This Was The Week That Was

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
Today On this day in 1609 "Three Blind Mice" was published in London, one of the earliest secular songs to be printed. The bit about the farmer's wife snipping off their tails was added later.

Tuesday For the actor-manager Henry Irving, it was curtains on this day in 1905. His big turn was in the melodrama The Bells, but his house manager Bram Stoker may have drawn on Irving's character for his Count Dracula. Wednesday In 1869, the architect John Taylor moved into his single-storey, prefabricated dwelling in Westgate. It was Britain's first bungalow, named after Bengal where the design was de rigueur. Thursday There had been centuries of comedy and millennia of music, but the first musical comedy was not until 1892 - In Town by Adrian Ross and James Leader, at the Prince of Wales Theatre.

Friday In 1847, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre was published. Sales were better than for the Bronte sisters' previous work, a joint volume of poems that had shifted just two copies. Saturday In 1922, Cyrano de Bergerac became Britain's first radio play, transmitted from Marconi's experimental station 2MT in a shed in Essex, to listeners crouched over "cat's-whisker" sets. The cast included a Mr Wynn, later to become chief engineer of the BBC. Sunday In 1851, Moby Dick surfaced in England's bookshops, but sank almost as rapidly as it had in the US. Herman Melville ended up with a 19-year day job in New York's Customs House ("Excuse me, sir, is this your whale?").