literature

Edward Lear and his Book of Nonsense

Edward Lear and his Book of Nonsense

On May 12, 1812, English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet Edward Lear was born. He is known now mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry and prose and especially his limericks, a form he popularised. As an author, he is known principally for his popular nonsense collections of poems, songs, short stories, botanical drawings, recipes, and alphabets. Edward Lear was born as the penultimate of twenty-one children of Ann…
Conrad Celtis, the first Poeta Laureata

Conrad Celtis, the first Poeta Laureata

On April 18, 1487, German Renaissance humanist scholar and Neo-Latin poet Conrad Celtis was claimed “poeta laureatus“, the prince of poets, the first German to receive this honor by emperor Frederic III at the Imperial Diet in Nuremberg. Conrad Celtis‘ teachings had lasting effects, particularly in the field of history, where he was the first to teach the history of the world as a whole. He is also often referred…
The Works of Heinrich Mann

The Works of Heinrich Mann

On March 27, 1871, German novelist Luiz (Ludwig) Heinrich Mann was born. Being the elder brother of Nobel laureate Thomas Mann, he wrote works with strong social themes. His numerous criticisms of the growth of fascism forced him to flee for his life after the Nazis came to power in 1933. His book “Professor Unrat” was freely adapted into the legendary movie “Der Blaue Engel” starring Marlene Dietrich in her first…
Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg aka Novalis

Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg aka Novalis

On March 25, 1801, poet, author, and philosopher of early German Romanticism Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg, better known under his pen name Novalis passed away. In spite of his early death at age 28, Novalis left behind a complex philosophical legacy that encompasses discussions of subjectivity and self-consciousness, issues in epistemology, moral theory, political philosophy, problems of interpretation, philosophy of history, philosophy of religion, the proto-existentialist experience of…
Friedrich Schiller ‘The Robbers’

Friedrich Schiller ‘The Robbers’

  On January 13, 1782, Friedrich Schiller’s play ‘The Robbers‘ (Die Räuber) was premiered at the national theatre in Mannheim. The “Sturm und Drang” play astounded its Mannheim audience and made Schiller an overnight sensation. It is believed that Schiller began working on The Robbers more intensively in 1777, but, in secret. Around 1780, he read some passages at first so some friends to see their impact. He was at first unlucky in finding…
The famous illustrations of Gustave Doré

The famous illustrations of Gustave Doré

On January 6, 1832, French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré was born. Doré is primarily known for his wood engravings and illustrations of literary works such as Dante’s inferno, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Cervantes’ Don Quixote or the Bible. Gustave Doré’s earliest dated drawings were from the age of five and by 1844, he started carving lithographic stones and made first sets of engravings. He grew…
Francois Villon –  Rogue, Vagrant and Poet

Francois Villon – Rogue, Vagrant and Poet

On January 5, 1463, the Death sentence to Francois Villon, best known French poet of the late Middle Ages, was remitted by a pardon from King Charles VII into 10 years of banishment. Villon is best known as a ne’er-do-well who was involved in criminal behavior and got into numerous scrapes with authorities. Nevertheless, Villon wrote about some of these experiences in his poems and became famous. Villon was born…
Selma Lagerlöf and the wonderful Adventures of Niels Holgersson

Selma Lagerlöf and the wonderful Adventures of Niels Holgersson

Cover of The Wonderful Adventures of Nils On November 20, 1858, Swedish author and Nobel Laureate Selma Lagerlöf was born. She is best known for her children’s book ‘The Wonderful Adventures of Nils‘. Moreover, she was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in literature. Selma Lagerlöf attended a teachers college in Stockholm and became a teacher at the girls’ secondary school in Landskrona. Lagerlöf had been writing poetry for a…
Bernard Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees

Bernard Mandeville and the Fable of the Bees

Bernard Mandeville’s – The Fable of Bees On November 15, 1670, Dutch philosopher, political economist and satirist Bernard Mandeville was born. He became famous for The Fable of the Bees, a satire that suggests many key principles of economic thought, including division of labor and the “invisible hand“, seventy years before these concepts were more thoroughly elucidated by Adam Smith. Not very much is known about the life of Bernard Mandeville. He…
The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

The Unfortunate Inventions of Charles Cros

Charles Cros (1842-1888) On October 1, 1842, French poet and inventor Charles Cros was born. He developed various improved methods of photography including an early color photo process. He also invented improvements in telegraph and paleophone technology. But lacking financial resources, he was unable to patent his devices before Thomas Edison and others developed the idea and started production. Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros was born in Fabrezan, Aude, France, 35km to the East…
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