Sunday, July 31, 2022

July 31: Lammas Eve

July 31, 1994, South Bend. After a visit to Target at which I ordered a Frozen Coke in the café, I saw Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet for the first time. I wrote, “It really is a good story. The actor who played Romeo was seventeen when it was filmed.” I noticed Leonardo DiCaprio but I didn’t know his name yet. 

According to Shakespeare, July 31st or Lammas Eve is Juliet Capulet’s birthday:

Nurse. Even or odd, of all days in the year,

Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen.

Susan and she—God rest all Christian souls!—

Were of an age: well, Susan is with God;

She was too good for me: but, as I said,

On Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen;

That shall she, marry; I remember it well.

Saturday, July 31, 2010, Mishawaka: Tit and I went to Battell Park for a free, open-air performance of The Taming of the Shrew by Notre Dame’s The Young Company. It was positively delightful. It had been too long since Tit and I had seen live Shakespeare. 

Monday, July 4, 2022

July 4th in Literary History

July 4, 1804: Nathaniel Hawthorne is born. 


Haw"thorn`, n. Etym: [AS. hagaborn, hæg. See Haw a hedge, and Thorn.]


Defn: A thorny shrub or tree (the Cratægus oxyacantha), having deeply lobed, shining leaves, small, roselike, fragrant flowers, and a fruit called haw. It is much used in Europe for hedges, and for standards in gardens. The American hawthorn is Cratægus cordata, which has the leaves but little lobed.

“Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade To shepherds” - Shak.

(Webster's Unabridged Dictionary by Various: Public domain in the USA.)

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July 4, 1845: “I began to occupy my house on the 4th of July, as soon as it was boarded and roofed, for the boards were carefully feather-edged and lapped, so that it was perfectly impervious to rain; but before boarding I laid the foundation of a chimney at one end, bringing two cartloads of stones up the hill from the pond in my arms.”

- Walden

July 4, 1862: Lewis Carroll writes in his diary, “July 4 (F) Atkinson brought over to my rooms some friends of his, a Mrs. & Miss Peters, of whom I took photographs, & who afterwards looked over my albums & staid to lunch. They then went off to the Museum, & Duckworth & I made an expedition up the river to Godstow with the 3 Liddells: we had tea on the bank there, & did not reach Ch. Ch. Again till ¼ past 8, when we took them on to my rooms to see my collection of micro-photographs, & restored them to the Deanery just before 9.” 

The little expedition rowing on the Thames with Alice Liddell and her two sisters near Christ Church (Ch. Ch.), Oxford, was the beginning of the author’s inspiration for writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland