Writers

Map from front endpapers to The Odyssey of Homer (translated by T. E. Shaw (Col. T. E. Lawrence)), 1935. 

Art Meets Science

See Fantastical Maps From 'Game of Thrones,' 'Lord of the Rings' and More

In honor of the centennial of James Joyce's 'Ulysses,' a San Marino, California exhibition takes museumgoers on a literary journey

A first edition of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773), written while the poet was enslaved to John Wheatley of Boston. The book has a brown leather cover, the original Morocco spine label and a frontispiece featuring a portrait of Phillis by Scipio Morehead.


 

Women Who Shaped History

How Phillis Wheatley Beat All Expectations

The Revolution-era Boston establishment couldn't believe that the young African American woman wrote the exquisite book of poetry

The fact that Osgood’s collection survives intact—or at all—is notable and perhaps inseparable from her lifelong friendship with a famous writer.

Women Who Shaped History

In 19th-Century New England, This Amateur Geologist Created Her Own Cabinet of Curiosities

A friend of Henry David Thoreau, Ellen Sewall Osgood's pursuit of her scientific passion illuminates the limits and possibilities placed on the era's women

“Martineau was extremely unusual in the amount of control she had over her own medical care,” says Rachel Ablow, author of the 2017 book Victorian Pain.

The Victorian Woman Writer Who Refused to Let Doctors Define Her

Harriet Martineau took control of her medical care, defying the male-dominated establishment’s attempts to dismiss her as hysterical and fragile

Ary Scheffer, The Ghosts of Paolo and Francesca Appear to Dante and Virgil, 1835

Before Romeo and Juliet, Paolo and Francesca Were Literature's Star-Crossed Lovers

Centuries after Italian poet Dante published "The Divine Comedy," Romantic artists and writers reimagined the tragedy as a tale of female agency

According to the American Library Association, Scary Stories were the most challenged books between 1990 and 1999.

Why 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' Frightened So Many Parents in the 1990s

Launched 40 years ago, Alvin Schwartz's spooky series pitted school administrators against PTO members pleading to ban the books

Illustration of Marie de France, poet who lived in England in the late 12th century

The Unheralded Women Scribes Who Brought Medieval Manuscripts to Life

A new book by scholar Mary Wellesley spotlights the anonymous artisans behind Europe's richly illuminated volumes

Abdulrazak Gurnah, 73, was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday.

Abdulrazak Gurnah, Chronicler of Migrant Experience, Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature

The Zanzibar-born author of ten novels tells richly detailed stories about people living "in the gulf between cultures and continents"

The Fleming Villa at GoldenEye.

Follow Ian Fleming's Footsteps Through Jamaica

Discover the author’s favorite places—as the 25th James Bond movie hits theaters

With headlines like "This James Bond Catches Birds Instead Of Villains," newspapers nationwide had a field day when ornithologist James Bond found a rare curlew in 1965—a species considered extinct for more than a decade.

Who Was the Real James Bond?

Author Ian Fleming named his 007 after an influential ornithologist

The bold, brilliant Mary Wroth with a string instrument called a theorbo, circa 1620.

The Secret Codes of Lady Wroth, the First Female English Novelist

The Renaissance noblewoman is little known today, but in her time she was a notorious celebrity

Plath's recipe cards and rolling pin reflect her love of cooking—and her conflicted relationship with domestic life.

Explore Sylvia Plath's Love Letters, Recipe Cards and Tarot Deck

A trove of the American poet's personal possessions recently sold at auction for more than $1 million

Max Brod, a fellow writer and the literary executor of Kafka's estate, preserved the newly digitized collection of letters, manuscripts and drawings.

You Can Now Explore an Unseen Trove of Franz Kafka's Personal Papers Online

The National Library of Israel has digitized a rare collection of the "Metamorphosis" author's letters, drawings and manuscripts

Highlights of the upcoming sale include this 1841 birthday note from Emily Brontë to her sister Anne.

Unseen Trove of Literary Treasures, From Emily Brontë's Handwritten Poems to Robert Burns' Musings, Up for Sale

Sotheby's is set to auction a private collection of 500 manuscripts, first editions, letters and papers linked to famed British authors

Bran Castle is relying on its connections to the puncture-happy vampire Dracula to entice people to get vaccinated. Here, masked visitors stand in front of a sign depicting syringes as vampire fangs.

Covid-19

'Dracula's Castle' Is Now Offering Visitors Free Covid-19 Vaccinations

Bran Castle's connections to the vampire may be as mythic as the monster himself, but the site remains a popular Romanian attraction

Peter Mark Roget compiled his influential thesaurus late in life.

Before He Wrote a Thesaurus, Roget Had to Escape Napoleon's Dragnet

At the dawn of the 19th century, the young Brit got caught in an international crisis while touring Europe

An engraving from German zoologist Ernst Haeckel's Kunstformen Der Natur, a 1904 book that celebrated the symmetry of nature

From Books Bound in Human Skin to Occult Texts, These Are Literature's Most Macabre, Surprising and Curious Creations

A new tome takes readers into collector Edward Brooke-Hitching's "madman's library"

Self-educated scholar Dennis McCarthy has spent the past 15 years studying the many connections between Shakespeare and little-known translator and writer Sir Thomas North.

Did Shakespeare Base His Masterpieces on Works by an Obscure Elizabethan Playwright?

The new book "North by Shakespeare" examines the link between the Bard of Avon and Sir Thomas North

A 1928 photograph of Ernest Hemingway, held in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, was taken in Paris by the artist Man Ray after the legendary writer suffered a life-threatening head injury.

In Search of the Authentic Ernest Hemingway

An upcoming PBS documentary prompts a deep-dive into the story behind this rarely published Smithsonian portrait of the legendary writer

This month's book picks include The Light of Days, The Musical Human and Empire of Ants.

Books of the Month

Women Resistance Fighters of WWII, the Secret Lives of Ants and Other New Books to Read

These April releases elevate overlooked stories and offer insights on oft-discussed topics

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