June 2015


Before the publication of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and Around the Moon (1869), literary journeys to the moon and planets were almost exclusively limited to allegory, fantasy or satire. Two things were needed to change fantasy into reality. First, there needed to be solid, scientific knowledge about the actual conditions[…]

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Shakespeare’s audience did not have to look far to see the stars: A wooden canopy projected out over the stage, and its underside—known as “the heavens,” was decorated with brightly painted stars and constellations. It served its purpose in Hamlet, for example, when the prince refers to “this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted[…]

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