Literary Figures with Weird Habits #2

I did a post like this back in August and have since accumulated enough weird facts to do another one. I got all of these from following @InterestingLit on Twitter–there were no citations in the tweets so I have no idea how accurate each statement is. But I could say that about half of the things I post on this blog, so . . . Let's get started.

I've also been asked by people to start linking wikipedia entries to all the authors I mention. Because I work in this specific area, I forget that not everyone is going to know who all these people are. So unless it says directly in the tweet what they wrote, I'll provide a link.

1.) "Baudelaire kept a bat in a cage on his writing desk." Well, he was a translator of Poe's work.

2.) "Lord Byron once drank burgundy out of a human skull."

3.) "Samuel Taylor Coleridge joined the army under the false name of Silas Tomkyn Comberbache." Subtle. Typically when you use a false name, it's a discreet one, but hey. What do I know?

4.) "Dostoevsky, Goethe, George du Maurier, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Victor Hugo were all foot fetishists."

5.) "Victor Hugo claimed he made love to his wife nine times on their wedding night." Yeah, but the above fact makes me wonder if he just rubbed her feet 9 times.

6.) "Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, once wrote a treatise on human excrement under the pen name ‘Dr Shit’." There is nothing I can say about this one except to give it serious side-eye and wonder how true this is. Then again, I wouldn't put it past him.

7.) "Louisa May Alcott’s working title for Little Women was ‘The Pathetic Family’." Beth is really the only pathetic one. You can call Jo and Amy many things, but "pathetic" isn't one of them.

8.) "Bram Stoker’s wife, Florence Balcombe, was previously suitored by Oscar Wilde." Wow, you dodged a bullet there, Florence.

9.) "Skiing was popularised in Switzerland by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [author of Sherlock Holmes].'

10.) "In 1862, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton was offered the chance to be King of Greece." Yeah, but what celebrity HADN'T been offered the monarchy of a Balkan nation by that point?

11.)  "Algernon Charles Swinburne was paranoid that George Eliot was out to get him." What's the worst she's going to do, Swinburne? Write elegant realist sentences denouncing you in a fair and balanced manner?

12.) "French writer Gerard de Nerval took his pet lobster for walks in the Palais-Royal."

13.) "Dickens & Poe were friends. 3 letters between them survive (alas, letters don’t mention of the death of Dickens’ pet raven)."

14.) "Sherlock Holmes was originally going to be called Sherrinford."

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2 Responses to Literary Figures with Weird Habits #2

  1. linda_lupos says:

    3) Obviously now the only actor who can play him in a biopic is Benedict Cumberbatch.

    5) 9 times? Ouch. O_o One hopes he rubbed her feet 9 times instead of the real thing!

    7) yay for not calling Amy pathetic! *Amy-fan*


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