" In reality, of course, life rushes from within, not from without. There is no work of art so big or so beautiful that it was not once all contained in some youthful body, like this one which lay on the floor in the moonlight, pulsing with ardor and anticipation. "
Willa Cather

Back in the day


Haymarket Riot

This violent confrontation between Chicago police and labor protesters, which dramatized the labor movement's struggle for recognition, began when a bomb was thrown into the police ranks at a gathering of radical unionists protesting police brutality against strikers. With seven officers dead and 60 wounded, the police opened fire on the crowd. Seven anarchist leaders were later sentenced to death. Why is their trial regarded as one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in US history?



The Byronic Hero

The Byronic hero is an idealized but flawed character exemplified in the writings of English poet Lord Byron. The archetype first appears in Byron's semiautobiographical epic narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and is portrayed as highly intelligent and sophisticated while simultaneously self-critical, mysterious, and seductive. Such characters possess many "dark" attributes not normally associated with heroes. What best-selling modern children's book series features a Byronic hero?

Born on a day like today


Bartolomeo Cristofori

Scholars believe that though Cristofori was employed as the custodian of musical instruments at the court of Prince Ferdinand de' Medici, he was hired for the position largely because of his other talent—inventing instruments. His most successful creation was the pianoforte, which, unlike the harpsichord, varies the volume of its sound depending on the force with which its keys are struck. He is thus generally regarded as the inventor of the piano. What other instruments did Cristofori invent?

Last updated on Tuesday, 4th May 2010

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