10 Famous Authors’ Famous Addictions

Lord Byron

Substance of choice: Sex

Relevant musings: “Alas, the love of women! it is known/ To be a lovely and a fearful thing.” (from Don Juan)

Lord Byron, it seems, was obsessed with sex. Not only did he reportedly sleep with over 250 women in Venice in a single year (not to mention the men), he also bedded Lady Caroline Lamb (who called him “mad, bad, and dangerous to know”), her cousin Anne, who he later married, and his own half-sister. Sure, 250 women in one year could just be the work of a particularly voracious lothario, but it was Byron’s habit of memorializing his lovers that makes us certain of his addiction: for each conquest, he took a clipping of his partner’s pubic hair and saved it in an envelope neatly marked with his or her name. As recently as the ’80s, these envelopes were on file at Byron’s publishing house. Say it with us: yuck.