literature

Gothic – The Life and Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Gothic – The Life and Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) On July 8 1822 the great English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley was drowned near the Italian coast. He was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron. And actually he was married with novelist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of the…
Elementary, my Dear Watson! – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes

Elementary, my Dear Watson! – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes

Photograph of Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes © New York Public Library Digital Collection. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who died 82 years ago today in 1930, was one of the most prolific, versatile and successful authors of the late 19th and early 20th century. Besides his best known character, the ‘consulting detective’ of the London police, Sherlock Holmes and his dear friend and advisor Dr. John Watson, he also wrote science…
Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Nothing Really Mattered to Ambrose ‘Bitter’ Bierce

Ambrose Bierce(1842 – 1913) Author, journalist, satirist, and critic Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce was born on June 24, 1842. He had a great influence in the literature of the 20th century through his works, most of them dealing with the American Civil War. At the age of 18, Bierce was recruited to the ‘9th Indiana Infantry Regiment’ of the Union Army. Honored for his courage and later promoted to being a…
“The war has ruined us for everything” – Erich Maria Remarque

“The war has ruined us for everything” – Erich Maria Remarque

Erich Maria Remarque(1898 – 1970) Erich Maria Remarque was born today 114 years ago. The German writer was best known for his pacifist novels, especially All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues), published in 1928. The son of a bookbinder was born in Osnabrück and originally named ‘Erich Paul Remark’. In the 1920’s he changed his name to Erich Maria Remarque. During the last two years of World…
The Short but Influential Life of Stephen Crane

The Short but Influential Life of Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane (1871-1900) On June 5, 1900, famous american writer Stephen Crane died at age 28. Despite of his youth, he already had become one of the icons of american literature. Most famous is his american civil war novel ‘The Red Badge of Courage‘, which has been read by almost every american high school kid. Crane was one of America’s foremost realistic writers, and his works have been credited with…
Count Vampyre from Styria – or what Bram Stoker did not write

Count Vampyre from Styria – or what Bram Stoker did not write

Le Vampire – Philip Burne-Jones (1897) On May 18, 1897, Bram Stoker published his seminal book ‘Dracula‘ in London and established one of the most influential genres in fantastic literature by introducing the Transylvanian blood sucker. Nowadays most people don’t know that identifying Dracula with the historical Vlad Tepes — called the impaler — was completely made up by Stoker himself. Oh, obviously Vlad Tepes was anything else but a…
Don’t Panic! – remembering Douglas Adams

Don’t Panic! – remembering Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams (1952-2001) On May 11, 2001, writer, dramatist, and musician Douglas Noel Adams has passed away. His efforts as author resulted in five books of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy‘, the book ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency‘ and many other. He was also active as screenwriter for the television series ‘Doctor Who’ and (very notable) appeared twice in the fourth series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. BTW he is…
The Illuminati – about Conspiracies and Bestsellers

The Illuminati – about Conspiracies and Bestsellers

On May 1st, 1776 Adam Weishaupt, the first lay professor of canon law, founded the secret order of Illuminati at the University of Ingolstadt.  It was made up of freethinkers as an offshoot of the Enlightenment and seems to have been modeled on the Freemasons. The Illuminati’s members took a vow of secrecy and pledged obedience to their superiors. Members were divided into three main classes, each with several degrees, and…
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