The Six Most Important Literary Moments That Occurred in April
April is a month of many things; rain showers, daffodils, spring lambs. It’s a month for spring cleaning and getting the BBQ out early for a test run. But it has also been an important literary month throughout history too, and we’ve collected the six most important literary moments of all time that occurred in April.
1 – The birth of William Shakespeare
It’s unclear exactly which day William Shakespeare was brought into this world, but we do know that on the 26th April 1564 he was baptised. Shakespeare shaped much of English literature as we know it, writing plays that have gone on to be the core reading materials of secondary education for generations. So many of the phrases we know as a standard part of our language today were first written by Shakespeare himself, such as bated breath, break the ice, in a pickle and one fell swoop.
2 – The Library of Congress
On April 24th in the year 1800, the Library of Congress was first established in Washington D.C – it’s now known as the worlds largest library, boasting well over 33 million books.
3 – The first dictionary
That’s right, on April 14th of the year 1828, the first ever dictionary was published. It was written in American English and published by Noah Webster entitled: “American Dictionary of the English Language”.
4 – The birth of Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou, who unfortunately passed away very recently, was born on the 4th April 1928. An American author and poet, she published several autobiographies, essays and books of extremely influential poetry in her time. She was very active in the civil rights movement, and worked with famous humanitarians like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
5 – An introduction to Dickens
On 30th April 1859, the famous novel by Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, was first published in ‘All the Year Round’, which was a literary periodical. It was then continuously published in weekly instalments – chapters if you will – until late November of the same year.
6 – Harper Lee is born
Much like William Shakespeare, Harper Lee brought the world material for generation upon generation of studying the English language through her world famous book “To Kill a Mockingbird”. She was born on 28th April 1926 and is still alive to this day; there are even rumours that we might be able to expect a sequel to Mockingbird!
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