Charlotte Reads Classics

Slowly, slowly, she sipped a sentence.

Overcoming Passions

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë

This book has forced me to make the unusual statement: When it was romantic, I loved it.

But this is only about ten pages of the whole book. The plot itself is brilliant and Charlotte Brontë certainly has moments that make you convinced that she has a way with words, but there is something missing. There isn’t quite the intensity that a book dealing with such powerful emotions needed. Or, rather, when it was intense, it was pious and that wasn’t what I wanted.

From speaking to many people about Jane Eyre it seems that there are two camps: People who love Jane Eyre, and people who love Wuthering Heights. As much as you should ever base an opinion on just one book, I’m on team Emily.

A Trip to Cold Comfort Farm

Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons

This book seems to have a bit of a weird reputation: people who have read it always give such glowing reviews of it; a lot of people have heard of it; but I don’t think many people want to read it. I think it might be the name – Cold comfort sounds a bit grim, and the farm part probably puts some people off too. Until very recently all of Stella Gibbons’ other books were out of print (in the UK at least) but Vintage have just re-jacketed some others.

Cold Comfort Farm is the funniest book I’ve read in ages, and the humour isn’t dated despite it being first published in 1949. It mocks a lot of the modernist taking to the country type books (take that D. H. Lawrence). Definitely a very ‘English’ book. Stella Gibbons has created such a fantastic set of characters and named them perfectly: who else calls her matriarch Ada Doom?!

A very good start to my penguin classics reading project: funny, clever, literary.

Penguin Classics Reading List

Penguin Classics Collection Reading Project

  1. Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim
  2. E. F. Benson, Mapp and Lucia
  3. Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm
  4. George & Weedon Grossmith, Diary of A Nobody
  5. E. W. Hornung, Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman
  6. Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in A Boat
  7. John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
  8. Evelyn Waugh, Scoop
  9. James Wilcox, Modern Baptists
  10. Oscar Wilde, Nothing… Except My Genius

Victorian reading List

Victorian Literature Reading Project

  1. Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
  2. Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847)
  3. Charlotte Brontë, Vilette (1853)
  4. Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)
  5. Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White (1860)
  6. Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone (1868)
  7. Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1853)
  8. George Eliot, Middlemarch (1872)
  9. George Gissing, The Odd Women (1893)
  10. Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891)
  11. Henry James, The Turn of the Screw (1898)
  12. Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady (1881)
  13. Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would Be King (1888)
  14. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)
  15. Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)