc., and was intended to elevate morals and manners as well to amuse. Steele himself wrote as ‘Isaac Bickerstaff’. When the Tatler was succeeded by the Spectator (1711–12) the two friends again collaborated; the famous character Sir Roger de Coverley was invented by Steele and developed by Addison. Later, however, they became estranged by political quarrels. Steele’s association with other papers never achieved the same success. He was a vigorous supporter of *George I’s succession, became a Whig MP (1714) and was knighted (1715). Soon after his last comedy The Conscious Lovers (1722) was produced, he left London and died in Wales.
Winton, C., Captain Steele. 1964; Sir Richard Steele. 1970; Loftis, J., Steele at Drury Lane. 1973.
Steen, Jan (c.1626–1679). Dutch painter, born at Leyden. One of the liveliest and most prolific of Dutch genre painters, nearly 900 works surviving, his works show a mastery of movement in group scenes, with humour and attention to detail, e.g. Skittle Players (1660, National Gallery London) and The Poultry Yard (1662. Amsterdam). His satire e.g. The Lovesick Maiden, is gentle, and the colour of such pictures as The Lute Player (Wallace Collection London) is of rare delicacy.
Steer, (Philip) Wilson (1860–1942). English painter. After studying in London and Paris he was, with *Sickert, a founder of the New English Art Club. In 1893 he became a teacher at the Slade School. In his early landscapes, e.g. The Beach of Walberswick (1890), now in the Tate Gallery, London, he was influenced by *Whistler. Later he adhered more closely to the traditions of *Gainsborough and *Constable, using Impressionist techniques (especially those of *Monet) though he was not a true Impressionist since he did not paint directly from nature. From c.1900 some of his paintings recall *Boucher in his rococo period, in others, e.g. The Muslin Dress (1910), the exactitude of detail recalls the pre-Raphaelites. The watercolour revival (from c.1918) owed much to Steer’s example. He was awarded the OM in 1931.
Rothenstein, J., Modern English Painters Sickert to Smith. 1952.
Stefan, Joseph (1835–1893). Austrian physicist. His most important work was on radiation, the kinetic theory and hydrodynamics. While professor of physics at Vienna University he discovered the fundamental law of radiation, known as Stefan’s Law: that the rate of radiation of energy from a black body is proportional to the fourth power of its absolute temperature. He was a precursor of *Planck.
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur (1879–1962). American anthropologist and explorer, born in Canada of Icelandic parentage. He studied Eskimo life and habits (1908–12) and wrote My Life with the Eskimo (1913). Later he did valuable exploratory work in the Arctic and discovered several new islands. He made two attempts to resist a Russian claim to Wrangel Island by planting the Union Jack (1914 and on behalf of Canada 1921–22) but the Soviet Government secured recognition of their sovereignty in 1924. His other books include Unsolved Mysteries of the Arctic (1939) and an autobiography, Discovery (1964).
Stein, Sir (Marc) Aurel (1862–1943). British archaeologist, born in Hungary. Naturalised in 1899, he explored much of central Asia and discovered evidence of cultural exchanges between the Chinese and the Greeks in the period of *Alexander the Great. Among the regions he visited were China, Turkestan, Persia and Mesopotamia. Knighted in 1912, he died exploring in Afghanistan.
Stein, St Edith (Teresa Benedictine of the Cross) (1891–1942). German-Jewish philosopher and martyr, born in Breslau. She rejected her Jewish faith in 1904, became an atheist, and studied philosophy at Göttingen with *Husserl, winning a PhD in 1916. She became a Catholic convert in 1921, joined the Carmelites, wrote an important study on St John of the Cross and was murdered at the Auschwitz concentration camp. She was canonised in 1998.
Stein, Gertrude (1874–1946). American author, born in Pennsylvania. After studying psychology under William *James and medicine at Johns Hopkins, she lived in Paris from 1905, first with her brother Leo Stein, an art critic, and from 1912 with her lover Alice B. Toklas (1877–1967). The main elements in her poetic work include free association and repetition, as in her famous line ‘A rose is a rose is a rose’. Her works include Three Lives (1909), Tender Buttons (1914, poetry), The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), Portraits and Prayers (1939, art criticism), and Everybody’s Autobiography (1937). She had much influence on modern art movements as well as on literature.
Sprigge, E. M. S., Gertrude Stein. 1957; Brinnin, J. M., The Third Rose. 1960; Toklas, A. B., What Is Remembered. 1963.
Stein, Karl, Baron von (1757–1831). German political reformer. His outspoken criticism of the backward political system caused his dismissal (1807) from the Prussian civil service, but he was soon recalled as Chief Minister by *Friedrich Wilhelm III in the hope of reinvigorating the country after *Napoléon’s victories. He was unable to secure acceptance of representative government but he managed to introduce municipal self-government and abolish serfdom (1807–08). Eventually his opponents, now including the king, forced him to flee and in 1812 he entered Russian service. Tsar *Aleksandr I sent him to administer East Prussia and to organise resistance to Napoléon but, still unable to carry out reforms, he withdrew into private life (1813).
Steinbeck, John Ernest (1902–1968). American novelist, born in California. He first gained notice with the novel Tortilla Flat (1935), portraying the lives of Spanish Californian peasants. His masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is the story of a typical family of poor farmers in the dust bowl of Oklahoma. In its graphic depiction of human dignity in the face of adversity. it exposed exploitation, hardship and social inequity, and led to reforms, while winning for its author the 1940 Pulitzer Prize. Other works include Of Mice and Men (1937), The Moon is Down (1942), Cannery Row (1943) and The Wayward Bus (1947). He received the Nobel Prize for Literature (1962).
Davis, R. M., Steinbeck: A Collection of Critical Essays. 1972.
Steinberg, Saul (1914–1999). American graphic artist, born in Romania. Trained as an architect in Milan, he lived in the US from 1942 and won fame with his ingenious, penetrating, amusing and deeply disturbing illustrations for the New Yorker. He held many one-man exhibitions and his works were often reproduced, e.g. the world view from a New York perspective. His published collections included All in Line (1945), The Passport (1954), The Labyrinth (1960), The Inspector (1973), The Discovery of America (1992).
Bair, D., Saul Steinberg. 2012.
Steinem, Gloria (Marie) (1934– ). American feminist writer, born in Ohio. She worked as a journalist in New York, founded Ms. magazine in 1972, and was a prolific author whose books include Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983).
Steiner, (Francis) George (1929–2020). American-Jewish-Austrian philosopher, essayist and critic, born in Paris. His family moved from Vienna to Paris, then to New York in 1940. Educated at Chicago University and Harvard, he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, wrote for The Economist, and taught at Princeton, Geneva and Cambridge. He succeeded Edmund *Wilson as chief book reviewer for The New Yorker in 1966. His books include Tolstoy or Dostoevsky (1959), Language and Silence (1967), After Babel (1975), Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. (1981) No Passion Spent (1996) and the autobiographical Errata (1997). He edited Homer in English (1996).
Steiner, Rudolf (1861–1925). German anthroposophist. First known as editor (1890–97) of *Goethe’s works on natural science, he was a prominent theosophist until he evolved a system of his own known as ‘anthroposophy’, to develop which he opened (1912) a school (the Goetheanum) near Basle in Switzerland. The system aimed at a restoration of human contact with spiritual reality, lost since the days of myth-making. The fields in which his aims were particularly applicable were medicine, agriculture and education. The special schools his followers set up were often successful, where other educational methods had failed, in preserving the spiritual essence of the subjects taught.
Steinmetz, Charles Proteus (1865–1923). American electrical engineer, born in Breslau. He suffered from dwarfism, hip dysplasia and kyphosis and left his native Germany to avoid arrest for his activity as a socialist (1888). He became chief engineer for the General Electric (GE) Company 1893–1923 and was professor of electrical engineering 1902–13 and electrophysics 1913–23 at Union College, Schenectady, New York State. He was a major figure in the development of alternating current (AC) for generation and transmission, following *Tesla and *Westinghouse in preference to direct current (DC), advocated by *Edison. Of his many contributions to electrical engineering the most important are his law of magnetic hysteresis, his notation for alternating-current circuits and his development of lightning arrestors for power transmission lines. He invented the metal halide lamp (1912), an electric car (1914) and flood lighting for sporting events.
Steinway, Heinrich Engelhard (originally H. E. Steinweg) (1797–1871). German piano manufacturer. He founded a factory in Brunswick but in 1851, leaving a son to run the German firm, he went to the US to establish a new factory, where pianos were manufactured under the name of Steinway.
Stendhal (pen name of Marie-Henri Beyle) (1783–1842). French novelist, born in Grenoble. He served as an administrator in the Napoléonic army in Italy, Germany and Russia, wrote travel sketches, books on the arts etc. and began his psychological analysis of love, De l’Amour (1822). He spent many years in Italy or in travel. After the revolution of 1830 he was appointed French consul in Trieste 1830–31 and Cività Vecchia 1831–36. In 1830 he published the first of two masterpieces, Le Rouge et le noir, a remarkable picture of his times (the ‘red’ being the army, the ‘black’ the church) and a penetrating analysis of the character, successes and downfall of its hero, Julien Sorel. His second great novel, La Chartreuse de Parme (1839), amid a magnificent medley of politics, diplomacy, plots and counterplots, contains a vivid impression of the Battle of Waterloo, and of life in a small Italian state. After years of illness, he collapsed and died in Paris. His posthumously published works include the unfinished novel Lucien Leuwen (1894). Stendhal was little recognised before 1880, but from then his vogue steadily increased. He anticipated both the realism and the psychological approach of modern novelists. ‘Stendhal’s syndrome’ is a term applied to an overpowering reaction, such as palpitations or fainting, caused by exposure to great art or natural beauty, experienced and described by Stendhal during a visit to Santa Croce, Florence, in 1817.
Fowlie, W., Stendhal. 1969; Wood, M., Stendhal. 1971; Leys, S., With Stendhal. 2010.
Stephen, St (Stéphanos: ‘crown’ in Greek, possibly Kelil in Aramaic). (c.5–c.34 CE). Jewish proto-martyr. Probably a Hellenistic Jew, he was one of seven deacons in the early church in Jerusalem. Accused of blasphemy, he was tried before the Sanhedrin; his speech is recorded in Acts vii. Condemned, he became the first Christian martyr (after *Jesus) and was stoned to death. *Paul (then Saul, not yet converted) was a witness.
Stephen, St (István) (c.977–1038). First King of Hungary 1000?–38. Originally known as Vajk, from the princely *Árpád family, he adopted the name of István (Stephen) on baptism. After overcoming rival leaders he was recognised as king by Pope Sylvester II. With this prestige he united and converted the whole country, which he divided into counties and bishoprics. Revered for his exemplary life, he was canonised in 1083. His feast day is 2 August.
Stephen (c.1100–1154). King of England 1135–54. Born in Blois, son of the Count of Blois and of Adela, daughter of *William the Conqueror. When *Henry I’s heir, William, drowned in the White Ship (1120), Stephen became a likely heir to the throne. He was elected king when Henry died (1135) despite having sworn fealty to Henry’s daughter *Matilda. Most of his reign was marked by civil war. For a short time in 1141 he was Matilda’s prisoner. After the death of his son (1152) a compromise was reached and he acknowledged Matilda’s son, the future *Henry II, as heir to the throne. He was a weak man, unable to control the barons upon whose support he relied.
Davies, R. H. C., King Stephen. 1967.
Stephen, Sir Leslie (1832–1904). English author and critic , born in London. Son of Sir James Stephen (1789–1859), an important figure in the abolition of slavery and Under Secretary for the Colonies 1836–47, he was educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. On becoming an agnostic he gave up his position as a Cambridge don and went to London (1864) to lead a literary life. He contributed to many journals, editor of the Cornhill Magazine 1871–82 and of the Dictionary of National Biography 1885–91, a field in which his lives of *Johnson (1878), *Pope (1880), *Swift (1882) etc. had shown his preeminence. Meanwhile he had also written his History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century (1876). His main hobby was alpine climbing about which he wrote several books. His first wife was a daughter of *Thackeray, his daughters by his second wife were Vanessa Bell (Clive *Bell) and Virginia *Woolf.
Annan, N. G., Leslie Stephen. 1984.
Stephen, Sir Ninian Martin (1923–2017). Australian judge and administrator, born in Oxford. He was a barrister in Melbourne, a Victorian Supreme Court justice 1970–72 and a justice of the High Court 1972–82 before his appointment as Governor-General of Australia 1982–89. He was Ambassador for the Environment 1989–92, chaired Anglo-Irish talks on the future of Northern Ireland 1992–93, and became a judge of the international tribunal to try war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. He received a KG in 1994.
Stephens, Alexander Hamilton (1812–1883). American politician, born in Georgia. Small and sickly (sometimes called ‘the little pale star of Georgia’), he became a lawyer and a Whig Member of the House of Representatives 1843–59. Although he supported slavery, he strongly opposed Georgia’s secession from the US and the creation of the Confederacy. Nevertheless he served as Vice President of the Confederate States 1861–65, offering critical support to Jefferson *Davis’s conduct of the war. He took an important role in the peace negotiations. He wrote Constitutional View of the Late War between the States (1868–70), returned to Congress 1873–82 and was Governor of Georgia when he died.
Wilson, E., Patriotic Gore. 1962.
Stephens, James (1882–1950). Irish writer, born in Dublin. He became known by The Crock of Gold (1912), The Demi-Gods (1914) and other prose fantasies in which fairies and mortals (e.g. policemen) meet on natural and familiar terms; the author’s rhythmic style and happy use of Irish idiom adding a special charm. His collected poems appeared in 1921. Other books include Deirdre (1923) and Etched in Moonlight (1928).
Stephenson, George (1781–1848). English railway engineer, born in Northumberland. His parents were illiterate; his father, a fireman, worked on a *Newcomen engine in a colliery. George had no formal education until the age of 17, when he began work as an engineman in a pumping station. He devised several improvements to pumping machines and in his spare time taught himself engineering and mathematics. He won a prize of £1,000 for inventing a miner’s safety lamp (1815) and became involved in a controversy with Humphry Davy who had independently invented a similar lamp. A year earlier he had built his first colliery locomotive. He constructed (1825) the first public railway between Stockton and Darlington, Durham (on which, however, horses were still used for passenger trains). He surveyed and constructed the 28 mile (45 km) railway line between Manchester and Liverpool, which was opened in 1830. His engine The Rocket won (1829) a prize of £500 for maintaining an average speed of 29 mph (46.6 kph). The Stephensons’ ‘standard gauge’ for railways (4 feet 8½ inches: 1,435 mm) is still widely used. At his works at Newcastle, managed from 1827 by his son, Robert Stephenson (1803–1859), most of the notable locomotives for the next generation were made, and the two constructed many other railway lines in England and Scotland. George invested successfully in coal mining. Robert later became famous as a bridge builder, his works including the well known suspension bridges over the Menai Straits and at Conway in North Wales, as well as the Victoria Bridge over the St Lawrence at Montréal. George became the first President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers 1847–48; Robert followed in 1849–53. A Tory MP 1847–59, Robert opposed extending education to the working class. He was elected FRS, buried in Westminster Abbey, but, like his father, declined all British honours.
Rolt, L. T. C., George Stephenson. 1960; George and Robert Stephenson: The Railway Revolution. 1984; Ross, D., George and Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success. 2004.
Stern, Isaac (1920–2001). American violinist, born in the Ukraine. His family moved to San Francisco in 1921. He toured internationally from 1947, and made many recordings and some films. He was identified with non-musical causes e.g. conservation and peace.
Sterne, Laurence (1713–1768). English novelist, born in Ireland. His great-grandfather was an archbishop of York, his father was a brave but erratic ensign in the army. Sterne’s childhood was spent in camps and billets. At 17 when his father died, he was left penniless. However, with a cousin’s help he went to Jesus College, Cambridge and in 1737 entered the Church. In 1737 he began his highly elaborate courtship of Elizabeth Lumley, even a handkerchief or a plate she had used called for a display of sensitivity, and through his letters he introduced the word ‘sentimental’ to her and to the world. They were married in 1741, but the marriage soon faltered. Elizabeth became cantankerous and even, at times, insane. This gave Sterne freedom to pay frequent visits to ‘Crazy Castle’, the home of an eccentric Cambridge friend, John Hall-Stevenson, where he found Rabelaisian conversation, much wine and a library filled with rare (often obscene) books. Stimulated by such influences and by an eager flirtation with Mademoiselle Fourmantelle (the ‘dear, dear Jenny’ of his forthcoming masterpiece), he started writing The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, an extraordinary medley of reminiscence and opinion, narrative and digression, in which Walter Shandy (Tristram’s father and obviously modelled on Sterne’s father), ‘my uncle Toby’, and Corporal Trim play the leading roles. The first two books, published in York at his own expense, appeared in 1759 and were immediately acclaimed. Sterne went to London and was lionised by Lord *Chesterfield, *Garrick and others. His portrait was painted by *Reynolds and more volumes were commissioned (volumes 3–6, 1761–62, volumes 7 and 8, 1765, volume 9, 1767). Success and dissipation exacerbated Sterne’s normal ill-health. He lived in Toulouse 1762–63 and in Paris was welcomed by *Diderot and others and joined by his wife and daughter. A tour of France and Italy, begun in 1764, provided material for A Sentimental Journey (1768), the other work by which he is remembered. He died during a visit to London to supervise the publication of Volume 9 of Tristram Shandy. Its importance was recognised at once, being praised by *Voltaire, *Diderot, *Burns, *Goethe and *Pushkin and later (surprisingly) by Karl *Marx. Samuel *Johnson was a notable dissenter and predicted, ‘It will not last.’ Among writers deeply influenced by Tristram Shandy have been *Gogol, *Tolstoy, *Thackeray, James *Joyce, Flann *O’Brien, Machado *de Assis, Spike *Milligan, Italo *Calvino, Thomas *Pynchon, Salman *Rushdie. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005), a half-feature film/half-documentary, directed by Michael Winterbottom, about the impossibility of filming the novel, is available on DVD and is an excellent introduction to Sterne’s masterpiece.
Howes, A. B., Sterne The Critical Heritage. 1974; Cash, A., Laurence Sterne. 2 vol. 1975; 1986.
Stettinius, Edward Reilley, Jr (1900–1949). American administrator. He resigned the presidency of the US Steel Corporation to become Lend-Lease administrator 1941–43. After being Undersecretary of State 1943–44 he succeeded Cordell *Hull as Secretary 1944–45. Under *Truman he served as US Ambassador to the United Nations 1945–46, resigning to become Rector of the University of Virginia 1946–49.
Stevens, Thaddeus (1792–1868). American Republican politician, born in Vermont. A lawyer, as a US Congressman from Pennsylvania 1849–53, 1859–68, he developed a detestation of slavery. After the Civil War he was the leader of the Radical Republicans who campaigned to ensure that free slaves could have access to land and the right to vote in the former Confederacy, ending white supremacy. The driving force behind the impeachment of President Andrew *Johnson, who tried, however ineffectively, to carry out *Lincoln’s plans for reconciliation. Disappointment over Johnson’s acquittal may have hastened Stevens’ own death.
Stevens, Wallace (1879–1955). American poet, born in Pennsylvania. He worked for the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company from 1916 and was its Vice President 1934–55. His first book, Harmonium (1923), was followed by a number of volumes, e.g. Ideas of Order (1935) and The Man with the Blue Guitar (1937). The Necessary Angel (1951) is a volume of essays. In his poems Stevens uses the techniques of Impressionism and Symbolism to explore the creative imagination and aesthetics at a time when belief was in decline. His Collected Poems (1954) won him the National Book Award (his second) and the Pulitzer Prize in 1955.
Kermode, F., Wallace Stevens. 1960.
Stevenson, Adlai E(wing) (1900–1965). American politician, born in Los Angeles. His grandfather Adlai E(wing) Stevenson (1835–1914) was *Cleveland’s Vice President 1893–97. Educated at Princeton, Harvard and Northwestern, he practised law in Chicago from 1926. After 1933 he served in Washington as legal assistant in several New Deal agencies and during World War II was Assistant Secretary of the Navy 1941–44 and Assistant Secretary of State 1944–45. As Governor of Illinois 1949–53 he carried out many reforms. After *Truman decided to retire in 1952, he promoted Stevenson as Democratic presidential candidate. Although reluctant to run (he would have preferred 1956 or 1960), Stevenson won nomination over Estes *Kefauver and Richard Russell, losing to *Eisenhower in the November election, with 44 per cent of the vote. Democratic nominee again in 1956 (although Truman switched his support to *Harriman), he went on to a second defeat by Eisenhower, with only 42 per cent of the vote. His campaign speeches were published under the titles Call to Greatness (1954) and What I Think (1956). He was attacked as an ‘egghead’ at a deeply anti-intellectual period in US history. President *Kennedy appointed him Ambassador to the United Nations, an office he retained under President *Johnson (1961–65). Known for his liberal outlook and high intellectual integrity, he collapsed and died in the street in London. His son Adlai E(wing) Stevenson III (1930– ) was US Senator from Illinois 1970–81.
McKeever, P., Adlai Stevenson: His Life and Legacy. 1989.
Stevenson, Robert (1772–1850). Scottish engineer. He succeeded his stepfather (1796) as first engineer to the Northern Lighthouse Commission and during his 47 years of office constructed 23 lighthouses round the Scottish coasts, including the famous Bell Rock (1807). He also invented the system of intermittently flashing lights which enable a particular lighthouse to be identified. He was the grandfather of Robert Louis *Stevenson.
Stevenson, Robert Louis (Balfour) (1850–1894). Scottish novelist, essayist and poet, born in Edinburgh. He suffered from tuberculosis as a child, studied engineering and then law, but abandoned both for writing. On a canal tour in France and Belgium, which provided the subject of his first book, An Inland Voyage (1878), he met Mrs Fanny Osbourne (née Van de Grift) (1840–1914), they married in California (1880), and her son, Lloyd Osbourne (1868–1947), was later his companion and collaborator. Meanwhile Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879) had recalled another journey. Before embarking on the novels that made him famous he had written the essays collected as Virginibus Puerisque (1881) and Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882), as well as the tales of fantasy in The New Arabian Nights (1882). In 1881 he started Treasure Island (1883), the first and most famous of his series of exciting and imaginative adventure stories, which combined Scott’s historical method with the clarity and brevity of his own distinctive style. This was followed by Kidnapped (1886), The Black Arrow (1888), The Master of Ballantrae (1889) and Catriona (1893). Another immensely popular work was The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), in which the conflict of good and evil in a man’s nature is symbolically treated in a macabre and exciting tale. Stevenson undertook a tour of the South Seas (1889) for the sake of his health and settled in Samoa with his wife and stepson. Given the title of ‘Tusitala’ (‘teller of tales’), he died there of a cerebral haemorrhage. Three of his last books, The Wrong Box (1889), The Wrecker (1892) and The Ebb Tide (1894), were written in collaboration with Lloyd Osbourne; St Ives (1897, completed by Arthur *Quiller-Couch) and Weir of Hermiston (1896), a masterpiece, were left unfinished. The best remembered of his poems are contained in A Child’s Garden of Verses (1885).
Cooper, L., Robert Louis Stevenson. 1947; Furnas, J. C., Voyage to Windward: The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson. 1951.
Stevin (Stevinus), Simon (1548–1620). Flemish mathematician, born at Bruges. He studied law at Leyden University. He contributed to the development of algebraic notation and of decimals and put forward (1586) the law of equilibrium of a body on an inclined plane and a partial statement of the parallelogram of forces, disproving the concept of perpetual motion. He pioneered the science of hydrostatics. In 1586 he demonstrated that objects of different weights fall to the ground from the same distance at an identical speed—an experiment generally credited to *Galileo. He measured magnetic declination, identifying 43 areas of variation. He wrote in Dutch, being one of the first great scientists to reject Latin. He was also well known as a military engineer and for his work on land drainage.
Stewart (or Stuart). Scottish dynasty which ruled in Scotland from 1371 and in England from 1603, when James VI of Scotland became *James I of England. It stemmed from the marriage of Walter, hereditary high steward (hence the family name) of Scotland, to Marjorie, daughter of Robert *Bruce. Their son *Robert II was the first Stewart king. From the time of *Mary Queen of Scots, whose second husband was Henry Stuart, Lord *Darnley, the French spelling became the commoner spelling. The dynasty ceased to reign when *George, elector of Hanover, succeeded Queen *Anne (1714). The last Stewart/ Stuart in the direct line was Henry, Cardinal *York who died in 1807.
Ashley, M., The House of Stuart. 1980.
Stewart, Dugald (1753–1828). Scottish philosopher and mathematician, born in Edinburgh. A disciple of Adam *Ferguson, Adam *Smith and Thomas *Reid, he was a proponent of ‘common sense’ and an opponent of David *Hume. He taught *Scott, Sydney *Smith, *Brougham and *Palmerston.
Stewart, James (Maitland) (1908–1997). American film and stage actor. Between 1935 and 1981 he appeared in 80 films, including Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Philadelphia Story (Academy Award,1940), Harvey (1950), Anatomy of a Murder (1959) and four directed by Alfred *Hitchcock, Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and Vertigo (1958). An active, hawkish Republican, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.
Stewart, Sir Patrick (1940– ). English actor, born in Yorkshire. He won international recognition in television series, as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Prof. Charles Xavier in X Men. Active with the Royal Shakespeare Company, he was compelling as Prospero, Antony, Claudius and Macbeth, and excelled in *Beckett.
Stiglitz, Joseph Eugene (1943– ). American economist, born in Indiana. He studied at MIT and Chicago, taught at Cambridge, Oxford, Princeton and Columbia universities and was chief economist of the World Bank 1997–2000. He also produced economic modelling for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He shared the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001 for his work on ‘information asymmetry’ and the operation of markets. The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future (2012) was a bestseller.
Stikker, Dirk Uipko (1897–1979). Dutch politician and banker. He helped to finance the Resistance movement in World War II. He revived (1946) the liberal Freedom party, was Foreign Secretary in the coalition of 1948–52, Ambassador to Great Britain 1952–58 and Secretary-General of NATO 1961–64.
Stilicho, Flavius (c.365–408). Roman soldier. He was appointed by the emperor *Theodosius I (whose niece he had married) to be guardian of his son and successor Honorius. For several years, in the east, in Greece, Africa and Italy he held back the waves of barbarians who were engulfing the empire. Some of his most spectacular victories were gained (401–03) in northern Italy against *Alaric, leader of the Visigoths. Stilicho was suspected of aspiring to become Emperor himself. He was killed in a military revolt. Shortly afterwards, Alaric’s army reached Rome.
Stilwell, Joseph Warren (1883–1946). American soldier. He became known as an authority on China, where he was military attaché in the years preceding World War II. As deputy to *Chiang Kaishek, he commanded a Chinese-American force in Burma which acted in cooperation with the forces based on India against the Japanese. He became (1945) Deputy Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Southeast Asia. No orthodox soldier, he was difficult to work with, hence his nickname ‘Vinegar Joe’ but of his courage and ability there is no doubt.
Stimson, Henry Lewis (1867–1950). American lawyer and administrator. A Republican, he twice served as US Secretary of War, first under *Taft 1911–13, and during World War II 1940–45 under Franklin D. *Roosevelt and *Truman. He was Governor-General of the Philippines 1927–29 and, as *Hoover’s Secretary of State 1929–33, proposed the ‘Stimson doctrine’ in opposition to Japan’s aggression in Manchuria. He took the ultimate responsibility in recommending that President Truman use the atomic bomb against Japan (1945). The term ‘World War II’ was his coinage.
Hodgson, G., The Colonel. The Life and Wars of Henry Stimson. 1990.
Stinnes, Hugo (1870–1924). German industrialist. He inherited a large concern he built up into a vast industrial empire, which made him an almost symbolic representative of acquisitive man. To river transport, coal mining and distribution he added shipping and shipbuilding, electricity, oil, motor cars and newspapers, his tentacles spread into almost every trade and industry. In 1920 he became a member of the Reichstag.
Stockhausen, Karlheinz (1928–2007). German composer. He studied under *Messiaen and was part of the Musique Concrète group in Paris, experimenting with compositions based on electronic sounds. He wrote choral, orchestral and instrumental works, sometimes combining electronic with normal sonorities, and avant garde piano compositions.
Stokes, Sir George Gabriel, 1st Baronet (1819–1903). British mathematician and physicist, born in Sligo. After graduating with the highest honours at Cambridge University he became Lucasian professor of mathematics 1849–1903. Elected (1851) a fellow of the Royal Society, he was its president 1885–90. He won the Rumford Medal (1853) and the Copley Medal (1893). He was a Tory MP for Cambridge 1887–92 and he played a major part in the development of hydrodynamics and aerodynamics. His contributions to optics were also important, e.g. his work on spectrum analysis (1852) and his explanation of fluorescence and phosphorescence (1878).
Wilson, David B., Kelvin & Stokes. 1987.
Stokowski, Leopold (Anthony) (1882–1977). American conductor, born in London. Of Polish-Irish parentage, he studied at the Royal College of Music and was organist at St James’, Piccadilly 1902–05 and St Bartholomew’s, New York 1905–09. He conducted the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra 1909–12, the Philadelphia Orchestra 1912–36, the New York Philharmonic 1946–50 and the Houston Symphony Orchestra 1955–60. He made acoustic recordings from 1917, the world’s first electric recording of an orchestra in April 1925 and continued until his death. He collaborated with Walt *Disney in the film Fantasia (1940). In 1962 he founded the American Symphony Orchestra, based in New York. Stokowski premiered about 2000 works in his long career.
Stolypin, Pyotr Arkadievich (1862–1911). Russian lawyer and politician. As a conservative Prime Minister 1906–11, he endeavoured to keep the Duma in being as an adjunct of government, under strict control, but not to suppress it. He combated revolutionary movements by severe repression accompanied by measures of social reform. He introduced changes in land tenure aimed at turning the peasants into satisfied and loyal small land holders, but these reforms, partly achieved, came too late to check the growing unrest. He opposed *Rasputin, whom he sent briefly into exile in 1911 and was murdered by a secret agent.
Stone, ‘Biz’ (Christopher Isaac) (1974– ). American entrepreneur, born in Massachusetts. With Jack *Dorsey, he was co-founder of Twitter in 2006, became active in environmental causes and a Visiting Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford.
Stone, Harlan Fiske (1872–1946). American jurist. Dean of Columbia University law school 1910–24, he served as US Attorney-General 1924–25, a justice of the US Supreme Court 1925–41 and Chief Justice 1941–46. A moderate liberal, he upheld much New Deal legislation and the right of dissent in civil liberties cases.
Stone, Oliver (1946– ). American writer and film director. He won Academy awards for Midnight Express (screenplay, 1978), Platoon (direction, 1986) and Born on the 4th of July (direction, 1989). He also directed JFK (1991) and Nixon (1995).
Stopes, Marie Charlotte Carmichael (1880–1958). English pioneer of women’s rights. As the first female science lecturer, on palaeobotany, at Manchester University (1904), she developed a passionate interest in eugenics and birth control, on which she wrote several books, e.g. Married Love (1918) which broke new and unconventional ground. She founded the first birth control clinic in Britain (1921), a step that inspired similar clinics in other countries. She also wrote poetry and was deeply interested in drama.
Hall, R., Marie Stopes. 1977.
Stoppard, Sir Tom (Tomáš Straussler) (1937– ). English playwright, born in Czechoslovakia. He escaped with his parents in 1939, first to Singapore and India, settling in England in 1946. He left school at 17, and became a journalist. His first stage play was Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1967). Later successes include Jumpers (1972), Travesties (1974), Undiscovered Country (1980), Habgood (1988) and Arcadia (1993). He also wrote radio and television plays. His humour is based on juggling with philosophical concepts and on brilliant word play. He received the OM in 2000. The Coast of Utopia (2002), is a trilogy (Voyage, Shipwreck, Salvage) about *Bakunin and *Herzen.
Stout, Rex Todhunter (1886–1975). American author. After a varied career he made enough money to retire from business in 1929 and devoted himself to writing. He created the fictional detective Nero Wolfe (loosely based on Mycroft Holmes).
Stow, John (c.1525–1605). English chronicler and antiquarian. As well as doing original work he translated and summarised much of the work of earlier chroniclers. He is best known for A Survey of London (1598–1603), which gives valuable information about Elizabethan London and the customs and lives of its inhabitants.
Stow, (Julian) Randolph (1935–2010). Australian novelist and poet, born in Western Australia. His novels included To the Islands (1958), Tourmaline (1963), Visitants (1979) and The Suburbs of Hell (1984). His works won major awards but he retreated to England in the 1960s.
Falkiner, S., Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow. 2016.
Stowe, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher (1811–1896). American author. Sister of Henry Ward *Beecher, the preacher, she is remembered almost solely for her famous anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1851–52). In the years before the Civil War this book did much to solidify the movement in the north against slavery.
Wagenknecht, E., Harriet Beecher Stowe. 1965.
Strabo (= squint-eyed) (64 BCE–25 CE). Greek geographer, born in Amasia, Asia Minor. Of wealthy parents, he was Greek by language and culture but studied in Rome, specialising in geography, and became a convert to Stoicism. He travelled quite extensively, going up the Nile as far as Aswan and exploring the Ethiopian frontier. The only work of Strabo’s that has survived is his Geographica. This was compiled more from reading than from personal observation, though he had travelled extensively as far east as Armenia and as far south as Ethiopia. Most of his sources were Greek and have been lost. He attempted a complete geography, which would tackle the questions of the globe from the mathematical, physical, topographical and political points of view. Strabo saw the known world as a single landmass comprising Africa, Asia and Europe, entirely north of the Equator, though he speculated on the existence of one or more southern continents. He thought the known world was about 11,000 km long, from East to West, and 5,000 km from North to South. He saw the Middle Territories of the Mediterranean as the cradle of civilisation. His detailed accounts of Spain, Asia Minor and Egypt are of high quality, other parts he knew less well. Strabo showed some interest in geophysics. He was aware of the role of earthquakes and volcanoes in changing the face of the globe, and he thought the Mediterranean had perhaps been a lake which had overflowed through the Straits of Gibraltar. He also studied the development of river deltas. Amongst ancient geographers, Strabo is the leading physical geographer, whereas *Ptolemy excelled him as a mathematical geographer.
Strachey, (Giles) Lytton (1880–1932). English biographer. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and one of the ‘Bloomsbury’ group, his Eminent Victorians (1918), in which with brilliant satire he amusingly, but often unfairly, dissected the lives and characters of some of the great figures in 19th-century history, created a literary sensation and started a fashion for ‘debunking’. His other works include Queen Victoria (1921), Elizabeth and Essex (1928) and Portraits in Miniature (1931). Although homosexual, from 1917 he shared a house with the painter Dora Carrington (1894–1932) who loved him. Their lives were dramatised in the film Carrington (1995).
Holroyd, M., Lytton Strachey. 1968.
Stradivari (Stradivarius), Antonio (1644–1737). Italian violin maker. The best known member of a family from Cremona, a pupil of Nicolo *Amati, he brought violin-making to its highest point of perfection. In later life he was helped by his sons, Francesco Stradivari (1671–1743) and Omobono Stradivari (1679–1742).
Strafford, Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of (1593–1641). English administrator. A member of a rich and distinguished Yorkshire family, he entered parliament in 1614 and became an opponent of *Buckingham and the court party and supported the Petition of Right (1628). His opposition to the royal government was based on the grounds of inefficiency and petty illegality and he showed none of the political and religious ideals of his colleagues. He had an opportunity of putting into practice his plans for strong, honest, efficient government when he was appointed President of the Council of the North (1628) and still more so when, as Lord Deputy in Ireland 1633–40, he demonstrated the method of government he described as ‘thorough’. If *Charles I (who had made him Earl of Strafford in 1639) had followed his advice to bring troops from Ireland and overcome his Scottish and English opponents by force, history might have taken a different course, but Charles procrastinated. When at last the Scottish war forced him to call what became the Long Parliament, Strafford was impeached unsuccessfully. An Act of Attainder was passed by both Houses. Partly to divert hostility from the queen, Charles finally gave the royal assent. His betrayal of Strafford haunted him throughout the coming years until he suffered similar execution.
Wedgwood, C. V., Thomas Wentworth. 1961.
Strange, Lord, Ferdinando Stanley, later 5th Earl of Derby (1559–1594). English nobleman, patron and poet. Through his mother, he was in the line of succession to *Elizabeth I. A patron of *Spenser, *Marlowe and *Shakespeare, he promoted a theatre troupe, ‘Lord Strange’s Men’, later ‘The Lord Chamberlain’s Men’, later still ‘The King’s Men’, and was a singer and (probably) poet. He died mysteriously, probably by poison.
Strasser, Gregor (1892–1934). German Nazi politician. A prosperous pharmacist, he joined the Nazis in 1921, led the radical wing of the party in Berlin from 1926, and was regarded as a rival to *Hitler until his murder in the ‘Night of the Long Knives’ (*Rohm).
Stratford de Redcliffe, 1st Viscount, Stratford Canning see Canning, Stratford, 1st Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe
Strathcona and Mount Royal, Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron (1820–1914). Canadian administrator, born in Scotland. He rose from clerk to Governor of the Hudson Bay Company 1838–99 but his name is chiefly associated with the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the first to cross the country from coast to coast. He endowed McGill University and raised and equipped Strathcona’s Horse for service in the Boer War. He was High Commissioner in London 1896–1914 and became the first Canadian peer (1897).
Strato of Lampsacus (d.c.271/268 BCE). Greek philosopher, born on the Asian coast of the Hellespont. He moved to Athens to study at *Aristotle’s school under *Theophrastus. After spending some time in Alexandria as tutor to the future Ptolemy II, Strato returned to Athens to lead the Lyceum on the death of Theophrastus, a position he occupied between 287 and the time of his death about 268. None of Strato’s writings has survived, but much is known about them from accounts by other authors. He set himself the task of teaching Aristotelian doctrine, and he seems throughout his life to have been an orthodox follower of the philosopher. But he was also concerned to shape an interpretation of Aristotle in a particular direction, that is, to stress the purely naturalistic elements in Aristotle’s thought. He stripped Aristotelianism of its religious and transcendental elements, and emphasised material causality. Strato thus underlined the difference between Aristotle’s naturalism and *Plato’s idealist views. He saw causality and force residing in natural objects themselves, rather than guiding them from above. He had no place for Aristotle’s ‘quintessence’, preferring to see phenomena as the product of the mingling of the four elements, earth, air, fire and water. Strato was consistent in his discussion of man. He denied an immaterial soul. He thought intellect resided in the brain, and communicated itself to other parts of the body by some sort of ‘air’. He was one of the most distinguished disciples of Aristotle, and of great influence in the ancient and medieval world.
Straus, Oscar (1870–1954). Austrian composer. He won fame by his Viennese operettas, especially Waltz Dream (1907) and The Chocolate Soldier (1908), based on *Shaw’s Arms and the Man.
Strauss, David Friedrich (1808–1874). German biblical critic. In his most celebrated work, The Life of Jesus (2 volumes, 1835–36, translated by George *Eliot, 1846), he applied the methods of literary criticism to the Gospels in an attempt to sift historical truth from what he held to be myth. This departure in biblical criticism was greeted with such hostility that his whole life was embittered and his academic career destroyed.
Strauss, Franz-Josef (1915–1988). German politician, born in Munich. Already prominent in Bavarian politics, he entered the Federal Bundestag in 1949. There, as leader of the Christian Social Union (the Bavarian counterpart of the Christian Democrats), he soon became prominent as *Adenauer’s Minister of Defence 1956–62. His arbitrary arrests (for alleged revelation of military secrets) of the proprietor and editorial staff of Der Spiegel (1962) forced his resignation, but he kept his popularity in Bavaria and with his party. He returned as Finance Minister 1966–69, served as minister-president (i.e. premier) of Bavaria 1978–88, and was the unsuccessful candidate of the CDU-CSU Coalition for Chancellor (1980).
Strauss, Johann (1825–1899). Austrian composer, born in Vienna. His father, Johann Strauss the elder (1804–1849), also wrote waltzes but is best known for his famous Radetzky March (1848). The younger Johann Strauss wrote over 400 waltzes, including The Emperor, Voices of Spring, Tales from the Vienna Woods and, most popular of all, The Blue Danube (1867). In later life he wrote 16 operettas of which the best known is Die Fledermaus (The Bat, 1874). These works, like the waltzes, display the composer’s melodic spontaneity and verve, his sense of style and skill in orchestration. His brother Josef Strauss (1827–1870), a composer, was also a poet, painter and inventor. His works include Music of the Spheres, Delirium, and Village Swallows.
Strauss, Richard (Georg) (1864–1949). German composer and conductor, born in Munich. Son of Franz-Josef Strauss (1822–1905), a virtuoso horn player who married into a brewing family, he was no relation to Johann *Strauss. Largely self-taught as a composer, his first major work was the Horn Concerto No. 1 (1882, No. 2 dates from 1942). As a protégé of Hans von *Bulow, he gained conducting experience (1885–96) at opera houses in Meiningen, Munich and Weimar, becoming Chief Conductor at the Munich Opera (1896–98) and the Berlin Royal Court Opera (1898–1910) and joint Director of the Vienna State Opera (1919–24). Influenced by *Liszt and *Wagner, he wrote a series of dramatic symphonic poems, e.g. Macbeth (1888, revised 1891), Don Juan (1889), Tod und Verklärung (1889), Till Eulenspiegel (1895), Also sprach Zarathustra (1896), Don Quixote (1897) and Ein Heldenleben (1898). While in his 30s he was recognised as the greatest German composer since Wagner and *Brahms. He wrote almost 200 songs (many of his best in the 1890s), and a monologue for speaker and piano, Enoch Arden (1897, after *Tennyson). Strauss wrote 15 operas, and they include his finest music. Salome (1905), based on *Wilde’s play, was attacked as lurid, salacious and blasphemous, but this only aided its success. Elektra (1909), which Hugo von *Hofmannsthal adapted from his own play, was denounced for its polytonality and extreme modernity. His masterpiece Der Rosenkavalier (1909–10), a neoclassical comedy of manners, with libretto by Hofmannsthal, set in Vienna of 1740, paid obvious homage to *Mozart. It premiered in Dresden in January 1911. His other operas include Ariadne auf Naxos (1912), Die agyptische Helena (1928) and Arabella (1933), all with Hofmannsthal’s dialogue, and Capriccio (1941). In the 1930s Strauss’s creative powers waned and he unwisely accepted an appointment as President of the Reich Music Chamber under *Hitler (1933), however, he was able to protect Jewish relatives by marriage. During 1942–48 he experienced a remarkable ‘Indian summer’: works of his last period include Metamorphosen (for 23 strings, 1945), an oboe concerto (1945) and the Four Last Songs (1948). Strauss was in *Ravel’s class as an orchestrator but his writing for voice was even finer, and only Mozart equalled him in setting the high soprano.
Krause, E., Richard Strauss, the Man and his Work. 1964; del Mar, N., Richard Strauss. 1972.
Stravinsky, Igor Feodorovich (1882–1971). Russian composer, born in Oranienbaum, near St Petersburg. Son of a famous operatic bass, he studied law but devoted himself to music from 1902, and was for three years a pupil of *Rimsky-Korsakov in instrumentation. Reacting against *Wagner’s music, he evolved a strikingly original but emotionally neutral style, influenced by *Debussy and Russian folk music. For Sergei *Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes he wrote three great scores that made him famous: The Firebird (L’Oiseau de feu, 1910), Petrushka (1911), and The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du Printemps, 1913), the last a savage and mysterious evocation of primitive fertility dances employing a large orchestra, blazing colour and savage dissonance which caused a riot at its premiere under Pierre *Monteux in Pans, the audience having to be ejected by police. In the final ‘Sacrificial dance’, a young girl whirls herself to death to appease the gods. The Rite reached a wider audience through Walt *Disney’s film Fantasia (1940), in a 21 minute (Stravinsky thought ‘mutilated’) version, with images of nebulae, the creation of the earth, erupting volcanoes, amoebae, rampaging dinosaurs and solar eclipses.
Stravinsky lived in France 1910–14 and in Switzerland 1914–20, returning to France 1920–39. In the works of his second period (1914–20) he evolved a new style, abandoning the huge orchestra and blazing colour of The Rite of Spring for an austere preoccupation with line and structure. They include The Soldier’s Tale (1918, for narrator, three actors and seven instruments), The Wedding (Svadebka/Les Noces, 1923, vocalists, four pianos and percussion), Symphonies of wind instruments (1920) and songs. In a third, neoclassical, period (1920–32) he wrote the ballets Pulcinella (1920, after Pergolesi), Apollo (1928, for strings), and The Fairy’s Kiss (1928, after *Tchaikovsky), the opera-oratorio Oedipus rex (1927, set to *Cocteau’s Latin text), the Symphony of Psalms (1930) and a violin concerto. His fourth period (1932–52) was both eclectic and prolific, marked by varied influences ranging from plainsong, *Bach, *Beethoven, *Verdi, through jazz and swing. Music included the ballets The Card Party (1936), and Orpheus (1947), Symphony in C (1940), Symphony in three movements (1945), a Mass (1944), and the opera The Rake’s Progress (1951, libretto by W. H. *Auden and Chester Kallman), based on *Hogarth’s drawings. Stravinsky became a French citizen in 1934, lived in the US from 1939 and was naturalised in 1945. His fifth period (from 1952) was influenced by the serial techniques of *Schoenberg and, especially, *Berg in such works as In memoriam Dylan Thomas (1954), the ballet Agon (1957), Threni (Lamentations of Jeremiah, 1958), two Masses, a cantata, Abraham and Isaac (1963, baritone and chamber orchestra) and Requiem Canticles (1966). There are obvious parallels between Stravinsky and *Picasso, exact contemporaries who created new traditions and worked in a diversity of styles, from a brutalist mode to neo-classical. Stravinsky made many recordings and toured the world as a conductor of his own works, visiting Australia and Africa in 1961 and making a triumphant return to Russia in 1962. He published an autobiography in 1935 and collaborated with Robert Craft in two volumes of Conversations (1959, 1962). He had enormous curiosity about literature, mathematics and aesthetics, and for two generations was the greatest figure in 20th-century music. He died in New York and was buried in the St Michele cemetery, Venice.
White, E. W., Stravinsky: The Composer and his Works. 1966; Young, P. M., Stravinsky. 1966; Craft, R., Stravinsky: The Chronicle of a Friendship. 1972.
Straw, Jack (John Whitaker) (1946– ). English Labour politician. He graduated in law from Leeds, became an MP 1979–2015, serving as Home Secretary 1997–2001, Foreign Secretary 2001–06 and Leader of the House of Commons 2006–07. Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor 2007–10, he was the first lord chancellor since 1578 to be a Member of the House of Commons.
Strawson, Sir Peter Frederick (1919–2006). British philosopher, born in London. Educated at Oxford, he taught there from 1947 and was Waynfleet professor of metaphysical philosophy 1968–87. He worked on ‘descriptive metaphysics’ and was a rigorous critic of Bertrand *Russell’s philosophical logic.
Streeton, Sir Arthur Ernest (1867–1943). Australian painter. With his friend Tom *Roberts, he was one of the ‘Heidelberg School’ of painters (1887–90), applying plein air impressionist and Turneresque techniques to the Australian landscape. Away from Australia 1897–1923, apart from three short return visits, he was a war artist in France. He failed to attract much attention in England, and his later works, although beautifully painted, lack the excitement of his early decades. Golden Summer, Eaglemont (1889) sold for $AU3.5 million in 1995.
Streicher, Julius (1885–1946). German Nazi politician. Originally a primary school teacher, he founded the German Socialist Party which merged with the Nazis in 1923. His journal Der Sturmer (‘The Stormtrooper’) was so pornographic in its attacks on Jews that many Nazis regarded it as distasteful. He had fallen from the front rank by 1939, was Governor of Franconia 1940–44 and hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg trials.
Streisand, Barbra (Joan) (1942– ). American singer, actor and director, born in Brooklyn. Her first great success was in the Broadway musical Funny Girl (1964), later filmed (1968), winning her an Oscar. She showed her comic gifts in What’s Up, Doc? (1972) and played a serious role in The Way We Were (1973). She retired from personal appearances in 1969 until offered $US20 million for two performances (including film and television rights) at the MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas, 31 December 1993–1 January 1994.
Stresemann, Gustav (1878–1929). German politician. A successful businessman, he entered the Reichstag (1907) and after World War I founded the German People’s Party. During a short period as Chancellor (1923) he succeeded in checking inflation. From November 1923 until his death he was Foreign Minister in a succession of governments. He was a main architect of the pacts by which it was hoped to build a permanently peaceful Europe: he signed the Locarno and Kellogg Briand Pacts and six years before the appointed date he secured the evacuation of the Rhineland by foreign troops. For much of the time he worked closely with *Briand and Austen *Chamberlain. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize (1926) with Briand.
Hirsch, E. F., Gustav Stresemann: Patriot und Europrier. 1964; Gatzke, H. W., Stresemann and the Rearmament of Germany. 1969.
Strickland, Donna Theo (1959– ). Canadian optical physicist. She shared the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2018 with Gérard Mourou for their invention of chirped pulse amplification, using pulsed lasers in eye surgery.
Strijdom, Johannes Gerhardus (1893–1958). South African politician. Originally an ostrich farmer, he became a lawyer, entered the South African Parliament in 1929, led the extremist Transvaal wing of the Nationalist party and succeeded Dr D. F. *Malan as Prime Minister 1954–58. He entrenched ‘apartheid’ even more harshly than his predecessor.
Strindberg, (Johan) August (1849–1912). Swedish dramatist, born in Stockholm. From his childhood, spent in a depressing family home, his neurotic temperament was always at war with his surroundings. His three marriages were disastrous and among the causes of his persecution mania, leading to periodic insanity and alcoholism. In the 1870s he began writing plays reflecting his radical views, and he gained a considerable reputation with his novel The Red Room (1879), a satirical and realistic account of artistic life in Stockholm. From 1883 to 1889 he lived in France, Switzerland, Germany and Denmark, returning in 1884 to defend himself successfully against a charge of blasphemy resulting from the publication of his collection of short stories Giftas (Marriage). Meanwhile he wrote poems on social and philosophical subjects, more plays, and the beginnings of his autobiography. To this middle period belong the three great plays by which he is best remembered, The Father (1887), Miss Julie (1888) and The Dance of Death (1901), all obsessed by family conflict in an atmosphere of foreboding. By this time Strindberg was falling under the influence of *Nietzsche and adopting the attitudes, including contempt for democracy, of his mentor, and adding anti-Semitism. In his last years came a series of historical plays, novels, e.g. the trilogy To Damascus (1898–1904), and fairy plays, indicative of a growing interest in religious mysticism and the occult. He again went to live abroad in 1892 but returned finally in 1896. In 1907 he founded the Intimate Theatre for the production of what he called his ‘chamber plays’. He was conspicuously ignored by the Swedish Academy and accepted an ‘Anti Nobel’ Prize, raised by public subscription, in the year of his death. In his last two years he had a radical period. Only in Germany and Austria were Strindberg’s plays often performed. Despite the admiration of *Ibsen, *Shaw, *Gorki, *Mann and *O’Neill, it took 40 years for his genius as a dramatist to be generally recognised. He was also a gifted painter, photographer, and linguist, with a passionate interest in music.
Meyer, M., Strindberg. 1985; Prideaux, S., Strindberg. A Life. 2012.
Stringfellow, John (1799–1883). English inventor. A lace manufacturer of Chard, Somerset, he worked with W. S. *Henson in designing a steam-powered aircraft. However, Henson’s steam engine was underpowered. In 1848, Stringfellow’s model monoplane, with a 3-metre wingspan, flew for 27 metres, and in 1868 he demonstrated a tethered triplane at the Crystal Palace. He was also a pioneer photographer.
Stroheim, Erich von (1885–1957). Austrian-American film actor and director, born in Vienna. His first film role was in Intolerance (1916) and thereafter he tended to become typecast as a German officer. Among his most distinguished parts was that of a soldier in Renoir’s La Grande Illusion (1938), as *Rommel in Five Gravesto Cairo and the butler in Sunset Boulevard (1950). The best known of the films he directed were Foolish Wives (1922), Wedding March (1928) and notably Greed (1923–24). He became a US citizen in 1926.
Quinn, T., Von Stroheim. 1973.
Strongbow, Richard de Clare see Pembroke, 2nd Earl of
Struve, Friedrich George Wilhelm von (1793–1864). German-Russian astronomer. A member of an astronomical dynasty, between 1816 and 1855 he was responsible for designing and constructing the Struve Geodetic Arc, a chain of 258 survey triangulations from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, a distance of 2,820 km, passing through 10 countries. It was an important international collaboration which led to the accurate measurement of a meridian. Thirty-four of the surviving structures were added to the World Heritage List in 2005. In 1827 he published a catalogue of double-stars.
Strzelecki, Sir Paul (Pawel) Edmund de (1797–1873). Polish-British explorer and geologist, born in Poznan (then in Prussia, now in Poland). From a noble family, sometimes called Count Strzelecki, he left his homeland in 1830, became a self-trained geologist and travelled extensively in North and South America, the Pacific islands and New Zealand. In Australia (1839–43) he explored New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, was an early discoverer of gold and named Mt *Kosciuszko in the Australian Alps. He lived in England from 1843, wrote extensively, worked on disaster relief in Ireland and the Crimea and became FRS and KCB.
Stuart family see Stewart
Stuart, Charles Edward (known as ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ or ‘the Young Pretender’) (1720–1788). British prince, born in Rome. Eldest son of James Edward *Stuart, on whose behalf he led the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, he landed in Scotland with only seven followers but was joined by an increasing number of Highlanders as he moved south. He captured Edinburgh and secured his position by defeating the government army at Prestonpans. Six weeks later he marched south into England. After capturing Carlisle and reaching Derby he began to withdraw. At Falkirk (17 January 1746) he won a last success before his army was overtaken and virtually annihilated by the Duke of *Cumberland, who here earned the name ‘Butcher’, at Culloden (16 April). Charles, with £30,000 offered for his capture, spent five months unscathed and unbetrayed among the hills and islands of western Scotland until, with the help of Flora *Macdonald, he was able to reach France. So far with his looks and charm he had been the true hero of romance, but the rest of the story is one of disappointment, disillusion and dissipation. Harried by English agents, he wandered about Europe seeking help for schemes by which he vainly hoped to regain his rights. He married (1772) Louisa of Stolberg, a childless and unhappy match. He finally settled in Italy and in his last years was looked after with devotion by a natural daughter. Debauched and discredited, he died in Rome and was buried in St Peter’s.
Stuart, James (Francis) Edward (known as ‘the Old Pretender’) (1688–1766). British prince, born in London. Son of *James II of Great Britain and Mary of Modena, he was brought up in France. On his father’s death he was acclaimed by the ‘Jacobites’ as King and a number of risings were made on his behalf of which the best known were those of 1715 and 1745. For the former, ended by defeats at Sheriffmuir and Prestonpans, James Edward was in Scotland for a few weeks. He spent the remainder of his life mainly in Rome. The battle at Prestonpans was fought under the leadership of his son, Charles Edward *Stuart, born of his marriage to Clementina Sobieska of Poland. His second son was Henry, Cardinal *York. He was buried in St Peter’s, Rome.
Stuart, John McDouall (1815–1866). Scottish explorer, born in Fife. Between 1858 and 1862 he led six expeditions to Central Australia and became the first explorer to cross the continent south to north (and return). He clashed with Aborigines but lost none of his party. He died in London.
Stubbs, George (1724–1806). English painter and engraver. In 1766 he published his Anatomy of a Horse based on the study of dead horses in his studio. The engravings created a revolution in animal painting and he was later able to use his anatomical knowledge to give his sporting pictures, e.g. The Grosvenor Staghunt a verisimilitude never obtained before. His masterpiece, Whistlejacket (1762), a huge horse painting, hangs in the National Gallery, London. He was elected RA in 1781.
Stubbs, William (1825–1901). English historian and Churchman. He devoted himself to the study and publication of medieval documents. His fame rests on two great works, Select Charters and other Illustrations of English Constitutional History (1870), and The Constitutional History of England (3 volumes, 1874–78). He became Regius professor of history at Oxford 1866–84, Bishop of Chester 1884–89 and Bishop of Oxford 1889–1901.
Sturgeon, Nicola Ferguson (1970– ). Scottish politician, born in Ayrshire. A lawyer, she was Deputy First Minister of Scotland 2007–14 and First Minister 2014– , a strong advocate for Scottish independence and remaining in the EU.
Sturgeon, William (1783–1850). English electrical engineer. Son of a shoemaker, he was self-educated. He built the first practical electromagnet, capable of lifting 20 times its own weight. He devised the first moving coil galvanometer, and built, in accordance with the principles of Michael *Faraday, the first linear induction motor (1832), revived in the 1960s for conveyor belts (Thomas *Davenport).
Sturt, Charles (1795–1869). English explorer, born in Bengal. An army officer, in Australia from 1827 to 1853, he explored the rivers of New South Wales, mapped and named the Murray (1830), concluded that the continent had no inland sea (1844–46) and became an unhappy administrator in South Australia. He was a skilful observer, sympathetic to the Aborigines.
Sturzo, Don Luigi (1871–1959). Italian priest and politician, born in Sicily. He founded the PPI (Partito Popolare Italiano) in 1919, clashed with *Mussolini and was exiled, living in London 1924–40 and the United States (mostly in Brooklyn) 1940–48. He wrote extensively on sociology, became a major influence on the Christian Democrats (Alcide *De Gasperi) and was appointed a Senator 1948–59.
Suárez Gonzales, Adolfo, Duque de Suárez (1932–2014). Spanish politician. The last Secretary-General of *Franco’s Falange Party 1975–76, as Prime Minister of Spain 1976–81 he worked with king *Juan Carlos to effect a democratic transformation and was created a duke.
Sucre, Antonio José de (1795–1830). South American leader, born in Venezuela. He served under *Bolívar in the War of South American Independence and became a general in 1819. His great victory near Guayaquil ensured the independence of the future Ecuador. With Bolívar he then won a long struggle for the independence of Peru and in 1826 was installed as first president of the newly created Bolivia, but his army mutinied and he was expelled. Two years later he was on his way through the mountains to rejoin Bolívar in Peru when he was killed by robbers.
Sudermann, Hermann (1857–1928). German playwright and novelist. His plays include Die Ehre (1889), Sodoms Ende (1891) and Heimat (1893). The last named, translated into English as Magda, provided a star role for Mrs Patrick *Campbell and other well known actresses. His novels, of which Frau Sorge (1887) was the first and best known, are mostly set against a background of his native East Prussia.
Sue, Eugène (1804–1857). French novelist. He was among the most successful of writers at adapting his work to serial form. The best known example in an immense output of popular work was The Wandering Jew (1845). His socialist and republican views, shown in his novels by his idealisation of the downtrodden and criminal classes, earned him the disfavour of *Napoléon III and brought about his exile.
Suess, Eduard (1831–1914). Austrian geologist, born in London. Professor of geology at Vienna 1857–1901 and a liberal in the Reichsrat 1872–96, he first hypothesised the concept of a super-continent (1885) which he named Gondwanaland (*Wegener). He also originated the concept of ‘the biosphere’ and was awarded the Copley Medal in 1903.
Suetonius (Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus) (fl. 117–138). Roman historian. He was *Hadrian’s secretary. His best known work, De vita Caesarum, which has survived almost complete, contains the biographies of Julius *Caesar and the first 11 emperors, *Augustus to *Domitian. His mixture of documented fact and gossip provides lively reading. Only part of another series on less exalted men (e.g. *Virgil, *Horace) survives.
Suger, Bernard (c.1081–1151). French prelate. Abbot of the Benedictine monastery of St Denis, north of Paris (from 1122), he was employed as Chief Minister by *Louis VI, and later virtually ruled the country while *Louis VII was absent on crusade. The beautiful Abbey Church of St Denis, reconstructed to his design, is one of the earliest examples of the Gothic style. His histories of the kings he served provide an important record of contemporary events.
Suharto (1921–2008). Indonesian general and politician, born in Java. Originally a bank clerk, he was a soldier from 1943, joining the guerrillas against the Japanese. He directed the army strategic reserve 1963–65 and was Army Chief of Staff 1965–66. Following the PKI coup in September 1965 he assumed emergency powers and took *Soekarno into custody. He became President of Indonesia 1967–98, after Soekarno’s deposition. He took a strong line against Muslim fundamentalism and against any separatist movements, notably in East Timor. He was re-elected for a seventh five-year term in March 1998 after a period of sharp economic decline, a collapse of the rupiah, intervention by the IMF, food riots, and attacks on the government support for companies run by family members. After severe rioting (May 1998), his resigned in favour of his protégé B. J. *Habibie. His daughter Siti (‘Tutut’) Hardiyanti Rukmana (1949– ) was briefly Minister for Social Affairs 1998.
Jenkins, D., Suharto and His Generals. 1984.
Sui Wendi (‘The cultured emperor’, personal name Yang Jien) (541–604). Chinese Emperor 581–604, founder of the Sui dynasty. A general, he removed the Northern Zhou emperor, began the Grand Canal which connected the Yangtze and Huang He (Yellow River) and extended his rule to south China. He laid the foundations for the Tang dynasty.
Suk, Josef (1874–1935). Czech composer and violinist. Pupil (and son-in-law) of Antonin *Dvořák, he was second violinist in the Bohemian String Quartet 1892–1933 and taught composition at the Prague Conservatorium. He wrote Serenade for Strings (1892), the Asrael Symphony (1905–06), chamber music and songs.
Sukarno see Soekarno
Sulaiman see Süleyman
Süleyman (or Sulaiman) (‘the Magnificent’) (1494–1566). Turkish Sultan 1520–66. Son and successor of *Selim I, under him the Ottoman Empire reached its zenith. He captured Belgrade (1521) and Rhodes (1522). He crushed the Hungarians at Mohacz (1526) but failed to take Vienna in 1529 and eventually the emperor *Ferdinand I, while retaining Austria, was left with only a small portion of Hungary. Meanwhile his fleet, under the celebrated corsair Khaireddin *Barbarossa, was terrorising the Mediterranean but it failed to capture Malta from the Knights of St John. Süleyman won Baghdad (from Persia) and it remained in Turkish hands until 1917. He died during renewed war in Hungary. His legal reforms, mainly relating to land tenure, earned him the name Kanuni (the lawgiver) and he proved himself a lavish patron of the arts, employing the famous architect *Sinan to build four magnificent mosques.
Merriman, R. B., Suleiman the Magnificent 1520–1566. Repr. 1966.
Sulla Felix, Lucius Cornelius (138–78 BCE). Roman soldier and dictator. He fought under *Marius against *Jugurtha in Africa and against the Cimbri and Teutones, but their mutual antipathy soon developed into political rivalry: Marius siding with the turbulent popular party (‘Populares’) and Sulla with the conservatives (‘Optimates’). After his victories in the Social War (for the enfranchisement of the Italians as Roman citizens) Sulla gained his first consulship (88) but, angered by a proposal that the command in a war against *Mithridates should be transferred to Marius, he led an army against Rome and captured the city. He obtained laws to legitimise his position and left for the east, but as soon as he had gone the Marians regained control. Meanwhile Sulla was expelling the armies of Mithridates from Greece and from the Roman province of Asia. He then returned with his army to Italy, and after another victory over the popular forces at the gates of Rome (82), the Senate appointed him as ‘dictator’, without a term limitation; the first use of the word in its modern sense, and a model for Julius *Caesar. Massacres and proscriptions of his opponents followed. He then carried out a large constitutional and administrative program, the main feature being the restoration of full power to the Senate. He retired voluntarily in 79 and died the following year. Both *Händel and *Mozart wrote operas based on his life.
Sullivan, Sir Arthur Seymour (1842–1900). English composer. After being a chorister at the Chapel Royal he studied music in London and Leipzig. He achieved successes with music for *Shakespeare’s The Tempest and for the famous comedy Box and Cox before he began his long collaboration with W. S. *Gilbert and the impresario Richard D ’Oyly *Carte in the popular ‘Savoy Operas’ (so-called from their production at that theatre from 1881). The best known are Trial by Jury (1875) H.M.S. Pinafore (1878), The Pirates of Penzance (1880), Patience (1881) Iolanthe (1882), Princess Ida (1884), The Mikado (1885), Ruddigore (1887), The Yeomen of the Guard (1888) and The Gondoliers (1889). Sullivan’s melodic gift and deft and lively scoring admirably partnered the witty libretti, but the two men later had a business quarrel and abandoned the partnership. Neither collaborator achieved comparable success alone, though Sullivan’s serious opera Ivanhoe (1891) and ballads such as The Lost Chord were popular for a time. He was knighted in 1883.
Young, P., Sir Arthur Sullivan. 1971.
Sullivan, John L(awrence) (1858–1918). Irish-American boxer, born in Boston. Son of Irish immigrants, originally intended for the priesthood, he became a professional baseball player, then a boxer. He had 44 fights, all but two in the United States (the others were in Wales and France) and won 40, mostly by knockout. Until 1889 many of his bouts were bare-knuckle. Generally recognised as the first world heavyweight champion 1885–92, he held the title until defeated by J. J. *Corbett. He died in poverty.
Sullivan, Louis Henry (1856–1924). American architect. After studying in Paris he joined a Chicago partnership and became the most important pioneer of modern steel frame construction. His Transportation building for the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893) provided a striking illustration of the new technique. He was a strong advocate of the unity of form and function but did not favour stark austerity and introduced original types of decoration in conformity with his ideas. The Schiller Theatre and the Stock Exchange were among his Chicago buildings. There are many other fine examples of his work in St Louis, Buffalo and New York.
Sully, Maximilien de Béthune, Duc de (1559–1641). French minister. Son of a Huguenot, Baron de Rosny, he fought for Henri of Navarre (*Henri IV of France) and became his chief friend and adviser. He approved Henri’s adoption of Roman Catholicism in order to become king. His first task was to restore the finances and economy by removing abuses in the collection of taxes. He strictly controlled expenditure, reduced tax exemptions and re-established former taxes; he fostered agriculture and industry and the building of roads and canals. He was made a duke for negotiating Henri’s marriage with *Marie de Medicis (1606). When he retired after Henri’s assassination he had amassed a huge surplus in the treasury.
Sully-Prudhomme, René François Armand (1839–1907). French poet. He studied science and philosophy in Paris, and his earlier poems are permeated with melancholy. His later long poems are La Justice (1878) and Le Bonheur (1888), concerned with philosophic and scientific theories. In this he resembled the Roman poet *Lucretius, whom he translated (1866). He also wrote in prose. He was a leader of the Parnassians, a group which reacted against Romanticism and revived classical detachment. Elected to the Académie française in 1881, he was chosen for the first Nobel Prize for Literature (1901), against a weak field of nominees (mostly French), and is now completely forgotten.
Sumner, Charles (1811–1874). American Republican politician. A lawyer and US Senator from Massachusetts 1851–74, he was one of the most ardent and eloquent speakers against slavery and, in a famous speech, attacked the Kansas-Nebraska Act for creating opportunities for the expansion of slavery. In May 1856 Preston Brooks, Congressman from South Carolina, beat him savagely around the head, in the Senate chamber, with a heavy cane, which shattered, and Sumner took more than three years to recover. (Brooks received a modest fine, resigned from Congress, was triumphantly re-elected then died suddenly.) After the Civil War, Sumner was among the strongest advocates of punishment for the south and of harsh terms for aid in reconstruction.
Sunderland, 2nd Earl of, Robert Spencer (1641–1702). English statesman, born in Paris. As Secretary of State 1679–88 under *Charles II and *James II, he negotiated the secret treaty under which, in return for an annual pension from *Louis XIV, England was to become subservient to France. He was *James II’s closest adviser and secretly adhered to the Roman Catholic faith, but at the same time conferred with William of Orange (*William III) and became his Lord Chamberlain 1695–99. His son, Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland (1674–1722), was a Whig politician. In 1700 he married Anne Churchill, *Marlborough’s daughter. He once had republican sympathies, was part of the Whig ‘Junto’ under Queen *Anne (who disliked him) and established a working relationship with her prospective successor, the future *George I. First Lord of the Treasury 1718–21, he promoted the South Sea Company and was accused, probably wrongly, of accepting a bribe of £50,000 in company stock. Although acquitted of bribery, he was forced to resign and Robert *Walpole succeeded him. Described as a ‘singularly unattractive personage’, with a violent manner, he was shrewd, a quick thinker, a great bibliophile (17,000 books) and patron of music. Recent historians conclude that he may even have been honest. Charles Spencer, 5th Earl of Sunderland (1706–1758), became 3rd Duke of Marlborough on the death of his aunt Henrietta in 1733 and was an ancestor of Winston *Churchill.
Kenyon, J. P., Robert Spencer, Earl of Sunderland. 1958.
Sun-tzu (4th century BCE). Chinese warrior-philosopher, born in the State of Ch’i (now Shantung). Presumably a follower of Daoism (Taoism), he was the reputed author of The Art of War (Ping-fa), a short, shrewd and timeless analysis which emphasises the political aspects of war. *Mao Zedong read it closely, especially the maxim: ‘To win without fighting is best’. He led the armies of the State of Wu.
Sun Yatsen (Sun Zhongshan) (1866–1925). Chinese revolutionary politician, born near Canton (Guangzhou). His parents were Christian peasants and he became influenced by western ideas at a missionary school in Honolulu (1878–83). Afterwards he took a medical degree (1892) at Hong Kong and practised at Macao and in Canton. There he began his revolutionary activities, but the failure of the first of a series of plots forced him to live in exile in Japan, the US and England. In London (1896) he was kidnapped and confined in the Chinese Embassy. He would, in all probability, have been murdered there had he not contrived to send a letter to a former English tutor. Many plots instigated by Sun from abroad failed, but finally a mutiny at Hangzhou (1911) spread so quickly that in 1912 the boy emperor Xuantong (*Pu-yi) abdicated. Sun was briefly President of the new republic but had to retire in favour of *Yuán Shìkai, the general who had the victorious army at his back, and rapidly assumed the role of dictator with ambitions to become Emperor. In the year of Yuán’s death (1916), Sun returned from enforced exile to Canton where he became President of a new republic of the south, which had split from the militant north. There he tried to put into practice the Three People’s Principles (lectures published in book form after his death). These were Nationalism (by which he meant the abolition of European exploitation and the unification of the many peoples of China), Democracy (a gradual approach under the guidance of a single party, the Guomintang, to constitutional government), and Livelihood (the welfare of the masses was to be the first care of the state). He did not live to see the reunification of China, but in his last years he became increasingly ready to accept guidance and help from Communist Russia. This caused a split in the Guomintang after his death. Both the Guomintang and the Communists united in revering Sun as founder of the republic. His widow, Song Chingling (1895–1981), sister of *Chiang’s wife, was Vice President of the People’s Republic of China 1949–81, a supporter of *Zhou and critic of *Mao. She never joined the CCP.
Schriffrin, H. Z., Sun Yat-Sen and the Origins of the Chinese Revolution. 1968.
Supervia, Conchita (1895–1936). Spanish mezzo-soprano, born in Barcelona. An outstanding Carmen, with a magnetic stage presence, unforgettable vibrato and excellent diction, she made many recordings. She died in childbirth in London.
Suppé, Franz von (1819–1895). Austrian composer, born in Dalmatia. Son of Belgian and Polish parents, and a distant relative of *Donizetti, he lived in Vienna from 1835. He wrote music for ballet, chamber music and some sacred works, but his reputation was mainly based on his 26 successful operettas, including Poet and Peasant (1846), Light Cavalry (1866) and Boccaccio (1879).
Suraja Dowlah (d.1757). Nawab of Bengal. After his attack (1756) on the British settlement of Calcutta, his imprisonment of over 100 Europeans caused their death by suffocation in the notorious ‘Black Hole’. Quick retribution came when his forces were routed by Robert *Clive at Plassey (1757).
Surrey, Henry Howard, Earl of (c.1517–1547). English poet. Son of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk, he attended *Henry VIII at the Field of the Cloth of Gold and long remained in favour at court, even after the execution of his cousin, *Catherine Howard. Eventually, however, he was tried and executed on a trumped-up charge of treason. Blank verse, introduced by him for a translation of *Virgil, was an adaptation of one of *Chaucer’s metres. He can also share with *Wyatt the credit for bringing to England the Petrarchan sonnet. His poems were first printed, with those of Wyatt and others, in Tottel’s Miscellany (1557). Many of his love poems were written to ‘the fair Geraldine’, a daughter of the 9th Earl of Kildare.
Chapman, H. W., Two Tudor Portraits. 1960.
Surtees, Robert Smith (1805–1864). English sporting writer. He made a name by the magazine sketches collected as Jorrocks’ Jaunts and Jollities (1838). After inheriting his father’s estate (1838) he was able to live the life of a country gentleman while continuing to write. A series of sporting novels resulted, of which Handley Cross (1843) is the best known; nearly all were illustrated by either Leech or ‘Phiz’.
Suslov, Mikhail Andreivich (1902–1982). Russian politician and theorist. A peasant’s son, he joined the Communist Party in 1921, was active in *Stalin’s purges and became the leading Cominform propagandist. He served on the Politburo 1952–53 and 1955–82, and was regarded as the leading Soviet ideologist.
Sutherland, Graham Vivian (1903–1980). English painter. While an engineering apprentice he started art night classes in London. He first turned his talents to etching and engraving but from 1935 he devoted himself to painting. Influenced by *Blake, Samuel *Palmer and the Surrealists, he produced Pembrokeshire landscapes in which fantastic and sinister-looking plant and insect forms dominate. After working as a war artist in World War II he painted vigorous and original portraits of Somerset *Maugham, Lord *Beaverbrook and Sir Winston *Churchill (the last, disliked by the subject, being destroyed by his family). He designed the altar tapestry, Christ in Majesty, for the new Coventry Cathedral. He received the OM in 1960.
Sutherland, Dame Joan (Alston) (1926–2010). Australian dramatic soprano, born in Sydney. She made her debut at Covent Garden, London in the Magic Flute (1952). In 1954 she married the conductor Richard (Alan) Bonynge (1930– ). She became internationally famous after her performance as Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor at Covent Garden (1959), followed by immediate success in Paris, New York, and Milan. After she sang the title role in *Händel’s opera Alcina in Venice in 1960 she was dubbed ‘La Stupenda’. Her bel canto style was a major element in the revival of operas by *Händel, *Bellini and *Donizetti. She was awarded the OM in 1991.
Major, N., Joan Sutherland. 1987.
Sutter, Joe (Joseph Frederick) (1921–2016). American aircraft engineer and designer, born in Seattle. He was chief designer of the Boeing 747 (‘Jumbo’) which first flew in 1970. By 1992, one billion people had travelled on the 747.
Suttner, Bertha Felicita Sophie, Baroness von (née Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau) (1843–1914). Czech-Austrian pacifist and novelist, born in Prague. Daughter of a field marshal, as a young woman she embraced her family’s military tradition, then became a determined campaigner for various peace movements. She persuaded Alfred *Nobel to establish a Peace Prize and in 1901 received 14 nominations for the first award. Ultimately she was nominated 101 times and in 1905 became the first female Nobel Laureate.
Suu Kyi, Aung San see Aung San Suu Kyi
Suvorov, Aleksandr Vasilyevich (1730–1800). Russian marshal. Of Swedish descent, although sickly and small, he fulfilled his ambition by starting service as a soldier in the ranks at the age of 15. After gaining distinction in the Seven Years’ War (1756–63) and the Polish War (1768–71), he fought against the Turks (1773), crushed a rising in the Caucasus (1780) and in a second Turkish War won a great victory at Focsani (1789). He crushed *Kosciuszko’s nationalist rising in Poland (1794) and in the French Revolutionary Wars was sent to help the Austrians in Italy (1799). After several successes against the French in Italy he was ordered to join Korsakov in Switzerland, the march over the Alps involved his troops in terrible hardships and losses and he arrived to find that Korsakov had already been defeated by Massena. Suvorov extricated his troops with difficulty to Austria. He died soon after returning to St Petersburg. Never defeated in battle, he was known for his many eccentricities and beloved by his troops. *Stalin created the Order of Suvorov in 1943.
Suzman, Helen (née Gavronsky) (1917–2009). South African politician. Daughter of a Lithuanian migrant, she became a statistician and academic and was a member of the South African House of Assembly 1953–89 (United Party until 1961, then a Progressive). She pursued a lonely criticism of apartheid and violation of human rights, received many awards including an Hon. DBE (1989), and wrote memoirs, In No Uncertain Terms (1993).
Suzuki Daisetz Teitaro (1870–1966). Japanese Zen Buddhist. He was the leading modern authority on Buddhism, with a particular interest in the Zen form. He wrote over 100 books or major studies on religious topics in both Japanese and English.
Sverdlov, Yakov Mikhailovich (real name Y. M. Nakhamkes) (1885–1919). Russian Communist politician. A professional revolutionary from the age of 17, he was exiled to the Arctic, escaped several times and became *Lenin’s closest collaborator. After the Revolution he held three important posts 1917–19: Chairman of the All-Russian Executive Committee of Soviets and virtual head of state, General Secretary of the Bolshevik Party, and Commissar for Internal Security. He ordered the execution of the imperial family in Ekaterinburg (later renamed Sverdlovsk). He died of typhus.
Svevo, Italo (Ettore Schmitz) (1861–1928). Italian author, born in Trieste. Of Jewish origin, his early novels based on personal experience A Life (1892) and As a Man Grows Older (1898) failed to attract, and for many years Svevo abandoned writing. He resumed with his masterpiece The Confessions of Zeno (1923) which brought some appreciation, maintained by at least one critical study. He was a friend of James *Joyce.
Svinhufvud, Pehr Evind (1861–1937). Finnish politician. He was a lawyer and judge in the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, strongly resistant to Russian authoritarianism, becoming speaker of the Finnish Parliament 1907–12. When Finland declared its independence from Russia, Svinhufvud was the first State Regent 1918, and sought to establish a constitutional monarchy. He returned to politics as Prime Minister 1930–31 and President 1931–36.
Swammerdam, Jan (1637–1680). Dutch biologist. One of his major areas of interest was animal physiology, and he adhered to the mechanical philosophy, seeking to apply Cartesian (*Descartes) models of explanation to the action of the lungs, the heart, the respiratory system. Experiments on dogs demonstrated the contractility of muscles, even when separated from the body. In these and other instances his work was aiming to demonstrate the purely mechanical nature of bodily action, independent of transcendental principles like ‘spirits’ or ‘virtues’. Swammerdam’s other field of expertise was in the microscopic study of lower animals. He was one of the first naturalists to find insects worthy of scientific study. He made detailed studies of the development of insects within the chrysalis, and showed the life history of the butterfly and the dragonfly. He sought to refute the view that insects generate spontaneously (the making of something out of nothing seemed to him both unscientific and also contrary to his religious belief in the order of the world).
Swan, Sir Joseph Wilson (1828–1914). English inventor. A manufacturing chemist by profession, he invented, 20 years before *Edison (1860), an experimental carbon filament electric lamp which, however, was not commercially in production until he improved it (1881). He patented (1883) a process for carbon-filament production that revolutionised the manufacture of electric lamps. He also made a number of inventions of great practical value in the field of photography. A fast gelatin emulsion, for example, confirmed the supremacy of the dryplate technique. Many improvements in photographic printing were also due to him. He was elected FRS in 1894 and knighted 10 years later.
Swedenborg (originally Svedberg), Emanuel (1688–1772). Swedish scientist and theologian, born in Stockholm. At first employed by *Charles XII as an assessor in the College of Mines, he gained a seat in the House of Nobles when his family was ennobled (1719). Meanwhile he wrote on all kinds of mathematical, mechanical and scientific subjects (sometimes anticipating later discoveries) on the calculus, on finding longitude at sea, on tides, decimal coinage and the planetary system, on the atom as a vortex of particles etc. His study of geology and palaeontology led him to a theory of creation, published in the Opera Philosophica et Mineralia (3 volumes, 1734). In other works, e.g. The Animal Kingdom (1745), he treats, among many other subjects, of anatomy, human and zoological, and eventually explores the relationship of body and soul. By this time his inquiries as a scientist were beginning to merge with his visionary speculations as a seer. He believed that in 1745 direct personal insight into the world of the spirit was conferred upon him to enable him to reveal the true sense of the Bible. In his Heavenly Arcana (8 volumes, 1749–56) he gives the first two books of the Bible an allegorical and symbolic meaning. In the following years he had further visions and published some 40 theological books, including The Christian Religion (1771) which systematically presents the theology that had appeared piecemeal in earlier writings. The essence of Swedenborg’s theology is his view of *Jesus Christ whom he sees, not as a Person of the Trinity, but as a human possessed of a divine soul. He spent several of his last years in London where he died. He had organised no sect but the ‘New Church’ based on his doctrines was founded in London some 15 years after his death, and still has followers in Britain and elsewhere.
Jonsson, I., Emanuel Swedenborg. 1971.
Sweelinck, Jan Pieterszoon (1562–1621). Dutch composer, organist and teacher. Enormously prolific, especially with vocal works, he was a famous organist who rarely left Amsterdam.
Sweyn Forkbeard (or Swegen) (960–1014). King of Denmark 986–1014, and of England 1013–14. In revenge for the death of his sister, who perished in the massacre of St Brice’s Day (1002) organised by *Æthelred the Unready, he attacked and ravaged England repeatedly and just before his death was recognised as King but not crowned. He was succeeded by his son *Cnut.
Swift, Jonathan (1667–1745). Anglo-Irish satirist, novelist, essayist, poet and cleric, born in Dublin. His father, a lawyer, kinsman of *Dryden, died before his birth, and after his mother, kinsman of *Herrick, returned to England he was brought up by his father’s family. Educated at Kilkenny College, and Trinity College, Dublin, after the Glorious Revolution of 1688 he joined his mother in England and became secretary to her relative Sir William *Temple at his Surrey home of Moor Park. He remained there with intervals (during one of which he took Anglican orders in Ireland) until Temple’s death (1699). There he wrote The Battle of the Books (classics v. moderns), which was published (1704) with A Tale of a Tub, a satire on religious humbug and corruption which effectively barred him from the highest offices in the Church. At Temple’s house, too, he first met Esther Johnson, then a child of eight, to whom he later wrote the famous Journal to Stella (1710–13), which gives, mostly in childish language, an intimate account of his London life. The nature of the bond between them is one of those literary mysteries that many have probed: they may even have married though it seems clear that despite mutual dependence and devotion they had no sexual relations. Similar doubts concern Hester Vanhomrigh, the heroine of Cadenus (anagram of decanus, ‘dean’) and Vanessa. She loved him passionately, but, having encouraged her, he rejected her and broke her heart. Swift was the most formidable political satirist of his time, working closely with the Tories 1710–14, contributing to the fall of *Marlborough. He offended Queen Anne, who thought A Tale of a Tub blasphemous, by offering gratuitous advice on her household arrangements, and his appointment as Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, 1713–45 was virtual exile, although he made brief visits to his friends Alexander *Pope and John *Gay. The Whigs returned to power in 1714.
Some of his best known tracts and treatises were written during this period, many, including Drapier’s Letters (1724), protesting against the grievances under which Ireland suffered. Samuel *Johnson judged him harshly in his Lives of the Poets, but his poems are clear, direct, using vernacular speech. The most famous of all his works, Gulliver’s Travels, part fairytale, part satire, appeared in 1726. His A Modest Proposal (1729) suggested selling children of the poor to be eaten (recipes being provided). He had long suffered acutely from Ménière’s syndrome and years of agonising decline followed a stroke in 1738. Stella died in 1728. Swift long suffered acutely from Ménière’s syndrome and years of agonising decline followed a stroke in 1738. He was buried beside Stella in St Patrick’s. His epitaph on the nearby wall reads ‘Ubi sæva Indignatio/ Ulterius/ Cor lacerare nequit’ (‘Where savage indignation can lacerate his heart no more’). He left his estate to found a hospital in Dublin for the mentally ill, which survives. But he remained a frustrated and unhappy man and something of an enigma to his contemporaries and to later generations. Everything he wrote was published anonymously and, except for Gulliver which earned him £200, he received no payment.
Murry, J. M., Jonathan Swift: A Critical biography. 1955; Stathis, J. J., A Bibliography of Swift Studies. 1967; Steele, P., Jonathan Swift. Preacher and Jester. 1978; Glendinning, V., Jonathan Swift. 1998; Damrosch, L., Jonathan Swift. His Life and His World. 2013; Stubbs, J., Jonathan Swift. The Reluctant Rebel. 2016.
Swinburne, Algernon Charles (1837–1909). English poet and writer, born in London. Educated at Eton and Oxford he became a friend of *Landor, *Meredith, *Rossetti and *Morris. The publication of his Poems and Ballads (1865), with their sensual rhythms, pagan spirit and contempt for conventional morality, had aroused both enthusiasm and violent criticism. Songs Before Sunrise (1871) was inspired by *Mazzini’s republicanism; Tristram of Lyonesse (1882) and The Tale of Balen (1892) are his contribution to Arthurian legend. He wrote poetic dramas, including Atalanta in Calydon (1865) and an ambitious trilogy on *Mary Queen of Scots. His literary criticism, e.g. Essays and Studies (1875) and monographs on many individual writers, *Shakespeare, Victor *Hugo etc., display a characteristic over-emphasis, but are written with imagination and perception. An alcoholic and flagellant, in 1879 his health broke down under the strain of a dissipated life. His friend Theodore Watts-Dunton (1832–1914) took him into his home at No. 2, The Pines, Putney, where the bohemian rebel quietly spent the rest of his life. He was nominated 10 times for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Few poets have surpassed Swinburne in the composition of verbal music, but though he can still disturb he no longer shocks.
Fuller, J. O., Swinburne: A Critical Biography. 1968.
Swineshead, (or Suisset), Richard (known as ‘The Calculator’) (fl. c.1340–1355). English medieval philosopher and mathematician, possibly born in Glastonbury. He was at Merton College, Oxford, from about 1340, and wrote the important Liber calculatorium, an exhaustive treatise that provides techniques for calculating physical variables and their changes. Swineshead devotes attention to variables such as density and rarity, action and reaction, constant speed and acceleration, forces and resistances in a medium. His English ‘calculatory’ tradition exercised notable influence on the development of physical studies, especially on *Oresme. He became a Cistercian monk.
It is probable that Roger Swineshead (or Swyneshead) (d.1365), a Benedictine monk, logician and physicist, was at Oxford at the same time as Richard but they are assumed to be different persons. He wrote logical treatises and a work in physics De Motibus Naturalibus.
Weisheipl, J. A., ‘Roger Swyneshead’, in Oxford Studies Presented to Daniel Callus. 1964.
Swithin (or Swithun), St (d.862). English prelate. A man of great piety, he built many churches and for the last 10 years of his life was Bishop of Winchester. When his body was transferred from the churchyard to the cathedral itself (971), tradition says that heavy rain delayed the exhumation, which was to have taken place on 15 July. The belief that rain on St Swithin’s Day portends a long rainy spell can be traced to this event.
Swynford, Catherine (née Roelt) (1350?–1403). English noblewoman. After the death of her first husband, Sir Hugh Swynford, she became the mistress of *John of Gaunt. They married in 1394, their children being legitimised under the name of *Beaufort. Her son, Sir Thomas Beaufort, was one of the murderers of *Richard II. Her sister Philippa married Geoffrey *Chaucer.
Sydenham, Thomas (1624–1689). English physician. The founder of modern clinical medicine, his studies at Oxford were interrupted by service with the parliamentarian forces, but from 1655 (though he did not obtain a licence to do so until 1663) he practised as a physician in Westminster and was thus able to study the fevers arising from the marshes of St James’s Park. The great plague (1665) provided another exacting test of his medical skill. As his fame grew he got to know John *Locke, Robert *Boyle and other scholars and scientists of the time. He recognised that the physician’s task was to assist nature in its constant efforts to eliminate morbid matter or render it harmless. Thus his task was to study the disease in relation to the particular patient. Some of his descriptions (e.g. of gout, based on his own symptoms) are classics of medical literature; convulsions of children are still known as Sydenham’s chorea. He was not afraid to do nothing if he felt that he could not render effective help, and his prescription of fresh air, few coverings and a light diet for fevers was almost revolutionary.
Sydney, Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount (1733–1801). English politician, born in Norfolk. Grandson of ‘Turnip’ *Townsend, educated at Cambridge, he was a Whig MP 1754–83 and a critic of the American war. As Home Secretary and Colonial Secretary 1782–83; 1783–89, he was a patron of Arthur *Phillip. When the first settlers reached New South Wales (1788), the capital was named for Sydney.
Sydow, Max (Carl Adolf) von (1929–2020). Swedish actor. Educated at the Royal Dramatic Theatre School, Stockholm, he had a long stage career, then appeared in 114 films, 11 directed by Ingmar *Bergman.
Syme, Sir Ronald (1903–1989). British historian, born in New Zealand. His The Roman Revolution (1939) was a powerful analysis of how *Augustus seized power and crushed dissent while preserving a republican facade. He became Camden professor of ancient history at Oxford 1949–70, and wrote biographies of *Tacitus (2 vols, 1958), *Sallust (1964), and The Augustan Aristocracy (1986). Considered to be the greatest 20th-century historian of ancient Rome, he received the OM in 1976.
Symington, William (1763–1831). Scottish engineer. He made early experiments in applying steam power to ships and patented (1801) a horizontal direct-acting steam engine that he fitted to the tug Charlotte Dundas on the Forth-Clyde canal. This was the first effective steamboat but, though it towed two coal barges 19 miles in six hours, its adoption was rejected for spurious reasons. A further plan to introduce steam-powered tugs on the Bridgewater Canal ended in disappointment when the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater died (1803). Symington died in poverty.
Symonds, John Addington (1840–1893). English man of letters. His Studies of the Greek Poets (1873) was followed by the notable The Renaissance in Italy (1875–86). He translated Benvenuto *Cellini’s autobiography, and the sonnets of *Michelangelo, whose biography he also wrote (2 volumes, 1893). He wrote several volumes of poetry, and studies of Ben *Jonson and *Shelley.
Symons, A(lphonse) J(ames) A(lroy) (1900–1941). English writer. He was remembered almost solely for an astonishing piece of literary detection, The Quest for Corvo (1934), which revived interest in the eccentric novelist Frederick *Rolfe, Baron Corvo.
Symons, Arthur William (1865–1945). British critic and poet. By his translations and studies of *Baudelaire and by The Symbolist Movement in Literature (1899) he was largely responsible for introducing the work of this French literary school to English readers. His other books include The Romantic Movement in English Poetry (1909) and several volumes of essays and poems. In 1909, he suffered a psychotic breakdown, which reduced his output for two decades.
Synge, John Millington (1871–1909). Irish playwright, born near Dublin. After living in Paris (1895–1902), where he met *Yeats, he returned to Ireland and made several visits to the Aran Islands, studying folk speech and culture. This study provided him with the setting for his plays, the first two of which, In the Shadow of the Glen (1903) and Riders to the Sea (1904), brought him into close association with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. There followed The Well of the Saints (1905) and his great comedy The Playboy of the Western World (1907). His tragic verse-drama Deirdre of the Sorrows was unfinished when he died. His influence upon succeeding Irish playwrights was immense.
Skelton, R., The Writings of J. M. Synge. 1971.
Syngman Rhee see Rhee, Syngman
Szálasi, Ferencz (1897–1946). Hungarian fascist. An extreme Hungarian nationalist (curious because his ancestry was Armenian, Slovak, German and Hungarian), in 1935 he founded a fascist party, renamed Arrow Cross in 1939. Installed in power by the Germans in October 1944, the Arrow Cross regime murdered many thousands of Hungarians (mostly Jews) and Szálasi was executed for war crimes.
Szell, George (1897–1970). Hungarian-American conductor, born in Budapest. A juvenile prodigy as a pianist, he made his debut as a conductor in Berlin (1914) and became a protégé of Richard *Strauss and Arturo *Toscanini. Chief Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, New York, 1942–45, he directed the Cleveland Orchestra 1946–70 and raised it to the first rank, also making many recordings.
Szent-Györgyi (de Nagyrápolt), Albert (1893–1986). Hungarian-American physiologist, born in Budapest. Educated at Semmelweis and Cambridge universities, he is credited with isolating Vitamin C and explaining the citric acid cycle, for which he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1937. Active in the Hungarian Resistance during World War II, he entered Hungarian politics briefly after the war, but migrated to the US in 1947.
Szigeti, József (1892–1973). Hungarian-Jewish violinist, born in Budapest. Encouraged by *Joachim, *Ysaÿe and *Busoni, he toured with *Melba, worked closely with *Bartók, and was admired for his fine intellect. He lived in the US during World War II and died in Switzerland.
Szilard, Leo (1898–1964). Hungarian-American physicist, born in Budapest. He studied in Germany, lived in England from 1934 and the US from 1937. He wrote pioneering papers on information theory (1929) and the theory of nuclear chain reaction (1934). He drafted *Einstein’s letter to President *Roosevelt (October 1939) which led to the ‘Manhattan Project’ and nuclear weapons. He worked with *Fermi in Chicago on the original ‘atomic pile’ and on developing the atomic bomb, although opposing its use against civilian targets. Professor of biophysics at Chicago 1946–53, he had extraordinary insight into a variety of scientific areas but did little sustained research or publication.
Lanouette, W., Genius in the Shadows. 1993.
Szymanowski, Karol Maciej (1882–1937). Polish composer. Director of the Warsaw Conservatoire 1926–28; 1930–32, his early works are individual, despite their eclectic romantic blend of influences (*Wagner, Richard *Strauss, *Scriabin, *Debussy, *Ravel). Later studying Polish folk music strongly affected his compositions. His works include his three symphonies; piano and chamber works, e.g. The Fountain of Arethusa for violin and piano; operas, e.g. King Roger (1926); two violin concertos; and Stabat Mater for soloists, chorus and orchestra. A victim of homophobia, he also suffered from tuberculosis and died in Lausanne.
Szymborska, Wisława (1923–2012). Polish poet. She won the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature for her elegant, subtle but penetrating verse, hailed as Mozartian by enthusiasts. Volumes of her poems include Views with a Grain of Sand (1995).