Ottoman Empire

El Manco de Lepanto – or how to be a successful writer with only one hand

Ask people what they know about Miguel de Cervantes, and they’ll say he’s the bloke who wrote Don Quijote. Tick. Some will go on to say he and Shakespeare died on the same day, April 23, 1616, thereby depriving the world of two literary giants in one fell swoop. This is not strictly correct, but […]

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Ode to the bulb – an abbreviated tulip history

When I was a child, tulips were mostly yellow flowers my mother bought around Easter. Sometimes, they were red, and now and then my mother would receive a bouquet of pink tulips with mimosa (good combo, that), but mostly they were yellow. I never buy yellow tulips. I go wild and crazy with pink and

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