“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Green Gables
October is a fascinating month, and we are indeed lucky to have it. It is the time when Mother Nature is in transition. In the northern hemisphere, the world is decked in a veil of gold and yellow as autumn arrives and gives us the message that winter is near. In the southern hemisphere, October brings in spring. The verdant greenery and the vibrant flowers all around us inform us that summer is not far.
People born in this amazing month are passionate and creative. It is no wonder that some of our favorite authors were born in October.
This October, let us remember some of my favorite literary stalwarts who were born in this month.
Date of Birth: October 15, 70 BC
Ancient Rome and Greece were very advanced civilizations. They produced such talented writers and philosophers that we continue to be inspired by them even today. One such literary stalwart was Virgil. Born on October 25, Publius Vergilius Maro penned the legendary Roman epic, Aeneid. Inspired by Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, Aeneid tells us the story of Aeneas, the ancestor of the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Aeneid is a critical literary piece that continues to inspire literature enthusiasts to this day. Also, it is noteworthy that Dante was so inspired by Virgil that he modeled an entire character after him in Divine Comedy.
Author: John Keats
Date of Birth: October 31, 1795
John Keats is one of the greatest poets of the Romantic Movement that originated in Britain in the 19th century. Born on October 31, Keats’ life was cut short by tuberculosis at the age of only twenty-five. In his tragically short time in this world, he gifted us with a number of poetic masterpieces including Ode to the Nightingale, Ode to a Grecian Urn, Bright Star, and Lamia, among others. It is interesting to note that Keats, whose poems are famous for their urgency and intense appreciation for beauty, was actually trained to be a surgeon.
Author: Oscar Wilde
Date of Birth: October 16, 1854
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, in Dublin. He is considered to be one of the greatest literary minds to have graced English literature. His novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and his plays, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windmere’s Fan, and A Woman of No Importance all have left the readers awestruck. His epigrams and short stories are quite nuanced as well. Wilde’s The Happy Prince is one of my favorite short stories. It is noteworthy that Oscar Wilde was openly homosexual and was even imprisoned because of it. His The Picture of Dorian Graycreated quite a scandal during its publication due to its homoerotic skills.
Author: E.E. Cummings
Date of Birth: October 14, 1894
Born on October 14, 1854, Edward Estlin Cummings was one of the most prolific authors, painters, essayists, and playwrights of the 20th century. Cummings broke the traditional mold of poetry and became known for his own personal style. His use of idiosyncratic syntax and lower-case spellings for poetic expression made his work stand out. Associated with modernist free-form poetry, E.E. Cummings penned about 2,900 poems and a number of plays, essays, and novels. His beautiful poem, I Carry Your Heart in Me, is one of the most popular song poems in the world even today. Tulips and Chimneys, ViVa, and No Thanks, among others, are only a few examples of his innovative poetries. S
Author: Graham Greene
Date of Birth: October 2, 1904
Henry Graham Greene is one of the leading authors of the 20th century. Born on October 2, 1904, in England Greene’s novels tended to focus on life’s ambiguities set in contemporary political settings. Since his debut novel, The Man Within, which was published in 1929, there was no stopping him. In his sixty-seven years of writing career, Greene produced a number of thrillers and Catholic novels. The Brighton Rock, A Gun for Sale, The Confidential Agent, Stamboul Train, The Power and the Glory, The Tenth Man, A Sort of Life, and In Search of a Character: Two African Journals are a few of my favorite works of his. Though he did not win, Greene was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times. In 1968, he was honored with the Shakespeare Prize, and in 1981, he received the Jerusalem Prize.
Author: Sylvia Plath
Date of Birth: October 27, 1932
Sylvia Plath was one of the strongest and most controversial feminine voices of the 20th century. Born on October 27, 1932, Plath grew up in Massachusetts. She was able to publish her first poem in the Boston Herald while she was only nine years old. After graduation, she married Ted Hughes and made England her home. There, she penned her first book of poems, The Colossus and Other Poems. Ariel is another one of her amazing collections of poems. Her semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, is an exemplary work giving us an insight into her brilliant mind. It is also noteworthy that she was staunchly against violence and disapproved of the Korean War. During her entire lifetime, Plath was on a relentless quest to achieve perfection in everything. All her works are tinged by her depression and fragile mental state. Tragically, she committed suicide and left us bereft of one of the most brilliant minds ever. Even after her death, she managed to awe the world through her posthumously published, The Collected Poems. She even won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1982 for this collection.
October has seen the birth of a plethora of literary luminaries for centuries. All of them have made insurmountable contributions to the literary world and left an undeniable mark on the hearts of their readers. This list only consists of a few of the great authors who came to this earth in October.
Do comment and let me know your favorite October-born author.