When I saw this, courtesy of Breadcrumb Reads, I couldn’t resist. November’s Autumn has started a new club based around literature of the 1880s-1930s. Anyone who knows me, or who reads my blog and takes in the waffle, will have picked up on the fact I love any literature relating to, set during, based on the First World War, and I have a certain love of classics as well, so I feel this is a club I am eager to join and read more about. As this is a new club, members have been asked to answer a few questions about themselves and the reason they are interested in this period.
What draws you to read the Classics?
I have a huge love of literature in general, having studied it at university and somehow ending up an English teacher, but I often feel that I didn’t appreciate a lot of what I was reading at the time; too many distractions at university! I love the language and the fact they often take a fair amount of concentration and engagement to enjoy and learn to love. I sometimes feel I was born in the wrong era, so literature is a perfect way to escape.
What era have you mainly read? Georgian? Victorian? Which authors?
Until fairly recently I would have said Victorian was the era I tended to favour, particularly Dickens, Hardy and Wilkie Collins, although I have devoured all Austen, so some Georgian thrown into the mix. However my MA was in History and I focused on the First World War, so I am keen to read anything from this period.
What Classics have you read from the 1880s-1930s? What did you think of them?
Hmmm where to begin? I think I will mention those I have read most recently as they are fresh in my mind.
- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1920) – I wasn’t a huge fan, despite hearing many good things about this novel. I found my concentration waning, but maybe that has something to do with the fact I was reading it at Christmas.
- The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (1886) – I love Hardy and this novel didn’t disappoint. He writes about the countryside I grew up in and I love reading about it from a fresh perspective and he certainly creates tragic characters well.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1910) – A story I knew well from the film that was released during my early childhood. I enjoyed the novel and the subtle differences between the two.
- Scoop by Evelyn Waugh (1938) – I usually love Waugh’s novels, but this one did not grab my attention. Saying that I do enjoy his prose and turn of phrase.
- Any Jeeves and Wooster by P.G.Wodehouse (1915 – 1974) – How can you not love Jeeves and Wooster? They are such light hearted reads and always bring a smile to my face.
Name some of the books you are looking forward to reading for the salon.
I’m not sure where to begin. I would like to reread some work by Virginia Woolf, having studied her at university. More Jeeves and Wooster and some Persephone novels that I hope fit in to the tail end of the era. I would like to read more memoirs of the First World War, specifically Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. But for now I will just see where my reading takes me.
Which authors do you hope to learn more about?
I would like to read some E.M.Forster, Wilkie Collins and some more literature from The Bloomsbury Set, but I am open to new suggestions, ideas and love reading other people’s posts/recommendations, so I am sure the list will grow.
Is your preference prose? Poetry? Both?
I tend to favour prose, although I do love the poetry of the First World War. I would like to read more poetry, so hopefully this will be the perfect opportunity.
I certainly look forward to reading the views and opinions of others who have signed up and I cannot wait to discover some new authors.