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John Milton, Political Activist and Poet

By Andrea Koczela. Dec 9, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

“I sung of Chaos and Eternal Night,
Taught by the heav'nly Muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to reascend”
                -Paradise Lost

 

 

Today we celebrate literary giant John Milton, author of Paradise Lost. His poetry profoundly influenced English literature and in particular the works of William Wordsworth, William Blake, Alexander Pope, and John Keats. Now, over three centuries since his death, Milton remains one of the greatest of all English poets.

     
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James Thurber's Life and Work

By Shelley Kelber. Dec 8, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, American Literature

James Thurber became one of the most popular humorists of his time by shining a comedic light on the everyday man and his daily, mundane frustrations and idiosyncrasies. In his work, Thurber often asked his audience to consider how their minds shaped their view of reality.

     
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David Macaulay: A Mind To Be Reckoned With

From the time he was a child, David Macaulay evidenced a fascination with how machines operated. He soon began to make models of machines and began drawing illustrations of these machines. Soon he was constructing elevators out of shoe boxes, tape, and string and devising intricate systems of moving cable cars made with empty thread spools.

     
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Who Were Mark Twain's Publishers?

By Audrey Golden. Nov 30, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Book History, First Editions

Samuel Langhorne Clemens, or Mark Twain as he is known to many readers, wrote nearly two dozen books over the course of his career, not to mention the wide variety of essays that appeared in various literary magazines. He’s a popular author for new and seasoned collectors alike, and his fiction and essays have appeared in dozens of different editions for more than a century. Yet unless you’re extremely familiar with particular editions of Twain’s work, you may not be too knowledgeable about his many publishers. So, who were his publishers?

     
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On Gratitude: Ten Quotes for a Literary Thanksgiving

By Nick Ostdick. Nov 28, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Literature

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and that means friends and families are coming together to give thanks and express gratitude for what and whom they have in their lives. A day focused on gathering around a shared table to indulge in extravagant food and drink, one could argue Thanksgiving is the purest of all holidays where the pressures of a commerce-driven culture are set aside in favor of breaking bread, telling stories, and celebrating a communal moment of peace and good will—that is, at least until the Black Friday sales begin. 

     
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The Fame and Fiction of William F. Buckley, Jr.

By Audrey Golden. Nov 24, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: American History, Legendary Authors, Learn About Books

When most people think about William F. Buckley, Jr., they don’t think about Cold War spy novels or interviews with Beat poets and dramatists. Instead, they often think about Buckley's prominence in conservative politics. Yet he also made a name for himself when it came to fiction. We didn’t just reference Cold War spy novels and Jack Kerouac—two seemingly incompatible topics—out of nowhere. In fact, although you might not suspect it, Buckley wrote eleven novels about espionage and even interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, and Jack Kerouac on television. Are you intrigued? Let us tell you a little bit more about William F. Buckley, Jr.’s fame and fiction.

     
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Celebrating Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing

Today is the centennial birthday of Doris Lessing, novelist, poet, playwright, and Nobel laureate. Born in Kermanshah, Iran to British parents, Lessing's life story is an incredible one. In honor of the 100th year since her birth, here's more about one of the foremost authors of the twentieth century.

     
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A Quick Guide to the Works of Arthur Miller

By Connie Diamond. Oct 17, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, Drama

In an interview with the Paris Review, Arthur Miller spoke of his admiration for the Greek tragedies when he was young. He had had little classical background at the time, but as to their form he said, “the architecture was clear.” A quick glance at the dictionary reveals the definition of architecture is "the complex or carefully designed structure of something." Interestingly, on the day of his interview, the playwright had greeted the visiting journalist* from a ladder in an old barn that he was converting into a guesthouse. The conversation eventually moved to a one room study at a desk that Miller himself had built. In dramatic fashion, Miller seemed to be demonstrating his affinity for sound structure created by using the tools of one’s trade. When he applied this principle to his writing, the result was the creation of award winning literature across several genres.

     
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Wilde Wit: The 15 Funniest Quotes from Oscar Wilde

By Adrienne Rivera. Oct 16, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors

Oscar Wilde is easily one of the most recognizable names in literature, just as he would have wanted. While his work was met with general acclaim during his lifetime, today Wilde is considered one of the most famous writers in the British literary canon. Besides his plays, short fiction, and novel, he is also known for his epigrams. Today, we take a closer look at Wilde's career and present to you fifteen of his best and funniest phrases.

     
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Book Spotlight: Comrades by Stephen Ambrose

By Abigail Bekx. Oct 13, 2019. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Authors, History

Published in 2000, Comrades: Brothers, Father, Heroes, Sons, Pals exhibits an application of Stephen Ambrose’s historical knowledge to a modern topic of great importance to the author. Known for his work as a historian and biographer, Stephen Ambrose’s work on his many subjects are combined into an effort to show the importance of male friendship in a society where it is difficult to express. 

     
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How can I identify a first edition? Where do I learn about caring for books? How should I start collecting? Hear from librarians about amazing collections, learn about historic bindings or printing techniques, get to know other collectors. Whether you are just starting or looking for expert advice, chances are, you'll find something of interest on blogis librorum.

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