Photograph of Joan Didion

Joan Didion

Color photograph of Princeton professor of English and Comparative Literature Michael Wood.

Michael Wood

Black and white image of English scholar, writer, and clergyman Robert Burton.

Robert Burton

(1577 - 1640)

Black and white photograph of French novelist, playwright, and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

Jean-Paul Sartre

(1905 - 1980)

Color photograph of Osama bin Laden, founder of militant Islamist group al-Qaeda.

Osama bin Laden

(1957 - 2011)

Black and white image of English novelist Anthony Trollope.

Anthony Trollope

(1815 - 1882)

Black and white photograph of British writer Doris Lessing.

Doris Lessing

(1919 - 2013)

Suetonius

(69 - c. 130)

Detail of mural featuring Jacobus de Voragine, archbishop of Genoa and chronicler.

Jacobus de Voragine

(c. 1230 - 1298)

Black and white photograph of American playwright Lillian Hellman.

Lillian Hellman

(1905 - 1984)

Black and white photograph of Alsatian-German winner of the Nobel Peace Prize Albert Schweitzer.

Albert Schweitzer

(1875 - 1965)

Black and white photograph of critic and novelist Mary McCarthy.

Mary McCarthy

(1912 - 1989)

Black and white photograph of Russian author Leo Tolstoy.

Leo Tolstoy

(1828 - 1910)

Portrait of English writer Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Wollstonecraft

(1759 - 1797)

Black and white photograph of French writer and feminist Simone de Beauvoir.

Simone de Beauvoir

(1908 - 1986)

Black and white photograph of African-American poet Nikki Giovanni.

Nikki Giovanni

Black and white photograph of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud with cigar.

Sigmund Freud

(1856 - 1949)

Black and white photograph of former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation J. Edgar Hoover.

J. Edgar Hoover

(1895 - 1972)

Portrait of Russian political thinker and writer Alexander Herzen.

Alexander Herzen

(1812 - 1870)

Longus

(c. 180 - c. 230)

Engraving of Roman poet Horace.

Horace

(65 BC - 8 BC)

Black and white photograph of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson.

Robert Louis Stevenson

(1850 - 1894)

Lewis Lapham at his desk

Lewis H. Lapham

Black and white photograph of American poet Elizabeth Bishop.

Elizabeth Bishop

(1911 - 1979)

Classical engraving of Aristophanes with a long beard.

Aristophanes

(c. 446 BC - c. 386 BC)

Color photograph of American novelist and short-story writer Richard Wright.

Richard Wright

(1908 - 1960)

Black and white photograph of American writer Harper Lee.

Harper Lee

(1926 - 2016)

Black and white photograph of English poet Wilfred Owen.

Wilfred Owen

(1893 - 1918)

Black and white photograph of English man of letters Cyril Connolly.

Cyril Connolly

(1903 - 1974)

Black and white photograph of social reformer and pacifist Jane Addams.

Jane Addams

(1860 - 1935)

Black and white photograph of German writer Hermann Hesse.

Hermann Hesse

(1877 - 1962)

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

(1803 - 1882)

Black and white photograph of Maria Bashkirtseva

Maria Bashkirtseva

(1858 - 1884)

Black and white photograph of Irish novelist James Joyce.

James Joyce

(1882 - 1941)

Painting of humanist and scholar Desiderius Erasmus.

Desiderius Erasmus

(1466 - 1536)

Black and white image of Greek biographer and writer Plutarch.

Plutarch

(46 - c. 120)

Japanese author Yukio Mishima.

Yukio Mishima

(1925 - 1970)

Black and white photograph of French aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

(1900 - 1944)

Black and white photograph of Polish-born English writer Joseph Conrad.

Joseph Conrad

(1857 - 1924)

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

Oscar Wilde

(1854 - 1900)

Black and white photograph of educator and reformer Booker T. Washington.

Booker T. Washington

(1856 - 1915)

Color photograph of writer Donna Tartt.

Donna Tartt

Engraving of Greek satirist Lucian.

Lucian

(125 - c. 180)

Sculpture bust of Roman teacher and writer Quintilian.

Quintilian

(35 - c. 96)

Portrait of Philip Dormer Stanhope wearing a blue sash.

Philip Dormer Stanhope

(1694 - 1773)

Black and white photograph of German-language writer Franz Kafka.

Franz Kafka

(1883 - 1924)

Black and white photograph of psychologist G. Stanley Hall.

G. Stanley Hall

(1844 - 1924)

Portrait of American Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards.

Jonathan Edwards

(1703 - 1758)

Wang Jiusi

(1468 - 1551)

Painting of Jean de la Bruyère wearing a red cape.

Jean de La Bruyère

(1645 - 1696)

Color portrait of the Italian writer and libertine Giacomo Casanova.

Giacomo Casanova

(1725 - 1798)

Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

(1821 - 1881)

Black and white photograph of folksinger Phil Ochs.

Phil Ochs

(1940 - 1976)

Image of medieval traveler Sir John Mandeville.

John Mandeville

(c. 1300 - 1371)

Image of Japanese poet and essayist Yoshida Kenko.

Yoshida Kenko

(c. 1283 - c. 1351)

Black and white photograph of historian and man of letters Henry Adams.

Henry Adams

(1838 - 1918)

Portrait of French philosopher Claude-Adrien Helvétius.

Claude-Adrien Helvétius

(1715 - 1771)

Yu Zhih

(1809 - 1874)

Portrait of German physician and writer Heinrich Hoffmann.

Heinrich Hoffmann

(1885 - 1957)

Color portrait of English philosopher John Locke.

John Locke

(1632 - 1704)

English-born American poet W. H. Auden.

W.H. Auden

(1907 - 1973)

Black and white photograph of British social reformer Eglantyne Jebb at a desk.

Eglantyne Jebb

(1876 - 1928)

Color photograph of American writer Annie Dillard.

Annie Dillard

Black and white photograph of Danish author Tove Ditlevsen.

Tove Ditlevsen

(1917 - 1976)

Portrait of Japanese political figure and scholar Sugawara no Michizane.

Sugawara no Michizane

(845 - 903)

Color photograph of American journalist and author Dave Cullen.

Dave Cullen

Black and white photograph of Austrian writer Stefan Zweig.

Stefan Zweig

(1881 - 1942)

Color photograph of writer and activist Ishmael Beah.

Ishmael Beah

Painting of a young Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

(1819 - 1901)

Pastel drawing of George Eliot.

George Eliot

(1819 - 1880)

Black and white photograph of American author Edith Wharton.

Edith Wharton

(1862 - 1937)

Color photograph of American writer George Saunders.

George Saunders

Color photograph of writer and editor Noam Scheiber.

Noam Scheiber

Black and white photograph of German novelist and essayist Thomas Mann.

Thomas Mann

(1875 - 1955)

Photograph of American writer James Baldwin.

James Baldwin

(1924 - 1987)

Color portrait of Russian poet, novelist, and dramatist Aleksandr Pushkin.

Aleksandr Pushkin

(1799 - 1837)

Image from Codex Manesse depicting a tournament of knights.

Chrétien de Troyes

(c. 1165 - c. 1180)

Portrait of Chinese painter and poet Xu Wei.

Xu Wei

(1521 - 1593)

Black and white photograph of former President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt

(1858 - 1919)

Engraving of Robert Herrick

Robert Herrick

(1591 - 1674)

Sculpture bust of legendary Greek fabulist Aesop.

Aesop

(c. 620 BC - c. 564 BC)

Black and white engraving of Roman poet Ovid in profile.

Ovid

(43 BC - c. 17)