Edgar Allan Poe

Lead: After a life of brilliant dissipation Edgar Allan Poe, whose lyrical musings delved deep into the dark precincts of the soul, died on October 7, 1849.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: After a classical education in Europe, further stumbling attempts at Virginia and West Point came to grief. Gambling and especially drink were the scourge of Poe's life. Despite his inner struggles and unrealized potential, Poe's intellectual radiance and unique ability to describe the fears and desires of the human condition could not but break through. Living the life of the gypsy author he wandered the East Coast seeking patrons and work, all the while churning out a prodigious and increasingly popular collection of detective stories, poems, narratives, stories of supernatural horror, dark journeys of inner terror that all too often seemed autobiographical.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Lead: She was Harriet Beecher Stowe, the little lady who made the big war.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1850 a series of laws were passed by the Congress of the United States that came to be known as the Compromise of 1850. This secured relative peace between North and South and delayed by a decade the coming Civil War. One the parts of the compromise was a strengthened Fugitive Slave Law. It was passed to block the growing campaign by abolitionists and others opposed to slavery who were trying to help slaves escape captivity.

 

 

LFM – Walt Whitman

Lead: For 400 years service men and women have fought to carve out and defend freedom and the civilization we know as America. This series on A Moment in Time is devoted to the memory of those warriors, whose devotion gave, in the words of Lincoln at Gettysburg, the last full measure.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Though he is perhaps best known as the “Poet of Democracy,” chronicling the lives of working men in whose vocations he apprenticed as a youth and later, Walt Whitman also portrayed the heroic and tragic adventure of war, detailing the crushed dreams, lingering hopes and heartbreak of soldiers, North and South, in the Republic’s greatest epic, the American Civil War.

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Samuel Johnson: His Great Dictionary

Lead: In 1755, Samuel Johnson published the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language. Although recognized by scholars as a serious work, in places it was kind of quirky.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: During the 1700s the English middle class grew exponentially. With that expansion there was also a surge in the literacy rate, with a corresponding demand for books and newspapers. While enjoying this new interest in their stock in trade, scholars, booksellers and publishers were becoming increasingly alarmed about the lack of rules and increasing incorrect usage.

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Samuel Johnson: The Library in the 18th Century

Lead: It is not surprising that 18th century English writer and critic Samuel Johnson should have an opinion about libraries. He said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over a half a library to make one book.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: By 1800 London was the largest city in Europe. With a population of over one million over the previous century it had become the cultural, economic and educational center of an Empire. The explosive growth of manufacturing, trade, and finance had transformed the English middle class. Increasing leisure time meant that the middling sort could enjoy the theater, frequent the City’s hundreds of coffee houses and devote their time to clubs and societies.

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Samuel Johnson: Founding of The Spectator

Lead: In 1711, English British essayists Joseph Addison and Richard Steele founded a periodical known as the The Spectator. It exposed the growing British middle class to the ideas of the Enlightenment and gave authors a chance to try out a new style: the periodic essay.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sam Johnson said of Joseph Addison, one of the founders of The Spectator: “Whoever wishes to attain an English style, familiar but not coarse, and elegant but not ostentatious, must give his days and nights to the volumes of Addison.”

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Introduction to Samuel Johnson II

Lead: Poet, biographer, lexicographer, critic and essayist Samuel Johnson was born 300 years ago in the midlands village of Lichfield, England.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Sam Johnson was a sickly child scarred by scrofula, a tuberculin infection of the lymph glands, and for the rest of his life his awkward appearance was compounded by a nervous condition and facial tics not to mention long periods of melancholy or depression. He was regarded as something of an eccentric but as soon as he opened his mouth and spoke his fluid, witty, and brilliant conversation, people around him, even the most famous, were captivated.

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Introduction to Samuel Johnson I

Lead: 2009 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest figures of 18th century English life and letters. His contemporaries knew him simply as "Dr. Johnson."

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Samuel Johnson, poet, biographer, lexicographer, critic and essayist, stands astride 18th century English scholarship and criticism. Yet, Johnson's prominence owes as much to another's writings as it does to his own accomplishments. In 1763 young James Boswell met and fell intellectually in love with Johnson. Over the years after their meeting, Boswell meticulously recorded conversations and details about his friend and memorialized them in one of the most influential books of the century, the landmark biography, Life of Johnson.

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