" Live all you can - it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that, what have you had? "
Henry James

Back in the day


The Massacre of Glencoe

Following the deposition of King James II in 1689 and the accession of William III, some Scottish clans fought—and failed—to restore James to the throne. In 1691, William offered to pardon all Highland clans that took an oath of allegiance to him before January 1, 1692. The MacDonald clan of Glencoe missed the deadline by six days, and for this they paid with their lives. The unsuspecting MacDonalds were massacred in their homes by soldiers that had arrived seeking shelter how many days earlier?



The Sana'a Manuscripts

In 1972, workers renovating the Great Mosque of Sana'a in Yemen uncovered old parchments. Unaware that among them was one of the oldest Qur'anic manuscripts in existence, the workers packed the documents into potato sacks and left them on a staircase of one of the mosque's minarets. Fortunately, the president of the Yemeni Antiquities Authority realized the potential importance of the find, now known as the Sana'a Manuscripts. What mystery has close examination of the documents raised?

Born on a day like today


Mary "the Rich" of Burgundy

The only surviving child of Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, Mary inherited the vast Burgundian domains in France and the Low Countries upon her father's death in 1477. Louis XI of France immediately annexed some of these and, hoping to gain possession of the rest, proposed that she wed his son Charles. She instead married Maximilian of Austria, establishing the Hapsburgs in the Low Countries and initiating the long rivalry between France and Austria. What Great Privilege did she grant?

Last updated on Thursday, 13th February 2014

More sponsors