today was born – Peter Shaffer

Peter Levin Shaffer and his twin brother Anthony were born on May 15, 1926, inLiverpool, England. After working in the Chislet coal mine (miniera di carbone),  Shaffer attended TrinityCollegein Cambridge, where he and Anthony co-edited the student magazine Grantha.  From 1951 to 1954, Shaffer lived in New York and worked at a variety of jobs: at Doubleday’s Book Shop, an airline terminal, Grand Central Station, Lord and Taylors department store, and the New York Public Library. He then spent two more years in London working for Boosey and Hawkes music publishers where he decided to devote himself to playwriting (scrivere drammi). From 1956 to 1957, Shaffer worked as a literary critic for the weekly review (rivista letteraria settimanale) Truth and from 1961 to 1962 as a music critic for Time and Tide. In 1987, Shaffer was awarded (fu conferito) the prestigious honorary title of Commander, Order of the British Empire. Shaffer’s production is large; he wrote The Woman in the Wardrobe (1950) How Doth the Little Crocodile? (1952) and Withered Murder (1955), three detective stories; the television play The Salt Lands and  his thriller Balance of Terror ; The Prodigal Father broadcast on the radio;  the stage play, Five Finger Exercise (all 1957); The Private Ear and The Public Eye (1962). But his main success are  in  the 1970s: The Battle of Shrivings(1970), where a mad poet challenges (sfida) an old humanist not to throw

him out of his home, a former (prima) medieval convent, whatever (qualunque sia) his behaviour; Equus (1973), a drama about an analyst’s relationship with his horse-obsessed patient; and his success Amadeus (1979), a penetrating psychological study of the effects of success and failure (fallimento) and the search for spirituality through a portrayal (ritratto) of the composers Mozart and Salieri. The popularity of the play ensured (assicurò) the success of the 1984 film version, directed by Milos Forman, which received nominations for eleven Oscars and won eight, including best picture, best director, and best actor.