A story of monkeys, typewriters and Shakespeare


Lee Hadden writes: \"There is An Article in the April 26 issue of the Times about the
original of the concept \"If a million monkeys pounded away on a million
typewriters for a million years, would Shakespeare\'s works be reproduced?\"

They say Folklore ascribes the vision of a typing pool of monkeys to T(homas) H(enry) Huxley, But the notion is older than Huxley, and may go back to Cicero:

“If anybody believes that this is possible, I do not see why he should not think that if an infinite number of examples of the 21 letters of the alphabet, made of gold or what you will, were shaken together and poured out on the ground it would be possible for them to fall so as to spell out, say, the whole text of the Annals of Ennius. In fact I doubt whether chance would permit them to spell out a single verse!”