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FACE FACTS: Janus, Roman household god, had two, one to welcome guests and one to bid them farewell; Helen of Troy's "launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium" (Marlowe); Robert Burns's haggis had an "honest, sonsie face"; Lancme thought Isabella Rossellini's too old at 41 to model its rejuvenating creams, but changed its mind after protests from product users; she changed hers last year and abandoned her £2m contract for a better one with a German rival; Helena Christiansen signed a $6m deal with Cover Girl cosmetics in October 1994; Andie McDowell, Hugh Grant's film paramour in 4W's and an eff, earned £750,000 for 12 days as the face of L'Oreal; Elizabeth Hurley, HG's real paramour, has been appointed the face of Este Lauder (her predecessor, Paulina Porozikova, was reputedly the highest-paid face in the world with a contract worth around £5m).

TODAY is the feast day of Saint Fina, who lived in the Tuscan hill village of San Geminiano in the 13th century. Her claim to sainthood lay in the resignation with which she accepted suffering. As a child she would keep half her food to give to the poor but from the age of six was bedridden with painful diseases. When her parents died, friends and neighbours shrunk from her unsightly sores and miserable condition, but at her death, the board on which she had lain sprouted white violets. These still bear the name Santa Fina and bloom at this time of year.

12 March, 1832: Charles Cunningham Boycott (above), soldier, estate manager and eponym, was born at Burgh St Peter, Norfolk. Retiring from the army in 1873, Captain Boycott was appointed agent for the Third Earl of Erne's estates in County Mayo. In 1879, following a series of bad harvests, the Land League was formed in Ireland, against the expectation of a famine. In 1880, the League told Boycott to reduce rents on the Earl's estates by a quarter. He refused, and attempted to evict his tenants. Charles Stewart Parnell, the nationalist leader, persuaded the tenants to eschew violence but instead avoid all communications with Boycott. Boycott retaliated by employing workers from Ulster guarded by soldiers to harvest the Earl's crops. The term "boycott", meaning to shut out from commercial and social intercourse, became common currency almost immediately. Boycott died in Suffolk in 1897.