" An aspiration is a joy for ever, a possession as solid as a landed estate. "
Robert Louis Stevenson

Back in the day


Robinson Crusoe Is Published

Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe is a fictional autobiography of the eponymous English castaway marooned on a desert island for 28 years. During this time, Crusoe encounters natives, captives, and mutineers and endures endless hardships. The first volume of Defoe's Crusoe story was published in 1719 and garnered immediate acclaim. It is considered by some critics to be the first true English novel. What is the book's full title?




The Quinceañera is, in many Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas, the celebration of a young woman's fifteenth birthday and marks the transition from childhood to adulthood. In this latter respect, the Quinceañera is similar to the "sweet sixteen" or debutante ball of the English-speaking world. Observed differently in different countries, Quinceañera festivities range from modest religious ceremonies to lavish, wedding-style celebrations. What is the origin of the tradition?

Born on a day like today


Oliver Cromwell

Cromwell, a highly controversial figure in English history, was the Puritan leader of the parliamentary forces that battled the Royalists in the English Civil War. After the execution of Charles I in 1649, Cromwell became Lord Protector and virtual dictator of England. He inherited a divided and war-weary nation, to which he forcibly united Scotland and Ireland for the first time. What did the Royalists do to his corpse when they returned to power in 1660?

Last updated on Saturday, 25th April 2009

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