Saints celebrating feast days today include Benedict (patron of architects, coppersmiths, the dying, Europe, schoolchildren, farm workers, monks, spelunkers, and servants who break things; invoked against gallstones, kidney disease, fever, poison, and witchcraft; invoked by the dying), Drostan, John of Bergamo, Hidulf, and Olga.
Birthdays today include Tab Hunter, who turns 72 (1931, NY, NY). How the heck is that possible?
Hey! For a mere $20 you (or a friend) can be the proud owner of an autographed photo of the man who defined movie-star-handsome. Click on the photo and find out how.
Chase's 1997 Calendar of Events lists today as Bowdler Day and states that today's the day (since he was born July 11, 1754) to remember Thomas Bowdler. No sponsor is given for this day of remembrance, so I can only think that this day, like the spurious Eliza Doolittle Day (May 20), is something the authors of Chase's have fabricated for their own amusement. Chase's, unlike the Saint Report, does not value veracity over all else. Hmmph.
This is not to say that the concept of Bowdler Day is without merit; Thomas Bowdler should be remembered by everyone who values free speech and understands that the constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Speech means we cheerfully give up any possible constitutional guarantee of Freedom from Being Offended.
Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) was an Englishman who devoted his life to creating expurgated versions of the classics. He gutted Shakespeare, "purified" History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and rewrote parts of the Old Testament to put it more in line with his view of decency. He was a pedant and a prig.*
The word bowdlerize, commonly used to to mean butchering a literary work to make it acceptable to the prudish, is a living testimonial to Thomas Bowdler's life's work.
*Correction: After making such a big deal about veracity, it looks as though I have goofed. Not only did I goof, but I didn't fix the goof for almost two years. Here is more from an expert...
While researching Thomas Bowdler, the Rev. J. Granger came to light. Where Bowdler achieved his fame for removing things from works, Pastor Granger took great delight in supplementing them with anything that vaguely related to the text, the author, illustrators or illustrations. A "grangerized" version of a book would be one that had all sorts of extra stuff added.
And in researching James Granger, the term olla podrida was used. An olla podrida, according to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, is "an incongruous mixture, a miscellaneous collection of any kind, a medley."
Like the Saint Report.