This was the week that was

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The Independent Culture
Today On this day in 1872 Eric Gill, carver, designer and, it turns out, incestuous father, was born. He survives in the typeface named after him and in the Prospero and Ariel carving which appears above the entrance to Broadcasting House (or, as John Birt doubtless refers to it, Prospectus and Aerial.

Tomorrow On this day in 1775 Beaumarchais' play The Barber of Seville opened in Paris, where critics snipped it to bits. (In the words of the old joke, it was the fault of the theatre: the seats faced the stage.) Two days later Beaumarchais knocked up a "Barber Mark II" version.

Wednesday Thomas Bowdler died in 1825; he had "bowdlerised" Shakespeare's plays by cutting out the naughty bits, the silly b****r. In 1974 The Guitar Player by Vermeer was stolen from Kenwood House, Hampstead.

Thursday Sir Christopher Wren died in 1723; a professor of astronomy, he diversified into architecture, while moonlighting as an MP.

Friday In 1979 an Old Bailey forgery trial was halted because the defendant was ill; artist Tom Keating later admitted that, yes, he did have a tendency to sign his paintings "Degas", "Goya" or "Rembrandt".

Saturday Elizabeth Taylor was born in 1932; her achievements were to bring her two Oscars and seven husbands, including Richard Burton - twice.

Sunday In 1966, liquidators moved in on Liverpool's Cavern Club, a one- time showcase for The Beatles.

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