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A Brief Look at Italian and English Renaissance Drama

Did yesterday’s blog post about Renaissance Faires whet your appetite for Renaissance Drama? Look no further than this thoughtfully assembled blog by Sarah Wingo, Subject Librarian for English Literature and Theatre.


When you hear the word Renaissance you may think of Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or you may think of Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare. In both cases you’d be right, but you may not be aware that you’re thinking of two fairy distinct (though overlapping) time periods. The European or Italian Renaissance spanned the 14th to the 17th century beginning nearly a century before the Renaissance would truly gain momentum in England in the late 15th century and extend to beginning of the 17th century.

The Renaissance period in Italy and England were both characterized by a “revival of the arts and high culture under the influence of classical models” (OED), but each also had traditions and art forms distinctly their own.

One area in which Italian arts and English arts diverged was theatre.

Taglia Cantoni and Fracasso

Two Pantaloons Dancing. Bello Sguardo, Couiello. Dances of Sfessania (Balli di Sfessania 1621) series by Jacques Callot, 1592 – 1635.

In Italy a form of theatre known as commedia dell’arte[i] was popularized between 1575 and1650. Performed in open spaces and at fair grounds commedia dell’arte was largely improvised versions of familiar tropes. Commedia stories relied upon stock characters which were divided into 3 categories the lovers, the masters, and the servants, with distinctive characters belonging to each category such as Pantalone a greedy Venetian merchant. These characters were easily recognized by their distinctive clothing and the masks that they wore, thus allowing audiences to immediately identify heroes and villains within any story being told.[ii]

Most people will be more familiar with the theatre of the English Renaissance due to the enduring popularity of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s earliest plays were likely performed in the mid-1580s. From 1594 onwards his works were performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a company of players of which he was part owner, who later became The King’s Men after being awarded a Royal Patent by King James I in 1603.

Shakespeare is the most well-known playwright from the English Renaissance at least in part due to the fact that more of his plays survive, thanks to their publication in the First Folio in 1623, than do the plays of most other playwrights from that era. Because plays were considered common entertainment rather than high art plays were not regularly published[iii], in fact of the 36 plays published in the Shakespeare’s First Folio only 16 existed in published form prior to the printing of the folio meaning that a full 20 of Shakespeare’s plays including Macbeth, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night would be unknown to us were it not for the printing of the First Folio. Likewise of the thousands of plays produced by numerous playwrights throughout the English Renaissance only a small percentage survive to this day.

Swan Theatre

The Swan Theatre: Arnoldus Buchelius (Aernout van Buchel) (1565-1641), after a drawing of Johannes de Witt (1566-1622). Utrecht, University Library, Ms. 842, fol. 132r.

Although there were some indoor performance spaces such as those at court and Blackfriars most theatres including The Globe where Shakespeare’s plays were performed from 1599 until it burnt down in 1613, were rounded open air structures with seating around the walls of the building and cheaper standing space in the center around the stage as can be seen in this image of The Swan Theatre, a contemporary of The Globe.

Theatre companies functioned as repertory, with a rotation of plays in performance, rarely performing the same play two days in a row. Theatre companies were also comprised entirely of men, female characters famously being played by “boy actors,” though the term “boy” may be misleading as it is believed that while the female roles were played by young men, they were not as was once believe played by children.

One reason that theatre from this period is so important is that it is really the first time that the Western World begins to see secular theatre performed in much the same way that modern theatre is performed today. The plays themselves also being very recognizable as modern theatre in stark contrast the highly stylized and religious liturgical dramas and morality plays which preceded the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. [iv]

[i] Katritzky, M A. The Art of Commedia: A Study in the Commedia Dell’Arte 1560-1620 With Special Reference to the Visual Records. Amsterdam ; New York: Rodopi, 2006.

[ii] Read more about Commedia dell’arte at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

[iii] For more information about printing and publishing of plays during the English Renaissance see : Jowett, John. Shakespeare and Text. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007

[iv] Andrew Gurr has written prolifically on the topic of English Renaissance drama, and his books The Shakespearean stage, 1574-1642 and Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London would be of particular interest to anyone wishing to learn more on this subject.

 


SarahArticle by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


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Memorial Day – Then and Now

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A brief history of the Memorial Day holiday

Memorial Day or, more accurately, Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of summer. Memorial Day itself is now celebrated on the last Monday of May. However, this was not always true, so below is a bit of the history of this holiday.

A number of locations claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, Boalsburg, Pa., among them. Often called Decoration Day, it was established as a day to decorate with flowers the graves of those who lost their lives in the Civil War. Approximately 620,000 men lost their lives in the war so most families, North and South, had some personal relationship with the dead or injured.

alice-tombstoneOn May 5, 1868, Major General John Alexander Logan (1826-1886)  , an organization of Union veterans, declared that May 30 should be the day on which the graves of the war dead should be decorated with flowers. That year a large ceremony, presided over by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and various Washington, D.C., officials, was held at Arlington National Cemetery. Congressman James Garfield of Ohio was one of the speakers. At the conclusion of the speeches, members of the GAR and children from a nearby orphanage for children of Union veterans placed flowers on the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers while singing hymns and reciting prayers.

The back story for this: an anonymous writer had sent a letter to the GAR adjutant general, a letter in which the author told the adjutant general that in his native Germany it was a custom to place flowers on graves in the spring. alice-flagThe adjutant general, Norton P. Chipman, sent this information to Logan. Logan then expanded upon the idea, and sent an order to all GAR posts to observe May 30 as a day to honor the Civil War dead. This date, May 30, became the first nationally observed commemoration held in more than 200 locations, mostly in the North.

There are other claimants for the establishment of Memorial Day. In Richmond, Virginia, women formed the Hollywood Memorial Association of the Ladies of Richmond and they helped to establish the Oakwood Memorial Association; the purpose of these two groups was to decorate the graves, both those of Union and Confederate soldiers, in the Hollywood and Oakwood Cemeteries. The same year, 1865, Confederate veterans organized, but the decoration of graves remained women’s work.

From the 1870s on some observed the holiday as commemoration and others chose to enjoy themselves. By the 1890s May 30 had become more a popular holiday, less a memorial to the Civil War dead who had been forgotten by many. Congress declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1889.

Recent history

0142184e39c4a65c074e0437142edc22President Lyndon Johnson and Congress declared in 1966 that Waterloo, N.Y., was the birthplace of Memorial Day, based upon a ceremony held there on May 5, 1866, honoring area veterans of the Civil War. Other claimants are Boalsburg, Pa.; Macon and Columbus, Ga.; Carbondale, Ill; Columbus, Miss.; and others.In 1968 Congress changed the date of Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday of May. This change was strongly encouraged by the travel and resort industries; a three day weekend was an invitation to travel for many.

Since the late 1960s Memorial Day has become a major commercial activity. Originally many businesses closed, but this is no longer true. Now there are numerous Memorial Day sales – my email is filled with advertisements for these as are newspapers.

Congress passed a law, signed by the president, in December 2000, to honor the fallen of all wars, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act.” There are also Confederate Memorial Days still observed in many Southern States: Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Each of these states set its own date to honor their Confederate dead.

POPPIES

Picnics and memories

On a personal level, I grew up hearing Memorial Day referred to as Decoration Day, perhaps a regional or generational custom. I lived in western Maryland, south of the Mason Dixon Line, but an area more Northern than Southern in its history. I remember going with my family – grandparents, parents and younger sister – to visit a small, very rural hilltop cemetery where the adults spent the day clearing weeds and other debris from the graves and, when lunch time came, we had a picnic right there (Mom’s homemade meatloaf, kept warm by wrapping it in multiple layers of newspaper, and potato salad). Flowers, cut from my grandmother’s flowerbed, were placed in front of the tombstones. I knew an older widow who cut peonies from her garden to take to the cemetery to place on her husband’s grave. None of the graves in that old family cemetery belonged to Civil War soldiers nor was the widow’s husband a Civil War veteran. Even today I know family members who visit cemeteries to leave flowers on Memorial Day. Is this a local custom?

Many communities do have Memorial Day events with speeches honoring those who fell serving the United States, parades, picnics and other activities. How will you spend your Memorial Day?

Dig Deeper: Falvey resources

The National Memorial Day: A Record of Ceremonies Over the Graves of the Union Soldiers, May 29 and 30, 1869. 1870. E. F. M. Faehtz.
Memorial Lessons: A Sermon Preached at King’s Chapel, Boston, on Sunday, May 29, 1870, with a List of the Sons of the Church Who Entered the Service of the Country. 1870. Henry Wilder Foote.
Memorial Day, May 30, 1870, Oration by Gen. I. F. Shepard (Adjutant General of Missouri) at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo. 1870. I. F. Shepard.
 A History of Memorial Day: Unity, Discord and the Pursuit of Happiness. 2002. Richard P. Harmond.
Honoring the Civil War Dead: Commemoration and the Problem of Reconciliation. 2005. John R. Neff.
Celebrating America’s Freedoms. (Online) 2009. United States Dept of Veterans Affairs.


Cemetery photos and story by Alice Bampton. Waterloo, NY photo credit: Joseph Sohm/Visions of America/Corbis.


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Dig Deeper: Mad Men (What to Read Next)

MAD-MEN

Almost as much as the booze and mid-century decor, AMC’s Mad Men used books to define the sixties generation.

Characters were often seen perusing or reclining aside towering stacks of TBR paperback bestsellers on their night tables. Serious fans of the show would map plots of Don Draper’s reading materials onto his “real life” emotional state of mind, aware of creator Matt Weiner’s slavish and lavish attention to detail and propensity for seeding foreshadowing and plot just about anywhere. Not one frame of the 45 minute show was ever wasted.

I don’t think I’d be too off base to believe that readers of an academic library blog would be dedicated spine readers like me and would agree that part of the fun of watching Mad Men was keeping an eye out for the books. Also sharing our idea of geeky fun was the New York Public Library, which has maintained the “Mad Men Reading List”  since 2010. (Why didn’t we think of that!?)

But no need to travel to Manhattan to schlep some of Don or Sally Draper’s favorites to the beach this summer. Falvey has dozens on our shelves:

Meditations in an Emergency – Frank O’Hara (see “Table of Contents”)

Confessions of an Advertising Man – David Ogilvy

Babylon Revisited and Other Stories – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword – Ruth Benedict

Exodus – Leon Uris

Ship of Fools – Katherine Ann Porter

Lady Chatterley’s Lover - D.H. Lawrence

The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

The Agony and the Ecstasy – Irving Stone

The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbon

Despite Sterling Cooper/McCann Erickson Chief Copywriter Peggy Olson admitting that she never knows whether it’s good or bad, this list is just the tip of the iceberg.  (In this case, it’s good, Peg.) Check NYPL for more books and our catalog for availability. And remember, now that you’re not watching so much television, you’ll have more time to read! Woo hoo!

Advertising resources

Mad Men also has celebrated and skewered the field of advertising. The bookend music of last night’s series ending episode: Paul Anka’s “The Times of Your Life” and the Hilltop Singers’ “I’d like to Teach The World To Sing” both were parts of iconic landmark ads that used some of our favorite human emotions to sell film and sugar water.

Usage of these songs exemplify tactics that Draper described in an very early episode, serving to bookend the entire series: “Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay.”

The fanfare surrounding the end of Mad Men and unceasing growth of communication and business marketing majors speaks to how the field of advertising is perennially fascinating and attractive, with hundreds of new Villanovans entering the field yearly.

Dig Deeper

Business librarian Linda Hauck maintains a helpful and browser-friendly subject guide that highlights advertising resources that are fun to dip into even if you don’t have a paper due and would just like to trace the steps of real Mad Men (and Women) through the history of advertising.

Here are some curated links, and feel free to stop by or contact us if you’d like direction or ideas for further digging.

 



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A Misconception about “Cinco de Mayo”

Happy Cinco de Mayo! In case you missed it the first time around, we are reposting a popular blog post from 2013 written by Sue Ottignon, Research Support Librarian for Languages & Literatures that answers the question, once and for all, what Cinco de Mayo commemorates. Always ask a librarian! 

Battle of Puebla, 5 May 1862

Battle of Puebla, 5 May 1862

Wait!!  Before you make the mad dash to enjoy all those delicious salsa combos you made to kick off your annual “Cinco de Mayo” celebration, I have some little-known facts to share with you about this day.

If you thought Cinco de Mayo was Mexico’s Independence Day, you would be mistaken! Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th. Yup, you heard me. It was on that September day, in 1810, Mexicans declared their independence from Spain, which had controlled the territory referred to as “New Spain,” since 1521 when Hernán Cortés conquered the Aztec Empire. If you plan to add Independence Day, aka “Grito de Dolores,” to your celebration list, be sure to check out the article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica[1]on Mexico’s struggles!

So what’s so great about the 5th of May? Although it is not an official holiday in Mexico, it does commemorate the Mexicans’ victory over the French on May 5, 1862, in the town of Puebla; thus, the holiday is called “El Día de la Batalla de Puebla,” and there are celebrations. The Mexican-American community, from the western states, began the observance shortly after the event. Ultimately, the day’s events evolved within the US as recognition of the Mexican culture and heritage.  Moreover, the U.S. Congress recently issued  resolutions[2] recognizing the historical significance of Cinco de Mayo. The Congressional Record, for the House of Representatives, recorded on June 7, 2005, a concurrent, non-binding resolution recognizing the historical significance of the day,[3]

Selected resources about “Cinco de Mayo”:

Arellano, Gustavo.  Interview by Michel Martin. Arts & Life.  Natl. Public Radio, 5 May 2011. NPR.org. Web. 29 Apr. 2013.

“Cinco de Mayo.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Ganster, Paul. “Cinco de Mayo.” Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture.

Ed. Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2008. 413. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Hamnett, Brian. “Puebla, Battle and Siege of.” Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Ed. Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2008. 401-402. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

“Monthly Record of Current Events: Mexico.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. 25.146 (1862): 261. Making of America, 1815-1901. Web. 29 April 2013.

“News from San Francisco.” New York Times (1857-1922): 1. Jun 01 1862. ProQuest. Web. 27 Apr. 2013.

Pérez, Daniel Enrique. “Cinco de Mayo.” Confluencia: Revista Hispánica de Cultura y Literatura 27.1 (2011): 210+. Academic OneFile. Web. 23 Apr. 2013.

Recognizing Historical Significance Of The Mexican Holiday Of  Cinco De Mayo of2007.  H.R. Con. Res. 44. 7 June 2005. Web.


Sue Ottignon is the subject librarian for romance languages and literatures. RS4540_FML164_SusanOttignon_018_EDIT---ed


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May the Fourth Be With You! A Star Wars Dig Deeper

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To say Star Wars is the best movie franchise of all time might be overselling it (especially considering the execrable episodes I-III), but it was the first movie I ever saw on the big screen, and yes, it was brand new when I saw it in 1977. I was five, and even though I didn’t understand the subtext, it helped define my lifelong love of science fiction and high fantasy and the same can be said of millions of fans worldwide. The question is “why”? Why is it so important to so many people? Why has it been translated into dozens of languages, spawned more movies, cartoons, dozens of novels, and a fanatical global following? Why are my friends handing down their original 1970’s Kenner action figures to their children, like some ancient sword passed down from their father’s, father’s, father? Why is it being reborn, yet again, by Disney and directed by the highly respected J.J Abrams?

Two simple words: It’s awesome.

Prior to Star Wars (now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, an inelegant name for an inelegant time) a “Space Opera” was a pejorative term for the cheap, pulp comics of the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a science fiction story or drama set in space; space fiction esp. of an unsophisticated or clichéd type.” These stories are known for their melodramatic and overly romantic portrayals of enemies fighting each other in outer space using advanced, futuristic weaponry and technology.

By 1977, Space Opera was a well-established – if fringe – genre in comic books like Flash Gordon (1934), television shows like Star Trek (1966), and films like Barbarella ( 1968). But Star Wars brought something new to the equation; a complex coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a totalitarianism and rebellion.

star-wars-issue-1-Alex-Ross-1

Themes of mysticism, oppression, community, colonialism, trade politics and self-discovery gave the first trilogy a depth that did not jibe with the “unsophisticated” definition of Space Opera. The genre had suddenly become something for grown ups: The number of times you saw “Jedi” became a badge of pride for geeks and non-geeks alike. Its state-of-the-art special effects blurred the line between reality and fiction to the point that robots and fighting teddy bears became lovable – and essential – characters. Discussions about hyperdrive, Jedi mind tricks, and the feasibility of real world light sabers became water cooler conversation. It marked a sea change that first legitimized Space Opera and, by extension, science fiction as a mainstream genre.

Viewership for shows like Star Trek and Battlestar Gallactica swelled as fans hungered for more and the success of these shows and ancillary movies spawned hundreds of sci-fi knock-offs and permutations. Whether you love Star Wars or not, it can be argued that all modern science fiction, from blockbuster movies like Interstellar and Transformers to TV shows like Futurama and Doctor Who, owe their continued success, and even their genesis, to a low budget 1970’s film trilogy about a farm boy, a scoundrel, a sassy princess, and a few droids who toppled an oppressive empire and saved their galaxy a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

To learn more about the Star Wars universe and its influence, check out these Falvey Memorial Library resources:

Non-Fiction Books:
Star Wars and Philosophy : More Powerful than you Can Possibly Imagine
by Kevin S. Decker
PN1995.9.S695 S76 2005 – Falvey Main 4th Floor

Empire Building : The Remarkable, Real-life Story of Star Wars
by Garry Jenkins
PN1995.9.S695 J46 1999 – Falvey Main 4th Floor

Culture, Identities, and Technology in the Star Wars Films : Essays on the Two Trilogies
by Carl Silvio
PN1995.9.S695 S55 2007 – Falvey Main 4th Floor

From Star Wars to Indiana Jones : The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives
by Mark Vaz
PN1995.9.S695 V3913 – Falvey Main 4th Floor

Fiction Books:
Star Wars: Darth Plagueis
by James Luceno
PS3562.U254417 D37 – Falvey popular reading collection, Main floor

Star Wars: Heir to the Empire  by Timothy Zahn  PS3576.A33 H45 1991 – Falvey Main 4th Floor

e-Books:
How Star Wars Conquered the Universe : The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise
by Chris Taylor

Articles:
Search for articles using the search terms “Star Wars” (in quotes) and Film. Other useful search terms: politics, mysticism, influence, impact, technology, etc.

For help with research on the movies and their influence, contact Rob LeBlanc, first-year experience & humanities librarian at robert.leblanc@villanova.edu.


Rob LeBlanc is first-year experience & humanities librarian.Rob-ed


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Dig Deeper: Earth Day 2015

earthblogHappy Earth Day! Today at 10:00 a.m. a panel discussion on working towards sustainable solutions will be held in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library. Panelists who have devoted their careers to some aspect of sustainability will discuss their work. The challenges and opportunities of working daily to address environmental issues will be discussed. Questions and discussion between panelists and the audience are encouraged. A light continental breakfast will be provided.

Panelists will include the following:

JoAnn Garbin KnowE, Aircuity, Sustainable Business Network

David Masur PennEnvironment

Brenda Gotanda Manko Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP

Rob Fleming Engineering & Design Institute, Philadelphia University

Adam Agalloco Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

*Moderated by Liesel Schwarz, Villanova University Sustainability Manager*

This event, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Earth Day Committee, is free and open to the public.

See here for more acitivties in celebration of Earth Day 2015 at Villanova University.

To dig deeper into Earth Day celebrations, sustainability and climate resources, and to get involved, check out the links below selected by Merrill Stein, liaison librarian for geography and political science.


Dig Deeper

United States/North America

Earth Day Across America – see what’s happening in your state
Original Earth Day - on the first Earth Day
Climate Central – sea level rise
EPA Earth Day
North American Carbon Program – interagency coordinated program

International

International Mother Earth Day
Earth Day Network – economic growth and sustainability join hands
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/archive/2015
World Health Day – World Health Organization
Global Citizen Earth Day
http://www.earthday.org/greencities/events/
GEO Carbon Strategy
Economic Growth and Sustainable Development

Tools and Social Media

Facebook Earth Day – It’s our turn to lead
Carbon Tracker – NOAA
Globe at Night – impact of light pollution

 

Past Falvey Blogs

2011

2014


Stein

Dig Deeper links selected by Merrill Stein, liaison librarian for geography and political science.


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Dig Deeper: Outstanding Faculty Research Award Recipient, Dr. Giorgi Japaridze

GIORGIBLOG-EVITE

On Tuesday, April 21 at 2 p.m., an Outstanding Faculty Research Award lecture featuring this year’s recipient Giorgi Japaridze, PhD, professor of computing sciences will be held in the Reading Room of Falvey Memorial Library. Dr. Japaridze will discuss the extensive research that led him to win the coveted Outstanding Faculty Research Award in 2015.

Tailored for a general audience, Dr. Japaridze’s talk “Computability, Logic, and Computability Logic” will give an overview of the new line of research introduced by the speaker several years ago, named “Computability Logic.” In the same sense that traditional logic is about providing a systematic answer to the question “What is (always) true?” Computability Logic is about providing a systematic answer to the more general question “What can (always) be computed and how?” This is a long-term program for rebuilding logic into a comprehensive formal theory of computability. Light refreshments will be served.

This event, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, the office for Research and Graduate Programs (ORGP), is free and open to the public.

To read up on Dr. Japaridze’s topic of research, check out the links below, selected by science librarian Alfred Fry.


Dig Deeper

Dr. Japaridze’s page on Computability Logic:

http://www.csc.villanova.edu/~japaridz/CL/

Game Semantics for Linear Logic?
http://www.csc.villanova.edu/~japaridz/CL/gsoll.html

Graduate Course Lecture Notes
http://www.csc.villanova.edu/~japaridz/CL/clx.html#Lecture_notes

“In the beginning was game semantics” by Giorgi Japaridze
http://arxiv.org/abs/cs/0507045

Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computability_logic


Dig Deeper resources provided by Alfred Fry, science librarian.


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President Lincoln Assassinated 150 Years Ago

John_Wilkes_Booth_wanted_poster_colour
On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, the first American president to suffer this fate. Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, had met with General Ulysses S. Grant and the Cabinet that morning and planned to attend with his wife and others a comedy, “Our American Cousin,” at Ford’s Theater that evening. In the afternoon he and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, took a carriage ride followed by dinner. Mrs. Lincoln complained that she had a headache and wished to stay home; President Lincoln said he was tired, but needed entertainment and planned to go to the theater with or without his wife. After a brief visit to the War Department, the president returned to the White House for Mrs. Lincoln. Accompanied by Major Henry R. Rathbone and Clara Harris, Rathbone’s fiancée, the group arrived at the theater after the play had started.

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President and Mrs. Lincoln and their guests were seated in a decorated box at Ford’s Theater and John Parker, a guard, was stationed outside the box. Unfortunately Parker left his post and, during the third act of the play shortly after 10 pm, John Wilkes Booth, a famous American actor, entered the box and shot the president in the back of his head. The gunshot rang out; Booth climbed over the balustrade of the president’s box and jumped onto the stage where he brandished a dagger and shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis! (Thus always to tyrants!)” Although he had caught a spur in the draperies decorating the box and landed so awkwardly that he broke a leg, Booth was able to escape from the theater, setting off a massive manhunt that lasted until April 26. On that date John Wilkes Booth and an accomplice, David Herold, were captured in a tobacco barn near Bowling Green, Virginia. Herold surrendered; Booth was killed.

A young doctor in the theater audience, Dr. Charles Leale, examined the president shortly after Booth shot him, and it was decided that Lincoln be carried across the street to William H. Petersen’s boarding house rather than be transported the greater distance to the White House. Over six feet tall, Lincoln was laid diagonally across the bed in the small first floor bedroom of a government employee. Lincoln’s personal physician, Dr. Robert King Stone, was summoned although three doctors had accompanied Lincoln to the Petersen House. In the hours before Abraham Lincoln died over 90 people visited the Petersen House. Lincoln’s son, Robert, was brought to the house and remained there until his father died. Mrs. Lincoln was there, periodically visiting her husband, then retreating to a nearby room.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln

At 7:22 a.m. on April 15, President Lincoln died, having never regained consciousness. When informed of his death, Mrs. Lincoln said, “Oh, my God, and have I given my husband to die?” Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton said, “Now he belongs to the ages.” Lincoln’s body was placed in a temporary casket and transferred to the White House. Andrew Johnson was sworn in as president. On April 18 Lincoln’s body lay in state in the East Room of the White House. After a funeral the following day, he was laid in state in the Capitol Rotunda. On April 21 his body was taken to the railroad station in Washington to begin the long journey – 1,654 miles – to Springfield, Ill. At various locations along the route to Springfield, the train’s scheduled stops were published in the local newspapers. At those stops, the coffin was placed on a hearse and taken to an appropriate public building for viewing by the public. Finally, on May 4 he was buried in Springfield.

The final military engagement of the Civil War occurred on May 12, a skirmish at Palmito Ranch, Texas, although Robert E. Lee had surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the war.

On June 30, 1865, eight assassination conspirators were convicted and on July 7 they were executed. John Wilkes Booth, who had actually fired the bullet which killed Lincoln, had been dead since April 26.


Dig Deeper:

“A Doctor’s View of the Lincoln Assassination.” Interview with Blaine Houmes, M.D.

Timeline by Clark Evans, Library of Congress historian.

Eyewitness from the National Archives

Lincoln’s Assassination (2014). Edward Steers, Jr.

The Lincoln Assassination: Crime and Punishment, Myth and Memory (2010). Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds and Frank J. Williams.

The Lincoln Assassination: The Evidence (2009). William C. Edwards and Edward Steers.

When the Bells Tolled for Lincoln: Southern Reaction to the Assassination (1997). Carolyn L. Jarrell.

The Assassination and Death of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States of America, at Washington, on the 14th of April, 1865 (1865). Abott A. Abott.

The Conspirators:
American Brutus: John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies (2004). Michael W. Kauffman.

The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln (2008). Kate Clifford Larson.

The Riddle of Dr. Mudd (1974). Samuel Carter.



imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 


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Dig Deeper: Dr. Lisa Sewell and Impossible Object

SewellOn Tuesday, April 14 at 4:30 p.m., a Scholarship@Villanova lecture featuring Lisa Sewell, PhD, associate professor of English and co-director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be held in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library. Dr. Sewell will read from and discuss her newly published collection of poetry, Impossible Object, which won the first annual Tenth Gate prize. The Tenth Gate, named in honor of Jane Hirshfield, recognizes the wisdom and dedication of mid- and late-career poets. A book sale and signing will follow the lecture.

This event, sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Department of English, is free and open to the public.

To learn more about Dr. Sewell’s poetry, dig deeper into the links below, selected by Sarah Wingo, liaison librarian for English and theater.


Dig Deeper

Sewell’s work in Falvey’s Catalog: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Author/Home?author=Sewell%2C+Lisa%2C+1960-

Audio via Poets.org:  http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/lisa-sewell

Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Faculty Spotlight highlights Dr. Sewell for winning the 2014 Tenth Gate prize for her poetry manuscript, Impossible Object:  http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/gws.html


Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


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Dig Deeper: Helene Moriarty, PhD

MoriartyOn Tuesday, March 24 at 2:30 p.m. in room 204 of Falvey Memorial Library, Helene Moriarty, PhD, RN, Professor at the College of Nursing will present a Scholarship@Villanova/Endowed Chair lecture. Dr. Moriarty is a nurse advocate for military veterans and their families who has targeted her scholarly work on the health needs of those who have served in the military. Her lecture will focus on her research with interprofessional teams at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She will present findings from an intervention study, funded by NIH, that evaluates the impact of an innovative in-home intervention for veterans with traumatic brain injury and their families.

Dr. Moriarty is the inaugural appointee to the College of Nursing’s first endowed faculty chair, the Diane L. and Robert F. Moritz, Jr. Endowed Chair in Nursing Research. This award was established in 2013 by Robert F. Moritz, Jr. DDS ’51 VSB and his wife Diane to advance research and scholarship within the College and its academic programs.

This event, co-sponsored by the College of Nursing, Falvey Memorial Library and the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), is free and open to the public.

For more information related to Dr. Moriarty’s area of expertise, check out today’s Dig Deeper, organized by Barbara Quintiliano, nursing and life sciences liaison and an instructional services librarian.


Dig Deeper 

Challenges Faced by Veterans Suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been called the “signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.” It is caused by trauma to the head, most often from an explosive device, vehicle accident or fall. Since 2001, the number of active U.S. service personnel suffering from TBI has been rising, and almost 25,000 new cases emerged in 2014 alone. In 2013, the directors of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a joint report to Congress in which they stated that TBI had become “a public health problem, the magnitude and impact of which are underestimated by current civilian and military surveillance systems.”

Even mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), commonly termed a “concussion,” can have detrimental consequences for returning veterans, their spouses and others who love and care for them. However, unlike more severe cases, mTBI often goes undiagnosed, and resulting cognitive and emotional problems may not appear until long after the vet returns home. Some of the challenges associated with mTBI include short- and long-term memory loss, attention deficits, impaired executive function and strained interpersonal relations.

Dr. Moriarty and her colleagues have been conducting innovative research sponsored by the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and funded by the NIH. In this controlled study they are investigating the efficacy of a veterans’ in-home program (VIP). Dyads composed of a veteran who has sustained mild to moderate TBI and his/her spouse or partner are recruited for participation. Through in-home intervention the researchers hope to facilitate increased understanding and deeper communication between veteran and partner so that both will enjoy an improved quality of life.

Learn more about TBI and its effects on vets and their families:

DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI
http://dvbic.dcoe.mil/dod-worldwide-numbers-tbi

Family Caregiver’s Guide to TBI
http://www.caregiver.va.gov/pdfs/FamilyCaregiversGuideToTBI.pdf

‘Hidden’ Brain Damage Seen in Vets With Blast Injuries
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_150550.html

Hyatt, K.S. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (American Journal of Nursing)
http://tinyurl.com/mtbivets (VU LDAP ID and password required)
Loved Ones Caring for Brain-Injured Veterans May Face Health Risks
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_150855.html
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (video)
http://afterdeployment.dcoe.mil/topics-traumatic-brain-injury
Report to Congress on Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Understanding the Public Health Problem Among Current and Former Military Personnel
http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/Report_to_Congress_on_Traumatic_Brain_Injury_2013-a.pdf


Dig Deeper introduction written and resources selected by Barbara Quintiliano, nursing and life sciences liaison and an instructional services librarian.


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Last Modified: March 23, 2015