Brenda Hodge’s troubling story and the final abolition of capital punishment in the country

“It is the sentence of this court that you be returned to your former custody, and at a time and place appointed by the Governor-in-Council, that you be hanged by the neck till you are dead, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul”.

The jury had not accepted…

What can we learn about the chief god of the prehistoric Indo-Europeans from their descendants?

When the first Europeans began travelling to India in the sixteenth century, they noticed some odd similarities between their native languages and the languages of northern India. For example, look at the numbers seven — eight — nine — ten. In Hindi, they are saat — aath — nau —…

How some British colonies in North America stayed out of the Revolution

An international border runs across North America, from Passamaquoddy Bay on the east coast to Point Roberts on the west. Millions of people cross it, yet few ask why it exists in the first place.

Any student of American history knows the country was formed from the thirteen British colonies…

How garbled accounts of Viking voyages reached mainland Europe

One day in Genoa, Italy, in the early 1340s, friar Galvano Fiamma wrote this intriguing passage in his book, Cronica Universalis:

“Sailors who frequent the seas of Denmark and Norway say that northwards, beyond Norway, there is Iceland; further ahead there is an island named Grolandia, where the Polar Star…

The most mysterious book in history

In 1912, Polish book collector Wilfrid Voynich bought thirty volumes from the Jesuit Collegio Mondragone in Italy. They were Church property and so the College didn’t really have the right to sell them, but it was hard up for funds, and besides, nobody had looked at the books for at…

How the leader of the American Nazi Party published a children’s book

Even aside from its racist and openly Fascist central message, The Fable of the Ducks and the Hens: A Dramatic Saga of Intrigue, Propaganda and Subversion was never going to make George Lincoln Rockwell an icon of children’s literature. For a start, pre-schoolers were unlikely to find the title particularly…

Adam M Wakeling

Adam Wakeling is an Australian writer, lawyer and historian. He is online at and on Twitter @AdamMWakeling.

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