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Georges Feydeau

Georges Feydeau (1862–1921) was a French playwright of the Belle Époque era, remembered for his farces. His first full-length comedy, Tailleur pour dames ('Ladies' tailor'), was well-received. After studying earlier masters of French comedy, particularly Eugène Labiche, Alfred Hennequin and Henri Meilhac, he wrote or collaborated on seventeen full-length plays between 1892 and 1914, many of which have become staples of the theatrical repertoire in France and abroad. They include L'Hôtel du libre échange ('The Free Exchange Hotel', 1894), La Dame de chez Maxim ('The lady from Maxim's', 1899), La Puce à l'oreille ('A flea in her ear', 1907) and Occupe-toi d'Amélie! ('Look after Amélie', 1908). His plays are marked by recognisable characters and fast-moving comic plots of mistaken identity, attempted adultery, split-second timing and a precariously happy ending. In the 1940s and 1950s, productions by Jean-Louis Barrault and the Comédie-Française revived interest in his works. (Full article...)

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Edward Bouchet

Edward Bouchet (1852–1918) was an American physicist and educator. He was the first African American to earn a PhD from an American university, completing his dissertation in physics at Yale University in 1876. Bouchet had become one of the first African Americans to graduate from Yale College in 1874. On the basis of his academic record, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, an academic honor society. Unable to find a university-teaching or research-facility position due to racial discrimination, he moved to Philadelphia in 1876 and took a position at the Institute for Colored Youth, where he taught physics and chemistry for the next 26 years. This photograph of Bouchet, from the archives of Yale, is part of a portrait album of students in the class of 1874.

Photograph credit: George Kendall Warren; restored by Adam Cuerden

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