Ruritania is a fictional country which is the setting for three novels by Anthony Hope: The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), The Heart of Princess Osra (1896) and Rupert of Hentzau (1898). Following the publication of these novels, Ruritania was also adopted as a fictional setting by other writers, and sparked a genre known as Ruritanian romances.
In the Hope novels, Ruritania is a German-speaking, socially divided country ruled by an all-powerful monarch. It is generally supposed that it is based on one of the countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was in existence for about 50 years prior to 1918, and had extensive territories in Central Europe and parts of the Balkans.
Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
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Baroque is the name given to an artistic style which originated in Italy around 1600. It is characterised by opulence and elaborate ornamentation.
Vorticism was a short-lived movement in British art in the early 20th century. The style was characterised by geometric abstract forms.
One of its chief proponents was Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), who edited BLAST, the magazine of the Vorticists. The picture which appears below was painted by Wyndham Lewis in 1914, and is entitled 'Combat No. 2'.
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Forum magazine, a sexually explicit, but serious magazine with the subtitle The International Journal of Human Relations, was established in London in 1967 by Albert Z. Freedman. It was later published in the United States and nine other countries.
It is still in publication today, and now has the cover title Penthouse Forum.
Robin Day (1923-2000) was a British political broadcaster and commentator.
A former President of the Oxford Union, he began working in television in 1955, and pursued a career in television and radio up until the 1990s. He was renowned for his forthright, somewhat abrasive interviewing style, and for his signature thick-rimmed spectacles and bow tie.
Among those he interviewed were President Nasser of Egypt, the American President Harry Truman, and the British Prime Ministers Harold Macmillan, and Margaret Thatcher. He was knighted in 1981 for services to broadcasting.
François Mitterrand (1916-1996) was a French Socialist politician who was President of France between 1981 and 1995. He was, therefore, Mrs Thatcher's French counterpart during most of her term as British Prime Minister (1979-1990).
François Mitterand is reported to have said that Margaret Thatcher 'has the eyes of Caligula, but the mouth of Marilyn Monroe'!
The distinctive laced boots known as Dr Martens (or more commonly as Doc Martens) were manufactured from 1960 onwards by a British company known as R. Griggs & Co., who made use of an air-cushioned sole which had been developed in Germany during the late 1940s.
They become popular with British skinheads in the 1970s, and retained their popularity with various youth subcultures until the late 1990s. Sales declined during the early part of the 21st century, but Doc Martens have seen something of a revival over the past few years.
Today, Doc Martens boots and shoes are manufactured mainly in China and Thailand, although a Vintage range is still manufactured in Britain.