Over a Century of The Secret Garden

The year 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the children’s classic The Secret Garden. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, author of Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Unexpected Life of the Author of The Secret Garden, takes a look at the life of Burnett and how personal tragedy underpinned the creation of her most famous work. This article, Over[…]

Stories of a Hollow Earth

In 1741 the Norwegian-Danish author Ludvig Holberg published Klimii Iter Subterraneum, a satirical science-fiction/fantasy novel detailing the adventures of its hero Niels Klim in a utopian society existing beneath the surface of the earth. Peter Fitting, author of Subterranean Worlds: A Critical Anthology, explores Holberg’s book in the wider context of the hollow earth theory.[…]

A History of the Shi’a-Sunni Divide

Examining the centuries’-old sectarian Shia-Sunni divide. Tensions between Sunnis and Shias have been flaring up, with several incidents of violence reported in recent months: Most recently a suicide bomber killed at least 29 people when he blew himself up at the largest Shiite Muslim mosque in Afghanistan’s Herat province on Tuesday, August 1. Earlier in June, the Islamic[…]

Drinking in Ancient Greece

Archaic and classical Greek culture was steeped in spirit. Archaic and classical Greek culture was steeped in spirit. Drinking parties for the elite were a ritual that eventually filtered down to the man in the street. What went on at these gatherings and how were inebriation and public displays of drunkenness justified in cultural terms?[…]