Who Wrote the First Novel in English? And Other Surprising Literary Firsts

Fascinating information from Interesting Literature…

Interesting Literature

Surprising firsts from the world of books

We recently wrote a book, The Secret Library: A Book Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History, which aims to uncover the best hidden facts and stories about classic and not-so-classic works of literature. One of the most fascinating things we discovered was how wrong we’d been on the topic of ‘firsts’. It seems there are a fair few origin myths out there, which are often taken as fact. Who wrote the first English novel? We thought we knew. Who compiled the first English Dictionary? Dr Johnson, surely! Turns out we were wrong on that one too. To celebrate the publication of our book in the US this month, here are a few of our favourite surprising firsts from the world of literature which we uncovered during our research for the book, which goes back several years.

Who compiled the first English dictionary?

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