" The land of literature is a fairy-land to those who view it at a distance, but, like all other landscapes, the charm fades on a nearer approach, and the thorns and briars become visible. "
Washington Irving

Back in the day


The May Fourth Movement

The May Fourth Movement was the first mass movement in modern Chinese history. It began with about 5,000 university students in Beijing protesting the Versailles Conference's decision to transfer former German concessions in China to Japan. Demonstrations and strikes spread, and a nationwide boycott of Japanese goods followed. The movement began a patriotic outburst of new urban intellectuals against foreign imperialists and warlords and is often cited as the seminal event that led to what?



Vlad III the Impaler: The Original Dracula

Vlad III, son of Prince Vlad Dracul, briefly ruled Wallachia in the mid-15th century. Known as Dracula, meaning "Son of the Dragon" or "Son of the Devil," Vlad lived up to his moniker. He ruled with terrible cruelty, impaling tens of thousands and earning his own nickname—"the Impaler." The novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, although not based on Vlad's historical exploits, introduced the name Dracula to a global audience. What other execution methods are said to have been favored by Vlad?

Born on a day like today


Audrey Hepburn

Hepburn was a Belgian-born film actress who combined elegance with a radiant, elfin innocence. After spending World War II in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, she studied ballet and acting in London and was discovered by French writer Colette, who insisted she play the lead in Gigi on Broadway. She made her US film debut in Roman Holiday, for which she won an Academy Award, and then returned to Broadway and won a Tony Award in Ondine. What was Hepburn's last film?

Last updated on Wednesday, 4th May 2011

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