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14
votes
2answers
975 views

Were Shakespeare's plays written for “high culture” or “entertain the bawdy masses” during his time?

Currently, the plays of William Shakespeare are viewed as great English literature, and viewed as "high culture". However I heard someone say that Shakespeare was writing "bawdy, violence filled plays ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Is “Friends, Romans, …” a historical speech?

While searching for a canonical translation to my language of the phrase Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears I was surprised to find reference to it only in the Shakespeare play. As the ...
11
votes
2answers
389 views

Would the original readers of Lewis Carroll's books have made connections between the experiences in the books and drug use?

Modern readers of Lewis Carroll's books (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass) will undoubtedly make some connections between radical changes in perspective following the ...
9
votes
2answers
245 views

Was it common practice in Victorian London or other Western European cities to name locations as places where fictional characters lived and acted?

When recently reading Dickens's description of Dr. Manette's residence in "A Tale of Two Cities" , I found in the notes to my edition (B&N Classics) the following: "A replica (of 'The Golden Arm') ...
9
votes
1answer
209 views

How did the Nazis view Dickens' Oliver Twist?

After reading Oliver Twist, I note that Fagin is referred to as 'The Jew' and is portrayed quite negatively, especially in his appearance. Nevertheless, there is a certain feature of Fagin that we, ...
9
votes
1answer
194 views

What was the third best-selling book in the antebellum US?

I always hear that Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel in antebellum America and the second best-selling book overall. The Bible, of course, was number one. Here's an insanely detailed ...
8
votes
1answer
205 views

Why haven't Etruscan texts survived?

In Wikipedia it's claimed that Etruscan Civilization had a rich literature, but only one Etruscan text has survived. And AFAIK at the same moment we have many Ancient Greeks texts roughly from the ...
7
votes
1answer
333 views

What literary or philosophical works did the ancient Egyptians have that have influenced ancient civilizations or the modern word?

We all know of the Roman and Greek literary and philosophical works which still resonate to this day and read by many. As a an ancient and long old civilization, what works of equal importance do we ...
6
votes
4answers
361 views

Have American writing styles changed between the Civil War and Today?

Whenever I hear people recite speeches (Gettysburg Address) letters (largely selections from most famous letters of famous figures) and historical accounts (military accounts) from Americans who lived ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

Origin of the Subdivisons of Hell/Heaven

Isra and Mi'raj is the name of the journey of the prophet Muhammad, where he witnessed heaven and hell, describing their structure as well as the punishment and rewards that lay beyond. Hell and ...
5
votes
0answers
69 views

What was the character of the Sylva Sylvarum that differentiated it from previous works?

The Sylva Sylvarum (1627) is recognized as the first 'treatise on natural history'. Some regard it as the most-complete work, for its day. But as early as 70AD, other works existed, such as Pliny's ...
4
votes
0answers
42 views

Sales of books of Rousseau in Versailles

I am currently comparing the sales of books by Rousseau and Voltaire in the city of Versailles, and I noticed a very important peak in sales of books by Rousseau in 1781. I was wondering if anyone ...
4
votes
0answers
99 views

Countries which banned Ferdinand the bull?

Background The book "The Story of Ferdinand " is a short illustrated children's story featuring a bull who would not be provoked by a matador. When it was published in 1936, it was widely interpreted ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

Were there a British 'Négritude' movement?

Did a movement similar to Négritude exist in the UK or amongst Anglo-Saxon Africans? Were there British equivalents of French West Africa's Léopold Sédar Senghor, Alioune Diop, or Aimé Césaire - ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

What are examples of official documents or speeches composed in verse?

What are examples of official documents or speeches composed in verse? What is the most recent example of such document or speech? One of the recent examples is Edmond Pope's attorney Pavel Astakhov ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Were the Germans quoting Hamlet to describe their existential struggle in the Great War?

In illustrating how the Great War came to be viewed increasingly by Germans as an existential struggle, Max Hastings, in his Catastrophe: 1914: Europe Goes to War (p. 542), describes how The words ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Who said “Nature that framed us of four elements … doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.”?

Who said “Nature, that framed us of four elements, Warring within our breasts for regiment, Doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.”? According to the Web, you'd think it was Machiavelli, but my ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

What is the edition/version of this book (Pensées De Pascal)?

Full Title: Pensées De Pascal précédées de sa vie Par Mme Perier, Sa Soeur Suivies D'Un Choix Des Pensées De Nicole Et De Son Traité De La Paix Avec Les Hommes (This is all one of the first ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

National Socialist litterature - Where to find it? [closed]

I'm trying to make my mind as to the influence of Freud's, Bergson's works on Nazi ideology as well as to some questions regarding Heidegger and the Nazi ideas. I was recommended to read Alfred ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Understanding what these reference shortforms represent [closed]

In the book "Giordano BRUNO His Life and Thought" by Dorothea Waley Singer, chapter 7 references often have a form of 18 Doc. Ven. XV. or 49 Docc. Rom. XX, XXI. How do I decipher their ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

How accurate is the Historical evidence use in the book Non-Zero? [closed]

Someone recommended the book Non Zero. It looks very interesting but one well written negative review points out that while the author's previous book (The Moral Animal) was well researched and ...
0
votes
3answers
106 views

Is there a factual basis for the character of Morgan le Faye from the King Arthur tale?

What real life person, persons, or events was Morgan le Faye, cast as an evil enchantress in most King Arthur tales, based on?
-1
votes
1answer
34 views

Jules Verne's book about media [closed]

Since literature board is closed, the best board to ask this question might be here. When I was very little, I remember seeing a review in TV. It was supposed to be a review on movie transpired by ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

Were 'Phillipe de Croy' and 'William Whyte' historical people? [closed]

Not sure if this goes here, but I couldn't work see a literature stack exchange... In the Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet, I have always wondered about the following passage: '"I have my ...