Posts tagged: S

We live in an age of admiration for ‘strong women’ but the original strong woman was around many years ago in the shape of Katie Sandwina, ‘the strongest woman that ever lived’.

Sandwina was born Catherine Brumbach in Bavaria in 1884, the second eldest of fourteen children of a circus family. Both her parents performed feats of strength and it was little wonder that Sandwina should follow them. Read more ›››

There can be few people with a more unfortunate name as Clotworthy Skeffington, a cruel trick played on him by his parents, but one he tried hard to live up to.

Born in 1743, he was then the latest in a long line of Clotworthies, the family having adopted the first name from John Clotworthy, the Anglo-Irish politician who became the first Viscount Masserene whose title passed to his son-in-law, Sir John Skeffington. Read more ›››

Thomas Sopwith had a remarkable career as a pioneer of aviation, designing and producing the iconic planes for the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War, the Hurricane fighter plane in the Second and the world’s first jump-jet in the 1960s.

And if that wasn’t enough, Sopwith was also an accomplished yachtsman who challenged for the America’s Cup in the 1930s. Read more ›››

S is for Dolly Shepherd

Regular readers will know of my admiration for the early pioneers of aviation, but this week’s remarkable subject was not so much a flyer as a faller – Dolly Shepherd: The Edwardian Lady Parachutist.

Shepherd was born in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, in 1886 and was always an adventurous sort. At the age of sixteen, she got a job as a waitress at the Alexandra Palace, North London, specifically so she could listen to the famous American Sousa Band as she couldn’t afford a ticket. Read more ›››

There can’t be many people unaware of Dr Seuss as the author and illustrator of some of the most popular children’s books, but what is less well known is his role as a political cartoonist and propagandist during World War Two.

He was born Theodor Seuss Geisel in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1904, the grandson of German immigrants. Read more ›››

Sir George Sitwell

In 1933 the poet and author Edith Sitwell published English Eccentrics, a narrative of the weird and wonderful of human nature and though her brothers Osbert and Sacheverell feature, the one oddball who doesn’t figure is her own father, Sir George Reresby Sitwell.

It probably isn’t surprising since Sitwell was not loved by his children, but there is no doubt that he was as eccentric as they come. Read more ›››

There can be few people with a more unfortunate name as Clotworthy Skeffington, a cruel trick played on him by his parents, but one he tried hard to live up to.

Born in 1743, he was then the latest in a long line of Clotworthies, the family having adopted the first name from John Clotworthy, the Anglo-Irish politician who became the first Viscount Masserene whose title passed to his son-in-law, Sir John Skeffington… Read more about Clotworthy Skeffington ›››

Shel Silverstein

Sheldon ‘Shel’ Silverstein was multi-talented – a poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter and children’s author – and yet he is possibly best remembered as the writer of ‘A Boy Named Sue‘.

Born into a Jewish family in Chicago in 1930, Silverstein attended Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and Roosevelt University after being expelled from the University of Illinois and then served in the US Army draft in Japan and Korea as a draftee. Read more ›››

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