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Date Text
2019
January The First Men in the Moon
February The Bird of Time
March The Myths of Mexico and Peru
April
May
June Orphée aux Enfers
July
August
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The Myths of Mexico and Peru (1913) is a book by British academic Lewis Spence. His book introduced the history, culture, and mythologies of pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas to a general English-speaking audience.
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IN recent years a reawakening has taken place in the study of American archæology and antiquities, owing chiefly to the labours of a band of scholars in the United States and a few enthusiasts in the continent of Europe. For the greater part of the nineteenth century it appeared as if the last word had been written upon Mexican archæology. The lack of excavations and exploration had cramped the outlook of scholars, and there was nothing for them to work upon save what had been done in this respect before their own time. The writers on Central America who lived in the third quarter of the last century relied on the travels of Stephens and Norman, and never appeared to consider it essential that the country or the antiquities in which they specialised should be examined anew, or that fresh expeditions should be equipped to discover whether still further monuments existed relating to the ancient peoples who raised the teocallis of Mexico and the huacas of Peru. True, the middle of the century was not altogether without its Americanist explorers, but the researches of these were performed in a manner so perfunctory that but few additions to the science resulted from their labours. . . .

It is usual to speak of America as "a continent without a history." The folly of such a statement is extreme. For centuries prior to European occupation Central America was the seat of civilisations boasting a history and a semi-historical mythology second to none in richness and interest. It is only because the sources of that history are unknown to the general reader that such assurance upon the lack of it exists.

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"A Christmas Carol", an 1843 novella by Charles Dickens.

Never out of print since being written over the course of six weeks in 1843, A Christmas Carol introduced the name "Scrooge" and his exclamation "Bah! Humbug!" to the English language. Although the book did not bring Dickens the income he had hoped for, the theme of families gathered together at Christmas had a strong influence on the celebrations of early Victorian England. At the same time the morality tale style portrayal of the redemption of Scrooge caused a sudden burst of charitable giving shortly after publication.

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Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.

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