I saw some commentary about bad writing on facebook this morning, and this link was below it, about “The Worst Novelist in History.” I had to read it. And I think I might just agree, although I’ve seen some horrible writing in the modern world.
The fairly short article is about Amanda McKittrick Ros, or at least that was her pen name. Her real name was Anna Margaret Ross. She was born in Northern Ireland in 1860 and died in 1939. She was a schoolteacher, and I find myself wondering what horrific effects she may have had on her students.
Here is a line from her first book, Irene Iddesleigh, which her husband paid to have published as a tenth anniversary present to her: “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.”
She went on to publish more books and poetry, though. Here is the Wikipedia link for her. She apparently was a bit full of herself in addition to writing prose like that wonderful bit quoted above.