Today's Page: July 1st
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, and Peter Barnes are the acclaimed authors who were born or died on a day like this.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an American abolitionist and author. She wrote more than 20 books, including novels, three travel memoirs, and collections of articles and letters. She was influential both for her writings and her public stands on social issues of the day. Her novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1852) was a depiction of life for African-Americans under slavery; it reached millions as a novel and play, and became influential in the United States and United Kingdom. It energized anti-slavery forces in the American North, while provoking widespread anger in the South. She passed away on a day like this in 1896, aged 85.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of Louis Ferdinand Auguste Destouches. He was a French novelist, pamphleteer and physician. The name Céline was the first name of his grandmother. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, developing a new style of writing that modernized both French and world literature. Céline's best-known work is Voyage au bout de la nuit("Journey to the End of the Night"). It violated many of the literary conventions of the time, using the rhythms and, to a certain extent, the vocabulary of slang and vulgar speech in a more consistent and occasionally more difficult way than earlier writers who had made similar attempts. In 1936 he published Mort à crédit ("Death on the Installment Plan"), giving innovative, chaotic, and antiheroic visions of human suffering. Here, he extensively used ellipses scattered throughout the text to enhance the rhythm and to emphasise the style of speech. In both books he showed himself to be a great stylistic innovator and a masterful storyteller. Céline passed away on a day like this in 1961, aged 67.
Peter Barnes was an English playwright and screenwriter. He achieved critical and box-office success with his baroque comedy "The Ruling Class"(1968), which debuted at the Nottingham Playhouse. The play was notorious for its anti-naturalistic approach, unusual in theatre at the time. Critic Harold Hobson deemed it to be one of the best first plays of its generation. Following a successful three-month run in the West End, Barnes adapted the play for the 1972 film of the same name, which featured a highly acclaimed performance by Peter O'Toole and was nominated for an Academy Award. Following his initial success, Barnes wrote a series of plays offering apocalyptic visions of various periods in history: "Leonardo's Last Supper"(1969), "The Bewitched"(1974), "Laughter!"(1978), and "Red Noses"(1985). Barnes died on a day like this in 2004
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