o at Behold the Stars always has such lovely ideas and this was one I just couldn’t resist
To travel England by reading, and read at least one book per however many counties of England you decide to read.
- This challenge begins on the 1st January 2015 and ends on 31st December 2015, but of course if you really get into it then keep it going 🙂
- You can sign up any time between now and the end of 2015. Only books read after 1st January 2015 count, though.
- Choose a level (below), but do not feel obliged to pick your books or even your counties beforehand.
- Because this is a classics blog, I’d encourage people to read classic novels, but how you define classics is up to you.
- You are not limited to English authors. Henry James, for example, is American but his novel The Turn of the Screw is set in Essex, and so he counts for the challenge.
- It would be grand if you blogged about the books you read for each county but you don’t have to. If you do, you don’t have to feel obliged to give any information about the county in general other than, maybe, “This is my review of x which is set in the county of x“. You could also include a description of the landscape in your posts, but again you don’t have to.
- You do not have to read the books in their original language, translations are accepted (I only read in English so I would never dream of making other people read in their second language!)
- Audio books, Kindles, and whatnot are accepted too.
- Poetry, plays, biographies, and autobiographies count as well as novels.
- Level one: 1 – 3 counties
- Level two: 4 – 6 counties
- Level three: 7 – 12 counties
- Level four: 12 + counties
I thought that making a list would be easy, but it was actually quite tricky. I knew that I’d added a few more books in translation to my Classics Club list, but I discovered that I had more books than I realised set in the wider world, books from Scotland Wales and Ireland, books set in fictional places, books where I couldn’t quite determine the setting with reading too much …..
But I did find enough books to create an itinerary:
Dusty Answer by Rosamund Lehman
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope
Return I Dare Not! by Margaret Kennedy
Crusoe’s Daughter by Jane Gardem
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym
Armadale by Wilkie Collins
Gone to Earth by Mary Webb
Lise Lillywhite by Margaret Kennedy
Mr and Mrs Pennington by Francis Brett-Young
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
The Beth Book by Sarah Grand
My real route may be a little different, but I like to have a list of possibilities.
There’s just one more thing I must mention.
If you’re looking for a book for my county – Cornwall – do take a look at Wilkie Collins’ wonderful travelogue ‘Rambles Beyond Railways.’ It’s as readable as anything he wrote, and I could happily read it over and over again …..