Books · Uncategorized

Favourite Classics

Hello!

In the spirit of that Friday Feeling and the fact that I haven’t been posting any Top 5 Wednesday posts this month, now is the right time to do a Top 5 post. This time I’m focusing on classics and I feel like this ideal for me at the moment as I’ve been getting back into reading them.

Whilst I like them, they probably don’t like me considering I abandoned them for the most part when I discovered YA fiction. However, I’m hoping this tide is turning with my desire to read more classics and I have found a few recently that I have really enjoyed.

In terms of this list, I have given myself a little rule. It cannot contain Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. We all know how much I love and talk about this classic (if my two tag posts are anything to go by) and so being omitted from this list means that it can’t overshadow any of the others and it gives them the chance to shine.

So before I ramble on any more, let’s get started. Oh, and as always these are not going to be in any particular order.


1# Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Image result for Northanger Abbey


Luckily for me, I did only omit Pride and Prejudice because if I had to call out my other favourite Austen, it would be Northanger Abbey.

This novel has a completely different tone from any of Austen’s other works and it is rather refreshing. Written around the time that gothic literature was becoming the norm, it pokes fun at the genre and even references some of the novels of the time. The protagonist Catherine Morland is a booklover who thinks that life is like a Gothic novel and it a brings a lot of fun and wit to the narrative. What I also love about it is that you can tell that it was a novel meant for reading aloud in front of a family audience. Austen also addresses the reader and often highlights that Catherine is the heroine of her own story. Some people might think this is not a good thing, but it it makes a change for me knowing that she is not a perfect heroine and that she learns this difference between reality and fiction. I connected with her on a lot of levels and I love the fact there is another Austen protagonist next to Elizabeth Bennett that I can relate to.

2# Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Image result for frankenstein book cover

As a rule, I don’t read Horror. It’s a genre I wouldn’t touch and yet I always felt the need to read this and discover how it has influenced literature and popular culture as a whole.

This book terrified me in a good way and it still makes me think deeply about humanity and how far scientific enquiry should go to improve our own mortal existence. It took me by surprise that Mary Shelley could write a novel that would always be relevant, no matter the decade or century.

If you want my more coherent thoughts on the novel then feel free to look at this review I wrote a couple of years ago on one of my older blogs.

I think I might actually re-read this soon as it is a book that requires more than one read.

3# Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

If there is one book to prove that Anne Bronte is – in my opinion – the better author out of the Bronte Sisters, then it is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

I’ll profess now that I really do not see the appeal of the over-dramatic, soap-opera like plots of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights so discovering in this novel that Anne Bronte was more focused on Victorian morals and challenging society’s perceptions, was a huge breath of fresh air. It’s clear in the acts of Helen Huntingdon (the main female protagonist) that she is a modern woman, opposed to drink, spousal abuse etc and who wants the absolute best for her and her child.

It is often considered to be a feminist novel and I certainly agree with that statement. With Anne Bronte caring more about realism rather than romanticism, she opens up another window into Victorian society and expresses those views that many prefer to keep silent.

4# Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Image result for dr jekyll and mr hyde book

I am a fairly recent convert to this book despite it being one I’ve had on my TBR for ages. What I really like about this book is that it manages to contain so much detail, plot, and character study in such a concise manner and always keep you intrigued. It’s also a classic that you can easily read in a day. In my edition, although the story is combined with a few others, it is only 54 pages long. If you’re like me and can read 50-100 pages per day then it’s nothing. If not then it is still a shorter read compared to most classics of 500 or so pages.

What I also like in this is Robert L Stevenson’s writing style. It is fluid, poetic, and keeps you on your toes.

And in terms of the science fiction aspect, I kept comparing this to Frankenstein. I think that if you have read Frankenstein and enjoyed it, this classic is certainly another good one to go for.

5# Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Image result for little women book

I’ve read reviews of this classic being too saccharine, sickly-sweet, and completely unbearable but when I first read it as a teenager, I was instantly struck by the relationship of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and their transition from childhood to womanhood. Also the fact that they’re all completely different and yet retain this strong sibling relationship. That is really important to me and I love seeing it in fiction!

I think I resonate with it in the way I do because it was one of the very first classics I read and it signalled that shift from the middle-grade fiction to more adult novels, just like the characters all transitioning into adulthood. It marked a change in what I was reading and when I do find myself in those transitional periods, I will go back to it (whether it be the book or the 1994 film adaptation) and it helps me to make sense of everything that is going on.


And because it is me, I can’t leave this as it is without recognising just a few more classics that missed the cut:

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


And there you have it.

Do you like classics? 
If so, what are your favourites?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!
xx

15 thoughts on “Favourite Classics

  1. Great post, I love classics and really need to start reading more of them. Northanger Abbey is my favourite Jane Austen book (though Pride and Prejudice is a close second) and Frankenstein is another favourite of mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not sure if I find Jane Eyre compelling or not as it has been years since I read it and I still don’t see the hype over it. The Tenant of Wildfell hall is a such an underappreciated and underrated classic that it’s time some more love and appreciation is given to it.

      I use Little Women for both Little Women and Good Wives because my Penguin Classic edition combines them into one complete novel. I can’t imagine them as two separate books even though they were originally published that way. I actually need a new copy as mine is so close to being completely damaged.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hadn’t heard of the Tenant of Wildfell Hall until this year, you’re right, it’s very underappreciated! When I first read Little Women, it was only Part 1 – must’ve been an old edition! – and I was perfectly satisfied with it ending on Meg’s engagement and Mr March coming home. It wasn’t until years later that I picked up a copy of Little Women with Good Wives included (the latter still bothers me, to this day…).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Both combined don’t bother me at all. I think it is more common practice now to publish them that way, and especially since the 1994 film as that uses both stories under the title of “Little Women.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I always say I love classics and I try to make an effort to read more of them but I’ve only ever read a few of them in my life! Northanger Abbey was the first Austen book and I loved it so much! It was so much fun and I LOVED that it was pretty much a parody of gothic novels 😂 I’ll have to check out the others you mentioned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always think that I’ve read many classics when in reality I haven’t. When I first started reading them at 14/15, I tended to re-read the same ones over and over (P&P, Little Women, Wives and Daughters). I then hit a spell during my last years of school when I wasn’t having much luck with them and that lasted all the way up until last year – six years!! Now I’m determined to make up for that and find those I know I’ll enjoy.
      There are so many I want to try that I have a TBR full of them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not read The Great Gatsby yet although I do own it. To Kill A Mockingbird is probably my favourite of all the modern classics. I’ve only read it once but I love it! It has so many powerful messages that are important to me.

        Liked by 1 person

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