November 10 in Literary History: Lady Chatterley Becomes a Bestseller

The most significant events in the history of books on the 10th of November

1619: René Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy.

1624: Henry Wriothesley (believed to have been pronounced ‘rizzly’), 3rd Earl of Southampton, dies. He is the dedicatee of Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece and probable ‘Fair Youth’ of the Bard’s Sonnets.

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Five Fascinating Facts about Adelaide Anne Procter

A short biography of Adelaide Anne Procter, one of the most popular poets of the Victorian age

She may not be a famous name in the world of English literature nowadays, but Adelaide Anne Procter (1825-1864) once enjoyed considerable popularity. Who was Adelaide Anne Procter, and what did she write?

1. Adelaide Anne Procter co-wrote ghost stories with Dickens. It was Charles Dickens who published much of Procter’s work in his periodicals Household Words and All the Year Round, and Procter even worked with Dickens, as well as Dickens’s friend Wilkie Collins, on several Christmas ghost stories, ‘A House To Let’ and ‘The Haunted House’. Elizabeth Gaskell, another author Dickens published, was another contributor to ‘The Haunted House’.

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November 9 in Literary History: Stieg Larsson Dies

The most significant events in the history of books on the 9th of November

1818: Ivan Turgenev is born. When the Russian novelist (author of Fathers and Sons) died, his brain was weighted and it was found that he had the heaviest brain on record.

1832: Émile Gaboriau is born. Gaboriau was a pioneer of detective fiction and the creator of Lecoq, one of the earliest detectives in all fiction (though Edgar Allan Poe’s Dupin preceded him and was certainly an influence on Gaboriau). Lecoq is dismissed as ‘a miserable bungler’ by Sherlock Holmes in Conan Doyle’s first novel featuring the famous detective, A Study in Scarlet.

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November 8 in Literary History: Dracula Author Bram Stoker is Born

The most significant events in the history of books on the 8th of November

1308: Duns Scotus dies. He was a philosopher and theologian from whom we get ‘dunce’, on account of later ridiculing of his ideas, but the general consensus seems to be that he was a very intelligent thinker. Gerard Manley Hopkins admired him, and wrote a poem, ‘Duns Scotus’s Oxford‘, about the city where both men studied.

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15 Great New Words for Phenomena That Don’t Yet Have a Name

15 neologisms and coinages to describe as yet unnamed experiences in the modern world

Here at Interesting Literature Towers we love interesting word facts. On Twitter we recently held a competition to coin a new word for something that doesn’t really have an existing word to describe it. (We’ve tried to get bibliosmia into common currency, but it needs a bit more of a push.) Using the hashtag #CoinANewWord, we encouraged our followers and other Twitterers to suggest new words for familiar experiences and feelings, especially those that are peculiar to the modern-day world. Below are some of our favourites. We’ll start with the winner of the competition, who received a stack of great non-fiction books on language and related subjects by Caroline Taggart (whose latest book, on a related theme, we’ve written about here), provided by the publishers, Michael O’Mara Books.

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