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Лингвострановедческий журнал "Famous Writers"

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среднего профессионального образования

Нижегородской области

«Краснобаковский лесной колледж»

Лингвострановедческий журнал

по английскому языку




английского языка

Воронина М.В.



1. Milne A.A.


2. Herbert A.P.


3. Edgar Allan Poe


4. Conan Doyle


5. Mark Twain


6. Oscar Wilde


7. Jerome K. Jerome


8. Lewis Carroll


9. Maugham W. S.


10. William Shakespeare


11. Rudyard Kipling


12. Thackeray W. M.


13. Helen Keller


14. Jane Austen


15. Wells H.G.


16. O'Henry


17. Daniel Defoe


18. Jonathan Swift


19. John Galsworthy


20. Ernest Hemingway


21. Charlotte Bronte


22. Jack London


23. Agatha Christie


24. Theodore Dreiser


25. Michael Lermontov


26. Nikolai Gogol


27. Alexander Pushkin


28. Leo Tolstoy


29. Fiodor Dostoevski


30. Anton Chekhov


31. Alexandra Marinina


A. A. Milne

Famous as: Novelist, Playwright, Poet

Born on: 18 January 1882

Born in: Kilburn, London, England

Died on: 31 January 1956

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign: capricorn

Works & Achievements: Known for creating the famous character of Winnie the Pooh

Alan Alexander Milne was born in London on January 18, 1882, the third and youngest son of a schoolmaster. At age eleven, he won a scholarship to the Westminster School. He went on to attend Cambridge University and became the editor of the undergraduate paper, Granta. After graduating from Cambridge in 1903, Milne moved back to London with enough savings to live for one year. He was determined to become a writer. By 1906, he had been offered the position of Assistant Editor at Punch, a classic British humor magazine. He remained at Punch for the next eight years.

In 1913, Milne married Dorothy de Selincourt (known as Daphne) and moved to a house in London's Chelsea section. When World War I broke out, he enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, eventually serving in France. During his training period, he wrote his first play, Wurzel-Flummery, which was produced in London in 1917.

By 1919, having completed one book and several plays, Milne finally achieved financial independence. The Theatre Guild in New York City produced his play, Mr. Pim Passes By, previously staged in London. It was as great a success there as it had been on the London stage. Milne was now well established as a witty and fashionable London playwright. In 1920, Christopher Robin Milne was born, an event that was to change the history of children s literature. In 1923, during a rainy holiday in Wales, Milne began work on a collection of verses for children. The result was When We Were Very Young, published in 1924.

Demand for Milne's whimsical work was overwhelming, and in 1926, he duplicated his earlier success with the publication of Winnie-the-Pooh. The sequel, The House at Pooh Corner, followed in 1927. Now We Are Six, another charming collection of verse, followed one year later. It was through these four books, all illustrated by the wonderfully talented Ernest H. Shepard, that Milne acquired a vast audience outside of the theater. In the years since their initial publication, interest in these books has grown and grown. Milne continued to be a prolific essayist, novelist, and poet until his death in 1956.

A.P. Herbert

Famous as: Humorist, Novelist, Playwright & Law Reform Activist

Born on: 24 September 1890

Born in: Ashtead, Surrey, England

Died on: 11 November 1971

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign: libra

Works & Achievements: Lobbied for reformation of divorce and obscenity law, Penned the series, "Misleading Cases in the Common Law"

Sir A. P. Herbert,  (born September 24, 1890, Elstead, Surrey, England—died November 11, 1971, London), English novelist, playwright, poet, and politician, author of more than 50 books, famous for his witty championing of minority causes. More importantly, as an independent member of Parliament for Oxford University (1935–50), he introduced the matrimonial causes bill (enacted in 1937), which radically amended English divorce laws.

Herbert wrote the first of his many contributions to the humorous magazine Punch while still at school (Winchester College). He graduated in law at Oxford and during World War I served in the Royal Navy. His first literary success was The Secret Battle (1919), a story of front-line warfare. Another novel, The Water Gipsies (1930), affectionately described Thames riverside life. In contrast, Holy Deadlock (1934) was frankly propagandist, aimed at the anomalies of the divorce laws. A witty lyricist, he wrote many highly successful comic operas and musicals, to which he graduated from children’s plays. Among these were Riverside Nights (1926), La Vie Parisienne (1929), Tantivy Towers (1931), Helen (1932), Derby Day (1932), Big Ben (1946), and Bless the Bride (1947). Herbert was knighted in 1945 and made a Companion of Honour in 1970, the year his last book was published, A.P.H.: His Life and Times.

Edgar Allan Poe

Famous as: Author, Poet, Editor and Literary Critic

Born on: 19 January 1809

Born in: Boston, Massachusetts

Died on: 07 October 1849

Nationality: United States

Zodiac Sign: capricorn

Works & Achievements: Inventor of the detective-fiction genre, Famous for his poetry like, "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee".

Edgar Allan Poe, outstanding romantic poet, critic, romancer and short story writer, was one of the first professional writers of the United States. He had a rare talent and in France and Russia of his days he was considered to be the only American poet of significance.

Edgar Poe was born in Boston (Massachusetts) in the poor family of second-rate actors. Both his parents died when the boy was two and he was brought up by John Allan, a very rich tradesman from Richmond (Virginia). Poe spent a year at Virginia University, a brief period in the US Army and as a cadet at the West Point Military Academy. A quarrel with Allan led him to a separation from his foster father and Poe had to provide for himself. He started writing and at first published his works in periodicals. Later they came out in separate editions. Poe’s literary activities were various: he worked as a journalist, critic, poet, story writer, co-editor and editor of different magazines in Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia and elsewhere.

In 1836 Poe married a very young girl, Virginia Clemm. Their home was very happy, but soon his wife became ill. Edgar grew desperate because she had no money to cure her. Virginia died in January 1847, when she was only 24. At that time he was working on Eureka. His last poems were The Bells and Annabel Lee.

Poet’s life ended in strange circumstances: it was suspected that he had been given opium and robbed of money. He died in October 7, 1849.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Famous as: Author & Poet

Born on: 22 May 1859

Born in: Edinburgh, Scotland

Died on: 07 July 1930

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign: Gemini

Works & Achievements: Stories of Sherlock Holmes & The Lost World

Many years ago a young doctor began to write stories about a man who was a detective. Readers liked his stories because they were very interesting and the doctor decided to become a writer. The doctor was Conan Doyle and he wrote about Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle wrote his first story about Sherlock Holmes in 1887. In this story the detective meets his friend Dr. Watson. Holmes and Watson lived at 221 В Baker Street in London.

Many discussions take place about where 221 В was. There is no house there now. But a large company has its office near the place. This company answers twenty or so letters which still come every week to Sherlock Holmes, 221 В Baker Street. Most come from the United States and many people ask if Mr. Holmes can help them with some problem.

The company answers saying that "Mr. Sherlock Holmes is no longer working as a detective".

There is a pub in London called Sherlock Holmes. One of the rooms in the pub is Sherlock Holmes room. It has many things the room in Conan Doyle's stories had - Holmes' hat, some letters written to Sherlock Holmes, chairs and tables like those described in the stories. Besides, there are some pictures of Holmes and Conan Doyle, of actors who played Holmes and Watson in films, on television and radio.

In 1961 lovers of Sherlock Holmes formed the Sherlock Holmes Society. They meet three or four times a year to talk about Sherlock Holmes. The members of the Society know the stories about Sherlock» Holmes very well, and they discuss, these stories at their meetings.

Mark Twain

Famous as: Author and Humorist

Born on: 30 November 1835

Born in: Florida, Missouri

Died on: 21 April 1910

Nationality: United States

Zodiac Sign: sagittarius

Works & Achievements: Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Mark Twain is a famous American writer and a journalist. His real name was Samuel Clemens. He was born in 1835 in Florida.

Mark Twain started his literary career rather late. He worked as a journalist in newspapers in Nevada and California during the years of the Civil War. His father died when the boy was only 12 years old. Twain had to start working with his brother.

In 1857 he became a sailor on the Mississippi. After the Civil War he worked as a reporter for the “Territorial Enterprise” in Virginia City. His witty style, characterizing all his following works, was formed during his work in that newspaper.

Soon after his first stories had been published he received the fame of the first humourist of America. “The Gilded Age”, “My Watch”, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” appeared during this period in Twain’s literary career. The characteristic features of American comical folklore found their place in Twain’s creative works. He ignores all the rules of the “true” art and laughs at the European civilization. As the Americans of his times he believes in democratic America, creating a new culture, ignoring all previous experience of mankind.

His removal to New York and his marriage to a daughter of a coal tycoon changed a lot in his life. He tried to become a businessman, but ruined himself and had to deliver lectures. In the 1870s he wrote “Life on Mississippi”, and in 1885 — “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. “The Prince and the Pauper”, and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” were also published during this time.

In his works of that period Mark Twain showed racial prejudices, clash of humanism with antihuman materialism of bourgeois world. His works of the period greatly influenced American literature. The last period of his creative work is the time of pamphlet, which became his most favorite genre.

Oscar Wilde

Famous as: Playwright, Poet and Author

Born on: 16 October 1854

Born in: Dublin, Ireland

Died on: 30 November 1900

Nationality: Ireland

Zodiac Sign: libra

Works & Achievements: The Importance of Being Earnest

Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin on October 16, 1854. His father was a famous Irish surgeon. His mother was well known in Dublin as a writer of verse and prose. At school, and later at Oxford, Oscar displayed gift for art and the humanities. While at the university, Wilde became one of the most famous personalities of the day: he wore his hair long, decorated his room with different beautiful things. His witty sayings were well known among the students.

After graduating from the university, Wilde turned his attention to writing, travelling and lecturing.

Oscar Wilde earned the reputation of being the leader of the Aesthetic Movement and an apostle of beauty.

His most famous works appeared over the next ten years. The most popular are "The Happy Prince and Other Tales", "The Picture of Dorian Gray", and his comedies "Lady Windermere's Fan", "An Ideal Husband", "The Importance of Being Earnest". Wilde also wrote poems, essays, reviews, letters. He attracted the attention of his audiences by the brilliance of his conversation, his knowledge, and the force of his personality.

In his works, especially in his tales, he glorifies beauty, and not only the beauty of nature or artificial beauty, but the beauty of devoted love. He admires unselfishness, kindness and generosity ("The Happy Prince", "The Nightingale and the Rose") and despises egoism and greed ("The Selfish Giant", "The Devoted Friend"). The theme of most of his works, even of his tales, is quite realistic. He shows the contrast between wealth and poverty. His own sympathy for poor, labouring people is quite evident.

At the height of his popularity and success, tragedy struck. He was accused of immorality and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. When released from prison in 1897, he lived mainly on the Continent, settling later in Paris. In 1898 he published his poem "Ballad of Reading Gaol". He died in Paris 1900.

Jerome K. Jerome

Famous as: Author

Born on: 02 May 1859

Born in: Walsall, Staffordshire, England

Died on: 14 June 1927

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign: taurus

Works & Achievements: Three men in a Boat(1889)

In the history of English literature Jerome K. Jerome occupies a modest place. He cannot be compared with Dickens, Thackeray, or Bernard Shaw, but he is well known as a writer-humorist not only in his country but in another countries too.

Jerome Klapka Jerome was born in England on May 2, 1859 into the family of ruined businessman. Jerome's childhood was poor and sad. He could not finish school because his father died in 1871 and the boy had to begin working to support his family. First he worked as a clerk. Later he took up teaching journalism and acting. For three years he was an actor and had to play different parts. He had very little money and often went hungry and had no place to sleep. In his free moments Jerome tried to write. He wrote plays, stories and articles, but nothing was published.

His first literary success was a one-act comedy which was performed in the Globe theatre in London in 1886.

In 1889 a collection of his articles was published. They were published as a book under the title The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow. This book became very popular in England, and it was published 105 times in 4 years. In 1889 Jerome's best book Three Men in a Boat also came out.

The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow and Three Men in a Boat made the author famous. The books were translated into many European languages. In the following years Jerome published several books and plays. He went travelling all over Europe and in 1899 he visited St. Petersburg, where he was met with enthusiasm. He knew Russian literature very well.

Jerome K. Jerome also wrote serious books, but the public didn't like them.

He criticized German imperialism and the policy of Britain in China.

Jerome's last book was his autobiography My Life and Time. He died in 1927. The works of Jerome are full of humour and they can't but amuse the reader.

Lewis Carroll

Famous as: Author, Mathematician and Photographer

Born on: 27 January 1832

Born in: Dares bury, Cheshire, England

Died on: 14 January 1898

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign: aquarius

Works & Achievements: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Through The Looking-Glass and Solitude

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was born on 27 January 1832 in Cheshire, England and was the oldest boy of his parents. His father Charles Dodgson was a conservative clergyman of the Anglican Church and a supporter of Anglo-Catholicism. In 1843, their family moved to the Croft Rectory in Richmond shire, North Yorkshire. Young Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was educated at home until the age of twelve, when he was sent to a private school nearby Richmond.

In 1846, he moved to Rugby School where he excelled in academy throughout, especially in mathematics. As a child, Lewis took keen interest in literature and read such authors as William Shakespeare John Ruskin, Charles Dickens and Lord Alfred Tennyson. He began writing short stories for his family magazine at a very young age. Though he never was a hard worker, success came to him easily because of his exceptional sharpness and intellect.

He left the school after three years in 1849 and after a gap of few years, enrolled into Christ Church, Oxford in 1851. However, he had to return immediately, after his mother died of what was believed to be a stroke, at the age of forty seven. Lewis’s pursuit of education would often be challenged by many other disruption and diversions in the coming times too, which would not only affect his consistency but also his physical and mental health.

Exceptionally gifted he was, he followed in his father’s footprints and won many prizes for excellence in math. In 1852, he was awarded a first Honor Moderations and soon after he was nominated to a studentship. Lewis earned his B.A. degree in 1854 with a first class honors in math, and second in classics. In 1857, he graduated with an M.A. His determination to succeed and talent as a mathematician won him the Mathematical Lectureship at Oxford in 1856 where he worked till 1881.

William Maugham

Famous as: Novelist & Playwright

Born on: 25 January 1874

Born in: Paris, France

Died on: 16 December 1965

Nationality: France

Zodiac Sign: aquarius

Works & Achievements: Oh Human Bondage, Rain & The Letter

William Somerset Maugham was born in 1874 and spent his childhood in Paris in the family of a British diplomat. Having lost his parents at an early age, he went to live in England with his uncle, who was a clergyman. He was educated at King's school in Canterbury studied painting in Paris, went to Heidelbury University in Germany and spent six years at St.Thomas Hospital in England studying to be a doctor. He was an unsatisfactory medical student for his heart wasn't in medicin. He wanted, he had always wanted to be a writer and in the evening after his tea, he wrote and read.

In 1897 he wrote a novel called "Liza of Lambeth", sent it to a publisher and it was accepted. It was something of a success. So William Somerset Maugham decided to abandon his medical profession and he did it with relif. The next ten years were very hard on him. He learned the terrible difficulties of making a living by writing. But he survived. He became a famous writer. He never regretted the five years he had spent at the hospital. They taught him pretty well all he knew about human nature.

The novel "The moon and sixpence" (1919) is based on the life of the artist Paul Gauguin was an immediate success. Maugham went to Tahiti and lived in Gauguin's hut while writing the book. His fame as a short story writer began with "The Trembling of a leaf". Since then he wrote many collections of books, essays and criticism. Many of his books and stories came out of his extensive travels in the East. His autobiographical books "The summing up" and "A writer's Notebook" are remarkable for both style and sincerity. His books have been reprinted many times.

In 1927 William Somerset Maugham settled in the South of France and lived there until his death in 1965.

William Shakespeare

Famous as: Greatest Writer

Born on: 1564

Born in: Stratford, United Kingdom

Died on: 23 April 1616

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign:

Works & Achievements: A Lover's Complaint, Romeo and Juliet, and Love Labor's Lost

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, in the town of Strat-ford-upon-Avon. His father, John Shakespeare, was a glove-maker and wool-dealer.

William went to the local free grammar school where he studied Latin. At the age of 18 Shakespeare married a local girl, Anne Hathaway.

Probably his first play was "Titus Andronicus"( 1589/1590).

Shakespeare wrote history plays such as "Henry IV" and "Richard III", comedies such as "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "A Comedy of Errors". Shakespeare's early tragedy is "Romeo and Juliet".

Between 1600 and 1608 Shakespeare wrote his four great tragedies, "Hamlet" "Othello" "Macbeth" and "King Lear". "Hamlet" is probably the most popular, the best-known of all Shakespeare's plays. It is a very philosophical play. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is a highly intelligent person.

Hamlet's soliloquy is very famous: "To be, or not to be; that is the question..."

Shakespeare wrote a tragedy "Macbeth" in which action passes in Scotland. In 1606 Shakespeare was a very mature and successful playwright. He had become a wealthy man.

In "King Lear" we see evil defeated. "King Lear" is the greatest of all Shakespeare's tragedies.

The story of an old king of England and his three daughters was not invented by Shakespeare. Shakespeare hardly ever invented the plot of his plays.

Between 1608 and 1613, Shakespeare wrote five plays: "Pericles" "Cymbeline" "The Winter's Tale" "The Tempest" and "Henry VIII" In "The Tempest" Shakespeare says farewell to the theatre, to his friends.

On June 29, 1613, the Globe theatre was destroyed in a fire. For Shakespeare and his colleagues it must have been a terrible time. The Globe was the greatest theatre in England.

Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616.

He wrote 38 plays and many poems.

Rudyard Kipling

Famous as: Author & Poet

Born on: 30 December 1865

Born in: Bombay (Mumbai), India

Died on: 18 January 1936

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign: capricorn

Works & Achievements: The Jungle Book, Just So Stories, Kim; Nobel Peace Prize (1907)

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay, but educated in England.

In 1882, he returned to India, where he worked for Anglo-Indian newspapers. His literary career began in 1886. A prolific writer, he achieved fame quickly. Kipling was the poet of the British Empire.

His "Barrack Room Ballads" (1892) were written for, as much as about, the common soldier.

In 1894, appeared his "Jungle Book" which became a children's classic all over the world. "Kim" (1901), the story of Kim-ball O'Hara and his adventures in the Himalayas, is perhaps his most felicitous work.

Other works include "The Second Jungle Book" (1895), "The Seven Seas" (1896), "The Day's Work" (1898), "Just So Stories" (1902), "Actions and Reactions" (1909), and "Limits and Renewals" (1932).

During the First World War Kipling wrote some propaganda books. His collected poems appeared in 1933.

Kipling was the recipient of many honorary degrees and other awards.

In 1926 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Literature, which only Scott, Meredith, and Hardy had been awarded before him.

William Makepeace Thackeray

Famous as: Author & Novelist

Born on: 18 July 1811

Born in: Kolkata, India

Died on: 24 December 1863

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign: cancer

Works & Achievements: Vanity Fair

William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta, India, on July 18, 1811, into a wealthy English merchant family. His father, Richmond Thackeray, an officer in the East India Company, died in 1815, and the following year William was sent to England to live with his aunt at Chiswick. After his father's death, William's mother married an engineering officer named Major Carmichael Symth. She had been in love with him before she married Richmond Thackeray. Solace In Patterns William showed his talent for drawing at a very early age. He would draw caricatures of his relatives and send them to his mother through letters.

William was given the 'education of a gentleman', at private boarding schools. He was sent to the Charterhouse School, where he was enrolled as a day-scholar. He led a rather lonely and miserable existence as a child. He wrote regularly to his mother and stepfather.

Helen Keller

Famous as: Writer, Member of Socialist Party of America, Campaigner of socialism, women’s suffrage and several leftist social causes

Born on: 27 June 1880

Born in: Tuscumbia, Alabama, USA

Died on: 01 June 1968

Nationality: United States

Zodiac Sign: cancer

Works & Achievements:

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 - June 1, 1968) was a deafblind American author, activist and lecturer.

Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her disabilities were caused by a fever in February, 1882 when she was 19 months old. Her loss of ability to communicate at such an early developmental age was very traumatic for her and her family; as a result, she became quite unmanageable.

Keller was born at an estate called Ivy Green, on June 27, 1880, to parents Captain Arthur H. Keller and Kate Adams Keller. She was not born blind and deaf, but was actually a typical, healthy infant. By age seven she had invented over sixty different signs that she could use to communicate with her family.

In 1888, Helen attended Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen and Anne moved to New York City to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf. In 1898 they returned to Massachusetts and Helen entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. In 1904 at the age of 24, Helen graduated from Radcliffe cum laude, becoming the first deaf and blind person to graduate from a college.

Helen Keller was a member of the Socialist Party and actively campaigned and wrote in support of the working classes from 1909 to 1921. She supported Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs in each of his campaigns for the presidency. Her political views were reinforced by visiting workers. In her words, "I have visited sweatshops, factories, crowded slums. If I could not see it, I could smell it".

In 1960, her book Light in my Darkness was published in which she advocated the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. She also wrote a lengthy autobiography. She wrote a total of eleven books, and authored numerous articles.

Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at the age of 87 from natural causes at Arcan Ridge, Westport, Connecticut, more than thirty years after the death of Anne Sullivan, and was cremated in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her memorial service was at Washington National Cathedral.

Jane Austen

Famous as: Novelist

Born on: 16 December 1775

Born in: Steventon, England

Died on: 18 July 1817

Nationality: United Kingdom

Zodiac Sign: sagittarius

Works & Achievements: Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen was born December 16th, 1775 at Steventon, Hampshire, England (near Basingstoke). She was the seventh child (out of eight) and the second daughter (out of two), of the Rev. George Austen, 1731-1805 (the local rector, or Church of England clergyman), and his wife Cassandra, 1739-1827 (née Leigh).

In 1783, Jane and her older sister Cassandra went briefly to be taught by a Mrs. Cawley (the sister of one of their uncles), who lived first in Oxford and then moved to Southampton. They were brought home after an infectious disease broke out in Southampton. In 1785-1786 Jane and Cassandra went to the Abbey boarding school in Reading, which apparently bore some resemblance to Mrs. Goddard's casual school in Emma. Cassandra was Austen's closest friend and confidante throughout her life.

As Austen grew into adulthood, she continued to live at her parents' home, carrying out those activities normal for women of her age and social standing: she practised the fortepiano, assisted her sister and mother with supervising servants, and attended female relatives during childbirth and older relatives on their deathbeds.

Early in 1816, Jane Austen began to feel unwell. She ignored her illness at first and continued to work and to participate in the usual round of family activities. By the middle of that year, her decline was unmistakable to Austen and to her family, and Austen's physical condition began a long, slow, and irregular deterioration culminating in her death the following year.

Austen died in Winchester on 18 July 1817, at the age of 41. It was not known then what had caused her death, but it seems likely that it was Addison's disease.

Herbert Wells

Famous as: Novelist, Teacher, Historian, Journalist

Born on: 21 September 1866

Born in: Bromley in Kent

Died on: 13 August 1946

Nationality: English

Works & Achievements: The Time Machine in (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and The First Men in the Moon (1901).

H.G. Wells was born at Bromley in Kent in 1866. He was the son of domestic servants and lived in poverty and hardship. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to a draper at Windsor. Two years later he became a student assistant at Midhurst Grammar School. At 18 he won a scholarship to study biology at the Normal School of Science, where T.H. Huxley was one of his teachers. In 1891 he made a marriage to his cousin Isabel Mary Wells but it wasn’t successful and in 1895 he married Any Catherine Robins. This marriage was to be lasting.

Wells used his knowledge of science as the starting point for a series of exciting fantastic stories. His literary career began with the publication of his first novel The Time Machine in 1895. It was immediately successful, so he began a series of science fiction novels that revealed him as an original writer: The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and The First Men in the Moon (1901).

Eventually, Wells decided to write comic novels of lower middle-class life. Because of the harshness of his early life and its working class background he knew a lot about the problems of ordinary people and wrote about their ambitions and disappointments in novels such as Kipps (1905) and The History of Mr. Polly (1910). These novels are full of humour and life.

These works include The Outline of History (1920), The Science of Life (1931) and The Shape of Things to Come (1935). His sense of humour reappears, however in Experiment in Autobiography (1934).

Fear of tragic wrong turning in the development of the human race, to which he had early given imaginative expression in the animal mutations of The Island of Doctor Moreau, dominates the shirt novels and fables he wrote in the later 1930s.

Wells was now ill and aging. With the outbreak of World War 2, he lost all confidence in the future, and in Mind at the End of its Tether (1945) he depicts a bleak vision of a world in which nature has rejected, and is destroying humankind.


O'Henry is a famous American short-story writer, a master of surprise endings of the stories. He wrote about the life of ordinary people in New York City.

William Sidney Porter (O'Henry) was born in Greenboro, North Carolina. His father, Algernon Sidney Porter, was a physician. When William was three, his mother died, and he was raised by his paternal grandmother and a paternal aunt. William was an avid reader, but at the age of fifteen he left the school, and then worked in a drug store and on a Texas ranch. He continued to Houston, where he had a number of jobs, including that of bank clerk. After moving to Austin, Texas, in 1882, he married.

In 1884 Porter started a humorous weekly "The Rolling Stone". When the weekly failed, he joined the "Houston Post" as a reporter and columnist. In 1894 cash was found to have gone missing from the bank and O'Henry fled to Honduras. He returned to Austin the next year because his wife was dying. In 1898 he entered a penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio.

While in prison O'Henry started to write short stories to earn money to support his daughter Margaret. His first work, "Whistling Dicks Christmas Stocking" (1899), appeared in "McClures Magazine" The stories of adventure in the U. S. Southwest and in Central America gained an immediately success among readers. After doing three years of the five years sentence, Porter emerged from the prison in 1901 and changed his name to O'Henry. According to some sources, he acquired the pseudonym from a warder called Orrin Henry.

O'Henry moved to New York City in 1902 and from December 1903 to January 1906 he wrote a story a week for the New York "World", also publishing in other magazines.

O'Henry's first collection, "Cabbages and Kings" appeared in 1904. The second, "The Four Million" was published two years later and included his well-known stories "The Gift of the Magi" and "The Furnished Room." "The Trimmed Lamp" (1907) explored the lives of New Yorkers and included "The Last Leaf". "Heart of the West" (1907) presented tales of the Texas range.

O'Henry published 10 collections and over 600 short stories during his life time.

O'Henrys last years were shadowed by alcoholism, ill health, and financial problems. He married in 1907 Sara Lindsay Coleman, but the marriage was not happy, and they separated a year later. O'Henry died of cirrhosis of the liver on June 5, 1910, in New York.

Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe was the founder of the realistic novel. He was also a brilliant journalist and in many ways the father of modern English periodicals. He founded and paved the way for many magazines ("The Revue", "The Spectator").

Daniel Defoe was born in London, his father a butcher, was wealthy enough to give his sone a good education. Daniel Defoe was to become a prist, but it was his cheariched desire to become wealthy. His wished was never fullfield. Defoe was banckrote several times. He was always in deep debt. The inly branch of business in which he proved succesful was journalism and literature. When Defoe was about 23 he started writting pamphlets on question of the hour. He started writting pamphlets prassing King William 3, who was supported by the whig party. Defoe wrote a setire in woth. No matter in whose defends his brilliant pamphlets were written they are irony was so subtle, that the enemy didn't understand it at first. But as soon as his enemy realised the real character of the pamphlets Defoe was sentensed to 7 years inprisonment. It was a cruel punishment, and when the came for him to be set free people carried him on their shoulders. This was the climax of his political career and the end of it. In 1719, he tried his hand at another kind of literature - fiction, and wrote the novel he is now best known: "Robison Crusoe". After the book was published, Defoe became famous and rich and was able to pay his creditors in full. Other novels which Defoe were also very much talked about during his lifetime, but we do not hear much about them now. For example "Captain Singleton"(1720), "Moll Flanders"(1722).

Jonathan Swift


Jonathan Swift was the greatest of English satirists. His better satire at the contemporary social order in general and an the policy of English government in particular. That's why the Irish people considered Swift the champion in the struggle against the wealthy and freedom of their country.

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, but he came from English family. His father died at the age of 25, leaving his wife and daughter pennyless. His son was born seven months later after his death. The boy knew little of his mother. He hardly ever saw her, during his childhood. Jonathan was supported by his uncle Godwin. At the age of 6 he was sent to school, which he left at 14. Then he entered a college in Dublin and got his bachelor's degree in 1686.

Swift’s literary career began in 1690. His first pamphlets »A Tale of a Tub» (brought Swift universal recognition) and » The Battle of the Books» were published in 1704. But Swift’s smashing feather made kings and ministers thrilled, and provoked admiration and support of the people. Between 1691 and 1694 Swift wrote a number of poems, notably six odes. In 1714 Swift was offered to become a dean of the Cathedral in Dublin.

After his death in 1745, he was buried in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

John Galsworthy

Popular American writer John Galsworthy was born in 1853. He attended a prestigeous school because his father wanted John to be a lawyer. Thus, John entered the Oxford University. But some time later be told his father about his wish to become a writer.

His literally career began at the age of seventeen when he studied at the Oxford University. His works established him as one of America's leading authors. John Galsworthy wrote some scientific books and such articles as "All about writer", "Thinking about art", "The art and the war". All of them were devoted to the role of art in our life.

"The Forsyte Saga" was published in 1922 in May. It is the most famous work by John Galsworthy. From this novel we get to know about the Forsyte family. The main character is Miss Forsyte. When she was a little girl her mother died, her father had run away with foreign girl. One could not call the Forsyte family united, but its member tried to help each other.

"The Forsyte Saga" was the best work by John Galsworthy. "It was the happiest day in my life", said John to his friends when it was published. But it was very difficult for him to write this novel because to some degree it was his autobiography. "Old Jolyon", for example, is a copy of his father.

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is one of the greatest 20th-century American writers.

The legend which developed around his impressive personality was that of a man of action, a devil-may-care adventurer, a brave war correspondent, an amateur boxer, a big-game hunter and deep-sea fisherman, the victim of three car accidents and two plane crashes, a man of four wives and many loves, but above all a brilliant writer of stories and novels.

Hemingway was born in 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was a doctor who initiated the boy into the outdoor life of hunting, camping, and fishing. While at school, Hemingway played football and wrote articles for the school newspaper.

In 1917, when the United States entered the World War I, Hemingway left home and schooling to become a reporter for "The Kansas City Star".

He wanted to enlist for the war but was rejected because of an eye injury from football. Finally he managed to go to Europe as an ambulance driver for the Red Cross. He joined the Italian army and was seriously wounded.

His war experience and adventurous life provided the background for his many short stories and novels. He achieved success with "A Farewell to Arms", the story of a love affair between an American lieutenant and an English nurse during the World War I.

Hemingway actively supported the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War and wrote another successful novel of war, love and death. It was "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

During the World War II Hemingway was a war correspondent first in China and then in Europe. He fought in France and helped to liberate Paris.

In his later years Hemingway lived mostly in Cuba where his passion for deep-sea fishing provided the background for "The Old Man and the Sea". He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954.

Unwilling to live with the inevitable physical aging, Hemingway committed suicide, as his father had done under similar circumstances.

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte was born in 1816 in a small English town. Charlotte and her sisters, Emily and Ann, had a very hard life, from early childhood they knew poverty and very hard work.

Charlotte received her education at an orphanage (which she described in her novel Jane Eyre). After that she worked as a governess and a teacher. The works of Charlotte Bronte, together with Charles Dickens, William Thackery and Elisabeth Gaskell are considered to belong to the fine school of English realism of the first half of the 19th century.

In her works she wrote about the society she lived in and criticized it. Her first novel The Professor was published only after Charlottte's death. The best novel Jane Eyre, published in 1847, is partly biographical. In 1849 the novel Shirley was published. The story is about the Luddits, workers who did not understand that the real enemy of the working class were the capitalists and aristocrats. They thought that machinery, which they destroyed, was their enemy.

The last novel Vilette came out in 1853.

Charlotte Bronte died from tuberculosis in 1855.

The three Bronte sisters are well known writers and their books are published in many countries.

Jack London (1876-1916)

The novelist and short-story writer Jack London was, in his lifetime, one of the most popular authors in the world. After World War I his fame was eclipsed in the United States by a new generation of writers, but he remained popular in many other countries, especially in the Soviet Union, for his romantic tales of adventure mixed with elemental struggles for survival.

John Griffith London was born in San Francisco on Jan. 12, 1876. His family was poor, and he was forced to go to work early in life to support himself. At 17 he sailed to Japan and Siberia on a seal-hunting voyage. He was largely self-taught, reading voluminously in libraries and spending a year at the University of California. In the late 1890s he joined the gold rush to the Klondike. This experience gave him material for his first book, 'The Son of Wolf', published in 1900, and for 'Call of the Wild' (1903), one of his most popular stories.

In his writing career of 17 years, London produced 50 books and many short stories. He wrote mostly for money, to meet ever-increasing expenses. His fame as a writer gave him a ready audience as a spokesman for a peculiar and inconsistent blend of socialism and racial superiority.

London's works, all hastily written, are of uneven quality. The best books are the Klondike tales, which also include 'White Fang' (1906) and 'Burning Daylight' (1910). His most enduring novel is probably the autobiographical 'Martin Eden' (1909), but the exciting 'Sea Wolf' (1904) continues to have great appeal for young readers.

In 1910 London settled near Glen Ellen, Calif., where he intended to build his dream home, "Wolf House." After the house burned down before completion in 1913, he was a broken and sick man. His death on Nov. 22, 1916, from an overdose of drugs, was probably a suicide.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is known all over the world as the Queen of Crime. She wrote 78 detective novels, 19 plays, and 6 romantic novels. Her books have been translated into 103 foreign languages. They are the third best-selling books in the world (after Shakespeare's works and the Bible). Many of her novels and short stories have been filmed. The Mousetrap, her most famous play, is now the longest-running play in history of world theatre.

Agatha Christie was born at Torquay, Devonshire. She was educated at home and took singing lessons in Paris. She began writing at the end of the First World War. Her first novel, "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" was published in 1920. That was the first appearance of Hercule Poirot, who became one of the most famous private detectives since Sherlock Holmes.

Agatha Christie became generally recognized in 1926, after the publishing of her novel "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd". It is still considered her masterpiece.

When Agatha Cristie got tired of Hercule Poirot she invented Miss Mar-pie, a deceptively mild old lady with her own method of investigation.

The last Poirot book, The Curtain, appeared shortly before the writer's death, and the last Miss Marple story, The Sleeping Murder, and her autobiography were published after her death.

Agatha Christie's success with millions of readers lies in her ability to combine clever plots with excellent character drawing* and a keen sense of humour with a great observation. Her plots always mislead the reader and keep him in suspense. He cannot guess who the criminal is. Fortunately, evil is always conquered in her novels.

Agatha Christies language is simple and good and it is pleasant to read her books in the original.

Theodore Dreiser

Theodore Dreiser is a famous American writer and publicist. He was born in 1871 in the state of Indiana. He was the 12th child in the family. His mother came from the family of Czech immigrants and his father came to America from Germany and was a factory worker. Since his early childhood the boy knew what poverty was. In 1887 he moved to Chicago where he worked in restaurants washing dishes and cleaning. For a short period of time he studied at the University of Indiana. Working at the newspaper “Chicago Daily Globe” he started to publish his first sketches and stories.

His first novel “Sister Carrie” is a story about real life. One of his elder sisters, Emma, was the main character of the novel. The story about the girl, who became an actress at a high price of losing her best human qualities was considered to be immoral by critics. The feature of American literature that struck Dreiser most of all was the contradiction between the real life and the life described in literary works. That is why Dreiser’s works always depicted the life of common people, the cruelty of their existence in American society. His novel “An American Tragedy” was the sign of critical realism in the American literature of the 20th century. In his three novels “The Financier”, “The Titan”, and “The Stoic” Dreiser described the life of financier Cauperwood. He is not only a cruel American businessman, a person without “soul and heart”, but a very tragic figure. Having an extraordinary personality, he can’t fully realize himself in American society. His love of arts, his unusual talent stays deep inside him.

In 1928 Dreiser came to Russia, as he was always interested in the country and especially its literature. The works of Tolstoy and Dostoyevskyi influenced his creative work. Till nowadays Dreiser remains the largest master of realistic American literature of the 20th century.

M. Lermontov

Michael Lermontov was born on the 15th of October 1814 in a noble family. The poet spent his youth at Tarkany. He entered Moscow University, but very soon had to abandon it. Then he entered St. Petersburg School of Cavalry Cadets and finished it.

In 1837 the poet was exiled to the Caucasus for his poem on Pushkin's death in which he put all the blame for it on the ruling circles of Russia under Nicolas I. In 1841 Lermontov was sent into exile to the Caucasus for the second time. As a result of intrigues by the officers he was provoked into a personal quarrel with an old schoolfellow, which led to the duel. On July 15, 1841 the poet was killed.

Lermontov began writing when he was very young. One of his first writings to be published was his tale verse Hadji Abrek. But Lermontov became famous for his poem on the death of Pushkin. Whether Lermontov chose to write poetry, prose or drama the stamp of his genius was always to be found on it. Lermontov's poems "The Demon", "Mtsyri" and the "Lay of the Merchant Kalashnikov", his innumerable lyrics, his novel "A Hero of Our Time" and his play "Masquerade" are masterpieces of Russian literature. Lermontov's poems are the profession of faith of an independent and free man.

Nikolai Gogol

Nikolai Gogol was born in Sorochintsi, Ukraine, and grew up on his parent's country estate. His real surname was Ianovskii, but the writer's grandfather had taken the name "Gogol" to claim a nobel Cossack ancestry. Gogol's father was an educated and gifted man, who wrote plays, poems, and sketches.

Gogol started write while in high school. In 1829 he moved to St. Petersburg. Gogol worked at minor governmental jobs and wrote occasionally for periodicals. Between the years 1831 and 1834 he taught history at the Patriotic Institute and worked as a private tutor.

In 1831, Gogol met Aleksander Pushkin who greatly influenced his choice of literary material, especially his "Dikan'ka Tales", which were based on Ukrainian folklore.

Under the title "Mirgorod" (1835) Gogol published a new collection of stories. The book included the famous historical tale "Taras Bulba".

"St. Petersburg Stories" (1835) examined disorders of mind and social relationships. "The Nose" was about a man who loses his nose and which tries to live its own life. In "Nevski Prospect" a talented artist falls in love with a tender poetic beauty who turns out to be a prostitute and commits suicide when his dreams are shattered.

Gogol published in 1836 several stories in Pushkin's journal "Sovremennik" and in the same year appeared his famous play, "The Inspector General".

Gogol visited Germany, Switzerland, and France and settled then in Rome. He also made a pilgrimage to Palestine in 1848.

In Rome Gogol wrote his major work, "The Dead Souls". Gogol claimed that the story was suggested by Pushkin in a conversation in 1835.

Except for short visits to Russia in 1839-1840 and 1841-1842, Gogol was abroad for twelve years. The first edition of Gogol's collected works was published in 1842. It made him one of the most popular Russian writers.

In his later life Gogol came under influence of a fanatical priest, Father Konstantinovskii, and burned sequels for "Dead Souls", just 10 days before he died on the verge of madness on the 4th of March, 1852. Gogol had refused to take any food and various remedies were employed to make him eat. Rumors arise from time to time that Gogol was buried alive.

Alexander Pushkin

Alexander Pushkin is one of the most outstanding Russians. He was the greatest Russian poet and writer. Pushkin devoted his life to writing poems. The young Alexander's first poems appeared when he was fifteen, and by the time he left school he was regarded as a rival by the literary leaders of that time. Pushkin was the first poet who touched problems that were important for Russia and its people. Because of that he was sent to exile a few times. Pushkin wrote a lot of poems and novels. Among his famous ones are: Eugenij Onegin, Ruslan and Lyudmila and others. Children like to read his fairy tales and watch wonderful cartoons based on them. When I was a child I read all the fairy tales by this talented poet. First my grandmother read them for me, but then when 1 learnt to read, I read his tales myself. Most of Pushkin's best works are studied at school. There is a statue to Pushkin in Moscow at Pushkin Square Young and old people gather by the statue, read poems and just meet friends.

Pushkin is respected not only in Russia, but all over the world. His novels and poems have been translated into many languages and arc enjoyed by foreigners.

Leo Tolstoy

Famous as: Novelist and Poet

Born on: 28 August 1828

Born in: Russia

Died on: 20 November 1910

Nationality: Russian Federation

Zodiac Sign: virgo

Works & Achievements: War and Peace and Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy was born on 28 August 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana in Central Russia in a noble Russian family. He was the fourth child of Maria Volkonsky and Nicolay Ilvich Tolstoy. His mother died when he was two. Tolstoy further lost his father at the age of nine and went on to stay with his aunt Madame Ergolsky. In 1844, he enrolled into Kazan University to study Turco-Arabic literature, but dropped out in the middle of a term in 1847. According to his auto biography, he was frustrated and committed every crime of drinking, gambling and visiting brothels in his pursuit for pleasure. Addicted to gambling, he had to sell out most of his father’s inheritance.

Fiodor Dostoyevsky

The Russian writer Dostoevski is regarded as one of the world's great novelists. In Russia he was surpassed only by Leo Tolstoi.

Fiodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski was born on Nov. 11, 1821, in a Moscow hospital where his father was a physician. At 13 Fedor was sent to a Moscow boarding school, then to a military engineering school in St. Petersburg. Shortly after graduating he resigned his commission in order to devote his time to writing.

Dostoevski had published two novels and several sketches and short stories when he was arrested along with a group of about 20 others with whom he had been studying French socialist theories. After the 1848 revolutions in Western Europe, Russia's Czar Nicholas I decided to round up all of that country's revolutionaries, and in April 1849 Dostoevski's group was imprisoned. Dostoevski and several others were sentenced to be shot, but at the last minute their sentence was changed to four years of hard labor in a prison in Omsk, Siberia. There, Dostoevski said, they were "packed in like herrings in a barrel" with murderers and other criminals. He read and reread the New Testament, the only book he had, and built a mystical creed, identifying Christ with the common people of Russia. He had great sympathy for the criminals.

As a child Dostoevski suffered from mild epilepsy, and it grew worse in prison. After four years in prison, he was sent as a private to a military station in Siberia. There in 1857 he met and married a widow named Marie Isaeva.

In 1860 Dostoevski was back in St. Petersburg. The next year he began to publish a literary journal that was soon suppressed, though he had by now lost interest in socialism. In 1862 he visited Western Europe and hated the industrialism he saw there. Dostoevski had been separated from his wife but visited her in Moscow before her death in 1864. In 1867 he married his young stenographer, Anna Snitkina. He died on Feb. 9, 1881, in St. Petersburg.

Anton Chekhov

Chekhov was born in 1860 in Taganrog. In 1879 he went to Moscow, where he studied medicine. Though he practised little as a doctor in his lifetime, he was prouder of his medical knowledge than of his writing talent. While in college, Chekhov wrote humorous sketches for comic papers to support his family. He collected the best ones into a volume Motley Stories, in 1886. The book attracted the attention of the publisher of the Novoje Vremja, Russia's largest paper, and Chekhov was asked to contribute stories regularly.

Chekhov, as an established writer, was able to develop a style of his own. Though he never gave up writing comic stories, he began working in a more serious vein. In 1887 Ivanov, his first play, established Chekhov as a dramatist. From then on, he concentrated on writing plays, as well as short stories. Chekhov was seriously ill. He had tuberculosis and knew what it meant. By 1892 his health was so bad that he was afraid to spend another winter in Moscow. He bought a small estate near the village of Melikhovo, 50 miles from Moscow. He spent 5 years there, and those were happy years in spite of the illness. He wrote some of his best stories there, including Ward No.6, several well-known one-act comedies and two of his serious dramatic masterpieces, The Seagull and Uncle Vаnуа. The Seagull was first staged in the Alexandrinsky Theatre in Petersburg. It was a complete failure because of the dull and clumsy production. It was a cruel blow to Chekhov. However, the play was successfully performed as the first production of the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898. From then on, Chekhov was closely connected with this theatre and with its founder, K.S. Stanislavsky. In 1901 he married an Art Theatre actress, Olga Knipper, who acted in his play The Three Sisters the same year. Chekhov's health went from bad to worse and he had to spend the remaining years in the Crimea and other health spas. The Cherry Orchard, his last play, was produced in 1904. Soon after the first night Chekhov died. He was 44. Several generations of writers, both in Russia and abroad, studied and imitated Chekhov to perfect their own literary style. Chekhov had an immense influence on the 20th century drama.

A. Marinina

Alexandra Marinina is considered to be a Russian Queen of detective prose. The works of this author are really interesting.

In all books there are the same characters and starting a new book you meet old friends. The author used to work as an investigator and she knows how to arouse the readers interest and at the same time writes the facts that could take place.

Many detective novels by Marinina are translated into foreign languages and foreign readers can compare our writer with Agatha Christie. When I got acquainted with these books I was greatly impressed by the wit and humour.

The main character, a slender and weak woman, doesn't need to fight with the criminals using judo or something like that. She is very clever and intelligent. Her brain works as a good computer.

All the actions and characters are described so vividly that I had a feeling of our possible meeting when I visited Moscow last summer. Unfortunately I don't have complete works by Marinina, it's impossible, she's still writing. But I always recommend my friends to read these books.

Лингвострановедческий журнал "Famous Writers"
  • Иностранные языки

Данная разработка представляет собой страноведческий материал по теме "Writers". Журнал состоит из текстов про писателей России, Англии, Шотландии, Ирландии, США, Франции и Индии. Эта информация поможет учащимся расширить свой кругозор, повысить уровень мотивации к изучению английского языка, сформировать таких качеств личности как толерантность.Данный материал был использован при проведении Недели Иностранных Языков.

Автор Воронина Марина Владимировна
Дата добавления 25.01.2016
Раздел Иностранные языки
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