I have a deep and abiding affection for facts. Any facts really – I am not particularly discriminating. Hence why QI is one of my all time favourite telly programmes, and why I can churn out fascinating (and I use this term loosely) facts on demand. Did you know, for instance, that British cows moo in regional accents? It’s true. And don’t you feel the better for knowing this piece of information?
It was inevitable that, somewhere down the line, I would find a way to incorporate my love of trivia into a Just for Fun Friday post. Well friends, today is the day.*
- Before writing The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown was a musician and a pop star. The title of his second album? Angels and Demons. What else?
- In Victor Hugo‘s Les Miserables, one sentence is a whopping 823 words long.
- John Wayne once won a Shakespeare contest, reciting a speech of Cardinal Woolsey’s from Henry VIII.
- Shakespeare is attributed with the creation of a 1,700 words now common to the English language. Among them are: boredom, disgraceful, hostile, worth, obscene, puke, and perplex.
- Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a practicing ophthalmologist (eye doctor). He took up writing to compensate for the lack of money brought in by his career choice.
- Charles Dickens was only able to write when facing north.
- He also had his own amusement park in Kent.
- Leo Tolstoy‘s wife had to copy out War and Peace seven times by hand.
- J.K. Rowling doesn’t actually have a middle name. She made up the ‘K’ for Kathleen, in honour of her grandmother, when she decided to publish Harry Potter using her initials.
- Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain, and Beatrix Potter were all self-published writers.
And two non-literary facts here purely for enlightenment purposes:
- John Cleese’s father’s last name was cheese. Cleese grew up just outside of Cheddar, with a best friend named Barney Butter.
- Bobby Leach, the second man to venture over Niagara Falls in a barrel, survived the fall, but died later after slipping on some orange peel.
Have a wonderful weekend!