Archive - Feb 11, 2009 - Story

The Scottish Prospero

A recent study by Scottish amateur historian Brian Moffat theorizes that Shakespeare's Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan from "The Tempest," may have been inspired by Francis Stewart, the Fifth Earl of Bothwell, an eccentric Scottish earl who lived an extraordinary life.

St. Francis prayer of modern origin

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith,” is a prayer long attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. But a recent article dates the prayer to the beginning of the 20th century.

Unfortunate English place names

Bart Simpson would have a field day if he visited England with some of its "unfortunate" place names such as Pratts Bottom, a village in Kent, or Crapstone in Devon. Hazel Thompson of the New York Times looks at some historic names which might bring a snicker.

DNA study captures Viking "snapshot" of 1000 years ago

The results of the "largest study of ancient DNA from a single population ever undertaken" are in: Iceland was settled by men from Scandinavia and women from the coasts of Scotland and Ireland.