Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 79

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Werner Bergengruen

Writer, born in Riga, Latvia. He fought in World War 1 and the Baltic liberation struggle. In 1936 he converted to Roman Catholicism. His work, mingling imagination and realism in style, is generally religious in content, and features individuals in extreme situations. His best-known novels, opposing Christian consciousness to Nazi totalitarianism, are Der Großtyrann und das Gericht (1935) and Am…

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Werner Forssmann

Physician, born in Berlin, Germany. He studied at Berlin University, was an army doctor until 1945, then practised at various places, becoming chief of surgery at Dresden-Friedrichstadt, and at Dusseldorf in 1958. He became known for his development of new techniques in heart surgery, including cardiac catheterization, in which he carried out dangerous experiments on himself. He shared the 1956 No…

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Werner Herzog - Early life, Films and criticism, Trivia, Awards, Complete Works, Actor Filmography

Film director, screenwriter, and producer, born in Sachrang, SE Germany. He made numerous shorts in the 1960s, and became recognized as a leading member of the New Cinema in Germany with his features Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1973, Aguirre, Wrath of God) and the story of Kaspar Hauser (1975). His treatment of Nosferatu, the Vampyre (1979) reflected the German silent film Expressionists of the 1920…

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Werner von Blomberg - Reference

German field marshal, born in Stargard, E Germany. Promoted field marshal in 1936, as Reichswehrminister, he transferred control over the Reichswehr to Hitler after the death of Hindenburg in 1934. He occupied the posts of Reichswehrminister and Oberbefehlshaber of the Wehrmacht in 1935, but relinquished office in 1938 following an unsuitable marriage. Werner Eduard Fritz von Blomberg (Sept…

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Wernher von Braun - Early life, German career, Surrender to the Americans, American career, Honors, Posthumous recognition, Cultural references

Engineer and rocket expert, born in Wyrzysk, Poland (formerly Wirsitz, Germany). Developer of the V-2 flying bomb that was deployed against Britain (1944), he was one of the most important of the German weapons specialists to work on rocketry and jet propulsion in the USA after the war. Hitler personally released him when he was imprisoned on espionage charges after refusing to co-operate with Ges…

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Wernigerode

51º50N 10º47E, pop (2001e) 34 900. Town in W Germany; 70 km/43 mi S of Brunswick; well-preserved old town with mediaeval centre (listed monument); 12th-c Romanesque castle overlooks the town and was the residential palace of the earls of Stolberg until 1945; birthplace of Otmar Alt and Martin Klaproth. Coordinates: 51°50′N 10°47′E Wernigerode is a town in Saxony-Anha…

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Werwolf - Plans, Operations, Werwolf references in politics today, Werwolf in fiction

German defence union, founded in 1923, which merged into the Sturmabteilung (SA) in 1933. The name was also given to the national socialist underground movement (1944–5) recruited from adolescents and dedicated to minor acts of sabotage in German territories occupied by the Allied forces. Werwolf (also Wehrwolf, a less common variation) was a Nazi plan at the end of World War II for a forc…

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Wes Montgomery - Technique, Recording career, After his death, Selected discography, Discographies

Jazz musician, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. A highly influential guitarist, with a distinctively mellow sound, he recorded from 1957 with his brothers Monk (William) Montgomery (1921–82, bassist) and Buddy (Charles) Montgomery (1930– , vibes) as The Montgomery Brothers. He made commercial big band albums in the mid-1960s, and appeared on television with Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass. …

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Wesley Merritt - Early life, Civil War, Frontier duty and West Point, Spanish-American War

US soldier, born in New York City, New York, USA. He grew up in Illinois, trained at West Point (1860), saw service as a cavalry officer during the Civil War, including Gettysburg, and served on the W frontier (1866–79). He was superintendent of West Point (1882–7), and after years at various administrative posts, he was given command of the army forces that captured Manila from the Spanish in 1…

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Wessex - History, The present South West England region, Modern uses of Wessex, Earl of Wessex

A kingdom of the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy (seven kingdoms), with its main centres at Winchester and Hamwic (Southampton). Under Alfred (871–99), Wessex - by then incorporating Kent and Sussex - was the only English kingdom to withstand the onslaughts of the Danes. Alfred's successors reconquered the Danelaw, and had united all England under a single monarchy by 954. In the novels of Thomas Hardy, We…

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West Bank - Demographics of the West Bank, Cities and settlements in the West Bank, Origin of the name

pop  (2000e) 1 662 000; region of the Middle East W of the R Jordan and the Dead Sea; comprises the Jordanian governorates of Jerusalem, Hebron, and Nablus; part of the former mandate of Palestine, administered by Jordan, 1949–67; seized by Israel in the 1967 War, and remained under Israeli occupation, administered as the district of Judea-Samaria, where numerous settlements have been built; a…

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West Bengal - History, Geography and climate, Flora and fauna, Government and politics, Subdivisions, Economy, Transport, Demographics, Education, Media

pop (2001e) 80 221 200; area 87 853 km²/33 911 sq mi. State in NE India, bounded NW by Nepal, E by Bangladesh, and S by the Bay of Bengal; crossed by many rivers; created in 1947, when the former province of Bengal was divided between the new state of West Bengal and the Muslim majority districts of East Bengal (now Bangladesh); capital, Kolkata (Calcutta); governed by a 295-member Legisl…

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West Glamorgan

pop (2000e) 374 700; area 817 km²/315 sq mi. Former county in SC Wales, UK; created in 1974, and replaced in 1996 by Swansea, and Neath and Port Talbot, unitary authorities. West Glamorgan is a preserved county and former administrative county of Wales, one of the divisions of the traditional county of Glamorgan. West Glamorgan was created on April 1, 1974, by the Local Go…

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West Highland Way - The Route, West Highland Way Race, Towns, Villages or Hotels along the Way

Long-distance footpath in Scotland, UK; stretching from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William; length 158 km/98 mi; opened in 1980. The West Highland Way is a long distance footpath in Scotland. It is 152 km (95 mi) long, running from Milngavie north of Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands, with an element of hill walking in the route. The path uses many an…

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West Highland white terrier - Temperament, Health, History, Famous Westies

A small, muscular terrier developed in Scotland; thick coat of straight white hair; rounded head; short, pointed, erect ears. West Highland White Terriers, commonly known as Westies, are a breed of dog known for their spirited personality and brilliant white coat. Like most terriers, they have plenty of attitude (some might say "spirit") for a dog their size. Their paws ar…

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West Indies Federation - Population and geography, Provinces, Government and Legal status, The first elections, Federal problems, Relationship with Canada

(1958–1962) An unsuccessful attempt to establish a single government for the English-speaking West Indies. After the Federation failed, the countries of the English-speaking Caribbean slowly gained their independence. The Federation of the West Indies, also known as the West Indian Federation, was a short-lived Caribbean federation that existed from January 3, 1958 to May 31, 1962. …

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West Virginia - Geography, History, Demographics, Economy, Transportation, Law and government, Important cities and towns, Education, Professional sports teams

pop (2000e) 1 808 300; area 62 758 km²/24 232 sq mi. State in E USA, divided into 55 counties; the ‘Mountain State’; part of Virginia until the Civil War, when the area remained loyal to the Union, and split from Confederate East Virginia, 1861; 35th state admitted to the Union as West Virginia, 1863; capital, Charleston; other chief cities, Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg, Morgantown…

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Western

A novel or film concerned with the opening up and civilizing of the American West; an epic theme featuring hunters and trackers, cowboys and Indians, horses, stagecoach and railroad, the cavalry, lawmen, women, the California goldrush, and dogs. Fenimore Cooper established a model in The Pioneers (1823), basing his Leatherstocking on the exploits of Daniel Boone. Davy Crockett and Kit Carson were …

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Western Australia - Geography, History, People, Economy, Government, Education, Media, Sport

pop (2000e) 1 754 000; area 2 525 500 km²/975 000 sq mi. State in W Australia; Dutchman Dirk Hartog landed here in 1616, and Englishman William Dampier in 1688; Britain's first non-convict settlement on the Swan R, 1829; governed at first by New South Wales; separate colony, 1890; now comprises nine statistical divisions; bounded S by the Great Australian Bight, W by the Indian Ocean and…

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Western Cape - Law and Government, Geography, Climate, Economy, Demographics, Important cities and towns, Education

One of the nine new provinces established by the South African constitution of 1994, in SW South Africa; several mountain ranges along the Great Escarpment; capital, Cape Town (also legislative capital of South Africa); pop (2000e) 4 332 000; area 129 386 km²/49 943 sq mi; chief languages, Afrikaans (63%), English (20%), Xhosa; tourism (Table Mountain, Robben I, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Ag…

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Western European Union - President, Eurofor, Participating States

An organization of 10 W European nations, founded in 1954 to co-ordinate defence and other policies, replacing the defunct European Defence Community, and reactivated in the 1980s; its members are Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK. It contains a Council of Ministers, a representative assembly in the Consultative Assembly of the Counci…

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Western Wall - Venerated by the Jews, During subsequent occupations, The Wall as viewed by Muslims, Jordanian rule

The only surviving part of the Second Temple of Jerusalem and, as such, the most sacred of Jewish sites. Traditionally a place of prayer and lamentation during the dispersion of the Jews, it was formerly often referred to as the Wailing Wall. Coordinates: 31°46′36″N, 35°14′3″E The Western Wall (Hebrew: הכותל המערבי, translit.: HaKotel HaMa'aravi), or simply …

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Westfield (Massachusetts)

42º07N 72º45W, pop (2001e) 40 000. City in Hampden Co, SW Massachusetts, USA; on the R Westfield, 13 km/8 mi W of Springfield; founded, 1669; incorporated as a city, 1920; birthplace of Edward Bancroft, Frederick Gillett, Ferdinand Hayden; railway; commercial and industrial centre. Westfield is a place name for the following: …

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Westfield (New Jersey)

40º39N 74º21W, pop (2000e) 29 600. Residential town in Union Co, NE New Jersey, USA; 40 km/25 mi SW of New York City; settled c.1700; incorporated, 1903; birthplace of Charles Samuel Addams and Virginia Apgar; railway. Westfield is a place name for the following: …

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Westland

area 1175 km²/454 sq mi. National park, E South Island, New Zealand; joins the Mt Cook National Park along the main divide of the Southern Alps; glaciers, mountains, lakes, forest; established in 1961; a world heritage site. The name Westland may refer to: Places Other …

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Westman Islands

pop (2000e) 5560; area 21 km²/8 sq mi. Group of 15 islands and 30 reefs off the S coast of Iceland; includes the volcanic island of Heimaey which erupted in 1973; island of Surtsey was formed during eruptions in 1963–6; fish processing. Vestmannaeyjar (The West-men Islands) is a small archipelago off the south coast of Iceland. The islands are named after the Irish who wer…

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Westminster Abbey - List of Abbots, Deans, and the Bishop of Westminster, Gallery

The collegiate church of St Peter in Westminster, London, UK. There was probably a monastic settlement on this site from the 8th-c. The first recorded abbey church, consecrated in 1065, was replaced from 1245 by the present building in early English Gothic style. The monastery was dissolved in 1540. Westminster Abbey has a special importance in English history, serving as a coronation church and n…

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Westminster Assembly

A body of clerics (120) and laymen (30) convened by the English Long Parliament in 1643 to arrange a religious settlement to replace the Church of England. Dominated by Presbyterians, it produced a directory of public worship to replace the Prayer Book, and the Westminster Confession of Faith. Its influence declined when the power of the army, which favoured toleration, increased after 1648. …

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Westminster Confession of Faith - Historical situation, Contents, American Presbyterian Adoption and Revisions

The main Presbyterian Confession of Faith, adopted by the Westminster Assembly, England, in 1643. It sets forth the main doctrines of the Christian faith from a Calvinistic perspective, and became the major confessional influence among Reformed Churches of the English-speaking world. The Westminster Confession of Faith is a Reformed confession of faith, in the Calvinist theological traditio…

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Westmorland - Modern history, Legacy

Former county of NW England, UK; part of Cumbria since 1974. The baronies were further subdivided into two wards each: In 1889, under the Local Government Act 1888, a county council was created for Westmorland, taking functions from the Quarter Sessions. Westmorland did not contain any county boroughs throughout its history so the administrative county, or area under the c…

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Weston-super-Mare

51º21N 2º59W, pop (2002e) 73 400. Resort town in N Somerset, SW England, UK; located 28 km/17 mi SW of Bristol, on the Bristol Channel; flourished as a seaside resort in 19th-c; birthplace of John Cleese and John Polkinghorne; railway; plastics, engineering; Grand Pier (1904), Winter Gardens and Pavilion (1927). Weston-super-Mare is an English seaside resort town in North Somerset, pop…

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Westphalia

A NW German principality, first settled by Saxons c.700, given to the Archbishop of Cologne (1180), and later forming part of the Lower Rhine–Westphalian Circle of the Empire (1512). In 1803–6 it was divided between Brandenburg-Prussia and neighbouring states. Although the name was coined for Napoleon's satellite kingdom (1807), the princes regained possession (1814–15). Westphalia (Germ…

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Wexford (county) - History, Present Day Wexford, Culture and trivia

pop (2000e) 103 000; area 2352 km²/908 sq mi. County in Leinster province, SE Ireland; bounded by St George's Channel and Atlantic Ocean with bays at Wexford, Waterford, and Bannow; Wicklow Mts (N), Blackstairs Mts (W); watered by R Barrow and R Slaney; capital, Wexford; main seaport, Rosslare; rich farmland (cattle) and resort area. Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman) is the county town of …

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Wexford (town) - History, Present Day Wexford, Culture and trivia

52°20N 6°27W, pop (2000e) 16 000. Capital of Wexford county, Leinster, SE Ireland; at mouth of R Slaney where it meets Wexford harbour; railway; machinery, motor vehicles, brewing, cheese, textiles; opera festival (Oct). Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman) is the county town of County Wexford in the Republic of Ireland. Wexford lies on the south side of Wexford Harbour, the estuary…

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Weymouth - History, Politics and Demographics, Geology, Geography and Ecology, Tourism and other industries, Transport

42º13N 70º56W, pop (2000e) 54 000. Town in Norfolk Co, Massachusetts, USA; residential suburb of Quincy and Boston; founded as Wessagusset settlement (1622) by Thomas Weston; incorporated into Massachusetts Bay Colony and officially renamed Weymouth, 1635; birthplace of Abigail Adams (her restored home is open to the public), William Cranch, Gilbert N Lewis. Weymouth is a town in Dorset…

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whale - Origins and taxonomy, Anatomy, Behaviour, Whales in culture

An aquatic mammal of worldwide order Cetacea (79 species); evolved from four-legged land mammals; spends entire life in water; resembles fish in shape (although tail blades - flukes - are horizontal, not vertical); breathes air through opening(s) on top of head; has insulating layer of oily blubber under skin; two major groups: toothed whales (5 families with 69 species, including the sperm whale,…

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whale shark - Distribution and habitat, Diet, Reproduction, Conservation status, Whale sharks in captivity

The largest of all fishes (Rhincodon typus), widely distributed in surface waters of tropical seas; length up to 18 m/60 ft; weight up to 20 tonnes; feeds mainly on small planktonic organisms. (Family: Rhincodontidae.) The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a gentle and slow filter feeding shark that is the largest living fish species. The name "whale shark" comes from the fish's large size…

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whaling - History of whaling, Modern whaling, The arguments for and against whaling

The hunting of whales for oil, meat, and blubber, which has resulted in a serious decline in whale populations and the near-extinction of several species. Whaling began in the 10th-c in the Bay of Biscay, but in the last two centuries it has been concentrated in Arctic and Antarctic waters. Overexploitation reached a peak in the Arctic in the 1930s, and in the Antarctic in the 1960s. The Internati…

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wheat

A cereal second only to rice in importance, originating in the Middle East but cultivated throughout temperate regions of the world; its inflorescence is a dense, cylindrical head. There are numerous species and cultivars with different growth properties and yielding different qualities of flour, such as bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and durum wheat (Triticum durum) from which pasta is made. Whe…

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wheatear

A thrush native to the N hemisphere and S Africa; inhabits open country, especially dry stony areas; eats insects and seeds. The name is a corruption of ‘white arse’ (after white rump). (Genus: Oenanthe, 20 species.) …

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wheel - History of the wheel and axle, Mechanics and function, Wheeled vehicles, Alternatives to wheels

One of the most important innovations in human material culture, allowing continuous rotary motion, and the continuous conversion of rotary motion into linear motion, and vice versa. The earliest wheels are found c.3500 BC; the earliest with spokes c.2000 BC. The first were sections of tree trunks, but later types were built up of planks joined and cut to shape. Other improvements were the separat…

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whelk

A marine snail with a spirally coiled external shell; aperture closed off by a chitinous covering (operculum) once head and body are drawn inside; single gill present in mantle cavity; most species are carnivores or scavengers. (Class: Gastropoda. Order: Neogastropoda.) A whelk is a large marine gastropod (snail) found in temperate waters. …

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whimbrel - Introduction, Gallery

A curlew (Numenius phaeopus) which breeds in the N hemisphere on tundra and moors; migrates to muddy and sandy shores in the S hemisphere; striped head; eats insects, berries, and shore invertebrates, especially crabs; also known as the seven whistler. Numenius minutus, found from Asia to Australasia, is sometimes called the little whimbrel. The Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus, is a wader in the…

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whip - Stock whips (Stockwhips), Signal whips, Snake whips, Crops and horse whips, Popular culture, Buggy whip

A party official in a legislative chamber responsible for ensuring that members attend and vote in accordance with party policy; the name derives from the jargon of hunting, a ‘whipper in’. Success will depend upon the extent of party cohesiveness and discipline that can be exercised. In the UK, the term is also the title of a weekly document detailing forthcoming parliamentary business. …

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whippet - Appearance, Temperament, Health

A small slender breed of dog developed in Britain by cross-breeding small greyhounds with terriers; resembles greyhound but slightly deeper body; occasionally used for racing or hunting rabbits. The Whippet is a breed of dog, specifically a member of the sighthound family. Whippets are a medium-size dog ranging from 25 to 40 lb (11–18 kg), with a maximum height of 22 inches (5…

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Whiskey Rebellion - Background, Rebellion, Consequences

(1794) An insurrection of farmers in W Pennsylvania, USA, against the excise tax imposed by the federal government on whiskey, which they made in large quantities from their crops of grain. The rebellion was suppressed by government forces led by Henry Lee (1756–1818) and Alexander Hamilton. The Whiskey Rebellion was a popular uprising that had its beginnings in 1791 and culminated in an i…

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whisky - Types of whisky, Names and spellings, Popular types, Source

A spirit distilled from fermented grain, such as barley, rye, wheat, or (in US bourbon) corn; the main spirit produced and consumed in Ireland and Scotland. Whiskies can be single malt, a product of a single distillate, or a blend of several batches, often from several different distilleries. Whisky or whisky-like products are produced in most grain-growing areas. American whiskies must be …

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whist - Versions of whist, Whist Rules

A non-gambling card game, normally played with four people in pairs. Each player receives 13 cards, and the object is to win more tricks than the opposing pair. Trumps are decided before each game, and at whist drives trumps are normally played in the following order; hearts, clubs, diamonds, spades. A round of ‘no trumps’ is also common. Whist (a trick-taking game) is a classic card game…

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Whitbread Book Awards - The Process, Book of the Year Award Winners

British book prizes, established in 1973. The awards were initially given in four categories (novel, first novel, poetry, and biography) to works by writers who must have been resident in Great Britain or Ireland for at least six months per year for the preceding three years. Category winners are also eligible to become the Whitbread Book of the Year, which is announced two weeks later. Since 1996…

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Whitby - History, Whitby jet, Whitby and literature, The present day, Sister cities, Further reading

54º29N 0º37W. Port and resort town in North Yorkshire, N England, UK; on the North Sea coast, 27 km/17 mi NW of Scarborough; birthplace of William Bateson and Storm Jameson; the Synod of Whitby (664) affected the course of Christianity in England; former seaport and whaling station; Captain Cook sailed from here on his voyage to the Pacific (1768); plastics, boatbuilding, fishing; 13th-c abbey…

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White Australia Policy - Immigration policy prior to Federation, From Federation to World War II, Abolition of the Policy, Legacy

The unofficial national policy of Australia from 1901 to the late 1960s, designed to exclude non-European migrants; it was particularly aimed at Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Africans who, it was feared, might come to dominate Europeans. The trade union movement supported the policy on the grounds that it excluded workers who might undermine union wage rates. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Colombo P…

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white dwarf - Formation, Characteristics, Mass and radius relationship

A small, dim star in the final stages of its evolution. The masses of known white dwarfs do not exceed 1·4 solar masses. They are defunct stars, collapsed to about the diameter of the Earth, at which stage they stabilize, with their electrons forming a degenerate gas, the pressure of which is sufficient to balance gravitational force. A white dwarf is an astronomical object which is produc…

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White House - History, Evolution of structure and interiors

The official residence of the US president, situated on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. The 132-room Neoclassical mansion was built (1793–1801) from the designs of James Hoban (1762–1831), who also supervised its reconstruction (1814–29) after it was burnt down by the British in 1814. Major restoration work was carried out in 1948–52 after the building was discove…

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White Nile

Upper reach of R Nile in S and E Sudan; a continuation of the Albert Nile, which crosses into SE Sudan from NE Uganda at Nimule; flows generally N to Khartoum, where it is joined from the E by the Blue Nile, forming the R Nile proper; length 1900 km/1180 mi. The White Nile (Arabic: النيل الأبيض, transliterated: an-Nīl al-Ābyaðˤ) is a river of Africa, one of the two main tri…

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white paper - Government white papers, Commercial white papers, White paper production, Famous white papers

In the UK, a government publication printed for the information of parliament, setting out the government's policy and legislative intentions in a specific area, such as the annual Expenditure White Paper. Such a statement of policy is not bulky enough to need the protective covers of a blue book. Depending upon the area in question, different degrees of scope exist for consultation and discussion…

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White Sea

area c.95 000 km²/36 670 sq mi. Arm of the Arctic Ocean and inlet of the Barents Sea, NW European Russia; port of Belmorsk connected to St Petersburg on the Baltic by a 225 km/140 mi-long canal system, completed in 1933; ice-breakers keep some sea channels open in winter; herring and cod fishing. The White Sea (Russian: Бе́лое мо́ре) is an inlet of the Barents Sea on the …

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whitebait - New Zealand Whitebait, Australian Whitebait, United Kingdom Whitebait, Chinese Whitebait

Small silvery fish found abundantly in shallow coastal waters and estuaries; includes the S African Atherina breviceps, and in the N Atlantic the small first-year herrings, Clupea harengus, and young sprats, Sprattus sprattus. Whitebaiting is the activity of catching whitebait. New Zealand whitebait are the juvenile of certain galaxiids which mature and live as adults in rivers …

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whitebeam

A spreading, deciduous tree or shrub (Sorbus aria), native to Europe; leaves oval, shallowly lobed or toothed, white-woolly beneath; flowers white, in clusters; berries red. Cultivars with white-flecked berries and purple twigs are common street trees. (Family: Rosaceae.) The whitebeams are members of the Rosaceae family, in genus Sorbus subgenus Aria. …

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whitefish

Any of a small group of freshwater and brackish-water fishes widespread in lakes and large rivers of the N hemisphere; some populations are migratory, others remain in fresh water; species include the vendace, cisco, and houting. (Genus: Coregonus. Family: Salmonidae.) …

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whitefly

A small, sap-sucking bug; adults active fliers; bodies and wings covered with a waxy, white powder; immature stages immobile, typically found on underside of leaves; commonly produces honeydew, and attended by ants. (Order: Homoptera. Family: Aleyrodidae, c.1200 species.) The whiteflies, comprising only the family Aleyrodidae, are small hemipterans which typically feed on the underside of p…

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Whitehall - History, Government buildings in Whitehall (north to south), Other notable buildings in Whitehall, Gallery

A wide thoroughfare lying between Parliament and Trafalgar Squares in London, UK, and by association the offices of central government which line it. All that remains of the Palace of Whitehall, from which the street takes its name, is the 17th-c banqueting house designed by Inigo Jones. Whitehall is a road in Westminster in London, the capital of the United Kingdom. It is the main artery r…

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Whitelaw Reid - Trivia

Journalist and diplomat, born near Xenia, Ohio, USA. He was a Civil War correspondent for the Cincinnati Gazette, and after abortive attempts with cotton plantations in the South (1865–7) he joined the New York Tribune (1868), becoming its editor-in-chief and eventually its principal owner (1872–1905). As the leading Republican editor in the USA, he was overtly involved in Republican politics an…

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whitethroat

Either of two species of Old World warbler, native to Europe, Africa, and S Asia: the whitethroat (Silvia communis); and the lesser whitethroat (Silvia curruca, which includes small and Hume's whitethroats); inhabits open woodland; eats insects and fruit. (Genus: Silvia.) …

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whiting - Surname

European codfish (Merlangius merlangus) widely distributed in shallow shelf waters from N Norway to the Black Sea; length up to 70 cm/28 in. (Family: Gadidae.) The name is also used for a popular food and game fish of the W North Atlantic (Menticirrhus saxatilis. Family: Sciaenidae.) Whiting is the name of several species of fish, see whiting (fish). Whiting (fish) is harveste…

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Whitney Houston - Personal and family life, Music career, Film and television career, Controversies and personal challenges, Awards, Discography

Singer and film actress, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. Daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston (c.1930– ), she began singing in the local gospel choir, and became a backing singer for Chaka Khan, Lou Rawls (1933–2006), and others. The album Whitney Houston (1985) won a Grammy award and included her first US number 1 hit single ‘Saving All My Love For You’. Her second album, Whitney (1987), …

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Whittaker Chambers - Youth and Education, Communism and Defection, The Hiss Case, After the Hiss case

Journalist, writer, and Soviet agent, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at Columbia University, gained a modest reputation as a writer, and later translated several works, notably Bambi, into English. He was an active US Communist (1925–9, 1931–8), writing for the Daily Worker and editing the New Masses. Along the way he became an actual agent of Soviet intelligence, and passed…

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Whoopi Goldberg - Filmography, TV work, Awards won, Discography

Film actress, born in New York City, USA. She gained recognition while on tour with her one-woman show, which was adapted for Broadway and became the critically acclaimed Whoopi Goldberg Show (1983). She achieved instant fame with her role in The Color Purple (1985), for which she received a Golden Globe Award. Her performance in Ghost (1990) won her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, becoming …

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whooping crane

A crane native to North America (Grus americana); breeds in Canada; migrates to Gulf of Mexico; plumage white; face red; extremely rare (only 18 birds known in 1969, but this had increased to 377 in a 1998 survey). The Whooping Crane (Grus americana) is a very large crane. The only known wintering location for these birds is Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas which was cr…

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Wichita

37°42N 97°20W, pop (2000e) 344 300. Seat of Sedgwick Co, S Kansas, USA, on the Arkansas R; settled, 1866; named after an Indian tribe; city status, 1870; largest city in Kansas; airport; railway; two universities (1892, 1898); chief commercial and industrial centre in S Kansas; aircraft, chemical and petroleum products, railway engineering, food processing (grain and meat); world's largest pro…

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Wicklow - Town History, Geography, A changing town

pop (2000e) 98 000; area 2025 km²/782 sq mi. County in Leinster province, E Ireland; bounded E by Irish Sea; watered by Slaney, Liffey, and Avoca Rivers; Wicklow Mts (W); capital, Wicklow (pop  (2000e) 5300); agriculture; resort towns (eg Bray). Wicklow (Cill Mhantáin in Irish) is the county town of County Wicklow in Ireland. The town lies along the N11 route between Dublin and Wexf…

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wide-angle lens - Digital camera issues

A lens that has a wide field angle of view or coverage compared with the standard lens fitted to the camera. Its focal length is less than the diagonal of the film format in use. The standard lens has a field angle of c.52°, and coverage of 55–65°, 65–80°, and 80–110° is given by semi wide-angle, wide-angle, and extreme wide-angle lenses respectively. In photography and cinematograph…

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Widnes - Place-name meaning, The Widnes Vikings, Industrial History, Crossing the Mersey, 'Homeward Bound', Education, Nightspots

53º36N 2º75W, pop (2001e) 58 000. Town in Halton borough, Cheshire, NW England, UK; formerly in Lancashire (until 1975); located on the R Mersey, 19 km/12 mi E of Liverpool; birthplace of Charles Barkla; Rugby League team (Chemics); important chemical industries, engineering. Widnes is a town in the borough of Halton and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. Based on…

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Wiener Neustadt - History, University, professional schools, vocational academies, City Partnerships, Development of the city

47º49N 16º15E, pop (2001e) 37 600. Capital of Wiener Neustadt district, NE Austria; at the S edge of the Wien basin; severely damaged in World War 2 and since extensively rebuilt; birthplace of Albert of Austria and Emperor Maximilian I; 12th-c castle of the Babenberg dukes of Austria became a military academy (1752); industrial and rail centre; locomotive manufacture, heavy machinery, textile…

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Wiesbaden - Incorporations into Wiesbaden, Historical population, Mayors of Wiesbaden, Twinning, Coat-of-arms

50°05N 8°15E, pop (2000e) 267 000. Capital city of Hesse province, WC Germany; on the R Rhine, 32 km/20 mi W of Frankfurt am Main; railway; chemicals, cement, hydraulics, tools; popular health resort; a traditional wine centre, most of the large German Sekt (sparkling wine) cellars are in this area. Coordinates: 50°5′N 8°15′E Wiesbaden is a city in central Germany. …

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Wigan - History, Culture, Public transport, Labour Clubs, Sport, Notable People

53°33N 2°38W, pop (2001e) 301 400. Town in Greater Manchester, NW England, UK; 27 km/17 mi NE of Liverpool, on R Douglas and the Leeds–Liverpool Canal; a borough since 1246; railway; engineering, cotton, foodstuffs, packaging; Wigan Pier, now a museum, made famous by George Orwell, in The Road to Wigan Pier (1932); football league team, Wigan Athletic (Latics). Wigan is a large town …

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Wigbolt Ripperda - Biography, Siege of Haarlem, Death

Governor of Haarlem at the time of the Spanish siege (1572), born in Winssum, N Netherlands. He called a general assembly of citizens who decided to defend the town. He led the resistance and was beheaded by Don Frederick (Alva's son) after the town's surrender. Wigbolt Ripperda (1535?-1573) was the city governor of Haarlem when the city was under siege by the Spanish army in the Eighty Yea…

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Wightman Cup

An annual lawn tennis competition involving professional women's teams from the USA and UK. It was first held in 1923, and named after the former US player Hazel Wightman (née Hotchkiss) (1886–1974). It was scrapped in 1992, due to the overwhelming superiority of the Americans, and consequent lack of commercial support. …

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Wilbert Robinson

Baseball manager, born in Bolton, Massachusetts, USA. He had a 17-year major league career (1886–1902), mostly as a star catcher with the Baltimore Orioles (1892–9), then went on to manage and coach minor-league teams. To demonstrate his catching prowess, he once caught a grapefruit dropped 400 feet from an aeroplane. As manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers (1914–31), he was so popular that the Dodg…

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Wilbur (Daigh) Mills

US representative, born in Kensett, Arkansas, USA. He studied at Harvard, and became a Democratic county and probate judge in White Co, AR (1934–8), before going to the US House of Representatives (1939–77). He chaired the powerful Committee on Ways and Means (1957–73) and the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue before personal scandal forced him to resign. In 1977 he became a tax consultant fo…

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Wilbur (Lucius) Cross

Academic and US governor, born in Gurleyville, Connecticut, USA. Educated in a one-room schoolhouse, he studied English literature at Yale (1889 PhD), then taught English at a private school in Pittsburgh, returning to teach at Yale (1894–1930). Becoming editor of the Yale Review (1911), he transformed it into a national quarterly of literature and public affairs. As dean of the Yale Graduate Sch…

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wildebeest - Name

An African grazing antelope; sturdy, with a large convex face; short horns spread sideways with upturned tips; long mane; long fringe of hairs along throat; tail almost reaching ground; inhabits grassland; two species: Connochaetes taurinusa (blue wildebeest or brindled gnu - includes Cookson's wildebeest and white-bearded wildebeest), and Connochaetes gnou (black wildebeest or white-tailed gnu); …

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Wilder Dwight Bancroft

Physical chemist, born in Middletown, Rhode Island, USA. A professor at Cornell University (1895–1937), he founded and edited the Journal of Physical Chemistry (1896–1932). He did research in electrochemistry, colloid chemistry, and contact catalysis. His career was cut short by an accident in 1937. Wilder Dwight Bancroft (Middletown, Rhode Island on 1 October 1867 - 7 February 1953) was …

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Wilderness Road - Early exploration, Boone - The Trailblazer, Location of Road, Dangers of Road, Settlement of Road

The early route across the S Appalachian Mts, from the Holston R through Cumberland Gap to Boonesborough on the Kentucky R. It was constructed in 1775 by a party led by Daniel Boone under the sponsorship of Richard Henderson, founder of the Transylvania Company. The Wilderness Road was the principal route used by settlers to reach Kentucky for more than fifty years. In 1775, Daniel Boone bl…

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Wiley Post - Early flying career, Around the world, First pressure suit, Final flight, Memorials and awards

Pioneer aviator, born in Grand Saline, Texas, USA. In the early 1920s he was a mechanic, stunt parachutist, and wingwalker. In 1931 he left New York City in a Lockheed Vega monoplane, with the Australian Harold Gatty as navigator, to fly around the world, taking 8 days, 15 hr, 51 min. He gained instant fame, toppling Zeppelin's previous record of 21 days. In 1933 he made the first solo flight ro…

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Wilfred (Edward Salter) Owen - Biography, Poetry, Relationship with Sassoon, Death, Literary output

Poet, born at Plas Wilmot, near Oswestry, Shropshire, WC England, UK. He studied at the Birkenhead Institute and at Shrewsbury Technical School, left England to teach English in Bordeaux (1913), and began to write. Wounded in World War 1, he was sent to recuperate near Edinburgh, where he met Siegfried Sassoon, who encouraged his poetry writing. One of the most important poets of World War 1, his …

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Wilfred Rhodes - Developing into a consummate all-rounder, Opening the batting for England

Cricketer, born in Kirkheaton, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He played for Yorkshire and England, and during his career (1898–1930) took a world record 4187 wickets and scored 39 722 runs. He took 100 wickets in a season 23 times, and performed the ‘double’ of 1000 runs and 100 wickets 16 times - first-class cricket records. The oldest man to play Test cricket, he was 52 years 165 days when h…

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Wilfrid (Stalker) Sellars - Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man, Contributions

Philosopher, born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Educated at Oxford, he taught at the State University of Iowa (1938–46), the University of Minnesota (1947–58), Yale (1958–63), and then the University of Pittsburgh. His works in analytic philosophy, both influential and abstruse, include Science, Perception and Reality (1963). Wilfrid Stalker Sellars (May 20, 1912 - July 2, 1989) was an Am…

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Wilfrid Scawen Blunt - Bibliography

Poet and traveller, born in Petworth, West Sussex, S England, UK. He studied at Stonyhurst and Oscott, and served in the diplomatic service (1859–70). He travelled in the Near and Middle East, espoused the cause of Arabi Pasha and Egyptian nationalism (1882), stood for parliament and was imprisoned in 1888 for activity in the Irish Land League. He wrote political verse and love poems, and bred Ar…

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Wilfried Martens

Belgian statesman and prime minister (1979–81, 1981–92). He studied at Louvain University, entered politics, and became an adviser to two governments (1965 and 1966). He was president of the Dutch-speaking Social Christian Party (1972–9), when he became prime minister at the head of a coalition. He then continued in office, apart from a brief break in 1981, heading no fewer than six coalition g…

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Wilhelm (Carl Werner Otto Fritz Franz) Wien - Books by Wien

Physicist, born in Gaffken, Germany. He studied at Göttingen and Berlin, worked as assistant to Helmholtz, and later was professor at Würzburg (1900–20) and then at Munich. In the early 1890s he studied thermal radiation, and by 1896 had developed Wien's formula describing the distribution of energy in a radiation spectrum as a function of wavelength and temperature. The formula's accuracy redu…

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Wilhelm (Eduard) Weber

Scientist, born in Wittenberg, EC Germany, the brother of Ernst Weber. He was professor of physics at Göttingen (1831–7) and Leipzig (1843–9), then returned to Göttingen, where he directed the astronomical observatory, and was associated with Johann Gauss in his research into electricity and magnetism. He was the inventor of the electrodynamometer, the first to apply the mirror and scale metho…

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Wilhelm (Max) Wundt - Wundt's life and works, Wundt's influence

Physiologist and psychologist, born in Neckarau, Mannheim, SW Germany. He taught at Heidelberg and Zürich universities, then became professor of physiology at Leipzig (1875). A distinguished experimental psychologist, he wrote on the nerves and the senses, and the relations between physiology and psychology. Wilhelm Maximilian Wundt (August 16, 1832 – August 31, 1920) was a German physio…

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Wilhelm Busch

Cartoonist and writer, born near Hanover, NC Germany. He worked as an illustrator for the Fliegende Blätter (1859–71), and wrote satirical verse-stories with his own illustrations, such as Max und Moritz (1865, the prototypes for Rudolph Dirks' Katzenjammer Kids) and Herr und Frau Knopp (1876). …

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Wilhelm Canaris - Early life and World War I, Interwar years, World War II, Downfall and Execution

Naval commander, born in Aplerbeck, WC Germany. He entered the imperial German Navy in 1905, and served in World War 1. Though disapproving of aspects of the Nazi regime, he rose under Hitler to become admiral of the German navy and chief of the Abwehr, the military intelligence service of the high command of the armed forces. Associated with the 1944 bomb plot against Hitler, he was arrested, imp…

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Wilhelm Cuno - Cabinet, November 1922 - August 1923

German politician, businessman, and board member of HAPAG (Hapag-Lloyd AG), born in Aumühle bei Hamburg, N Germany. He participated in the peace negotiations of 1918–19 and other international conferences. As Reichskanzler, he nominated a minority cabinet in 1922 which adopted a conservative political line under the motto ‘Regierung der Wirtschaft’. His confrontational politics towards the vic…

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Wilhelm Dilthey - Hermeneutics, Sociology, Distinction between natural science and "human" science, Weltanschauungen, Neo-Kantians

Philosopher, born in Biebrich, WC Germany. He studied at Heidelberg and Berlin, then taught at Basel, Kiel, Wroc?aw, Poland (formerly Breslau, Prussia), and finally Berlin (1882–1911), where he was professor of philosophy. He was much influenced by Kant, and is himself a key figure in the idealist tradition in modern social thought. Using some of Hegel's writings as a point of departure, he argue…

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Wilhelm Frick - Early life and family, Third Reich career

German lawyer and politician, born in Alsenz, W Germany. He participated in Hitler's Munich putsch (1923), led the Nazi faction in the Reichstag from 1924, and as Reichsinnenminister (minister of the interior, 1933–43) he was instrumental in extending the Nazi power base, banning trade unionism and freedom of the press, and encouraging anti-Semitism. Ousted by Himmler in 1943, he became ‘Protect…

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Wilhelm Groener

German general and politician, born in Ludwigsburg, SW Germany. Head of the railways division of the General Staff (1912–16) he became head of the War Office (1916–17). Succeeding Ludendorff as First Generalquartiermeister of Army Supreme Command (1918–19), he actively supported the Treaty of Versailles and worked closely with Ebert in fighting off ‘Sovietization’. He was transport minister (…

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Wilhelm Hauff - Biography

Writer, born in Stuttgart, SW Germany. An associate of the Swabian Romantic poets, his works include Kriegs- u. Volkslieder (1824), the novella Othello, Mitteilungen aus den Memoiren des Satans, and the satire Der Mann im Mond (all 1825). He is particularly known for his historical novel Lichtenstein (1826), influenced by Scott, and for his 1827 novellas reminiscent of Hoffmann and Tieck, such as …

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Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder

Writer, born in Berlin, Germany. A German Romantic and close friend of Tieck, with whom he studied law in Erlangen, he was profoundly influenced by the architectural and art treasures of Franconia, encountered during a joint visit which they describe in a programmatic Romantic work Herzensergießungen eines kunstliebendes Klosterbruders (1797), in which the aesthetic concept of synaesthesia is for…

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Wilhelm Herzog - Life, Works

Writer, born in Berlin, Germany. A publicist, critic, and playwright, he was co-founder of the periodical Pan and editor of the periodicals März and Forum, banned in 1919 for an anti-war stance. He also edited the Socialist newspaper Die Republik (1919) and wrote the political revue Rund um den Staatsanwalt (1928). In 1929, the year he emigrated to S France, he wrote the play Die Affäre Dreyfus …

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Wilhelm Keitel - Early life and career, OKW and World War II, After World War II

German field marshal, born in Helmscherode, C Germany. He joined the army in 1901, and became an artillery staff officer in World War 1. An ardent Nazi, he was made chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (1938). In 1940 he signed the Compiègne armistice with France, and in 1945 was one of the German signatories of surrender in Berlin. He was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg, and exe…

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Wilhelm Leibl

Painter, born in Cologne, W Germany. He studied in Paris, being much influenced by Courbet's Realism, and later worked in Munich. Most of his paintings are genre scenes of Bavaria and the lower Alps, although he painted a number of portraits, notably ‘Three Women in a Church’ (1878–82, Kunsthalle). Wilhelm Leibl (October 23, 1844 – December 4, 1900) was a German realist painter of port…

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Wilhelm Leuschner

German politician, born in Bayreuth, SEC Germany. A wood sculptor by trade, he became a trade union leader, politician for the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD), a member of the Landtag in Hesse (1924–33), and minister of the interior, Hesse (1928–32). He was interned during 1933–4. As leader of trade union resistance he was in contact with the Kreisauer Kreis, condemned to death in…

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Wilhelm Marx - First cabinet (Nov. 1923 - May 1924)

German politician, born in Cologne, W Germany. He was a member of the Reichstag (1910–18, 1920–32) and became chairman of Zentrum, the Catholic Centre Party. The German currency stabilized during his first tenure of office as Reichskanzler (1923–4, 1926–8). He also served as minister of justice in 1926. Wilhelm Marx (born January 15, 1863, Cologne – died August 5, 1946, Bonn) was a Ge…

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Wilhelm Maybach - Early life and career beginnings (1846 to 1869)

Inventor and car manufacturer, born in Heilbronn, SWC Germany. He joined Gottlieb Daimler in 1869 as a draughtsman, and became his partner in 1882 when he established a factory near Stuttgart. He was responsible for an innovation that was crucial to the development of high-speed petrol engines suitable for motor cars, the float-feed carburettor (1893), as well as improvements in timing, gearing, a…

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Wilhelm Pieck - Biography

East German politician and president (1949–60), born near Berlin. Originally a carpenter, he helped found the Spartacus League (1915) and the German Communist Party (1918), leading the unsuccessful ‘Spartacus uprising’ in Berlin in 1919. Elected as a Communist to the Reichstag (1928), he was forced into exile in 1933, and fled to Moscow where he became secretary of the Comintern (1935). In 1945…

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Wilhelm Raabe

Writer and artist, born in Eschershausen, NW Germany. His first novel, Die Chronik der Sperlingsgasse (1857), describes life in a Berlin street in a richly detailed, atmospheric manner reminiscent of William Thackeray. He was one of the most important exponents of realism, and wrote several novels reflecting contemporary life and society. In his later work he increasingly used irony and humour in …

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Wilhelm Reich - Early life, His work, Controversy, Status of his work, Reich in popular culture

Psychiatrist and writer, born in Dobrzcynica, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (part of modern Poland). He studied medicine in Vienna and, becoming interested in Freud's theories of sexuality, became associated with Freud's Psychoanalytic Polyclinic in Vienna. Reich developed his own theory that regular orgasms were essential to mental and emotional health, a view he set forth in The Function of the Orgas…

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Wilhelm Schmidt

Ethnologist, born in Hörde, WC Germany. Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1892, he studied oriental languages at Berlin University (1893–5), and became professor in the St Gabriel Mission Seminary at Mödling, where he remained until 1938. He also taught at Vienna and Fribourg. Influenced by Fritz Graebner, he sought to develop and refine Graebner's system of Kulturkreise or trait clusters, pr…

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Wilhelm Schmidtbonn

Writer, born in Bonn, W Germany. He worked as a war reporter in World War 1 and later as a playwright and newspaper editor. He is largely known for his plays written in a neo-Romantic style, notably Mutter Landstraße (1901), although it still has elements of Naturalism, and Der Graf von Gleichen (1908) and Der Geschlagene (1920). Other works include sagas, legends, humorous short stories, and an …

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Wilhelm Tell - The legend, The history of the legend, Historicity debate, In modern politics and arts

Legendary Swiss patriot of Bürglen in Uri, a famous crossbow marksman, reputedly the saviour of his native district from the oppressions of Austria. According to tradition, he was compelled by the tyrannical Austrian governor to shoot an apple off his own son's head from a distance of 80 paces. Later, Tell slew the tyrant, and so initiated the movement which secured the independence of Switzerlan…

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Wilhelm Zaisser

German politician, born in Rotthausen (Gelsenkirchen), W Germany. He joined the Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (USPD) in 1918 and the Kommunistiche Partei Deutschlands (KPD) in 1920. He took part in the Spanish Civil War as General Gomez and left for the USSR in 1938. Back in Germany he became German Democratic Republic minister of defence (1950), but was later relieved of al…

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Wilkes Land - Location, Name, Geology

Area of Antarctica between Queen Mary Land (W) and Terre Adélie, lying mostly between 105° and 135°E; includes the Australian scientific station at Casey (established 1961). Wilkes Land is a large district of land in easternAntarctica, formally claimed by Australia as part of the Australian Antarctic Territory, though this claim is not legally recognised by the signatories of the A…

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Will (Hicok) Low

Painter, born in Bronxville, New York, USA. He studied in Paris with Gérôme (1872–7) and was a friend of Robert Louis Stevenson. The second husband of Mary MacMonnies Low (1909), he was known as a popular decorative painter. Will Hicok Low (May 31, 1853 - November 27, 1933), American artist and writer on art, was born at Albany, New York. Returning to New York, he became a member of the …

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will (law) - Requirements for the creation of a will, Revocation

A document in which a person (the testator or testatrix) sets out the way in which his or her property (the estate) is to be distributed by executors to beneficiaries after death. In order to be valid, a will must comply with certain requirements (which vary between jurisdictions): for example, in the UK it must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, both of whom are present at the same time.…

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Will Carling

Player of rugby union football, born in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, S England, UK. He studied at Durham University, where he played for the university, and later for Harlequins, then joined the army, but resigned his commission to devote more time to rugby. In 1988 at the age of 22 he made his England debut against France, was appointed captain (1988–96), and played a major role in the Grand Sla…

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Will Hay - Films

Comedian and actor, born in Stockton-on-Tees, NE England, UK. The son of an engineer, he worked as an engineering apprentice before starting in the music halls. He joined Fred Karno's comedy troupe (1914–18), going on to star in several films in the role of an incompetent, seedy schoolmaster. His films include Good Morning Boys (1937), Oh Mr Porter (1938), The Ghost of St Michael's (1941), and My…

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Will Marion Cook - Biography, Notable Works

Composer and conductor, born in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. The son of the first African-American lawyer in Washington, he studied composition and the violin in the classical tradition at Oberlin Conservatory of Music (Ohio) and under Josef Joachim and Anton Dvorak in Europe. Convinced that he would not be taken seriously as a classical musician because of his race, he turned to composi…

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Will Smith - Biography, Discography, Filmography

Film actor and rapper, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He began rapping at the age of 12, became known as the ‘Fresh Prince’, and formed a successful duo with ‘Jazzy Jeff’ Townes. His first major film role was in Six Degrees of Separation (1993), and later films include Independence Day (1996), Men in Black (1997, sequel 2002), Wild Wild West (1999), Ali (2001), a biography of the box…

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Will(iam) Adams

Navigator, born in Gillingham, Kent, SE England, UK. He served under Sir Francis Drake, took service with the Dutch in 1598, and reached Kyushu, Japan in 1600. The first Englishman to visit Japan, he was cast into prison as a pirate at the instigation of jealous Portuguese traders, but was freed after building two fine ships for Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, receiving a pension, the rank of samurai, and…

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Willa (Sibert) Cather - Early life, Writing career, Personal life, Trivia, Bibliography

Writer, born near Winchester, Virginia, USA. Raised on the Nebraska prairie, she studied at the University of Nebraska, then went to Pittsburgh, where she worked as a journalist and teacher while beginning her writing career. In 1906 she moved to New York City to work on McClure's magazine (1906–12) before turning to full-time writing. (She published her early works as Willa Sibert Cather.) Her s…

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Willam Christensen

Dancer, choreographer, and founder of the San Francisco Ballet, born in Brigham City, Utah, USA. He trained with Michel Fokine, danced in vaudeville, and in 1932 opened a ballet school in Portland, OR, from which emerged the Portland Ballet. With his brothers, Harold (1904–89) and Lew (1909–84), he founded the San Francisco Ballet Company in 1937, the same year that he joined the San Francisco O…

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Willard (Frank) Libby

Chemist, born in Grand Valley, Colorado, USA. He studied and lectured at Berkeley, CA, and was involved in atom bomb research at Columbia (1941–5). He became professor of chemistry at Chicago (1945–54), a member of the US Atomic Energy Commission (1954–9), and professor of chemistry at Los Angeles (1959–76). He received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1960 for his part in the invention of the…

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Willard Harrison Bennett - Biography, Invention impact

Physicist and inventor, born in Findlay, Ohio, USA. He studied at the University of Michigan, and in 1930 joined the faculty of Ohio State University. In the 1950s, he invented a device that produced a model of the Van Allen radiation belts. His radio-frequency mass spectrometer, a device that measured the mass of atoms, first went into space in 1957 aboard the Russian satellite Sputnik. Bo…

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Willard Van Orman Quine - Overview, Life, Work, Quotations, Notable books by Quine, Literature about Quine, Quine in popular culture

Philosopher and logician, born in Akron, Ohio, USA. He studied at Prague, Oxford, and Harvard, and became professor of philosophy at Harvard (1948–78, now emeritus). Much influenced by Carnap, the Vienna Circle, and the empiricist tradition, he went on to make his own distinctive and original contributions to philosophy. His philosophy of language challenges the standard distinctions between anal…

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Willem (Johan) Kolff - The Netherlands, USA, Impact, Quotes

Physician, the developer of the artificial kidney, born in Leyden, W Netherlands. He studied at Leyden and Groningen universities, constructed his first rotating drum artificial kidney in war-time Holland, and treated his first patient with it in 1943. Since 1950, when he moved to the USA, he has worked primarily at the Cleveland Clinic and Utah University, developing the artificial kidney further…

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Willem (Johannes Theodorus) Kloos

Poet and literary critic, born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His first poem Rhodopis was published in 1880. He was still unknown when he published the poems of the late poet Jacques Perk in 1882, for which he wrote an elaborate introduction which came to be regarded as the manifesto of the Movement of the Eighties (Beweging van Tachtig). In 1885 he co-founded the magazine De nieuwe Gids, and rema…

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Willem Barents

Dutch navigator and cartographer. He was pilot to several Dutch expeditions in search of the Northeast Passage (1594, 1595) and responsible for the discovery and charting of the Spitsbergen group of islands. On his final journey (1596–7) his ship became trapped in the ice and the crew had to winter on the island of Novaya Zemlya in a hut built from parts of the ship (the ‘Behouden Huys’). He di…

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Willem Dafoe - Filmography

Film actor, born in Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. He joined an avant garde theatre group and toured extensively with them for two years in the USA and Europe, then became a founding member of the Wooster Group. He made his film debut with a small part in Heaven's Gate (1980), and went on to the Oscar-nominated role of Sergeant Elias in Platoon (1986) and the controversial title role in The Last Tempta…

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Willem de Sitter - Aernout de Sitter, Honours

Astronomer, born in Sneek, The Netherlands. He studied at Groningen, and became director and professor of astronomy at Leyden (1908). He computed the size of the universe as 2000 million light years in radius, containing about 80 000 million galaxies. He disputed Einstein's concept of ‘matter with no motion’, and characterized the universe as an expanding curved space–time continuum of ‘motio…

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Willem Einthoven - References and further reading

Dutch physiologist, born in Semarang, Indonesia. He studied at Utrecht, and became professor of physiology at Leyden in 1886. He invented the string galvanometer for measuring the electrical rhythms of the heart (1903), and introduced the term electrocardiogram. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1924. Willem Einthoven (Semarang, May 21, 1860 – Leiden, September …

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Willem Elsschot - Works

Flemish writer and poet, born in Antwerp, N Belgium. Running an advertising company in Antwerp, he had an unsuccessful debut with Villa des roses (1913), but his breakthrough came in the 1930's, when Jan Greshoff and the editors of the magazine Forum discovered his work. Elsschot's novels are set in the business world, and contain autobiographical elements. Among his prizes is the Constantijn Huyg…

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Willem Frederik Hermans - Bibliography (selection)

Novelist and polemicist, born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He studied physiography and became a professor and lecturer at the University of Groningen, but resigned in 1973 after a conflict with his employer. Together with Mulisch and Reve, he is regarded as one the three great figures of Dutch post-war literature. He became well known with his war novel De tranen der acacia's (1949, Tears of the…

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Willem Kok - Life and career

Trade Union official, politician, and Dutch prime minister (1994–2002), born in Bergambacht, The Netherlands. He studied at the NOIB (Netherlands School for Foreign Service) at Breukelen, and in 1961 joined the building trade union of the NNV (Netherlands Association of Trade Unions), working as economist (1965), secretary (1969), and chairman (1973). After the merger of the NNV and NKV (Netherla…

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Willem Marinus Dudok

Architect, born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Trained as an army engineer, he became city architect of Hilversum in 1915. Mixing modern and traditional elements, his fully developed style is characterized by dramatic massing of asymmetrical plain brick blocks, deep-set windows, and vertical elements. His masterwork was the Hilversum Town Hall (1928–30). Dudok became City Architect for the…

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Willem Schermerhorn

Dutch politician, prime minister (1945–6), and civil engineer, born in Haarlem, W Netherlands. In 1926 he became professor at Delft and introduced aerial photography for cartography in The Netherlands. He joined the resistance during World War 2 and spent 20 months in captivity. After the war he was co-founder and chairman of the Nederlandse Volksbeweging and co-founder of the Partij van de Arbei…

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Willem Wilmink

Poet and novelist, born in Enschede, E Netherlands. Popular as a writer for children, he worked on several children's series writing songs, poems, and stories. Although literary critics classify his poetry as light verse, it has a melancholic and nostalgic undertone. His work demonstrates an excellent linguistic instinct and creative imagery. His interest in the Middle Ages is expressed in his tra…

less than 1 minute read

Willi Stoph

German politcian, born in Berlin, Germany. A former bricklayer and building technician, he first joined the Kommunistiche Partei Deutschlands (KPD) in 1931 and then the Sozialistiche Einheitspartei (SED) (1946–89). He became a member of the Central Committee (1950), the Politbüro (1953), minister of the interior (1952–5), defence minister (1956–60), head of the Ministerrat (1964–73, 1976–89)…

less than 1 minute read

William (Allen) Egan - Political Career, Later life, Legacy

US governor, born in Valdez, Alaska, USA. Owner of the Valdez general store, he served in the territorial house of representatives (Democrat, 1941–3, 1945–56), sponsoring Alaskan statehood. President of the constitutional convention (1955–6), he drafted the state charter, lobbying for congressional approval afterwards. As first governor of Alaska (Democrat, 1959–67, 1971–5), he worked to harn…

less than 1 minute read

William (Andrew Murray) Boyd

Novelist, born in Accra, Ghana. His early years were spent in Ghana and Nigeria, and he then attended Gordonstoun school, Scotland. He taught English at Oxford until 1982. His novels, which often have an African setting, include A Good Man in Africa (1981, Whitbread; filmed 1994), Brazzaville Beach (1990, James Tait Black), The Blue Afternoon (1993), and The Destiny of Nathalie ‘X’ (1995). Later…

less than 1 minute read

William (Bridges) Adams

Engineer and inventor, born in Madeley, Staffordshire, C England, UK. He built some of the first steam rail-cars, and in 1847 patented the fish-plate which is universally used for jointing rails. People called William Adams include: …

less than 1 minute read

William (Charles Franklyn) Plomer

Writer, born in Pietersburg, N South Africa. He studied at Rugby, farmed and traded in South Africa, and with Laurens van der Post and Roy Campbell started the magazine, Voorslag (‘Whiplash’), which attacked racism in South Africa. The magazine was soon silenced, and he left the country. He lived in Greece and Japan before returning to England, where during World War 2 he served at the Admiralty…

less than 1 minute read

William (Clark) Styron - Early years, First novels, The Nat Turner controversy, Later works, Quotes, Bibliography

Novelist, born in Newport News, Virginia, USA. Educated at Duke University, he studied writing at the New School for Social Research in New York City. His first novel, Lie Down in Darkness, was published in 1951. Concerned with oppression in its myriad forms, he tackled racism in The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967, Pulitzer), and survivors of the Holocaust in Sophie's Choice (1979, filmed 1982). …

less than 1 minute read

William (Clarke) Quantrill - Early life, Marriage, Battle of Lawrence, Later life, Fictional portrayals of William Quantrill, Further reading

Guerrilla chief and soldier, born in Canal Dover, Ohio, USA. He lived on the frontier as a gambler and thief, then settled in the area. When the Civil War broke out, he formed a group of irregulars, known as Quantrill's Raiders, which included Jesse James, that robbed mail coaches, fought skirmishes, and attacked Union communities - the most notorious raid being the massacre in Lawrence, KS (1863)…

less than 1 minute read

William (Clouser) Boyd

Biochemist, born in Dearborn, Mississippi, USA. He studied at Harvard, and from 1948 taught at the Boston medical school as professor of immunochemistry. He examined racial groups by systematically classifying blood samples on a worldwide basis. By 1950, in his book Genetics and the Races of Man, he was able to present evidence for the existence of 13 human races, distinguishable by blood type. …

less than 1 minute read

William (Cuthbert) Faulkner - Life, Works, Awards, Later years, Discography, Listen to

Writer, born in New Albany, Mississippi, USA. He lived in nearby Oxford, MS nearly all his life, writing, farming, and hunting. The scanty education he had after the tenth grade included fitful attendance at the University of Mississippi after his World War 1 service with the Canadian Air Force. (The war ended while he was still in training.) A writer from adolescence, he published his first poems…

less than 1 minute read

William (Eden) Bolcom - Biography, Performance career, Works

Composer and pianist, born in Seattle, Washington, USA. After studies in the USA and Paris, he taught at the University of Michigan from 1973. For many years he also accompanied his wife, the soprano Joan Morris, in performances of American popular songs from all periods. His compositions favoured a wildly eclectic style that incorporated popular elements. His 12 New Etudes for Piano was awarded t…

less than 1 minute read

William (Edward) Boeing

Aircraft manufacturer, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He studied at Yale then entered his father's lumber business. In 1916 he formed the Pacific Aero Products Company, and organized what would later become United Aircraft and Transport (1927). In 1934 the federal government divided United Aircraft and Transport into Boeing Aircraft (a major manufacturer of military and civilian aircraft), United…

less than 1 minute read

William (Ernest) Castle - Films by Castle

Biologist, born in Ohio, USA. He studied at Harvard, became professor of geology there (1897) and later of genetics (1908–36). His research was in the field of heredity and natural selection. William Castle (April 24, 1914–May 31, 1977) born William Schloss, was an American film director, producer, and actor. This put him in a good stead to become a director, and he left for Hollyw…

less than 1 minute read

William (Francis) Giauque - Early life and career, Research career, Absolute zero, Personal life

Chemist, born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, SE Canada. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley, becoming professor there in 1934. In 1929 he took part in the discovery of the existence of isotopes of oxygen. Most of his work was devoted to studying matter at temperatures very close to absolute zero (-273·15°C), and he developed a method for the production of extremely low temperatures.…

less than 1 minute read

William (Frederick) Lemke

US representative, born in Albany, Minnesota, USA. Son of a homesteader, he practised law in Fargo, ND (1905–20) where he joined the populist Nonpartisan League to create institutions that would benefit small farmers. He turned to business after conservatives attacked the league and had a second political career in the US House of Representatives (Republican, North Dakota, 1933–59) where he spon…

less than 1 minute read

William (Frend) De Morgan

Pre-Raphaelite ceramic artist and novelist, born in London, UK, the son of Augustus De Morgan. He studied art at the Academy Schools, began as a designer of tiles and stained glass, but became interested in pottery, and in 1871 established a kiln in Chelsea. In 1905 he abandoned pottery and at the age of 65 began writing novels in a whimsical Dickensian manner, such as Joseph Vance (1906) and Some…

less than 1 minute read

William (Frishe) Dean

US soldier, born in Carlyle, Illinois, USA. He became one of the first heroes of the Korean War when he was captured while commanding the 24th Infantry Division in action against a heavy North Korean assault at Teajon (1950). He described his three-year ordeal in a Communist prisoner-of-war camp in the best-selling book, General Dean's Story (1954). He was the second son of Henry Dean, mana…

less than 1 minute read

William (George) Fargo

Pioneer expressman, born in Pompey, New York, USA. He worked as an agent for Livingstone, Wells, and Pomeroy's Express before joining with Henry Wells and Daniel Dunning to found Wells & Co, the first express company to operate W of Buffalo, NY. The two companies merged (1850) to form the American Express Co, of which Fargo was secretary and Wells president. The two men later founded Wells, Fargo …

less than 1 minute read

William (Henry) O'Connell - Sources

Catholic prelate, born in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA. Ordained in 1884, he was rector of the North American College in Rome (from 1895), Bishop of Portland, ME (1901–5), and a Vatican diplomat before becoming Archbishop of Boston (1907). He was made a cardinal in 1911. Known for his extensive building programme, he was a prominent presence and force in Greater Boston religious life throughout his…

less than 1 minute read

William (Holmes) McGuffey

Educator, born near Claysville, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at Washington and Jefferson College (1926) and became professor of languages at Miami University. His later posts include professor of philosophy at Woodward College, Cincinnati (1843–5) and professor of moral philosophy at the University of Virginia (1845–73). He compiled the famous McGuffey Readers, six elementary schoolbooks (1836

less than 1 minute read

William (Howard) Schuman - Life, Music, Works, Trivia

Composer and educator, born in New York City, New York, USA. He studied composition under Roy Harris at Juilliard and in 1943 won the first Pulitzer Prize in music (for ‘Secular Cantata, No 2’). While remaining prolific as a composer, he was head of the Juilliard School of Music (1945–62) and then of New York's Lincoln Center (until 1969). His works, for a variety of media and marked by an ecle…

less than 1 minute read

William (Jack) Baumol - Positions and Awards

Economist, born in New York City, New York, USA. Best known for his work distinguishing sales maximization from profit maximization in industry, he was also known for his clear transcription of business management and operations language into economic terms. He taught briefly at the London School of Economics (1947–9) before joining the faculty at Princeton University. Beginning in 1971 he held a…

less than 1 minute read

William (James) Mathias - List of works

Composer, born in Whitland, Pembrokeshire, SW Wales, UK. He studied in London, and became lecturer (1959–68) and professor (1970–88, then research professor) at University College, Bangor. His works include an opera, The Servants (1980), three symphonies, several concertos, and much chamber, choral, and church music. Among his choral works is an anthem written for the wedding ceremony of the Pri…

less than 1 minute read

William (Jefferson) Hague - Early life, schooling, and initial political career, Leadership of Conservative Party

British politician, born in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, N England, UK. He came to notice at an early age, when at 16 he received a standing ovation after addressing the 1977 Tory Party Conference. He studied at Oxford, where he became president of the Union, joined a firm of management consultants, and was elected an MP in 1989. He acted as parliamentary private secretary to Chancellor of the Exch…

less than 1 minute read

William (John Macquorn) Rankine - Early life, Thermodynamics, Other work

Engineer and scientist, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. In 1855 he was appointed to the chair of engineering at Glasgow. Elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1853, his works on the steam engine, machinery, shipbuilding, and applied mechanics became standard textbooks. He also did much for the new science of thermodynamics and the theories of elasticity and of waves. William John Mac…

less than 1 minute read

William (Joseph) Donovan - Early life, World War I, Between the Wars, World War II, OSS

US soldier and public official, born in Buffalo, New York, USA. A much-decorated World War 1 veteran, he was an assistant to the US attorney general (1925–9), and served as an unofficial observer for the government in Italy, Spain, and the Balkans (1935–41). Assigned to head the US Office of Strategic Services (1942–5), he had responsibility for espionage, counter-espionage, and clandestine mil…

less than 1 minute read

William (Jr) Warren

Actor, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The son of the actor-manager William Warren, he was a superb comedian who spent the largest part of his career performing classic and contemporary roles at the Boston Museum (1847–82). While there, he played nearly 600 different parts, including Sir Peter Teazle, Polonius, and Tony Lumpkin. William Robertson Warren (October 9, 1879-December 3…

less than 1 minute read

William (Kingdon) Clifford - Biography, Mathematician, Philosopher, Writings, External links and reference

Mathematician, born in Exeter, Devon, SW England, UK. He entered King's College London, at the age of 15, and then Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1863. In 1871 he became professor of applied mathematics at University College London. He wrote on projective and non-Euclidean geometry, and on the philosophy of science, and is especially known for his development of the theory of biquaternions. …

less than 1 minute read

William (Leonard) Langer - Personal life, Political offices

Historian, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. After taking his BA from Harvard (1915) and service with a poison-gas unit in World War 1, he continued his studies at Harvard (1922 PhD). After teaching at Clark University (1923–7), he spent the rest of his career on the Harvard faculty (1927–64), becoming one of the nation's leading authorities on European diplomatic history, military history, an…

less than 1 minute read

William (Levi) Hutcheson - External references, Further reading

Labour leader, born in Saginaw Co, Michigan, USA. A carpenter, he became president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (1915–52). Active within the American Federation of Labor (AFL), he was such a conservative that he opposed President Roosevelt's New Deal, and as a staunch proponent of craft unions, he fell out with his fellow AFL leaders over attempts to get together…

less than 1 minute read

William (Loughton) Smith - United States politicians, Other politicians, Other persons

US representative and ambassador, born in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Orphaned at age 12, he was sent to school in London where he became a lawyer in 1774. Returning in 1783, he became a congressman (Federalist, South Carolina, 1787–97), speculating in government scrip and supporting the federal bank. Ambassador to Portugal (1797–1801), he returned to his law practice and wrote political le…

less than 1 minute read

William (Matthew) Tilghman - Source

Lawman, born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, USA. An outstanding lawman in Kansas and Oklahoma (1877–1914), he also supervised the production of a motion picture, The Passing of the Oklahoma Outlaws. He came out of retirement during the Prohibition period and was killed in Cromwell, OK. The Political Graveyard …

less than 1 minute read

William (McPherson) Allen

Aircraft manufacturer, born in Lolo, Montana, USA. He studied at Harvard, became a lawyer, and worked for the legal counsel of Boeing Aircraft, joining the company's board of directors in 1931. During 1945–72 he served as president, chairman, and chief executive officer, guiding Boeing as it became the world's largest commercial jet transport producer. …

less than 1 minute read

William (Michael) Harnett

Painter, born in Clonakilty, Ireland. He went to the USA as a child, moved to New York (1871), was an engraver until 1874, and then devoted himself to still life painting. His realistic work, such as After the Hunt (1885), prompted many imitators who worked in the ‘trompe l'oeil’ tradition, a photographic-like depiction of objects. William Michael Harnett (August 10, 1848 – October 29, …

less than 1 minute read

William (Milfred) Batten

Businessman and stock market executive, born in Reedy, West Virginia, USA. He studied at Ohio State University (1932), and worked for the Kellogg Company before joining the J C Penney Co, where he rose from assistant store manager to become president, chief executive officer, and chairman (1958–74), gaining credit for a major growth phase in the company. He became president of the New York Stock …

less than 1 minute read

William (Morris) Davis

Geologist and geographer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at Harvard College, then spent three years (1870–3) as assistant at the National Observatory, Cordoba, Argentina. After working for his father, assisting Harvard's Nathaniel Shaler, and touring the world, he accepted an appointment in 1878 as Harvard instructor in physical geography and meteorology. He was extremely pro…

less than 1 minute read

William (Motter) Inge - Early life, Plays and films, Novels, Listen to

Playwright and novelist, born in Independence, Kansas, USA. He studied at Kansas University and George Peabody College for Teachers, became a schoolteacher (1937–49), and worked as a drama editor (1943–6) for the St Louis Star-Times. Outside the mainstream of American theatre, he is best remembered for Come Back, Little Sheba (1950), Picnic (1953, Pulitzer), Bus Stop (1955), and The Dark at the …

less than 1 minute read

William (Oliver) Everson - Beginnings, As a poet, thinker and man, Selected Bibliography, Poetry, Autobiography and Interviews, Literary Criticism

Poet, born in Sacramento, California, USA. He studied at Fresno State, California (1931, 1934–5), and was a conscientious objector during World War 2. He became a Dominican lay brother (1951–71), left the order, and settled in Davenport, CA. Associated with the Beat poets, he wrote erotic and mystical poetry. William Everson (September 10, 1912 – June 3, 1994), also known as Brother Ant…

less than 1 minute read

William (Peters) Hepburn

US representative, born in Wellsville, Ohio, USA. A lawyer in Marshalltown, IA (1855–61) and Republican party activist, he joined the Union Army in 1861, becoming a lieutenant-colonel. After the war, he returned to his law practice in Iowa and was elected to Congress (1881–7) where he championed military pensions. Re-elected (1893–1909) he set a rate law for the railroads, and co-sponsored the …

less than 1 minute read

William (Sowden) Sims

US naval officer, born in Port Hope, Ontario, SE Canada. He trained at the US Naval Academy, served in China during international action against the Boxer rebellion (1900), and was a naval attaché in Paris and St Petersburg. In World War 1 he was president of the US Naval War College (1914–17), and made a distinguished contribution to Anglo-American action against the U-boat campaign as commande…

less than 1 minute read

William (Stewart) Halsted

Surgeon and pioneer of scientific surgery, born in New York City, USA. He studied at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, and in Vienna. Professor at Johns Hopkins University from 1886, he established there the first surgical school in the USA. He developed a cocaine injection for local anaesthesia, became an addict in the process, was cured, then returned to Johns Hopkins. He de…

less than 1 minute read

William (Thomas) Piper - Sources

Aircraft manufacturer, born in Knapps Creek, New York, USA. He studied at Harvard, then worked in construction and for his family's Pennsylvania oil business. In 1931 he took over a bankrupt aircraft company and began producing small affordable planes, ‘Cubs’, for ordinary people. During his lifetime, the Piper Aircraft Corporation produced more aircraft than any other company. …

less than 1 minute read

William (UK) Allen

Clergyman, born in Rossall, Lancashire, NW England, UK. He became principal of St Mary's Hall, Oxford, but after the accession of Queen Elizabeth in 1558 he went into exile in Flanders (1561) rather than take the Oath of Supremacy. In 1568 he founded the English college at Douai to train missionary priests for the reconversion of England to Catholicism, and supervised the Reims–Douai translation …

less than 1 minute read

William (USA) Allen

US representative and governor, born in Edenton, North Carolina, USA. He moved to Ohio (1819) and was admitted to the bar (1827). He served in the US House of Representatives (Democrat, Ohio, 1833–5) and in the US Senate (Democrat, Ohio, 1837–49). An ardent expansionist, he was chairman of the committee on foreign relations, and acted as a spokesperson for President James Polk during the deliber…

less than 1 minute read

William (Vere) Cruess - Early years, Research information, Institute of Food Technologists service and awards, Other awards and honors

Food scientist, born near San Miguel, California, USA. Born to an impoverished farm family, he worked his way through the University of California, Berkeley, and later taught there (1911–54). He chaired the Division of Fruit Products (1938–48), developing the technology for processing fruit culls, formerly considered waste, and is credited with inventing the canned fruit cocktail. William…

less than 1 minute read

William (Ward) Burrows - Congressional Gold Medal citation

American marine officer, born in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. A Revolutionary War veteran, he practised law in Philadelphia during the 1790s, returning to service in 1798 when President Adams named him first commandant of the newly formed Marine Corps. After overseeing the early development of the service, he retired in 1804. Lieutenant William Ward Burrows (6 October 1785 – 5 Septemb…

less than 1 minute read

William (Wyatt) Bibb - Sources

US representative, senator, and governor, born in Amelia Co, Georgia, USA. Trained at the University of Pennsylvania, he became a doctor in Georgia (1801–13) and a Democratic Party state politician before going to Congress (1805–13). He left to become a senator (1813–16), but resigned because of public opposition to annual salaries for federal representatives. Appointed governor of the Territor…

less than 1 minute read

William A(lfred) Fowler

Astrophysicist, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at Ohio State University and the California Institute of Technology. He established a research group working on the application of nuclear physics to all aspects of astronomy, and is one of the founders of the theory of nucleosynthesis, developed in collaboration with Sir Fred Hoyle and others. He shared the Nobel Prize for Physics …

less than 1 minute read

William A(rchibald) Dunning - Historical influence, Books by Dunning

Historian and educator, born in Plainfield, New Jersey, USA. He studied and taught at Columbia University, New York City, until his death. His major work was a three-volume History of Political Theories (1916), but his chief significance lies in his direction of doctoral research on US history. In particular the Dunning school produced detailed studies of individual states under Reconstruction whi…

less than 1 minute read

William Abbott Oldfather - Works

Classicist, born in Rezaieh, Iran (formerly, Urumiah, Persia), to American Presbyterian missionaries. His work was strongly influenced by the classicists at the University of Munich, where he took his PhD (1908). He founded and expanded the classics library at the University of Illinois, where he taught (1909–45), and he helped turn the university into a major institution. Active in his professio…

less than 1 minute read

William Aberhart - Early life, Political career, Legacy

Canadian politician, born in Huron Co, Ontario, SE Canada. He studied at Queen's University, Kingston, and in 1915 became principal of Crescent Heights School, Calgary, where he remained until 1935. He then became a member of the Alberta legislature, formed his own Social Credit Party, and became provincial premier (1935–43). He had founded the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute in 1918, and his e…

less than 1 minute read

William Abraham

Trade unionist and politician, born in Cwmavon, Torfaen, SE Wales, UK. A leading figure in the miners' union in South Wales, he was a strong advocate of sliding-scale agreements whereby wages were regulated by the selling price of coal, and also a believer in compromise with the coal owners. He was elected MP for the Rhondda (1885–1918) and for the West Rhondda division (1918–20), and devoted hi…

less than 1 minute read

William Adam

Architect, born near Kirkcaldy, Fife, E Scotland, UK, the father of architects John (1721–92), James (1732–94), and Robert Adam. His most notable work is Hopetoun House (1721), and he also collaborated with Sir John Vanbrugh on Floors Castle (1721). He is buried in Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh in a mausoleum designed by his son John. William Adam (October 30, 1689 – June 24, 1748) w…

less than 1 minute read

William Adams Delano

Architect, born in New York City, New York, USA. His New York partnership with Chester Holmes Aldrich (1903–41) was noted for designing private estates for wealthy clients. In 1953 he received the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. William Adams Delano (January 21, 1874 – January 12, 1960) was a prominent American architect, a partner with Chester Holmes Aldrich (Providence, Rh…

less than 1 minute read

William Addison Dwiggins - Typefaces, Bibliography, Books illustrated or designed

Book designer, born in Martinsville, Ohio, USA. An associate of Frederic Goudy, he bought his own press in 1910 and produced a seriocomic magazine, The Fabulist (1915–21). He co-wrote an influential pamphlet decrying American books as poorly made. As a designer, especially for Alfred A Knopf, he produced some of the finest books of his time, and his analysis of typefaces in Layout in Advertising …

less than 1 minute read

William Allen White - Trivia

Journalist and writer, born in Emporia, Kansas, USA. He left college to become business manager of the El Dorado Republican and, later, an editorial writer for the Kansas City Star. In 1895, borrowing $3000, he bought the small rural Emporia Gazette, which he published and edited for the rest of his life, besides contributing articles and short stories to many other publications. His 1896 editoria…

less than 1 minute read

William Allingham

Poet, born in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, N Ireland. In 1874 he succeeded James Froude as editor of Fraser's Magazine. His works include Day and Night Songs (1854), illustrated by Rossetti and Millais, and Irish Songs and Poems (1887). William Allingham (March 19, 1824 or 1828 - November 18, 1889) was an Irish man of letters and poet. He was born at Ballyshannon, Donegal, and was …

less than 1 minute read

William Ames - Early life and education, Ministry in Holland, Influence, Sources

Puritan theologian, born in Ipswich, Suffolk, E England, UK. He wrote mostly in Latin, and spent the later half of his life in Holland, where he became a professor of theology. He is celebrated for his exposition of Calvinist doctrine. William Ames, (Latin: Guilielmus Amesius) (1576 – November 14, 1633) was an English Protestant divine, philosopher, and controversialist. He spent much tim…

less than 1 minute read

William Andrews Clark - Early life, Business career, Political career, Legacy, Trivia

Mining operator and US senator, born in Fayette Co, Pennsylvania, USA. The family moved to Iowa in the 1850s and he began to teach school in Missouri, until the Civil War drove him to Colorado to mine gold quartz. By 1863 he was in Montana panning for gold, which he used as capital to open a store in Virginia City. In 1867 he got the mail concession between Missoula, MT and Walla Walla, WA through…

less than 1 minute read

William Archibald Spooner - Quotations, Trivia

Anglican clergyman and educationist, dean (1876–89) and warden (1903–24) of New College, Oxford. As an albino he suffered all his life from weak eyesight, but surmounted his disabilities with heroism, and earned a reputation for kindness. His name is associated with a nervous tendency to transpose initial letters or half-syllables in speech, the spoonerism (eg ‘a half-warmed fish’ for ‘a half…

less than 1 minute read

William Armstrong

‘Kinmont Willie’ of the Border ballad of that name, a Dumfriesshire moss-trooper. He was rescued in 1596 by Walter Scott, 1st Lord Scott of Buccleuch (1565–1611), from Carlisle Castle. …

less than 1 minute read

William Baffin

Navigator, probably born in London, UK. From 1612 to 1616 he was pilot on several expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage. The most significant of these were the voyages under the command of Robert Bylot in the Discovery, during which they visited Hudson Strait (1615), and were the first Europeans to find Baffin Bay (1615) and Lancaster, Smith, and Jones Sounds (1616). He was possibly the f…

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William Bainbridge

Naval officer, born in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He became a captain (1800) after serving in the undeclared naval war with France (1798–1800). In 1803 his ship the USS Philadelphia ran aground and was captured by the Tripolitans, and he suggested the raid that later burned the ship. Following his release in 1805 he became the commandant of the Charlestown, MA navy yard, and as captain of the US…

less than 1 minute read

William Balfour Baikie

Explorer, naturalist, and linguist, born in Kirkwall, Orkney Is, NE Scotland, UK. He studied medicine at Edinburgh, and in 1848 became a naval surgeon. On the Niger expedition of 1854, he succeeded through the captain's death to the command of the Pleiad, and penetrated 400 km/250 mi farther than any previous traveller. On a second expedition in 1857 he founded a settlement at Lukoja. Within fiv…

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William Barclay Masterson

Law enforcer and sports journalist, born in Iroquois Co, Illinois, USA. Moving to Kansas with his family at age 17, he engaged in the activities of frontier youths, such as hunting buffalo, fighting the Indians, and serving as an army scout, until in 1876 he became a deputy marshal at Dodge City, KS. For the next quarter century he was one of the most famous of the frontier law enforcers, from Dea…

less than 1 minute read

William Barnes - Life

Pastoral poet, born in Sturminster Newton, Dorset, S England, UK. He taught in a school at Dorchester, then went to Cambridge and took holy orders. He became curate of Whitcombe in 1847, and rector of Winterborne Came, Dorset, in 1862. His three volumes of poetry were collected in 1879 as Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect. He also wrote several philological works. William Barnes (22…

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William Barstow Strong - Other uses of the name William Barstow Strong

Railroad official, born in Brownington, Vermont, USA. He studied at Bell's Business College in Chicago (1855), and began working for the Milwaukee & St Paul Railroad as a station agent. During 1867–77 he worked for several railroads with increasing responsibility until he became vice-president of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, in charge of its expansion programme. During his tenure (pr…

less than 1 minute read

William Bartram - Bibliography

Botanist, born in Kingsessing, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. As a youth he showed a talent for drawing specimens collected by his father, John Bartram, America's first botanist, but he first worked as a merchant and trader (1757–61). In 1765 he accompanied his father on an expedition to Florida, and remained in the American south, drawing natural flora, gathering botanical specimens, becoming …

less than 1 minute read

William Bateson - Biography

Geneticist, born in Whitby, North Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Rugby School and Cambridge, became Britain's first professor of genetics at Cambridge (1908–10) and director of the new John Innes Horticultural Institution there (1910–26), as well as professor of physiology at the Royal Institution (1912–26). He produced the first translation of the heredity studies of Gregor Mendel (19…

less than 1 minute read

William Baziotes

Painter, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at the National Academy of Design in New York City (1933–6). His early work was influenced by Picasso, but in the 1940s he was one of a number of American painters whose art developed from European Surrealism. His dream-like images often contain suggestions of animal forms. William Baziotes (1912 – 1963) was an American painter i…

less than 1 minute read

William Beaumont

Physician, born in Lebanon, Connecticut, USA. He learned medicine as an apprentice to a doctor in Vermont, then became an army surgeon (1812–15, 1820–40). In 1822 he treated Alexis St Martin, a Canadian victim of a gunshot wound to the stomach. Because the wound never completely closed up, he was able to remove and observe gastric juices and the action of the digestive system over a period of ye…

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William Becknell

Fur trader and explorer, born in Amherst Co, Virginia, USA. He moved to Missouri and became the first American trader to do business in Santa Fe, NM (1821), and pioneered the Cimarron cut-off and the Santa Fe Trail (1822). He moved to Texas, fought in the Texas Revolution (1836), and later joined the Texas Rangers. William Becknell (1787 or 1788-1856) Amherst County, Virginia U.S. was a fre…

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William Bell Dinsmoor

Classical archaeologist, born in Windham, New Hampshire, USA. He studied at Harvard (1906), and was then student, excavator, and restorer at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. He taught at Columbia University (1919–63), first as a professor of architecture, then archaeology. During World War 2 he was chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Treasures in War Areas.…

less than 1 minute read

William Bell Riley

Protestant evangelist, born in Greene Co, Indiana, USA. The son of a pro-slavery Democrat who moved S of Ohio R at the outbreak of the Civil War, he grew up on farms in Kentucky, graduated from Hanover College (Indiana) in 1885, and launched a career as a Baptist preacher in Chicago (1893). In 1897–1942 he was pastor of the First Baptist Church, Minneapolis. A leader of the fundamentalist movemen…

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William Benjamin Carpenter - Biography, Adaptive Unconscious

Biologist, born in Exeter, Devon, SW England, UK, the brother of Mary Carpenter. He studied medicine at Bristol, London, and Edinburgh, and in 1844 was appointed professor of physiology at the Royal Institution, London, and professor of forensic medicine at University College (1849). He took part in a deep sea exploration expedition (1868–71), and did valuable research on the Foraminifera (a type…

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William Bergsma - Selected works

Composer, born in Oakland, California, USA. After studies at the Eastman School of Music, he composed actively and taught at Juilliard and the University of Washington. His music was neither conservative nor radical, but notable for its lyricism. Bergsma's music is noted for its lyrical, contrapuntal qualities. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bergsma rejected serialism in favor of a more…

less than 1 minute read

William Bernbach

Advertising executive, born in New York City, New York, USA. He was variously president, chairman, and chief executive officer of his own New York advertising agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach (1949–82). A copywriter credited with introducing a low-keyed, often humorous soft sell to advertising (Avis's ‘We Try Harder’), he heralded the rise of creative New York agencies in the 1960s and 1970s. …

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William Billings - The music, Billings as writer, Reception, Books

Composer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He studied music on his own and became one of the earliest professional musicians in the Colonies. After publishing his first collection of church music, the New England Psalm Singer (1770), he pursued in Boston a career of composing, reforming church music, and starting musical ensembles. He founded the continent's first singing class in Stoughton, MA…

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William Blackwood

Publisher, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He established himself as a bookseller in Edinburgh in 1804, and in 1817 started Blackwood's Magazine. His sons Alexander Blackwood (1806–45) and Robert Blackwood (1808–52) took over the firm between 1834 and 1852, followed by John Blackwood (1818–79), who published all but one of George Eliot's novels. William Blackwood (November 20, 1776 -…

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William Blake - Early life, Later life and career, Bibliography

Poet, painter, engraver, and mystic, born in London, UK. After studying at the Royal Academy School he began to produce watercolour figure subjects and to engrave illustrations for magazines. His first book of poems, Poetical Sketches (1783), was followed by Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794), which contain some of his best-known lines (such as ‘Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

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William Bligh - Early life, Naval career, The voyage of the Bounty, After the Bounty

British Naval officer, born in Plymouth, Devon, SW England, UK. He went to sea at the age of 15, sailed under Captain Cook on his third world voyage, and in 1787 was chosen by Sir Joseph Banks to command HMS Bounty on a voyage to Tahiti to collect plants of the bread-fruit tree. During a six-month stay on the island the men became demoralized, and on 28 April 1789 the first mate, Fletcher Christia…

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William Blount - Early Life and Revolutionary War, Blount's political offices, U.S. Senate, Legacy

US governor and senator, born near Windsor, North Carolina, USA. After fighting in the American Revolution, he served in the North Carolina legislature and then represented North Carolina in the Continental Congress (1782–7). Appointed governor of Tennessee territory in 1790, he became one of the new state of Tennessee's first US senators (1796–7). He was expelled from office when he became impl…

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William Booth - Biography, Published works

Religous leader, founder and general of the Salvation Army, born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, C England, UK. In 1844 he was converted and became a Methodist New Connexion minister on Tyneside. He began ‘The Christian Mission’ in London's East End (1865), which in 1878 developed into the Salvation Army. The Army spread throughout the world, with a whole new network of social and regenerative a…

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William Bowie

Geodesist, born in Annapolis, Maryland, USA. As a member of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey (1895–1936), he performed triangulation, levelling, and pendulum measurements in the continental USA, Alaska, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. His research on the influence of gravity on earth topography led to his seminal book, Isostasy, which advanced the concept that the earth's crust is in gravitatio…

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William Bowyer

Printer and Classical scholar. He studied at Cambridge, and in 1722 went into partnership with his father, William Bowyer (1663–1737). In 1767 he was nominated printer to the Houses of Parliament. His chief production was a Greek New Testament. William Bowyer (December 19, 1699–November 13, 1777), was an English printer. Born in London, he was educated at St John's College, C…

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William Boyce

Composer and organist, born in London, England, UK. In 1736 he was appointed composer to the Chapel Royal and, in 1758, organist. He held a high rank as a composer of choral and orchestral music, and his works include the song ‘Hearts of Oak’, the serenata of Solomon (1743), and a valuable collection of Cathedral Music (1760). Born in London, Boyce was a choirboy at St Paul's Cathedral be…

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William Bradford

Printer, born in Leicester, England, UK. Emigrating to Pennsylvania in 1685, he set up the first colonial printing press outside New England and the first colonial paper mill. Moving to New York, he founded that colony's first newspaper, the New-York Gazette in 1725. William Bradford could refer to: …

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William Bradford

Pilgrim leader, born in Austerfield, South Yorkshire, N England, UK. From a yeoman family, he was not formally educated but began to read the Bible at age 12 and joined a separatist congregation (which met at William Brewster's house). He emigrated to Holland (1609–20) before coming to America on the Mayflower. He signed the Mayflower Compact, helped to select the location of the Plymouth colony,…

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William Buckley

Convict, born near Macclesfield, Cheshire, NWC England, UK. He was a bricklayer, then joined the army, but was transported to Australia in 1802 for a plot to shoot the Duke of Kent. He escaped the following year from a new convict settlement at Port Phillip, near Melbourne, was adopted by an Aboriginal tribe, and lived with them for 32 years before being found by an expedition. He was pardoned, an…

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William Burke

Murderer, born in Orrery, Ireland. With his partner, William Hare (c.1790–c.1860), born in Londonderry, he carried out a series of infamous murders in Edinburgh in the 1820s, with the aim of supplying dissection subjects to Dr Robert Knox, the anatomist. Hare, the more villainous of the two, turned king's evidence, and died a beggar in London in the 1860s; Burke was hanged, to the general satisfa…

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William Burnham Woods

Judge, born in Newark, Ohio, USA. He served the Union Army and fought in several major Civil War battles, earning the rank of brigadier-general. He was appointed a US circuit judge for Georgia (1869–80) until President Hayes named him to the US Supreme Court (1881–7). William Burnham Woods (August 3, 1824 – May 14, 1887) was an American jurist, politician, and soldier. Woods…

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William Burnside

Mathematician, born in London, UK. He entered St John's College, Cambridge, in 1871, became a fellow of Pembroke until 1886, and was professor of mathematics at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich (1885–1919). He worked in mathematical physics, complex function theory, differential geometry, and probability theory, but his lasting work was in group theory. His Theory of Groups (1897) was the first…

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William Butterfield - Buildings

Architect, born in London, UK. Associated with the Oxford Movement, he was a leading exponent of the Gothic Revival. His designs include Keble College, Oxford; St Augustine's College, Canterbury; the chapel and quadrangle of Rugby School; All Saints', Margaret Street, London; and St Albans, Holborn. William Butterfield (7 September 1814 – 23 February 1900), born in London, architect of th…

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William Byrd - Effects of the Reformation on his career

Composer, probably born in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. His early life is obscure, but it is likely that he was one of the Children of the Chapel Royal, under Tallis. He was organist of Lincoln Cathedral until 1572, when he was made joint organist with Tallis of the Chapel Royal. In 1575 Byrd and Tallis were given an exclusive licence for the printing and sale of music. A firm Catholic, …

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William Byrd - Effects of the Reformation on his career

Colonial official and writer, born in present-day Westover, Virginia, USA. After education in England (1684–92), he became a member of the House of Burgesses and then the Council of State (1709). He resisted Governor Alexander Spotswood's effort to take away the Council's position as the supreme court in Virginia. From 1704 he managed the vast properties and immense fortune inherited from his fat…

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William Camden - Early years, Britannia, Annales, Final years

Antiquarian and historian, born in London, UK. He studied at Oxford, and became second master of Westminster School (1575), then headmaster (1593–7). A dedicated scholar, he compiled a pioneering topographical survey of the British Isles in Latin, Britannia (1586, English trans, 1610). The Camden Society (founded 1838), which promoted historical publications, was named after him. William C…

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William Carey - Childhood and early adulthood, Founding of the Baptist Missionary Society, Early Indian period, Late Indian period

Missionary and orientalist, born in Paulerspury, Northamptonshire, C England, UK. He joined the Baptists in 1783, and three years later became a minister. In 1793 he and John Thomas were chosen as the first Baptist missionaries to India, where he founded the Serampur mission (1799). From 1801 to 1830 he was Oriental professor at Fort William College, Kolkata (Calcutta). William Carey (Augus…

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William Carlos Williams - Life, Career, Poetry, Opposition to War and Capitalism, Bibliography

Poet, writer, and physician, born in Rutherford, New Jersey, USA. He studied in Switzerland and Paris (1897–9), the University of Pennsylvania's medical school (1906 MD), and did postgraduate work in paediatrics in Leipzig (1909–10). Returning to Rutherford, he successfully combined his career in medicine with that of poet (1910–51). He was associated with the Imagists early on, but preferred t…

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William Caslon

Type-founder, born in Cradley, Worcestershire, WC England, UK. He set up in business as a gun engraver and toolmaker in London in 1716, but soon began cutting type for printers. His ‘old face’ Caslon types were extensively used in Europe and the USA until the end of the 18th-c, and were later revived. William Caslon, also known as William Caslon I (1692–1766) was an English gunsmith and…

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William Caxton - Biography, Caxton and the English language

The first English printer, born possibly in Tenterden, in the Weald of Kent, SE England, UK. He was trained in London as a cloth merchant, and lived in Bruges (1441–70). In Cologne he probably learned the art of printing (1471–2), and soon after printed the first book in English, The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye (1475). About the end of 1476 he set up his wooden press at Westminster, and p…

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William Chappell

British antiquary, a member of a great London music publishing house. His Collection of National English Airs (2 vols, 1838–40) grew into Popular Music of the Olden Time (2 vols, 1855–9). He took a principal part in the foundation of the Musical Antiquarian Society (1840), the Percy Society, and the Ballad Society (1868). William Chappell (20 November 1809 - 20 August 1888) was an English…

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William Charles Macready - Publications

Actor, born in London, UK. He made his debut at Birmingham in 1810, and in 1816 appeared at Covent Garden, developing his restrained acting techniques which later became a major influence on modern stagecraft. He re-established some of the text of Shakespeare in its original form, purging it of the adaptations introduced by Colley Cibber and others. His theories on the production of drama opened t…

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William Chester Minor - Early life and work, Illness and incarceration, Later life and OED contributions, Further reading

Murderer and lexicographer, born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Descended from a well-established New England family, he graduated from the Yale Medical School, enlisted as assistant army surgeon with the rank of captain in the Union Army, and fought at the Battle of the Wilderness (1864) during the American Civil War. In 1871 he moved to London, where in a fit of paranoid insanity he shot dead George…

1 minute read

William Claiborne - External links and Sources

Colonist and agitator, born in Crayford Parish, Kent County, SE England, UK. In 1620 he was appointed surveyor for Virginia and sailed from England with Sir Francis Wyatt, the newly appointed governor of Virginia, arriving in Chesapeake Bay (1621) en route to Jamestown. He feuded with the Lords of Baltimore over the right to an island settlement on Chesapeake Bay where he built a post to conduct f…

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William Clark - Early life, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Indian affairs and war, Legacy

US soldier and explorer, born in Caroline Co, Virginia, USA. The brother of George Rogers Clark, he entered the US Army (1789) and fought under General Anthony Wayne. In 1796 he resigned from the army and managed his family's estate. He shared command with Meriwether Lewis of the successful Lewis and Clark expedition (1804–6), producing fine maps and also illustrations of the animals of the terri…

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William Cobbett - Childhood, Early life (1783-1791), France and the United States (1792-1800)

Journalist and social reformer, born in Farnham, Surrey, SE England, UK. The son of a farmer, he moved on impulse to London (1783), spent a year reading widely, and joined the army, serving in New Brunswick (1785–91). In 1792 he married and went to the USA, where he wrote fierce pieces against democratic government under the name ‘Peter Porcupine’. Returning to England in 1800, he was welcomed …

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William Coddington - Sources

Colonist, born in Boston, Lincolnshire, EC England, UK. He went to Massachusetts in 1630. He protested against the trial of Anne Hutchinson in 1637 and moved to Aquidneck, RI, where he later became governor. In 1639 he founded Newport, RI. William Coddington (1601 – November 1, 1678) was the first governor of Rhode Island. Coddington was born in Boston, Lincolnshire, England. …

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William Combe - Biography

Writer and adventurer, born in Bristol, SW England, UK. He inherited a fortune in 1762, led the life of an adventurer, and spent much time in debtors' jails. He studied at Oxford, and wrote metrical satires such as The Diaboliad (1776), but made his name with his three verse satires on popular travel-books, introducing the character of Dr Syntax. William Combe (1741 – 19 June 1823) was a …

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William Congreve - Biography, Famous Lines from The Mourning Bride (1697), Bibliography, Reference

Playwright and poet, born in Bardsey, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and became a lawyer in London, but then took up a career in literature. His first comedy, The Old Bachelor, was produced under Dryden's auspices in 1693, and was highly successful, as were The Double Dealer (1693), Love for Love (1695), and The Way of the World (1700). His one tragedy, The M…

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William Cooper

Novelist, born in Crewe, Cheshire, C England, UK. He studied at Cambridge. In the 1930s he published four novels under his own name, but it was Scenes from Provincial Life (1950) that established his reputation and was an influence on the ‘Angry Young Men’ of the 1950s. Three further novels charting the adventures of the same anti-hero followed: Scenes from Married Life (1961), Scenes from Metro…

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William Cowper - Life of Cowper

Surgeon and anatomist, born in Petersfield, Hampshire, S England, UK. He settled as a surgeon in London, wrote The Anatomy of Human Bodies (1698), and discovered Cowper's glands (glands in the male pelvis that produce fluid which is added to semen at ejaculation). He was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England. But as James Croft, who in 1825 first published the poems Cowper addressed t…

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William Cowper - Life of Cowper

Poet, born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. He studied at Westminster School, and was called to the bar in 1754. He suffered frequently from mental instability, and attempted suicide several times. While living in Olney, he collaborated with the clergyman John Newton to write the Olney Hymns (1779). His ballad of John Gilpin (1783) was highly successful, as was his long poem about ru…

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William Cox

Pioneer Australian road builder, born in Wimbourne Minster, Dorset, S England, UK. He arrived in Australia in 1800 as a lieutenant in the New South Wales Corps, and purchased land which he farmed. In 1814 Governor Lachlan Macquarie made him superintendent of works for a new road over the Blue Mountains, which he completed in just six months. He then returned to farming, and established a flock of …

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William Cranch

Jurist, born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, USA. The nephew of John Adams and fellow student of John Quincy Adams, he served 54 years on the US Circuit Court of the District of Columbia, the last 50 years (1805–55) as its chief justice. He was also reporter to the US Supreme Court (1802–17), and his clear and accurate reports remain important for understanding many of Chief Justice John Marshall's …

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William Cranch Bond - Upbringing, Amateur Astronomer, Trip to Europe, Harvard Observatory, Discoveries, Legacy

Instrument-maker and astronomer, born in Portland, Maine, USA. The first director of the Harvard College Observatory (1839–59), he equipped it from his Dorchester-parlour observatory. A donation provided for a 15-inch telescope, for which he designed the dome and chair. A pioneer in celestial photography, he discovered the seventh satellite of Saturn with his son George Bond. William Cranc…

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William Crockford

Founder of a famous gaming club in London (1827), born in London, England, UK. He was previously a fishmonger, but his successes at gambling led to a change in his fortunes. He is reputed to have won over £1 million at the game of hazard. After an amazing series of wins and successes he made the biggest gamble of his life: In 1827 he bought and razed four homes and built in their place the…

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William Croft

Organist and composer, born in Nether Ettington, Warwickshire, C England, UK. In 1700 he became a chorister in the Chapel Royal, and in 1707 sole organist. In 1708 he succeeded his teacher, John Blow, as organist of Westminster Abbey and choirmaster of the Chapel Royal. Thirty of his anthems for state ceremonies were printed in 1724. William Croft (December 30 (baptism), 1678 - August 14, 1…

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William Cullen

Physician, born in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, WC Scotland, UK. He studied at Edinburgh, and in 1740 set up as a physician in Glasgow, where he was appointed to the chair of medicine (1751). In 1755 he moved to Edinburgh, occupying a series of chairs in chemistry and medicine. He is largely responsible for the recognition of the important part played by the nervous system in health and disease. …

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William Cullen Bryant

Poet and editor, born in Cummington, Massachusetts, USA. He attended Williams College (1810–11), studied law (1811–15), and practised in Great Barrington, MA (1816–25), before settling in New York City and Long Island (1843). An editor of the Evening Post (1829–78), he was an opponent of slavery and helped to establish the new Republican Party. During his long years as both a lawyer and editor…

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William Cushing - His work with state and federal constitutions, Washington's first appointee

Judge, born in Scituate, Massachusetts, USA. Originally a judge for the English crown, he supported the American Revolution and became a prominent judge in Massachusetts (1777–89). He was the first associate justice appointed by President George Washington to the US Supreme Court (1790–1810). William Cushing (March 1, 1732–September 13, 1810) was an early associate justice of the United…

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William D(avid) Coolidge - Patents

Physical chemist, born in Hudson, Massachusetts, USA. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1896) and received his PhD at Leipzig (1899). He Joined General Electric (1905) as a research physical chemist, then succeeded Willis Whitney as director of research (1932), and became vice-president (1940). In 1910 he invented a process for the production of carbon-free tungsten filament…

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William Dampier - Biography, First circumnavigation, The Roebuck expedition, Second circumnavigation, Third circumnavigation, Influence, Works, Further reading

Navigator and buccaneer, born in East Coker, Somerset, SW England, UK. He journeyed to Newfoundland and the West Indies, then joined a band of buccaneers along the Pacific coast of South America (1679). In 1683 he sailed across the Pacific, visiting the Philippines, China, and Australia. On his return to England, he published his New Voyage round the World (1697). He then led a voyage of discovery…

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William Dean Howells - Selected works, Additional Works

Writer and critic, born in Martin's Ferry, Ohio, USA. A typesetter, then a reporter, his early poetry was published in the Atlantic Monthly, which he later edited (1871–81). His biography of Lincoln (1860) procured for him the post of US consul in Venice (1861–5). He became the king of critics in America, with his Easy Chair column for Harper's (1900–20). A great influence on Mark Twain and Hen…

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William Diehl - Bibliography

Novelist, born in Georgia, USA. After service in the US Airforce in World War 2, he worked as a journalist, magazine editor, and freelance photographer. A latecomer to fiction writing, he began by chance while serving as a juror. Bored with the trial proceedings, he jotted down a storyline in a notepad. The resulting book, published in 1978 as Sharky's Machine, became a best-seller and was later m…

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William Douglas-Home - Plays

Playwright, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK, the brother of Sir Alec Douglas-Home. He studied at Oxford and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, appeared on the West End stage, and published his first play in 1937. He became known for his comedies of upper middle-class and political life, notably The Chiltern Hundreds (1947), The Reluctant Debutante (1955), The Reluctant Peer (1964), Lloyd George…

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William Drummond (of Hawthornden)

Poet, born at Hawthornden, near Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He studied law at Bourges and Paris, then became laird of Hawthornden, where he devoted his life to poetry, writing many for Mary Cunningham of Barns, who died on the eve of their marriage (1615), and mechanical experiments. He was the first Scottish poet to write in a form of English not from Scotland. His chief collection, Poems, appear…

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William Dunbar - Life, Work and Influence, First printed obscenity, "Back to Dunbar"

Planter and scientist, born near Elgin, Moray, NE Scotland, UK. He moved to West Florida in 1773, and built a plantation near Natchez, MI. A correspondent of Thomas Jefferson, and the first surveyor-general of his area, he undertook explorations of the Quachita and Red R areas in present-day Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana (1804–5). William Dunbar (c. This is assumed from a satirical refere…

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William Dunbar - Life, Work and Influence, First printed obscenity, "Back to Dunbar"

Poet, probably born in East Lothian, E Scotland, UK. He studied at St Andrews, is believed to have become a Franciscan novice, and travelled widely, before leaving the order and entering the diplomatic service. He was a courtier of James IV, who gave him a pension in 1500. He is the best known of the makaris (Scottish ‘maker’ or ‘poet’), a group of Scottish courtly poets who flourished c.1425

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William Dunlap

Painter, playwright, and theatre manager, born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, USA. He began as a painter and went to London (1748) to study with Benjamin West, but on his return (c.1787) he took up writing Gothic romances, such as The Father (1789) and Fountainville Abbey (1795). He became attracted to the theatre, and in the ensuing decades wrote or adapted some 56 plays (about half of which were tr…

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William Dwight Whitney - Works

Philologist and lexicographer, born in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. He studied at Williams College (1845), worked briefly as a bank clerk, then studied languages at the University of Breslau (1861 PhD). He taught Sanskrit at Yale and was appointed head of both that department and the modern language department. He translated the Vedas (the ancient Hindu sacred scriptures), wrote a Sanskrit gra…

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William Dyce - King Arthur

Historical and religious painter, born in Aberdeen, NE Scotland, UK. In 1825 he went to Rome, where he developed sympathies with the Nazarenes, and transmitted these to the Pre-Raphaelites. From 1844 he was professor of fine arts at King's College, London. He executed frescoes in several London locations, including the new House of Lords. Aberdeen's Dyce airport is named after him. William …

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William E(dgar) Borah - Early life and career, Senator, Personality and Views, 1936 Presidential Campaign, Legacy

US senator, born in Fairfield, Illinois, USA. Following a celebrated legal career in Boise, Idaho, he was elected to the US Senate (Republican, Idaho, 1907–40). Although a supporter of many progressive causes, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1924–33) he opposed US entry into the League of Nations after World War 1. He remained an outspoken isolationist until his death, but…

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William Edmonstoune Aytoun

Poet and humorist, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He studied at Edinburgh University, and was called to the Scottish bar in 1840. In 1836 he began a lifelong connection with Blackwood's Magazine, to which he contributed parodies and burlesque reviews. In 1845 he was appointed professor of rhetoric and belles lettres at Edinburgh. His works include the Bon Gaultier Ballads (1845), and Lays of …

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William Edward Colby - Colby and the Sierra Club

Lawyer and conservationist, born in Benicia, California, USA. Trained as a lawyer, he specialized in forest and mining law. In his first important conservation battle, he joined John Muir in a failed effort to block the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park. He campaigned for the expansion of Sequoia National Park and the creation of King's Canyon and Olympic National Parks, and headed …

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William Edward Forster - Offices held

British statesman, born in Bradpole, Dorset, S England, UK. During the Irish famine of 1845 he visited the distressed districts as almoner of a Quaker relief fund. He entered Parliament as a Liberal MP in 1861, rose to cabinet rank and in 1870 carried the Elementary Education Act. Under the Gladstone administration of 1880 he was chief secretary for Ireland. He was a severe critic of Parnell and, …

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William Edward Hartpole Lecky - Early life, Career, Degrees, Family

Historian and philosopher, born in Newton Park, near Dublin, E Ireland. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and in 1861 published anonymously The Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland - four essays on Swift, Flood, Grattan, and O'Connell. His other works include History of England in the 18th Century (1878–90), Democracy and Liberty (1896), and The Map of Life (1899). He became MP for Dublin Un…

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William Ellery

Revolutionary statesman, born in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. He was admitted to the bar (1770), served Rhode Island as a delegate to the Continental Congress (1776–81, 1783–5), and was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence (1776). From 1790–1820 he was collector of the port of Newport. William Ellery (December 22, 1727–February 15, 1820), was a signer of the United States Decl…

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William Ellery Channing

Unitarian theologian, born in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. He studied at Harvard (1798) and was tutor for 18 months to a family in Richmond, VA, where he became an opponent of slavery. Ordained in 1803, he became pastor of the Congregational Federal Street Church in Boston, where he remained until his death. Broadly liberal, from 1815 he took part in the controversy over Calvinist doctrine and beca…

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William Ernest Henley

Poet, playwright, critic, and editor, born in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. Crippled by tuberculosis as a boy, he spent nearly two years in Edinburgh Infirmary (1873–5), where he had a leg amputated, and wrote A Book of Verses (1888) which won him the friendship of R L Stevenson (who used him as a model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island). He was a pungent critic, and success…

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William Ernest Hocking

Philosopher, born in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Born into a devout family of modest means, he spent a decade working his way through college, then studied philosophy at Harvard under Josiah Royce and others. His 1904 dissertation grew into his major work, The Meaning of God in Human Experience (1912), which expounded a religiously oriented idealistic metaphysics opening toward mysticism. He also wrote …

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William Etty - Additional training, Works, Publications

Painter, born in York, N Yorkshire, UK. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools, then with Lawrence, and in 1822–3 went to Italy, where he was deeply influenced by the Venetian masters. He depicted Classical and historical subjects, and became renowned for his nudes. William Etty (10 March 1787 - 13 November 1849) was an English painter, best known for his paintings of nudes. H…

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William Ewart

Politician and reformer, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He studied at Oxford. As an MP (1828–68) he played a leading part in humanitarian reforms, including the abolition of capital punishment for minor offences and of hanging the corpses of executed criminals in chains. He carried a free libraries bill in 1850. William Ewart (1798-1869) was an English politician, born in L…

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William F(ielding) Ogburn

Sociologist, born in Butler, Georgia, USA. A Columbia University PhD, he taught at Columbia (1919–27) and the University of Chicago (1927–51). His major contributions were his pioneering application of statistical analysis to the social sciences and his seminal interpretation of social change, particularly the social impact of technological change. His major works were Social Change (1922, 11 re…

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