The Classics Club

Now here’s a wonderful idea:

“I’ve been trying to think of a way to unite those of us who like to blog about classic literature, as well as to inspire people to make the classics an integral part of life. I thought about several ideas but finally settled on inviting people to make out a list of (at least 50) classic titles they intend to read and blog about within the next five years.”

It comes from Jillian at A Room of One’s Own.

It was an invitation I couldn’t resist, and so I’ve made a list.

Sixty books over five years: an average of one per month.

And I decided to allow myself just one book per author, so that The Classics Club can introduce – and re-introduce  – me to as many authors as possible.

There are a few re-reads – marked in italics – and there are one or two books I started and pushed to the side and need to start all over again.

Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost (1731)
The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lennox (1752)
A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe (1790)
A Simple Story by Elizabeth Inchbold (1791)
The Coquette by Hannah W Foster (1797)
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (1814)
The Collegians by Gerard Griffin (1829)
The Red and the Black by Stendahl (1830)
Old Goriot by Honore Balzac (1835)
The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas (1844)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (1847)
A String of Pearls by Thomas Peskett Prest (1847)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (1848)
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery (1848)
Bleak House by Charles Dickens (1851)
Villette by Charlotte Bronte (1853)
The Warden by Anthony Trollope (1855)
The Daisy Chain by Charlotte M Yonge (1856)
Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1856)
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1857)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1859)
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (1865)
Crime and Punishment  by Fydor Dostoyevky (1866)
Under The Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy (1872)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)
The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katherine Green (1878)
Pot Luck by Emile Zola (1882)
Bel-ami by Guy Maupassant (1885)
The Odd Women by George Gissing (1893)
Esther Waters by George Moore (1894)
The Beth Book by Sarah Grand (1897)
Red Pottage by Mary Cholmondeley (1899)
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (1900)
Doctor Glas by Hjalmar Söderberg (1905)
Fidelity by Susan Glaspell (1915)
Bliss and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield (1920)
Cullum by E Arnot Robinson (1920)
Kristin Lavransdattir by Sigrid Undset (1922)
Anderby Wold by Winifred Holtby (1923)
The Home-maker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1924)
The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy (1924)
The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)
The Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham (1925)
Cullum by E Arnot Robinson (1928)
The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall (1928)
The Shutter of Snow by Emily Holmes Colman (1930)
Not So Quiet by Helen Zenna Smith (1930)
The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck (1931)
Flush by Virginia Woolf (1933)
Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sea by Patrick Hamilton (1935)
The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann (1936)
Mariana by Monica Dickens (1940)
Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden (1947)
One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes (1947)
The Far Cry by Emma Smith (1949)
The World My Wilderness by Rose Macaulay (1950)
A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Tayor (1951)
Fenny by Lettice Cooper (1953)
The Tortoise & the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins (1954)
The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West (1957)
The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa (1958)

Is there anything there that you particularly love, or that you plan to read too?

And are you going to sign up for The Classics Club?

18 responses

  1. Good luck, your list looks great! I’d like to read The Good Earth soon too.
    I’m not signing up to the club even though I think it’s a great idea as I don’t do well with lists and deadlines, they put me off reading the books. I will just look forward to the great post it will inspire and try to read more classics too.

  2. Thanks for joining us, Jane! You have a lot of titles on your list I don’t have on mine, so I’m curious to read your thoughts. For some reason, The Coquette sounds especially interesting! I love that you’re limiting yourself to one title per author to spread out the exploration.

    Very best wishes with this! Don’t forget to introduce yourself and leave a link to your list here.


  3. Good luck with this! I’ve just posted my list too and am looking forward to making a start. There are quite a few books on your list that I haven’t heard of so I’ll be interested to see what you think of them.

  4. What an interesting list! I’m not familiar with most of those you have listed. I think my choices were a bit more predictable. It looks like you’ll have a fun reading experience ahead of you.

  5. You have a really interesting list with many titles that are new to me – reading other people’s lists is becoming a dangerous pastime! A very good idea to limit to one book per author – I wish I’d thought of that.
    I read The Warden last year , my first AT and really enjoyed it.

  6. Once you’ve read The Warden you’ll be wnting to move straight on to Barchester Towers I promise you… And Not So Quiet is utterly brilliant.

  7. Ooh, ooh…The Odd Women by George Gissing! One of my favourite reads from last year, loved every minute of that one. The Tortoise and the Hare along with A Game of Hide and Seek rank right up there as well. You’ve come up with an impressive list, Jane, enjoy.

  8. Some fantastic titles here, Jane – I love One Fine Day (recently re-read; review appearing soon); The Good Earth; The Home-Maker; Bliss and other stories… the list goes on. One I’m keen to read is Cullum, which a friend gave me years ago. I see you’re so keen to read it that you’ve listed it twice! 😉

  9. I think this is a great idea. I read classics between the ages of 10 and 14, thanks to the school library. When books got cheaper and epubs more accessible, I sort of abandoned classics (except for Austen) for scifi and fantasy. It would be wonderful to re-read the Forsythe saga again (I’ve forgotten everything but the last scenes!) and begin Balzac.

  10. I find myself wanting to at least give it a shot. I don’t think I could possibly read one per month but just the list alone makes me want to explore all of these classics!!

  11. I love your list – especially that you will get to explore 60 different authors! I see that you have added The Beth Book in there now too – I found a copy of it recently in a second hand shop and was very excited about it! You also have some books that I have loved on there so enjoy! 🙂

  12. I’m definitely going to sign up, after I’ve compiled a list. I’ll be reading quite a lot by the same author though as I want to finish Trollope’s Palliser series. Yours is a very interesting list.

  13. I surrender! I’m going to sign up too. I just have to finalize my classics list. I don’t think I can keep it down to 50 so I’m going to try and have 75 to complete in 5 years. That’s 15 per year which I think is manageable.

  14. Really like your list, you’ve got a really good mix of writers. Really looking forward to reading what you think of Radclyffe Hall and Rebecca West – I’ve been reading about them recently but have never read anything by them. I’ve picked The Odd Women and some Katherine Mansfield stories too. Enjoy! 🙂

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