Also Today in Literary History – May 31, 1699 – Samuel Pepys wrote the last entry of his famous Diary 350 years ago today

On May 31, 1669 Samuel Pepys made his last entry in the diary that he had kept since January 1, 1660. He wrote that he was concerned about damaging his eyesight by writing by candlelight. Pepys diary is one of the most fascinating and multi-faceted written undertakings, providing a portrait of its author and his …

Also On This Day in Literary History – Maya Angelou dies – from Bookworm Norm 2018

Maya Angelou, the American poet and memoirist, died on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86. Her first book — the first of seven volumes of autobiography — I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1969 and told the story of her life up to the age of seventeen. It was an immediate …

Also On This Day in Literary History – Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is published – from Bookworm Norm 2018

Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel Dracula was published in London on May 26, 1897. Stoker was the business manager for the Lyceum Theatre but he also wrote horror and supernatural books on the side. Dracula came out of Stoker’s long interest in Eastern European folktales. Stoker researched accounts of vampires and shapeshifters, mostly from Romanian folk beliefs, and …

Also On This Day in Literary History – Raymond Carver is born – from Bookworm Norm 2018

Raymond Carver, the masterful short story writer and poet, was born on May 25, 1938. Carver was born in Oregon and raised in the state of Washington. He married at the age of 19 (to his pregnant 16 year-old girlfriend) and moved to California. He attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop but left before graduating. He …

Also On This Day in Literary History – poet Alexander Pope is born – from Bookworm Norm 2018

Alexander Pope, the great satiric poet, was born on May 21, 1688. Pope suffered from many physical ailments including Pott’s disease, a form of tuberculosis affecting the spine. He was hunchbacked and stood at only four feet six inches. In addition he had severe respiratory difficulties and abdominal pains. Pope came from a Catholic family …

Also On This Day in Literary History -T.E. Lawrence dies after a motorcycle accident – From Bookworm Norm 2018

T. E. Lawrence, known to history as “Lawrence of Arabia” and the author of the classic Seven Pillars of Wisdom, died on May 19, 1935, at the age of forty-six. He had resigned from the RAF just a few months earlier and had moved permanently into his holiday cottage in Dorset. Lawrence was an avid motorcyclist and …

Also Today in Literary History – Emily Dickinson dies – from Bookworm Norm May 2018

Emily Dickinson, who is now considered one of the most important American poets, died on May 15, 1886, in almost complete obscurity. She was 55 years old and had spent most of her life living in her family mansion in Amherst, Massachusetts. Her neighbours considered her to be an eccentric recluse. In her later years …

Also On This Day in Literary History – May 12, 1812 – Edward Lear is born – From Bookworm Norm 2018

Edward Lear, the British poet and master of the limerick, was born on May 12, 1812. Lear began his career as an artist, specializing in natural history paintings. He made watercolour illustrations of birds for the British Museum and for private ornithologists and was compared favourably with John James Audubon. Later, he worked for the …

Also On This Day in Literary History – May 2, 1611 – The King James Bible is published – from Bookworm Norm 2018

The magisterial translation of the Bible that came to be known as The King James Version was first published on May 2, 1611. It is arguably the most important and influential book in the English language; its theological importance aside, it has given the English language countless phrases and allusions in its over 400 year …

Also on This Day in Literary History – From Bookworm Norm March 2018

MARCH 26, 2018 BY NORM SIGURDSON Today in Literary History – March 26, 1969 – John Kennedy Toole, author of “A Confederacy of Dunces” dies John Kennedy Toole, the author of the posthumously published novel A Confederacy of Dunces, took his own life on March 26, 1969, at the age of 31. He had laboured over his serio-comic novel …

Also on This Day in Literary History – March 18, 1893 – from Bookworm Norm March 2018

MARCH 18, 2018 BY NORM SIGURDSON Today in Literary History – March 18, 1893 – poet Wilfrid Owen is born The great World War I poet Wilfrid Owen was born on March 18, 1893 in Shropshire, England. Owen was 22 years old and teaching English and French at the Berlitz School in Bordeaux, France, when the First World …

Also Today in Literary History -March 4, 1932 – from Bookworm Norm 2018

MARCH 4, 2018 BY NORM SIGURDSON Today in Literary History – March 4, 1932 – Ryszard Kapuściński is born One of my favourite writers Ryszard Kapuściński was born on March 4, 1932 in what was then Pinsk, Poland but is now in Belarus. Kapuściński worked for the Polish Press Agency for many years under communist rule, reporting mostly …

Also Today in Literary History – March 3, 1996 – From Bookworm Norm March 2018

MARCH 3, 2018 BY NORM SIGURDSON Today in Literary History – March 3, 1996 – French novelist Marguerite Duras dies The French novelist and screenwriter Marguerite Duras died from throat cancer on March 3, 1996 at the age of 81. She was born in 1914 in Saigon, the capital of French Indochina, which is now known as Ho …

Also On This Day in Literary History – February 15, 1883 – from Bookworm Norm 2018

FEBRUARY 15, 2018 BY NORM SIGURDSON Today in Literary History – February 15, 1883 – Sax Rohmer, author of the Fu Manchu books is born Arthur Ward, who wrote mystery novels about the evil mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu under the pseudonym “Sax Rohmer,” was born in Birmingham, England on February 15, 1883. Ward began his writing career scripting …

Also On This Day in Literary History – February 10, 1837 – From Bookworm Norm 2018

FEBRUARY 10, 2018 BY NORM SIGURDSON Today in Literary History – February 10, 1837 – Alexander Pushkin dies after being shot in a duel Alexander Pushkin, one of the pioneers of Russian literature died at the age of 37 on February 10 (January 29 under the Old Style calendar) 1837, two days after being shot in a duel. …

Also On This Day In Literary History – From Bookworm Norm 2018

FEBRUARY 9, 2018 BY NORM SIGURDSON Today in Literary History – February 9, 1923 – Irish writer Brendan Behan is born The Irish playwright, novelist and memoirist Brendan Behan was born in Dublin on January 9, 1923. He had a short life, with a meteoric rise as a gifted and famous writer and just as swift a fall …

Also On This Day in Literary History – from Bookworm Norm 2018

FEBRUARY 7, 2018 BY NORM SIGURDSON Today in Literary History – February 7, 1478 – Sir Thomas More, author of Utopia is born Sir Thomas More (Saint Thomas More in the Catholic tradition), Lord Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII and author of the book Utopia, was born on February 7, 1478. More was beheaded in 1535 for …