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Grand Tour of the Classics - reading suggestions sought


Grand Tour of the Classics - reading suggestions sought

Postby litchickuk » Tue August 31st, 2010, 4:01 pm

Im writing my TBR list and would like to complete over the next year a Grand Tour of the Classics - think the grand tours of aristocratic youth visiting and lounging about all over the world for a year, but with books! I will be kick starting it at the start of November (great tie in with Nanowrimo as I write historical fiction predominantly so will keep me in the right era!).

Now for the bit where you come in. I have a list going but I am a tad stuck and look to y'all for book suggestions that I could include. There are tons and tons of "classics" so the extra help would be useful, that and different people have different opinions of what is a classic? Post your suggestions if you would be so kind and I'll post the final long list that I will be reading as of 1st Nov. PS - the list needs to contain 52 books in total as I read one a week on average.

Thanks for your help in advance

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Location: California

Postby Michy » Tue August 31st, 2010, 6:57 pm

There are lots and lots I could recommend, but I will limit it to just three since I am sure you'll get lots of recommendations from others.

I recommend these two because you said you're doing a "Grand Tour", and these books do an outstanding job of capturing their particular time and place (and they're good stories to boot):

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

And I just have to recommend this book because I absolutely love it, it is one of my all-time greatest reads:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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Location: London

Postby Leo62 » Tue August 31st, 2010, 11:28 pm

I second Gatsby. A couple of my all-time faves are Eliot's Middlemarch and Dickens's Bleak House.
listen:there's a hell
of a good universe next door;let's go
ee cummings

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed September 1st, 2010, 6:15 am

When I think of the classics, I think of books that are now considered children's books, but were not written as such. Two that spring to mind are Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. I might also add Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Jane Eyre, and George Eliot's Silas Marner. From Dickens I would pick Great Expectations. Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, or perhaps the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Miguel Cervantes' Don Quixote. The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas. Bullfinch's Mythology. Animal Farm by Orwell, still wickedly funny. The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Vanity Fair, by Thackeray. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. Asimov's Foundation Trilogy. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer. Virgil's Aeneid. Plato's Republic. Candide by Voltaire.

I'm sure I'll think of more later.

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Currently reading: The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell & And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott (Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Wed September 1st, 2010, 10:06 am

How about Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh or Dracula by Bram Stoker? There's Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, too. How about North and South by Catherine Gaskell?
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Postby fljustice » Wed September 1st, 2010, 4:18 pm

Anything by Dickens, Austin, or a Bronte. None of the Russians mentioned so far, so I'll recommend Anna Karenina and Crime and Punishment. I'm also fond of Alexander Dumas. You can choose all or some: The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask and The Count of Monte Cristo. I'll second Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer and, in the spirit of "grand tour" will also recommend his The Innocent's Abroad a non-fiction account told, as only Twain can, about a group of Americans on a charter voyage to Europe, Egypt and the Holy Land. Have fun!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed September 1st, 2010, 4:32 pm

Dumas is always fun. In addition to the other suggestions try something a little more off the beaten path. Margaret Oliphant is very good, especially her Miss Marjoriebanks. There's also George Elliot. Middlemarch and the Mill on the Floss are the only two I've read so far.

If you are on Goodreads, there is a group called Victorians that is very active with some of these authors/books and might give you other ideas.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Wed September 1st, 2010, 5:01 pm

"MLE" wrote:The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

I love Hawthorne, but too many readers get turned off of him because they were forced to read and had a bad reaction to the [I]The Scarlet Letter
. I would recommend House of Seven Gables over The Scarlet Letter (and it would tie in well with any gothic fiction you might select). Also love his collection of short stories, Twice Told Tales.

I have soft spot for EM Forster's Edwardian novels. You might be interested one of those.

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Postby Elizabeth » Wed September 1st, 2010, 5:01 pm

I second Catherine Gaskell. In the same general era, one of my personal favorites forever, Flora Thompson's Lark Rise to Candleford.

Also, the magnificent Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy by Sigrid Undset.
THE RED LILY CROWN: A Novel of Medici Florence.


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Location: Brooklyn, NY

Postby fljustice » Wed September 1st, 2010, 5:50 pm

"Elizabeth" wrote:Also, the magnificent Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy by Sigrid Undset.

Thanks for reminding me. I loved those books!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website

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