What Victoriana are you reading in October 2016?


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What Victoriana are you reading in October 2016?

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Edited: Oct 23, 2016, 2:37pm

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886 - set in 1751, Scotland)

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume (1886, Melbourne, Australia) The nineteenth century's best-selling mystery novel and the inspiration for Conan Doyle to write the first Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet.

King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard (1885)

WHG Kingston wrote boys' adventure yarns and travel books in a light easy style - I'd never previously heard of this prolific author...

Adventures in Australia by William H. G. Kingston (1885)

Captain Cook : His Life, Voyages and Discoveries by William H. G. Kingston (1871)

I thought if we talked about what we were reading month by month it might create a little bit more activity in the group and I for one would love to get as many ideas as possible about great reading from/about the Victorian era!

Oct 25, 2016, 6:08pm

Speaking of H Rider Haggard, in the last month I read: Jess, a romantic adventure novel of the Boer rebellion
Heart of the World romantic adventure novel set in a lost world in Mexico
The Pearl Maiden romantic adventure of old Jerusalem.
Orbasan I hope you will seek out more of Haggards Allen Quatermain novels.

Edited: Oct 27, 2016, 5:23am

Great idea Orbasan and I hope that it does encourage more activity in the group. I'm guilty of not posting often enough, so here is my contribution. I am reading Thomas Hardy's first Wessex novel, 'Under the Greenwood Tree' not picked up by Touchstone for some reason. I have read a lot of Hardy's novels, but somehow missed this one and it is a delight. It has a more optimistic tone than many of his novels and the 'chorus' of musicians (facing the end of their musical tradition as the church organ becomes more popular) are a delight.

Edited: Oct 27, 2016, 8:55am

>1 Orbasan: Thanks for taking the initiative!
I realise I've been very remiss and hardly read anything relevant at all this year: I seem to be jumping around between the period before 1815 and the period after 1900. The only really Victorian items in my list for 2016 so far were one memoir and one modern biography of a Victorian figure: The wonderful adventures of Mrs Seacole in many lands and With friends possessed : a life of Edward FitzGerald.

>3 Maura49: Under the greenwood tree is a Hardy novel I like very much as well.

Edited: Oct 31, 2016, 4:31am

Great ideas for some November reading!

>2 bjbookman: I love reading series so the Quatermain novels will be a definite project. And the others will be great for the global challenge I'm doing. (Apart from being a cracking good read I should imagine!)

>3 Maura49: Will definitely give this a go as after Tess of the d'Urbevilles I've tended to avoid Hardy's novels as I need at least a week to recover. I thoroughly enjoyed his Wessex Tales - particularly An Imaginative Woman, although all were really good.

>4 thorold: How did you find the biography of Edward FitzGerald? Worth reading? We have several versions of the Rubaiyat and it would be interesting to know if this biography sheds any light on his process of translation and revision. In fact, I just received the Robert Graves version which has a very informative introduction.

And yes, one of the reasons I joined this group was to keep myself honest about how much I was actually reading from the Victorian era...

Oct 31, 2016, 6:23am

>5 Orbasan: I found the FitzGerald bio interesting (I posted a review), but not as much fun as Sebald's account of F in The rings of Saturn.

From what I remember Prof Martin had quite a bit to say about how F came to be translating these particular poems and how he got them published, but not all that much about the translations themselves apart from a few things that obviously impinged on the circumstances of his life.

Oct 31, 2016, 12:43pm

I just finished Alexandre Dumas The Companions of Jehu and went to the second novel of his Napoleon romances The Whites and Blues. I know they aren't really English Victorian novels, but Dumas can spin a good yarn.
Thorold, you will have a good time with Mr. Quatermain.

Edited: Oct 31, 2016, 2:41pm

>6 thorold: Thorough review, thanks. FitzGerald doesn't seem to have done much writing besides the Rubaiyat (which is a masterpiece, so who cares?)

Edited: Oct 31, 2016, 2:42pm

>7 bjbookman: I don't think we should restrict ourselves to only British Empire stuff even for this group - the Victorians must have been reading Dumas so it counts for me as it was relevant to the time.

I've already started the second Quatermain story - Allan's Wife. I loved the witch-doctor duel with lightning bolts ! There is now an imminent Zulu attack...have to go and find out what happens...

Nov 7, 2016, 5:25pm

About three hundred pages into Pendennis. Thackeray is one of my favorite writers, has a way of writing that is so relaxing to me.