281px-H_m_s_pinafore_restoration May 25

Social Subtext in Gilbert & Sullivan’s ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’

On the 25th of May 1878, the comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore, or The Lass That Loved a Sailor, by Arthur Sullivan (music) and Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (libretto) had its premiere at the Opera Comique in London. The review that followed soon after the opera’s opening in The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular stated […]

Benczur-narcissus-001 May 24

‘Pink Narcissus': Gay Fantasy vs Reality

On the 24th of May 1971, the American arthouse drama film by James Bidgood, Pink Narcissus, was released in New York City. The film focuses on the life of a handsome male prostitute, played by Bobby Kendall, immersed in his erotic fantasies. Like the mythological character of Narcissus, he is obsessed by his own beauty […]

bonnie-and-clyde-with-gun May 23

A Historical Framing of Bonnie and Clyde

On the 23rd of 1934, Dallas outlaws and robbers Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were ambushed by police and killed in Bienville Parish, Black Lake, Louisiana. Their exploits captured the attention of the American public during the “public enemy era” between 1931 and 1934 in the Great Depression. Though known today for his […]

Henrietta_Moraes_portrait May 22

The Model-Mistress-Muse Paradigm: Henrietta Moraes

On the 22nd of May 1931, British model, muse and memoirist Audrey Wendy Abbott known as Henrietta Moraes was born in Simla, India, where her father was stationed in the Indian Air Force. He deserted her mother when Henrietta was young, and she had a difficult upbringing raised by an abusive grandmother in England where […]

Capture May 21

Disability and Creativity: Alexander Pope

On the 21st of May 1688, English poet Alexander Pope was born in London, England. At twelve, Pope composed his earliest extant work, Ode to Solitude; the same year saw the onset of the debilitating bone deformity that would plague Pope until the end of his life. Originally attributed to the severity of his studies, […]

Denim_jeans_wrinkled May 20

Denim and Popular Culture

On the 20th of May 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets. In San Francisco, Levi Strauss, a Jewish-German immigrant, had established a profitable wholesale dry goods business importing clothing and fabric to sell in the small stores opening all over California and other Western states to […]

Wilde May 19

Oscar Wilde in Prison

On the 19th of May 1897, Irish writer Oscar Wilde was released from prison after serving a two year  sentence for criminal sodomy and “gross indecency”. He had to go through hard labor and major deprivation, a very problematic situation for a hedonist accustomed to his creature comforts. His experiences in prison were the basis […]

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