Trivial Thursday: three events

On June 29, many events in literary history occurred that intrigue me, but I've chosen these few to bring to your attention.

In 1613, the Globe Theater, where most of Shakespeare's plays debuted, burned to the ground. Like other theaters of that era, the Globe was a round wooden structure with a stage at one end and covered balconies for the gentry. Galleries could seat about a thousand with "standing room" on the ground around the stage for another two thousand.

Shakespeare's acting company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, had built the Globe in 1599 from the remains of Burbage's Theater which had been London's first permanent theater in 1576. Before Burbage had built his theater, plays and such were informal events found on street corners and in the yards of inns.

The second event I find of much importance is the anniversary of the death of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the most popular woman poet of the 19th century in British literature. I was an impressionable young girl when I discovered her in English lit. I can still recite How Do I Love Thee after all these years.

She died on this day in Florence, Italy, in 1861 and was buried there. She'd come to view Florence as her spiritual home. Her husband Robert, considered a lesser talent most of the 19th century, planned to be buried beside her. Twenty-eight years later when he died in Venice, the Florentine cemetery was full. Separated by death, they remained separated when he was buried in Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey.

A final momentous event was the marriage on this day in 1854 of Charlotte Brontë and young curate Arthur Bell Nichols. Charlotte's difficult father, also a curate, refused to go to the wedding so she was given away in marriage by her former teacher, a Miss Wooler, after first consulting the Prayer Book and determining that no gender was indicated for the "friend" who was to give the bride away in the absence of the father.

How very appropriate and assertive for the woman writer who many consider gave birth to women's fiction. You, of course, recall that Charlotte under the pen name Bell wrote Jane Eyre, another book that inspired and thrilled me--along with a few million other women through the centuries.

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