1463 – French poet Francois Villon banished from Paris
1782 – Poet William Cowper assesses the propensities of John Dryden: “Never, I believe, were such talents & such drudgery united.”
1821 – Lord Byron writes in his diary about Sir Walter Scott: “Wonderful man! I long to get drunk with him.”
1825 – Alexandre Dumas, pere, embarking on the career of a romantic at 23, fights his first duel — in which reputedly, his pantaloons fell down.
1887 – 1st U.S. school of librarianship opens at Columbia University
1895 – Henry James’s play Guy Domville opens at the St. James’s Theatre in London. When James, arriving too late to assess the audience’s reaction, steps forward to cries of “Author! Author!”, he is jeered & hissed offstage. At 52, he gave up drama & returned to prose.
1895 – H.G. Welles, doing his first piece of newspaper work, saw Henry James’ play Guy Domville and reviewed.
1898 – Federico García Lorca is born. Spanish poet/dramatist. (d. 1936)
1899 – Start of Sherlock Holmes adventure Charles Augustus Milverton
1921 – Friedrich Durrenmatt, novelist & dramatist (The Visit), is born, Konolfingen, Bern, Switzerland.
1923 – Zelda Fitzgerald wrote to a friend about her husband Scott’s having thrown his hat into a punchbowl at a New Year’s Eve party.
1932 – Umberto Eco, literary critic, novelist, semiotician — is born, Alessandria, Italy.
1950 – Carson McCuller’s The Member of the Wedding opens at the Empire Theatre on Broadway. It wins the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for the best play of the season.
1953 – Samuel Beckett’s En Attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) premiered in Paris.
1956 – In the Peanuts comic strip, Snoopy walked on two legs for the first time.