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May 12, 1842
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer best known for his operas. His compositions were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and he ranks as one of the greatest melodists of his era. Soon after his death, Massenet's style went out of fashion, and many of his operas fell into almost total oblivion. Apart from Manon
, his works were rarely performed. However, since the mid-1970s, many operas of his such as Thaïs
have undergone periodic revivals.
June 24, 1842
Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist. Today, he is probably best-known for his short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and his satirical lexicon The Devil's Dictionary
. His vehemence as a critic, his motto "Nothing matters" and the sardonic view of human nature that informed his work all earned him the nickname "Bitter Bierce".
December 9, 1842
Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was a Russian zoologist, activist, philosopher, economist, writer, scientist, evolutionary theorist, geographer and one of the world's foremost anarcho-communists. Kropotkin advocated a communist society free from central government and based on voluntary associations between workers.