Viol Melancholy: William Lawes dies this week in 1645

    William Lawes, the great Cavalier composer at the court of King Charles I, was killed by Parliamentarians at the Siege of Chester on September 24, 1645. Charles I, devastated, afterwards declared Lawes the “Father of Musicke” and put on “blacks” (mourning) in his memory. Lawes was 43, two years younger than the king. The king’s stand-off with Parliament …

The Seamy World of Simenon

      Georges Simenon, creator of the somber, pipe-smoking Paris detective Jules Maigret, pursued sex, fame and money relentlessly. By the time he died in 1989 he had written nearly 200 novels, over 150 novellas, several memoirs and countless short stories. His demonic productivity and the vast sales and fortune it brought him were matched by a vaunted sexual …