One more question...

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at
Fri Jul 27 13:34:29 EDT 2001

---Original Message From: shelly at
> Ok, I confess ... one of the reasons I'm leaving my current
> job is to have more time to write. I scribble away at short
> stories, wch are pretty bad, but I'm not precious about them,
> so anyone's welcome to have a look. What I'm really
> interested in is biography - hoping to write something about
> bestselling Victorian & Edwardian novelist who are now
> completely forgotten - explore their lives & times, theorise
> about why they were so successful then & so completely
> defunct now. Be interested to know whether anyone else on the
> list writes non-fict.

Interesting.  I'm wondering if any Victorian authors are popular any
more.  I mean, Jane Austin (is she Victorian?  I'm afraid I lose track
of the cut offs for these things.  I think she's regency?).  I recently
read a summary of a biography of Robert Louis Stevenson (not really
Victorian, he was last half of the 19th Century).  It seems that about a
billion biographies of this guy exist with new ones coming out
periodically for no apparent reason.  And to be fair, he had a
fascinating life full of action and adventure and including a sudden
death at the young age of 44 at the height of his career.  But this
modern pseudo-popularity seems to be tied more to his weird life than to
his literature.  He wrote some of the more enduring works--things you'd
recognize like "Treasure Island" and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and
Mr. Hyde".  He wrote engaging, psychological thrillers and has, despite
that, disappeared from our literature.  If he can fade to obscurity what
chance does any lesser writer have?

Jacob Proffitt

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