“In November, the earth is growing quiet. It is making its bed, a winter bed for flowers and small creatures. The bed is white and silent, and much life can hide beneath its blankets.”
– Cynthia Rylant, In November
November marks the end of autumn in the northern hemisphere. It heralds the arrival of winter. For half the world, it is the season of survival and brotherhood. The white-clad earth invokes in us a feeling of solidarity and encourages sharing. In the southern hemisphere, November is equivalent to late spring. It denotes the arrival of summer, the season of sunshine, hope, and of course, happiness.
No matter the season, people born in November are supremely talented. Creative and hardworking, November-born babies often go on to make their mark in the artistic field. It is no wonder that a number of our favorite authors are either Scorpios or Sagittarius.
This November, let us remember some of the many literary luminaries of the 19th century born in November.
Date of Birth: November 22, 1819
Favorite Work: Middlemarch
Mary Anne Evans was born in Warwickshire, England on 22nd November, 1819. Despite her strict upbringing, Evans grew up to be an intellectual who earned her place in the circles frequented by Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, and Aldous Huxley, among others. She assumed the name, George Eliot, when she penned Amos Barton. Mary wanted to be taken seriously and not be stereotyped as just another female authoring sentimental romances. Hence, she took the decision to adopt a male nome de plume. Adam Bede, Middlemarch, and The Mill on the Floss are some of her critical works that are studied even today.
Date of Birth: November 11, 1821
Favorite Work: Crime and Punishment
Born on 11th November, 1821, Fyodor Mihailovich Dostoevsky is regarded as one of the greatest authors in the world. Dostoevsky’s novels mirrored the troubled social, political, and personal life of Russians in the 19th century. One of the most intriguing aspects of his works is the way they explore the human mind. Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Brothers Karamazov, Poor Folk, and Demons are some of the most popular of his thirteen novellas, three novellas, seventeen short stories, and a plethora of other writings. Dostoevsky and his work have been an inspiration to many. It is no surprise that his books have been translated into more than 170 languages.
Louisa May Alcott
Date of Birth: November 29, 1832
Favorite Work: Little Women
Louisa May Alcott was born on November 29, 1832, in New England in the United States of America. Raised in a circle of intellectuals that comprised of H.W. Longfellow, Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Alcott grew up to be an amazing author, feminist, and abolitionist. She used her writing prowess to support her family during difficult times. She gained widespread popularity with the publication of her Little Women in 1868. Soon, she came up with Little Men and Jo’s Boys. In addition to this, she penned a number of short stories and poetries.
Date of Birth: November 30, 1835
Favorite Work: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain is considered to be the Father of American Literature by many. Born Samuel Langhorne Clemens on November 30, 1835, in Florida in the United States of America, Twain made an undeniable mark in the world of literature. His Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn propelled him to fame. In addition to these, he is the author of distinguished works like The Innocent Abroad, Roughing It, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and Pudd’nhead Wilson, among many others.
Date of Birth: November 8, 1847
Favorite Work: Dracula
Born on 8 November, 1847, in Ireland, Abraham Stoker started his illustrious career as a literary critic. He soon became the personal assistant of acclaimed actor, Sir Henry Irving, and the business manager of Lyceum Theatre in the West End. In addition to his various professional commitments and travels abroad, Stoker continued writing. Soon, he came up with the masterpiece, Dracula. Ever since it was first published, it has intrigued readers. It is no wonder that the book has inspired many and has been adapted into multiple film and television versions. In addition to Dracula, Bram Stoker authored The Snake’s Pass, The Lady of the Shroud, and The Lair of the White Worm, among others.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Date of Birth: November 13, 1850
Favorite Work: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was born on 13th November, 1850, in Edinburgh, Scotland. The renowned novelist, essayist, poet, and travel writer was an ardent globe trotter. Though he studied law, Stevenson soon realized that his true calling was writing after spending time with a plethora of artists in France. It was also in France that he met his future wife, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne, a widow with two children. Stevenson seamlessly joined Fanny’s family. On his honeymoon in an abandoned mining camp in California, he was struck with inspiration. Soon, he penned a number of adventure stories. Unfortunately, he fell ill in the 1880s. During his time on the sickbed, he wrote masterpieces like The Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped, and A Child’s Garden of Verses, among others. Soon, he journeyed to the Samoan Islands with his family. Little did he know that he would leave this world there at the young age of forty-five.
The 19th century marked the beginning of the Golden Age of Literature. It was during this time that the literary world gained structure and attained prominence. This would not have been feasible if not for the extraordinarily gifted literary pioneers of the day. Astonishingly, a number of these authors, poets, playwrights, and critics have their birthdays in November. So, do not be surprised if you share your birthday with a literary giant.
Do comment and let us know which of these amazing authors are your favorites.