" A prisoner...is unfortunate in two ways—because he has done something wrong and because he is deprived of his liberty. Therefore we should treat him kindly, because of his misfortune, for otherwise he would become hard and bitter and would not be sorry he had done wrong. "
L. Frank Baum

Back in the day


Lord Darnley, Second Husband of Mary Queen of Scots, Found Murdered

Though Darnley's murder remains an unsolved mystery, one certainty is that at the time of his death, he was not well-liked. In line for the English throne, he infuriated Queen Elizabeth by marrying Mary Queen of Scots. He then alienated Mary by accusing her of infidelity and stabbing her secretary to death in front of her. Mary distanced herself from him, and shortly thereafter, his house exploded. He was found dead—but not from the blast. How was he killed, and who is suspected of his murder?



Unfinished Works

The Canterbury Tales contains only a fraction of the stories Chaucer had planned, and Bach's The Art of Fugue cuts off so abruptly that it was long thought that he died while composing it. Sometimes, it is not the artist but the subject whose death prevents a work's completion, as was the case with Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died just hours after a painter began his portrait. What other unfinished works leave us wondering what they would have been like had they been completed?

Born on a day like today


Bertolt Brecht

Brecht was a German playwright and poet whose brilliant wit and revolutionary theatrical experiments made him a vital and controversial force in modern drama. In 1928, he displayed his hostility toward capitalism as well as his bittersweet compassion for humanity in The Threepenny Opera. With the rise of the Nazis in 1933, he went into exile, first in Scandinavia and then in the US. One of Brecht's most important theories was the concept of Verfremdungseffekt, which means what?

Last updated on Friday, 10th February 2012

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