Eleven days into 2019 already, but we’re not too late to take a look at some book anniversaries or “birthdays” that fall this year. An author or two might creep in too. (This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, just a few I noticed/looked up, just for fun 🙂 )
To start with, some fifty-year-olds. Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander, the first in the Aubrey and Maturin series, Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, and Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, number 4 in the Hainish Cycle all appeared in 1969!
But before I come to the centenarians, I just want to mention a couple of my favourites who are a little younger, and turn ninety this year. Tintin, the boy reporter with his loveable dog Snowy, first appeared in French on 10 January 1929. Another favourite, Emil and the Detectives by Eric Kästner too turns ninety this year (I wrote a post about this one last year here).
Published in 1919, My Man Jeeves and A Damsel in Distress by P.G. Wodehouse, The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham inspired by Gaugain, and also Rainbow Valley, the seventh in the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery, all turn a hundred this year. (I actually have a hundred-year-old copy of the last one 🙂 ) American author J.D. Salinger, best known for The Catcher in the Rye also turned a hundred this year, on January the 1st!
Sir Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lamermoor was first published in 1819 and turns 200 this year. The story forms the basis for the opera Lucia di Lamermoor. And it’s been sitting on my TBR for years (quite literally) but this seems the year to finally read it. Rip Van Winkle, the short story by Washington Irving about a man who slept for twenty years, missing the American Revolution also turns 200 this year.
George Eliot or Mary Ann Evans Cross, author of Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, and Daniel Deronda among others was born on 22 November 1819 and will be 200 this year! So I think I will pick up something by her as well–may be one that I haven’t read or have read only once like Adam Bede or Felix Holt.
And the last one, and perhaps the most famous, one that I have to mention is Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, a book that was so so popular and one that finds so many references in other books and popular culture (the ones I remember best are Gabriel Betteredge in Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, for whom this book was almost a bible, and William Brown from the Just William books by Richmal Crompton who had a ‘Boy Wednesday’ in one of his stories). This one, the story of a castaway who spends almost 30 years on a remote island, first came out in 1719 and turns 300 this year! And I still haven’t read it!
Any of your favourites on this list or any that you plan to read because of the anniversary or otherwise? Any anniversaries (of books, characters, authors) that you’d like to add to this list? I’d love to hear all about them so do leave a comment!