Some Penelopes…

Thank you for your comments on yesterday’s post, to those of you who did – I always get anxious posting fiction, in a way I don’t at all with reviews, so feedback and encouragement means a lot!

Now, onto something entirely different.  I quite often get my Penelopes in a muddle – Lively, Fitzgerald, and Mortimer – and I don’t think I can be the only one who does.  I’ve read three or four novels by Penelope Fitzgerald, whom I very much like, and I’m currently reading one by Penelope Mortimer (The Pumpkin Eater), so I’m hoping to disentangle them soon.

I thought I’d use this opportunity to experiment with a poll.  Possibly there are better uses of them, but this was a quick and easy way to see how pollcode.com works!

I’m just intrigued to discover how popular the Penelopes are respectively.  Do pop any particular recommendations (or anti-recommendations) in the comments.

Which Penelopes have you read?
Fitzgerald
Lively
Mortimer
None of the above
  
pollcode.com free polls 

23 thoughts on “Some Penelopes…

  • March 26, 2014 at 11:12 pm
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    Haha, I have this exact same Penelope problem! It's why I started reading them in the first place, I thought if I knew their work I'd be less likely to confuse them. It is working, for the most part, but I must say that of the three, Lively is far and away my favourite.

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:21 pm
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      It's definitely working for me! Mortimer and Fitzgerald are so different – and most people seem to like Lively best, so I'll have to get on and read her. I have heard her speak a couple of times, and she was brilliant.

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  • March 27, 2014 at 3:06 am
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    Yes, this is one of those that trips me up as well. I've read two by Fitzgerald and one by Lively. That said, the Lively was a children's version of one of the Greek epics, but I do have her book on Paris on my TBR. I haven't yet made the acquaintance of Mortimer. (And, full confession: I had to go look at my reading records to see which was which!)

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  • March 27, 2014 at 8:42 am
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    Mortimer was my first Penelope and has to be a sentimental favourite
    Martina

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:22 pm
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      I'm enjoying The Pumpkin Eater, but it's not at all what I was expecting.

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  • March 27, 2014 at 9:42 am
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    PLively is definitely my favourite. I've read all her books & I love the way she combines history & time in nearly all her books. I've read quite a few Fitzgeralds & especially liked Beginning of Spring & Gate of Angels. I've only read the Persephone Mortimer, Daddy's Gone A Hunting which I enjoyed.

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:22 pm
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      I really must read some Lively! I have a few – and have been intending to read According to Mark soon.

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:24 pm
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      Somehow I don't get her (or Gilliatt) mixed up with the others… no idea why!

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  • March 27, 2014 at 5:13 pm
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    I have the same Penelope problem, plus I find it hard to type the name without saying to myself "Pen-eh-lope" (rhymes with "antelope"). I had to google just now just to sort out which one(s) I've read and discovered why I can't tell them apart: of all the Penelope books, I've read only one, by Fitzgerald, period. I'm going to read Lively's Moon Tiger.

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:24 pm
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      I think reading them is definitely the best way to sorting them out – that's my plan certainly!

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  • March 27, 2014 at 8:21 pm
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    I've only read one – Mortimer – the Pumpkin Eater too – will be fascinated to see what you think of it!

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:25 pm
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      Not at ALL what I was expecting, but I am certainly enjoying it!

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  • March 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm
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    And Gilliatt.
    I read each for very different reasons.

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:26 pm
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      I don't think I even own one by her, but somehow she has always managed to escape my Penelope confusion.

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  • March 28, 2014 at 12:32 am
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    Simon, I don't know whether or not you're a fan of experimental fiction! If not, please ignore this. But if there's a possibility, I'd like to recommend the four novels and two novellas of Penelope Shuttle. An Excusable Vengeance (novella in New Writers Six) 1967, All the Usual Hours of Sleeping 1969, Jesusa (novella) 1971, Wailing Monkey Embracing a Tree 1973, Rainsplitter in the Zodiac Garden 1977 and The Mirror of the Giant 1980. Fascinating emotional landscapes and intense spiralling curls of words…as I guess you can tell from some of those titles….

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:27 pm
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      How intriguing those novellas sound, Mike – this is a Penelope I've never heard of! I love experimental fiction when I'm in the right mood, so will have to see what's what with Shuttle.

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    • March 29, 2014 at 9:43 pm
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      Wow, have read her poetry and one fine short story plus the co-written book on menstruation: The Wise Wound.,also some journalism but hadn't clocked that she wrote novels.

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  • March 28, 2014 at 11:19 am
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    So far have only read several of P Lively's novels and memoir, and thoroughly enjoyed all. Keep intending to read the other 2 Penelopes you mention, but we all know about good intentions.

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:28 pm
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      I would very much recommend The Bookshop or At Freddie's for Fitzgerald, and will report back on The Pumpkin Eater sooooon!

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  • March 29, 2014 at 6:35 am
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    I've read all three
    Penelope
    But Mortimer's
    The one for me!
    (Diana Birchall)

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    • March 29, 2014 at 8:29 pm
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      Ha! Nice. I would have thought you'd prefer Fitzgerald; colour me surprised.

      Reply

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