August 5 Writer Birthdays

1647 – Anne Le Fèvre Dacier (better known during her lifetime as Madame Dacier), French scholar, translator, linguist, commentator. and editor of the classics, including the Iliad and the Odyssey; she championed ancient literature and used her great capabilities in Latin and Greek for this purpose as well as for her own financial support, producing a series of editions and translations from which she earned her living.

1813 – Ivar Andreas Aasen, Norwegian philologist, lexicographer, playwright, and poet, best known for having assembled from dialects one of the two official written versions of the Norwegian language Nynorsk.

1844 – Elizaveta Vodovozova, influential Russian writer, educational theorist, children’s writer, memoirist, and activist for women’s rights; she was a pioneer in advocating for the use of music and games in educating children.

1850 – Guy de Maupassant, French writer who is known as one of the fathers of the modern short story; he also wrote travel books, novels, poetry, and horror.

1868 – Marie Belloc Lowndes (full name Marie Adelaide Elizabeth Rayner Lowndes, née Belloc), a prolific English novelist and screenwriter with a literary reputation for combining exciting incidents with psychological interest, and several of whose works were adapted for film, radio, and opera; her sister was author Hilaire Belloc.

1871 – Georgiana Goddard King, American art historian, writer, photographer, professor, Hispanist, and Medievalist who created the first university department of Art History that specialized in Spanish art.

1880 – Ruth Sawyer, Newbery Medal-winning American storyteller, best known as the author of Roller Skates.

1889 – Conrad Aiken, Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and poet.

1901 – Margarita Abella Caprile, Argentine poet who was also a novelist, short-story author, travel writer, editor, and journalist.

1904 – Janina Broniewska (née Kunig), Polish writer, publicist, communist activist, editor, and teacher who wrote many stories for children and young adults.

1906 – John Marcellus Huston, American screenwriter, film director, and actor who wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are considered classics.

1910 – Jacquetta Hawkes, British archeologist, public official, nature writer, playwright, poet, educator, and activist for nuclear disarmament. She was the daughter of Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, cousin of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, wife of archeologist and writer Christopher Hawkes (her first husband), and wife of novelist and playwright Jack Priestley (though she disliked his work).

1910 – J. Erik Lindegren, Swedish author, poet, translator, librettist, editor, and opera critic.

1915- Clair Blank (full name Clarissa Mabel Blank) was an American author and children’s writer, best known for the Beverly Gray mystery series.

1916 – Nalini Das, Indian Bengali writer, professor, and editor of the Bengali children’s magazine Sandesh.

1916 – Peter Viereck, Pulitzer Prize-winning American political writer, professor, and poet.

1926 – Per Wahlöö, Swedish writer and journalist who with his wife Maj Sjöwall created the detective character Martin Beck

1929 – Al Alvarez, English poet, novelist, essayist, and critic.

1934 – Wendell Berry, American writer and ecological activist, much of whose writing centers around his home state of Kentucky and the South in general.

1936 – Doris Debenjak (née Krisch), Slovene linguist, writer, lexicographer, and translator.

1947 – Élisabeth Vonarburg, award-winning French-born Canadian writer, translator, magazine editor, and science-fiction author.

1955 – Christine Harris, Australian writer of children’s and young adult books, with works of both speculative fiction and historical fiction.

1960 – David Baldacci, American lawyer and author of blockbuster thrillers; his sister Sharon Baldacci is also an author.

1970 – Xeni Jardin, American blogger, editor, digital media commentator, and tech culture journalist

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