Posted on January 22, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Here are the literary birthdays to celebrate over the week of January 22, 2023: 

Francis Bacon (January 22, 1561): Bacon’s writings broke a long drought in English philosophy; influential works include The Advancement of Learning, Novum Organum (which presented a scientific method), and De Sapientia Veterum (The Wisdom of the Ancients).

Lord Byron (January 22, 1788): Byron first caught attention for a satirical poet response to criticism of his first work; poetry including Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Beppo, and Don Juan — in addition to his love affairs — cemented his fame. 

Edith Wharton (January 24, 1862): Wharton published over fifty books, most notably The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and The Age of Innocence (which won a Pulitzer Prize).

Robert Burns (January 25, 1759): Burns, considered Scotland’s national poet, remains celebrated for his poems (“To a Mouse,” “An Address to the Deil,” and “Tam o’ Shanter”) and his songs (“Auld Lang Syne,” “I’m O’er Young to Marry Yet,” and “Green Grow the Rashes, O”).

W. Somerset Maugham (January 25, 1874): While his novels Of Human Bondage and The Moon and Sixpence have cemented his name in literary history, Maugham also wrote short stories and plays.

Virginia Woolf (January 25, 1882): Woolf is as beloved for her novels, like Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, as she is for her nonfiction writing, particularly A Room of One’s Own.

Gloria Naylor (January 25, 1950): Naylor won the National Book Award for The Women of Brewster Place, which also became a movie starring Oprah Winfrey; her other well-known novels include Linden Hills, Mama Day, and Bailey’s Cafe.

Lewis Carroll (January 27, 1832): Carroll is best known for his still-beloved children's tales, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, but he also wrote humorous pamphlets, a mathematical text, and poetry, including the narrative nonsense poem "The Hunting of the Snark."

Colette (January 28, 1873): Among Colette’s most famous works are Chéri and Gigi, the latter of which was adapted for the stage and the screen; her lifetime of work earned her spots — rare for a woman — in the Belgian Royal Academy, French Académie Goncourt, and the Legion of Honour.

Categories: Today in Books

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