Posts Tagged ‘anonymous’

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To M.L.G.; or, He Who Passed

June 13, 2011

I’m fascinated by anonymous novels. I love seeing ads in old Publisher’s Weeklys claiming that a new novel is written by a bestselling author who’s concealing his or her name to see how it’ll affect sales. I think it’s amazing that people used to be able to publish anonymous sequels to other authors’ books. When I can find it, I love speculation about who the real author might be.

To M.L.G.; or He Who Passed is an anonymous novel from 1912 that purports to be the autobiography of a successful American actress. She’s fallen in love with an Englishman, and he with her, but she’s scared to tell him about her somewhat disreputable past face to face, so she’s decided to publish it as a book instead. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Reviews at EP: The Visits of Elizabeth, etc.

January 17, 2011

My new post at Edwardian Promenade is up! It’s about one of my favorite Elinor Glyn books, The Visits of Elizabeth, and two sequels, one by Glyn and one…not.

I found myself thinking, halfway through Elizabeth Visits America, about the way books take place in their own separate worlds. I mean, I often think about how an author’s style sort of creates an alternate universe, so the works of Elinor Glyn take place in a world where women are naturally a bit conniving and men are very simple and countries age like people, but here I was thinking more about how I read a lot of books set in the same time period, but somehow I always relate them in terms of style, not history. Anyway, there’s a bit in Elizabeth Visits America where Elizabeth is in New York, and she talks about young people who aren’t out in society yet, and how the boys and girls are as familiar with each other as siblings, and how their dances are almost like children’s parties, and I suddenly realized that — remember, this is 1909 — hey, that’s Patty Fairfield that Elizabeth is meeting, basically. So, I don’t know, I thought I’d share that.

Anyway, the post is here.

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One Day

September 16, 2010

Remember Three Weeks? Remember High Noon?

Elinor Glyn published Three Weeks in 1907. Anonymous published High Noon in 1911. Anonymous — the same Anonymous, I’ve just found — published One Day in 1909. So, yeah, I went and read them in the wrong order. I’m not sorry, though; awful as High Noon was, I’m glad it wasn’t tainted for me by the total horror that is One Day.

What do I even say about One Day? Everything I can think of entails a level of profanity you don’t normally see on this blog. Read the rest of this entry ?

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One Year of Redeeming Qualities

March 10, 2008

Last week was the one-year anniversary of this blog. I still enjoy writing about weird old books. I’m a little bit impressed that I’ve managed to keep it going for so long. I don’t know that there’s much else to say about it, but I thought I should do something to celebrate, so here’s a list of my favorite finds since I began writing Redeeming Qualities, in order of discovery.

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High Noon

July 7, 2007

So, remember Paul Verdayne from Three Weeks? An anonymous someone wanted to give him a happy ending, and wrote this sequel, High Noon. Sadly, it does not take place in the Western United States, although that would be hysterical. Instead, Paul returns to Switzerland and again falls in love with another mysterious Russian lady with black hair. It’s not really clear why, since right up until he falls in love with her he’s supposed to be indifferent to women. But apparently she resembles his “Queen” from Three Weeks, and then he decides that his Queen must have sent her, or something. And then he starts acting like every other man in every other early twentieth century trashy romance novel — well, half of them. The other half are creepy rapists like the hero of The Sheik.

But I suppose it doesn’t really matter if the plot makes any sense, because the writing is terrible. I mean, check this bit out:

“Oh! God,” he cried, out of the anguish of his soul, “what a hideous world! Beneath all this painted surface, this bedizened face of earth, lies naught but the yawning maw of the insatiable universe. This very lake, with its countenance covered with rippling smiles, is only a cruel monster waiting to devour. Everything, even the most beautiful, typifies the inexorable laws of Fate and the futility of man’s struggle with the forces he knows not.”

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