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Top 15 Crazy Things Poets Of The Romantic Movement Have Done

Do you ever sit in your room and wonder would poets like Lord Byron or Percy Shelley approve of whatever you are doing right now? If the answer is, “Yes, they would approve,” then, congratulations you are living exactly the way you are supposed to. However, if you are wondering about the number of crazy things these romantic era poets have done then fret no more since we have a list to put your curious mind at rest.

1. Using A Human Skull As A Mug For Drinking

Using a human skull for drinking
Source: Naukari Nama

Lord Byron had a skull mug which he used for drinking various beverages and he proudly displayed it at his ancestral home. To Byron, it was a reminder of the inevitable death that would seize him one day. Probably just a normal and romantic thought of a romantic poet, we are too stupid to understand, I hope we never do. 

2. Lord Byron Wanted To Keep Percy Shelley’s Skull

lord byron
Source: Wikipedia

Now, that’s what we call BFF goals! Percy died and Byron tried to keep his skull as a memory of Percy preserved with him since Percy’s wife was also keeping something (we’ll get to that in a while) but his wish was not granted as the last human skull he ended up with, became his drinking mug. Poor Lord Byron!

3. Mary Shelley Had Her Husband’s Heart, LITERALLY

Mary Shelley had her husband's heart
Source: Anna Mazzola

If Lord Byron had strange mementoes with him then Mary Shelley, another poet of the same era was no different. Percy Shelley was cremated but for some medical reasons his heart was refused to be burnt, so Mary took his heart with her and kept the heart in a silken shroud there were rumours that she carried it with her almost everywhere for years. A year after she died, Percy’s heart was found in her desk, wrapped in the pages of one of his last poems, Adonais.

4. The Battle For Percy’s Heart

The Battle for Percy’s Heart
Source: History.com

Yes, there was a battle between Romantic poets who were close to Percy Shelley about who will keep his heart after it was declared that it could not be cremated. Leigh Hunt was the main contender who actually begged for his heart and even got to keep it successfully, he refused to give it to Mary Shelley who requested for her late husband’s heart and he wrote her back that his love for Percy was stronger than, ”the claims of any other love”.

Byron reminded him to be less dramatic and to hand-over the heart to Percy’s wife. How ironic and unbelievable it is that Lord Byron suggested people be reasonable and they actually listened! Probably because Leigh Hunt was also another romantic writer.

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5. Victor Hugo’s Strange Ways To Deal With Writer’s Block

Victor Hugo's strange ways to deal with writer's block
Source: Interesting Literature

Victor Hugo was a strange man with strange ideas. He took his clothes off in the winters and gave his clothes to the servants and asked them to lock him in his room until he started writing again, this was his way of dealing with a writer’s block. According to him, this idea was genius.

6. Coleridge Wrote Most Of His Poems Under Influence

Coleridge wrote most of his poems under influence
Source: New Criterion

Coleridge lived most of his life being crushed under debts and opium and the man had no regrets. His most famous poem Kubla Khan was left unfinished since he started writing it when he was high in opium (like most of his other poems) but couldn’t complete it because of the same reason: Opium, he just didn’t know how very much is too much!

7. William Hazlitt Spanked A Girl In Anger

Poet William Hazlitt Spanked a girl
Source: Famous People

William Hazlitt was going through a troubled time when some girl he met refused his advances or probably insulted him. He reacted as no one should. He lifted up her skirt and spanked her. Then, he had to hide in Coleridge’s home to avoid getting caught by the people who were after him because of what he did. Coleridge did help him but also harmed him by spreading gossip with his best-friend William Wordsworth which deeply ruined Hazlitt’s reputation.

8. Victor Hugo’s Romantic Gift To His Fiance

Poet Victor Hugo's Romantic Gift To his wife
Source: Smith Sonian

Like it was mentioned earlier in this list that Victor Hugo was a strange man with strange ideas, here is another incident which adds more weight to the statement, he gave his wife a living bat inside an envelope as a gift on their honeymoon. No guy should take gifting advice from Mr. Hugo!

9. Mary Shelley’s Gothic Declaration Of Love

Mary Shelley’s Gothic Declaration of Love
Source: The Verge

Mary Shelley declared her love for Percy on THE GRAVE OF HER MOTHER! Many people also claim that she had sex with Percy right there too although there are no proper proofs for this.

10. Percy Shelley Was Called, “Mad Shelley” For A Reason

Percy Shelley was called, “Mad Shelley” For A Reason
Source: Dreamstime

Percy was a rebel and later the best friend of Byron so no doubt he would be considered mad by many. He stabbed a guy’s hand with a fork after he was teased or insulted by him, he also used gunpowder to blow up a tree and of course, he had no regrets, he was very young when his father disinherited him.

11. Edgar A. Poe Married His Underage Cousin

Edgar A. Poe Married His Underage Cousin
Source: Be Creative 360

When Poe was twenty-six, he married his cousin who was just thirteen years old. The girl claimed to be twenty-one in the official records but she was not. Tragically, she died twelve-years after being married. Poe was a huge fan of Byron as a kid and considered him to be his personal hero, no wonder Poe is strange.

12. Herman Melville Loved His… Chimney!

Herman Melville Loved His… Chimney
Source: Brain Pickings

Melville was very attached to his house, especially, to the central chimney in his house. Writers have the habit of writing about their beloved to immortalize her but for Melville, his beloved was his chimney, as he wrote a short story titled, I and My Chimney.

13. Byron Had An Affair With His Half-Sister

Byron Had an Affair with His Half-Sister
Source: The Sunday Times

Byron had an intense affair with his half-sister, Augusta Leigh.  The affair ended but there were many rumours that Elizabeth Medora Leigh, the official daughter of Augusta and Colonel George Leigh, was the daughter of Lord Byron. A letter of Byron to Augusta also adds some credibility to this rumour.

14. William Blake Claimed To See Ghosts

William Blake Claimed to See Ghosts
Source: Reddit

William Blake claimed that he had visions and could see ghosts. He claimed to have seen his dead brother’s ghosts and also got visions of God. He never changed his mind about what he saw. He was called The Visionary, quite literally it seems.

 15. Byron’s Strange Ways Of Rebellion

Byron’s Strange Ways of Rebellion
Source: Amazing Things

He was studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, there no dogs were allowed to be kept inside college premises so he decided to bring a bear as his pet to the college since there was no rule against keeping a bear. He even wanted to apply for the bear to become an official student at the college.

The list ends here and these are our picks for the crazy things these romantic era poets have done. However, this doesn’t mean all of them were crazy, we know about John Keats, a simple man who led a tragic life, he did nothing crazy even though he was friends with writers like Percy Shelley.

Also check out: Top 15 Royal Etiquette Rules You Should Know

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