Nostalgic Review of Famous Authors
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.
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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