23 Famous Authors’ Last Words

Authors spend their lives expressing life’s intricacies. Their last words capture this elegance.

1. Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley requested his wife to give him an injection of LSD right before death, so he could pass away in a state of mind of his own choosing.

2. Voltaire

Voltaire’s final words in response to a priest asking him to renounce Satan.

3. Hunter S. Thompson

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The final words in his suicide note, before shooting himself in the head.

4. J.M. Barrie

Before his death, Barrie gave the rights to Peter Pan to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. They continue to benefit from royalties.

5. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe had discussed optical phenomenon with his daughter-in-law the night before his death.

6. Jane Austen

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When asked by her sister what she wanted, this was Jane Austen’s response.

7. Edgar Allan Poe

Poe’s death is a mystery, with still no clear idea of what actually transpired in his last few days.

8. Anton Chekhov

On his death bed, Chekhov requested morphine and champagne from his doctor right before he passed away.

9. Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy, in his final days, fled his mansion and tried to live amongst the people.

10. Henry David Thoreau

It is unknown what exactly Thoreau was referencing with his final words.

11. James Joyce

James Joyce died of a failed surgery, in the presence of his wife and son.

12. W.C. Fields

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Carlotta was Fields’ mistress, and also the person present for his final words.

13. Emily Dickinson

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Emily Dickinson experienced blackouts and was confined to bed for seven months before her death.

14. Washington Irving

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Washington Irving, author of Sleepy Hollow, is buried in the actual Sleepy Hollow, New York.

15. Lord Byron

Lord Byron died in Greece of a fever, while fighting the Ottomans.

16. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

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Although Montagu spent the majority of her life away from England, she passed away in her home at London.

17. Franz Kafka

The last spoken words of Kafka were directed at a doctor who was unwilling to give him a lethal dose of morphine. He was dying of tuberculosis and couldn’t speak in his final days.

18. Elizabeth Barret Browning

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This was uttered in response to the question of how she was feeling.

19. Eugene O’Neill

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O’Neill died of pneumonia, after suffering from a Parkinson’s-like disease that rendered him physically unable to write for years.

20. Charlotte Bronte

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Charlotte Bronte had only been married for nine months when she died.

21. Truman Capote

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Buddy was Capote’s childhood nickname.

22. Lewis Carroll

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Known for his children’s books, Carroll — a pen name — was also a mathematician and photographer.

23. O. Henry

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Cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcoholism was thought to be the cause Henry’s death, as well as a leading factor for a decline in the number of stories he wrote toward the end.

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