Daily Rituals of Famous Authors [courtesy Huff Post Books]
Famous Authors’ Handwritten Outlines for Great Works of Literature [courtesy Flavorwire]
An extract from The Make Believe World of Daphne du Maurier.
FYI-Daphne du Maurier was born 106 years ago today!
The only extant recording of the great writer Virginia Woolf’s voice. From BBC Radio, 29th April 1937.
Anne Brontë’s Updated Gravestone [courtesy BBC]
“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, as they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.”-Virginia Woolf, Orlando
It is difficult to avoid peddling clichés when discussing Daphne du Maurier’s personal style: there’s just something so vigorously English about her look.
See what I mean? Her fresh-scrubbed bluntness still bewitches. Whatever the truth of her routine, she looks like a woman whose morning ablutions consisted of plunging her face into a cold stream, followed by a haphazard spritz of rose-water, mirror-less application of the perfect red lipstick, and a few deep breaths. Whether she spent the day at her typewriter or traipsing through fragrant fields with clever dogs gamboling at her heels, it’s obvious that she was sartorially prepared.
Check out that tweedy magnificence! Doesn’t it make you want to throw out all fussiness from your wardrobe, peel away the unnecessary layers of routine, to streamline, distill, simplify? That is one powerfully chic, easy, wearable silhouette. A put-it-on-and-forget-about-it-yet-look-better-than-everyone-else type of ensemble.
I don’t know many writers who look this crisply put together on the job, myself included. Yet, typewriter or no, she looks like a writer should look, doesn’t she? Serious, simply adorned, polished, comfortable. Ready to work, to create, to sweat it out, to answer an unexpected knock at the door without shame or a mad scramble for something suitable to wear. Every image of du Maurier seems to scream, “That, that was a woman who knew how to live.”
DAPHNE DU MAURIER (1907-1989)
- The Loving Spirit (1931)
- Jamaica Inn (1936)
- Rebecca (1938)
- Frenchman’s Creek (1941)
- Hungry Hill (1943)
- My Cousin Rachel (1951)
- Mary Anne (1954)
- The Birds and Other Stories (1963)
- Not After Midnight (1971)
“Writers should be read, but neither seen nor heard.”-Daphne du Maurier
…is a fascinating and priceless literary and cultural treasure. Filling the years 1919-1938, it is a neat autobiography of his (and Zelda’s) professional output and earnings. The whole thing is now available on-line. Go there, go there now! It is a first-class time-waster worth every second.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Ledger [courtesy University of South Carolina]
His handwriting is elegantly divine.
- Joseph Addison was born on 5/1/1672. “A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants.” (Cato; numerous essays)
- John Dryden died on 5/1/1700. “He has not learned the first lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.” (Astraea Redux; Secret Love, or The Maiden Queen; All for Love; Amphitryon; King Arthur)
- Marie Corelli was born on 5/1/1855. “If we choose to be no more than clods of clay, then we shall be used as clods of clay for braver feet to tread on.” (A Romance of Two Worlds; Wormword: A Drama of Paris; The Sorrows of Satan)
- Joseph Heller was born on 5/1/1923. “Rise above principle and do what’s right.” (Catch-22; Something Happened; Closing Time)
- Harold Nicolson died on 5/1/1968. “We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts.” (Paul Verlaine; Public Faces; Dwight Morrow; King George V)
- Alfred de Musset died on 5/2/1857. “Great artists have no country.” (Lorenzaccio; Le Chandelier; Bettine; The Confession of a Child of the Century) Continue reading
I’m a total sucker for books that combine classic literature with, well, just about anything. Literature and cocktails, though? Oh, yes please! Make no mistake, friends: this book shall be mine!
Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle and Lauren Mortimer [courtesy Amazon]
Kurt Vonnegut reading an excerpt from Breakfast of Champions.