1Harriet Beecher Stowe died in 1896. Stowe was an American abolitionist and author, whose novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) depicted life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play.
Read Uncle Tom's Cabin
2Anton Chekhov died 1904: He is commonly recognized as the most significant writer of the literary generation that ended the Golden Age of Russian authorship the era of seminal novelists like Leo Tolstoy and Fedor Dostoevsky.
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3Franz Kafka was born in 1883. His unique body of writing much of which was published posthumously is considered to be among the most influential in Western literature. His stories include The Metamorphosis (1912).
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4Gustaw Herling-Grudziski died on 2000. A Polish writer and soldier best known for writing a personal account of life in the Soviet gulag, A World Apart, 10 years before Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
Read more about Gustaw Herling-Grudziński
5In 1687 Sir Isaac Newton published 'The Principia' wihich sated his laws of motion, forming the foundation of classical mechanics. The Principia is regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science.
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6Amsterdam, 1942, Anne Frank and her family go into hiding from the German occupation, in the Achterhuis ("Secret Annexe") above and behind her father\'s office on the Prinsengracht.
Read Diary of a Young Girl
7Arthur Conan Doyle dies 1930. Scottish physician and writer, most noted for his stories about the detective Sherlock Holmes. Four novels and fifty-six short-stories featuring his creation were written by the author.
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8Percy Bysshe Shelley dies 1822. Shelley was a major poet of the English Romantic period. His foremost works, written in the Romantic Age include The Revolt of Islam, Prometheus Unbound, Adonais, and The Triumph of Life.
Read more of Shelley's Poems
9Barbara Cartland born 1901. She wrote more than 700 books and was famous for following the same formula for every novel. She said: "The story is always going to be very much the same, because the girl is pure and the man is not.
Read about Barbara Cartland
10Marcel Proust born in Paris in 1871. Proust first began his masterpiece In Search of Lost Time in 1909 - the book contains 7 volumes, roughly 3,200 pages.
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11Robert Greene born 1558: His romantic comedies are credited with paving the way for Shakespeare. Greene's Pandosto (1588) was the foundation for The Winter's Tale, and there has been much debate over the extent of Greene's authorship of parts of Henry VI.
Reads works by Robert Greene
12Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales, appointed Clerk of the King\'s Works by Richard II in 1389. The post gave him oversight of the king's building projects including repairs to Westminster Palace.
Read the Cantebury Tales
131798, William Wordsworth visited the ruins of Tintern Abbey on the River Wye which prompted him to write the 1,200 words poem "Tintern Abbey," (which Wordsworth said he composed completely in his head).
Find out more about Wordsworth's Life
14Christopher Priest, novelist, born 1943 in Cheadle, now Greater Manchester. In He was a James Tait Black Memorial Prize winner and is perhaps best known for The Prestige, the film of which was released in 2006.
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15Today, St Swithin's Day, is the date at the centre of the novel One Day by David Nicholls.
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161951: J.D. Salinger's first and only novel, The Catcher in the Rye was published. Around 250,000 copies are still sold each year. The novel's antihero, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion and defiance.
Read The Catcher in the Rye
171947: Jack Kerouac, author of On the Road, goes on his first cross-country road trip.
Read On the Road
18William Mackpeace Thackeray born in Calcutta, India in 1811, his father was a prosperous official of the British East India Company. His most famous work Vanity Fair was published January 1848.
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19Francesco Petrarca died 1374. He is often called the "Father of Humanism". Based on Petrarch's works Pietro Bembo in the 16th century created the model for the modern Italian language.
20Francesco Petrarca was born 1304. He is often called the "Father of Humanism". Based on Petrarch's works Pietro Bembo in the 16th century created the model for the modern Italian language.
21Robert Burns dies 1796: National poet of Scotland and pioneer of Romantic movement.
Read poems by Robert Burns
221598, Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is entered on the Stationers' Register. This was an early form of copyright which allowed publishers to document their right to produce a particular printed work.
Read the Merchant of Venice
23Raymond Thornton Chandler was born 1888. An Anglo-American novelist and screenwriter who had an immense influence upon the modern private detective story, with his protagonist, Philip Marlowe.
Read books by Raymond Chandler
241920s icon Zelda Sayre, wife of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, was born in 1900. Fitzgerald modelled many of his characters after Zelda and used lines she'd written in letters to him. He even lifted things verbatim from her diary.
Read The Great Gatsby
25Samuel Taylor Coleridge dies 1834. As a major figure in the English Romantic movement, he is best known for three poems, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Kubla Khan," and "Christabel"
Read works by Coleridge
26George Bernard Shaw, Irish-born playwright born 1856. Shaw died of renal failure after falling from a tree he was attempting to prune. He is the only person to have been awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938).
Read Pygmallion by George Bernard Shaw
27Gertrude Stein died on this day in Paris in 1946. The story goes that as she lay dying, she asked her companion Alice B. Toklas, "What's the answer?" and then said, "What's the question?"
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28Beatrix Potter born 1866: English author, illustrator, mycologist and conservationist best known for children's books featuring anthropomorphic characters such as in The Tale of Peter Rabbit., or Tom Kitten and Benjamin Bunny.
Read some of her original stories
29French historian and political thinker Alexis de Toqueville, was born on this day in 1805 in Paris. Tocqueville's Democracy in America (1835), is today considered a phenomenal early work of sociology and political science.
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30Emily Bronte born in Yorkshire 1818 in village of Haworth. Together with sisters Anne and Charlotte she first published a joint collection of poetry in 1846. Wuthering Heights was her only novel and published in 1847.
Read books by Emily Bronte
31J K Rowling born 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire. The idea for Harry Potter came to the author whilst she was on a 4-hour delayed train journey. Philosopher's Stone published in 1997 and has sold an estimated 107 million copies worldwide.
Read the Harry Potter series