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Five Fascinating Facts about Aldous Huxley

Interesting trivia about the life of Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World

1. Aldous Huxley was the great-nephew of Matthew Arnold. Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), the author best known for the dystopian novel Brave New World (1932), could boast the nineteenth-century poet and educational reformer Arnold (1822-88) as his great-uncle. This literary ancestry is worth mentioning at the outset of this list of interesting Aldous Huxley facts, not least because it is often eclipsed in accounts of Huxley’s life by his more famous family connection – namely, his grandfather, the great Victorian biologist T. H. Huxley, who coined the word ‘agnostic’. And while we’re discussing the coining of words…  Read the rest of this entry

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Five Fascinating Facts about Herman Melville

Five fun and interesting facts about Herman Melville, the author of Moby-Dick

1. Much of his mature work was a flop during his lifetime. Much of Melville’s later work – the majority of which is now his most highly regarded fiction – was neither critically nor commercially successful when it was first published. Between 1863 and 1887, an average of 23 copies of Moby-Dick – now his most widely read book – were sold each year. It now sells more copies each year than were sold in the entire nineteenth century and is acknowledged as a classic. (Of course, its influence can even be seen in the modern world of coffee and capitalism: the founders of the Starbucks chain took the name from a character in Melville’s novel.) Read the rest of this entry

Five Fascinating Facts about Sylvia Plath

Five interesting facts about the poet Sylvia Plath

1. The first time Sylvia Plath met Ted Hughes, she was so excited that she bit him on the face. The two felt an inexplicable attraction to one another and almost immediately began biting each other’s faces off – literally. When they left the party at which they had met, Plath noticed that blood was running down Hughes’ face. Read the rest of this entry