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John Donne

John Donne was an English scholar, poet and secretary born into a catholic family, a remnant of the Catholic Revival, who reluctantly became a cleric in the Church of England. He was Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London, he is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets. His poetical works are noted for their metaphorical and sensual style and include sonnets, love poems, religious poems, Latin translations, elegies, satires, he is known for his sermons. Donne's style is characterised by abrupt openings and various paradoxes and dislocations; these features, along with his frequent dramatic or everyday speech rhythms, his tense syntax and his tough eloquence, were both a reaction against the smoothness of conventional Elizabethan poetry and an adaptation into English of European baroque and mannerist techniques. His early career was marked by poetry that bore immense knowledge of English society and he met that knowledge with sharp criticism. Another important theme in Donne's poetry is the idea of true religion, something that he spent much time considering and about which he theorized.

He wrote secular poems as well as love poems. He is famous for his mastery of metaphysical conceits. Despite his great education and poetic talents, Donne lived in poverty for several years, relying on wealthy friends, he spent much of the money he inherited during and after his education on womanising, literature and travel. In 1601, Donne secretly married Anne More, with. In 1615 he was ordained deacon and Anglican priest, although he did not want to take Holy Orders and only did so because the king ordered it, he served as a member of Parliament in 1601 and in 1614. Donne was born in London in 1571 or 1572, into a recusant Roman Catholic family when practice of that religion was illegal in England. Donne was the third of six children, his father named John Donne, was of Welsh descent and a warden of the Ironmongers Company in the City of London. However, he avoided unwelcome government attention out of fear of persecution, his father died in 1576, when Donne was four years old, leaving his mother, Elizabeth Heywood, with the responsibility of raising the children alone.

Heywood was from a recusant Roman Catholic family, the daughter of John Heywood, the playwright, sister of the Reverend Jasper Heywood, a Jesuit priest and translator. She was a great-niece of Thomas More. A few months after her husband died, Donne's mother married Dr. John Syminges, a wealthy widower with three children of his own. Donne was educated privately. In 1583, at the age of 11, he began studies at Hart Hall, now Hertford College, Oxford. After three years of studies there, Donne was admitted to the University of Cambridge, where he studied for another three years. Donne, could not obtain a degree from either institution because of his Catholicism, since he refused to take the Oath of Supremacy required to graduate. In 1591 he was accepted as a student at the Thavies Inn legal school, one of the Inns of Chancery in London. On 6 May 1592 he was admitted to one of the Inns of Court. In 1593, five years after the defeat of the Spanish Armada and during the intermittent Anglo-Spanish War, Queen Elizabeth issued the first English statute against sectarian dissent from the Church of England, titled "An Act for restraining Popish recusants".

It defined "Popish recusants" as those "convicted for not repairing to some Church, Chapel, or usual place of Common Prayer to hear Divine Service there, but forbearing the same contrary to the tenor of the laws and statutes heretofore made and provided in that behalf". Donne's brother Henry was a university student prior to his arrest in 1593 for harbouring a Catholic priest, William Harrington, died in Newgate Prison of bubonic plague, leading Donne to begin questioning his Catholic faith. During and after his education, Donne spent much of his considerable inheritance on women, literature and travel. Although no record details where Donne travelled, he did cross Europe and fought alongside the Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Raleigh against the Spanish at Cadiz and the Azores, witnessed the loss of the Spanish flagship, the San Felipe. According to his earliest biographer... he returned not back into England till he had stayed some years, first in Italy, in Spain, where he made many useful observations of those countries, their laws and manner of government, returned perfect in their languages.

By the age of 25 he was well prepared for the diplomatic career he appeared to be seeking. He was appointed chief secretary to the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, Sir Thomas Egerton, was established at Egerton's London home, York House, Strand close to the Palace of Whitehall the most influential social centre in England. During the next four years Donne fell in love with Egerton's niece Anne More, they were secretly married just before Christmas in 1601, against the wishes of both Egerton and George More, Lieutenant of the Tower and Anne's father. Upon discovery, this wedding ruined Donne's career, getting him dismissed and put in Fleet Prison, along with the Church of England priest Samuel Brooke, who married them, the man who acted as a witness to the wedding. Donne was released shortly thereafter when the marriage was proved to be valid, he soon secured the release of the other two. Walton tells us that when Donne wrote to his wife to tell her about losing his post, he wrote after his name: John Donne, Anne Donne, Un-done.

It was not until 1609 that Donne was

Michael Kostroff

Michael Kostroff is an American actor. He appeared on the HBO program The Wire as defense attorney Maurice Levy. Kostroff starred in the fifth season of the series and appeared in all four earlier seasons as a guest star. From 2002 to 2003, Kostroff performed in the first national tour of Mel Brooks' Broadway hit The Producers, from 2003 to 2004, he played the comic villain Thénardier in the touring company of Les Misérables. Kostroff is Letters from Backstage, a chronicle of his time on the road, he volunteered on the Barack Obama campaign. Kostroff is the brother of Nina Kostroff Noble, a television producer, an executive producer of The Wire. Kostroff guest stars on the Disney Channel series Sonny with a Chance as Marshall Pike, the executive producer and the creator of So Random!. Kostroff is an active member of the Musical Theatre Guild, a Los Angeles–based theatre company that performs seen musicals, where he was part of the touring production of Les Misérables as Monsieur Thénardier. Kostroff writes a Backstage advice column for actors.

Michael Kostroff on IMDb Michael Kostroff's advice columns on Backstage.com

Conrad's Fate

Conrad's Fate is a children's fantasy novel by British author Diana Wynne Jones published by Collins in 2005. It was the sixth published of the seven Chrestomanci books. Conrad is the protagonist, a twelve-year-old boy sent to work at the local Stallery castle with a magical mission to kill someone neither named nor described. Fifteen-year-old Christopher Chant applies for work at the same time on a personal mission, they are both hired. The Chrestomanci books are collectively named for a powerful enchanter and British government official in a world parallel to ours, who supervises the use of magic —or the Chrestomanci, an office that requires a powerful enchanter and is responsible for supervising. Conrad's Fate is set three decades ago in a world quite different from ours, during the adolescence of Christopher Chant, Chrestomanci in five of the books. Conrad Tesdinic lives in Stallery, a small town in the English Alps, a mountain range present in Series Seven worlds where the British Isles are still connected to the European mainland.

Conrad's father is dead. In the mountains high above Stallery lies Stallery Mansion, known as a "possibilities mansion," and home to the Count and his family. Conrad's uncle tells him that someone up at Stallery Mansion is pulling the possibilities – that is, changing the details of the world. Judging from the affluence of Stallery, this person is making a great deal of money by doing so by playing the stock market. At first only small details change – the colour of the postboxes, the titles of books – but the changes keep getting bigger and bigger. According to his uncle, Conrad is going to die within the year unless he kills the person pulling the possibilities—someone he should have eliminated in a past life. To kill this person, Conrad will need to secure a position at Stallery Mansion, summon a Walker, someone who will give Conrad what he needs to defeat his nameless foe. Conrad's uncle and his group of magician friends work a strange spell on a cork, giving Conrad, who has possession of it, the power to summon a Walker at will.

Conrad needs to be sure who this person is before he summons the Walker, however, so instead of moving forward in school with his friends, he is sent to work at Stallery and study its inhabitants, one of, the person Conrad needs to defeat. Conrad soon finds, he befriends his fellow servant-in-training, Christopher "Smith", searching for his friend Millie. Together, they discover. Conrad and Christopher must stop the person behind all the mischief, rescue Millie, fix Conrad's fate, all without spilling soup on the Countess although Conrad's bad Karma isn't helping along the way. Conrad Tesdinic: Conrad decides to take an alias at Stallery, calls himself "Conrad Grant", as "Grant" is his uncle Alfred's surname. Christopher suspects this is false, so calls him "Grant" in a superior and sarcastic way all throughout the book. Conrad's uncle runs the bookshop in town, so he has a great love of books – which makes the pulling of the possibilities irritating for him, as the book titles and minor details within the books change overnight.

He makes great use of it. Christopher Chant: Christopher has an alias: "Christopher Smith"; the character we see here is around fifteen, older than in The Lives of Christopher Chant, but younger than in the other Chrestomanci books. He is witty, charming, he seems to have a soft spot for Millie. Christopher can talk his way out of a situation though he goes rather vague at times... Millie: Christopher's friend, she becomes lost in the possibilities at Stallery while running away from boarding school. Christopher's chief reason for coming to Stallery is to find her; when found by Conrad she becomes a maid for a while. Mr. Amos: The pear-shaped, severe butler of Stallery, he insists on discipline and impeccable dress at all times. But through his reiteration of and insistence on a servant's place and Christopher cannot help but feel that there is more to his place than he is letting on. Anthea Tesdinic: Conrad's sister, who left home a few years before the bulk of the story. Appears again in a sticky mess she can't see.

Count Robert: The supposed owner of Stallery who marries Anthea. His real name is Robert Brown. Seventh rank for young adult book. Citations Diana Wynne Jones at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database