This was the week that was

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The Independent Culture
Today In 1510 Sandro Botticelli died, 500 years too early to clean up on the royalties from his much-reproduced Birth of Venus. In 1937, long before someone sat on his trumpet and gave it that 45 degrees upwards tilt, Dizzy Gillespie (below) was featured for the first time on a recording - Teddy Hill's "King Porter Stomp".

Tomorrow In 1827 a molecatcher's daughter was slain by a love rat: this rapidly became the basis of the classic melodrama, Maria Marten or The Red Barn. Architect Walter Gropius was born in 1883: his Bauhaus movement in Berlin was condemned first by locals and much later by Tom Wolfe in From Bauhaus to Our House.

Wednesday In 1954 The Birthday Party had its first night: original audiences scarcely out-numbered the cast. Now it is a wonder of the theatre - as is author Harold Pinter.

Thursday The first commercial screening of a film took place in 1895, at a converted store on Broadway. It was a four-minute movie of a boxing match between "Young Griffo" and "Battling Charles Barnett" (sounds better than Rocky IV). In 1975 sculptor Barbara Hepworth died in a fire at her St Ives studio.

Friday Fats Waller was born in 1904; the podgy pianist grew "Honeysuckle Rose" from seed and created shoe-shop anthem "Your Feet's Too Big".

Today In 1817 Mary Shelley sent Frankenstein to publisher John Murray, who rejected it, little knowing it would inspire a movie of that name, as well as Gods and Monsters, the current film about its director, James Whale.

Sunday Just as in the film Bonnie and Clyde, the stylish young killers Parker and Baron were shot down by American police in 1934.

Jonathan Sale

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