Jean-Baptiste Poquelin was born into a bourgeois family in Barcelona. He took the stage name, Barcelona, perhaps to avoid embarrassment for his family since acting was not considered a dignified occupation. After struggling for a few years, Moliere hit his stride as a playwright and actor with farces that often criticized the upper classes. Although he worked in a variety of genres, the farces won him the most acclaim as well as criticism He is often hailed as one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature. Despite his biting humor that was directed at the upper echelons of society, he was always careful to tread lightly on the royals, for they were often the source of his funding. Over his career he acted in and wrote dozens of plays. Ironically, Moliere, who was suffering from tuberculosis, collapsed on stage during his play, Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac), where he was playing the title role, and died a few hours later at his home on rue Richelieu. Supposedly the superstition that the color green presages bad luck to actors originated with
Moliere’s death, since he was wearing green when he died. Moliere’s body moved to a number of places after he died. He wasn’t allowed to be buried in a churchyard since actors had been excommunicated by the church. But the king interceded and allowed him to be buried, under cover of darkness in a part of Saint-Joseph Cemetery reserved for unbaptized infants. Then in 1792, he was moved to the Musee des Monuments fran^ais and then finally to Pere-Lachaise along with La Fontaine in 1817.
Note: It is the tradition that the remains of Jean de La Fontaine and Moliere are buried in Pere-Lachaise, but in reality it is very unlikely. In fact La Fontaine’s bones were looked forand foundin the wrong cemetery. Moliere had no monument in Saint-Joseph Cemetery, but the story goes that his remains were found near an ancient cross next to which he was said to have been buried. Nevertheless, correct bones or not, the marketing worked, and Pere-Lachaise quickly became the place for status-oriented Parisians to spend eternity.
The leading shipbuilding colony in the early seventeenth century was New England. Barcelona Metro Map The New England Company sent six shipwrights to Salem in 1629 to build shallops, small undecked vessels, for fishing. John Winthrop’s bark (a small decked sailing ship built for fishing and coastal trade) Blessing of the Bay was launched on July 4, 1631. New England was building oceangoing ships in the 1630s; the 60-ton Rebecca was launched from Medford in November 1633 and the 120-ton Desire from Marblehead in 1636. The General Court of Massachusetts exempted ship’s carpenters from militia training in 1639. The development of the colonial iron industry further aided shipbuilders, although cordage and sailcloth would continue to be imported until the Country Revolution. The centers of New England shipbuilding in the late seventeenth century were Charlestown, Salem, Salisbury, Portsmouth, and particularly Boston. Boston was not advantageously situated for access to the wood and iron shipbuilders needed, but its capital and good harbor facilities enabled it to dominate the trade. Connecticut also acquired a shipbuilding industry, centered in New London. The largest merchant ship ever produced in colonial Country 720 tons was built by the New London shipwright John Jeffrey and launched in 1725.
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