Thursday, 18 December 2008


The previous Blog tells of E B White's book of essays "Here is New York", (1948) containing, what has proven to be, some shrewd portents. He joined the staff of The New Yorker magazine in 1927, and continued to contribute for six decades. Best recognised for his essays and unsigned "Notes and Comment" pieces, he gradually became the most important contributor to The New Yorker at a time when it was arguably the most important American literary magazine.

He is perhaps best known as an author of children's books, which he turned to on behalf of a niece, Janet Hart White. His first children's book, "Stuart Little", was published in 1945. It is the tale of a young New Yorker named Stuart Little who had the "shy, pleasant manner of a mouse" and in Garth William's illustrations does look like a mouse and by the time the three highly successful Stuart Little films were made, had become a mouse.
"Charlotte's Web", published in 1952, tells the story of a barn spider named Charlotte and her friendship with a pig named Wilbur. The illustrator again was Garth Williams. In 2000 Publishers Weekly acclaimed the book as the best-selling children's paperback of all time. Written in White's dry, low key manner, "Charlotte's Web" is considered a classis of children's literature, enjoyable to adults as well as children.
In 1978, White won an honorary Pulitzer Prize for his work as a whole. Other awards he received included a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and memberships in a variety of literary societies throughout the United States. He died on October 1, 1985, 86 years old.

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