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A Nelson Mandela reading list

Here we celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. From his early days as an activist, to his trial and imprisonment, to his presidency, this reading list covers all aspects of his life, and looks beyond the work he did to see how he influenced South Africa and the world.

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Doctor Who at fifty

Doctor Who was first broadcast by BBC Television at 5.16pm on Saturday 23 November 1963. This weekend the BBC marks the fiftieth anniversary with several commemorative programmes on television, radio, and online—as well as a ‘global simulcast’ of the anniversary adventure, which places the two actors who’ve most recently played ‘the Doctor’…

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Benjamin Britten’s centenary

By Philip Carter
The 22nd of November is the feast day of St Cecilia, patron saint of musicians and church music, and the 22nd of November 1913 was the birthdate, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, of Benjamin Britten (1913-1976). The young Britten displayed an extraordinary musical talent and his mother had high hopes for her son: young Benjamin, it was said, was to be the fourth ‘B’ after Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.

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Detective’s Casebook: Unearthing the Piltdown Man

By Ellie Gregory
It is regarded as one of the most baffling scientific hoaxes of the past few hundred years. The mystery of the Piltdown Man, a skull believed to be an ancient ‘missing link’ in human evolution, blindsided the expert eyes of some of the greatest scientists of the 20th century.

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Shanghai rising

By Kandice Rawlings
The port city of Shanghai is poised to become another major center of the global art world, possibly even displacing Beijing as China’s artistic capital. Since founding a biennial and art fair in 1996 and 1997, respectively, major institutions supporting the visual arts have sprung up or expanded.

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A few things to remember, this fifth of November

By Philip Carter
As you prepare to gather round a bonfire and to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at fireworks, don’t forget (indeed, ‘remember, remember’) that you’re part of a well-established national tradition. What’s now known as the Gunpowder Plot was uncovered on the night of Monday 4 November 1605 when Thomas Knyvett, keeper of Whitehall Palace, led a second search of the vaults under the House of Lords.

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A medieval saint in modern times

By Kandice Rawlings
Saint Francis of Assisi died on this day in 1226, and when he was canonized just two years later, the fourth of October became his feast day. Even before his sainthood was official, St Francis was a popular figure among the faithful, and the religious order he had founded already had chapters throughout Europe.

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Oh, I say! Brits win Wimbledon

By Philip Carter
It’s 1 July 1977: the Jacksons are Number 1 in the UK charts; a pint of beer costs 40 pence, milk per pint is 11p; Elvis has just given what will be his final concert; Virginia Wade becomes the last British player to win the women’s singles tennis championship at Wimbledon. – See more at: http://blog.oup.com/?p=45004&preview=true#sthash.r1cxNYqs.dpuf

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The mysteries around Christopher Marlowe

Four hundred and twenty years ago, on Wednesday 30 May 1593, Christopher Marlowe was famously killed under mysterious circumstances at the young age of 29. Test your knowledge on this enigmatic figure of history. Do you know when Marlowe was born? Who killed him and why? Find out answers to these and much more in our quiz. Good luck!

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People of computing

According to Oxford Reference the Internet is “[a] global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.” Today the Internet industry is booming, with billions of people logging on read the news, find a recipe, talk with friends, read a blog article (!), and much more.

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Getting to the heart of poetry

OUP recently partnered with The Poetry Archive to support Poetry by Heart, a new national poetry competition in England. Here, competition winner Kaiti Soultana talks about her experience.

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Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!

We are celebrating Shakespeare’s 449th birthday with a quiz! Test your knowledge on the famous bard. Can you tell your poems from your plays? Do you know who his twins were named after, or his exact birthdate? Find out answers to these and much more in our quiz. Break a leg!

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A day in the life of a London marathon runner

By Daniel ‘pump those knees’ Parker and Debbie ‘fists of fury’ Sims
Pull on your lycra, tie up your shoelaces, pin your number on your vest, and join us as we run the Virgin London Marathon in blog form. While police and security have been stepping up after Boston, we have been trawling Oxford University Press’s online resources in order to bring you 26 miles and 375 yards of marathon goodness. Get ready to take your place on the starting line.

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This April fools’ day, learn from the experts

By Philip Carter
As the First of April nears you may be planning the perfect joke, hoax or act of revenge. If so—and if you’re looking for inspiration—may we recommend some of British history’s finest hoaxers, courtesy of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. So this year, how about …

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