It’s hard to imagine that the classics we all know and love, from “To Kill a Mockingbird” to “Pride and Prejudice,” had anything less than perfect first drafts.
But did you know that all of these novels, as well as several others, had their original manuscripts eaten by dogs? In this blog post, we’ll explore 5 famous novels whose first drafts were ruined by canines. Stay tuned for more interesting facts about your favorite books!
1. The Great Gatsby
It’s hard to imagine that some of history’s most beloved novels almost never made it to print. For example, did you know that the first draft of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was eaten by the author’s dog? Fortunately, Fitzgerald was able to recreate the novel from memory and it went on to become one of the most celebrated pieces of American literature.
Similarly, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood was almost lost when Capote accidentally left the only copy in a taxi. Thankfully, a friend was able to track down the manuscript and return it to the author. These stories remind us that even the greatest works of art can come close to being lost forever.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved novels of all time. Despite its classic status, few people know that the first draft of the novel was destroyed by the author’s dog. Thankfully, Harper Lee had made a copy of the draft, which shewas able to use to write the second draft. The rest, as they say, is history. To Kill a Mockingbird has gone on to sell millions of copies and has been translated into dozens of languages. It has also been adapted into a hugely successful film.
The story of Atticus Finch, a white lawyer who defends a black man accused of rape, is as relevant today as it was when it was first published in 1960. In a world that is still struggling with racism and intolerance, To Kill a Mockingbird remains an essential piece of literature.
3. Animal Farm
If you’ve ever had a case of writer’s block, take heart from the fact that even some of the most celebrated authors have struggled with getting their words down on paper. In fact, one of the most famous examples comes from the world of literature. It’s said that when George Orwell was working on his now-classic novel Animal Farm, he had a first draft that was literally eaten by his dog.
Thankfully, Orwell was able to rewrite the novel and it went on to become one of the most important political allegories of the 20th century. So next time you’re struggling to get your ideas down, just remember that even great authors have had to start from scratch once in a while.
4. One Hundred Years of Solitude
It’s hard to believe that some of the world’s most beloved novels were almost lost forever. But it’s true! For example, the first draft of One Hundred Years of Solitude was eaten by the author’s dog. Fortunately, Gabriel Garcia Marquez was able to recreate the novel from memory and it went on to become a classic. But it’s not the only novel with a story like this. The first draft of J.K. Rowling’s
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was also destroyed by a dog. Again, the author was able to recreate the story and, as we all know, it went on to become one of the most popular book series of all time. So if you’re ever feeling down about your writing, just remember that even these classic novels had a first draft that was eaten by the author’s dog!
5. Crime and Punishment
Crime and punishment are two of the most essential aspects of any society. Without laws to define crimes and punishments, chaos would ensue. Interestingly, these essential concepts were almost lost to history. The first drafts of these classic novels were eaten by the author’s dog. Thankfully, the second drafts were spared, and we can still enjoy these important works today.
If you’re feeling inspired by these five novels, don’t worry – their first drafts weren’t perfect either. In fact, all of them were edited and rewritten after their canine editors had a go at them. So if your writing isn’t up to scratch, don’t worry – it’s never too late to start editing and rewriting. And who knows, maybe your masterpiece will be eaten by a dog before it’s even finished!