2006: From Beckett to Betjeman - a bumper crop of anniversaries
Ian Irvine surveys the year's anniversaries: births, deaths and a play that changed theatre for ever
Sunday 01 January 2006
But there are quite a few arguably lesser figures: Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich (25 September), Irish playwright Samuel Beckett (13 April), film director Billy Wilder (22 June), novelists T H White (29 May) and Catherine Cookson (20 June), and poet John Betjeman (28 August), who all celebrate the centenaries of their birth. The painter Paul Cezanne and the playwright Henrik Ibsen both died in 1906.
It's 150 years since the birth of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (6 May), and another Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw (26 July). Two hundred years offers only the birth of philosopher John Stuart Mill, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and engineering Titan Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and the deaths of prime minister William Pitt and painter George Stubbs; 300 years has the birth of the omnicompetent Benjamin Franklin and the death of John Evelyn, diarist, author and arboriculturalist.
Fifty years ago saw the first performance of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger at the Royal Court and the publication of Colin Wilson's The Outsider - launching the media phenomenon of the Angry Young Man.
And, 100 years ago, San Francisco was almost destroyed by earthquake and fire. Expect to hear much more about these people and events in the coming year.
- 1 Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
- 2 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Scotland independence vote: Everything you ever wanted to know about life after the result
Amy Winehouse statue unveiled in Camden
Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton nude pictures exhibition cancelled after artist concedes photos were 'stolen property'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Dorset named best place to retire in England and Wales
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained in Los Angeles after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
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