Filed: Interesting People

R is for Rebecca Rolfe


You may not recognise the name Rebecca Rolfe, but she is a major figure in American folklore, became an animated star for Disney and was the first American to be buried in England. You will know her better by her original name – Pocahontas.

She was born near what is now Richmond, Virginia, the daughter of the supreme chief of the Powhatan Confederacy, an alliance of Algonquin tribes who lived around Chesapeake Boy. Read more ›››

Q is for James Quin

Portrait of James Quin by Hogarth

Acting is fraught with back-biting and bitchiness, but in the 18th century the profession was downright murderous, as illustrated by the life of actor and comedian, James Quin.

Quin was the son of a barrister and though he was born in London in 1693, his Irish parents took him back to Ireland where he spent his early years and attended Trinity College, Dublin, at least for a short time. Read more ›››

P is for Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur

French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur is best remembered for his germ theory of disease, his vaccines for rabies and anthrax, not to mention the pasteurisation method for treating milk.

But he also made a major contribution to the production of beer and all because of his deep-seated hatred of all things German following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 which simultaneously interrupted his work and humiliated his country. Read more ›››

O is for Charles O’Hara

Lieutenant General Charles O'Hara

Charles O’Hara was a British soldier who had the dubious distinction of surrendering to both George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte.

He was born in Lisbon 1740, the illegitimate son of General James O’Hara and his Portuguese mistress. He was educated at Westminster School, but joined the army as a cornet at the age of twelve. Before he was 16 he was commissioned as a lieutenant, just as Europe was about to enter another of its interminable wars. Read more ›››

N is for Tenzing Norgay

Tenzing Norgay

Although I generally plan my ABC Wednesday posts well in advance, sometimes there is a certain synchonisity or timely coincidence to them.

I had decided to write about Tenzing Norgay some time ago, but it coincides with the publication tomorrow of Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent that sheds new light on exactly who was first to the summit – Edmund Hillary or Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Read more ›››

M is for William Moulton Marston

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman

William Moulton Marston was a psychiatrist, inventor and feminist theorist who under the pen name of Charles Moulton put his ideas into practice by creating the comic character Wonder Woman.

Born in Massachusetts in 1893, Marston was educated at Harvard and received his PhD in psychology in 1921 before going on to teach at universities in Washington and Medford… Read more ›››

L is for Emile Leray

Leray, now 62, with his bike

A story emerged earlier this year of an amazing feat of extreme auto engineering by Frenchman, Emile Leray, that allowed him to escape being stranded in a Moroccan desert in 1993.

Leray had been driving from the city of Tan-Tan in his battered Citroën CV when he was stopped at a military outpost and told he could go no further because of the conflict between Morocco and Western Sahara, in the area beyond Tilemsem. Read more ›››

K is for Lena Celestia Kellogg

Lenna Kellogg Sadler

Lena Celestia Kellogg was the sister of John Harvey and William Kellogg of Cornflake fame and one of the ‘discoverers’ of The Urantia Book of divine revelations.

Lena was born in 1875 in Michigan and after a brief spell as a teacher, she turned her attention to nursing. It was then that she met and married William S Sadler and the two pursued their medical careers together, graduating with equal honours at the American Medical Missionary College. Read more ›››