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Category Archive: Literature

Mark Twain – Samuel Clemens

Mark Twain - Samuel Clemens

Mark Twain – Samuel Clemens

Mark Twain was one of America’s greatest authors. His Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Life on the Mississippi rank high on any list of great American books.
Mark Twain was the writer’s pen name. His real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens.
Samuel was born on November 30, 1835 in the small town of Florida, Missouri. When he was 4 years old he moved with his family to Hannibal, Missouri, on the Mississippi River. His boyhood home at 206 Hill Street is now a museum. He lived there from 1844 until 1853. In 1847 his father died and the boy had to help support the family. At the age of 12 Sam had to go to work as a printer’s apprentice. 15-year-old boy worked as a printer for his brother Orion, publisher of the Hannibal Journal. Later he worked as a steamboat pilot.
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Agatha Christie – Queen of Crime

Agatha Christie – Queen of Crime

Agatha Christie – Queen of Crime

Agatha Mary Clarissa, Lady Mallowan, nee Miller, was an English writer. But she is better known by the name of her first husband – Agatha Christie (15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976). She is one of world’s most famous detective fiction writers and one of the most published authors in history (after the Bible and Shakespeare). Christie had published more than 60 detective novels, 6 psychological novels (under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott) and 19 collections of short stories and 19 plays. Her books have been translated into more than 100 languages and her two most famous creations, Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, solved hundreds of crimes.
One of her plays, The Mousetrap, is the longest-running play in history. It started showing in London in November 1952, and it has never stopped!
Agatha was born in 1890 in Devonshire, England. As a child, she loved to hear and tell stories. She taught herself to read before she was five years old.
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Alexander Pushkin – great Russian poet

Alexander Pushkin – great Russian poet

Alexander Pushkin – great Russian poet

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) was the great Russian poet and prose writer. He not only brought Russian poetry to its highest excellence but also had a decisive influence on Russian literature in the 19th and 20th centuries. His work has been set to opera by Mikhail Glinka, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Peter Tchaikovsky.
His work is distinguished by brilliance of language, compactness, terseness, and objectivity.
Pushkin was born on May 26, 1799 into a family of the middle nobility. On his father’s side he was a descendant of one of the oldest lines of Russian nobility, and on his mother’s side he was related to an Abyssinian, Abram Petrovich Hannibal, who had been kidnaped in Africa, brought to Constantinople, and sent as a gift to Russian Tsar Peter the Great. Pushkin was the least favored child, perhaps in part because of his African features and awkward manner. Only his grandmother and his nanny Arina Rodionova nurtured him emotionally; the latter told him folk tales and entertained him with gossip, and served later as the model for Tatiana’s nanny in Eugene Onegin.
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Ian Fleming – father of James Bond

Ian Fleming – father of James Bond

Ian Fleming – father of James Bond

Ian Fleming (his full name – Ian Lancaster Fleming) was an English writer, author of novels about the superspy James Bond. He created one of the major male icons of the second half of the twentieth century. By the time of his death Fleming had sold thirty million books.
Fleming was born on May 28, 1908 in London into a family of a major and member of the British parliament. He was a younger brother of author Peter Fleming.
After graduating from Eton College and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and an unsuccessful attempt to get a job in the British Foreign Office Fleming became a journalist at Reuters News Agency.
In 1933, Fleming was sent on a business trip to Moscow and in the same year he left journalism.
In May 1939, on the eve of World War II, he joined the Navy and served in the UK intelligence. Very soon, he became the right-hand man to one of Britain’s top spymasters, Admiral John Godfrey.
One of Fleming’s best ideas was the creation of the 30 Assault Unit (known as ‘30 AU’). This unit went into action on the front lines and captured the enemy’s important documents and secret code books.
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Gerald Durrell – the friend of all animals

Gerald Durrell - the friend of all animals

Gerald Durrell – the friend of all animals

Gerald Durrell spent all his life in the company of wild animals and insects. His full name is Gerald Malcolm Durrell. He was an English naturalist, writer, founder of the Jersey Zoo and the Wildlife Fund.
Gerald was born in India on January 7, 1925. His mother often joked that his first word was ‘zoo’. When he was three years old his family moved to England, then to the Greek island of Corfu – to get away from the terrible English weather. With his mother, his sister Margo, and his brothers, Leslie and Larry, Gerald spent five years on the island. That was the start of his long career as an animal expert.
They lived in an old villa. One day Gerald found a big female scorpion with lots of light brown babies clinging to her back. He put them into a matchbox, put it on the mantelpiece and… forgot about his new pets. Suddenly he heard a scream from the sitting room. The scorpion and her babies ran all over the table, hiding under dishes and napkins. Gerald had to catch them with a tea-spoon.
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Daniel Defoe – author of Robinson Crusoe

Daniel Defoe – author of Robinson Crusoe

Daniel Defoe – author of Robinson Crusoe

Daniel Defoe was born in Bristol in 1660 into the family of a butcher called James Foe. Later the writer changed his name to Defoe, because it was a more fashionable name.
As a child he witnessed both the Plague and the Great Fire of London.
His parents wanted him to become a priest. So Daniel entered a boarding school. There he studied not only theology, but rather a wide range of subjects – geography, astronomy, history, foreign languages. However, the boy didn’t want to become a priest.
After leaving the school, the young man traveled around Europe. He traveled to Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Holland. He was engaged in trade. Daniel had several different businesses, but they were not very successful. Once he was even put in prison for debts!
Defoe entered the circle of famous British publicists. He wrote pamphlets and small works in verse and prose on contemporary political and social themes, and even published his own newspaper Observer. In 1697 he wrote An Essay on The Projects – a small work in which he one of the first in Europe talked about the idea of women’s education.
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