Nostalgic Review of Famous Authors

Country road.
Country road. | Source

My Love Affair With Fiction

Movies In My Head was written in response to the question, Why do people read? The truth is that I can only answer by telling you why I read. As I started writing part one I found myself going down memory lane to books and authors I learned to love in another time and another place.

I have always been interested in history so one of the earliest books I read that occasionally haunts me even now is a book I read in Junior High School called The Sherwood Ring written by Elizabeth Marie Pope. It is a wonderful story about a seventeen year old girl whose father died and she went to live with family who lived in an ancestral home where she met many Revolutionary era ghosts who told her their story. It was a compelling story that even four decades later I remember.

One of my early favorite authors was Inglis Fletcher (1879-1969) who was a researcher as well as a gifted storyteller. Her Carolina series was wonderful and I learned a lot about the lives of the planters who lived during the pre-revolutionary war. This is good reading but it is meaty stuff and does not read like today’s novels.

Famous Authors

Inglis Fletcher
Inglis Fletcher
Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie
Anne McCaffrey
Anne McCaffrey
Grace Livingston Hill
Grace Livingston Hill
J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien
Agatha Christie as a girl.
Agatha Christie as a girl. | Source
Source
Source

Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple and Grace Livingston Hill

Who could forget the prim, crisp murder mystery stories of Agatha Christie in her awesome British style. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple were two of her most famous creations who will live forever.

Grace Livingston Hill (1865-1947) was a part of my early development. She wrote stories about unfortunate heroines who were many times spoiled but managed to change their lives in favor of becoming a Christian and everything worked out. The hero was usually a man with money who swept the heroine off to a wonderful life. I was young, impressionable, and read every single one of her novels. Today I look back and realize that her heroines were too perfect but they gave me pleasure during a certain time of my life and for that I am grateful. Today I learned that Grace Livingston Hill wrote a number of novels under the pen name Marcia Macdonald. Interesting. How did I miss this?

A floodgate of wonderful memories has opened to me now that I am thinking about the wonderful moments I spent between the pages of my books. Emily Loring (1864-1951) was a wonderful romance writer who taught me about life among the wealthy during World War II in the 1940’s. She started her writing career in 1914 when she was fifty years old. Two of my favorites are When Hearts Are Light Again, and When Love Came Laughing By. I read all of her books and they provided a window into a world that is gone and will never return. I know that her books are cleaned up and we do not see the harshness of life but it is a wonderfully refreshing escape from our world today.

Anne McCaffrey and JRR Tolkien

Anne Inez McCaffrey (1926 -) introduced me to dragons and I will be eternally grateful. One of my sons gave me a book titled All The Weyrs of Pern for Christmas back during the early nineties. It was one of the best gifts I every received.The Dragonriders of Pern series started me on a new adventure learning about dragons that was fun and delightful.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892- 1973) gave me The Hobbitt, and the Lord of the Rings series. This was a treasure to read and reread for many years. I waited thirty years for Peter Jackson to make a decent movie of this series. Some things were not exact but for the most part I had already seen this movie in my head years ago.

Every one of these books appeared visually in my mind. I saw every hero and heroine. The dragons were real and individual, the settings were so clear I felt like I was there every time I picked up one of these books. I did not need to leave home to travel anywhere in the world. While I know that books generally cannot give an exact description of places in the world, they can get very close. This is why I read. I could never stop my lifelong love affair with books. Keep reading!

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Comments 7 comments

Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Pollyannalana, I was amazed by the Marcia Macdonald pen name and I read Grace Livingston Hill in the sixties (please don't tell anyone) lol. I read the earliest Daniel Steele books when she was writing for Harlequin Presents. However, I never followed her big novels when she left Harlequin. My all time favorite is Georgette Heyer. I still reread her books today and they are as fresh and alive as the first time I read them. My all time favorite historical romance was called Leonora by a little known author Catherine Fellowes. Just love that book. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

I did not know Grace Livingston Hill wrote under Marcia Macdonald and I ran book stores for years and collected older ones of hers also for my customers who could never get enough. Something that always shocked everyone I dared tell (bad for business) I did not like Danielle Steel, she was always looking in the mirror at how beautiful she was, somehow I could not disconnect that from her real personality, and I just could not believe the book as I read it, just a bad way she brought it across. I much preferred LaVyrle Spencer, she was a much better author to me.


Smireles profile image

Smireles 6 years ago from Texas Author

Thank you so much! Sounds like you have the same type discussions at your house that we have! I will check out Charles de Lint! Thanks for the tip! Blessings!


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 6 years ago from Tucson, Az

oh yeah! I forgot who wrote flame and the flower man those were goodd romance stories :) but the best romance authoress to me is ora Roberts :) and I love tolkien/who else but check out Charles de Lint :) Moonheart...fantstic!! and I feel the same about books, I am there, in the book when I am reading...I was pleased with the ring trilogy...it was true to the story line and the sights/castles/all very much as I saw while reading it!! my son and I had a running argument about the ending/he swore Aragorn did not marry his fairy/I got my old book out and turned right to the paragraph!! great article/love to you


Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas Author

Duchess, I knew I remembered Kathleen Woodiwiss! I still own copies of The Wolf and the Dove, and The Flame and the Flower! Perhaps I will revisit her work. I enjoyed her immensely.


Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas Author

I have read Kathleen Woodiwiss but none of her books come to mind at the moment. I will check her out because I know I have read her in the past. I am going to check out Robert Jordan and Anne McCaffrey's Ship series. This is exciting! You have given me something wonderful to look forward to. I appreciate it very much!


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

I read part one so had to see what else you had to say. It seems you and I have similar tastes. J.R. Tolkien was a favorite of mine long before the movies came out. If you like his work, you might enjoy the series, The Wheels of Time by Robert Jordan.

Of the Anne McCaffrey Dragon series I enjoyed the stories about the white dragon the most because Ruth could not only go where (in between) but when as well. If you loved this series, might I also suggest you will enjoy the Ship series as well.

An author you have not mentioned in either of your series is Kathleen Woodiwiss. I do believe you will find her as enjoyable as the others you have mentioned. http://www.kathleenewoodiwiss.com/books/books.asp

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