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1J.D. Salinger born 1919 - celebrated and enigmatic twentieth-century American writers, Salinger is best known for his first and only published novel The Catcher in the Rye published in 1951.
Read The Catcher in the Rye
21885 Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge began 'weekly' rather than 'monthly' serialisation. Some reviewers balked at its steady stream of drama and its "improbabilities of incident."
Read The Mayor of Casterbridge
3JRR Tolkien born 1892. He was an Oxford professor of Anglo-Saxon language 1925-1945, during which time he completed and published The Hobbit (1937). The three volumes of Lord of the Rings were published 1954-55
Read The Hobbit by Tolkien
4Christopher Isherwood died 1986. Until Tom Ford adapted his novella A Single Man into a film, staring Colin Firth, he was best known for his stories of Berlin, collected in The Berlin Stories published in 1946.
Read A Single Man
51825, 23 yr old Alexandre Dumas embarked on his self-proclaimed "career as a romantic" by fighting his first duel, and having his pants fall down. A problem that never befell his most famous creations The Three Musketeers.
Read The Three Musketeers
61883 the painter-writer-mystic Kahlil Gibran was born in Lebanon. The Prophet, first published in 1923, remains near the top of the all-time best-seller lists, apparently still providing the intended inspiration.
Read The Prophet
71972 the American poet John Berryman committed suicide at the age of fifty-seven. His 77 Dream Songs won the 1964 Pulitzer, and the writing of some 300 more over the subsequent years earned Berryman international fame.
Read poems by John Berryman
81824 the mystery novelist Wilkie Collins was born. The Moonstone is perhaps his most famous book and crime historians say much is owed to characters such as Sergeant Cuff, and to his stylish back-of-my-hand.
Read The Moonstone
91890 Czech writer Karel Capek, who introduced the word "robot" to the world, was born. He first used the term in his play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) in 1921 and always credited his brother with the invention of the word.
101776, that a small booklet called "Common Sense" written by an English author and revolutionary named Thomas Paine was released to a Colonial American public eager for change. In relation to the population at that time, it had the largest sale and of any book in American history.
11Thomas Hardy dies - 1928: one of England's great novelists, best known for The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
Read Tess of the D'Urbervilles
12Edmund Burke born 1729 - One of the most important western political philosophers/statesmen. Considered the father of modern conservatism.
13James Joyce dies - 1941. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man published in 1916 and Ulysses in 1922, are widely considered ground-breaking works of fiction which fundamentally redefined the novel as a genre.
Read books by James Joyce
141886 Hugh Lofting, writer of the Doctor Dolittle series of children's books, was born. While growing up in Berkshire, Lofting kept "a combination zoo and natural history museum" in his mother's linen closet.
Read Dr Dolittle
15Martin Luther King born 1929: an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
161605: The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes was published. It is the most influential work of literature to emerge from the Spanish Golden Age.
Read Don Quixote
17T.H. White died 1964: His most famous novel, The Sword in the Stone was published in 1938, initially a stand-alone work but now the first part of a tetralogy The Once and Future King.
Read books by T.H. White
18Today is Winnie the Pooh Day where fans of the books make teddy bear crafts, play games and read Winnie the Pooh in groups - and if they live near a river play Pooh Sticks as well.
Listen to Winnie the Pooh
19Edgar Allan Poe born 1809. Poe is also deemed to be the originator of such genres as the detective story, the horror tale, and the science fiction story. In January 1845, Poe published his poem "The Raven" to instant success.
Read books by Edgar Allan Poe
20This is the Eve of St. Agnes, on which young virgins obedient to various bedtime rituals, such as having eaten only a salt-filled egg, are granted a vision of their future lovers. Immortalised in the poem by John Keats
Read The Eve of St. Agnes
21George Orwell (real name Eric Blair) died 1950. In 1922 he joined the Indian Imperial Force, and in Dec 1936 he went to Spain to fight against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. 1984 was published June 8 1949.
Read books by George Orwell
22George Gordon Byron (aka Lord Byron) born 1788 - English poet who was a leading figure of Romantic period. His life featured aristocratic excesses, huge debts, numerous love affairs, and self-imposed exile.
Read his Major works
23Derek Walcott born 1930 is a Caribbean poet, playwright, writer and visual artist. Born in Castries, Saint Lucia. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.
Read poems by Derek Walcott
24On this day in 1670 English playwright William Congreve was born. Congreve wrote some of the most popular English plays of the Restoration period. By the age of thirty, he had written four comedies, including Love for Love.
Read The Way of the World
25Robert Burns born - 1759: National poet of Scotland and pioneer of Romantic movement. Commemorated by Burns' Night.
Read poems by Robert Burns
26Kathleen Hale died 2000: Kathleen was a British artist, illustrator, and children's author, best remembered for her series of books about Orlando the Marmalade Cat.
Read more Orlando books
27Lewis Carroll born 1832: Alice Liddell, badgered Carroll to complete an improvised story told to her on a boat trip. It went on to become the classic Alice's Adventures Underground - then renamed to 'Wonderland'.
Read about Alice's Adventures
281813 Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was first published. She began writing in 1796! In 2003 it came 2nd in a BBC poll for most loved piece of literature.
Read Pride and Prejudice
29Thomas Paine born - 1737 As one of the Founding Fathers he was a primary force in both the French and US Revolutions.
301933 poet Ezra Pound met with Benito Mussolini. A brief, one-time talk, that brought out the worst in Pound's personality and lead to personal disaster as he was indicted for treason by the United States government in 1943.
Read poems by Ezra Pound
311956 A.A. Milne dies. Best known for his books about Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems. Milne was a noted writer, primarily as a playwright, before the huge success of Pooh overshadowed all his previous work.
Read more by A A Milne