The Secretly Crazy Lives of Famous Writers

The Secretly Crazy Lives of Famous Writers

Famous writers are remembered for their works, which is the way it’s supposed to be. But a lot of them have secret back stories that make their lives seem quite the less glamorous than you’d expect.

The Secretly Crazy Lives of Famous Writers

1. Virginia Woolf

Notable Works: To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway

Virginia Woolf a famous writer known for her “stream of consciousness” style of writing — basically an unorganized ramble of thoughts, unintelligible to most. Her life story is also a famous one. She went insane, and would talk for days on end without stopping, as if voicing her inner stream of consciousness. She suffered from severe bipolar disorder and had a number of mental breakdowns throughout her life.

At age 59, she filled her coat with stones, jumped into a river and drowned.


The Secretly Crazy Lives of Famous Writers

2. William Shakespeare

Notable Works: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth

Shakespeare is known for his plays and his legendarily romantic sonnets. You’d expect the famous writer of works so rich with passionate love to be some sort of passionate lover himself, right? Well, his love life was certainly scandalous, if not strictly loving.

Shakespeare, at the age of 18, impregnated a woman 8 years his senior — Anne Hathaway. So they got married. Shortly afterwards, Shakespeare moved to London and lived without her.


The Secretly Crazy Lives of Famous Writers

3. Sylvia Plath

Notable Works: Ariel, The Bell Jar

Sylvia Plath was a famous writer of poems as well as a novelist in the 20th century. For most of her life, she suffered from depression, when at 8 years old, her father passed away. At just 30 years old, she committed suicide by putting her head in an oven.

Her troubled experiences are expressed in her semi-biographical novel, The Bell Jar. It’s a story about a beautiful young woman, bursting with potential who slowly falls to insanity. It’s shocking, gripping, and emotional — and a haunting insight to Sylvia’s own life.


The Secretly Crazy Lives of Famous Writers

4. Ernest Hemingway

Notable Works: The Old Man and the SeaThe Sun Also Rises

Though his legacy in American literature is well known, few know that this famous writer had a family history of mental illness.  He became extremely paranoid and certain that the government was keeping tabs on him. He was treated with electroconvulsive therapy — basically, electric shock “treatments”. During these series of treatments, he begged his wife not to let him go back for about bout, because he’d lost so much memory after each.

Shortly afterwards, this celebrated famous writer put a shotgun to his head and pulled the trigger. And then it was revealed that the FBI really were tailing him.


The Secretly Crazy Lives of Famous Writers

5. Charles Dickens

Notable Works: A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist

We know him for his provocative tales, masterly writing, and creativity — but do you really know how far his imagination stretched?

This famous writer was a member of The Ghost Club. It’s a club basically for the investigation of paranormal activity. They talked about ghosts, looked for ghosts, performed “investigations” for ghosts. Imagine putting that on your resume. Needless to say, Dickens was quite the supernatural nerd.

[quote_center]Which writer’s story shocked you the most?[/quote_center]

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  1. If your idea of Virginia Woolf’s writing is that it is “… basically an unorganized ramble of thoughts, unintelligible to most” then you are a fool.


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