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Creator / Amanda McKittrick Ros

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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

Anna Margaret Ross (8 December 1860 - 2 February 1939), known by her Pen Name Amanda McKittrick Ros, was an Irish writer. She wrote poetry and a number of novels, publishing her first novel, Irene Iddesleigh, in 1897.

She was born in Drumaness, County Down, on 8 December 1860 and was christened Anna Margaret McKittrick on 27 January 1861. Some time in the 1880s she attended Marlborough Teacher Training College in Dublin, was appointed Monitor at Millbrook National School, Larne, County Antrim, finished her training at Marlborough, and then became a qualified teacher at the same school.

In her first visit to Larne, she met Andrew Ross, a widower who worked as a station master there. They married on 30 August 1887, and Andrew financed the publication of his wife's first novel, Irene Iddesleigh, thus starting her literary career. She took the Pen Name Amanda McKittrick Ros and went to write two more novels and a number of poems.

She died on 2 February 1939 at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, after receiving injuries from a fall.

Ros's literary work was not widely read and is considered to be So Bad, It's Good, due to its Purple Prose. The Inklings, a group of authors whose names included J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, held contests to see who could spend the most time reading her works without laughing.


Tropes that apply to Ros and her work:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal: It certainly appealed to her!
  • Alliterative Title: All of her works: Irene Iddesleigh, Delina Delaney, Poems of Puncture, Fumes of Formation, and Helen Huddleson.
  • Age-Gap Romance: In Irene Iddesleigh. The titular character is young, while John Dunfern is, as Ros puts it, "a man of forty summers".
  • Aside Comment: All of her books had Ros addressing the reader directly, asking them their opinion.
  • Flowery Elizabethan English: Befitting her status as "an Elizabethan born out of her time", her characters, at least in Irene Iddesleigh and for the few times they do speak, randomly dip into Middle English for words such as "thou".
  • In the Style of: Aldous Huxley noted that Ros wrote in the 16th century style of Euphuism. Susan Sontag decades later stated that Euphuism was the progenitor of camp, which would explain why literary greats found her writing so hilarious.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words: She was essentially incapable of writing a plain English sentence.
  • Purple Prose: Bow to the Queen & Empress of the Hogwash Guildnote . Ros seems to be incapable of saying even the most basic things directly. For example:
    "She tried hard to keep herself a stranger to her poor old father’s slight income by the use of the finest production of steel, whose blunt edge eyed the reely covering with marked greed, and offered its sharp dart to faultless fabrics of flaxen fineness."note 
  • Rape as Drama: Maybe. In Irene Iddlesleigh, it's not clear whether a drunken Oscar Otwell raped the title character... or just said a lot of mean words to her.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: In Chapter 4 of Irene Iddesleigh the term "tête-à-têtes" was mistakenly written as "tetè-a-tetès". We don't know if Ros wrote it that way or if that were just her publisher.
  • Theme Naming: In Helen Huddleson, many characters are named after fruits.
  • You're Just Jealous: Her default retort to many of her critics. She went as far as claiming critic Barry Pain was jealous of her talent only because he was secretly in love with her.