Thursday 29 October 2009

19th Century Novels

So after taking the literature course this year (and enjoying it - almost surprisingly). I'm thinking of taking another lit. course next year. It's looking like a choice between the 19th Century novel and 20th Century lit. I'm kind of pulled towards the 19th century for a couple of reasons. 1) It's before the 20th (lol) so there may be some kind of progression reason for doing 20th century lit. second. 2) If I don't do it first I may decide to skip it and just do Shakespeare.

So in the spirit of getting ahead and knowing what doorsteps some of the 19th Century novels are, I'm trying to decide which texts to read first.

So if anyone has any opinions on the following novels - which to read first, which to get out of the way, which to put off as long as possible, let me know in the comments.

Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Madame Bovary - G. Flaubert
Germinal - E. Zola
Dombey & Son - Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre - Bronte
The Awakening - Kate Chopin
Middlemarch - George Eliot
The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
Heart of Darkness - J. Conrad
Dracula - Bram Stoker


Joanna Chambers said...

I'm really not a Thomas Hardy fan and haven't read a number of these but of your list, the ones I've read and enjoyed are:

Jane Eyre - Bronte
The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
Dracula - Bram Stoker

All great.

LesleyW said...

Tumperkin - Thank you. Since reading Pride and Prejudice this year, I think I'm becoming something of an Austen fan. So a recommendation for Northanger Abbey is most welcome. Currently watching the new BBC version of Emma.

Angiegirl said...

MIDDLEMARCH, MIDDLEMARCH, MIDDLEMARCH! It's wonderful. Not to be missed among the Victorian/19th c. stuff.

Then JANE EYRE for sure. :)

LesleyW said...

Thanks Angiegirl. A yes vote for Middlemarch. I have heard that you'll either love it or hate it, so I hope I'm in the former category. :)

Renee said...

While I haven't read all on the list, I've really enjoyed:

Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd
Flaubert's Mme Bovary
Jane Eyre, natch
Chopin's The Awakening
Austen's Northanger Abbey
Conrad's Hear of Darkness

You've got a great selection, there! I think you've got a good point about the chronological progression of the classes. Good luck with the class selection. :-)

LesleyW said...

Thanks Renee - Jane Eyre definitely seems to be the book everyone is recommending.

So I think I'll probably read these first - Jane Eyre, Northanger Abbey, The Awakening and Middlemarch.

I'll keep you all posted as to the ones I love and the ones I'm not so keen on.