Italian Christian theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas.

Thomas Aquinas

(c. 1224 - 1274)

black and white photo of Steve Martin wearing a white dinner jacket and black tie

Steve Martin

American television critic Emily Nussbaum.

Emily Nussbaum

American author Tom Wolfe.

Tom Wolfe

(1931 - 2018)

Oil painting portrair Michel de Montaigne in red robes and white collar

Michel de Montaigne

(1533 - 1592)

Canadian writer Stephen Marche.

Stephen Marche

German poet Heinrich Heine.

Heinrich Heine

(1825 - 1856)

Italian artist and author Giorgio Vasari.

Giorgio Vasari

(1511 - 1574)

American poet Wallace Stevens.

Wallace Stevens

(1879 - 1955)

Photograph of American artist Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol

(1928 - 1987)

Italian poet and scholar Giovanni Boccaccio.

Giovanni Boccaccio

(1313 - 1375)

American poet Frank O’Hara.

Frank O’Hara

(1926 - 1966)

Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

(106 BC - 43 BC)

Black and white photograph of a young F. Scott Fitzgerald sitting at a desk.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

(1896 - 1940)

Portrait of Francis Bacon in sixteenth-century armor.

Francis Bacon

(1561 - 1626)

French critic Roland Barthes.

Roland Barthes

(1915 - 1980)

American non-fiction writer David Samuels.

David Samuels

Photograph of American writer and professor Paul Collins.

Paul Collins

Portrait of British poet Lord Byron.

Lord Byron

(1788 - 1824)

Engraving of William Shakespeare from the first folio edition.

William Shakespeare

(1564 - 1616)

American writer Philip Roth.

Philip Roth

(1933 - 2018)

Painted portrait of second President of the United States John Adams.

John Adams

(1735 - 1826)

American musician, songwriter, and co-founder of Mötley Crüe Nikki Sixx.

Nikki Sixx

British musician John Lennon.

John Lennon

(1940 - 1980)

Photograph of American writer James Baldwin.

James Baldwin

(1924 - 1987)

Juvenal

(c. 60 - c. 130)

Lewis Lapham at his desk

Lewis H. Lapham

American musician Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan

Image of Scottish poet, journalist, and author Charles Mackay.

Charles Mackay

(1814 - 1889)

American critic Edmund Wilson.

Edmund Wilson

(1895 - 1972)

Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift

(1667 - 1745)

Black and white photograph of a young Mark Twain with dark hair.

Mark Twain

(1835 - 1910)

English poet, novelist, and classicist Robert Graves.

Robert Graves

(1895 - 1985)

Black and white image of Greek biographer and writer Plutarch.

Plutarch

(46 - c. 120)

Image of French poet François Villon.

François Villon

(1431 - c. 1463)

British surgeon Frederick Treves.

Fredrick Treves

(1853 - 1923)

American writer Saul Bellow.

Saul Bellow

(1915 - 2005)

Black and white photograph of American writer and exponent of Transcendentalism Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882)

Black and white photograph of Russian author Leo Tolstoy.

Leo Tolstoy

(1828 - 1910)

American assassin John Hinckley Jr.

John Hinckley Jr.

American actor, screenwriter, and producer Matt Damon.

Matt Damon

Painted portrait of British statesman and political thinker Edmund Burke.

Edmund Burke

(1729 - 1797)

Black and white photograph of Emily Dickinson sitting next to a desk.

Emily Dickinson

(1830 - 1886)

Photograph of English novelist Charles Dickens.

Charles Dickens

(1812 - 1870)

English writer Christopher Marlowe.

Christopher Marlowe

(1564 - 1593)

Chinese American writer Yiyun Li.

Yiyun Li

Dio Cassius

(c. 150 - 235)

British historian Edward Gibbon.

Edward Gibbon

(1737 - 1794)

John Tresch

American historian Daniel Boorstin.

Daniel Boorstin

(1914 - 2004)

Black and white engraving of Roman poet Ovid in profile.

Ovid

(43 BC - c. 17)

British beauty and actress Lillie Langtry.

Lillie Langtry

(1853 - 1929)

Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes.

Miguel de Cervantes

(1547 - 1616)

Photograph of German sociologist and political economist Max Weber.

Max Weber

(1864 - 1920)

American author of fiction, nonfiction and poetry Charles Baxter.

Charles Baxter

Engraving of Roman author and administrator Pliny the Younger.

Pliny the Younger

(61 - 112)

Yugoslav novelist Danilo Kiš.

Danilo Kiš

(1935 - 1989)

English Canadian author Tom Rachman.

Tom Rachman

American songwriters Burt Bacharach & Hal David.

Burt Bacharach & Hal David

French poet and author Christine de Pisan.

Christine de Pisan

(1364 - c. 1430)

Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto.

Ludovico Ariosto

(1474 - 1533)

Valerius Maximus

(c. 20 BC - c. 50 BC)

English poet and satirist Alexander Pope.

Alexander Pope

(1688 - 1744)

American showman P.T. Barnum.

P.T. Barnum

(1810 - 1891)

Pastel drawing of George Eliot.

George Eliot

(1819 - 1880)

Depiction of Greek philosopher Plato.

Plato

(c. 427 BC - c. 347 BC)

Suetonius

(69 - c. 130)

New York-based author Suketu Mehta.

Suketu Mehta

English essayist, poet, and dramatist Joseph Addison.

Joseph Addison

(1672 - 1719)

Photograph of William Faulkner sitting in a chair.

William Faulkner

(1897 - 1962)

American poet John Berryman.

John Berryman

(1914 - 1972)

English writer and essayist William Hazlitt.

William Hazlitt

(1778 - 1830)

Black and white photograph of English writer Virginia Woolf.

Virginia Woolf

(1882 - 1941)

Photograph of Marcel Proust looking pensive.

Marcel Proust

(1871 - 1922)

American social reformer Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

Thomas Wentworth Higginson

(1823 - 1911)

Portrait of English Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

(1792 - 1822)

British writer Muriel Spark.

Muriel Spark

(1918 - 2006)

William Makepeace Thackeray

(1811 - 1863)

Portrait of English wit and poet John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester with monkey.

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

(1647 - 1680)

Arrian

(c. 86 - c. 160)

British scholar and military officer T.E. Lawrence.

T.E. Lawrence

(1888 - 1927)

Ur-Nammu

(2112 BC - 2095 BC)

Photograph of English professor and author Andrew McConnell Stott.

Andrew McConnell Stott

Sepia colored photo of Oscar Wilde sitting on a rock with a book in his hand

Oscar Wilde

(1854 - 1900)

French writer, critic, and book publisher Edmond de Goncourt.

Edmond Goncourt

(1822 - 1896)

Black and white photograph of political scientist and philosopher Hannah Arendt holding a cigarette.

Hannah Arendt

(1906 - 1975)

Image of Japanese poet and essayist Yoshida Kenko.

Yoshida Kenko

(c. 1283 - c. 1351)

Portrait of English poet John Keats.

John Keats

(1795 - 1821)

Frontispiece for 1612-13 King James Bible.

The Bible

American writer Tad Friend.

Tad Friend

American aviator Charles Lindbergh.

Charles Lindbergh

(1902 - 1974)

Photograph of Joan Didion

Joan Didion

Portrait of English writer Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Wollstonecraft

(1759 - 1797)

American critic, poet, and resident of Norway Bruce Bawer.

Bruce Bawer

American author Truman Capote.

Truman Capote

(1924 - 1984)

American novelist John Dos Passos.

John Dos Passos

(1896 - 1970)