For a change, and for some fun and good mental enrichment, I plan to engage in a literary (but non-writing!) challenge in 2011.
I found this out on the Internet. Thanks, Internets! Here’s a copy/paste from the originator of the challenge.
Literature comes in many forms.
There are so many Victorian reads out there, including novels, short stories, and poetry. One poem doesn’t count as a ‘book’: pick up an anthology instead!
List your books before you begin, or pick up titles along the way. It’s up to you! You can review them if you choose to, but it’s not necessary. If you don’t have a blog, that’s fine! Link to a Facebook, or a page somewhere where you can list what you’ve been reading. If you can’t link up, no problem – feel free to just comment and enjoy.
Post the reading challenge on your blog – make your own post(s), or stick the button on the side of your page. The more the merrier, after all. Let’s build a big community of Victorian literature lovers!
Choose from one of the four levels:
Sense and Sensibility: 1-4 books.
Great Expectations: 5-9 books.
Hard Times: 10-14 books.
Desperate Remedies: 15+ books.
For right now, I’m going to aim conservatively, as I do not read particularly fast and I will be finishing and editing one novel and starting (and hopefully completing the first draft) in the same year.
Thus, from the list off my Kindle of books that I’d like to get to, in no particular order (and though I wince to think of Jane Austen as Victorian, because she’s NOT, I may count her in the list, as I see others have done.) Eventually. (Yep, I went a little crazy and know I won’t get to all of these next year–nor probably in the next 3, but there you go).
- North and South Elizabeth Gaskell
- Liza: A Nest of Nobles Ivan S. Turgenev
- The Bertrams Anthony Trollope
- The Mayor of Casterbridge Thomas Hardy
- Little Lord Fauntleroy Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Jacob’s Room Virginia Woolf
- The House of Seven Gables Nathaniel Hawthorne
- Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Jules Verne (will be reading the translation, as I read even slower in French than I do in English, though I am tempted to attempt the original. We’ll see.)
- The Time Machine H.G. Wells
- Lady Audley’s Secret Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray
- The Country of the Pointed Firs Sarah Orne Jewett
- Middlemarch George Eliot
- Elizabeth and her German Garden Elizabeth von Arnim
- The Scarlet Pimpernel Baroness Emma Orczy
- Ivanhoe Sir Walter Scott
- The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
- Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
- The Touchstone Edith Wharton
- The Wings of the Dove Henry James
- Where Angels Fear to Tread E.M. Forster
- The People of the Mist Henry Rider Haggard
- The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
- Shirley Charlotte Bronte
- The Charterhouse of Parma Stendahl
- Two Years Before the Mast R.H. Dana Jr.
- Bleak House Charles Dickens
- The Heir of Redclyffe Charlotte Mary Yonge
- The Gypsies Charles Godfrey Leland
- Lorna Doone R.D. Blackmore
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court Mark Twain
- The Man who would be King Rudyard Kipling
- The Awakening Kate Chopin
- The Well at World’s End William Morris
Wow, an ambitious list. I’ll try not to stress out just looking at it.
Wow! That’s quite some list! Good luck however far you manage to get with it 🙂
Yes, I went a little crazy while formulating it. We’ll see how far I get. Thanks for looking it over. I’ll be interested to see how we all do 🙂 The best part is that I’ll be working on an alternate history/Steampunk that will be taking place in the Victorian era in the new year. Plenty of good fodder for the inquiring writing mind!
I’m planning to read the same novel by Verne for this challenge, and really, really wish I could even contemplate reading it in French. I read somewhere that Verne’s English translators took out (or played down) many elements which might have put off his English readers, and of course I’d like to avoid that. But I have no idea which translations to turn to. Any tips?
PS–We also have Mark Twain and The Picture of Dorian Gray in common. =)
Hi there! Nice to hear from another fellow Victorian Reading challenger… challengee? I had not heard about the controversy over the English translations of Verne until your comment so I did a little superficial research and sure enough, even Verne in his lifetime commented upon the “slapdash” translations of his work in English, particularly De la Tere a la Lune. This inspired me to download the French version onto my Kindle. I’m going to do a little comparison as I suspect my English version is rather dated (the free version off Amazon) and probably is not as desirable as it could be. I’m not sure which translation would be preferable but I’d suspect that the more recent the direct translation, the better, given the past controversy.
Happy reading in 2011!
That’s good advice! I’ll take that into account when the time comes to read his novel. =) Thanks!
I hope you love North & South as much as I did, it’s a beautiful novel. Great list! 🙂
Thanks for the comment, Katherine. I’ve just started it and already I love the character of Margaret. I look forward t seeing how the rest of it develops. I’ve seen the BBC adaptation and I love it. I imagine the original will be far superior. Should I have questions about anything Gaskell I suspect I now know whom to go to!