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11944: Mary Chase's drama play Harvey, about an invisible six foot tall white rabbit, is first performed
Read Harvey by Mary Chase
2George Bernard Shaw, Irish-born playwright and critic, died in 1950 at the age of 94. Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his work on the film Pygmalion.
Listen to Pygmalion
3We haven't found a good one yet - but if you know one please let us know and we will add it to the website.
4Wilfred Owen died aged 25 by machine-gun fire while leading his men across a canal by raft (1918). One of the leading poets of the First World War. Best-known works "Dulce et Decorum Est", "Insensibility", "Anthem for Doomed Youth"
5We haven't found a good one yet - but if you know one please let us know and we will add it to the website.
6Michael Cunningham born 1952. The award-winning American writer is best known for his 1998 novel The Hours, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999.
Read the Hours by Michael Cunningham
7Canadian fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay born 1954. Many of his novels are set in fictional realms that resemble real places during real historical periods, such as Constantinople during the reign of Justinian I or Spain during the time of El Cid.
Read books by Guy Gavriel Kay
8John Milton died 1674. Recognized as one of the greatest writers in the English language he is, perhaps, best known for Paradise Lost (1667), an epic poem recounting the Biblical story of humanity's fall from grace.
Read Pardise Lost by John Milton
9Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev, born 1818, in Orel, Russia. He is best known for his novel Fathers and Sons published in 1862.
Read Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
10Arthur Rimbaud died 1891: A child prodigy who produced his first poem at the age of ten, Rimbaud is often considered the father of modern poetry. His verse encompasses every style from formal to free.
Read Poems by Arthur Rimbaud
11Fyodor Dostoevsky born Moscow 1821. He was an epileptic whose greatest work Crime and Punishment published in 1866. In 1880 he gave a speech about poet Pushkin in Moscow where he was hailed as a prophet.
Read Crime and Punishment
12Elizabeth Gaskell died 1865: A figure of the "golden age" of nineteenth-century English literature, Gaskell is best known for her novels of social reform and psychological realism, notably Ruth (1853) and North and South (1854)
Read books by Elizabeth Gaskell
13Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson born Scotland 1850. Both his father and grandfather were accomplished lighthouse designers. The hugely popular Treasure Island was originally titled The Sea Cook and was published in 1883.
Read Treasure Island
14Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, creator of the dauntless Pippi Longstocking, was born 1907, near Vimmerby, Sweden. Pippi Longstocking was invented to please her daughter Karin, who was, at the time, ill and bed-ridden.
Read Pippi Longstocking
15J.G. Ballard born in Shanghai 1930 - his book Empire of the Sun recounted his experiences in Japanese POW camp. The word " He was also a famous science fiction writer penning the controversial novel 'Crash'
Read Crash by J G Ballard
16Chinua Achebe born 1930: Widely known as "the father of the African novel in English," Achebe is one of the most significant writers to emerge from contemporary Africa. Best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958).
Read Things fall Apart
17Auberon Waugh born 1939: Waugh became most famous for his Private Eye Diary, which ran from the early 1970s until 1985, and which he described as "specifically dedicated to telling lies".
18Marcel Proust died1922. His masterpiece In Search of Lost Time contains 7 volumes and roughly 3,200 pages. Proust is widely considered the greatest French novelist of the twentieth century.
Read books by Marcel Proust
19We haven't found a good one yet - but if you know one please let us know and we will add it to the website.
20Leo Tolstoy died in 1910. Born September 9th 1828, he wrote 11 novels, 28 short stories, 3 plays, and 7 philosophical works in his lifetime.
Read works by Leo Tolstoy
21Voltaire born 1694: He wrote in many genres, but in the modern era he is best remembered for his connections with the theater and his short stories dramatizing philosophical issues. The most famous of these is Candide (1759)
Read Candide by Voltaire
22George Eliot (real name Mary Anne Evans) born 1819. Whilst writing she invented the recipe for Marmalade Brompton Cake which for a time was most popular cake in England. Middlemarch was published in 1871.
Read books by George Eliot
23Roald Dahl died 1990: He rose to prominence in the 1940s and became one of the world's bestselling authors. His stories are known for their unexpected endings, and his children's books for their unsentimental, often dark humour.
Read books by Roald Dahl
24We haven't found a good one yet - but if you know one please let us know and we will add it to the website.
25English political theorist, author and publisher Leonard Woolf was born in 1880. Despite his own work, Woolf is best known as the husband of author Virginia Woolf, for whom he was major editor, and great encourager.
Read books by Virginia Woolf
261864 Charles Lutwidge Dodgson presented his handwritten manuscript of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, originally titled Alice's Adventures Under Ground, as an early Christmas present to his 12-year-old friend, Alice Liddell.
Read books by Lewis Carroll
27We haven't found a good one yet - but if you know one please let us know and we will add it to the website.
28William Shakespeare married Ann Hathaway in 1582 - and Hathaway was widowed on Shakespeare's death in 1616. Very little is known about her, beyond a few references in legal documents.
29Clive Staples Lewis, known to his readers as C.S. and to his friends and family as Jack, was born on this day, November 29, 1898, in Belfast, Ireland. He is best known for his Chronicles of Narnia.
Read books by C S Lewis
30Jonathan Swift born (1667) Swift's greatest satire, Gulliver's Travels, is considered one of the most important works in the history of world literature.
Read Guliver's Travels