Recent Posts

Star-Crossed Lovers, Murderers and Vicious Brides: Literary History of the Famous Family of Persian Heroes

Star-crossed lovers, fathers killing sons and a warrior bride shackling her newlywed husband to the bed, all play a role in the legendary folklore of Persia’s most famous fabled family; that of Rostam and his ancestors and descendants.

Your Ultimate Guide to the Secret Rebels Behind “Journey to the West”

Journey to the West is a classic Chinese novel written by Wu Cheng’en in the 16th century. It depicts the adventures of a Buddhist monk and his three disciples. Although Journey to the West may be considered a pleasant introduction to the calm and gentle Buddhist philosophy behind this story is in fact a real journey by a Buddhist monk ten centuries earlier.

The Mad Prince: A Closer Historical Look at Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”

You may not know it, but the original Hamlet was actually a Danish Prince who had his father killed by his uncle. Over 600 years later, Shakespeare’s play about this prince is still a favorite among theater-goers. But how much do you actually know about the story behind this iconic tragedy?

What Happened Behind Lady Murasaki’s Tale Of Genji? Discovering the Secret Lives and Times of 11th Century Heian Japan

Lady Murasaki’s Tale of Genji is one of the most celebrated novels in Japanese history. The story follows the life of Hikaru Genji, a child of nobility born into ancient Japan’s Heian Period. It was written by a woman known only as Murasaki Shikibu, who lived during this tumultuous time and recorded the customs and details of court life.

Stories of the Little Emperors: Some Babies Shake Up Kingdoms

Some babies shake rattles and others shake up kingdoms. We hear many stories of the unhappy lives and ends of child rulers. Most recently, in 1908, Puyi became the last emperor of China at only two years old. As the crowning ceremony began, the frightened little emperor had to be carried to the throne by his father as he cried, kicked, and clawed – desperately trying to escape. But he had no choice. A child though he was, he had to rule an empire.