" If people only made prudent marriages, what a stop to population there would be! "
William Makepeace Thackeray

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History

Shaka Zulu Is Assassinated

A skilled warrior, Shaka established himself as head of the Zulu circa 1816 and soon made them the dominant power in southeastern Africa. He was ruthless before his mother's death in 1827, but after, he became positively savage. He had at least 7,000 people executed for being insufficiently grief-stricken, put to death any couple found to have conceived during the mourning period, and even slaughtered cows so that their calves would know the loss of a mother. Who ultimately assassinated Shaka?

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Psychogeography

The vaguely defined field of psychogeography involves reflection on the effect of environment on one's emotions and behavior. The concept emerged in the 1950s when French Lettrists and Situationists, finding contemporary architecture physically and ideologically restrictive, reimagined the city. Their perspective likely descended from the Dadaists and Surrealists while also drawing upon Charles Baudelaire's concept of urban wandering. How is psychogeography relevant in the modern world?

Born on a day like today

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Anne of Austria, Queen of France

Neglected by her husband, French King Louis XIII, Anne of Austria stirred up controversy with flirtatious indiscretions. After her seemingly treasonous correspondence with Spain, her husband's principal minister, Cardinal Richelieu, attempted to limit her influence. When Louis died, Anne was declared sole regent of their son, Louis XIV—contrary to her husband's wishes—and strove to ensure his absolute power. What did she do that was hailed at the time as "a marvel when it was least expected"?

Last updated on Sunday, 22nd September 2013

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