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  1. Many years ago I was given a box of charity throw-outs. Thus I acquired my first Doris Leslie, "The Marriage of Martha Todd". I couldn't get my head out of it! I became an instant fan. A lot of her writing seems to have been done in the 1950s. More historical than romance, she really makes you 'see' her characters. My fave: "Fair Company", which traces the women of a family from 1806 until 1935. Her backgrounds and non-fiction characters/events are really well-researched but do not prop up the story line a la Danielle Steele. Leslie's stories can stand alone and the non-fiction is a part of the rich and colourful background. If anyone out there enjoys Norah Lofts, you'll enjoy Doris Leslie. Surprisingly, her books are still around second hand, but are starting to disappear so if you spot one in a charity shop or at the church fete - or anywhere! - then snaffle it up quickly.
  2. I read a Mills and Boon once and needed psychoanalysing afterward! But I can recommend 'Christmas Carol' by Florence Speer.(NOT M & It's a modern take on the famous Dickens story but with a load of good wryness and fun and is also a time travel story.
  3. Another Dickens fan here, although I've not read everything yet. Loved Great Expectations; mega favourite is A Christmas Carol. Could not get through Nicholas Nickleby as I got to page 172 and nothing much had happened. The best piece of writing I've ever read is in Oliver Twist - the passage where Oliver and his now-restored grandfather go to see Fagin in jail. The madness of Fagin where he believes Oliver has come to save him from execution is EPIC. Saw an English docu-movie eighteen months ago on Dickens; apparently, when he was creating a new character, he'd go to the mirror then speak and make the facial expressions of the character about to come into being. So that's why so many of his characters are 'visible'.
  4. A brilliant read from Wilde. I hope you got the film version with Hurd Hatfield and George Sanders, as it's been remade (usually badly) multi-times. The worst one was a telemovie in which Dorian as a bitchy actress, and it was a screen test that aged. Trivia: the film wrecked Hatfield's career - after it he usually had cameo spots in epics. I agree that the concept is clever and the plot is basic and moralistic but then the simplest things are the best. No need to overload a good story line with an array of sub-plots. As for the intense descriptions, it was pretty well much the style of the time. Did you enjoy the film?
  5. Yeah, I've had a paperback copy for ages. Even if the story is mainly a melodrama, I still find the Titanic parallels a little disturbing. However, synchronicity and coincidence do happen and I do not believe there was any weird and sinister plot by the White Star Line to make a dramatic insurance-fraud reality from a fiction. Mine is the 1898 version. There's tonnage of speculation about the Titanic and there always will be.
  6. Try anything by Richard Laymon! I wonder what he eats before he goes to bed.
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