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classic literature

(21 Posts)
careergirl Sat 27-Oct-12 19:00:24

Used to read lots of classics but got out of the habit and want to pick it up again. I've always enjoyed Elizabeth Gaskell and will re-read her books favourites being North and South/ Mary Barton/ Ruth. Read some Dickens and also Wilkie Collins/ also George Eliot
Never really read Thomas Hardy or Anthony Trollope - any particular books I should look at? or in fact recommendations for any other writers around that period?

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 27-Oct-12 19:46:25

There are entire threads on Hardy and Jude the Obscure and Tess of the d'Urberville here. grin I've read them both and they are worth reading, though they may not make you very happy...

I've read Trollope's The Warden but it didn't make a huge impression on me.

Thackeray's Vanity Fair?

maillotjaune Sat 27-Oct-12 21:54:23

I second Thackeray - not just Vanity Fair though, my other favourites are Barry Lyndon and Henry Esmond.

I wasn't that impressed by The Warden either bit then read the 2nd book in the Barchester series (Barchester Towers) which I loved. Hate Dickens though.

Henry James is great, bit needs a bit more concentration than Thackeray or Trollope.

highlandcoo Sat 27-Oct-12 23:46:11

The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett deserves to be much more widely read.

Most of his books are set in the Potteries and his story-telling style is simple and straightforward, but absorbing. If you like Mrs Gaskell I'm sure you would enjoy his writing.

PhyllisDoris Sat 27-Oct-12 23:49:18

Any Jane Austen is good. And I liked Jane Eyre and Tess of the d'Urbevilles

tigerdriverII Sat 27-Oct-12 23:50:23

Vanity Fair of course. Middle march?

EugenesAxe Sat 27-Oct-12 23:55:17

Vanity Fair is OK - never left a massive impression on me TBH but nonetheless I enjoyed it.

I've never read ANY Dickens and have started my foray with Martin Chuzzlewit - only about 150 pages in but finding it very funny. It's quite dry and sarcastic.

Could do worse than a few ghost stories; 'In A Glass Darkly' by LeFanu, Allen Poe, and 'The Woman In Black' by Susan Hill. Read the latter for the first time recently; it really delivers on horror with the ending (in my opinion). There are so many books that hint at a terrible plot development and then fail to deliver...

tigerdriverII Sun 28-Oct-12 00:38:55

Susan hill isn't classic lit. Ghost stories - M R James

EugenesAxe Sun 28-Oct-12 00:47:20

Fair enough. It was bunged into the classics stand at my local library, which is why I mentioned. I guess they considered it 'modern classic'!

DuchessofMalfi Sun 28-Oct-12 06:17:12

I read The Picture of Dorian Gray recently. That was good. And re-read Pride and Prejudice which I loved. I would recommend a read of Jane Austen's novels - they're easy reads and enjoyable.

Interesting point Eugenes. What is a classic? When does a modern novel become a classic? What makes Donna Tartt's The Secret History a modern classic, for example? I think it is, and so is The Woman in Black a modern classic in the ghost story genre.

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 28-Oct-12 10:02:31

Henry James is good. Need to concentrate A LOT though. Worth it, I think.

Edith Wharton?

War and Peace?

lljkk Sun 28-Oct-12 10:14:02

Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

highlandcoo Sun 28-Oct-12 11:04:53

yy to Edith Wharton; similar to henry James in the society she writes about, but more accessible in style. The Age of Innocence is really good.

Also Ivy Compton Burnett; Manservant and Maidservant is worth a read.

Takver Sun 28-Oct-12 12:28:03

Have you read the less 'obvious' Bronte novels? If you like Mrs Gaskell, I imagine Shirley / The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Agnes Grey would all appeal.

careergirl Sun 28-Oct-12 20:56:10

not read Shirley....getting some good recommends here..

1944girl Thu 01-Nov-12 20:34:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

evenkeel Fri 02-Nov-12 14:32:43

Wilkie Collins. 'The Woman in White' and 'The Moonstone' are the best known but he wrote dozens of books, some of them with the most hilariously batty plots. They are v entertaining, though. If you have any kind of mobile device, they're all free to download too!

I love Trollope's books - 'The Way We Live Now' might be a good one to start with.

Frawli Fri 02-Nov-12 15:13:42

I am surprised to see that North and South was found miserable, I thought it was lovely.

Any Bronte (particularly liked Jane Eyre and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall), any Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Emma, Love and Freindship - she wrote the latter when she was a teenager and it's really silly).

I have had mixed success with Dickens, thought Great Expectations was fabulous, I read A Christmas Carol every December, but I tried Hard Times and had to give it up. I've read the Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, enjoyed that.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Sat 03-Nov-12 16:28:14

Some of Collins' short stories/novellas are great fun. Unfortunately I can't remember the names of any of them. I enjoyed the one set in the arctic although it is predictable and has v silly female characters. I think he didn't like women much tbh.

Lavenderhoney Sat 03-Nov-12 16:34:24

Henry James - agree he is a good read. I like Somerset Maugham too. Hardy is too miserable for me, poor old tess. I liked Edgar Alan Poe as well. I just download them all now as classics seem to be free or a pound in shops. Collecting for the dcsmile
Wuthering heights, as long as you can banish the image of Kate bush swirling about..

mixedmamameansbusiness Sun 11-Nov-12 21:00:13

I love Wuthering Heights and am also partial to Kate Bush flailing around, but prefer to keep them separate.

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