Storyline: The supple socialite is humanly bound by his sensitivity and self-awareness, as well as his alternate attraction to pleasure and pain, in his gradual maturation as a story-teller supreme instead of a mere witty celebrator of well-laden tables.

W. Somerset Maugham (William Somerset Maugham) (1874-1965) - English writer. Outer: Of Norman descent. Grandfather had been a lawyer and the cofounder of the English Law Society. Sixth child and youngest son of a well-known Paris solicitor and legal adviser to the British embassy. Mother’s mother Anne Snell, became a successful French novelist following the demise of her spouse. Had three older brothers, including one who became a distinguished lawyer, and ultimately Lord Chancellor, and another, Harry, a poet and travel writer. Enjoyed a joyful early childhood, with French as his native language, then his consumptive mother died when he was seven, six days after giving birth to a stillborn son, with his father following three years later, dying from cancer. Became introverted, and given to stammering as a result of his losses. Sent to England to live with his uncle, a narrow-minded bigoted vicar, and had a joyless upbringing for the rest of his dualistic childhood, with any and all emotional display strictly verboten. Suffered a chilly boarding school, where his limited English and stammer made him an outcast. Began writing in his mid-teens with the express intent of pursuing that vocation. Educated at King’s School Canterbury, before refusing to continue there, then spent a year at Heidelberg Univ., without taking a degree, although had his first homophile experience with an Englishman a decade his senior. Despite studying medicine at St. Thomas’s Hospital and completing an internship, he never practiced, preferring to pursue a literary career, after the positive reception of his first novel. A string of subsequent failures, however, almost made him revert to his original course. Ultimately became fashionable as a playwright of comedies of manners, at one time having four plays running concurrently in London, a unique theatrical feat. Eventually retired from the theater in his 40s, considering it a young man’s venue. At the same time, he married Syrie Welcome, a demanding divorcee and interior designer, one daughter from the tense union, but the pair soon separated and divorced a dozen years later, although they fought continually over money and their daughter’s upbringing. Did undercover work for the British government during WW I in Switzerland and the Pacific, although his persistent stammer prevented him from being an effective agent while disguised as a reporter in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. Grabbed the world’s ear with his novels, best known for his semi-autobiographical, “Of Human Bondage,” in 1915, a testament to the loneliness and pain of self-awareness. Hooked up with a handsome, athletic American homophile, Gerald Haxton, for 30 years, until the latter’s death in 1944 from tuberculosis. The latter served as his uncredited collaborator, with “The Razor’s Edge,” the final product of his influence on his life, and also his last major success. Settled in a villa at Cap Ferrat, France on the Riviera in 1928 after Haxton became persona non grata in Britain, then spent WW II in the USA, before returning permanently to France. His final companion was his secretary, Alan Searle, whom he eventually adopted in order to bequeath him his estate, which was hotly contested by his daughter. Able to write about a wide-range of characters in an equally diverse amount of settings, while exposing hypocrisy, illusions and a strong-held view of the absurdity of life. Traveled widely, and was a master of the traditional short story. Later in his career, he confined himself to essays, and stopped writing altogether in his mid-80s. Suffered a long, sad decline at life’s end, finally dying of pneumonia. Inner: Witty, ironic, hedonistic, cynical and sensitive. Also prickly, detached, difficult and demanding, while feeling compelled to keep his sexual orientation from the public. Considered himself 1/4 normal and 3/4s queer, and a first-rate second-rater as a writer, an assessment with which many critics agreed. Acutely observant and disciplined wordsmith, although eschewed a distinctive style, seeing it as mere mannerism. Never able to achieve greatness, despite his desire to be viewed as such, and never felt comfortable in any of his relationships. Two-sided lifetime of creating many inner and outer worlds, while dealing with his various dualities through the direct experience of both his sexual natures. Alfred de Musset (1810-1857) - French poet and dramatist. Outer: From an old noble family on both sides. Father was a writer of nonfiction travel and his/storical works, mother was the daughter of a scholar, poet and editor. Handsome, small, delicate and precocious, with golden hair and blue eyes. An excellent student, he studied law, medicine, music and art at the College Henri IV, although none held his interest for long, and he wound up abandoning medicine after being revulsed by dissection. Began writing poetry at 14, and fell in with a Parisian literary circle. Established himself as a poet by his late teens, then turned to the theater, but the negative reception of his first play, for not being in the romantic mode, made him decline to have his dramatic works performed for the next decade and a half. A romantic figure, with both a dreamy-eyed and sharp-tongued presence, as well as an addictive personality, with opium, Champagne and women of the night as his preferences. Enjoyed numerous affairs, and pursued his carnal cravings in a dissipated, but elegant manner. In 1833, he had a celebrated liaison with writer George Sand (Rebecca West), who was 6 years his senior. Both became ill in Italy, and Sand took up with their attending physician. Returned to Paris the following year, broken in health and spirit, but could not let her go and the duo eventually reconnected and parted several times over the next year, before he turned their disillusioning dynamic into poetic literature. Made librarian to the Minister of the Interior for a decade, lost his position, and then regained it 6 years later. Wrote a patriotic poem that received great readership and was made into a score of different songs by a host of musicians. His health began to give way by the time he reached his 30s, and the rest of his life was lived in decline. Given to both hallucinations and pneumonia, he also suffered an aortic malfunction, which made his head bob with his pulse. The affliction was later called the Musset syndrome, and was aggravated by drinking. Elected to the French Academy in 1852, while embarking on an affair with writer Louise Colet (Anais Nin). Continued his poetic and dramatic output until he wore himself out with heart trouble. His last two years, he was confined to his apartment, where he died in his late 40s. Able to fuse the classical traditions of the 18th century with the emotional passion of the 19th. His brother later wrote a biography of him. Inner: Bold and flippant, impeccable dandy, naturally lazy, and hedonistic. Fop’s progress lifetime of acting out the romantic archetype of the poet as victim of his own vulnerable sensibilities, in order to experience his pleasure-loving persona more painfully. Mark Akenside (1721-1770) - English poet and physician. Outer: From an extended family of dissenters. Father was a butcher, who accidentally cut him with a cleaver as a child, rendering him slightly lame his entire life. Went to a dissenting academy before being sent with dissenter support to Edinburgh in 1739 to study theology, in order to become a pastor for the group. Began writing and contributing to journals as a teenager, and after one semester, switched his study to medicine, while repaying his supporters. Subsequently rejected the religiosity of his upbringing and became a deist in his beliefs, preferring to envision God at a great remove from humanity. Elected a member of Edinburgh’s medical society in 1740, although he evinced little real interest in doctoring, and instead, harbored a wish to become an MP. Published his first volume of poetry, and then returned to his home city, where he embarked on an intimate lifelong friendship with Jeremiah Dyson, a politician, which was probably sexual, although its eros remained hidden. Continued his literary output, gaining a modest reputation from his contemporaries. Despite a pedestrian imagination, his best known work would be a long didactic poem, “The Pleasures of the Imagination,” written in his early 20s with the thought it would help make his fortune. Left England shortly afterwards to get a medical degree in Leiden, and quickly did so. Unable to set up a successful practice in Northampton when he returned, he came to London, where Dyson set him up in a house, although not without some difficulty because of his difficult character. Finally established himself as a physician over the next decade, winning honors from various institutions, as well as renown for his learning. In 1759 he was made principal physician to Christ Church Hospital, although showed himself to be totally unsympathetic to its more impecunious patients, sullying his reputation. After the ascension of George III (Jeffrey Archer), both he and Dyson became Tories, and the political turnabout elevated him to physician to the queen, a position he held for the rest of his life. Dyson also became an intimate of the royal household. Died at home, and left his literary effects to Dyson, who issued one last edition of his works two years later. A figure of his own era, rather than the ages, his poems have not held up well in time. Inner: Arrogant and pedantic, and impatient with any patient beneath his sense of status and worth. Natural dissenter with a perverse delight in upsetting the established order, although far more conservative as he grew older. Limping lifetime of little compassion for his lessers, and though an adequate versifier, little real insight into the human condition because of his limitations, which would necessitate a far more emotional stab at art his next go-round in this series. Nicholas Rowe (1674-1718) - English dramatist and poet. Outer: Father was a successful London barrister, mother died when he was 5. Educated at Westminster School, where he was a king’s scholar, and read widely in classical dramatic literature. Handsome, with a masculine beauty, as well as blessed with the social graces, making him a witty and learned companion. Became a barrister at the Middle Temple, afterwards, before abandoning the law for playwriting, when he came into his modest inheritance at the death of his sire in 1692. The year previous, he wed Antonia Parsons, daughter of an auditor of the revenue. After her death in 1712, he married Anne Devenish in 1716. Had one son who survived the first union, while six other children died before their first birthday. His second union produced a daughter. As an ardent Whig, he was able to gain several posts for himself. Mingled with the literati, and began his career writing tragedies. For 15 years, he was the most popular tragedian in London, while exploring the theme of man’s inhumanity to women, which presaged the domestic dramas later in that same century. The singular farce he wrote was a failure, with himself as one of the few members of the audience to laugh at it. Published an edition of William Shakespeare’s (William Butler Yeats) plays, giving their acts and scenes numbered structure, while modernizing their grammar and spelling, as well as adding biographical data. Also undertook translating Lucan’s (Albert Camus) Pharsalia, a 20 year task that won his wife a modest pension after his death. Took a position as undersecretary to the Duke of Queensbury, and became poet laureate in 1715 at the end of his life, as well as holding numerous governmental and social posts. His final days were chronicled closely by the press, as emblem of his stature, and he was buried in the Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. Inner: Good laugher, merry companion, excellent social skills, hedonist. Smooth-sailing lifetime of enjoying the prestige and power of his writing and social gifts, but with hardly any confict to push him to greater artistic heights, which he would try to redress in his later lives in this series. Thomas Carew (c1594-1639) - English poet. Outer: Father was a well-known lawyer, and master in chancery. Mother was the daughter and grand/daughter of 2 lord mayors of London. Educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and Middle Temple, then served as a secretary at various embassies in Venice, the Hague and Paris. Became a server at the table to the King, and was given a large estate. Luxuriated in powerful circles, where he was known for his wit and enjoyable companionship. Wrote amatory poems and one produced masque, working his pieces to perfection. Poetic arbiter of the court of Charles II (Peter O’Toole). Penned the most notoriously erotic poem of the century, The Rapture, but died expressing regret for his libertinism. A clergyman refused to absolve him on his deathbed. Inner: Excellent social skills, highly gregarious, cynical and licentious. Harbored a lecherous spirit with art as his singular discipline. Lascivious lifetime of allowing the libertine more personal power than the poet and ultimately regretting it.


Storyline: The curmudgeonly conservative attacks the foibles and archetypal characters of his times with a rapier wit and a broadsword disdain for the evolving institutions of his ongoing present, while bringing an alternate mature and immature sensibility to his devilish delight in mocking everything that falls outside his views.

Kingsley Amis (1922-1995) - English writer. Outer: Had a lower middle-class upbringing, in an unfashionable suburb of London. His mother encouraged him to write and be a freethinker, while his mischievous, albeit highly Victorian, father was a clerk for a mustard manufacturer. Pampered and overprotected as a single issue, he suffered from both panic attacks and claustrophobia, along with a lifelong neediness that he dealt with by impulsively chasing after pleasure, no matter the consequence. Ultimately never learned how to drive, while harboring a host of neuroses. Despite an early radical purview via his education at St. John’s College, Oxford, he became a reactionary with extremely entrenched opinions, with a particular vehemence against snobbery and pretense. 5’11”, 185 lbs. Served in the British Army’s Royal Corps of Signals during WW II and then returned to Oxford, as a scholarship student. Met and impregnated his first wife, Hilary Bardwell, who was 17 at the time, and then married her in 1948 in lieu of an abortion. Initially an art student, she became an animal-husbander, among other odd occupations, with an eccentric character equaling her spouse’s. 3 children from the union, including writer Martin Amis, with whom he was competitive but close, despite showing little enthusiasm for the latter’s scrivenings. Became a faculty member of Swansea Univ. in South Wales for a decade, where his compulsive promiscuity took on promethean proportions, while his wife indulged herself as well, so that there was so some question as to the true fatherhood of their last child, a daughter. His farcical satire of academic life from that period, Lucky Jim, made him an institution in England, from his early 30s onward. Helped greatly in that endeavor by poet Philip Larkin, in a mutually sustaining, and competitive lifetime literary pas de deux by the duo. Moved to London and became a fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge Univ. for 2 years. Also spent a year at Princeton in the U.S. in the late 1950s, during which time he toyed with remaining in America for good. Extremely prolific from the time of his first public acceptance, he wrote in a variety of genres, and though he never matched the sheer wit of his first offering, he managed to win the prestigious Booker Prize in 1986 for The Old Devils. In 1963, he ran off with novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, which devastated his whole family, although she ultimately proved a good influence on Martin Amis, after his father divorced his mother in 1965, and wed EJH. Their union was largely sexual, until he became impotent in 1976, which was fed in no small part by his large appetite for alcohol. Also admitted that women did not really appeal to him. His second spouse would ultimately leave him in 1980, after giving him the choice of the bottle or her, although he was devastated by her abandonment and went on to savage her in a satiric novel, while growing ever more bitter and curmudgeonly, becoming in the process, just the sort of person he had earlier lampooned. Unable to survive on his own, he spent his last 15 years living with his first wife and her 3rd husband, an impoverished Irish lord, in a reciprocal arrangement that gave him company as well as his ex-wife’s uncomplaining care-taking, and them a place to live. Through his 25 novels, journalism, literary criticism, poetry and facility for compiling anthologies, he established himself as a major, albeit increasingly disagreeable, voice against the blight of modernity as he perceived it. Knighted in 1990, which he prized because of kinky dreams he had of Queen Elizabeth II, viewing her in obsessive adoration. Descended into bibulous, unhappy obesity and died from the results of crushing several vertebrae in a fall, a symbol of a sense of lack of support for who he was. Inner: Witty, dogmatic, lecherous, zealous, insightful and monumentally self-involved. Had a great desire to entertain his readers, as reflection of his own non-stop serious pursuit of pleasure. Unrepentant conservative satirist, although he evinced some sympathy for his characters in his later works. Prone to stupefied states from over-imbibing, thanks to a need for overload in all his pursuits of pleasure. Methinks-I-doth-protest-too-much lifetime of nominally objecting to the English class system, while becoming a cultural aristocrat himself despite largely remaining a needy little boy, thanks to an astute eye that chose only to look outward, and never within. H. H. Munro (Hector Hugh Munro) (1870-1916) - English writer. Outer: Son of an inspector-general of police in Burma, where he was born. Mother died when he was less than 2, brought up by a grandmother and 2 aunts, along with his siblings in rural England. Those stern women helped to form his rage against the conventional and the self-righteous, making for a subsequent sense of heartlessness about many of his stories. Proud of being of Highland stock. Educated in England, then traveled on the continent before returning to Burma in his early 20s to follow his father’s profession. Quit after 15 months for health reasons and moved to London. Began his career as a political satirist for the Westminster Gazette, then became a foreign correspondent in Russia and Paris for the conservative Morning Post. His collection of short stories named Reginald established him as a skewering satirist. Published under the pen name ‘Saki,’ the cupbearer in the classic Persian The Rubyiat of Omar Khayyam, which gave him his lasting reputation. Enlisted at the start of WW I and proved himself a brave soldier, refusing to take a commission. Fought at the front and was shot through the head by a sniper in France halfway through the war. Inner: Eternal adolescent, mixing the fantastic with a nasty boyish wit and pranksterdom. Undercutting lifetime of trying to integrate his radical imagination and conservative consciousness, before making a violent exit in keeping with his angry wit, which sprang far more from the head than the heart. Richard Barham (1788-1845) - English writer. Outer: Father was an alderman who was a bon vivant and enormously fat. Mother was vivacious and fun-loving. Educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, where his skills were encouraged, and he enjoyed a reputation for wildness. Met his future publisher at the school. After his mother’s death in his mid-20s, he stabilized, entered the ministry rather than the law, took orders and held various preferments, before eventually becoming a minor canon of the Chapel Royal. Short, fat and deep-chested. Married the daughter of a captain of the Royal Engineers, 3 children from union. His early parishioners were smugglers who used his belfry for storing contraband tobacco. Did not publish until he was in his late 40s. Remembered for The Ingoldsby Legends, in which he treated medieval sagas in grotesque and comic manner, inventively parodying their form, and infusing them with his own sense of the ludicrous. Wrote them under the pseudonym Thomas Ingoldsby. His last 5 years were spent in deep depression over the loss of his favorite son. Never recovered from it and died of an aggravated cold. Wrote easily, lubricated by gin and in the company of his beloved cats. Yoked French satirical traditions with the English. Inner: Good-humored, good sense of fun, highly social. Dextrous mind and ample-bodied lifetime of trying to integrate the inventive with the traditional within his considerable corpus, by reinventing himself in order to give both his sides a voice. Charles Churchill (1731-1764) - English poet and satirist. Outer: Father was a curate, vicar and lecturer. Good but rebellious student at Westminster. On his family’s insistence, he took holy orders, but preferred the life of a London dandy. Went to St. John’s College, Cambridge, but his further education was curtailed by an early marriage at 18. Left school to live in near poverty at home, 3 children from union. Served as a minor clergyman for the next decade, moving around England. Ordained as a priest in 1756, he succeeded his father as curate of St. John’s in Westminster following the latter’s death. His improvidence, to which his wife contributed, caused him to turn to his pen for income and he became famous from his satire on contemporary actors, The Rosciad. Also satirized John Bute (Eugene McCarthy) and the Scots. Flaunted his reputation as a libertine, separated from his wife in 1762 and resigned his curate the following year. Attached himself to radical politician John Wilkes (Aneurin Bevan), and was a regular contributor to his paper. Wrote numerous political and social satires. Originally took personal and aesthetic issue with his contemporary world, later became far more political. Towards the end of his brief life, he eloped with the 15 year old daughter of a stonemason. Grossly overweight, he probably suffered from venereal disease. Died on the way to visit Wilkes in France. Inner: Mercurial, ambitious, keen powers of observation, keen wit. Democratic, anti-aristocratic. Poison pen lifetime of exploring his contemporary world from a more sensual vantagepoint than other nose-thumbing lives in this series, while still maintaining his sharp eye for the ludicrous. Samuel Butler (1612-1680) - English poet and satirist. Outer: 5th child and 2nd son of a well-to-do yeoman farmer. 8 siblings in all. His sire died when he was 15, and willed all his books to him, as well as some land, which he briefly farmed. Educated at King’s School, in Worcester, then took employment with the countess of Kent, whose library he wallowed in. Strong-bodied and middle-sized. Afterwards he went into the service of a colonel in the Parliamentary Army during the English Civil Wars, getting a first hand look at Puritan fanaticism, which he would unmercifully satirize in Hudibras, a burlesque of the hypocrisies he witnessed, via a Presbyterian knight of that name, and his independent squabbling squire. It and its sequel were published after their grim-faced epoch, to great acclaim. Following the Restoration in 1660, he became secretary to the lord president of Wales, who made him a castle steward. Wrote numerous satires, attacking institutions rather than personalities, unlike the custom of the time. At 50, he married a Miss Herbert, a woman of means, who managed to squander her fortune through ill-advised speculation. 2 daughters and a son from the union. Received a pension from the king in 1678, despite claims of penury. Probably attached himself to the 2nd duke of Buckingham (Aldous Huxley), with whom he occasionally collaborated. Died of consumption. Inner: Sharp eye, keen wit, with bludgeoning satiric sensibilities. Surly and morose, when not in is cups. Not an original thinker, but had an original way of expressing himself. The Butler did it lifetime of employing his uniquely comic vision to society-at-large, while honing both his satirical sensibilities and his sense of survival through perilous times.


Storyline: The dazzling rationalist makes peace with his bristling interior adolescent and returns to full maturity as an entertaining philosopher with a gift for fielding words and making them come alive within a dramatic context.

Tom Stoppard (Tomas Straussler) (1937) - Czech/English playwright. Outer: Father was a Czech company doctor for a shoe manufacturing company. The family escaped the Nazi invasion when his sire was transferred to Singapore, while he was still a baby. Evacuated to Singapore, then India, and eventually wound up in England, as a self-described “bounced Czech.” His progenitor was killed during the war, and his mother remarried a British army officer, from whom he took his name. Undereducated formally, although an omnivorous reader, who began writing at 17. Became a reporter, with journalistic ambitions, toiling for 6 years in Bristol. His first published works were short stories and a comic novel, which fared poorly, showing him his true metier was the theater. Began writing plays in his early 20s, and won a Ford Foundation grant to Germany. Married Josie Ingle, a nurse, in 1965, divorced in 1972, 2 sons, over whom he got custody. His 2nd marriage in 1972 to Miriam Stern, a dermatologist turned author, also produced 2 sons, later separated and divorced in 1992. The only son of the four to pursue a career in the theater would be Edmund, his youngest. His initial works were brilliantly superficial, employing theatrical pyrotechnics, beginning with his sensational debut in 1967, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, but after 40, he became far more serious in his intent, while continuing to explore humanity’s helplessness in the face of fate. His most realized early play was Jumpers, showing the invasive nature of public events on private minds. Ultimately, he became a purely theatrical writer, as well as a script writer for the cinema, specializing in adapting novelists to the screen. Adapted and directed his own Rosencrantz in 1990, a tour de force view of the Hamlet dilemma seen through the eyes of 2 of its minor characters. A great celebrator of language in his cerebral works, as well as his command of a variety of subjects. Despite the intellectual demands of his plays, they have usually found a supportive popular audience on both sides of the Atlantic. Knighted in 2003. Topped himself the previous year, with The Coast of Utopia, a nearly nine hour, three-part epic of Russian intellectual his/’story, which became a transatlantic phenomenon as well, garnering a record 7 Tonys at the 2007 awards, a record for a straight dramatic play. Followed it up with Rock’n’Roll, his first attempt at integrating his Czechoslovak root with his English sensibilities. Inner: Dazzling wit, philosophical moralist, with an equal gift for erudition, entertainment and exposition. Great ability to humanize ideas, strong desire to play the role of fatherly teacher, while holding traditionalist views. Debonair, lives well, and takes as much interest in his productions as he does creating them. Continues tinkering with his works, even after finishing them. Self-professed “timid libertarian” politically. Avid reader and trout fisherman for relaxation. Language master lifetime of acting as a serious entertainer through his writings, and bringing this cycle of expression to its full maturity, on a variety of levels. Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) - English writer. Outer: Father was an architectural sculptor and ceramist, and later principal of the School of Art in Lahore, India. Mother, Alice Macdonald, was the daughter of a Methodist minister, and exhibited a lively and imaginative personality. His sire, whose progenitor was also a Methodist minister, imbued his son with high standards of craftsmanship, and an indifference to organized religion. Two of his mother’s sisters married Pre-Raphaelite artists, Edward Burne-Jones (Cecil Beaton) and Edward Poynter. A third was the mother of the future prime minister, Stanley Baldwin (Gordon Brown). His first name, Joseph, was a family tradition and never used. Sent home to England at 6 along with his younger sister and lived with a sadistic but pious family, who failed to notice he was going blind. Boarded at the United Services College, Westward Ho!, where he was initially beaten and humiliated, which he later recorded, although some doubt exists over his exaggerating the privations of his youth. His singular passion and greatest escape as a schoolboy was in reading. Had extraordinary powers of recollection, and evinced eclectic tastes in his wide-ranging consumption of all types of literature. Short, lithe and slim with penetrating blue eyes behind thick spectacles, a prominent cleft chin and heavy eyebrows, which punctuated his speech. Returned to India in 1882 and did editorial and journalistic work there for 7 years. Soon established his reputation through his short stories and verse dealing with subcontinental exotica. The popularity of his satirical poems allowed him to return and settle in London in his mid-20s. Lost his hair early, although compensated for it with a bristling mustache, making him a caricaturist’s delight. In his late 20s, he married an American, Caroline Balestier, who was the sister of a literary collaborator of his. Although many found her dictatorial and selfish, the match was an affectionate and mutually respectful one. Two daughters and a son from the union. Lived in Vermont, his wife’s home state, for 4 years, where he wrote many of his noted children’s stories. Difficulties with his in-laws and neighbors sent him back to England in 1896, after having had his permanent fill of the colonies. Enjoyed widespread popularity with his verses, short stories and novels during the 1890s, largely spending his literary coin during that period. Best remembered for The Jungle Book and Kim. His imperialist sentiments and manly thoughts for young children made him extremely popular, as an affirming literary celebrator of the conquering British spirit. An indefatigable traveler, he wintered in South Africa during the first decade of century 20, as well as lectured widely, enjoying his widespread fame, which would reach a peak during this period. His eldest daughter died of pneumonia in 1899, when at first it was thought that it was he who was nearest death’s portal. In 1902, he bought a 17th century house called Bateman in Sussex, which would be his permanent home. The rest of his life would be largely anticlimactic. His later style became overly mannered and obscure, while his political views became more and more reactionary, in keeping with his resistance to ever truly becoming a mature adult. Won a Nobel Prize in literature in 1907, the first British writer to do so, although he refused all official honors offered to him, because he did not want to be identified with any particular British government. From 50 until his death, he was ulcerous and suffered constant and acute pain, in a sense, physically taking on the ongoing decline of England as a world power. His only son was killed in WW I, on his first day of action, after he had used his political connections to get the lad into the Irish Guards, despite the latter having been turned down for health reasons. Tormented the rest of his life by the role he played in his son’s death, which was compounded by his inability later on to locate his body. Tried to serve the war effort through his writings, which were largely journalistic, and filled with an extremely bitter anti-German prejudice. Felt the peace settlement at fray’s end was a betrayal, and the U.S.’s long neutrality before entering battle a dishonorable display. Became more and more misanthropic as he grew older, which was compounded by constant internal pain from his ulcers, which were misdiagnosed until 1933. His wife’s failing health also depressed him, although she would outlive him by 3 years. The pair traveled constantly to warmer climes to relieve their physical discomfort, and found solace in their adventures abroad. Died of a perforated ulcer hemorrhage after an operation, 2 days before George V (Prince Harry), which also marked the beginning of the end of the imperial era. Cremated and buried in the Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. Inner: Probably never left his traumatic, bullied childhood, in a constant effort to bolster his own sense of strength with the ideal of an almighty empire. Jingoistic, but also capable of criticizing colonialism. Initially observant, later merely opinionated. Thought by many to be a repressed homophile. Oddly adolescent in his world view, which he was able to translate into easily accessible works, while remaining largely disconnected from those around him. Profoundly imperialistic, with a strong sense of British superiority, with which he thoroughly identified. Like his father, inordinately fond of tobacco, otherwise temperate in his habits. Frozen-in-time lifetime of giving bristling public personality to himself, by publicly exploring adolescence as an extended life state, thanks to a miserable first go-through with it. William Makepeace Thackery (William Makepeace Thackery) (1811-1863) - English writer. Outer: Only child from a Yorkshire yeoman family. Father was a collector in Calcutta, where son was born. 3 years after his sire’s death in 1814, he was sent back to England for his education. His mother remarried and later joined him. Unhappy at Charterhouse, he ultimately went to Trinity College, Cambridge, leaving without a degree, after having shown little interest in his studies. 6’3” and over 200 lbs., as well as a caricaturist’s delight with his exaggerated features. Dissipated some of his inheritance by gambling, traveled abroad, and met German poet Johann Goethe (Thomas Mann) in 1831. Returned and entered the Middle Temple, but soon gave up the law. When his inheritance was affected through the collapse of the Indian Bank, he turned to journalism and became proprietor of The National Standard in 1833, for which he both wrote and drew satires. After it folded, he settled in Paris to study drawing, and published caricatures of ballet dancers under the pseudonym Theophile Wagstaff. Became correspondent for The Constitutional which failed and in his mid-20s married Isabella Shaw, 3 daughters from the union, one dying young, while he proved to be a devoted father. His third daughter eventually married critic Leslie Stephen. Returned to London and contributed to various journals, including Punch. Separated from his wife when she became mad in 1840, following the birth of their 3rd child, which affected him deeply, as a marked pathos crept in his writing. Continued scrivening, publishing most of his pieces under various pen names such as Michael Angelo Titmarsh and George Savage Fitz-Boodle. Serialized stories in various journals, one of which became his best known work, Vanity Fair, published in installments in 1847 and 1848, a rich girl, poor girl broad-sweep look at society, love and life, and the first issued under his real name. Became an extremely popular novelist, went on a lecture tour of America, and later unsuccessfully stood for Parliament from Oxford. Became editor of Cornhill, resigning 2 years later. A hearty appetite for both drink and dining, and an equal abstemious attitude towards exercise, save for horseback riding, gravely affected his health. Faded out in his early 50s, dying of a cerebral hemorrhage on Christmas Eve, and was discovered the next morning on his bed, where he had fallen, to the shock of everyone. Some 7000 attended his funeral. Gave the English novel a far broader scope, as well as a far more penetrating look at the English character. Inner: Friendly, affable, highly social, but also isolated, and given to gloom. Affectionate, well-liked, sharp-witted, strong sense of injustice. Lacerating lifetime of exploring aspirations, apathies and actualities, while hiding behind his wit until he had the mature talent to claim his public self. Henry Fielding (1707-1754) - English writer. Outer: Had an upper middle-class upbringing, father was an army officer, who rose to the rank of lieutenant general. Mother died when he was 10. Eldest son of 6, sister Sarah Fielding (Fay Weldon) also became a writer. His sire remarried a Catholic widow and tried to kidnap his children from their grandmother’s home. Educated at Eton and studied law at Leiden. Large and athletic, he became obsessed with an orphan heiress, whose guardian ended the romance. Supported himself by writing for the stage, mostly comedies and farces, often burlesques of popular playwrights of the day, ultimately penning some 30 theatrical works. In his late 20s, he happily married Charlotte Cradock, but after his beloved wife died of fever in his arms a decade later, which depressed him so deeply that his friends feared for his mind, he scandalously married Mary, her maid, and their daughter was born 3 months later. Took out a lease on the Haymarket Theater in 1736, but was forced out of business the following year by the censorship and theater Licensing Act. Went back to the study of law and was called before the bar in 1740, although suffered from gout, as well as a tendency to drink too much. Hard-working, he took his profession seriously, first as a barrister, then as a magistrate, where he fought corruption and tried to raise the standards of the bench. Following the popularity of Samuel Richardson’s (John Updike) epistolary novel, Pamela, he wrote a parody, Shamela, then several volumes of satires before taking up political journalism. Edited two periodicals which reflected the government’s stance on the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, and was made justice of the peace for Westminister 3 years later, where he actively suppressed ruffianism, and eventually held the post for the entire county. Garnered a house from the post, as well as a modest salary. His best known work was Tom Jones, the History of a Foundling, published in 1749, a picaresque mock-heroic romp. Later wrote essays under the name Sir Alexander Drawcansir, after which his health broke, and he journeyed to Portugal, where he died. Credited as being the first modern novelist in English. Inner: Honest, humane, with a particular loathing for hypocrisy, meanness and unfair vanity. Genial, content, moralistic and pleasure-loving. Large-spirited lifetime of being in general accord with his surrounding world, through a grounded sense of his place in it. Thomas Nashe (1567-1601) - English critic, novelist and playwright. Outer: From a modest background, father was a curate. Poor working student at St. John’s College, Cambridge. Left school under a cloud, and made a hasty European tour before settling in London in his early 20s. Despised Puritanism, and his witty and satirical criticisms attacking the Anglican establishment soon brought him a reputation as a literary controversialist. Assaulted various intellectual enemies in print, then was plagued by religious doubts, which he redressed in a publication. Wrote a spirited romance of adventure, a forerunner of the picaresque novel, then continued his role as social critic, although one of his comedies caused him imprisonment for several months, after which he was forced to flee London. Very little known about the details of his life. Never married, last years are obscure, although an edict issued 2 years before his death called for his books to be seized and further publications banned. Inner: Unusual personality, sharp, satirical tongue and dead-on jester. Barbed wire wit lifetime of inventive satire and invective as a comic moral voice, a role he would continue to explore in all the lives in this series.


Storyline: The good doctor switches genders but still manages to create tremendously popular emblems of both the rational and irrational, in a self-healing that finally allows him/her to realize long-held literary ambitions, while enjoying the fortune and fame that comes with it.

J. K. Rowling (Joanne Kathleen Rowling) (1965) - British writer and film producer. Outer: Of English descent with some Scottish and a smattering of German. Mother was a lab technician, father was an aircraft factory manager. One younger sister. A storyteller from an early age on, she wanted to be a writer ever since she was 6. 5’5” and slim with blonde hair. Graduated Exeter Univ., where she studied French, then worked at Amnesty International in London, before moving to Manchester where she labored at their Chamber of Commerce. Never particularly into fantasy literature, which allowed her to transcend its limitations. Came up with a teenage wizard named Harry Potter, and put him squarely at 20th century’s end, with all its problems, rather than the idealized feudal world that most who attempt that genre, proceed to play in. Conceived all 7 of the Potter books in 1990, before serially committing them to paper, while her mother was dying of multiple sclerosis, a loss she transmuted by making Harry an orphan. Deeply distraught over her mother’s passing. Taught English as a foreign language in Portugal, then married Jorge Arantes, a Portuguese TV journalist in 1992, divorced in 1995, one daughter from the union. Returned to England with no job and no prospects. On the dole, she wrote the first of her Potter tales in a coffee shop while her daughter napped, after getting $4,000 as an advance. The series proved a worldwide phenomenon, selling in the hundreds of millions in 66 different languages, while also raising the hackles of fundamentalists who feared her glorifying of the occult was leading their young minions astray. The film versions, which began in 2001, proved equally profitable, although the first two were pedestrian retranslations of the works. Married Neil Murray, a general practitioner and anaesthesiologist in 2001, in an unconscious linkage with her previous go-rounds as a doctor. Son and daughter from the union. After issuing the 6th in 2005, which was snapped up in record numbers, she promised she would bow out of the fantasy genre in subsequent works, once the final 7th book was completed. Upon finishing it, she suffered sadness and depression, and a sense of mourning, after spending 17 years on the project. It would go to become the fastest-selling book in his’n’herstory. Ultimately became the world’s first billion dollar author, despite carping from critics at her literary limitations, while continuing to pour out more works from her virtually limitless imagination. As further evidence of her extreme marketability, an extremely limited edition of fairy stories, “The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” which she illustrated and hand-wrote, sold at charity auction for $4 million, with the proceeds to go to a European children’s relief fund she co-founded in 2005 with a female member of House of Lords. Published her first novel for adults in 2012, “A Casual Vacancy,” a potboiler exploring social themes, which immediately shot to the top of the bestseller lists then followed it with a trio of detective thrillers writ under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, which garnered rave reviews, in her desire she still had her literary chops, apart from her mega-reputation as a fantasy-spinner extraordinaire. Ended her 37 year Hogwarts run with an extremely well-received two part play in London’s West End, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” based on one of her short stories, which proved, like the others in the series, to be a runaway best-seller. Enjoyed a huge 2016 fantasy hit based on a 2001 book she penned on the creatures populating the Harry Potter universe and which she scripted, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Her net worth is a closely guarded secret, but she is probably a billionaire. Inner: Modest, detached and unassuming, in spite of the unexpected fame and fortune for her imaginative output. Despite much carping from fundamentalists, well-steeped in Christian mythology, with strong Christian overtones to her work. Gender-switching lifetime of exploring her fascination with mystery from an occult viewpoint, while allowing her unique creation to dominate her creative life, instead of stifle it as she had done before. Arthur Conan Doyle (Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle) (1859-1930) - Scottish/English writer. Outer: Of Irish descent. Grandfather was an innovative political cartoonist. His mother, who was an Irish immigrant and a gifted storyteller, held the family together against his progenitor’s rage, drunkenness and economic failure. Maintained a strong epistolary connection with her throughout her life until her death in 1920, employing her as an intimate confidant. Father was a failed artist and alcoholic, who later drew himself as his son’s great creation, Sherlock Holmes, in an illustration for his first published story of the detective. 2 uncles were also artists. Eldest son and third of nine children. Raised a Catholic, although later left the Church because of his dislike of priests. An avid reader of mysteries, his/storical romances and incipient sci-fi as a youngster, he would later explore all three genres, with Walter Scott (Jack Kerouac) as his literary hero. His parents separated for several years before reuniting, while he headed a local street gang, whom he would later transliterate into his Baker Street Irregulars. Large, strong and heavily built, as well as a decent athlete. With the financial aid of his uncles, he was educated at Stonyhurst College, then at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh, later using one of his professors of medicine, Dr. Joseph Bell, as his prototype for the excessively rational and observant Holmes. Hated mathematics, to the point of making his archfiend Moriarty a mathematician. Had his first story published in 1879, and his first nonfiction article saw print a month later. Following graduation, he served as a ship surgeon on expeditions to the Arctic and West Africa. After hanging out his shingle in Portsmouth and finding little support for his medical practice during 8 years as an M.D., he returned to writing. In his mid-20s, he married Louisa Hawkins, the sister of a patient he lost, one daughter and a son from the union. The first Sherlock Holmes story appeared in his late 20s, and was a huge success, allowing him to abandon his medical career to become a full-time writer. Despite the overwhelming popularity of the Holmes stories, which featured his alter ego, Dr. Watson, as the narrator, he really wanted to be an his/storical novelist. Tried killing off Holmes in a story in 1893, but there was such an outcry, that he was later forced to resuscitate him. Holmes inspired a virtual cult following, producing such a vast number of critiques by other writers that they would wind up 2nd only to William Shakespeare (William Butler Yeats) in their sheer volume. In 1897, he met Jean Leckie, a beauty 14 years his junior, and immediately fell in love with her. The nature of their relationship remains shrouded in mystery, since he was still married to his consumptive wife, although he spent a considerable amount of time with her in his spouse’s waning years, and the two probably became lovers during this time. A diehard imperialist, he served as senior physician to a field hospital during the Boer War, and was reluctantly knighted in 1902, at his mother’s insistence. After his wife died delirious and paralyzed in 1906, he waited a year of official mourning, and then married his mistress, two sons and a daughter from the 2nd union, with the latter, Jean, ultimately becoming head of the Women’s Royal Air Force. Ran unsuccessfully for Parliament as a liberal twice, despite being an effective speaker and a vigorous campaigner. One of the first in Great Britain to get a speeding ticket. Took up causes, including the ultimate freeing of a murderer convicted in a mistaken identity case. Wrote a 6 volume his/story of WW I, sticking to the official version. In later life, he became very interested in the occult and spiritualism, penning a his/story of the latter, and lecturing on the subject, while subjecting himself to attendant ridicule as its champion. The death of his son in WW I probably precipitated the allure, although he had a longtime fascination with mediums, and his first memory was that of his grandmother’s corpse. 10 of his 60 tomes would be on the subject, while he professed in later life that he would have much preferred being known for his paranormal work than his detective stories. Died of a heart attack in his garden, and his last words were addressed to his wife, “You are wonderful.” His whole family fervently believed he would contact them from the other side because of his fascination with the occult, although there is no record of his having subsequently done so. Inner: Highly social, good-humored, rational searcher. Outspoken believer in spirits and fairies. Very physical, loved sports and games, with a particular affinity for boxing. Had deeply held convictions, and was an eminent Victorian at heart. Dr. Watson lifetime of tapping directly into his unconscious, and discovering an archetype for the seeker and solver that would permanently enter the planet’s collective imagination, and override everything else he did. Charles Lever (1806-1872) - Irish writer and physician. Outer: 2nd son of a prosperous and well-known architect. Mother was from a landed Irish Protestant family. His schooling began at 4. A mischievous practical joker as a child, he remained so throughout his life. Studied medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, beginning at 16. Took his BA at 21, and finished his education at the Univ. of Heidelberg. Received an appointment as a medical officer on a ship bound for Quebec. Wild tales ensued of adventures among Amerindians, which saw print in his mid-20s, including an account of opium use. Took his medical degree at 25 and dealt with a cholera epidemic at Portstewart, but soon found life as a country doctor constricting, despite being adored by his patients for his anecdotal bedside manner. Secretly married in his late 20s to Catherine Backer, his childhood love, whom his father had disapproved of, because of the lack of a dowry. 3 daughters and a wastrel son from the union. The following year, 1832, his parents died, and he came into a small inheritance. His wife was his editor and secretary, working closely with him. Claimed she cured him of his opium addiction. Lived lavishly, while continuing to write in his spare time. Best known for the character Harry Lorrequer, whose adventures he chronicled, making him famous. Moved to Brussels as a fashionable physician, while continuing his writing at night. Returned to Dublin in his mid-30s, and focused his career on writing and editing a magazine. Used the pseudonym, “Cornelius O’Dowd.” Went to London for an aborted duel on a temperance article he had published, then traveled with his burgeoning family on tour of central Europe. Continually quarreled with his publishers. Always popular, but also lived beyond his income. In his late 50s, he got a sinecure as a vice-consul in Spezia, then later at Trieste, despising both the climate and culture, although did some amateur acting. Son died at 26, and his wife became an invalid. Fought growing old until his spouse died in 1870. Never recovered from the loss and he succumbed 2 years later of heart disease, after having hosted a dinner party. Enormously prolific, wrote Irish novels and military adventures, then later in life, studies of manners and morals. Inner: Ebullient, mischievous and extravagant. Extremely social, excellent raconteur. Healer-turned-storyteller lifetime, once again, of abandoning medicine for the rewards of a rich imagination, well-received. John Arbuthnot (1667-1735) - Scottish poet and physician. Outer: Father was an Episcopalian clergyman. Received his medical degree from St. Andrews Univ. and came to London when the revolution of 1688 deprived his sire of his preferment. Taught mathematics, and was an active physician. In 1702, he married Margaret Wemyss, 4 children from the union. At the right place at the right time, he cured Prince George of Denmark (Prince Andrew), the royal consort, of a sudden illness and became physician in ordinary to the Queen, Anne (Princess Anne) in 1705, and attended her in her last illness, suffering financially after her death. Formed a close friendship with Jonathan Swift (James Joyce) in 1711, and was also acquainted with most of the literary men of his day. Began writing witty political pamphlets, and collected them in “The History of John Bull,” which he published anonymously in 1712. A member of the Scribulus Club, he later collaborated with some of its participants, and was mentioned in the works of others. Careless about his fame and his works, he permitted his children to make kites of his manuscripts. Made censor in 1723 and Harleian orator 4 years later. Suffered declining health in his last years, and ironically died from the effects of overeating after earlier penning a work on the importance of diet. In addition to his poetical writings, he also wrote on medicine and science. Inner: Much loved, witty, kind hearted and absent-minded. Good-natured satirist, over indulgent and pleasure-loving. Hedonistic lifetime, once again, of combining his talents for healing and exposition in a life dedicated to the pleasures of the palate, the witty tongue and the facile mind. Thomas Lodge (1557-1625) - English writer and physician. Outer: Father of the same name was lord mayor of London. Led a restless, unhappy youth. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, then studied law at Lincoln’s Inn, but abandoned it for literature. Lived riotously, fell into debt, and had a brief military career, which didn’t suit him. Married twice, one daughter from first union, before settling into literary society. Began his career with a defense of poetry, then a romance, before sailing, in his late 20s to the Canary and Terceras Islands, and later to South America, as part of various expeditions. Best known for the romance, Rosalynde, written during the latter voyage. Also wrote verse, excelling as a lyrical poet. Eventually converted to Roman Catholicism and became a doctor in his mid-40s, earning his MD at Oxford. Had to flee the country as a suspected Catholic, but returned home several years later. Wrote voluminously in nearly every literary form, although his later life was spent practicing medicine and doing translations and little original work. Better poet than prose writer. His name holds an anagram of Holmes. Inner: Active adventurer, which spurred his writing. Peripatetic lifetime of reversing his stances as Doyle, abandoning literature for medicine, and embracing rather than rejecting the Church, in a life of confusion and change, which he would ameliorate the next time around in the pursuit of exercising his basic good-nature and his love of the pleasures of both the body and the mind.


Storyline: The resilient English patient plays with his own sense of mortality, as well as his desire for immortality through his oeuvre, in his ongoing medical dramas revolving around head and legs, in order to test his resolve and recuperative powers.

Anthony Burgess (John Anthony Burgess Wilson) (1917-1993) - English writer. Outer: Father had held a variety of jobs, including pub pianist, butcher, encyclopedia salesman and tobacconist, among other trades, but was largely an absentee drunk. His mother, who had been a minor actress and dancer, and sister both died in the great influenza epidemic of 1918. His sire remarried a coarse pub landlady, who largely ignored him, and there was little affection in his childhood home, although his father encouraged his innate musical abilities, and he composed throughout his lifetime. Felt ‘perpetually angry’ all through his childhood. Educated by Jesuits, then at Manchester Univ., where he studied English literature, and had a back and forth relationship with Catholicism. His sire subsequently died of flu in 1938, and his stepmother followed him off the planet two years later via a heart attack. Hoped to become a musician, and was musical director of his Army service unit during WW II, rising to the rank of sergeant major, while failing to win an officer’s commission. In 1942, he married Llwela Isherwood Jones, the daughter of a highschool headmaster, in a tempestuous union, that none of his friends could fathom, although she proved a needed support, and ultimately died of cirrhosis of the liver in 1968, because of her alcoholism. After the war, he turned to academia and became a lecturer, grammar school master and education officer for the colonial office, including a stint in Malaysia at the Malay College, in 1954, where he attained fluency in Malay, before being posted elsewhere for supposed communist sympathies. Published a trio of novels on his experience, in what would be an incredible outpouring of work, which included criticism, linguistics, and journalism to go along with his fiction. Best remembered for his dystyopian view of the future, A Clockwork Orange, published in 1962. Spoke 8 language, and had a smattering of knowledge in several more. At the end of the decade, he began teaching in Brunei, where he was told erroneously he was dying of a brain tumor, only to find out his heavy drinking had been the cause of his collapse. Doubled his writing efforts afterwards, determined to leave a huge legacy, then continued his output after being informed his doctors were wrong. Because of a legacy left to his wife, he was able to devote his full time to his prolific pen, and by decade’s end, thanks to his literary successes, he was a tax exile, living in various places in Europe, before spending two years in the U.S. as a visiting professor at Princeton, beginning in 1970. Held several teaching posts in the U.S., throughout the decade and ultimately settled in Monte Carlo in Monaco. Inordinately prolific during all this time, he ultimately produced 50 novels, a ton of journalism, translations and dozens of nonfiction works on all sorts of subjects. In addition, he wrote music as a hobby, producing symphonies, and an operetta, among other works. Following the death of his wife from cirrhosis of the liver, in 1968, he married Liana Macellari an aristocratic Italian translator, with whom he had been cohabiting while his spouse was still alive. The duo had conceived a son during an interview, although he did not meet him until he was 4, and despite his aversion to fatherhood, acknowledged the lad, who eventually committed suicide, 9 years after his sire’s death. Became far more disciplined and prolific under his second wife’s sobering influence, while she served as a hard-bargaining agent for him, helping him become a multimillionaire. Despite feeling he would die in some Mediterranean state, unmourned and soon forgotten, he returned home to England, full of honor and well-remembered, and died of lung cancer, while his wife outlived him by fourteen years. Inner: Information-master and virtual writing machine, with a singular sense of integrity about his works. Powerful desire to be remembered. A hearty drinker, although forced to cut back on his consumption later in life, while also consuming vast amounts of tobacco daily, in a variety of forms, and professing a lifelong abhorrence of physical exercise, despite numerous bodily ailments, and a propensity to continually abuse his corpus with a variety of stimulants. Had a similar appetite for sex, particularly with exotic partners, claiming never to have slept with an Englishwomen. Fixated with productivity, and the fleeting nature of life, he penned at least 1000 words a day every day of the year. May also have done some covert governmental work in his travels. Over-stimulated and under-loved lifetime of trying to work through his emotional detachment and complete disregard for his corpus through a passionate love for expressing himself, while once more dealing with an unwhole body and thoughts of mortal immortality. William Henley (1849-1903) - English writer. Outer: Of yeoman stock. Son of a bookseller, eldest of 5, one brother became a well-known actor. Contracted a tubercular disease as a child that cost him the amputation of his left leg below the knee, while his 2nd leg was saved by radical surgery. Attended Crypt Grammar School, although both finances and health curtailed his academic chances. Moved to London in his teens with the hope of becoming a journalist, but was frequently invalided over the next decade, and in and out of hospitals, spending 20 months, at one point, in an infirmary where he began writing poems about hospital life. Met tale-teller Robert Louis Stevenson (T.H. White) there, and the duo collaborated on some failed plays but eventually became estranged, although the former based his peg-legged pirate Long John Silver on him. After his release, he became an editor, journalist and critic, championing young writers and acting as a guardian of literary tastes. Married in his late 20s to Anna Boyle, an engineer’s daughter, one daughter from the union, who died from cerebral meningitis when she was 5. Best known for his poem, Invictus, with the lines, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” Wrote both personal and patriotic verse. Failed to win appointment at the Univ. of Edinburgh and was passed over for Poet Laureate, which were both severe disappointments. Overweight, he suffered from digestive ailments and liver dysfunction. Fell from a step of a moving train, which stimulated his dormant TB, and hastened his end. Inner: Vigorous and energetic despite the disability. Avid conversationalist, humorous, frank, robust and genial. Also reflective and stoic. Felt joy and sadness were closely interwoven in the human experience. Mortality obsessed lifetime of dealing with both death and disability through a highly active mind, and a sense of literary stewardship over the tastes of his times. Robert Fergusson (1750-1774) - Scottish poet. Outer: From a poor family. Grew up in Edinburgh, with his education provided for by the bursary of a reverend of the same name. Showed a precocious wit and talent with an elegy written at 14. Matriculated at St. Andrews Univ., where he prepared for a church career. Abandoned it on the death of his father, and became a legal copyist to help support his mother. Enjoyed the company of theatrical people and literati, and started writing songs and poems, which proved quite popular. Began writing in literary Scots, including satires on city life and topical verse. In his early 20s, he lapsed into a religious mania, quit his job, burned his manuscripts and became a recluse. Recovered, only to catch his foot on a stair-rod and tumble down, severely injuring his head. He was discovered violently raving and had to be escorted, via a sedan/chair, to the nearest asylum by his mother. Died a few months later. Remembered as a pre-cursor to Robert Burns (Woody Guthrie), in his use of Scots as a literary language. Inner: Witty, enthusiastic, energetic and obsessive. Carted off lifetime of briefly giving expression to his high-spirited nature, before suffering injuries to head and leg, imagination and grounding, that he would later explore in greater depth in lives to come in this series, while also repeating the same disabilities. Charles Sedley (1639-1701) - English poet and dramatist. Outer: Born posthumously and succeeded to his title as baronet on the death of his brother, marrying the latter’s widow the following year at 18. Only daughter from union later became mistress of James II (Martin Sheen). Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, although did not take his degree. Joined the court of Charles II (Peter O’Toole) after the Restoration and became known for his antics and wit. Fined for lewd behavior and indecent exposure which was witnessed by a huge crowd at a tavern. Nevertheless, he began a Parliamentary career in his late 20s. Began writing for the theater, proving far better served as the comedian than the tragedian. His wife became insane and he married again in his mid-30s. In his late 30s, he suffered a fractured skull when a tennis court roof collapsed. Played an important role in the glorious Revolution of 1688 that brought William III (Lyndon Johnson) to power. Serious legislator, with a good practical sense about politics. Best known for his love lyrics and verse translations. His son predeceased him and his line went extinct at his death. Inner: Roisterous, ribald, fine wit. Recovered lifetime of allowing his wife to act out his excess, while toying with mental self-destruction, only to lead a full prominent, productive life, in his ongoing battles with disabilities, resurrections and the hoped-for immortality of his remembered works.


Storyline: The questing recluse switches genders but not his/her ongoing draw towards social disconnection, in a continuing effort to give serious self-search to an acute sensibility unable to accommodate itself to society-at-large, whether from a royal or commoner persepctive.

Doris Lessing (Doris May Taylor) (1919-2013) - English writer. Outer: Mother was a nurse, whose great love, a doctor, drowned during WW I, while she was caring for her future husband. The former aspired to be a lady, and wound up deeply resentful of the genteel poverty in which she found herself. Her father was a former captain in the British army who lost a leg and became a manager of the Imperial Bank of Persia, where their daughter was born. One younger brother. She had a damaged, painful childhood, and hated her mother her entire life. Traveled with her family to Russia in the mid-1920s, and settled on a farm in Southern Rhodesia, but success eluded them. Suffered malaria, dysentery and measles while there. Boarded at a Dominican convent school, she briefly converted, left school at 14, held various jobs, and read voraciously to compensate for her lack of a formal education. Married Frank Wisdom, a civil servant a decade her senior at 19, despite not being in love with him, son and daughter from the union, divorced in 1943, abandoning the children while becoming involved in leftist politics, although later regretted the decision. In her mid-20s, she married Gottfried Lessing, a German communist, out of revolutionary duty, rather than love, one son from the union. Her husband’s name would unconsciously and quite closely reflect an earlier existence of hers, in her ongoing sibilant double ‘s’ existences. The duo separated, and her husband was later discovered to be a KGB agent. Joined the Communist Party for its stimulating adherents, rather than its ideologies, and later left it in 1956, over the Soviet Union’s invasion of Hungary. At the age of 30, she went to London and published her first novel, "The Grass is Singing", an interracial tale of a poor white farmer’s wife’s affair with an African servant, which quickly established her as a major writer, despite having her books banned in South Africa and Rhodesia. Lived for 4 years with a married Czech. Despite an uneven quality to her work, she always managed to be acute and compelling. Particularly interested in chronicling the inner and outer lives of intelligent, questing women, using the autobiographical figure of Martha Quest. Best known for The Golden Notebook, published in 1962 in which her autobiographical heroine breaks down and fragments her outlook in order to try to find a cohesive creative resurrection for herself. Her later works chronicled madness and insanity, and caused her to be labeled, horror of horrors, “unfeminine,” for daring to show that women harbored angry aggressive feelings. Also wrote highly intellectual science fiction amidst her two dozen works, as well as 2 autobiographies, Under My Skin and Walking in the Shade. Lived reclusively in London, preferring the company of her own interior. As a career capper, she won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007, as an epicist for feminism, despite earlier denying she ever was one. In what was her final book, Alfred & Emily, she reimagined her mother’s life if WW I had never happened, offering a satisfactory counterpart to the latter’s sad circumstances by juxtaposing an alternate reality to her constrained actualities, as a means of rewriting her own memories as well. In ill health because of a ministroke suffered in the late 1990s, she eventually stopped writing and died at her London home, outliving her two sons. Inner: Cerebral, alienated, highly perceptive, contentious and somewhat sloppy as a stylist, because of the rush of ideas continually flowing from her pen. Anti-romantic revolutionary, who considered Sufism, and its link twixt the fates of individuals and society as central to her existence. Continually exploried dualities in her works as a mode of her own inner integration. Self-seeking lifetime of dealing with her ongoing profound sense of alienation from a woman’s perspective, while living out her literary projections in order to more fully understand herself as a creature apart looking for union, even if it is only with herself. George Gissing (1857-1903) - English writer. Outer: Oldest of 5 children of a pharmacist who was a writer and scientist, and died in 1870. One brother became a novelist, another died of consumption at 20, and his two sisters both became conservative spinsters. Went to a Quaker boarding school, where he was unsocial and unpopular but a brilliant student. Because of a lack of money, he went to Owens College, where he won prizes for scholarship but overworked himself to exhaustion. In his late teens, he fell in love with Nell Harrison, a prostitute, and married her in hopes of reforming her, although the duo eventually went their separate ways after a few years of their hellish union, and she died in 1888. Caught stealing, he spent a month in prison and left school in disgrace. Ultimately went to America, where he wandered penniless for several years, experiencing the extremes of misery and poverty that he would later limn in his best known work, New Grub Street, published in 1891. Contemplated suicide at Niagara Falls, but managed to save enough money to return to Europe. Went to the Univ. of Jena in Germany, studied literature and philosophy there, then returned to England in 1877. Wrote a novel, tutored the sons of a benefactor, and supported himself precariously through journalism. Profoundly lonely, he married Edith Underwood, a servant girl he had met on the street, 2 sons from the union, but he only lived with his 2nd wife for a couple of years, in another out-of-balance coupling that was marked by great anger and mental instability. Wrote about the degradations of poverty on character, and traveled in Greece and Italy. Continued his thematic output, revisited Italy, wrote a travel book and a his/storical romance at century’s turn and enjoyed some financial reward from it. Represented himself in one of his later works as a recluse who finds release from reality with remembrances, books and reflections. After an early disposition to tuberculosis, he eventually died of pneumonia. Inner: Contradictory nature: arrogant and sensual, idealistic and gentle. Resentful, miserable, and profoundly alienated. Fated for the slums, rather than his true metier as a cloistered scholar. Felt the full breath of poverty, from experience to remembrance to retelling and release, as a seeming antidote to his scholarly, aloof, alienated nature. Lower depths lifetime of living out his literary projections in order to more fully understand himself, away from the safety of the ivory towers of academe. Princess Amelia (Amelia Sophia Eleanora) (1711-1786) German/English princess. Outer: Mother was Caroline of Anspach (Pamela Harriman), a margrave’s daughter. Father was the elector prince of Hanover, and the future George II of England (Chris Patton). The second oldest of five sisters, with one older brother, Frederick Lewis (Prince William), and two younger ones. In 1714, her grandfather George I (Prince Charles) succeeded to the English throne, establishing her house there. Accompanied her family to England, and lived in St. James Palace, where she was called Emily by her intimates. Separated from her father, now the Prince of Wales, when George ordered the latter to leave the palace. Basically property of the crown as a royal grandchild. Well-educated and tri-lingual, Created a stir with her sister when they were inoculated against smallpox per their progressive mother’s wishes and contra ordinary practice. Her father succeeded to the throne in 1727, and she lived with him for the rest of his life, never marrying, despite negotiations between her grandfather and the future Frederick the Great (Michael Milken), which fell through at her father’s accession. May have been the mother of composer Samuel Arnold, via an affair. Quite athletic, she offended priggish sensibilities because of her candor and refusal to conform to passive princess standards. Able to gather a coterie of intimates who operated on a similar level as she, in their gossip, intrigues and political awareness. At her mother’s death in 1737, she became the court’s highest ranking woman, although her influence with her sire was extremely limited. Also aligned herself with allies the king distrusted, winning the eternal enmity of his heir, the future George III (Jeffrey Archer). In 1751, she became ranger of Richmond Park and closed it to the public, causing a clamor, while only allowing close friends and those with permits entrance. A subsequent suit reopened it in 1758. Lost her apartments in St. James Palace on her father’s death in 1760, but received a generous pension. Three years later, she became owner of Gunnersbury Estate in Middlesex.Had a happy middle-age away from the court and its ongoing condemnation of her Suffered ill health her last years, becoming arthritic and increasingly deaf and blind, but remained in touch with political currents. Left her estates to her German nephews because of ill feelings towards her fellow English royals. Died at home, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Inner: Natural-born intriguer and disturber of the peace. Generous, outspoken, tactless, occasionally arrogant, with a gift for making enemies because of her strong character. Hyperassertive lifetime of using and abusing her royal prerogative, before stepping down into the commoner realm to try to affect change from an equally alienated but far less socially lofty perspective. Margaret Tudor (1489-1541) English queen of Scotland. Outer: Known as Margaret, Queen of Scots. Father was Henry VII (Rupert Murdoch). Mother was Elizabeth of York (Michelle Pfeiffer). Second eldest of seven children, with the future King Henry VIII (James Packer) following her, then one more surviving sister, Mary Tudor (Julie Christie) who briefly became Queen of France. Two other brothers and two sisters all died young. Married to James IV (Kathleen Kennedy) of Scotland in 1503 as a means of uniting the English and Scottish thrones, following a peace treaty twixt the two the year before, while bringing a much needed dowry of £10,000. Wed by proxy then met her husband mid-way through the year following a procession. Saw some of her favorite horses killed in a stable fire shortly before the official ceremony as symbol of things to come. Both genuinely enjoyed each other, and six children came from the union, with the first two sons and daughter all dying in infancy. The third son became James V (Peter O’Toole) while the last son and daughter also died in infancy. After her husband fell on the battlefield, along with a lot of his nobility in 1513, she served as regent for her 17 month old son, over a reduced country, whose top layer had been sheered off., she became regent, despite considerable opposition, which she managed to initially overcome before taking the misstep of looking to the House of Douglas for her allies. Fell in love with Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, and the duo were secretly married in 1514. The move alienated much of the nobility and she lost her regency to the Duke of Albany. Forced to surrender her position, she successfully escaped to the north of England, giving birth to a daughter. Her husband, who had his own agenda, returned to Scotland, since his wealth and power remained there. Returned a year later to reconcile with her spouse, only to see the relationship subsequently fall apart because of his inconstancy while they were separated. Managed to outmaneuver the regent who replaced her and had her son crowned as James V in 1524, in what proved a popular move. She remained in control since he was only 12, and was recognized by Parliament as chief councillor to her son. Forced, however, to do battle for power with her husband, before finally being granted a divorce by the pope in 1527. Married a third time, to her favorite, Henry Stewart, who was made first Lord Methven, and together they became James’s chief advisers, a year prior to his taking the reins of government. In 1534, after she made a peace treaty with England, James discovered she had been taking bribes and passing state secrets to her brother Henry VIII. Unsuccessfully tried to dump her third husband, then fled to England, only to be overtaken and returned. Resumed her position at court, and enjoyed the company of her son’s bride, Mary of Guise (Rebecca West), who came to Scotland in 1538. Suffered from palsy and died three years later, although never made a will, since she did not expect to expire. Inner: Grumpy, impatient and stubborn, with an instinct for both power and intrigue. Highly manipulative and continually scheming to make her will known. Mega-matriarchal lifetime of flexing her royal reach as far as it would go under limiting circumstances in an extremely martial domain.


Storyline: The humane medicine man combines a dual gift for dissemination and a fascination with the physiological and psychological manifestations of dis-ease to make himself into a Hippocratic humanist for the ages.

Oliver Sacks (1933-2015) - British/American physician and writer. Outer: Both parents were physicians, observant Jews and trained in neurology. Mother was an obstetrician-gynecologist, of Russian descent. Youngest of 4 boys, all of whom became doctors. His household emphasized medicine and personal relationships, giving him a firm grounding in his subsequent pursuits. His well-educated extended family also added to his love of science. Pursued it passionately as a youth, through experimentation and reading of his/storical texts to see how the sciences evolved. Active athlete his whole life, as well as an atheist. Sent away to a boarding school run by a sadistic headmaster to escape wartime London, and was stuck there for 4 years. Won a scholarship to Queen’s College, Oxford, and ultimately got an M.D. from Middlesex Hospital, studying there 5 years to be a neurologist, which was his father’s initial interest, before becoming a general practitioner. Came to the U.S. in his late 20s, and settled there, while maintaining his ties with London. Studied at UCLA, then became an instructor in neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NY, as well as a consultant neurologist to Bronx State Hospital. Began writing, then challenging medical orthodoxy, seeing that mind & body, and emotion & sickness were integrated, rather than separate categories. His focus always remained on the human patient. Suffered debilitating attacks of migraine since childhood, which inspired his first book. Went to work in a NYC charity hospital, with a group of patients with sleeping sickness. Worked with the miracle drug L-Dopa that woke them up, only to see it eventually wear off. The papers he wrote on the subject were rejected by a medical journal. Recounted the case his/stories in a book that became a popular movie, Awakenings, with Robin Williams playing him. Chased by a bull down a mountain in Norway, which ripped the tendons of his left thigh. After being a patient himself, he wrote a book affirming patients rather than robotic science. Omnivorous reader and popular writer, with a sense of mission around humanizing medicine. After being celibate for three and a half decades, he began a relationship in writer Bill Hayes in 2008, blaming a lifelong sense of shyness for his social awkwardness and characterizing it as a dis-ease. Given a CBE in 2008, and penned his autobiography “On The Move: a Life,” in which he finally discussed his homophilia. Died at home of liver cancer. Inner: Humane, dedicated healer and lifelong fern-fancier. A body-builder as a youth and also an experimenter with drugs, while suffering from prosopagnosia or “face blindness” where he was incapable of recognizing individual faces. Motorcycle enthusiast, compensating physically for what he felt were psychological deficiencies. Self-expressive and and self-referential lifetime of directly experiencing various medical states in order to communicate them to as wide an audience as possible, integrating his 2 longtime callings as healer and disseminator. Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) - American poet and physician. Outer: His mother, who was his father’s second wife, was the daughter of a Boston merchant, after whom he was named. Through her, he was descended from Gov. Thomas Dudley (Thomas E. Dewey), while also inheriting her wit and cheerfulness. His sire was a Calvinistic Unitarian minister, who wrote abysmal poetry, as well as a his/story, Annals of America. Enjoyed a happy childhood, in a house filled with some 2000 books, while embarking on a lifelong sense of rebellion against the puritanical Calvinism of his upbringing. Went to Philips Andover Academy, where he translated Virgil’s (Ezra Pound) Aeneid. Made Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard College, then spent a year at the Dane Law School, although the intoxication of seeing his poetry published, including his most famous work, “Old Ironsides,” protesting the scrapping of an his/storic ship, showed him where his real passion lay, in self-expression. Decided on medicine for a career, and went to Boston Medical College, then Harvard Medical School, before spending 2 years in the hospitals of Paris, during which time he traveled widely in western Europe, peppering his peregrinations with witty written observations. Received his medical degree in 1836, and began practicing in Boston as a general practitioner for the next decade. Far more interested, however, in writing on medical subjects than his practice, which was never extensive. Took to the lecture circuit as a popular speaker in 1838, then became an academic, teaching anatomy and physiology at Dartmouth, before becoming dean of the Harvard medical school for 5 years beginning in 1847, while teaching there for 35 years. Always an extremely popular teacher, thanks to his wordplay, anecdotal illustrations and lively sense of presentation. In his early 30s, he married Amelia Lee Jackson, the daughter of a justice of the Mass. Supreme Court, 3 children from the union, including the celebrated justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. His most impressive contribution to medicine was the discovery of the contagious nature of puerpal fever, which he published in a paper in 1843. Began contributing regularly in 1857 to the newly minted Atlantic Monthly, which he christened, with a series of imaginary conversations at a Boston boardinghouse, reflecting his opinions with great charm and wit. Much of his writing was autobiographical, and from his conservative overview. Also wrote 3 novels taking a scientific approach to psychological traits, as well as biographies of a couple of well-known friends. Became a photography enthusiast in his 50s, both writing on the subject as the ultimate of visual art forms, and snapping pictures that celebrated the past, a particular fascination of his. Visited London in 1886, where he received honorary doctorates from Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh universities, in an unconscious nod to his previous go-round in this series. Inner: Charming, witty, socially adept, and, according to his same-named son, a bit of a dilettante. Loved being flattered, and was usually the center of conversational attention. Self-expressive lifetime of entwining the healing arts with a gift for charming communication. Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) - English physician and poet. Outer: Father was educated for the bar but retired upon his marriage. Middle of seven children, with three brothers and three sisters. Accidents in his youth made him clumsy and ungainly. Studied classics and mathematics at St. John’s College, Cambridge and medicine at the Univ. of Edinburgh. Had difficulty with his practice in his native Litchfield, because he was an eccentric and did not hide his unconventionality, although was asked by George III (Jeffrey Archer) to be his physician, a position he politely declined. Married Polly Howard in 1757, 3 surviving sons from the union, which ended in 1770 with his wife’s death after a long illness. Practiced medicine for most of his life and cultivated a botanical garden, while also proving quite inventive, coming up with a new steering mechanism for carriages and a copying machine. Large, heavyset and crotchety, with a nervous stammer, although he possessed great vigor, both intellectually and physically. Noted libertine, who fathered several illegitimate children. Prominent member of the Ltichfield literary group. Expounded the botanical system of Carl Linnaeus (J.B.S. Haldane) in a long poem called, "The Botanic Garden." His poetry, however, was more interesting for its science than its use of language. Grandfather of biologists Charles Darwin (Jared Diamond) and Francis Galton (Francis Crick), with the former writing a biography of him in 1879. His two-part poem "Zoonomia" on organic life, which explained evolutionary principles, anticipated their later theories. In 1781, he married Elizabeth Collier Sacheveral-Pole, the widow of a colonel, and added 4 sons and 3 daughters to his brood. Active intellectually into deep maturity, he was a supporter of the French Revolution as well as women’s education, and was still penning papers towards century’s end. Died of a lung infection. Inner: Radical freethinker and prohibitionist. Eccentric, intellectual pioneer. Testy, irascible and imperious on the outside, but kind-hearted and gentle underneath. Saw mind and body as a unit, and treated both as such. Dualistic lifetime of going against convention and being forced to shield his usual soft heart in order to do so, while maintaining the integrity of science through the celebration of language as its most compelling ally. Thomas Browne (1605-1682) - English physician and writer. Outer: Only son of a silk dealer, who died when he was young. Mother remarried into a higher social station. Went to Pembroke College, Oxford, then studied medicine in 3 countries, before ultimately graduating from Oxford. Set up a practice in Norwich and remained there the rest of his life. Married in his mid-30s, had 10 or 12 children. Staunch royalist during the English Civil War. Loved language, although was less a scholar than an omnivorous reader. His major work was "Religio Medici," published when he was 30, in which he tried to reconcile science and religion. Wrote extensively the rest of his life, always expressing a strong sense of faith in the divine and a wonderment over the powers of science. Knighted a decade before his death. Exhibited an excellent stylistic sense to go along with his ability to build on his linguistic arguments. Inner: Eccentric, credulous, anti-rationalist. Dry-humored with a congenital melancholy. Equitable, charitable and modest. Stethoscope and pen lifetime of trying to integrate science and spirituality through his ongoing love of language and medicine.


Storyline: The chthonic chronicler revels in the nightmarish worlds of the undead, returning there again and again, lifetime after lifetime, looking for his own immortality through the projected fearsome fascinations of the unquiet mortal sphere.

Clive Barker (1952) - English writer, artist and filmmaker. Outer: Father was Irish Protestant and a cable-making company employee. Mother was Italian Catholic and a school welfare officer. His parents’ religious difference canceled one another out for him, giving him an uncontested preference for his own gothic sense of spirituality, as well as his own sex. Imbued with a strong work ethic from his sire, who never understood his subsequent popularity. Educated at the Univ. of Liverpool, then moved to London, where he wrote plays for an avant-garde theater group called the Dog Company, which had moved with him. Lived off the dole until his early 30s. Began his career as a short story writer and novelist in the horror genre, and was singled out by horrormeister Stephen King as the future of his speciality, which launched his career as a repulsively readable penman. After a number of his pieces were adapted to the screen to his dissatisfaction, he began to direct his own work, beginning with Hellraiser in 1987. Employed the same ornate style he brought to his fiction, but eventually found producing far more to his taste. Moved to Beverly Hills in 1991 in order to be near the film industry, and ultimately wound up with 3 homes there, one for writing, one for painting, and one to share in a longterm homophile relationship with a photographer of erotic nudes. Also a prolific painter and illustrator, some of which he compiled into a book, “Visions of Heaven and Hell,” as well as an industry unto himself with toys, video games, franchise films and a quartet of post-millennium children’s novels based on a universe he calls the Abarat, which spawned much interest from both the entertainment and publishing world even before a word of it ever reached the public. In addition, he has created over 500 paintings for his universe, with more promised, in a non-stop celebration of his rapid-fire mind, still going strong after a half century. Inner: Extremely prolific gravel-voiced workaholic. Eschews computers for long-hand. Self-confident, witty, with a taste for supernatural violence. Grand guignol lifetime of integrating a dual love for the theatrical and the horrifying, with an equal desire to have his interior writ large across the imagination of his times. Bram Stoker (Abraham Stoker) (1847-1912) - English writer. Outer: Father was a civil servant, mother was a self-styled social reformer and feminist, although highly erratic. 3rd of 7 children. Invalided in early childhood, he could not stand or walk until he was 7, but became a fine athlete afterwards as a footballer at Trinity College in Dublin, graduating with honors in mathematics. His early years also fed into his rich fantasy life, since he had little else to do but sit and dream. Over 6’, with a red beard and brown hair. President of the University Philosophical Society while in school. Served for 10 years in the civil service at Dublin Castle, while also working as an unpaid drama critic for the Dublin Mail, which was partially owned by another horror writer, J. Sheridan Le Fanu (Tim Sullivan). Also wrote short stories, and in 1872, had his first one published. In 1878, he married Florence Balcombe, who had rejected fellow Trinityite Oscar Wilde (Joe Orton) for him, but the liaison declined after the birth of a son. Sought out prostitutes after the union became barren, and eventually contracted syphilis. Met actor Henry Irving (Lawrence Olivier) at the age of 31, moved to London, and for the next 27 years served as his manager, accompanying him on his American tours. Estimated he wrote a half million letters on his behalf, in his complete devotion to him. Even though Irving’s career began to falter at century’s nearend, he stayed with him until the actor’s death in 1905, then lost his own sense of center, before writing a personal reminiscence to try to regain it. Did not begin writing novels until late in life, enjoying a huge success with the vampire epic Dracula, which went on to have an undead life of its own, as one of the curiosities of western literature and film, with over 400 versions in the latter medium. Initially inspired to pen it after a nightmare brought on by a dressed crab dinner. Wrote numerous other novels, but none were nearly so popular or longlasting. Ultimately died of Bright’s disease and syphilis. Inner: Passion for the theater, probably saw himself on some level as a vampire of Irving’s power. Fangs for the memories lifetime of continuing fascination with the bizarre and the macabre, while trying to integrate his dark spirituality with the theatrical. Charles Maturin (1782-1824) - Irish clergyman and writer. Outer: Of French Huguenot and Anglo/Irish descent. Father was an official in the Irish post office. Youngest of 6 sons. Interested in the theater as a child, which scandalized his relatives. Educated at Trinity College in Dublin at 15 to prepare for a Church career, as a Protestant, while distinguishing himself in oratory and composition writing. Took holy orders and married Henrietta Kingsbury, a socialite and acclaimed singer, in his mid-20s, four children from the union, while his wife’s sister became the mother of celebrated wit Oscar Wilde (Joe Orton). Ultimately became curate of St. Peter’s in that city, holding that post until his death. Tutored and originally published under the name of Dennis Jasper Murphy, although his first three efforts were both critical and commercial failures. Improvidence kept him in continual financial straits, despite his literary successes. Wrote a successful verse tragedy, was feted in England over it, then adapted a lavish mode of existence, which his income didn’t support. Better regarded on the continent than in his homeland. After several theatrical failures, he turned to novel-writing in the Gothic mode, producing "Melmoth the Wanderer" in 1820, the story of an Irish Faust, and his best-known work. A son became a clergyman and later burned all his father’s correspondence. Controlled on all sides by his family. Sped up his death by taking the wrong medicine for his ailments, which led to the false rumor that he had committed suicide. Inner: Far more material than spiritual in his outlook, with a particular love for the literary dark. Eccentric and broodingly morbid. Irreal lifetime of dealing with the dark forces of control, from both within and without, before trying to sell his soul to the devil of success, but only partially succeeding. George Farquhar (1678-1707) - Anglo/Irish dramatist. Outer: Son of a poor clergyman, and one of 7 children. Sizar, or poor-boy, student at Trinity College in Dublin, who may have initiallly wanted to follow his sire’s career, but showed little inclination towards academic discipline, and left after two years in order to become an actor. Although accepted by audiences, his thespian gifts were meager, and he was forced to give up the stage, after accidentally wounding a fellow player by not using a blunted sword. Settled in London, and was initially successful as a playwright, although he failed to maintain his upward trajectory. While in his mid-20s, he married Margaret Pernell, an impoverished widow a decade his senior with three children, that he mistakenly thought was wealthy. Served as a recruiting officer but was forced to sell his commission because of poverty. Though further plays proved successful, through his use of stock characters and lively dialogue, he fell ill and died penniless. Helped reinvent the theater of his time, destroying its sense of artifice. Inner: Gentle and humane. Witty and clever with words, but self-defeating in most of his endeavors, with a marked instinct for poor choices and an attraction to unhappy recompense for them. Self-vampiring lifetime of mixing his ongoing expository skills with a distinct taste for self-defeat, before trying to integrate the two directly via his choice of far darker subject matter in his succeeding go-rounds in this series. Stephen VI (?-897) - Italian pope. Outer: Early life largely unrecorded. Father was a Roman priest. Became a cleric and rose through the Church hierarchy to be consecrated Bishop of Anagni, by Formosus (Lynda Barry), against his will, creating a lifelong sense of enmity against him. Close to the Spoleto family, who ocntested for the throne of Italy, although ultimately lost power. Became pope in 896, taking on the name of Stephen VI. Through the auspices of the HRE Lambert and his mother, he had the body of Formosus exhumed to be placed on trial. Dressed in his papal vestments, the corpse was seated upon a throne and accused of charges by an earlier pope, John VIII (David Ben Gurion) of acting like a bishop after he had been deposed. On the verdict of guilt, he had several fingers removed as symbol of his being unable to perform blessings, even from beyond the grave, and his body was tossed in the Tiber, only to be rescued later by a monk. In his extremely brief pontificate, he forced several ecclesiasts who had been ordained by Formosus to resign. His actions in the bizarre trial were more than enough to warrant his own deposition shortly afterwards and he was arrested and imprionsed. Subsequently dragged out of his cell and put to death by strangulation. Whille his reputation never recovered and he remains a dark blot on papal his/story, Formosus was eventually rehabilitated and his acts were validated and reinstated. Inner: Vindictive and unforgiving. Dark side lifetime of acting out his convoluted nature before ultimately allowing his imagination to conjure similar stories without reflective acts on his part to bring them to life.


Storyline: The outrageous satirist gradually opens herself up to more and more unusual adventure, allowing her life to equal her imaginative excess, while enjoying succeedingly greater success in her ongoing search for her unadorned self.

Fay Weldon (Franklin Fay Birkinshaw) (1931?) - English writer. Outer: Grandfather was an occultist who wrote 73 novels. Given her name because it had a numerological connection to William Shakespeare’s. From a colorful family, her mother, father, sister and half-brother also wielded pens to varying effect. Still in the womb in New Zealand during an earthquake, when her mother and older sister fled to England, where she was born sans pere, who had divorced her mother after the latter had an affair, when their daughter was 5 or 6, despite many of his own. Returned to New Zealand, where her father, a physician, had grown rich, as her mother eked out a living writing romance novels, while staying one step ahead of her various landlords. Eclectically and serially educated in a convent school, girls institution, posh private and impoverished public school. Won a university scholarship at St. Andrews in Scotland, where she received an M.A. in economics and psychology, which got her work as a hospital orderly and waitress in London, before becoming an asst. clerk on the Polish desk at the Foreign Office. Became pregnant, although loved someone else, and moved to a small village with the female members of her family. Married Ronald Bateman, a schoolmaster, some 25 years her senior, one son from the two year union. Divorced, and married Ronald Weldon, a former antiques dealer in 1960, 4 sons from the union. Worked in journalism and advertising, and finally became a writer, beginning with her first novel, Fat Woman’s Joke, in 1967. Penned nearly forty satiric tomes with heroines of all stripes and their tragi-comic troubles with the relations in their lives: parents, children, lovers and each other. After divorcing in 1994, she wed poet Nicholas Fox the following year. Criticized for The Bulgari Connection, which was essentially underwritten by the jewelry company for its prominent mention throughout. Also wrote critical essays, television plays and studies, as well as a memoir, “Auto da Fay,” in 2003, although, remains deliberately evasive about elements in her life. Inner: Magnetic, self-deprecating, deliciously witty, carnal and breezy. Welded lifetime of allowing her larger dramas to inform her work, and vice versa, in her ongoing desire to integrate her imagination with her realities. Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915) - English writer. Outer: From an old Cornish family on her paternal side. Mother, Fanny White, was an Irish journalist. Youngest of three, with a brother and a sister. Had an impoverished childhood, father was an extremely unreliable solicitor and sportswriter, as well as unfaithful, forcing her mother to leave him when she was 4. Her brother Edward became prime minister of Tasmania. Educated at a private girls’ school, she began writing in her teens, then went on the stage as Mary Seaton at 20, for 3 years, through financial necessity, rather than any particular love of performing, while playing middle-aged women. Became a fill-time writer in 1860, penning penny dreadful short stories for a working-class audience, before publishing her first novel, which failed to excite anyone. At the same time, she came to live with publisher John Maxwell, whose wife had been institutionalized, and cared for his 5 children. The duo married in 1874 and they had 6 more progeny together, including 2 sons who became novelists. In 1862, she enjoyed her first huge success with “Lady Audley’s Secret,” which was originally serialized, while introducing the demonic heroine to the Victorian reading public, who, nevertheless, always found ultimate redemption in marriage. The work was later dramatized and ultimately filmed, and remained in print throughout her life. Her next work, “Aurora Floyd,” covered similar transgressive bigamist ground, and also was readopted for the stage, solidifying her status as the queen of the “Sensational Novel.” With her newfound wealth, she bought Lichfield House, in Richmond, Surrey. Had six more children all told with Maxwell, which tweaked Victorian sensibilities, since their union was a product of bigamy, so that her life began imitating her art, causing many a Victorian tongue to cluck. Undaunted, she turned to drawing-room fiction, ultimately writing more than 80 novels, as well as verse and 9 plays. Also served as an editor for several London periodicals, including the “Belgravia Magazine,” which her husband founded in 1866. Lost her third child the same year, and used her writing to stem her depression, only to lose her mother and sister within a month of one another, two years later, while she was pregnant, which caused a nervous collapse, from which she did not emerge for another annum. Turned to the stage in 1871, although none of her efforts were produced. When her husband’s institutionalized wife died in 1874, the former’s brother made sure to publicize her irregular marriage, which now had five surviving children, causing all her servants to quit, although she weathered this latest onslaught on her reputation, as well. Continued her literary efforts in the critical social vein of Emile Zola (Saul Bellow), while her husband became an invalid, dying in 1895. Despite the carping of the moralizing press, she had the support of many of the literati of her day, including William Thackeray (Tom Stoppard). Suffered a stroke in 1907, and was forced to walk with a cane the rest of her life. Died at home of a cerebral hemorrhage eight years later. Inner: Witty tweaker of conventions, using shock techniques to extremely successful effect. Great zest for life, with a keen eye for natural beauty, and the ability to withstand criticism, along with the capacity to continually expand her subject-matter. Nose-thumbing lifetime of challenging convention, and enjoying wide support for doing do, despite continual blue-nosed attempts at stifling her prolific creativity. Sarah Fielding (1710-1768) - English writer. Outer: Father was an army officer. One of six children, including her older brother Henry Fielding (Tom Stoppard), who was a novelist. Mother died when she was 7, lived with her grandmother, although her father, on remarriage, tried to kidnap his children back. Attended boarding school, but was mostly self-educated. After her grandmother’s death in 1733, she lived with 3 unmarried sisters, and joined them in spinsterhood. Unable to fully support herself, she turned to her brother for help, as well as assistance, in publishing her novels, the first of which, The Adventures of David Simple, was published in 1744, introducing a character she followed in two more works. In her 30s and 40s, she lived with her brother in between his marriages, and then her sisters in London. Close friend and defender of Samuel Richardson (John Updike), who despised her brother. After Henry’s death in 1754, she was supported by a half-brother, who was a magistrate and social reformer. Her works were moral tales marked by both wit and good psychological insight, with an emphasis on emotion and motive, as well as the perils of self-deception. Inner: Led a largely quiet life, allowing her sense of observation to predominate. Witty, moral and cerebral. Sharp-eyed lifetime of fielding the vicissitudes of the times in establishing herself as a unique voice of the moral and the feminine, while maintaining her own independence through intradependence. Mary Wroth (1587-1652) - English writer. Outer: Daughter of Robert Sidney (Richard Burton). Mother, Barbara Gamage (Elizabeth Taylor) was a wealthy heiress and cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh (William O. Douglas). One of ten children, with 7 sisters. Spent most of her early childhood at the house of her aunt Mary Herbert (Arianna Huffington), while her father was a governor in the Netherlands. In 1604, she unhappily married Robert Wroth, a wealthy landowner, who brought her into the court circles of James I (Kenneth Tynan). Her husband was a drunk, wastrel and bodice-chaser. Played a nymph in one of Queen Anne’s (Lauren Bacall) masques, which was written by Ben Jonson (Norman Mailer). Appeared in another of his masques, and had his comedy, The Alchemist, dedicated to her. The duo may have been lovers, although no proof exists of the connection, while she proved to be a sympathetic patroness of contemporary literature. When her spouse died in 1614, he left her in enormous debt. Afterwards, she became the mistress of her first cousin, the third Earl of Pembroke, with whom she had 2 illegitimate children. The adulterous affair darkened her name at court, and she was expelled from the queen’s circle of friends. Managed her own affairs following her father’s death to disastrous results, putting herself even further in debt. In order to relieve herself of it, in 1621, she published an awkwardly written prose romance, The Countess of Montgomeries Urania, which limned, in a series of tales, the unhappy relationships of a series of female characters based loosely on court scandals and individuals. The work outraged a goodly number of people because of direct references to them, although she claimed her characters were innocent creations on her part. Wrote a sequel, although it was never published, nor was a play she penned. The latter part of her life is totally unrecorded, because, in large part, to her retreating from society. Nevertheless, she managed to secure a reputation that transcended her time thanks to being the first of her gender to pen a known long fiction work. Inner: Clever and highly verbal despite a propensity for making self-damaging choices, and playing hob with the restrictions placed on women of her time. Wrothful lifetime of getting even for her social difficulties, via her sharp pen, despite having to suffer further straits for her temerity in doing so.


Storyline: The antithetical academic delves deep into his own dark materials in order to make sense of a world he sees pillaged by misrepresentative religions, while serially producing lasting works for the young-at-heart minds of his times.

jPhilip Pullman (1946) - English writer. Outer: Spent the early part of his childhood traveling from British air force base to base. Older of two brothers of an RAF pilot, who was killed in action in a plane crash fighting Kenyan guerrillas in 1953, when the family was living in Southern Rhodesia. Afterwards, he felt he hardly knew his progenitor. Moved back to Britain and stayed with his maternal grandfather, an Anglican clergyman, and absorbed his library, whose Christian content he would later reject, particularly the works of C. S. Lewis. After his mother remarried another pilot, the family moved to Australia, and he became an avid comic book aficionado, with a particular affinity for Superman and Batman, before returning to North Wales at 11 to go to prep school. Won a scholarship to Exeter College, Oxford, to study English, although found it uninspiring despite staying 5 years to get a BA. After a series of odd jobs, he came back to Oxford to teach at various middle schools for a dozen years, during which time, he married Judith Speller in 1970, two sons from the union, both of whom would be musically inclined. After earlier writing school plays for his students, he published his first children’s book in 1982, and within four years, he was able to devote far more time to his scrivening, while continuing to live in Oxford, where a shed at the bottom of his garden would serve as his perfect artistic atelier. Became a part-time lecturer at Westminster College, Oxford, from 1988 to 1996, where he taught courses on the Victorian novel, folk tales, and Greek mythology, as well as how words and pictures integrate in a work. In 1993, after suffering some writer’s block, he eventually produced the award-winning trilogy by which he will be remembered, “His Dark Materials,” an anti-clerical screed, that would generate much opprobrium from the traditionalist Christian community, despite its own deeply spiritual values, and sense of theistic morality. Able to quit teaching altogether in 1996, to devote his fulltime to his writing. Awarded a CBE in 2004, he saw the first volume of his trilogy come forth in cinematic form in 2007, although it was purged of much of its anti-dogmatic content, in order to see the other two parts reach the screen as well. Released his anticipated “La Belle Sauvage” in 2017, the start of a new trilogy called “The Book of Dust.” The stories are set in London and Oxford and overlap “His Dark Materials,” with critics finding it lagging in spots but still full of wonder in his ongoing desire to debase corrosive belief systems. Has a net worth of $150 million, thanks to an extremey loyal fan base. Inner: Outspoken critic of the oppressive elements of religiosity, while propounding his own unique spirituality in its stead. Sees himself as writing for himself, and the byproduct is books that children read, rather than being a children’s author. Inspired by a host of writers, particularly William Blake (Pavel Tchelitchev). Antithetical lifetime of challenging hoary belief systems through imaginative discourse in the guise of young adult literature, as a teacher of the power of myth to those of all ages, but particularly minds who have remained forever young. jKenneth Grahame (1859-1932) - Scottish/English writer. Outer: Father was a lawyer from an old Scottish family. 3rd of 4 children, with two brothers and a sister. After his mother died of scarlet fever in 1864, his sire took to drink and moved to France, while he and his siblings were sent to southern England to live with his grandmother, whose stately country home and gardens would provide rich imaginative fodder for him. Shy, with a great love of nature, so that the surrounding countryside proved an ongoing tonic to him, offering him a largely idyllic childhood, despite his loss of parents, and a lingering bronchial affliction he would have his entire life. To add to his familial misfortunes, he lost a brother in 1874. 5’11” with light grey kindly eyes. Although a top student, as well as a skilled athlete, his hopes of attending Oxford University were dashed by the refusal of his guardian, an uncle, to pay any further for his education, and he had to go to work in London at the Bank of England, beginning in 1879, which scarred him for life, giving him an irreconcilable duality between his creativity and enforced routine. To ameliorate the dullness of his job, he started penning articles and stories, which were published in a variety of London magazines. A group about orphaned children were eventually collected into “The Pagan Papers” and his sketches were collated into “The Golden Age,” in the 1890s. Of his various short works, it would be “The Reluctant Dragon,” that would be his most popular. Served as a sergeant in a London Scottish volunteer regiment, and also did voluntary work with the poor. After being made a secretary at the bank, he unhappily married the snobbish Elspeth Thomson, the daughter of an inventor, in 1899. Their singular issue, Alistair, who was nicknamed ‘Mouse,’ was born blind in one eye and with a severe squint in the other. Began composing stories for his tantrum-tossing son, which he never intended to publish, but they turned into “The Wind in the Willows,” which would grant him literary immortality. The fanciful tale of four anthropomophized animals, Mole, Ratty, Badger and the irrepressible Toad of Toad Hall, whose excesses reflected his son’s outré behavior, would become a children’s classic that transcended its own time for its drollery and Victorian delight. First published in 1908 in England, it took its own time to catch on, reflecting as it did the author’s profound unhappiness with his own life. Helped greatly by E.H. Shephard’s inimitable illustrations, it eventually was recognized several decades later, for the extraordinary work it was, after it was fashioned into a stage play by A. A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh. Toiled at the bank his entire working life, and wound up shot for his efforts in a foiled bank robbery, before retiring several years later in 1907, for health reasons, which may have been precipitated by the latter incident. Spent the rest of his life largely idle, traversing between London and a Cornwall resort, discontinuing his writing completely after WW I, when his son, then a student at Oxford University, ended it all in 1918 by lying down on a railroad track, a few days before his 20th birthday. Profoundly disturbed by his death, he became a recluse, spending long periods in Italy with his wife to disassociate himself from family and friends. Suffered a host of debilities in later life, including high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and fatty degeneration of the heart. Died of a cerebral hemorrhage at his home, which he had dubbed ‘Church Cottage.’ Inner: Reserved, manly and well-liked, with a curious ambivalence about most of his endeavors, including work, writing and his wife. Felt children were the only really living people. Sad-eyed lifetime of profound loss both at the beginning and towards the end, with an unhappy marriage and work situation in between, and only his rich imagination as buffer against a world proven over and over to him to be little more than the wind in the willows. jWilliam Hayley (1745-1820) - English poet. Outer: Father died when he was 3, and two years later his older brother did the same from an inoculation. Moved to London with his mother, and while at school, was lamed for life by an illness. Went to Eton, then fell in love just before entering Trinity College, Cambridge, where he spent an erratic three years, leaving sans degree. Toured Scotland, then was rebuffed by the father of his intended. Wed instead, in 1769, to Eliza Bell, who had served as a courier between him and the latter, and the couple went to live with his mother. Despite dreams of a theatrical career, he was unable to successfully get any of his initial works staged. Turned to the heroic epic as his ticket to fame and fortune, but came down with an eye infection, which forced him to abandon his pen for a while. His eyesight never fully recovered, and in 1774, he left London to live at a Sussex villa, Eartham, that his father had built, with the private means to sustain himself. Became friendly with the painter George Romney (David Lean), which inspired his first successful piece, a poem on painting. His further expository poems, however, did not fare well, save for one on his/story. Had an illegitimate son with his housemaid, which ended his marriage, although he later blamed his wife’s frigidity on terminating it much earlier. His most successful work, “Triumphs of Temper,” appeared a year later. Became a close friend of sculptor John Flaxman (Henry Moore), who in turn, introduced him to poet/artist/visionary William Blake. Continued penning plays to little effect, although an anonymous prose work, attacking spinsterhood, became a bestseller in 1785. Thanks to his fame, and not his talent, he was offered the laureateship of England in 1790, but mercifully turned it down, since he was ill-considered as a versifier by his contemporaries. Did a life of poet John Milton (John Stott), whose work he greatly admired and entertained his literati friends, over the next decade. Managed to secure a pension for poet William Cowper (Robert Lowell), who was in the process of disintegrating both physically and mentally, then turned to biography of his intimates, over the last period of his life. Apprenticed his son, Tom, a promising artist, to Flaxman, only to be devastated by a series of deaths over the next several years, beginning with his estranged wife, then Cowper, and finally his son. Used work to ameliorate his profound grief, editing Cowper’s letters and working on a biography of him. Proved to be an important patron for William Blake for several years after the century’s turn, giving him material to illustrate, including a series of juvenile ballads. Continued his literary output, while marrying a second time in 1809, to a young woman over three and a half decades his junior. The second union would prove no more satisfactory than the first, and within three years, she left him. Worked on his autobiography his last decade, before dying peacefully. Inner: Sentimentalist at heart, whose claim to fame was more as a warm-hearted friend of genius, than of any great talent of his own. Second rate lifetime of first rate friends, while trying to absorb the tragedies that would be repeated in his next several existences, where they would be transmuted into far more memorable works.


Storyline: The moral teacher uses his pen as a pulpit, but is never able to integrate his probity and love for the natural world with his own repressed sense of self, making for a dualistic character operating at an internal remove.

Cecil Day-Lewis (1904-1972) - Irish poet. Outer: Only child of an Irish Protestant clergyman. Mother was an amateur poet and a descendant of Oliver Goldsmith (Allen Ginsberg), who died when her son was 4. Cared for by her sister afterwards. The family moved to England when he was a year old. Precocious, he began writing verse at 6, and was educated at home until he was 8. Tall, rangy, and handsome, with craggy features and a melodious voice. Educated at Wadham College, Oxford, where he became connected to a group of left-wing poets. Married Constance King, the daughter of a head-master, in his mid-20s, and the union lasted 23 years, producing 2 children. Worked as a schoolmaster and was briefly an active Communist Party member during the 1930s, although later rejected the ideology. Estranged from his father, who died in 1937. In 1951, he married actress/dancer Jill Balcon, 2 children from 2nd union including actor Daniel Day-Lewis and documentary filmmaker Tamasin Day-Lewis. Initially a politicized poet, but later turned to natural and pastoral themes, while frequently using imagery and experience from his childhood. During WW II, he worked in the Ministry of Information, and afterwards held the post of professor of poetry at Oxford for 5 years, beginning in 1951, after earlier delivering the Clark Lectures at Cambridge. In addition to poetry and translations of the Roman poet Virgil (Ezra Pound), he wrote a number of detective stories under the pseudonym, Nick Blake. Penned his autobiography The Buried Day in 1960. Far more tranquil the last 2 decades of his life, he was appointed poet laureate in his mid-60s. Died at the home of writer Kingsley Amis, in an unconscious nod to his last name in the previous life in this series. Inner: Detached, cynical, subject to fallow periods. Radical, but held a deep respect for social order, ultimately becoming a pillar member of the establishment. Detached lifetime of distancing himself from his emotions, while following similar patterns in this series of lives of immersing himself in nature to calm his spirit. Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) - English writer. Outer: Father was a clergyman, whose livings changed often while his son was was growing up. Older brother of writer Henry Kingsley (Daniel Day-Lewis), and eldest of 6 surviving children. His long-lived mother was the daughter of a judge who had inherited slave-run sugar plantations in Barbados, although the decline of the sugar trade and the abolition of slavery, made the family totally dependent on his father’s income. Precocious and extremely attenuated, he had absolutely no body fat his whole life. Suffered an attack of cholera at school, which also weakened his intestines, while a childhood propensity to stutter plagued him, as well. Shared his sire’s love of both country sports and natural his/story, and when he was 17, his family moved to London. Wound up tall, and excessively thin, with piercing eyes and beaky features. Educated at King’s College, London, and continued to live at home, evincing a profound boredom with the nature of his father’s rectory life. At 19, he entered Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he discovered the pleasures and addictions of tobacco, and also began experiencing religious doubts, which deeply affected his emotional life, sending him on moody arcs from despair to wild dissipation. After much inner turmoil, and with the support of Frances Grenfell, whom he had met at college and whom he would later wed, he finally decided to become a clergyman in 1841. Initially served as a curate and then a rector of Eversley in Hampshire, a living he held the rest of his life. In 1844, after a prolonged separation, he married FG, the devout daughter of an MP and wealthy industrialist, despite opposition from her family, who had long looked on him as a dissipated students. The duo had engaged in a long erotic correspondence prior to their union, contrary to her upbringing and its celibate ideal, which he subsequently and vigorously crusaded against. 4 children from union. In 1848, he became a part-time professor of English at newly formed Queen’s College for Women in London. Enthusiastically embraced the Christian socialist movement of the time, although he was far more the reformer than the revolutionary, which resulted in his first novel, a social diatribe. Overwork caused a breakdown, and he gave up his teaching position to retreat to the country and write. Became Regius professor of modern his/story at Cambridge for nearly a decade, beginning in 1860, and held a couple of canonries, while also acting as chaplain to Queen Victoria in 1873. Politically active, he was also a proponent of health and fitness, making him a prime exemplar of ‘muscular Christianity,’ a vigorous stance of the time, despite his own attenuated physicality. Expounded on the virtues of ‘manliness,’ although continued to suffer from an acute stammer, and was subject to nervous collapse on numerous occasions. In addition to his novels and writings of a political, social and religious nature, he published several volumes of his sermons, which showed his breadth of interest in the natural and the civilized world. Highly celebrated and revered, and unafraid of controversy, he exhibited a didactic, polemical thought process, and was also viewed as a popular speaker, despite a certain nervousness in public. One of the few clergyman who accepted Charles Darwin’s (Jared Diamond) theory of evolution. Financial worries caused him to spread his writing talent too thin, in an effort to compensate for his modest salaries and livings, until the last few years of his life. By that time, recurring bouts of exhaustion, made him feel totally spent. Realized a lifelong ambition by visiting the West Indies in his early 50s, then did a lecture tour of the U.S., although he became serious ill on the trip with liver disease. Died of pleurisy soon afterwards. Far better writer than poet, with a definite agenda to all his works, including his fairy tales for children, The Water Babies and Westward Ho! which would turn out to be his best-remembered outpourings. Inner: Humorous, kindly, unconventional. Despite superior abilities as a parish clergyman, he was often absent from his calling, preferring to be a gadfly, rather than a supportive religious force. Nervous, restless, racist and a keen sportsman, albeit tender to animals. Radical, reformist and fervently anti-Catholic, but with a deep respect for social order. Always teaching a lesson or making a moral point in his works. Writing served as an emotional purge for him. Muscular Christian lifetime of allowing the rollercoaster of his inner self free reign and producing an enormous literary output off of it, thanks to a nervous disposition that found creativity as its ultimate salve. Henry Vaughan (1622-1695) - English doctor and poet. Outer: Father was a ne’er-do-well from a good family, mother was a local heiress. Twin brother of alchemist Thomas Vaughan (Daniel Day-Lewis). The duo were extremely close to one another. Also a cousin of antiquarian John Aubrey (Michael Holroyd). Tutored and then went to Jesus College, Oxford, but unlike his brother, left without a degree. Became known as the Silurian, for his identification with the ancient inhabitants of his place of birth in Wales. Studied law, and finally medicine, spending his time as a highly respected physician at Newton-By-Usk. Most of his life was quiet, save for a stint as a surgeon during the English Civil War, during which time he was captured and imprisoned as a royalist sympathizer. Married twice, the first time in 1646 to Catherine Wise, and after her death, to her siser Elizabeth. Both unions produced 3 daughters and a son. Considered one of the metaphysical poets, searching for his sense of the spiritual through a mystic communication with nature. Inner: Had a moderate talent, which upon occasion, could rise to impressive linguistic heights. Also harbored a great love of the country of his birth, and strong identification with its natural elements and its ancient peoples, although largely aloof to his contemporary world. Spiritual lifetime of twinship with an alchemist, while he searched for his own magical connections through the natural world, and put his teacherly sensibilities into healing. John VIII Palaeologus (1392-1448) - Byzantine Basileus. Outer: Eldest son of Manuel II Palaeologus (Robert Graves). Mother Helena was the daughter of a Serbian prince. in 1414, he wed Anna of Moscow, although she probably died of the plague in 1417. Four years later, he wed Sophia of Montferrat, an excessively pious cousin, who was not particularly attractive, in an unconsummated union. Crowned co-emperor as a youth, and by his late 20s, was actively involved in the defense of Constantinople during a siege by the Ottoman emperor, while his father was desperately seeking aid from western European forces, who were involved in their own religious wars. On the death of his sire in 1425, he became emperor, inheriting a tottering empire that needed all the help it could muster from its European allies. The following year his marriage was dissolved and his wife returned to her homeland to become a nun, dying eight years later. In the interim, in 1427 he wed Maria of Trebizond, who would become the final Empress Consort of Byzantium. No children from the union, leaving the throne heirless for the next generation, as symbol of the increasingly empty seat that it was. Made a papal visit and agreed to the union of the eastern and western churches, which was ratified in 1439, although the accord was met with extreme resistance from both the populace and clergy at home, so that it was universally condemned throughout the diminished empire, as a total sacrifice of Orthodoxy’s independence, with no benefit whatsoever for having done so. Discovered when he returned that his wife had died weeks before, breaking his heart, since he truly loved her. Able to hold onto Constantinople against further incursions by the Ottomans, as the last crusade ever to be launched against the Turks unfolded during his reign, to disastrous results in 1444, which told Europe that the empire could no longer be saved from their long and increasingly stronger arms. The failure pretty much negated his lifework, and he wound up broken and defeated, dying a prematurely old man. Succeeded by his younger brother, Constantine XI Palaeologus (Daniel Day Lewis), thanks to his mother, who was able to foil a coup by his scheming sibling Demetrius following his demise. Inner: Diligent and hardworking, although lacking the charisma and vision to make his wishes happen, leaving his empire tottering on the brink of extinction, because of his largely wasted efforts. Chasing after ghosts lifetime of spending his imperial coin in pursuit of unrealistic goals, before internalizing his failures, and departing a sad and vanquished man.


Storyline: The self-seeking magician turns to the magic of the silver screen to harness his risk-taking sense of self, after several devil-may-care go-rounds of burning himself out with his uninhibited appetite for unusual experience.

Sir Daniel Day-Lewis (1957) - English/Irish actor. Outer: Father was poet Cecil Day-Lewis, mother was actress Jill Balcon, his sire’s 2nd wife. His grandfather on his mother’s side was British movie mogul, Sir Michael Balcon, who was the head of Ealing Studios. One older sister, Tamasin, who became a documentary filmmaker and TV chef. His progenitor, who was in his 50s at the time of his son’s birth, showed little interest in his children, while his mother was quite high-strung. Quiet and introverted as a young child, he developed a strong inner fantasy life in recompense. Bullied as a child in a tough South London neighborhood for being Jewish and mannered, he quickly aped his compeers, in what would be his introduction to acting, in order to fit in better. His wildness made his parents send him to boarding school, where he was miserable, and once again an outcast, although he was introduced there to both acting and woodworking, which would be his two favorite avocations. Ran away at 13, and entered films the following year with a bit part in Sunday, Bloody Sunday, while also studying cabinet-making. Went to a progressive school afterwards, and wrote and acted in his first play by 15, then trained with the Bristol Old Vic, before storming the London stage and making a name for himself there. 6’ 1 1/2”, with a lean, malleable physicality. A notable film career followed with a wide range of roles and an extraordinary ability to totally enter his characters, through obsessive research, ranging from a gay punk in My Beautiful Launderette to a Czech doctor in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, for which he learned Czech and refused to leave his character for the entire shoot. Afterwards, he almost gave up acting, feeling completely lost within himself. Despite acclaim, he led a largely nomadic existence, and eschewed easy roles and an easy leading man career. Won an Academy Reward for Best Actor in 1989 for his portrayal of a paralyzed Irish writer in My Left Foot, once again refusing to break character, causing much consternation among the stage hands, who had to constantly wheel him around in his wheelchair, while he broke two ribs from his continual hunched-over posture. Had affairs with several of his leading woman, as well as singer Sinead O’Connor. Also had a 6 year relationship with actress Isabelle Adjani, one son from union. For his role in Last of the Mohicans, he built his own canoe, learned to track and skin animals, and even toted a flintlock rifle with him, everywhere he went. Assumed dual Irish citizenship in 1993. In his late 30s, he married writer/actress/director Rebecca Miller, the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller, 2 sons from union. Trained as a boxer for 2 years for The Boxer in 1997, then dropped out to become a cobbler in Italy in an effort to reground himself, before returning memorably 5 years later with a villainous turn in Gangs of New York. Appeared in his wife’s Jack and Rose, after moving to NYC from Ireland, while maintaining homes in both countries, thanks to a longtime fascination with America from the movies. In 2008, he picked up a second Best Actor Oscar for There Will Be Blood, where he played an oily early oil man. In 2012, he was able to imbue Lincoln, Steven Spielberg’s talky biopic of the fated president’s last four months, with a bravura performance that seemed to capture his essence exactly, in his ongoing ability to literally become any character he assays. Won his unprecedented third Academy Reward for Best Actor for his effort. Knighted in 2014. Inner: Intense, powerful commitment to craft, strong sense of adventure, with an inordinate need for privacy, despite a highly public career. Much prefers playing people he is not, and has a great love of filmdom, finding the good in even bad movies. Usually disappointed with his efforts, plagued with self-doubts and a sense of diminishment, thanks to the complete absorption he brings to every role. Self-absorbed and self-exploratory lifetime of finally finding his most direct avenue of expression in this series of lives. Harley Granville-Barker (1877-1946) - English actor, producer and playwright. Outer: Of Italian descent on his maternal side. Mother supported the family as a well-known elocutionist. Father was supposedly an architect. Only son & eldest child. Precociously assisted at his mother’s recital, and made his stage debut at 14, but soon found himself at odds with the tasteless state of the English stage, and determined to elevate it, if he could. By his early 20s, he was doing Shakespeare, as a leading member of the Elizabethan Stage Society. At century’s turn he had his first play produced by the Society, and with a partner, took a lease on the Royal Court Theater, where he concentrated on repertory work of stage-masters, including George Bernard Shaw, whom he would champion. During the mid-decade, he produced, directed and acted in Shaw’s contemporary oeuvre, helping to crown him as a leading light of the early 20th century English stage. 5’11”, slight and wiry, with thick red-brown hair and a noticeably flabby handshake. Augmented his own reputation as an actor of more than passing interest in several key Shavian roles as well. Married actress Lillah McCarthy in 1906, and together the two were effective partners in various productions as both producers and actors. Showed himself to be a skillful writer of dialogue in his own pieces, as well as an imaginative constructor of plays. Turned his talents to directing Shakespeare in the years prior to WW I, concentrating on ensemble companies, rather than pandering to the public’s desire for stars. Simplified sets, and had his performers speak quickly and clearly, to create a tempo more in tune with modern ears. Also extended the stage past the footlights in order to bring his actors in closer contact with the audience. Maintained his youthful appearance well into middle age. Served in the Red Cross during the Great War, which marked both an ending and new beginning for him. Divorced in 1918, and remarried a writer soon afterwards, while breaking with many of his old friends, despite being elected President of the British Drama League. Moved to Paris shortly afterwards and in 1923, began his Prefaces to Shakespeare, a task that would take him the rest of his life. Penned his criticism from the viewpoint of the producer, rather than the critic, creating a perfect capstone work to his not inconsiderable efforts. Translated several Spanish plays, along with his wife, and then fled to Spain in 1940. Came to the U.S. afterwards, while working for British Information Services during WW II and lecturing at Harvard Univ. Returned to Paris at life’s near end, where he died. His reputation would continue to grow after his death, thanks to the deep intelligence he brought to all his work. Inner: Cerebral, highly imaginative, and determined to elevate the English theater to his own vision of where it should be. Transitional lifetime of switching to the theater as his primary means of expression, while evincing the same intensity and originality, that he continually brings to all his disciplines. without the angry self-destructiveness of yore. Henry Kingsley (1830-1876) - English writer. Outer: 3rd son of a vicar, and one of 6 surviving children, including older brother, well-known writer Charles Kingsley (Cecil Day-Lewis). His long-lived mother was the daughter of a judge who had inherited slave-run sugar plantations in Barbados, although the decline of the sugar trade and the abolition of slavery when he was 3, negated any inherited wealth from the operation. At 6, his family moved to London, where he grew up. Went to King’s College, London and Worcester College, Oxford, but gave himself over to social pleasures. Showed great physical prowess during an age of muscular Christianity, which his brother came to embody. Founded a club pledged to celibacy and misogyny, ran into debt and disappointed his family. Left school without a degree, went to Australia, where he became a trooper in the Sydney mounted police for a time, as well as a gold prospector. Also made 2 epic treks across that continent. Never wrote his family the entire 5 years he was there. Returned with a partially completed manuscript, and in his mid-30s, he married a 2nd cousin. His experience with the bushrangers was used in some of his novels, although his dying father begged him not to include anything that would preclude his first book from ‘lying on a drawing room table.’ Became a Scottish editor, but was ill-suited for the job. Served better as a war correspondent for the German army during the Franco-Prussian war. Wrote a host of novels, although his reputation steadily diminished with each additional one. Ultimately fell out with his brother because of repeated requests for money. Lived in seclusion at the end of his relatively short life. Victim of cancer of the tongue and throat because of excessive smoking. Inner: Adventurous, lovable and attractive. No real steadiness of purpose or discipline. Irresponsible lifetime of looking for the magic of life through direct physical action and novelistic reflection of that process. Thomas Vaughan (1622-1666) - English alchemist and poet. Outer: Father was a ne’er-do-well from a good family, mother was a local heiress. Twin brother of poet Henry Vaughan (Cecil Day-Lewis). The duo were devoted to one another. Along with his brother, he was tutored by a local rector, then graduated from Jesus College, Oxford and received a living at St. Bridget’s in Wales. Fought in the Royalist army during the Civil War, and like his brother, was captured and imprisoned. Took up medical studies because of the lack of doctors in Wales. Married in 1651, to Rebecca (Rebecca Miller?), who worked in close association with him in his alchemical pursuits. The duo moved back to London, and his wife died in 1658. Began publishing works on magic and alchemy and Rosicrucian mysteries, while harboring a particular fascination with discovering the philosopher’s stone. May have written under the pseudonym Eireaus Philatheles. Rumored to have signed a pact with the Devil on 3/25/1645, on a document vouched for by a descendant. Died of mercury fumes. Inner: Profligate and undisciplined. Faustian lifetime of looking into ancient magic as a means of opening up his communication abilities, an ongoing theme in this series, until he finally discovered the stage as his most effective venue of direct expression. Constantine XI (1404-1453) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: Father was Byzantine emperor Manuel II (Robert Graves). Mother was Serbian princess Helena. The eighth of ten children, with four older brothers including his predecessor John VIII (Cecil Day Lewis) and two younger ones. In 1428, he wed Theodora Tocco, in a Grecian political alliance, although she died the following year, giving birth to a stillborn daughter. Held title to various Pelopennesian territories, and served as a regent in Constantinople when his brother John VIII was searching for assistance against Ottoman attacks on the capital. Became Despote of the Morea, an area in the southern Greek peninsula, and during that time, in 1441, he wed Caterina Gattilusio, who may have died in childbirth the following year. Never married afterwards, while living in a fortified palace in Mistra, overseeing an art and cultural center that more than rivaled the beleaguered capital. Preferred the use of his mother’s name, Dragases appended to his own, even though he was the last of his direct Palaeologus line. Strengthened his territory’s defenses, and in 1444, invaded the Latin Duchy of Athens, successfully putting both Athens and Thebes under his control, while extracting a tribute from its ruling duke. The Ottoman emperor came out of retirement and attacked his holdings with a huge force, decimating his defenses, while he and his brother Theodore barely escaped, ending his desire to expand his realm of rule in the wake of a further defeat of Christian forces, in what would prove to be the last European crusade against the Turks. Following the death of his brother John VIII in 1448, he was crowned as the final emperor of Byzantium, only to be challenged by his younger brother Demetrius. With the help of the Ottoman sultan Murad II, and the support of his mother, he prevailed, and was crowned in Mistra by a local bishop, rather than by the customary patriarch of Constantinople in the capital, because of the controversial desire of the latter to unite the eastern and western churches, which was extremely unpopular among the populace at the time. Sailed for the capital afterwards, and when the sultan died in 1351, he immediately tried to wife it with his widow, Mara Brankovic, a Serbian/Byzantine princess, who wanted no more of married life, and, instead, remained an influential figure at her adopted court. Another marriage was negotiated with a Georgian princess, only to become the victim of the larger events that would signal the final chapter in Byzantium’s millennium plus run as a western enclave. Tensions soon abounded between the Ottoman and Byzantine empires through promises and treaties deemed broken, and the new sultan Mehmet II, began building fortresses on both the European and Asian sides of the Bosporus, signaling a siege would be fairly imminent. Began setting up the city’s defense, including stockpiling foods, although his depleted treasury put him at an extreme disadvantage in organizing a proper army. Barely got any support from any of the western states, while his own siblings in Morea were bogged down by an Ottoman attack launched specifically to neutralize them in the upcoming fight. At the end of 1452, the siege was launched, and he had only a miniscule army of 7000 to try to repel a huge force with the latest in medieval martial technology at its disposal. Turned down an offer of surrendering the city in exchange for his life being spared, and actively rallied his troops, negotiating between the various Italian and Greeks that were under his command. Died the day the city fell, May 29th 1453, with his last words, “The city is fallen and I am still alive,” before tearing off his imperial insignia, so as to be one with his men, as he led one final charge in which he was felled. Some controversy would remain whether his body was ever identified, or if he wound up in a mass grave with the other defenders, despite the sultan producing what he claimed was his head on a spike. Completed a circle of sorts since both he and the first Constantine (Mohandas Gandhi) both had mothers named Helena. Thus ended the Roman Empire, and its Byzantine offshoot nearly 1500 years after it was founded. Remains a national hero in Greece, for his stalwart final defense of its last empire. Inner: Valorous and brave, and more than willing to end his house’s ruling run, with singing sword in hand. End of the line lifetime of going down with his ship of state, in fine heroic manner, as testament to the magnificence of an empire whose time had finally passed.


Storyline: The peripatetic alien uses his permanent status as an outsider to underscore his own sense of alienation, while never quite finding the personal balance to his exotic, humane, storytelling temperament.

Lawrence Durrell (1912-1990) - English writer. Outer: From a family deeply rooted in India. Father was an English engineer with the India railway system, who built a successful construction company, mother was Irish. Oldest of four surviving children with two brothers and a sister, with his youngest sibling, Gerald, becoming a well-known zoologist. After spending his first decade in India, he was sent to England, where he always felt out of sorts, subsequently spending as little of his life there as he could. Educated at St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling and St. Edmund’s School, Canterbury, but failed his university entrance exams, while using the Himalayas as his personal metaphor for beauty beyond human reach. 5’2”. Began writing poetry in his mid-teens, and following his father’s death in 1928, he slipped into a Bohemian lifestyle, holding a series of odd jobs, including jazz pianist, automobile racer, jazz composer, real estate agent, and running a photographic studio with his first wife, photographer Nancy Myers, whom he married in 1935, the same year he published his first novel, “Pied Piper of Lovers.” The duo were divorced in 1943, one daughter from the union. Lived for 6 years on the island of Corfu, which he loved for its Grecian grace, from 1934 to 1940, along with his mother and two of his other siblings. Formed a special bond with writer Henry Miller, with the two mutual admirers of one another’s work, so that the duo wound up collaborating and publishing together. His “The Black Book,” was too outré for England, but found a Parisian publisher in 1938, as he finally found the literary voice in it that he would subsequently employ. When WW II broke out, his family returned to England, although he remained in Greece, and taught at the British institute in Athens, as well as served as foreign press service officer in the British Information Office in Cairo and Alexandria, which would become the setting for his best known work, “The Alexandria Quartet,” which told the same story from 4 different perspectives, the first 3 from a sense of interlapping space, the last from that of sequential time. Married a 2nd time in 1947 to Yvette Cohen, an Alexandrian, one daughter from the union, Sappho, who later committed suicide in 1985. The duo would separate 8 years later and then divorce. Spent the next decade holding various governmental public relations’ posts in the Dodecanese Islands, Greece, Cordoba, Argentina, Belgrade and Cyprus, before moving to France and becoming a full-time writer in 1957. Married a 3rd time in 1961, to Claude-Marie Vincendon, who died from cancer 6 years later. Settled in a small Provençal village in the south of France, and it would subsequently become his base, after an extremely peripatetic life. Principally a poet, he described himself as a “hander on of sound,” although he would become far better known for his novels. Wrote heraldic, baroque prose, celebrating sexual intrigue, and was an amateur painter as well as a playwright, with a particular fascination for Elizabethan stageworks, which he mimicked in a trio of verse dramas, that were heavy on the verse, and light on the drama. His last marriage was in 1973 to Ghislaine de Boysson, a model and actress, which also ended in divorce in 1979. Had an unhappy endlife, leavened with wine, meditation and yoga. His final companion was Francoise Kestsman, a translator and restauranteur, who proved a tumultuous consort. Suffered from emphysema, which was exacerbated by heavy drinking, and died at home of a cerebral hemorrhage. Inner: Perennial expatriate. Sophisticated and world-wise, with the self-view of a poet forced to write novels to support himself. Great desire to shock through his works, counterpointing British technology and Puritanism with his own Mediterranean exotic temperament. Footloose lifetime of maintaining his status as a continual alien, the better to clearly observe and leave a lasting literary legacy around the lands through which he wandered. Prosper Merimee (1803-1870) - French writer. Outer: Father was a painter, his/storian and chemist. Mother had been her husband’s art pupil, and her mother wrote Beauty and the Beast as well as other tales. His sire was a conservative traditionalist, while his mother refused to have her son baptized, although was bourgeois in her other practices. Brought up among culterati who attended his sire’s salon. Studied painting and drawing, and learned English, then pursued law at the Univ. of Paris, while following his own interests in languages and the occult. Frequented literary circles as a student, collaborating on a translation with Stendahl (D.H. Lawrence) on a play. Published supposed renderings of eastern European ballads, fooling some scholars with his clever send-up, as well as the poet Aleksandr Pushkin (Tupac Shakur) who translated them. Best known for his short stories or novelettes which he published over a 20 year period between 1829 and 1848, succinctly and impersonally relating bloody events and violent emotions. Had many mistresses and affairs, fighting a duel over one of them with her husband, which he later related in one of his stories. Engaged in a short, disastrous liaison with George Sand (Rebecca West). Traveled around the continent and socialized with the wealthy and powerful. Entered the naval ministry as secretary to Count Apollinaire d’Argout, and soon became director of the bureau. Remained attached to d’Argout in his various political positions. Despite numerous affairs, he was never able to find a stable and satisfying relationship. In his early 30s, he became inspector of his/storical monuments, which involved extensive travel. Criss-crossed France and visited Corsica, Italy, Greece and Asia Minor, using some of his exotic ports of call as bases for his stories. Did many archaeological and his/storical reports and was made a member of the French Academy. His most famous work was Carmen, which was made into an opera by Georges Bizet (Stevie Wonder). Did many translations, and when his friend, Empress Eugenia (Catherine Deneuve), ascended the throne, he was made a Senator in 1853 with a large income, although continued to live simply, becoming more conservative in both manner and dress as he grew older. Plagued by rheumatism, he spent much of the year in the south of France, although remained active in court life as well. The year following his death, a fire destroyed many of his manuscripts. Inner: Matter-of-fact romantic, with an equal dollop of mockery and skepticism, and a facility for friendship. Sophisticated and cosmopolitan, with an ease in the company of the rich and powerful. Outwardly satisfying lifetime of exercising his twin vocations, travel and writing, and integrating them in a career that was supported by both the public and the powers that were, but unable to find equal satisfaction on an intimate, interpersonal level. Jacques Cazotte (1719-1792) - French writer and occultist. Outer: Father was an assistant to the clerk of the court in Boulogne. Younger of two sons, with his older brother becoming an abbé. Attended the Jesuit College of Dijon where he became friendly with the composer Jean Rameau (Igor Stravinsky), then went to Paris, and studied to become an officer in the French Ministry of the Marine. Married, with at least one daughter. Published a few short stories, before living on the Caribbean island of Martinique for the majority of his working life, rising to the rank of commissioner-general. On his return to Paris in 1760 he discovered that the letter of credit given him for his possessions in Martinique was worthless, and, as a result, he participated in bringing about the downfall of the Jesuits in 1761. Wrote a mock romance, as well as a coarse song, which enjoyed huge popularity, inspiring him to continue his literary pursuits. His best known story would be “The Devil in Love,” one of the first French literary ventures into the fantastical, in its study of the relationship between shadows and light, and imagination and reality. Translated some Arabian legends into French, in addition to his own works. Failed to get a pension from the government, and went to live in a small village, where he became a devout Martinist, a mystical masonic sect that saw humanity’s fall as part of a regeneration process of ultimate illumination. Felt himself to be a prophet via hallucinatory visions, and was accorded that status by others, particularly fellow writer Jean de la Harpe. Arrested in 1792 for writing violently anti-revolutionary and pro-monarchist missives. Initially saved by his daughter, only to be rearrested, tried and guillotined later that year. His last words were, “I die as I have lived, loyal to my God and my king.” Inner: Mystical, but traditional, with a great love of mystery. Contrarian, with the ability to transmute an innate sense of anger into both playful literature and philosophic questing. Illuminated lifetime of exploring his storytelling faculties, as well as his ongoing fascination with other cultures, only to wind up with his head separated from his body, for his insistence on expressing the truth as he saw it, no matter the consequence. Owen Tudor (Owain ap Meredydd) (c1400-1461) - Welsh soldier and courtier. Outer: From a Welsh warrior family of great antiquity. Father was a bishop’s steward, but killed a man and was subsequently outlawed. Grew up without him, and anglicized his name when he came to England. Became a soldier and distinguished himself at the Battle of Agincourt, while in his teens. Initially came to court because of his martial skills. A handsome young man, he caught the attention of the widowed English dowager queen, Katherine of Valois (Anthony Powell) and was given a post in her household as keeper of the queen’s wardrobe, sometime after the premature death of her husband, Henry V (Winston Churchill). She had already produced the heir to the throne, Henry VI (Harold Nicolson). By their late 20s, the duo were an obvious twosome, living together, despite an act having been passed making it a grave offense to marry the dowager queen, for fear of alternate lines being created for the throne. No proof, however, existed of any official wedding ceremony. Together the pair had five children, including 3 sons, one of whom became the father of the future Henry VII (Rupert Murdoch), who would inaugurate the Tudor line on the throne at century’s end. Following the first four children, Katherine was banished to the Bermondsey Abbey in 1435, where she died the following year giving birth to their final child, after her earlier progeny were all taken from her. Despite his precarious position, he employed some artful dodging, and was allowed to go back to Wales, but was retaken there and put in Newgate prison. Able to escape, with the complicity of his servant and a priest, he returned to Wales, and was given a pardon by his stepfather, the king, when he came of age. As an old man, he fought for the House of Lancaster in the War of the Roses, but fell to the Yorkists at the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross. Despite thinking he’d be reprieved because of his royal connection, he was beheaded and his pate was set up on a marketplace cross. A mad woman subsequently combed his hair and washed his face, while illumining him with lighted torches, as a sad reminder of who he had once been. Inner: Quasi-sovereign lifetime of adventure, royal romance and an ultimate legacy of a regal line springing from his loins, as his lasting act of creativity. Theodore I Lascaris (c1174-1222) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: Fifth son of seven of a noble family of no particular distinction. Most were involved with the military. May also have had a sister. In 1198, he married Anna Angela-Comnena the widowed second daughter of the Byzantine emperor Alexius III (Benny Begin), which gave him claim to the shaky throne that fell in 1204 to the fleet of the Fourth crusade, who set up their own Latin kings in Constantinople for a little over a half-century, before it was retaken by its rightful royals. Three sons and three daughters from the union. During its last days in the capital, he became one of two candidates, along with Theodore Ducas who could lay claim to the throne via imperial descent. Declined the title because of the fates of his immediate predecessors, and instead called himself by the lesser name of Despote, for the time being. Fought valiantly against the crusader siege, until they had overwhelmed the city, then escaped with his wife, while one of his brothers was briefly proclaimed emperor. Became the first of the emperors-in-exile, when he established the alternate Byzantine empire in 1204 on the western extremity of Anatolia in Nicaea. Able to raise troops and make alliances, which gave him much of Bithynia, Set up his capital at Atra, and was recognized as such in 1205, before being crowned three years later by the new patriarch he had appointed, after convoking a general assembly of the Greek bishops. Did mixed battle with the Latins over the next several years, but prevailed over the Seljuk Turk sultan in 1211, killing him in battle. His deposed and fugitive father-in-law, a cowardly mischief-maker, remained problematic until he captured him and confined him to a nearby monastery, where he expired within the year. Defeated by the Latin emperor the same year, but circumstances, including the death of a rival, enabled him to continue to extend his territorial control. Lost his wife in 1212, before making peace with the Latin Empire in 1214. Married Philippa of Armenia, daughter of the king of Armenia, although their union was annulled for religious reasons, after she had borne a son. In 1219, he wed Marie de Courtenay, a daughter of the Latin Emperor, Peter II of Courtenay (Macauley Culkin). Nevertheless, the two resumed hostilities the following year, before peace was once again brokered, so that his last decade of his reign was largely unchallenged. Managed by the end of that time to extend his domain so that it reflected the old Roman provinces of Asia and Bithynia. Succeeded by his brother-in-law John III Vatatzes (Bruce Chatwin), despite intervention by his two surviving brothers to the contrary. Inner: Skilled martial artist with great perseverance, allowing him to keep his domain-in-exile alive despite continuous threats to its existence. Character largely hidden in the dust of constant battle and then diplomatic maneuverings, although he showed enough shrewdness and survival skills, to keep his moribund empire going, so that it could reclaim itself later in the century. Caretaker lifetime of masterfully taking on the task of guiding a fading fabled polity through the darkness of defeat into new life elsewhere so that it could resurrect itself at a later time and reclaim its ancient and ruined capital in order to breathe new life into it.


Storyline: The compleat and compulsive traveller utilizes the globe as his personal oyster, viewing himself as an impenetrable island forever afloat to keep anyone from ever viewing the pearls of his interior.

Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) - English writer. Outer: Nomadic since childhood, as the son of a naval officer in WW II on a minesweeper. The family followed him from port to port, and he was also housed with various eccentric relatives. When the family finally found a house of their own, he grew sick and thin, unaccustomed as he was to domestic stability. His father eventually became a prominent solicitor. Attended an exclusive private school, but was not academically inclined, preferring to read sea-going adventures, and pouring over atlases. Toured the continent with his family, and at 14, traveled alone to Sweden at the behest of a family who wanted their son to practice English. Blond-haired, blue-eyed and ruddily handsome. Went to Marlborough College, where his fascination for all things French evolved and read archaeology at Edinburgh Univ. His parents dissuaded him from becoming an actor and he joined Sotheby’s auctioneering house as a porter through an interest in French painting. Able to recognize a Picasso fake at 18, and his career took off. Held wide-ranging interests from Chinese ceramics to African sculptures, and was looked on as an expert eye. Flew all over the globe, arrogantly proclaiming the worth of worldwide pieces, which elevated him to director of the impressionist art dept. at Sotheby’s, the youngest ever to hold that post. In his mid-20s, he married Elizabeth Chanler, an American expert on Indian flora. The union was a social event, and he was closely bonded to his wife, although he continued to pursue his homophile relationships, while his innate imperative to keep on the move, made domestic life impossible. Offered a partnership in Sotheby’s but woke up one morning blind. The sight to his left eye cleared, but the right eye remained clouded. A specialist said it came from looking at paintings too closely, while his body was telling him to broaden his horizons. His career as a travel writer began soon afterwards with a trip to the Sudan. Suddenly, he wished to be a nomad again, devoid of possessions, and constant movement became the metaphor for his life. Interested in everyone and everything, he occasionally disappeared entirely into his role as observer. After 5 years of travel, he was offered a job by the Sunday London Times as an art consultant and writer. Penned all his work in longhand on yellow legal pads, having little use for communication machinery. Did interviews, then quit and went to Patagonia. In Patagonia set the standard for all his future writing, as a traveling writer rather than a travel writer. Had a unique style of merging fact and fiction and past and present. Claimed to have contracted a rare bone disease on a walking tour of China in 1980, but just kept walking, experiencing slow death the last decade of his life. Secretly converted to Greek Orthodoxy, after a mystical vision on Mount Athos, although told almost no one. Achieved wide popularity as he was wasting away. Supposedly died of the bone marrow disease, although later it proved to be from complications from AIDS. Redefined the novel form. Inner: Highly eccentric aesthete and snob. Felt life should be a first rate performance and viewed the world as a map of himself. Peripatetic lifetime of integrating his gift for adventure and unusual personality, with a rich writerly skill that transposed, in part, his own complex psyche on paper, all the better to view himself. Pierre Loti (Louis-Marie-Julien Viaud) (1850-1923) - French writer and adventurer. Outer: From the French provinces. Father was an official in a local town hall, mother was from a staunchly Protestant home, and his sire ultimately converted to her religion. Family had strong connections to the sea. His parents were in their 40s at his birth, and he also had 2 older sisters and an older brother, so that he had a childhood of lots of love and attention. Joined the navy with romantic ideals, and became an officer. A gifted circus acrobat, he was also a playmate of actress Sarah Bernhardt (Laurie Anderson). Claimed never to read, despite his writing skills and prolific output, some 40 volumes in 30 years. Traveled widely, romanticizing natives and writing about them in sentimental tales that first won him fame. His anti-colonial attitudes through his writings, however, piqued authorities. After numerous rebuffs, he married a woman from a wealthy Protestant family in 1886, but the couple drifted apart after the birth of a son in 1889, because of his need to be centerstage. An inveterate collector, he redecorated their house as a shrine to his travels, and used his wife’s money to support his habit of endlessly gathering interesting things. Short and plain, used high heels, make-up and costumes to enhance his visual presence. Bi-sexual with a compulsive promiscuity. Became more polemical in his writings towards the end of his life, and he was given a state funeral on his death. His house in Rochefort eventually became a museum, reflecting is eclectic tastes. Inner: Poseur and voluptuary. Impressionistic and sensuous writer, who preferred creating atmosphere to limning pictorial detail. Preoccupied by sensory stimulation and a fear of death, with a lifelong nostalgia for the Biblical promise of an afterlife. Felt he had once been an Egyptian pharaoh. Performance art lifetime of uninhibitedly living out his fantasies, while celebrating the romance of primitive life, and once again, keeping constantly on the move in his ongoing sense of quest surrounding this globe’s exotica. James Bruce (1730-1794) - Scottish traveler and writer. Outer: From a wealthy Scottish family, mother died when he was 3. His father soon remarried, adding 3 sons and 6 daughters to his brood, although his eldest would always feel apart, rather than a part of his family. A delicate child, he was sent at 6 to be educated by tutors in London. Proved himself an adept scholar at Harrow, then returned to Scotland and Edinburgh Univ. Had a facility for languages, and was an enthusiastic amateur in a variety of subjects. Although he showed a preference for a church career, his sire insisted he study law, which made him so ill, he was forced to spend several years at the family estate recuperating, until it was decided he return to London and try to get a position with the East India Company, but on arriving he soon fell in love with Adriana Allen, the daughter of wine merchant and married her, while joining her family firm. 6’4”, with a strong body and dark red hair, as well as a loud voice. His wife died of consumption while pregnant soon afterwards, while they were in France, and he refused to bury her in a Catholic cemetery. Traveled incessantly afterwards to quell his rage at life’s fates, and even his sire’s death in 1758, failed to bring him back home. After further adventures, he served as British consul in Algiers for 2 years, where he studied antiquities of North Africa, with the strong desire to discover the source of the Blue Nile. Following numerous harrowing perils, he left from Cairo in 1768, with a party of porters and an Italian secretary who died after they reached the capital of Ethiopia, Gondar, in 1770, leaving him the sole European eye witness to his incredible journey. Impressed his hosts with his commanding presence, as well as his medical skills, and, despite the unrest of the country, and endless hardships, he succeeded in making it to Lake Tana, the great river’s source, and then had an even more arduous journey home, including being involved in a civil war in Ethiopia, before finally reaching Marseille, some 10 years after leaving Europe, and then making his way to Paris and finally London in 1774. After retiring to his estate, he began writing of his adventures in 1780, and a decade later, produced Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, which would ultimately be considered one of the epics of African adventure literature, although it was initially met with skepticism by his British peers, thanks to the outlandish adventures and observations he recorded, as well as the fact that he had originally detailed his findings to the French court, when he had reached Paris. Later accounts, however, would confirm what he had found. Died after entertaining a large group of people, and tripping while going up the main staircase to his estate, hitting his head, and never regaining consciousness. Inner: Exuded an aura of confident superiority. Vain and boastful, but uncommonly brave and resourceful. Extremely self-reliant, but also equally self-centered, and quick to take offense at slights. My way is the highway lifetime of allowing his great curiosity and equal sense of adventure to take him on many an epic adventure, and then employ his acute exposition skills to create a classic surrounding his travels, while cleaving to his own indomitable grandiose sense of self his entire journey through life. Jean Chardin (1643-1713) - French/English jeweler and traveler. Outer: From a Huguenot family. Father was a wealthy jeweler, who was able to give him an excellent education, in preparation for entering the family business. At the behest of his progenitor, in 1664 he traveled with a Lyon merchant named Raisin to India, taking advantage of a vogue for European jewelry there, then journeyed through Persia, earning the patronage of the shah, who made him a royal merchant, and commissioned some jewelry he himself had designed, while allowing him access to both his court and ruling circles, so as to give him insight into the highest levels of Safavid society. Spent six years on the road, during which time, he revisited India, and on his return to France, he published an account of his adventures. Realized, as a Huguenot, he had little hope of rising above merchant status in France, which sent him back to Persia in 1671 along with his compatriot Raisin, taking the long route to get there, through southern Russia, so that he did not arrive at his destination until 1673. Once there, he spent four more years traveling the country and absorbing its culture, as well as visiting India again, all the while pursuing his own commercial ventures, adding clocks and watches to his wares, before returning to France by traversing all the way around Africa via ship. At the time of his rearrival, the persecution of the Huguenots was so severe, that he felt he could no longer live in his homeland, and moved to London, instead, where he was made jeweler to the royal court. Continued doing business in France, while losing his traveling partner on his final trip to India. Made a knight, and at the same time, married Esther de Lardinière Peigné, a fellow Huguenot refugee. Seven children from the union. Made a fellow of the Royal Society, before becoming a representative of the East India Company, and spending some time in the Dutch Republic as such. In 1686, he published the first part of his travels, “The Travels of Sir John Chardin in Persia and the Orient,” although the complete edition was not brought out until 1711, two years before his death. The work would be the most detailed account of Persia by foreign eyes of his time, and would be augmented by diaries, translations and other writings. A masterful still-life painter of the same name would appear in France later that century, although the two were not related. Inner: Had an encyclopedic mind and an excellent eye for detail, with his main interest in Persia in its economic and political life. Somewhat defensive about his literary skills, which would make the ultimate publication of his works incomplete. Wanderlust lifetime of operating on the highest levels of the societies he visited, in order to give him unusual insight and perspective into arenas not normally traversed by westerners of his time, in his ongoing explorations of the globe as a voyageur extraordinaire. Ibn Battuta (Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Batutah) (1304-1369) - Moroccan traveler and writer. Outer: Of Berber descent. From a family of Islamic legal scholars, he pursued studies that would have allowed him to continue his familial work, had he chosen to do so. Left Tangier after turning 21 in order to go on a hajj to Mecca, and for the next three decades, traveled incessantly, while keeping careful record of his journeys. His initial foray was through Egypt and the holy places of the Middle East, taking the first of his several brides along the way, before completing his hajj to Mecca, after pursuing the road least taken via numerous detours, while joining up with caravans for safety against marauding Bedouin. Decided afterwards rather than returning home, he would continue with his journeying, and traveled through Mesopotamia, visiting important sites in Muslim his/story, before returning to Oman and doing pilgrimage to Mecca once more, arriving sick, and staying three years the second time. Traveled by boat afterwards, ultimately heading down the eastern coast of Africa to Mogadishu, before continuing down the Somali coast, and then making his third hajj in 1332 or so, spending another year in Mecca. Set out for India afterwards, but changed his mind, and revisited Cairo, Palestine and Syria, before traveling by sea to Asia Minor and crossing Anatolia and Sinope. Traversed the Black Sea, and after much wandering, reached Constantinople through southern Ukraine, guiding the pregnant daughter of the Byzantine emperor to his first visit beyond the Muslim world. Spent a month in the city, then, after venturing in Asia, crossed the Hindu Kush mountains via the 13,000 foot Khawak Pass into Afghanistan, before finally reaching India. When he came to Delhi, he enjoyed the patronage of the sultan there for several years, ultimately serving him as an envoy to China, after being appointed a qadi, or judge, although found the enforcement of Islamic law somewhat lax outside the city, while being subjected to the sultan’s variant moods, which veered between great trust and treasonous suspicion. Used the opportunity of the China appointment to escape an increasingly tenuous situation, and visited the ports of the Malabar coast, then crossed to Ceylon from the Maldive Islands, spending some nine months there, since it had recently converted to Islam. Became chief judge there while marrying into the island royal family, although soon found himself persona non grata, because of his strict judgments. After more adventures, he arrived in China in 1345, via Canton. Traveled north to Huangzhou and up to Beijing, before being excessively charged on his way out to Southeast Asia, losing much of what he had collected. By this juncture, the Black Death had begun taking its toll in both Asia and Europe, as he retraced his way back to Damascus intent on making his seventh and final pilgrimage to Mecca in 1348. Discovered his father had died fifteen years earlier, and decided to finally head home. Made one last detour to Sardinia, before finally returning to Tangier, to discover he had lost his mother several months prior. Went on to Muslim al-Andalus in Spain, and then explored parts of Morocco he had never seen, before returning to Tangier. Caravanned out afterwards through the northern Sahara visiting several oasis towns, before heading down the Niger River, believing it to be the Nile. Journeyed to Timbuktu, before being commanded to return home by the Sultan of Morocco, arriving in Fez in 1353, with a caravan of 600 female African slaves. At the insistence of the sultan, he dictated accounts of his journeys to Ibn Juzayy, a scholar he had earlier met in Granada, which became known as the “Rihala (or Journey) of Iben Battutam.” The project took three months, and was totally a product of his memory since he had taken no notes. It was finally finished at the end of 1355. There would be subsequent controversy over its overall truth, since some of it may have been based on hearsay, so that some of his far-flung adventures may have been sheer speculation on his part. As such, however, he was the only traveler known to have visited the lands of every contemporary Muslim ruler, while also wandering, some 75,000 miles all told, probably a medieval record, which would not be broached for another half-millennium during the age of the steam engine. Since he was the only real source of his existence, little is known of his final fourteen years, since he did not record them. Spent his final stretch as a judge in Morocco. Curiously, he is rarely mentioned in geography books employed in Muslim countries, despite his immense contribution to the knowledge of the world of his time. His book would also remain obscure in the western world until its rediscovery in the 19th century. Inner: Perceptive traveler, with a good eye for detail, and a wealth of observational material with which to compare each polity he passed through. Shocked by much of what he saw, including half-clad and naked women, and any practices that did not conform with the Islamic standards of his upbringing. On the road lifetime of pursuing the pathway that would consume his interests for much of the rest of the millennium, as a stranger in many strange lands, constantly viewing the same world through a host of different ethnic eyes, and putting his adventures memorably on paper to add to the geographic and cultural knowledge of the globe. John III Ducas Vatatzes (c1192-1254) - Byzantine basileus. Outer: Father was a general and duke of Thrace who died when his son was one. Mother was a cousin of the Byzantine emperors, Isaac II Angelus (Oscar LaFontaine) and Alexius III (Benny Begin), allowing the family to rise in stature during their largely inept reigns. Third of three brothers, with his middle sibling siring a daughter who would wed the future Byzantine emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus (Jean-Pierre Aumont). Pursued a military career, and in 1212, was chosen by the emperor-in-exile Theodore I Lascaris (Lawrence Durrell) to be husband of his daughter, Irene, making him heir to the throne. one son from the union, his future successor, Theodore II Laskaris (J.D. Salinger), before his wife fell from a horse, and injured herself so severely she could no longer bear children, leading her eventually to retire to a convent, taking on the name Eugenia. Inherited the crown in 1222 on his father-in-law’s death and immediately had to do battle for it, with two of his father’s brothers who sought help from the Latin Empire in undoing it. Able to vanquish them in a key battle in 1224, permanently securing his rule, while blinding them afterwards to insure his status. Initially inherited a small, but viable state patterned on Byzantium of old, and was able to steadily expand it. The Latin Empire sued for peace the following year, allowing him to serially reclaim old Byzantine possessions in Asia Minor. Reintroduced the practice of granting small landholdings to his soldiers, which made them eager to do or die for the empire. Suffered from epilepsy, although it did not initially inhibit his effectiveness in the field. Later made an alliance with Bulgaria against the Latin Empire, and was able to help the latter in the restoration of the Bulgarian patriarchate, which was cemented by the marriage of the daughter of its emperor with his son, Theodore. Ran a profitable farm of his own, selling eggs, while he and his wife were extremely charitable, setting up hospitals and orphanages, endowing churches and monasteries, and continually working for the relief of the poor. Encouraged the arts and literature, so as to give impetus to a cultural revival which followed. Deeply loved by his people for his generosity and his outstanding abilities in the field, as he vastly improved the lot of everyone in the exiled empire. Following the death of his wife in 1239, he married Constance, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich II (Yukio Mishima) in 1244, for political reasons, although he wound up taking on her Italian governess, Marchesa della Fricca, as a mistress, in one of the few blights against him. His mistress would exert considerable influence, before ultimately being dismissed, while his second wife outlived him. Able to put extreme pressure on Constantinople by 1247, virtually assuring the empire-in-exile’s return to that city in the near future. During his last decade, his epileptic fits increased, as his health continued to wane, while his mental state suffered as well, leading to some ill-thought out decisions, but such was the strength of his leadership in securing both internal and external prosperity to his empire, that it was able to weather his decline. By reign’s end he more than double his holdings in size, showing himself to be one of the great emperors of Byzantium. Canonized soon after his death and revered as a local saint, as John the Merciful. Inner: Highly effective martial artist, showing a fierceness on the field that did not carry over into his private life and domestic reign. Kind, charitable and gentle, with a genuine feeling of compassion for his subjects. Had as his life’s aim to restore his empire to its old capital, although did not live quite long enough to achieve it, despite doing all the preliminary work to make it happen. Full speed ahead lifetime of realizing most of his aims through the judicious use of his considerable abilities, allowing him to enter the top tier of the pantheon of leaders of his time, as a genuine ruler of heart, courage and vision.


Storyline: The dissipated decadent employs altered states to plumb his own disordered interior, but only finds the beauty he is continually searching for in his creations, not in the barely palatable pathways he chooses to summon them up.

kSebastian Horsley (1962-2010) - English artist, writer and memoirist. Outer: Grew up on a Yorkshire fortress estate appropriately named High Hall. Mother was of Welsh extract and had once worked as an assistant to singer Billie Holiday (Queen Latifah), before becoming a flamboyantly manic-depressive suicidal alcoholic, who admitted to being drunk all during her pregnancies with her children. Oldest of three, and the product of a failed abortion attempt on the part of the former. Father was an emotionally and physically crippled billionaire who had inherited the Northern Foods empire from his own sire. Both parents had an excessive affinity for both the bottle and infidelity, with his sire eventually moving out, when his mother took on a live-in lover. Grew up in profound dysfunction, thoroughly ignored by his parents, although he remained enthralled with his mad mother, to whom style was everything. The duo mercifully divorced in 1975, and his father went on to marry twice more, while his mother took on the name of her lover, without officialy uniting with him. Went to boarding school and art school, and, beginning at the age of 16, began exploring what would be a lifelong fascination with prostitutes, thanks to his own desire for sexuality without intimacy. Numbered well over 1000 liaisons with saidsame in a host of different countries, for an estimated £100,000, finding great satisfaction in both its illicitness and complete lack of commitment. Also worked for a while as a male prostitute, and claims to have run a brothel, which eventually led to a monthly column in the Erotic Review, which ran for 6 years beginning in 1998. Did a sexual advice column in the weekly Observer in 2006, but his enthusiasms were a bit much for its staid readers, and it was soon discontinued. Like his parents, he would also embark on a headlong and lifelong infatuation with both drink and drug, including heroin and crack, which he would continually do battle with through rehab, against his own overwhelming propensity for addiction. Inherited a disposition for dandified dressing up from his mother, and investigated a variety of careers, from punk guitarist, to stock market investor to avant-garde artist to shark-hunter off the coast of Australia, while always playing the role of dandy, replete with nail polish and velvet three-piece suits. In 1983, he married Evlynn Smith, the daughter of a Scottish painter and decorator, who, with a partner, started a furniture-design and art company called Precious McBane. Claimed to have had a longtime sado-masochistic relationship with Scottish criminal and artist Jimmy Boyle, who had served as best man at his wedding, and had also had illicit congress with his wife. The pair’s difficlties caused him to contemplate suicide, before they separated in 1990, and she ultimately went on to die of a brain aneurysm at the age of 40. Went to the Philippines in 2000, to participate in an Easter crucifixion, but passed out after being nailed to a cross without painkillers, and fell off it. The fiasco was preserved on film, and also served for a series of paintings for him, which gained him much notoriety in London. After working on it for a decade, in 2007 he published his autobiography, Dandy in the Underworld, in Britain, but when he came to the U.S. the following year to publicize its American edition, he was denied entry into the country as an unrepentant reprobate and was sent post haste back to Britain. Died in his home of a heroin and cocaine overdose three years later. Inner: Tremendous fear of intimacy, and an absolute repulsion of physicality, seeing that money alone assuaged the foul odor of priapic contact. Honest, high-humored and relatively unflinching, a decadent dandy without the need to explain away or defend his fascination with the tawdrier aspects of life. Both self-hating and self-worshiping. Sympathy for the devil lifetime of re-exploring many of his earlier obsessions, but rather than sinking into them, as he had done previously, able to both mock and document them, as an impenitent degenerate of the first order. kMalcolm Lowry (Clarence Malcolm Lowry)(1909-1957) - English writer. Outer: From an upperclass British family. Father was a wealthy cotton broker, mother was the daughter of a master mariner. Both parents were teetotalers and Methodists. Youngest of four sons. Sent to a boarding school at an early age, and felt extremely distant from his parents, refusing to join the family cotton business. As a teen, he suffered a substantial loss of vision in both eyes, because of ulcerations of his corneas. Recovered, and became a good athlete. Sailed as a deck-hand at 17 to the Far East, setting a pattern of adventure for himself that would be continually drowned in alcohol, save for 2 short periods, for the rest of his life. Attended St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge, where he was remote and detached, with an increasing reliance on distilled spirits. Eventually went to live in Cuernavaca with his first wife, Jan Gabriel, an American writer, whom he married in his mid-20s in Paris. Became so alcoholic, using a towel as a pulley to steady his shaking hand for the first drink of the day, which could be anything from rubbing alcohol to hair tonic. His binges and betrayals led to a separation, then a divorce in 1940, and a month later, he married a former Hollywood starlet and mystery writer, Margerie Bonner. The duo lived in a squatter’s cabin in Vancouver for 15 years, although his 2nd marriage provided him with the only joy in his life. The cabin caught fire in 1944 and burned to the ground. While trying to save his manuscripts, he was burned by a falling log. Saved his best known work, “Under the Volcano,” but lost its 1000 page follow-up, “In Ballast to the White Sea,” which he was never able to recreate. Took extensive journeys during that time to the USA and Mexico, where he was deported in 1946, then Haiti and Europe. Spent the last decade of his life in a compleat state of deterioration. His final year, he returned with his wife to England, and after a night of arguing with her, following a period of intense depression, he died of the potent effects of a half bottle of gin and 20 sodium amytal sleeping pills. Worked out his inner life by writing about himself in disguise in his works. Continually revised what he wrote, which limited his ultimate output. Also spent time in psychiatric hospitals. Despite the disintegrative nature of his outer life, he had a well-developed sense of literary structure and his/story. Used his works to closely examine himself through the world of words, literature and myth. Decades after his death, “In Ballast to the White Sea,” a copy of which his first wife had kept, was finally published. It was part of a projected trio based on Dante’s (Ezra Pound) Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. “Under the Volcano” saw print during his life, while the second “Swinging the Maelstrom,” was published posthumously. Decades later, “In Ballast to the White Sea,” which told the story of a Cambridge writer who felt that his life had already been written. Inner: Constantly seized by wanderlust, and intensely introspective. Charming but tormented and self-absorbed, melancholic and despairing. Given to violent rages and complete collapse. Great fear of his own emotional wells, which he could only ford through drink. Through a glass dankly lifetime of trying to work out his unintegrated interior on paper via the lubricant of alcohol. kErnest Dowson (1867-1900) - English writer. Outer: Grandfather had established a dry-dock business, which became Dowson & Son. Father suffered from tuberculosis and eventually went to France, mother also contracted the disease. Raised a Roman Catholic. Had an irregular education, and attended Queen’s College, Oxford, but did not graduate. Smoked hashish there, but preferred alcohol as his designated drug of destruction, particularly absinthe. Went to work with his sire in the family business, while leading an active well-lubricated social life, and putting pen to paper in his spare time. A member of the Rhymers’ Club, which included William Butler Yeats and Lionel Pigot Johnson (Truman Capote). Contributed to literary magazines of the time, and fell in love with Adelaide ‘Missie’ Foltinowicz’ the 12 year old daughter of a restaurant owner. Waited for years for her, although she married a tailor when she came of age, breaking his heart. Used streetwalkers for his sexual release, while keeping his real attachments in the fantasy realm. In 1891 he was received into the Catholic Church, and 3 years later his parents serially committed suicide, his father first via an overdose of chloral hydrate, and his mother 6 months later by hanging herself. Degenerated into consumption, alcohol and debt, and also went to France for his health. Wrote remarkable poetry, using sensuous language, and a sense of deep loss at the passing of youth and beauty. One of the Decadents, he mournfully heralded the end of the century. Best known for the refrain, “I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion,” written for a French woman who had ignored him, and whom he had apostrophized into romance incarnate, despite her dull reality. Also noted for the phrase, “days of wine and roses.” Inherited the family's East End dock, and lived in poverty there, setting a pattern of making numerous waterfront dives his temporary home. Translated numerous works, and also wrote one novel, before dying of tuberculosis in his early 30s. Inner: Less rebellious than self-destructive. Shy, delicate and refined when sober; obscene, violent and angry when drunk. Intimidated by women, worshipped little girls for their innocence. Worked extremely hard at his craft. Absinthe makes the heart grow weaker lifetime of arrested emotional adolescence, so as to be a troubadour of the dung-heap, and see if he could integrate his dual nature of creator and destroyer by giving both sides equal expression. kThomas de Quincey (Thomas Quincey) (1785-1859) - English writer. Outer: Son of a successful Manchester linen merchant, who was cultured and liberal and penned a tome on the Midlands before leaving home for health reasons, then returning and dying of TB when his son was 8. Mother was strong-willed, fervently evangelical, and a frightening figure, who proved an extremely strict parent. 4th child in a family of 8. Frail and diffident, he was dominated by a boisterous older brother William as a child, who later died at 16. Spent a largely solitary, dreamy upbringing, with a strong emotional bond with his older sister Elizabeth, who died of meningitis when he was 7, further underlining his sense of the vagaries of existence. Also suffered an accidental blow to the head by a cane when young. An indifferent student, although he read widely for his own interests, could converse fluently in Greek, and impressed his teachers with his verbal abilities. Educated at various grammar schools, then fell in with some poets, before dropping out to wander in Wales. Led a bohemian existence living down and out in London, then reconciled with his family, studied Hebrew and German at Worcester College, Oxford, where he finally matriculated. Also introduced to opium there, as a curative for neuralgia, only to become an out-and-out addict by his late 20s, although he rationalized its use as a boost to the clarity of his cerebrations. Left school in 1807 without a degree and became friends with the Lake District romantics, edited a gazette, and read German metaphysics, while settling for a decade in a home previously occupied by William Wordsworth (T. S. Eliot), whom he had earlier sought out. Married in 1816 to Margaret Simpson, the daughter of a local farmer, 5 sons and 3 daughters from the union, to whom he proved to be a courteous and affectionate father. His addiction to opium produced his most famous work, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, which was published in 1822, and an instant success. Wrote numerous articles and essays on a wide variety of subjects with a particular interest in popularizing German philosophy and celebrating the ornateness of English prose of several centuries past. Fascinated by the psychology of crime, he penned essays on the subject, as well as compiled reports for the Westmoreland Gazette. Moved back to Edinburgh in 1830, but was unable to work except in solitude. After his wife’s death in 1837, he put his children in a neighboring cottage, while he lived in the city, and self-medicated with opium to deal with the loss. An obsessive collector of papers and books, he wound up moving out each time he overran his lodgings with detritus, and was paying for 6 different places by the time of his demise. Outlived 2 sons, and after suffering from a variety of illnesses, including erysipelas, purpurea and arthritis, became ill and bedridden, and died peacefully at home with two daughters in attendance. Inner: Eccentric, little caring about what he wore or how he looked. Usually in debt because of his indifference to the material world. Highly imaginative, well-informed and literate. Preferred taking long walks and exploring his dream world with drugs, but was an interesting conversationalist when drawn out. Great love for music. Pipe-dreaming lifetime of establishing or continuing the pattern in this series of chronicling his degeneration and regeneration through the use of various toxic substances, while focusing on his deeply wounded inner, rather than his outer, being. John IV Lascaris (1250-1305) - Byzantine Basileus. Outer: Father was Theodore II Lascaris (J. D. Salinger) the last emperor of the Byzantine empire-in-exile in Nicaea. Mother was a Bulgarian princess. At the age of seven, he inherited the throne as the final member of the four generation Lascarid dynasty. The future Michael VIII Palaeologus (Jean-Pierre Aumont), who was related to him, usurped his regency and made himself co-emperor in 1259. After the latter reconquered Constantinople, to return the throne to its rightful capital two years later, he was blinded by him on his eleventh birthday, so as to make him ineligible for rule. Exiled and imprisoned in a fortress in Bithynia, where he would spend the rest of his sad life, as a monk renamed Joasaph. Visited by the emperor’s son Andronicus II Palaeologus (Sonny Bono) nearly three decades after the blinding, who begged him for his forgiveness, although no record exists of his answer. Eventually recognized as a saint. Inner: Victim lifetime of being forced to go inward and stay there as a martyr to political intrigue far beyond his own desires to realize a throne.


Storyline: The isolated individualist abandons her sense of victimhood to become a weaver of erotic webs of self-empowerment and womanly release.

Kathy Acker (Karen Alexander) (1947-1997) - American writer and performer. Outer: From a wealthy Jewish family who eventually disowned her, after her father deserted the family prior to her birth. Grew up in Manhattan, and was a voracious reader as a child. Performed ceremonies which married her to her books, because of her deep attachment to them, and began writing at any early age. Attended Brandeis Univ. and UC, San Diego. Worked as a file clerk and secretary before becoming a stripper, then a performer in live sex shows and pornographic films. Her first book, “Politics,” in 1972 came directly out of those experiences. Married and divorced twice, a decade apart, the first time to Robert Acker at 18. Became a punk writer of visceral, blunt alienated prose, using violent and pornographic characters as questers, including Victorian murderesses, who she interwove with her own experience, while calling herself the “Black Tarantula.” Often appropriated passages from the works of others, and was obsessed with sexuality in her writings, which spanned journalism, poetry, novels, librettos and journalism, and bore such titles as “Blood & Guts in High School” and “Hannibal Lecter, My Father.” Garnered a mixed reaction from critics, because of her anti-literary literate stance, which did not alter her mode in the slightest of expressing herself for exactly who she chose to be. In addition to her writing, she also performed with the rock groups Tribe 8 and Mekons. Toured the world, giving readings, and moved to London in the mid-80s, where she enjoyed cult status, and probably spent the most satisfying period of her life, in a culture that deeply appreciated the written word, before her publisher there backed down on a possible plagiarism suit from the Harold Robbins estate, asking she publicly apologize in print for appropriating his material. Left and returned to the U.S., ultimately settling again in San Francisco, and got into body building, as a means of self-enhancement, while working as an instructor at the San Francisco Institute of Art. In 1996 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy, while searching for alternate means of healing other than radiation and chemo, in a repeat of her last go-round in this series. Died in an alternative treatment center in Mexico, in full control of her faculties, just as she wished to exit. Inner: Fierce free spirit, with an uninhibited sense of adventure about everything she undertook. An enthusiastic bibliophile, she amassed a library of some 30,000 volumes. Felt words controlled thought, and wished to reinvent language. Wanton lifetime of exploring her own independence, after many a go-round of having it muted, while searching for her spirituality through her sexuality, as well as her ability to transmute her unusual persona onto the printed page. Katherine Mansfield (Kathleen Beauchamp) (1888-1923) - New Zealand/English writer. Outer: Father was a banker and industrialist who was later knighted a week before his daughter died. Mother was from a genteel background. Spent her first six years in the village of Karori in New Zealand. Published her first short story at 9, and was also a talented violin/cellist, although her father denied her the opportunity to pursue that instrument professionally. Sent to London at 15, she studied at Queen’s College. Slim and small, with intense dark eyes. Returned to New Zealand and studied typing and book/keeping before moving back to England permanently. Suffered a miscarriage and an abortion, before marrying George Brown, a musician, in 1909, only to leave him after their wedding night. Subsequently had several love affairs with both men and women, during which time she contracted gonorrhea, which remained untreated and left her vulnerable to TB later on. Toured with an opera company as an extra, before taking up with Socialist, critic and editor John Middleton Murray, an unsatisfying lover, with whom she lived in a series of squalid flats. During WW I, she moved back and forth twixt England and France to escape creditors, while publishing stories in various journals. Lost a brother during the Great War, which made her focus on both her family and past in her writing. Finally married Murray after the official decree of divorce from her first union in 1918, the same year she discovered she had tuberculosis. Despite the insecurity of the affair and several lovers during it, as well as the inability of both to end it, the relationship lasted the length of her short life. Spent the rest of her time seeking cures away from England, growing steadily more lonely, terrified and demanding of her weak husband, who was unable to give her the support she desperately needed to stay alive. The brief periods the duo were together in France, Italy and Switzerland were generally happy, punctuated by her feelings that her real husband was death. Although her first volume of short stories received little notice, she was acknowledged as a master of that form with her second and third, published in 1920 and 1922, at which time she was clearly dying, living with a female companion on the Italian Riviera. Her best known story was “The Garden Party.” Towards the end of her life, she went to the Gurdjieff Institute in Fontainebleau, France, searching for spiritual salvation with that odd master. Faced the end quite heroically. Sent for her husband for one final afternoon together, after which she suffered a violent hemorrhage while climbing the stairs to her room and died. Her husband was subsequently vilified by literary England for his ineptitude in her life and his later exploitation of it, although the two were of such profoundly different natures, it was a wonder they were ever together at all. Inner: Beautiful, sophisticated, with a caustic wit and a simple, luminous and evocative writing style. Held great powers of description and analysis, and the ability ultimately to see herself. Liked both brevity and ellipsis, and in a sense, lived her short life according to those two principles. Victimized lifetime of pinning her survival on a preposterous mate to truly experience the aloneness and isolation of her extraordinary talent. Elizabeth Branwell (1776-1842) - English literary surrogate materfamilias. Outer: Father was a successful importer, who also owned a brewery and an inn. One of the eldest of twelve children and older sister of Maria (Vanessa Bell) who would go on to marry Patrick Bronte (Leonard Woolf), and bring forth an extraordinary literary brood of six. Lost her father in 1808, and her mother the following year, and probably moved in with a married sister afterwards. Able to live independently because of her well-off family, with an income of £50 a year. Well-read, with a lively mind, she helped her sister move to Yorkshire, where Patrick was given a larger living, then returned home, before becoming a permanent member of the Bronte household on the death of Maria in 1821, taking on the task of helping to raise her brother-in-law’s six children, thinking initially the situation would only be temporary. The oldest two daughters would die of TB in 1825, adding to the house’s ongoing sense of tragedy. Known as Aunt Branwell, she was able to provide grounding for her charge, who regarded her with an admixture of either love or respect, with Branwell (Bret Eason Ellis) the only boy in the family, looking at her as his personal guide, and Anne (Mary Gaitskill), doing likewise, since she was the only mother she ever knew. Disliked the cold Yorkshire moors, and probably resented the authoritarian role placed on her, but felt it her duty to raise her nieces and nephew. Enjoyed snuff, as well as little magazines, that the children would sneak read, while her income helped Charlotte (Tama Janowitz) and Emily (Virginia Woolf) open a boarding school when they got older, although it proved a failure. After falling ill with a bowel constriction, she died four days later, with her namesake nephew, Branwell, the one most effected by her sudden leave-taking. Made into a Calvinist tyrant by subsequent biographers, although no proof exists of the claims. Inner: Lively, playful, with an independent spirit, allowing her to serve as a model of strength for the nieces in her charge. Substitute mother lifetime of self-sacrifice in order to help nurture the creative imaginations of an extraordinary brood, who probably did the same for her on an inner level, in preparation for her own unique journey through the arts and letters of the 20th century. Katherine Philips (1632-1664) - English/Welsh writer. Outer: Daughter of a Puritan merchant. Mother was the daughter of a doctor. Supposedly read the entire Bible before she was 5. Educated by a cousin then at an all-female school, where she met two young women, Mary Aubrey and Mary Harvey, whom she would later apostrophize in her poetry. Fluent in several languages, she rebelled against her upbringing, and became a staunch Royalist. After her father died in 1639, her mother married a Welsh baronet seven years later. 2 years after that, her stepfather married her to a Welsh relative of his who was almost 4 decades her senior. Her husband, James Philips, was a prominent Parliamentarian who signed the king’s death warrant the following annum. Two children from the union, a son who died as a child and a daughter. Their home in Wales became a literary center, with its members designating themselves by pastoral pseudonyms. Began calling herself ‘Orinda,’ while penning very personal verse, usually to a female correspondent, winning plaudits from her contemporaries. Became known as the “matchless Orinda,” after she was discovered by poet Henry Vaughan (Cecil Day Lewis). After Mary Aubrey got married, she used another friend, Ann Owen, as a recipient for her verse, calling her Lucasia. Celebrated Platonic friendship, and intellectual connection, in simple straightforward language, that did not rise above the conventional. Continued to harbor Royalist sympathies, contra to her marriage, during the Commonwealth, so that she welcomed the Restoration in 1660, even though it meant a diminution of her spouse’s position. Her husband had been a regicide, which cost him his position as an MP, although he was not prosecuted. Nevertheless, most of his land was repossessed, although the couple were helped by Charles Cotterell, one of the re-instituted king’s master of ceremonies, who was smitten with Ann Owen. The two never did marry, but Cotterell remained a loyal friend, and prepared her poems for publication just before her premature death from smallpox, just after she returned to England from visiting Owen. Had two books published during her lifetime, a translation, and an unauthorized book of her verse, which she immediately had withdrawn, because she felt the text was inadequately printed. Inner: Refined writer of safe verse, that stirred thought rather than feeling. Kept her passion and emotion reigned in, despite an occasional writerly flourish in that direction. Virtuous and proper. Traditionalist lifetime of playing the role of the chaste and elevated penwoman, while rebelling against both her upbringing and marriage through her strongheld views, and keeping her larger feelings largely in check, a situation she would address to dramatic counter-affect in later lives in this series. Claude (1499-1524) - Queen of France. Outer: Mother was Anne of Brittany (Jessica Mitford), father was Louis XII (Bernard Kouchner). All four of her brothers were stillborn, making her heiress to her mother’s duchy of Brittany. One younger sister, Renee. Born with a severe case of scoliosis, which caused a hunchback condition, she was never in robust health, while her potential duchy made her a political pawn. Her mother initially wanted to keep it out of French hands, and tried to marry her to Charles V (Napoleon Bonaparte), the future king of Spain and HRE, but the French people would have none it, and it was finally decided in 1506, when she was 7, to keep it within the country, and she was betrothed to her cousin, the future Francois I (Bob Geldof). Following the death of her mother in 1514, she became Duchess of Brittany, and later that year she married Francois. The following annum her husband ascended the throne as part of the Valois line, although her position at court was eclipsed by his powerful mother, so that she had little say in matters, as one of the more impotent queens of the era. The duo went on to have 7 children, while she remained in a perpetual state of pregnancy throughout her reign. Although her husband discreetly kept several mistresses, including the young Boleyn sisters, who were ladies-in-waiting, Anne (Katherine Hepburn) and Mary (Marlene Dietrich), she always tried to maintain a strict moral code at court. Her first two daughters died at 2 and 7, and the dauphin Francis (Richard Pryor) also passed on prematurely, but Henri II (Robert Downey, Jr.) eventually ascended the throne. Her son Charles, (Ryan O’Neal), and daughter Madeleine (Peaches Geldof), who became Scottish queen, were also destined for short lives, while her youngest daughter outlived them all. Died at 24. Inner: Pawn lifetime of literally feeling no support for who she was, with her weak spine, and, after doing her duty and providing an heir, made a quick exit, while presumably bidding royal lives goodbye, in order to rediscover herself by developing her powers of self-expression, despite ongoing health problems in her continued go-rounds.


Storyline: The resourceful doyenne pursues the philosophy of living well as the best revenge, after earlier using loss and financial uncertainty to unloosen her ongoing creative fount.

Barbara Cartland (Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland) (1901-2000) - English romantic novelist. Outer: Descended from an old ducal Saxon family on her mother’s side, while her paternal grandfather was a financier who inherited brass foundry wealth. Despite this, her mother’s family felt their daughter had married beneath her station. Two younger brothers. When she was two, her grandfather made a bad railway investment, bankrupting him, and promptly killed himself. Her family was subsequently forced to downgrade from 12 servants to two, while moving to a small farmhouse. Nevertheless, her indomitable mother was able to make do with their lessened circumstances, while her progenitor continued his largely wastrel existence, before dying at WW I’s near-end as a major. Went to a girl’s college, and finished off her education with a finishing school. Her mother, who lived to 98, subsequently opened a woolens shop in London, which allowed her to afford a modest social season for her daughter, whom she still wished to marry to an earl. Began contributing articles to a gossip column at 21, under the name Barbara Tudor. Her 1st novel, “Jigsaw” came out in her mid-20s, and was successful more because she was a scrivening debutante than a serious writer. Tall and stylish. Became a virtual writing machine afterwards, with a tremendous outpouring, ultimately producing 723 titles, which sold well over a billion copies in 3 dozen languages. Churned out 6500 words an afternoon, and rarely spent more than a couple of weeks on her formulaic works, which were largely Cinderella stories in exotic locales with happy endings. Always dictated them from the bath. Pursued a strict health regimen, while downing tons of pills to insure her longevity. In 1927, she married Alexander McCorquodale, the holder of a governmental license to print postal orders, one daughter from the union who became a countess through marriage to the Earl of Spencer, whose daughter would be Diana, Princess of Wales. Sued her husband for divorce in 1933 for adultery, and he countersued, claiming his cousin Hugh McCorquodale as a co-respondent in a highly publicized trial. Married the latter in 1936 in a far happier union, which produced two sons, with one becoming her agent. Later rued that she should have united with someone famous, with rumors abounding that she may have been involved towards that end with Louis Mountbatten. Led an active life flying planes, climbing mountains and sailing boats, while living in grand style in a 27 room mansion on a 400 acre estate dubbed Camfield Place, with servants and secretaries galore, enjoying her wealth, prestige and status as queen of the romance novelists, with no apologies whatsoever for her grand and glorious life. Drove a white Rolls-Royce, dressed in pink, used gobs of white make-up, sported long eyelashes, and campaigned for various causes dear to her. Also penned 5 autobiographies, as well as an assortment of books on love and beauty, and biographies of English royalty. Both her brothers, one a Conservative MP, died within a day of one another in WW II, during the retreat from Dunkirk, while she threw herself into volunteer work during the fray, serving as a chief services welfare officer and librarian, as well as a member of an ambulance brigade. Her husband passed on in 1963, from complications of wounds received in WW I. A conservative county councilor for Hertfordshire for 9 years, she founded a trust for gypsies, and dabbled in various entreprenurial domestic enterprises, while believing in the importance of public service. Made a Dame of the British Empire in 1991. Died in her sleep of heart failure, a little over a year shy of being a centenarian, and actively wrote until her last six months. Left 160 manuscripts with instructions that they be published and sold only on her website. Also sent newspapers a pink-bound volume entitled “How I Wish To Be Remembered,” for their obituary writers. Inner: Extremely outgoing, archetype of the grande dame. Generous, flamboyant, snobbish, charitable, witty, intolerant and indiscreet. Far preferred the company of men, obsessively indulging her sons, while barely tolerating her daughter. Managed to avoid the unpleasantries of the entire 20th century through her resilient sense of romance. Rose-colored lifetime as doyenne of the riches of romance, fashioning a life of plenty out of her plentiful imagination and her considerable sense of style. Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897) - English novelist and his/storical writer. Outer: Only daughter and youngest surviving child of a reclusive Scottish customs official, and a mother of the same name, who was the heart and soul of the family. The latter, to whom she was very close, along with an older brother were radicals, and served as her educational mentors, preaching a course of Christocentric charity towards all, as well as a puritan work ethic, and the lesser role of women in society. Moved often in her early life and tended her sick mother, before starting to write at 16. One brother stole her first effort and published it under his own name, but later she got a contract through him and met her future husband, a cousin, at his house, where she served as housekeeper. Married her cousin, Frank Wilson Oliphant, in her mid-20s, a painter and designer of stained glass windows, whose initial proposal she had refused. 3 surviving children from the union, all of whom she outlived. At the same time, she began her fruitful connection with the publishing firm of Messrs Blackwood, contributing regularly to Blackwood’s Magazine. Had a highly prolific output, but was widowed at the age of 31, and also lost a daughter. In addition to her own household, she took on the education of her widowed brother’s children, as well as the support of her 2 surviving brothers. Lived in perpetual financial uncertainty, because of the strains imposed on caring for such an extended brood, while also pursuing an expatriate existence for a year and a half during her 30s. Edited a series of monographs on foreign classics, and wrote volumes on both Dante (Ezra Pound) and Cervantes (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn). Also penned a biography of her cousin, the writer and mystic, Laurence Oliphant, as well as travel books, reviews, nearly 100 novels, and innumerable shorter pieces, turning her personal tragedies into continual inspiration for her prolix pen. Her expenses, however, always exceeded what she earned, even with huge advances on her works. Plagued by rheumatism, and constantly dealing with the losses of loved ones, she eventually died from cancer of the colon and exhaustion, Inner: Kindly, warm, hardworking and eminently responsible, but also sad, touched as she was, continually by loss. Incredibly prolific, a virtual writing machine, while feeling women needed to be moral uplifters of their male relatives. Romantic at heart, and a definite product of her times. Soap opera lifetime of trying to balance her extended sense of familial responsibility with an overweening need to express herself through the written word, necessitating a return to far more comfortable economic straits in order to complete this small circle of herself. Sophia Charlotte (Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz) (1744-1818) - German-born English queen. Outer: Father was a German duke and prince over a small north German duchy. Mother was a German princess. 8th of 10 children and youngest daughter. Received a decent education and was brought up as a lady. Lost her sire when she was 8, and he was replaced by one of her half-brothers. Spoke no English, but quickly learned the language when she was chosen at 17 by George III (Jeffrey Archer) to be his bride because she had no experience with power politics or court intrigue. Small and thin, and viewed as ugly by British standards. Reputedly descended from a black branch of the Portuguese royal family some nine generations earlier. Left home eight days after her mother’s death, and got caught up in an extended storm on her way to England, which would presage her subsequent unstable marriage. Married in 1761, with George initially disappointed in her, although they went on to have an affectionate relationship. The fecund marriage produced 15 children, nine sons and six daughters, with all but two reaching adulthood. The oldest son would succeed his sire as George IV (Warren Beatty) while the third son, the future William IV (Prince Harry) would also ascend the throne. Along with her husband, she enjoyed music with a German flavor. Also a keen botanist who expanded the royal gardens and introduced the tradition of Christmas trees to England, with the first one in 1800. Founded orphanages as well as a hospital for expectant mothers, and saw to the education of women, including her daughters. The king began to descend into madness in 1788, which greatly distressed her, and she was forced eventually to avoid him entirely because of his violent outbursts. By the time he became completely insane, she reacted with anger, depression and weight gain, while limiting her public appearances, and eventually ending all contact with him by 1812. Her relations with her adult children also became strained, as she used her love of her gardens as a means of tempering her unhappy existence. Nevertheless, she remained supportive of her addled spouse, albeit from a distance. Suffered from dropsy at life’s end, and contracted pneumonia, which led to her death, with her two oldest sons and two daughters at her side, as she passed away in her armchair. Buried at the chapel at Windsor Castle, while her husband, who died a little over a year later, was never informed of her death. At the time she was the longest serving consort in British his/story. Inner: Had a strong personal esthetic, and was a patroness of the arts, as well as a lover of beauty. Deeply disturbed by the French Revolution and its treatment of the royal family. Dualistic lifetime of privilege and suffering, thanks to a mad, violent mate whose condition was far beyond her abilities to deal with, leading ultimately in succeeding go-rounds to her using her creativity to gain more and more control over her subsequent existences.


Storyline: The non-polemical justice-seeker continues in her role as chronicler of her beloved country from a more controlled perspective, after earlier turning her outrage into activism and suffering for her overwrought sense of imbalance at life’s inequities.

Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014) - South African writer. Outer: Parents were Jewish immigrants from Lithuania. Her father was a jeweler and watchmaker, who eventually brought 9 sisters to South Africa, one-by-one. Hyperactive as a child, she wanted to be a dancer, but a rapid heartbeat curtailed that ambition. Withdrawn by her mother from a convent and forbidden to exercise, she had a private tutor and a contained European middle class colonial upbringing, mostly in the company of adults. An avid reader, she began writing as a child, with her first short story published at 15. Excellent ear for dialogue. Attended private schools and the Univ. of Witwatersand for a year, where for the first time she intermingled with black South Africans, which began her political awareness of the true nature of her country. In 1949, she married G. Gavran, one daughter from the union, which soon ended in divorce. Remarried Reinhold Cassirer, the German-Jewish owner and director of an art gallery, in 1954, one son. The duo had a 49 year union, until the death of her husband at 93. Wrote about white middle class lives in oppressive apartheid environs, employing the politics of everyday life in her stories. Non-polemicist, rather a truth-teller, with her over/riding interest in breaking the barriers between the races. Helped establish an anti-censorship group, and wrote to make sense out of the life around her. Achieved an international reputation, with 3 works banned in South Africa, while always maintaining her clear, observant voice. Awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991. A member of the African National Congress, while remaining a realistic optimistic about the many problems facing her homeland, and the important strides already gained in tackling them, despite the long road ahead for a truly equitable South African society. Had a bitter falling out with her biographer, Ronald Roberts for “No Cold Kitchen,” over her confession of made-up facts for earlier essays. Suffered an assault on a home invasion in 2006, although was not seriously injured. The following year, she was awarded France’s Legion of Honor in appreciation of her anti-apartheid stance.Died peacefully at home in her sleep, with her son and daughter nearby. Inner: Forced to control the passions and actions of her earlier life in the same milieu, making her more the observer. Apolitical, unreligious, but with a strong sense of justice. Resisted fleeing into exile, despite the periodic banning of her books, ultimately becoming an institution, herself. To be continued lifetime of dealing with an oppressive native land through exposition rather than direct engagement, while maintaining both her integrity and storytelling abilities as a servant of the truth as she saw it.Olive Schreiner (1855-1920) - South African writer. Outer: Mother was an enthusiastic Englishwoman, father was an idealistic German Methodist minister. Grew up in a remote area, the 6th of 12 children. Had no formal education, learned, rather, from reading and observation, with a strong affinity for the natural world. Because of her solitude, she was a meditator and freethinker, to the chagrin of her family. Wanted to be a doctor, but with no official education, she had to settle at 15 to become a governess for a Boer family living near the Karoo Desert. Wrote "Story of a South African Farm," from her experience, and went to London to try to get it published, after failing in South Africa. Endured poverty, alienation and profound loneliness there, before writer George Meredith (J.P. Donleavy), helped her revise it and publish it, initially under the name Ralph Iron. Because it attacked Christianity and fervently denounced the oppression of women, it caused quite a stir, allowing her entry to like-minded cultural circles. Had a platonic relationship with sexologist Havelock Ellis. Returned to South Africa in her mid-30s, not liking England at all, and married Samuel Cronwright, a former member of the South African parliament, at 40, who was a farmer and lawyer. Child from union died shortly after birth. Heavyset and prematurely aged. Curtailed her writing in order to actively campaign with her husband for suffrage, racial justice and for the Boer cause. Both were jailed during the Boer War, and she used that time to think and write her influential Women and Labour. Returned to England in her late 50s to join the peace movement, and died there, although she is buried in South Africa. Inner: Deeply passionate, glorified in the powers of the emotions. Flew into outbursts periodically, beating a table with her fists in an uncontained fury at the unfairness of existence. Justice-oriented lifetime of identifying with mass struggle through her isolated upbringing, and pursuing a pathway that would allow full expression of her passions, before returning to the same territory from a more restrained emotional perspective in her next go-round in this series.


Storyline: The transgendered traveler explores all domains made available to him/her, through a sense of being in the wrong body, which (s)he ultimately rights, via a great deal of support, to allow her to reintegrate around her desired identity, and pursue her equal ambition to know her larger and lesser environs intimately.

Jan Morris (James Morris) (1926) - Welsh transgendered writer. Outer: Mother was English, father was Welsh. Youngest son and one of five children of the duo, who divorced, adding to an early sense of gender confusion. Born male, under the name of James Morris, he felt from early childhood on that he was female by nature, somehow trapped in a male body. Never discussed his parents, to add to the sore points of his childhood, and, after boarding school, he joined the army at the age of 17 and served for five years in one of Britain’s best cavalry regiments. As part of British intelligence, he developed a taste for travel, living in Cairo for a while. After his discharge, he studied English at Christ Church, Oxford, receiving his degree in 1951,before serving as the foreign correspondent on the Times from 1951 to 1956, and later the Guardian, from 1957 to 1962, basing himself in the Middle East. Covered the first successful ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, and climbed up to 22,000 feet along with them, despite never having ascended a mountain before. Began penning books, with his initial effort, “Coast to Coast,” making him a minor celebrity while he was studying on a Commonwealth Fellowship in America. Despite feelings of confusion and ambivalence around courtship, in 1949, he wed Elizabeth Tuckniess, while he was working at the local Arab News Agency, and together they had two daughters and three sons, with one of the former dying in infancy, and most of the others going into the creative arts. Began exploring the possibility of becoming a woman in 1964, with hormone treatments, with his wife’s full support and approval. Following a sex change operation in 1972 in a Casablanca clinic, he became a woman, while his/her wife remained with her. Since there was no law around same sex marriages at the time, the duo officially were divorced, although never parted, and remained a couple, sharing the same house. Continued with her traveling and tomes, and eventually retired to a converted stable block on the grounds of her family’s former home in Wales, where she has explored Welsh culture, and been given the honor of membership in the bardic society, Eisteddfod. Sixty years after their first union, she and her wife remarried in a civil union to cement their partnership, which had endured for the entire six decades, despite the legal complications. The author of over 30 books, with her favorite, the “Pax Britannica” trilogy on the decline of the British empire, while “Conundrum,” her account of his/her transition from male to female, and the first penned under her new name, viewed by many as the best of them. Inner: Witty, extremely self-aware as well as self-involved, seeing herself more a his/storian than a travel writer, a label she dislikes. Chronicler of the end of empire, viewing it as if the earlier masculine outreach of the Isles had eventually reverted to a feminine sense of going within and self-healing, as a way of celebrating the positive, rather than the negative aspects of Great Britain’s declining influence in century 20. Liberation lifetime of pursuing her desire for identity clarity to an uplifting conclusion, while receiving extremely close support for doing so, allowing her the full measure of a life both well-lived and well-loved. Gertrude Bell (Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell) (1868-1926) - English traveler, writer, explorer and administrator. Outer: Grandfather was an industrialist and MP. Father was a wealthy and cultivated ironmaster, who held a number of political posts. Mother died when she was three, while giving birth to a son. Her stepmother was a playwright who added three half-siblings to the family, while also influencing her daughter with her anti-feminist prejudices, despite a noblesse oblige about educating disadvantaged women. Extremely close to her sire, exhibiting what was viewed at the time, as masculine traits. Her extended family was Liberal, widely read, and lived lavishly while becoming baronets and Fellows of the Royal Society. Showed her own brilliance early on, and, at 20, she became the first woman to qualify for a First class degree in Modern History at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, although the school did not give degrees to women until 1920. 5’4”, ginger-haired with piercing blue-green eyes. Took the requisite Grand Tour afterwards, exploring not only continental Europe but the Middle East, showing herself to be an enthusiastic and intrepid traveler, brimming with physical energy. Able to establish friendships with powerful lords and political figures, particularly since she shared their conservative anti-suffrage views. Traveled to Persia at the behest of an uncle who was British minister there, which resulted in a book, and a decade’s worth of global excursions, thanks to a facility for languages, including Arabic and Persian. At century’s end, she began focusing her traveling on the Middle East, with a particular fascination with Saudi Arabia. Continued her touring, writing and exploring in the pre-WW I era, meeting, along the way, T.E. Lawrence of Arabia (Ayman Al-Zawahiri), who would eventually become a trusted cohort of hers in their mutual desire to wrest the country from the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Volunteered for the Red Cross in France when her request for a Middle East posting was turned down, then managed to prove extremely useful in helping maneuver British troops through the deserts. Showed herself to be fearless in entering the tents of sheikhs, who were also deeply impressed with her, while pursuing both them and their wives socially, which her male colleagues could not. Her physical energy, coupled with her ability to ride through the desert for hours, without the slightest sign of fatigue, impressed one and all, allowing her to work closely with Sir Percy Cox, the key British colonial administrator in the area. Able to facilitate British imperial aims in Iraq, which made her the only female political officer there in an atmosphere redolent with male power-posturing. Following the taking of Baghdad in 1917, she played a pivotal role in weaving the three provinces wrested from the Ottomans of Baghdad, Basra and Mosul into modern-day Iraq, as well as the establishment of Transjordan, through the Hashemite dynasties of Faisal and Abdullah. A close confidante of the former, whom she championed for the role, and he, in turn, helped her found the Iraqi Museum, which would be her focus, once the thrones of the two countries were established, thanks in large part to the mediating role she played between the British and Iraqi governments. Reflected the British imperial view, but also was able to see Iraq through the eyes of Iraqis, thanks to her close contacts with the wives of its various sheiks. Following the completion of her duties, she maintained a comfortable home in Baghdad, and threw herself into the expatriate life of the city with balls, teas, and bridge, while becoming honorary director of the Iraqi Museum, supervising digs and parceling out finds. Her family fortune declined in the post-WW I era, while she developed pleurisy, so that her last years were frustrating, since she could no longer play any meaningful political roles. The death of her half-brother in 1925, coupled with a rejected crush on a married man, made her feel lonely, isolated and depressed. Completely despondent, she took an overdose of sleeping pills, and died in her sleep, leaving no note. Given the honor of a full military funeral, as well as a host of accolades for the work she did in helping create a dynasty that would last four decades, before the violent rise’n’fall of Saddam Hussein. Inner: High energy and very dynamic, with an enormous amount of physical brio. Had a habit of becoming infatuated with married men, which was never reciprocated, so that the focus of her life was with power relationships, rather than intimate ones. Skilled mapmaker, but prone to periods of doubt about her abilities, thanks in large part to crossing gender lines in an arena that gave women little credit for any abilities beyond traditional domestic duties. Able to view situations from all sides, and her gift for communications played a central role in the political maneuverings around the recreation of the polities of the Middle East following the fall of the Ottomans. Bell-ringing lifetime of proving herself in a highly masculine domain as a pivotal player more than capable of holding her own, only to ultimately fall victim to her own interior, the least mapped-out domain her many travels took her through.


Storyline: The savage satirist moves across many spheres in his succeeding go-rounds through a world serially geared towards challenging his gifts as a mordant disturber of the complacent peace.

Martin Amis (1949) - British writer. Outer: Father was satirist Kingsley Amis, who wrote under the name of H.H. Munro or Saki. Mother was Hilary Bardwell, daughter of a civil servant, whom his sire married in lieu of an abortion. Second of two sons, along with a half-sister. Grew up in an extremely permissive atmosphere, with his parents divorcing when he was 12, thanks to his sire’s extremely adulterous ways. Lived for a while in Princeton, NJ, following his sire’s success with “Lucky Jim.” Had one film appearance at 15 in High Wind in Jamaica. Read nothing but sci-fi and comic books while he was a teen, until his stepmother, the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard turned him onto serious literature, and he began getting serious about his education. 5’4” with a monobrow and full lips. Graduated from Exeter College, Oxford in 1971 with first-class honors in English. Worked for several years as an editor of prestigious publications, such as the Times Literary Supplement. Felt the journalist Tina Brown turned him into the seducer he always wanted to be, as he pursued his sire’s pathway of constantly chasing after women form his teens onward. His first novel, “The Rachel Papers,” came out in 1973, although he didn’t have his first real critical success until 1984, “Money” a savage attack on consumerism. Remained extremely prolific afterwards, with “London Fields” (1989) and “The Information” (1995) comprising his London trilogy and best known works. His father never showed any interest in his work, although he remained quite attached to him. Had a daughter with Lamorna Seale, a married British artist and author, in 1976, although did not acknowledge her until she was 18, while her mother hanged herself in 1978. Close friends with Christopher Hitchens, to the point where they shared a made-up language, although the two would later attack each other’s stances in print, while the friendship, at least on the surface, remained intact. In 1984, he wed Antonia Phillips, two sons and two daughters from the union, which ended in divorce in 1996, after he left her for her best friend. Continued his skewering of British society, while taking on a variety of subjects, including a backwards glance at a Nazi war criminal in 1991’s “Time’s Arrow.” Continually investigated the corruption of values he perceived around him in all of his works prior to the turn of century 21, at which point the majority of his work would be non-fiction. Wed Isabel Fonseca, an American writer in 1998. Worked in non-fiction as well as short-story mode, with his sardonic eye always intact as he viewed a host of subjects, including the sexual revolution, forced labour camps and the Shoa. A frequent guest on TV programs, he took on the role of public intellectual in the British sphere. Penned his autobiography “Experience” in 2001, which focused on his father, giving a sense of emotional depth to himself that some found lacking in his novels. Relocated to Uruguay for two and a half years with his wife, following harsh reviews on “Yellow Dog” in 2003. Returned to London, and later served as professor of creative writing at the Centre for New Writing at the Univ. of Manchester from 2007 to 2011. Inner: Known for his dark satire and highly critical view of his contemporary Great Britain, particularly its capitalistic excesses and moral myopia. Highly opinionated on a number of political issues including radical Islam, nuclear nonproliferation treaties and Iran, which have drawn the contumely of other writers for his impolitic manner in expressing his views. An agnostic with little love for formal religion, per his previous go-round’s feeling about the Irish Catholic church. The pen is flightier than the sword lifetime of coming in via a celebrated writer who dismissed his efforts, despite a similar sardonic sensibility and need to make himself a unique voice of literary protest in a world far too craven and corrupt for his confrontative tastes. AE (George William Russell) (1867-1935) - Irish poet, mystic, artist, novelist and visionary. Outer: Father worked for a linen manufacturer, and was quite cultivated, enjoying both music and drama. Mother worked in a general store. Second son and third child, and completely tone deaf, so that music was the only esthetic pursuit that did not entrance him. Had his first vision as a young child, and would have glimpses of both the past and future throughout his life. In 1878, the family moved to Dublin, where his sire joined a friend’s business. Went to school there, although felt he got nothing out of it, while continuing to have visions of lustrous light. Lost his older sister when he was 17, and at the same time, enrolled in the Metropolitan School of Art, where John Butler Yeats was one of his teachers. Became friends with his son William Butler Years (Vikram Seth), who introduced him to Theosophy. Became a probationary member in 1890 and joined a small community of Theosophists, but resigned in 1897, with his disappointment in a change in leadership. The following year he married Violet North, a fellow Theosophist, and the duo proved very social, entertaining in the various homes in which they lived. No children from the union. Saw he would never make a career of art, so that Yeats easily convinced him to turn to writing. Worked in a brewery, then became a clerk in a drapery firm, while joining the Irish Literary Society, whose initial members were relatively wealthy Protestants. His first book of poems, “Homeward: Songs by the Way” was published in 1894 and established the Irish Literary Revival. Had a passionate love of theater as well and with Yeats formed what would later become known as the Abbey Theater. Served as its vice-president, while his play ”Deirdre” inspired the subsequent Irish dramatic movement. Also designed the ethereal costumes used in its first production. Became involved with the Credit Union movement, initially serving as Banks Organizer while also acting as editor of Tthe Irish Homestead,” a magazine for small farmers, which morphed into “The Irish Statesman.” Held that post until 1930, in his own unique amalgam of poet, visionary and banker and agricultural adviser. Traveled the country as a spokesman for developing credit societies, while openly espousing his strong sense of nationalism. In 1913 he became ever more politically involved during the Dublin Tramway Workers’s Strike, which he supported. The near week-long 1916 armed Easter Rising which sought to end British rule, surprised him, since he was a pacifist at heart. Served as delegate in 1917 to the Irish Convention, where he opposed partition of the country into its Protestant and Catholic sections. As his fame rose for his stances as well as his poetry, he became universally known as AE, a name that had come to him when he was painting a visionary scene and heard a voice whisper, “AEON.” At the same time, while in the National Library, someone had left a book open on a desk, and that word leapt out at him. He soon discovered it was the Gnostic name for the first created being, and he began using it to sign his manuscripts. When a compositor has difficult in reading his writing and asked, “AE…..?” he said “That’s enough,” and it became the designation by which he was called by everyone. When “the Irish Homestead” folded in 1930, he was suddenly out of a job for the first time in his life, although quickly found support from friends and associates. His last home in Dublin was a meeting place for those who shared his dual interests in art and economics. To his disappointment, Irish independence did not bring with it a cultural flowering. Instead, quite the opposite happened with a rise in puritanical censorship. Felt increasingly more uncomfortable in the new Ireland and its submission to the Church, which he felt poisoned everything from culture to politics. Following the death of his wife in 1932, he moved to London, where he was viewed as a universal expert on everything from politics to economics to culture to spirituality. Went on a lecture tour of the US, speaking on rural policies, only to fall ill, and sail back to London in March of that year. Had a major abdominal operation, but it was obvious he was dying. Died in a nursing home and his body was brought back to Ireland, accompanied by a group of Irish writers. Lay in state and had a Church of Ireland funeral service. Inner: Never wrote much about his native area, while his ultimate reputation has not held up as well as some of the greats he encouraged, so that he is best-remembered as a facilitator, rather than a literary master. Multi-faceted lifetime of giving voice to a host of disciplines as an Irish nationalist interested in uplifting the country in its economic, literary and political spheres, in his self-view as a walking, talking personification of the old sod. Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington (c1673-1743) - British Prime Minister. Outer: Father was the 3rd Earl of Northampton. Educated at Trinity College, Oxford, after which he was admitted into Middle Temple, which permitted him to practice law. Entered the House of Commons in 1698, as a Tory from Eye in Suffolk, although after a quarrel with his older brother, the heir to his sire’s title, he became a Whig. Quickly stood out because of his verbal skills, despite being a lax speaker, while forming a partnership with Robert Walpole (Joschka Fischer) that would last the length of the latter’s life. Became Paymaster of Pensions, and in 1713 re-entered Parliament for East Grinstead. Unanimously elected as Speaker of the House of Commons, as Walpole became the UK’s first acknowledged PM. Held that post from 1715 to 1727 during which time he became a Privy Counsellor. When Walpole became PM in 1721, the former feared that if George I (Prince Charles) should die, his son George II (Chris Patten) would replace him with his former partner, and therefore kept him on the fringes, with lucrative but non-stepping stone posts. Created a Knight of the Bath in 1725. When George II did succeed his father two years later, he did not perceive Compton as a figure of ability. Rather his reputation made him out to be someone of no real discernible talents. Confirmed that opinion when he said he didn’t feel up to a leadership role, while hating Walpole for the humiliation he was forced to undergo, as his influence declined precipitously. As a further blow, Walpole removed him from Commons by raising him to the peerage as Baron Wilmington in 1728 and two years later he was created Earl of Wilmington and Viscount Pevensey, while being appointed President of the Council, a post he held until 1742. As a member of the House of Lords, he became identified with the Patriot Whigs, the most anti-Walpole faction of his party. Wanted to resign but was made Knight of the Garter to keep him from doing so. During this time he helped create the Foundling Hospital in 1739, a fashionable charity which served as an orphanage for children found abandoned on the streets of London. Capped his career in 1742 by becoming First Lord of the Treasury and succeeding Walpole as Britain’s 2nd Prime Minister, on the latter’s elevation to the peerage and the House of Lords, following charges of corruption and failure to properly deal with the War of Jenkins’ Ear. Became the first Prime Minister from the House of Lords, as well as the first to serve without a general election. Proved to be an impolitic leader, not bothering to gain consensus opinions of his ministers, but rather acting on his own, while controlling his cabinet to ensure their following the programs he planned. His health, however, betrayed him, and his ministry was cut short by his death. Never married, so that his titles went extinct with him. Inner: Forceful and competent, albeit the victim of a competitive jealousy that completely curtailed his career. Thwarted lifetime of finding his higher ambitions squelched leading him to pursue other venues of expressing his political convictions in subsequent go-rounds in this series.




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