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#1101 2022-05-10 00:16:50

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 36,971

Re: crème de la crème

1066) Robert Louis Stevenson

Summary

Robert Louis Stevenson (born Robert Lewis Balfour Stevenson; 13 November 1850 – 3 December 1894) was a Scottish novelist, essayist, poet and travel writer. He is best known for works such as Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Kidnapped and A Child's Garden of Verses.

Born and educated in Edinburgh, Stevenson suffered from serious bronchial trouble for much of his life, but continued to write prolifically and travel widely in defiance of his poor health. As a young man, he mixed in London literary circles, receiving encouragement from Andrew Lang, Edmund Gosse, Leslie Stephen and W. E. Henley, the last of whom may have provided the model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island. In 1890, he settled in Samoa where, alarmed at increasing European and American influence in the South Sea islands, his writing turned away from romance and adventure fiction toward a darker realism. He died in his island home in 1894 at age 44.

A celebrity in his lifetime, Stevenson's critical reputation has fluctuated since his death, though today his works are held in general acclaim.

Details

Robert Louis Stevenson, in full Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson, (born November 13, 1850, Edinburgh, Scotland—died December 3, 1894, Vailima, Samoa), Scottish essayist, poet, and author of fiction and travel books, best known for his novels Treasure Island (1881), Kidnapped (1886), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and The Master of Ballantrae (1889).

Early life

Stevenson was the only son of Thomas Stevenson, a prosperous civil engineer, and his wife, Margaret Isabella Balfour. His poor health made regular schooling difficult, but he attended Edinburgh Academy and other schools before, at age 17, entering Edinburgh University, where he was expected to prepare himself for the family profession of lighthouse engineering. But Stevenson had no desire to be an engineer, and he eventually agreed with his father, as a compromise, to prepare instead for the Scottish bar.

He had shown a desire to write early in life, and once in his teens he had deliberately set out to learn the writer’s craft by imitating a great variety of models in prose and verse. His youthful enthusiasm for the Covenanters (i.e., those Scotsmen who had banded together to defend their version of Presbyterianism in the 17th century) led to his writing The Pentland Rising, his first printed work. During his years at the university he rebelled against his parents’ religion and set himself up as a liberal bohemian who abhorred the alleged cruelties and hypocrisies of bourgeois respectability.

In 1873, in the midst of painful differences with his father, he visited a married cousin in Suffolk, England, where he met Sidney Colvin, the English scholar, who became a lifelong friend, and Fanny Sitwell (who later married Colvin). Sitwell, an older woman of charm and talent, drew the young man out and won his confidence. Soon Stevenson was deeply in love, and on his return to Edinburgh he wrote her a series of letters in which he played the part first of lover, then of worshipper, then of son. One of the several names by which Stevenson addressed her in these letters was “Claire,” a fact that many years after his death was to give rise to the erroneous notion that Stevenson had had an affair with a humbly born Edinburgh girl of that name. Eventually the passion turned into a lasting friendship.

Later in 1873 Stevenson suffered severe respiratory illness and was sent to the French Riviera, where Colvin later joined him. He returned home the following spring. In July 1875 he was called to the Scottish bar, but he never practiced. Stevenson was frequently abroad, most often in France. Two of his journeys produced An Inland Voyage (1878) and Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes (1879). His career as a writer developed slowly. His essay “Roads” appeared in the Portfolio in 1873, and in 1874 “Ordered South” appeared in Macmillan’s Magazine, a review of Lord Lytton’s Fables in Song appeared in the Fortnightly, and his first contribution (on Victor Hugo) appeared in The Cornhill Magazine, then edited by Leslie Stephen, a critic and biographer. It was these early essays, carefully wrought, quizzically meditative in tone, and unusual in sensibility, that first drew attention to Stevenson as a writer.

Stephen brought Stevenson into contact with Edmund Gosse, the poet and critic, who became a good friend. Later, when in Edinburgh, Stephen introduced Stevenson to the writer W.E. Henley. The two became warm friends and were to remain so until 1888, when a letter from Henley to Stevenson containing a deliberately implied accusation of dishonesty against the latter’s wife precipitated a quarrel that Henley, jealous and embittered, perpetuated after his friend’s death in a venomous review of a biography of Stevenson.

In 1876 Stevenson met Fanny Vandegrift Osbourne, an American lady separated from her husband, and the two fell in love. Stevenson’s parents’ horror at their son’s involvement with a married woman subsided somewhat when she returned to California in 1878, but it revived with greater force when Stevenson decided to join her in August 1879. Stevenson reached California ill and penniless (the record of his arduous journey appeared later in The Amateur Emigrant, 1895, and Across the Plains, 1892). His adventures, which included coming very near death and eking out a precarious living in Monterey and San Francisco, culminated in marriage to Fanny Osbourne (who was by then divorced from her first husband) early in 1880. About the same time a telegram from his relenting father offered much-needed financial support, and, after a honeymoon by an abandoned silver mine (recorded in The Silverado Squatters, 1883), the couple sailed for Scotland to achieve reconciliation with the Thomas Stevensons.

Romantic novels of Robert Louis Stevenson

Soon after his return, Stevenson, accompanied by his wife and his stepson, Lloyd Osbourne, went, on medical advice (he had tuberculosis), to Davos, Switzerland. The family left there in April 1881 and spent the summer in Pitlochry and then in Braemar, Scotland. There, in spite of bouts of illness, Stevenson embarked on Treasure Island (begun as a game with Lloyd), which started as a serial in Young Folks, under the title The Sea-Cook, in October 1881. Stevenson finished the story in Davos, to which he had returned in the autumn, and then started on Prince Otto (1885), a more complex but less successful work. Treasure Island is an adventure presented with consummate skill, with atmosphere, character, and action superbly geared to one another. The book is at once a gripping adventure tale and a wry comment on the ambiguity of human motives.

In 1881 Stevenson published Virginibus Puerisque, his first collection of essays, most of which had appeared in The Cornhill. The winter of 1881 he spent at a chalet in Davos. In April 1882 he left Davos; but a stay in the Scottish Highlands, while it resulted in two of his finest short stories, “Thrawn Janet” and “The Merry Men,” produced lung hemorrhages, and in September he went to the south of France. There the Stevensons finally settled at a house in Hyères, where, in spite of intermittent illness, Stevenson was happy and worked well. He revised Prince Otto, worked on A Child’s Garden of Verses (first called Penny Whistles), and began The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses (1888), a historical adventure tale deliberately written in anachronistic language.

The threat of a cholera epidemic drove the Stevensons from Hyères back to Britain. They lived at Bournemouth from September 1884 until July 1887, but his frequent bouts of dangerous illness proved conclusively that the British climate, even in the south of England, was not for him. The Bournemouth years were fruitful, however. There he got to know and love the American novelist Henry James. There he revised A Child’s Garden (first published in 1885) and wrote “Markheim,” Kidnapped, and Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The poems in A Child’s Garden represent with extraordinary fidelity an adult’s recapturing of the emotions and sensations of childhood; there is nothing else quite like them in English literature. In Kidnapped the fruit of his researches into 18th-century Scottish history and of his feeling for Scottish landscape, history, character, and local atmosphere mutually illuminate one another. But it was Dr. Jekyll—both moral allegory and thriller—that established his reputation with the ordinary reader.

In August 1887, still in search of health, Stevenson set out for America with his wife, mother, and stepson. On arriving in New York, he found himself famous, with editors and publishers offering lucrative contracts. He stayed for a while in the Adirondack Mountains, where he wrote essays for Scribner’s and began The Master of Ballantrae. This novel, another exploration of moral ambiguities, contains some of his most impressive writing, although it is marred by its contrived conclusion.

Life in the South Seas

In June 1888 Stevenson, accompanied by his family, sailed from San Francisco in the schooner yacht Casco, which he had chartered, on what was intended to be an excursion for health and pleasure. In fact, he was to spend the rest of his life in the South Seas. They went first to the Marquesas Islands, then to Fakarava Atoll, then to Tahiti, then to Honolulu, where they stayed nearly six months, leaving in June 1889 for the Gilbert Islands, and then to Samoa, where he spent six weeks.

During his months of wandering around the South Sea islands, Stevenson made intensive efforts to understand the local scene and the inhabitants. As a result, his writings on the South Seas (In the South Seas, 1896; A Footnote to History, 1892) are admirably pungent and perceptive. He was writing first-rate journalism, deepened by the awareness of landscape and atmosphere, such as that so notably rendered in his description of the first landfall at Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas.

In October 1890 he returned to Samoa from a voyage to Sydney and established himself and his family in patriarchal status at Vailima, his house in Samoa. The climate suited him; he led an industrious and active life; and, when he died suddenly, it was of a cerebral hemorrhage, not of the long-feared tuberculosis. His work during those years was moving toward a new maturity. While Catriona (U.S. title, David Balfour, 1893) marked no advance in technique or imaginative scope on Kidnapped, to which it is a sequel, The Ebb-Tide (1894), a grim and powerful tale written in a dispassionate style (it was a complete reworking of a first draft by Lloyd Osbourne), showed that Stevenson had reached an important transition in his literary career. The next phase was demonstrated triumphantly in Weir of Hermiston (1896), the unfinished masterpiece on which he was working on the day of his death. “The Beach of Falesá” (first published 1892; included in Island Night’s Entertainments, 1893), a story with a finely wrought tragic texture, as well as the first part of The Master of Ballantrae, pointed in this direction, but neither approaches Weir. Stevenson achieved in this work a remarkable richness of tragic texture in a style stripped of all superfluities. The dialogue contains some of the best Scots prose in modern literature. Fragment though it is, Weir of Hermiston stands as a great work and Stevenson’s masterpiece.

Legacy of Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson was an indefatigable letter writer, and his letters (edited by Sidney Colvin in 1899) provide a lively and enchanting picture of the man and his life. But Colvin omitted many of the most interesting letters and compressed and dovetailed others, with the result that many important facts about Stevenson’s emotional life remained unknown until the true text of all the letters was available. Colvin presented Stevenson’s letters to Fanny Sitwell to what is now the National Library of Scotland with the proviso that they were not to be opened until 1949; the revealing and often fascinating letters to Charles Baxter, a friend, were deposited in the Yale University Library. Stevenson’s biography suffered from his being early canonized; later writers built up a counterpicture of an immoral swaggerer restrained into reluctant respectability by a jealous wife. Access to the crucial letters yielded a picture of a Stevenson who was neither the “seraph in chocolate” against whom Henley protested nor a low-living rake nor an optimistic escapist nor a happy invalid but a sensitive and intelligent writer who had no illusions about life and wryly made the best of a world to which he did not profess to have the key.

Stevenson’s literary reputation has also fluctuated. The reaction against him set in soon after his death: he was considered a mannered and imitative essayist or only a writer of children’s books. But eventually the pendulum began to swing the other way, and by the 1950s his reputation was established among the more discerning as a writer of originality and power whose essays at their best are cogent and perceptive renderings of aspects of the human condition; whose novels are either brilliant adventure stories with subtle moral overtones or original and impressive presentations of human action in terms of history and topography as well as psychology; whose short stories produce some new and effective permutations in the relation between romance and irony or manage to combine horror and suspense with moral diagnosis; whose poems, though not showing the highest poetic genius, are often skillful, occasionally (in his use of Scots, for example) interesting and original, and sometimes (in A Child’s Garden) valuable for their exhibition of a special kind of sensibility.

Robert-Louis-Stevenson-1880.jpg?s=1500x700&q=85


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1102 2022-05-11 03:00:59

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 36,971

Re: crème de la crème

1067) Ravichandran Ashwin

Summary

Ravichandran Ashwin pronunciation (born 17 September 1986) is an Indian international cricketer. An all-rounder who bats right-handed and bowls right-arm off-break, he played for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. He is the fastest Indian bowler (also in some records the joint-fastest in the world) to reach the 50-, 100-, 150-, 200-, 250-, 300-, 350- and 400-wicket mark in Test cricket in terms of number of innings. In 2016, he became the third Indian to win the ICC Cricketer of the Year award. Considered to be one of the best spin bowlers of his generation, he is currently the highest-ranked spinner in Test cricket, and the highest-ranked Test bowler for India on the ICC Player Rankings. He has won nine Man of the Series awards in Test cricket, which is the highest by an Indian cricketer.

Having achieved little success as an opening batsman at junior-level cricket, Ashwin dropped down the order and turned into an off-break bowler. He made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu in December 2006 and captained the team the following season. However, it was not until the 2010 Indian Premier League in which he played for the Chennai Super Kings that he came into the limelight with his economical bowling and earned his maiden international call-up in the limited-overs formats in June 2010. He was the leading wicket-taker and player of the tournament of the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa. He was also part of the Indian squad that won the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Later that year, he made his Test debut against West Indies and became the seventh Indian bowler to take a five-wicket haul on Test debut. He took two five-wicket hauls and scored a century in that series and won the player of the series award.

Ashwin continued to succeed in the subcontinent but proved to be less effective in other places like Australia and England. In a home Test series against Australia in 2013, he took 29 wickets, the most by any Indian bowler in a four-match Test series. The same year, he took his 100th Test wicket in his 18th match, becoming the fastest Indian bowler to the milestone and the fastest in the world in over 80 years. In 2017, playing his 45th Test, Ashwin became the fastest bowler to pick up 250 Test wickets, bettering Dennis Lillee, who had achieved the landmark in 48 Tests. In October 2019, in his 66th Test match, Ashwin became the joint-fastest bowler, along with Muttiah Muralitharan, to take his 350th Test wicket.

On 10 April 2022, he became the first batsman to officially retire out in an IPL match during a league stage match between Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Super Giants.

Early years

Ashwin was born on 17 September 1986 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in a Tamil Hindu Brahmin family. He lives in West Mambalam, Chennai. His father Ravichandran played cricket at club level as a fast bowler. Ashwin was educated at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan and St. Bede's Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School. He also attended SSN College of Engineering and graduated with a BTech in Information Technology. His time at St. Bede's was particularly important, as it had a cricket academy. Ashwin has stated that coaches C. K. Vijay and Chandra at St Bede's played a big role in his career, where he had changed his bowling style from medium pace to off spin

Details

The Indian T20 League has become a staple source of the two things that Indians keep very close to their heart - Cricket and Bollywood. It is this unique combination that has been working out for the League to flourish in India and all over the world for the past decade or so. This has also helped up and coming youngsters to perform for their team, thus paving them a way to their International career which will be representing India on the global stage. One of the players who has successfully milked this opportunity clean is Ravichandran Ashwin or "Ash" as he is called affectionately by this teammates.

His journey did not start off with the Indian T20 League though. Ash enjoyed a wonderful debut in the 2006-07 season for his state, Tamil Nadu. He carried this form into the second season of Indian T20 League with Chennai, then with TN team again with the ball and also the bat. His debut for the Indian team came when the selectors picked him up for the tri-series tour in Zimbabwe during 2010. He kept shuffling between being selected and being dropped between 2010-11 season but he was surprisingly called up and included in the 15 man squad for the 50-over World Cup in 2011. He did not play the chunk of the tournament as he was in the starting eleven only for 2 games which included the quarter-final clash against Australia. Ashwin really came out of his shell during the visit of West Indies where he got his first Test cap and also scalped up 9 wickets during the game, the second-best figures for an Indian bowler then on debut. Soon, he became an important puzzle in the mix for India in Test matches with the ball and also the willow.

Ashwin was given an extended Test run when in 2013, he was called up for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy where he picked up 29 wickets in the series. He also became the third Indian bowler to pick up more than 25 wickets in a single series. In the forthcoming series against West Indies, he also got his 2nd Test ton and also his 100th wicket in just his 18th Test which was another record. He was also part of the team that won the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in England. He took a total of 8 wickets in 5 matches making him the joint-fifth highest wicket-taker of the tournament.

Ashwin went onto tweaking his deliveries and also his bowling action after a brief period of struggle where he was dropped from the team touring Australia in 2014. He was back to this best scalping up 31 wickets in a 4-match Test series against South Africa in late 2015. He improved his variations while bowling and this helped him keep his place in the squad for quite a long time. This, along with exploits with the bat, getting important runs for India in tricky situations has propelled him up the pecking order for the Indian team. He earned himself the ICC Player of the Year and also the ICC Test Player of the Year awards in 2016. In early 2017, Ashwin took over the record held by Dennis Lillee for becoming the fastest player to reach 250 wickets in just 45 Tests.

His Indian T20 League career has been astonishing as well as he has been a part of the League for every season since his debut apart from 2017, which he missed due to injury. He started off with Chennai, playing from 2009 until 2015, winning back-to-back titles as well in 2010 and 2011 where he picked up 13 and 20 wickets respectively. After Chennai's suspension, he was a part of the Pune franchise for 2016 and 2017 where he picked up his 100th scalp in 2016. In 2018, he was bought by the Punjab franchise in the auction for 7.6 crores and he was also named the captain. He played for 2 seasons with them accumulating 25 wickets during his stint. Ashwin has recently moved to the Delhi for the 2020 edition and will be looking to prove his value in the upcoming tournament.

In 2022 season

The one issue that has supposedly haunted him all this while has been his displays outside the sub-continent. He has performed admirably in the Indian conditions winning the matches on his own but in away alien conditions, he has yet to display his true skill and talent, but there is no doubt that someone with his level of determination and vision will overcome his short-comings to make it back to the squad and perform at the level that we know he is capable of.

In the 2022 season, he is playing for Rajasthan Royals in IPL.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1103 2022-05-13 00:13:51

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 36,971

Re: crème de la crème

1068) Jonathon Swift

Summary

Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet, and Anglican cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, hence his common sobriquet, "Dean Swift".

Swift is remembered for works such as A Tale of a Tub (1704), An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity (1712), Gulliver's Travels (1726), and A Modest Proposal (1729). He is regarded by the Encyclopædia Britannica as the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. He originally published all of his works under pseudonyms—such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M. B. Drapier—or anonymously. He was a master of two styles of satire, the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.

His deadpan, ironic writing style, particularly in A Modest Proposal, has led to such satire being subsequently termed "Swiftian".

Details

Anglo-Irish poet, satirist, essayist, and political pamphleteer Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland. He spent much of his early adult life in England before returning to Dublin to serve as Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin for the last 30 years of his life. It was this later stage when he would write most of his greatest works. Best known as the author of A Modest Proposal (1729), Gulliver’s Travels (1726), and A Tale Of A Tub (1704), Swift is widely acknowledged as the greatest prose satirist in the history of English literature.

Swift’s father died months before Jonathan was born, and his mother returned to England shortly after giving birth, leaving Jonathan in the care of his uncle in Dublin. Swift’s extended family had several interesting literary connections: his grandmother, Elizabeth (Dryden) Swift, was the niece of Sir Erasmus Dryden, grandfather of the poet John Dryden. The same grandmother’s aunt, Katherine (Throckmorton) Dryden, was a first cousin of Elizabeth, wife of Sir Walter Raleigh. His great-great grandmother, Margaret (Godwin) Swift, was the sister of Francis Godwin, author of The Man in the Moone, which influenced parts of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. His uncle, Thomas Swift, married a daughter of the poet and playwright Sir William Davenant, a godson of William Shakespeare. Swift’s uncle served as Jonathan’s benefactor, sending him to Trinity College Dublin, where he earned his BA and befriended writer William Congreve. Swift also studied toward his MA before the Glorious Revolution of 1688 forced Jonathan to move to England, where he would work as a secretary to a diplomat. He would earn an MA from Hart Hall, Oxford University, in 1692, and eventually a Doctor in Divinity degree from Trinity College Dublin in 1702.

Swift’s poetry has a relationship either by interconnections with, or by reactions against, the poetry of his contemporaries and predecessors. He was probably influenced, in particular, by the Restoration writers John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester and Samuel Butler (who shared Swift’s penchant for octosyllabic verse). He may have picked up pointers from the Renaissance poets John Donne and Sir Philip Sidney. Beside these minor borrowings of his contemporaries, his debts are almost negligible. In the Augustan Age, an era which did not necessarily value originality above other virtues, his poetic contribution was strikingly original.

In reading Swift’s poems, one is first impressed with their apparent spareness of allusion and poetic device. Anyone can tell that a particular poem is powerful or tender or vital or fierce, but literary criticism seems inadequate to explain why. A few recent critics have carefully studied his use of allusion and image, but with only partial success. It still seems justified to conclude that Swift’s straightforward poetic style seldom calls for close analysis, his allusions seldom bring a whole literary past back to life, and his images are not very interesting in themselves. In general, Swift’s verses read faster than John Dryden’s or Alexander Pope’s, with much less ornamentation and masked wit. He apparently intends to sweep the reader along by the logic of the argument to the several conclusions he puts forth. He seems to expect that the reader will appreciate the implications of the argument as a whole, after one full and rapid reading. For Swift’s readers, the couplet will not revolve slowly upon itself, exhibiting intricate patterns and fixing complex relationships between fictive worlds and contemporary life.

The poems are not always as spare in reality as Swift would have his readers believe, but he seems deliberately to induce in them an unwillingness to look closely at the poems for evidence of technical expertise. He does this in part by working rather obviously against some poetic conventions, in part by saying openly that he rejects poetic cant, and in part by presenting himself—in many of his poems—as a perfectly straightforward man, incapable of a poet’s deviousness. By these strategies, he directs attention away from his handling of imagery and meter, even in those instances where he has been technically ingenious. For the most part, however, the impression of spareness is quite correct; and if judged by the sole criterion of technical density, then he would have to be judged an insignificant poet. But technical density is a poetic virtue only as it simulates and accompanies subtlety of thought. One could argue that Swift’s poems create a density of another kind: that “The Day of Judgement,” for example, initiates a subtle process of thought that takes place after, rather than during, the reading of the poem, at a time when the mind is more or less detached from the printed page. One could argue as well that Swift makes up in power what he lacks in density: that the strength of the impression created by his directness gives an impetus to prolonged meditation of a very high quality. On these grounds, valuing Swift for what he really is and does, one must judge him a major figure in poetry as well as prose.

Swift suffered a stroke in 1742, leaving him unable to speak. He died three years later, and was buried at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.

jonathan-swift.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1104 2022-05-14 00:11:53

ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 36,971

Re: crème de la crème

1069) Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle (25 January 1627 – 31 December 1691) was an Anglo-Irish natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor. Boyle is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the founders of modern chemistry, and one of the pioneers of modern experimental scientific method. He is best known for Boyle's law, which describes the inversely proportional relationship between the absolute pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant within a closed system. Among his works, The Sceptical Chymist is seen as a cornerstone book in the field of chemistry. He was a devout and pious Anglican and is noted for his writings in theology.

Biography:

Early years

Boyle was born at Lismore Castle, in County Waterford, Ireland, the seventh son and fourteenth child of The 1st Earl of Cork ('the Great Earl of Cork') and Catherine Fenton. Lord Cork, then known simply as Richard Boyle, had arrived in Dublin from England in 1588 during the Tudor plantations of Ireland and obtained an appointment as a deputy escheator. He had amassed enormous wealth and landholdings by the time Robert was born, and had been created Earl of Cork in October 1620. Catherine Fenton, Countess of Cork, was the daughter of Sir Geoffrey Fenton, the former Secretary of State for Ireland, who was born in Dublin in 1539, and Alice Weston, the daughter of Robert Weston, who was born in Lismore in 1541.

As a child, Boyle was raised by a wet nurse, as were his elder brothers. Boyle received private tutoring in Latin, Greek, and French and when he was eight years old, following the death of his mother, he, and his brother Francis, were sent to Eton College in England. His father's friend, Sir Henry Wotton, was then the provost of the college.

During this time, his father hired a private tutor, Robert Carew, who had knowledge of Irish, to act as private tutor to his sons in Eton. However, "only Mr. Robert sometimes desires it [Irish] and is a little entered in it", but despite the "many reasons" given by Carew to turn their attentions to it, "they practice the French and Latin but they affect not the Irish". After spending over three years at Eton, Robert travelled abroad with a French tutor. They visited Italy in 1641 and remained in Florence during the winter of that year studying the "paradoxes of the great star-gazer" Galileo Galilei, who was elderly but still living in 1641.

Middle years

Robert returned to England from continental Europe in mid-1644 with a keen interest in scientific research. His father, Lord Cork, had died the previous year and had left him the manor of Stalbridge in Dorset as well as substantial estates in County Limerick in Ireland that he had acquired. Robert then made his residence at Stalbridge House, between 1644 and 1652, and settled a laboratory where he conducted many experiments. From that time, Robert devoted his life to scientific research and soon took a prominent place in the band of enquirers, known as the "Invisible College", who devoted themselves to the cultivation of the "new philosophy". They met frequently in London, often at Gresham College, and some of the members also had meetings at Oxford.

Having made several visits to his Irish estates beginning in 1647, Robert moved to Ireland in 1652 but became frustrated at his inability to make progress in his chemical work. In one letter, he described Ireland as "a barbarous country where chemical spirits were so misunderstood and chemical instruments so unprocurable that it was hard to have any Hermetic thoughts in it."

In 1654, Boyle left Ireland for Oxford to pursue his work more successfully. An inscription can be found on the wall of University College, Oxford, the High Street at Oxford (now the location of the Shelley Memorial), marking the spot where Cross Hall stood until the early 19th century. It was here that Boyle rented rooms from the wealthy apothecary who owned the Hall.

Reading in 1657 of Otto von Guericke's air pump, he set himself, with the assistance of Robert Hooke, to devise improvements in its construction, and with the result, the "machina Boyleana" or "Pneumatical Engine", finished in 1659, he began a series of experiments on the properties of air and coined the term factitious airs. An account of Boyle's work with the air pump was published in 1660 under the title New Experiments Physico-Mechanical, Touching the Spring of the Air, and its Effects.

Among the critics of the views put forward in this book was a Jesuit, Francis Line (1595–1675), and it was while answering his objections that Boyle made his first mention of the law that the volume of a gas varies inversely to the pressure of the gas, which among English-speaking people is usually called Boyle's Law after his name. The person who originally formulated the hypothesis was Henry Power in 1661. Boyle in 1662 included a reference to a paper written by Power, but mistakenly attributed it to Richard Towneley. In continental Europe the hypothesis is sometimes attributed to Edme Mariotte, although he did not publish it until 1676 and was likely aware of Boyle's work at the time.

In 1663 the Invisible College became The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, and the charter of incorporation granted by Charles II of England named Boyle a member of the council. In 1680 he was elected president of the society, but declined the honour from a scruple about oaths.

He made a "wish list" of 24 possible inventions which included "the prolongation of life", the "art of flying", "perpetual light", "making armour light and extremely hard", "a ship to sail with all winds, and a ship not to be sunk", "practicable and certain way of finding longitudes", "potent drugs to alter or exalt imagination, waking, memory and other functions and appease pain, procure innocent sleep, harmless dreams, etc.". All but a few of the 24 have come true.

In 1668 he left Oxford for London where he resided at the house of his elder sister Katherine Jones, Lady Ranelagh, in Pall Mall. He experimented in the laboratory she had in her home and attended her salon of intellectuals interested in the sciences. The siblings maintained "a lifelong intellectual partnership, where brother and sister shared medical remedies, promoted each other's scientific ideas, and edited each other's manuscripts." His contemporaries widely acknowledged Katherine's influence on his work, but later historiographers dropped discussion of her accomplishments and relationship to her brother from their histories.

Later years

In 1669 his health, never very strong, began to fail seriously and he gradually withdrew from his public engagements, ceasing his communications to the Royal Society, and advertising his desire to be excused from receiving guests, "unless upon occasions very extraordinary", on Tuesday and Friday forenoon, and Wednesday and Saturday afternoon. In the leisure thus gained he wished to "recruit his spirits, range his papers", and prepare some important chemical investigations which he proposed to leave "as a kind of Hermetic legacy to the studious disciples of that art", but of which he did not make known the nature. His health became still worse in 1691, and he died on 31 December that year, just a week after the death of his sister, Katherine, in whose home he had lived and with whom he had shared scientific pursuits for more than twenty years. Boyle died from paralysis. He was buried in the churchyard of St Martin-in-the-Fields, his funeral sermon being preached by his friend, Bishop Gilbert Burnet. In his will, Boyle endowed a series of lectures that came to be known as the Boyle Lectures.

Awards and honours

As a founder of the Royal Society, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1663.[5] Boyle's law is named in his honour. The Royal Society of Chemistry issues a Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science, named in his honour. The Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence in Ireland, inaugurated in 1899, is awarded jointly by the Royal Dublin Society and The Irish Times. Launched in 2012, The Robert Boyle Summer School organized by the Waterford Institute of Technology with support from Lismore Castle, is held annually to honor the heritage of Robert Boyle.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1105 Today 02:36:17

ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
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Re: crème de la crème

1070) Jacques Charles

Summary

Jacques Alexandre César Charles (November 12, 1746 – April 7, 1823) was a French inventor, scientist, mathematician, and balloonist. Charles wrote almost nothing about mathematics, and most of what has been credited to him was due to mistaking him with another Jacques Charles, also a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences, entering on May 12, 1785. He was sometimes called Charles the Geometer. Charles and the Robert brothers launched the world's first unmanned hydrogen-filled gas balloon in August 1783; then in December 1783, Charles and his co-pilot Nicolas-Louis Robert ascended to a height of about 1,800 feet (550 m) in a manned gas balloon. Their pioneering use of hydrogen for lift led to this type of balloon being named a Charlière (as opposed to a Montgolfière which used hot air).

Charles's law, describing how gases tend to expand when heated, was formulated by Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac in 1802, but he credited it to unpublished work by Jacques Charles.

Charles was elected to the Académie des Sciences in 1795 and subsequently became professor of physics at the Académie de Sciences.

Details

Jacques Charles, in full Jacques-Alexandre-César Charles, (born November 12, 1746, Beaugency, France—died April 7, 1823, Paris), was a French mathematician, physicist, and inventor who, with Nicolas Robert, was the first to ascend in a hydrogen balloon (1783). About 1787 he developed Charles’s law concerning the thermal expansion of gases.

From clerking in the finance ministry Charles turned to science and experimented with electricity. He developed several inventions, including a hydrometer and reflecting goniometer, and improved the Gravesand heliostat and Fahrenheit’s aerometer. With the Robert brothers, Nicolas and Anne-Jean, he built one of the first hydrogen balloons (1783). In several flights he rose more than a mile in altitude. He was elected (1795) to the Académie des Sciences and subsequently became a professor of physics. His published papers deal mainly with mathematics.

French Inventor and Scientist

Jacques-Alexandre-César Charles, with Nicolas Robert, ascended in the world's first hydrogen balloon in 1783. He was also a physicist and mathematician and is perhaps better known in this capacity as the person who developed Charles's law, which relates gas temperatures and pressures. In both roles, he made important scientific and technical contributions that have had lasting effects on both science and society.

Charles was born in 1746 in Beaugency, France. Very little is known about his childhood, but he began his professional life as a clerk in the French finance ministry. From there he turned increasingly to science, experimenting with electricity at first. In fact, it may have been Charles's experiments with electricity that showed him how to pass an electrical current through water, separating it into its components of oxygen and hydrogen.

In September 1783 the Montgolfier brothers' first balloons ascended into the air, lifted by hot air. Not knowing that simply heating air could create lift, the Montgolfiers believed that a special gas was formed by burning straw, which they called "Montgolfier gas." Charles mistakenly thought that Montgolfier gas was hydrogen, and he hastened to duplicate their experiment by filling his own balloon with hydrogen. In November 1783 Charles and Nicolas Robert climbed into the balloon they had built and rose into the air as the first truly lighter-than-air flight began. Ascending to an altitude of over a mile (1.61 km), they drifted for several miles before setting down in a field, scaring the peasants who thought they were being attacked by a strange creature. The peasants "killed" the balloon by stabbing it, then dragged it away.

The major advantage of Charles's design was that, without a fire burning beneath the balloon, the risks of a blaze were greatly reduced. In fact, with the substitution of helium for hydrogen, today's balloons are very similar in design to Charles's.

Following his first flight, Charles made additional balloons, financed in part by charging admission to see the balloon fly. His ballooning experiences piqued his curiosity about heated gases, and he spent much of the rest of his life experimenting and formulating what is now known as "Charles's law." This states that, under conditions of constant pressure, a heated gas will expand in volume. This is also known as Gay-Lussac's law, in honor of its codiscoverer.

Over the following decades, Charles's law, Boyle's law, and others that describe the properties of gases under a variety of changing conditions were shown to be part of a more universal ideal gas law. The ideal gas law describes how, in a gas, pressure, temperature, volume, and the number of molecules of a particular gas all relate to each other under a variety of changing conditions. This law is used to predict the behavior of gases when compressed, heated, expanded, and the like. In fact, air conditioning, refrigeration, and similar industries absolutely depend on the proper application of these gas laws to help transfer heat from one point to another, cooling in the process.

In 1795, in honor of his many accomplishments, Charles was elected a member of the Académie des Sciences in France. Later, he became a professor of physics, continuing his work with the characteristics of gases under a variety of conditions. Interestingly, most of his scientific publications deal with mathematics instead of with those discoveries for which he is best known. Charles died in April 1823 in Paris.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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