Cultural events; literature and art
Writers and poets – see appendix 5 below
21/4/2016, The artist Prince, full name Prince Rogers Nelson, born 7/6/1958, died.
1/2/2016, Murray Louis, American dancer and choreographer died (born 1926).
10/1/2016, David Bowie, born in 1947 as David Jones in Brixton, London, died of cancer two days after his 69th birthday.
25/1/2015, The Greek operatic singer Demis Roussos, born 14/6/1946, died. He sold 60 million albums, and was also known for his excess weight, 23 stone at its peak. Because of his weight be began to wear kaftans for his stage performances, reverting to trousers when he began a weight loss programme in 1980.
2/5/2012, In New York, a pastel version of Edward Munch’s The Scream sold for US$ 120 million at auction, a record sum for a work of art.
17/1/2007, Protests in the UK and India after, on the Big Brother Reality Show, Jade Goody was allegedly racist to Shilpa Shetty.
12/9/2003, Johnny Cash, US musician, died (born 1932).
15/5/1998, Frank Sinatra died.
21/10/1997, Elton John’s ‘Candle in the Wind’, a tribute to Diana Princess of Wales, sold 31.8 million copies, the best seller ever.
8/4/1993, Marian Anderson, US musician, died.
12/8/1992, US composer John Cage died, aged 79.
28/4/1992, The French composer Olivier Messiaen died aged 83. Also this day the English painter Francis Bacon died in Madrid, aged 82.
15/2/1992, US composer William Schuman died, aged 81.
24/3/1991, Madonna was awarded an Oscar in Los Angeles.
20/9/1989, Musical ‘Miss Saigon’ premiered in London.
23/1/1989. Death of Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali. He was aged 78, and had lived as a recluse since his wife, Gala, died in 1982. Art collectors were troubled by revelations that Dali had signed blank canvasses for others to paint.
26/5/1988, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats opened in Moscow with a British and American cast.
17/4/1988, Louise Nevelson, sculptor born in Kiev, Russia, in 23/9/1900, died in New York.
18/3/1988, Percy Thrower, horticulturalist, died.
17/3/1988, Grimes, Canadian musician, was born.
5/2/1988, 3.8 million plastic noses were sold for the first ever Comic Relief Red Nose Day. £15 million was raised.
11/12/1987, At Christies auction house, London, Charlie Chaplin’s cane and bowler sold for £82,500, and his boots for £38,500.
22/2/1987, Andy Warhol, American pop artist famous for his pictures of soup cans, died. He was born on 6/8/1926 to Czechoslovak immigrants in Pittsburgh.
31/8/1986. UK sculptor Henry Moore, born 1898, died aged 88.
20/2/1986, Francisco Paolo Mignone, composer, died aged 88.
28/3/1985, Marc Chagall, French painter (born 7/7/1887 to poor Jewish parents in Vitebsk, Russia), died in St Paul de Vence. He had moved to Berlin in 1922, and then to Paris in 1932. In 1941 he fled to the US to escape the advancing Nazis, returning to France after World War Two ended.
30/4/1983, George Balanchine, Russian dance director, died aged 79.
8/3/1983, Sir William Walton, English composer, died on the island of Ischia.
4/2/1983, Karen Carpenter, singer with The Carpenters, died of complications from anorexia nervosa, aged 32.
11/5/1981, Bob Marley, reggae musician, died of cancer aged 36.
8/12/1980. John Lennon, born 9/10/1940 in Liverpool during an air raid, was shot dead in New York by Mark David Chapman. See 26/5/1969.
30/11/1979, Zeppo Marx, the agent of the Marx brothers, died in London.
15/8/1979, Peter Shukoff, US comedian and musician, was born.
1/3/1978, Charlie Chaplin’s coffin was stolen from a cemetery in Switzerland.
25/12/1977, Charlie Chaplin died in Switzerland, aged 88.
13/9/1977, Leopold Stokowski, organist and conductor, died in Nether Wallop, Hampshire.
20/8/1977. Julius, or Groucho Marx, US comedian of the famous Marx Brothers, died in Los Angeles.
4/12/1976. Death of the composer Benjamin Britten, aged 63.
23/2/1976, The painter L S (Lawrence Stephen) Lowry, noted for his matchstick people, died in Glossop, Derbyshire.
9/8/1975. Death of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovitch.
26/5/1975, The stuntman Evel Knievel suffered severe spinal injuries whilst attempting to jump 13 buses in his car.
4/3/1975, Queen Elizabeth II knighted the actor Charlie Chaplin.
19/2/1975, Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola died in Florence aged 71.
19/1/1975, Thomas Hart Benton, US painter, died in Kansas City, Missouri..
24/12/1974. The Beatles’ legal partnership was formally dissolved.
24/5/1974, Duke Ellington, jazz musician, died of lung cancer aged 75.
6/4/1974, Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Waterloo.
4/9/1973. The Rolling Stones played in London for the first time in 2 ½ years, and then attended a party at Buckingham Palace which Mick Jagger described as ‘very dull’.
1/9/1973, Ram Kapoor, Indian actor, was born in New Delhi.
8/4/1973. The Spanish painter Pablo Picasso died of a heart attack, aged 91. He was famous for his Cubist style.
29/11/1972, Carl W. Stalling, US composer, died aged 81.
10/10/1972, Sir John Betjeman, born 28/8/1906, was appointed Poet Laureate.
8/8/1972, The musical Jesus Christ Superstar premiered at the Palace Theatre, London.
6/4/1971. Igor Stravinsky, Russian-born composer, died in New York City aged 88.
24/3/1971, Arne Jacobsen, Danish architect, died aged 69.
4/10/1970, Janis Joplin, rock musician, died this day.
18/9/1970, Rock musician Jimi Hendrix died of a drugs overdose.
8/5/1970. The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be, was released.
9/4/1970, The Beatles pop group disbanded.
6/12/1969. A free concert given by the Rolling Stones, at Altamont, California, ended in tragedy when Hell’s Angels stabbed a man to death.
25/11/1969, John Lennon returned his MBE to Buckingham Palace, in protest at British involvement in the Biafra civil war in Nigeria.
31/8/1969, Bob Dylan starred in a pop festival on the Isle of Wight, drawing in 150,000 fans.
17/8/1969, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, architect, died.
5/7/1969, Sir Walter Gropius, architect, founder of the Bauhaus school of design, died.
12/6/1969, Alexander Deyneka: Ukrainian artist (born 1899), died.
24/5/1969. The Black and White Minstrel Show at London’s Victoria Palace closed after 4,354 performances over seven years. It was the longest running musical show in Britain.
16/4/1969. Desmond Dekker became the first Jamaican artist to top the UK charts with The Israelites.
15/4/1969, The Woodstock music festival began in Bethel, New York.
2/4/1969, Jim Morrison, of pop group ‘The Doors’ was arrested in the USA.
20/3/1969. The Beatle John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
12/3/1969, Beatle Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Registry Office, London.
7/2/1969, Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine was released.
30/1/1969. The Beatles performed together for the last time.
30/8/1968, The single Hey Jude was released by The Beatles.
25/6/1968. Comedian Tony Hancock killed himself in a hotel bathroom in Sydney, Australia.
24/5/1968, The Rolling Stones hit, Jumpin’ Jack Flash was released.
23/2/1968, Tom Jones released his song Delilah.
5/12/1967. The Beatles opened their Apple store on Baker Street.
10/11/1967, The Moody Blue’s single, Nights in White Satin was released.
1/11/1967, Rolling Stone Magazine started publication, the first Rock’n’roll periodical in the USA.
27/8/1967, Brian Epstein, who managed The Beatles rise to rock stardom, died in a swimming pool accident.
29/5/1967, Geronimo Baqueiro Foster, composer, died aged 69.
17/2/1967, The Beatles’ hit, Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever single was released.
1/6/1966. Folk music fans at the Albert Hall booed Bob Dylan for performing with an electric guitar.
28/2/1966, The Cavern Club, where The Beatles first played, went into liquidation.
9/2/1966, Sophie Tucker, last of the ‘red hot mamas’, died.
1/2/1966, The silent film comedian Buster Keaton died.
26/10/1965. The Beatles went to Buckingham Palace to be presented with their MBE’s.
27/8/1965. The Swiss architect Le Corbusier died.
12/6/1965. The Beatles were made MBEs in the Queen’s birthday honours. A number of other holders of the medal returned theirs in disgust.
2/3/1965, The Sound of Music went on release in the USA. It was an instant hit.
10/8/1964. An emergency casualty station had to be set up in Brighton to deal with a constant stream of hysterical girls overcome during a performance of the Rolling Stones.
16/7/1964, The Rolling Stones had their first UK No.1 hit with It’s All Over Now.
3/6/1964, The Rolling Stones began their first US tour.
17/5/1964, Bob Dylan made his first major London appearance, at the Royal Albert Hall.
17/4/1964, The Rolling Stones released their first LP.
15/3/1964, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton married in Montreal.
1/2/1964. EMI’s managing director announced that The Beatles were making over £500,000 a month.
11/10/1963, Jean Cocteau, French artist (born 1889) died.
23/8/1963, The Beatles single She Loves You was released.
3/8/1963. The Beatles played in The Cavern, Liverpool, for the last time.
26/12/1962. The Beatles, an obscure group from Liverpool, just made no.17 in the charts with their single Love Me Do.
7/12/1962, Kirsten Flagstad, Norwegian opera singer, died aged 67.
5/8/1962. Marilyn Monroe, US film actress, died in Los Angeles aged 36, of a barbiturates overdose.
21/7/1962. The Rolling Stones made their first appearance at the Marquee Club in London.
9/5/1962, The Beatles signed a recording contract with EMI’s Parlophone label.
21/1/1962 The Beatles and Cliff Richard were making the charts.
13/12/1961, Grandma Moses, US painter, died aged 101.
9/11/1961, Jill Dando, British journalist and BBC television presenter, was born in Weston-super-Mare (murdered 1999).
2/11/1961, James Thurber, author, died in New York.
11/10/1961, Chico Marx, the piano-playing member of the Marx Brothers comedy team, died.
14/7/1961, Boy George was born.
9/9/1960, Jussi Bjorling, Swedish tenor, died aged 49.
23/8/1960, Oscar Hammerstein, US theatrical producer, died aged 65.
14/8/1960, Sarah Brightman, English singer, was born in Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire.
30/5/1960, Boris Pasternak, Russian author of Dr Zhivago, Nobel Prize winner in 1958 (which he declined), died near Moscow.
12/4/1960, The musician Ray Charles won Best Male Vocalist Grammy award.
1959, The Barbie Doll was introduced at the annual Toy Fair in New York.
21/8/1959. Death of the sculptor Sir Jacob Epstein.
28/5/1959, The Mermaid Theatre opened in the City of London.
3/2/1959, Buddy Holly, US musician, was killed in an air crash in Iowa.
21/1/1959, Cecil B de Mille, Hollywood film producer, died.
26/8/1958, Ralph Vaughan Williams, English composer, died aged 85.
16/8/1958, Madonna, US singer, was born.
8/8/1958. Columbia Records signed up a 17-year-old singer called Cliff Richard.
7/6/1958, Prince, American singer, was born.
20/12/1957. At the height of his career, Elvis Presley received his call-up papers.
2/11/1957, Elvis Presley set a record with 8 simultaneous UK top 30 entries.
24/10/1957, Christian Dior, French fashion designer and creator of ‘New Look’, died.
20/9/1957 Jean Sibelius,composer, died.
13/9/1957. The Mousetrap became Britain’s longest running play, reaching its 1,998th performance.
7/8/1957, Oliver Hardy, of Laurel and Hardy fame, died of a stroke, aged 65. Laurel was then aged 67.
19/3/1957, Elvis Presley paid the US$ 1,000 deposit on a mansion called Graceland, being sold by Mrs Ruth Brown-Moore.
16/3/1957, Constantin Brancusi, sculptor, died in Paris.
13/1/1957, Elvis Presley recorded All Shook Up in a Hollywood studio.
15/4/1956, Emil Nolde, German-Danish painter, died aged 88.
6/4/1956, Paramount Pictures signed Elvis for a three-film, five-year contract worth $450,000.
10/2/1956, Elvis Presley walked into a recording studio and made his first record, Heartbreak Hotel.
27/11/1955, Arthur Honegger, Swiss composer, died aged 63.
29/10/1955, Dmitri Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No. 1, originally completed in 1948, was premiered by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra.
3/11/1954, Henri Matisse, painter, died in Nice aged 84.
5/10/1954, Bob Geldof, rock musician and charity fundraiser, was born in Dublin.
25/8/1954, Elvis Costello, English musician, was born.
19/5/1954, Charles Ives, US composer died (born 1874).
15/2/1954, Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, was born.
9/11/1953. The Welsh poet Dylan Marlais Thomas, born in Swansea on 27/10/1914, died in New York City aged 39 after falling into an alcoholic coma. He had drunk 18 stiff whiskies. His major work, Under Milk Wood, was broadcast on radio in 1954.
15/10/1953 Youth culture was yet to arrive, as was the word ‘teenager’. Top of the pop charts were Mantovani, Doris Day, and Dean Martin.
28/3/1953, James Francis Thorpe, athlete, died.
5/3/1953. Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer, died.
27/8/1952, Harvey Corbett, US architect, died in New York city.,
21/1/1952, Billy Ocean, musician, was born.
28/7/1951, Walt Disney’s cartoon Alice in Wonderland was released.
6/3/1951, Ivor Novello, Welsh composer, died aged 58.
31/1/1951, Phil Collins, rock musician, was born.
10/1/1951, Sinclair Lewis, US novelist, died aged 65.
2/11/1950. George Bernard Shaw, born 26/7/1856 in Dublin, died aged 94, in Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire, UK. A failed novelist, he was 36 when his first play, Widower’s Houses, was performed.
16/10/1950, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, CS Lewis, was first published.
26/2/1950, Sir Harry Lauder, Scottish comedian and singer, died aged 79.
23/9/1949, Bruce Springsteen, US musician, was born.
8/9/1949, Richard Strauss, composer, died.
31/12/1948, Donna Summer, US singer, was born.
22/3/1948, Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer, was born.
24/8/1947, The Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama was launched. It was an antidote to the prevailing austerity.
25/3/1947. Elton John, British musician, was born in Pinner, London, as Reginald Kenneth Dwight.
8/1/1947. David Bowie, British musician and rock star, was born in London as David Jones.
9/8/1946, The Arts Council of Great Britain was incorporated.
14/6/1946. Demis Roussos, Greek operatic singer, was born; see 25/1/2015.
26/9/1945. Bela Bartok, composer, died.
10/1/1945, Rod Stewart, British rock singer, was born in London.
25/12/1944, Kenny Everett, radio and TV comedian, was born.
13/9/1944. William Heath Robinson, the English artist famous for his drawings of excessively complicated machinery cobbled together, died.
1/2/1944. In New York, the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian died, aged 71.
28/1/1944, John Tavener, English composer, was born (died 2013)
23/1/1944. Death of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
1/1/1944, Sir Edwin Lutyens, English architect, designer of The Cenotaph in London and planner of New Delhi, died in London.
28/4/1943, Sergei Rachmaninov, Russian composer, died in Beverley Hills, California.
25/2/1943, George Harrison, of the pop group ‘The Beatles’ was born in Liverpool.
24/11/1942, Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian, was born.
22/9/1942, Ralph Adams Cram, US architect, died
18/6/1942, Paul McCartney of The Beatles pop group was born in Liverpool.
22/1/1942, Walter Sickert, English painter, died aged 81.
5/11/1941, Art Garfunkel, of Simon and Garfunkel, was born in New York.
18/6/1941, Delia Smith was born.
21/1/1941, Placido Domingo, Spanish operatic tenor, was born in Madrid.
17/11/1940, Eric Gill, English sculptor, died aged 58.
9/10/1940. John Lennon, songwriter and musician in The Beatles pop group, was born in Liverpool. He was the son of a ship’s steward.
7/7/1940, Ringo Starr, drummer in the Beatles pop group, was born Liverpool as Richard Starkey.
29/6/1940, Paul Klee, artist, died in Switzerland.
8/6/1940, Nancy Sinatra, daughter of singer Frank Sinatra, was born.
13/7/1939. Frank Sinatra made his first record, ‘From the Bottom of my Heart’ with the Harry James band.
21/4/1939, Edna Savage, UK singer, was born (died 31/12/2000).
10/4/1939, Glen Miller recorded Little Brown Jug.
2/4/1939, Marvin Gaye, soul singer, was born.
19/2/1939, Batman was first drawn by Bob Kane for a ‘Detective Comic’ to be issued in May 1939.
17/3/1938. Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev born in Irkutsk, Siberia.
16/2/1938, John Corigliano, US composer, was born.
11/7/1937, The US composer George Gershwin died, aged 38.
31/1/1937, Philip Glass, US composer, was born.
8/1/1937, Shirley Bassey, British singer and entertainer, was born in Cardiff, Wales.
16/9/1935, Carl Andre, US artist, was born.
13/6/1935, Christo Javachev and his partner Jean Claude, artists, were born.
20/5/1935, Mickey Rose, US actor, was born (died 2013).
24/11/1934, Alfred Schnittke, German composer, was born (died 1998).
28/9/1934, Brigitte Bardot, actress, female role model, was born in Paris.
10/6/1934, British composer Frederick Delius died in France.
25/5/1934. The composer Gustav Holst, who wrote The Planets, died aged 59. He was buried in Chichester Cathedral.
24/4/1934, Laurens Hammond filed a patent for an "electrical musical instrument" known today as the Hammond organ.
23/2/1934. Sir Edward Elgar, English composer, (born 2/6/1857), died of pneumonia in Worcester. On 10/11/1910 he conducted the first performance of his violin concerto, played by Fritz Kreisler, at the Queen’s Hall, London Applause was described as worthy of the Battle of Trafalgar.
18/2/1934, Yoko Ono, the widow of Jon Lennon, was born.
23/7/1933. Richard Rogers, architect who designed the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Lloyds Building in London, was born.
6/3/1932, John Philip Sousa, composer, died.
3/10/1931. Death of the Danish composer Carl Nielsen.
29/9/1931, William Orpen, Irish painter, died aged 52.
8/11/1929, The Museum of Modern Art in New York opened.
2/11/1929, The first News Theatre Cinema opened in New York, the Embassy.
12/10/1929, Magnus Magnusson, British writer and TV presenter, was born in Reykjavik, Iceland.
3/2/1929, Val Doonican, singer, was born.
11/12/1928, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author, was born.
26/8/1928, Actress Barbara Stanwyck and vaudeville comedian Frank Fay were married in St. Louis.
12/8/1928, Leos Janacek, Czech composer, died aged 74.
6/8/1928, Andy Warhol, US artist, was born.
6/12/1926. The impressionist painter Claude Monet died as a recluse in Coventry, aged 86.
31/10/1926. The USA magician and escapologist Harry Houdini died, aged 52. He was born as Ehrich Weisz in Hungary and adopted his later name from the conjuror Robert Houdin whose autobiography he read as a young boy. .Determined to match Houdin’s achievements and to haul his family out of poverty, Houdini ran away to New York to begin a life in magic and entertainment which would enthral thousands. He escaped from handcuffs in an underwater nailed packing crate, and later exposed many psychic frauds. Whilst giving a lecture on spiritualism in Montreal, Houdini was asked if he could withstand a blow to the abdomen. Before he had a chance to prepare himself, Houdini was struck three times by a student. Despite this he managed to perform again, but died of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital a few days later.
10/6/1926, Spanish architect Gaudi y Cornet died. His most famous building is the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona.
21/12/1925. Battleship Potemkin, a film by Sergei Eisenstein, opened in the USSR.
14/11/1925, The first Surrealist art exhibition opened in Paris.
17/7/1925, Lovis Corinth, German painter, died.
14/4/1925, John Singer Seargant, US painter, died aged 69.
21/1/1925, Benny Hill, English comedian, was born in Southampton.
29/11/1924, The composer Puccini died in Brussels.
11/6/1924, Théodore Dubois, French composer, died aged 86.
14/4/1924, Louis Sullivan, US architect, died in Chicago.
4/3/1924, Happy Birthday to You, a song written by two US teachers, the sisters Patty and Mildred Hill, first appeared in print in a book by Robert H Coleman.
9/12/1923, Meggie Albanesi, British actress, died aged 24.
28/5/1923, Gyorgy Ligeti, Hungarian composer, was born (died 2006).
26/11/1922. Birth of the American cartoonist Charles Schultz. At an arts instruction school in St Paul, Minnesota, Schultz asked fellow student Charlie Brown if he could use his name . He also used Brown’s moon-face looks to create the friendly loser-kid in the comic strip Peanuts, which featured in some 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries, translated into 21 languages. Schultz died in Santa Rosa, California, in 2000.
24/2/1922, Richard Hamilton, English painter, was born (died 2011).
16/12/1921, French composer and organist Camille Saint-Saens died aged 86.
9/9/1921, Charlie Chaplin arrived at Waterloo Station, London, on the boat train from Southampton, to a rapturous welcome. He was staying at the Ritz Hotel, socially a million miles from his childhood days in Lambeth.
2/8/1921. Death of the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso, whose funeral in Naples was attended by 50,000 people.
10/10/1920, Thelonious Monk, US jazz musician, was born (died 1982)
27/3/1920, Death of Samuel Colman, US landscape painter (born 4/3/1832).
17/12/1919. Pierre Auguste Renoir died. He was born on 26/2/1841.
18/5/1919, Margot Fonteyne, English ballerina, was born (died 1991).
16/5/1919. Waldzin Valentino Liberace was born in Wisconsin. His father wanted him to be an undertaker.
3/12/1919, Pierre Auguste Renoir, French Impressionist painter, died near Cannes, aged 78.
25/4/1918, Ella Fitzgerald, US jazz singer, was born (died 1996).
25/3/1918, Claude Debussy, French composer, died of cancer in London aged 55.
18/11/1917, Pedro Infante, Mexican actor and singer, was born.
17/11/1917, Death of the sculptor Auguste Rodin, aged 77.
21/10/1917, Dizzie Gillespie, US jazz musician, was born (died 1993).
27/9/1917, The painter Edgar Degas died, aged 83 (born 19/7/1834, in Paris).
20/3/1917. Dame Vera Lynn was born.
1/3/1917, Robert Lowell, US poet, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
25/6/1916, Thomas C Eakins, US artist, died (born 25/7/1844).
22/4/1916, Yehudi Menuhin, US violinist, was born.
24/10/1915, Tito Gobbi, Italian baritone singer, was born (died 1984)
5/6/1915, French sculptor and draughtsman Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was killed in action in World War One, aged 23.
12/12/1913. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa which had been stolen from the Louvre three years earlier was found in a bedroom of a small hotel in Florence. An Italian, Vicenzo Peruggia, was arrested.
22/11/1913, Benjamin Britten, English composer, was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk.
16/5/1913, Woody Herman, US jazz musician, was barn (died 1987).
5/9/1912, Composer John Cage was born
27/8/1912. Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first went into print as a magazine serial.
14/7/1912. Woody Guthrie, US folk singer, was born in Oklahoma.
1/7/1912, The first Royal Command Performance took place at the Palace Theatre, London, watched by King George V and Queen Mary.
22/8/1911, The Mona Lisa was stolen from The Louvre, Paris.
18/5/1911. The composer Gustav Mahler died of heart disease in Austria, aged 51.
26/10/1911, Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer, was born.
29/9/1910, US artist Winslow Homer died at his studio in Maine.
23/6/1910, Jean Anouilh, French dramatist, was born (died 1987).
21/6/1908, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer, died at Lyubensk.
7/1/1908, Sir Frederick Gibberd, town planner who designed Harlow New Town, was born (died 1984). He also designed Didcot power station (1968), the Intercontinental Hotel at Hyde Park Corner, London (1975), Liverpool’s Catholic cathedral (1967), and the Regent’s Park Mosque (1977).
4/9/1907. Edward Greig, Norwegian composer, died in Bergen.
22/1/1907, In London, a strike by music hall artists disrupted theatre performances.
22/10/1906, The painter Paul Cezanne died in Aix en Provence, France (born 19/1/1839).
7/8/1906, Gerhard Frommel, composer, was born.
6/8/1906, Vic Dickenson, US trombonist, was born (died 1984).
8/7/1906, Philip Johnson, architect, was born in Cleveland, Ohio.
23/5/1906, The Norwegian poet Henry Ibsen died.
6/4/1906, The Poet Laureate, John Betjeman, was born in London.
9/3/1906, David Smith, sculptor, was born (died 1965).
13/10/1905, Sir Henry Irving, the first British actor to receive a knighthood, gave his final performance in Bradford, Yorkshire, before collapsing and dying in the arms of his dresser at the Midland Hotel.
29/4/1905, Rudolf Schwartz, Viennese conductor who survived the Nazi concentration camps to become conductor of the BBC Symphony orchestra, was born.
15/2/1905, Harold Arlen, musician, was born in New York.
2/2/1905, The Russian writer Maxim Gorky was released from prison.
21/1/1905, Christian Dior, French designer, was born in Granville.
1/11/1904, George Bernard Shaw’s play John Bull’s Other Island had its premier.
5/7/1904, The composer Edward Elgar was knighted.
26/5/1904, George Formby, Lancashire comedian who played the ukulele and was famous for his song Cleaning Windows, was born.
11/5/1904. Spanish painter Salvador Dali was born in Figueras, Upper Catalonia.
1/5/1904. The Czech composer Antonin Dvorak died.
9/1/1904, George Balanchine, ballet choreographer, was born (died 1983).
17/7/1903, James Whistler, painter, died aged 70.
8/5/1903. Death of the French Impressionist painter Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin, on the Marquesas Islands, Polynesia, aged 54. He was born in Paris in 1848 and spent a short time with Vincent Van Gogh. He died of syphilis. Gauguin had given up a successful career on the Paris stock exchange at 35 to pursue painting, at which he was self-taught.
21/5/1902, Marcel Lajos Breuer, architect, was born (died 1981)
11/4/1902, Fred Gaisberg, of the Gramophone Company, made the first recordings of Caruso.
29/3/1902, Sir William Walton, English composer, was born in Oldham, Lancashire, to musical parents.
5/12/1901. Walt Disney was born.
9/9/1901. The bespectacled short painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died in Malrome from a paralytic stroke, aged 36.
24/6/1901, The first Picasso exhibition opened in Paris.
23/5/1901, Edward Rubbra, composer, was born (died 1986)
12/3/1901, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, opened.
20/2/1901, Louis Isadore Kahn, architect, was born (died 1974).
27/1/1901. The Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan aged 87. His works included La Traviata and Il Travatore.
22/6/1900, In London, the Wallace Collection was opened to the Public.
20/1/1900, John Ruskin, writer and art critic, died near Coniston, Lake District, aged 80.
29/9/1899, Billy Butlin, holiday camp owner, was born in South Africa.
13/8/1899. Birth of film director Alfred Hitchcock. He was born in Leytonstone, London, the son of a greengrocer.
3/6/1899. Johann Strauss the Younger, Austrian composer, violinist, and conductor, who wrote The Blue Danube waltz, died in Vienna.
2/6/1899, Lotte Reiniger, film animator, was born.
16/3/1899, The London erotic illustrator Aubrey Beardsley died aged 26.
30/7/1898, Henry Moore, British sculptor, was born in Castleford, Yorkshire, the son of a coal miner.
9/1/1898, Gracie Fields, singer and music hall star, was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, as Gracie Stansfield.
3/4/1897, Johannes Brahms, German composer, died at his home in Vienna, aged 64.
12/1/1896, Tommy Handley, British comedian, was born in Liverpool.
6/10/1895 Sir Henry Wood’s promenade concerts began at Queen’s Hall, London.
14/2/1895, Oscar Wilde’s final play, The Importance of Being Earnest, opened in London.
8/12/1894, James Thurber, author, was born in Columbus, Ohio.
9/2/1894, Adolphe Saxe, the Belgian musical instrument maker who invented the Saxophone, died in Paris.
6/11/1893. The composer Peter Illich Tchaikovsky, born.7/5/1840, died of cholera, after drinking infected water.
18/1/1892, Oliver Hardy, comedian in the Laurel and Hardy duo, was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
23/4/1891, Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer, was born in Sontsovka in the Ukraine.
13/2/1891, Grant Wood, US painter, was born in Iowa.
11/1/1891, Baron Georges-Eugene Haussman, architect who designed the broad straight boulevards of Paris, died in poverty.
2/10/1890, Julius Groucho Marx was born (died 1977).
29/7/1890. Vincent Van Gogh, born 30/3/1853, died after prolonged insanity. He went to the spot where he had painted Cornfield with flight of birds and shot himself in the chest, on 27/7/1890, dying 2 days later.
16/4/1889. Birth of the comedian Sir Charles Chaplin in Kennington, London (died 1977). He was the son of two music hall entertainers.
15/4/1889, Thomas Hart Benton, US painter, was born in Neosho, Missouri.
23/12/1888. The artist Vincent Van Gogh cut off his left ear lobe.
23/11/1888, Harpo Marx, one of the Marx Brothers comedy team, was born in New York City.
11/5/1888, Irving Berlin, US songwriter, was born as Israel Baline in Tyumen, Russia.
1887, L L Zamenhof devised ‘Esperanto’.
18/11/1887, Frank Dobson, English sculptor, was born.
15/11/1887, Georgia O’Keefe, artist, was born in Wisconsin.
1/11/1887, The artist L S (Laurence Stephen) Lowry was born in Rusholme, Manchester.
28/2/1887, Alexander Borodin, Russian composer, died in St Petersburg.
31/7/1886. Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer, died aged 74, in Bayreuth, Bavaria.
27/3/1886, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, architect, was born in Aachen, Germany.
12/5/1884, Bohemian composer Bedrich Smetana died in an asylum for the insane.
15/7/1883, Tom Thumb, the American circus midget who finally attained a height of 40 inches, died.
30/4/1883, Edouard Manet, artist, died.
18/2/1883, The funeral of the composer Wagner was held at Bayreuth.
23/1/1883, The French artist Gustave Dore (born 6/1/1832 in Strasbourg|) died in Paris.
9/4/1882, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, English painter and poet, died.
25/10/1881, Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter who created Cubism, was born in Malaga, Andalusia.
28/3/1881, Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer, died of chronic alcoholism aged 42.
25/3/1881, Bela Bartok, Hungarian composer, was born.
10/11/1880, The British sculptor James Epstein was born (of Russian-Polish descent) in New York City.
9/11/1880, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, British architect, was born.
5/10/1880, Jacques Offenbach, composer, died in Paris.
18/12/1879, Paul Klee, artist, was born.
29/4/1879. Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor, born.
31/12/1877, The painter Gustave Coubert died, aged 59.
17/8/1876. Wagner’s opera Gotterdammerung premiered at Bayreuth.
19/2/1876, Constantin Brancusi, sculptor, was born in Romania.
3/6/1875. Georges Bizet, French composer of the opera Carmen, died in Bougival near Paris.
7/3/1875, Maurice Ravel, French composer, was born in Ciboure in the Basque Country.
21/9/1874, Gustav Holst, English composer, who wrote The Planets, was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, as Gustavus Theodore von Holst, of Swedish origin.
6/4/1874, Harry Houdini, American magician and escapologist, was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, as Ehrich Weiss. He was the son of a rabbi from Budapest.
1/10/1873, Sir Edwin Landseer, painter, died in London.
1/4/1873. Sergei Rachmaninov, last of the great Russian romantic composers, was born in Oneg, Nijni Novgorod. He later settled in the USA.
25/2/1873, Enrico Caruso, Italian operatic tenor, was born in Naples.
8/1/1873, Harvey Corbett, US architect, was born in San Francisco,
31/5/1872, The illustrator and cartoonist Heath Robinson was born. He was famous for his drawings of absurdly complicated machinery performing simple tasks.
22/5/1872. In Germany, the foundation stone of the Bayreuth Theatre was laid. It was built specially for the performance of Wagner’s works.
25/3/1871, The American sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, was born near Bear Lake, Idaho.
29/3/1869, Sir Edward Lutyens, British architect, was born in London.
8/3/1869. The French composer Berlioz died in Paris.
25/5/1868, Rene Weil (Romain Coolus), French dramatist, was born in Rennes.
18/4/1867, John Smirke, who designed the façade of the British Museum, died.
31/1/1867. The four great bronze lions at the base of Nelson’s Column were completed by painter Sir Edward Landseer and positioned in Trafalgar Square.
14/1/1867, The painter Jean Auguste Ingres died aged 86 in Paris.
13/11/1866, Rossini, Italian composer, died in Passy, France, aged 76.
8/12/1865, Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer, was born in Hameenlinna, the son of a surgeon.
2/8/1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) was published.
6/7/1865, Emile Jacques Dalcroze, inventor of eurhythmics dancing, was born.
8/6/1865, Sir Joseph Paxton, ornamental gardener and architect who designed the Crystal Palace for the 1851 Great Exhibition, died.
11/6/1864, Richard Strauss, composer, was born in Munich, Germany.
13/1/1864, Stephen Foster, musician, died in New York (born 4/7/1926)
12/12/1863Edward Munch, Norwegian artist who painted The Scream, was born.
7/12/1863, Pietro Mascagni, Italian composer, was born.
13/8/1863, The painter Eugene Delacroix died in Paris.
12/7/1863, Charles Cottet, French painter, was born at Puy.
22/8/1862. Composer Claude Debussy was born in St Germain en Laye, France.
29/1/1862, Frederick Delius, English composer, born in Bradford, Yorkshire.
18/12/1860, Edward MacDowell, US composer, was born in New York City.
7/7/1860, Gustav Mahler, composer, was born in Kalischt, Bohemia.
20/10/1860, Walter Cope, US architect, was born in Pennsylvania.
7/9/1860, Grandma Moses, US painter, was born in Greenwich, New York State.
23/6/1860. On St John’s Eve, Mussorgsky completed St John’s Night on a Bare Mountain. After his death Rimsky Korsakov edited it and removed St John’s from the title.
15/12/1859, Ludwig Zimenof, Polish linguist who created the artificial language Esperanto, was born in Bialystock.
24/11/1859. Charles Darwin, born 12/2/1809, published The Origin of the Species.
12/11/1859, French acrobat Jules Leotard performed the first circus trapeze act at the Cirque Napoleon, Paris, wearing the famous costume named after him.
4/10/1859, Death of German publisher Karl Baedeker, whose travel guides became famous.
19/5/1859, Dame Nellie Melba, Australian singer, was born.
22/12/1858, The composer Puccini was born in Lucca, Italy.
16/9/1857, The tune Jingle Bells by James Pierpoint was copyrighted under its original title One Horse Open Sleigh. In 1965 it became the first song to be broadcast from space.
2/6/1857, Sir Edward Elgar, British composer, was born in Broadheath, near Worcester, the son of a music seller and organist.
27/10/1856, Kenyon Cox, US painter, was born in Ohio.
3/9/1856, Louis Sullivan, US architect, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
29/7/1856, Robert Schumann, German composer, died in an asylum near Bonn.
6/11/1854, John Philip Sousa, composer, inventor of the sousaphone (a sort of large tuba), was born.
30/3/1853. The artist Vincemt Van Gogh was born in the Dutch village of Groot-Zundert, the son of a Lutheran pastor.
30/9/1852, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Irish composer, was born.
14/9/1852, Lord Pugin, co-designer of the Houses of Parliament with Sir Charles Barry, died at Ramsgate.
19/12/1851. The painter Joseph Turner died in his house in Chelsea, London, under the assumed name of Booth.
11/3/1851, Verdi’s opera Rigoletto was first performed, in Venice.
1/2/1851, Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, died.
19/11/1850, Alfred Lord Tennyson was appointed Poet Laureate, a post he held until his death in 1892.
23/4/1850, Sir William Wordsworth, Poet Laureate from 1843, died of pleurisy at Rydal Mount, Grasmere, aged 80.
17/10/1849. Frederic Chopin, born 1/3/1810 near Warsaw, Poland, died aged 39 of tuberculosis in Paris.
25/9/1849, Johann Strauss the Elder died, aged 45, of scarlet fever.
23/6/1848. Adolfe Sax, born on 6/11/1814 in Dinant, Belgium, was awarded a patent for the saxophone.
7/6/1848, Paul Gauguin, French painter, was born in Paris. He was the son of a journalist.
4/11/1847. The composer Felix Mendelssohn died in Leipzig of a stroke, aged 38.
16/9/1847, Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford on Avon was purchased by the specially-formed Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. This was one of the first buildings acquired purely for preservation.
17/3/1846, Kate Greenaway, British artist, was born.
19/10/1845. Wagner’s opera ‘Tannhauser’ was first performed at Dresden. Wagner’s music inspired either wonder or loathing, and he was also highly anti-Semitic.
30/5/1846, Peter Carl Faberge, Russian jeweller whose fabulous Easter Eggs were popular with the tsars, was born.
25/7/1844, Thomas C Eakins, US artist, was born (died 25/6/1916).
16/7/1844, Charles Dickens’ sixth book, The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, was published in entirety.
3/5/1844, Richard D’Oyly Carte, who produced the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, was born.
18/3/1844, Rimsky Korsakoov, Russian composer, was born in Novgorod.
15/6/1843. Edward Grieg, Norwegian composer, was born in Bergen. He was of Scottish descent.
8/9/1841, Anton Dvorak, Czech composer, was born near Prague.
25/2/1841, Pierre Auguste Renoir, French impressionist painter, was born in Limoges, the son of a tailor.
14/11/1840, Claude Monet, French Impressionist painter, was born in Paris.
12/11/1840, Auguste Rodin, French sculptor, was born in Paris.
7/5/1840, Peter Illyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer, was born in Votkinsk, the son of a government mines inspector.
21/3/1839, Modest Moussorgsky, Russian composer, was born in Karevo (now called Pskov).
19/1/1839, Paul Cezanne, French artist, was born in Aix en Provence, France.
4/1/1838, Charles Sherwood Stratton was born. He later became famous as Tom Thumb, a midget exhibited by Phineas Barnum.
31/3/1837 The painter John Constable. Died, aged 60.
20/1/1837, Sir Robert Soane, architect, died in London. He designed the Bank of England building on Threadneedle Street.
26/6/1836, Rouget de Lisle, composer of La Marseillaise in 1792, died.
24/2/1836, US artist Winslow Homer was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
26/6/1835, Baron Antoine Gros, French painter, drowned himself in the River Seine at Meudon, aged 64.
13/5/1835, John Nash, architect of Regents Park and Brighton Pavilion, died on the Isle of Wight. He had been commissioned by King George IV to redevelop parts of London, such as Trafalgar Square and Regent Street.
12/11/1834. Alexander Borodin, Russian composer, was born in St Petersburg.
19/7/1834, Edward Degas, painter, was born in Paris.
28/8/1833, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, English painter, was born.
7/5/1833, Johannes Brahms, German composer, was born in Hamburg, the son of a poor orchestral musician.
6/1/1833, Gustav Dore, French artist, was born.
23/1/1832. Edouard Manet, French painter, was born in Paris.
6/1/1832, Gustave Dore, French artist, was born.
10/11/1830, Jacob Epstein, British sculptor, was born.
1829, The accordion was invented by Damian, in Vienna.
19/11/1828. Franz Schubert, born 31/1/1797, died of typhus, aged 31.
16/4/1828, Francisco de Goya, Spanish painter and etcher, died in France aged 82.
20/3/1828, The Norwegian poet Henry Ibsen was born in Skien, Norway.
8/2/1828. Jules Verne, French writer and early author of science fiction, was born in Nantes, Brittany.
26/3/1827. Composer Ludwig van Beethoven died in Bonn, aged 57. His last words were reputedly “I shall hear in Heaven”. His funeral was on 29/3/1827, in Vienna; thousands attended it.
22/4/1827, Thomas Rowlandson, English watercolour painter (born 1756) died in London.
25/10/1825, Johann Strauss junior, composer, was born in Vienna, Austria.
2/3/1824, Bedrich Smetana, Czech composer, was born in Litomysl, Bohemia.
7/5/1823, Despite his deafness, Beethoven conducted the first performance of his Ninth Symphony.
1821, The designer, Louis Vuitton, was born in Jura, eastern France, to a farming family. At age 13 he walked to Paris and became apprentice to a master trunk maker.
30/3/1820, Anna Sewell, author of Black Beauty, was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
20/6/1819, Jacques Offenbach, composer, was born in Cologne, Germany.
11/4/1819, Sir Charles Halle, German musician who founded the Halle Orchestra in Manchester, was born.
21/6/1818, Sir Richard Wallace, art collector and philanthropist, was born.
6/11/1814, Adolphe Sax, Belgian musician and instrument-maker who invented the Saxophone and Saxhorn, was born.
10/10/1813. The Italian composer Guiseppe Verdi was born in Le Roncole, near Busseto, the son of an innkeeper.
22/5/1813. Richard Wagner, German operatic composer, was born in Leipzig.
7/2/1812, The author Charles Dickens was born in Landport, Portsmouth, the son of a clerk in the navy pay office.
22/10/1811. Franz Liszt, Hungarian composer and pianist, was born in the village of Raiding near Odenburg.
18/7/1811, William Thackeray, poet, was born in Calcutta, India; his father was an official of the East India Company.
13/7/1811, Sir George Gilbert Scott, architect who designed the Albert Memorial and St Pancras Station, was born.
8/6/1810, Robert Schumann, German composer, was born.
5/7/1810, American showman Phineas T Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut.
1/3/1810, Frederic Chopin, Polish composer and pianist, was born in Zelazowa Wola, near Warsaw, the son of a Frenchman.
31/5/1809. Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, died in Vienna.
28/3/1809, George Richmond, British artist, was born.
3/2/1809, Felix Mendelssohn, German composer, was born in Hamburg, son of a banker.
22/12/1808, Beethoven’s 5th and 6th symphonies received their premiere in Vienna.
22/10/1806, Thomas Sheraton, furniture designer and cabinet maker, died.
20/11/1805, Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, premiered at the Theater an der Wein, in Vienna.
14/3/1804, Johann Strauss the Elder, Austrian composer, was born in Vienna, son of an innkeeper.
11/12/1803, Hector Berlioz, French composer, was born in La Cote St Andre, near Grenoble, son of a doctor.
3/3/1802. Beethoven’s opera “Moonlight Sonata” is published.
7/3/1802. Sculptor and animal painter Sir Edward Landseer was born in London, the son of an engraver. He designed the bronze lions at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.
3/11/1801, Karl Baedeker, guide book publisher, was born.
31/8/1801. Sir Joseph Paxton, architect of the Crystal palace, was born at Milton Bryant near Woburn, Bedfordshire.
26/4/1798, The painter Eugene Delacroix was born near Paris.
31/1/1797, Franz Schubert, Austrian composer, was born near Vienna. He was the son of a schoolteacher.
23/5/1795, Birth of the architect Sir Charles Barry, who designed the Houses of Parliament in London
3/1/1795, Josiah Wedgwood, English potter and creator of blue jasper ware, died in Staffordshire.
29/2/1792, Gioacchino Rossini, Italian composer, was born in Pesano, on the Adriatic coast. He was the son of an itinerant horn player.
23/2/1792, Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter, died in London.
5/12/1791, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, died of typhus in Vienna and was buried in the common ground of St Mark’s churchyard.
2/8/1788. The painter Thomas Gainsborough, born 14/5/1727, died.
10/7/1788. Mozart completed his Jupiter Symphony. Born on 27/1/1756, Mozart died on 5/12/1791 from typhus and was buried in a pauper’s grave with several other paupers.
10/8/1787. Mozart completed his famous Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
3/4/1783, Washington Irving, author of Rip Van Winkle, was born.
6/2/1783. English landscape gardener Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown died. Kew Gardens and Blenheim Palace are examples of his work.
27/10/1782. Birth of the Italian composer and violinist Niccolo Paganini, in Genoa.
18/12/1779, Joseph Grimaldi, English clown who invented the white face make up for clowns, was born.
20/1/1779, David Garrick, English actor and theatre manager, died. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
3/8/1778. La Scala opera house in Milan opened, the work of Guiseppe Piermarini.
5/3/1778, Thomas Arne, English composer, died in London.
22/1/1778, Lord Byron, English romantic poet, was born in London.
11/6/1776. John Constable, landscape painter, was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk, the son of a landowner and miller.
16/12/1775. Jane Austen, author, was born at Steventon in Hampshire, the seventh child of eight born to a rector.
23/4/1775, The painter Joseph Mallory William Turner was born at Covent Garden, London. He was the son of a barber.
16/12/1770, Beethoven, German composer, was born in Bonn, the son of an undistinguished tenor.
7/4/1770. William Wordsworth, poet, was born, at Cockermouth, Cumberland. He was the son of an attorney.
10/12/1768. The Royal Academy of Arts, London, was founded. Joshua Reynolds was the first President.
20/4/1768. The painter Canaletto died in Venice. Born there in 1697, Canaletto painted many scenes of Venice before moving to England in 1746 to paint the country houses there.
27/10/1764 The painter and engraver William Hogarth died in London, aged 67. He was buried in Chiswick churchyard. He also pushed for legislation to protect the intellectual property of artists, the so-called ‘Hogarth Act’ of 1753.
21/4/1760, Britain’s first art exhibition opened. The Annual Exhibition of United Artists was held at the premises of the Society of Arts on The Strand, London.
14/4/1759. George Frederick Handel, German composer, died, aged 74, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. He was born in Halle, Saxony, on 23/2/1685. He settled in England and became court composer to George II.
23/7/1757. The composer Scarlatti died, aged 71.
27/1/1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer, was born in Salzburg, the son of a musician.
10/9/1753. Birth of the architect Sir John Soane. He was born at Goring, near Reading, the son of a mason, and in 1788 he became architect and surveyor to the Bank of England. The new exterior he created for the Bank was regarded as his most famous work. In 1806 he became Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy; he was knighted in 1831. His home at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, which he designed, was the setting for his art and antiques collection. He lived there alone after his wife died in 1815; it is now the John Soane Museum. He also designed the Dulwich College Picture Gallery in south London.
28/7/1750. The composer Johann Sebastian Bach died, almost blind, of apoplexy. He was born on 21/3/1685 in Eisenach, Germany. He fathered 20 children, and also composed 300 cantatas, two oratorios, the St John and St Matthew Passions, and Mass in B Minor.
30/3/1746, Francisco de Goya, Spanish painter, was born in Fuendetodos, near Saragosa, son of a master gilder.
13/4/1742, The performance of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin marked the climax of his popularity.
28/7/1741, Antonio Vivaldi, Italian composer, notably of The Four Seasons, died in Vienna.
17/1/1738, The German architect, Matthaus Poppelman, died aged 74.
18/12/1737, Antonio Stradivari, famous Italian violin maker, died in Cremona, Lombardy.
7/12/1732. The Covent Garden Theatre, London, opened
31/3/1732, Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer, was born in Rohrau, son of a wheelwright.
26/4/1731, Daniel Defoe, English author who wrote Robinson Crusoe, died.
27/1/1731, Bartolommeo Cristofori, Italian harpsichord maker, who designed the first piano in 1710, died in Florence.
12/7/1730, Josiah Wedgewood, potter, was born at Burslem, Staffordshire.
14/5/1727. Artist Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk. He was the son of a cloth merchant.
26/3/1726. Sir John Vanbrugh, English playwright and architect of Blenheim Palace, Castle Howard, and many other stately homes, died of quinsy.
16/7/1723, Joshua Reynolds, English portrait painter, was born at Plympton Earls, Devon.
25/2/1723. Sir Christopher Wren, architect, born 20/10/1632 in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, died aged 91, in London. His works included St Paul’s Cathedral (see 22/6/1675) and Chelsea Hospital. He was buried in the crypt of St Pauls Cathedral.
2/3/1717. First ballet performed in England, The Loves of Mars and Venus , at The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.
19/2/1717, David Garrick, English actor and theatre manager, was born in Hereford, son of an army captain.
8/3/1714, C P E Bach, composer, born.
12/3/1710, Thomas Arne, composer of Rule Britannia, was born in London, the son of an upholsterer.
10/11/1697, The painter William Hogarth was born at Smithfield, London, the son of a teacher.
18/10/1697. Birth of the painter Canaletto. He was born in Venice, as Giovanni Antonio Canal, and was trained by his father who was a scene painter. As a youth Canaletto went to Rome to study under the classical painter Pannini. He returned to Venice to become the most famous painter of Venetian views of the 18th century. His patron was Joseph Smith who served as English consul in Venice; as a result Canaletto’s work became popular with English travellers and he cane to England in 1746, staying there for most of the next 10 years. He painted his four views of Warwick castle, the two largest of which are (2001) in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
16/4/1696, Giovanni Batista Tiepolo, Venetian painter, was born.
21/11/1695, Henry Purcell, English composer, died in London from tuberculosis.
21/3/1685, Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer, was born in Eisenach, Thuringia.
23/2/1685, George Frederick Handel, German composer, was born in Halle, the son of a barber-surgeon.
15/12/1683, Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler, died at Winchester aged 90.
28/11/1680, The Italian sculptor Giovanni Bernini died.
4/3/1678. Birth of the Venetian composer and violinist Antonio Lucio Vivaldi.
15/12/1675. Jan Vermeer died.
15/3/1673, The painter Salvator Rosa died in Rome, aged 57.
4/10/1669. The Dutch painter Rembrandt died in solitude and poverty, aged 63, in Amsterdam, having survived both his wife and his mistress. He gradually went bankrupt after his wealthy wife died in 1642, although in his 30s he earned large sums of money from painting portraits of the elite in Amsterdam. He left a legacy of 600 paintings, 1500 drawings and 350 etchings.
9/4/1667, The world’s first art exhibition opened at the Palais Royale in Paris, organised by the Academie de Peinture et de Sculpture. It closed on 23/4/1667.
1/1/1660, Samuel Pepys began his Diary. This was discontinued on 31/5/1669.
2/5/1655, Bartolommeo Cristofori, Italian who invented the first piano, was born in Padua.
21/6/1652. The architect, Inigo Jones, died. He had designed the Queen’s House at Greenwich and the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall. He also laid out Lincoln’s Inn Fields and Covent Garden.
16/4/1646, Birth of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, French court architect to King Louis XIV who designed the Hall of Mirrors and the Orangery at Versailles.
9/12/1641, Sir Anthony Van Dyck, Flemish court painter to Charles I from 1632, died in his studio in Blackfriars, London, aged 42, and was buried in Old St Pauls.
30/5/1640, Peter Paul Reubens, Flemish Baroque painter, died in Antwerp.
1634, Villagers at Oberammagau vowed to put on an annual Passion Play of they were spared the Black Death.
23/2/1633, Samuel Pepys, diarist, born in Salisbury Court, Fleet Street, London. He was the son of a tailor.
31/10/1632, Jan Vermeer, Dutch painter, was born in Delft, the son of an art dealer.
20/10/1632, Christopher Wren, English astronomer and architect, designer of St Paul’s Cathedral, was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire, the son of a dean.
12/3/1628, John Bull, composer and organist, died.
8/4/1614. The Greek-born Spanish painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos, or El Greco died in Toledo.
18/7/1610, The Italian painter Caravaggio died, A man with a violent temper, he had killed a man in 1606 and had to flee Rome for Naples, He heard that he was to be pardoned by the Pope and died on his way back to Rome.
15/7/1606. Rembrandt, or Harmenszoon Van Rijn, the Dutch painter, was born at Leyden. He was the son of a prosperous miller.
6/6/1599, Diego Velasquez, Spanish painter, was born in Seville.
22/3/1599, Sir Anthony van Dyck, Flemish artist and court painter to Charles I of England, was born in Antwerp, son of a cloth manufacturer.
31/5/1594, Tintoretto, his real name being Jacopo Robusti, one of the great Italian painters, died in Venice, aged 76.
2/2/1594, The composer Palestrina died in Rome (born ca. 1525).
3/9/1592, Robert Greene, dramatist, died.
28/6/1577, Peter Van Rubens, Flemish painter, was born in Siegen, Westphalia, the son of a lawyer.
27/8/1576. Titian (Tiziano Vecelli) died, of bubonic plague, in Venice. His age was uncertain, but was believed to be over 90.
15/7/1573, The architect Inigo Jones was born in London. He was the son of a clothmaker.
23/11/1572, The painter Bronzino died in Florence, aged 69.
6/4/1528. Albrecht Durer, German artist and engraver, died in Nuremberg, aged 57.
6/4/1520. The painter Raphael died on his 37th birthday. He was born in Urbino, Italy, on 6/4/1483.
30/11/1518, Andrea Palladio, Italian architect, was born.
29/9/1518, Tintoretto, Venetian painter, was born as Jabobi Robusti, the son of a dyer.
1513, Macchiavelli wrote ‘The Prince’.
1/11/1512. Michaelangelo unveiled his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
25/10/1510, Giorgione, painter, died.
17/5/1510. Death of the Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli, aged 65, whose work included The Birth of Venus.
13/9/1506, Andrea Mantegna, Italian painter, died in Mantua.
8/9/1504. Michelangelo, 29, unveiled his statue of David in Florence. The 13 foot high marble statue had taken him three years to carve.
28/3/1483, Raphael, Italian painter, was born in Urbino as Raffaello Sanzio or Santi.
6/3/1475, Michelangelo, Italian painter and sculptor, was born in Capresse, Tiuscany, as Michelagniolo di Lodovico Buonarroti.
21/5/1471. Albrecht Durer, German artist and engraver, was born in Nuremberg. He was the son of a goldsmith.
8/10/1469, Fra Filippo Lippi, painter, died.
13/12/1466, Donatello, sculptor, died.
26/4/1452. Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, engineer, scientist, and inventor, was born into The Renaissance.
16/4/1446, Filippo Brunelleschi, the Florentine architect and sculptor who designed the city’s cathedral, died.
9/6/1441, Dutch painter Jan van Eyck, equerry to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, died.
8/1/1337. The painter Giotto died, aged 70.
50 AD, Earliest version of the oboe in use, in Rome.
Appendix 5 – Writers and poets
3/8/2008, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, writer, died, aged 90.
18/3/2008, Sir Arthur C Clarke, science fiction writer, died aged 90.
6/4/2005, US novelist Saul Bellow died, aged 89.
24/5/2000. The funeral of novelist Dame Barbara Cartland.
30/6/1997, The first book in the award-winning Harry Potter series by J K Rowling was published.
25/11/1993, The English author and composer Anthony Burgess died, aged 76.
6/4/1992, Isaac Asimov, science fiction writer, born 2/1/1920, died.
15/9/1989, US writer Robert Penn Warren, born 24/4/1905 in Guthrie, Kentucky, died in Stratton, Vermont.
19/4/1989, Daphne du Maurier, writer, died.
23/9/1987, The book, Spycatcher, memoirs of former British intelligence officer Peter Wright, was to be published in Australia despite opposition by Britain’s MI5.
19/12/1984. Ted Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate in succession to Sir John Betjeman.
24/2/1983, Tennessee Williams, US playwright (born 26/3/1911) died in New York City.
19/5/1984, Sir John Betjeman, Poet Laureate since 1972, died aged 78.
10/3/1981, Death of Sir Maurice Oldfield, the British intelligence chief thought to be the model for ‘M’ in Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.
12/1/1976, Dame Agatha Christie, English crime story writer and creator of the Belgian detective character Hercule Poirot, died. She was born in Torquay on 15/9/1890.
14/2/1975, PG Wodehouse, author, died.
2/9/1973, J R R Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, died at Bournemouth.
28/9/1970, John Dos Passos, US writer, died in |Baltimore, Maryland..
7/7/1970, Sir Allen Lane, publisher and founder of Penguin paperback books in 1936, died.
7/6/1970, E M Forster, novelist, died.
11/3/1969. The author John Wyndham died.
20/12/1968. John Steinbeck, American author who wrote The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, Nobel Prize Winner in 1962, died in New York City.
28/11/1968. Enid Blyton, creator of Noddy and Big Ears, died. She was born on 11/8/1897 in East Dulwich. In the mid 1930s she began writing her stories, which featured Noddy, the Famous Five, and the Secret Seven.
22/7/1967, The US poet Carl Sandburg died in North Carolina.
16/12/1965, Somerset Maugham, author, died this day.
31/7/1965, J K Rowling, British author of the Harry Potter series, was born.
4/1/1965. The poet and playwright T S Eliot died. He was born on 26/9/1888 in Saint Loius, Missouri. After studying at Harvard University he went to Paris in 1910 to teach French literature and philosophy at the Sorbonne. Later, after the start of World War One, he went to Merton College, Oxford, to read Greek Philosophy. In 1915 he married Vivien Haigh-Wood and in 1919 became a British citizen. His first volume of poetry, Prufrock and other Observations, was published in 1917 followed by Poems in 1919. In 1922 The Waste Land, regarded as his greatest poem, reflected the discontent that followed the trauma of the Great War. In 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
9/12/1964, English poet Dame Edith Sitwell died, aged 77.
12/8/1964, Ian Fleming, British author and creator of James Bond, died aged 56.
7/6/1962, William Faulkner, US writer (born 25/9/1897 in New Albany, Mississippi) died in Oxford, Mississippi.
2/6/1962, Vita Sackville-West, British novelist, died.
2/7/1961, The author Ernest Hemingway, born 21/7/1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, committed suicide.
29/1/1956, H L Mencken, US writer, died aged 75.
12/8/1955, Thomas Mann, German novelist, died aged 80.
2/8/1955, The US poet Wallace Stevens died in Hartford, Connecticut.
9/11/1953. The Welsh poet Dylan Marlais Thomas, born in Swansea on 27/10/1914, died in New York City aged 39
26/9/1952, George Santayana, Spanish writer, died aged 88.
19/2/1951, French writer Andre Gide died.
19/3/1950, Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of the Tarzan books, died aged 75.
13/2/1950, Rafael Sabatini, Italian novelist, died aged 74.
11/2/1950, Author Kurt Vonnegut was published for the first time, as his story "Report on the Barnhouse Effect" appeared in Collier's magazine.
21/1/1950. George Orwell died (born 1903). This was the pen name of British author Eric Arthur Blair. His best known works include Animal Farm and 1984.
6/6/1949, George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty Four was published. Suffering from tuberculosis, Orwell completed the book between periods of hospitalisation in a remote house in The Hebrides.
6/5/1949, Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian playwright, died aged 86.
24/4/1947, Willa Cather, US writer, died aged 73.
31/8/1946, Harley Granville-Barker, English playwright, died aged 69.
13/8/1946. Author H G Wells; born on 21/9/1866, died in London, aged 76.
27/7/1946, The US writer Gertrude Stein (born 3/2/1874 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania), died in Paris, France.
8/6/1946, Gerhart Hauptmann, German novelist, died aged 83.
28/12/1945, Theodore Dreiser, US author (born 27/8/1871 in Terre Haute, Indiana), died in Hollywood, California.
20/7/1945, Paul Valery, French poet, died aged 74.
31/7/1944. The pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of ‘The Little Prince’, was reported missing.
12/5/1944, Arthur Quiller Couch, Cornish writer, died aged 80.
28/3/1944, Stephen Leacock, Canadian writer, died aged 74.
22/12/1943. The author Beatrix Potter died aged 77.
7/8/1941, Rabindranath Tagore, Indian author and intellectual, died aged 80.
8/3/1941, Sherwood Anderson, US novelist, died aged 65.
21/12/1940. F Scott Fitzgerald, US author, died.
11/2/1940, Death of John Buchan, author of The Thirty Nine Steps, also Governor-General of Canada, died and was cremated in Montreal. His ashes were returned to England and buried in Elsfield, Oxfordshire.
12/4/1939, Alan Ayckbourn, English playwright, was born.
28/1/1939, W B (William Butler) Yeats, Irish poet, playwright, and Nobel Prize winner in 1923, died in the south of France.
1/6/1938, Khawar Rizvi, poet, was born in the Punjab, British India.
19/4/1938, Henry Newbolt, English poet, died aged 75.
3/7/1937, Tom Stoppard, Czech-born British playwright, was born.
10/12/1936, Luigi Pirandello, Italian author, died aged 69.
14/6/1936, G K Chesterton, British poet and novelist, died.
18/1/1936, Rudyard Kipling, English novelist who won the Nobel Prize in 1907, died.
30/7/1935. Penguin paperbacks went on sale in Britain. The first such book on sale was a biography of Shelley.
17/6/1935, G W Russell, Irish writer, died aged 68.
23/5/1935, Laase Stromstedt, Swedish author, was born (died 2009).
9/5/1934, Alan Bennett, British playwright, was born.
4/12/1933, Stefan George, German poet, died aged 65.
21/1/1933, George Augustus Moore, Irish writer, died aged 80.
1/1/1933, Joe Orton, English author, was born (died 1967)
6/7/1932, Kenneth Grahame, author who wrote Wind in the Willows, died (born 8/3/1859).
18/3/1932, John Updike, US author, was born (died 2009)
10/2/1932, Edgar Wallace, English writer, died aged 57.
21/1/1932, Lytton Strachey, founder member of the Bloomsbury Group, an influential writers and intellectual group, died.
31/8/1931, Hall Caine, British novelist, died aged 78.
27/3/1931, Arnold Bennett, English writer, died aged 64.
16/8/1930, Ted Hughes, English poet, was born (died 1998)
7/7/1930, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British author created the crime detective character Sherlock Holmes, died, aged 71.
13/10/1929, Walasse Ting, Chinese-American poet, was born in Shanghai. He died in 2010.
15/7/1929, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, Austrian author, died aged 55.
10/4/1928, English writer Stanley John Weyman died, aged 72.
12/3/1928, US playwright Edward Albee was born (died 2016).
11/1/1928. Thomas Hardy, English poet and novelist, author of Tess of the D’Ubervilles, died in Dorset aged 87.
14/10/1926. In Britain, A A. Milne published Winnie the Pooh, a children’s book.
3/9/1926, Alison Lurie, US writer, was born.
3/10/1925, Gore Vidal, US writer, was born (died 2012).
15/5/1926, Peter Shaffer, English playwright, was born (died 1926).
14/5/1925, Henry Rider Haggard, English writer, died aged 69.
3/6/1924, German novelist Franz Kafka died in a sanatorium at Kierling, near Vienna, after a seven year battle with tuberculosis.
9/1/1923. Katherine Mansfield, New Zealand author, died aged 34.
15/11/1922, Marcel Proust, French writer, died aged 51.
2/1/1920. Isaac Asimov was born.
11/12/1918, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian novelist, was born in Rostov.
27/3/1918, Henry Brooks Adams, historian, novelist and philosopher, died (born 16/2/1838).
16/12/1917, Arthur C Clarke, British science-fiction writer, was born.
22/11/1916, Jack London, author and campaigner for social justice (born 12/1/1876 in San Francisco) died destitute of a drugs overdose.
14/11/1916, H H Munro (Saki) died, aged 45.
13/9/1916, Roald Dahl, author of children’s books, was born in Llandaff, Glamorganshire.
20/5/1916, Owen Chadwick, British writer, was born
10/7/1915, Saul Bellow, US author, was born in Lachine, Quebec.
23/4/1915, Rupert Brooke, British poet, died at Lemnos.
27/10/1914, Dylan Marlais Thomas, Welsh poet, was born in Swansea, the son of a schoolmaster.
7/11/1913. Birth of the French novelist and playwright Albert Camus. He was born in Algeria and studied philosophy. He worked as an actor, teacher, and journalist; and was active in the French Resistance in World War II. But he found fame as an existentialist writer; for example his nihilist novel The Outsider, 1942, contained the line “Mother died today. Or perhaps it was yesterday. I don’t know”. He was awarded the Nobel prize for literature I 1957, and died in 1960.
11/8/1913, Angus Wilson, English novelist, was born (died 1991).
29/3/1913, R. S. Thomas, Welsh poet, was born in Cardiff (died 2000).
14/5/1912, August Strindberg, playwright, died in Stockholm, Sweden..
20/4/1912, Bram Stoker, Dublin-born creator of Dracula in 1897, died aged 65 in London.
26/3/1912, Tennessee Williams, US playwright, was born (died 1983).
29/5/1911, W S Gilbert, English poet and dramatist, died aged 75.
26/3/1911, Tennessee Williams, US playwright (born 26/3/1911) died in New York City.
7/11/1910, Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, died.
5/6/1910, Death of American short-story writer O. Henry (real name William Sydney Porter).
28/5/1908, Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, was born in London.
25/1/1908, Louise de la Ramee, English novelist (pen name Ramee) died aged 67.
10/12/1907. Rudyard Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature, the first time it had been awarded to an English writer.
28/11/1907, Alberto Moravia, Italian novelist, was born (died 1990).
15/11/1907, Moncure Conway, author, died in Paris (born 17/3/1832 in Virginia, USA).
12/9/1907, Louis Macneice, Irish poet, was born (died 1963).
21/2/1907, W H Auden, English poet, was born.
28/8/1906, John Betjeman, poet, was born (died 1984).
20/6/1906, Catherine Cookson, British writer, was born.
13/4/1906, Samuel Beckett, Irish playwright, was born.
9/2/1906, Paul Laurence Dunbar, poet and novelist (born 27/6/1872 in Dayton, Ohio) died of tuberculosis. Son of a former slave, his poetry did much to describe the everyday lives of Black Americans.
21/6/1905, Jean Paul-Sartre, French dramatist and novelist, was born in Paris.
24/3/1905. Jules Verne, French science fiction writer, died in Amiens aged 77.
2/10/1904, Graham Greene, novelist, was born (died 1991).
2/7/1904, The Russian playwright, Anton Chekhov, born 17/1/1860 in Taganrog, died in Germany whilst being treated for tuberculosis.
2/3/1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel, author of children’s books, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.
1/11/1903, Theodor Mommsen, writer, died aged 87.
25/6/1903. Birth of the author George Orwell, in Motihari, Bengal, India. He was born as Eric Arthur Blair.
1902, Beatrix Potter’s first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, was published.
25/10/1902, Frank Norris, US novelist, died.
21/9/1902, Sir Allen Lane, English publisher who founded Penguin books and brought about the paperback revolution, was born.
20/9/1902, Stevie Smith, poet and novelist, was born (died 1971)
9/7/1901, Barbara Cartland, British writer of romantic novels, was born.
24/3/1901, Charlotte M Yonge, novelist, died, aged 78.
3/2/1901, Rosamund Lehmann, novelist, was born (died 1900).
30/11/1900. The Irish writer Oscar Wilde (born Dublin 1854) died in poverty in Paris under the pseudonym Sebastian Medmoth. Wilde’s stage and literary career ended in 1895 when the Marquess of Queensbury, angered by Wilde’s friendship with his son, accused Wilde of sodomy. Wilde sued for libel but lost the case and was at once prosecuted for homosexuality. He served two years in gaol 1895-97 before fleeing to France and poverty.
29/6/1900, Antoine de Saint Exupery, author of The Little Prince, was born.
17/1/1899, Nevil Shute, English novelist, was born in Ealing, London.
14/1/1898. Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, died in Guildford, Surrey.
11/8/1897, Enid Blyton, author of children’s books, was born in Dulwich.
26/5/1897, Bram Stoker’s Dracula was first published.
24/9/1896, F Scott Fitzgerald, US author, was born.
14/1/1896, John Dos Passos, US writer, was born in Chicago, Illinois.
3/12/1894. Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote Treasure Island, died.
26/7/1894, Aldous Huxley, novelist, was born.
6/10/1892. Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet laureate from 1850, died at Aldworth, Surrey. He was born on 6/8/1809.
31/8/1892, George Curtis, US writer (born 24/2/1824) died at Staten Island.
3/1/1892. Author J.R.R.Tolkein, creator of The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, was born in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa. He died in Bournemouth in 1973.
15/9/1890, Agatha Christie, crime writer, was born in Torquay, Devon, as Agatha Mary Clarissa. She died on 12/1/1976.
10/2/1890, Boris Pasternak, Russian writer, author of Dr Zhivago, was born in Moscow.
23/11/1889, Quintin Crauford, British author, died in Paris.
26/9/1888. The poet T S Eliot was born – see 4/1/1965.
30/1/1888, Edward Lear, English author and artist, who wrote the Book of Nonsense, died in San Remo, Italy.
15/5/1886, Emily Dickinson, US poet, died in Amherst, Massachusetts.
11/9/1885, DH Lawrence, author of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, was born.
22/5/1885, Victor Hugo, French poet and novelist, author of Les Miserables, died in Paris aged 83.
3/7/1883, Franz Kafka, Czech poet and playwright, was born.
1/6/1882, John Drinkwater, poet and dramatist, was born.
27/4/1882, Ralph Waldo Emerson, US poet and essayist, died aged 78 in Concord..
24/3/1882, H W Longfellow, real name Henry Wadsworth, American poet, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
18/1/1882, A A Milne English writer of children’s books and creator of Winnie the Pooh, was born in St John’s Wood, London.
5/2/1881, Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist, died at 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, London.
28/1/1881. Fyodor Dostoyevsky died (born in Moscow, 30/10/1821, son of a surgeon) . His funeral cortege on 31/1/1881 was followed by 30,000 people. He wrote, amongst others, The Idiot, Crime and Punishment, and The Brothers Karamazov.
13/7/1880, Antal Csengery, Hungarian historical writer (born 2/6/1822) died in Budapest.
2/10/1879, The US poet Wallace Stevens was born in Reading, Pennsylvania.
1/1/1879, E M Forster, English novelist, was born.
6/1/1878, The US poet Carl Sandburg was born ij Galesburg, Illinois.
17/4/1876, Ian Hay, British author, was born.
1/9/1875. Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan, was born in Chicago. He never visited Africa where his stories were set.
4/8/1875. Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish writer famous for his fairy stories, died aged 70.
29/5/1874. G K Chesterton, English writer, born.
16/1/1874, Robert William Service, Canadian poet, was born.
9/6/1870, Charles Dickens, author, born 7/2/1812 at Landport, Portsmouth, died at Godshill, near Rochester, Kent, of a brain haemorrhage the previous evening.
2/12/1867. The English author Charles Dickens drew large crowds in New York to his readings of his novels there.
4/8/1867, John Galsworthy, English novelist, was born.
27/5/1867, Enoch Arnold Bennett, British novelist, was born.
21/9/1866, The author H G Wells was born at Bromley, Kent. He was the son of a professional cricketer.
28/7/1866, Beatrix Potter, author and illustrator of children’s books, and creator of Peter Rabbit, was born in South Kensington, London.
30/12/1865, Rudyard Kipling, story and verse writer, was born in Bombay.
13/6/1865, The Irish writer William Butler Yeats was born.
9/6/1864, Charles Dickens was involved in a train crash at Staplehurst in Kent. He had to return to the wreckage to salvage the manuscript for a part of the story Our Mutual Friend.
19/5/1864, Nathaniel Hawthorne, US novelist (born 4/7/1804 in Salem, Massachusetts), died at Plymouth, New Hampshire.
24/12/1863 William Thackeray, poet, died in London.
29/8/1862, Maurice Maeterlink, Belgian poet and playwright, was born.
6/5/1862, Henry Thoreau, writer, died of tuberculosis.
22/12/1860, Marian Evans, who wrote under the pen name George Eliot, died (born 22/11/1819).
17/1/1860, Anton Chekhov, Russian author, was born at Taganrog, son of a shopkeeper.
16/12/1859, Wilhelm Grimm, co-author with his brother Jacob of fairy tales, died in Berlin.
22/5/1859. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was born to Irish parents in Edinburgh.
2/5/1859, Jerome K Jerome, author, was born at Walsall.
20/4/1859, Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities was published.
25/4/1856, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, or Lewis Carroll, met the young Alice Liddell, who was the inspiration for his Alice books.
7/8/1854, Charles Dickens’ tenth book, Hard Times, was published in entirety.
12/9/1853, Charles Dickens’ ninth book, Bleak House, was published in entirety.
31/3/1855, Charlotte Bronte, oldest of the three literary sisters, died during pregnancy.
21/2/1852, Nikolia Gogol, Russian story writer and novelist, died in Moscow.
14/11/1850, Charles Dickens’ eighth book, David Copperfield, was published in entirety.
13/11/1850, The writer Robert Louis Stevenson was born in Edinburgh, at 8 Howard Place. His father and grandfather were lighthouse builders.
18/8/1850, Honore de Balzac, French writer, died in Paris.
7/10/1849, Edgar Allen Poe, US fiction writer, died aged 40, in Baltimore, Maryland.
28/5/1849, Anne Bronte, English novelist, died in Scarborough, Yorkshire, aged 29.
22/1/1849, August Strindberg, playwright, was born in Stockholm, Sweden.
19/12/1848. Emily Bronte, English novelist who wrote Wuthering Heights, born 30/7/1818, died from tuberculosis.
8/11/1847. Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, was born in Dublin.
12/4/1848, Charles Dickens’ seventh book, Dombey and Son, was published in entirety.
16/10/1847, Jane Eyre was first published.
12/9/1846, Marriage of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Moulton Barrett.
3/5/1845, Thomas Hood, poet, died.
23/10/1844, Robert Bridges, poet laureate, was born.
13/12/1843. Some 6,000 copies of Charles Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ were sold on the first day of publication.
6/4/1843. William Wordsworth was appointed poet laureate, the day before his 73rd birthday.
15/12/1841, Charles Dickens’ fourth and fifth books, The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge, were published in entirety.
20/3/1841, Edgar Allen Poe published a new literary genre, the detective story. The Murders in the Rue Morgue challenged readers to deduce who the villain was before the final page.
2/6/1840, Thomas Hardy, novelist, was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset, the son of a stonemason.
13/5/1840, Alphonse Daudet, French novelist, born.
23/10/1839, Charles Dickens’ third book, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, was published in entirety.
12/6/1839, Wordsworth received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University.
9/11/1838, Charles Dickens’ second book, The Adventures of Oliver Twist, was published in entirety.
16/2/1838, Henry Brooks Adams, historian, novelist and philosopher, was born in Boston, Massachusetts (died 27/3/1918).
17/11/1837, Charles Dickens’ first book, The Pickwick Papers, was published in entirety.
10/2/1837, Alexander Pushkin, Russian writer, was killed in a duel.
14/8/1836, Sir Walter Besant, English novelist, was born.
30/11/1835, Mark Twain was born.
22/3/1832. Johann van Goethe, German poet and writer, author of Faust, died aged 82.
27/1/1832, Lewis Carroll, English mathematician and children’s book author, notably Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, was born at the vicarage at Daresbury, near Warrington. His name was originally Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, first son of a family of 12 children.
10/12/1830, Emily Dickinson, US poet, was born in Amherst, Massachusetts.
2/1/1830, Henry Kingsley, English novelist, was born.
28/8/1828, Count Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer, was born of aristocratic descent in Tula Province.
12/8/1827, William Blake, British poet, died.
5/2/1824, Charles Dickens, then aged 12, was sent out to work labelling shoe polish bottles.
8/7/1822. Percy Bysshe Shelley died. He drowned in a storm whilst sailing off the coast of Italy..
30/10/1821, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist, was born.
23/2/1821, John Keats, English poet, died of tuberculosis in Rome, aged only 25.
17/1/1820, The novelist Anne Bronte (known as Acton Bell) was born, the youngest of three sisters, at Thornton, Yorkshire.
22/11/1819, The novelist George Elliot was born as Marian Evans, near Nuneaton.
1/8/1819, Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, was born.
8/2/1819 John Ruskin, English writer and art critic, was born in Dulwich, London, the son of a wine dealer.
30/7/1818. Novelist Emily Bronte was born at Thornton, Yorkshire. On of the three famous sisters, she wrote Wuthering Heights under the name of Ellis Bell in 1846.
27/12/1817, Henry Thoreau, writer, was born in Concord, Massachusetts.
18/7/1817. Jane Austen, novelist, died.
25/4/1816, Byron, poet, sailed from Dover to self-imposed exile in Italy.
21/4/1816, Charlotte Bronte, eldest of the three literary sisters, was born in Thornton, daughter of a Yorkshire clergyman.
24/4/1815, Anthony Trollope, British writer, was born.
12/5/1812, The eccentric poet and artist Edward Lear was born at Highgate, London.
14/6/1811, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was born.
25/3/1811, The poet Shelley was sent down from Oxford for publishing The Necessity of Atheism.
31/3/1809, Nikolai Gogol, Russian author, was born in Sorochinsty, Poltava.
19/1/1809, Edgar Allen Poe, American writer of macabre stories, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, of theatrical parents.
6/8/1809, Alfred Lord Tennyson, poet, was born.
12/10/1805, The Theatre Royal, Bath, was founded.
2/4/1805, Hans Christian Anderson, Danish fairy tale writer, was born in Odense, son of a shoemaker.
25/5/1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson, US poet and essayist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
26/2/1802, Victor Hugo, French poet and novelist, was born in Besancon, the son of a professional soldier.
6/6/1799, Alexander Pushkin Russian writer, was born
20/5/1799. Honore de Balzac born.
30/8/1797, Mary Shelley, English novelist, best known as the author of Frankenstein, was born in London.
11/8/1797, A secret Home Office report suspected Coleridge and the Wordsworths of being enemy agents, because of their wandering around the countryside with campstools and making detailed sketches of the landscape.
21/7/1796. Robert Burns, Scottish poet, died aged 37 in Dumfries, and was buried there. He was born on 25/1/1759, the eldest son of a poor peasant farmer, about 2 miles from Ayr, at Alloway.
31/10/1795, John Keats, English romantic poet, was born in London, the son of an innkeeper.
19/5/1795, James Boswell, Scottish diarist and biographer of Dr Johnson, died in London, aged 54.
29/9/1792, The Theatre Royal, Dumfries, was founded.
4/8/1792, Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet, was born at Warnham.
11/7/1790, William Wordsworth and his friend Robert Jones set off on a walking tour of France and Switzerland.
1/10/1788, William Brodie was hanged in Edinburgh. His career inspired Robert Louis Stevenson to write The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
22/1/1788, George Gordon, or Lord Byron, poet, was born in London.
29/1/1787, Thomas Paine, English writer, was born.
24/2/1786, Wilhelm Grimm, German collector of fairy tales along with his brother Jacob, was born in Hanau.
4/1/1785, Jacob Grimm, older of the two German brothers famous for fairy tales, was born in Hanau.
19/10/1784, Leigh Hunt, British poet and essayist, was born.
10/6/1782, The Grand Theatre, Lancaster, was founded.
17/8/1780, George Croly, British author, was born in Dublin.
10/2/1775, Charles Lamb, English writer, was born in The Temple, London, son of a clerk.
21/10/1772, The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, was born at Ottery St Mary in Devon. He was the son of a vicar.
15/8/1771, The novelist Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh.
30/5/1764, The Theatre Royal, Bristol, was founded.
9/3/1763, William Cobbett, English political journalist, was born in Farnham, Surrey, the son of a farmer.
10/11/1759, Friedrich Schiller, German poet and dramatist, was born.
25/1/1759, Robert Burns, Scottish poet, was born at Alloway, near Ayr, Ayrshire, son of a poor farmer.
28/11/1757, The poet, artist, and visionary William Blake was born in London.
28/8/1749, Johann Goethe, German poet and novelist, author of Faust, was born in Frankfurt Am main, son of a lawyer.
19/10/1745, The satirist Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, died aged 77.
28/10/1740. James Boswell, Scottish diarist and biographer of Samuel Johnson, was born.
29/12/1720, The Haymarket Theatre, London, was founded.
25/4/1719. Daniel Defoe’s novel ‘Robinson Crusoe’ was published in London.
26/12/1716. Thomas Gray, the poet best known for his Elegy written in a Country Churchyard, was born in London, the son of a money broker.
18/9/1709. Samuel Johnson, poet and lexicographer, was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, son of a bookseller.
2/2/1709, The Scottish sailor, Alexander Selkirk, inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, was rescued after being marooned for four months on an island off Chile.
27/2/1706, John Evelyn, whose diary covered the last 65 years of his life, died aged 86 at Wotton, near Dorking, Surrey.
4/6/1703, Samuel Pepys was buried at St Olaves church in Hart Street, London.
26/5/1703. Samuel Pepys died at Clapham, London, aged 70. He became an MP in 1679. His diaries ran from 1660 to 1669, when he stopped due to failing eyesight.
1/5/1700, John Dryden, Poet Laureate for over 20 years, died in London.
31/8/1688. John Bunyan religious writer, author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, died at the house of a friend in Holborn, London. See 12/11/1660.
3/6/1683, Sadlers Wells Theatre, London, was founded.
8/11/1674. The poet John Milton died at the age of 65. His best known work was Paradise Lost. He was born in Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, and studied at Christ College, Cambridge, from 1652-53, writing poetry in English, Latin, and Italian. He served as secretary for Cromwell’s government and pamphleteered for civil and religious liberty. After the monarchy was restored, Milton was arrested as a supporter of the Commonwealth but soon released. Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained were published in 1667 and 1671, after he went blind in 1652.
1/5/1672, Birth of Joseph Addison, English writer and Whig who co-founded The Spectator in 1711
31/5/1669. Samuel Pepys, naval administrator and politician, made the last entry in his diary which began on 1/1/1660.
13/4/1668. John Dryden was appointed the first Poet Laureate. He kept this office until 1689.
6/8/1637. The first poet laureate, Ben Johnson, died in poverty.
9/8/1631, John Dryden, poet, was born at Aldwinde in Northampton.
6/8/1623. Anne Hathaway, wife of Shakespeare, died. They married on 27/11/1582, when Shakespeare was aged 18.
31/10/1620, John Evelyn, English diarist and author, was born in Wotton, near Dorking, Surrey.
6/3/1619, Cyrano de Bergerac, French novelist, was born in Paris.
23/4/1616. The playwright William Shakespeare, born on 23/4/1564, died.
20/5/1609, The sonnets of William Shakespeare were first published.
9/12/1608, John Milton, English poet, was born in Cheapside, London, the son of a scrivener.
17/1/1600, The Spanish dramatist, Pedro Calderon de la Barca, was born.
21/2/1595. Robert Southwell, English poet and Jesuit martyr, was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn.
29/4/1594, Thomas Cooper, English author, died in Winchester.
9/8/1593, The author Izaak Walton was born at Stafford.
18/4/1593, Shakespeare’s first published work, the poem Venus and Adonis, was entered into the Stationer’s Register.
18/4/1587, John Foxe, preacher and author, died.
27/11/1582, William Shakespeare, playwright, married Anne Hathaway at the age of 18.
2/7/1566, Nostradamus died – did he foresee this?
23/4/1564, William Shakespeare, playwright, was born in Stratford on Avon. He was the third of eight children. His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove maker and alderman, and his mother, Mary Arden, was a daughter of the gentry.
6/2/1564, Christopher Marlowe, English poet, was born in Canterbury, son of a shoe maker.
1/3/1555, Nostradamus published his famous book of predictions.
14/12/1503. The French astrologer Nostradamus was born, as Michel de Nostradame. He wrote his book of prophecies in 1555.
5/11/1494, Hans Sachs, poet and dramatist, was born.
8/9/1474, Ludovic Ariosto, poet, was born.
25/10/1400. Geoffrey Chaucer, English poet and storyteller, who wrote the unfinished Canterbury Tales, (born ca. 1340) died at his home in Westminister.
17/4/1397, Geoffrey Chaucer told The Canterbury Tales for the first time.
21/12/1375, Giovanni Boccaccio, writer, died.
14/9/1321. The poet Dante Alighieri died aged 56 at Ravenna, in the 20th year of exile from his native Florence.