John Saward – May 18, 2014 at 08:12AM

“Balzac once claimed that he wrote for a 48-hour period on just three hours’ sleep. He adopted bizarre sleeping patterns and would write fanatically throughout the night, editing and reediting even the minutest phrase until it was perfect. Immense debts and creditors nipping at his heels saw him produce a mammoth body of work in a relatively short period of time. Reports vary, but it is said he drank up to 40 cups of coffee a day (although apparently Voltaire drank 60!) He dipped in and out of society, at times frequenting the Paris salons by night, but often reverting to a reclusive state”

— Gemma King

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