Monday, 20 December 2010

Challenge: Victorian Literature

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

If there is one thing I share in common with Emma Woodhouse, it is the drawing up of reading lists - and they are always very good lists, if I do say so myself - so I'm signing up for the Victorian Literature Challenge at words, words, words.  I have quite a few 19th century novels on my Project Fill in the Gaps list, and I have even more lurking on my shelf, so this seems a good way to clear some space and actually get some books read.

There are different levels for the challenge, but I'm going to aim for Great Expectations: 5-9 Victorian Books in 2011.  And, while the challenge itself is flexible, I'm going to be a bit mental and make life harder for myself by limiting it to books published during Queen Victoria's reign, 1837-1901.  The (short) list of potential books is as follows:
  • Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Tennant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  • Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
I have a few more, and am also aware that all of these books are written by British authors - I would say so was Victoria, but that bit from Blackadder keeps running through my head*.  Some of them are also pretty big, which is why I haven't included all of my Dickens because they are technically weapons.  This should be interesting.

* Can't find the clip on Youtube, but basically "so your father's German, you're half-German and you married a German?".


  1. Tee hee hee! 'technically weapons' is so true, and so funny. Vanity Fair is big, but your list looks so good! Thanks for joining in!

  2. A great list! Have fun with this. :-)

  3. +JMJ+

    Oh, Vanity Fair is a regular missile! My uni library had a very old edition in about twenty-four little volumes. I don't know if these ultimately seem more manageable or more intimidating.

    Good luck with the challenge!

  4. @Bethany - thanks for running the challenge, tho I suspect I may wimp out of reading some of the weapons and go for shorter books.

    @Jillian - thanks, I'm hoping it will be fun.

    @Enbrethiliel - I think those books are scarier as the mini-volumes - our library had Clarissa in separate volumes that were somehow bigger than the single paperback. Much more daunting.


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