Category Archives: History

Richard Parkers and the Titanic

In 1884, the yacht Mignonette sank en route from Southampton to Sydney. The four-manĀ  crew escaped in a lifeboat with two tins of turnips but no freshwater. Two months later, when they were rescued by a German ship, only three … Continue reading

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Queen Mary’s House

In 1924, work was completed on a new house for Queen Mary, the grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II. The four-storey Palladian villa was designed by one of Britain’s greatest architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens. He employed 200 craftsmen, 700 artists and … Continue reading

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Exhumation and Obsession

Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, died in 1658, most likely from septicaemia caused by a urinary infection. Two years later, the Commonwealth collapsed and the monarchy restored, King Charles II decided … Continue reading

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John Tyler’s Descendents

John Tyler was born two months before the French Revolution. In 1841 he became the tenth president of the United States and the first to succeed a president who died in office (William Henry Harrison). Tyler died in 1862 during … Continue reading

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Prophets, Futurists and Illusionists

In 1793, at the height of the French Revolution, three soldiers came across the tomb of Nostradamus. With nothing better to do, they decided to dig up the corpse of the great seer. Buried with the body was a plaque … Continue reading

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Spiders in Your Eyes, Worms in Your Mouth

Of the hundred trillion cells in the human body, only ten percent are human. The rest are our microflora – bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms that reside in or on our bodies. Sometimes, we pick up other hitchhikers, not all … Continue reading

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Heretics in Novgorod and the Lost Works of Archimedes

The Archimedes Palimpsest In the 1840s, Biblical scholar Constantine Tischendorf was examining an ancient codex at a Greek Orthodox monastery in Constantinople. The book contained a liturgical text written in 1229, but beneath the writing, Tischendorf noticed a second text, … Continue reading

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