8

We cannot possibly know for certain what happened between two people several hundred years ago, especially when surviving testimony has been coloured with such fevered speculation as surrounds the witch trials. However, it seems extremely unlikely that Proctor and Williams had an affair. The accusation stems from the court records, which show the testimony ...


6

This sense of the word is not in the OED, but Eric Partridge has it: Poke. 1. Stolen property: from ca. 1850; ob. The Times, Nov 29, 1860; Baumann. Ex poke, a bag, pocket, etc. Eric Partridge (1923). A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, fifth edition. p. 644. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. I don’t have access to the Times archive, ...


6

Don't interpret "the tropics" with such scientific precision. You originally posted this question on the Earth Sciences site, and you seem to have been thinking of this quote with a literal (I'd even say pedantic, noting that I consider this a compliment) interpretation of the word "tropics". But in everyday English, the word isn't always used so precisely -...


5

The historical part of - "The famous flutings on the the famous columns—what are they there for? To hide the joints in the wood" - is accurate. When using squared shapes (i.e. lengths of wood) to build a circular structure (the column) ou will have visible joints. See this picture... Notice how the curves (the fluting) serves to hide the joint in way the ...


4

This Cambridge edition, with explanatory notes by James L W West III and Lynn Setzer specifically notes that although Margherita di Savoia was a real person, Queen of Italy from 1878 to 1900 and Queen Dowager thereafter, Cardinal Vitori was a fictitious character. This does not completely rule out his character being in some way based on a real person. ...


3

Peeing in the sink is a metaphor for having a mistress. And it was indeed quite common among Czech doctors of that period. Let me explain. Urine is, by itself, sterile. But it is also resource rich environment for growth of bacteria. If you leave it for a short time then clean it up, nothing bad will happen. If you don't... it festers, bacteria grow and it ...


1

Sir Arthur was mistaken. Afghanistan is certainly not officially 'tropical', neither does the inter-tropical convergence zone extend that far north. However, Afghanistan, especially in the northern lowlands adjacent to the Amu Darya near the Tajikistan border has an eminently continental climate, and can get ferociously hot in high summer - I speak from ...


1

At the very least, some people have doubts (bold emphasis mine): Rajarshi Mitra’s essay on Jim Corbett’s My India titled “Dear Native Sahib: India in Jim Corbett’s Autobiographical Writings” is a surprise entry in this anthology of critical essays on Indian Fiction in English. One might wonder how an autobiographical writing may fit into the schema of ...


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