Some literary titbits to start your month:
H.G. Wells died 75 years ago this year and Britain marked the occasion by bringing out an H.G. Wells coin. However, someone really should have consulted the novels more carefully. The famous Martian tripod from his The War of the Worlds seems to have grown an extra leg.
Did somebody at the bank not understand which number is denoted by ‘tri’? On the other side of the coin is another error – the Invisible Man, from the novel of the same name, is wearing the wrong sort of hat. The designer has put him in a top hat, instead of a “wide-brimmed hat”. And there’s more – the quote around the edge of the coin is “Good books are the warehouse of ideas” which, although it has sometimes been attributed to Wells, is not something he ever actually said or wrote. While it is very nice to see Wells being memorialised, you’d think some basic fact-checking, or a quick call to the President of the H.G. Wells Society, might have set things right.
One hundred years ago this year there were some interesting new novels published – D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love, Georgette Heyer’s first novel The Black Moth, John Galsworthy’s To Let (the last volume of The Forsyte Saga), L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside, volumes 3 and 4 of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan the Terrible.
Authors little read today who brought out new books in that year include Hall Caine, Marie Corelli, Walter de la Mare, Compton Mackenzie and Elinor Wylie. No doubt each writer viewed his or her new publication with pride, and it is sad to think their works are now forgotten. I find it interesting to look at literary anniversaries and see which books have lasted, and which have sunk from sight.
What do you think about the errors on the commemorative coin? How about commemorative postage stamps – do you think this is a good way to honour someone? And which authors, whose books are little read today, are, in your view, unjustifiably forgotten? Let me know by leaving a comment.
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books by H.G. Wells
books by Ursula Le Guin
books by D.H. Lawrence
books by Georgette Heyer
books by John Galsworthy
books by L.M. Montgomery
books by Marcel Proust
books by Edgar Rice Burroughs
books by Hall Caine
books by Marie Corelli
books by Walter de la Mare
books by Compton Mackenzie
books by Elinor Wylie