When Goethe Met Napoleon

  During Napoleon’s 1808 campaign in Germany, he visited his favorite author, Goethe. The two giants of the age met twice, once at Weimar and once at Erfurt. Andrew Roberts’s new biography, Napoleon, devotes a paragraph or two to this…

Patterns of Poetic Revolution

  One of the most famous lines in English poetry about poetry is Moore’s “I, too, dislike it.” The interesting thing is just how much the best poets, historically, have disliked the poetry immediately preceding theirs. The classic critical explanation:…

Martyr Stories, Past and Present

Some of the most popular stories in medieval Europe were tales of saints and martyrs. Many of the hagiographies were essentially martyr stories as well, seeing as most early Christians were sainted for dying at the hands of pagans, like St.…

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