In this week alone, 2 people have commented on my parody rants of Fifty Shades, written more than a year ago. I can't be bothered to link the posts here, so if you want to read them, just look for the Fifty Shades tag. What surprised me was, the commentors were saying along the lines of "I'm so glad you posted about this! I'm really looking forward to watching the movie!" or "I love Anastasia Steele!" You get the gist. I suspect these spammers are being PAID to comment on the series and spread the word around. They obviously didn't read my posts, else they would have been offended by my snarky tone.
Anyway, I checked my Brontë poll on the blog. The most popular novels are as follows:
Jane Eyre: 29 votes
Wuthering Heights: 15 votes
Villette: 15 votes
Tenant of Wildfell Hall: 5 votes
Agnes Grey: 2 votes
Shirley: 1 vote
Total: 67 votes
I'm pleasantly surprised that Villette is now equal to Wuthering Heights in terms of votes, because that is an underrated novel. Though this is probably because my blog is Villette-mad, and fans of that book will be directed to my blog. I am also glad some people have the taste and diligence to admire Agnes Grey, a pleasing book, and that the unpopular Shirley has finally garnered one vote. Anne Brontë was a more balanced and structured writer, but Charlotte was emotionally more complex.
Which reminds me of the time i went to this bookshop in Haworth called Datchard's I think. The owner was showing me a 1922 edition of Shirley and we were discussing our favourite literary sisters. She said she liked Anne, and she doesn't get why teenage girls all go wild for Heathcliff. I pleaded guilty to loving Charlotte, but added I preferred Villette and Shirley to Jane Eyre. Which seemed to please her. She said she liked Shirley too, which surprised me because it is a little-known book. Not as great as Middlemarch but the characters are more original and less stereotypical. I bought a few old copies of the Brontë Society Transactions and the 1922 Shirley, which was awesome illustrations. It is my fond hope that it will fetch hundreds or thousands some day so I can sell it at an auction. I doubt it though because it was £15. I saw a first edition of Enid Blyton's Five Find-Outers book but it was 60 and I didn't feel like spending that much on a book that wasn't even my favourite (the first 9 in the series are the best). They cost more than Famous Five which is weird because FF is more popular than FFO - FFO is highly underrated I think, and in some ways superior to some of Agatha Christie's novels. There is a stronger sense of psychological realism, a fidelity to nature, and language true to life. Agatha Christie is too melodramatic - Dorothy Sayers is better, though still a bit far-fetched at times. I used to love both mystery authors, because I love solving mysteries, but re-reading the books I loved as a child brings more pleasure than all the best works of the Golden Age of Detective Stories. Enid Blyton is evergreen. George Kirrin in FF is well-drawn, and so is little Bets Hilton of the FFO.