May 8th: On this day in 1899, the Irish Literary Theatre , the precursor to the Abbey Theatre, opens in Dublin with W.B. Yeat’s The Countess Cathleen.

May 9th: In Kirriemuir, Angus in Scotland, James M. Barrie, better known as J.M. is born in 1860. His Auld Licht Idylls, sketches of his life in Kirriemuir, appears in 1888.

May 10th: Thomas Wolfe sets sail for Europe on the S.S. Volendam on this day in 1930 eight months after the publication of Look Homeward Angel.

May 11th: “What is the use of saying one is indifferent to reviews when positive praise, though mingled with blame, gives one such a start on, that instead of feeling dried up, one feels…flooded with ideas?” so wrote Virginia Woolf in her diary six days after To The Lighthouse is published in 1927.

May 12th: One of Canada’s greatest writers, Farley Mowat (Never Cry Wolf) is born in Belleville, Ontario on this day in 1921.

May 13: Daphne Du Maurier (author of My Cousin Rachel) is born on this day in May 1907. Biographer Margaret Forster described Du Maurier’s birth in the first paragraph of her book as an evening of heavy lightning and thunder afer a hot and sultry day. Du Maurier’s father, Gerald, was scoring an immense success the night his new daughter was born in a light comedy entitled “Brewster’s Millions.”

May 14: Nobel Prize winner Sinclair Lewis, “Red” to his friends and two wives, marries the second of them, famous war journalist Dorothy Thompson on this day in 1928. He had proposed to her first in Berlin. “I don’t even know you,” she told him and he would propose to her countless times in nightclubs, in taxis, in the park, at the theatre and as she was  running to catch a flight to Vienna just as a revolution was brewing. She agrees if he would get in the plane with her and write a couple of articles for her newspapers. Red who had never flown before, got on board. “Altogether there is a wind in this love,” Dorothy wrote later, “which pleases me, a ripple of mocking laughter, a thumbing of the nose at the world.”


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