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How to be a Heroine Or, What I've Learned from Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis
  

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Like Samantha Ellis I was,, as a child, super-impressed by Scarlet O’Hara going off to fight another day in that green dress constructed out of the Tara curtains. I considered too whether I was in the Cathy Earnshaw camp or sided with Jane Eyre and have to agree (sadly) with her critique of Katy of What Katy Did fame and her failure as a role model. There’s Elizabeth from Pride of Prejudice (naturally), Forster’s Lucy Honeychurch but rather too little on Jo March. She sends you back to reread and reconsider your own favourites and the heroines you cast aside, We’ll all have different heroines we stick by and that’s part of the fun of reading Samantha Ellis’s expose of her own literary influences.

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Synopsis

How to be a Heroine Or, What I've Learned from Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis

Cathy Earnshaw or Jane Eyre? Petrova or Posy? Scarlett or Melanie? Lace or Valley of the Dolls? On a pilgrimage to Wuthering Heights, Samantha Ellis found herself arguing with her best friend about which heroine was best: Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. She was all for wild, passionate Cathy; but her friend found Cathy silly, a snob, while courageous Jane makes her own way. And that's when Samantha realised that all her life she'd been trying to be Cathy when she should have been trying to be Jane. So she decided to look again at her heroines - the girls, women, books that had shaped her ideas of the world and how to live. Some of them stood up to the scrutiny (she will always love Lizzy Bennet); some of them most decidedly did not (turns out Katy Carr from What Katy Did isn't a carefree rebel, she's a drip). There were revelations (the real heroine of Gone with the Wind? It's Melanie), joyous reunions (Anne of Green Gables), poignant memories (Sylvia Plath) and tearful goodbyes (Lucy Honeychurch). And then there was Jilly Cooper...How To Be A Heroine is Samantha's funny, touching, inspiring exploration of the role of heroines, and our favourite books, in all our lives - and how they change over time, for better or worse, just as we do.

Reviews

How To Be A Heroine happily reminds all bookworms of years of their life spent in the company of Scarlett, Katy, Jane Eyre, the March family and all those wonderful friends that only really exist in our hearts. -- Shirley Conran


About the Author

Samantha Ellis is a playwright and journalist. The daughter of Iraqi-Jewish refugees, she grew up thinking her family had travelled everywhere by magic carpet. From an early age she knew she didn't want their version of a happy ending - marriage to a nice Iraqi-Jewish boy - so she read books to find out what she did want. Her plays include Patching Havoc, Sugar and Snow and Cling To Me Like Ivy, and she is a founding member of women's theatre company Agent 160. She lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999

Author

Samantha Ellis

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Format

Hardback

Categories


ISBN

9780701187514

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