The best-selling living author, Danielle Steel, has received “a resounding lack of critical acclaim” for her 179 books. In her romance novels, she draws from her experiences of having been married 5 times to financiers, ex-convicts, and a vintner, and having 9 children.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was written over a period of three weeks after he was misdiagnosed with brain cancer and given a year to live.He decided to spend that year writing five novels to provide for his wife after his death. Ironically, he outlived her.
When Leo Tolstoy became a vegetarian, two of his children followed, but his wife and aunt didn’t. He didn’t pressure them, but sometimes teased them. His aunt once came to dinner and found a knife and a chicken on her chair. Tolstoy said “We knew you wanted chicken, but none of us would kill it”.
J.R.R Tolkien was rejected for a Nobel Prize, in 1961, on the grounds of his poor storytelling.
In 1954, Ernest Hemingway survived two plane crashes in two days. He was presumed dead almost 24 hours later until he was spotted coming out of the jungle carrying bananas and a bottle of gin. One of the planes was burning on the runway. The door was stuck. So Hemingway headbutted it open. He never fully recovered from the concussion and it’s theorised this may have been the starting point for his cognitive decline.
H G Wells was inspired to write War of the Worlds by the plight of the Tasmanian Aborigines.
By the time Wells wrote that book there were no Tasmanian Aboriginals left to have a plight.
The native of Tasmania were victims of one of the most complete genocides in modern history. The last male Tasmanian Aboriginals had his scrotum turned into a tobacco pouch after death and the last female died in 1876. The remains of some of the last to die were put in museums back in England whole or in parts.
More recently the population of Tasmanian Aboriginals has been revived by people who believe themselves to have some aboriginal ancestry who learned or recreated some of the old culture and languages and lobbied to have the definition of aboriginals widened to include them and anyone who self-identifies as such.
Agatha became skilled at body-boarding in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and in Hawaii she learned to ride while standing on the board.
In 1857, a woman named Hannah Crafts escaped her owner by dressing up as a man and pretending to be white. She later wrote a book called The Bondwoman’s Narrative, but didn’t publish it. It was found years later in a New Jersey attic and was finally authenticated and published in 2002.
At first a soldier in the German revolution of ’48, Carl Schurz busted out his friend from a prison in Berlin, fled on a boat to Edinburg, emigrated to the US, became a Union General in the Civil War, then US Senator, and later secretary of the interior. Mark Twain wrote his obituary.
C.S. Lewis nominated J.R.R. Tolkien for the 1961 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was rejected on the grounds that his writing “has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality.”
When Charles Dickens was 12 years old, his father was thrown into prison for debt. Charles was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days at a boot factory in order to help support his family. The poor conditions of the working class became a major theme in several of his works.
Barbara Cartland wrote 723 novels – an average of more than 9 a year over her career. In 1976 she wrote 23 – still a world record.