October 14 in Literature: Winnie-the-Pooh is Published

The most significant events in the history of books on the 14th of October

1888: Katherine Mansfield is born. This pioneer of the modernist short story was born in New Zealand, but became a success in Britain in the early 1920s, shortly before her premature death from tuberculosis in 1923. Her most important and acclaimed writing is probably the stories contained in The Garden Party and Other Stories (1922). Shortly before her death, fellow modernist writer D. H. Lawrence – with whom Mansfield had formerly been on speaking terms – sent her a rather nasty note that read: ‘you are a loathsome reptile I hope you will die’. Lawrence would himself die from tuberculosis seven years later.

1892: The first collection of short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is published by George Newnes. The stories had originally appeared in The Strand magazine, and had proved so popular that sales of the magazine had risen dramatically. (We’ve compiled some great Sherlock Holmes facts here.)

1894: E. E. Cummings is born. Fond of rendering his name as ‘e. e. cummings’, he dedicated his self-published volume of poetry, No Thanks, to the fourteen publishers who had turned it down.

Pooh11926: Winnie-the-Pooh is published. The Latin translation of this children’s classic is the only Latin book to have made the New York Times Bestseller List: Winnie ille Pu hit the list in 1960. The original toys on which the characters of Tigger, Kanga, Pooh, Eeyore, and Piglet were based can be seen in the picture on the right.

We also lost a number of famous literary figures on this day: poet Samuel Daniel (1619); Harriet Shaw Weaver, influential editor of modernist periodicals (1961); poet and literary critic Randall Jarrell (1965); and purveyor of popular novels Harold Robbins (1997).

Image: Original Winnie the Pooh stuffed toys. Clockwise from bottom left: Tigger, Kanga, Edward Bear (aka Winnie-the-Pooh), Eeyore, and Piglet. Author: Spictacularpublic domain.

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