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Bicentenary Birthdays in 2013

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Bring out the birthday cake and candles and let's celebrate some famous people who were born 200 years ago in 1813!

Music lovers will celebrate Richard Wagner (May 22, 1813) and Guiseppe Verdi (Oct 10, 1813), two great musicians who video cover imagecomposed magnificent music that continues to enrich and enliven our lives today. 

Biographies of Verdi can be found in Verdi by Julian Budden, book cover imageor The Life of Verdi by John Rosselli, or enjoy a visual and musical feast by watching Verdi [videorecording], the miniseries on DVD.




book cover imageBoth the light and dark sides of the whole Wagner family are explored in The Wagner Clan: the Saga of Germany's Most Illustrious and Infamous Family.




book cover imageDavid Livingstone (March 19, 1813) is a man whose name conjures up the mystery and fascination of the African continent for Europeans of the 19th century.  If you are interested in some biographies which dig deeper into the stories of Livingstone's life in Africa, try Into Africa: the Dramatic Retelling of the Stanley-Livingstone Story, or David Livingstone: the Dark Interior, or The Other Livingstone.


For iconic illustrations of nineteenth century America, we only need to think of Currier and Ives prints.  The original founding partner, Nathaniel Currier (March 27, 1813), began working in a lithography shop at age 15, and went on to turn his skills into a flourishing business with a national reputation.  If you feel like taking a highly illustrated and thoroughly nostalgic trip through 19th century America, browse through Currier and Ives, Printmakers to the American People, or The Great Book of Currier and Ives' America.

book cover imageAs a bonus, we can celebrate the 250th birthday of Joséphine de Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, born June 23, 1763.  Her life journey, from obscure birth on the tiny island of Martinique, to the regal position of Empress of France, is a remarkable story, told in Napoleon and Joséphine: a Love Story and also in Napoleon and Joséphine: the Improbable Marriage.

And now join me for a couple of rousing choruses of Happy Birthday To You!