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19th C sagas for Autumn!

(17 Posts)
ViolettaValery Sun 09-Oct-16 16:10:56

I feel like getting in to some delicious long-winded 18/19th C saga or other (doesn't have to have been written in 19th C). Think Thomas Hardy type stuff but not ruined by A-level. Are the Barchester Chronicles what I'm after? What else?

Thank you in advance smile

highlandcoo Sun 09-Oct-16 17:45:18

How about the Rougon-Macquart series by Zola?

I've read a couple of them at random, Therese Raquin and Germinal, and enjoyed them both, but hadn't realised until recently that they formed part of a series of 20 novels. Late 19th century I think. That would keep you busy for a while smile

Alternatively, the Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard, which run from just after WW1 to after WW2, less political and more of a family saga, are a great read.

Brillig Sun 09-Oct-16 17:57:50

I've got the whole series of Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian sitting on my bookshelves - just waiting for the time to feel right to start them.

The Barchester Chronicles would be good, though. Or the Pallisers. I love a bit a lot of Trollope grin

Laska5772 Mon 10-Oct-16 19:32:49

Have you read Middlemarch? I just love that book

Second the Pallisers also
also recommend Vanity Fair

ViolettaValery Tue 11-Oct-16 21:36:47

I LOVED Middlemarch. Is 5 years long enough to re-read? Yes probably. Will check out the Pallisers. And you know, I don't think I've read the Aubrey-Maturin saga all the way through either...

Thanks all smile

ViolettaValery Tue 11-Oct-16 21:37:20

Also the Cazalets, I am slightly obsessed with Elizabeth Jane Howard at the moment, there was a serial about her on R4 recently.

MrsBernardBlack Fri 14-Oct-16 19:21:57

Another vote for Zola, amazingly racy, considering when they were written, but brilliant plots and characters.

MaybeDoctor Fri 14-Oct-16 19:39:32

Forsyte Saga

LooseAtTheSeams Wed 19-Oct-16 11:43:51

You can't beat Middlemarch.
I'd also recommend Wilkie Collins - The Woman in White, The Moonstone and The Law and The Lady (bonkers plot, very good read!) Collins always has strong women characters.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Wed 19-Oct-16 11:55:20

I love the Anthony Trollope books.

Also the Cazalets. Read all 5 in under a fortnight because I was bloody obsessed.

Have you read all the Brontes, the lesser known ones? I loved the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Bronte books always good for wintery evenings.

Also I would read and reread anything by Edith Wharton.

ViolettaValery Fri 21-Oct-16 14:57:55

Tenant of Wildfell Hall yes, I read that when I was, well, coming out of an abusive relationship and it absolutely blew me away. Astonishingly well-observed.

I'm amazed it's not better known as a real must-read classic - I think perhaps it makes a slightly less satisfying "saga" than Wuthering Heights (shorter?), and also the heroine is deeply religious which maybe doesn't chime with us so well any more. But even so.

Yep, been through Wilkie Collins too, love them. This is basically what I do with every Autumn grin

ViolettaValery Fri 21-Oct-16 14:58:56

Haven't actually started any of this wonderful reading yet, the world keeps making me do things like go to work and see other human beings hmm

GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER Tue 01-Nov-16 20:53:25

Another brilliant Trollope is The Way We live Now.
Fantastic read.

I second the Pallisers, The Barchester Chronicles, Middlemarch, and The Woman in White.
All favourites of mine.

LooseAtTheSeams Tue 01-Nov-16 22:04:30

Definitely second The Way We Live Now - hasn't dated at all!

SatsukiKusakabe Wed 02-Nov-16 09:41:27

Bleak House

For a modern take on the 19th C The Luminaries, The Crimson Petal and the White, The Quincunx (loved the first, second ok, haven't read the third yet)

Anna Karenina and War and Peace are both fantastic

Second Germinal and Wilkie Collins - I have No Name on my to read list.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum follows a family from pre 20th Century to present-ish day, taking in the two world wars etc for more contemporary fiction.

blueskyinmarch Mon 14-Nov-16 10:19:17

I have just read Anna Karenina whilst on a weeks holiday. I spent that week immersed in 19th century Russia and i adored it. It is not the type of book i usually read and i was surprised at how readable and relatable to the modern age it was.

loinnir Mon 14-Nov-16 18:05:04

I too endorse Zola - especially L'Assomoir.
They were racy novels as the French had looser decency laws. UK novelists came up against strict decency laws (Mrs Grundy)- George Gissing, Hardy and Dickens and many others had to allude to sex and prostitution and felt really frustrated that they could not be more explicit and write about the realities of life.

Middlemarch as others have said - would add Vanity Fair.

I also like Susan Howatch's family Sagas ( they cover a few generations): Penmarric, Wheel of Fortune, Cashelmara - they are loosely based on earlier historical dynasties such as the Plantagenets)

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