A Writer’s Mad Tea Party

“A bright idea came into Alice’s head. ‘Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?’ she asked.

‘Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh: ‘it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things between whiles.'”- from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

If you could cordially invite six authors (3 males, 3 females- living or dead) to a tea party- who would they be?

Sitting around my checkered-clothed table, while  indulging in scones, clotted cream and jam, I would love to converse with the following:

1. Agatha Christie- Not only did she write over 80 novels and therein create the über-sharp Miss Marple and brilliant Hercule Poirot (Belgium.  Warning: Never call him French), but she was a nurse during the second World War, and later traveled around the world from England to Australia to Egypt.   The  true stories she could regale us with!

2.  Mark Twain-  Not only a great writer (Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer…), but witty as all hell.  I’d invite him just to hear him wax poetic on the German language:  http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/linghebr/awfgrmlg.html

3.  Anne Bronte- Of course, a Bronte must be invited to my party.  Why not Emily or Charlotte?  Well, let’s face it.  Emily would just turn down the invitation, and spend the day roaming through her moors.   Charlotte would be fun, but she left us many letters.   Anne, however, has been quieted throughout the centuries.  But it’s obvious in her novels, Agnes Grey and Tenant of Wildfell Hall that she was very perceptive of human nature with much to say.   I’d want to meet the oft- forgotten sister.

4.   Edgar Allen Poe- To him recite The Raven, The Conqueror Worm, and Annabel Lee.  To listen to how he came up with his ideas for The Tell-tale Heart, Ligeia, and more.  And most of all, to let the man know who died penniless and alone,   how beloved and respected his work is today.

5.  Daphne Du Maurier-  When she wasn’t spinning  incredible gothic romance tales such as  Rebecca and Jamaicca Inn,  she was penning chilling tales such as The Birds and Don’t Look Now.    I’d love to hear her insights on plot and narrative structure.

6. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- Creator of  Sherlock Holmes.  That’s reason enough.   But he was also part of the 19th century Spiritualist movement and it would be so much fun to hear first hand accounts of seances he attended.

So, who is cordially invited to your tea party?

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://gypsyscarlett.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/a-writers-mad-tea-party/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Fabulous! I love your choices, especially Poe. It always breaks my heart when artists never know in their own lifetime how much their work has touched and influenced so many people.

    I think I will take this idea and do my own post, we’ll start a meme! 🙂

  2. Thanks, DD! And I’m looking forward to reading your choices. 🙂

  3. Conan Doyle would definitely be on my list too. Then–

    Argh. This is hard.

    1) Rowling. I would love to talk with her about planning a series the way she did, so that tiny details in the first book avalanche into major elements by the last.
    2) Clive Barker. Just to hear him talk, man.
    3) Guy Gavriel Kay. Love to hear his take on the rules for writing a historical fantasy.
    4) Michael Chabon. ‘Nuff said. 🙂
    5) Mary Doria Russell.

    I’m going to come up with a hundred more the second I hit submit; I know this.

  4. […] movie, “Alice in Wonderland” many of us are feeling some Alice-fever. Based on this idea, Gypsyscarlett has posted a very intriguing list of six authors, 3 male, 3 female, she would invite to a tea party. […]

  5. That is so tricky I would want people that could challenge me as well as influence me, so;

    Edgar Allan Poe – For his Gothic writing skills
    Mary Shelley – For the skills of multiple points of view
    John Keats – For his imagery
    Anne Brontë – A sharp and ironic stylist
    Robert Louis Stevenson – Skilled at Horror
    Agatha Christie – The Expert in Murder Mystery writing

  6. I would invite J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling just so they could discuss who would win in battle: Galdalf or Dumbledore. I’d invite Thomas Harris, Lisa Gardner, and James Patterson for a “baddest villain” discussion, and then I’d invite Sarah Palin’s ghostwriter…just for kicks.

  7. 1. Rowling
    2. Poe
    3. Hemingway
    4. Butcher
    5. Shakespeare
    6. Cervantes
    7. Unamuno

  8. Hey Amy,

    I came up with a hundred *beforehand*. Definitely hard to choose only six! 😉

  9. Chazz,

    I’m crashing your tea party! 🙂

  10. Colby,

    I love how you’d invite Palin’s ghostwriter. Too funny!

  11. Hey Ralfast,

    Interesting list of diverse writers. I had a feeling Rowling would be on yours. 🙂

  12. Of course ;).

    List comes from a bilingual education. Multiple writers mean multiple sources of writing and writers.

  13. I would of loved to also invite Friedrich Nietzsche

  14. Ray Bradbury
    Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Anne McCaffery
    Jules Verne
    S.M. Stirling
    Ursula K. LeGuin

  15. Hi Lyra,

    Laura almost made my list, too.
    Bradbury is also a great choice. I just love listening to his enthusiasm and love for writing and books.

  16. I almost went with Bradbury and Le Guin, as well. I still hope to catch Ursula Le Guin at a book signing some time, so I thought that would have to do for meeting her 😉

  17. I want to crash Gypsy’s party, just so I can ask Poe to recite “The Bells/”

  18. Gypsy happily sets a place for MaryJ at the table.

  19. I almost put Mary Stonewallcraft but never having read any of her work, my British lit professor had a low opinion of women authors, I never got a chance to read her work.

    I hope I got the last name right. I think she is Mary Shelley’s mother.

  20. Lyra,

    Heh. Funny coincidence. I was just working on my WIP, and in the scene, my protagonist is reading Mary Wollstonecraft’s novel, “Mary.”

    She was indeed Mary Shelley’s mother. 🙂

    Oh, and I would have had some choice words for that professor!

  21. There are several writers I’d love to have over for dinner, but I don’t think I would “talk shop.” I might swap cat stories with Ernest Hemingway, discuss architecture and home construction with Robinson Jeffers, and commiserate with Ray Bradbury about the Internet (“It’s distracting! It’s in the air somewhere!”)

    One I’d most like to meet is St. Paul, the author of much of the New Testament, just to ask him what he thinks of modern Christianity. I might have to schedule him on a separate night, as he might go on for hours.

  22. Hi Edward,

    Very interesting choices. I especially like the Ray Bradbury pick.

  23. A bit of a late addition to the tea party!

    1. Patrick O’Brian
    2. JK Rowling
    3. Roald Dahl
    4. Mary Shelley
    5. Dante Alighieri
    6. Jane Austen

  24. Hi Beth,

    The tea party never ends so you don’t have to worry about being on time. 😉

    Great choices, btw. I especially like the inclusion of Mary Shelley and Dante.

  25. Hi Tasha, this link and another link of interest was sent to me via WP. You have some nice choices. I had not read an adult book in years. When reading the list above I smiled that I actually knew many of the authors.
    Saying that I cross my fingers if I can name 3 males and 3 females:)
    1. Steven King. I read one of his books when I was younger. It is much better and more detail than the movies. But I still love the movies. It was the clown books. Because of him I was afraid of clowns for years.

    2. Mary Shelly because without her there would not be a Frankenstein.

    3-4. Edgar Allen Poe and Mark Twain

    5. Charles Perrault who wrote “Little Red Riding Hood”…Perhaps that what started my fascination on Werewolves.

    6. My favorite of all time and truly come after Steven King is Alfred Hitchcock. He is know to many as a director in film and famous for it but at one time he did write.

    I know you said 3 females, sadly I know mostly the males.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: