Storyline: The uncloseted court jester howls out his never-ending songs of and to himself, and winds up an American icon for the centuries, after exhibiting his uninhibited ways on thrones past.

Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) - American poet. Outer: Father was a high school teacher and poet, mother was Russian émigré with political delusions, and eventually had to be carted off to an asylum, later killing herself. His older brother, Eugene Brooks, was also a poet. Raised in a Marxist milieu, but later rejected ideology for a fusion of art and consciousness. Went to Columbia Univ. where he met writer Jack Kerouac, whose New York apartment became a gathering place for a group of writer and poets who would form the nucleus of the Beats. Expelled after 2 years, he trained in the Merchant Marine, then completed college. Experienced a series of mystical visions in a Harlem apartment, while reading the poetry of William Blake and underwent psychoanalysis, including 8 months in the State Hospital for therapy. Worked as a market research consultant in New York and later in San Francisco. In the mid-1950s, he wrote Howl, which was a conscious imitation of Walt Whitman’s “barbaric yawp”, and became the anthem of alienation for his generation. Tried for obscenity, a legal canard he ultimately beat. An unabashed homophile and celebrator of the consciousness of the senses, he used drugs to grease his literary sensibilities. Experimented with LSD with defrocked scientist Timothy Leary, but after a tour of India with longtime lover and fellow poet Peter Orlovsky, he became enthralled with meditation and yoga as an alternate mode of reaching altered states. Strongly involved in the anti-war movement during the 1960s, becoming a familiar public figure with his long hair, beard and Uncle Sam hat. Visited Cuba during that decade, but statements criticizing the persecution of homophiles forced him to leave. Expelled from Czechoslovakia after being crowned King of the May by Czech students. Received a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry, and helped organize the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the first of the large hippie gatherings. During the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, he took part in the Festival of Light and while police were battling demonstrators, chanted “om,” to help quell the crowds. Later became involved with an alternate Buddhist institute of lower learning in Colorado, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Politics. A continual public figure during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, he eventually cut his long hair and re-emerged as an elder statesman of the power of conscious individuality. Most of his works were autobiographical, exploring his emotional self. Suffered for years from liver disease, and eventually succumbed to cancer, spending the last week of his life writing poetry and surrounded by longtime friends. Inner: Uninhibited, unconventional and unabashed, with a view of the Earth as a sublime stage for individual growth and expansion. Gregarious and exhibitionistic with an unquenchable wonder about the world. Also quaintly middle-class, dutifully calling home every Sunday. Polite, never cursed, and an inveterate list-maker and info compiler. Celebrator of the sexual and the spiritual, while continually trying to fuse the two. Self song-singing lifetime of successfully integrating his unique personality into his own strange times on his own terms. Walt Whitman (1819-1892) - American poet. Outer: Son of a carpenter and farmer, mother was barely literate. His quaker family had more than its share of oddities and tragedies. One of 9 children. Two brothers were mentally disturbed, another suffered from a terminal throat ailment, his mother died of cancer, and a sister had a fatal stomach disease. His family move to Brooklyn when he was 11, and he became a law office boy, followed by an apprenticeship to a typesetter, before becoming a journeyman in that trade. Moved back to Long Island, taught and started his own newspaper, then returned to New York to pursue a journalism career before heading down to New Orleans for several months to widen his experience. Disappeared for 5 years into the building trade as a carpenter, during which time he read the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson (Reinhold Niebuhr), which enflamed his own writing sensibilities, as he took on that sage as his symbolic mentor. His reputation was cemented with Leaves of Grass, which was gradually augmented through several editions, beginning in 1855. Linked sexuality with spirituality in his writings, while developing a unique, deceptively simple style. Despite being an unabashed homophile, he ultimately claimed paternity of 6 children. Continued with journalism, and poetic experimentation, so that he could be the high voice of commonality. Deeply involved in all the controversies of his day, with a wide range of political, cultural and social interests. Volunteered as a nurse in the Civil War, by which time he was famous, and was utterly horrified at what he saw. Lived in Washington D.C. for 11 years, working for the Dept. of the Interior, until its head read his book, and wanted nothing more to do with him. Defended as a “Good grey poet,” a sobriquet that stayed with him. Suffered a stroke and partial paralysis, and moved to a brother’s farm in New Jersey. Though enfeebled, he continued to write and travel, receiving much honor and recognition as the American poet of the 19th century. Visited by the eminent of the day, while being tended by a loyal housekeeper, who recorded his every utterance. Suffered a second stroke and died 4 years later. Inner. Celebrator of the spiritual and the heroic and himself. Recognized the power of his own sexuality, and became a mystic prophet of eroticism. Fascinated by opera and oratory, always wished to be a popular speaker. Master of language, able to meld the classical with the commonplace, seeing himself as the voice of commonality through his experiences and superior skills at rendering them into art. Self song-singing lifetime of successfully integrating his unique personality into his own times on his own terms, a posture he would repeat the next go-round in this series as well. Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) - English poet, playwright and essayist. Outer: 5th child of an Anglo-Irish clergyman. Suffered an attack of smallpox when young, which permanently disfigured him. His father over-stretched himself in a dowry for a sister and he had to be a sizar, or working poor, student at Trinity College in Dublin. Indifferent, unmannered and prone to misadventure, he, nevertheless was supported by relatives in his medical studies in Edinburgh. Quit after 2 years, to take a walking tour of the continent, and then settled in London in 1756 to become an impoverished writer, while claiming to have a medical degree. Contributed to journals, often writing anonymously, while starting one of his own, The Bee, which lasted 8 issues. Quickly transformed himself into a public personality worthy of wealthy patronage, as well as wise, witty and well-established cultural friends. His extravagant new lifestyle, however, caused him to do more and more hack work to support himself, including rewriting famous works and his/stories for popular consumption. Unmarried, with his sexuality and orientation completely hidden. Soon established himself in his own write, as well, with essays, poems, plays and novels, most notably The Vicar of Wakefield, showing a warmth, humor and simplicity in most of his works. Continually plagued by debts, despite his ability to generate money, often giving it away as soon as he earned it. Overworked, he died from a fever, after insisting on doctoring himself. Inner: Physically unattractive, vain, jealous, socially clumsy, but with the ability to be loved by others. Maintained a thick brogue all his life. Extravagant gambler, with no sense of money, but a great desire for fame. Brilliant on paper, inept off of it. Extravagant lifetime of continuing his cycle of forging his own unique personality, creating works worth remembering and trying to integrate them all into the larger world on his own terms. Matthew Prior (1664-1721) - English poet. Outer: Son of a Nonconformist carpenter. Removed from school at his father’s death, he went to work for an uncle in his wine house. Educated through the beneficence of a noble patron, who had been enchanted by his lively intelligence. Returned to school, learned how to comport himself most mannerly, and graduated from St. John’s College. Wrote witty verse, was very social, and after composing a biting parody with a partner, found himself fairly famous. Turned his fame into a diplomatic career as secretary to ambassador at the Hague that ultimately saw him forge a major treaty that came to be known as “Matt’s Peace,” which ended the Wars of the Spanish Succession in 1713. Matt’s real peace came in composing his lyrical writings, which were light, accurate, and perfectly writ. Placed under a year’s house arrest when the opposing party came to power in 1715. After his release, he paid half the purchase price for an estate and spent the rest of his unmarried life there, in increasing deafness. Inner: Self-made sycophant and opportunist with a genius for light verse, and a great charm to everything he did. Ambitious, socially dextrous, with an excellent ear for language. Light-hearted lifetime of integrating himself through ingratiation, and making the most of what was given him, preferring easy success to the challenges and rewards of personal growth, after having grown increasingly deaf to it. George Chapman (c1559-1634) - English poet and playwright. Outer: Little really known of his life. Probably studied at both Oxford and Cambridge. Worked for a wealthy commoner in London, then published poetry which dealt with the theme of the warrior-hero, before embarking on a career as a playwright, writing both comedies and tragedies. Translated Homer into English, which became the standard text for many years. Collaborated with John Marston (Kurt Vonnegut) and Ben Jonson (Norman Mailer) on a satire, which caused a brief imprisonment for all 3 in 1605 for insulting the king. Later, he regained court favor, and produced masques. Unmarried, with his sexuality and orientation hidden. Despite a prolific output and princely patronage, he was in financial difficulties his entire life, with far more of a developed esthetic than any sense of material responsibility or commercial ethic. Inner: Orderly and cerebral. Had a pronounced preoccupation with strong, virtuous men. Possessed superb self-confidence, but always wrote as if he were an onlooker, rather than a participant. Intellectual without the passion or personality to match his mind. Cerebral rather than sensual lifetime of eschewing the material for the esthetic, and bringing to life the classical myths of the past, while beginning his series of lives where the spiritual and self-singing loom far important than material success and acceptance. Henry Howard, earl of Surrey (c1517-1547) - English poet. Outer: Father (Joseph Kennedy, Jr.) became the third Duke of Norfolk when his eldest son was 7. Well-educated at home, learning several languages and doing translations, and in his early teens, he became companion to the young Duke of Richmond, who was an illegitimate son of Henry VIII (Maxwell Beaverbrook), and later married his sister. In 1532, he wed Frances de Vere, the daughter of the Earl of Oxford. 5 children from the union including Thomas Howard (Richard Nixon), the 4th Duke of Norfolk, who became a conspirator against the crown. Falsely accused of aiding a Catholic rebellion in 1536, despite having joined his father against them, he was confined at Windsor for 2 years, during which time he wrote most of his poetry. Also imprisoned for breaking windows in London as a protest. Proved himself a champion in court jousts in 1540, and saw his prospects improve, when his cousin, Catherine Howard (Sarah Ferguson), married the king, although she soon lost her head. Participated in several campaigns in the 1540s, in Scotland, Flanders and France, where he showed his bravery, although had questionable skills as a martial artist, despite being made a field marshal. Elected Knight of the Garter in 1541. His first published poem came the following year, when he wrote an epitaph for Thomas Wyatt (Jack Kerouac). Translated parts of Virgil’s (Ezra Pound) Aeneid into English. Along with Wyatt, he is credited with introducing the Italian sonnet form into the English language, limning love, chivalry and friendship in his verse. Posed a threat to the Seymour family, during the wrangling in the final days of Henry VIII, and was ultimately beheaded for treason on trumped-up charges. Most of his poetry was published a decade following his death. Inner: Good athlete, confrontational and aggressive, although with a refined sensibility. Recompense lifetime for earlier excesses upon hidden thrones, while making his literary mark in English, a language he would continue to explore to memorable effect. Edmund (?-1100) - Scottish king. Outer: Father was Malcolm III Caenmore (JFK), mother was his sire’s 2nd wife. Had numerous siblings and half-siblings. On the death of his sire and the heir designate, he sided with his deposed uncle, Donald Ban (Jack Kerouac), to replace his half-brother, Duncan II (John F. Kennedy, Jr.) on the throne, and took advantage of anti-Anglo/Norman feelings then prevalent, seizing the crown along with his uncle in 1094, when Duncan was killed by a local governor. Divided the kingdom, taking the southern half. Within 3 years, however, William II (Joseph Kennedy, Sr.), backed another of Malcolm’s son, Edgar (Robert Louis Stevenson), and made him king. Retired to an English monastery, and spent his last 3 years there. No marriage or children recorded. Inner: Usurping lifetime of brief rule, before hanging up his crowns to pursue more productive venues via his far more potent pen. Carinus (c250-285) - Roman Emperor. Outer: Father was Roman Emperor Carus (Jack Kerouac). Older brother of Numerian (Robert Louis Stevenson). Bi-sexual, with an unsavory reputation as a seducer of everyone in sight, while keeping the vilest of companions. Loved banquets and celebrations, and gave his licentious cronies positions of power. Married some nine times according to legend, while putting to death several wives who were pregnant, leaving one recorded son. Raised to the rank of Caesar in 282 when his father assumed the throne of Rome, but was left there when his father and younger brother went off to fight the Persians. Crowned with a laurel wreath and elevated to the rank of Augustus and co-emperor when his sire was victorious over the Persians in 283. Had a free-wheeling court, with actors, pantomimists, singers and gala celebrations galore, particularly of the orgiastic variety. When Carus died, both brothers succeeded him as joint emperors, Numerian in the east, himself in the west. Proved successful against the Germans, but then had to deal with a revolt and a rival general for his throne, Diocletian (Alfried Krupp). Although victory over Diocletian’s army seemed assured, he was assassinated by one of his senior officers, because he had seduced his wife. Inner: Sensualist supreme, as well as total tyrant. His later reputation suffered through the scribes of Diocletian, although his loose ways made him easy prey to the gossip of the time. Power-tripping lifetime of enjoying both sensual and martial pleasures, before going on to focus far more on his creative side in the Christian Era, to become an ongoing celebrator of all his senses.


Storyline: The double-barreled bard continually explores divided characters in his Jekyll/Hyde tales, including his own proclivities for the same, as he gradually turns himself inside out to become the sailor the earlier scholar could only dream about.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) - Scottish writer. Outer: Only son of a minister’s daughter who was often ill, and a prosperous lighthouse engineer. His grandfather had been England’s greatest builder of lighthouses, while his sickly early life was influenced by his mother’s hellfire Presbyterianism and superstitions. A storytelling nurse, with strong Calvinist convictions, filled his mind with tales ranging from bodysnatching to the Bible, and gave him a sense of wonderment about the world, and the love of female companionship. She also pumped him with coffee at midnight to get him to sleep, which fed further into the development of his perfervid imagination. Illness elongated his childhood, shredded his education, and gave him little real responsibility for his life, as his parents obsessed about his physical and spiritual well-being. Often tested his physical limitations. It was expected he join the family firm, but he showed no interest in it, then compromised himself with the study of law at Edinburgh Univ., but his real passion was for traveling and writing. Tall and excessively lean, with a genuine joie de vivre, that came from knowing he could die at any time. Despite differences with his family over religion and direction, he was supported by his father, who saw writing as no profession at all. Although called to the bar, he never practiced, and instead, heeded the call of the road. Collaborated with William Henley (Anthony Burgess), on several mediocre plays, and also tried his hand at reviews, essays and travelogues. Led a relatively bohemian existence in Edinburgh, London and France, where he had gone for his health, despite an ongoing addiction to tobacco. Met his future wife, Fanny Osbourne, an American 10 years his senior who was separated from her husband, and had 2 small children. Much to his parents’ horror, he followed Fanny to California in 1879, where he became deathly ill, but revived and married her in his late 20s. Explored his past self in a classic essay written on Samuel Pepys in 1881. Returned to Scotland, and began his first full length novel, Treasure Island. After more travel, and further bouts with TB in England, he continued writing, including, perhaps his best-known work, the dualistic paean to the divided self, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Set sail for America in 1887, finding himself, at last, quite famous for his writings. Took an old schooner across the Pacific and brought his family to the South Sea islands, where he was revered by the natives as a master storyteller, and continued his output, although he did not finish what might have been his finest work, a father-son contretemps called Weir of Hermiston. Bought an estate known as Vailima - the place of 5 waters. Despite fears of TB, he ultimately died 4 years later of a brain hemorrhage, and was buried at the summit of a 1300 foot high mountain. Inner: Obsessed with his own freedom. Spendthrift, perpetually broke until near end-life. Saw himself in heroic terms, constantly fighting illness, becoming a noble icon for many. Not completely realized lifetime of deliberately compensating for a weak body, with a strong heart and a taste for unconventionality, while working out his own dualities in his lasting fictions. T.H. White (Terence Hanbury White) (1906-1964) - English writer. Outer: Mother was extremely jealous, with a psychopathic personality, father was a policeman. Extremely unhappy childhood, parents were always fighting, and the duo often threatened to shoot one another, before finally divorcing when their son was 14. Filled with fears his entire life - of the dark, disease, death and the whole human race - although willing to confront them. Forced to retreat into himself, he was sent to his maternal grandmother’s home in England at 6, and was much happier there. A sense of inferiority at school compelled him to excel. Graduated with first class honors from Queen’s College, Cambridge, after taking a year off in Italy to recover from TB, thanks to the beneficence of his dons, and wrote his first novel there. Taught for a number of years, then turned to writing fulltime, living an existence largely on the interior. Made head of the English Dept. at Stowe School in 1932, and 4 years later, he resigned to live in a gamekeeper’s cottage on the school’s estate. Made himself into an authority on medieval life and legend. Best known for his tetrology, The Once and Future King, based on the Arthurian legends. Lived in Ireland during WW II, but was forced to leave at war’s end because of a neighbor’s distrust. Settled on the Channel Islands, with occasional lectures. Died of an acute coronary aboard ship while coming back from an American speaking tour. Inner: Quiet, scholarly, romantic. Had a strong aversion to women, thanks to his mother. Thought well of himself, and was always working on projects, Interior-oriented lifetime of dealing with the world by traveling the inner pathways of his imagination, and continually tilting at his fears with the same story-telling intensity he would later bring to his outer world travels, after going back in time to complete them. Matthew Lewis (Matthew Gregory Lewis) (1775-1818) - English writer. Outer: Mother was a celebrated beauty, daughter of the King’s Master of the Rolls. Father was a Deputy-Secretary of War who owned extensive property in the West Indies. His parents eventually separated, and he shared his allowance with his extravagant mother, with whom he had a very close connection. Educated at Westminster and Oxford for a diplomatic career, and also served as a member of Parliament for 6 years, although never addressed the House. Studied foreign languages and became an attaché to the British embassy at the Hague. 2 years later, in 1796, he published The Monk, which made him famous. The story concerned the duality of a saintly monk who falls into a life of depravity through the seduction of a fiendish woman. After charges of irreligion and immorality were brought against the work, he brought out a less offensive 2nd edition. Did translations, and wrote novels and verse, as well as plays, with a particular affinity for sending his audiences into fits of hysteria or fainting. Met and influenced writer Walter Scott (Jack Kerouac). The death of his progenitor left him in excellent financial stead. Subsequently visited his West Indian property to insure the proper treatment of his slaves, and died at sea of yellow fever on the way home from the 2nd voyage. Inner: Humane, romantic, fascinated by dualities. Foundation lifetime of creating a base of travel and storytelling which he would explore in much more romantic and challenging fashion later on in this series. Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) - English diarist. Outer: Father was the 3rd son of a 3rd son and a barely literate tailor, mother was a washerwoman, and the daughter of a butcher. 2nd son, and 5th of 11 children. From a modest background, he was often sick as a youth, which made him live in the moment. Eyewitness to the execution of Charles I (George VI) in 1649. Raised as a Puritan and educated at Magdalene College, Cambridge on a scholarship, before the future Lord Sandwich, his father’s first cousin, gave him a position in his household. Short and dark, with a fleshy face and slightly protruding eyes. Married Elizabeth de St. Michel, the daughter of a French Huguenot refugee in 1655 when she was just about to turn 15, no children from the tempestuous union. Had two mistresses, the wife of a linen-draper, and later her sister, which bothered his spouse no end. His wife died in 1669, and he never remarried, although he had a 33 year liaison with a younger woman, Mary Skinner. Began an impressive climb through this relationship, holding more and more important posts, including Secretary to the Admiralty, from 1673 to 1679, and King’s Secretary for Naval Affairs from 1684 to 1689, where he created, in effect, the modern British Navy. Also was a member of Parliament for the last 4 years of that run, as well as President of the Royal Society, the first 2 years. Best remembered for his remarkable diary, which he began on the eve of the Restoration in 1660, and continued with it until 1669, when eyestrain caused him to stop, in fear that he would go blind if he continued, although he later recovered, and made two abortive stabs at restarting it. Written in colloquial style, he explored the various aspects of his nature quite candidly, right down to bowel movements, while providing extraordinary eye witness to his times, thanks to his own privileges. Lived with chronic pain from kidney stones, and underwent an operation without anesthesia to remove one. Briefly jailed in 1688 on suspicion of treason, after the Glorious Revolution of that year, thanks to his loyal support of James II (Martin Sheen). The following year he was defeated in a parliamentary election for his seat. Imprisoned again on suspicion of being a Jacobite. Lived in retirement with his clerk and spent his time corresponding, before dying of a large kidney stone. His diary was not published until the 19th century and has been a classic of its kind ever since. Inner: Candid, ribald, endlessly self-exploratory. Self-acclaimed lecher, liar and humanist with a proclivity for squeezing the most out of the moment. Nasty to his servants, and remarkably non-reflective for a diarist. Enthusiastic and meticulous bibliophile, with more than 3000 carefully catalogued works in his library. Dear diary lifetime of rising to pal with the all-powerful, while never losing his own zest for existence and sense of unique self, despite a hardened sense of impurity within, via his ongoing ailment. Edgar (c1074-1107) - Scottish king. Outer: Fourth son of Margaret (Caroline Kennedy), who was the second wife of Malcolm III Caenmore (JFK). Nephew of Donald III (Jack Kerouac) and half-brother of Edmund (Allen Ginsberg). Had such a close relationship with his mother, he never married, probably finding no other place in his heart for anyone but her. Both parents died in 1093, but his uncle Donald III usurped the throne, along with Edmund. With the backing of of a powerful group of supporters, however, they were deposed in 1097, and he became king, with the help of the English monarchy, all of whom saw he was by far the most attractive character in his family. Known as ‘the peaceful,’ he was the first Scottish monarch to use sealed writs to convey royal will to his subjects. Ceded the highlands to the fiercer northmen, and spent most of his time in the royal residences of Dunfermline and Edinburgh, preferring the contemplative life to the active martial one. Served as a benefactor of the Church, but did not encourage Anglo-Norman influence in his kingdom. Instead, he gave his rough and tumble throne a sense of culture and stability, and was succeeded by his brother Alexander (Robert McNamara). Inner: Sweet-tempered, cultured, basically a man of peace on a violent throne, once more embodying dualities. Peaceful-lies-the-crown lifetime of giving a sense of order and culture to a wild kingdom by being the polar opposite of all his sword-in-hand predecessors, and allowing his good nature to prevail. Numerian (c253-284AZ) - Roman emperor. Outer: Father was Roman emperor Carus (Jack Kerouac). Younger brother of Carinus (Allen Ginsberg). Raised by his father to the rank of Caesar and Prince of Youth shortly after giving his brother those same honors in 282. Married, although wife unknown. Accompanied his father against the Persians, and succeeded him on his death as joint emperor with his brother, who had already assumed the purple during his father’s lifetime. Continued his father’s campaign, albeit unsuccessfully, since warfare did not readily appeal to him. Far more interested in literary pursuits, while showing himself to be an accomplished orator, whose written speeches elicited much admiration. Also a poet of considerable reputation. On his return home, he became afflicted with a disease of the eyes, that he had contracted from excessive weeping and was put to death in his tent by his praetorian prefect, who was also his father-in-law, and harbored designs upon his throne. The praefect, hoping the royal demise would be ascribed to natural causes, was then killed by the next emperor. Inner: Far more the master of the word than the sword. Earned universal love for his evenness of temper, affability and relative purity. Against the grain lifetime of being caught up in the duality of power and culture, and allowing the former to prevail.


Storyline: The seasick sailor ultimately beats himself down into uncool caricature of eternal adolescence, after earlier finally paying off his debts so as to be free of the past, and open to the eternal road of the present.

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) - American writer. Outer: Of Canuck and Amerindian descent. Mother worked in shoe factories, and his father was a printer and local businessman given to drink, as was his sire before him. The youngest of three with an older sister and brother. Grew up in a French-Canadian working-class house, with English initially his second language after joual, a dialect he spoke his entire life with his mother, who inspired him with stories she used to spin. His saintly older brother died at 9, and he always believed he was his guardian angel. Had a sense of insufficiency about himself afterwards, and always returned to his mother, who supported him even after he was famous, following promising his father on his deathbed he would take care of her. Deeply attached to her his entire life, and also a devout Roman Catholic. Although his writing was discouraged by his parents, he wrote anyway, but did not feel comfortable with English until his late teens. Educated by Jesuits at a parochial school, then was a track and football star in high school, before getting a football scholarship to Columbia Univ., where he met Allen Ginsburg and others who would form the circle of poets and writers known as the Beats. Dropped out after 2 years. Married Edie Parker, an art student at 22, after proposing while serving a brief jail sentence as a material witness to a murder, in order to get her to pay the bail. The union was annulled a year later. Enlisted in the Navy during WW II, but was discharged after two months. Often beaten up in bars without defending himself, while becoming a habitual alcohol and drug abuser. His first novel was conventional, but the second, written in a three week adrenaline rush, On the Road, based on his adventures with car thief and free spirit Neal Cassady, established him as a singular voice of American existential expression, using bebop as an improvisational model for his literary style. Despite claiming never to have revised it, he actually wrote it in 3 or 4 different forms before the final version was done. His mother supported him spiritually and financially until his first modest success, which was never repeated. Refused to revise or edit his later works, just letting them flow, while writing at warp speed without reflection or consciousness. Felt all his works were “one vast book,” part of his own autobiographical legend. His second marriage to Joan Haverty in 1950 only lasted a month, one daughter from the union, whom he never acknowledged and only met twice, before she, like him, self-destructed, after becoming a junkie. Far more into men than women, although never acknowledged he was a homophile, and despised himself for it. Traveled all across America and Mexico, and was continually drawn to underground milieus. His third marriage to Stella Sampas, his mother’s nurse in 1966, was also brief and sexless. Actually in love with his wife’s brother. Eventually went to live with his mother in Florida, rounding out his circle of experience. Died of a Johnny Walker alcohol induced hemorrhage while watching the “Galloping Gourmet” on TV. Felt he had been a writer without an audience. Inner: Self-designated “strange, solitary, crazy, Catholic mystic.” Held an alienated spirituality and a libertarian view of life, and saw existence as a “lifelong struggle to avoid disaster.” Idolized athletes and jazz musicians, and saw himself as a literary version of them. Unable to sustain relationships, save with his mother. Also saw his works as a single autobiographical legend, and felt he could make great art out of self-description. Right-wing, painfully shy, subject to fears and prejudices, with a strong romantic identification with America. Mother’s little roadie lifetime of giving uninhibited voice to his interior so he could speak in an undisciplined manner that was true to his adolescent self. Jack London (1876-1916) - American writer. Outer: His mother was from a wealthy Ohio family. Officially, his father was a Civil War veteran, widower and failed grocery storekeeper, who ultimately became a night watchman. His mother was a small, energetic woman who became cold and bitter in poverty and was given to spiritualism, channeling an Amerindian medium named Plume. Told her son he was a boy apart from everyone, and superior. His actual father was an itinerant astrologer and con man who had abandoned his mother when she was pregnant. Didn’t discover it until he was older, but his real father denied it when he wrote to him. Considered himself a feral orphan all his life. Went to work early in a cannery, and was already a hard drinker by his teens. Strong-bodied with small hands, he once tried suicide by drowning as young man. Became an expert sailer, shipped out on a sealing schooner, then shoveled coal, before going on the road again, and landing in jail, where he was probably raped. Always an avid reader, he returned home, and began exercising his mind, becoming a socialist, and enjoying a run as a popular speaker, with evolution and revolution as his dialectical watchwords. Despite an avowed Marxism, he joined the gold rush to Alaska, but fell ill with scurvy and returned home no richer than when he left. Focused on writing as his pathway out of poverty, knocking off ten books in a short spate, including his best-known, Call of the Wild, a celebration of the feral. Soon became world famous with his manly outpouring of pieces and opinions. In 1900, he married Bess Maddern, a strong practical woman for genetic reasons, rather than love, two girls from union. Soon felt confined by domesticity, however, and began an affair with Anna Strunsky, a beautiful Bay Area socialist, before going on to collaborate with her on a book. Went to London after being offered a reportorial job, but it was canceled, and he wound up in the city’s East End to research and write about the appalling poverty he saw there. While he was away his inamorata ended the affair, and he went on to Korea to report on the Russo-Japanese War, before returning home to take up with a far more intellectually and emotionally compatible woman, Charmian Kittredge. CK was five years older, but was his equal in every respect. Divorced his wife after 7 years of marriage, and entered the happiest period of his life with the charming Charmian, whom he would make his second spouse. Became one of the country’s best-known radical orators, showing great enthusiasm for the early stages of the Russian Revolution, only to go sailing across the Pacific in 1907 with his new soul mate in the ‘Snark,’ a boat he had built for $30,000, in fine capitalist fashion. Charmian proved an adept sailor, and the adventure produced a book, as he became more and more self-indulgent with his new found fame, while his fortunes began to wane. CK lost two children at birth, and he fell into ill health towards the end of his relatively brief life, from his self-destructive ways. A poster boy for bad habits, he smoked incessantly, and drank heavily, while his kidneys and bladder steadily deteriorated. Took up ranching, whose centerpiece house, mysteriously burned down after five years. Bodily pain caused him to consume great quantities of morphine, since he absolutely refused to show any overt sign of weakness, and he eventually slipped into a coma and died of uremia. Wrote more than 50 books all told, and at the time of his death, he was the highest-paid writer of his time. Inner: Handsome, sturdy, charismatic. Outwardly self-assured, with an on the road drive for adventure and power. Felt he could put anything in his body and get away with it. Overbearing, white supremacist, materialist, with many conflicting views. Always wrote from the viewpoint of the outsider, and wished to be seen as larger than life. Call of the wild lifetime of giving uninhibited expression to himself so he could speak in an undisciplined voice, while eventually finding a perfect partnership for his zest for overdoing things. Walter Scott (1771-1832) - Scottish poet and novelist. Outer: Ninth child of a lawyer and writer of the same name. Mother was the daughter of a physician, giving her son a privileged upbringing. Suffered from a lifelong lameness, brought on by infantile paralysis, which limited him physically, and forced him to spend several years recuperating apart from his family. While doing so, he became a voracious reader with a particular affinity for the tales of the wild Borderland. Educated at Edinburgh Univ., then apprenticed to his father. Called to the bar, and made numerous excursions into the countryside, collecting ballads and exploring Scotland. Became a quartermaster to a voluntary cavalry. Disappointed in love, then in 1797, he married Charlotte Carpenter, the daughter of a French royalist family, two sons and two daughters from the union. Settled in Edinburgh and began publishing translations, while enjoying a highly active social life. Became well-known through a collection of Scottish ballads, and then his own work, beginning with The Lay of the Last Minstrel. Appointed sheriff-deputy of Selkirkshire, then took up residence at Ashestiel, where he lived the extravagant life of a Scottish laird. Became a secret partner in a publishing firm, and arranged to have his books published with them. Held various posts, but fell into financial debt. Continued his outpouring of highly popular novels and his/stories, but was ruined financially with the fall of his publishing company in 1826. His wife died and a beloved grandson fell ill to add to his woes. Spent the rest of his life writing in order to pay off his debt, which was finally realized with the sums received for his copyrights after his death. His health suffered because of his heroic effort, foreshortening his life. Died after suffering apoplexy and paralysis, and having traveled on the continent for his health. His son-in-law later wrote his biography. Widely seen as the inventor of the his/storical novel, with its omniscient author, regional speech and localized settings. Inner: Extravagant, adventurous, gregarious, with a strong personal sense of self-importance. Good sense of humor, strong identification with Scotland. Careless writer, hated rewriting or editing, with no insight into women or passion. Dues-paying lifetime of exerting discipline on himself and taking responsibility for his actions, unlike his other lives in this series, which were dedicated thoroughly to the moment. Probably felt free after this go-round to explore his younger self, having proved his maturity. Robert Greene (c1560-1592) - English pamphleteer and poet. Outer: Father was either a saddle-maker or a cordwainer/innkeeper. A sizar, or working poor, student at Cambridge and incorporated at Oxford. Led a dissolute life in London and on the continent, drinking himself into debt. Wrote pamphlets in part to keep him in alcohol, and proved to be a fast, sloppy writer, who was not into editing his rush of prose. Sported a long pointed red beard. Probably had some share in the authorship of “Henry, VI,” which later served playwright William Shakespeare (William Butler Yeats). As a writer of charm and wit, he penned topical pamphlets, romances and a brace of comedies, in a variety of styles. Also did autobiographical sketches, describing London’s underworld, and the low life of the time, in which he readily participated. Made an unconfirmed marriage, had a son either by his wife or a prostitute, although the two finally separated. Involved in various literary controversies, while continuing to dissipate himself. Best known for the autobiographical, “A Groatsworth of Wit bought with a Million of Repentance,” which may also have been a forgery and written by someone else, although its theme of the prodigal son was quite his own. Wrote three or four lengthy pamphlets a year the last decade of life. Died in poverty a month after pigging out on pickled herrings and wine. Inner: Witty bohemian with a strong draw towards self-destruction through alcohol. Highly opinionated, combative and individualistic, with a strong pull towards the demimondaine. Unrepenting lifetime of inexorably following his prolific spew into self-destruction, with little self-discipline to avoid it - an ongoing theme of his. Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542) - English poet. Outer: Father was a councilor to Henry VII (Rupert Murdoch), who had earlier been imprisoned in the Tower of London. Educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge, then entered court circles, where he was popular for his varied skills in languages, music and the martial arts. Married around 1520 to Elizabeth Brooke, the daughter of Lord Cobham, 2 children, including a son of the same name, Thomas Wyatt (Neal Cassady), who became a well-known conspirator in the time of Mary I (Rose Kennedy), and was executed for his resistance to her marriage to the Spanish king Felipe II (Adolph Hitler). The couple divorced in 1526, after he charged his wife with adultery. Became an esquire of body to Henry VIII (Maxwell Beaverbrook), then was appointed Clerk of the King’s Jewels in 1524, before serving the crown in several diplomatic capacities abroad. Became a privy councilor in 1533, then was imprisoned in 1534 for brawling, before being released. 2 years later, he was incarcerated again on charges of adultery with Anne Boleyn (Katherine Hepburn) before she married the king, although he was knighted on his release the following year. Held several more posts, then served a third term in 1541 on charges of treason, brought up by a rival ambassador, for which he was acquitted. Best remembered for introducing the sonnet and terze rima forms from Italian into English. Also did translations, and wrote satires and lyrics. None of his works were published in his lifetime, save for being part of a miscellany collection. Made a knight of the shire in Kent, and sat in Parliament. Escorted the Spanish ambassador to London, and en route, took ill with pneumonia and died. Inner: Highly individualistic, gloomy and resentful, despite his achievements, as well as bellicose, although extremely competent in all he did. Mischiefmaking lifetime of combining his love for personal melodrama with his gift for exposition, bestowing upon the English language some of its classical Italian forms. Donald III Ban (c1033-1100) - Scottish king. Outer: Son of Duncan I (Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.), mother was related to the earl of Northumbria. Virtually nothing known of the details of his life. The epithet ‘Ban’ meant ‘white,’ which may have referred to his hair. Younger brother of Malcolm III Caenmore (JFK). Married, with several daughters. Succeeded his brother in 1093, after failing to kill his sons, who escaped his men in a white mist, but was deposed shortly afterwards by Duncan II (John F. Kennedy, Jr.) with the help of the English king, William II (Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr.). Aligned with Duncan’s half-brother, Edmund (Allen Ginsberg), and retook his kingdom the following year, dividing it, so as to rule the northern half. Driven out 3 years later, by one of his half-siblings, Edgar (Robert Louis Stevenson), with the complicity of the English king. Captured, blinded and imprisoned, he still had the strength left at the end to throttle his usurper’s nephew. Inner: Hidden lifetime of playing with power on a pure physical level, and though ultimately incapacitated, evincing sufficient vengeful rage to show that he had not been totally undone by his misfortunes. Carus (c224-283) - Roman Emperor. Outer: Of uncertain origin, but probably from southern Gaul. Pursued the career of a soldier. Married, 3 children, including Numerian (Robert Louis Stevenson) and Carinus (Allen Ginsberg). Made a praetorian prefect by the emperor Probus (Georgi Zhukov) in 276, and six years later, he was raised to the purple by his troops, although he is said to have protested mightily. His predecessor, however, was promptly assassinated, giving further suspicion to his ambitions. Sent a dispatch to the Senate informing them, in most untraditional manner, of his elevation, without waiting for their approval, although he deified his predecessor. Raised his two adult sons, Carinus and Numerian, to the title of Caesar, to insure his dynastic claims on his crown. Initially successful in militarily defending his office, he took Numerian with him to fight the Persians in order to reclaim Mesopotamia. Raised his eldest son to the rank of Augustus and invested him as joint emperor. Penetrated more deeply into Persian territory, but was found dead in his tent, either the victim of lightning, illness, or the murderous hand of his praetorian prefect, who desired the throne for himself. The orderly succession of his son Carinus, however, indicates his death was natural. Inner: Nothing particularly outstanding about his abilities, although a capable soldier, with some impressive military achievements to his name. Warrior lifetime of exercising his sheer sense of martial will, before eventually balancing his power-driven character with a literary sensibility to reflect it.


Storyline: The theatric critic enjoys reflecting the extremes of his times and feels equally at home with perspicacious pen in hand as he does on the throne, evincing a dual skill in the authority of executive might and subjective opinion.

Kenneth Tynan (1927-1980) - English critic. Outer: Illegitimate son of a double-life character. Father was a businessman and mayor named Peacock with a respectable family, who also maintained a hidden household in which his son grew up. Didn’t discover the deception until later in life. Had a desperate need to be remarkable from an early age onward, although stammered his entire life. A party animal and fop at Magdalen College, Oxford, with rooms right above Oscar Wilde’s (Joe Orton) old digs there, while insisting his life had truly begun the moment he arrived on campus. Continually lived well beyond his means, from academia onward. Evinced his theatricality on both sides of the footlights in college, then became a highly theatrical theater critic for London journals afterwards, beginning in 1952. Tall and cadaverous, with a longtime two-pack a day cigarette habit, as well as a fondness for pills. In 1951, he married American novelist and heiress Elaine Dundy, later divorced in 1964. Also had a long s & m affair with a mistress, while being into sexual excess and stormy relationships galore, as recompense for his previous chaste life. An eminent ands highly perceptive voice, he exerted enormous influence on the national theater as an enthusiast and literary manager. Established himself in America as well, working for The New Yorker, beginning in 1958, while continuing his association with London journals, although his early work in Britain was far superior to his later musings. Worked as a story editor for Ealing Films in the mid-1950s, and also produced TV programs and edited the arts magazine Tempo. Became literary manager for the National Theater, a post he held from 1963 to 1969, although he resigned after a disagreement with the chairman, despite serving as a consultant for 4 more years. In 1967 he married a noted beauty, Kathleen Halton, who left the scion of an English aristocratic family for him, 2 children from union. His 2nd wife later wrote a biography of him. Devised and produced the nude revue, Oh! Calcutta, in 1969, which was a hit in both London and New York, more for its shock value than its limited content. Warned he had 10 years to live because of his bad health habits, he came to the healthier climes of America, and continued writing about the theater for American magazines, although his critical voice faded in its import as he grew older. Ultimately moved to Southern California, while continually living beyond his means, thanks to a propensity for lavish entertainment, only to die of emphysema because of his inability to give up cigarettes and their intimate connection with his writing, although his loss of talent no doubt contributed as well to his inability to extend his life. Inner: Motto was, “Be light, stinging, insolent and melancholy.” Flagrant spanker, exhibitionist and sexual braggart. More witty than perceptive, playing off of a personal gift for expression, rather than an innate deeply critical eye. Had socialist leanings, and felt the monarchy should be abolished. Dual character, holding all sorts of conflicting views within, as reflection of his upbringing. Flamboyant dandy and exhibitionist, highly social, and completely addiction prone. On stage lifetime of acting out and releasing the inhibitions of many go-rounds past, while continuing his role as aesthetic arbiter of his times, with the theater as his focus on this go-round. John Ruskin (1819-1900) - English critic. Outer: Father was a wealthy wine merchant, who took him on extensive travels abroad. Devoted to his mother, who pampered him. Brought up on strictly Puritanical principles, which greatly inhibited his nature. Privately tutored, then studied at King’s College. Learned drawing, before entering Christ Church, Oxford where he won the Newdigate Prize and began writing verse. Traveled for his health, before returning to college to gain his B.A. and then M.A. in 1843. Began his celebrated career as the primary arbiter of artistic standards of 19th century English culture, with a 5 volume treatise on art entitled Modern Painters, which secured his reputation. Fascinated with architecture as well, on which he also wrote extensively. Married Euphemia Gray (Keira Knightley), a lawyer’s daughter in 1848, who was a decade younger. Allowed his parents to dominate the union, which was never consummated, and made his wife feel she was going mad. The marriage was eventually annulled, and she went on to wed the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Millais (John Schlesinger). Nevertheless, he had an endless fascination with prepubescent girls, finding perfection in their unsullied forms. Later fell in love with a young Irish lass, Rose la Touche, the daughter of evangelicals, who also went mad and died, and she became a touchstone for his on-growing dementia. Began studying economics, and broadened the scope of his writing to include social issues surrounding education, labor and other matters in need of reform. Supported a national education system, old age pensions and labor organizations. Became the first professor of fine arts in England at his alma mater in 1870. Lectured throughout the country, exhorting people to see and cherish beauty, while decrying greed and avarice, although he became subject to spells of mental illness as he grew older, which initially evinced itself in angry tirades and rants. Inherited a large fortune from his father, which he dispersed in charitable and philanthropic pursuits. Ultimately disappeared into his own mind with recurring bouts of instability, inconsistency and insanity for the last 11 years of his life, his pen and voice stilled. Left an unfinished autobiography, Praeterita, when he died of influenza. Inner: Brilliant and incisive critical mind, but held an inverted sexuality, which eventually turned him in on himself. Tormented by nightmares. Dualistic lifetime of intellectual aggression but emotional regression, holding his true feelings within and ultimately strangling on his own inhibitions, which gave play to his polar opposite character the next time around in this series. Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) - English his/storian. Outer: From a wealthy landed family. Father was a Tory member of Parliament. Oldest chld, and the only one of seven who survived infancy. Sickly while growing up, with little formal schooling, but he had a maternal aunt who took care of him and gave him his taste for books. Flirted with Roman Catholicism while briefly at Magdalen College, Oxford, then was sent to Switzerland to be reconverted by his horrified father, who broke his only engagement to Suzanne Curchod (Mabel Dodge Luhan), the future wife of Jacques Necker (Bernard Baruch), although the pair remained lifelong friends. Returned to Protestantism through his Swiss tutor, and began reading widely, adopting the stance of a rationalist anticlerical skeptic. In 1759, he served as a captain in a grenadier regiment, where he studied military literature before embarking on a writing career following his discharge in 1762. Toured Italy in the mid-1760s, and began formulating his masterwork, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” while contemplating the ruins of Rome. Lost his father, which put him in financial arrears, before settling in London in 1772, and joining Samuel Johnson’s (Winston Churchill) Literary Club 2 years later. At the same time, he became a professor of his/story at the Royal Academy. Highly social, although the object of derision by others for his personal habits and general physical unattractiveness, thanks to a distaste for exercise. A lifelong bachelor, he was also a passive member of Parliament for 11 years, beginning in 1774, although he never had the courage to speak, preferring to silently support England in its revolutionary contretemps with the burgeoning U.S. Issued the first of the six volumes of his Roman his/story 2 years later, to a hugely enthusiastic reception, and finally finished the work on 6/27/1787, feeling a great sense of melancholy afterwards. Moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he had earlier studied, and became even fatter while his health declined. Died suddenly on a visit to London of an enormous rupture from a fluid-filled left testicle, suffering no pain at the end. Wrote his memoirs, which were published posthumously, as well as a host of lesser works. Inner: Unprepossessing and vain with greatly mannered habits of speech and dress. A genuinely happy person, whose greatest pleasures were reading, thinking and Madeira wine. Didn’t believe in an afterlife, but sought immortality through his work. Cynically believed, “History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.” Ornate stylist with the gift of bringing his/story alive. Had an unsympathetic desanctified view of Christianity, and was probably a virgin, as he would be in his next go-round as well. Cerebral lifetime of giving vent to his eccentricities while further developing his incisive literary style. James I (1566-1625) - Scottish king of England and Scotland. Outer: Of the House of Stuart. Father was Henry Darnley (Kim Philby) and mother was Mary, Queen of Scots (Marguerite Duras). An only son, he spent a rocky childhood, where his sire was murdered, and his mother never saw him after age one, when he was made Scottish king as James VI. Spent his youth in relative isolation surrounded by political intrigue, but he was given a good education through the books made available to him. Wrote mediocre verse, although was impressive in his scope of knowledge, and liked to influence those around him with his perceptions. Enthusiastic young horseman, slender and of middling height, with spindly bandy legs and a narrow jaw, which made it difficult for him to eat. Constantly slobbering because of his condition. Kidnapped as a teenager, he was freed by supporters, and took command of his realm at age 17. Not adverse to having his enemies murdered, he also maintained good relations with England, knowing he had a claim on the throne. Lodged only a formal protest when his own mother was executed in 1587, so as not to ruffle English royal feathers. Married the daughter of the king of Denmark in 1589, Anne of Denmark (Lauren Bacall), 7 children including his successor Charles I (George VI), although showed little interest in women, ending intimate relations with his wife as soon as he moved to England. Good husband, doting father, although found his wife silly and frivolous. Set out for England at the death of Elizabeth I (Mae West) and ascended the English throne at age 37, joining the 2 countries, as James VI and I. Established the House of Stuart, although he was never as comfortable on the English throne as he was on the Scottish. Firm believer in the divine right of kings. As an active homophile, he had a series of handsome male favorites, including Robert Carr (Bob Hope) and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham (Warren Beatty), who were both inept statesmen. Obsessed with witchcraft and the nature of evil, which he wrote about, and sponsored the English language King James version of Bible, which he committed to memory. Self-proclaimed arbiter of letters and shrewd politician, he presided over a lively court, promoting peace in Europe and colonialism in America. Declined into mental instability in later years as his foreign policy fell apart under the ministrations of Buckingham, and was probably poisoned at the end of his life. Inner: Pedantic, dogmatic, intolerant, theatrical and vulgar. Loved the sound of own voice. Alternately buffoonish and pedagogic, quick to tears and often maudlin. Saw himself as quite learned, and enjoyed displaying his acute intelligence. Melodramatic lifetime of bringing his esthetic sensibilities to the realm of rule, proving himself to be an intelligent, albeit eccentric, monarch who thoroughly enjoyed the status of ruler until his decline. Pietro Bempo (1470-1547) - Italian Renaissance critic and writer. Outer: Son of a senator and member of a noble family. Grew up in various courts where his father was envoy. Taken to Florence at the age of 4, where he received an excellent education, making him fluent in Latin, Greek and philosophy. Gained fame in his mid-20s, with an elegantly written dialogue on love and the immortality of true beauty, Gli Asolani, which became a highly influential work, more through stylistics than depth of thought. Continually polished and perfected his writings, which made him an arbiter of letters of his time, with an emphasis on classical tradition, allowing him to become virtual dictator of literary taste. Spent 6 years at the court of Urbino before becoming papal secretary to Leo X (David O. Selznick). Friends with many of the eminent artists and writers of his time. Resigned his post 8 years later, and retired to Padua, where he indulged himself in refined vices and letters. Wrote an official his/story of the Venetian Republic. Ultimately returned to Rome in 1539 and was ordained a cardinal of the Church. Had a mistress, Morosina, 3 children from the union. Made Tuscan a standard literary language, and was the most honored and respected man of letters of his age. Inner: Fastidious stylist, bon vivant, easily bridged the worlds of sensuality and serious scholarship. Transition lifetime out of his immediate royal past, to become cultural royalty, while enjoying the pleasures of the flesh and the pleasures of the mind, and setting the literary standards of his day. Niccolo III d’Este (1383-1441) - Italian Renaissance marquis. Outer: illegitimate son of the brother of the ruler of Ferrara. When he was 2, rioting from overtaxation occurred, wherein a new castle was begun, which he would eventually augment. In 1388, his father succeeded his uncle as signore of Ferrera, and in 1393, he inherited the rule on the death of his sire. Initially under the protection of the neighboring city-state of Venice, he withstood an attack early on from a relative with their help, so that his territory was safe by 1395, and then proved to be an adept condottiere for the rest of his rule. Physically tough, with a bull neck, and a highly aggressive mien, he enjoyed the three f’s of noble Italian life, fighting, feasting and fornicating, and imbued his personality on his city. Continued his uncle’s construction of a massive moated castle, in order to symbolize the power of his family, to which his heirs would systematically add. In 1397, he contracted his first marriage with the daughter of the ruler of Padua. She died 19 years later, with no official issue, while he began producing children at the age of 22. Managed to accumulate some 800 mistresses during his four decade reign, legitimatizing 22 of his offspring, including 3 from his favorite, Stella dell’Assassino (Tama Janowitz), 2 of whom would prove his next two successors, Leonello (Leonard Woolf) and Borso (F. Scott Fitzgerald). Had an affinity for naming his offspring for chansons he liked, as well as figures from Arthurian legend. Made commander in chief of the Papal army at 20, thanks to the fighting skills he evinced, and fought against the Milanese, who would prove lifelong foes. Ceded some of his ancestral lands to Venice, and in 1413, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Visited Vienna and Paris on his return, and was also captured in Piedmont, but released. In 1418, he married Parisina Malatesta (Jean Rhys), a 15 year old beauty from a powerful family, 3 children from the union, 2 daughters and a son who died as an infant. Insanely jealous over her, after hearing rumors of her infidelities, he drilled a hole in her ceiling and caught her in flagrante with his son Ugo, and had both beheaded in prison, after a cursory trial. Afterwards, he adjudged that all adulterous women of Ferrara should suffer the same fate, including the wife of the judge at his spouse’s trial, and a bloodbath ensued. The same year, he was made commander-in-chief against the Milanese, and four years later, he named his illegitimate son Leonello as his official heir. At the same time, he married for a third and final time. Two sons from union, including an eventual Duke of Ferrara, Ercole I (Bernardo Bertolucci). Having invested Leonello, he dedicated the rest of his time to diplomatic missions. Despite his brutality, he also had a finely formed esthetic, and patronized artists, musicians and poets, and created an exemplary court, inviting top-notch scholars for his children, so that when he died, he handed over a full-fledged polity to his heirs, which would continue as an Italian cultural center for centuries to come. In 1438, a major church council was held in Ferrara, confirming its position in the Italian urban hierarchy. Made a governor in Milan, and died there while setting up a peace mission, with lingering suspicion that he may have been poisoned by Filippo Maria Visconti (Howard Hughes), despite the latter’s having hinted he might name him as his successor. Inner: Arrogant, possessive, and pleasure-loving, but fully capable of making his will known, no matter the endeavor. Larger-than-life lifetime of putting all his ubermale attributes on display in his ongoing back-and-forth switchovers from the swashbuckling to the sensitive to the seductive to the acutely perceptive, in his unusual and highly noticeable sashay down the corridors of western civilization. Theodosius I (347-395) - Roman emperor. Outer: Son of a Spanish cavalry commander. Fought under his father and then in the Danube area as a frontier general. Became governor of Upper Moesia, but after his sire was executed as a traitor in 376, he retired to Spain. Married Aelia Faccilla, a fellow Spaniard, the same year, 2 sons from the union, Arcadius (Roald Dahl) and Honorius (Bret Eason Ellis), who followed him on the throne. After he death he married Galla, a sister of Valentinian II (Ted Turner), by whom he had a daughter who ultimately married Constantius III (Bernardo Bertolucci). Summoned back by Gratian (Peter O’Toole), he was raised to the eastern throne in 379 after several military victories. Filled his court with Catholic westerners and was baptised a few months after his accession. A devout Catholic and control freak, from whence he earned his sobriquet, “the Great,” although it was also to distinguish him from his less than distinguished progeny. Persecuted minority Christian sects and pagans. Spent his entire reign fighting to enlarge his kingdom, while overtaxing his subjects to support his ambitions. After Gratian was killed, he recognized his kinsman Maximus (Evelyn Waugh) as emperor, but when Maximus invaded Italy, he overthrew him in a swift campaign. Remained in Italy until 391, ordering a massacre in which 7000 were killed, and was subsequently excommunicated. Successfully put down usurpers, and by the end of his life, he had the entire Empire, both East and West under his dominion, but only lived 5 months to enjoy the fruits of his conquering labors. Inner: Blonde-haired manic-depressive, veering between highly aggressive martial activity and sluggish indolence. Enjoyed handing out grim sentences and punishments, but also was willing to grant pardons. Liked to please, and had a good knowledge of Roman his/story. Rapacious, power-hungry and pleasure-loving, taking great delight in mimes and dancers. Pre-decline’n’fall lifetime of exercising his violent rule over a violent kingdom, while exhibiting the full scope of his complex character in an uninhibited arena of the sheer will of absolute rule. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (c70-c125) - Roman biographer and writer. Outer: From a family of the knightly class, had a privileged upbringing. Became a friend and protege of Pliny the Younger (Michel Foucault), a fellow information collector, who served as his patron. Studied law, but abandoned it as career, and after securing a military tribunate through Pliny, he also gave it up. Following Pliny’s death in 112, he found another patron, and worked as a teacher of literature. When Hadrian (Charles de Gaulle) became emperor in 117, he entered the imperial service as controller of the Roman libraries, keeper of the archives, scrivener of royal correspondence and cultural adviser. Dismissed from his posts for allegedly being too free with the emperor’s wife, Sabina, and spent the rest of his life, which is largely unrecorded, in literary pursuits, although he was barred from access to the imperial archives. Best remembered for his literary biographies of the imperial and cultural personalities of Rome, which proved an excellent later source for scholars. Also wrote on Roman antiquities, the natural sciences and grammar, but those works were lost, although the biographies survived, in which he delighted in revealing the vices of his subjects. Inner: Little analytic facility, preferred scandal-mongering to true examination. Hugely entertaining writer, albeit sometimes pedantic, combining a gossipy, lubricious wit with a genuine love of learning. Mischievous lifetime of displaying his desire to shock and defame, alongside his straightforward gift for unexamined scholarship, which he would bring to fruition in his Gibbon go-round, after first sating his lusty desire for rule.


Storyline: The predatory panther stalks the jungles of both her body and mind to create a unique ferociously feline figure in the annals of western literature, while trying to hold her own in the battle of the sexes, and prove a woman’s place is in the domed sphere of high intellectual accomplishment.

Rebecca West (Cicely Fairfield) (1892-1983) - English writer, journalist and critic. Outer: Mother was the daughter of a musician, who was a gifted amateur pianist herself and former governess. Father was an itinerant cartoonist and political journalist who had already abandoned a wife in America. The latter made his daughter continuously suspect of men, despite a lifetime of many lovers, and eventually abandoned the family in search of his fortune in Sierra Leone, dying when she was 14. The youngest of three sisters. Wanting to be an actress, she studied for a year at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, and took her name from a character in an Ibsen (Ingmar Bergman) play. Began her career writing for a feminist weekly, before becoming a literary and political critic. Had a 10 year liaison with writer H.G. Wells, calling each other “Panther” and “Jaguar” respectively. Son from union, Anthony West, became a writer. Later mutual recriminations abounded, when Wells refused to divorce his wife for her. Played the role of adopted mother with her son, who never forgave her for his illegitimacy, skewering her in a book published after her death. Had numerous other men in her life, prior to a 38 year marriage to Henry Andrews, an unsuccessful banker in her late 30s, who was childlike and a habitual philanderer, and known to her group as ‘Chinese Torture.’ The sex life twixt the 2 was abruptly ended several years into the marriage, and save for 2 brief affairs with her surgeon and the chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials, she lived celibately the rest of her long life. Began writing psychological novels in her mid-20s, but is best remembered as a critic, journalist and travel writer, with her most celebrated work, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, a penetrating look at Yugoslavia, which also symbolically linned her own psyche as a battlefield between eros or love and thanatos or death. Enjoyed a worldwide reputation for her long and distinguished literary career, although she never received the true acclaim for her fiction that she felt she merited. Continued her travels, as well as her controversial stances and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in her late 60s. Remained a venerated public figure, if not a happy private one, until her death from a long illness. Bedridden at the end, she died at home. Inner: Witty, perceptive, sensual and barb-tongued. Given to histrionics, vain and also periodically self-loathing. Had great fear of making men impotent, through unfortunate episodes with several lovers. Extremely observant, uncompromising, far more vulnerable than her trenchant prose indicated, and strongly opinionated. Panther lifetime of being her own woman at all costs, while struggling against the limits placed on her fierce will. George Sand (Amandine Dupin) (1804-1876) - French writer. Outer: Mother was the daughter of a birdseller, who was orphaned at 14 and became a prostitute, ultimately producing 3 children of unknown sires. Claimed that her father, the illegitimate descendant of a Polish king, married her mother 3 weeks before her birth, against his own mother’s will, giving her a dual background as a “daughter of the people.” Research later proved her real father was unknown. Her putative progenitor died from a fall off a horse when she was 4, leaving her under the care of her grandmother, to whom she was close, and uncultured, illiterate and explosive mother to whom she was not. The trio moved to Nohant from Paris, and she was sent to a convent to improve her manners but returned even more rebellious. Under 5’, dark, large-eyed, smoked cigars, and wore men’s clothing. Married at 18 to a young officer and baron’s son, George Dudevant, who left his work in order to manage her estate at Nohant. 2 children from union, but the couple eventually separated because of his shortcomings. Returned to Paris, sans children, and began to write for a living, borrowing her pen name, George Sand, from her collaborator and lover Jules Sandeau. Achieved great success with her early novels and became a close friend of numerous cultural figures, although she was far more the stylist than the novelist, thanks to a far greater interest in ideas than sustainable literature. Gave her heart to poet Alfred de Musset (W. Somerset Maugham), whom she nursed and mothered before falling in love with his doctor. Reconciled and then broke with Musset, returning to Nohant feeling suicidal. Left again after a violent argument with her husband, taking her children with her, although replicated her mother’s relationship with her, with her lazy daughter, Solange. Traveled, then after the death of her mother, she returned to Nohant for an endless round of parties and receptions with many of the dominant cultural figures of France attending. Had many lovers, supported and nurtured numerous culturati, and always strove to help to free women from their social and marital bounds, as well as society from its religious and class shackles. Had a tempestuous 9 year affair with composer Frederic Chopin (Karlheinz Stockhausen), who was probably a virgin at its outset, then returned to Nohant to continue her writing career, producing her best work. Prolific and versatile, she turned out several volumes a year at the height of her creativity, and ultimately wrote 88 novels and 25 plays, as well as 40,000 letters. Also worked closely with her son, who edited her work, in particular her autobiography. Died of an abdominal obstruction. Inner: Passionate, romantic, highly perceptive, determined to be her own person. Unafraid to explore her own sexuality and the power of interrelationships, although was also capable of reticence and timidity. Had great psychological insight, and was also adept at describing nature. Understood the dynamics of power and love, saw early that male need for domination came from a sense of lack of power. Fervent moralist, Christian and Romantic. Realized she was not an artist, but rather a proselytizer, and greatly admired those who truly wrote transcendental literature. Sanded down lifetime of reinvention and vigorous intellectual pursuit, while sating her heart with men of accomplishment, and her soul with the independence and freedom of a mind unfettered by the strictures on her gender of the time. Marie Du Deffand, Marquise Du Deffand (Marie Anne de Vichy-Champrond) (1697-1780) - Outer: Daughter of a count. Married at an early age to a man she hardly knew, entered court circles and became the lover of a cousin to the king, Philippe II d’Orleans (Boris Yeltsin), who served as Regent of France. When he died in 1723, she found herself in financial difficulties with a ruined marriage to a distant cousin and a tarnished reputation. Reinvented herself as the cleverest woman in France, with friendships with many of the leading culture figures of the time, as well as the cream of European aristocracy. Ran a highly influential salon, and was an inveterate letter writer and correspondent, putting her sense of language and creativity in her missives. Particularly close with Voltaire (Michel Foucault). Subject to ennui when not constantly entertaining or feeding off the wit and intelligence of others. Became an increasing prisoner of her own character as she grew older. Blind and frail at life’s end, employing Julie Lespinasse (Mary McCarthy) as her reader, although she lost many of her salonistes to the younger woman, causing an irreparable break in their relationship, as well as a great stir in the French literary world. Became a close friend of English writer Horace Walpole (Tom Wolfe), ultimately leaving him all her papers. Bedridden at the end, she died at home. Inner: Highly perceptive and acutely observant with the ability to get to the core of things. Honest, independent, but also scheming, mistrustful and egomaniacal. Cultivated and intense, with an innate sense of dissatisfaction about herself. Highly self-critical. Salonista lifetime of dealing with many of the more powerful egos of her own time, including her own. Mary of Guise (1515-1560) - French regent of Scotland. Outer: French regent of Scotland. Outer: Eldest child of Claude, 1st duc of Lorraine. Originally sent to a convent to be educated to be a nun, but an uncle thought otherwise on seeing her. Exceptionally tall, with auburn hair and gray eyes. Taken to the French court, where she proved a great favorite. Married Louis the 2nd duc of Longueville, grand chamberlain of France in an ostentatious ceremony and celebration in 1534, one son from the union. Her husband died 3 years later, and the following annum, she married James V (Peter O’Toole) of Scotland, while also being pursued by Henry VIII (James Packer) of England. After giving birth to two short-lived princes, her husband died a few days after the birth of their singular issue, the future Mary, Queen of Scots (Marguerite Duras). A Protestant, James Hamilton, 2nd earl of Arran (Jeffrey Archer), was made regent, being the next heir, much to her displeasure, and she and her daughter were carried off by her adviser, David Beaton to Stirling, setting Scottish tongues a-wagging, although he was murdered in 1546, making her the leading figure in Scotland. Accepted French help, which precipitated a declaration of war between England and France. When the regent resigned in 1554, she replaced him, showing great courage through a host of conflicts, while seeking to mollify the religious factions of Scotland, by granting tolerance for the Protestants, and with their support, arranging her daughter’s marriage to the Catholic dauphin and future Francois II (Roald Dahl) of France in 1558, after having sent her there a decade earlier, and having been received with great honor afterwards. Provoked war with England in 1557, while the French court prevailed upon her to suppress the Scottish Protestants, and she initiated legal proceedings against a number of reformists preachers the following year, which occasioned an uprising in Perth. Driven from Edinburgh, she was deposed by a number of Protestant lords, although she reclaimed her title with the help of the French, before being re-besieged by the English. Dying and in great pain from dropsy, she took refuge in Edinburgh castle, and asked on her deathbed that both armies withdraw and unite around her daughter, which they briefly did. Remained unburied for a year before her coffin was taken to a convent in Rheims, and a public funeral was held. Inner: Witty, vivacious and popular, impressing even her own enemies. Courageous and determined, although found herself in a largely untenable situation.Testing lifetime of placing her will against the armies of 3 mighty nations, and though ultimately undone by her exertions, able to make some of her wishes manifest. Agnes Sorel (1422-1450) - French royal mistress. Outer: From a family of the lesser nobility. She was attached at an early age as a low-ranking member of the household of the queen of Sicily, where she met Charles VII (Leon Blum) in 1443, who was struck by both her intelligence and beauty, and soon became his mistress, bearing a daughter the following year. Became the first woman to hold that semi-official post. As queen in all but name, she exercised considerable influence over Charles. Known as the ‘Dame de Beaute,’ for the estates of Beaute-sur-Marne given her by the king, although the gifts and power he bequeathed her scandalized many. Credited with making diamonds fashionable in aristocratic circles. Thanks to the power she wielded, she gained many enemies at court, and was ultimately poisoned, after the birth of their 4th daughter together, which devastated the king. Inner: Calm, sensible and shrewd, albeit also extravagant, and unafraid to display her power. Foreshortened lifetime of falling victim to the poisonous tongues of her lessers, necessitating an ultimate change on her part from high profile political households to the realm of culture, over which she would remain a dominating queen for the rest of the millennium. Leonor de Guzman (1310-1351) - Spanish royal mistress. Outer: From a noble Castilian family of royal blood. Married a prince, Juan de Velasco, in 1306, 7 children from the union. Noted for both her beauty and her intellectuality. After the early death of her husband in 1328, she became the mistress of Alfonso XI (Olivier Besncenot), the king of Castile, who totally ignored his wife afterwards, and she became queen in all but name. At least ten children from the union, including the eldest surviving son, Henry II (Hans Frank), a persecutor of the Jews, who ultimately became king of Castile, after deposing his legitimate half-brother. Probably served as an able partner in affairs of state, lending her advice, support and consent. Following the king’s death in 1350, his vengeful queen had her arrested, and strangled, while viciously persecuting the surviving members of her family. Inner: Sensible and shrewd, albeit also a political victim of her times. Regal lifetime of displaying her gifts at the highest level, only to ultimately fall victim to the jealous rage of a woman far less than she on every level, a circumstance she would later repeat to the same inglorious conclusion. Esther (fl. 5th cent. bZ) - Persian queen. Outer: Her name is either derived from the Persian word ‘stara’ which meant ‘star’ or it is a modification of Ishtar, the chief Babylonian goddess. The king of Persia, Ahasueras, had dismissed his wife when she failed to to obey a directive of his. To replace her, a host of maidens were paraded before him, and he chose Hadassah or Esther, a beautiful Jewess who was an orphan daughter of the tribe of Benjamin, living under the protection of her cousin Mordecai (Mordechai Lavi), who had brought her up as her own. Esther had been forewarned by Mordecai not to reveal her religion to the emperor, and she did not. After undergoing proscribed beauty treatments, she was crowned and a banquet was declared in honor of the event. Mordecai subsequently discovered that two of the king’s chamberlains were plotting to assassinate him and reported it to Esther, who told the king, and they were impaled. Haman (Jörg Haider) was then made grand vizier, and the empire’s nobles were ordered to give obeisance to him, although Mordecai refused to prostrate himself before him. Haman, wishing vengeance for the insult, not only on Mordecai, but on all his people, told the king the Jews were a worthless and disloyal people, and the latter gave him permission to do what he wished with them. A proclamation was quickly issued to confiscate all Jewish property and exterminate all Jews within the empire. A jubilant Haman set a day for this to happen, as the Jewish community wept and mourned over this calamity. causing Mordecai to ask Esther to intercede if she could. She subsequently broached the king without being summoned, an act which could have meant her instantaneous death. Her daring, however, was duly accepted and she asked her husband to come to a banquet she had prepared for him, and to have Haman attend as well. That night, the king had a reminder read to him that Mordecai had earlier revealed a plot against his life by two chamberlains, although received no reward for it. The next day the king learned Esther was a Jewess, and that Haman was the villain who had manipulated him into decreeing the annihilation of the Jewish people. The enraged monarch immediately ordered Haman to be impaled on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. The loyal Mordecai was then made grand vizier, and the Jews were given the power to pillage and kill their enemies, which caused a great conversion among those marked for elimination. The Jews, however, refused to plunder, and, after Haman’s ten sons were hanged, the matter drew to a close. Through the auspices of Esther and Mordecai, the yearly springtime feast of Purim was initiated to celebrate the deific hand of the on-high in the ongoing survival of the Jewish peoples. Inner: The Book of Esther is the only Biblical book which does not contain the name of God, nor does it have any reference to the chief deity of the Hebrews, as indication that He works in many ways, both directly and indirectly. Some sources compare Ahasueras with the Persian king Xerses I (Ayman al-Zahawiri) and his queen, Amestria, a cruel despot, although the personalities don’t match. A better parallel would be the Persian king, Artaxerses I (Shah Massoud) and his wife Damaspia, since both their personae and name rhythms are of a piece with Ahasueras and Esther. Legendary heroine lifetime of serving as a much-celebrated female savior through both cleverness and gumption in placing her exiled people’s lives before her own, and ultimately succeeding in saving them.


Storyline: The dyspeptic wit envisions himself as an avenging out-of-time crusader, tilting his lanced pen at a world that has moved far beyond him, while reserving his love for calcified institutions, rather than those around him.

Evelyn Waugh (Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh) (1903-1966) - English novelist, biographer and journalist. Outer: Of Scottish descent. Grandfather was known as the ‘Brute,’ setting a familial pattern of ignoral and abuse. Father was a critic, editor and moderately prosperous publisher, who embarked upon his career over the Brute’s objections. Older brother was travel writer Alec Waugh, who penned a lacerating book about his school days, making it impossible to go to his sibling’s alma mater. His sire didn’t care at all for his younger son, who was desperate for his approval, while doting on his older, less talented, sibling. Shuffled off to boarding schools, then educated at Hertford College, Oxford. Pudgy, small and unathletic, he felt himself excluded by his betters, despite his wit and intelligence. Made a suicide attempt by swimming out to sea, but a school of stinging jellyfish drove him back, in stark symbol of his own lacerating wit. Traveled by himself and taught at 3 different private school in 3 years, before deciding he would rather be a carpenter. Wrote a biography of poet/artist Dante Rossetti (Brian Jones), then did a novel in 1928 in order to have the money to get married, Decline and Fall, an ironic, scathing treatment about academia, which was a huge success. Felt himself ever afterwards as a defender of Roman Catholicism and high civilization, currently, in his view, forever in its decline. Married in 1928 to one of his betters, with oddly, the same first name, Evelyn Gardner. His wife, who probably found him unsatisfying sexually, was adulterous within a year, and the union was annulled the following annum, at which point he converted to Catholicism, and found his release with prostitutes over the next decade. After a score of well-received books, in which caricature substituted for character, he married a gentle, long-suffering woman in 1937, Laura Herbert, 6 children, including writer Auberon Waugh, who wrote an unflattering biography of him. Acted as if he loathed his children, save one favorite daughter, Meg, for whom he admitted to harboring far more than paternal feelings. Despite his failings, he demanded love of all those around him, and genuinely adored his wife, who also was an undemonstrative mother. Bought a country estate in the west of England, Piers Court, to live in isolated retirement, as tyrant/king of his own tiny kingdom, replete with loud tweed suits, and later in life, strange ear trumpets. Volunteered as an officer with the Royal Marines during WW II, spending 6 painful years in the service, although he proved to be an intractable soldier, fighting with considerable valor. After his sire’s death, he allowed himself freer emotional rein in his works, while unconsciously becoming more and more like him, mirroring his theatricality of dress and Victorian domestic atmosphere. Published his most realized novel Brideshead Revisited, following the war, in which he drew real characters for the first time. Discontinued in the vein of the satiric novelist, save for The Loved One, while exploring Catholicism and WW II. Also wrote journalistic pieces and biographies, always showing his careful craftsmanship. A surreal narrative, written in 1957,"The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold," limned a character not unlike himself who finally finds peace of mind through some hallucinatory self-revelations. Collapsed and died alone at home, behind a locked lavatory door, of a coronary thrombosis, after attending Easter Sunday Mass. Inner: Extremely clear stylist, with a strong sense of beauty in his words, although far more the entertainer than the perceptive scrivener. Saw writing as an exercise in language, and was self-admittedly obsessed with the power of words well-wrought. Viewed the 20th century vituperatively as ‘the century of the common man.’ Snob, bigot and crusader against the modern world, seeing it as amoral and chaotic. Believed in the independent sphere of the artist, with himself as its most articulate spokesman. Needed alcohol to dim his resistance to change, and sleeping pills to assuage his unconscious. Extremely generous to Catholic charities. Hard-hearted lifetime of playing the vituperative crusader, tilting against the windmills of modernism, while trying to integrate his deep sense of spirituality with an inability to truly express love. Alexander Pope (1688-1744) - English poet, critic and translator. Outer: Father was a deeply religious Catholic linen merchant, who retired from work the year of his son’s birth and rented a house outside of London because of a new law forbidding Catholics to live within 10 miles of the city. His son maintained his ties to the Church largely through respect for his family. Called “the little Nightingale,” as a child, because of the sweetness of his voice. Taught to read by an aunt, he was a bibliophile by the time he was 7. Removed from Catholic school after lampooning the head, he was then prevented from going to university because of his beliefs. Largely self-educated, with a fascination for the Greek poet Homer. At 15, he went to London, learned 4 languages and read widely in all of them, while dedicating his life to poesy. Suffered from Pott’s disease, possibly from too much study, which stunted his growth at 4’6” and gave him a permanent curvature of the spine, although he had an interesting face. Suffered headaches his entire life, and was forced to abstain from most physical activity, although he was an enthusiastic horseman. Began writing poetry in his teens, and wrote his mock-heroic masterpiece, The Rape of the Lock, in his mid-20s, then took on the prodigious task of translating Homer’s lIiad, relying on earlier translations, before doing The Odyssey, and Shakespeare’s work, although his efforts were heavily criticized by a pedant, whom he satirized in The Dunciad, followed by An Essay on Man, both initially published anonymously to avoid attack, and then later claimed as his own. Although not an original thinker, he was an extremely articulate one, who enjoyed the company of many belles lettres men of the day. Tried to add painting to his artistic skills, but was too near-sighted to be effective in that medium. Had a close friendship with fellow satirist Jonathan Swift (James Joyce), whose own rage at the human race complemented his more specific concerns with the esthetics of humanism. Lived with his parents, and after his father died in 1717, he rented a villa with his mother, until she died in his mid-40s, much to his eternal grief. Alternately loved and feared because of his savage wit, he was probably the dominant poet of his age, equally given to bitterness and brilliant stylistics. Wrote largely in 10 syllable couplets, with a fine ear for rhythm and cadence, and was the first English poet to enjoy fame on the continent. Said to have died from eating potted lampreys out of a silver saucepan. Inner: Completely dedicated to his art to the point of hypocritical manipulation in getting it published as he saw fit. Not particularly spiritual, far more the humanist. Highly affectionate and loyal, with a sweet disposition to his friends, but completely venomous to his enemies. Extremely careful craftsman, polishing his work to a high sheen. Loved to eat, as a counterbalance to his continual physical pain, and rarely allowed himself moderation as compensation for his afflictions. Dwarfish lifetime of being a literary giant by incarnating in a twisted body, and, at the time, a despised religion, demanding an extreme clarity of mind to compensate for a heart at once filled with darkness and light. Sydney Smith (1771-1845) - English clergyman and satirist. Outer: Father was a wealthy landowner of an eccentric and tyrannical nature, creating an unhappy environment for his four sons and daughter. Mother suffered from epilepsy. Originally wanted to be a lawyer, but his sire absolutely refused to let him. His stint at Winchester College from age 11 was marked by bullying and poor food, to add to his childhood woes. Completed his education at New College, Oxford, where he became a fellow. Short and stout. Ordained as an Anglican minister in 1794, he became a curate, and took priest’s orders two years afterwards. Went to Edinburgh as a tutor 4 years later, and also studied at the Univ. of Edinburgh, where he proved quite popular because of his sharp tongue. Married Catherine Amelia Pybus in 1800, five children from the union, with his daughter Saba ultimately publishing a memoir of him a decade after his death. In 1802, he helped found the Edinburgh Review, to which he contributed his trenchant pieces for the next quarter century, bringing him fame as a writer. With his reputation insured, he went to London the following year, and became a lecturer on moral philosophy, drawing enthusiastic audiences as his ready wit gained him a considerable following. Anonymously wrote “Letters of Peter Plymley,” which skewered Protestant bigotry while favoring Catholic emancipation. The power of his pen helped greatly in altering public opinion on the issue. A champion of parliamentary reform and wickedly clever voice of the underdog, he moved to Yorkshire in 1809 and became a rector, although he much preferred urban to country living. Made prebend of Bristol in 1828, and expected to become a bishop, although his political stances drew too much opposition to the appointment. His eldest son died the following year, which devastated him. Eventually was made a canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and lived there 3 months a year. After his older brother’s death in 1839, he inherited a fortune and lived comfortably for the remainder of his life in a house in London. Suffered from gout and eventually succumbed to an attack of the heart. Inner: Cheerful, positive satirist, with little of the darkness he would evince in the next life in this series, save for the occasional melancholy that wits are often prone to. Self-appointed champion of justice and truth, with the capability of lacerating wit, and a heartfelt desire to defend the oppressed. Healing lifetime of using his acerbic gifts in a positive manner, while enjoying the hearty appreciation of a large audience for being who he was, a man of heart and compassion, before dipping into his dark side in a desire to delve into the true artist beneath the wit. Thomas Fuller (1608-1661) - English writer and clergyman. Outer: Father was a rector. Oldest of two sons and five daughters. Mother was the daughter of a merchant and a widow when she married his sire. One maternal , John Davenant, was a professor of divinity and president of Queen’s College, Cambridge. Entered the latter at 13, following the death of his mother, and his father’s remarriage to a widow. Graduated in 1625 and at 20, became the university’s youngest M.A., although he was not awarded a fellowship. Went on to Sidney Sussex College, while being ordained in 1631, and began publishing, showing a technical knowledge of the metaphysical poets, but not the same skill. Made a prebend the same year, and in 1634, a vicar in Dorset. Tall, erect, and bulky, with curly, light-colored hair. In 1637, he married Eleanor Grove, the daughter of a friend of his uncle John Davenant. One son and a daughter from the union. Penned the first modern his/story of the crusades in English in 1639, and published one of his most popular works, The Holy State, three years later, a collection of short biographies, and illustrations of various states of life. Achieved a popular reputation in the pulpit, and was made preacher at the Chapel Royal in London, where he attempted a middle stance between the prerogatives of the king and the rights of Parliament in the heightening struggle between the two. In 1643, he lost both his wife and an infant daughter in childbirth. A moderate Royalist, he advocated peace when everyone was bit-chomping for having it out on the battlefield, and was forced to flee during the English Civil War. Spent part of it as chaplain with the king’s army and household, after which he was in attendance for 2 years on the household of the infant princess. After returning to London in 1646, he wrote a satire against Oliver Cromwell (Robert Kennedy), and then left the city 3 years later to serve an Essex parish. Despite championing the losing side, and suffering property loss for it, he had enough support to continue to live in England at various residences, while also using the dark times as impetus for a prolific outburst of published work centered round religious themes. Around 1651, he married Mary Roper, the daughter of a viscount, one son and two daughters from the union, although only the former lived beyond infancy. During the Commonwealth, his influential Puritan friends allowed him to preach again in London, beginning in 1652, and he wrote an excellent Church-History of Britain, replete with character sketches of notables. Eventually, he was given another parish in London, and after the Restoration, all his ecclesiastical privileges were restored, and he became a doctor of divinity at Cambridge as well as chaplain to Charles II (Peter O’Toole). Soon afterwards, however, he fell ill with a fever, and died in his lodgings. Noted for his wit, as well as his sense of his/story, he wrote widely on a variety of subjects, using whimsical humor as well as valuable antiquarian information, to broaden the scope of English biography with telling detail. Paid careful attention to form, but also inundated his works with puns, anecdotes, epigrams and other literary conceits. Inner: Witty, erudite and resolute in his beliefs. Moderate in his sentiments, supporting both king and parliament, when others were forced to take sides between the two. Great believer in the power of the Church of England. Transition lifetime of switching from rule to communication, and adhering to his religious principles during a time when they meant life or death, while employing his rich literary sense to enhance the his/storical accounts of his and earlier times. Richard III (1452-1485) - English king. Outer: 4th and last surviving son of Richard, Duke of York. Was made Duke of Gloucester at 1, when his older brother, Edward IV (Errol Flynn) deposed Henry VI (Harold Nicolson) and made himself king. Younger sibling of the Duke of Clarence (Guy Burgess) as well. Stayed loyal to his brother throughout family quarrels. Driven into exile at 18 with his sibling, he successfully commanded 2 vanguard forces, that led to his brother’s restoration. Married Anne Neville (Barbara Walters) in 1471, a 16 year old widow, who ultimately lost her will to live at the end of her husband’s future reign. One son from union, who predeceased his father, causing him great grief. Probably was complicitous in murdering Henry in the Tower of London, and was given titles and lands for his efforts. Became protector of the realm for 12 year old Edward V (Prince Edward) on his brother’s death in 1483, but came into conflict with his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Woodville (Joan Crawford), before having London preachers declare her marriage invalid and the children illegitimate. An assembly declared him king, as Edward V and his younger brother disappeared. May have been complicitous in their deaths, but they may also have died at the hands of his close associate, Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham (Kim Philby), who may have disposed of them to discredit the king, or at the insistence of his successor. Buckingham then raised a rebellion in southern England, but it quickly collapsed and he was executed. His effectiveness as a ruler, however, was severely damaged by a lack of trust in him, while his enemies joined Henry Tudor, earl of Richmond (Rupert Murdoch), and the army of this Lancastrian claimant to the throne met his own on Bosworth Field. Although the king’s forces were larger, several of his more powerful nobles defected and he fell on the field, fighting bravely. The only monarch after the Norman conquests to die in battle. His naked body was thrown over the back of a pack horse, while his crown was retrieved from beneath a gorse bush. After the Tudor line mounted the throne, his reputation was continually sullied, most notably in William Shakespeare’s (William Butler Yeats) propaganda-inspired play of his life, where he was presented as a hunchback, although portraits do not uphold this view, despite one shoulder being higher than the other. His body was eventually found under a parking lot in 2013, leading to forensic speculation as to what he looked like, and a possible posthumous rehabilitation for him. Inner: In actuality, a sensitive man. Able soldier and conscientious administrator before mounting the throne, and blameless husband after earlier infidelities. The power of the crown, however, brought out his darker side, and he fell to the harsh judgement of his/story, evincing the same duality of character, capable of both the dark and literary light that he would evince in his ongoing series of literary lives. Dualistic lifetime of concluding his desire for rule, necessitating a switchover to the power of the church, rather than the crown, to allow his acerb wit reign over the various succeeding ages in alternate sunny and acerbic form. Magnus Maximus (?-388) - Roman emperor. Outer: From a poor Spanish family. Kinsman of the emperor Theodosius I (Kenneth Tynan). Fought in Africa and Britain with him, before being promoted to command the army in Britain. Proclaimed Emperor by his troops in 383 and invaded Gaul. After the death of Gratian (Peter O’Toole) at the hands of his own forces, he was recognized by Theodosius, for military reasons, although the latter viewed him as a usurper. Assumed the name Flavius to link him with the royal house, and made his infant son co-ruler in 387. An Orthodox Catholic, he looked askance upon all forms of paganism and heresy. Invaded Italy in 387, but the imperial troops did not desert to him as he had hoped. After his brother was decidedly defeated by Theodosius, he threw himself on the emperor’s mercy, but was captured and summarily executed by him. His infant son, whom he had left in Gaul as Augustus, was also executed. Afterwards, Theodosius announced his reign was a usurpation and voided all measures taken by his government. As the last powerful emperor in the West, his fall insured that the center of the future empire would be Constantinople. Inner: Viewed as able and far-sighted in some quarters, and a sheer opportunist in others. Thwarted lifetime, once again, of having his ambition curtailed, and setting him on a long, winding pathway down through the millennia to try to learn how to complement his positive traits, with his underhanded and self-dividing needs.


Storyline: The aeternal aedolescent has few equals in his abilities at making children’s tales come alive, but he pays the terrible emotional price of never rising above the level of his audience in his own interior development to become a matchless little boy for the ages who refuses to ever really grow up.

Roald Dahl (1916-1990) - Welsh writer. Outer: A direct descendant of Scottish warrior William Wallace (Nguyen Giap), whose family was hounded out of England into Norway. Known as “Apple” as a child, he was his mother’s favorite, and totally dependent on her, while his sisters also doted on him. The former was the daughter of a meteorologist and classical scholar, and the second wife of his sire, who was a farmer turned extremely successful Norwegian ship broker as an English immigrant. The latter had a son and a daughter as well as an amputated arm, and when his first wife suddenly died he remarried. 4 more children from his second family, including three daughters. When his son was 3, he died of heartbreak, following the death of an older daughter from appendicitis. His mother then raised the combined families, giving her scion his passion for reading, while also taking her children to Norway every summer, which fostered his ongoing interests in Nordic mythic figures, such as witches and trolls, as well as nature. Lost his nose in a car accident, although it was sewn back on. Bleakly went off to boarding school in England at 9, where he experienced well-remembered floggings, while evincing a bullying humor, an intense competitiveness, and a complete aversion to authority, as well as Christianity, thanks to the hypocrisy he perceived behind his beatings at the hand of his headmaster. Decided against going to university, and instead worked for Shell Oil in East Africa from 1937 to 1939, then was an R.A.F. fighter pilot over North Africa during WW II, crashing in the desert on an early run for lack of fuel. Spent seven months in a hospital, and never completely recovered from his injuries, although he performed in heroic fashion in air battles during the German invasion of Greece, thus entwining his fantasies and his realities. 6’6”, yet remained a child his whole life. Invalided out of the service and was made an attaché in Wash. D.C., where he painted the genitals of a rhinoceros on the Q Street Bridge, and also began writing at the urging of novelist C.S. Forester, who felt his WW II adventures merited retelling, which he did in short story form. Mingled with the powerful and the culterati as an embodiment of British martial prowess, and seduced a number of glamorous women, including playwright Clare Booth Luce, by his account, while building a modest reputation for his macabre short stories, which explored the basest elements of human nature. In 1953, he married American actress Patricia Neal, despite the fact she didn’t love him and was on the rebound from her frustrating affair with actor Gary Cooper (Brad Pitt), who wouldn’t leave his wife for her. At the time, her career also largely overshadowed his, one son and four daughters from the union. As an infant, the son suffered accidental brain damage, although recovered after many years. One of his daughters died at 7 of encephalitis, then his wife had a series of strokes, while pregnant with their 5th and last child. Bullied her back into wellness, often sadistically, by taking total charge of her rehabilitation. After an undistinguished career as a writer of adult fiction, where only his short stories were recognized, he became famous for his children’s tales, written over the last 3 decades of his life. Often penned his books in pencil on a board held on his knees, while sitting in an old wooden shack at the bottom of his garden. The tales showed children outwitting their antagonists, while also employing repellent details that other prepubescent authors would not use, making him anathema to many American parents and librarians. Adaptable and cooperative in his work, but when it was finished, he threw tantrums with his publishers and actively worked on creating a public persona of a rebellious great writer to counteract the mean-spiritedness and pettiness of his private life. Best remembered for "James and the Giant Peach," which was published in 1967. Despite his character failings, he wrote stories where hope and charm won out over ugliness, although he was never shy about presenting the latter in all its repellent glory. Divorced Neal after 3 decades, when she discovered he was having an affair with her best friend, Felicity Crosland, whom he married the same year. Extremely bitter at life’s end over not receiving a knighthood. Died of leukemia, and 15 years later, a museum in his name was opened in London. Penned two autobiographies, “Boy: Tales of Childhood,” in 1984, and “Going Solo,” two years later. On his deathbed in a hospital surrounded by his family, he intoned, “It’s just that I’ll missyou all so much,” before being pricked by a needle by a nurse, to issue his final words, “Ow, fuck,” in perfect dualistic linguistic keeping with who he really was. Inner: Wittingly ingratiating as well as boorish. Extremely cruel and childish. Boob, bully and bigot. Very concerned with his own sense of power, but also secretly generous. Satiric moralist who often severely punished his characters. Totally intolerant, with a curious need to make himself noticed, despite his notable skills and presence. Chain smoker and chocaholic. Unintegrated lifetime of extending childhood into full maturity, while keeping his purity of soul solely in his writings, and rarely evident in the rest of his life. Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) - Danish novelist and storyteller. Outer: Son of a cobbler, who was a frustrated dreamer. Mother was hardworking, but ignorant and superstitious. Oversensitive, highly emotional, vain and naive as a child, a quartet of attributes which he retained his entire life, never really growing up. His grandfather was a harmless lunatic, and his parents adored and spoiled their son, playing with him on his level to reinforce his childlike view of the world. His father died when he was 8, leaving the family nothing, while his mother later became a drunkard and had to be institutionalized, after working as a prostitute, as did his half-sister. Tall, homely and geekish with a high girlish voice. Had a great passion for the theater, and wanted to an actor or singer or dancer. Loved to declaim in school, although was a poor student, causing him to quit, since he felt it wasn’t worth his genius. Built himself a little theater, instead, writing formless plays for it. His mother remarried another shoemaker, who let her support the family through washing, then she apprenticed her son to a weaver, before putting him in a tobacco factory, which he fled in horror, after being humiliated for his androgyny. On his own at 14, he set out for Copenhagen, penniless and in rags. Stalked the well-to-do and crashed salons, before finally finding a patron for his soprano singing, but his voice changed. Afterwards he won generous patronage, and the notice of the king, and found a substitute father in the director of the Royal Theater who insisted he go back to school, which he did for 5 years, although it was a torturous experience, made more so by a teacher who resented his royal connections. Returned to Copenhagen at 22, having already written 2 plays and a story, despite still being a child at heart. Given a traveling stipend by the king, he took a 16 month journey to Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy, during which time he composed a long poem and an autobiographical novel. While waiting for it to be published, he wrote a catchpenny pamphlet of fairy tales. Never took his fairy tales seriously, thinking of himself as a novelist and dramatist, although his 168 tales, many of them gruesome and grotesque, and published in a series of yearly volumes, would gain him immortality. Never married, although he had a number of crushes on woman and men, and probably died a virgin, although in later life he visited brothels several times to talk to the prostitutes, before fleeing in guilt, feeling he would betray his gifts if he succumbed to the loss of his sexual innocence. Obsessed his entire life with his primary patron’s son, Edvard Collin, who on his request was buried, along with EC’s wife, beside him. Also feel in love with the singer Jenny Lind (Judy Garland), who did not return the feeling. Moved often, dined regularly with the rich and famous and traveled a great deal, always maintaining his childlike innocence and naivete. Became a state councilor, an intimate of royalty and the holder of many foreign honors, while never understanding the universal appeal of his tales. Had a bad fall 3 years before his death and never recovered from it. Died from liver cancer. Wrote his autobiography, “The Fairy Tale of My Life,” whitewashing his grim upbringing. Inner: Emotionally childlike, although never liked small children. Highly contradictory figure, with a curious genius for storytelling that he could not fully acknowledge. Had a lifelong fear of appearing ridiculous in public, thanks to an unmerciful childhood. Retarded adult lifetime of staying at the child level in order to bring out his ancient interior, untouched by the sophisticated early modern world. Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695) - French poet and fable writer. Outer: Son of the water and forest master of Chateau-Thierry. His difficulties in being focused impeded his education, although he was inspired by Francois Malherbe (Michel Foucault), and attempted to imitate his poetic works. His father encouraged his interest in poetry, and gave him his own mastership of waters and forests. Showed little interest in it, as well as to a subsequent marriage in his mid-20s to Marie Hericart, a heiress. The couple lived largely apart and officially separated eleven years later. Spent most of the rest of his life in Paris, after meeting a noblewoman and accompanying her to the City of Lights. Had a long series of distinguished patrons, mostly noblewomen, who protected him from his own financial ineptitude. Largely ignored by the court, he was given much leisure time for his own creativity. From 1664 to 1672, he served as gentleman-in-waiting to a dowager duchess. Best remembered for his Contes or fables, which ultimately found ill-favor with the increasingly conservative king, Louis XIV (Charles de Gaulle). Employed animal figures in them to depict a variety of social types, as well as the vices and virtues of easily recognizable archetypes. Friend of many men of letters, he was particularly close with the playwright Moliere (Charlie Chaplin). Elected to the French Academy in 1683 over his rival Boileau (Gore Vidal), although the king withheld approval until both entered simultaneously. Took a strong interest in Academy affairs. After the death of his main patroness, he was left nearly indigent. Suffered a near fatal illness 3 years before his death, and spent the last stretch of his life in austere repentance, wearing a hair shirt, re-embracing Catholicism, and denouncing his impiety and his amoral Contes, upon which his fame rests. The last of his tales were published posthumously. Inner: Totally impractical, depending largely on wealthy women for his survival. Naturally indolent, relatively passive, impious, witty and superficial. Co-dependent lifetime of being cared for and supported by others in order to allow his creativity free reign, and keep him on the same child level he would carry throughout this series, following his disastrous attempts at rule. Francois II (1544-1560) - King of France. Outer: Eldest son of Catherine de’ Medici (Indira Gandhi) and Henri II (Robert Downey, Jr.). Brother of Charles IX (Rajiv Gandhi) and Henri III (Gianni Versace). In 1558, he married Mary, Queen of Scots (Marguerite Duras), no children from union, although the duo were greatly attached to one another. Succeeded his father in 1559, and because he was of age, he did not need a regent. His mother, however, controlled him, and hoped to rule through him. Also dominated by the Guise family, who would threaten the throne of his 2 successor brothers. The explosive duality of French religiosity between the French Catholics and Protestant Huguenots continued during his short 2 year regime, and he and his queen supposedly amused themselves by viewing the hanged corpses of the Huguenots. In 1560, he became seriously ill with headaches and fainting fits. Died screaming in pain from meningitis, after undergoing horrific trepanning surgery. Inner: Feeble, constantly aroused sexually, but already spent by his mid-teens. Very unhappy, weak-willed and unattractive being. Arrested adolescent lifetime of acting out his horror of rule, despite being continually placed in its genetic pathway. Michael IX Palaeologus (1277-1329) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: Father was Byzantine emperor Andronicus II (Sonny Bono). Mother, Anna of Hungary, was a Hungarian princess. The oldest of five brothers and two sisters, he was crowned co-emperor around 1294, during a time of disintegration, thanks to his sire’s inept and indecisive rule. Married Rita of Armenia, the daughter of the Armenian king, and one of a pair of twin sisters. Two sons and two daughters from the union, including his ultimate successor, Andronicus III (Gianni Versace). A brave but extremely untalented martial artist, he suffered a humiliating defeat in 1302 to the Turks and barely escaped with his life. Made to deal with the Catalan Company, a group of Spanish mercenaries, who rebelled after the murder of their leader in Constantinople and once again met with defeat, when his Christianized Turkish troops fled the field even before the fighting began. Failed against the Bulgarian tsar in 1307, before marrying one of his daughters to him to insure their political alliance. Because of his inability in the field, the empire was forced to pay tributes, draining its treasury. A final defeat in 1311 by the Ottoman empire Osman I (Jawaharal Nehru) relieved him of his military command, and sent him back into private life, before retiring some years later to Thessalonica. Became the only emperor to predecease his sire, while his death was thought to be the result of overwhelming grief, followed by a stroke, when his younger son Manuel was killed by retainers of his older son, Andonicus III, right after the loss of one of his daughters. Inner: Spent much of his adult life campaigning, without ever once winning a major battle, leaving him deeply disappointed and disillusioned. Often reduced to tears of frustration in his failure to rally his troops, before watching them mercilessly slaughtered. Never able to match his courage with solid leadership skills, particularly in light of the ragtag armies he often led. Empty scabbard lifetime of being forced to spend his martial coin on questionable troops he could not inspire, as part of an imperial tandem that would prove among the worst in Byzantine his/story. Flavius Arcadius (c377-408) - Roman emperor. Outer: Elder son of Theodosius I (Kenneth Tynan), and designated as his successor from an early age. Received the title of Augustus in 383 and was taught first by his mother, then by a deacon, and finally by the famous pagan man of letters, Themistius. Short, thin, dark-complected and unimpressive-looking. Succeeded to the Constantinople throne on the death of his father in 395, while his younger brother Honorius (Bret Eason Ellis) ruled in the West. Viewed as the first Byzantine emperor, demarking the point when the 2 empires went their separate ways. A weak-willed character, he never was able to assert himself and was continually dominated by others. Watched as his praetorian prefect was murdered by his troops in 395, which made his eunuch court chamberlain supreme, although he, too, fell victim to the will of others, 4 years later when the empress, Aelia Eudoxia (Marguerite Duras), whose marriage he had arranged in 395, became Augusta. After her death in 404, another praetorian prefect rose to supremacy and outlasted the torpid emperor. An enthusiastic Christian, he passed severe laws against heretics, pagans and adulterers. Father of Theodosius II (Harold Nicolson), who succeeded him, as well as Pulcheria (Vita Sackville-West). Died a natural death, but his family house was strong enough to pass uneventfully to his heir. Inner: Torpid, sluggish and stupid. Totally dominated by others. Uninspiring lifetime of coming into a strong ruling house that made absolutely no demands on him, allowing him to neither grow nor recede as a leader, but merely to act as a transitory figure, passing his unused sceptre on, when he was finished with his relatively brief life.


Storyline: The supreme sensualist turns his longtime rapacious interior into cinematic art, allowing others to act out what he long did in the realms of the sexual, the political and the politically sexual for the graphic elucidation of his world audience.
Bernardo Bertolucci (1940) - Italian filmmaker and poet. Outer: Father was a poet, anthologist, film critic and art his/story professor. Mother was of Irish-Italian extract, and had been born in Australia where her own sire was an exile. She, too, became a teacher, as well. Brother Giuseppe became a theater director and playwright, while a cousin, Giovanni, was a producer who worked closely with him. Grew up in a stimulating environment, and was given a lot of creative support, although felt strong Oedipal urges because of the closeness of his parents. Enjoyed the earthiness of his grandfather’s small farm, along with the refined life of his progenitors, in a large house with servants. Made his first two shorts at 15, while also taking pen in hand, with his original desire to be a poet. His first book, “In Search of Mystery,” won a top literary award. 6’1”, sturdily built. Attended the Univ. of Rome, and his father got him a job as an assistant to director Pier Paolo Pasoliini. That experience gave him his life direction, and he quit school to become a filmmaker fulltime. His first effort, in 1962, was The Grim Reaper. Although he failed to attract a viewing public with his initial films, he received critical acclaim. Over the next five years, he turned to documentaries, when he couldn’t finance anything further, while assisting others because of the economic decline of the Italian film industry. Had to use foreign actors in his subsequent releases, although continued to explore themes of Italian identity through them. Married actress Adriana Asti, who was seven years his senior, and starred in several of his films. No children from the union, which ended in divorce. Finally had his breakthrough feature with The Conformist in 1970, a look at Italy’s fascist past. His next film, The Last Tango in Paris, with Marlon Brando, complemented the earlier effort with his twin fascinations, eros and politics. Its heralded sodomy scene caused it to be censored with all copies destroyed by the government. Also had his civil rights revoked for five years and was given a four month suspended prison sentence. Eventually, it would be seen in Italy in a slightly censored version at a much later date. A self-styled Marxist, who eventually saw communism as a failure, he has since become a highly heralded international director with a host of widely-seen films, including Luna, 1900 and The Last Emperor, a look at China’s final imperial ruler, which garnered 9 Academy Rewards in 1988, including best picture and best director. As testament to his status, he was allowed unprecedented permission to film it in the Forbidden City. In 1990, he wed Clare Peploe, a British screenwriter who became a director as well. Continually pushing boundaries so as to make his audience look at both themselves and the world around them, through an acute understanding of the human psyche. The subject of many a doctoral thesis on the creative experience, he loves to tweak propriety, and although he is viewed in some circles as limited in his obsessions, he has remained at the forefront of world cinema for five decades, both for his own works, and his collaborations with others. Confined to a wheelchair in later life because of operations for crippling back pain, as symbol of self-questioning support for himself, he remains, nevertheless, an extraordinary eye capable of speaking volumes about the human condition. Inner: Both psychologically and politically oriented, with a fascination with awakened eros. Dedicated cinephile, often referencing classical films in his works. Needs to fall in love with his characters, in order to make them his, and always allows great freedom of expression to his actors and actresses. Freud shakes hands with Marx lifetime of exploring his longtime obsessions through the graphic venue of cinema, revealing an interior that has long shocked, confounded and fascinated the literary world for centuries. Gabriele D’Annunzio, Prince of Monte-Nevoso (1863-1938) - Italian poet, playwright and aviator. Outer: Father was a wealthy landowner and provincial councilor, as well as a dealer in wine, who later became mayor of his town. Youngest of 3 sons and 2 daughters. Published at 16, and then went to Rome in his late teens and half-heartedly pursued some courses at the Univ. of Rome, before embarking on a busy round of social and sexual conquests. Seduced, married and abandoned Maria di Gallese, the daughter of a duke, after siring 3 children with her, then initiated a passionate high-living assault on his cultural world, pouring out verse by the score, as well as a host of plays, novels and sheer hack work. Moved to Naples in the 1890s, and after a long liaison with a countess, began a 16 year affair with the noted actress Eleanora Duse (Sophia Loren) in 1894, penning several dramas for her. His decadent, perverse eroticism caused all his works to be put on the Papal index of forbidden books. Although his later oeuvre was superficial, everything he did showed a distinct creativity in his use of language. Elected to Parliament in 1897, he gradually arced leftward politically from his early right-wing stances, although he was defeated for re-election. Continued to live well above his income, and in his mid-40s, plagued by debts due to his extravagance, he moved to France, then returned to Italy at the outbreak of WW I, where his oratory helped convince the country to ally with the Allies. Fought with spectacular courage in the air force, losing an eye with the crash of a seaplane. Suffered blindness for several weeks, from which he partially recovered, and later wrote a moving account of the experience. After the war, he led an expedition against Fiume, where he established a short rule that was opposed by both the Italian government and the rest of Europe, and his forces were later forced to withdraw. His troops introduced the black shirts that would become the uniform of the Fascists. Openly courted by dictator Benito Mussolini for support, who made him Prince of Monte-Nevoso in 1924. Infatuated with women, cars, airplanes, and high-powered boats, he was an inveterate seducer, while being seduced himself by both fame and glory. His later work was much more uneven and unremarkable, as he got lost in his own self-importance, despite being a prolific writer in both French and Italian. Nominated in 1937 as president of the Accademia d’Italia. Spent his last years in seclusion with 2 former prostitutes in an Italian villa, and died of a brain hemmorhage at his desk. Given a state funeral afterwards by Mussolini. Inner: Patriotic, fascistic, imbued with an equal passion for poetics and politics. Dandy, shameless self-publicist, incorrigible philanderer. Saw himself as a superhero. Sunshine superman lifetime of serving conservative political ideals and liberal literary ones, while casting himself as a heroic voice of his native land. Ippolito Nievo (1831-1861) - Italian poet and patriot. Outer: Son of a lawyer of noble origins, mother was a Venetian noblewoman. Spent his childhood in various Lombard cities, before entering a seminary in Verona. Studied law at the Univ. of Padua, remaining there until his mid-20s. Wrote poetry, novels and plays, showing a keen sense of psychological observation. Joined Guiseppe Garibaldi (Antonio Banderas) in Sicily in 1859 and became a colonel and trusted officer of the Italian general. Died in a shipwreck shortly afterwards aboard the “Hercules.” Because of his brief life, he never revised his works, leaving them as evidence of an interesting talent that was never allowed to fully blossom. Inner: Romantic poet/warrior. Sip of chianti lifetime of exploring archetypal themes of the poet and the warrior, a continual quest of his. George Gordon, sixth baron Byron (1788-1824) - English poet. Outer: Granduncle was known as ‘the wicked lord,’ setting the degenerate tone for the family. Father, ‘Mad Jack’ Byron, was a heartless, handsome and profligate member of the Guards, who married a marchioness. The couple had 3 children, with one daughter surviving infancy, before his wife died mysteriously. His 2nd mate was an overweight, hot-tempered Scottish heiress, the last of her line. Dissipated his wife’s fortune in France by the time his son was born, and then died of alcoholism at 36, when the lad was 3. His mother was alternately affectionate and violent with him. Clubfooted and lame in both feet, although he later became an athlete of distinction, despite pointless restraints placed on his limbs by sadistic doctors. Spent his early years in Scotland, where his mother took in lodgers, and always had a slight Scot’s burr to his speech. Unexpectedly came into an inheritance at 6 through a distant relative’s battlefield death, and, after years of poverty, finally received land and title at 10. At 11, he was put in the safekeeping care of a drunken nursemaid who beat him during the day and took him into her bed at night, while instructing him in the Bible. Retrieved by his mother the following year, but his sense of sexual cruelty and distaste for religious cant were already deeply imbedded. Short and slight, he battled weight his entire adult life. Attended private schools, where he was bullied for his infirmity, showed skill at athletics and verse, but not scholarship, which continued when he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he kept a bear as a pet. Frequented low company, lived extravagantly and fell into debt, with the reputation of being ‘mad, bad - and dangerous to know.’ Published poetry, gained notoriety through a witty rebuttal to a sharp review of his work in the Edinburgh press, acted as a lavish host on his estate and took his seat in the House of Lords, where he had fantasies of becoming a Whig leader. Sailed, traveled, had many adventures of both the loins and the limbs with both sexes, and built a legendary reputation for himself as rogue and rascal. In 1812, he became famous overnight when he published the first cantos of the verse he would be best known for, Childe Harold, a melancholy, philosophical poem written in the classic English tradition. Had an affair with Lady Caroline Lamb (Vita Sackville West), who later caricatured him in print. Because of creditors, he tried to sell his estate, was accepted in marriage in his mid-20s by Anna Milbanke, a serious, cold young heiress, after first being refused by her. Treated her with unspeakable cruelty, and when she discovered evidence of his incestuous relationship with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh (Eva Braun), with whom he had a daughter, she accused him of insanity and left him. Signed a deed of separation, then left England forever in 1816, embittered by what he felt was a hypocritical society. Fathered another daughter, Allegra, with Claire Clairmont (Carrie Fisher), the sister-in-law of Percy Shelley (Tim Buckley), traveled with the Shelleys, settled in Italy, and surrendered himself to excess. Agreed to bring Allegra up if Clairmont stayed away from him, then put the child in a convent, where she died at the age of 5 from typhus. After selling his estate, he began his celebrated Don Juan, a comedy of witty asides. Pursued an Italian countess, separating her from her husband so she could come live with him in Pisa as his final mistress. Wrote dramas, then joined the Greek insurgents wishing independence from the Turks, enlisted in a regiment which he disbanded because of their mutinous temperament, and tried to raise another corps. Gave himself selflessly to this final cause, but died of marsh fever, after having been bled to death by incompetent physicians. A barrier had to be erected around his casket to protect it from the throngs eager to view his encased remains as a final testament to his life. His flamboyant reputation has subsequently kept him alive to many succeeding generations, as an archetypal romantic hero. Inner: The very embodiment of English romanticism. Handsome, witty, charming, but also a manic-depressive with a violent temper. Passionate, unconventional, cruel, megamagnetic, dualistic and bisexual. Incestor, molester and all-around seducer. Ambivalent towards women despite his many affairs. Sexual outlaw and professional revolutionary, radical and moral deviant. Had great indignation about injustice and oppression, and viewed the American Revolution as an ideal statement of liberty. Used human skulls as drinking vessels, and loved traveling with menageries of animals and hordes of hanger-ons. Rake’s Regress lifetime of living the self-centered sensual and creative existence of the romantic ideal, so that his name would be forevermore linked with sensual sensibilities. Luiz de Camoes (c1524-1580) - Portuguese poet. Outer: Father was a Portuguese naval officer who died in a shipwreck shortly after his only son’s birth. Both his parents were from distinguished families. Studied under a relative who was a canon. Probably educated at the Univ. of Coimbra. Left for Lisbon in 1542, where his aristocratic background gave him access to court circles, and lived the dashing life of the poet-courtier. Because of an impassioned romance with a lady-in-waiting to the queen, he was banished from the court through the efforts of the parents of his inamorata, who rejected him because of his relative poverty. Wrote several dramas of mediocre quality, showing himself to be far more accomplished as a lyric poet. Had a brief retirement, then spent 2 years in Africa as a soldier, losing his right eye in a Moroccan battle. Returning to Lisbon, he engaged in a street fight in which he wounded a minor palace functionary and was thrown into prison. Released after several months on the condition that he join an expedition to India. In 1553, he enlisted for 3 years, but did not see Portugal again for nearly 2 decades. During this time, he wrote the epic poem upon which reputation rests, Os Lusiadas (The Lusiads), which not only chronicles the voyages of Vasco da Gama to India but also encompasses all the great events of Portuguese his/story. Took part in military campaigns, spent a sojourn with Buddhist monks in China, was shipwrecked off the coast of Siam, in which he lost all his possessions save for his manuscript, which he clung to while he swam to land. All during this period, he traveled, fought, adventured, and continued writing and adding to his masterpiece. Finally returned to Lisbon in his late 40s, broken in health, but his poetry soon won him fame and honor. Granted a small pension as reward for his services to the state and for his writings. His last years were sad and he died of a fever. Later celebrated in the works of Lord Byron, a future life of his. Inner: Dashing and passionate with a thirst for immortality through his writings. Swashbuckling lifetime of high adventure, lived in the mode of that other epic hero, Odysseus, under the auspices of his own cyclopean sense of immortal self. Ercole I d’Este (1431-1505) - Italian Renaissance prince. Outer: Son of Niccolo III d’Este (Kenneth Tynan), and his third and final wife. One of two brothers. Younger half-brother of Leonello d’Este (Leonard Woolf) and Borso d’Este (F. Scott Fitzgerald). As his sire’s third legitimized son, he never expected to rule, and spent the early part of his life as a soldier. Sent as a youth to the royal court at Naples, where he received his military training, as well as a fine appreciation of both art and architecture, which would serve him well later on as a highly active patron of the arts. In 1467, while fighting for Venice against Florence, he was shot in the leg, which made him lame for the rest of his life. Known thereafter as ‘Ciotto,’ or lame. In 1471, he succeeded Borso as Duke of Ferrara, and quickly showed a marked talent for rule. Married the daughter of the king of Naples, and used his celebrated daughters from the union, Beatrice (Vanessa Bell) and Isabella (Virginia Woolf) to enhance the political power of his duchy through advantageous marriages to the Mantuan Gonzagas and Milanese Sforzas, while he had his son Alfonso (Tim Buckley) serially marry into the Gonzaga and Borgia clans. 3 other sons from the union, as well. Continued his condottiere activity, fighting for Florence and Milan against Naples and the Papal States, despite doing battle with his own brother-in-law. Then did battle with Venice in the early 1480s. Under siege by the papacy, which coveted his duchy, and also attacked by the plague, famine, and his own wavering health, he was ultimately saved by Naples from being usurped, and afterwards devoted himself to enhancing his own court, rather than continuing his aggressive policies. Struck coins in the manner of the old Roman emperors, with his visage upon them, the only Italian ruler to do so, as an unconscious reflection of his crypto-past. An enthusiastic builder, he expanded the city while rebuilding its old parts, and continued to support the university, so that the city became a seminal place of both artists and poets, fostering scholarship, letters and memorable art and architecture, as well as secular theater and music, making Ferrara a progressive musical center for the next century, as well as a birthplace of many theatrical forms. A fun-loving figure, with a decidedly erotic nature, he was a prodigious drinker and fornicator, and loved the company of fools, and easy laughter. Despite his overt pursuit of pleasure, he also had a fine administrative sense, and encouraged political freedom, so that refugees from elsewhere in Italy could come to Ferrara. Admired Savonarola (Martin Heidigger), the firebrand reformer who was a native Ferraran, and had an interpersonal relationship with him, although was unable to save him from the stake in Florence. Both soldiers and professors were paid on time, and though taxes were high, there was little want in the city, and the end result of his rule was one of the most magnificent cities in Italy of the time. Thanks to his two remarkable daughters, his model was also exported elsewhere, and when he died he left an accomplished duchy to his designated heir, Alfonso I. Inner: Both physical and cerebral, with a cultivated sense of aloofness, as befit a magnificent ruler. Lusty lifetime of matching his considerable talents to his times, to leave a cultural legacy for the ages, while bringing his own duchy to its memorable Renaissance heights. Ethelbald (?-860) - English king. Outer: Son of Ethelwulf (Harold Nicolson) and Osburga. Brother of Ethelbert (Tim Buckley), Ethelred (Jeff Buckley) and Alfred the Great (Thomas Jefferson). With his father, he led the West Saxons to victory against the Danes in 851. Rebelled against his sire during or after his father’s pilgrimage to Rome in 855 and took control of Wessex, which the former allowed him to do, and continued to rule it until his death. Following his father’s demise in 858, he married his stepmother Judith (Vita Sackville-West) in order to ensure his own rule, although the move shocked everyone. Childless union. May have been forced to separate from her at the Church’s shocked urging, although the circumstances remain unrecorded, and she returned to France soon after his death. Succeeded by his brother Ethelbert, as his sire had earlier stipulated. Inner: Ambitious, impatient and calculating. Scheming lifetime of actualizing his Oedipal fantasies by challenging his father and marrying his stepmother, and having them both acquiesce to his wishes. Constantius III (?-421) - Roman emperor. Outer: Of Danubian origins, he pursued a military career. Affected a sullen expression with downcast eyes, a long neck and broad head. Rose to prominence shortly after the sack of Rome in 410. Became Master of Soldiers at the court of Honorius (Bret Eason Ellis) by 411, and the most dominant influence there, acting as virtual ruler of the west for the next decade in everything but name, save for the last 7 months. Able to suppress the usurpation of Constantine III (Tim Buckley) and achieved a settlement with the Visigoths, which had eluded his predecessor. Vigorously blockaded the Mediterranean coast, which helped bring about the downfall of a renegade senator and a Visigoth leader who had taken the emperor’s stepsister, Galla Placidia (Zelda Fitzgerald), hostage. In 414, he married her in a political union, despite her reluctance, and their son, Valentinian III (Ethan Hawke) became a future emperor. Also had a daughter with her. Resisted financial temptation most of his life, but became greedy and extortionate towards the end, which made him unpopular. Recognized, reluctantly, by Honorius as a fellow Augustus in 421, although the eastern emperor refused to acknowledge him, which outraged him and he threatened to take the east by force, but his health immediately began to fail and he died after only 7 months of rule. Inner: Acted the autocrat in public, but was witty and relaxed in private, enjoying the clowns and entertainers who performed at his table. Found the role of emperor irksome, much preferred being the power behind the throne. Sceptered lifetime of proving himself a martial adept and an excellent manipulator of military power, only to be given a throne he really did not want, and quickly succumbed to its irksome demands.


Storyline: The libel-prone ex-assassin carries the burdens of an ancient act over numerous lifetimes, undoing his own sanity over and over while embracing a morbid religiosity in order to purge himself of ugly deeds from the past, before inviting further judgement on himself as a best-selling author of questionable moral authority.

Jeffrey Archer (1940) - English author and politician. Outer: Only child of a career soldier who won a Distinguished Conduct Medal while an infantry sergeant in WW I. Mother was a journalist. Extremely precocious, he announced he wanted to be prime minister, when he was 4. In 1955, on his father’s death, he won a scholarship to Wellington, where he proved himself a talented sprinter. Tall, athletic. Spent a further year in the U.S. on another athletic scholarship, then returned to England as a physical education teacher at Dover College. Completed his education at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he was captain of the Oxford track and field team, and later performed in the 1964 Olympics. Proved to be a highly successful fund-raiser at college, and after graduation, he launched Arrow Enterprises, a public relations firm that specialized in the media and fund-raising. In 1966, he married Mary Dordeen Weeden, a chemistry professor whom he had met at Oxford, 2 sons from the union. The following year, he won a seat on the Greater London Council. At 29, he became the youngest member of the House of Commons as a Tory, but was forced to give up his seat 5 years later after investing in a fraudulent Canadian industrial cleaning company, Aquablast. Turned to writing to avoid bankruptcy, basing his first book, Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, on his experiences. It became a best-seller and a prototype for the simplistic potboilers he would subsequently churn out, which all centered around suspense, wealth and power. Having rehabilitated himself by making money off his fiction, he was appointed deputy Tory party chairman by Margaret Thatcher, but was forced to resign when 2 newspapers proclaimed his involvement with a prostitute. Sued for libel and won the largest settlement up until that time. Made a peer by John Major in 1992, he then ran for mayor of London in 1999, but was forced to abandon the race, when a criminal investigation was opened. Ultimately convicted of perjury in his earlier libel trial and was initially sentenced in 2001 to 7 years in prison for a variety of charges stemming from the incident. Inner: Boyish and energetic, with a propensity for melodrama, and a gift for capturing headlines. Roller-coaster lifetime of creating much ink around himself, in his ongoing inner reflection of judgments both for and against him, as he continues to purge himself and accrue to his own unexpressed sense of guilt and redemption. Archibald Primrose, 5th earl of Rosebery (1847-1929) - English statesman. Outer: Father was the 4th earl, and an MP, who died when his son was 4. Mother was an earl’s daughter, who married a duke following her husband’s demise. Eldest son and third of 4 children. Had an extremely strained relationship with his mother. Studied at Eton, where he showed homophile proclivities, and then Christ Church, Oxford. While at the latter, against university rules, he bought his first racehorse, and when he was given the choice of selling the horse, or abandoning his studies, he chose the latter course, and left without a degree. At 19, he succeeded his grandfather to the earldom, and gained both large estates in Scotland, and a seat in the House of Lords. Handsome and aloof, with an initial arrogant, insolent, unpleasant personality. Despite an interest in liberal politics, he never sat in the House of Commons. In his early 30s, he married Hannah de Rothschild, the wealthy daughter and only child of ubercapitalist Mayer Rothschild, much to his mother’s displeasure, in a dual Jewish and Anglican ceremony. At one point, his wife was said to be the richest woman in England. Although criticized by the Jewish press for marrying outside her religion, she never considered giving it up, and proved an extremely supportive mate, noted for her philanthropy. 2 sons and 2 daughters from the union. May also have had a homophile relationship with the older brother of Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde’s (Joe Orton) inamorata. The affair ended with the former’s death in either a shooting accident, or a deliberate suicide. After successfully managing William Gladstone’s (J. William Fulbright) 1879 Midlothian campaign, basing it on American presidential campaigns he had witnessed, he accepted the post of undersecretary of state in the Home Office with a focus on Scottish affairs, and as lord privy seal. Resigned after two years, when he questioned Gladstone’s interest in Scotland, and traveled the world, promoting his own imperialist ideas, and making a celebrated speech in Australia in which he said, “The British Empire is a Commonwealth of Nations.” As a Progressive, he became the first chairman of the London County Council, then served as Gladstone’s secretary of state for foreign affairs, continuing Lord Salisbury’s (Margaret Thatcher) policy of secret alliances against Russia. The death of his wife in 1890 from typhoid and Bright’s disease, which devastated him, made him withdraw from public life, but he was persuaded by Queen Victoria (Mary Renault), who greatly favored him, to return in 1892 for his second stint as foreign secretary. Reluctantly succeeded Gladstone as Prime Minister in 1894, but was largely ineffective and gladly resigned his post the following year, after 15 months in office. His imperialist designs were roundly defeated, and his opposition to Irish Home Rule did little to endear him to his own party, while his Cabinet remained divided. Later resigned as leader of the Liberal party in the name of party unity, and subsequently took opposing stances, choosing to withdraw from any major role in public life. His favorite son was killed in Palestine in 1917. Wrote several popular political biographies, despite being an unexceptional scholar and was an enthusiastic racehorse owner throughout his life, winning the Epsom Derby three times. Also a keen enthusiast for association football, having been an early patron of the sport in Scotland. Suffered a stroke at the end of WW I, but lingered on for another dozen years. Asked to hear the Eton boating song, just before he died. At the time, he was the richest ex-prime minister ever, with an estate exceeding £1,000,000. Inner: Extremely enigmatic figure, with an impenetrable character. Haughty Scottish patrician, lived like a prince, with great houses in England, Scotland and Italy. Morbidly religious. Excellent orator, good writer, collector of discrimination, petulant and fastidious. Partially healing lifetime of reluctant high political profile without descending into madness in a go-round that nevertheless evinced numerous royal quirks, without allowing him to ultimately sink into himself. George III (1738-1820) - King of England. Outer: His father was Frederick Louis (Prince William), who died when he was 13. Mother was Augusta of Saxe-Coburg (Princess Diana). In fine Hanover tradition, he despised his grandfather, George II (Chris Patten), thanks to the ministrations of his family, whom he adored. Slow to develop mentally, didn’t fully learn to read until he was 11, although he spoke without an accent. His father died the following year, and his mother was extremely possessive. Heavily influenced by the Earl of Bute (Eugene McCarthy) from childhood on. Felt inadequate for the throne, despite being raised to rule, although was determined to overcome his deficiencies. Ascended to the throne at the age of 22. Deeply religious, hardworking, conscientious, albeit subject of much sniping in the gutter press. Encouraged piety and virtue at court, and was a monogamously faithful husband to his German-born musically-inclined wife, Sophia Charlotte (Barbara Cartland), whom he married at 23, 15 children including his regent and successors, George IV (Warren Beatty) and William IV (Prince Harry). Obsessively attached to his family, although his eldest son came to deeply resent him, and his siblings proved far more trouble than they were worth. Had the Earl of Bute as his initial chief minister, even though he proved inadequate, and his first decade of rule was unstable. No one was ever allowed to turn his back on him, and everyone departed his company backwards. Continually asking, “What? What?” while most of his sentences and observations were half-finished. Oversaw the loss of the American colonies, which were a bitter blow to him, and at one point thought of abdicating. Attacked with a knife by a woman in 1786 at the theater, but was not wounded, and was extremely calm afterwards. Suffered convulsions during a ride in the rain in 1788, and dipped in and out of insanity ever after. Attacked the Prince of Wales at a state dinner and tried to smash his head into a wall. Had bouts of non-stop talking, foaming at the mouth, and once addressed an oak tree as if it were the King of Prussia. As a descendant of Charles VI of France (Antonin Artaud), he suffered, like him, from poryphria. Gradually regained his reason, and was the singular European monarch who was not revulsed by the French Revolution. Had a couple of brief relapses of madness, and finally permanently lost his reason in his 70’s. Wound up as a blind old man with a long beard who liked to talk to angels. Well-liked by the populace despite his dementia. Inner: Silent, modest, easily embarrassed. Obsessive, hysterically possessive of his children, unwilling to let them grow into their maturity. Spent long hours in prayer. Patron of both the arts and sciences, and also fascinated by agricultural schemes and model farms, earning him the sobriquet of “Farmer George.” Angelspeak lifetime of trying to expiate his ongoing sense of power abused, with an unintegrated open channel to his higher self, which later allowed him to become a writer. James Hamilton, 3rd earl of Arran (1537?-1609) - Scottish nobleman. Outer: Eldest son of the highly ambitious 2nd earl, who was governor of Scotland, and 2nd in line for the Scottish throne. Held prisoner of his sire’s enemies when he was 9, before commanding the Scots guard in France for most of the decade of the 1550s, where he became a Protestant. Involved in various intrigues afterwards, while strengthening his father’s position in Protestant policy. Proposed as a suitor for both the future Elizabeth I (Mae West) and Mary, Queen of Scots (Marguerite Duras), per his father’s machinations, which made him a fugitive. Took a successful part in several military actions, defending Scotland against the French, while supporting the Scottish reformation. Accused James Bothwell (Whittaker Chambers) of plotting to abduct Mary and marrying her, after reconciling with him, following an earlier plot to capture him. Judged insane soon afterwards and imprisoned until 1566, then released and put under care of his brother. Remained in mad confinement the rest of his life. Inner: Good martial skills, with an instinct for intrigue. Losing-it lifetime of playing with power at the highest national level, only to disappear into his own mind, while still holding the guilt of his earlier actions. Reginald Fitzurse (?-c1184) - English assassin. Outer: Eldest son, inherited his father’s estates around 1168. One of Thomas a Beckett’s (Martin Luther King) tenants when the latter was chancellor. Slew him, along with three other knightly co-conspirator’s in Canterbury Cathedral, after Henry II (Kathleen Kennedy) had remarked he would like to be rid of him. Excommunicated by the pope for the act, then hid for a year at the estate of one of his co-conspirators. Shunned with the rest of them, and it was said even the dogs refused to eat their left-overs. Later did penance in the Holy Land for the act, and probably died there, although conflicting accounts remain of the rest of his life, with some having him moving to Ireland, where he started another family under the name of McMahon. Inner: Pointed dagger lifetime of committing an unholy act in church, and then carrying its guilt-ridden consequences down through the centuries, expiating himself through act-out madness, then ultimately, act-out criminality.


Storyline: The homebound traveler searches for real foundations, after being fed fantasies, distortions and falsehoods from the masculine world, so as to ultimately strengthen her faith in herself.

Mary Gordon (1949) - American writer. Outer: Father was a writer who had converted to Catholicism from Judaism, mother was Sicilian & Irish, both of whose parents were immigrants. Reared by an extremely complex progenitor while her mother, who was afflicted with polio, worked as a legal secretary, and prided herself on being a breadwinner despite her infirmities. Her mother’s invalidism gave her a damaged view of the female body, an unconscious carryover from her previous existence in this series. Her father died in the New York Public Library when she was 7, and although she initially idolized him in an adoring and adored relationship, she later discovered his life was an insidious fabric of lies and invented stories, covering up his devout, scholarly Catholicism with a voracious anti-Semitism, and the fact he wrote pornography. Born in Lithuania instead of Ohio as he had claimed, he had converted in 1937, concealed a previous marriage, and lived off his hard-working disabled wife. Afterwards, she never felt she was really a child. Initially wanted to be a nun, at one point putting thorns in her shoes in contrition, but rebelled against her odd working-class upbringing as a teen. Also had to take care of her alcoholic mother, who warned her, that men don’t like smart women, and she would never marry, further polluting her, although she would wind up carrying more sadness than anger at her, in contrast to her feelings about her sire. Studied creative writing at Barnard College, then entered the writing program at Syracuse Univ. where she received her M.A. Began teaching English at Duchess Community College, before marrying Jim Brain, an English professor some three decades her senior the same year. The duo lived in London for an annum, while her first story was published in her mid-20s. Her initial novel, Final Payments, published in 1979, was an immediate success, and established her as a major Catholic writer. Became part of the visiting faculty at Amherst, and divorced and married scholar Arthur Cash, who was also considerably older than she, as well as a Protestant, with two children from the second union. Became professor of English and chairwoman of the English Dept. at at her alma mater. Explores alien stances of men and women in her work, grief, guilt and allegiances and betrayals, as well as the ambiguity of faith. Wrote searingly about her parents in 1996 in Shadow Man, trying to make sense of a fabricated and fanciful upbringing, which she has been able to do by focusing on all the positive things in her subsequent life. In 2007, she finally dealt with her mother in Circling My Mother, with a deep appreciation of having been loved by her, despite all her faults. Inner: Vivid, skeptical and honest, viewing faith as a fluid, rather than a fixed state, and unafraid to skewer pieties of all kinds. Self-styled progressive, practicing, dissident Catholic. Excellent sense of observation, with a facility for capturing the voices of a host of different characters. Sees motherhood and writing as the two touchstones of her adult life. Shattered beliefs lifetime of carving out a milieu and exploring it through experiential and literary means, while working through the legacy of a fantasy-spewing father at desperate odds with himself, and a self-soiling mother, in order to recreate a far firmer foundation for herself, and at the same time, give her the literary impetus to spin literary gold out of the dross of her damaged childhood. Ellen Glascow (1874-1945) - American writer. Outer: Mother was the descendant of one of the oldest families of colonial Virginia. Father was the managing director of an iron works company. Consciously identified with her mother, a fragile, gay and enduring gentlewoman, who was often ailing and given to fits of depression. Saw her sire as rigid and unbending, and avoided him, although he allowed her a lifetime of financial independence. Refused to participate in her formal debut into Richmond society. Lived her entire life in Richmond, Virginia. Had no formal education, since she felt she was too unstable physically and emotionally for it. Self-educated through voluminous reading. Her mother died when she was 20, and she went into deep shock over the loss. Refused to attend church afterwards and rejected her entire Calvinist upbringing, as well as her father’s world. Her increased isolation as well as her growing deafness following her mother’s death, forced her to depend on her widowed sister. After a series of premature demises, including that of her sister, a beau and a suicided brother, she went to NYC, traveled, then returned home following her father’s departure to become housebound in Richmond. Following a second novel, she wrote only what she directly knew about. Took umbrage at the romantic view given the South in literature, and did a fictive social his/story of Virginia from the period of 1850 onward, showing the changes in the social order and the rise of a dominant middle class. Enjoyed a huge critical success, but always felt thoroughly disconnected from the world. Intermittently engaged to a Richmond lawyer for 21 years. Suffered a severe heart attack in 1939 and afterwards was bedridden for months at a time. Eventually died of coronary thrombosis. Inner: Strong character, independent, lively, witty, truthful. Hospitable and enduring, with a great capacity for pain. Symbolic repeat of her earlier incarceration to continue her delving into herself. Restructured lifetime of exploring her own independence and giving voice to her telling eye, by rejecting a male world that had only encumbered her in the past, while, once again, being given a fragile feminine perspective from her mother to counter it. Elizabeth Gaskell (Elizabeth Stevenson) (1810-1865) - English writer. Outer: Descended from poet James Thomson (Jeff Buckley). Father was an eccentric Unitarian minister and a keeper of the Treasury record, as well as a farmer, editor and publisher. Her mother, who came from an old dissenting family, died from exhaustion when she was 13 months, after having produced 8 children in 13 years, only to see 6 of them expire. Raised by a maternal aunt, who had an insane husband and a crippled daughter, to once again, give her the perspective of a frail female in her upbringing. Despite all, she enjoyed the environment, which she would later reproduce as the imaginary town of Cranford, replete with its widows and spinsters. Her father did not send for her until several years after he had remarried, and her stepmother resented her, adding to her alienation from her natal family. Educated at a girls’ boarding school, where she flourished, but at 18, her only surviving brother disappeared at sea, and within six months, her father had died from a stroke, leaving her completely orphaned. After an unsettling several years, she married Williiam Gaskell, a socially conscious and scholarly Unitarian minister in 1831, who was 5 years her senior. 7 children from the union, four of whom survived into adulthood. Her first daughter died as an infant, but her second was healthy, which inspired her to keep a diary. The death of an infant son in 1845 overwhelmed her, until her husband’s encouraged her to write a novel to work through her grief. Initially published anonymously, Mary Barton won the approval of fellow writers and the opprobrium of her subjects, while giving her entree to literary circles, in which she thrived. Actively contributed to journals, and was friendly with a number of major culterati of the time, including Charles Dickens (Richard Burton), while employing Mrs. Gaskell as her nom de print, to signify she was both female and married, in order to differentiate herself from her unmarried scrivening peers, who sometimes employed initials or male names to hide their gender. Through her earnings, she was able to buy a bigger house, and hire servants to care for her children, while taking trips abroad with her husband, although the two lived completely separate existences, with London as her favored base, while her spouse loathed the city. Her masterwork was Wives and Daughters, a witty study of family relationships, which was published posthumously, and was her clear favorite. Unafraid to tackle difficult subjects, including the Brontes, whom she inadvertantly impaled in a biography that long was the standard, albeit distorted, first-hand impression of them. Spent a good deal of time away from home and her husband, involving herself in charity work, as well as in the lives and problems of others. Unbeknownst to her husband, she bought a home in the south of England for their retirement, as well as for their unmarried daughters, but the mad pace of her life affected her health. Subject to fainting fits as well as headaches, and like her mother, sheer exhaustion, she died suddenly of heart disease in mid-sentence in a conversation with a judge, at a family gathering. Her husband would go on to outlive her by nearly a quarter of a century. Inner: Lively, witty, highly social, with a great appetite for food and travel. Independent, spontaneous and truthful, with a strong feminist outlook, centering her works around the struggles of women. Tragedy-tinged, but well-supported lifetime of asserting her independence artistically and experientially, allowing her to delve ever deeper into the conundrums of the strengths and weaknesses of the sexes in her further go-rounds in this series. Catherine (Catarina Henriqueta de Braganza) (1638-1705) - Portuguese queen of England. Known as Catherine of Braganza. Outer: Father became the king of Portugal 2 years after her birth, although her mother, Queen Luiza, was the true power behind the throne. Eldest child and only surviving daughter of an extremely popular royal couple, so that her birth was greeted with great rejoicing. Had two younger brothers, in a close-knit and loving family, who indulged her, so that she had a happy and contented childhood. Small, slim and swarthy with buck teeth. Had a neglible education, and was raised a Catholic in a convent near the palace, under the watchful eye of her ambitious mother. When she learned she was to marry a heretic, she immediately went on a pilgrimage to a saint’s shrine, then promised her mother she would tolerate no infidelity from her licentious husband-to-be. Her father died in 1656, and after negotiations by her mother, she married Charles II (Peter O’Toole) of England in 1662, who was far more enchanted with her large dowry of £300,000, several naval bases and free trade with Brazil than he was with her. Had both a secret Roman Catholic wedding ceremony and a public Anglican one. After a disappointing wedding night, her husband treated her with great kindness, and she, in turn, did the same with his many illegitimate children. Although she bore him none of her own, the couple did not divorce, and he busied himself with his mistresses instead, while occasional rumor would rise that their union would be dissolved because of her barrenness. Surrounded herself with a dismal retinue of Portuguese monks and confessors, and fainted the first time she formally met one of his mistresses. Largely ignored at court, she fell ill with hallucinations, thinking in 1663 that she had given birth to a child, while the king was genuinely grieved and filled with anxiety at her potential passing. Had her head shaved, and pigeons tied to her feet as a healing, but recovered anyways, thanks in no small part to her husband’s bedside attendance, even though he immediately began pursuing her maid of honor, Frances Stewart (Joan Collins), afterwards. Suffered her first miscarriage when the royal court moved to Oxford to avoid the plague plaguing London in the mid-1660s. Then spent most of her time living at Somerset House, away from court, and suffered relative poverty, since she was rarely paid her allowances. Despite all, she remained in love with her negligent mate, and ignored his rampant infidelities. Disliked for her haughtiness to her servants, her parsimony and her general ignorance of English affairs, although she was able to loosen up somewhat in time, and wound up enjoying playing card games. Also introduced tea as a libation for courtiers, and though uninvolved in English political affairs, kept up an active interest in her native Portugal. Protected by her husband during the Catholic scares of the time, so that even when his brother, the future James II (Martin Sheen) converted to Catholicism in 1673, he refused to consider divorcing her, and instead just let the situation with the succession fester. Internalized her tenuous position with illnesses. The Popish Plot in 1678, a wholly fabricated affair, was directed at her, and weakened her position even further, although her husband maintained his steadfast support, and all the pressures wound up bringing the couple closer together. Retreated from the court, and spent the latter part of her spouse’s reign in devotion, reading and prayer. Instrumental in Charles’s profession of Catholicism on his deathbed in 1685, then went into retirement. Present at the birth of her Catholic successor, James II’s son, James Edward Stuart (Rob Lowe), and gave evidence of his legitimacy afterwards. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, she did not get along with William III (Lyndon Johnson) and Mary (Ladybird Johnson), and traveled aboard, returning to Lisbon in 1693, where she was rapturously greeted. Served as regent for her incapacitated brother the last two years of her life, showing the same instinct for rule had mother had, so that her final royal days proved a triumph for her. Accorded a state funeral worthy of a true monarch afterwards. Inner: Regal, haughty, pious, quiet and reserved, but with a humane nature, and a genuine gift for rule when finally given a chance to show it at life’s end. Stranger in a strange land lifetime of being to the blood born, and then having all her power taken from her through the circumstances of her marriage, before finally being allowed to bloom at the very coda of her existence.



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