Давайте поближе познакомимся с юбилярами 2016 года и узнаем побольше о знаменательных датах, годовщины которых мы будем отмечать в этом году.


 21.04. - 300 anniversary of Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Brontë was born in 1816, the third daughter of the Rev. Patrick Brontë and his wife Maria. Her brother Patrick Branwell was born in 1817, and her sisters Emily and Anne in 1818 and 1820. In 1820, too, the Brontë family moved to Haworth, Mrs. Brontë dying the following year.
In 1824 the four eldest Brontë daughters were enrolled as pupils at the Clergy Daughter's School at Cowan Bridge. The following year Maria and Elizabeth, the two eldest daughters, became ill, left the school and died: Charlotte and Emily, understandably, were brought home.
In 1826 Mr. Brontë brought home a box of wooden soldiers for Branwell to play with. Charlotte, Emily, Branwell, and Ann, playing with the soldiers, conceived of and began to write in great detail about an imaginary world which they called Angria.
In 1831 Charlotte became a pupil at the school at Roe Head, but she left school the following year to teach her sisters at home. She returned returns to Roe Head School in 1835 as a governess: for a time her sister Emily attended the same school as a pupil, but became homesick and returned to Haworth. Ann took her place from 1836 to 1837.
In 1838, Charlotte left Roe Head School. In 1839 she accepted a position as governess in the Sidgewick family, but left after three months and returned to Haworth. In 1841 she became governess in the White family, but left, once again, after nine months. More 



150 years ago Lewis Carroll created the "Alice in Wonderland"

   This year marks the anniversary of the first edition of "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll. In Russia, this book has gained popularity much later. Critics disliked her, calling utter nonsense. And the translators and then tried to replace the unpopular name of the main character in the "Sonia" and "Anna". It was only in the late 60s in the translation by Nina Demurova unusual tale acquired true British style and made a road to the Russian reader.  Read more

02.01. - 105 anniversary of Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was born on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi, Russia, Isaac Asimov immigrated with his family to the United States and became a biochemistry professor while pursuing writing. He published his first novel, Pebble in the Sky, in 1950. An immensely prolific author who penned nearly 500 books, he published influential sci-fi works like I, Robot and the Foundation trilogy, as well as books in a variety of other genres. Asimov died in New York City on April 6, 1992.

05.04. -  95 anniversary of Arthur Hailey

Arthur Hailey was a British/Canadian novelist. After working at a number of jobs and writing part-time, he became a writer full-time during 1956, encouraged by the success of the CBC television drama, Flight into Danger (in print as Runway Zero Eight ). Following the success of Hotel in 1965, he moved to California; followed by a permanent move to the Bahamas in 1969.
Each of his novels has a different industrial or commercial setting and includes, in addition to dramatic human conflict, carefully researched information about the way that particular environment and system functions and how these affect society and its inhabitants.

22.08. -  95 anniversary of Ray Douglas Bradbury

    Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on August 22, 1920. 
He was the third son of Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and Esther Marie Moberg Bradbury. They gave him the middle name "Douglas," after the actor, Douglas Fairbanks.
    He never lived up to his namesake's reputation for swashbuckling adventure on the high seas. Instead, Bradbury's great adventures would take place behind a typewriter, in the realm of imagination. Today, as an author, essayist, playwright, screenwriter, lecturer, poet and visionary, Ray Bradbury is known as one of America's greatest creative geniuses.
     Bradbury's early childhood in Waukegan was characterized by his loving extended family. These formative years provided the foundations for both the author and his stories. More 


01.01. - 95 anniversary of Jerome David Salinger

Writer Jerome David Salinger was born on January 1, 1919, in New York, New York. Despite his slim body of work and reclusive lifestyle, Salinger was one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. His landmark novel, Cather in the Rye, set a new course for literature in post World War II America and his short stories, many of which appeared in The New Yorker, inspired the early careers of writers such as Phillip Roth, John Updike and Harold Brodkey.

 08.01. - 190 anniversary of William Wilkie Collins

William Wilkie Collins was born in London's Marylebone where he lived more or less continuously for 65 years. Today he is best known for The Moonstone (1868), often regarded as the first true detective novel, and The Woman in White (1860), the archetypal sensation novel. During his lifetime, however, he wrote over thirty major books, well over a hundred articles, short stories and essays, and a dozen or more plays.  
He lived an unconventional, Bohemian lifestyle, loved good food and wine to excess, wore flamboyant clothes, travelled abroad frequently, formed long-term relationships with two women but married neither, and took vast quantities of opium over many years to relieve the symptoms of ill health. Collins's circle of friends included many pre-eminent figures of the day. He knew the major writers, particularly Charles Dickens with whom he regularly collaborated, as well as a host of minor novelists. His friends and acquaintances included some of the foremost artists, playwrights, theatrical personalities, musicians, publishers, physicians and society figures of the time. Collins's unorthodox lifestyle reveals a cynical regard for the Victorian establishment. This view is reflected in his books together with a sense of humour and a profound understanding for many of the then prevailing social injustices.

08.03. - 150 anniversary of Kenneth Grahame
Kenneth Grahame was born in Edinburgh in 1859, the son of a lawyer. His father was a heavy drinker and when his mother died of scarlet fever, he was sent to live with his grandparents in Cookham Dene, Berkshire. Her house, set in a large garden by the River Thames, is thought to be the background for The Wind in the Willows.
 Grahame was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford, and in 1879 he entered the Bank of England. In his spare time, he began composing light non-fiction pieces for journals. His stories about a group of orphaned children were published in Pagan Papers in 1893, followed by collections of his sketches, most notably The Reluctant Dragon, his most famous short story.
 In 1899, Grahame married Elspeth Thomson. Their only child, Alistair, was born in 1900. He originally wrote parts of The Wind in the Willows in letter form to his son – the adventures of Toad created to amuse the boy.
 The book was published in 1908 and Grahame's animal characterisations of Toad, Rat, Mole and Badger started to gain fame. In 1929, AA Milne dramatised the story for the stage as Toad of Toad Hall.  After the tragic death of his son, Grahame became more reclusive. He died in Pangbourne, Berkshire, in 1932. However, his timeless tale about life on the riverbank and the antics of its animal residents became a children's classic.

23.04. - 450 anniversary of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England on April 23, 1564. He most likely attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Stratford, where he learned Latin grammar and literature. In 1582, he married 26 year-old Anne Hathaway at the age of 18. In 1583, William’s first child, Susanna was born. In 1585, he had twins, Hamlet and Judith. Between 1589 and 1590, William is believed to have written his first play, Henry VIII (part I). The next year, he completed the second part of the play.
By 1592, William had begun a career as a playwright in London. Two years later, he was an actor and part-owner of a playwright company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men. The company was successful and was adopted by King James I. It was then renamed The King’s Men. By this time, William was well-known throughout the London theater world. In 1594, historians believe he wrote The Taming of the Shrew, a famous comedy in which a character named Petruchio wins a bet for having the most “obedient” wife. The next year, in 1595, William wrote some of his most famous stories including A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Romeo and Juliet.A Midsummer’s Night Dream is a romantic comedy about four lovers and a group of amateur actors, and their interaction with fairies who live in a moonlit forest. Historians believe it was written for a royal wedding.Romeo and Juliet is arguably the most famous love story and tragedy of all time. In 1596, William wrote The Merchant of Venice, a famous comedy in which a Jewish merchant demands “a pound of flesh” when the lead character, Antonio, defaults on a loan.
After writing Julius Caesar in 1599, Shakespeare is thought to have written Hamlet, historically thought of as his greatest masterpiece. To this day Hamlet is probably his most quoted and reproduced tragedy. It is also Shakespeare’s longest play. The plot of the story involves Prince Hamlet, and his attempts to seek revenge on his Uncle Claudius for poisoning his father, King of Denmark, and ascending to the throne. After Hamlet, Shakespeare wrote several other timeless classics such as Macbeth, Othello, and The Tempest. Many of his plays were performed by his production company at royal courts and at prestigious theaters. Shakespeare died in 1616 at the age of 52. Today, William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the history of English language. He is considered one of the few playwrights to have succeeded in writing both comedies and tragedies. He is credited for revolutionizing theater. Before Shakespeare, plays and performances almost always depicted the main character choosing a life of virtue over the temptation of evil. In contrast, the works of Shakespeare were less centered on morality and more concerned with provoking raw emotion and exploring the very meaning of what it meant to be human. Although his plays were not published until after his death, they have now been translated into every major world language, and have been performed continuously in community theaters, high school auditoriums, and major performing venues. Hundreds of “Shakespeare Festivals” exist across the world.

 02.05. - 155 anniversary of Jerome Klapka Jerome

 Jerome Klapka Jerome was a renowned English writer and humorist. He is best known for his humorous and comic masterpiece "Three Men in a Boat", apart from his other notable works of literature. He was born on 2nd May, 1859 in Caldmore, Walsall, England, and was raised amidst poverty in London. His other works include the essay collections like the "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow" and "Second Thoughts of an Idle Fellow", "Three Men on the Bummel"- which was a sequel to Three Men in a Boat; and several other novels. Jerome died at the age of 68 on 14th June, 1927.

 22.05. - 155 anniversary of Arthur Conan Doyle

Conan Doyle is most famous as the inventor of Sherlock Holmes, but he had a varied career as a writer, journalist and public figure.
Arthur Conan Doyle was born on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh into a prosperous Irish family. He trained as a doctor, gaining his degree from Edinburgh University in 1881. He worked as a surgeon on a whaling boat and also as a medical officer on a steamer travelling between Liverpool and West Africa. He then settled in Portsmouth on the English south coast and divided his time between medicine and writing.
Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in 'A Study of Scarlet', published in 'Beeton's Christmas Annual' in 1887. Its success encouraged Conan Doyle to write more stories involving Holmes but, in 1893, Conan Doyle killed off Holmes, hoping to concentrate on more serious writing. A public outcry later made him resurrect Holmes. In addition, Conan Doyle wrote a number of other novels, including 'The Lost World' and various non-fictional works. These included a pamphlet justifying Britain's involvement in the Boer War, for which he was knighted and histories of the Boer War and World War One, in which his son, brother and two of his nephews were killed. Conan Doyle also twice ran unsuccessfully for parliament. In later life he became very interested in spiritualism. Conan Doyle died of a heart attack on 7 July 1930.

21.07. - 115 anniversary of Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway was one of the most important authors of the 20th century. He was born into a wealthy family in Oak Park, Illinois in 1899. Hemingway was interested in writing from an early age and wrote for both the Kansas City Star and Toronto Star before writing his first major novel. In 1921, a newly married Hemingway moved to Paris and lived alongside F. Scott Fitzgerald. After publishing several short stories, Hemingway wrote The Sun Also Rises (1926), a semi-autographical piece about Americans living in Paris. The book was immediately met with critical acclaim and Hemingway had established himself as a famous writer. In 1929, Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms, an autobiographical story about the love affair between a British nurse and an American soldier which ends with the death of the nurse. Hemingway’s second major piece became one of the most popular books in the World War I era. Hemingway focused on short stories following the war. During this time, he also wrote his only full-length play, The Fifth Column (1938). In 1940, Hemingway published For Whom the Bell Tolls, about an American soldier fighting on the side of the Republicans as part of the International Brigade. It was perhaps his best literary accomplishment. After serving in World War II, Hemingway published Across the River and Into the Trees (1950), about World War II Venice, Italy. In 1952, Hemingway published Old Man and the Sea, which received rave reviews. In 1953,he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1954, the Nobel Peace Prize. After suffering severe injuries in an airplane crash and bush fire, Hemingway committed suicide in 1961.

Тhroughout  2013 the English-speaking world is charting Australia's 225-year history 

22.01. - 225 anniversary of Lord George Gordon Byron

Lord George Gordon Byron (1788-1824) was as famous in his lifetime for his personality cult as for his poetry. He created the concept of the 'Byronic hero' - a defiant, melancholy young man, brooding on some mysterious, unforgivable event in his past. Byron's influence on European poetry, music, novel, opera, and painting has been immense, although the poet was widely condemned on moral grounds by his contemporaries. In 1807 Byron's first collection of poetry, Hours Of Idleness appeared. It received bad reviews. The poet answered his critics with the satire English Bards And Scotch Reviewersin 1808. Next year he took his seat in the House of Lords, and set out on his grand tour, visiting Spain, Malta, Albania, Greece, and the Aegean. Real poetic success came in 1812 when Byron published the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-1818). He became an adored character of London society; he spoke in the House of Lords effectively on liberal themes, and had a hectic love-affair with Lady Caroline Lamb. Byron's The Corsair (1814), sold 10,000 copies on the first day of publication. Byron left England in 1816, never to return. He settled in Geneva with Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Claire Clairmont, who became his mistress. There he wrote the two cantos of Childe Harold and "The Prisoner Of Chillon". At the end of the summer Byron continued his travels, spending two years in Italy. During his years in Italy, Byron wrote Lament Of Tasso, inspired by his visit in Tasso's cell in Rome, Mazeppa and started Don Juan, his satiric masterpiece. While in Ravenna and Pisa, Byron became deeply interested in drama, and wrote among others The Two Foscari, Sardanapalaus, Cain, and the unfinished Heaven And Earth. After a long creative period, Byron had come to feel that action was more important than poetry. He armed a brig, the Hercules, and sailed to Greece to aid the Greeks, who had risen against their Ottoman overlords. However, before he saw any serious military action, Byron contracted a fever from which he died in Missolonghi on 19 April 1824.

12.06. - 135 anniversary of James Oliver

James Oliver "Jim" Curwood (June 12, 1878 – August 13, 1927) was an American action-adventure writer and conservationist. His books ranked among Publisher's Weekly top-ten best sellers in the United States in the early 1920s. At least eighteen motion pictures have been based on or directly inspired by his novels and short stories. At the time of his death, he was the highest paid (per word) author in the world. His writing studio, Curwood Castle, is now a museum in Owosso, Michigan. Curwood's adventure writing followed in the tradition of Jack London. Like London, Curwood set many of his works in the wilds of the Great Northwest and often used animals as lead characters. His most successful work was his 1920 novel, The River's End. The book sold more than 100,000 copies and was the fourth best-selling title of the year in the United States, according to Publisher's Weekly.

20.08. - 195 anniversary of Emily Jane Brontë

Emily Jane Brontë was an English novelist and poet, best remembered for her only novel, Wuthering Heights, now considered a classic of English literature. Emily wrote Wuthering Heights (1847)—her only published novel—which garnered wide critical and commerical acclaim. Published in 1846, the book only sold a few copies and garnered little attention. Again publishing as Ellis Bell, Brontë published her defining work, Wuthering Heights, in December 1847. The complex novel explores two families—the Earnshaws and the Lintons—across two generations and their stately homes, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff, an orphan taken in by the Earnshaws is the driving force between the action in the book. He first motivated by his love for his Catherine Earnshaw, then by his desire for revenge against her for what he believed to be rejection. Emily Brontë died in Haworth, Yorkshire, England, on December 19, 1848—the same year that her brother, Branwell, passed away.

29.11. - 115 anniversary of C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis was born on November 29, 1898, in Belfast Ireland.  C.S. Lewis went on to teach at Oxford University and became a renowned apologist writer, using logic and philosophy to support the tenets of his Christian faith. He is also known throughout the world as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series, which have been adapted into various films for the big and small screens. Lewis began publishing work in the mid-1920s with his first book, the satirical Dymer (1926). After penning other titles—including The Allegory of Love (1936), for which he won the Hawthornden Prize—he released in 1938 his first sci-fi work, Out of the Silent Planet, the first of a trilogy which dealt sub-textually with concepts of sin and desire. Later, during World War II, Lewis gave highly popular radio broadcasts on Christianity which won many converts; his speeches were collected in the work Mere Christianity. During the '50s, Lewis started to publish the seven books that would comprise The Chronicles of Narnia children's series, with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) being the first release. The story focused on four siblings who, during wartime, walk through an armoire to enter the magical world of Narnia, a land resplendent with mythical creatures and talking animals. Different parts of the series represented a variety of Biblical themes; one prominent character is Aslan, a lion and the ruler of Narnia, who has also been interpreted as a Jesus Christ figure. Though the book received some negative reviews, general readers took to the story in a big way. The series has retained its international popularity over the decades.



04.01. - 370 anniversary of Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe near Grantham on 25 December 1642. His father died before he was born and in 1645 his mother marred a clergyman from North Welham in Leicestershire. She went to live with him while Isaac Newton lived with his grandmother. When her second husband died in 1656 Isaac’s mother returned to Woolsthorpe and Isaac Newton went to live with her again.
From the age of 12 to 14 Isaac Newton went to Grantham Grammar School. During this time he lodged with an apothecary and his family. Then in 1659 Isaac had to leave to help his mother on the family farm. Isaac Newton was not in the slightest bit interested in running a farm and in 1660 he went to the grammar school again. In 1661 he went to Trinity College Cambridge. Isaac Newton obtained a BA in 1665. In 1666 Isaac Newton was forced to flee Cambridge because of an outbreak of the plague and he returned temporarily to Woolsthorpe. He returned to university in 1667.
In 1667 Isaac Newton was elected a fellow of Trinity College. The same year he was elected a member of the Royal Society. In February 1672 a paper he wrote about light and colours was read to the society. In 1669 Isaac Newton became Lucasian professor of mathematics. In the meantime, in 1668, he invented a reflecting telescope.
In 1689-1690 Isaac Newton was MP for Cambridge University (in those days Cambridge University had its own MPs). He became an MP again in 1701-1702 but he did not take an active part in politics.
Isaac Newton published his masterpiece Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687. It set out his theory of gravity and his laws of motion.
In 1695 Isaac Newton was made Ward of the mint and in 1699 Master of the mint. He resigned his fellowship and professorship at Cambridge in 1701.
In 1703 Isaac Newton became president of the Royal Society. He was knighted in 1705.
Meanwhile in 1704 Isaac Newton published another great work about light.
Isaac Newton died at the age of 84 on 20 March 1727.


27.02. - 100 anniversary of Irwin Shaw

Irwin Shaw, a famous American playwright, was born in 1913 in New York and educated at Brooklyn College. The writer briefly gave promise of becoming an important dramatist, coming from his early antiwar play Bury the Dead (1936) and the character study The Gentle People (1939). His other theatre works included Siege (1937), Retreat to Pleasure (1941), Sons and Soldiers (1943), The Assassin (1945), Patate (1958), andChildren from Their Games (1963). Although Shaw's sympathies fell in line with the leftish sentiments of many playgoers and critics, his later writings were wanting in terms of theatrical effectiveness. He finally abandoned the theatre to become a popular novelist. Irwin Shaw died in 1984.

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03.04 - 230 anniversary of  Washington Irwing

Author and editor Washington Irving was born in New York City on April 3, 1783. Irving achieved international fame for his fictional works, including the stories Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, as well as for his biographies and historical writings. Irving served as the United States ambassador to Spain and helped to promote international copyright before his death in 1859.

Steven Allan Spielberg (born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg`s films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. In later years, his films began addressing issues such as the Holocaust, the Transatlantic slave trade, war, and terrorism. He is considered one of the most popular and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. He is also one of the co-founders of DreamWorks movie studio.
Spielberg won the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler`s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Three of Spielberg's films—Jaws (1975), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Jurassic Park (1993)—achieved box office records, each becoming the highest-grossing film made at the time. To date, the unadjusted gross of all Spielberg-directed films exceeds $8.5 billion worldwide.


31.11. - 345 anniversary of Jonathan Swift

         Jonathan Swift was an author, journalist, and political activist best known for his satirical novel Gulliver's Travels and for his satirical essay on the Irish famine, "A Modest Proposal." Born of English parents in Dublin, Ireland, Swift studied at Kilkenny Grammar School and at Trinity College in Dublin. The abdication of King James II drove him to England. During his time in England, Swift realized his great talent for satire and wrote A Tale of a Tub and "The Battle of the Books," published in 1704. Swift also decided upon a career in the clergy. When he returned to Ireland, Swift became a member of the Anglican clergy, ordained in the Church of Ireland.
Read more: http://www.gradesaver.com/author/jonathan-swift/
Watch more:http://teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=170496

11.11. - 85 anniversary of Kurt Vonnegut

Watch more:  http://www.biography.com/people/kurt-vonnegut-9520329


520 years ago, in 1492, the world was changed

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 Italia. He had moved to Spain, theorized that since the earth was a sphere, a ship could reach the Far East from the opposite direction. He convinced the monarchs to sponsor his search, setting sail in August 1492. After 10 weeks, he sighted an island in the Bahamas, which he named San Salvador. Thinking he had found islands near Japan, he sailed on until he reached Cuba (which he thought was China) and Haiti. He encountered dark-skinned peoples whom he called “Indians” because he assumed he had been sailing in the Indian Ocean. Columbus made 3 more voyages to the New World which he thought was the East, in 1493, 1497 and 1502, exploring Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and Trinidad. He never reached North America, and until he died in 1506, thought he had reached Asia.


11.09. - 150-anniversary of  O`HENRY

O. Henry was a prolific American short-story write r, a master of surprise endings, who wrote about the life of ordinary people in New York City. A twist of plot, which turns on an ironic or coincidental circumstance, is typical of O. Henry's stories. William Sydney Porter (O. Henry) was born in 1862 in Greensboro, North Carolina. His father, Algernon Sidney Porter, was a physician. When William was three, his mother died, and he was raised by his paternal grandmother and aunt. William was an avid reader, but at the age of fifteen he left school, and then worked in a drug store and on a Texas ranch. He moved to Houston, where he had a number of jobs, including that of bank clerk. After moving to Austin, Texas, in 1882, he married. In 1884 he started a humorous weekly The Rolling Stone. When the weekly failed, he joined the Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. In 1897 he was convicted of embezzling money, although there has been much debate over his actual guilt. In 1898 he entered a penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio. While in prison O. Henry started to write short stories to earn money to support his daughter Margaret. His first work, "Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking" (1899), appeared in McClure's Magazine. After doing three years of the five years sentence, Porter emerged from the prison in 1901 and changed his name to O. Henry. O. Henry moved to New York City in 1902 and from December 1903 to January 1906 he wrote a story a week for the New York World, also publishing in other magazines. Henry's first collection, Cabbages And Kings appeared in 1904. The second, The Four Million, was published two years later and included his well-known stories "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Furnished Room". The Trimmed Lamp (1907) included "The Last Leaf". Henry's best known work is perhaps the much anthologized "The Ransom of Red Chief", included in the collection Whirligigs (1910). The Heart Of The West (1907) presented tales of the Texas range. O. Henry published 10 collections and over 600 short stories during his lifetime. O. Henry's last years were shadowed by alcoholism, ill health, and financial problems. He married Sara Lindsay Coleman in 1907, but the marriage was not happy, and they separated a year later. O. Henry died on June 5, 1910, in New York. Three more collections, Sixes And Sevens (1911), Rolling Stones (1912) and Waifs And Strays (1917), appeared posthumously.


04.08. - 220-anniversary of  Percy Bysshe Shelley

Percy Bysshe Shelley 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. He is most famous for such classic anthology verse works as "Ozymandias", Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, Music, When Soft Voices Die, The Cloud and The Masque of Anarchy, which are among the most popular and critically acclaimed poems in the English language. His major works, however, are long visionary poems which included Queen Mab, Alastor, The Revolt of Islam, Adonaïs and the unfinished work The Triumph of Life. The Cenci  and Prometheus Unbound  were dramatic plays in five and four acts respectively. Although he has typically been figured as a "reluctant dramatist", he was passionate about the theatre, and his plays continue to be performed today. In 2008, he was credited as the co-author of the novel. Shelley's unconventional life, alongside a common perception of his thought as uncompromising idealism, combined with his strong disapproving voice, made him a marginalized figure during his life, important in a fairly small circle of admirers, and opened him to criticism as well as praise afterward. He became an idol of the next three or four generations of poets. He was admired by Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw. Many great people were apparently influenced and inspired by Shelley's non-violence in protest and political action, although Gandhi does not include him in his list of mentors.

14.08. - 145 - anniversary of 

John Galsworthy

John Galsworthy (1867-1933) was educated at Harrow and studied law at New College, Oxford. He travelled widely and at the age of twenty-eight began to write, at first for his own amusement. His first stories were published under the pseudonym John Sinjohn and later were withdrawn. He considered The Island Pharisees (1904) his first important work. As a novelist Galsworthy is chiefly known for his roman fleuve, The Forsyte Saga. The first novel of this vast work appeared in 1906. The Man of Property was a harsh criticism of the upper middle classes, Galsworthy's own background. Galsworthy did not immediately continue it; fifteen years and with them the First World War intervened until he resumed work on the history of the Forsytes with In Chancery (1920) andTo Let (1921). Meanwhile he had written a considerable number of novels, short stories, and plays. The Forsyte Sagawas continued y the three volumes of A Modern Comedy, The White Monkey (1924), The Silver Spoon (1926), Swan Song (1928), and its two interludes A Silent Wooing and Passersby (1927). To these should be added On Forsyte Change (1930), a collection of short stories. With growing age Galsworthy came more and more to identify himself with the world of his novels, which at first he had judged very harshly. This development is nowhere more evident than in the author's changing attitude toward Soames Forsyte, the «man of property», who dominates the first part of the work.
Galsworthy was a dramatist of considerable technical skill. His plays often took up specific social grievances such as the double standard of justice as applied to the upper and lower classes in The Silver Box (1906) and the confrontation of capital and labour in Strife (1909).Justice (1910), his most famous play, led to a prison reform in England. Galsworthy's reaction o the First World War found its expression in The Mob (1914), in which the voice of a statesman is drowned in the madness of the war-hungry masses; and in enmity of the two families of The Skin Game (1920). In 1932 he got Nobel Prize. John Galsworthy died on January 31, 1933.


18.06. - 70-anniversary of Paul McCartney

The English ROCK MUSIC group The Beatles gave the 1960s it’s characteristic musical flavor and had a profound influence on the course of popular music, equaled by few performers. The guitarists John Winston Lennon,  James Paul McCartney, George Harrison and the drummer Ringo Starr, Richard Starkey, July 7, 1940, were all born and raised in Liverpool. Lennon and McCartney had played together in a group called The Quarrymen. With Harrison, they formed their own group The Silver Beatles in 1959, and Starr joined them in 1962. As The Beatles, they developed a local following in Liverpool clubs, and their first recordings, "Love Me Do" (1962) and "Please Please Me" (1963), quickly made them Britain's top rock group. Their early music was influenced by the American rock singers, but they infused a hackneyed musical form with freshness, vitality, and wit.
The release of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964 marked the beginning of the phenomenon known as "Beatlemania" in the United States. The Beatles' first U.S. tour aroused a universal mob adulation. Their concerts were scenes of mass worship, and their records sold in the millions. Their first film, the innovative A Hard Day's Night (1964), was received enthusiastically by a wide audience that included many who had never before listened to rock music.
Composing their own material (Lennon and McCartney were the major creative forces), The Beatles established the precedent for other rock groups to play their own music. Experimenting with new musical forms, they produced an extraordinary variety of songs: the childishly simple "Yellow Submarine"; the bitter social commentary of "Eleanor Rigby"; parodies of earlier pop styles; new electronic sounds; and compositions that were scored for cellos, violins, trumpets, and sitars, as well as for conventional guitars and drums.  The group disbanded in 1970, after the release of their final album, Let It Be, to pursue individual careers. On Dec. 8, 1980, John Lennon was fatally shot in New York City. In 1991, Paul McCartney's classical composition Liverpool Oratorio was performed to some acclaim in Britain and the United States. Today he works hard composing music for cinema.


                    02.05. - 110-anniversary of Alan Marshall

Alan Marshall was an Australian writer, story teller and social documenter. He was born on 2 May 1902, Noorat, Victoria in Australia.
His best known book “ I Can Jump Puddles “(1955) is the first of a three-part autobiography. The other two books are “This is the Grass” (1962) and “In Mine Own Heart” (1963).
When Alan Marshall was six years old he contracted polio leaving him with a physical disability that grew worse as he grew older. From an early age, he resolved to be a writer, and in the book “I Can Jump Puddles” he demonstrated an almost total recall of his childhood in Noorat. The characters and places of his book are thinly disguised from real life.
Alan Marshall wrote numerous short stories, mainly set in the bush. He also wrote newspaper columns and magazine articles. He travelled widely in Australia and overseas. He also collected and published Indigenous Australian stories and legends.
Alan Marshall died on 21 January 1984 in Melbourne.
Read more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Marshall_(writer)


10.04-100 years ago The Tragedy of the 'Titanic'

Grandeur. Elegance. Luxury. A floating palace. These were a few of the descriptions used for the largest passenger steamship in the world when she was built. The Titanic had libraries, squash courts, a heated swimming pool, a Turkish bath, a gymnasium, elevators, barber shops, and four restaurants offering magnificent cuisine. The ship had 840 private rooms for the first-, second- and third-class sections of the boat, and could carry 3,547 passengers and crew.
The Titanic featured the latest in maritime technology and was said to be "unsinkable." The designers claimed that no one would get seasick on the Titanic because of her massive size. There were two huge steam engines, over 100 coal-burning furnaces, several boilers, steam-powered generators, an elaborate electrical system, and Marconi radios that could send messages from the ship.
On April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, loaded with 1,400 enthusiastic passengers and 940 officers and crew. Captain Edward J. Smith was in command. During the course of the journey, Captain Smith, aware that icebergs were in the region, altered the course of the Titanic slightly to the south. On the night of April 14, at approximately 10:30 p.m., the Titanic collided with a gigantic iceberg—although the impact of the collision was hardly felt by many on board. The collision was indeed serious, however, and the ship began filling with water. By midnight the ship inspectors, understanding that the Titanic was doomed, gave the order to start evacuating "women and children first" in the lifeboats, and sent out an international distress call.
Many passengers were apprehensive to leave the Titanic at first, not believing that the ship was actually sinking, and a number of lifeboats left the vessel half-filled. Sinking she was, however, and at 2:30 a.m., April 15, the Titanic went down. Passengers still on board had to jump into the freezing waters of the North Atlantic, while those in the lifeboats watched, helplessly, in shock. More than 1,500 passengers and crew lost their lives, mostly due to hypothermia.
The world’s reaction to the tragedy was jumbled and confused. Initially, the press reported that all the passengers were safe and the Titanic was being towed to safety. Once the awful fate of the ship was known, accusations began flying: the ship was going too fast; the British maritime laws were to blame because of negligent lifeboat requirements; surrounding ships ignored the Titanic’s calls for help; iceberg warnings were ignored by the crew. The United States Senate, ready to assign quick blame, initiated an investigation the day after the survivors arrived in New York. In addition to those seeking to find fault, there were heartbreaking stories of selfless heroism, grueling sacrifice, families saying goodbye to each other while some departed in lifeboats and others remained on board, the ship's ensemble playing music as the Titanic went down, and outright admiration for the procedures taken by the captain and crew after the deadly collision occurred.
The sinking of the Titanic was one of the most devastating peacetime maritime disasters in history. In 1985 the wreck’s location was finally discovered at a depth of 2.5 miles. We will never know exactly what happened and what could have been done to avoid the enormous loss of life, but the Titanic’s fate continues to haunt the public’s imagination.


31.03. -130-anniversary of Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky

Korney Ivanovich Chukovsky Is the pseudonym of Nikolay Vasilyevich Korneychukov,  Russian literary critic, language theorist, translator, and author of children's books, often called the first modern Russian writer for children.

He was born  on March 31, 1882 in St. Petersburg. Since early years he was interested in literature/  After completing his education, Chukovsky pursued a career in journalism, writing for an Odessa newspaper from 1901 to 1905, for two of those years as a correspondent in London. He subsequently (1905-08) edited the satiric journal Signal and began, with a book on Leonid Andreyev, a series of memoirs and analyses that would span three generations of Russian literary life. It was also during this period that he began making translations of works by English and American authors, notably Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman. 
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While his translations and criticism, particularly his lifelong study of the 19th-century poet Nikolay Nekrasov, were highly esteemed, Chukovsky's larger reputation rests on his writings for and about children. A number of his verse tales, including Krokodil (1917; "The Crocodile"), Moydodyr (1923; "Wash 'Em Clean"), and Tarakanishche (1923; "The Giant Roach"), are regarded as classics of the form; their clockwork rhythms and air of mischief and lightness in effect dispelled the plodding stodginess that had characterized prerevolutionary children's poetry. The conventional themes of cooperative action and social responsibility are always subordinate to the vivid stories themselves, which are generally fantasies based on everyday situations or on creatures familiar to children. Adaptations of these tales for the theater, motion pictures, and even opera and ballet (Sergey Prokofiev produced several of them) remained perennially popular throughout the 20th century. Chukovsky's study of the language of children, Ot dvukh do pyati (1933; "From Two to Five"), became a favorite guidebook for parents of small children and appeared in more than 20 editions.

"I dream'd in a dream..." (Walt Whitman)
 I dream'd in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the
whole of the rest of the earth,
I dream'd that was the new city of Friends,
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love,
it led the rest,
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words. 

"Приснился мне город..."( translation by Chukovsky)
 Приснился мне город, который нельзя одолеть, хотя бы
напали на него все страны вселенной,
Мне мнилось, что это был город Друзей, какого еще никогда
не бывало.
И превыше всего в этом городе крепкая ценилась любовь,
И каждый час она сказывалась в каждом поступке жителей
этого города,
В каждом их слове и взгляде.

03.03. -165-anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was an eminent scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.
Bell's father, grandfather, and brother had all been associated with work on elocution and speech, and both his mother and wife were deaf, profoundly influencing Bell's life's work. His research on hearing and speech further led him to experiment with hearing devices which eventually culminated in Bell being awarded the first US patent for the telephone in 1876. In retrospect, Bell considered his most famous invention an intrusion on his real work as a scientist and refused to have a telephone in his study. Many other inventions marked Bell's later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. In 1888, Alexander Graham Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society. Bell has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history.
In 1876, at the age of 29, Alexander Graham Bell invented his telephone. But he might easily have been content with the success of his telephone invention. His many laboratory notebooks demonstrate, however, that he was driven by a genuine and rare intellectual curiosity that kept him regularly searching, striving, and wanting always to learn and to create. He would continue to test out new ideas through a long and productive life. He would explore the realm of communications as well as engage in a great variety of scientific activities involving kites, airplanes, tetrahedral structures, sheep-breeding, artificial respiration, desalinization and water distillation, and hydrofoils.
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27.02. -110-anniversary of John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California, came from a family of moderate means. He worked his way through college at Stanford University but never graduated. In 1925 he went to New York, where he tried for a few years to establish himself as a free-lance writer, but he failed and returned to California. After publishing some novels and short stories, Steinbeck first became widely known with Tortilla Flat (1935), a series of humorous stories about Monterey paisanos.
Steinbeck's novels can all be classified as social novels dealing with the economic problems of rural labour, but there is also a streak of worship of the soil in his books, which does not always agree with his matter-of-fact sociological approach. After the rough and earthy humour of Tortilla Flat, he moved on to more serious fiction, often aggressive in its social criticism, to In Dubious Battle (1936), which deals with the strikes of the migratory fruit pickers on California plantations. This was followed by Of Mice and Men (1937), the story of the imbecile giant Lennie, and a series of admirable short stories collected in the volume The Long Valley (1938). In 1939 he published what is considered his best work, The Grapes of Wrath, the story of Oklahoma tenant farmers who, unable to earn a living from the land, moved to California where they became migratory workers.
Among his later works should be mentioned East of Eden (1952), The Winter of Our Discontent (1961), and Travels with Charley (1962), a travelogue in which Steinbeck wrote about his impressions during a three-month tour in a truck that led him through forty American states. He died in New York City in 1968.

07.02. -    200-anniversary of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, the son of John and Elizabeth Dickens. John Dickens was a clerk in the Naval Pay Office. He had a poor head for finances, and in 1824 found himself imprisoned for debt. His wife and children, with the exception of Charles, who was put to work at Warren's Blacking Factory, joined him in the Marshalsea Prison. During his lifetime, Dickens was viewed as a popular entertainer of fecund imagination, while later critics championed his mastery of prose, his endless invention of memorable characters and his powerful social sensibilities.
Among his best-known works are Great Expectations, David CopperfieldOliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol.
Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States at a New York City theatre in December 2, 1867. The effort and passion he put into these readings with individual character voices is  thought to have contributed to his death.


27.01. -180-anniversary of Lewis Carroll 
Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) was an English author, mathematician, logician, and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy, and there are societies dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works and the investigation of his life in many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and New Zealand.
 Dodgson was born in 1832 in the little parsonage of Daresbury in Cheshire near the towns of Warrington and Runcorn, the eldest boy but already the third child of the four-and-a-half-year-old marriage. Eight more children were to follow. When Charles was 11, his father was given the living of Croft-on-Tees in North Yorkshire, and the whole family moved to the spacious Rectory. This remained their home for the next twenty-five years. During his early youth, Dodgson was educated at home. His "reading lists" preserved in the family archives testify to a precocious intellect: at the age of seven the child was reading The Pilgrim's Progress. At age twelve he was sent to Richmond Grammar School (now part of Richmond School) at nearby Richmond. In 1846, young Dodgson moved on to Rugby School, where he was evidently less happy, for as he wrote some years after leaving the place: Within the academic discipline of mathematics, Dodgson worked primarily in the fields of geometry, matrix algebra, mathematical logic and recreational mathematics, producing nearly a dozen books which he signed with his real name. Dodgson also developed new ideas in the study of elections (e.g., Dodgson's method) and committees; some of this work was not published until well after his death. He worked as a mathematics tutor at Oxford, an occupation that gave him some financial security. From a young age, Dodgson wrote poetry and short stories. Most of this output was humorous, sometimes satirical, but his standards and ambitions were exacting. Sometime after 1850, he did write puppet plays for his siblings' entertainment, of which one has survived, La Guida di Bragia.
In 1856 he published his first piece of work under the name that would make him famous. A romantic poem called "Solitude" appeared in The Train under the authorship of "Lewis Carroll." This pseudonym was a play on his real name; Lewis was the anglicised form of Ludovicus, which was the Latin for Lutwidge, and Carroll an Irish surname similar to the Latin name Carolus, from which the name Charles comes.
In the same year, 1856, a new Dean, Henry Liddell, arrived at Christ Church, bringing with him his young family, all of whom would figure largely in Dodgson's life and, over the following years, greatly influence his writing career. Dodgson became close friends with Liddell's wife, Lorina, and their children, particularly the three sisters: Lorina, Edith and Alice Liddell. He was for many years widely assumed to have derived his own "Alice" from Alice Liddell. In 1863, he had taken the unfinished manuscript to Macmillan the publisher, who liked it immediately. The work was  published as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 under the Lewis Carroll pen-name, which Dodgson had first used some nine years earlier.
The overwhelming commercial success of the first Alice book changed Dodgson's life in many ways. Queen Victoria herself enjoyed Alice In Wonderland so much that she suggested he dedicate his next book to her, and was accordingly presented with his next work, a scholarly mathematical volume entitled An Elementary Treatise on Determinants.
Late in 1871, a sequel – Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There – was published.
He died on 14 January 1898 at his sisters' home, "The Chestnuts" in Guildford, of pneumonia following influenza. He was 2 weeks away from turning 66 years old. He is buried in Guildford at the Mount Cemetery.
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25.01. -130-anniversary of Virginia Woolf
British author who made an original contribution to the form of the novel Ц also distinguished feminist essayist, critic in The Times Literary Supplement, and a central figure of Bloomsbury group. Virginia Woolf's books were published by Hogarth Press, which she founded with her husband, the critic and writer Leonard Woolf. Originally their printing machine was small enough to fit on a kitchen table, but their publications later included T.S. Eliot's Waste Land (1922), fiction by Maxim Gorky, E.M. Forster, and Katherine Mansfield, and the complete twenty-four-volume translation of the works of Sigmund Freud.

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Read more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Woolf

18.01. -130-anniversary of Alan Alexander Milne

Alan Alexander Milne was born on the 18th of January 1882 in Hampstead, London. He was the youngest of three sons born to John Vine Milne and Sarah Maria Heginbotham. His father was a schoolmaster at the Henley House where Alan did get his first education. He continued his education at Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a degree in mathematics in 1903. Milne's first literary efforts were published in the humorous magazine Punch, where, in 1906 Milne started to work as Assistant Editor. In 1913 Milne married Dorothy de Selincourt, the God-daughter of Punch editor, Owen Seaman.
03.01. -120-anniversary of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.