Monday, January 22, 2007


Mark Sanderson marks some literary anniversaries in the Telegraph.

Thomas More's Utopia was first published 450 years ago.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in 1807, the year Charles Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare was published.

Joseph Conrad was born in 1857.

In the last century:
W. H. Auden, Daphne du Maurier, Christopher Fry, Rumer Godden and Louis MacNeice were born in 1907. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad and The Longest Journey by E. M. Forster were published. Other classic works that first saw the light of day included Edmund Gosse's Father and Son, New Poems by W. H. Davies, Chamber Music by James Joyce and The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge (first performed in Dublin on 26 January).

The following novels were published in the annus mirabilis of 1957: Room at the Top by John Braine, Justine by Lawrence Durrell, From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, City of Spades by Colin MacInnes, The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean, The Sandcastle by Iris Murdoch, The Mystic Masseur by V. S. Naipaul, At Lady Molly's by Anthony Powell, On the Beach by Nevil Shute, The Comforters by Muriel Spark, The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold by Evelyn Waugh and The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham.

Read more of Sanderson's notable literary anniversaries.

Outside the U.K., books published in 1957 include John Cheever's The Wapshot Chronicle, Naguib Mahfouz's Sugar Street, Bernard Malamud's The Assistant, Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, and many others.

Then there are a couple of notable 25-year-old characters: Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski made her debut in 1982 in Indemnity Only, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone first appeared in A Is for Alibi. Jeff Pierce has the story on these characters--and some valuable links--at The Rap Sheet.

--Marshal Zeringue