My literary heroes

Jane Eyre
I loved the way she was a bit of a tearaway when she was younger, a bit rebellious and naughty. That day when she was made to stand in front of the whole school always stayed in my memory. I loved it even more when she managed to get herself under control and become a respectable lady later. I think it’s because I felt a bit wild myself when I was younger, although I don’t actually think I was. So I always wanted to become a calm and respectable lady like Jane Eyre when I grew up. I’m still waiting for that to happen.

Jo March
Same reasons as Jane Eyre, really. I love her as a free-spirited young woman when she runs down the street that time and her hair all breaks loose and is all wild and flowy around her face. She’s easily my favourite character in Little Women and I’ve never quite forgiven Amy for having a moody on and burning Jo’s little book of stories. Meanie pants Amy. Then she meets Mr Bauer and it doesn’t seem to fit and of course that’s why it works and they’re all happy together and Jo is a respectable lady. (Noticing a theme here?)

Jay Gatsby
He’s just a likeable character. When Nick Carraway describes meeting him for the first time, he sounds very likeable. I always wanted to be warm and friendly and likeable on first meeting people. It all then kind of goes to pot as the story progresses but he is essentially just a man in love who’s got a serious case of tunnel vision. But he is polite and a bit mysterious and I always wanted to be mysterious but I was too busy chatting about everything on my mind to anyone who would listen (hence, the blog).

And now, an anti-hero of sorts. I’m reading a book called Scandalous Innocent, a Mills & Boon book that was written about Ham House. Or rather, it takes place in Ham House. And it is…. BRILLIANT.

By ‘brilliant,’ I mean, I can’t believe this was ever published. It’s brilliant in it’s sheer abandonment of any literary merit, of believability and of character development. An example of a sentence in Scandalous Innocent is “Her silk skirts crackled angrily.”

Really now? Crackled ‘angrily’?

The plot so far is as such – Phoebe and Leo hate each other because Leo dissed Phoebe a few years ago and a man who loved Phoebe jumped to her defence. There was a duel and the other man lost then killed himself cause he was totes embarrassed. Phoebe and Leo are both at Ham House at the same time. They have an argument. They decide to have a duel, the conditions being that if he loses she can kill him. If she loses, she has to marry him. Yes. Marry him. She decides that if she has to marry him, she’ll make his life a misery by making him fall in love with her. That’ll learn him. Yehhh….

So she loses, he snogs her and has a quick squeeze of her bum then saunters off and is like, “I’m totes not marrying you.” And she’s all heartbroken and realises she likes him so goes to Ham House to find him.

That’s where I’m up to. Isn’t it riveting? Isn’t it?

11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by juliangriffith on August 10, 2013 at 12:25

    Oh, I’m so glad you don’t like it either! I picked it up when I saw you post about it – because HAM HOUSE, I couldn’t resist! – and I was so HORRIBLY disappointed in it, especially by the behavior of the “heroes”.

    Spoiler: the 1803 one isn’t any better.

    The saddest part is, she’s got wonderful bits of history woven in there. I’ve grown very attached to Ham House ever since deciding that it would make a good family estate for one of the heroes in my novel, and though I had to decide that my hero’s family bought the place from the Lauderdales at a certain point, thus changing the history, I still recognized it – after all, I re-named it “Maitland House” in my novel, as a bit of tribute.

    I only wish that the story had been up to the level of the research. 😦 At least it wasn’t expensive.


    • Yeh. I’ve just got to the bit where Leo kidnaps Phoebe and she’s like, “I hate you so much!” And he’s like, “But I love you and want to marry you.” And she’s like, “Ok then.” It’s just hilarious. Minus the fact that Ham House deserves better, the actual love story is pretty substandard. What’s your book called? How can I get it?


  2. I so badly wanted to be Jo March for the longest time!


  3. […] talking of the Orangery, does anyone remember me mentioning the Mills & Boon book that was written about Ham House that I’m in the middle of reading? Well, it gets […]


  4. You remind me of Jo March.


  5. […] started here with Phoebe and Leo. They hated each other and had a duel to sort things out. It didn’t […]


  6. […] finished Scandalous Innocent, everyone! And I thought I’d give you a proper review of the book so you can all go out and […]


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