February 22 Writer Birthdays

1535 – Péter Bornemisza, Hungarian writer, playwright, theologian, and Lutheran bishop.

1683 – Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach, German writer, scholar, traveler, travel writer, bibliophile, book-collector, paleographer, and politician who is best known today for his travelogues.

1712 – Péter Bod, Hungarian writer, librarian, historian, literacy historian, theologian, and pastor.

1714 – Sarah Osborn, London-born American Protestant and Evangelical writer, memoirist, diarist, and religious leader; she first wrote her memoirs in 1742 as a way to deal with life’s difficulties, but quickly became aware of her work’s value, and later emerged as the leader of a religious revival that brought as many as 500 people to her house each week.

1765 – Meta Forkel-Liebeskind, German writer, translator, and linguist; she was one of the “Universitätsmamsellen,” a group of five important female academics during the 18th-and 19th century who were the daughters of academics at Göttingen University.

1786 – Harriette Wilson, English author and Regency courtesan who is best known for The Memoirs of Harriette Wilson: Written by Herself; her decision to publish her tell-all memoirs was based in part, on the broken promises of some of her lovers, who had promised to provide for her in her old age.

1804 – William Whipper, U.S. African-American essayist, anti-slavery activist, pacifist, and temperance crusader.

1805 – Sarah Fuller Flower Adams (also known as Sally Adams), English poet, lyricist, and hymnwriter who is best known for writing the lyrics of the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee.”

1806 – Levko Borovykovsky, Russian Ukrainian writer, Romantic poet, translator, songwriter, folklorist, and educator.

1808 – Joaquín Francisco Pacheco y Gutiérrez-Calderón, Spanish writer, poet, lawyer, politician, minister, diplomat, historian, playwright, and journalist; he served as Prime Minister of Spain in 1847 and held other important offices, including Minister of State.

1812 – Emily Nonnen, British and Swedish writer, young-adult novelist, translator, linguist, and artist.

1819 – James Russell Lowell, U.S. poet, social critic, journalist, essayist, and abolitionist.

1864 – Pierre-Jules Renard, French novelist, playwright, and nonfiction author, most famous for the works Poil de carotte (Carrot Top) and Les Histoires Naturelles (Nature Stories).

1871 – John Langalibalele Dube, South African essayist, philosopher, educator, politician, publisher, editor, novelist and poet who was the founding president of the South African Native National Congress, which became the African National Congress.

1876 – Zitkála-Šá (Lakota: Red Bird, or Cardinal, and also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, her missionary-given and later married name), U.S. Yankton Dakota Sioux writer, editor, translator, violinist, educator, and political activist; she wrote several works chronicling her struggles with cultural identity and the pull between the majority culture she was educated within and her Dakota Sioux culture into which she was born.

1879 – Norman Lindsay, Australian journalist, artist, and author the children’s classic The Magic Pudding.

1889 – Olave St Clair Baden-Powell (Lady Baden-Powell, née Soames), English autobiographer who founded the British Girl Guides as part of the Girl Scouts/Girl Guides movement.

1892 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet, writer, translator, playwright, and librettist; the poet Richard Wilbur asserted, “She wrote some of the best sonnets of the century.” She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work.

1898 – Lázaro Francisco y Angeles, award-winning Filipino novelist, essayist, and playwright.

1900 – Seán Ó Faoláin, Irish short-story writer also known as John Francis Whelan.

1900 – George Seferis (real name Georgios Seferiades), Nobel Prize-winning Greek poet, prose writer, and diplomat who was one of the most important Greek poets of the 20th century.

1903 – Morley Callaghan, Canadian novelist and short-story writer whose works are marked by undertones of Roman Catholicism, often focusing on individuals whose essential characteristic is a weakened sense of self.

1917- Jane Auer Bowles, U.S. novelist, playwright, and short-story writer who has been called “one of the finest modern writers of fiction in any language.”

1923 – François Cavanna, French author and satirical newspaper editor.

1925 – Edward Gorey, U.S. writer and artist noted for his illustrated books; his characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings. He is well known for his animated introduction to the PBS Mystery television series, but was also a playwright and a Tony Award-winning costume designer.

1935 – Danilo Kis, Serbo-Hungarian novelist, short-story writer, essayist, translator, and university teacher.

1938 – Ishmael Reed, U.S. poet, novelist, playwright, essayist, songwriter, lyricist, editor, and publisher whose writing seeks to represent African and African-American perspectives; he is best known for his satirical works that challenge U.S. political culture, especially his book Mumbo Jumbo, a sprawling and unorthodox novel set in 1920s New York.

1945 – Fleur Una Maude Beale (née Corney), New Zealand author of books for children and teens, including the bestselling novel I Am Not Esther.

1947 – Pirjo Honkasalo, Finnish screenwriter, film director, and cinematographer.

1950 – Julie Walters (Dame Julia Mary Walters), award-winning English actress and autobiographer; she is a mulitple BAFTA Award winner, has won a Golden Globe, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards; she is best known internationally for playing Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films.

1956 – Sükrü Altin, Turkish historian, novelist, educator, and painter.

1956 – Philip Ballantyne Kerr, Scottish-born crime novelist and children’s fantasy novelist, known for his crime series featuring Nazi-era detective Bernie Gunther.

1968 – Abdel-Rahman Ayas, Lebanese writer, journalist, translator, and researcher.

1971 – Elisha Cooper, award-winning U.S. writer and illustrator of children’s books and memoirs; the New York Times Book Review has said of his work, “Elisha Cooper’s watercolors, like his sentences, are simple and quiet and essentially perfect.”

1976 – Isla Fisher, Omani-born Australian novelist and actress who is best known for her work in soap operas and movies but who has also written several novels for children and teens.

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