Which Famous Dead Author Would You Date?

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Paul Whybrow

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As a joke, Erin Bealmear, an American poet, uploaded profiles to dating agencies using Emily Dickinson's details—including the only two photographs of the famously reclusive 19th-century poet. The results were hilarious:

I Pretended to Be Emily Dickinson on an Online Dating Site

I've sometimes wondered what an author is like in real life, in the way that J.D. Salinger did:

What really knocks me out is a book, that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up whenever you felt like it.

I've rarely pondered what famous authors would have been like to date, though it's impossible for me not to have considered the sexual proclivities of such great erotic writers as Anaïs Nin, Colette and recently-deceased Nancy Friday.

It would have been fun to have dated Dorothy Parker, though I'd have had to reinforce my self-esteem to withstand her wisecracking!

Which famous dead author would you like to have dated?

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I would like to have been taken to a jazz club by Kerouac, where I would have met Austen, with whom I would have got drunk, before dumping her for Tolstoy and sneaking off to be deep and bearded in a dark and smoky corner, after which I would have become bored, until Mary Shelley caught my eye and invited me up to the lab.

A perfect evening, if ever there was one.
 
It's a really clever article, thanks @Paul. I'd like to date Montaigne and go up to his tower, read his pithy Essais with hims leaning over my shoulder, and look out of the window to admire his cabbages.

I'd like a girls' night out with Elana Ferrante to talk about lifelong friendships between women and fellow writers.

I'd like to have a long supper with the late Sybille Bedford where she would order the wines and we could talk about mothers and daughters.

I'd like to walk around Dorset with the late Sylvia Townsend Warner talking about faery.

I'd like intimate pillow talk with Byron, Marguerite Duras, William Blake, Gary Snyder, the younger Freud, Rabelais and Nancy Friday. Not all at once, of course.
 
Not date, but I would like to have talked to Romain Gary, Norah Lofts, Daphne du Maurier and W Harrison Ainsworth.

Dorothy Parker wrote that she detested writing, but loved HAVING written. That's relatable, heh?
 
Got to be Mr Samuel Clemens for me. Funny, intelligent, observant, and not afraid to say what he thinks – sorry, thought. He had enough failures (in finance, not literature) to make him humble and enough personal losses to make him human. And his sense of humour was wicked.
 
Dating is the wrong word, but I'd have gone for a manly drink with the Victorian superman, Richard Burton: explorer, linguist, poet and psychopath.
 
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