The Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh dedicated to the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Burns.

August 3: Phyllis Dorothy (P.D.) James, creator of the Adam Dalgliesh series is born on this day in Oxford in 1920.

August 4: The end of a fairy tale. Hans Christian Andersen, the author of more than 160 of them, dies at the age of 68 in Copenhagen on this day in 1873.

August 5: Herman Melville meets Nathaniel Hawthorne and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr at a picnic hosted by a mutual friend on this day in 1850. All three become lifelong friends and a year later Melville dedicates Moby-Dick to Hawthorne: “in token of my admiration for his genius.”

August 6: Scottish poet Robert (don’t call him Robbie while you’re in Scotland) Burns is released from his marriage obligations to the pregnant Jean Armouron this day in 1786 after going to the local government and doing public penance. The two later married.

August 7: An sickly Henry Fielding leaves damp England for the sunnier weather in Lisbon on this day in 1754 in a last-ditch attempt to recover his health. Doesn’t work. Fielding, author of Tom Jones, dies in Portugal two months later just before his last novel Amelia is published.

August 8: Critic Edmund Wilson advises F. Scott Fitzgerald to stay in America on this day in 1930.


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