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When Edna St. Vincent Millay’s whole book burned up in a hotel fire, she rewrote it from memory

Emily Temple

May 2, 2019, 3:45pm

Yes, it’s true. When Edna St. Vincent Millay went on vacation to Sanibel Island, Florida, on this day in 1936, she naturally brought her manuscript-in-progress—years in the making—along with her. She had her luggage sent up to her room and went down to the beach to look for shells. When she turned back, she saw that her hotel was in flames, the manuscript along with it. Undeterred, she went home and rewrote the book from memory, and it was published the next year.

Read more tales of manuscript burning here.

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