Reblogged from my Archieves: The Gary-Stu or Marty-Stu; Neglected Compared to the Mary-Sue.

  I wrote a longish post about research for historical novels and changing opinions on 'facts' in history, and guess what - my PC has eaten it. It is 'irretrievable'.  Ironically, part of the post metioned the frustration of wasting hours carrying out fruitless research on topics where nobody can give you anything but the … Continue reading Reblogged from my Archieves: The Gary-Stu or Marty-Stu; Neglected Compared to the Mary-Sue.

‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ by Elizabeth Gaskell: An Excellent Classic Ghost Story for Christmas

A ghost story is always particularly enjoyable at Christmas.Last Christmas, I recommended ‘The Crown Derby Plate’ by Marjorie Bowen, a comically grotesque ghost story.A few weeks ago, I recommended a modern one – Mari Biella’s modern ghost story, the stirring  ‘Dark Moon Fell’ as excellent reading in the run up for Christmas.Here is one of … Continue reading ‘The Old Nurse’s Story’ by Elizabeth Gaskell: An Excellent Classic Ghost Story for Christmas

Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Mary Barton’: A Harrowing Depiction of Poverty in the UK of the Early Industrial Revolution.

I have recently been re-reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Mary Barton’. I thought I had long since written a review of it; it seems not. This is, of course, Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel, published in 1847. It established her reputation as a writer who sympathized with the poor and oppressed, the workers in industrial Lancashire who were … Continue reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Mary Barton’: A Harrowing Depiction of Poverty in the UK of the Early Industrial Revolution.

Those Necessary Sympathetic, Rounded Characters: A Classic Novel Without Them

'Sylvia's Lovers' by Elizabeth Gaskell in one sentence: 'Philip Hepburn worships Sylvia Robson, and finds dishonour; Sylvia Robson worships Charley Kinraid, and finds disillusionment; Charley Kinraid worships himself, and finds a wife who agrees with him and a career in the Royal Navy.’

The Difficulty in Portraying the Truly Good Hero and Heroine – Examples from Classic Novels

The literary critic Graham Handley writes of the difficulty of creating a character who is very good: ‘It is a strange but true fact that the truly good person is difficult to portray convincingly in fiction, and Hester Rose (a sort of secondary heroine in Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Sylvia’s Lovers’) may be compared with Diana Morris … Continue reading The Difficulty in Portraying the Truly Good Hero and Heroine – Examples from Classic Novels

‘Ravensdale’ by Lucinda Elliot – Just Awarded the B.R.A.G. medallion for Outstanding Self-Published Fiction

I’m celebrating on two accounts. One, I have won a second award. I’ve just heard I’ve won a B.R.A.G medallion for ‘Outstanding Self-Published Fiction’ for my historical romance spoof ‘Ravensdale’. That was a lovely Easter present. Here’s the B.R.A.G award website, for those writers wishing to enter their own work, but even more for those … Continue reading ‘Ravensdale’ by Lucinda Elliot – Just Awarded the B.R.A.G. medallion for Outstanding Self-Published Fiction

Writing, Real Life Events, and the Works of Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Georgette Heyer and Louisa M Alcott

Writers, of course, would not be human if many of the circumstances of their lives did not affect their fiction. Even writers of the fantastic must combine these impressions with the imaginative creations in their books. The authors world of fantasy is to some extent part of his or her particular ‘take’ on reality, his … Continue reading Writing, Real Life Events, and the Works of Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, Georgette Heyer and Louisa M Alcott

Those Dreaded Discrepancies: A Writer’s Bane

Firstly, I want to apologise to Susan Hill by mentioning her work in the same post as that late Victorian and Edwardian writer of best selling twaddle, Charles Garvice... Mari Biella’s recent intriguing recent post on anachronisms https://maribiella.wordpress.com/ set me thinking recently about general discrepancies in stories. Then, in a fine piece of synchrnonicity, I … Continue reading Those Dreaded Discrepancies: A Writer’s Bane

Writers’ Terror of Writing a Derivative Novel: Comparing George Elliot’s ‘Adam Bede’ and Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Sylvia’s Lovers’

I’ve always meant to read ‘Adam Bede’; I don’t know why really, except that I’ve seen it described in various places as one of George Eliot’s best novels, and while I was a little disappointed in ‘Middlemarch’ and ‘The Mill on the Floss’, I’ve always admired her as a woman who defied conventional morality in … Continue reading Writers’ Terror of Writing a Derivative Novel: Comparing George Elliot’s ‘Adam Bede’ and Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Sylvia’s Lovers’

Plasticity,Recycled Characters and Beloved Brothers: Part One: Elizabeth Gaskell

In an earlier post, I discussed how Elizabeth Gaskell used a particular character type - suely largely based on her lost and beloved brother - the charming, brave, dashing and handsome sailor, three times, in slightly different variations. She used this character type possibly four times, if I count the returned sailor 'Poor Peter' in  … Continue reading Plasticity,Recycled Characters and Beloved Brothers: Part One: Elizabeth Gaskell