10 Fun Literary Facts You Probably Did Not Know!

1. Danielle Steel is the world’s most selling living author!

Danielle Fernandes Dominique Schuelein-Steel, better known by the name Danielle Steel, is an American novelist, currently the best selling author alive and the fourth bestselling author of all time, with over 800 million copies sold.


2. Cinderella’s slippers were originally made out of fur!

The story was changed in the 1600s by a translator. It was the left shoe that Aschenputtel (Cinderella) lost at the stairway, when the prince tried to follow her.


3. Dr. Seuss wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” after his editor dared him to write a book using fewer than 50 different words!

The vocabulary of the text consists of just 50 different words, and was the result of a bet between Seuss and Bennett Cerf (Dr. Seuss’s publisher) that Seuss (after completing The Cat in the Hat using 236 words) could not complete an entire book without exceeding that limit. The 50 words are: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.


4. In 1924, Erich von Stroheim attempted a literal adaptation of Frank Norris‘s novel McTeague with his moving picture Greed, and the resulting film was 9½ hours long!

Greed was a movie where director intended to film every aspect of the novel in great detail!
At studio insistence, the film was cut down to two hours and was considered a flop upon its theatrical release. It has since been restored to just over four hours and is considered one of the greatest films ever made. Since that time, few directors have attempted to put everything in a novel into a film.


5. Charles Dickens’s house had a secret door in the form of a fake bookcase!

The fake books included titles such as ‘The Life of a Cat’ in 9 volumes. I would not suspect a thing! 🙂


6. The first person Ray Brad­bury asked out was a book­store clerk!

Her name was, Maggie, and she was the only woman he ever dated. They married in 1947 and were together until her death in 2003. ❤

Ray Bradburry with his family. Picture was taken in 1958.

7. Alexandre Dumas fought his first duel at age 23! During the course of the duel, his trousers fell down… 

During the duel, Dumas successfully defeated his opponent almost immediately, but, according to his memoirs, not before having his pants fall down and all present having a good laugh at him.


8. In Russia, Winnie-the-Pooh was banned in 2009 because of alleged Nazi ties.

The entire ban was based on the fact that a single person, known for supporting the Nazi party, was found to own a picture of a swastika-adorned Pooh. Apparently, that was enough to ban Winnie altogether.


9. Aristophanes’s play Assemblywomen contains the longest word in Greek. It has 171 letters and is the name of a fictional food dish!

The word was
Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhoun-awnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk, referring to the thunderclap associated with the Fall of Adam and Eve.



10. The Oxford English Dictionary credits Charles Dickens with the first use of butter-fingers, crossfire, dustbin, fairy story, slow-coach, and whoosh.

He also gets the credit for ‘boredom’ in the Oxford English Dictionary, coined in his novel Bleak House (1852-3), but this has since been traced back even earlier, to 1830.



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