" Jealousy is never satisfied with anything short of an omniscience that would detect the subtlest fold of the heart. "
George Eliot

Back in the day


The Battle of the Herrings

The meatless days of Lent were approaching when Sir John Fastolf set off from Paris with hundreds of wagons laden with weapons and barrels of herring to resupply the English troops that had been laying siege to the French town of Orléans for months. Engaged by thousands of French troops attempting to sever his supply route, Fastolf made a defensive formation with his wagons, lending the battle its name. What group's poorly timed attempt to help the French may have caused them to lose the battle?




In 1700 BCE, the city of Hattusa was burned to the ground by invaders who then officially cursed the city to prevent it from being resettled. Soon after, the Hittites made Hattusa their capital. Today, the impressive remains of the ancient Turkish city include huge fortifications, gates, and temples—below which archaeologists have found even earlier levels. In recent years, Turkey used what tactic to pressure Germany into returning an ancient sphinx removed from Hattusa nearly a century ago?

Born on a day like today


George Meredith

One of the great English novelists, Meredith wrote complex, often comic yet highly cerebral works that contain striking psychological character studies. Though he ostensibly launched a law career at age 18, he focused instead on journalism, poetry writing, and translation. Unable to earn a living this way, he began writing novels and eventually became a critical and popular success. In one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tales, Sherlock Holmes asks Dr. Watson to talk about Meredith instead of what?

Last updated on Tuesday, 12th February 2013

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