Posted on 07/26/2020 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of July 26, 2020.

George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856): Shaw refused to accept the Nobel Prize in literature that he received for his play Saint Joan; however, he had no such qualms about his Academy Award for the screenplay of his play Pygmalion (which, upon its next film adaptation, became My Fair Lady).

Beatrix Potter (July 28, 1866): The Tale of Peter Rabbit was originally written as a letter to a sick child, who loved it so much that Potter published it and launched a long, prolific career.

Booth Tarkington (July 29, 1869): Best known for The Magnificent Ambersons, which also became an Orson Welles movie, Tarkington appeared on annual bestseller lists nine times.

Primo Levi (July 31, 1919): Levi was among the first to write and publish a memoir about the Holocaust, with his If This Is a Man (later retitled Survival in Auschwitz: The Nazi Assault on Humanity).

J.K. Rowling (July 31, 1965): Rowling’s Harry Potter books have sold over 500 million copies and have been published in over eighty languages; she’s also reached bestseller status as crime writer Robert Galbraith.

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819): Moby Dick was neither a commercial nor critical success up on its early publication, and another well-known story of Melville’s — “Billy Budd” — wasn’t even published until 1924.

Birthdays sourced from Calendar of Literary Facts; biographical information sourced from Encyclopedia Britannica and author websites. Did we miss someone? Email and let us know!

Tagged As: History, Just for fun

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