Authors are (often accurately) stereotyped as introverted observers of the world around them. However, no man (or woman) is an island and no art is ever made in a vacuum. Authors need support groups, too, and literary friendships are to thank for most of our language’s great classics.
J.R.R. Tolkien & C.S. Lewis
It’s no secrets these two legends were friends. Their weekly meetings with a group of fellow creatives at Oxford are near legendary in their own right. These gentlemen would all gather at a local pub and shoot ideas off one another for hours.
If I had a time machine…
Sarah J. Maas & Susan Dennard
Better known as the YA authors of Throne of Glass and Truthwitch, these two ladies have been friends since before they both broke into the spotlight. I’m sure it’s no coincidence sororal friendship plays such a huge part in both their books!
Robert E. Howard & H.P. Lovecraft
You may not know their names, but you know their characters: Conan and Cthulhu. Howard wrote repeatedly to Lovecraft, often speaking of his difficulties with publishers and characters alike.
It’s because of this friendship we know much of Howard’s feelings towards his work and what he was thinking during certain projects. For example, he often complained about the sexualization of the Conan stories.
(I’m almost glad he never saw where the franchise has ended up.)
Charlotte Brontë & Emily Brontë
The Brontë siblings were all writers, including Emily and Charlotte’s brother and third sister. Growing up the sheltered children of a remote village pastor, the Brontë children were often left to their own devices with only one another as playmates.
Raised in the ethereal landscape of England’s moors, the young Brontës all developed splendid imaginations. These imaginations are to thank for Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Though all four of the Brontë siblings died young and without children of their own, their literary legacies have been enshrined in print, TV, and film and are studied in classrooms around the world.
Lord Byron & Mary Shelley
Yes, the mind who brought us the first Sci-Fi novel and the enigmatic, womanizing poet were friends (perhaps more?). Legend has it that the pair began writing Frankenstein and Manfred one rainy evening in Switzerland as part of a bet.
Interestingly, Byron’s friend and physician, William Polidori, was also there. Polidori, though virtually unknown, is credited with writing the first vampire story, simply titled “The Vampyre.”
The muse was strong that night!
What are some of your favorite author friendships? Artist friendships? Let’s hear ’em!