" No man knocks himself down; if his destiny knocks him down, his destiny must pick him up again. "
Charles Dickens

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History

Cutty Sark Is Launched

The tea trade in the 1860s and 70s was intensely competitive, with merchant ships racing to be the first to arrive in London with that year's crop from China. It was for this purpose that the three-masted clipper Cutty Sark was originally built. She became one of the swiftest and most celebrated British clippers, but within a few years of her launch, steamships had largely supplanted clippers in the tea trade, so she began carrying other cargos. What is the origin and meaning of her name?

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Shi

Shi is the Chinese word for "poetry" or "poem." As early poetry was often sung or chanted, folk poetry was adapted from song form into written shi by the Chinese literati. Some forms of shi include gushi, an ancient style with no formal constraints aside from line length and rhyme, and jintishi, a modern form regulated by tone patterns that emerged during the T'ang period, widely considered the golden age of Chinese poetry. What was the first collection of Chinese poetry?

Born on a day like today

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George Eliot

Eliot, born Mary Ann Evans, was raised with a strong religious piety but broke with orthodoxy in her 20s and turned to fiction, writing such classic Victorian novels as Silas Marner, Daniel Deronda, and Middlemarch, in which she developed a method of psychological analysis that would become a characteristic of modern fiction. Although her novels are serious in tone, they still contain humorous moments. With which philosopher did Eliot have a lengthy, scandalous affair?

Last updated on Friday, 22nd November 2013

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