The most significant events in the history of books on the 5th of October
What significant events in history occurred on October 5? In the world of literature and books, the day was an historic one that saw the release of the first film in a major franchise and the birth of an important figure of the French Enlightenment…
1713: Denis Diderot, the co-founder of the Encyclopédie, is born. When Catherine the Great heard that Diderot had fallen on hard times, she agreed to purchase his library and pay him an annual salary.
1840: John Addington Symonds is born. A scholar and poet, Symonds (pronounced ‘simmunds’) was an early champion of male homosexual love at a time when ‘homosexuality’ as a term was only just coming into existence.
1962: The first James Bond film, Dr No, is released. Sean Connery – relatively unknown at the time – plays the role of Bond in the first film in the extraordinarily popular franchise. In our post about Bond creator Ian Fleming, we’ve outlined some of the more surprising facts about James Bond, including the origins of the character’s name and the link between Bond and the Police song ‘Every Breath You Take’.
1969: The first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus is shown on the BBC. Douglas Adams would write for the series and even appear in several episodes, playing a doctor and a pepper-pot, as we’ve discussed in our compilation of great Douglas Adams facts.
And did you know today is World Teachers’ Day? In honour, why not enjoy these interesting facts about famous writers at school – whether as teachers or as pupils? (It’s worth it for Roald Dahl’s less-than-complimentary school report alone…)
Other notable birthdays today include Václav Havel, poet, playwright, and the first president of the Czech Republic (born 1936); former British Children’s Laureate and author of War Horse Michael Morpurgo (born 1943); and novelist and biographer Peter Ackroyd (born 1949), who has written critically acclaimed biographies of Charles Dickens and T. S. Eliot, among others, and who wrote a novel about Thomas Chatterton, the first English Romantic poet.