W.B. Marsh

Voices From the Past: A year of great quotations – and the stories from history that inspired them

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In a treasure trove for history buffs, W.B. Marsh fleshes out the context behind famous quotations associated with each day of the year, sending us back and forth in history from the time of the Ancient Egyptians to the world we live in today. ‘You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.’ (25 April 1898) Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst urges war artist Frederick Remington to stay in Cuba while Hearst publishes lurid tales of an imaginary conflict. ‘I am tasting the stars!’ (4 August 1693) The monk Dom Pérignon tests the result of his new techniques in the making of sparkling wine, and champagne is born. ‘I did not write it. God wrote it. I merely did his dictation.’ (20 March 1852) Harriet Beecher Stowe publishes Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the nineteenth century’s bestseller apart from the Bible. ‘From the sublime to the ridiculous is only a step.’ (18 October 1812) Napoleon’s all-conquering Grande Armée begins its slow and ignominious retreat from Moscow.