35

Circumnavigation was nothing new. Speedy circumnavigation was new, but not unheard-of and Around the World wasn't positing anything outlandish or even vaguely sci-fi. It's a story celebrating what the British Empire had already accomplished, not postulating what might be possible in the future. Verne himself claims to have been inspired by an early 1860s ...


30

It was possible, but not easy. The difficulty of the task accounts for the substantial amount of the bet: £20,000 in 1873 is worth about £2,000,000 or more than US $2.5 million today. William Butcher's 1995 translation of Verne's book includes an appendix that provides details of contemporary sources that had information regarding quick circumnavigations, ...


26

No. Introduction To begin with, the question Has Odysseus been unfaithful to his wife? would not make sense to the people of ancient Greece. Such a question presupposes that the Greeks had a concept of marital love and fidelity similar to ours, which they didn't. As Stephanie Coontz has pointed out, the idea of marriage as a partnership based on romantic ...


21

Ernest Hemingway traveled to Madrid in March of 1937 to observe the Spanish Civil war firsthand. He reported on the war for the North American Newspaper Alliance. In March 1937, he traveled to Madrid to observe conditions firsthand. His observations and experiences provide the inspiration for the novel. The Spanish Civil War lasted from July 1936 - ...


14

Something like a duke, and the title wasn't all that special. The English word "prince" is translated from the Russian "knyaz (князь)", which could be used either to denote a member of the royal family or more commonly a member of the nobility. Men directly related to the Tsar were usually called Velikiy Knyaz or Grand Prince instead. "Knyaz" can also be ...


10

Firstly, why there are Greek names in Russia. Russia, being a Christian Orthodox country, had strong historical and cultural connections with Greece. So, many Russian names are of Greek origin. Most of them are archaic nowadays, but some are very common. Secondly, in the XIX century, there was a somewhat strong distinction between "noble" names and "plebs'" ...


10

It means a minor under the guardianship of the Court of Chancery. This was a real concept in those days - indeed it still is, but such children are nowadays more often referred to as "wards of court". Most of the search engine results I found for "ward in chancery" are genealogy forum threads where people were asking about their own ancestors: for example ...


8

At the time, there were many Jewish bankers/moneylenders, so moneylenders were probably often portrayed as Jews. For a very long time, the Jews have been associated with banking and money. There are a few reasons, such as that there were a lot of Jewish bankers after the 11th century. In The Encyclopedia Judaica, in their article on Banking and Bankers, in ...


8

This is the original sense of the word airline. Now obsolete, it survived in works on surveying and military history into the 1960s. The OED says: airline, n. 1. a. Chiefly U.S. A direct line through the air; a straight line between two points on the earth's surface. with citations dating back to the early 19th century: 1829   J. F. Cooper Wept of ...


6

TL;DR: There is no hidden meaning in ‘Oranges and Lemons’. Tommy Thumb’s Song Book The problem with all the theories about a hidden meaning in ‘Oranges and Lemons’ is that the earliest printed versions do not contain the “chopper” lines. The verse first appeared in print in Tommy Thumb’s Pretty Song Book (1744); I can’t find a facsimile of the original, ...


6

I was going to post this as a comment, but when I realised it would run to a thread rather than a single note I thought better to try and form it as an answer. The OP puts forward a proposition and asks if there is a link between the Ichabod Crane portion of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Edward VI. The proposition springs from a potential play on words ...


6

Sorry to be brief, I'm writing this on a phone (more to follow later). Short answer: for a long time, usury rules generally forbade Catholics from lending money at interest to other Catholics. Similarly, Jews generally couldn't charge interest to Jews, but they could lend money to Christians at interest. (Both were basing the prohibition on a number of ...


6

Candide, ou l’Optimisme is a satire, a work of literature in which people, ideas, countries, religions and so on are ridiculed. The targets of satire are usually presented in disguise or under a transformation, so the reader has to be on the lookout for clues as to their intended identity. Since you’re studying Candide, I’m sure you’ve already covered the ...


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, ...


5

The French word that was translated to stud was ferret. I don't actually see any justification for translating ferret here as stud, as I will explain later. To explain how the diamonds were worn first, these twelve diamond ferrets were part of a decoration meant to be worn on a shoulder. It was made of six blue ribbons woven or knotted together. The twelve ...


5

The oldest postcolonial reading of The Tempest that I am aware of was published by Octave Mannoni (1899-1989; the French Wikipedia article about Mannoni is a bit longer). Mannoni was a Frenchman who is a bit hard to classify, since he studied philosophy, worked as a teacher in Martinique (which is still part of France's overseas territories), La Réunion and ...


4

I love Anthony Trollope for his characters but, sadly, he often characterizes Jews in late 19 century London as prosperous but dangerous moneylenders to the elite ("The Eustace Diamonds" and "The Duke's Children"). Some of his least sympathetic characters, who are probably Jewish, although it is not totally clear to the reader, are psychopaths: Ferdinand ...


4

Approximately 100,000,000 roubles. This is not a straightfoward conversion due to fluctuations in the value of the rouble after the collapse of communism. This historical currency converter runs up to 2015 and makes various calculations based on the comparison of the value of important goods and services. It has this to say about the conversion: 95000 ...


4

TL;DR: It was rare for laity to be able to read and write; everyone carried a knife but generally only nobility and soldiers carried weapons; Scott mentions the writing materials in chapter V because they will be used in chapter VI; the writing materials included parchment, quills and ink. Was it rare to be able to write? It depended on which section of ...


4

‘Clown’ does not always mean a jester-type character, it can also and more prevalent in historical texts, mean (per the OED): A countryman, rustic, or peasant eg 1849   Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. 610   ‘The Somersetshire clowns, with their scythes..faced the royal horse like old soldiers.’ As Leicestershire is the home of the pork pie, I would assume ...


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

The English Parliament did pass a ban on swearing in 1623, that much at least is agreed upon by several records: The Statutes Relating to the Ecclesiastical and Eleemosynary Institutions of England, Wales, Ireland, India, and the Colonies: With the Decisions Thereon, Volume 1, Archibald John Stephens, 1845, which names the law as part of Statuta Jacobi: ...


3

It does mean "except", as in "There is no happiness except when one's conduct is both virtuous and self-approving" (to restructure the sentence slightly). What Franklin means here by self-approving is explained in the next sentence: not only must one's conduct be virtuous, but it mus "bear the test of our [...] reflections upon [it]". In other words, we must ...


3

Giuliani pushed the "broken windows theory" of policing, intended to punish people for small infractions. The idea was to make people think of New York as a lawful place rather than one of urban decay, but it was often applied in a racially disparate way. It contributed in part to the US having an outsized prison population, and disproportionate racial ...


3

The oldest children's library was probably a school library. According to the American Library Assocation (ALA), it is not entirely clear when the first school library was established: The birth of America’s school libraries cannot be assigned a definite date. Rather, these first school libraries were born unheralded in the earliest colonial times when ...


2

He means they sit completely still, as still as statues. They sit on logs, so the statues they most resemble are statues of people mounted on horseback (equestrian statues) - the horse being the equivalent of the log. This is the ‘torpor’ he describes elsewhere in the para: With respect to the torpor supposed to follow, or rather (if we were to credit ...


2

Possibly the American Civil Rights Movement. Living as he did in Tennessee, in the American South, Foote would have seen a lot of changes during the decades surrounding his writing of The Civil War: A Narrative. The fact that he was writing about the US Civil War, as a man from the South, would only have complicated this further for him. From the article "...


2

It's basically saying: if you have a nation that's, say, purely rural, and doesn't have trade with foreign countries or have manufacturers that make, e.g., toys, books, games, whirligigs, silk clothes, and all that sort of finery [finer manufactures], a farmer who did really well one year and has excess crops has nothing to trade for - it's all crops! So ...


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