" I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
"
Stephen Crane

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History

Cyrano de Bergerac Premieres in Paris

The title character in Cyrano de Bergerac, an 1897 play by Edmond Rostand, was based on a successful 17th c. writer with an exceptionally large nose. Rostand's play, which is written entirely in rhymed couplets, is the tale of Cyrano, a soldier and poet, who falls in love with the beautiful Roxane. Rather than woo Roxane himself, the large-nosed Cyrano provides his handsome friend, Christian, with the dialogue to win her heart. What word did this play introduce into the English language?

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The Golden Age of Whodunit

Beginning in the 1920s, the complex, plot-driven, whodunit genre of detective fiction experienced a 30-year Golden Age. In these stories, the puzzle takes center stage, and readers, who are provided with clues throughout the book, are challenged to deduce the perpetrator's identity before it is revealed in the mystery's final pages. Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone (1868) is widely regarded as one of the first true whodunits. What famed children's author also penned a whodunit in 1922?

Born on a day like today

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Woodrow Wilson

Wilson served as US President from 1913 to 1921, a period that spanned the country's involvement in WWI. Following the war, Wilson hoped to achieve world peace through his "Fourteen Points," but his progressive vision suffered numerous setbacks, and he ended his term incapacitated by a stroke. Nevertheless, while trying to implement his plan at the Paris Peace conference, he became the first US President to travel to Europe while in office. Wilson's image is featured on what unit of US currency?

Last updated on Friday, 28th December 2007

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