To This Great Stage of Fools: Born May 4th

John Dunton, b. 1659. English bookseller, journalist and writer. He wrote an autobiography called Life and Errors of John Dunton. He was Samuel Wesley’s (father of John and Charles) brother-in-law, married to Susanna Wesley’s sister, Elizabeth.

Horace Mann, b.1796. Educator and author known as the Father of Public Education in the United States. “A house without books is like a room without windows. No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books, if he has the means to buy them.” I’m not so enamored of Mr. Mann, but he’s got the right idea about books.

William H. Prescott, also b.1796. Historian and author of History of the Conquest of Mexico. He “suffered from failing eyesight after a thrown crust of bread was temporarily lodged in his eye.” This bread-in-the-eye incident occurred while he was a student at Harvard. Moral: Stay away from Harvard, or bread.

Thomas Henry Huxley, b. 1825. He was an early supporter of Darwin and his theories of natural selection and evolution. His grandsons, Julian and Aldous, carried on the twin family traditions of writing and scientific endeavor.

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