katie fforde hold back the stars jonathan unleashed lovereading canvas bags twitter

Literary calendar

This month in literary history.

February January | March

Mon Tue Web Thu Fri Sat Sat
John Ray Grisham - the Dan Brown of the '90s. The Firm was published in 1991 and during the '90s his books dominated the legal thriller market selling more than 60 million copies worldwide, many of which have been made into films.
Read John Grisham books
James Joyce born 1882 - His novels, including Ulysses published in Paris on this day in 1922, are widely considered ground-breaking works of fiction which fundamentally redefined the novel as a genre.
Read Ulysses by James Joyce
Gertrude Stein born 1874: an American writer who spent most of her life in France, and who became a catalyst in the development of modern art and literature. Perhaps best known fro her novel Three Lives.
Read Three Lives by Gertrude Stein
Siobhan Dowd born 1960. In 2008 she became the first ever posthumous winner of the most prestigious prize in children's literature, the Carnegie medal for her novel Bog Child.
Read books by Siobhan Dowd
Thomas Carlyle died 1881. Carlyle's authoratiative work on The French Revolution was nearly a non starter when the first volume was accidentally burned by the philosopher John Stuart Mill's maid.
1939, Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep was published. The first in his acclaimed series about hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe. Interestingly Chandler also wrote poetry.
Read The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Charles Dickens born - in Portsmouth 1812. In 1865 he was involved in the notorious Staplehurst rail crash where a train plunged off the tracks. Only the 1st-class carriage remained on track and Dicken's was in it.
Read books by Charles Dickens
John Ray Grisham born in Arkansas in 1955, son of a cotton farmer. During 90s his books sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. The Firm was first widely recognised, published Feb 1, 1991.
Read John Grisham Books
1881 Fyodor Dostoevsky died. His greatest work Crime and Punishment was published in 1866. In 1880 he gave a speech about poet Pushkin at unveiling of Pushkin monument in Moscow and was hailed as a prophet.
Read Crime and Punishment
1837 Aleksandr Pushkin died at the age of thirty-seven, from a stomach wound suffered in a duel two days earlier. He is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.
Read works by Aleksandr Pushkin
Sylvia Plath died 1963. An American poet, novelist, children's author, and short story author. Best known for her poetry, and her death which mirrored an attempted suicide in The Bell Jar, a semi-autobiographical novel.
Read books by Sylvia Plath
Judy Blume born 1938: American author. She has written many novels for children and young adults, including 'The Pain and the Great One' series which have sold more than of 80 million copies in 31 languages.
Read more by Judy Blume
Georges Simenon born 1903. An incredibly prolific writer, capable of producing 60 to 80 pages per day. He published nearly 200 novels and is best known for his 75 novels featuring Commissaire Maigret.
Read books by Georges Simenon
P.G. Wodehouse died 1975. The English-born American novelist and short story writer is best known for his beloved characters, Bertie Wooster and his resourceful valet, Jeeves.
Read books by P. G. Wodehouse
We haven't found a good one yet - but if you know one please let us know and we will add it to the website.
1986 the original manuscript of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer was auctioned for $165,000, then a record price for a 20th century literary manuscript. Tropic of Cancer was Miller's first novel, written in Paris in the early thirties.
Read The Tropic of Cancer
1751 Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" was published. Gray was a reclusive gentleman-poet but this brought him immediate fame and became the most reprinted poem of the 18th century.
Read poems by Thomas Gray
Thomas Malthus born 1766 A controversial writer best known for An Essay on the Principle of Population, The essay posits that population tends to increase at a faster rate than the means for sustaining the population. Very far sighted.
1875 The issue of The Atlantic Monthly included first-time contributor Mark Twain, describing the pennants and pressure-valve whistles, the paddled foam and cindery smoke that would become the famous Huckleberry Finn.
Read Huckleberry Finn
2005. Hunter S. Thompson, renowned author and pioneer of 'Gonzo journalism' commits suicide at his ranch in Colorado. Among other works he wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971), The Rum Diary (1998).
Read books by Hunter S. Thompson
We haven't found a good one yet - but if you know one please let us know and we will add it to the website.
1937 Jilly Cooper was born Hornchurch, London in 1937. One of the original 'Bonk-buster' authors her novel, including Riders published in 1985 and went on to be international best-seller as part of her Rutshire Chronicles.
Read Jilly Cooper novels
1898: Emile Zola, author of Therese Raquin (1867), is convicted of libel following the publication of J'Accuse which critcises the French army's conduct in the 'Dreyfus Affair'. Zola is later pardoned.
Read books by Emile Zola
1633 Samuel Pepys born. As a highly placed civil servant and tireless observer of Restoration society, he recorded the events and character of his age. His Diary is therefore valued as a historical document of incomparable import.
Read about the life of Samuel Pepys
We haven't found a good one yet - but if you know one please let us know and we will add it to the website.
1983 Tennessee Williams died. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. Williams died choking on an eye drop cap in his hotel room.
Read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
1802 Victor Hugo born. Author of novels Les Miserables and Notre Dame de Paris (Hunchback of Notre Dame). The English language version of the musical opened in 1985 at the Barbican Arts Centre in London.
Read Les Miserables
1902 John Ernst Steinbeck born. American writer who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and the novella Of Mice and Men (1937). In 1962, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Read Of Mice and Men