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Grand Tour of the Classics - reading suggestions sought

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LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Postby LoveHistory » Wed September 1st, 2010, 7:59 pm

The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington.
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.

Everything everyone else has already recommended. As to international writers I'm afraid I'm better versed in plays than in prose.

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Miss Moppet
Bibliophile
Location: North London
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Postby Miss Moppet » Thu September 2nd, 2010, 1:26 am

There are lots of lists of the "100 greatest books of all time" variety, which might help.

If you're interested in the 18th century, I can recommend any of these:

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
Pamela by Samuel Richardson (He also wrote Clarissa but although I loved it it's more than a million words long, so it might occupy too much time on the tour).
The Mysteries of Udolpho or The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
Evelina, Cecilia or Camilla by Frances Burney.

For French classics:

Eugenie Grandet, or Cousin Bette by Balzac
Nana or L'assommoir by Emile Zola

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
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) » Thu September 2nd, 2010, 4:36 am

On the 'what are you reading' thread, I was just reminded of Pearl S Buck. The Good Earth should go on any list of Classics. Although I confess that I preferred her Pavilion of Women.

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Kveto from Prague
Compulsive Reader
Location: Prague, Bohemia

Postby Kveto from Prague » Thu September 2nd, 2010, 7:19 pm

im not anyone to ask about classics but your thread reminded me of somethng. A while ago, i was on a kick to read the most important book published in each year for the last 200 plus years. i actually made a list. ill see if i still have it somewhere. not sure if it would help you but it might be interesting.

litchickuk
Scribbler

Postby litchickuk » Sun September 5th, 2010, 5:18 pm

Want to thank everyone for the suggestions so far - please keep them coming. There is definately some must read straightaways! This is going to be a long list so picking 52 is going to be hard but im sure ill cover all the bases!

litchickuk
Scribbler

Postby litchickuk » Sun September 5th, 2010, 5:19 pm

"keny from prague" wrote:im not anyone to ask about classics but your thread reminded me of somethng. A while ago, i was on a kick to read the most important book published in each year for the last 200 plus years. i actually made a list. ill see if i still have it somewhere. not sure if it would help you but it might be interesting.


hey Keny - i would love a copy if you do locate it. Seems like a very interesting concept for your reading. Also glad to see that im not the only one with some kind of reading plan!

litchickuk
Scribbler

Postby litchickuk » Sun September 5th, 2010, 5:21 pm

"Miss Moppet" wrote:There are lots of lists of the "100 greatest books of all time" variety, which might help.



Yeah Ive got quite a few that i used as reference before I posted here but they all have the same books on them and there are much more seminal works out there that lists that cater for the masses just dont include. By asking you lot, my list will become much more rich in content - as proved by the great suggestions you have made! Thankyou!

litchickuk
Scribbler

Postby litchickuk » Sun September 5th, 2010, 5:23 pm

"LoveHistory" wrote:As to international writers I'm afraid I'm better versed in plays than in prose.


a handful of plays is always welcome. Shakespeare is included on the list so a handful of others for better variety and less bias would be great!

User avatar
Kveto from Prague
Compulsive Reader
Location: Prague, Bohemia

Postby Kveto from Prague » Sun September 5th, 2010, 6:48 pm

"litchickuk" wrote:hey Keny - i would love a copy if you do locate it. Seems like a very interesting concept for your reading. Also glad to see that im not the only one with some kind of reading plan!


heres da list for your perusal :-)

http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3759

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Sun September 5th, 2010, 7:04 pm

A grand tour of the classics should certainly begin with either The Odyssey or The Iliad by Homer - both historical fiction! Also, I have heard great things about Lady Murasaki's The Tale of Genji - perhaps the first novel ever written - and really must put this on my own TBR. I love Edith Pargeter's The Heaven Tree - don't know if it's old enough to be considered a classic yet, but for any connoisseur of historical fiction, it's a must.

Thomas Hardy's novels are classics, and I'm always surprised by his facility with plot. It's a reminder that novels with real literary weight don't have to be boring for an instant. I like Far from the Madding Crowd and The Return of the Native. I haven't read them all, though, so another one might rise to the top of your list. Tess of the D'Urbervilles is not my favorite, though it's not a bad book. It's the one English teachers seem to gravitate to - why is it that the ones English teachers foist on young people are generally the ones that will be of the least interest to them?

And for lighter reading, don't miss some of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories - The Hound of the Baskervilles is the novel to read, but a collection of the best Sherlock Holmes short stories might be an even better choice.
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