Hermann Hendrich, Will-o'-the-wisp and Snake

Private collection

Date: 1823
Technique: Unknown

A will-o'-the-wisp, will-o'-wisp, or ignis fatuus (Medieval Latin: "foolish fire") is an atmospheric ghost light seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travellers from the safe paths. The phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including jack-o'-lantern, friar's lantern, hinkypunk, and hobby lantern in English folk belief, well attested in English folklore and in much of European folklore.


Howard Pyle, Marooned

Delaware Art Museum

Date: 1909
Technique: Oil on canvas, 40 x 60 in.

Pirate communities were primarily cooperative and democratic, not a bunch of lawless desperadoes. Marooning was an acceptable punishment for a member of the crew who had violated the pirate’s code.

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