Recently, I’ve been reading a few autobiographical books of authors, and it struck me that writers can be quite strange and acutely interesting people. Here’s a little collection of facts about famous writers that I found fascinating.
- Margaret Atwood once had a boyfriend who sent her a real, blood-sodden cow’s heart pierced by an arrow for Valentine’s Day. What a romantic.
- Michael Morpurgo’s grandfather was a poet, some of whose works were set to music by Edward Elgar himself!
- If you reading this have published a piece of writing and are disappointed with the ten copies you’ve sold, take heart – you’re doing better than the Brontes’ first did, my friend! In 1846, the Bronte sisters collaborated and published a book of poetry…it sold two copies.
- The above photograph details what is known as the ‘Dreadnought hoax‘. Basically, a group of Bloomsbury writers and artists including, Virginia Woolf, dressed up and donned fake beards to trick the crew of the HMS Dreadnought into thinking they were Abyssinian princes. They were given a forty minute tour of the ship.
- As a schoolboy, Roald Dahl worked as a taste-tester for Cadbury’s chocolate.
- Victor Hugo’s cure for writer’s block was…nudity. He’d get his servants to remove his clothes, and instruct them not to return them until he’d met his deadline.
- John Steinbeck’s first manuscript for Of Mice and Men was eaten by his puppy. He later wrote telling his editor: “I was pretty mad, but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically.”
- Charles Dickens always carried a compass with him: he liked to sleep facing the north. He thought it would improve his writing.
I hope you enjoyed this little collection of trivia – let me know your favourite literary facts!
Thanks for reading, and have a lovely day.