Wednesday, 19 February 2014

How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis

published 2014







Samantha Ellis is writing about her favourite literary heroines. Blog notes start within the excerpts

[Ellis] Even now I cry my eyes out when Anne [of Green Gables] gets puffed sleeves.



[Clothes in Books covered this on the blog in two full entries here and here, with the words ‘It would take a heart of stone not to be charmed’ (which meant ‘it would take a heart of stone not to cry’). Here’s a brown gloria dress with puffed sleeves, below, and a specially elaborate puffed sleeve to the right.]


[Ellis, imagining meeting her heroines] Pauline and Posy Fossil [have] come straight from the shows they’re in, still in stage make-up and full of stories.


[Clothes in Books covered the audition dresses for Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the very modern fairy costumes they finally wore, below, and also looked at The Whicharts.]



[Ellis, on the other Fossil sister] Petrova, in a leather aviator jacket, goggles pushed back, a chic scarf knotted around her neck, is telling the thrilling story of her latest flight and how she fixed an engine fault in mid-air.

[Clothes
 in Books: Just like the costume we chose for Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games, below,  and so we found another from the same series for Petrova, top picture.]





observations: Are we making the point? Samantha Ellis likes the same heroines, and books, that Clothes in Books does. She mentions many books inside this one, and 22 of them have featured on the blog. This is the book for those of us who really like reading. Not people who say ‘oh I like a book, I always have one on the go, books are great.’ This one is for the people who read manically, obsessively, lost in their books, living in the world inside their head, tied up forever in their favourites. You know who you are. In which case, do just go out and buy this book and read it, you will love it.

And, like me, you will say ‘I want to write this book!’ – not because you want to plagiarize, or do down Ellis (who is lovely) but because the idea is one that speaks to us, and although we all like, roughly, the same books, we would each have our own version of this one. Its subtitle is ‘What I’ve learned from reading too much.’ Ellis should launch a line of Literary Heroines Workbooks so we can each make our own. 

Some of the other books featured in this book and on the blog:

12 comments:

  1. Moira - Thanks for the lovely reminder of this one. I do love it when bibliophiles write books. :-) And so much material (yes, pun intended ;-) ) for your blog, too. And about those puffed sleeves? Must say, they'd probably look dreadful on me. Good thing they're not the fashion now.

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    1. Yes Samantha Ellis herself tweeted to tell me that she loved the pictures, but wasn't sure about the reality of puffed sleeves... I think we can all love the scene while hoping no-one is going to buy us a dress with puffed sleeves....

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  2. I don't know if I would like this book, but I am sure I am going to try it and see. However, I will wait until it is available here. In general, I like books about books, so I don't see how I could not love it.

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    1. I'm sure you'll like it Tracy, we'll need to look out for its being published in the States....we need to push a publisher!

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  3. You nearly sold it to me, but I think I'll have to wait for the accompanying volume - How to be a Hero to come out.......more manly I reckon. Got to love your enthusiasm though.

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    1. You see, with my idea above there could be Literary Hero workbooks as well - we could write our own versions, and mine would be all 'I liked her sensitivity and her silk stockings' and you could be all 'he was rough and tough and good at karate and bravely killed people.'

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  4. Petrova Fossil - easily my favourite of the three sisters. Although I was ballet mad like Posy and did lots of amateur theatre, it was the down-to-earth, practical one I could relate to most. Delicious post, indeed!

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    1. All the best people like Petrova. I loved Ballet Shoes with a great passion, although not having the slightest talent in the theatrical area at all, so Petrova was perfect for me.

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    2. One of my all-time favourite books Paula.

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  5. If you're going to do a blog post on favorite characters' names, Petrova Fossil has got to be high up on the list.

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    1. That is such a great idea Kathy, and a great first item too...

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