Sir John Vanbrugh was an English architect and dramatist, best known
as the designer of Blenheim Palace. He wrote two argumentative and
outspoken Restoration comedies, The Relapse (1696) and The Provoked
Wife (1697), which have become enduring stage favourites but
originally occasioned much controversy. Vanbrugh was in many senses a
radical throughout his life. As a young man and a committed Whig, he
was part of the scheme to overthrow James II, put William III on the
throne and protect English parliamentary democracy, dangerous
undertakings which landed him in the dreaded Bastille of Paris as a
political prisoner. In his career as a playwright, he offended many
sections of Restoration and 18th-century society, not only by the
sexual explicitness of his plays, but by their messages in defence of
women's rights in marriage. His architectural work was as bold and
daring as his early political activism and his marriage-themed plays,
and jarred conservative opinions on the subject.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Pope Pius V issued the papal bull Regnans in Excelsis to excommunicate
Queen Elizabeth I and her followers in the Church of England.
Samuel Colt received a patent for the revolver.
Marie-Adélaïde, the eldest of six daughters of William IV, became the
first reigning Grand Duchess of Luxembourg.
The Democratic Republic of Georgia was occupied by the Soviet Red
EDSA Revolution: Corazón Aquino was inaugurated as President of the
Philippines, as Ferdinand Marcos fled the nation after 20 years of
Wikiquote of the day:
Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting. Little darling, It
seems like years since it's been clear. Here comes the sun... Here
comes the sun, And I say It's alright. -- George Harrison --