historical essay - Page 4

The Redemption of Saint Anthony

By Colin Dickey In the fall of 1849, Gustave Flaubert invited his two closest friends—Louis Bouilhet and Maxime du Camp—to hear a reading of what…

In Hollywood with Nathanael West

By Marion Meade Hollywood has served as a novelist’s muse for almost a century. The list of writers who found inspiration there includes the likes…

What Makes Franz Liszt Still Important?

By Leon Botstein Marking anniversaries of the birth and death of historic figures, particularly in music, is somewhat akin to commemorating annually the date of…

The Tale of Beatrix Potter

By Frank Delaney Her appeal is so powerful that museums hold her in permanent exhibition—and some of them even commemorate her solely. Hollywood has trawled…

Machiavelli the Comedian

By Christopher S. Celenza “Comedian,” admittedly, is not the first word you associate with Machiavelli—and “funny” is not a word normally applied to Lucretius. And…

The Last Great Explorer

By Brook Wilensky-Lanford The quest to find the Garden of Eden sounds like an occupation that should have fallen by the wayside well before the…

Is Hillary Clinton Electable?

Hillary Rodham Clinton might become the first female President of the United States of America—formerly being the First Lady, a senator, and the Secretary of…

John L. Sullivan Fights America

By Christopher Klein A dense ocean of humanity lapped up to the doorstep of John L. Sullivan’s gilded liquor palace. Heads craned and tilted as…

Geronimo: The Warrior

Geronimo (1829-1909), whose given name was Goyahkla, sometimes spelled Goyathlay, is one of the most famous figures in the history of the American Indian resistance…

The Prehistory of Artificial Intelligence

How old are the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence? Many might trace their origins to the mid-twentieth century, and the work of people such…

The Mystery of Lewis Carrol

When Charles L. Dodgson was born in January 1832, his paternal aunt wrote a letter to his parents, welcoming the “dear little stranger” and begging…

The Birth of the Illuminati Conspiracy

At the beginning of 1797, John Robison was a man with a solid and long-established reputation in the British scientific establishment. He had been Professor…

Sherlock Holmes, For King and Country

Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes saga has enjoyed—or in some cases, suffered—countless reinventions since its original publication from 1887 to 1927. The BBC’s current television version…

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