Dec 3, 2013 9:00:00 AM
Joseph Conrad, one of the first modernist writers, was born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in Poland on December 3, 1857. Though he didn't learn English until early adulthood, Conrad would become one of the top prose writers of the English language. Many of his stories were first published in magazines before they were published as novellas or books. Yet though he wrote steadily, he was not a financial success or widely read until the last decade of his life.
Dec 2, 2013 11:58:00 AM
“A Visit from St. Nicholas”—also known as, “Twas the Night before Christmas” and “The Night before Christmas”—has become one of the most beloved poems in the United States. Published anonymously in 1823, this poem was integral in shaping the American conception of St. Nicholas and Santa Claus. Yet despite its lighthearted content, a bitter controversy once arose over its authorship.
The poem was uncredited for 21 years. Finally, in 1844, professor Clement Clarke Moore claimed authorship of the poem, printing it in an anthology of his poetry. Moore stated that he had only acknowledged the poem at his children’s insistence, not wanting such a childish poem to detract from his scholarly reputation.
Nov 30, 2013 9:00:00 AM
It's hard to overstate the influence of Mark Twain. Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn," and many critics now cite this work as the first "Great American Novel." While the majority of those in the English-speaking world have heard of Mark Twain, and his two most famous novels, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, they may not know as much about this classic American author as they may think. To start with, Mark Twain is not even his real name.
Nov 29, 2013 6:00:00 PM
Madeleine L’Engle was born on November 29th 1918 in New York City. Her prolific output of over sixty books, journals, and anthologies has transcended the genres in which they were written, as well as generations. While she is widely regarded as an author of children’s books, L'Engle exhibited a tremendous literary range, writing fiction for adults, books of poetry, plays, and religious meditations, as well as memoirs of her family. Almost all of her works were deeply personal, rooted in her life and beliefs.
Nov 29, 2013 7:00:00 AM
C.S. Lewis is arguably the most important Christian intellectual and influential writer of the twentieth century, but it's unlikely that anyone would argue. Lewis has inspired generations of fiercely loyal readers and collectors. His books are classics not only in fantasy and children’s literature, but also in theology, distinguishing himself as an American classic and for good reason.
Nov 28, 2013 4:00:00 PM
Louisa May Alcott (29 November 1832 – 6 March 1888) was an American writer, feminist, abolitionist, and Civil War nurse. Her name is attached most often to her novel Little Women, but her work encompassed thrillers, adult novels, and theatrical plays, and she wrote many of her early novels under the pseudonyms Flora Fairfield and AM Barnard.
Nov 28, 2013 9:00:00 AM
If, in the words of James Barron Hope, “Tis after death that we measure men,” William Blake is fortunate indeed. Now a paragon of the Romantic Age whose poems and engravings are among the most famous of his time, Blake’s contemporaries dismissed his work and largely considered him insane. William Wordsworth wrote, “There was no doubt that this poor man was mad” and John Ruskin called him “diseased and wild.” Although his work was not understood during his lifetime, Blake has become one of the most important poets, engravers, and artists of the Romantic Age.
Nov 27, 2013 9:00:00 AM
For many families you cannot reach Christmas without reading the ultimate Christmas poem, Clement Clarke Moore’s T’was the Night Before Christmas, originally known as A Visit from St. Nicholas.
Nov 26, 2013 9:00:00 AM
On November 26, 1922, Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was raised in a humble family and read the comic pages every Sunday with his father, growing fond of the Mickey Mouse and Popeye strips. He knew from a young age that drawing cartoons is what he wanted to spend his life doing, and in 1937, his drawing of his family dog, Spike was published in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not newspaper.