Sunday, August 1, 2010

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it." ~Russel Baker

"Starry, starry night/ flaming flowers that brightly blaze..." Don McLean

So, it appears that Lydia Mitchell of Nantucket gave birth to a daughter on this day in 1818, and named her Maria. Three score years & ten she'd be allotted. during which she'd study the stars so capably that she would become a professor of astronomy. An observatory, naturally enough, a liberty ship, and a lunar crater would bear her name.
It's a safe wager that M.M. would have heard this bit of poetry some English lady wrote: "The boy stood on the burning deck/Whence all but he had fled/The flame that lit the battle's wreck/Shown 'round him o'er the dead." Me, I heard it recited on an episode of Mapp & Lucia. Anyway, I just found out that said battle occurred at the mouth of the Nile on this date in 1798. Many a French & British sailor suffered terribly and/or died that first of August and Admiral Horatio Nelson had glorious victory. Napoleon Bonaparte, not so much.

Just for you to know.

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