“What a good thing Adam had. When he said a good thing he knew nobody had said it before.” Mark Twain put his finger on one of the minor problems for a relatively new nation: making an impact in the world of famous quotations. All the good lines seem to have already been used somewhere else, by somebody else.
Do you know when laugh entered the English language? What about cricket or fair-weather friend? Take the OED Timeline Challenge and find out if you are a lexical brainiac (1975). To play, simply drag the word to the date at which you think it entered the English language.
You may know Christopher Marlowe and Richard Burbage, The Globe Theatre and The Swan, perhaps even The Lord Chamberlain’s Men and The Admirals’ Men. But what do you know of modern Shakespeare: new productions, new performances, and ongoing research in the late 20th and 21st centuries? Shakespeare has, in many ways, remained the same, but actors, directors, designers, and other artists have adapted his work to suit the needs of the world and audiences today.
This January, the OUP Philosophy team has chosen David Hume as their Philosopher of the Month. Born in Edinburgh, Hume is considered a founding figure of empiricism and the most significant philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment. With its strong critique of contemporary metaphysics, Hume’s ‘Treatise of Human Nature’ (1739–40) cleared the way for a genuinely empirical account of human understanding.
Do you know how many novelists, film directors, and board-game creators have been inspired to create art based on classical mythology and other classical works? Maybe not, but perhaps you know some of the more popular examples. Greek and Roman mythology has had a big impact on modern literature, film, and even the games we play. We owe more than we think to authors like Homer.
Whether in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and beyond — or in various unknown, lost, or mythological places — Early Modern actors tread stage boards that could be familiar or unfamiliar ground. Shakespeare made some creative choices in the settings of his plays, often reaching across vast distances, time, and history.
The OUP Philosophy team have selected Plato (c. 429–c. 347 BC) as their February Philosopher of the Month. After his death in 347 BC, educators at the Academy continued teaching Plato’s works into the Roman era. Today he is perhaps the most widely studied philosopher of all time.
First established in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson with the support of the Association for the Study for Negro Life, Negro History Week took place on the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two men whose actions greatly influenced the black population in America.
Love and literature are perfect companions. Love has been, and continues to be, an inspiration for famous and celebrated authors around the world, who have written great literary masterpieces on romantic infatuations and passions. The characters they depict make a lasting impression on us, the readers – after all, who hasn’t dreamed of the Juliet to their Romeo, or the Ron to their Hermoine?
Along with death and trees, love is probably the most commonly explored theme in literature. So many of our favorite maxims and aphorisms about love are drawn from classical fiction. But how well do we really know these quotes or the novels and poems from which they derive?
Today, we’re looking at the less fashionable side of this partnership and focussing our attention on the creatures that mortals feared and heroes vanquished. Does your gaze turn others to stone? Do you prefer ignorance or vengeance? Have any wings? Take this short quiz to find out which mythological creature or being you would have been in the ancient world.
While the common image of a “restaurant employee” is the server, there are others in the restaurant industry who also face the hardships of working in the restaurant industry: discrimination, low wages, and lack of benefits. All these contribute to a dark side of the restaurant industry, and some restaurants are fighting to change the status quo. Do you know the truth behind the restaurant industry?
This January, the OUP Philosophy team has chosen Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret (G.E.M.) Anscombe as their Philosopher of the Month. G.E.M. Anscombe (1919 – 2001) was a British analytical philosopher best known for her contributions in the fields of philosophy of the mind, action, language, logic, and ethics. Test your knowledge of this famous female philosopher.
Though caused by microscopic agents, infectious diseases have played an outsized role in human history. They have shaped societies, lent us words and metaphors, and turned the tide of wars. Humans have eliminated some diseases, but others continue to plague us. In this quiz, find out if confusion is contagious or if you’re immune to the challenge.
This December, the OUP Philosophy team has chosen Baruch Spinoza as their Philosopher of the Month. The seventeenth century philosopher was seen as a controversial figure due to his views on God and religion, leading to excommunication from the Amsterdam Jewish community and his books being banned by the Church.
The world of wine is developing rapidly, so much so that the updated fourth edition of The Oxford Companion to Wine has added 300 new entries, including wine apps, aromatics, minerality, social media, and tasting notes language. The wine map as a whole has changed with countries like Hong Kong and many in Northern Europe developing as substantial wine producers.