Around 140 people voted in the Normblog novelists poll. You chose 10 novelists, number 1 being worth 4 points, number 2, 3 points, 3, 2 points and 4-10 only got one.
Here's the Top Ten :
01 (151) - Jane Austen
02 (113) - Charles Dickens
03 (64) - Philip Roth
04 (61) - George Eliot
05 (54) - Evelyn Waugh
06 (48) - Ian McEwan
07 (38) - Graham Greene
08 (37) - P.G. Wodehouse
09 (35) - Vladimir Nabokov
10 (32) - Charlotte Bronte
If only I knew statistics. But one thing stands out - there must have been a huge spread of novelists in the entries. No fewer than 205 novelists only got one point - I'd love to know who they all were.
FYI, Laban's selection. Not the subject of serious reflection, although #1 was a given. I've probably forgotten a favourite or two.
1. Thomas Hardy - self-taught, flawed master. Am I the only person to find Alec D'Urberville a much more sympathetic character than Angel Clare ? At least Alec knew what he wanted - the most desirable heroine in the history of the known universe.
5. HP Lovecraft - dreadful yet strangely compelling
6. W.E. Johns
7. James Barlow - sixties reactionary who saw it all coming
8. A.G. MacDonnell - only one novel of note - but what a novel !
10. Enid Blyton. Awful style, but her imagination more than compensates. "Magic Faraway Tree" enchanted me as a child and enchanted my kids in their turn.