On this day in 1764 William Hogarth died, leaving behind The Rake's Progress - but not A Harlot's Progress, which was destroyed in a fire. Since his early work was as bootlegged as a Grateful Dead concert, he promoted a law protecting copyright, still known as "Hogarth's Act".
Niccol Paganini, the demon violinist said to be in league with Beelzebub on account of his devilish technique, was born in 1782; he could cut off a couple of strings in mid-performance - and carry on regardless.
Francis Bacon was born in 1909; his life, like the film Love is the Devil, was Certificate 18, but in 1989 that didn't stop one of his paintings achieving the highest price for a living British artist: $6.27m, in New York.
Don Giovanni was first performed in Prague in 1787. Mozart's philandering hero was carted off to hell by a moving statue, although these days retribution would be left to the Starr Report.
In 1938 gullible Americans fled from a fictitious Martian invasion, thanks to Orson Welles's 1938 radio version of The War of the Worlds by HG Wells, which was convincingly presented as a news story; 60 years later, they all think they've been abducted anyway.
A great meeting of literary minds - and bodies - took place in 1924 when Ford Madox Ford (The Good Soldier) began an affair with Jean Rhys (Wide Sargasso Sea). In 1964 the Windmill Theatre near Piccadilly Circus - slogan, "We Never Closed" - closed.
The painter of sticklike characters, LS Lowry, was born in 1887, in what was, in pre-Thatcher days, an industrial landscape. Until retirement, he never gave up his day job as a rent collector and chief cashier.Reuse content