Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

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"Her English might be faulty, but, we said to ourselves, her motives are irreproachable..."

One of the sweetest smiles that ever animated the face of mortal now diffused itself over the countenance of Lord St. Orville, as he fell at the feet of Julia in a death-like swoon.
(From Santo Sebastiano, a novel by Miss Kitty Cuthbertson, mid-19th century)

Then he felt something being injected into his arm and a sudden rush of pain then blackness (A/N I like it when Harry collapses I think it puts a bit of excitement into the story but if u get sick of it please tell me??)
(A recent quote from babb_chronicles that seems to have been written by the 21st-century reincarnation of Miss Cuthbertson)

Ah, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, or in other words, bad writing is eternal. I chanced across that first quote in an (otherwise very dull) book I was reading for work reasons. It does, however, go on to explain that the novel itself contains a mighty total of 27 swoons, and even includes this handy and hilarious Fainting League Table:

Julia de Clifford . . . . . 11
Lady Delamore . . . . . . . 4
Lady Theodosia. . . . . . . 4
Lord Glenbrook . . . . . . 2
Lord Delamore . . . . . . 2
Lady Enderfield . . . . . . 1
Lord Ashgrove . . . . . . . 1
Lord St. Orville . . . . . 1
Henry Mildmay . . . . . . . 1

Anyhow, reading this made me think that it would be very entertaining to read a full-on 19th-century edition of Babb Chronicles, packed with the choicest morsels of mid-Victorian purple prose. If only someone had the time, energy and access to the mounds of thankfully forgotten literature that would be required to make such a thing... However, I then realized that there's no need to compile such a list, because something very similar has already been written – and it was done almost 150 years ago, and by a big-name celeb author to boot.

I'm talking about an essay by George Eliot called Silly Novels By Lady Novelists. Very funny and well worth a read, especially if you were under the impression that Mary Sues are a recent phenomenon. Although I've never noticed a recent one with a "beautifully small head", tee hee. (For extra amusement, you can even replace the names with "Draco" and "Legolas", but it's not really necessary.)

As George would surely post on her blog if she were alive today, "OMG sporking TEH MaRySueZZ (wiv teh SpEsHuL language skillz!) liek totally ROX rotfl!!1111ONE"...
Tags: literature, sounds a bit rude
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