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  • lethal injection (capital punishment)

    Lethal injection, method of executing condemned prisoners through the administration of one or more chemicals that induce death. Lethal injection—now the most widely used method of execution in the United States—was first adopted by the U.S. state of Oklahoma in 1977, because it was considered

  • lethal toxin-neutralizing factor (protein)

    opossum: The Virginia opossum: …protein in its blood called lethal toxin-neutralizing factor (LTNF), which has been shown to detoxify a wide variety of poisons, including the venom produced by snakes, bees, and scorpions. The flesh of the Virginia opossum was once enjoyed as food in the southern United States, where opossum hunting was a…

  • Lethal Weapon (film by Donner [1987])

    Richard Donner: Films of the 1980s: …greater success with the blockbuster Lethal Weapon (1987). A spin on the mismatched-partners chestnut—Danny Glover played a by-the-book police detective with a loving family, and Mel Gibson was a widower with a suicidal bent who breaks every rule for the sheer joy of it—that reveled in its spectacular action sequences,…

  • Lethal Weapon 2 (film by Donner [1989])

    Richard Donner: Films of the 1980s: …closed out the 1980s with Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), which added Joe Pesci and again featured Glover, Gibson, and numerous stunts and explosions.

  • Lethal Weapon 3 (film by Donner [1992])

    Richard Donner: The 1990s and beyond: By contrast, his Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) became one of the year’s highest-grossing films. He reteamed with Gibson for the amiable but rather bloated Maverick (1994), which profited from the presence of James Garner, the original Bret Maverick, and Jodie Foster. Though the film needed more substance from…

  • Lethal Weapon 4 (film by Donner [1998])

    Richard Donner: The 1990s and beyond: …film of the 1990s was Lethal Weapon 4 (1998). In addition to series regulars Glover and Gibson, the action thriller featured Chris Rock as a rookie detective and Jet Li as the leader of a deadly Chinese gang. Although not well received by critics, it proved popular with moviegoers.

  • Lethal White (novel by Rowling)

    J.K. Rowling: …Career of Evil (2015) and Lethal White (2018). A television series based on the books premiered in the United Kingdom in 2017 and in the United States the following year.

  • lethargy (medical condition)

    Lethargy, in medicine, a morbid condition of deep and lasting drowsiness from which the sufferer can be aroused only with difficulty and temporarily. It is a symptom of various disorders, such as sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis) and encephalitis

  • Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada)

    Lethbridge, city, southern Alberta, Canada. It lies on the Oldman River near its junction with the St. Mary River, 135 miles (217 km) south-southeast of Calgary and about 100 miles (160 km) west of Medicine Hat. Founded in the 1880s as a mining town called Coalbanks, it was renamed Lethbridge for

  • Lethe (Greek mythology)

    Lethe, (Greek: “Oblivion”), in Greek mythology, daughter of Eris (Strife) and the personification of oblivion. Lethe is also the name of a river or plain in the infernal regions. In Orphism, a Greek mystical religious movement, it was believed that the newly dead who drank from the River Lethe

  • Lethem, Jonathan (American author)

    Donna Tartt: …writers, including Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem, and Jill Eisenstadt. It was there that Tartt began work on her first novel, The Secret History (1992).

  • Lethocerus (insect)

    Giant water bug, any wide and flat-bodied aquatic insect of the family Belostomatidae (order Heteroptera). This family, although containing only about 100 species, includes the largest bugs in the order: sometimes exceeding 10 cm (4 inches) in the South American species Lethocerus grandis and

  • Lethrinidae (fish family)

    perciform: Annotated classification: Nemipteridae and Lethrinidae (breams) Resemble Lutjanidae; some with wider preorbital area under which upper jaw slips; others (Nemipteridae) with molar teeth in sides of jaws and incisors or caninelike teeth at front end of jaws. About 100 species; marine, Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, especially around coral reefs; some…

  • Leticia (Colombia)

    Leticia, town, southeastern Colombia, lying on the Amazon River at the point where the borders of Colombia, Brazil, and Peru meet. Founded as a military outpost and river port by Peruvians in 1867, the jungle village passed into Colombian hands in the 1930s. Despite recent growth and the

  • Létinois, Lucien (French author)

    Paul Verlaine: Life.: …farming with his favourite pupil, Lucien Létinois, and the boy’s parents. Lucien’s death in April 1883, as well as that of the poet’s mother (to whom he was tenderly attached) in January 1886, and the failure of all attempts at reconciliation with his wife broke down whatever will to “respectability”…

  • Letlama (African chief)

    Moshoeshoe, founder and first paramount chief of the Sotho (Basuto, Basotho) nation. One of the most successful Southern African leaders of the 19th century, Moshoeshoe combined aggressive military counteraction and adroit diplomacy against colonial invasions. He created a large African state in

  • Leto (mythology)

    Leto, in classical mythology, a Titan, the daughter of Coeus and Phoebe, and mother of the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis. The chief places of her legend were Delos and Delphi. Leto, pregnant by Zeus, sought a place of refuge to be delivered. She finally reached the barren isle of Delos, which,

  • Leto, Giulio Pomponio (Italian humanist)

    Julius Pomponius Laetus, Italian humanist and founder of the Academia Romana, a semisecret society devoted to archaeological and antiquarian interests and the celebration of ancient Roman rites. As a youth, Laetus decided to dedicate his life to the study of the ancient world. He went to Rome about

  • Leto, Jared (American actor and musician)

    Jared Leto, American actor and musician who won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club (2013). He also cofounded and led the popular alternative rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. Leto’s parents divorced shortly after he was born, and he was raised by his

  • Leto, Jared Joseph (American actor and musician)

    Jared Leto, American actor and musician who won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club (2013). He also cofounded and led the popular alternative rock band 30 Seconds to Mars. Leto’s parents divorced shortly after he was born, and he was raised by his

  • Letohrádek (building, Prague, Czech Republic)

    Western architecture: Eastern Europe: …more Classical, such as the Letohrádek (1538–63), or garden belvedere (summerhouse), at Prague for Queen Anne, wife of Ferdinand I, with its delicate exterior arcade. The nearby tennis court (1565–68), designed by Bonifaz Wolmut, is in a heavier classicism expressed by the alternation of engaged Ionic half columns with deeply…

  • letrozole (drug)

    Letrozole, anticancer drug used to inhibit the synthesis of estrogen in postmenopausal women who have breast cancers that are dependent on the growth-promoting actions of the hormone. Letrozole is marketed as Femara and is manufactured by Swiss drug company Novartis AG. Letrozole is taken orally

  • Letsie III (king of Lesotho)

    Moshoeshoe II: …his eldest son, Crown Prince Letsie III, who promised not to become involved in the country’s politics. Moshoeshoe remained popular with the people of Lesotho, however, and in 1991, when the government was seized by Maj. Gen. Elias Ramaema, plans were laid for Moshoeshoe’s return in 1992. Free elections were…

  • Lett (people)

    Latvia: Ethnic groups, languages, and religion: …Soviet occupation in 1940, ethnic Latvians constituted about three-fourths of the country’s population. Today they make up about three-fifths of the population, and Russians account for about one-fourth. There are small groups of Belarusians, Ukrainians, Poles, Lithuanians, and others. The official language of Latvia is Latvian; however, nearly one-third of…

  • Letta, Enrico (Italian politician)

    Silvio Berlusconi: Prosecutions, political ban, and continued influence: …the PdL moved to support Enrico Letta, a moderate member of the Democratic Party (Partito Democratico; PD), and a cross-party coalition government was formed. Another trial reached its conclusion in June 2013, when Berlusconi was found guilty of soliciting sex from an underage prostitute and sentenced to seven years in…

  • Letten und ihre Latwija, Die (work by Cakste)

    Janis ?akste: …Latvian independence and there wrote Die Letten und ihre Latwija (1917; “The Letts and Their Latvia”). Elected chairman of the Latvian People’s Council in 1918, he was later the head of the delegation sent to London and to the Paris Peace Conference to secure the recognition of the Latvian republic.…

  • letter (alphabet)

    handwriting: …affected also by length of letter elements, since it usually takes more time to make long strokes than to make short ones. By comparing the handwriting movements of good and poor writers, researchers found that these two groups differ in position of writing hand, speed, and types of movements in…

  • letter (mail)

    postal system: Postal operations and management: Letters and parcels in all shapes and sizes are subject only to the limits of weight and dimension prescribed by postal legislation. Yet, if postal services are to be efficient and economical, these items must be mass-processed, as far as is possible. Thus, the basic…

  • letter (literature)

    Latin literature: Biography and letters: The idea of comparing Romans with foreigners was taken up by Cornelius Nepos, a friend of Cicero and Catullus. Of his De viris illustribus all that survive are 24 hack pieces about worthies long dead and one of real merit about his friend Atticus.…

  • letter box

    postal system: United States: …with the provision of street letter boxes in 1858. A free delivery service was established in 1863, covering 49 cities and employing 440 letter carriers. By 1900 the service was provided at 796 offices by 15,322 carriers. The rural free delivery (RFD) service was introduced in 1896 and town delivery…

  • Letter Concerning Enthusiasm (work by Shaftesbury)

    Deism: The English Deists: In this respect Shaftesbury’s Letter Concerning Enthusiasm (1708) was probably the crucial document in propagating their ideas. Revolted by the Puritan fanatics of the previous century and by the wild hysteria of a group of French exiles prophesying in London in 1707, Shaftesbury denounced all forms of religious extravagance…

  • Letter Concerning Toleration, A (work by Locke)

    John Locke: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding: He also wrote his first Letter on Toleration, published anonymously in Latin in 1689, and completed An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.

  • Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom (film by Kawase)

    Naomi Kawase: …with Tsuioku no dansu (2003; Letter from a Yellow Cherry Blossom), which chronicled the final days in the life of one of Kawase’s mentors, Kazuo Nishii, a photographer and film critic suffering from cancer. Her motion picture Sharasojyu (2003; Shara), about the family of a young boy who disappeared without…

  • Letter from America (radio program)

    Alistair Cooke: His weekly 15-minute program, Letter from America, broadcast from 1946 to 2004, was one of the longest-running series on radio. The texts of many broadcasts were collected in One Man’s America (1952) and Talk About America (1968). From 1956 to 1961 Cooke hosted and narrated the weekly television “magazine”…

  • Letter from Artemizia in the Town, to Chlo? in the Country, A (work by Rochester)

    English literature: The court wits: The most brilliant of these, A Letter from Artemisia in the Town, to Chlo? in the Country (written about 1675), combines a shrewd ear for currently fashionable idioms with a Chinese box structure that masks the author’s own thoughts. Rochester’s determined use of strategies of indirection anticipates Swift’s tactics as…

  • Letter from Birmingham Jail (work by King)

    Martin Luther King, Jr.: The letter from the Birmingham jail: In Birmingham, Alabama, in the spring of 1963, King’s campaign to end segregation at lunch counters and in hiring practices drew nationwide attention when police turned dogs and fire hoses on the demonstrators. King was jailed along with large numbers…

  • Letter from Italy, A (work by Addison)

    Joseph Addison: Early life: 1718) and the poetic epistle A Letter from Italy (1704). From Italy Addison crossed into Switzerland, where, in Geneva, he learned in March 1702 of the death of William III and the consequent loss of power of his two chief patrons, Somers and Halifax. He then toured through Austria, the…

  • Letter from Jamaica, The (work by Bolívar)

    Simón Bolívar: Independence movement: …La carta de Jamaica (“The Letter from Jamaica”), in which he outlined a grandiose panorama from Chile and Argentina to Mexico. “The bonds,” wrote Bolívar, “that united us to Spain have been severed.” He was not dismayed that the Spaniards had in certain instances won the upper hand. “A…

  • Letter from Sydney, A (work by Wakefield)

    Edward Gibbon Wakefield: In his first important book, A Letter from Sydney . . . (published in 1829 while he was still in prison), which was thought by many to have come from Australia, he proposed the sale of crown lands there in small units at a “sufficient price” (fixed and modest), rather…

  • letter mail

    postal system: United States: First-class, or letter, mail (called letter post in the United Kingdom) is the basis of the postal service monopoly and, as the class of mail most commonly used by the public, has generally had a simplified rate structure. The other classes were established according to…

  • letter of credence (diplomacy)

    diplomacy: Credentials: …is sent forth with a letter of credence addressed by his head of state to the head of the host state to introduce the ambassador as his or her representative. In most major capitals a copy of credentials is now first provided privately to the foreign minister, after which the…

  • Letter of Introduction (film by Stahl [1938])

    John M. Stahl: …to more familiar material with Letter of Introduction (1938), which starred Andrea Leeds as a would-be actress who refuses to use her estranged actor father (Adolphe Menjou) to break into the business; Edgar Bergen and his ventriloquist dummy Charlie McCarthy were also prominently featured. Next was When Tomorrow Comes (1939),…

  • Letter of Lentulus (apocryphal writing)

    Christianity: Art and iconography: …writing of the early church—the Letter of Lentulus, supposedly written by a certain Lentulus, who was named consul in the 12th year of the emperor Tiberius. As the superior of Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judaea, he by chance was staying in Palestine at the time of the trial of…

  • letter of marque (government commission)

    Letter of marque, the name given to the commission issued by a belligerent state to a private shipowner authorizing him to employ his vessel as a ship of war. A ship so used is termed a privateer. Before regular navies were established, states relied on the assistance of private ships equipped for

  • Letter of Wholesome Counsel (work by Knox)

    John Knox: Escape to the Continent: …faithful in Scotland an important Letter of Wholesome Counsel (1556) enjoining not only private family worship but also weekly meetings of believers for corporate Bible study and discussion. From these weekly meetings, Reformed congregations grew apace, and from the leaders of these congregations came the elders of the Reformed Church.

  • Letter on Humanism (work by Heidegger)

    continental philosophy: Foucault: …set by Heidegger’s 1947 “Letter on Humanism,” which the German philosopher intended as a rejoinder to French existential humanism as represented by Sartre. Whereas Sartre stressed the dignity of human existence as embodied in the For-itself, Heidegger emphasized the primacy of being—and thus, by implication, the derivative or subaltern…

  • Letter on the Blind for the Use of Those Who Can See (work by Diderot)

    history of the blind: Education and the blind: …and education with his “Letter on the Blind for the Use of Those Who Can See” (1749). The essay suggested that the sense of touch could be honed for reading in blind persons, foreshadowing the 19th-century invention of the Braille writing system. Diderot included a section on Saunderson and…

  • letter post

    postal system: United States: First-class, or letter, mail (called letter post in the United Kingdom) is the basis of the postal service monopoly and, as the class of mail most commonly used by the public, has generally had a simplified rate structure. The other classes were established according to…

  • Letter to a Hostage (work by Saint-Exupéry)

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: …Lettre à un otage (1943; Letter to a Hostage), a call to unity among Frenchmen, and Le Petit Prince (1943; The Little Prince), a child’s fable for adults, with a gentle and grave reminder that the best things in life are still the simplest ones and that real wealth is…

  • Letter to a King (work by Guáman Poma de Ayala)

    Felipe Guáman Poma de Ayala: …Peruvian author and illustrator of El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno (1612–15; “The First New Chronicle and Good Government”).

  • Letter to a Noble Lord (work by Burke)

    nonfictional prose: Changing interpretations: Edmund Burke’s Letter to a Noble Lord (1796) was praised a century and a half after its composition as the greatest piece of invective in the English language. William Godwin’s Political Justice (1793) does not compare in the majesty of its prose to those supreme models, but…

  • Letter to American Teachers of History (essay by Adams)

    Henry Adams: …Applied to History” (1909) and Letter to American Teachers of History (1910), Adams calculated the demise of the world. Basing his theory on a scientific law, the dissipation of energy, he described civilization as having retrogressed through four stages: the religious, mechanical, electrical, and ethereal. The cataclysm, he prophesied, would…

  • Letter to Coroticus (work by Saint Patrick)

    St. Patrick: …a spiritual autobiography, and his Letter to Coroticus, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians.

  • Letter to Father (work by Kafka)

    Franz Kafka: Kafka and his father: …an den Vater (written 1919; Letter to Father), a letter that never reached the addressee, Kafka attributed his failure to live, to cut loose from parental ties and establish himself in marriage and fatherhood, as well as his escape into literature, to the prohibitive father figure, which instilled in him…

  • Letter to Maria Gisborne (poem by Shelley)

    Percy Bysshe Shelley: His “Letter to Maria Gisborne” in heroic couplets and “The Witch of Atlas” in ottava rima (both 1820; published 1824) combine the mythopoeic mode of Prometheus Unbound with the urbane self-irony that had emerged in Peter Bell the Third, showing Shelley’s awareness that his ideals might…

  • Letter to Monsieur d’Alembert on the Theatre (essay by Rousseau)

    Voltaire: Later travels: …the morality of theatrical performances, Lettre à d’Alembert sur les spectacles (1758). Rousseau’s view that drama might well be abolished marked a final break between the two writers.

  • Letter to Sister Benedicta (novel by Tremain)

    Rose Tremain: In Letter to Sister Benedicta (1978), a middle-aged woman whose family life is unbearable writes to her former teacher, a nun, looking for solace. The Cupboard (1981) explores the relationship between an older, neglected writer and the journalist sent to interview her.

  • Letter to the Free Society of Traders, A (work by Penn)

    William Penn: Founding and governorship of Pennsylvania: &gt;A Letter to the Free Society of Traders (1683), which contained his fullest description of Pennsylvania and included a valuable account of the Delaware based on firsthand observation. With the accession of his friend the duke of York as James II in 1685, Penn found…

  • Letter to the World (ballet)

    Martha Graham: Maturity: In Letter to the World (1940; also called The Kick), a work about Emily Dickinson, several characters are used to portray different aspects of the poet’s personality.

  • Letter to Three Wives, A (film by Mankiewicz [1949])

    Joseph L. Mankiewicz: Directing: …1949 Mankiewicz directed and wrote A Letter to Three Wives, which exemplified his signature style of intelligent and witty banter and furthered his reputation as a “literary” director. The drama centres on three married women (Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern, and Jeanne Crain) who each receive a letter from a friend…

  • Letter to Voetius (work by Descartes)

    René Descartes: Residence in the Netherlands: In his Letter to Voetius of 1648, Descartes made a plea for religious tolerance and the rights of man. Claiming to write not only for Christians but also for Turks—meaning Muslims, libertines, infidels, deists, and atheists—he argued that, because Protestants and Catholics worship the same God, both…

  • Letter to...the Sheriffs of Bristol, on the Affairs of America, A (work by Burke)

    Edmund Burke: Political life: …the Colonies” (1775), and “A Letter to…the Sheriffs of Bristol, on the Affairs of America” (1777). British policy, he argued, had been both imprudent and inconsistent, but above all legalistic and intransigent, in the assertion of imperial rights. Authority must be exercised with respect for the temper of those…

  • Letter, A (work by Hofmannsthal)

    Hugo von Hofmannsthal: …“Ein Brief” (also called “Chandos Brief,” 1902). This essay was more than the revelation of a personal predicament; it has come to be recognized as symptomatic of the crisis that undermined the esthetic Symbolist movement of the end of the century.

  • Letter, The (film by Wyler [1940])

    William Wyler: Films of the 1940s: The Letter (1940), based on a short story and play by W. Somerset Maugham, became one of the decade’s biggest hits and featured another formidable Academy Award-nominated performance by Davis as the unfaithful wife of a rubber plantation owner (Herbert Marshall) who goes broke trying…

  • Letter, The (recording by the Box Tops)

    Alex Chilton: …Box Tops—on the song “The Letter.” “The Letter” was a surprise hit, spending four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1967. It later resurfaced as a cover version by Joe Cocker. The Box Tops returned to the top 10 with “Cry like a Baby,”…

  • lettera antica (calligraphy)

    Roman script, in calligraphy, script based upon the clear, orderly Carolingian writing that Italian humanists mistook for the ancient Roman script used at the time of Cicero (1st century bc). They used the term roman to distinguish this supposedly classical style from black-letter and national

  • Lettera semiseria di Grisostomo al suo figliuolo (work by Berchet)

    Italian literature: Opposing movements: Giovanni Berchet (patriotic poet whose Lettera semiseria di Grisostomo al suo figliuolo [1816; “Half-Serious Letter from Grisostomo to His Son”] is an important manifesto of Italian popular romanticism), Silvio Pellico, Ludovico di Breme, Giovita Scalvini, and Ermes Visconti were among its contributors. Their efforts were silenced in 1820 when several…

  • Letteraria Italiana, Accademia (Italian literary academy)

    Academy of Arcadia, Italian literary academy founded in Rome in 1690 to combat Marinism, the dominant Italian poetic style of the 17th century. The Arcadians sought a more natural, simple poetic style based on the classics and particularly on Greek and Roman pastoral poetry. The Academy of Arcadia

  • Letteratura (Italian review)

    Italian literature: The return to order: &gt;Letteratura, while having to tread carefully with the authorities, provided an outlet for new talent. Carlo Emilio Gadda had his first narrative work (La Madonna dei filosofi [1931; “The Philosophers’ Madonna”]) published in Solaria, while the first part of his masterpiece, La cognizione del dolore…

  • letteratura americana e altri saggi, La (work by Pavese)

    Cesare Pavese: …americana e altri saggi (1951; American Literature, Essays and Opinions, 1970). His work probably did more to foster the reading and appreciation of U.S. writers in Italy than that of any other single man.

  • Lettere (work by Svevo)

    Italo Svevo: …with Montale was published as Lettere (1966). Svevo ultimately has been recognized as one of the most important figures in modern Italian literary history.

  • lettere a Maria, Le (work by Aleardi)

    Aleardo, Count Aleardi: His love lyrics, Le lettere a Maria (1846; “The Letters to Maria”), were eagerly read; but back in Verona and prevented by the Austrian government from practicing law, he wrote a series of bitterly anti-Austrian poems, notably Le città italiane marinare e commercianti (1856; “The Maritime and Commercial…

  • lettere da Capri, Le (work by Soldati)

    Italian literature: Other writings: …Le lettere da Capri (1953; The Capri Letters) and Le due città (1964; “The Two Cities”)—and in a later novel, L’incendio (1981; “The Fire”), which takes a quizzical look at the modern art business—showed himself to be a consistently skilled and entertaining narrator. There are many other accomplished authors who…

  • Lettere dal carcere (work by Gramsci)

    Italian literature: The return to order: …in Lettere dal carcere (1947; Letters from Prison).

  • Lettere di politica e letteratura edite ed inedite (work by Balbo)

    Cesare, Count Balbo: In Lettere di politica e letteratura edite ed inedite (1847), Balbo called for a specifically moderate Italian party.

  • Lettere familiare (work by Caro)

    Annibale Caro: …are his free and graceful Lettere familiare (pub. 1572–74; “Familiar Letters”) and a smooth translation of Virgil’s Aeneid (1581). He also wrote one of the most original comedies of his time, Straccioni (completed 1544), and a version of Longus’ Daphnis and Chloe called Amori pastorali di Dafni e Cloe (“The…

  • lettered olive (snail)

    olive shell: …southeastern American waters is the lettered olive (Oliva sayana), about 6 cm (2.5 inches) long. Abundant in the Indo-Pacific region is the 8-centimetre (3-inch) orange-mouthed olive (O. sericea).

  • lettering

    map: Nomenclature: Lettering is selected by the map editor in styles and sizes appropriate to the respective features and the relative importance of each. For topographic maps and most others that follow conventional practice, four basic styles of lettering are used in the Western world. The Roman…

  • Letteris, Meir (Polish-Jewish author)

    Hebrew literature: Beginnings of the Haskala movement: One poet, Meir Letteris, and one dramatist, Na?man Isaac Fischman, wrote biblical plays.

  • Letterman, David (American talk-show host)

    David Letterman, American late-night talk-show personality, producer, and comedian, best known as the host of the long-running Late Show with David Letterman. After graduating from Ball State University (1969) with a degree in telecommunications, Letterman tried his hand at television as a

  • letterpress printing

    Letterpress printing, in commercial printing, process by which many copies of an image are produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper. Letterpress is the oldest of the traditional printing techniques and remained the only

  • Letters (works by Plato)

    Plato: Life: … in Sicily (many of the Letters concern these, though their authenticity is controversial) led to a deep personal attachment to Dion (408–354 bce), brother-in-law of Dionysius the Elder (430–367 bce), the tyrant of Syracuse. Plato, at Dion’s urging, apparently undertook to put into practice the ideal of the “philosopher-king” (described…

  • Letters (work by Barth)

    American literature: Realism and metafiction: …and the epistolary novel in LETTERS (1979). Similarly, Donald Barthelme mocked the fairy tale in Snow White (1967) and Freudian fiction in The Dead Father (1975). Barthelme was most successful in his short stories and parodies that solemnly caricatured contemporary styles, especially the richly suggestive pieces collected in

  • Letters (work by Vonnegut)

    Kurt Vonnegut: …his correspondence was published as Letters (2012).

  • Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians (work by Catlin)

    Madog Ab Owain Gwynedd: In Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians (1841), George Catlin surmised that Madog’s expedition had reached the upper Missouri River valley and that its members were the ancestors of the Mandan Indians. There is a tradition of a…

  • Letters and Papers from Prison (work by Bonhoeffer)

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Ethical and religious thought: …in 1951 (Widerstand und Ergebung; Letters and Papers from Prison, 1953, enlarged ed., 1997), are of interest both for their theological themes, especially as developed in the letters to his friend and later editor and biographer, Eberhard Bethge, and for their remarkable reflection on cultural and spiritual life. Reviewing the…

  • Letters and Prose Writings, The (work by Cowper)

    William Cowper: The Letters and Prose Writings, in two volumes, edited by James King and Charles Ryskamp, was published in 1979–80.

  • letters close (government grant)

    diplomatics: The royal chanceries of medieval France and Germany: …use of letters patent and letters close (open or closed letters). Privileges continued to be sealed with a hanging seal; the seal on letters patent was impressed on the document and was used to seal up letters close.

  • Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies (work by Dickinson)

    John Dickinson: …1767–68 as the author of Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies, which appeared in many colonial newspapers. The letters helped turn opinion against the Townshend Acts (1767), under which new duties were collected to pay the salaries of royal officials in the colonies.…

  • Letters from an American Farmer (work by Crèvecoeur)

    Michel-Guillaume-Saint-Jean de Crèvecoeur: …1782 of 12 essays called Letters from an American Farmer.

  • Letters from Iceland (work by Auden and MacNeice)

    W. H. Auden: Life: …Iceland with MacNeice, described in Letters from Iceland (1937), and a trip to China with Isherwood that was the basis of Journey to a War (1939). Auden visited Spain briefly in 1937, his poem Spain (1937) being the only immediate result; but the visit, according to his later recollections, marked…

  • Letters from Iwo Jima (film by Eastwood [2006])

    Clint Eastwood: 2000 and beyond: …of Our Fathers (2006) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), both of which focus on the Battle of Iwo Jima. The latter, told from the Japanese perspective, was nominated for several Oscars, including best director and best film.

  • Letters from Mexico (letters by Cortés)

    Latin American literature: Chronicles of discovery and conquest: …whose Cartas de relación (1519–26; Letters from Mexico) told of the tortuous campaign by which a few hundred Spaniards took over the powerful Aztec empire, aided by gunpowder, horses, cunning, and the resentful peoples who were subject to Aztec rule. Cortés was a vigorous writer, with a flair for the…

  • Letters from Prison (work by Gramsci)

    Italian literature: The return to order: …in Lettere dal carcere (1947; Letters from Prison).

  • Letters from the Earth (work by Twain)

    Letters from the Earth, miscellany of fiction, essays, and notes by Mark Twain, published posthumously in 1962. Bernard De Voto, Twain’s second literary executor, compiled the writings in 1939, but publication of the work was held up for two decades by Twain’s daughter Clara. The pieces in the

  • Letters of a Russian Traveler (work by Karamzin)

    Nikolay Mikhaylovich Karamzin: …described his impressions in his Pisma russkogo puteshestvennika Letters of a Russian Traveller, 1789–1790), the most important of his contributions to a monthly review, Moskovsky zhurnal (1791–92; “Moscow Journal”), that he founded on his return. Written in a self-revealing style influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Laurence Sterne, the “Letters” helped…

  • Letters of Junius (English political essays)

    Sir Philip Francis: Francis may have written the Letters of Junius, a series of bitter lampoons against the government of King George III published by a London newspaper from 1769 to 1772, when he was a clerk in the war office.

  • Letters of Mephibosheth Stepsure (work by McCulloch)

    Canadian literature: From settlement to 1900: …Thomas McCulloch, in his serialized Letters of Mephibosheth Stepsure (1821–22), and Thomas Chandler Haliburton, in The Clockmaker (1835–36), featuring the brash Yankee peddler Sam Slick, adroitly brought their region to life and helped found the genre of folk humour.

  • Letters of Obscure Men, The (work by Rubeanus and von Hutten)

    German literature: Reformation: Epistolae obscurorum virorum (1515–17; The Letters of Obscure Men), a witty satire written in large part by the humanists Crotus Rubeanus (Johannes J?ger) and Ulrich von Hutten against the anti-Semitic and antihumanistic forces at work in the German universities, opened a gap between humanists and conservative scholastic intellectuals that…

  • Letters of Peter Plymley to My Brother Abraham Who Lives in the Country (work by Smith)

    Sydney Smith: …the first of several famous Letters of Peter Plymley to My Brother Abraham Who Lives in the Country, attacking what he saw as Protestant ignorance, obscurantism, and bigotry. Its success was immediate, and it was followed by four more letters published in 1807 and five in 1808.

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