book bonanza: lives of the writers

May 16, 2011

Lives of the Writers

We have been reading Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought) during our morning devotional for the last little while and have thoroughly enjoyed it. We have learned fun tidbits about many of our favorite authors and have come to know more of their lives, culture, and perspective. Did you know that the Prince of Wales was one of Jane Austen’s biggest fans…but that the group of fans was incredibly small? No one knew at her funeral that she would one day become famous. Did you know Cervantes had a lifelong stutter, bad teeth, and arthritis, had children with two other women, but none with his wife, escaped punishment for duel fighting by sneaking out of Spain and into Italy, and was held prisoner by Barbary pirates for five years? Did you know Han Christian Anderson loved to cut out delicate paper creations of animals, castles, goblins, and fairies while he talked or that he wore clothes and shoes that didn’t fit him…stuffing them with newspaper to make them fit better? Did you know the phrase “Mark twain” is a Mississippi river expression that means “safe water – twelve feet deep” and that he once lost a $200,000 investment on a failed typesetting machine?

We have had so much fun with this book! We also have Lives of the Musicians and Lives of the Artists and will be starting one of those next. I want to get Lives of the Presidents, but it will need to wait awhile.

Its amazing to me how much a family can learn just by opening a book and bringing its content alive…pretty magical!

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