Fagin is a fictional character in Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist who has sparked much debate over the years. Allegedly based on an actual criminal, the character teaches boys to steal and is described as villainous, selfish, miserly—and Jewish. He is called "the Jew" more often than "Fagin," despite the fact that Dickens removed over 180 instances of it after befriending a Jewish couple. Which of Dickens's later Jewish characters may be an apology for his anti-Semitic portrayal of Fagin?
Back in the day
Howe Caverns is a cave system in east-central New York that lies 156 ft (48 m) below ground. It was discovered in 1842, when farmer Lester Howe began to wonder why his cows all seemed to gather near one particular hill on hot summer days. Upon investigating, he felt a cool breeze blowing from a hole in the hill. He and a neighbor began to dig out the hole and uncovered the entrance to a cave. They explored it extensively and opened it for tours the next year. Why are there boats in the cave?
Born on a day like today
Conan Doyle was a Scottish writer noted for his tales about fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally a doctor, Conan Doyle studied under the sharp-eyed Dr. Joseph Bell, who was noted for his ability to draw accurate conclusions about people through observation. Bell was thus the model for Holmes, who appeared for the first time in 1887. Conan Doyle "killed off" Holmes in 1893 but was forced by public demand to resurrect him. What famous unsolved hoax might the author have perpetrated?