RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

12 May 2011

Same name, different game…..



A posting inspired by finding in Any Amount of Books, a few years ago, a slim volume bearing my name. I bought it, thinking that there would now be one less person who thought I was a New Zealand poet who had been born in 1937 and who had written a poem entitled ‘Pullover’:

‘I want to be your little black sleeveless pullover
so I can feel your ribs
pout gently for your boobs…’

Unfortunately, ABE currently has one copy of Mr Healey’s little book for sale, but I take some comfort from knowing that other more distinguished writers than myself have their literary doppelgangers (if that’s the right word ). Here are some I found.

Caveat emptor !

Iain Banks, cult Scottish author
Dr Ian Banks, author of the hardly cultish, Not Feeling Well ?

William Blake, poet, artist, mystic ( 1757 – 1827)
William Blake, author of A penknife in my pocket and Wayfarer, a voice from the Southern Mountains

William Boyd, British novelist, currently at the top of his game
William C Boyd, author of Textbook of Pathology (1970)

William S Burroughs, Harvard educated cult junkie, wife-killer.
William J Burroughs, author of Weather.
William E Burroughs, author of Deep Black: Space Espionage and National Security.

Robert Burns, Scottish literary icon, peasant poet
Robert Burns, author of Seven Steps to Stop a Heart Attack

James Boswell, sex fiend, lickspittle to Dr Samuel Johnson.
James Boswell, 20th century book illustrator
James D Boswell, author of The Sower’s Seeds

John Clare, peasant poet .
John D. Clare, author of American Indian Life.

Thomas Dolby, early nineteenth century radical, author of Floristan
Thomas Dolby, indie musician and composer.

George Eliot, Victorian novelist
George Elliott, author of The Kissing Man
George P Elliott, author of Conversions: Literature and Modernist Deviation.

David Gascoyne, tall surrealist poet and Francophile
David Gascoyne, author of Let’s Visit Norway!

Kenneth Grahame, author of Wind in the Willows.
Kenneth G. Graham, author of children’s classic, A Study Skills Handbook (1984 )

Graham Greene, English Catholic novelist.
Graeme Green, Canadian novelist whose first (‘scarce’ )novel was Six Legs (1969).

Henry Green, cult novelist, author of Moving, Living, Being..etc
Henry Green, author of Favourite Movie Themes

Thomas Hardy, gloomy novelist and poet
Thomas Hardie, author of Sermons (1811)
Thomas Hardie, author of the ever popular Higher Physical Education Success Guide

Robin Healey, author of Hertfordshire—a Shell Guide etc
Robin Healey, New Zealand alleged poet.

Henry James, American novelist
Henry James, author of The Farmer’s Guide to the Internet (1996)


David Jones, ethereal artist and war poet.
David Jones, author of Baboon

Charles Lamb, author of Essays of Elia (1823).
Charles W. Lamb, author of Essentials of Marketing (1999)

[Robin Healey]

Many thanks Robin...To be continued with the other T.E. Lawrence and the other D.H. Lawrence and many others. Let me add one of the most confusing doppelgangers-- Winston Churchill (the greatest Brit ever) and Winston Churchill (forgotten American romantic novelist). The unsaleable Winston Churchill is often taken for the good one and fancy prices are demanded especially on Ebay. Almost all his novels begin with the letter C. ('The Crisis' 'The Crossing' 'The Celebrity' 'Coniston' etc.,) Wikipedia has this on them: "The British Churchill, upon becoming aware of the American Churchill's books, wrote to him suggesting that he would sign his own works "Winston S. Churchill", using his middle name (actually part of his surname), "Spencer", to differentiate them. This suggestion was accepted, with the comment that the American Churchill would have done the same, had he any middle names." Winston S. Churchill did actually write a novel 'Savrola' (1900) which can command as much as £1000 in the first state (no copyright statement on verso of title). To add confusion both men were amateur painters...There is also a good poet called Brian Jones, not the drug friendly Stone and a writer on poster art known as Tony Curtis, not the screen idol...
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