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6
votes
0answers
128 views

Was the Education of Little Tree written by an ex-Klansman?

One of my favorite children's books growing up was the Education of Little Tree. This is a popular children's book in the US about a child who goes to live with his Cherokee grandparents in Appalachia ...
5
votes
1answer
408 views

Were deserts once oceans/seas?

I was reading The Alchemist and stumbled upon something that says, Here and there, he found a shell, and realized that the desert, in remote times, had been a sea. Were the deserts once ...
7
votes
1answer
311 views

Does the extent of illiteracy in children correlate with future criminality?

Neil Gaiman recently made what has been hailed as one of the best commencement speeches ever at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts (reported here, available as a book here). In it he talks about ...
17
votes
0answers
339 views

Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle call J.B. Rhine a “monumental ass” in print?

I need help confirming or debunking what may be an urban legend in the paranormal literature regarding the rocky public relationship between spiritualism believer (and famous author) Arthur Conan ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Victor Hugo work naked to prevent himself from leaving his desk?

I heard this story numerous times. Allegedly, Victor Hugo would ask every day to a servant to take his clothes so that he would be forced to stay, naked, in his room and work instead of going out and ...
0
votes
1answer
485 views

Did Americans coin the phrase “to make money”?

This claim comes from a work of fiction but it is often repeated as true by fiscally conservative individuals who respect the author. In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, a character named Francisco gives a ...
10
votes
1answer
751 views

Does the new Testament claim that Mary, mother of Jesus, was a virgin?

I have read from quite a few sources stating that there was a mistranslation in the Bible, calling Mary a "virgin" instead of a "young, marry-able woman". It would be interesting to know about such a ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Are rape victims forced to marry their rapist, according to the Old Testament?

(Copied from http://www.theliberaloc.com/2012/05/14/traditional-marriage-according-to-the-bible/) Relevant portion of the text: Marriage = Rapist and His Victim (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) ...
21
votes
3answers
21k views

How much does wet sponge matter in electrocution process?

In Stephen King's novel The Green Mile and it's film adaptation one of the characters (Eduard Delacroix) is getting electrocuted. Before the execution one of the correction officers instead of wetting ...
2
votes
0answers
2k views

Does “Where the Wild Things Are” frighten children to a degree that author Maurice Sendak failed to comprehend? [closed]

Until the day he died, Maurice Sendak railed, somewhat playfully, against child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim for the psychologist's criticism of "Where the Wild Things Are": "What's wrong with ...
3
votes
3answers
947 views

Do the key Abrahamic holy books claim that their god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent?

The claim that the Abrahamic god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent is popular among theologians, practitioners of Abrahamic religions and atheists alike (I am referring to the idea of god, ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Was Shakespeare Marlowe? What does stylometry say?

I am not sure why this isn't asked here already, but Peter Farey and Ros Barber convinced me that Christopher Marlowe wrote the works of Shakespeare. This resolved my own cognitive dissonance from ...
6
votes
2answers
25k views

Did William Shakespeare say “I always feel happy…”?

Is the attribution of this quote to William Shakespeare correct? I always feel happy. You know why? Because I don’t expect anything from anyone. Expectations always hurt… Life is short… So love ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Did William Shakespeare help make the KJV bible?

Many believe because of the placement of specific words in Psalm 46 that William Shakespeare helped in the translation of the King James bible to English. In 1610, the year of the final editing ...
9
votes
2answers
910 views

Did Conan Doyle write Sherlock Holmes?

I came across the claim that sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn't write the Sherlock Holmes stories and probably just, at most, edited them. Normally such a claim would not be taken seriously. But the ...
22
votes
5answers
766 views

Who wrote Shakespeare's plays?

One of the premises of a new film, "Anonymous", due to come out in a couple of weeks, is that Shakespeare's plays were authored by Edward de Vere, instead of by Shakespeare. The producers have also ...
1
vote
1answer
517 views

Are the books from Carlos Castaneda real or fiction?

I have read all the Carlos Castaneda's books, I practiced some of their exercises, some have been helpful but I've always been in doubt about whether Don Juan ever existed, or if the events in the ...
4
votes
1answer
250 views

Was Nabokov's Lolita named after a horse?

I've gotten a pretty popular (based on levels of forwarding) chain email in Russian recently discussing funny "facts" about literature. Most were either mildly amusing or obvious BS, but one claim ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is Robinson Crusoe the first English novel?

This is not the first time I've heard of this, and I'm not really sure this is true. Then I came across this book review: Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1719 and ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Is Macbeth cursed?

I recently read Macbeth and I looked up its history, and apparently there is such a thing as "The Curse of Macbeth". The story is as follows: Shakespeare, in writing the play, included a lot of ...
36
votes
3answers
12k views

Was the name “Wendy” created for Peter Pan?

I ran across something odd today... I have an iPhone app that lists facts, trivia, and other useless information (it's called Cool Facts, downloaded from iTunes). So far, nothing I've found on it ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Shakespeare introduce over 1700 new words to the English language?

I was cruising the JREF forums, and while I am very familiar with many of the phrases he coined and popularized in the English language, a post makes the claim. Shakespeare coined about two ...