30 Books For My 30th – Number 12

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dscn7184Dear Lord of the Rings,

When I first decided to do this project I knew that this would be an important letter. You’re one of those series of books that I have such a deep emotional connection to simply because you were a gift. A gift from my father who, I knew, had liked the books when he was younger. Reading them made me feel closer to him. After the first one, I even read his old copies. It was a strangely bonding experience even though we’ve never actually discussed the series. Maybe I’m just putting too much sentimentality onto an act that, in all likelihood, he’s not thought of since but, goddammit, I’m a bit of a drama queen so indulge me.

As I keep proving my memory of significant literary events from my childhood is abysmal. So, really, I have no memory of the exact date I first got given a copy of The Fellowship of the Ring but I  do know I got it for Christmas. I remember sitting on my parents bed early in the morning with my twin and opening our presents. I can’t pretend I was necessarily thrilled when I first saw it but I was young and distracted by other things. I was an idiot, basically.

And I continued to be an idiot for a good few years. I tried to read you as soon as I got you but I didn’t get too far. I’m not even sure that, on the first try, I even made it through the first chapter. Sorry but, in my defence, you are a bit of a slog. I think I tried a few times over the years but never got all the way through you. Until I watched the film. I know I probably lose some bookish points for admitting that but, unfortunately, it’s the truth. I adored everything about Peter Jackson’s first installment and it inspired me to pick you up again.

I finally made it through your first book and I fell in love with Tolkien’s writing. I get that he uses too many songs and has too many pit stops along the way. He’s incredibly descriptive and takes his sweet time making a point. It’s a difficult and indulgent read but there is so much charm within your pages it’s hard not to want to carry on. He created more than just a story: he created a whole world that you want to immerse yourself in. You want to meet these characters. You want to walk these lands. You never want to leave. It’s an epic tale that was unlike anything I’d ever read before. The only fantasy that I’d probably consumed up until this point was likely only watered down YA nonsense. You were the real deal. You didn’t hold back or speak down to us. You challenged me as a reader and I was desperate to prove myself.

So I sped (compared to the journey I went on with the first book anyway) through The Two Towers and mourned for Boromir all over again. I rejoiced at seeing Theoden as he should be: powerful and wise. I welcomed back Gandalf and begged Aragorn to leave Arwen for Eowyn. I loved every minute of it… and, let’s be honest, there were a lot of minutes. I was cocky by the time I’d finished. I thought I understood you and could beat you. Thought I had become the kind of reader that could sail through your final book with ease.

I was wrong.

It was about halfway through The Return of the King that I realised I hadn’t prepared enough. I was like those hikers you hear about that try to climb Ben Nevis wearing trainers and a pair of shorts. Yes, I didn’t nearly die of hypothermia but I think the analogy stands. I thought I’d be okay without proper boots and walking gear but I got stuck. I left you for a bit before carrying on. Still I failed. You were too tough a climb. I don’t know how many attempts it took before I reached your summit but, eventually, I made it. And it felt great. I was exhausted, obviously, but it was an accomplishment.

I’ve never dared to try to read you again but I’ll never forget how it felt the first time. How it felt to finally achieve the very thing I’d worked so hard for. I’ve never put so much effort into reading. I know it probably seems like a bad thing but it’s not. You weren’t difficult because you were bad but because you’re so good. Maybe too good. Tolkien put so much into you that it’s difficult to come to terms with that. You’re the original bookish nerd. You’re the ultimate social introvert. You don’t let every reader in but the ones that prove themselves are friends forever. It just takes that little bit longer to get to know the real you. And I’m glad I never gave up.

 

All’s well that ends better.

Laura

 

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30 Books For My 30th – Number 11

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dscn7164Dear Novels of Sensibility,

I’ll be honest with you, I could have survived without you in my life. And I had managed to avoid you for most of my life. I’d skirted around your edges but hadn’t really dipped my toe into the vast pool of sentimental fiction. A pool no doubt made up of the tears of your many over-emotional characters. Of course, it would be more like a fucking ocean than a pool. I know you were trying to put forward a positive message to be in touch with your emotions but, even you have to admit, your characters are super annoying. Most of your books are super annoying.

I’m not entirely sure it’s your fault but I just don’t think you fit into the world any more. Who wants to read stories about weedy young women who faint all the time? Now, as a lover of gothic fiction, you might say that I should be used to novels where women faint at the drop of a hat. In a way you’re right. However, you’ve basically removed all of the best bits of gothic novels and just left the fainting and crying. Nobody reads gothic novels for the fainting.

One of my fondest memories of you comes from my postgraduate degree when I was studying you. We’d been discussing Pamela in a seminar when our tutor made a comment about Pamela’s fainting saving her from being raped. My friend asked the legitimate question of “wouldn’t it just make it easier for him?” and he was completely stumped. It was hilarious! But that’s the thing I don’t get about you. Sentimental people are saved from dangerous situations because their would-be attackers take pity on them. It doesn’t make sense. If a creepy, pervy uncle wanted to rape you and you fainted then it wouldn’t suddenly stop him wanting to rape you. Surely he’d just thing “bingo!”?

As a lover of all things associated with the Romantic period, I’m glad I studied you and I value the historical context you provide. But I don’t have time for your weeping men and easily shocked women. You’re a type of novel intended to keep society, particularly women, from causing a fuss. To just “be nice” and not complain. You were a reaction to the French Revolution where you wanted to prevent people from taking a stand politically. You’re basically just horrible propaganda intended to mollify your readers. To create a society of men who were more likely to cry over every flower they saw than start a political uprising. To ensure women stayed indoors and fainted at the very thought of being able to make their own decisions. You kind of suck.

I will bear any thing you can inflict upon me with Patience,

Laura

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30 Books For My 30th – Number 10

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dscn7152Dear Postcards From No Man’s Land,

If Harry Potter turned me in a reader then you definitely turned me into an adult reader. And I’m not just saying that because you were the first literary sex scene I remember being exposed to. I mean, maybe it helped but… it’s not where I was going. I can’t remember how old I was when I read you but you were published in 1999. I was 11 at the time which definitely feels like too young an age to be reading you. Still, I was an avid reader at this point so it’s possible. I’m pretty sure I got you after studying about World War II in history and, even then, I was no doubt trying to be mature and a bit pretentious. I can’t properly remember, though.

I do have a vague memory of getting you but, as with most of my childhood memories, it’s entirely possible I’ve made it up to provide some context. There was a particular bookshop in a Scottish town, Gatehouse of Fleet, that we always used to stop in and look around. This bookshop is pure heaven. Stacks of bookshelves filled to bursting with piles and piles of additional books stacked next to them. You can barely turn around without potentially knocking something off. It’s fabulous. It never had the greatest selection of kids and young adult books but my twin sister and I always used to be able to find a sizeable haul when we were there. I believe one of those included you.

I’ll be honest with you now, since the first time I’ve never read you again. I’m not sure I would view you in the same way as an adult. But I’ve never been able to get away from you. I’ll never be able to forget that feeling of closing your cover for the final time. You were complex, full of historical facts, and an emotional roller coaster. It was a lot for my young mind to cope with. But I loved you. You haunted me in a great way. I wanted to read more of Aidan Chambers’ work and I tracked down as much as I could.

You weren’t the book that pushed me into reading but you were the one that got me thinking about the kind of books I was reading. I started wanting to read bigger and better books. I’d seen the kind of writing I’d been missing out on and wanted more. I felt completely changed by you and in a way that I hadn’t felt before. You taught me so much and opened my eyes to new experiences. You solidified my interest in history without me even realising. You opened my eyes to problems that I’d never encountered before. The narrative of a teenager coming to grips with his sexuality felt so new and mature to me at the time. I was naive when I started reading you. My eyes were more open thanks to you.

So, who cares if I can’t remember when I read you? Who cares I can’t retell the story of how or why you came into my life. The fact is, you did. And you made an impact that has lasted, under the surface, for the rest of my life. I’ve never forgotten the way you made me feel and how much you inspired me. I don’t know where I’d have gone as a reader if it hadn’t been for you.
Sometimes there only is, and no knowing

Laura

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30 Books For My 30th – Number 9

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img_4446Dear Wuthering Heights

(Set to the tune of Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush)
Sat on my dusty, groaning shelf
You sat between the rest
You had a darkness dipped in Gothic black
So mean, so moody
How could I like you
When I wouldn’t try the classics?
Expected to, just hate you, too
But you changed my mind
Would not see it so imagine my surprise
When closing my wuthering, wuthering
Wuthering Heights
It’s true, I do, I love you
I’ve come through, I’m now sold
You’ve let me in your covers
It’s true, I do, I love you
I’ve come through, I’m now sold
You’ve let me in your covers
Laura
P.S
You know that thing when you have an interesting idea for a post and it turns into a massive headache. Yeah, that. But what I was trying to say in my quirky way is, I’m sorry I doubted you for so long. You’d have thought someone who was born so close to Bronte country would have more respect for your writing but, when I was younger, I always tried to avoid any books that people describe as “must read”. I was a knob who thought I knew better. Turns out, you’re one of the greatest pieces of gothic fiction I’ve read yet. Yes, I hate all your characters and don’t understand why women fantasise about Heathcliff (it’s weird what some bookish ladies are attracted to). But you are one of the most unexpectedly fun reading experiences I’ve ever read. You’re definitely one of my favourites. So thank you… and I’m sorry to you and Miss Bush for butchering your song.
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30 Books For My 30th – Number 8

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img_4436Dear The Complete Sophie Stories,

I have so many fond memories of you. I adored your books when I was a child. My mother bought me your first hardback collection Sophie’s Adventures when I was about 7 years old. Or at least that’s what I’d assume by looking at the publication date. I don’t really remember much about getting you but I do remember that she wrote something to me inside the book. Not a huge essay but I’ll never forget that inscription. I’m not saying the connection with my mother caused me to love your books more but I’ve always linked the two in my mind.

Thinking about you has always been comforting. You’re tied up with nostalgic feelings about my youth and the warm, safe feeling of being home. You basically feel like part of the family to me. You’re the books I remember most fondly from my childhood. There was a period of time when you were my go to book for feeling better. If I woke up from a nightmare then I’d read you. I’d flip through your pages if I couldn’t get to sleep. Every time I was having a rough time I would turn to you. Even when I was far too old to do it.

Looking back I associate myself with Sophie because she’s a stubborn young girl and I’ve always been fairly stubborn. I can’t say I made those links when I first read you but I can definitely see similarities. At the time, we both shared a love of animals and, particularly, horses. I understood why you wanted a dog and why you would love to live on a farm. I understood being the youngest member of your family and being overshadowed by your siblings. It’s inevitable. I don’t think I appreciated how much you taught me when I first read you. But you did. You taught me a lot about being independent and head-strong. About doing what I believed in and sticking to my guns. You’ve probably influenced my life in more way’s than I’d imagine.

But, most importantly, you’ve always been a source of love for me. I always remember you. I always remember how reading you made me feel. I have so much to thank you for but especially for the hours of entertainment you’ve given me. You were the perfect first bookish obsession.

Thanks

Laura

 

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30 Books For My 30th – Number 7

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img_4430Dear Mary Wollstonecraft,

Today is International Women’s Day so there was really nobody else who I could write today’s letter to. Especially a few days after Jeremy Corbyn decided that it’s time a statue of you is built. You are Britain’s first feminist. You were the forerunner to the whole Suffragette movement. You’re the woman who started it all off. You stood up and demanded that women and men be equal. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman is so stuffed full of wonderful quotes that I could just spend this whole post continually quoting from it.

I haven’t always been the best kind of feminist. Obviously, I’ve always been pro-women’s rights and pro-equality. However, I’ve experienced the kind of shyness that made it difficult to admit it. I’m painfully British so I didn’t want to upset the status quo. I didn’t want to make a fuss by going on about it too much. Even during my university years I openly tried to stay away from openly feminist literature just in case people thought I was stirring up trouble. Now? I don’t give a shit what people think. I’ve read your work so many times at this point that I had to learn something eventually.

“I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.” It’s your most oft quoted maxim and for such good reason. So many times do you find yourself having to explain to men too stubborn to listen that, no, as a feminist I don’t want to take rights from men but, instead, ensure all women have the same rights. I struggle to do it quite so eloquently as you did but I’ll always try. I realise that the feminist movement has moved on since you first published your responses to The Rights of Men but you’re still my inspiration. Having the strength, especially during the period in which you were writing, to stand up for yourself and your gender is something I can’t fathom. You continue to inspire me to be better. To continually fight. You’re everything we needed.

Although, despite all of this respect I can’t, in all honesty, say that I have loved you since I first heard your name. It wasn’t reading your political writing that caused me to truly embrace you. That came by getting to know you personally… I mean not personally, obviously. You’d been dead for a fair bit before I was born. But allow me to take some artistic licence for a second. During my postgraduate degree I read Letters Written During a Short Residence for one of my modules. Now I’ve always been a bit obsessed with reading other people’s letters: probably because I’m so bloody nosy.

What I wasn’t expecting was to completely fall for you. Your husband, William Godwin, once wrote the following quote: “If ever there was a book calculated to make a man in love with its author, this appears to me to be the book.” Never have I agreed with Godwin more, although I would change the word “man” to “person” for obvious reasons. Your letters are emotional, intelligent and beautifully written. You bared your soul and, at times, it was heartbreaking. Yet you hold yourself with such grace that’s impossible not to love you. Despite your psychological pain, you engage with your audience and create a gripping narrative. Making it absolutely impossible for a young woman not to fall in love with you as Godwin once had.

And it’s getting out of control. Having read Mary and discussed it in my postgraduate dissertation I felt confident enough to recommend it to a friend. I knew almost instantly that she wouldn’t like it but couldn’t help it. You’re writing has wormed its way into my brain and has taken up residence. Other people should find out how good that feels. I could carry on writing this letter and talk about how important you are. How influential a figure you’ve been in British history. How vital you were to modern-day feminism. I could talk about how desperate I am to thrust a copy of your writing into the hands of young women so they can have the kind of enlightening experience that I once had. I could but I won’t. I will simply say, there is no woman I would rather be celebrating here today than you.
The beginning is always today,

Laura

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30 Books For My 30th – Number 6

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img_4420Dear The Picture of Dorian Gray,

They say all women love a bad boy. Teenage girls? Phew, they can’t get enough of ’em. And you? You’re one of the biggest literary bad boys out there. I mean, you were once described by a magazine editor as containing a “number of things an innocent woman would make an exception to”. What kind of young girl could resist those bad boy credentials? Is it any wonder that I was obsessed with you? You were scandalous. You were immoral. You were going to turn my head and take me down a dark road. I couldn’t wait. And then I read you.

I’m not saying our first time was disappointing… it was just… not what I was expecting. You weren’t quite the bad guy I’d been lead to believe. Clearly you’d just read the ‘How to be a bad boy’ wikiHow page to get a few tips. Scandal? The only thing scandalous about you is how you maintained the reputation of being a dangerous book for so long. Which isn’t to say that I didn’t still like you. It was just like The Wizard of Oz; I’d pulled back the curtain to find nothing more than a rather tame novel that had gothic elements. Yes, there was something of a homoerotic undertone but it was nothing more scandalous than the volleyball scene in Top Gun.

What you are, Dorian Gray, is a wonderfully written tale that highlights the dangers of art for art’s sake. It is a tale that cautions against morality rather than promoting it. Any hints of Dorian’s immoral behaviour are hardly blatant and the suggestion of homosexual desire is pretty tame. You were not something for me to fear. You are story of a young man who goes to great lengths to preserve the only thing he cares about: his beauty. A man who wants to continue being the belle of the ball whilst being able to give in to his every desire. No matter how dark or sinful they were.

I still loved you but in a different way. You are classic Oscar Wilde. Full of quotable lines and wonderful witticisms. When I first read you I highlighted and memorised so many quotes. You know, cause I was a super deep and intelligent teenager. I got you. I got you more than anyone had when you first published and I, probably, got you more than anyone ever had. You were the first book I ever proclaimed to be my favourite. It was a bit of cliché and you were no doubt part of my attempt to create an image for myself as a creative and intelligent teen. But all teenagers are stupid.

Our first time may have been a bit rocky but we’ve found our rhythm. We’ve come to understand each other’s wants and desires. We’ve come to understand how we fit together. Maybe that initial spark has gone and you’re more comfortable and familiar these days but I still love you. Even now that I no longer have the desire to seem deep, well-read, and pretentious. How could I not? There is so much within your pages to feast upon. I always feel full and satisfied after reading. Even your truly horrendous film adaptation couldn’t scare me off. You meant so much to me that I named the fish I bought at university Dorian. Yes, I claimed it was partly to do with Finding Nemo too but, let’s be honest, I was a pretentious English literature student. Nobody saw through my bullshit.

You my teen love. My first real grown-up book love. You were an older guy, more experienced. But you treated me well. Better than I had thought you would have done considering your reputation. Unfortunately, I gained some insight and experience myself. I know more about the world and I’ve met books that satisfy me in ways you never could. It doesn’t mean I won’t always look back on you fondly. You were the perfect choice for my first favourite book. You were everything I needed.
The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold

Laura

 

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30 Books For My 30th – Number 5

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dscn7086Dear Hard Times,

You can’t like every book. It’s a fact of life I’m afraid. The fact that I really hate you shouldn’t be a bad thing. To use an old cliche, it’s not you, it’s me. Except that it’s totally not me. It’s you. Although, it probably has something to do with my old English teacher too. It’s unfortunate for you that I was forced to study you at the age of 17 with the only teacher I have ever disliked. So, maybe, it’s him? It certainly makes a difference. If you’re taught a book badly then how can you ever like that book? It was all pretty unfortunate that in my final year of school I was moved into a different set and taken away from my favourite teachers. I didn’t like his style and he didn’t like mine. It was never going to end well.

Although, to be honest, it was always going to be difficult for us to get along. I don’t have a great track record with Charles Dickens. I’ve never understood his reputation as one of Britain’s greatest writers. I get that he has some value in terms of his social and economic commentary. But, really, it’s all a bit much. For years I’ve heard people rave about the hilarity behind his names. Really? Yeah, okay, there’s some word play there but meh. Loads of people have written funny names and not gone down in history. He’s so long and cumbersome. We all know that he was paid by the word because he’s so fucking obvious about it. So much unnecessary description. He puts Ann Radcliffe to shame.

I made it through Great Expectations without wanting to kill myself but I had a great teacher. I really like A Christmas Carol but that could have something to do with The Muppet Christmas Carol. You, Hard Times, were too much. Considering you’re the shortest of Dickens’ novels that is really saying something. You’re stuffed to breaking point with characters and plot lines. I could barely remember what was going on at the time let alone years later.

You’re also super preachy and negative. I realise that’s the point but sometimes you don’t want to be around such pessimistic people. You’re like those vegans who decide that, as well as changing their lives for the cause, they have to try to force their opinions on everyone they meet. Religious people who can’t accept that not everyone is willing to accept some sort of higher power into their lives. I don’t have room for people like that.

I respect your message, Hard Times. You were intended to show people the awful conditions some industrial workers faced. The problem is, you’re far too cynical. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. You aren’t the best novel Dickens has ever written and you definitely aren’t his most loved. You are so focused on the task at hand that you simplify everything and take things too far. Eventually, things become so pessimistic and sullen that you can’t see anything beyond it.

You’ve haunted me for 13 years. I’ve honestly never recovered from reading you. I’ve read books I didn’t like before but my short relationship with you was dreadful. It was toxic. I had such a ‘hard time’ reading you and had such a terrible time studying you. We’re incompatible. Different people. You can’t like everyone and you can’t like every book. You’ll sit languishing on my shelf. You can talk shit about me to your friends and I’ll talk shit about you to mine. I don’t need you in my life. I’m all about the fun.
People must be amuthed,

Laura

 

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30 Books For My 30th – Number 4

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dscn7078

 

Dear Alice in Wonderland,

Today is my actual 30th birthday. Yes, the single, insignificant (on a global scale anyway) event that I’ve been banging on about for months now has finally arrived. As this is the whole reason that I started this project I felt that I should pick an important and meaningful book for today. That book is you. Thinking about that, it’s a weird choice. Not because you aren’t an important book to me but because I can’t actually remember the first time I read you. I always remember you being in my life though. You’ve always been on the sidelines, watching me. You’re the book from my childhood I remember most fondly but not because I remember reading during my childhood.

It all comes from my middle name. I am Laura Alice Murdoch. I’ve always been drawn to you because we share a name… kind of. Not that I use my middle name ever or talk about it a lot. I just remember thinking it was really cool that I shared the same name as your main character. And I loved you. I loved the idea of you. A girl who grows incredibly large and incredibly small. A talking rabbit and a stoned caterpillar. What kid wouldn’t love that? Growing up I had framed pictures of your illustrations on my walls. Now I don’t know whether my love for you prompted the pictures to be out on my wall or vice versa but it’s doesn’t really matter. Even if I wasn’t fully aware of your story, I adored you. After all, I was Alice.

I’ve been familiar with your film adaptation too, of course, but the first time I remember you as a book was when I was already an adult. I studied you during my final year as an undergraduate on a bullshit children’s literature course. That’s to say the course and its tutor were bullshit; not the literature. I must have read you before or, at the very least, had you read to me. I just never remembered. I’m sure my parent’s talked about you in my youth in a way that suggests I had a familiarity with the text. However, the memories aren’t there.

You are the book that I’ve been most familiar with in my 30 years but, from the looks of it, I took ownership of you without having any rights to do so. Having definitely read you now, I still love you and I still, secretly, think I am Alice. I forced my flatmates to see the Tim Burton adaptation for my birthday in 2010. It was the first night it was available and I loved it. Not as much but enough. You are one of my all-time favourite books and I feel an incredible connection with you. It’s just mad to think that the book I always thought of as being my childhood favourite is also the book I remember the least.

But, we’re all mad here,

Laura

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30 Books For My 30th – Number 3

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dscn6980Dear The Monk,

January 25th 2018. Mark it in your calendar, my friend. That was the date I openly said, for the first time, those three little words: “Is my favourite”. I don’t know what came over me to be quite so bold. I’m normally not good at making the first move but, after 11 years in each other’s lives, it felt right to make it official. You are my favourite book … for now at least. I’ve never been decisive enough to have a favourite before so I can’t exactly promise it’ll be forever. But it’s for now. And for someone as uncomfortable with commitment as me, that means something.

I have to be honest with you, this has come as something of a shock to me. Particularly because you didn’t make the greatest first impression on me. It was sometime in the academic year of 07/08. I was in my first year of University and you were part of my Romanticism module’s reading list. I was a typical undergraduate: too much fun and not enough reading. I also had a massive crush on my tutor so wasn’t exactly concentrating on the books for most of my seminars. I read most of you and, from what I remember, I liked you. I mean, I enjoyed you enough to write about you in my final exam so you must have made something of an impression on me. But not a huge one.

It wasn’t until my postgraduate degree some 3 years later that I truly started to love you. In fact, and I hate to tell you this, I don’t think it was completely because of you that I fell in love with you. I mean you’re great and everything but it was your history that interested me. I came back to you because of 3 pieces of criticism that were written about you or linked to you. The first, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, praised you and critiqued you in equal measure. The other two hated you and your kind. One, by Thomas James Mathias, was outraged that an MP and had published something so scandalous. The second, an anonymous letter entitled ‘The Terrorist System of Novel-Writing’, hated all books of gothic horror and related them to the French Revolution. (Incidentally, that letter is, by far, one of the greatest pieces of correspondence that I’ve ever read.) It is from those 3 pieces that my postgraduate dissertation was born and my love for you cemented.

You scared the shit out of people, man. How could I not love you? You were described as politically dangerous. You’re not even that good a book in the grand scheme of things! Yet everyone was up in arms about you. I adore you for that. I’m not sure what it says about me that I see myself in a book but I see myself in you. You’re melodramatic, misunderstood, and a bit of a mess. Just like me. You mean well, you’re fun, and you make an impact. A bit like me. I’ve never believed in the idea of a human soul mate but book soul mates? You’re the one I’d been looking for.

Yes, you’re a bit all over the place and there are bits of you that don’t make sense or simply don’t fit. Coleridge was right that you had more potential that you don’t quite live up to. Your language is as times poetic and brilliant. At others, it’s abysmal. But you’re clever; you just hide it really well. You have a great political message regarding the aftermath of the French Revolution and the scene where an angry mob storm a convent is mesmerising. I could have written my entire dissertation on that passage alone.

Reading you is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. You’re insane. These days, you won’t be as widely read, which is unfortunate. I’ve bonded with people over you better than I have with most books. When you meet someone who has also read you there is an instant connection thanks to memories of your “beauteous orb” and wanking monk. I’ve had conversations with an ex-colleague about you that have left our co-workers visibly scared and confused. We’ve a history of inappropriate Facebook posts on each other’s walls inspired by your pages. Not many books can do bring people together like that. But you can. I’m so glad I read you. I’m just sorry it took me so long to realise what had been staring me in the face this whole time.

You are mine, and Heaven itself cannot rescue you from my power,

Laura

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