Classics Calendar for March 31

Jane Eyre (Joan Fontaine) and Edward Rochester
(Orson Welles) in the classic 1943 film
version of Charlotte Bronte's novel

Here are today's milestones:

Born on this day:

Rene Descartes (1596; died February 11, 1650) French philosopher and scientist; Discourse on the Method; Meditations on First Philosophy

Andrew Marvell (1621; died August 16, 1678) English poet; "To His Coy Mistress," "Upon Appleton House," and "The Garden"; Mr. Smirke; or The Divine in Mode

Joseph Haydn (1732; died May 31, 1809) Austrian composer; symphonies ("Surprise," "Clock," "London," "Toy"); chamber music; oratorios

Nikolai Gogol (1809; died March 4, 1852) Russian writer; novels Dead Souls; Taras Bulba; short stories "The Overcoat"; "Diary of a Madman"

Edward FitzGerald (1809; died June 14, 1883) English poet; The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Andrew Lang (1844; died July 20, 1912) Scottish poet, novelist, and folklorist; best-known for the "Fairy Book" series starting with The Blue Fairy Book

Octavio Paz (1914; died April 19, 1998) Mexican poet; Early Poems: 1935–1955; Collected Poems, 1957–1987; The Labyrinth of Solitude; They Shall Not Pass!; The Sun Stone; Nobel Prize in Literature (1990)

John Fowles (1926; died November 5, 2005) English novelist; The Collector; The Magus; The French Lieutenant's Woman

Died on this day:

John Donne (1631; born January 22, 1572) English poet and cleric; erotic poems and religious meditations

Isaac Newton (1727; born December 25, 1642) English natural philosopher (scientist); Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy)

Olaudah Equiano (1797; born Unknown Date, 1745) African-born American-British freeman activist and author; The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (autobiography)

John C. Calhoun (1850; born March 18, 1782) American statesman and political theorist; seventh Vice President of the United States. "The Concurrent Majority" lays out his most important idea; a 1837 speech in the U.S. Senate, "Slavery a Positive Good"

Charlotte Bronte (1855; born April 21, 1816) English novelist; Jane Eyre

Bonus Classic:

Wen Zhenheng (1585-1645) Chinese scholar; Zhang Wu Zhi (Treatise on Superfluous Things)

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