The Literary Ladies Almanac

Important dates in women’s classic literature, including birthdates, death anniversaries, publication dates, and other literary milestones.

January

February

March

April

May

  • 1, 1925: Zora Neale Hurston wins 2nd place for both Color Struck & Spunk at the literary awards dinner sponsored by Opportunity magazine
  • 1, 1950: Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African-American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, at age 33 
  • 2, 1945: Colette, at age 72, becomes the first female member of the Académie Goncourt
  • 5, 1927:  Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse  is published
  • 9, 1906: Eleanor Estes is born (West Haven, Connecticut)
  • 12, 1925: Amy Lowell dies of a cerebral hemorrhage, 51 (Brookline, MA)
  • 13, 1907: Daphne Du Maurier is born (London, England)
  • 15, 1890: Katherine Anne Porter is born (Indian Creek, Texas)
  • 15, 1886: Emily Dickinson dies of a kidney disorder, Bright’s Disease, 56 (Amherst, MA)
  • 19, 1952: Lillian Hellman refuses to testify against her associates before the House Committee on Un-American Activities: “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions”
  • 19, 1930: Lorraine Hansberry is born (Chicago, IL)
  • 28, 1849: Anne Brontë dies of tuberculosis, 29 (Scarbourough, Yorkshire, England)

June

July

August

September

  • 3, 1849: Sarah Orne Jewett is born (South Berwick, Maine)
  • 6, 2007: Madeleine L’Engle dies, 88 (Litchfield, CT)
  • 7, 1962: Isak Dinesen dies, 77 (Rungsted, Denmark)
  • 9, 1910: Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein take up residence together, “the most complete example of human symbiosis I have ever seen,” Edmund Wilson later remarked.
  • 15, 1917: Edith Wharton departs for Morocco, an experience she will write about in In Morocco (1919)
  • 16,1940: Leonard and Virginia Woolf‘s London apartments at 52 Tavistock Square and 37 Mecklenberg Square were destroyed by the Nazi Blitz. Fortunately, they were at their country home, Monk’s House, at the time.
  • 15, 1890: Agatha Christie is born (Torquay, Devon, England)
  • 19, 1954: Miles Franklin dies of coronary occlusion, 75 (Drummoyne, Australia)
  • 28, 1856: Kate Douglas Wiggin is born (Philadelphia, Penn)
  • 29, 1810: Elizabeth Gaskell is born (England)
  • 29, 1967: Carson McCullers dies of a coronary occlusion, 50 (Nyack, NY)

October

November

December