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All it takes is a large gloomy house for a novel to be Gothic, or so it seems. If the house is light and airy it's a romance!All it takes is a large gloomy house for a novel to be Gothic, or so it seems. If the house is light and airy it's a romance!All it takes is a large gloomy house for a novel to be Gothic, or so it seems. If the house is light and airy it's a romance!”


I'm amazed. I didn't know of this pseudonym and how very intriguing that she chose to write as a man. That always fascinates me.

Joan Kyler

You've discovered a book I discovered back in the 1960's. I was a teenager then and a huge fan of the British TV series 'The Avengers' (Mrs. Emma Peel was who I planned to be), so anything with 'avengers' in the title caught my eye.

I had already found and loved Isak Dinesen, but I had no idea at the time that the book was by her. I'd forgotten about it until your post. Now I'm wondering when I got rid of my copy!

And, yes, 1960's were rife with Gothic romances and I think I read them all!


This sounds excellent, Dani, and I have just found it in my own public library (Toronto), so it is on the TBR list now. The pictures of women reading in the previous post were a lovely way to start the day; thanks so much for including these. I picked up some beautiful Pomegranate bookmarks yesterday and thought of you; until you talked about choosing a bookmark for each new read, I thought I was the only person in the world who did this. Have a nice weekend!


I didn't know Dinesen used a third pseudonym. It sounds interesting, Danielle, and I'll look forward to your review. I have Babette's Feast s waiting for me in a little paperback addition. This reminds me to give it a read soon.


I had no idea Dinesen had another pseudonym! I wonder why? I have read a few of her collections of gothic tales and liked them very much; wonder if I'd like the novel length as well...

Buried In Print

Suddenly have an urge to pull her biography off the shelf to explore the story behind the story: thanks for such an intriguing discovery in the stacks this week!


ScriptorSenex--I think you're right! And sometimes even the gloomy, gothic ones have a dash of romance to them, too. Not sure if this fits in that category however!

Caroline--I had no idea either. I know her mostly via Out of Africa, which I really must read someday (I loved the movie). It's interesting when an author chooses to write under the pen name of the opposite sex--I wonder why she did it.

Joan Kyler--What an interesting story! I vaguely recall the Avengers and have thought about going back and watching the show now! I love the pulpy covers of those gothic romances from the 60s--many of them actually appeal to me even now. And I wouldn't have thought of Isak Dinesen writing one, but there must be something more to it. I've yet to read any of her work, though I do have several of her books.

Cathy--I'm glad you found it easily in your library. I'd like very much to read it--we'll see what I can manage. I'm happy that everyone enjoyed the bookish postcards--they are very fun to get in the mail (though I'm happy with any 'fun' mail). Aren't those Pomegranate bookmarks the best? I just bought a few new ones not too long ago. I actually like to try and match the bookmark to the book when I can. How's that for dorkiness?! :)

Penny--Neither did I. I hope to get to this one--I'm very intrigued by it. I also have some of her short stories, which I always mean to read (and her memoir). I'd like to read Babette's Feast and then watch the movie--another one that is on my list.

Jeane--I think this was her first novel-not sure what the chronology of her writing was--if she published her memoir first? maybe she wanted to keep those personas separate? It sounds as though this is the only full length novel she wrote, which is curious--she must have liked working with short stories better.

Buried in Print--Don't you though? I was thinking the same thing as I was reading the comments. It's been so long since I saw the movie Out of Africa, and I don't really know much about her otherwise, but there must be something interesting about her life that made her want to write under different names. Isn't it fun when there is a story behind the story (so to speak)?! :)


Obviously no one else had problems commenting so I'm just trying again after emptying my cache of old oookies. If it works it's a tip worth knowing for everyone.


Scriptorsenex--Glad to hear that things seem to be working again. I didn't know the little cache cleaning trick until I asked Typepad about the problem. It seems a nice easy solution--for once! :)

Liz F

I didn't know that Karen Blixen wrote under more than one pseudonym so that is an interesting piece of information however I'm not sure I will look out for this particular book as, despite loving Gothic books (I was addicted to Victoria Holt/Phyllis Whitney/Anya Seton in my early teens) I am allergic to winsome golden haired heroines!

Might well look at re-reading Out of Africa although heaven knows when bearing in mind the size of my library pile!


a pen name for a pen name! I had no idea and I've read Out of Africa and one of her books of short stories and have another books of stories on my shelf. Obviously I will have to find a copy of this one to add!


No! I had NO idea that Karen Blixen had another name. How about that? She is very high up on my list of authors I really, really must get around to sooner rather than later. And she was a fascinating woman, too.


Liz--I need to read Out of Africa--loved the movie. I'm curious about her novel, though I prefer my heroines dark haired and exotic as well.

Stefanie--I wasn't sure which name to use! :) Does she go by Isak Dinesen or Karen Blixen and now there is yet another to choose from, but probably it is only used in association to this book. It does sound interesting and I need to read something by her this year I think!

Litlove--This book seems to be a surprise for a number of people. It is still in print, I think. It is a Penguin Modern Classic, though I wonder how it compares to her other work. She's on my list as well. I think I started Out of Africa after I saw the movie, but never got very far into it--I was much younger then and am sure I'd very much appreciate it now.


Wow, I never would have guessed this and that is why I love this feature on your blog so much!


Kathleen--I had no idea either--picking this book up makes me really want to read her memoir, Out of Africa, finally!

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