A while back I said I’d do the final tally for our Hild comps competition around Thanksgiving. I must have been on crack; reviews are still coming in. But the holidays are upon us, it’s time to call it a wrap.
If I count only public reviews from either well-known authors or well-respected journals (listed in one of the eight Hild roundups), then in addition to the previously listed Hilary Mantel, Sigrid Undset, T.H. White, George R.R. Martin, Ellis Peters, Rosemary Sutcliff, J.R.R. Tolkien, whoever wrote Beowulf, the person to whom we attribute the Arthur legends, Seamus Heaney, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Roger Deakin, Robert Macfarlane, Rudyard Kipling, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, Alison Weir, and Umberto Eco we can add Dorothy Dunnett and Mary Renault.
That makes the count, by number and gender (male pseudonyms count as men, female as women):
20 total: 2 undeclared, 8 women, 10 men
The respective gender percentages work out at:
10% undeclared, 40% women, 50% men
Possibly because I did such a poor job of laying out the rules, possibly because many of you don’t seem to like to play by what rules I did lay down, there was no clear winner. Even after work with pencil and paper (hey, it’s that time of year; it seemed more appropriate than a calculator app) it was difficult. Add to that the fact that I’m not at all sure I always remembered to count comparisons (you try calming counting when you want to beam and chortle and caper and you’re telling all and sundry, Now this reviewer is very, very smart! Their genius shines from them! I bet their eyes are lovely, too! And their taste in clothes!) and, well, there’s really no point in being rigid about it.
So I took the names of those who coloured even vaguely inside the lines and put them in a hat–okay, a tupperware container–and asked Kelley to pick one. She was in the middle of pondering a new baking experiment (involving oatmeal and raisins, drool) so to make the interruption seem worth her while I said, What the hell, pick two!
Congratulations! Drop me email (asknicola2 at nicolagriffith dot com) which includes the address you want the book sent to and who you’d like it signed for. I’ll get them in the mail before the end of the year.
As for the gender spread itself if I had included private correspondence then the tilt towards men would be even more pronounced. This might merit its own post down the line. For now, though, those oatmeal cookies are calling…