Every year may have its share of major commemorations of interest to the biblio-minded, but 2009 sure seems to be particularly well-endowed with them. Here are a few of those to watch for this year (births and major publishing events only):
500 years ago:
John Calvin, Swiss theologian, b. 10 July 1509 (events)
Erasmus' Stultitiae Laus ("In Praise of Folly") is published.
450 years ago:
Isaac Casaubon, French scholar, b. 18 February 1559
400 years ago:
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, English historian, b. 18 February 1609
Henry Dunster, Anglo-American minister; first president of Harvard College, b. 26 November 1609
Johannes Kepler's first two laws of planetary motion, and Hugo Grotius' Mare liberum, are published.
350 years ago:
John Dunton, English author/bookseller/publisher, b. 4 May 1659
Thomas Hobbes' De Homine is published.
300 years ago:
Gabriel Bonnot (Abbé) de Mably, French political philosopher/historian, b. 14 March 1709
Samuel Johnson, English author/lexicographer, b. 18 September 1709 (events)
250 years ago:
Robert Burns, Scots poet, b. 25 January 1759
Mary Wollstonecraft, English author/political philosopher, b. 27 April 1759
William Bentley, American minister/scholar, b. 22 June 1759
Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments and Voltaire's Candide are published.
200 years ago:
Louis Braille, French inventor, b. 4 January 1809 (events)
Edgar Allan Poe, American writer, b. 19 January 1809 (events)
Charles Darwin, English scientist/author, b. 12 February 1809 (events)
Abraham Lincoln, American president, b. 12 February 1809 (events)
Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, b. 1 April 1809
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., American physician/writer, b. 29 August 1809
150 years ago:
A.E. Housman, English poet, b. 26 March 1859
Jerome K. Jerome, English writer/humorist, b. 2 May 1859
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, English writer, creator of Sherlock Holmes, b. 22 May 1859
John Dewey, American philosopher, b. 20 October 1859
Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities is published, 20 April 1859
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species is published, 24 November 1859
Constantin von Tischendorf "discovers" the Codex Sinaiticus at St. Catherine's Monastery.
100 years ago:
Wallace Stegner, American author, b. 18 February 1909
Eudora Welty, American author, b. 13 April 1909 (events)
James Agee, American poet/critic, b. 27 November 1909
I'm sure I missed some. Forgive me.