Essayists in History

Famous Birthdays

  • 1036-12-19 Su Tung-p'o, China, poet/essayist/painter/calligrapher
  • 1533-02-28 Michel de Montaigne, French philosopher and essayist (Essais), born in Château de Montaigne, Aquitaine, France (d. 1592)

Person of interestFrancis Bacon

1561-01-22 Francis Bacon, Strand, statesman/essayist (Novum Organum), born in London, England (d. 1626)

Statesman/Philosopher Francis Bacon
Statesman/Philosopher
Francis Bacon
  • 1581-06-18 Thomas Overbury, English poet (A Wife) and essayist, born in Compton Scorpion, Warwickshire, England (d. 1613)
  • 1672-05-01 Joseph Addison, English essayist and poet (co-founder of The Spectator), born in Milston, Wiltshire, England (d. 1719)
  • 1689-05-15 Mary Wortley Montagu, English essayist, feminist, eccentric (baptism 26 May)

Person of interestThomas Paine

1737-01-29 Thomas Paine, English-American political essayist (Common Sense, Age of Reason), born in Thetford, England (d. 1809)

Voice of the American Revolution Thomas Paine
Voice of the American Revolution
Thomas Paine
  • 1760-03-02 Camille Desmoulins, French journalist/pamphleteer/revolution leader
  • 1775-02-10 Charles Lamb, British critic/poet/essayist (Essays of Elia), born in London, England (d. 1834)
  • 1778-04-10 William Hazlitt, English essayist and critic, born in Kent, England (d. 1830)

Person of interestThomas Carlyle

1795-12-04 Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist and historian (The French Revolution), born in Ecclefechan, Scotland (d. 1881)

Historian and Essayist Thomas Carlyle
Historian and Essayist
Thomas Carlyle

Person of interestRalph Waldo Emerson

1803-05-25 Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and philosopher (Concord Hymn), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1882)

Lecturer and Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lecturer and Poet
Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • 1846-07-11 Léon Bloy, French novelist and essayist, born in Périgueux, France (d. 1917)
  • 1848-11-06 Richard Jefferies, English naturalist and essayist, born in Coate, Swindon, England (d. 1887)
  • 1849-11-05 Ruy Barbosa, Brazilian polymath, writer and politician, born in Salvador, Bahia, Empire of Brazil (d. 1923)
  • 1853-01-28 Jose Martí y Perez, Cuba, poet/essayist/politician
  • 1864-12-12 Paul Elmer More, American critic and essayist, born in Saint Louis, Missouri (d. 1937)
  • 1865-10-18 Logan Pearsall Smith, American essayist and critic (d. 1946)
  • 1870-10-16 Helge Rode, Danish poet/essayist
  • 1871-03-27 Heinrich Mann, German novelist and essayist (Professor Unrat); brother of Thomas, born in Lübeck (d. 1950)
  • 1874-02-01 Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Austrian poet/dramatist/essayist
  • 1879-02-09 Jacques Bainville, French historian/essayist/journalist
  • 1879-04-14 James Branch Cabell, American novelist and essayist (Restless Heads), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1958)
  • 1880-09-16 Alfred Noyes, British poet and essayist (Loom of Years, Highwayman), born in Wolverhampton, England (d. 1958)
  • 1881-07-12 Ludwig Rubiner, German poet and essayist, born in Berlin (d. 1920)
  • 1881-11-28 Stefan Zweig, Austrian poet, essayist and dramatist (Beware of Pity), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1942)
  • 1882-02-28 Jose Vasconcelos, politician, essayist, philosopher, born in Oaxaca, Mexico (d. 1959)
  • 1882-09-28 Eugenio d' Ors y Rovira, essayist/philosopher, born in Barcelona, Spain
  • 1883-01-04 Max Eastman, American critic/essayist and editor of The Masses (d. 1969)
  • 1885-08-18 Nettie Palmer, Australian poet and essayist (Henry Handel Richardson: A Study), born in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia (d. 1964)
  • 1886-05-02 Gottfried Benn, German poet and essayist, born in Mansfelf, Germany (d. 1956)
  • 1893-01-03 Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, French novelist/essayist (Gilles)
  • 1900-07-20 Maurice Gilliams, Flemish writer/poet/essayist (Maria's Life)
  • 1902-01-26 Menno ter Braak, Dutch writer/essayist (Carnaval of the Citizens)
  • 1905-12-22 Kenneth Rexroth, American poet & translator & critical essayist (Birds in the Bush), born in South Bend, Indiana (d. 1982)
  • 1908-10-22 John Gould, American humorist, essayist, and columnist (d. 2003)
  • 1913-08-28 Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist essayist/dramatist, born in Thamesville, Ontario (d. 1995)
  • 1913-11-25 Lewis Thomas, American physician and essayist (d. 1993)
  • 1914-03-25 Marthe Robert, essayist/translator
  • 1916-10-27 Kazimierz Brandys, Polish essayist and writer, born in Łódź, Poland (d. 2000)

Person of interestAnthony Burgess

1917-02-25 [John] Anthony Burgess [Wilson], essayist and novelist (A Clockwork Orange), born in Harpurhey, Lancashire (d. 1993)

Novelist Anthony Burgess
Novelist
Anthony Burgess
  • 1920-09-01 Hubert Lampo, Flemish writer/essayist (Coming of Joachim Stiller)
  • 1923-08-30 Charmian Clift, Australian writer and essayist, born in Kiama, New South Wales, Australia (d. 1969)
  • 1923-10-24 Denise Levertov, American poet and essayist (Joy Beneath the Skin), born in Ilford, Essex, England (d. 1997)
  • 1924-05-15 Jaime Garcia Terre, poet/essayist
  • 1926-01-20 Jamiluddin Aali, Pakistani poet & writer, born in New Delhi, India (d. 2015)
  • 1926-09-14 Michel Butor, French novelist and essayist, born in Mons-en-Baroeul (d. 2016)
  • 1926-12-23 Robert Bly, American poet & essayist (Loving a Woman in 2 Worlds), born in Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota
  • 1928-08-26 Naïm Kattan, Canadian novelist and essayist
  • 1928-10-21 Yú Guāngzhōng [Yu Kwang-chung], Taiwanese poet, essayist, and translator (Nostalgia), born in Nanjing, Republic of China (d. 2017)
  • 1930-07-25 Alice Parizeau, Polish-born Quebec writer and essayist, born in Łuniniec, Poland (d. 1990)
  • 1932-12-21 Edward Hoagland, American essayist, born in NYC, New York
  • 1934-01-23 Pierre Bourgault, Quebec politician & essayist, born in East Angus, Canada (d. 2003)
  • 1935-08-29 Hugo Brandt Corstius, Dutch essayist and mathematician, born in Eindhoven, Netherlands (d. 2014)
  • 1944-03-30 Gerrit Komrij, Dutch poet/essayist (Happy Schizo)
  • 1945-02-25 Shivadhar Srinivasa Naipaul, Trinidad, novelist, essayist (Fireflies)
  • 1947-10-03 John Perry Barlow, American lyricist, essayist and activist (Grateful Dead), born near Cora, Wyoming (d. 2018)
  • 1948-08-23 Andrei Pleşu, Romanian writer and essayist, born in Bucharest, Romania
  • 1948-10-07 Diane Ackerman, American poet and essayist, born in Waukegan, Illinois
  • 1953-09-16 Nancy Huston, Canadian novelist (Cantique des plaines) and essayist, born in Calgary, Alberta
  • 1956-12-26 David Sedaris, American essayist, born in Binghamton, New York
  • 1960-03-13 Yuri Andrukhovych, Ukrainian writer, poet and political essayist, born in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine

Famous Weddings

  • 1997-08-28 British-Indian novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie (50) weds Elizabeth West

Famous Deaths

  • 1101-07-28 Su Tung-p'o, Chinese poet/essayist/painter/calligrapher, dies at 64
  • 1604-04-04 Thomas Churchyard, poet/pamphleteer, dies
  • 1613-09-15 Thomas Overbury, English poet (A Wife) and essayist, dies at 32
  • 1719-06-17 Joseph Addison, English essayist and poet (co-founder of The Spectator), dies at 47
  • 1824-05-04 Joseph Joubert, French essayist and moralist (b. 1754)
  • 1830-09-18 William Hazlitt, English critic and essayist, dies at 52
  • 1834-12-27 Charles Lamb, British critic/poet/essayist (Essays of Elia), dies at 59

Person of interestThomas Carlyle

1881-02-05 Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and essayist (The French Revolution), dies in London at 85

Historian and Essayist Thomas Carlyle
Historian and Essayist
Thomas Carlyle

Person of interestRalph Waldo Emerson

1882-04-27 Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist & philosopher (Concord Hymn), dies of pneumonia at 78

Lecturer and Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lecturer and Poet
Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • 1887-08-14 Richard Jefferies, English naturalist and essayist, dies of tuberculosis at 38
  • 1914-09-05 Charles Péguy, French poet, essayist and editor (b. 1873)
  • 1917-11-03 Léon Bloy, French novelist and essayist, dies at 71
  • 1920-02-26 Ludwig Rubiner, German poet and essayist, dies at 38
  • 1936-02-09 Jacques Bainville, French historian/essayist/journalist, dies at 57
  • 1937-03-09 Paul Elmer More, American critic and essayist, dies at 72
  • 1937-03-23 Helge Rode, Danish poet/essayist, dies at 66
  • 1940-01-01 Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao, Indian writer & essayist, dies at 74
  • 1942-02-23 Stefan Zweig, Austrian poet, essayist and dramatist (Beware of Pity), dies at 60
  • 1952-02-09 Norman Douglas, essayist/novelist, dies
  • 1954-09-25 Eugenio d' Ors y Rovira, Spanish essayist/philosopher, dies at 71

Person of interestH. L. Mencken

1956-01-29 H[enry] L[ouis] Mencken, US essayist/critic (Smart Set), dies at 75

Journalist and Critic H. L. Mencken
Journalist and Critic
H. L. Mencken
  • 1956-07-07 Gottfried Benn, German poet and essayist, dies at 70
  • 1958-05-05 James Branch Cabell, American novelist and essayist (Restless Heads), dies at 79
  • 1958-06-28 Alfred Noyes, British poet and essayist (Robin Hood), dies at 77
  • 1964-10-19 Nettie Palmer, Australian poet and essayist (Henry Handel Richardson: A Study), dies at 79

Person of interestSalvatore Quasimodo

1968-06-14 Salvatore Quasimodo, Italian poet/essayist (Nobel 1959), dies at 66

Author/Poet Salvatore Quasimodo
Author/Poet
Salvatore Quasimodo
  • 1969-03-25 Max Eastman, American critic/essayist (Love and Revolution), dies at 86
  • 1969-07-08 Charmian Clift, Australian writer and essayist, dies at 45
  • 1989-08-30 Seymour Krim, American journalist, essayist, and literary critic (b. 1922)
  • 1992-12-12 Suzanne Lilar, Belgian essayist, novelist and playwright (b. 1901)

Person of interestAnthony Burgess

1993-11-22 Anthony Burgess, British novelist and essayist (A Clockwork Orange), dies of cancer at 76

Novelist Anthony Burgess
Novelist
Anthony Burgess
  • 1995-12-02 Robertson Davies, Canadian novelist essayist/dramatist, dies at 82
  • 1996-04-12 Marthe Robert, essayist/translator, dies at 82
  • 1996-04-29 Jaime Garcia Terre, poet/essayist, dies at 71
  • 2001-02-01 André D'Allemagne, Quebec teacher, political observer and essayist (b. 1929)
  • 2007-08-28 Francisco Umbral, Spanish journalist, novelist, biographer and essayist (b. 1935)
  • 2008-04-20 Monica Lovinescu, Romanian essayist, literary critic and journalist (b. 1923)
  • 2008-09-12 David Foster Wallace, American author and essayist (b. 1962)
  • 2012-03-27 Adrienne Rich, American feminist poet/essayist, dies from complications of rheumatoid arthritis at 82
  • 2014-02-28 Hugo Brandt Corstius, Dutch essayist and mathematician, dies at 78
  • 2016-08-24 Michel Butor, French novelist and essayist (La Modification), dies at 89
  • 2017-12-14 Yú Guāngzhōng [Yu Kwang-chung], Taiwanese poet, essayist, and translator (Nostalgia), dies from respiratory failure at 89
  • 2018-02-07 John Perry Barlow, American lyricist, essayist and activist (Grateful Dead), dies at 70