Friday, August 27, 2010

DID YOU KNOW?!?! part 3!

More fun facts about our favorite authors!

Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy)
  • Frances left her home in England as a child to move to rural Tennessee. Talk about culture shock.
  • One of Burnett's houses had 22 rooms in it - each one dominated by a single color. Her bedroom was entirely pink.
  • She also had an extensive dollhouse collection, and one of these dollhouses (remember, this is the early 20th century) had a working shower.
  • Burnett based the character Little Lord Fauntleroy on her son Vivian. I repeat - her SON "Vivian."
Jack London (The Call of the Wild, White Fang)
  • At age 13, London was already working 14 hours a day in a cannery. He quickly fell into bad company, and by the time he was 18, he was already in jail for vagrancy.
  • When London was first starting out as a writer, the rejection slips he received piled five feet high.
  • At age 29, London was the highest-paid and widely read author in America. He was unsuccessful at striking gold...until he started writing about the Klondike gold rush.
  • London and his second wife Charmain Kittredge called each other "Mate-Woman" and "Mate-Man." Blech.
Carl Sandburg ("Chicago," "Fog," The Rootabaga Stories)
  • At just 14 years old, Sandburg was already in jail for swimming nude in a city pond.
  • Sandburg married a woman named Lilian Steichen, but throughout her marriage he kept referring to her as "Paula." Of his wife, Sandburg said that she was "the kind of woman I would be if I were a woman." Ohhh-kay.
  • Sandburg had a vast collection of folk music, and his favorite song was "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum."
  • His final house, Connemara in North Carolina, featured a library of 14,000 books.
E.B. White (Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan)
  • The E.B. stands for Elwyn Brooks, but after college, everyone called him "Andy."
  • His wife, Katharine Angell, was 7 years older than he was and also was his boss. His idea of a compliment was to tell her, "You smell like pencil shavings."
  • White found that he could only concentrate on his writing on rainy days.
  • If E.B. White was to give you a present, it would most likely be a copy of Thoreau's Walden. That was his favorite book, and he carried a copy of it with him wherever he went. He also gave away hundreds of copies as gifts.
  • Considering his novel Charlotte's Web, it's not surprising that White wasn't afraid of spiders. Once he let hundreds of them hatch and build webs atop his dresser. Research, perhaps?
William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August)
  • Faulkner was not the best student. It is true that he received less than admirable marks in grammar and language (strange for a future author), but he did not, as legend has it, fail English. He never graduated high school, but he was allowed to attend Ole Miss as a WWI veteran.
  • Faulkner's 3rd novel, Sartoris, became the first of 15 stories set in Yoknapatawpha County
  • His famous Nobel acceptance speech - which many people lauded as one of the most eloquent statements of faith in humanity - was most likely delivered while drunk.
  • Despite his status as one of the greatest American writers, the New York Times' obituary of Faulkner was less than kind, remarking on his "obsession with murder, rape, incest, suicide, greed, and general depravity."
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