February 2 Writer Birthdays

2309 – Conrad of Megenberg (also known in Latin, as Conradus Megenbergensis), German writer, meteorologist, entomologist, and Catholic scholar.

1536 – Scévole de Sainte-Marthe, French writer, poet, and politician.

1551 – Nicolaus Reimers, German astronomer, writer, grammarian, tutor, mathematician, and university teacher who was imperial astronomer and mathematician to the court of Emperor Rudolf II. He was also known as Bär, Latinized to Ursus (“Bear”).

1568 – Péter Révay de Szklabina et Blathnicza (also known as Révai, Rewa, and Réva), Hungarian Baron who was a writer, poet, historian, and soldier.

1600 – Gabriel Naudé, prolific French writer, scholar, and librarian who produced works on many subjects, including politics, religion, history, library science, and the supernatural.

1619 – Walter Charleton, English physician, writer, philosopher, ornithologist, and naturalist.

1684 – Anna Roemers Visscher, acclaimed Dutch writer, poet, translator, calligrapher, and glass artist; she was part of the group of artists, writers, and musicians who formed the Muiderkring, or Muiden Circle.

1699 – Sebastiano Dolci, Ragusan Sicilian writer, biographer, lexicographer, linguist, translator, religious writer, and Franciscan scholar.

1707 – Francesco Ottavio Magnocavalli (also spelled Magnocavallo), Italian architect, writer, essayist, poet, and playwright who is most remembered for his architectural work.

1745 – Hannah More, popular English novelist, religious writer, poet, and playwright.

1760 – Helena Maria Ehrenstråhle, Swedish poet and writer whose work was known for its sentimentality and themes of morality.

1787 – Charles Etienne Boniface, French-born South African writer, poet, music teacher, playwright, journalist , and lawyer whose writings and compositions are among the earliest publications of what was then the Cape Colony.

1800 – Mélanie Hahnemann (full name Marie Mélanie d’Hervilly Gohier Hahnemann), French writer, poet, and painter who is considered the first female homeopathic physician.

1811 – Delia Bacon, U.S. author, playwright, short-story writer, and Shakespearean scholar; she was best known for her work on Shakespearean authorship. Her work was greatly admired by other writers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, who called her “America’s greatest literary producer of the past ten years.”

1812 – Yevgeny Grebyonka, Ukrainian writer, poet, and translator who wrote in both Ukrainian and Russian.

1816 – Mirko Bogovic, key Croatian poet and politician who wrote satirical poems incorporating romance, politics, and patriotism; he is considered one of the orginators of the Croatian novella.

1841 – Sarah Hackett Stevenson, U.S. obstetrician, educator, writer, and biology textbook author who was the first woman member of the American Medical Association.

1844 – Marie Hankel, German poet, writer, suffragist, and Esperantist who is best known for founding the Esperantista Literatura Asocio (Esperanto Literature Association).

1845 – Torfhildur Þorsteinsdóttir (also known as Torfhildur Hólm), Icelandic author who spent some of her career in Canada; she is considered the first Icelander to make a living as an author, and is frequently cited as the first Icelandic woman novelist.

1847 – Maria Amália Vaz de Carvalho, Portuguese writer, poet, journalist, essayist, biographer, literary critic, and children’s author who was the first woman member of the Portuguese Academy of Sciences (Academia das Ciências de Lisboa). She also wrote under the pseudonym Maria de Sucena.

1856 – Swami Shraddhanand (also known as Mahatma Munshi Ram Vij), Indian writer, educationist, and missionary.

1863 – Kasibhatta Brahmaiah Sastry, Indian writer and editor who was a noted Sanskrit and Telugu scholar.

1864 – Margot Asquith (full name Emma Margaret Asquith, Countess of Oxford and Asquith, née Tennant), British author, biographer, diarist, and wit who was married to H.H. Asquith, Prime Minister of the U.K.

1858 – Francisco de Paula Ney, Brazilian poet, journalist, and satirist who was a pre-eminent figure of the bohemian Rio de Janeiro of the Belle Époque.

1863 – Francisco de Asís de Icaza y Beña, Mexican writer, poet, literary critic, and historian of literature; he was the father of Carmen de Icaza, VIII Baronesa de Claret, a popular Spanish novelist.

1867 – Marguerite Aimee Rosine Coppin, Belgian novelist and poet who became a pioneer in female emancipation and equal rights for women.

1882 – James Joyce, Irish modernist author, novelist, short-story writer, poet, and critic, known for his command of the English language and his provocatively complex works of fiction; he is considered one of the most important and influential authors of his era.

1883 – Johnston McCulley, U.S. author who created the character Zorro.

1883 – Julia Nava de Ruisánchez (also Ruiz Sánchez), Mexican writer and activist during the Mexican Revolution; she is also remembered for establishing the first Mexican institution for training social workers.

1884 – Shridhar Venkatesh Ketkar, Indian Marathi writer, historian, novelist, editor, and sociologist who is principally known as the chief editor of Maharashtriya Jnanakosha, the first encyclopaedia in the Marathi language.

1886 – William Rose Benét, Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet, writer, and editor who was the older brother of writer Stephen Vincent Benét.

1894 – Marya Kasterska, award-winning Polish writer, journalist, and literary critic.

1895 – Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr., U.S. poet and playwright best known for Caleb, the Degenerate, one of the earliest dramas by an African-American writer.

1904 – Bozorg Alavi, influential Iranian writer, novelist, and activist.

1905 – Ayn Rand, Russian-born novelist, philosopher, and Conservative/Libertarian political activist; she is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing the philosophical system Objectivism.

1905 – Ketty (Catherine) Thull, Luxembourg cook, educator, and cookbook writer.

1910 – Pier Antonio Quarantotti Gambini, Italian novelist, poet, essayist, journalist, librarian, and lawyer.

1913 – Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese writer, teacher, farmer, botanist, and philosopher celebrated for his works on natural farming and re-vegetating desertified lands.

1914 – Narciso G. Reyes, Filipino author and diplomat who served as Chairman of UNICEF and Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

1915 – Abba Eban, South African-born Israeli diplomat, writer, historian, politician, and scholar of the Arabic and Hebrew languages; he also held several Israeli cabinet posts and ambassadorships, and was Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly.

1915 – Isabel Freire de Matos, Puerto Rican writer, journalist, children’s author, and educator who was an activist for Puerto Rican independence.

1916 – Ngô Xuân Diệu, prominent Vietnamese poet more commonly known by the pen name Xuân Diệu.

1917 – Ahsan Habib, Bangladeshi writer, poet, and author who was a key literary figure in Bengali culture.

1918 – Hella Haasse, Indonesian-born Dutch novelist and autobiographer who is often referred to as the “Grande Dameof Dutch Literature”; her novel Oeroeg (The Black Lake) was a staple for generations of Dutch schoolchildren, but Heren van de Thee (The Tea Lords) is considered her masterpiece.

1922 – Juan Marichal, award-winning Spanish-Canarian historian, writer, literary critic, essayist, and professor whos most famous work is The Complete Works of Manuel Azaña, a Spanish politician; he also published the writings and works of his father-in-law, Spanish poet Pedro Salinas, in Three Voices of Pedro Salinas.

1923 – James Dickey, Poet Laureate of the United States and author of the novel Deliverance, which was made into the 1972 film.

1928 – Gamal Hamdan, Egyptian writer, geographer, and scholar; among his most prominent books are The Character of Egypt, Studies of the Arab World, and The Contemporary Islamic World Geography, which form a trilogy on Egypt’s natural, economic, political, and cultural character and its position in the world.

1931 – Judith Viorst, bestselling, award-winning U.S. children’s writer, poet, and novelist whose most beloved work is the picture book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

1940 – Susan Wittig Albert, bestselling U.S. mystery writer who has also written under the pen names Robin Paige and Carolyn Keene.

1940 – Thomas Disch, U.S. poet and Hugo Award-winning science-fiction author.

1921 – Jan Slepian, U.S. poet, psychologist, and author of books for children and young adults.

1923 – Liz Smith (Mary Elizabeth Smith), U.S. gossip columnist for The Washington Post, New York Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and Newsday; she was known as “The Grand Dame of Dish.”

1931 – Judith Viorst, U.S. journalist, psychoanalysis researcher, and author of popular children’s books, including the beloved picture book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.

1932 – Ahmet Arvasi (commonly known as Seyyid Ahmet Arvasi), Turkish writer, philosopher, and politician.

1934 – Slavka Maneva, Macedonian writer, poet, professor, and children’s author.

1948 – Ina Rosenberg Garten, U.S. cookbook author, food columnist, host of the Food Network program Barefoot Contessa, and former staff member of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

1955 – Mauricio-José Schwarz, Mexican writer, journalist, photographer, nonfiction writer, science-fiction writer, and founder of both the science-fiction magazine Estacosa and the Mexican Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

1969 – Dambisa Felicia Moyo, Zambian economist and author who analyzes the macroeconomy and global affairs.

1970 – Santa Montefiore (Santa Palmer-Tomkinson), British novelist and socialite of Argentinian background; her father, Charles Anthony Palmer-Tomkinson, represented Britain on the Olympic ski team and is a close friend of Prince Charles.

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