Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writings. In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counter-example to slaveholders' arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave.
Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, pamphleteer and spy. He is most famous for his novel Robinson Crusoe, which is second only to the Bible in its number of translations. Defoe is noted for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain with others such as Aphra Behn and Samuel Richardson, and is among the founders of the English novel. Defoe wrote many political tracts and often was in trouble with the authorities, including prison time. Intellectuals and political leaders paid attention to his fresh ideas and sometimes consulted with him.
François Rabelais was a French Renaissance writer, physician, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar. He has historically been regarded as a writer of fantasy, satire, the grotesque, bawdy jokes and songs. His best known work is Gargantua and Pantagruel. Because of his literary power and historical importance, Western literary critics consider him one of the great writers of world literature and among the creators of modern European writing. His literary legacy is such that today, the word Rabelaisian has been coined as a descriptive inspired by his work and life. Merriam-Webster defines the word as describing someone or something that is "marked by gross robust humor, extravagance of caricature, or bold naturalism".
Kenneth Grahame was a Scottish writer, most famous for The Wind in the Willows , one of the classics of children's literature. He also wrote The Reluctant Dragon. Both books were later adapted for stage and film, of which A.A. Milne's Toad of Toad Hall was the first. The Disney films, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and The Reluctant Dragon, have become the best known adaptations.
Once I had learnt my twelve times table (at the age of three) it was downhill all the way.Fred Hoyle
Positive thinking is more than just a tagline. It changes the way we behave. And I firmly believe that when I am positive, it not only makes me better, but it also makes those around me better.Harvey Mackay
For me, every single thing I do seems to be about the process of letting go because that's what I so desperately need to do with so many things: with fear, with what people think of me, and all these things I've worried about my whole life.John Grant
There weren't any astronauts until I was about 10. Yuri Gagarin went into space right around my 10th birthday.John L. Phillips