Charlotte Reads Classics

Slowly, slowly, she sipped a sentence.

Big Brother

Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell

A not so gentle recommend from my significant other, who delights in being able to reference pretty much anything back to Nineteen Eighty-Four. I suppose we all know the basics by now, I was aware of the ideas but not the detail.

I really enjoyed this book, and made sure to keep reminding myself that it was written in the forties! We are still using Orwell’s concepts today for pretty modern stories… ‘The book of the twentieth century haunts us with an ever-darker relevance’ (Independent). I’m glad I read this quite close after finishing The Handmaid’s Tale, because Atwood was obviously influenced by this. But what unnerved me about The Handmaid’s Tale was that I could appreciate the logic behind creating the totalitarian society, whereas I didn’t get this from Nineteen Eighty-Four. But I did recognise the feeling of having constraining my behaviour according to whether I feel like I am being watched.

Its chilling, and dark, and important to read this book.

Love and Louis XIV

Love and Louis XIV, Antonia Fraser

You speak of throwing off a passion as if it was as easy as changing a chemise.” – Angélique de Fontages to Françoise de Maintenon, 1680.

I don’t read a lot of non fiction so this was a nice change of pace. This biography of Louis XIV – the sun king, the one who created Versailles – is told with particular reference to the women in his life. His mother, his nannies, his wives, his mistresses, his daughters… Antonia Fraser is very easy to read but MAN did I get a lot of these people mixed up – theres a lot of the same names going on here. This was also an interesting read to get snippets of court etiquette; most definitely another world.

Photo reblogged from here.