Classics Calendar for November 30

Gulliver talking with the horse-like Houyhnhnms
in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels

Here are today's milestones:

Born on this day:

Philip Sidney (1554; died October 17, 1586) English poet and scholar; Astrophel and Stella; The Defence of Poesy; The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia

John Bunyan (baptized, 1628; died August 31, 1688) English minister who wrote the Christian allegory The Pilgrim's Progress; sermons

Jonathan Swift (1667; died October 19, 1745) Anglo-irish satirist, poet, and cleric known for Gulliver's Travels; A Tale of a Tub; A Modest Proposal

Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835; died April 21, 1910) American author of novels such as Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, as well as short stories like "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyberg" and "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"

L. M. Montgomery (1874; died April 24, 1942) Canadian author of children's literature; Anne of Green Gables and sequels; Rilla of Ingleside; Emily of New Moon and two more; the Avonlea stories

Winston Churchill (1874; died January 24, 1965) British statesman, historian, writer, and orator; The Second World War; A History of the English-Speaking Peoples

R. H. Tawney (1880; died January 16, 1962) English historian, critic, and educator; Religion and the Rise of Capitalism; The Acquisitive Society; Equality

Ridley Scott (1937) English filmmaker; Alien; Blade Runner; Thelma & Louise; Gladiator; Black Hawk Down; Hannibal; Prometheus; The Martian

David Mamet (1947) American playwright and essayist; The Duck Variations; Sexual Perversity in Chicago; American Buffalo; Glengarry Glen Ross; Oleanna; Pulitzer Prize for Drama, (1984)

Died on this day:

William Gilbert (1603; born May 24, 1544) English physician, physicist and "natural philosopher" regarded by some as the father of electrical engineering or electricity and magnetism. Wrote On the Lodestone (Magnet)

Oscar Wilde (1900; born October 16, 1854) Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet; The Picture of Dorian Gray; Salome; The Importance of Being Earnest; The Ballad of Reading Gaol; "The Happy Prince"; "The Nightingale and the Rose"; "The Selfish Giant"

Ernst Lubitsch (1947; born January 29, 1892) German-American filmmaker; Ninotchka; Trouble in Paradise; The Shop Around the Corner; Heaven Can Wait; To Be or Not to Be; Honorary Academy Award, (1946)

Bonus Classic:

Liu Zongyuan (773-819) Chinese writer and poet who wrote Yongzhou Ba Youji (Eight Records of Excursions in Yongzhou) (one of the "Eight Great Prose Masters of the Tang and Song")

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