Thursday 18 July 2019

Blood, Gore, Murder, and Jane Austen

I've just finished reading 'The Death Pit' by Tony Strong, published back in 1999. It centres around Terry Williams, an Academic who travels to Scotland to research a victim of the Scottish Witch Trials back in the late 1700's for her thesis, and finds herself thrown into the world of murder, witchcraft, torture and human sacrifices. It was pretty gory in places, which I don't actually mind being a horror fan.

Anyway, at the weekend I had a cull of my book mountain, deciding to get rid of books I've read and really don't need to keep, and books I've acquired and will probably never read. I only made a small dent in my collection but (more importantly, and to the single raised eyebrow from my husband) I've made room for MORE! And whilst doing this, I decided which book I fancied reading next.

My fictional mountain consists of a wide variety of genres. They say 'to better yourself as a writer, you need to read far and wide outside your genre'. My favourite writer is Stephen King. That's no secret, and the entire bookshelf/shrine overflowing with his work can attest to that. I also read fantasy, with the likes of Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence, to name a few. Then there's the thrillers, the comedies, adventures, and historical. There's a few.

So, what book is next on my list? One that's a far cry from blood, gore, and murder, that's for sure. Jane Austen's 'Persuasion'. I do confess to being an Austen fan. I own a few of her classics
but this one become hidden behind the masses of fictional horror and intrigue and has never been read. The spine isn't even creased! So, I had to change that.

I started reading it today, beginning with the small biography of Austen at the front, and to my surprise, today, 18th July, is the actual day she died back in 1817! Today! She died in Winchester, UK, and her brother, Henry, oversaw the publications of her last pieces, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion.

I felt a little choked after realising this, and wondered what forces made me pick up this book after owning it for so long and remembering her on the day she died...

So tonight, I'll be raising a glass (or a cup of tea) and sitting back, remembering her, whilst reading one of the last books she ever wrote.

Here's to Jane Austen...


  1. Reading an author's work is the highest tribute to their life. That is a goose bump worthy coincidence.

    I only rarely read horror. The books are always so much scarier than the movies and at heart, I am a giant chicken, um, crap. I read a horror book about five years ago where the demon-man would slip into bedrooms and watch his victims sleep night after night just waiting for the right moment to kill them. I still have freaking nightmares from it!

    1. Goose bump worthy indeed.
      I'm the opposite when it comes to horror. I prefer to read the books as oppossed to films. At least if a part becomes too scary, you can dull the imagery down in your mind, see only what you want to see. Watching a film, you're at the mercy of the director and have to see what they see.

  2. I have a similar problem as you, ref books but from my experience it's the books you part with or lose that cause some lingering regret. I still wince at leaving behind an old hardback - The collected essays and short stories of Ambrose Beirce. It was a house move. And yes, I too appreciate Jane Austen along with Anthony Trollope.

    1. ah that lingering regret. The books that were to be culled did sit in a box for a few days, and I did consider going through them again. Did I REALLY want to get rid of them??? Even when I handed them over there was that feeing of 'are you sure...??'