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W. Somerset Maugham

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Battle of Falkirk

The Battle of Falkirk was a major battle in the First War of Scottish Independence. It was fought between the leader of the Scots, William Wallace, and King Edward I of England, also known as the Hammer of the Scots. In 1298, Edward I invaded Scotland and defeated a smaller force led by Wallace at Falkirk. Edward's longbowmen and cavalry decimated Wallace's spearmen, forcing him to retreat. Though victorious, Edward's troops also retreated following the battle, and many deserted thereafter. Why?

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John Dowland

Dowland was an English composer who was unsurpassed in his day as a lutenist. Refused a court position in 1594 and believing his adoptive Catholicism to have been the cause, he left for the Continent and took a position at the Danish court. Having made a name for himself in the music world, he was finally appointed lutenist to the English court in 1612. He published three collections of songs, including about 90 works for solo lute and some 80 lute songs. Why do some suspect that he was a spy?

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Emma Lazarus

Lazarus was an American Jewish poet. She became an impassioned spokeswoman for Judaism after the Russian pogroms of the 1880s, writing many essays and a book of poems, Songs of a Semite, which contains her best work. Her writings caught the attention of Ralph Waldo Emerson, with whom she shared a lifetime correspondence. She also worked for the relief of new immigrants to the US, and the famous closing lines of her sonnet "The New Colossus" were engraved on what monument?

Last updated on Friday, 22nd July 2011

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