C. S. Lewis spent his first years at the family home, called Little Lea, in Belfast, Ireland. He was never really called C. S. or even Clive (C. S. stands for Clive Staples). This young man wanted to be called Jack. Like another college professor (Indiana Jones), Jack nicknamed himself after his beloved dog, Jacksie, who died when the author was quite young. His friends called him "Plain Jack Lewis," and it suited him. He was not especially handsome, but he was kind and bluff and came to have many friends.
She was born Madeleine Camp in grand old New York City on November 29, 1918. Young Madeleine took her meals on a tray in her room with her beloved Nanny, in the English fashion. Often at night, her father and mother would go out to the theatre. Other times, the theatre and literary world would come to them. Madeleine's mother, a Southern belle, played the grand piano wonderfully, and the family apartment would be filled with music and friends.
He drew (and wrote about) pirates and knights, fair ladies and fairy tales. His illustrated books on Robin Hood and King Arthur are still treasured by children today.
At the Start
Howard Pyle (1853 - 1911) grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, surrounded by family and friends. His mother read to him all sorts of marvelous stories, and they had illustrations from the magazines pinned to the walls of their home.
The author of Hans Brinker, a famous book about poor children who lived in Holland, grew up rather rich and never visited Europe. She was a New York City girl, born on January 26, 1831, to a well-off family who helped her on the way to becoming a beloved children's writer and magazine editor. This writer had an unusual and privileged background. Miss Mary Mapes did not go to school with everyone else. She was taught at home by tutors and governesses. There she studied French, Latin, music, drawing, and literature. Her family's circle of friends included some very intelligent people. Horace Greeley, a hugely important newspaper publisher, and the famous poet-journalist William Cullen Bryant were often hosted at the Mapes home.
Milo was bored. So very bored by school, by books, and by toys that when he found a package marked "One Genuine Turnpike Tollbooth" he figured he couldn't possibly get any more bored by looking at it. So he opened it, set it up, climbed into his electric car and sped off for adventures in Dictionopolis, the land of words, and Digitopolis, the land of numbers. Accompanied by the faithful watchdog Tock, he faces the raucous Dischord & Dynne, the Terrible Trivium, and many other odd and wonderful creatures.
"In a poem, the secrets of the poem give it its tension and gift of emerging sense and form, so that it’s not always the flowering in the poem and the specific images that make it memorable, but the tensions and physicality, the rhythms, the underlying song.
The high spots of a poem could be said to correspond with the bloom in the garden. But you need the compositional entity in order to convey the weight and force of the poem’s motion, of its emerging meaning.
Although Jane Austen lived and wrote 200 years ago, she is as popular as ever. Popular culture has kept her books and her life alive through new movie adaptations of her books, continuances of her stories, biographies of her life, and fictional accounts with Austen or her works as a source of inspiration.
You don't have to have a mental disorder to be a great author, but those lightning leaps of imagination and hours spent constructing fascinating stories, multi-layered in meaning and unique in style, can sometimes be linked to mental illness.
Throughout the 1950s, a generation of artists, many of whom had helped America triumph during World War II, recoiled in horror from the growth of faceless corporations, government watchdogs, and bigoted citizens' groups. The pounding of the keys of hundreds of typewriters sounded a cadence of rebellion. They resisted the new order and created a road of written pages which gave other rebellious souls encouragement for the revolution to come. Arthur Miller was in the forefront.