Have you ever visited that portion of Erin's plot that offers its sympathetic soil for the minute survey and scrutinous examination of those in political power, whose decision has wisely been the means before now of converting the stern and prejudiced, and reaching the hand of slight aid to share its strength in augmenting its agricultural richness?
—Opening lines of Delina Delaney
I first read this sentence nearly three years ago. Since then, I have read it once a week in an increasingly desperate search for meaning. But I still don't understand it.The zenith of the nadir of the art of literary craftsmanship, Amanda McKittrick Ros (1860-1939) penned prose of an extravagantly amethyst tint, with plots involving sorrow and the ruination of lives.Robbed, she was, of a self-perpendicular perception of the mirthfulness of her volcanic verbosity, and those carping, craven, cack-handed criticasters who dared to draw the attention of the patient public to her insignificant lapses from literary excellence never failed to draw the livid lightning of her righteous wrath.The Inklings, a gathering of wordsmiths whose ranks included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, had a roaring time with the attempt to see who could go through these works of hers and hold back mirth for more time than others.
—Nick Page, In Search of the World's Worst Writers, on the above sentence.
Tomes crafted by her pen:
- Irene Iddesleigh (a tale of some length)
- Delina Delaney (a tale of some length)
- Poems of Puncture (containing verse of her crafting)
- Fumes of Formation (containing verse of her crafting)
- Helen Huddleson (a tale of some length)
Tropes employed in her works:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: It certainly appealed to her!
- Giftedly Bad: When your œuvres can transform such crafters of the written word as C. S. Lewis and Tolkien into trolls, you are the possessor of a decidedly "special" talent.
- Meaningless Meaningful Words: She was essentially incapable of writing a plain English sentence.
- Purple Prose: Bow to the Queen & Empress of the Hogwash Guildnote .
- Rouge Angles of Satin: An instance of a concept that bears close similarity is ordinary bungled orthography—"tête-à-têtes" was put down on the page as "tetè-a-tetès" in chapter IV of Irene Iddesleigh. We lack certainty as to whether this was an error by the one who penned the tale or the one who set the type for the one who prepared the script for impressing the ink upon what would be folded and trimmed into the pages of the novels.
- Theme Naming: In Helen Huddleston, many personages of her device have names of a vegetal persuasion.
- Vanity Publishing: All of her work was self-published, thanks to her doting husband. It goes without saying, this was the only way her books would ever see print. On a heartwarming note, she also personally thanked with an enclosed note each of the people who ordered a book from her.
- You're Just Jealous: Her default retort to many of her critics. She even accused a critic named Barry Pain of being so hostile to her prose only because he was secretly in love with her.