Featured Bad Author: Amanda McKittrick Ros

Amanda McKittrick Ros is arguably the worst author ever.  That characterization is not, however, how she viewed her work. Ros regarded herself as a very serious author whose greatness would be recognized the world over in due time.  My words not hers.  What she actually said about herself was recently quoted in a  Smithsonian magazine article by Miles Corwin,  “‘the million and one who thirst for aught that drops from my pen,’ and predicted she would “be talked about at the end of a thousand years.'”

I know, incredibly bad.  But it gets worse.  Much worse.  She might have even faded into obscurity if it weren’t for her incredible fan base which included well known, good authors, like Mark Twain and C.S. Lewis’ entire literary group the Inklings.  In fact the group, which included J.R.R. Tolkien, never bored and always amused, would try to read aloud from her prose and the first one to laugh while reading would lose.  It’s actually harder than you think, I’ve tried it.  Here is a sample from the poem  “Visiting Westminster Abbey,”

Holy Moses! Have a look!
Flesh decayed in every nook!
Some rare bits of brain lie here,
Mortal loads of beef and beer,
Some of whom are turned to dust,
Every one bids lost to lust;
Royal flesh so tinged with ‘blue’
Undergoes the same as you.

Here is some more bad stuff…

Dickens had The Tale of Two Cities, and Ros had this opening line from,  Delina Delaney,

“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?”


And still more bad writing,  from  her first book, Irene Iddesleigh,

“Speak! Irene! Wife! Woman! Do not sit in silence and allow the blood that now boils in my veins to ooze through cavities of unrestrained passion and trickle down to drench me with its crimson hue!”

For more on this amazingly bad author you can go to the following:




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