Last week’s literary history brought us four literary birthdays, two literary deaths, and even a book publishing. Read more about this week in literary history.

Image of a woman holding a literary work.
From Maupassant to Thoreau: Last Week in Literature.
Photo by Atlas Kadrów on Unsplash

Last Week in Literature

July 6 – Guy de Maupassant Dies

Image of literary figure Guy de Maupassant.
Guy de Maupassant.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Bringing us our first literary death of the week, Guy de Maupassant died on July 6, 1893 in Paris, France. Maupassant was a naturalist and realist writer who is most famous for his short stories. He wrote hundreds of literary works over his lifetime, including short stories, novels, and poetry. Some of his most popular literary works include Boule de Suif, The Necklace, and Suicides.

July 7 – Robert A. Heinlein is Born

Image of literary figure Robert A. Heinlein.
Robert A. Heinlein.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Our first literary birthday of the week, Robert A. Heinlein was born on July 7, 1907, in Butler, Missouri. Heinlein was a prolific science-fiction and fantasy writer who produced many award-winning literary works. Heinlein also published over 100 works over his lifetime, with some works being published after his death. Some of his most popular literary works include Double Star, The Door into Summer, and Stranger in a Strange Land.

July 8 – Percy Bysshe Shelley Dies

Image of literary figure Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The last literary death of the week, Percy Bysshe Shelley died on July 8, 1822, in Sussex, England. Shelley was a major poet in the British Romantic literary movement of the 19th century. He was also married to Frankenstein author Mary Shelley. He wrote a great variety of literary works, mostly poems, over his lifetime. Among these literary works are The Cenci, Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, and Mont Blanc.

July 9 – Dean Koontz is Born

Image of literary work Devoted by Dean Koontz.
Devoted, by Dean Koontz.
Photo from Amazon.

This week also brings us the literary birthday of Dean Koontz. Dean Koontz was born on July 9, 1945, in Pennsylvania, United States. He is a prolific novelist whose works teeter around the horror, suspense and thriller genres. Koontz has written over 20 novels so far and continues to write. Among these famous literary works is The Eyes of Darkness, Watchers, and The Silent Corner.

July 10 – Alice Munro is Born

Image of literary work Vintage Munro by Alice Munro.
Vintage Munro, by Alice Munro.
Photo from Amazon.

Another literary birthday of the week, Alice Munro was born on July 10, 1931, in Ontario, Canada. Munro is a short story writer whose award-winning works have been endlessly praised. Munro even won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013 for being a “master of the contemporary short story.” Among her most popular works is Open Secrets, Something I’ve been Meaning to Tell You, and No Love Lost.

July 11 – To Kill a Mockingbird is Published

Image of literary work, To Kill a Mockingbird.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
Photo from Amazon.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a famous literary work written by Harper Lee. The novel was published on July 11, 1960. The novel is a coming-of-age story that follows the life of Jean Louise Finch, who lives in Maycomb, Alabama. This story covers themes of race and racial injustice in the South, as well as class and innocence. Praised for its social commentary, To Kill a Mockingbird was also the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1961.

July 12 – Henry David Thoreau is Born

Image of literary figure Henry David Thoreau.
Henry David Thoreau.
Photo from Wikiamedia Commons.

Our last literary birthday of the week, Henry David Thoreau was born July 12, 1817, in Massachusetts, United States. Thoreau was a philosopher, poet, and essayist of the transcendentalist movement. He also wrote many works on the topics of nature, slavery, and government. Some of his most popular works include Civil Disobedience, Reform and Reformers, and Walden.


Which day of Last Week in Literature did you find most interesting?