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2012 Centenary Birthdays

book cover imageWho's celebrating a 200th birthday this year? Here are some notable individuals who were born in 1812, and made their mark on the world in a way that has lasted two centuries.
The British architect Augustus Pugin (1 March 1812 - 14 Sept 1852) was on the leading edge of neo-Gothic style in the mid-nineteenth century and left a rich heritage of buildings and decorative interiors.  God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain explores the tragically short but incredibly productive life of this man who influenced the style of a generation of architects.

 

There has been lots of fanfare about Charles Dicken's 200th birthday on Feb 7, with several recent biographies, some written with a little different emphasis:   Simon Callow's Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World;  Robert Douglas-Fairhurst's Becoming Dickens: the Invention of the Novelist;  Claire Tomalin's Charles Dickens: a Life.

book cover imageRegarded as one of the foremost Victorian poets in his day, Robert Browning (7 May 1812 - 12 December 1889) is perhaps now remembered in the popular imagination primarily for his romance and marriage to the poet Elizabeth Barrett.  Robert Browning: A Life After Death looks at the creative life of this master of dramatic verse.

 

And for a sampling of notables celebrating a mere 100 years, you might like to read about one of the following centenarians:

The Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) :  Jackson Pollock: A Biography  or  Tom and Jack: The Intertwined Lives of Thomas Hart Benton and Jackson Pollock 

book cover imageCanadian poet Irving Layton (1912 - 2006): Irving Layton: God's Recording Angel  by Francis Mansbridge

 

 

Novelist and short story author John Cheever (1912 - 1982):  Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey won the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography

book cover imageMathematician and pioneer in computer theory Alan Turing (1912- 1954):  The Man Who Knew Too Much:  Alan Turing and the Invention of the Computer 

 

 

Renowned French Cuisine cook Julia Child (1912 - 2004): Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz or Julia's autobiography My Life in France. book cover image