Literary characters and figures are no strangers to being on British currency, in previous years we’ve seen; Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggywinkle and Jemima Puddleduck, Michael Bond’s Paddington Bear, and a full collection of Shakespeare coins. We’ve also seen author, Jane Austen make it onto a bank note thanks to feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez.
In 2019, The Royal Mint, are introducing new literary-themed coins for you to collect. 350 years after Samuel Pepys’ last diary entry there will be a commemorative £2 coin. Pepys’ diary which accounted historical events including the Great Fire of London began on 1st January 1660 and the last entry was on the 31st May 1669. “And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able to do with my own eyes in the keeping of my journal …” – wrote Pepys. The coin is designed by Sculptor, Gary Breeze, and features a quill writing in Samuel Pepys’ shorthand, complete with his signature and the date at the bottom.
Also released by The Royal Mint this year, is a commemorative 50p celebrating the 160th anniversary of Arthur Conan Doyle’s birthday. Doyle, is best known for bringing us the fictional but brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes who features on this coin. In the centre of the 50p, is the silhouette of Holmes in his distinguishing deer stalker hat and smoking a pipe. Surrounding Sherlock are the titles of Conan Doyle’s Holmes books including; The Hound of the Baskervilles, A Study in Scarlet and The Valley of Fear.
So, before you had over you change in a shop, take a second to check them in case you’re holding Sherlock Holmes, Samuel Pepys, Peter Rabbit, Paddington Bear or William Shakespeare in the palm of your hand.
Before he created the writer-persona of Dr Seuss, Geisel was an artist of another kind. In his spare time he created sculptures of interesting and strange creatures, using parts of real animals. Of course it is not as grotesque as it sounds- the animal parts were given to Theodor after the animals died of natural causes. His father was the superintendent of parks in Massachusetts at the time when a young Geisel was working as a fledgling author and illustrator. When zoo and park animals crossed the rainbow bridge, Geisel’s father sent him the various animals’ parts to help him create some whacky characters.
Horns, antlers, beaks, and all sorts were used by Geisel to build some of the most fantastical animals that, unsurprisingly, look like they have jumped straight out of a Dr Seuss picture book.
The author of And We’re Off, and memoir Choose Your Own Disaster, offered to stand at the back of a funeral with a massive black umbrella, looking mysterious. For a small fee, of course.
Fellow authors and humorists of Twitter, including our favourite Neil Gaiman, got involved to either take her up on the offer or to join the enterprise. A surprising amount of people were up for it, prompting Schwartz to promote her latest book in place of Venmo donations.
Remus is a longhaired mini dachshund, his Instagram profile tells us he “loves belly rubs, and hates full moons” and it’s packed with adorable videos and images of this Harry Potter loving pooch.
Imagining herself as a Hogwarts student (and assigned to Gryffindor by the Sorting Hat, of course), McKinney found she may get into a spot of bother by pointing out some illogical practises the school implements. Why use parchment when a spiral notebook is far more practical? Since when is a quill better than an actual pen? Why did the students have to revert to such old fashioned techniques just because they’re at a magical school?
Although written with humour and a tongue set firmly in cheek, the author does have some excellent points…
Using walls either side of the classroom doorways which jut out like book spines, this High school have turned their corridor into a bookshelf-esque line-up just in time for students returning from their Christmas break in January. In a post on Facebook the High School explained, “A Routine hallway has been transformed into a giant motivational tableau to encourage reading.”