A Mad Tea Party of Characters

Not so very long ago, I begged the question of which authors you’d invite to a tea party.  Now inspired by a discussion over at the fabulous Filling Spaces blog, I present the ten characters from novels that I’d invite to a tea party.

As with any list, this proved to be a challenge.  One, it’s hard to narrow down thousands of great fictional characters. Two, while I may love to read about a certain character, it doesn’t mean that I would want, let’s say Cathy or  Heathcliffe over for Earl Grey and scones.

But anyhow, without further ado:

1. Miss Jane Marple:  the white-haired,  perceptive, ever-knitting spinster.   She could relate firsthand her experiences at the Caribbean, Bertram’s Hotel, or how she discovered who killed the body that was found in the library.

2. Hercule Poirot:  I would love to watch the fussy, eccentric man with the “little grey cells” trade stories with the quiet yet sharp Marple.

3.  Nanny Ogg- she can bring something she baked from her The Joye of Snackes.  And can regale us with her infamous rendition of, The Hedgehog Can Never Be Buggered At All. 

4. Granny Weatherwax:  Nanny’s best friend.   Nanny, is by the way, probably the only friend Granny has.

Modern,” said Granny Weatherwax, with a sniff. “When I was a gel, we had a lump of wax and a couple of pins and had to be content. We had to make our own enchantment in them days. — from Wyrd Sisters

5.  Frankenstein’s Monster- yes, that poor soul who was cast out into the world alone, who taught himself how to read, who was continuously spurned by everyone- would have a welcome seat at my table.

6. The Crow Girls from the Newford novels by Charles de Lint.  The twins live in trees, eat candy for breakfast, love the scent of bacon, and wield switchblades.  Sure, I’d have to keep an ever present eye on them as they don’t understand the concept of stealing, but they are so full of utter joy that they’d be a must.

7.  Count Fosco- the tea party would require at least one villian. This cultured and  refined mastermind, with his love of bonbons, and a total devotion to his  pet mice, would definitely spice things up.

8. Allan Quartermain- to hear of all his magnificent adventures.  And to invite myself on his next trip.

9.  Marian Halcombe- before Mina Harker,  there was the brilliant and collected Marian who helped solve the mystery of The Woman in White.  And since Count Fosco was not-so-secretly in love with her…

10.  Carrot Ironfoundersson- the six-foot adopted dwarf from Disc World.   Utterly sweet and helpful to anyone in need, the always naive Carrot is hilarious in his proclivity of taking everything literally.

Who would you invite to your mad tea party?

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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?