We haven’t had a birthday in a while, so happy birthday, Frances (Fanny) Burney! Fanny, a novelist, diarist, and playwright was born in Lynn Regis (now King’s Lynn) on 13 June 1752 to a musical historian and his wife, Esther. Fanny was the third of six children and was self-educated, though her sisters, both of whom were favored by their father, were given expensive educations … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Fanny Burney!
Heads up, literature fans: today marks the birthday of Mary Shelley, creator of one of the most famous literary characters of all time and all-around tragic figure (seriously, her life was rough, right from the beginning).
Mary was born in London in 1797; the birth ended up costing her mother, early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, her life—she died just ten days after her daughter was born. Unable to cope for long on his own, Mary’s father, William Godwin, remarried (yet another Mary) in 1801. Though he was happy, Mary apparently loathed her stepmother.
On 30 July 1818, Emily Bronte, future novelist and poet, came into the world in Thornton, in Yorkshire. She was the fifth of six children born to Maria Branwell and Patrick Bronte; her siblings included Charlotte, Patrick Branwell, and Anne, all of whom made their literary marks on the world before their untimely deaths. The Bronte siblings grew up in Haworth, where their father was … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Emily Bronte
On January 17, 1820 the highly literary (and tragically short-lived) Bronte family added its youngest member: a daughter named Anne. Anne was born in the village of Thornton in Yorkshire, where her father was curate, but when she was a few months old the family moved to Haworth, where she was raised. Her mother died when Anne was only a year old, and Anne and … Continue reading Bronte Birthday
Happy birthday, Mary Shelley! The author of one of the greatest horror stories of all time was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on August 30, 1797. Mary was the daughter of a political philosopher, William Godwin, and famous feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, who died shortly after giving birth to her daughter. William Godwin provided Mary with a fairly thorough, though informal, education and encouraged her to follow … Continue reading Mary Shelley