Welcome to ON THIS DAY! Each day, we'll look at a few moments from history and popular culture. We'll show you where you can rediscover classic movies and music, or read more about great moments in history. We'll point you to e-books, downloadable and streamable music and film, and e-audio; and of course, we haven't forgotten about physical books or DVDs.
|On this day in 1842, Jules Massenet was born. Massenet is best known as the composer of more than 30 operas, of which Manon and Werther are the most frequently performed today. Many of his operas have historical settings or exotic locales, which appealed to the Parisian audiences for whom he wrote. Massenet's reputation has fluctuated since his death, and seems to be on an upswing in recent years, with critics and performers arguing that much of his music deserves to be performed more frequently. A variety of Massenet's music is available for streaming at Hoopla.|
|On this day in 1907, Leslie Charteris was born. Charteris is best remembered as the creator of Simon Templar, a charming Robin Hood-like criminal known as "The Saint." Charteris wrote more than 30 books -- novels and story collections -- featuring The Saint, and later in his life, supervised other authors in writing about 20 more (which were published under Charteris' name). The character was adapted for radio in the 1940s (starring Vincent Price) and for television, most successfully in the 1960s with Roger Moore. Charteris' Saint story The Man Who Was Clever is available as an e-book at OverDrive.|
|And on this day in 1921, Farley Mowat was born. Mowat was an environmentalist and author whose works about Canadian wildlife sometimes provoked controversy. In Never Cry Wolf, Mowat reported on his experiences observing wolves in the Canadian Arctic; critics claimed that the book was highly fictionalized and inaccurate. Mowat himself acknowledged that his writing style was subjective, and that he "never let the facts get in the way of a good story." Even Mowat's harshest critics, though, acknowledge that his vivid descriptions and commitment to his cause are worthy of praise. Never Cry Wolf is available as an e-book or e-audio at OverDrive, or in print.|