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Georges Rodenbach was born Georges Raymond Constantin Rodenbach in Tournai, Belgium Rodenbach was born into a bourgeois family and made a good living in the legal profession before turning largely to writing. His writings as a novelist and poet were mostly in what is known as the Symbolist style. In fact, his short novel, Bruges-la-Morte, is often described as the touchstone of the Symbolist style. All other Symbolist works are essentially compared to it. Although volumes have been written on Symbolist style, its basic tenet is that pure truth can only be described indirectly so the reader or viewer can experience truth through the feelings evoked by the words or images. The works of American author Edgar Allen Poe are often infused with Symbolist meaning. Georges Rodenbach’s Symbolist novel, Bruges-la-Morte (roughly translated, The Dead City of Bruges), was published in 1892 and was the first well known work of fiction illustrated with photographs. The basic plot of the book has a widower so devastated by the death of his wife that he lives with all of her things (clothes, locks of hair and letters) and he almost never leaves the house. He later becomes obsessed with another woman who looks like her, but she can never replace the fantasy of his wife, and the book ends in tragedy.

Rodenbach’s life, too, was ultimately one of tragedy. He died at the age of 43 on Christmas Day 1898 of appendicitis. Georges Rodenbach’s tomb is one of the most evocative in Pere-Lachaise. The bronze sculpture crafted by Charlotte Besnard (1855-1930), is an exact likeness of him breaking out of his tomb.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stratford, became lord deputy. Copenhagen Map New bishops, who were severely anti-Presbyterian, came into office. The locals contacted settlers in Massachusetts and received sufficient encouragement that some attempted to migrate in pursuit of religious freedom. Unfortunately, on this occasion, their ship, the Eaglewing, proved unable to withstand stormy weather, so the migration was delayed. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Ireland was tumultuous with rebellion, the Cromwellian Interregnum, and the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, when William of Orange, with French assistance, bested the Catholic James II. Rebellions occurred in 1798 and 1803. Repression, unrest, higher rents, disabilities the Scots-Irish had ample reason to leave their homeland. And when a congregation’s minister led the way, they emigrated. Although the colonies were strongly anti-Catholic, they held no animosity toward Presbyterians or other nonconformists. These sorts were allowed to enjoy religious freedom and to prosper, as long as they were not too conspicuous in their peculiarities and avoided the strongly religious colonies of New England.

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