Long-Remembered Books Released Within a Short Time

Creative bursts! They can happen at the start of novelists’ careers, or after they become established enough to quit time-consuming day jobs, or after they become parental empty-nesters with more writing hours, or near the end of careers when authors know their remaining years are limited, or because they’re creating series rather than stand-alone books, or for momentum reasons, or for other reasons, or for no discernible reasons at all. Readers are the beneficiaries.

One memorable burst occurred when George Eliot wrote her first, second, and third novels in rapid succession — all classics. Adam Bede in 1859, The Mill on the Floss in 1860, and Silas Marner in 1861. Eliot’s novel-writing career began relatively late — she turned 40 in 1859 — so there was plenty of pent-up literary energy and ideas.

During the same 1859-61 period in England, the prolific-for-more-than-two-decades Charles Dickens penned a pair of novels that were unquestionably among his best: A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations.

In the U.S. a decade earlier, Nathaniel Hawthorne produced The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of the Seven Gables (1851) back-to-back.

Hawthorne’s friend Herman Melville churned out seven novels between 1846 and 1852. Only one all-time classic (1851’s Moby-Dick), but all very good — and the last the underappreciated near-classic Pierre (1852). Then came 1853’s extraordinary short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener.”

Also impressively prolific for a long time was Alexandre Dumas — but his two most-famous novels, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, were both completed in a single year! That was 1844.

Still earlier in the 19th century, between 1811 and 1818, Jane Austen’s classics Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey*, and Persuasion were all published — the last two titles posthumously. (*Well, I’m not sure Northanger Abbey is a classic. 🙂 ) Work on some of those novels began well before 1811, but it was still an amazing few years of productivity.

Austen contemporary Sir Walter Scott was 43 in 1814 when he finally became a published novelist after achieving fame as a poet, and proceeded to write a barrage of novels — about 25 — before his 1832 death 18 years later. His two best-known titles, Rob Roy and Ivanhoe, were released three years apart (1817 and 1820).

Moving forward in time, the also-very-prolific Henry James had some creative bursts with his more notable novels — for instance, Washington Square in 1880 and The Portrait of a Lady in 1881. But perhaps his most impressive feat was writing The Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903), and The Golden Bowl (1904) in three consecutive later-career years. All highly ambitious (some might say overwritten) novels.

Later in the 20th century and into the 21st, some novelists have created canons so copious it seems like much of their respective writing careers have been one creative burst — with some books better than others, of course. Among those fertile “fictioneers” were/are Agatha Christie, Isaac Asimov, Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Walter Mosley, Lee Child, and John Grisham, to name just a few.

Finally, we have famous familial fiction frenzies. In that realm, it’s hard to top the three Bronte sisters — with Charlotte’s classic Jane Eyre, Emily’s classic Wuthering Heights, and Anne’s good Agnes Grey all released in 1847. Then came Anne’s excellent The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1848.

Any authorial creative bursts you’d like to mention?

The great Canadian podcaster Rebecca Budd, who often comments here under the name Clanmother, invited Russian-literature blogger Elisabeth van der Meer of Finland and myself in Montclair, New Jersey, to a long-distance, three-way conversation about enduring themes in fiction. Among the works we discussed were Pride and Prejudice, The Handmaid’s Tale, All Quiet on the Western Front, Animal Farm, Lorna Doone, Eugene Onegin, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, and The Lord of the Rings. The podcast can be heard here.

My literary-trivia book is described and can be purchased here: Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time.

In addition to this weekly blog, I write the 2003-started/award-winning “Montclairvoyant” topical-humor column for Baristanet.com. The latest weekly piece — about an upcoming referendum for an elected school board — is here.

79 thoughts on “Long-Remembered Books Released Within a Short Time

  1. Pingback: The Henry James Reader – Opening One's Eyes

  2. Hi Dave. Great mentions of authors who published prolifically! I’m disappointed that Barbara Cartland hasn’t been mentioned yet – 800+ and counting I believe, with abut 150 being published posthumously. I can’t say I’ve ever read one of her novels, but she was obviously onto something!
    Another contemporary of Cartland and Christie who published prodigiously was Enid Blyton. Think she’s on a par with Cartland for numbers. As a child I read many of her stories.
    Margaret Oliphant was writing up until the end of the 19th Century. Her career grew from having to support her extended family.
    GK Chesterton who wrote the Father Brown short stories had quite a number under his belt, as did Conan Doyle (how could I overlook him!) and also Alistair Maclean published a surprising amount, roughly one a year throughout his writing career. I believe he begrudged writing – can you imagine?!
    Very Britishcentric this week!! However, I shall temper this with the thought that I should have been in New Jersey this weekend for a friend’s wedding…maybe next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Sarah! Great mention of Barbara Cartland, who I haven’t read, either, but who was indeed incredibly prolific. Great mentions of various other authors, too!

      I’ve read one Alistair MacLean novel, “Where Eagles Dare,” and liked it a lot. It IS odd to hear about an author begrudging writing, though of course authoring a book is rarely easy.

      Hope you get to attend that wedding eventually!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve only read ‘HMS Ulysses’ by Maclean which is an absolute favourite. I keep meaning to pick up another of his. I do have a western somewhere. He was just so tetchy about the process judging from comments he made!

        The wedding is going ahead as planned – I don’t suppose I could expect them to put it off for another year 😉

        Liked by 1 person

          • Ulysses is an excellent read…basing that on reading precisely one of his books of course. However, I’ve spent a lot of time in Orkney and exploring Scapa Flow so it might have taken on that mythical status that books often do. I’ve just finished reading ‘So Much for That’ (thanks for recommending) and I’m now in search of something else…maybe Ulysses is worth going back to.

            And I appreciate my original comment about the wedding may have been poorly worded! Yes, they tie the knot today!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’ve never read “Ulysses”; somehow never summoned the courage to try that challenging James Joyce novel. 🙂 I did love his “The Dead.”

              Glad you liked “So Much for That”! Such a compelling, hard-hitting novel, and wasn’t that tropical-island ending something?

              Liked by 1 person

              • I’ve got this feeling I’ve read it before, but I’m surprised it didn’t have quite the same impact as it did this time. But quite a decision to make and be able to act on it. I’m sure it remains just a dream for many people. I read in the notes after that Shriver went there (I think it was there) for the purposes of research. Not a bad job really is it!
                I think I may give Ulysses by Joyce a miss. I’ve been dipping in and out of another blog that’s doing a chapter by chapter breakdown. I think it may be a bit too ‘stream of consciousness’ which I won’t enjoy.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Visiting that gorgeous island for the purposes of the book? Not too painful indeed! 🙂 And her protagonist making that happen was VERY impressive.

                  Yes, rereading some novels isn’t always an ideal experience. For one thing, the element of surprise is gone.

                  Reading or rereading a book like “Ulysses” is quite a commitment.

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dave,

    I loved your topic last week, but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to comment. I must confess that I didn’t read any of those wonderful book in the ‘60s, though that could have something to do with the fact that I wasn’t born until the ‘70s!

    Likewise for the classics you’ve mentioned this week. It seems to me that Jane Austen would have been talented enough to write her brilliant novels quite quickly, but I’m struggling to remember them being released . There is something quite comforting in those older, prolific writers though. I’ve just started a new Dickens (new for me anyway; again, I think it was published a little while ago) and even though I have no idea what the story is about, it already feels familiar with the little description at the start of the chapter, and the cold and dark settings, and names like Chuzzlewit and Pecksniff.

    My first thought this week though was definitely Stephen King. Him I AM old enough to remember releasing books. Maybe too many books as I think I’ve lost track of the ‘new’ ones. I guess crime writers would also be good at writing a lot of books quite quickly once they’ve established their main characters and what kind of stories they want to tell. I think Jane Harper has done that here in Australia. Her first book was released in 2016 and was so highly raved about that I felt like I had to keep away. I finally gave her a go when her third book was released in 2018 however didn’t really like her writing style. Then when her fourth book came out last year, even her devoted fans were starting to feel that she might be getting formulaic. But if it still works, good on her for keeping at it.

    Sorry, Dave, is this rambly? It feels rambly. I’ve recently quit my job and am having trouble staying focused. 18 more days until my next big adventure starts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Susan! Ha! Yes, hard to read books during a decade where you weren’t born yet. 😂

      Reading a new-to-you Dickens — exciting! And I share your love of his character names. 🙂

      Stephen King is indeed one of the first authors a person thinks of when it comes to churning out work after work.

      And a great point that formulaic series make it easier for some authors to write many books in a short amount of time — even as some keep it fresh and some don’t.

      Like

      • Forgot to mention, Susan — the very best of luck with your “next big adventure”! Will you be starting a new job in a couple weeks? If so, hope it all works out well!

        Like

  4. I had no idea Dumas wrote both of those books in one year. That’s INSANE. And I’m working on that Jane Austen list, I just finished reading “Sense and Sensibility” for the first time this weekend. I knew the gist of the story but had never actually read the whole thing before! Glad I took the time to do so, as Jane Austen never disappoints 🙂 I might take advantage of this post to mention the “Goosebumps” series by R.L. Stine – my bread and butter as an elementary and junior high student 🙂 🙂 Talk about a creative burst. There’s about a billion of those books hahaha! I used to collect them and had hundreds at one point (many of them repeat copies), but I gave them all away when I moved out of my parents house!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, M.B.! Yes, 1844 was an astonishing year for Dumas. He did do some work on at least one of those two novels before 1844, but still…

      Glad you liked “Sense and Sensibility”! Indeed one of several excellent Austen novels.

      You’re wryly/hilariously ( 😂 ) right about R.L. Stine — he has authored a TON of books. It can be easier to write children’s and YA novels than adult ones, but producing hundreds of books is still beyond impressive. Sounds like a wise move to give them away; too many to worry about during subsequent moves!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m always late to the party, but the benefit is reading your comments thread!! My first thought when I first read your post on this theme, Dave, was Winston Graham of the Poldark novel series. I remember not a short creative burst but rather a 20 year gap between novels #4 and #5. But when I went to confirm that on Wikipedia I was shocked to see how prolific he really was writing many other novels.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mary Jo! Not late at all. 🙂

      Interesting how an author can have a large time gap before coming out with the next book in a series while still being otherwise prolific. The creative muse can work in strange ways. Reminds me of how the last of the seven sequels to the 1908-published “Anne of Green Gables” didn’t come out until 1939 even as L.M. Montgomery wrote many non-“Anne” novels during those three decades.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another British author came to mind, E.M. Forster, who wrote four of his five novels during the years 1905-1910: “Where Angels Fear to Tread,” “The Longest Journey,” “A Room with a View,” and “Howards End.” Although he was known for other writings, such as travel essays and histories, he didn’t publish his most successful novel, “A Passage to India,” until 1924. I haven’t read the first two novels, but I did enjoy very much the other three, especially “Howards End.”

    Like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury is another quite prolific novelist and short-story writer, and they both wrote mostly in the science fiction/fantasy genre. I agree with jhNY and you about it being easier for genre writers to crank out more books in a shorter period of time — which is not to take away from their masterful writing abilities and accomplishments. The “Foundation” trilogy by Asimov and many of Bradbury’s novels and collections are on my TBRR (To Be Re-Read) list.

    I can certainly attest to the amazing number of novels penned by Agatha Christie. I spent some time last week unpacking and rearranging my book collection on new shelves in my new home, and I counted 67 paperbacks I have of her mysteries, plus one hardcover of short stories. Most of them I’ve read twice. Yikes!

    Dave, It was a pleasure to see illustrations of my dear Jane Austen’s six novels. And for the record, I’m one who would consider “Northanger Abbey” a classic! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kat Lit! That was indeed a prolific half-decade for E.M. Forster, who somehow I’ve never read. Will try to rectify that one of these days. (I did see the excellent movie version of his novel “Maurice.”)

      Also, a great mention of Ray Bradbury, who I agree wrote all kinds of memorable works for decades.

      Your Agatha Christie collection is VERY impressive!

      I like “Northanger Abbey,” but I like Jane Austen’s other five major novels a good deal more. But I could comfortably call “NA” a near-classic. 🙂

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      • I’d agree with putting “NA” last, and I’m pretty much in agreement with your ranking below, though I sometimes waver back and forth about “Mansfield Park” and “Emma.”

        I didn’t see the movie “Maurice,” but I thought the movie adaptation of “Howards End” was excellent. It starred Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins, and you can’t go wrong with them — they were also wonderful together in “The Remains of the Day.” “Howards End” also starred Helena Bonham Carter and Vanessa Redgrave. Great cast!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for the follow-up comment, Kat Lit! I agree that “Mansfield Park” and “Emma” are quite close when it comes to rankings. “Emma” might be a slightly better novel, but the title character is kind of annoying. 🙂

          Yes, one can’t go wrong with Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter, and Vanessa Redgrave in movies!

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  7. De gustibus, of course, but many of the more current authors listed in your piece seem to be genre writers, employing formulas and plots and character types that conform to the genre, or don’t, just to provide a new wrinkle to expectation. It’s easier to pile up titles in such creative circumstances, and so, less surprising they might do so.

    On the other hand, As Liz Gauffreau points out upthread, Count No’Count seems to have done a lot of experimental fiction of the first water in a very short time– wow!

    H. Ryder Haggard wrote “King Solomon’s Mines” (1885) and “She” (1886– in its serialized form before being compiled into a book in 1887), one right after the other. Both books sold millions.

    But, as ever, I will change focus from the topic at hand, to a tangential one, which I include here because so far as I know, there is nothing like this creative burst in any other art form, and only one in painting:
    In the 18 months he lived in Arles, Vincent Van Gogh painted 200 canvasses, all of them keepers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, jhNY! You’re right — a number of the more recent authors I mentioned are indeed fully or partly genre writers; as you noted, easier to churn out books that way. Some of the more “literary” novelists of today — Donna Tartt, Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides, etc. — often have large time gaps between their books.

      That was quite a mid-1880s for H. Ryder Haggard!

      Wow — an amazing “creative burst” from Vincent van Gogh. I hadn’t realized he did so many painting in so short a time.

      Like

  8. Concerning Henry James I only remember having read “The Aspern Papers”, a kind of thriller, and I thank you Dave for all your proposals. Yesterday we watched the film Papillon and the book and the partly personal experiences by Henri Charrière about the French Gulag in Guayana returned to my mind. It would maybe not be a bad idea to take it up again.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Dave, you have mentioned a few of my favourite authors and books here. I love the Bronte’s [did you know Patrick self published a book of poetry?]. I also love Dickens and Great Expectations is my favourite of his books. I’ve read it a few times including as a young girl armed with a dictionary. The Scarlet Letter is another favourite book. Does James Clavell fit in here? He wrote the following:
    The Asian Saga consists of seven novels:[31]

    King Rat (1962), set in a Japanese POW camp in Singapore in 1945.
    Tai-Pan (1966), set in Hong Kong in 1841
    Shōgun (1975), set in Japan from 1600 onwards
    Noble House (1981), set in Hong Kong in 1963
    Whirlwind (1986), set in Iran in 1979.
    Gai-Jin (1993), set in Japan in 1862
    Escape: The Love Story from Whirlwind (1994), a novella adapted from Whirlwind (1986)
    Given the historical detail and size of these books, his achievement in writing them is outstanding.

    Colleen McCullough was also prolific. Here are her books:
    Selected novels
    Tim (1974)
    The Thorn Birds (1977)
    An Indecent Obsession (1981)
    A Creed for the Third Millennium (1985)[8]
    The Ladies of Missalonghi (1987)
    The Song of Troy (1998)[21]
    Morgan’s Run (2000)[8]
    The Touch (2003)
    Angel Puss (2005)[citation needed]
    The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet (2008)[8]
    Bittersweet (2013)[21]
    Masters of Rome series
    The First Man in Rome (1990)
    The Grass Crown (1991)
    Fortune’s Favourites (1993)
    Caesar’s Women (1996)
    Caesar (1997)
    The October Horse (2002)
    Antony and Cleopatra (2007)
    Carmine Delmonico series
    McCullough also published five murder mysteries in the Carmine Delmonico series.[21]

    On, Off (2006)
    Too Many Murders (December 2009)
    Naked Cruelty (2010)
    The Prodigal Son (2012)
    Sins of the Flesh (2013)
    Biographical work
    The Courage and the Will: The Life of Roden Cutler VC (1999)[22]
    Memoir
    Life Without the Boring Bits (2011).

    I also love her writing, so descriptive and beautiful. Thanks for this interesting and thought provoking post, Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Robbie! Great lists!

      As you’re alluding to, one doesn’t have to produce a novel every year to be incredibly prolific if the novels are long and heavily researched. “Shogun,” for instance, is about 1,000 pages — and James Clavell definitely did his homework re Japan circa-1600.

      I’ve yet to read Colleen McCullough, but I can see from your comment that the amount she produced was breathtaking. What a career!

      Liked by 1 person

      • One of Colleen MucCullough’s books, Morgan’s Run, is about an English man who is convicted of a small crime and sent to Australia on the ‘death ships’. It is a captivating and well researched story that I highly recommend. I’ve never forgotten it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you, Robbie! A high recommendation! I just put “Morgan’s Run” on my to-read list. I should really try Colleen McCullough’s work. 🙂

          Another novel about a person shipped to Australia for a crime is Wilkie Collins’ “A Rogue’s Life,” but, unfortunately, I think it’s one of that great author’s weaker books.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Joyce Carol Oates was the author who immediately sprang to mind as very prolific, but I see that she sprang to your mind as well. With some help from Wikipedia, I’ll go with my old friend Count No ‘Count.

    The Sound & the Fury, 1929
    As I Lay Dying, 1930
    Sanctuary, 1931
    Light in August, 1932

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I love these classic books you mentioned. Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, Alexandre Dumas and Agatha Christie …… are all my favorite writers. Right now I am reading Ken Follett’s “Eye of needle”. It is a great book, and he finished writing it in 3 weeks👍👏

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, The June Journal! Those are four terrific authors you mentioned in your first line. I unfortunately haven’t tried Ken Follett’s work yet; I’ve heard his “The Pillars of the Earth” is also excellent. He wrote “Eye of the Needle” in just three weeks? OMG!

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  12. I didn’t dare to read Jane Austin when I was younger. After all, English is not my first or second language, so I knew it would be out of my league. Then life took over and there was not much time left to read the old classics.
    However, my husband went to an estate sale a couple of years ago and came home with a rather large plastic bin full with books. Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, Earnest Hemmingway, to name just a few. I am having a ball now.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I have a friend who approaches this from the other end — from the reader’s side of explosive work. Which is to say that he reads a lot. The other day, for instance, he finished reading his 45th book for 2021. My guess is he’ll be past 50 in a few days. And these mostly aren’t short books. So those of us who write give thanks for such readers.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Bill! Wow — 45 books already and it’s still May. That’s impressive! I might get to 50 novels a year in a very good year — not always. And, yes, prolific readers are an author’s dream. Nice angle to this discussion.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. You have sent me back several decades to when I was in my late teens. That is when I first heard about Leon Uris, an American author of historical fiction, who had an interesting life story. Anyway, I digress! He wrote Battle Cry in 1953, The Angry Hills in 1955, Exodus in 1958 and Mila 18 in 1961 and Armageddon in 1963. These narratives were difficult for me as they spoke of fairly recent events that were complex and tragic. I started Trinity, but I confess it was too sad for me to finish at the time. Perhaps I should go back. But right now, I am reading a brilliant non-fiction book – “A secret Sisterhood: The Hidden Friendships of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf.” By Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney. Oh, the back stories to Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre (this is how far I am in the book) are marvelous. By the way, Frances just read all of Jane Austin’s books this past year. Another wonderful post, Dave. As always!! I look forward to following the conversation. Many thanks!

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thank you, Rebecca! Before I reply to your comment, I wanted to mention that I just inserted a link at the end of this week’s post to the wonderful podcast you did with Elisabeth and I. I had meant to include it when writing the post and totally zoned out until I saw your comment. Sorry about that.

      Quite a prolific few years you described for Leon Uris, who I unfortunately have yet to read. I can understand how what he wrote about was painful, even more so given that the events weren’t in the TOO-distant past, as you noted.

      “A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Austen, Bronte, Eliot and Woolf” sounds like a FASCINATING book. What great thinking on the part of Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney to create a work like that!

      And wonderful that Frances read all of Jane Austen’s novels this past year! Worth every minute. I’ve mentioned this before, but my favorite Austen books, in order, are “Persuasion,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Mansfield Park,” “Emma,” and “Northanger Abbey.”

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      • Thank you again, Dave, for joining Elisabeth Van Der Meer and me on TTT to discuss literary themes. You will be pleased to know Elisabeth and your insights have attracted a lot of interest. People are still listening in…

        Your post today reminded me that writers fall in and out of public interest. I am now looking back into the public domain books through Gutenberg Press. https://www.gutenberg.org/. So many wonderful research projects, all of which provide me with a great sense of enjoyment.

        Liked by 2 people

        • You’re welcome, Rebecca, and thank YOU! Glad that the podcast is still drawing listeners. Literary themes are a great podcast…theme. And you thought of it!

          Yes, some writers who fall out of public interest rebound in popularity. Heck, sort of the case with the aforementioned Jane Austen, whose works were not that widely read until more than a half-century after she died and have seemingly never waned in popularity since. Other authors with ups and down in popularity during and after their lives include Herman Melville, Zora Neale Hurston, etc.

          I know how much you love to do research — and you find such great material!

          Liked by 3 people

        • I see below you mentioned Shogun. I forgot about Mitchener. I think when it came to books in these days too that there were less published, no kindle create, no POD, no online anything, no Jeannie fae the High St. setting out her wares on Amazon, no Netflx either lol– so you were often hanging on that next book from a certain author and they could sell so big.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Very true, Shehanne! SO many differences in publishing today vs. decades ago. Wonderful that there are now more opportunities for authors to publish — some great work never got out there in the past — but it is indeed a very crowded “marketplace” today.

            Liked by 1 person

            • You are abso right Dave. And some stuff that did get out then was not the best. I still have fav authors whose books I won’t miss but it is a very diff marketplace, even a decade is too long in terms of changes.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Thank you for the follow-up comment, Shehanne! Yes, some of the work that did get out years ago wasn’t the best. For one thing, more than a few publishers played it safe and were timidly reluctant to publish great works that might have been somewhat “controversial.”

                Liked by 1 person

      • Did you know that Jane Austin looked for paintings that looked like Jane and Elisabeth? You would like this non-fiction book that reads like fiction. I agree that Leon Uris is not as well known these days. Other writers like John Jakes (North and South) James Michener and James Clavell (Shogun) seem to have been relatively forgotten as the world moved on. Remember how popular Colleen McCullough’s book, The Thorn Birds, was when it was first published – even made a mini-series. I am fascinated by why certain books remain front and centre and others disappear only to become popular in another generation.

        Liked by 2 people

        • True, Rebecca, that the names you mentioned have lost some of their star power. I guess that can be inevitable for a good percentage of authors after they die — with various notable exceptions, of course. I’ve read three Michener novels and liked them (“Tales of the South Pacific,” “Mexico,” and especially “Caravans” — set in Afghanistan), and was enthralled with the 1,000-page “Shogun” when I read it five or so years ago.

          Liked by 1 person

            • Great that you also loved “Caravans”! It’s not nearly as famous as many other Michener novels, but I was super-impressed. And thanks again for your interest in my memoir — and Frances’ interest, too! 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Rebecca, I always look for your comments [smile]. I also read Leon Uris and his books are amazing and compelling. Mila 18 was incredibly sad. I was in my teens when I read these and I didn’t know that much about WWII at that time so it was a terrible shock to read this book. I have never forgotten it. I am not a Jane Austen fan. I find her female characters irritating and gormless. usually I can read with the mindset of the time, but these women just grate on my nerves. Apologies for my literary faux pas. I love the Bronte’s and I have read a lot of biographies about them. As you know we went to the Bronte Museum in Yorkshire before visiting Scotland in 2019. Our entire holiday was set up around that particular tour. Anyhow, if you are interested in learning more about them, my favourite biography is The Bronte Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects by Deborah Lutz. It is such a fascinating book and her discussion around important objects makes it very visual too. This book is how I learned about the tiny books which I went on to see at the museum. Such a treasured memory. I also saw Emily’s portable writing desk.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I found it!!! I am now the proud owner of your favourite biography – The Bronte Cabinet: Three Lives in Nine Objects by Deborah Lutz (soon to be my favourite). I only had to read a few pagers to know that Deborah Lutz understood how to create a page-turner non-fiction book. And I just signed up to receive the Bronte Museum newsletter. Thank you so much for the information. Mika 18 is unforgettable. “Know from where you come. Before you know who you are and where you are going, you must know from where you come.” Leon Uris, Mila 18

        Liked by 2 people

        • What a great 2019 trip you had, Robbie! I would LOVE to visit the Bronte Museum someday! Should have done that when I was in England years ago, but I was eager to visit other countries, too. Did see the Bronte sisters’ likenesses at the wax museum in London, the Charles Dickens House, and some other literature-related things and sites.

          As for Jane Austen, she is not by any means my favorite 19th-century author (I also like the Brontes’ works better, among other works) but I admire Austen for the thematic niche she mined so well in the six novels she’s most known for.

          Rebecca, another one of your incredible quotation finds! Very astute and evocative words from Leon Uris.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I really loved that book, Rebecca, and I think you will too. Enjoy! Mila 18 is very moving indeed. I am currently listening to Gone with the Wind which is very interesting. I’m picking up a lot more in this story this time around. I was quite young when I read it previously.

          Liked by 2 people

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