Jul 4, 2013 — Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the ballad after witnessing the Battle for Baltimore in 1814. According to author Steve Vogel, after it was published, Key's composition took the country by storm. But it didn't become the national anthem until more than 100 years later.
Jun 30, 2013 — For decades, no one could crack the code to a mysterious ancient script called Linear B. In her new book, Margalit Fox tells the story of the forgotten woman who almost figured it out.
Jun 21, 2013 — NPR's go-to librarian recommends five "under the radar" books she thinks you should read this summer. They range from a Jane Austenesque love story to a real life, intellectual detective tale.
Oct 25, 2012 — In 1880, years before creating Sherlock Holmes, a young Arthur Conan Doyle went to the Arctic as the surgeon aboard a whaling ship. He recorded his adventures in journals full of notes and drawings, which have been published for the first time in a book called Dangerous Work.
Dec 1, 2011 — Suspense rules fiction this week, with a new cop protagonist from Ian Rankin, a tale by Lars Kepler that rivals the Dragon Tattoo series, and a debut novel inspired by Sherlock Holmes. In nonfiction, there's a history of ballet and Patti LuPone's memoir of the Great White Way.
Nov 28, 2011 — Critic Maureen Corrigan selects two of the best new works of fiction and criticism about The Great Detective, and offers recommendations for terrific novels featuring contemporary investigators who carry forward Holmes' trademark method of detection: "an observance of trifles."
Jul 17, 2011 — NPR coverage of Arthur And George by Julian Barnes. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Jul 2, 2011 — The British explorer may have been beaten to the South Pole, but the experiments he conducted along the way changed science forever. What Robert Falcon Scott achieved, says author Edward Larson, went far beyond what his peers accomplished.
Dec 11, 2010 — In the new novel The Sherlockian, the death of Sherlock Holmes so outrages his fans that one day, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle receives a letter bomb. He and Dracula author Bram Stoker launch an investigation, but more than a century later, a group of fans finds the mystery has only grown.
Dec 2, 2010 — In the information age, the unexplored is hard to come by. Author Richard Harvell recommends three titles to take you back to a time when the unknown was a little more accessible — and to remind you of the power of wonder and imagination.