A Partial List

Now THAT was an eventful week for the Egotist’s Club. Starting a meme, adding a muse and the marathon church sessions of the Triduum and Easter, I am exhausted. I went to work to relax! I just wanted to zip up the last week and prepare the ground for this week so that all my gentle readers can join me in anticipation of another great celebration of wonderful books.

Last Tuesday, when I (Thalia), mentioned the roster of my book heroes I was requested to make that list public. I still think it had better be in partiality, so I solicited Melpomene’s top 5 loves and I’ll give you my top 5. I’ve included their authors and titles so that you have a hope of finding these men if you happen currently to be strangers. That should tide you over and give you lots to read!


Captain Wentworth: Jane Austen  Persuasion 
Aragorn: J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Rings
Lord Peter Wimsey: Dorothy L. Sayers Whose Body?
Sir Percy Blakeney: Baronnes Orczy The Scarlet Pimpernel
Howl: Diana Wynne Jones Howl’s Moving Castle


Jamie: Gene Stratton Porter The Keeper of the Bees
Archie: G.A. Henty In Freedom’s Cause
Richard: Robert Louis Stevenson The Black Arrow 
Nat: Elizabeth George Spear The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Malcolm: George Macdonald (rev. Phillips)  The Fisherman’s Lady

Odd. My list has a high percentage of bagpipe players and soldiers. “This is an older scheme than I thought!” (Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens)

There you are for that topic. It is time for a new delight!

This week, we are considering books and music. Theme songs, iconic sounds, special effects? I don’t know! We’ll have to wait and see what our muses think of. Watch out! or perhaps I mean….



15 thoughts on “A Partial List

  1. Thanks! I am familiar with most of Melpomene’s, but yours, Thalia, are all new to me! I have been trying to read through all of MacDonald’s works, but it is taking time.

  2. Ohh… You just have to read some Gene Stratton Porter. Get Freckles, Her Father’s Daughter and The Keeper of the Bees. 🙂 You’ll love it. It’s not hard reading. Just pleasant.
    Speaking of hard reading…George Macdonald is tough! Someone went through them and editing around the Scots and condensed them. That’s where I met and fell in love with Malcolm. The actually book is a mystery to me. I got it once in college from the massive library, but honestly, I couldn’t understand a word. Scots is hard for me to reason out than Greek!

    • *clutches heart and keels over* aia!

      I can understand editing out the Scots dialect. I… grudgingly understand condensing for the sake of the modern audience. If these things were not done, almost no one would read him, even of the few that do. But the first time I picked up an abridged copy of The Princess and Curdie, I wept to see the story dead in my hands. I have yet to find an abridged copy of any of his stories that I can stand. I even realized that one was abridged despite the fact that I had never read it before. No, I will not read MacDonald abridged.

      MacDonald is difficult, I own. He wanders, and it is hard to know where he is going, but I have found that when I follow him, I find riches as if I had followed a rainbow. Moreover, when I read the same work again, I find more, and so on and so forth.

      • I suppose I could understand toning down the Scots dialect, if it really became too difficult, although I think I would just prefer footnotes with helpful hints, definitions, and translations. Abridgement of prose, though, I will never tolerate! Well, okay, I will accept an abridgement specifically designed for younger children–after all, I greatly benefited from the Great Illustrated Classics when in elementary school. But for adult reading? It must be all or nothing! Especially MacDonald! My family has had abridged copies of this two princess books since before I was born, and those are what were read to my sisters. But I refuse to read them, and instead went out and bought my own unabridged copies. His writing can be difficult and uneven, but that’s part of what makes it special!

        I haven’t read, or even heard of, The Fisherman’s Wife, but as I have a policy of buying any MacDonald I find that I don’t own already, I’m sure to collect it if ever I come across it.

  3. I’m most intrigued by your inclusion of Stevenson’s The Black Arrow. Hardly anyone ever seems to mention that one, but I quite liked it. In fact, while thinking of how I shall enter this recent Book Meme of yours, I remembered having a minor crush on Joanna. Sadly, I don’t remember the book in enough detail to write about it, but it does encourage me to reread it sometime soon.

    • Oh gracious, I LOVE his speech.

      “Now I go perhaps to my death, and I must say this: Y’are the best maid and the bravest, and if I live I will return and rescue you and marry you; and, live or die, I love you…”

      *bookmarks it for week 7*

  4. Perhaps I should mention that I was 11 when I read the Macdonald, and while I am very much a purist in many ways, I can hardly discredit a good reduction just because it is a reduction. I was an enterprising child at 11 who was already accustomed to Shakespeare and like Dante, but it did me no harm to cut my Macdonald teeth on a revision. Since then, I have tried to read the originals, but it was during college and it proved too difficult to practice violin and understand him, so I have not yet attempted it again…

    Oh, and I loved Joanna too… in an I-Wish-I-Were-That-Cool kind of way. as in… I can’t swim. 🙂

    • Fair enough — I’m fine with abridgements that aid in introducing younger readers to great fiction. I only started reading MacDonald for myself in college.

    • I didn’t mean to seem to jump on you. I was lucky enough to cut my teeth on his children’s literature, which is more accessible than his other novels. If I had tried to read Lilith at 11, I would have been hopelessly lost even though I, too, enjoyed and understood Shakespeare at that age.
      I fervently second David’s “especially MacDonald,” though. I have tried, and failed, to express what I mean, alas!

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