If you are looking into writing a novel, one of the greatest steps you can take to feed your imaginative, overcome the frustrating stagnation of writer’s block and get your creative juices flowing is to immerse yourself in the lives and works of other literary geniuses. Here are three rousing writers whose successes, tribulations and exemplary literary talents are sure to inspire and delight.
- Oscar Wilde
Wilde was born in Ireland in 1854 and studied at the universities of Dublin and Oxford before settling in London and establishing himself as a talented playwright, novelist, and poet. Wilde’s genius, wit, and flamboyant personality catapulted him into London’s finest social circles, and he soon became a coveted socialite, and one of the city’s most intriguing and esteemed personalities. At the height of his fame, however, Wilde fell out of society’s favor. A secret homosexual, he was arrested on charges of gross indecency and sodomy and incarcerated in a London prison. After his release, Wilde exiled himself to France, where he died an untimely death.
Today, Wilde is celebrated for his astounding genius, and contributions to English literature; many of his works – including ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’, ‘The Happy Prince’, and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ continue to be read and performed. Wilde is also immortalized as a tragic example of society’s cruel intolerance towards homosexuality.
- Emily Bronte
In 1847, Emily Bronte published one of English literature’s most well-known classics – the gothic horror novel, Wuthering Heights. The novel is renowned for its harrowing depiction of wild passion, unrequited love, and selfish destruction. Many elements of Bronte’s novel – including its reference to elements of the supernatural and incestuous undertones – continue to be debated by readers.
At the time of its release, the novel was criticised for its dark subject matter and disturbing themes, and consequently shunned by its readers. Charlotte Bronte – Emily’s sister and fellow novelist – was so ashamed by her sister’s risqué writing that she penned an apology on Emily’s behalf and had it published in later editions of the novel. Today, however, the novel is widely celebrated, and has been adapted to suit both stage and screen.
- Mark Twain
Mark Twain was a diverse and radical writer, penning classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the Prince and the Pauper, and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn is regarded as one of the most influential novels ever written, and a staple of American Literature.
Twain was also famous for his radical views, and cynical wit. Twain was critical of many American practices, including slavery and imperialism. As a civil-rights activist, Twain personally paid for two black students to attend Universities, and steadfastly supported the Women’s Rights Movement. Twain’s views about civil rights and the entitlement of all Americans – whether black, white, male or female – to basic civil rights often at odds with those of his counterparts. Twain also differed in his religious views, which were profoundly anti-Christian. Many of his later works were satirical explorations of the Christian religion and were censored from the public for decades.