Thursday, September 10, 2015

Top ten schoolchildren in fiction

Janet Davey’s latest novel is Another Mother’s Children. One of her top ten schoolchildren in fiction, as shared at the Guardian:
James Steerforth in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

I have always fancied Steerforth, who is in control and outward looking. The character is in the name, but not wholly: ennui hangs about this charmer. The boys of Salem House worship him and cane-happy Mr Creakle dares not lay a hand on him. He has insomnia. His mind is not as quiet as it might be for a star pupil. This adds to the interest. One wet Saturday, the boys go berserk: hapless Mr Mells is demolished by Steerforth – and dismissed. The episode leaves a vile taste. DC joins in three cheers as Mr Creakle warmly shakes Steerforth’s hand. If Dickens reappeared in the 21st century, he would have an instant understanding of approval ratings.
Read about the other entries on the list.

David Copperfield is among Frank Rich's top ten books, John Boyne's top ten child narrators, Lynn Shepherd's top ten fictional drownings and Elizabeth Gilbert's six favorite books. It appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best seductions in literature, ten of the best trips to Canterbury in literature and ten of the best valets in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue