Today in Literary History – September 15, 1915 – the first appearance of Jeeves & Wooster

The September 15, 1915, issue of The Saturday Evening Post featured a comic short story by P.G. Wodehouse in which his two most famous characters, the dim-witted aristocrat Bertie Wooster and his preternaturally adaptable valet Jeeves made their first appearances. Well, yes and no. The story, Extricating Young Gussie, is narrated by a recognizable Bertie, …

Today in Literary History – September 14, 1851 – the death of James Fenimore Cooper

James Fenimore Cooper, the novelist of the American frontier, died on this day in 1851. He was brought up on an estate in upper New York state, in what is now the village of Cooperstown, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Cooper is most famous for his five-book cycle known as The Leatherstocking …

Today in Literary History – September 13, 1928 – the death of Italo Svevo

The German-Italian novelist Italo Svevo died on this day in 1928. "Italo Svevo" was actually his pen name. His real name was Ettore Schmitz (known to his friends as Hector) and apart from his literary endeavours he was also, thanks to an advantageous and loving marriage to an heiress, a wealthy businessman. In late 1928, …

Today in Literary History – September 12, 1880 – the birth of H.L. Mencken

Today is the anniversary if the birth of one of my all-time favourite writers, H.L. Mencken, born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880. Mencken, known to his family and friends as Hank, was an incredibly prolific writer of books, essays, satirical pieces and newspaper columns. He wrote about social trends, politics, literature, music, philology, …

Today in Literary History – the centenary of Jessica Mitford, born September 11, 1917

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of author and activist Jessica Mitford (known to family and friends as Decca) who was born on September 11, 1917. She was one of the six famous Mitford sisters - the others being Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity and Deborah. Diana and Unity were great supporters of the …

Today in Literary History – September 10, 1935 – the assassination of Huey P. Long

Huey Long, nicknamed "The Kingfish," was the controversial governor of Louisiana and later a United States senator He was assassinated on September 10, 1935. He had announced his candidacy for the United States presidency just a month earlier. He was shot in the Capitol Building in Baton Rouge by Dr. Carl Weiss, the son-in-law of …

Today in Literary History – September 9, 1910 – Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein move in together

On September 9, 1910, Alice B. Toklas moved permanently into Gertrude Stein's apartment at 27 rue de Fleurus in the Montparnasse district of Paris. She would be Stein's lover, partner, household organizer, editor and muse until Stein's death in 1946. Together Stein and Toklas, both expatriate Americans, created a lively artistic and literary salon at …

Today in Literary History – September 7, 1601 – Death of William Shakespeare’s father

William Shakespeare's father, John Shakespeare, died on September 7, 1601, at the age of 70, when Shakespeare was 37 and tasting success in London, having opened The Globe Theatre in 1599. John Shakespeare had a life of steady rise in fortune and social standing followed by a precipitous decline starting in the 1570s when William …