In the third episode of the podcast series Legends and Lore of the Empire State, A New York Minute In History explores the inspirations behind Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820). [Read more…] about The Inspiration Behind Ichabod Crane And The Headless Horseman (Podacst)
The Empire State Center for the Book has decided to postpone its annual event honoring inductees to the New York State Writers Hall of Fame due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The group said the decision was made in consultation with its co-sponsor and collaborator the New York State Writers Institute at the State University at Albany. Organizers say it will be the first time in 11 years the induction ceremony has not taken place. [Read more…] about NYS Writers Hall of Fame Induction Postponed
On March 25, 1833, the celebrated Shakespearian actor Edmund Kean collapsed on stage at London’s Covent Garden while playing the role of Othello. He died shortly thereafter.
Sixteen days later, New York-born Ira Frederick Aldridge – known as the ‘Negro Tragedian’ – was asked to replace him as the Moor. His chequered career in England coincided with the final push towards the abolition of the slave trade there. [Read more…] about New York’s Black Othello, Ira Aldridge
In the first edition of his Dictionary of the English Language (1755) the term lexicographer is defined by Samuel Johnson as a ‘harmless drudge that busies himself in … detailing the signification of words’. A dunce, in other words. Really?
Born in New York, George Washington Matsell was the son of an immigrant family from Helhoughton (near Fakenham), Norfolk. His father ran a bookshop on Broadway. Following in his footsteps, George opened up his own premises on Chatham Street, Manhattan (renamed Park Row in 1886). A man of words (in 1866 he acquired ownership of the National Police Gazette), he also took an interest in matters of law and order. He became a magistrate in 1840 and was appointed the first Commissioner of the New York City Police Department after its formation in 1844. [Read more…] about Words From Underground: Madness and the OED
“Whether Binghamton appreciates good music and other cultural programs was a matter of dispute today.” This observation in The Binghamton Press on May 3, 1946 arose when the newspaper interviewed residents about an upcoming music festival.
If the newspaper had conducted the same interview when Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, and Hazel Scott presented their “cultural programs” one year earlier, there would not have been many negative responses. As the Second World War drew to a close, the city welcomed three iconic African American artists. [Read more…] about Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, and Hazel Scott in 1940s Binghamton
Daniel Defoe’s The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (1722) is the story of the notorious life and ultimate repentance of a woman who lived much of her adult life as a prostitute and thief. Set in London, the novel reflects immigrant urban life. It’s a tale told by a woman who does not reveal her real name, but to fellow streetwalkers she is known as Moll Flanders.
She was just six months old when her mother was imprisoned for stealing three pieces of fine “Holland” (imported Dutch fabric) from a draper in Cheapside. The baby was “sold” and spent time in the company of “gypsies” before running off as a child ending up in Colchester. The story starts amid the textile industry of Colchester and Norwich, noted for its refugees from the Low Countries. [Read more…] about Moll Flanders in Manhattan (Daniel Defoe and Martin Scorcese)
This week on The Historians Podcast, Marta McDowell discusses her book about a 19th century American poet, Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life. McDowell was gardener-in-residence last year at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. [Read more…] about Emily Dickinson’s Gardening Life
A large-scale video projection on UAlbany’s Science Library will celebrate the unique cultural history of the Capital Region and Albany’s contribution to film and literary history.
Using sophisticated computer 3-D mapping and high-performance projectors, the projection mapping display will illuminate the 195-foot wide, 45-foot high exterior of the building, located on the University’s Washington Avenue uptown campus.
The Saratoga County Historical Society, as part of their Long Room Lecture Series, will present a program entitled “Historical Fiction and Fictional History: Translating the Past in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans” on Thursday, November 21th at 7 PM at Brookside Museum, 6 Charlton Street, Ballston Spa.
Elaina Frulla, of SUNY Albany will discuss how the time Cooper spent in Ballston Spa amidst the socio-political climate of the 1820s influenced his depiction of the heroes and villains of The Last of the Mohicans, which is set during the French and Indian War, 70 years earlier. [Read more…] about James Fenimore Cooper Lecture in Saratoga County
The Jeanne Robert Foster papers are available at The Adirondack Research Library of Union College. Jeanne Robert Foster (1879-1970), born Julia Elizabeth Oliver in the Adirondacks, had numerous vocations during her lifetime: fashion model, literary editor, poet, and social worker. During the 1920s, she became immersed in European literary and artistic circles, including a friendship with Irish poet William Butler Yeats. [Read more…] about Featured Records: The Jeanne Robert Foster Papers