I glanced through a book, at the library today, charting the lives of some famous literary figures. Talk about tortured souls. Blimey. Mental illness, starvation, meningitis, TB, imprisonment, suicide, treason, drowning and heavy drinking abounded. And that was just Virginia Woolf. (Not really. She did drown though.)
The Elizabethan writer, Christopher Marlowe, was rumoured to have been a spy. There was also speculation that he actually wrote Shakespeare's plays for him. (Naughty).
Edgar Allan Poe married his 13 year old cousin, before descending into poverty and alcoholism at a young age. He also appeared nude, apparently, for a public parade, apart from a white belt and gloves, once. A fashion faux pas by anyone's standards.
The blind, 17th century poet, John Milton, only recieved £10 for his masterpiece, Paradise Lost. That's got to be the worst publishing deal in history, surely? Unless £10 then, was equivalent to £1 million now, which I doubt.
It made me think, though. Maybe I'm not eccentric enough to be a 'proper' writer. Not that I want to go down the raging-alcoholic-with-suicidal-tendencies route, of course, and I don't think treason's making a comeback this season, but...I don't know. Maybe I could start wearing a silly hat or something. Non?