Children’s History Book Writer, Jean Fritz, Dies Aged 101

By May 18, 2017Authors, News

Award winning writer, Jean Fritz, who is best known for her history books aimed at younger readers, has passed away at the age of 101. The writer was able to take stories from throughout history and turn them into tales that allowed youngsters to explore history without having to endure the dryer parts of the subject.

As the New York Times reports, Jean passed away on Sunday at her home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y, at the age of 101. Her death was confirmed by her son, David Fritz. Fritz published over 48 books during her life and her work focused mainly on historical American figures from the 16th and 19th century.

Despite aiming her books towards young readers, Frtiz’s books were still very historically accurate and she even went as far as to attribute no dialogue to historical figures unless tit came from reliable sources such as diaries or letters. She also presented these figures as complex and flawed human beings rather than the perfect specimens history often presents us.

Her books include the likes of: And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? (1973); Why Don’t You Get a Horse, Sam Adams? (1974); and Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? (1975), Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? (1976), Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George? (1977), and Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution (1987).

Born in Hankow (now Hankou), China in 1916, as the only child of Arthur Minton Guttery, a Presbyterian missionary, and Myrtle Chaney. Fritza grew up to be a keen student of history, particularly her parent’s homeland.

“My interest in writing about American history stemmed originally, I think, from a subconscious desire to find roots,” Fritz is quoted saying in the reference work Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults. “I lived in China until I was 13, hearing constant talk about ‘home’ (meaning America), but since I had never been ‘home,’ I felt like a girl without a country.”

Fritz and her family returned to the United States in the 1920s were they settled in Connecticut. Fritz earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass., and in 1941 married Michael Fritz. Jean Fritz is survived by her son, her daughter, and two grandchildren.

Rupert Everett stars as Oscar Wilde in The Happy Prince

By | Adaptations, Authors | No Comments
Oscar Wilde is The Happy Prince in Rupert Everett’s latest writer/director project. The British actor has previously played Oscar Wilde on stage in a revival of David Hare’s play ‘The Judas Kiss‘ but, despite this movie following a similar timespan as the play, Everett has created a new, sensitive, and compelling biopic to end all Oscar Wilde biopics.

The story follows Wilde’s tragic last days with raw emotion, humour, and such passion, that it is obvious Everett put his absolute all into creating this movie. Joining him are Colin Firth (Bridget Jones’s Diary), Emily Watson (Little Women), and Colin Morgan (Merlin) as well as a host of great actors.

Check out the trailer below- and find it at your local cinema.

Read More

Richard Bach Quotes on Life and Love

By | Authors, Quotations | No Comments
Richard Bach (23rd June 1936) is an American author and pilot, responsible for some of the best selling books of the 1970s. Born in Oak Park, Illinois, Bach served in the United States Navy Reserve and the New Jersey Air National Guard’s Fighter Wing as a pilot before becoming an author.

During his time there he was also a contributing editor for Flying magazine and Avian, before finally writing his first novel Jonathan Livingstone Seagull in 1970. Bach went on to have a full literary career, writing many fiction and nonfiction books, most of which were somehow based around flying. Read More

An Introduction to Mary McCarthy

By | Authors | No Comments
Mary Therese McCarthy (June 21st, 1912 – October 25th, 1989) was an American novelist, critic and political activist born in Seattle, Washington. McCarthy learned loss at an early age, losing both her parents to the flu epidemic of 1918, a situation that led to a childhood of harsh treatment and abuse raised by an uncle and aunt at her catholic father’s parents’ home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. McCarthy explored the complexities of this time in her memoir Memories of a Catholic Girlhood. Read More

US Authors Campaigning Against ‘Kids in Cages’

By | Authors, Children's Literature, News, Political | No Comments
Wherever you are it’s unlikely that you haven’t heard about the current move by the US administration separating children from their parents who are seeking asylum. Despite many smokescreens and accusations that this policy has been around under previous administrations, that is simply a myth. The policy was introduced on 6th April 2018 and was the brainchild of John Kelly and Stephen Miller and approved by President Trump to serve as a deterrent for undocumented immigration. Read More

Vikram Seth, Life, Love and Writer’s Block

By | Authors | No Comments
Vikram Seth is an Indian novelist, poet and travel writer and one of the best known English language Indian writers of our time. Best known for his epic novel A Suitable Boy, Seth has been writing for three decades, although notably and famously suffered from writer’s block in recent times.

Born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) on 20th June 1952 Seth studied in India, moving to England to complete his A-levels at Tonbridge School. From here Seth headed to Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Read More

In 1938, Tolkien Tried to Get the Hobbit Published in Germany, He Was Asked If He Had Jewish Ancestry, Here Is His Reply

By | Authors, Political | No Comments
In 1938, only a year or so before the start of the Second World War, J.R.R. Tolkien was busy trying to get The Hobbit published overseas. Tolkien’s publisher was working on bringing the novel to Germany where, under Adolf Hitler, anti-Semitism was rife. Before The Hobbit would be published, Tolkien was asked whether he was of Aryan origin, and by extension whether he was Jewish or had Jewish ancestry. Tolkien replied thusly:
Read More



Leave a Reply