Celebrated romantic poet Lord Byron (known in his time as “a child of passion and the fool of fame”) had legions of adoring female fans. Often they would mail clippings of their hair as personal tokens of their admiration and affection. Byron wore his black hair, which was curly, short with a clump of curls in the front (known as “Byronic curls”). Not willing to part with his hair (excuse the pun) and not wanting to be known as “that bald romantic poet,” Byron simply cut the curly fur from his beloved Newfoundland, Boatswain, to mail back to some of his lovesick fans.
Unlike Tolstoy, John Steinbeck wrote out most of his novels in longhand by himself. In writing the novel that Steinbeck considered his magnum opus, East of Eden, the author went through 300 pencils. Published in 1952 by VIking Press, the books was 602 pages long. The author appears as a minor character in chapter 46.
The devoted wife of Leo Tolstoy, Sophia, wrote out in longhand her husband’s drafts of War and Peace — six times! Although it isn’t known how many pens or pencils she went through — it must have been considerable since the novel was published in 1868 in four octavo volumes running 1,872 pages. Can you say “carpal tunnel syndrome”?
Before Abercrombie & Fitch became a pricey clothing store in the late 1880s, it began in 1892 as a premiere outfitter of sporting goods, selling high-end hunting wear, fishing rods, tents, and shotguns. It was at one of their stores, that Ernest Hemingway bought a shotgun that he later used to commit suicide in his home in Ketchum, Idaho in 1961.
For further reading: 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off by John Lloyed, et al, Norton (2013)