Who Were the Leading Writers of the 1920s?
Imagine writing a book that has such a lasting impact that readers still celebrate and enjoy it one hundred years later. Don't worry, we feel a little unaccomplished all of a sudden too…
We’re still at the beginning of 2020 and thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the leading writers of a century ago. Who they were, what they wrote and the legacies they left behind.
A. A. Milne
18th January 1882 - 31st January 1956
Known For: Winnie-the-Pooh .
Milne was born in London, England. He was first educated at Westminster School and then University of Cambridge’s Trinity College. After a period of time spent writing for literary magazines and creating his own poetry and short stories, Milne welcomed the arrival of his son Christopher Robin in 1920 with his wife Daphne. It was Christopher who would later become the inspiration for his Winnie-the-Pooh series - a number of tales based on the little boy and his stuffed animals.
A. A. Milne Quotes
“Pooh began to feel a little more comfortable, because when you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
“‘I think,’ said Christopher Robin, ‘that we ought to eat all our provisions now, so that we shan’t have so much to carry.”
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”
25th January 1882 - 28th March 1941
Known For: To The Lighthouse, A Room of One’s Own, Mrs Dalloway.
Adeline Virginia Woolf was born in South Kensington to Leslie and Julia Stephen. She was educated at home, but had access to her father’s extensive library (he was the creator of the Oxford Dictionary of Biography), of which she took full advantage. Virginia produced a number of successful published works in her time. Her fourth novel Mrs Dalloway was the first to receive rave reviews and her groundbreaking novel To the Lighthouse was deemed revolutionary for its stream of conscious storytelling. You can read more about her right here.
Virginia Woolf Quotes
“Indeed, I would venture to guess that anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”
“I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.”
15th September 1890 - 12th January 1976
Known For: Miss Marple Series, Hercule Poirot Series.
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay, Devon. The youngest sibling by a significant number of years, she had taught herself to read by the age of five as a way to entertain herself. Agatha had a comfortable upbringing and was homeschooled by her father, an American. Agatha went on to write a number of books, her two crime series - Poirot and Miss Marple - were met with huge success. To date she’s sold over a billion copies of her books in the English language and a billion in translation. She remains the best-selling novelist of all time.
Agatha Christie Quotes
“It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realise just how much you love them.”
“Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.”
“That’s the secret of existence. We’re all a little mad.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
24th September 1896 - 21st December 1940
Known For: The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise.
Francis Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He demonstrated a flair for writing at a young age and at fifteen was sent to be educated at the Newman School and later, Princeton University. Fitzgerald’s most famous book was The Great Gatsby - beautifully written and a somewhat critical reflection of society’s then view on materialism, love and the American Dream.
F. Scott Fitzgerald Quotes
“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
21st July 1899 - 2nd July 1961
Known For: The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms.
Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. He didn’t have much formal education; he began to write in high school but rejected the idea of college, moving instead to Kansas at the age of seventeen where he got a job as a reporter at a newspaper. After his time WW1, Hemingway headed to Paris where he got back to writing. It was here that he wrote his first piece of work that would garner him the positive recognition he desired - The Sun Also Rises. What followed was a hugely successful literary career, with Hemingway winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.
“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you.”
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”