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Aldous Huxley

Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and philosopher. He wrote nearly fifty books—both novels and non-fiction works—as well as wide-ranging essays and poems. Born into the prominent Huxley family, he graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with an undergraduate degree in English literature. Early in his career, he published short stories and poetry and edited the literary magazine Oxford Poetry, before going on to publish travel writing and screenplays, he spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death. By the end of his life, Huxley was acknowledged as one of the foremost intellectuals of his time, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature seven times and was elected Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature in 1962. Huxley was a pacifist, he grew interested in philosophical mysticism and universalism, addressing these subjects with works such as The Perennial Philosophy —which illustrates commonalities between Western and Eastern mysticism—and The Doors of Perception —which interprets his own psychedelic experience with mescaline.

In his most famous novel Brave New World and his final novel Island, he presented his vision of dystopia and utopia, respectively. Huxley was born in Godalming, England, in 1894, he was the third son of the writer and schoolmaster Leonard Huxley, who edited Cornhill Magazine, his first wife, Julia Arnold, who founded Prior's Field School. Julia was the niece of the sister of Mrs. Humphry Ward. Aldous was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, the zoologist and controversialist, his brother Julian Huxley and half-brother Andrew Huxley became outstanding biologists. Aldous had another brother, Noel Trevenen Huxley, who took his own life after a period of clinical depression; as a child, Huxley's nickname was "Ogie", short for "Ogre". He was described by his brother, Julian, as someone who " the strangeness of things". According to his cousin and contemporary, Gervas Huxley, he had an early interest in drawing. Huxley's education began in his father's well-equipped botanical laboratory, after which he enrolled at Hillside School near Godalming.

He was taught there by his own mother for several years. After Hillside he went on to Eton College, his mother died in 1908, when he was 14. He contracted the eye disease keratitis punctata in 1911; this "ended his early dreams of becoming a doctor." In October 1913, Huxley entered Balliol College, where he studied English literature. He volunteered for the British Army for the Great War, his eyesight partly recovered. He edited Oxford Poetry in 1916, in June of that year graduated BA with first class honours, his brother Julian wrote: I believe his blindness was a blessing in disguise. For one thing, it put paid to his idea of taking up medicine as a career... His uniqueness lay in his universalism, he was able to take all knowledge for his province. Following his years at Balliol, being financially indebted to his father, decided to find employment, he taught French for a year at Eton College, where Eric Blair and Steven Runciman were among his pupils. He was remembered as being an incompetent schoolmaster unable to keep order in class.

Blair and others spoke of his excellent command of language. Huxley worked for a time during the 1920s at Brunner and Mond, an advanced chemical plant in Billingham in County Durham, northeast England. According to the introduction to the latest edition of his science fiction novel Brave New World, the experience he had there of "an ordered universe in a world of planless incoherence" was an important source for the novel. Huxley completed his first novel at the age of 17 and began writing in his early twenties, establishing himself as a successful writer and social satirist, his first published novels were social satires, Crome Yellow, Antic Hay, Those Barren Leaves, Point Counter Point. Brave New World was his fifth novel and first dystopian work. In the 1920s he was a contributor to Vanity Fair and British Vogue magazines. During the First World War, Huxley spent much of his time at Garsington Manor near Oxford, home of Lady Ottoline Morrell, working as a farm labourer. There he met several Bloomsbury Group figures, including Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, Clive Bell.

In Crome Yellow he caricatured the Garsington lifestyle. Jobs were scarce, but in 1919 John Middleton Murry was reorganising the Athenaeum and invited Huxley to join the staff, he accepted and married the Belgian refugee Maria Nys at Garsington. They lived with their young son in Italy part of the time during the 1920s, where Huxley would visit his friend D. H. Lawrence. Following Lawrence's death in 1930, Huxley edited Lawrence's letters. Works of this period included important novels on the dehumanising aspects of scientific progress, most famously Brave New World, on pacifist themes. In Brave New World, set in a dystopian London, Huxley portrays a society operating on the principles of mass production and Pavlovian conditioning. Huxley was influenced by F. Matthias Alexander, included him as a character in Eyeless in Gaza. Beginning in this period, Huxley began to write and edit non-fiction works on pacifist issue

Despatch (brig)

Despatch was a brig noted for having shipwrecked near Isle aux Morts and for the subsequent heroic rescue of many of her passengers and crew. Despatch was owned by William Lancaster of Workington, England. On 29 May 1828 she set sail from Derry, Ireland en route to Quebec with eleven crew and 200 passengers all of whom were Irish emigrants hoping to escape the poverty prevailing in Ireland; the ship ran aground 10 July 1828 on a small, bare rocky island near Isle aux Morts off the south coast of Newfoundland. A seventeen-year-old girl from the area, Ann Harvey, along with her father, her twelve-year-old brother and a dog, rescued 160 people from the wreck between 12 and 15 July; as a result, Ann Harvey became known as the Grace Darling of Newfoundland. The English government awarded them a medal and a sum of money for their heroic feat. Survivors were taken to Halifax aboard HMS Tyne. List of shipwrecks List of drowning victims Maritime archaeology Merchant Sailing Ships of the NW of England Northern Maritime Research

Miacidae

Miacids are extinct primitive carnivoramorphans within the family Miacidae that lived during the Paleocene and Eocene epochs, about 62–34 million years ago. Miacids existed for 28 million years. Miacids are thought to have evolved into the modern carnivorous mammals of the order Carnivora, they were small carnivores, superficially marten-like or civet-like with long, lithe bodies and long tails. Some species were arboreal, they fed on invertebrates, lizards and smaller mammals like shrews and opossums. Their teeth and skulls show, they had carnivoran-type carnassials, but lacked ossified auditory bullae. Miacidae as traditionally conceived is not a monophyletic group. Traditionally and Viverravidae had been classified in a superfamily, Miacoidea. Today and Miacoidea are grouped together in the crown-clade Carnivoramorpha, the Miacoidea are regarded as basal carnivoramorphs; some species of the genus Miacis are related to the order Carnivora, but only the species Miacis cognitus is a true carnivoran, as it is classified in the Caniformia.

The divergence of carnivorans from miacids is now inferred to have occurred in the middle-Eocene. Traditionally, the Viverravidae had been thought to be the earliest carnivorans, with fossil records first appearing in the Paleocene of North America about 60 million years ago, but recent cranial morphology evidence now places them outside the order Carnivora. Authorities disagreed, propose that the viverravids arose in North America 65-60 million years ago, spread to Asia later to Europe, were the first carnivorans and possessed the first true pair of carnassial teeth, it has been proposed that miacids arose in North America and Europe 50-60 million years ago later spread to Asia. Like the earlier viverravids, they possessed a true pair of carnassial teeth and therefore are related to order Carnivora, they possessed a full set of cheek teeth, were weasel to small fox sized, lived in forests. All modern carnivorans arose from them. Family Miacidae† Genus Eosictis Genus Messelogale Genus Miacis Genus Miocyon Genus Oodectes Genus Palaearctonyx Genus Paramiacis Genus Paroodectes Genus Procynodictis Genus Prodaphaenus Genus Quercygale Genus Tapocyon Genus Uintacyon Genus Vassacyon Genus Vulpavus Genus Xinyuictis Genus Ziphacodon