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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

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In 1727, James Wolfe was born on this day in Westerham, Kent, England, the eldest son of Colonel Edward Wolfe and the former Henrietta Thompson. Around 1738, the family moved to Greenwich, in London.

From his earliest years Wolfe was destined for a military career, entering his father's marine regiment at the age of 13. No other British Officer in North America was to achieve Wolfe's level of disreputation, following his decision on September 13th to destroy the city of Quebec after the winter threatened to overtake the besieging British red coats.

In Wolfe's own condemnatory words, he said “I propose to set the town on fire with shells, to destroy the harvest, houses and cattle, both above and below, to send off as many Canadians as possible to Europe and to leave famine and desolation behind me; but we must teach these scoundrels to make war in a more gentleman like manner."


In 1905, the Japanese attack on Port Arthur is frustrated by the arrival of Russian reinforcements. At one stage it looked as if the Tsar would be humiliated by defeat, but after Port Arthur, the Russo-Japanese war drifted into a stalemate.


In 1979, punk rocker Sid Vicious goes on trial for the murder of his girlfriend/manager, Nancy Spungen. Vicious attempts suicide several times during the trial process, until he is finally placed into custody and put under a suicide watch. He is found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled in 2002, a shell of his former self.


In 1727, James Wolfe was born, a British general remembered mainly for his role in establishing British rule in Canada. By 1942, British rule only existed in Canada, with the British Government in Exile, headed by Lord Halifax unexpected guests of the Governor General at his residence in Rideau Hall, Ottawa.


Stephen R. DonaldsonIn 1968, Stephen Reeder Donaldson languished in Vietnam. By inclination a conscientious objector, he had been compelled to serve in the armed forces.

Much later, and after dropping out of his Ph.D. program and moving to New Jersey in order to write fiction, Donaldson made his publishing debut with the first "Covenant" trilogy in 1977. That enabled him to move to a healthier climate. He now lives in New Mexico.

Donaldson's two year compulsory military duty would be the deep undercurrent of his escapist fantasy writing. In “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”, the protagonist was a leper struggled with disempowerment in a Land he did not really believe in.
Stephen R. Donaldson - Unbeliever
She came out of the store just in time to see her young son playing on the sidewalk directly in the path of the gray, gaunt man who strode down the center of the walk like a mechanical derelict. For an instant, her heart quailed. Then she jumped forward, gripped her son by the arm, snatched him out of harm's way.

The man went by without turning his head. As his back moved away from her, she hissed at it, "Go away! Get out of here! You ought to be ashamed!"

Thomas Covenant's stride went on, as unfaltering as clockwork that had been wound to the hilt for just this purpose. But to himself he responded, Ashamed? Ashamed? His face contorted in a wild grimace. Beware! Outcase unclean!

~“Golden Boy”


In 1958, the following notice was published ~ with due respect to sworn testimony of God-fearing citizens, -
Mr Paul Adolph Volcker is found guilty as charged of usury,-
by magistrates of this good parish of Cape May, New Jersey, -
persuant to Holy Scripture, Mark 8:36 refers, -
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?,-
on this day of our Lord, 1958. Not the potter, but the potter's clay. Amen.


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