"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.
A cranky, quirky, funny dame, a cronette, divided in demeanor between fizzy optimism and dispirited melancholy (I treat the latter with new projects, the latest being an early-18th century gentleman's coat that I sewed for myself out of a length of blue denim, decorated w/ brass buttons.) An entertaining speaker I am, to many a gym or library full of students, a fine writer about dead people and things historical, a middling harmonica player and illustrator of many a book, 40 or so & counting.