Last week’s literary history brought us two literary birthdays and five literary deaths. Read more about last week in literary history.

July 19 — Italian Poet Petrarch Dies

Francesco Petrarca
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Francesco Petrarca
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Our first literary death this week is that of Francesco Petrarca, better known as Petrarch, an Italian scholar and poet from the early Italian Renaissance who died in 1374. He is best known for his Italian poetry, including the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta (“Fragments of Vernacular Matters”), inspired by a woman named Laura. He died the day before his 70th birthday.

July 20 — Italian Poet Petrarch is Born

Petrarch
Photo courtesy of Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr
Petrarch
Photo courtesy of Internet Archive Book Images on Flickr

Our first literary birthday of the week is that of Petrarch, mentioned above as the first literary death of the week. He was born on this date in 1304 in Arezzo, Republic of Florence, Italy.

July 21 — Scottish Poet Robert Burns Dies

Robert Burns
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Robert Burns
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Our second literary death this week is that of Scottish poet Robert Burns, who died on this day in 1796. Known affectionately as Rabbie Burns, he is also considered the National Bard and one of the most famous Scotsman of the 18th century. His most notable and familiar work is Auld Lang Syne, the song commonly sung after the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, ringing in the new year.

July 22 — Argentinian Novelist Manuel Puig Dies

Manuel Puig
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Manuel Puig
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Our third literary death this week is that of Juan Manuel Puig Delledonne, more commonly known as Manuel Puig, who died on this day in 1990. An Argentinian novelist and screenwriter, Puig is best known for his novel El beso de la mujer araña (Kiss of the Spider Woman).

July 23 — American Writer Eudora Welty Dies

Eudora Welty
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Eudora Welty
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Our fourth literary death this week is that of Eudora Welty, an American short story writer who died on this day in 2001. Born in Jackson, Mississippi in 1901, Welty wrote primarily about the American South, earning a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for her novel, The Optimist’s Daughter. She died at the age of 92.

July 24 — French Writer Alexandre Dumas is Born

Alexandre Dumas
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Alexandre Dumas
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Our second and final literary birthday this week is that of French novelist and playwright Alexandre Dumas, who was born on this day in 1802. Best known for his historical adventure novels such as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, Dumas is one of the most widely read French authors of all time. He died in 1870 at the age of 68.

July 25 — English Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge Dies

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Our fifth and final literary death this week is that of English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who died on this day in 1834. Along with his friend William Wordsworth, Coleridge was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan. He died at the age of 61.


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