Friday, November 24, 2006

The Thorne Smith/Douglas Adams coincidence.

I decided to write a paragraph or two about one of my favourite American authors, Thorne Smith. He is not nearly as well known, or well remembered as he deserves to be, in my opinion.
I was eager to see his birthchart, but here lies a problem. Wikipedia states he was born 27 March 1892, Annapolis, Maryland. A site dedicated to Thorne Smith gives his birth date as 27 May 1892, with detailed biography. On a couple of other sites 1891 and 1893 are mentioned. I feel fairly confident that 1892 is accurate, it is printed on some of his book covers. The month of birth, however, seems less certain.

Thorne Smith's books were a riot of zany, irreverent humour. Some were made into movies - notably the 'Topper' series, and later 'The Passionate Witch' was to become the movie "Bewitched".

Re-reading the prologue to my favourite, "The Bishop's Jaegers" on-line at
I was continually reminded of Douglas Adams ("Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" etc) , their styles have a lot in common, and that's surprising given their different generational and national backgrounds ! Douglas Adams had natal Sun in Pisces, with Mercury and Jupiter in Aries. If Smith were born 27 March his Mercury and Jupiter would have been in Aries too, with Moon in Pisces! Is that similarity a clue?

Which birthdate IS correct for Thorne Smith ?

27 May 1892 produces Sun conjunct Pluto and Neptune all in Gemini + Moon in Gemini, Mercury in Taurus, Venus in Cancer.

27 March 1892 = Sun, Jupiter and Mercury in Aries, Moon in Pisces, Venus in Taurus, and Neptune and Pluto still conjunct in Gemini.

It is said that Smith was fond of alcohol. He often wrote about alcohol too! An aptitude for excessive drinking often links to Pisces and/or Neptune. Both birth dates might uphold this factor, Moon in Pisces in March, Sun conjunct Neptune in May. Smith spent some time in the navy before becoming a professional author. He was not physically strong due to early bouts of pneumonia which had affected his heart, and which sadly led to an early demise aged 42. Here is another coincidental correspondence with Douglas Adams, who also died much too young.

Although Gemini stellium for a professional writer would seem the classic choice, in Thorne Smith's case it would mean that Mercury lay in Taurus - not a good match for his zany style. With an Aries stellium(27 March) his Mercury would lie in Aries with the Sun and Jupiter.

I can immediately call to mind four different men I've known with Sun in Aries - all four were different in lots of ways, but all had one thing in common - a great love of laughter and humour. It was one of these men who first introduced me to Thorne Smith's writing, back in 1965. Coincidentally, the only other person I've met who had heard of Thorne Smith and read any his books, is my husband - also Aries Sun!

I'm not too sure which way to jump, March or May! I like the correspondence between Douglas Adams, Thorne Smith, and Aries best of all - so I'll go for 27 March 1892, in spite of the fact that the website dedicated to Smith's memory disagrees. I'll trust Wikipedia's date.


Michael D. Walker said...

Just stumbled across your Thorne Smith/Douglas Adams coincidence blog and thought I'd offer some help.

Thorne Smith was in fact born March 27, 1892. As his biographer, I have verified this with his family.

Another coincidence for you: Writer Neil Gaiman wrote a non-fiction book about Douglas Adams (DON'T PANIC) and recently wrote a fiction novel inspired by Thorne Smith titled ANANSI BOYS.

Thought you might enjoy~


Michael D. Walker
Thorne Smith Biographer
Note: new webiste is up but still under construction, so pardon the primitive state is in.


Twilight said...


Thanks so much for that!

I'm thrilled that someone actually read it ! The info. you have given is VERY interesting. I'm glad I guessed correctly about Thorne's birthdate.

I'll look in on your new site regularly. I'll also seek out those 2 books
Thanks again