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Published in 1815, Emma was written in the height of Jane Austen's popularity. The Prince Regent, George, did Austen the "favor" of allowing her to devote Emma to him. Austen likely wasn't so excited about the possibility of dedicating her novel to a man who was, by all accounts, dissipated, drunk, and superficial. George set the standards of "gentlemanlike" behavior during his time. According to him, fashionable men were dandies -- the kind who would ride sixteen miles to London only to get a......Read More
Welcome to Thebes, Shmoopers. The population of this town is pretty thickly doomed--when they're not sleeping with their own mothers (lookin' at you, Oedipus) or acting all high and mighty and assuming that their legislation is far better than the gods' (cough, Creon, cough cough), they're burying their brother when devoting their brother is forbidden--c'mon, Antigone; we've been over this. Antigone is the third volume in what is maybe the most messed up Greek tragic trilogy of all time:......Read More
A mother slits her baby girl's throat because she has this deranged notion that she is saving her daughter from a fate worse than death. Sounds like one of those crazy mothers who ends up on the day news, right? Close. It's actually a real story: back in 1856, a runaway slave named Margaret Garner murdered one of her kids--a two-year-old girl--with a butcher knife, to be able to keep her away from slave catchers. She'd have murdered her other children and himself, too, but she was captured......Read More
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