Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled, his disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is known as "the father of the Royal Navy". Domestically, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering into England the theory of the divine right of kings. Besides asserting the sovereign's supremacy over the Church of England, he expanded royal power during his reign. Charges of treason and heresy were used to quell dissent, those accused were executed without a formal trial, by means of bills of attainder.
He achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich, Thomas Cranmer all figured prominently in Henry's administration, he was an extravagant spender and used the proceeds from the Dissolution of the Monasteries and acts of the Reformation Parliament to convert into royal revenue the money, paid to Rome. Despite the influx of money from these sources, Henry was continually on the verge of financial ruin due to his personal extravagance as well as his numerous costly and unsuccessful continental wars with King Francis I of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. At home, he oversaw the legal union of England and Wales with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542 and following the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 he was the first English monarch to rule as King of Ireland, his contemporaries considered Henry in his prime to be an attractive and accomplished king.
He has been described as "one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne". He was an composer; as he aged, Henry became obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is characterised in his life as a lustful, egotistical and insecure king, he was succeeded by the issue of his third marriage to Jane Seymour. Born 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Of the young Henry's six siblings, only three – Arthur, Prince of Wales, he was baptised by Richard Fox, the Bishop of Exeter, at a church of the Observant Franciscans close to the palace. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, he was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at age three, was inducted into the Order of the Bath soon after. The day after the ceremony he was created Duke of York and a month or so made Warden of the Scottish Marches.
In May 1495, he was appointed to the Order of the Garter. The reason for all the appointments to a small child was so his father could keep personal control of lucrative positions and not share them with established families. Henry was given a first-rate education from leading tutors, becoming fluent in Latin and French, learning at least some Italian. Not much is known about his early life – save for his appointments – because he was not expected to become king. In November 1501, Henry played a considerable part in the ceremonies surrounding his brother's marriage to Catherine of Aragon, the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile; as Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father as king, differenced by a label of three points ermine. He was further honoured, on 9 February 1506, by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I who made him a Knight of the Golden Fleece. In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15 of sweating sickness, just 20 weeks after his marriage to Catherine.
Arthur's death thrust all his duties upon the 10-year-old Henry. After a little debate, Henry became the new Duke of Cornwall in October 1502, the new Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester in February 1503. Henry VII gave the boy few tasks. Young Henry was supervised and did not appear in public; as a result, he ascended the throne "untrained in the exacting art of kingship". Henry VII renewed his efforts to seal a marital alliance between England and Spain, by offering his second son in marriage to Arthur's widow Catherine. Both Isabella and Henry VII were keen on the idea, which had arisen shortly after Arthur's death. On 23 June 1503, a treaty was signed for their marriage, they were betrothed two days later. A papal dispensation was only needed for the "impediment of public honesty" if the marriage had not been consummated as Catherine and her duenna claimed, but Henry VII and the Spanish ambassador set out instead to obtain a dispensation for "affinity", which took account of the possibility of consummation.
Cohabitation was not possible. Isabella's death in 1504, the ensuing problems of succession in Castile, complicated matters, her father preferred her to stay in England, but Henry VII's relations with Ferdinand had deteriorated. Catherine was therefore left in limbo for some time, culminating in Prince Henry's rejection of the marriage as soon he was able, at the age of 14. Ferdinand's solution was to make his daugh
Christmastide is a season of the liturgical year in most Christian churches. In some Christian denominations, Christmastide is identical to a similar concept. For most Christian denominations, such as the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church, Christmastide begins on Christmas Eve at sunset or Vespers, liturgically the beginning of Christmas Day. Most of Christmas Eve, understood as 24 December, is thus not part of Christmastide, but of Advent, the season in the Church Year that precedes Christmastide. There are several celebrations within Christmastide, including Christmas Day, St. Stephen's Day, New Year's Eve, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, the Feast of the Holy Family, as well as Epiphany Eve or Twelfth Night. Customs of the Christmas season include carol singing, gift giving, attending Nativity plays, church services, eating special food, such as Christmas cake. Traditional examples of Christmas greetings include the Western Christian phrase "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!" and the Eastern Christian greeting "Christ is born!", to which others respond, "Glorify Him!"
Christmastide begins at sunset on 24 December. The ending of Christmastide was sunset on 6 January; this traditional date is still followed by the Anglican Church and Lutheran Church, where Christmastide called the Twelve Days of Christmas, lasts 12 days, from 25 December to 5 January, the latter date being named as Twelfth Night. However, the ending is defined differently by some Christian denominations. In 1969, the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church expanded Christmastide by a variable number of days: "Christmas Time runs from... up to and including the Sunday after Epiphany or after 6 January." Before 1955, the 12 Christmastide days in the Roman Rite were followed by the 8 days of the Octave of Epiphany, 6–13 January, its 1960 Code of Rubrics defined "Christmastide" as running "from I vespers of Christmas to none of 5th January inclusive". In 567, the Council of Tours "proclaimed the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany as a sacred and festive season, established the duty of Advent fasting in preparation for the feast."
Christopher Hill, as well as William J. Federer, states that this was done in order to solve the "administrative problem for the Roman Empire as it tried to coordinate the solar Julian calendar with the lunar calendars of its provinces in the east." Ronald Hutton adds that, while the Council of Tours declared the 12 days one festal cycle, it confirmed that three of those days were fasting days, dividing the rejoicing days into two blocs. The Council held at Tours spoke of a three-day fast at the beginning of January as an ancient custom, ordered monks to observe it. According to the text of the acts of the 567 Council of Tours, edited by Jean Hardouin, Philippe Labbé, Gabriel Cossart and published by the Royal Printers in Paris in 1714, the only mention of the period between Christmas and Epiphany made by that council is in its 17th canon. In that canon, which dealt with the fasts to be observed by monks, the council decreed: De ieiuniis... In Augusto, quia quotidie missae sanctorum sunt, prandium habeant....
De Decembri usque ad natale Domini, omni die ieiunent. Et quia inter natale Domini et epiphania omni die festivitates itemque prandebunt. Excipitur triduum illud, quo ad calcandam gentilium consuetudinem, patres nostri statuerunt privatas in Kalendis Ianuarii fieri litanias. In medieval era Christendom, Christmastide "lasted from the Nativity to the Purification." To this day, the "Christian cultures in Western Europe and Latin America extend the season to forty days, ending on the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of Mary on 2 February, a feast known as Candlemas because of the blessing of candles on this day, inspired by the Song of Simeon, which proclaims Jesus as'a light for revelation to the nations'." Many Churches refer to the period after the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas and up to Candlemas, as Epiphanytide called the Epiphany season. During the Christmas season, various festivities are traditionally enjoyed and buildings are adorned with Christmas decorations, which are set up during Advent.
These Christmas decorations include the Nativity Scene, Christmas tree, various Christmas ornaments. In the Western Christian world, the two traditional days on which Christmas decorations are removed are Twelfth Night and Candlemas. Any not removed on the first occasion should be left undisturbed until the second. Leaving the decorations up beyond Candlemas is considered to be inauspicious. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, it is customary for most households in Christendom to attend a service of worship or Mass. During the season of Christmastide, in many Christian households, a gift is given for each of the Twelve Days of Christmastide, while in others, gifts are only given on Christmas Day or Twelfth Night, the first and last days of the festive season, respectively; the practice of giving gifts during Christmastide, according to Christian traditi
James George Frazer
Sir James George Frazer was a Scottish social anthropologist and folklorist influential in the early stages of the modern studies of mythology and comparative religion. His most famous work, The Golden Bough and details the similarities among magical and religious beliefs around the globe. Frazer posited that human belief progressed through three stages: primitive magic, replaced by religion, in turn replaced by science, he was born on 1 January 1854 in Glasgow, the son of Daniel F. Frazer, a chemist, his wife, Katherine Brown. Frazer attended school at Larchfield Academy in Helensburgh, he studied at the University of Glasgow and Trinity College, where he graduated with honours in classics and remained a Classics Fellow all his life. From Trinity, he went on to study law at the Middle Temple, but never practised. Four times elected to Trinity's Title Alpha Fellowship, he was associated with the college for most of his life, except for a year, 1907–1908, spent at the University of Liverpool, he was knighted in 1914, a public lectureship in social anthropology at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Liverpool was established in his honour in 1921.
He was, if not blind severely visually impaired from 1930 on. He and his wife, died in Cambridge, within a few hours of each other, he died on 7 May 1941. They are buried at the Ascension Parish Burial Ground in Cambridge, his sister Isabella Katherine Frazer married the mathematician John Steggall. Frazer is interpreted as an atheist in light of his criticism of Christianity and Roman Catholicism in The Golden Bough. However, his writings and unpublished materials suggest an ambivalent relationship with Neoplatonism and Hermeticism; the study of myth and religion became his areas of expertise. Except for visits to Italy and Greece, Frazer was not travelled, his prime sources of data were ancient histories and questionnaires mailed to missionaries and imperial officials all over the globe. Frazer's interest in social anthropology was aroused by reading E. B. Tylor's Primitive Culture and encouraged by his friend, the biblical scholar William Robertson Smith, comparing elements of the Old Testament with early Hebrew folklore.
Frazer was the first scholar to describe in detail the relations between rituals. His vision of the annual sacrifice of the Year-King has not been borne out by field studies, yet The Golden Bough, his study of ancient cults and myths, including their parallels in early Christianity, continued for many decades to be studied by modern mythographers for its detailed information. The first edition, in two volumes, was published in 1890; the third edition was finished in 1915 and ran to twelve volumes, with a supplemental thirteenth volume added in 1936. He published a single-volume abridged version compiled by his wife Lady Frazer, in 1922, with some controversial material on Christianity excluded from the text; the work's influence extended well beyond the conventional bounds of academia, inspiring the new work of psychologists and psychiatrists. Sigmund Freud cited Totemism and Exogamy in his own Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics; the symbolic cycle of life and rebirth which Frazer divined behind myths of many peoples captivated a generation of artists and poets.
The most notable product of this fascination is T. S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land. Frazer's pioneering work has been criticised by late 20th-century scholars. For instance, in the 1980s Edmund Leach wrote a series of critical articles, one of, featured as the lead in Anthropology Today, vol. 1. He criticised The Golden Bough for the breadth of comparisons drawn from separated cultures, but based his comments on the abridged edition, which omits the supportive archaeological details. In a positive review of a book narrowly focused on the cultus in the Hittite city of Nerik, J. D. Hawkins remarked approvingly in 1973, "The whole work is methodical and sticks to the quoted documentary evidence in a way that would have been unfamiliar to the late Sir James Frazer." More The Golden Bough has been criticized for what are perceived as imperialist, anti-Catholic and racist elements, including Frazer's assumptions that European peasants, Aboriginal Australians and Africans represented fossilized, earlier stages of cultural evolution.
Another important work by Frazer is his six-volume commentary on the Greek traveller Pausanias' description of Greece in the mid-2nd century AD. Since his time, archaeological excavations have added enormously to the knowledge of ancient Greece, but scholars still find much of value in his detailed historical and topographical discussions of different sites, his eyewitness accounts of Greece at the end of the 19th century. Among the most influential elements of the third edition of The Golden Bough is Frazer's theory of cultural evolution and the place Frazer assigns religion and magic in that theory. Frazer's theory of cultural evolution was not absolute and could reverse, but sought to broadly describe three spheres through which cultures were thought to pass over time. Frazer believed that, over time, culture passed through three stages, moving from magic, to religion, to science. Frazer's classification notably diverged from earlier anthropological descriptions of cultural evolution, including that of Auguste Comte, because he claimed magic was both separate from religion and invariably preceded religion.
He defined magic se
Mary I of England
Mary I known as Mary Tudor, was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. She is best known for her aggressive attempt to reverse the English Reformation, which had begun during the reign of her father, Henry VIII; the executions that marked her pursuit of the restoration of Roman Catholicism in England and Ireland led to her denunciation as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents. Mary was the only child of Henry VIII by his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to survive to adulthood, her younger half-brother Edward VI succeeded their father in 1547 at the age of nine. When Edward became mortally ill in 1553, he attempted to remove Mary from the line of succession because he supposed that she would reverse the Protestant reforms that had begun during his reign. On his death, leading politicians proclaimed Lady Jane Grey as queen. Mary speedily assembled a force in East Anglia and deposed Jane, beheaded. Mary was—excluding the disputed reigns of Jane and the Empress Matilda—the first queen regnant of England.
In 1554, Mary married Philip of Spain, becoming queen consort of Habsburg Spain on his accession in 1556. During her five-year reign, Mary had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions. After Mary's death in 1558, her re-establishment of Roman Catholicism was reversed by her younger half-sister and successor Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry and Anne Boleyn, at the beginning of the 45-year Elizabethan era. Mary was born on 18 February 1516 at the Palace of Placentia in England, she was the only child of his first wife Catherine of Aragon to survive infancy. Her mother had suffered many miscarriages. Before Mary's birth, four previous pregnancies had resulted in a stillborn daughter and three short-lived or stillborn sons, including Henry, Duke of Cornwall. Mary was baptised into the Catholic faith at the Church of the Observant Friars in Greenwich three days after her birth, her godparents included Lord Chancellor Thomas Wolsey. Henry VIII's cousin once removed, Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, stood sponsor for Mary's confirmation, held after the baptism.
The following year, Mary became a godmother herself when she was named as one of the sponsors of her cousin Frances Brandon. In 1520, the Countess of Salisbury was appointed Mary's governess. Sir John Hussey Lord Hussey, was her chamberlain from 1530, his wife, Lady Anne, daughter of George Grey, 2nd Earl of Kent, was one of Mary's attendants. Mary was a precocious child. In July 1520, when scarcely four and a half years old, she entertained a visiting French delegation with a performance on the virginals. A great part of her early education came from her mother, who consulted the Spanish humanist Juan Luis Vives for advice and commissioned him to write De Institutione Feminae Christianae, a treatise on the education of girls. By the age of nine, Mary could write Latin, she studied French, music and Greek. Henry VIII doted on his daughter and boasted to the Venetian ambassador Sebastian Giustiniani, "This girl never cries"; as the miniature portrait of her shows, Mary had, like both her parents, a fair complexion, pale blue eyes and red or reddish-golden hair.
She was ruddy cheeked, a trait she inherited from her father. Despite his affection for Mary, Henry was disappointed that his marriage had produced no sons. By the time Mary was nine years old, it was apparent that Henry and Catherine would have no more children, leaving Henry without a legitimate male heir. In 1525, Henry sent Mary to the border of Wales to preside in name only, over the Council of Wales and the Marches, she was given her own court based at Ludlow Castle and many of the royal prerogatives reserved for the Prince of Wales. Vives and others called her the Princess of Wales, although she was never technically invested with the title, she appears to have spent three years in the Welsh Marches, making regular visits to her father's court, before returning permanently to the home counties around London in mid-1528. Throughout Mary's childhood, Henry negotiated potential future marriages for her; when she was only two years old, she was promised to Francis, the infant son of King Francis I of France, but the contract was repudiated after three years.
In 1522, at the age of six, she was instead contracted to marry her 22-year-old first cousin, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. However, the engagement was broken off within a few years by Charles with Henry's agreement. Cardinal Wolsey, Henry's chief adviser resumed marriage negotiations with the French, Henry suggested that Mary marry the Dauphin's father, King Francis I himself, eager for an alliance with England. A marriage treaty was signed which provided that Mary marry either Francis I or his second son Henry, Duke of Orleans, but Wolsey secured an alliance with France without the marriage. According to the Venetian Mario Savorgnano, by this time Mary was developing into a pretty, well-proportioned young lady with a fine complexion. Meanwhile, the marriage of Mary's parents was in jeopardy. Disappointed at the lack of a male heir, eager to remarry, Henry attempted to have his marriage to Catherine annulled, but Pope Clement VII refused his request. Henry claimed, citing biblical passages, that his marriage to Catherine was unclean because she was the widow of his brother Arthur.
Catherine claimed so was not a valid marriage. Her first marriage had been annulled by a previous pope, Julius II, on t
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, his works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, by the 20th century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are still read today. Born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, five novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles and performed readings extensively, was an indefatigable letter writer, campaigned vigorously for children's rights and other social reforms. Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humour and keen observation of character and society.
His novels, most published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction, which became the dominant Victorian mode for novel publication. Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense; the instalment format allowed Dickens to evaluate his audience's reaction, he modified his plot and character development based on such feedback. For example, when his wife's chiropodist expressed distress at the way Miss Mowcher in David Copperfield seemed to reflect her disabilities, Dickens improved the character with positive features, his plots were constructed, he wove elements from topical events into his narratives. Masses of the illiterate poor chipped in ha'pennies to have each new monthly episode read to them, opening up and inspiring a new class of readers. Dickens was regarded as the literary colossus of his age, his 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol, remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre. Oliver Twist and Great Expectations are frequently adapted, like many of his novels, evoke images of early Victorian London.
His 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, set in London and Paris, is his best-known work of historical fiction. Dickens has been praised by fellow writers—from Leo Tolstoy to George Orwell, G. K. Chesterton and Tom Wolfe—for his realism, prose style, unique characterisations, social criticism. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Virginia Woolf complained of a lack of psychological depth, loose writing, a vein of sentimentalism; the term Dickensian is used to describe something, reminiscent of Dickens and his writings, such as poor social conditions or comically repulsive characters. Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on 7 February 1812, at 1 Mile End Terrace, Landport in Portsea Island, the second of eight children of Elizabeth Dickens and John Dickens, his father was temporarily stationed in the district. He asked Christopher Huffam, rigger to His Majesty's Navy and head of an established firm, to act as godfather to Charles. Huffam is thought to be the inspiration for Paul Dombey, the owner of a shipping company in Dickens's novel Dombey and Son.
In January 1815, John Dickens was called back to London, the family moved to Norfolk Street, Fitzrovia. When Charles was four, they relocated to Sheerness, thence to Chatham, where he spent his formative years until the age of 11, his early life seems to have been idyllic, though he thought himself a "very small and not-over-particularly-taken-care-of boy". Charles spent time outdoors, but read voraciously, including the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett and Henry Fielding, as well as Robinson Crusoe and Gil Blas, he reread The Arabian Nights and the Collected Farces of Elizabeth Inchbald. He retained poignant memories of childhood, helped by an excellent memory of people and events, which he used in his writing, his father's brief work as a clerk in the Navy Pay Office afforded him a few years of private education, first at a dame school, at a school run by William Giles, a dissenter, in Chatham. This period came to an end in June 1822, when John Dickens was recalled to Navy Pay Office headquarters at Somerset House, the family moved to Camden Town in London.
The family had left Kent amidst mounting debts, living beyond his means, John Dickens was forced by his creditors into the Marshalsea debtors' prison in Southwark, London in 1824. His wife and youngest children joined him there. Charles 12 years old, boarded with Elizabeth Roylance, a family friend, at 112 College Place, Camden Town. Roylance was "a reduced old lady, long known to our family", whom Dickens immortalised, "with a few alterations and embellishments", as "Mrs Pipchin" in Dombey and Son, he lived in a back-attic in the house of an agent for the Insolvent Court, Archibald Russell, "a fat, good-natured, kind old gentleman... with a quiet old wife" and lame son, in Lant Street in Southwark. They provided the inspiration for the Garlands in The Old Curiosity Shop. On Sundays—with his sister Frances, free from her studies at the Royal Academy of Music—he spent the day at the Marshalsea. Dickens used the prison as a setting in Little Dorrit. To pay for his board and to help his family, Dickens was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days at Warren's Blacking Warehouse, on Hungerford Stairs, near the present Charing Cross railway station, where he earned six shillings
The Wicker Man
The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy. It stars Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, Christopher Lee; the screenplay by Anthony Shaffer, inspired by David Pinner's 1967 novel Ritual, centres on the visit of Police Sergeant Neil Howie to the isolated island of Summerisle, in search of a missing girl. Howie, a devout Christian, is appalled to find that the inhabitants of the island have abandoned Christianity and now practise a form of Celtic paganism. Paul Giovanni composed the film score; the Wicker Man is well-regarded by critics. Film magazine Cinefantastique described it as "The Citizen Kane of horror movies", in 2004 Total Film magazine named The Wicker Man the sixth greatest British film of all time, it won the 1978 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film, the burning Wicker Man scene was No. 45 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments, during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony the film was included as part of a sequence that celebrated British cinema.
In 2013, a copy of the original U. S. theatrical version was digitally released. In 1989, Shaffer wrote a script treatment for The Loathsome Lambton Worm, a direct sequel with fantasy elements. Hardy had no interest in the project, it was never produced. In 2006, an ill-received American remake was released, from which Hardy and others involved with the original have dissociated themselves. In 2011, a spiritual sequel entitled The Wicker Tree was released to mixed reviews; this film was directed by Hardy, featured Lee in a cameo appearance. Police Sergeant Neil Howie journeys to the remote Hebridean island Summerisle to investigate the disappearance of a young girl, Rowan Morrison, about whom he has received an anonymous letter. Howie, a devout Christian, is disturbed to find the islanders paying homage to the pagan Celtic gods of their ancestors, they copulate in the fields, include children as part of the May Day celebrations, teach children of the phallic association of the maypole, place toads in their mouths to cure sore throats.
The Islanders, including Rowan's own mother, appear to be attempting to thwart his investigation by claiming that Rowan never existed. While staying at the Green Man Inn, Howie notices a series of photographs celebrating the annual harvest, each featuring a young girl as the May Queen; the photograph of the most recent celebration is suspiciously missing. The landlord's beautiful daughter, attempts to seduce Howie, so that he would no longer remain a virgin, but he refuses her advances. Howie enters the local school and enquires about Rowan among the students, but all deny her existence, he finds Rowan's name in it. He questions the school teacher and she tells him about her burial plot. After seeing Rowan's burial plot, Howie meets the island's leader, Lord Summerisle, grandson of a Victorian agronomist, to obtain permission for an exhumation. Lord Summerisle explains that his grandfather developed strains of fruit trees that would prosper in Scotland's climate, encouraged the belief that old gods would use the new strains to bring prosperity to the island.
Over the next several generations, the island's inhabitants embraced pagan religion. Howie finds the missing harvest photograph, showing Rowan standing amidst empty boxes, the harvest had failed, his research reveals that when there is a poor harvest, the islanders make a human sacrifice to ensure that the next harvest will be bountiful. He has been chosen for sacrifice. During the May Day celebration, Howie knocks out and ties up the innkeeper so he can steal his costume and mask and infiltrates the parade; when it seems the villagers are about to sacrifice Rowan, he cuts her free and flees with her into a cave. On exiting it, they are intercepted by the islanders, to whom Rowan returns. Lord Summerisle tells Howie, he fits their gods' four requirements: he came of his own free will, with "the power of a king", is a virgin, is a fool. Defiant, Howie loudly warns Lord Summerisle and the islanders that the fruit-tree strains are failing permanently and that the villagers will turn on him and sacrifice him next summer when the next harvest fails as well.
The villagers force Howie inside a giant wicker man statue, set it ablaze and surround it, singing the Middle English folk song "Sumer Is Icumen In." Inside the wicker man, a terrified Howie recites Psalm 23, prays to Christ. He curses the islanders; the head of the wicker man collapses in flames. In the early 1970s, the actor Christopher Lee was a Hammer Horror regular, best known for his roles in a series of successful films, beginning with The Curse of Frankenstein. Lee wanted to take on more interesting acting roles, he met with screenwriter Anthony Shaffer, they agreed to work together. Film director Robin Hardy and British Lion head Peter Snell became involved in the project. Shaffer had a series of conversations with Hardy, the two decided that it would be fun to make a horror film centering on "old religion", in sharp contrast to the Hammer films they had both seen as horror film fans. Shaffer read the David Pinner novel Ritual, in which a devout Christian policeman is called to investigate what appears to be the ritual murder of a young girl in a rural