Book recommendation list Part II

Ven vendersleighc at
Sun Mar 16 20:46:05 EST 2003

In a post that suffered from a terrible amount of
typos I said

< I feel invclined to sort the Brits out into
their separate countries, but it's a bit late now
so I'll make a start with George MacDonald,

I'm wondering about the designation British.>

The latter sentence was actually intended for
cutting. It was the beginning of some deleted
ramblings, abandoned because I knew I was too
tired to know what I meant! But I'm glad Melissa
and Charles picked up on it thusly:
> That's just my ignorant American attitude about

everyone living in those
> islands being of one race and one culture.  You

are, right?  ;)>

Thanks Melissa, that means a lot coming from you
since you are always....... right. Right?

> Seriously, I just put that when I know that 
someone is roughly from the
> British Isles but don't know to give them a 
more specific nationality.>

And Charles said

<I'd at least separate the British Isles into the

Irish Republic and the UK,
or you may find that you've no sooner escaped the

wrath of the Disappointed
Dollmagers than you're set upon with a 
shillelagh/neatly-rolled umbrella.>

I ws actually thinking not so much as the
nationality/domicile of the author as the
setting/atmosphere of the books. The problem is
that on Islands as small as these it's hard to be
clear cut. I can think of more than one author
with afinities for more than on part of the
UK.DWJ with Wales and England and with Essex,
Oxford and Bristol within England.

<It's Martin Waddell, by the way. And if you're 
doing pseudonyms, Lemony
Snicket is really Daniel Handler. Oh, and Gillian

Cross is married to Martin
Cross, who's a Liberal Democrat.>


Me on Martin Waddell/Catherine Sefton
> Apparently the publishers
> thought his kind of fiction would sell better
> with a female name. He's Northern Irish and I
> definitly iinclude him amopng Irish writers.

He's indeed Northern Irish, from the 
Donaghadee/Newcastle area in Co. Down.
I don't classify him as Irish, because in my 
head, "Irish" implies that
either the author is a citizen of the Republic, 
or the story draws heavily
on Irish myth/folklore.  CS/MW sets the stories 
in British-ruled Northern
Ireland, but (in those I've read, anyway), leaves

the myth/folklore alone -
the stories could possibly take place almost 
anywhere, whereas something
like "The Hounds of the Morrigan" could *only* 
happen in Ireland.  (I know
this sort of contradicts my claim that Osc.Wilde 
is Irish, but he's, like, a
Classic Author and goes by different rules. :-)  

Well, that's interesting, I feel that MW's books
have a definite Irish feel to them (Northern
Irish), the countryside, the characters, the
culture, it couldn't be anywhere else. To set
them somewhere else would profoundly alter their
essence. I mean you can set just about any plot
just about anywhere but not without producing a
different work.

> I'm wondering about the designation British.

I was using it to designate any author who might 
reasonably be supposed to
have citizenship in England, Scotland, Wales, or 
Northern Ireland - not
counting authors drawing on Irish myth/folklore 
who were born in the 26
counties before 1937!

The "Irish thing" can get difficult. :-)

Can't it just. I suspect that trying to
categorise UK authors/books into separate
countries, by anything other than author's
residence, is as doomed an enterprise as 
trying to split fantasy and science fiction, more
so as it's a four way split. It's something best
left for notes or commentary I think.


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