Saturday 26 June 2010

Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth

Another little little trip was completed last Monday. I visited Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth. In Southampton the grave of Edward Sothern was easily found. He was the original Lord Dundreary in Our American Cousin, a play performed by the cast of Laura Keene in the USA. Sothern played the part over and over again and at a certain moment he even bought the copyrights. In Bournemouth Mary Shelley's tomb was the main attraction. Just within a year I collected Byron, Shelley and Mary! In Portsmouth Charles Dickens was born and the grave of mistress Ellen Ternan was shown us by a kind gentleman at the cemetery who was to host a Dickens grave walk later that afternoon.

There was even time to travel to Minstead, not far from Southampton in New Forest. There, at the quiet All Saints' Churchyard the simple grave of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is located. His remains were transferred there in 1955 and he was buried in a corner of the cemetery since he was a spiritualist, not a Christian. Naturally, all these tombs will appear on the site over time.

Saturday 24 April 2010

A little bit longer in... New York City

Yesterday I returned from New York City. This in itself is not so special, but I should have returned eight days ago. Those damn volcanic ashes! However, I'll spare you the details since you can hear stories about stranded travellers anywhere now. ;-)
More important is that I managed to look up some interesting graves in the New York areas, among them the legendary actor and playwright Dion Boucicault, author Carson MacCullers (whose "The Member of the Wedding" impressed me much when I was young), singer Geraldine Farrar and, in Philadelphia, scientist/statesman Benjamin Franklin.
After processing the pictures these and more will appear on the site. But things might go slowly, catching up on work must have first priority now!

Saturday 6 February 2010

The grave of Shelley

I think I've known for about twenty years where the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was buried. During that time I've collected nearly 70 biographies about him, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and further illustrious people from their circle like Edward John Trelawny, Claire Clairmont, Augusta Leigh and Leigh Hunt (mind you, 70 is still nothing, since thousands of books have been written about them).

Well, on January 23th I finally stood in front of the place where Shelley's ashes were buried after he drowned in a storm and his remains were cremated on the Italian shore, leaving Mary a widow of only 24 years old.

And where Shelley is, are Keats and Trelawny. John Keats died in Rome of tuberculosis aged 25 and Edward John Trelawny bought the grave next to Shelley and was buried there in 1881, 59 years after Shelley's death. An entry on Keats and pictures of all the gravesites will shortly appear on the site. Visits to the Campo Verano and Santo Teutonico cemeteries have also provided a lot of new material, but most of that will probably have to wait for later.