B--, THE HISTORIAN. In "Scandal," one of the figures in Lucien Simon's painting of a group of Kitty Ayrshire's friends "having tea in the painter's salon in Paris." The painting is apparently fictitious, but "B--" is probably Émile Bourgeois ( 1857-1934), a renowned professor of history. In 1877 he entered the École Normale Supérieure of the Sorbonne, and he finished in 1880, going the next year to the Lycée at Angers. His career included teaching appointments at Caen beginning in 1882, at Lyon beginning in 1885, and at the École Normale in 1893, where he succeeded Gabriel Monod. At the Sorbonne, in the University of Paris, where he began teaching political and diplomatic history in 1904, he eventually succeeded Ernest Denis in the chair of modern history in 1921. Bourgeois published many works on diplomatic history and received many honors before retiring in 1932. S:Sca
BABIES' HOSPITAL. In "Coming, Aphrodite!" painter Don Hedger is described as a loner who has never taken proper interest in such civic affairs as the "scandal about the Babies' Hospital." The Babies Hospital of the City of New York was organized in 1887 by a group of people interested in the care of sick babies under two years of age in New York. Incorporated at 657 Lexington Avenue, in the 1920s it became a part of the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center along Broadway from 165th to 168th streets. No famous scandal has been discovered. S: Com2.
BABYLON. Willa Cather alludes in four works to Babylon and the splendors of its hanging gardens. Located on the Euphrates River in ancient Mesopotamia, the city is now fifty-five miles south of Baghdad and a few miles north of Hilla in central Iraq. Dating back to 3000 B.C., it became the Babylonian capital and commercial center under the reign of King Hammurabi ( 1792-1750 B.C.). After the fall of the old Babylonian empire, it became the capital for later Kassite and then Assyrian kings (q.v.). Sennacherib destroyed the city in 689 B.C. but it was quickly rebuilt by Esarhaddon and became the Chaldean capital which reached its golden age under Nebuchadnezzar II. In addition to military exercises, the king's chief obsessions were architecture and religion, passions he indulged by conquering the Jews and keeping
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Publication information: Book title: A Reader's Companion to the Fiction of Willa Cather. Contributors: John March - Author, Marilyn Arnold - Editor, Debra Lynn Thornton - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 41.