“My ideal summer day was reading on the porch.” – Harold E. Varmus
I couldn’t agree more, Harold! And thanks to some pretty awesome authors, who were born in the month of July, we all have some great books to (re-)read this summer!
July is packed with amazing authors, who were born during this fine summer month. A quick Google search brings up over a 100 famous authors, but even though all of them have left behind a literary legacy worth remembering, I’ve chosen to highlight just five authors – the list would simply have been too long if I had to list everyone.
This little list includes authors of children’s books, fantasy, gothic fiction and Nobel Prize winning novels, so there’s a bit of everything in this post. You’ll probably also have heard about all of these authors, but how much do you know about them? Do you know when their birthday is?
1. E. B. White (1899 -1985)
On the 11th of July in 1899, Elwyn Brooks White was born in Mount Vernon, New York, U.S. He is probably best known for his famous children’s books Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web, but E. B. White was also a contributor to The New Yorker magazine for about 60 years and a co-author of the American English style guide The Elements of Style. Ranking as number 1 in many surveys, Charlotte’s Web continues to be one of the most beloved children’s books of all time. E. B. White also received a special Pulitzer Prize for “his letters, essays and the full body of his work”.
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” – E. B. White
2. Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)
On the 21st of July in 1899, one of the most famous authors in America of all time was born in Oak Park, Illinois, U.S. American novelist and short-story writer Ernest Miller Hemingway in many ways lived an extraordinary life. Even though he wrote some very famous novels such as The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize) and won the Nobel Prize for literature, he also lived and travelled extensively around the world. In the last two decades of his life, Hemingway lived in Cuba before coming back to the U.S. where he tragically ended his life in Ketchum, Idaho, age 61.
“The world breaks everyone, and afterwards, some are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway
3. Alexandre Dumas (1802 – 1870)
On the 24th of July in 1802, Davy de la Pailleterie Dumas was born in Villers-Cotterêts in France. Even though he is best known as the creator of The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, which he wrote under the name Alexandre Dumas, he was a prolific writer who published 100,000 pages worth of work during his lifetime. His works have been translated into nearly 100 languages and almost 200 films have been based on his novels. To this day, he remains one of the most widely read French authors.
“Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it.” – Alexandre Dumas
4. Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943)
On the 28th of July in 1866, British author Helen Beatrix Potter was born in London, England. Though Potter is best known for her children’s books featuring cute animals such as Peter Rabbit, she was also a natural scientist and conservationist – something which was rare for a woman in the 1800s.
When Potter was in her thirties, she wrote a letter to the son of her old governess in which she tells the story of “four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter.” This was the beginning of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which gave Potter the opportunity to write and illustrate children’s books full-time. Even though Potter wrote about 30 books, she also found time to be a prize-winning breeder of Herdwick sheep! When Potter died, she left almost all of her extensive property in the Lake District to the National Trust and is credited with preserving much of the land in what is now the Lake District National Park.
“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” ― Beatrix Potter
5. Emily Brontë (1818 – 1848)
On the 30th of July in 1818, Emily Jane Brontë was born in Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. One of the three famous Brontë sisters, Emily is best known for her only novel Wuthering Heights, which is now considered a classic of English literature. When the novel was published in 1947, it received mixed reviews and was actually condemned by some for its portrayal of amoral passion. Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights under the pen name Ellis Bell, and many early reviewers actually thought the book was written by a man. Brontë sadly never got to experience the fame she achieved with her novel as she died of tuberculosis a year after it was published.
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” – Emily Brontë
5 ¾. J. K. Rowling (1965 -)
Okay, so I snuck in another author, but this list HAD to include one of the most popular author of all time. On the 31st of July in 1965, Joanne Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England. She is undoubtedly most famous for her Harry Potter fantasy series, which have won multiple awards and sold more than 400 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling book series in history. Rowling is also a big supporter of various charities and has donated millions to help improve the future of e.g., one parent families, multiple sclerosis sufferers and people with dyslexia. She is currently working on the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies which are part of the Harry Potter universe.
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling
And there you have it! Five-ish famous authors who were all born in the wonderful month of July. Do you share your birthday with a famous author? I would love to know if you do, and whether you’ve read any of his/her books?