Happy 60th Birthday, Charlotte

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Authors are inspired by everything–people, places, events.  E.B. White’s inspiration for “Charlotte’s Web”, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, started with a more than 100 year old barn on his farm in Cove, Maine. 

In an essay in the NYT, Michael Sims described White’s fascination with his barn and the creatures that lived there.  His keen powers of observation and research about creatures he didn’t know too much about (spiders) led to this classic.  Fern entered the picture after many drafts.

When White presented his typed manuscript to his editor Ursula Nordstrom in 1952 he remarked that it was his only copy.  Worrying that she might lose the only copy she took it home with her.  She was the first to read what has become a children’s classic.  She soon realized that in addition to Wilbur and Charlotte, the barn was also a major character in this enduring story.

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