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The Best Literary “Figures” in History

Writers get a bad rap in the looks department: if you spend your time holed up and scribbling away, you must be a scrawny, pasty artist type, mustn’t you? Not so! There are a plethora of attractive and well-formed writers, both in history and today, that completely demolish such stereotypes, and whose likenesses we’ve collected here. Now don’t get us wrong — of course we believe that the stuff in their heads is much more important that the shape of their heads (or the shape of their bodies, for that matter) but that doesn’t mean we can’t applaud them for excelling in multiple areas. Plus, it’s well past time to make literature sexy again, and if writers can replace actors as pinups in our culture of ogling, we’ll be happy campers. We’ve tried to pick some contemporary authors as well as some more classic choices, and an equal number of men and women, just to be fair to everyone. Click through to see the authors we think have the best literary figures in history, and make sure to tell us your own picks in the comments.

Colette

French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette once worked in the music halls of Paris, and in 1907 almost caused a riot (the police were called) by kissing another woman onstage during a performance of Rêve d’Égypte at the Moulin Rouge. With a figure like that, we think a riot was bound to happen, kiss or no.

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