Characters in Classic Novels with Personality Disorders: Part II: Samuel Richardson’s Lovelace, Mr B and Pamela

I ended my former post of lay psychologising about the high prevalence of characters who seem to have personality disorders in famous books, by mentioning Robert Lovelace, the rapist anti-hero of Clarissa. I have written about this fellow elsewhere as a fascinating example of a character personifying the dark side of an author’s psyche – … Continue reading Characters in Classic Novels with Personality Disorders: Part II: Samuel Richardson’s Lovelace, Mr B and Pamela

The Value of Criticism, Criticism and Entertainment and Romantic Novels

I am a bit perturbed (I’m good at being perturbed, aren’t I?) at a New Age view which has infiltrated popular thinking. A recent blog post by Mari Biella on free speech https://maribiella.com/2017/03/19/free-speech-fake-news-and-the-internet/ inspired me to write this one. This 'New Age'  view that has to some extent infiltrated popular thinking is the  ‘No Negativity’ … Continue reading The Value of Criticism, Criticism and Entertainment and Romantic Novels

Classic Writers and Everyday Life in the Historical UK

I always find it interesting how through reading fiction written by authors at about the time that the story is set, or shortly afterwards, you can get authentic background detail about various aspects of everyday life. This varies as to the social position of the author, of course, and how far he or she is … Continue reading Classic Writers and Everyday Life in the Historical UK

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

Characters’ Names: Some Thoughts from a Names Geek.

My PC has just  eaten a longish post I write all about research for historical novels, and the changing nature of the understanding of what are taken for granted as 'historical facts. Ah, well: my own fault for not being super careful with an ailing PC, and I will have to re-write it another time. … Continue reading Characters’ Names: Some Thoughts from a Names Geek.

US English and its Continued Use of Forms from Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century UK English

It is an interesting fact that US English retains some of the words and expressions of seventeenth and eighteenth century English, which are wrongly thought of as ‘American English’. For instance, there is use of the word that is commonly now spelt as ‘aint’, but can be found as ‘in’t’ and ‘an’t’.  That was once … Continue reading US English and its Continued Use of Forms from Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century UK English

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

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.

Authors Basing Characters on Real People: Some Examples from Classic Novels

I don’t know how much most authors base their characters on people they have known. I would guess that most combine various characteristics taken from numerous people in real life with some from those they have encountered in fiction to create something original. A writer observes on this website https://litreactor.com/columns/keeping-it-real-a-rough-guide-to-using-real-people-as-fictional-characters 'Fictional characters, especially main characters, … Continue reading Authors Basing Characters on Real People: Some Examples from Classic Novels

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