Excited about the royal wedding? Those princes bathing in opulence, in their large dukedoms... You can be a duke too. Just build your home library and, as William Shakespeare said, "My library was dukedom large enough." Here's a good start, writers who were...
Born this week:
Jerome K. Jerome, UK
"If there is one person I do despise more than another, it is the man who does not think exactly the same on all topics as I do."
Willi Bredel, Germany
George Bidwell, UK / Polish
Niccolo Machiavelli, Florence
"The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him."
Mikhail Alexeyev, Russia
Amos Tutuola, Nigeria
"But when the fire was about to quench, their children came with whips and stones then they began to whip and stone our heads; when they left that, they began to climb on our heads and jump from one to the second; after that they started to spit, make urine and pass excreta on our heads; but when the eagle saw that they wanted to nail our heads, then it drove all of them away from the field with its beak."
Gaston Leroux, France
"You must know that I am made of death, from head to foot, and it is a corpse who loves you and adores you and will never, never leave you!" The Phanton of the Opera
Henryk Sienkiewicz, Poland
"A man who leaves memoirs, whether well or badly written, provided they be sincere, renders a service to future psychologists and writers, giving them not only a faithful picture, but likewise human documents that may be relied upon."
Władysław Reymont, Poland
"I have gambled away my own happiness. Now I can only create it for others."
Angela Carter, UK
"A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters."
Peter Benchley, USA
"Writing is sweat and drudgery most of the time. And you have to love it in order to endure the solitude and the discipline."
Died this week:
Alfred de Musset, France
"Great artists have no country."
Paul Guimard, France
"Happy childhood is the invention of the old."
Jerzy Kosiński, Poland
"I am going to put myself to sleep now for a bit longer than usual. Call it Eternity."
Edith Nesbit, UK
"There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read - unless it be reading while you eat."
Veniamin Kaverin, Russia
Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgium
"We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us."
Alcides Arguedas, Bolivia
Maria Luisa Bombal, Chile
"To be intelligent, one must start young."
Gustave Flaubert, France
"Do not read as children do to enjoy themselves, or, as the ambitious do to educate themselves. No, read to live."