Hello and welcome to Tag Tuesday in which
I discuss The My Favourite Writers TAG! The original idea was created by Alex of Whatpageareyouon. There is a link to his channel in the show
notes below. And Steve turned it into a tag and his original
video is also linked below. He asks us to discuss Your 6 authors who are “not quite”! Your 4 authors who are “maybe”! and then: Your 5 favorite authors! I wasn’t going to do this tag as I had already
produced a video of my top ten favourite authors and my top ten favourite novels, but the tag
is thought provoking and takes a slightly different approach which is worth exploring. So, in the spirit of the tag here are my six
not quite’s in no particular order. 1. George Eliot. This author was Jennifer’s
no. 1 favourite, but she is not quite for me because of the ending of The Mill on the
Floss, which I hated. So, even though she is not quite, because of the magnificent Middlemarch
and Adam Bede she still rates a place in my top twenty. And Middlemarch rates a top ten
place in my top ten favourite novels of all time.
2. Jane Austen. She is not quite because I didn’t enjoy Persuasion and I didn’t finish
Mansfield Park. But she enjoys a place in my top twenty and indeed her novel Pride and
Prejudice enjoys number one spot in my top ten favourite novels of all time.
3. Charles Dickens. He is not quite because although he is an important author who cannot
be ignored, I find his style to be digressive and his imagination grotesque.
However, he deserves a place in my top twenty because of his importance, but mainly for
the superb David Copperfield, which is a top ten novel for me.
4. William Shakespeare. I can’t quite figure out why he is not quite. He is renowned for
his four great tragedies, his history plays, especially with Falstaff and Hal, his comedies,
especially Much Ado About Nothing, and The Tempest, all of which are great, so why is
he not quite? This tag is all about favourites and while I acknowledge Shakespeare’s pre-eminent
place as the greatest writer who has ever lived, I cannot live and walk about in his
heady atmosphere quite at my ease. I am a mere mortal and his intellectual superiority
requires study to mine his depths and to appreciate all the nuances of his artistry, which is
perhaps why I cannot place him among my very favourite favourites, but he most certainly
deserves a place in my top twenty for the magnificence of his total output.
5. The Bronte’s. Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall are all brilliant
and so the Bronte’s deserve a place in my top twenty, but they don’t quite rank as
top favourites because they only produced these three masterpieces between them. I don’t
rate the other four novels as highly and thus they are not quite.
6. Lewis Carroll. The Alice Novels are brilliant. They are quirky, surreal, magical and enjoyable
to read. The rest of his output does not match up to the brilliance of the Alice novels and
therefore he is not quite. Next are the 4 authors who are “maybe”! 1. James Boswell for his Journals and especially
his London Journal of 1762-1763. The Life of Samuel Johnson was Boswell’s Presumptuous
Task as biographer Adam Sisman says. Boswell’s life of Johnson
is really Boswell’s Memoirs concerning his acquaintance with Samuel Johnson. He also
published 70 essays which reveal some of ‘the sallies of his luxuriant imagination’ as
he would have expressed it. I have a great love for Boswell.
2. A. C. Benson for his diaries and especially for the eighteen essays contained in From
a College Window, which I have read many times and have underlined passages in every one
of them. I also have the biography written by David Newsome called On the Edge of Paradise
which I enjoy. 3. Thomas Hardy. A novelist whom it is impossible
to ignore. I own all his works and he is a great author who produced several masterly
novels, but none more so for me than Far From the Madding Crowd.
4. H.E. Bates. The Pop Larkin Chronicles are an absolute delight and consist of five novels
about the Larkin family living in the English countryside. Finally, Your 5 favorite authors! These are:
1. W. Somerset Maugham for his novels and short stories.
2. Anthony Trollope for his Barchester and Parliamentary series and other novels.
3. Jean Plaidy for her historical fiction. 4. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for Holmes and Watson.
5. Jacques Casanova, the Chevalier de Seingalt for his six volumes of memoirs. But to avoid confusion the four maybes are
not competing for the top five places in my favourites list, because there are five others
ahead of them and these are: 1. Sir John Mortimer for Rumpole of the Bailey.
2. James Herriot for his Country Vet Memoirs. 3. Sir Winston Churchill for his World 1 and
World War 2 memoirs. 4. P.G. Wodehouse for the memoirs of Bertie
Wooster about his life with Jeeves. 5. Baroness Orczy for The Scarlet Pimpernel
series of novels. If it is argued that Thomas Hardy is a greater
writer than some of the others on my top ten list, I can only agree with you, but my argument
is that this is all about favourites and not about the merit of the writing or the greatness
of the author. In conjunction with this tag I would refer
my viewers to my top ten playlist of favourite authors and my top ten favourite novels, which
you can see in the Info cards above. Who to tag? See the next screen – you are tagged!