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Rudyard Kipling – Born on 30 December 1865

Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay (now called Mumbai) on 30 December 1865. To celebrate the day of his birth, here is a newspaper review of a lecture that Kipling gave to The Royal Geographic Society in 1914 on the subject of travel (one of Kipling’s specialist subjects) . Aberdeen Journal – Thursday 19 February 1914 Image © D.C.Thomson & Co. Ltd. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000576/19140219/110/0008 Hull Daily Mail – Wednesday 30 December 1931 Image ©

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Samuel Smiles, Author of ‘Self-Help’, Born on 23 December 1812

Samuel Smiles, author of Self-Help; with Illustrations of Character and Conduct, was born in Edinburgh on 23 December 1812. To mark the day, here is a very interesting newspaper review (from 29 December 1859) of his most famous book, ‘Self-Help’, which was published in late November 1859. The Devizes and Wiltshire Gazette – Thursday 29 December 1859 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000360/18591229/019/0004 Edinburgh Evening News – Tuesday 19 April 1904 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY

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The Death of Thomas De Quincey – 8 December 1859

Thomas Penson De Quincey, author of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, died in Edinburgh on 8 December 1859 – he was 74. To mark the day, here is a newspaper obituary of De Quincey that was published two weeks after his death. Royal Cornwall Gazette – Friday 23 December 1859 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000180/18591223/036/0006 Manchester Times – Friday 08 August 1890 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000504/18900808/030/0005

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The Death of Anthony Trollope – 6 December 1882

Anthony Trollope, author of the ‘Chronicles of Barsetshire’, died in London on 6 December 1882 – he was 67. Trollope was the inventor of the post-box, or rather perhaps a leading campaigner for the idea of establishing a post-box, in the UK – it’s a matter of ongoing debate regarding whether he actually invented the post-box. Whatever, the post office and postal system was certainly a major muse on his writing. Here is a detailed newspaper obituary of Trollope that was published just

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The Death of Alexandre Dumas – 5 December 1870

Everyone always says that they’ll be D’Artagnan! Alexandre Dumas, author of classic novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, died in Villers-Cotterets, Aisne, on 5 December 1870 – he was 68. Here is a fascinating newspaper obituary of Dumas – that was published just 12 days after he died – and also a sketch of the great writer that was published in ‘The Graphic’ newspaper. Tamworth Herald – Saturday 17 December 1870 Image © THE

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‘The Lady Vanishes’ and Reappears Again – the Strange Disappearance and Reappearance of Agatha Christie, 3 and 14 December 1926

The brilliant English crime writer, Agatha Christie, disappeared on 3 December 1926, following a row with her husband, Archie. After a massive man hunt (or rather woman hunt) lasting ten days, Mrs Christie was found at a hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire, where she had registered under the nom de plume, ‘Mrs Teresa Neele’ of Cape Town. Agatha Christie never explained anything about her sudden sabbatical – so it remains a mystery. Here are two newspaper stories: the first story reports on the disappearance of the

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The Death of Jack London – 22 November 1916

Jack London (aka John Griffith Chaney), author of Call of the Wild and White Fang, died at Glen Ellen in California on 22 November 1916 – he was 40. To mark the day, here is a detailed newspaper tribute to Jack London that was published the day after he died. The Liverpool Echo – 23 November 1916 http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000271/19161123/025/0005

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The Obscenity Trial of Miss Radclyffe Hall’s novel, ‘The Well of Loneliness’ – 16 November 1928

‘Give us also the right to our existence’ At Bow Street in London on 16 November 1928, Miss Radclyffe Hall’s novel, ‘The Well of Loneliness’, found itself in the dock on a charge of obscenity. The powers-that-be had decided that they did not like the novel’s ‘unnatural offences’ – hence the decision to prosecute. The magistrate eventually decided that the book was obscene and ordered that it be destroyed. Here is a newspaper story that reports on this famous literary

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Robert Louis Stevenson – born in Edinburgh on 13 November 1850

Robert Louis Stevenson was born at 8 Howard Place in Edinburgh on 13 November 1850. To celebrate the day, here is an early newspaper review (from January 1886) of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – which was published on 5 January 1886. Birmingham Daily Post – Tuesday 19 January 1886 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000033/18860119/026/0007 The Graphic – Saturday 22 December 1894 Image © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000057/18941222/027/0018

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