" There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere. "
Jane Austen

Back in the day


American Outlaw John Wesley Hardin Shot Dead

Hardin was an American desperado who claimed to have killed 42 men, one of them allegedly for snoring. He became a gambler and a gunman very early in life, but his friends and gunfighting skills helped him evade the authorities until 1877, when he was sentenced to 25 years for killing a sheriff. He studied law in prison and was released after serving 16 years. Pardoned in 1894, he passed the bar exam and began to practice law, but a local constable shot him to death a year later for what reason?



The Deipnosophistae

Written in the 3rd-century by the Greek writer Athenaeus, the Deipnosophistae professes to be an account of three banquets held at the house of a scholar and wealthy patron of the arts. The work is invaluable for providing information about the Hellenistic leisure class of the Roman Empire, particularly in terms of food and sexuality. In the course of conversation, the banqueters quote about 700 authors, many of them otherwise unrecorded, and discuss the story behind what famous statue?

Born on a day like today


Madame du Barry

Madame du Barry was the mistress of Louis XV. She was first the mistress of Jean du Barry, who introduced her into Parisian high society. Admired for her beauty, she joined Louis XV's court in 1769 after a nominal marriage to Jean's brother, a nobleman, qualified her to be Louis's official royal mistress. Though she exercised little political influence, her unpopularity contributed to the decline of the prestige of the crown in the early 1770s. What happened to her during the French Revolution?

Last updated on Friday, 19th August 2011

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