Today in Literary History – August 14, 1969 – Leonard Woolf dies

Leonard Woolf, the editor, publisher, novelist, memoirist and husband of Virginia Woolf, died from a stroke on August 14, 1969 at the age of eighty-eight. Woolf was born into a Jewish family in London. His father had been a lawyer but after he died when Woolf was eleven years old the family fell on hard …

Today in Literary History – August 13, 1946 – H.G. Wells dies

The British writer H.G. Wells died on August 13, 1946, of undisclosed causes. Wells was 79 and had suffered from diabetes for years. He was co-founder of what is now the charity Diabetes UK. Wells is considered to be one of the "godfathers of science fiction" for his early works in the speculative genre such …

Thought of the Day

"A bad reader is like a bad translator: he interprets literally when he ought to paraphrase, and paraphrases when he ought to interpret literally. In learning to read well, scholarship, valuable as it is, is less important than instinct; some great scholars have been poor translators." —W. H. AUDEN

Today in Literary History – August 12, 1867 – Classicist Edith Hamilton is born

Edith Hamilton, whose books popularizing Greek and Roman culture and mythology, was born on August 12, 1867. She died in 1963 at the age of ninety-five. Her books, such as The Greek Way, The Roman Way and, most especially, Mythology, introduced many readers to the ancient myths and their meanings and to the worldviews of …

Today in Literary History -August 11, 1984 -Publisher Alfred A. Knopf dies

The influential American publisher Alfred A. Knopf died on August 11, 1984 at age of ninety-one. Knopf was 22 in 1915 when he founded his own publishing house with a $5,000 loan from his father, a Jewish immigrant from Poland who had become a successful advertising executive in New York. Knopf was joined in the …


bookworm norm

Note: I reviewed this strange and wonderful book last fall when it came out in the UK. It is being published this week in the US and Canada so I decided to re-post it. -Norm

Craig Brown, a British satirist and humorist who has written for The Spectator, Private Eye and nearly every London daily newspaper at one time or another, has produced a very witty and catty book about Queen Elizabeth’s wayward younger sister called Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret.


In her lifetime Margaret was famous for being as rude and disagreeable as possible to nearly everyone she met. As Brown says, it was in a way her trademark or party piece. People came to almost hope for bad behavior from her to make for a juicy anecdote.

Brown’s book is certainly chock full of haughty and arrogant behaviour from Margaret, most of it verifiable or at…

View original post 563 more words