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The Source of the Pirate’s “Arrr!”

A chance encounter with University of California San Diego professor of history Mark Hanna, author of Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740, leads to a discussion of how the saying “arrr!” came to be associated with...

Pinning Manuscripts Together

The cut-and-paste feature in word-processing programs makes it easy to rearrange text. But in the past, some writers literally cut and pinned their copy. At the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries, you can see the pins Jane Austenused to...

Wolf Whistle

Gifts for book lovers: Martha recommends one for lovers of libraries and another for students of Spanish. Grant suggests some enchanting novels for young readers. When it comes to books, though, you can’t always judge them by their original...

Strangers From Within

Before William Golding named his novel Lord of the Flies, based on a reference to Beelzebub, the book’s working title was Strangers From Within. This is part of a complete episode.

The Year 1805

Today the title War and Peace is practically synonymous with “incredibly long novel.” If Tolstoy had kept the book’s original title, however, our synonym for such a hefty epic would be The Year 1805. This is part of a complete...