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Literature

1644 – John Milton publishes Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship

On This Day – 23 November 1644

Areopagitica; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc’d Printing, to the Parlament of England is a 1644 prose polemical* tract by the English poet, scholar, and polemical author John Milton opposing licensing and censorship. Continue reading “1644 – John Milton publishes Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship”

1215 – Magna Carta Libertatum

15 June

On this day in 1215,  King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta Libertatum (commonly known as Magna Carta).

Continue reading “1215 – Magna Carta Libertatum”

1770 – William Wordsworth, English poet is born

7 April

William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication Lyrical Ballads (1798). Continue reading “1770 – William Wordsworth, English poet is born”

1603 – James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England and Ireland

24 March

James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on this day in 1603 until his death. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciary, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union. Continue reading “1603 – James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England and Ireland”

632 – The Farewell Sermon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad

9 March

The Farewell Sermon (Khuṭbatu l-Wadāʿ), also known as Muhammad’s Final Sermon or The Last Sermon, was delivered by the Islamic prophet, Muhammad on this day in 632 in the Uranah valley of Mount Arafat, during the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj. Continue reading “632 – The Farewell Sermon of the Islamic prophet Muhammad”

1923 – TIME magazine is published for the first time

3 March

Time (styled within the magazine as TIME) is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It was founded in 1923 and for decades was dominated by Henry Luce, who built a highly profitable stable of magazines. Continue reading “1923 – TIME magazine is published for the first time”

Christmas

25 December

Christmas or Christmas Day (Old English: Crīstesmæsse, meaning “Christ’s Mass”) is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed most commonly on this day as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. Continue reading “Christmas”

1884 – Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published

10 December

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local colour regionalism. Continue reading “1884 – Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is published”

757 – Du Fu returns to Chang’an as a member of Emperor Xuanzong’s court

8 December

Du Fu (712 – 770) was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty. Along with Li Bai (Li Po), he is frequently called the greatest of the Chinese poets. His greatest ambition was to serve his country as a successful civil servant, but he proved unable to make the necessary accommodations. His life, like the whole country, was devastated by the An Lushan Rebellion of 755, and his last 15 years were a time of almost constant unrest. Continue reading “757 – Du Fu returns to Chang’an as a member of Emperor Xuanzong’s court”

1953 – Vladimir Nabokov completes his controversial novel Lolita

6 December

Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, in 1958 in New York City, and in 1959 in London. It was later translated by its Russian-native author into Russian. Continue reading “1953 – Vladimir Nabokov completes his controversial novel Lolita”

1918 – Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., American actor born (d. 2014)

30 November

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (30 Nov, 1918 – 2 May, 2014) was an American actor known for his starring roles in the television series 77 Sunset Strip and The F.B.I. He is also known as recurring character “Dandy Jim Buckley” in the series Maverick and as the voice behind the character Alfred Pennyworth in Batman: The Animated Series and associated spin-offs. He also voiced Doctor Octopus from the 1990s Spider-Man animated series, and Justin Hammer from the second season of 1994 Iron Man animated series. Continue reading “1918 – Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., American actor born (d. 2014)”

1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd

2 November

R v. Penguin Books Ltd was the public prosecution at the Old Bailey of Penguin Books under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 for the publication of D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Continue reading “1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd”

1828 – Leo Tolstoy born

9 September – On this day

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born on this day in 1828 (Died – 20 November 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian novelist regarded as one of the greatest of all time.

Continue reading “1828 – Leo Tolstoy born”

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