November 12, 2013

Women made up 31% of top novelists ever in a man of letters' 1898 list

At the Times Literary Supplement, Michael Caines reproduces a list drawn up in 1898 by a prominent man of letters named Clement K. Shorter of the 100 best novels of all time.
"He doesn't explain what exactly makes a book one of the "best", only that he has deliberately limited himself to one novel per novelist. Living authors are excluded ..."

The list is biased toward the British Isles, tending to overlook American books (such as Moby-Dick and The Red Badge of Courage), but has a smattering of Continental novels. 

And of course women writers were totally ignored in 1898. Back then, women were kept illiterate and chained to the stove so no women could read novels, much less write them. And if they did, no male critic would praise them.

Oh, wait, that's not true. 

At all. 

In fact, 31% of this Victorian gentleman's choices of the 100 best novelists no longer living are female. Here's Mr. Shorter's list, with female novelists in pink:
1. Don Quixote - 1604 - Miguel de Cervantes
2. The Holy War - 1682 - John Bunyan
3. Gil Blas - 1715 - Alain René le Sage
4. Robinson Crusoe - 1719 - Daniel Defoe
5. Gulliver's Travels - 1726 - Jonathan Swift
6. Roderick Random - 1748 - Tobias Smollett
7. Clarissa - 1749 - Samuel Richardson
8. Tom Jones - 1749 - Henry Fielding
9. Candide - 1756 - Françoise de Voltaire
10. Rasselas - 1759 - Samuel Johnson
11. The Castle of Otranto - 1764 - Horace Walpole
12. The Vicar of Wakefield - 1766 - Oliver Goldsmith
13. The Old English Baron - 1777 - Clara Reeve
14. Evelina - 1778 - Fanny Burney
15. Vathek - 1787 - William Beckford
16. The Mysteries of Udolpho - 1794 - Ann Radcliffe
17. Caleb Williams - 1794 - William Godwin
18. The Wild Irish Girl - 1806 - Lady Morgan
19. Corinne - 1810 - Madame de Stael
20. The Scottish Chiefs - 1810 - Jane Porter
21. The Absentee - 1812 - Maria Edgeworth
22. Pride and Prejudice - 1813 - Jane Austen

23. Headlong Hall - 1816 - Thomas Love Peacock
24. Frankenstein - 1818 - Mary Shelley
25. Marriage - 1818 - Susan Ferrier

26. The Ayrshire Legatees - 1820 - John Galt
27. Valerius - 1821 - John Gibson Lockhart
28. Wilhelm Meister - 1821 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
29. Kenilworth - 1821 - Sir Walter Scott
30. Bracebridge Hall - 1822 - Washington Irving
31. The Epicurean - 1822 - Thomas Moore
32. The Adventures of Hajji Baba - 1824 - James Morier
33. The Betrothed - 1825 - Alessandro Manzoni
34. Lichtenstein - 1826 - Wilhelm Hauff
35. The Last of the Mohicans - 1826 - Fenimore Cooper
36. The Collegians - 1828 - Gerald Griffin
37. The Autobiography of Mansie Wauch - 1828 - David M. Moir
38. Richelieu - 1829 - G. P. R. James
39. Tom Cringle's Log - 1833 - Michael Scott
40. Mr. Midshipman Easy - 1834 - Frederick Marryat
41. Le Père Goriot - 1835 - Honoré de Balzac
42. Rory O'More - 1836 - Samuel Lover
43. Jack Brag - 1837 - Theodore Hook
44. Fardorougha the Miser - 1839 - William Carleton
45. Valentine Vox - 1840 - Henry Cockton
46. Old St. Paul's - 1841 - Harrison Ainsworth
47. Ten Thousand a Year - 1841 - Samuel Warren
48. Susan Hopley - 1841 - Catherine Crowe 
49. Charles O'Malley - 1841 - Charles Lever
50. The Last of the Barons - 1843 - Bulwer Lytton
51. Consuelo - 1844 - George Sand
52. Amy Herbert - 1844 - Elizabeth Sewell

53. Adventures of Mr. Ledbury - 1844 - Elizabeth Sewell [sic, actually by Albert Smith]
54. Sybil - 1845 - Lord Beaconsfield (a. k. a. Benjamin Disraeli)
55. The Three Musketeers - 1845 - Alexandre Dumas
56. The Wandering Jew - 1845 - Eugène Sue
57. Emilia Wyndham - 1846 - Anne Marsh
58. The Romance of War - 1846 - James Grant
59. Vanity Fair - 1847 - W. M. Thackeray
60. Jane Eyre - 1847 - Charlotte Brontë
61. Wuthering Heights - 1847 - Emily Brontë
62. The Vale of Cedars - 1848 - Grace Aguilar

63. David Copperfield - 1849 - Charles Dickens
64. The Maiden and Married Life of Mary Powell - 1850 - Anne Manning
65. The Scarlet Letter - 1850 - Nathaniel Hawthorne
66. Frank Fairleigh - 1850 - Francis Smedley
67. Uncle Tom's Cabin - 1851 - H. B. Stowe
68. The Wide Wide World - 1851 - Susan Warner (Elizabeth Wetherell)
69. Nathalie - 1851 - Julia Kavanagh
70. Ruth - 1853 - Elizabeth Gaskell
71. The Lamplighter - 1854 - Maria Susanna Cummins

72. Dr. Antonio - 1855 - Giovanni Ruffini
73. Westward Ho! - 1855 - Charles Kingsley
74. Debit and Credit (Soll und Haben) - 1855 - Gustav Freytag
75. Tom Brown's School-Days - 1856 - Thomas Hughes
76. Barchester Towers - 1857 - Anthony Trollope
77. John Halifax, Gentleman - 1857 - Dinah Mulock (a. k. a. Dinah Craik)
78. Ekkehard - 1857 - Viktor von Scheffel
79. Elsie Venner - 1859 - O. W. Holmes
80. The Woman in White - 1860 - Wilkie Collins
81. The Cloister and the Hearth - 1861 - Charles Reade
82. Ravenshoe - 1861 - Henry Kingsley
83. Fathers and Sons - 1861 - Ivan Turgenieff
84. Silas Marner - 1861 - George Eliot
85. Les Misérables - 1862 - Victor Hugo
86. Salammbô - 1862 - Gustave Flaubert
87. Salem Chapel - 1862 - Margaret Oliphant
88. The Channings - 1862 - Ellen Wood (a. k. a. Mrs Henry Wood)
89. Lost and Saved - 1863 - The Hon. Mrs. Norton
90. The Schönberg-Cotta Family - 1863 - Elizabeth Charles

91. Uncle Silas - 1864 - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
92. Barbara's History - 1864 - Amelia B. Edwards 
93. Sweet Anne Page - 1868 - Mortimer Collins
94. Crime and Punishment - 1868 - Feodor Dostoieffsky
95. Fromont Junior - 1874 - Alphonse Daudet
96. Marmorne - 1877 - P. G. Hamerton ("written under the pseudonym Adolphus Segrave")
97. Black but Comely - 1879 - G. J. Whyte-Melville
98. The Master of Ballantrae - 1889 - R. L. Stevenson
99. Reuben Sachs - 1889 - Amy Levy
100. News from Nowhere - 1891 - William Morris

My potted history of the novel would roughly be that what are now recognized in hindsight as early novels tend to be somewhat isolated tour d'forces by male pioneers like Cervantes and Defoe. It wasn't clear before the second half of the 18th century if the novel was a permanent type of writing. 

But, in the 1740s Samuel Richardson discovered with Pamela and Clarissa that there was a large market for books about women, and presumably read heavily by women, and from then on the novel was definitely a thing. Fairly quickly, women novelists emerged and earned a sizable share of the commercial market by the 1770s.

In general, female novelists tended to be less stylistically innovative or ambitious, and got less critical respect. Dr. Johnson, for example, would grump to Boswell about how much money Mrs. Burney was making, but also confess to having stayed up all night reading her latest page-turner.

The undisputed best of the first couple of generations of women novelists, Jane Austen, was a bestselling writer toward the end of her short life, with a major fan in the Prince Regent. After her death in her early forties, interest inevitably faded, but her reputation was kept alive, although not by critics and scholars, but by subsequent great writers such as Charles Dickens who frequently mentioned his large debt to her books. A recent computer study of word patterns in English literature found that the two most influential writers after Shakespeare were Austen and Sir Walter Scott. 

(By the way, I'm becoming interested in Scott as a political-historical thinker on ethnic conflict, such as between Scottish Highlanders and the English and between the Normans and the Saxons. Any recommendations for the most accessible of Scott's books along those lines?)

In general, I'd say that the male writers on Mr. Shorter's list are, from the perspective of 2013, on average more distinguished than the female writers. This would be another example of the common phenomenon of the male sex having a larger right tail of whatever bell curve you are looking at than the female sex. But the effect is not overwhelming. 

The 1898 list also adds 8 novels by living writers (e.g., Tolstoy, Hardy, Henry James, and Zola), none of them women. That's a tiny sample size, but I suspect that it's possible that women novelists subsequently faded in literary importance for awhile during the stylistically innovative late 19th and early 20th centuries.

45 comments:

FredR said...

"between the Normans and the Saxons. Any recommendations for the most accessible of Scott's books along those lines?"

Ivanhoe, I suppose.

"Four generations had not sufficed to blend the hostile blood of
the Normans and Anglo-Saxons, or to unite, by common language and
mutual interests, two hostile races, one of which still felt the
elation of triumph, while the other groaned under all the
consequences of defeat. The power had been completely placed in
the hands of the Norman nobility, by the event of the battle of
Hastings, and it had been used, as our histories assure us, with
no moderate hand. The whole race of Saxon princes and nobles had
been extirpated or disinherited, with few or no exceptions; nor
were the numbers great who possessed land in the country of their
fathers, even as proprietors of the second, or of yet inferior
classes. The royal policy had long been to weaken, by every
means, legal or illegal, the strength of a part of the population
which was justly considered as nourishing the most inveterate
antipathy to their victor. All the monarchs of the Norman race
had shown the most marked predilection for their Norman subjects;
the laws of the chase, and many others equally unknown to the
milder and more free spirit of the Saxon constitution, had been
fixed upon the necks of the subjugated inhabitants, to add
weight, as it were, to the feudal chains with which they were
loaded. "

Anonymous said...

One of the most misleading terms of 'stay at home mother', as if mothers who focus on family are locked inside the house.
Actually, they should be called free mothers as they're free to be at home, go to the library, visit the park, do reading and writing, painting and other hobbies. It's the stuck-at-work mothers who must shuffle paper or bend over assembly lines or check out counters all day. I mean how many jobs are really engaging and challenging? Most jobs are dreary and deadening to the soul.

Stephanie Meyer sure spent a lot of her time writing books. Didn't do her any harm to be a free mother.

But as long as the media keep using 'stay at home mother', the impression is that unless you're stuck at work, you are chained to the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Uncle Tom's Cabin?

a very knowing American said...

Who is John Galt?

a very knowing American said...

Without googling, which novelist on the list spent part of his/her life as a slave?

Steve Sailer said...

John Galt, obviously.

Alice said...

Wilkie Collins #80 is a woman!

Steve Sailer said...

"Who is John Galt?"

The author of 1820's "The Ayrshire Legatees," evidently.

Steve Sailer said...

A heavily bearded woman, apparently:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilkie_Collins

Steve Sailer said...

I should publish "The Kindle of Lists," in the manner of Irving Wallace and David Wallechinsky's bestselling "The Book of Lists." I should just put together all the lists with commentary I've published over the years. I'll get a blurb from The Count on Sesame Street.

Anonymous said...

The Modern Library list -- the most widely known recent 100 top novels list -- includes eight novels by women.

There can be individual idiosyncrasies in selection, but a difference between eight percent and fully a third is more than chance.

So the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were better for women's creativity than the twentieth. Maybe suffrage and liberation and sexual revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. Or maybe it is, but only as a way for the most powerful and influential men to exploit women for their own enrichment and consumption.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

I'm becoming interested in Scott as a political-historical thinker on ethnic conflict, such as between Scottish Highlanders and the English and between the Normans and the Saxons

Ivanhoe, definitely. But, that's the only one I've read as an adult.

Funny you should mention Scott. I've been reading this history of the scotch-irish and it's really fascinating (Scott is mention a few times in relation to his impact on how the people and times were viewed subsequently. NOTE: Scott is supposedly the first novelist that emphasized the different sympathies of a historical time, ie. tried to show their point of view. or provided context). The feudalism aspect, the religious wars, etc, all really interesting. I was pretty ignorant of this time period. I had no idea what the Ulster Plantation was all about. King James couldn't deal with the Irish so he decided to ... replace them! Sound familiar???

Mr Lomez said...

"I suspect that it's possible that women novelists subsequently faded in literary importance for awhile during the stylistically innovative late 19th and early 20th centuries."

Perhaps. But don't forget that at the center of literary Modernism was the lesbian Gertrude Stein. She was it's greatest advocate and curator. And Virginia Woolf (also likely a lesbian) was one it's most influential practitioners. Woolf still DOMINATES contemporary scholarship on Modernism.

Neal Murray said...

knowing American:

I am guessing (scout's honor) Cervantes, since I detect a bit of a trick here with folks scanning for a black author. I have not read Cervantes (to my shame) but understand he fought at Lepanto and was kind of a military stud. I want to say he got captured by Muslims at some point, which would count as slavery.

Anonymous said...

"Ivanhoe" is Sir Walter Scott's most accessible novel.

As for the list, well other than leaving out Mark Twain and Moby Dick its not bad. It also overstates Female "one-hit wonders".

For the time period 1890-1950, women do less well because the novel because more political and starts dealing more with war, society, ideology, etc. Finally, it should be noted the throughout the 19th century novel reading was considered by most men in the way we feel today about watching Soap Operas. It took a long time for men to start taking it seriously.

Antioco Dascalon said...

I agree with 7:05 anonymous on both counts. Counting the 100 top novelists, rather than the top 100 novels, will underestimate the best novelists.
Couple that with the much lower status of novelists in the 18th and 19th century and that explains much of the reason that women make up 30% of the list. Throw in the fact that the Jews were still for the most part in the shtetl, and you are getting somewhere.

feminist said...

Big deal, it ought to be 51%. Or 61% would be good also

Anonymous said...

Indeed, late 19th century novels tended to be "problem novels", concerned with the fashionable social problems of their time.
But from a German point of view, I'd say that women were rather good in such problem novels, and that some men's novels survived just because there was something more in them than just a fashionable problem. (Take Theodor Fontane, who partly plunged into the sontemporary "problems", but nowadays is read and loved because of his distant, sober and amused style and view of mankind.)

Anonymous said...

Speaking of writers, did you hear about what a huge creep Gore Vidal was? He was always creepy, but I didn't know he was this big of a creep:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/timteeman/gore-vidal-iconic-american-author-had-way-more-sex-than-you

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2496631/Family-Gore-Vidal-allege-pedophile-challenge-writers-37-million-will.html

Anonymous said...

You have some good female novelist for the period 1890-1950. Cather, Wharton, Virginia Wolfe,??. But they pale next to Hemingway, Faulkner, Orwell, Joyce, Steinbeck, Galsworthy, Waugh, Greene, Camus, Mann, etc. etc. etc.

Big men addressing big 20th Century issues. The women? Still writing about family, romance, etc.

fondatori said...

I've only read a couple of Scott's stories set in Scotland. Waverly is the only one I have read that features 'ethnic' conflict - its a story of a naive Englishman who gets caught up with the Jacobite rebellion. I'm not sure how useful it would be in the context of political thinking: in the book the Highland Scots are stylized and romantic rather than realistic. They are basically savages on the edge of civilization who follow a primitive and aggressive moral code - essentially the same characterization Indians would later receive in American literature. If you've read any of Cooper's Leatherstocking books you notice the influence of Scott in his treatment of the Indians - basically the same.

Anonymous said...

I know "she" comes much later, but, what about Evelyn Waugh?

peterike said...

These kinds of lists are great ways to uncover good reads from time past that have since faded from general memory. There are plenty of such novels out there, though they are often very difficult to find and out of print. Though a lot of stuff has been showing up for free on Kindle etc, except that I can't stand reading that way.

Steve: if you want to study a novelist's politics, forget Scott and get into James Fenimore Cooper. Not the Indian stuff, but his pile of other novels that often took up political issues.

Anonymous said...

Well, of course, there's Ivanhoe, which also deals with da Jooish question in addition to Saxon-Norman conflict.

I would have to say, however, that I suspect Scott is a poor reference. His historical sense was off 'kilt'er. He was, for example, responsible for much of the confusion that is the modern "historical" Scottish clan-tartan connection.

Thursday said...

Harold Bloom mentions Waverly, Redgauntlet, The Heart of Midlothian and Old Mortality as the best of Scott's novels. He also mentions Ivanhoe in his recommendations for younger readers. You might want to throw in Rob Roy too.

LemmusLemmus said...

If memory serves, Moby-Dick was basically unknown at the time and got rediscovered around 1920.

Chubby Ape said...

Anonymous said...

Speaking of writers, did you hear about what a huge creep Gore Vidal was? He was always creepy, but I didn't know he was this big of a creep:
....
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2496631/Family-Gore-Vidal-allege-pedophile-challenge-writers-37-million-will.html


That Daily Mail article has one of the funnier typos I've seen in a while. Gore Vidal's nephew said Vidal "would drink single male scotch 'until he collapsed'." Vidal liked his single male scotch eh?

Callowman said...

It's "tours de force", Steve. Touré D'Forces is a hard-charging up-and-coming running back.

Anonymous said...

I notice that #50 on the list was written by "Bulwer-Lytton", no Christian name. Would that have been Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the gold standard for poorly-written opening lines?

Edward Waverley said...

That was an interesting list. It's rather arbitrary for him to limit himself to a single title per author, but I understand his reason for doing so. Otherwise you would have a list dominated by only a few names. The fact is that Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen each deserve around five titles apiece on any such list.

As for how the guy developed the list, it comes across as being more of a quick exercise in free association and nostalgia than a concerted effort at hierarchy. You can see that pretty easily when you look at #27-#29.

"27. Valerius - 1821 - John Gibson Lockhart
28. Wilhelm Meister - 1821 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
29. Kenilworth - 1821 - Sir Walter Scott"

Note: Lockhart was the son-in-law of Walter Scott, and was not most famous as a novelist in his lifetime, nor is he most famous for that now. His actual claim to fame is having written what is generally regarded as the second greatest literary biography of all time, namely his "Life of Walter Scott" (Boswell's Johnson being the champion and archetype of the genre). So as this guy jotted down Lockhart's 'Valerius', it crossed his mind, "Ah, that was a good story, but it reminds me, he is Scott's son-in-law. Have to fit Scott in somewhere and quick!" So he put down Kenilworth.

"Any recommendations for the most accessible of Scott's books along those lines?"

Scott's books are not opaque, and he writes extensively about inter-ethnic relations among Normans, Saxons, and the clans. You will learn a ton of British history from any of the Waverley novels, but yes Ivanhoe is probably his juiciest and most market-ready potboiler.

As you mention about Austen, during her lifetime and after, brilliant male novelists always recognized her power and importance. Scott acknowledged her abilities.

Dickens was a devout reader of Fielding from boyhood and the influence is obvious.

The listmaker egregiously omitted Laurence Sterne's "Tristram Shandy." Not that I've read all of his titles, I admit.

roundeye said...

73 is Westward Ho! I never knew the golf course was named after a novel. It is pretty important from a gca perspective too, first golf course in England and was laid out by Old Tom.

Anonymous said...

"And of course women writers were totally ignored in 1898. Back then, women were kept illiterate and chained to the stove so no women could read novels, much less write them. And if they did, no male critic would praise them.

Oh, wait, that's not true.

At all.

In fact, 31% of this Victorian gentleman's choices of the 100 best novelists no longer living are female."

Believe me, any feminist who reads this will find a way to process it such that it does not challenge any of her previous views. Something like "SEE! THIS JUST PROVES WOMEN CAN WRITE GREAT NOVELS! SO IT PROVES MEN WERE WRONG TO KEEP WOMEN CHAINED DTO THE STOVE!"

Anonymous said...

Stephanie Meyer sure spent a lot of her time writing books. Didn't do her any harm to be a free mother.

JK Rowling was free to attend a coffee shop where she wrote her first book. She was referred to as a single mother though.

Rollory said...

"tour d'forces"

It's "tour de force", or, pluralized, "tours de force". 1) force doesn't start with a vowel, so there's no need to skip the e in de, 2) force modifies tour, which is the noun, the pluralization is specific to the noun and not the adjective being applied

your friendly neighborhood grammar nazi

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

I am obviously no expert int this area, but i don't think you are supposed to read Scott for his historical accuracy (although I think the stories themselves are probably worthwhile). He's interesting in light of his own influence on, and in thinking about, the times that he lived in.

pat said...

Women novelists and writers is not just a Western phenomenon. There are many Japanese writers who are women and always have been. This must prove something.

There are essentially no female composers, mathematicians, inventors or explorers. If I could find Murray's book on accomplishment somewhere around the house I could probably find more examples.

The pattern is clear - men do stuff, women don't, except write.

Albertosaurus

a very knowing American said...

Without googling, which novelist on the list spent part of his/her life as a slave?

"Neal Murray said...
I am guessing (scout's honor) Cervantes, since I detect a bit of a trick here with folks scanning for a black author. I have not read Cervantes (to my shame) but understand he fought at Lepanto and was kind of a military stud. I want to say he got captured by Muslims at some point, which would count as slavery."

Cervantes it is. He was captured by Algerian corsairs, and spent 5 years as a slave until being ransomed by his family.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried to read the last of mohicans?

it's unreadable!!

C. Van Carter said...

This essay talks about how popular the female novelist E.D.E.N. Southworth was in the 19th century.

C. Van Carter said...

Hawthorne mentions No. 71 on that list in his entirely justified complaint about the "damned mob of scribbling women".

C. Van Carter said...

All sorts of New Age, UFO, and superhero nonsense traces back to Edward Bulwer-Lytton, look up Vril.

Anonymous said...

All sorts of New Age, UFO, and superhero nonsense traces back to Edward Bulwer-Lytton, look up Vril.

First of all, it's not all nonsense. Second of all, most of it goes back even further, to Classical Greece, Rome, Persia, India, even the Hebrew Old Testament.

jody said...

limiting the list to 1 novel per writer greatly skews the result. but i'm sure you knew that. it would be like limiting musicians to 1 platinum album per career, limiting athletes to 1 MVP award per career, or limiting filmmakers to 1 academy award per career.

it reduces the towering giants of the field to a single entry on the list, the rest of which is then filled in with the best performances ever by average talents. in reality, the top couple guys have like 10 or 12 performances which are better than anything some average guy ever did in his finest hour.

to be germane, what if shakespeare was to be required, in every discussion of this type, to be represented by one single work, with all his other works necessarily discarded and struck from further discussion - for all intents and purposes, his other works don't even exist. then shakespeare could be fairly shoehorned into this system and 'compared' to other writers. as if this were a representative evaluation. which it's not.

by way of analogy we'd be forced to pretend that kathy bigelow is pretty close in ability to steven spielberg or james cameron or martin scorsese or christopher nolan.

in a pop version of this list, stephen king would have his massive library wacked down to one thing, probably the stand. whereas joanne rowling would also necessarily have to have her entire catalog trimmed down to one harry potter book, which would send the feminists screaming about how unfair that was, when the real unfairness would be trying to decide which major king work would be the singular one to represent him, while all other masterpieces are discarded.

ironically, this would be the more interesting discussion. whether carrie, the shining, the stand, the dark tower, christine, pet sematary, it, misery, rita hayworth and the shawshank redemption, or the green mile, was the more quintissential king work. women on the list would be represented by one work, something that's decent, but which is far outclassed by several works from the masters.

Kevin C. said...

Sir Walter Scott was a great admirer of Jane Austen. "That young Lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The big Bow-Wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch which renders ordinary common-place things and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment is denied to me. What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!"
Every authority on Scott comes up with a different list of what his best novels are. There's no consensus, except maybe for Ivanhoe being the most accessible. He doesn't only do medieval. Several stories are set in the 18th century. Some are heavy on Scottish dialect, which can be difficult. Sir Walter's worth the effort. Like Dickens,he's an author one comes to love as much for his human as his literary qualities.

Jen said...

I know this is an older post, but VERY INTERESTING! Women wrote more of the top novels back when we were "oppressed'. Heh. Well, back to my cubicle, now that I am an empowered, liberated woman!