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Saturday, 15 October 2016


A Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikbu wrote in 1007 The Story of Genji. A tale of a prince looking for love and wisdom, it is considered to be the world's first novel.

The Story of Genji was written mostly in kana script. Kana script was originally developed for women, as writing with Chinese characters was considered a "masculine" pursuit.

The Power of Sympathy by William Hill Brown was published in Boston, Massachusetts on January 21, 1789 and sold at the price of nine shillings. The book is widely considered to be the first American novel.

Title page of the first edition

From the late 18th to mid-19th century, it was considered bad for women to read novels based on the belief that women were unable to differentiate between fiction and real life.

English playwright and novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton popularized the opening line "It was a dark and stormy night". The first sentence of his 1830 novel, Paul Clifford, reads in full:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents - except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

Bulwer-Lytton is also credited with popularizing the term "the great unwashed" which he used in the same novel.

In Search of Lost Time (French: À la recherche du temps perdu) is a novel in seven volumes, written by Marcel Proust and published in France between 1913 and 1927. It holds the record for longest novel, at 1,200,000 words and 4,211 pages.

The working title of Joseph Heller's 1961 novel Catch-22 was Catch-18.

Bomber by Len Deighton was the first novel to be written on a word processor. He wrote it in the late 1960s on IBM’s MTST (Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter), sold in the European market as the MT72.

First Edition Wikipedia Commons

Due to the limited technology of the 1980s, Tom Clancy's novel, The Hunt For Red October, had to be saved on ten floppy disks.

Taylor Swift wrote a 350-page novel when she was 12 years old.

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