Weird Behavior of Famous People Part 1

Some trivia regarding weird behavior of various famous people including Florence Nightingale, Hans Christian Anderson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and more.


Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author whose first book of fairy tales--Eventyr--published in 1835, made him internationally renowned, was concerned about his weak, concave chest. To make himself look more manly, he would build up his chest by stuffing old newspapers beneath his shirt.

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 (earlier he had been court-martialed but exonerated) and was prime minister of England in 1828, carried six watches on his person. He was proud that he had never been late for an appointment in his life.

Florence Nightingale, founder of professional nursing, who served in the Crimean War with the English in 1854, owned a pet owl and carried it in her pocket whenever she traveled.

Russell Sage, American tycoon who bought the Union Pacific Railroad after the 1873 crash and who was worth $80 million, wore an $8.50 ready-made suit, ate an apple for lunch, and used the 5 cent-a-ride elevated train to get to his office and to business meetings.

Benjamin Disraeli, British prime minister in 1868 and an author, wore evening dress while writing his books.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, renowned for The Scarlet Letter, published in 1850, always washed his hands before picking up and reading a letter from his wife.

Dante Alighieri, who wrote The Divine Comedy and died in 1321, spent days training his pet cat to sit on a table beside him and hold a lighted candle in its paws while the poet did his reading.

William Makepeace Thackeray, who penned Vanity Fair in 1847-1848, was so grateful for the success of the novel that in later years he lifted his hat whenever he passed the house in which it was written.

Catherine the Great, empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796, was so fearful people would discover she wore a wig that she kept her hair-dresser confined in an iron cage in her room for three years so that he would be unable to gossip about it.

Lewis Carroll, who brought out Alice in Wonderland in 1865, traveled with a trunk in which every item had been wrapped by him in a separate piece of paper.

Cornelius Vanderbilt, the American capitalist who had made $100 million from railroads and shipping by the time of his death in 1877, used to keep a dish filled with salt under each leg of his bed--to scare away evil spirits, he said.

Frederick the Great, king of Prussia between 1740 and 1786, hated water, rarely washed his hands or face, and almost every morning touched up his cheeks with red paint to make himself appear fresh and healthy.

Piero di Cosimo, a 15th-century painter, survived on hard-boiled eggs throughout his life--usually cooking 50 at a time to save money on fuel.

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