Wednesday, July 18, 2007

1692 to 1699

1692. Accusations of witchcraft by English-American clergyman Samuel Parris, 39, result in dozens of alleged witches being brought to trial at Salem in the Massachusetts colony. Nineteen will be hanged and one pressed to death in the next two years, many of them on the testimony of 12-year-old Annie Putnam.

1693. The Amish sect has its beginnings in a schism from the Mennonite church in Switzerland led by Swiss Mennonite bishop Jacob Amman, whose followers observe strict discipline marked by opposition to change in dress or way of life.

Love for Love. William Congreve. British. 1695. Play. Relinquishes his inheritance to his brother if his father will pay his debts. attempts to regain the inheritance with the help of Angelica.

Contes de ma mere l'Oye (Mother Goose Tales). Charles Perrault. French. 1697. Gave stories form in which they are known today. Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding-Hood, Puss-in-Boots, Cinderella, Tom Thumb and The Fairies.

"Puss-in-Boots." Ingenious cat with a ready wit secures a fortune for his master, a penniless miller.

"Little Red Riding-Hood." Little girl bringing present to grandmother devoured by wolf disguised in old lady's nightcap. Brothers Grimm ending: huntsman slits open the wolf and restores the child and grandmother to life.

"Tom Thumb." Pygmy hero of an old nursery tale, popular in the 16th century. Series of misadventures: cherry stones, pudding, cow, fish, butterfly. Death at the hands of a spider. Begins with Merlin and ends at King Arthur's Court.

"Bluebeard." Each new wife is warned not to open a door. Six do and are murdered. The seventh does also, but escapes.

"Cinderella or the Little Glass Slipper." Household drudge transformed by fairy godmother. Details of the complete story are gruesome.

1697. The Russian czar Peter visits Holland, France and England incognito, the first Russian sovereign to venture abroad. Peter tastes the fruits of Western civilization and determines to westernize Russia.

Telemaque. Francois Fenelon. French. 1699. Romance. Pretext for a dissertation on politics, morals, education and religion. Prototype of religious and political tract disguised as a novel.

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