BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE - MAY 2016 - BEFORE QUEEN VIC
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Ten Books to choose from this month from the period before Queen Victoria ascended the throne:
These are the books:
Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth (1800)
The Mysteries of Udopho by Ann Radcliffe (1794)
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792)
Lady Susan by Jane Austen (1795)
Waverley by Walter Scott (1814)
Humphrey Clinker by Tobias Smollett (1771)
Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke (1790)
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding (1742)
Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1830)
I started early and have read two so far.
Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth
I enjoyed it, although I'm sure I missed quite a bit by not knowing much about late 18th century Irish history. The glossary is not to be skipped!
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
It's not as polished as her later works, but it raises catty gossip to an art form.
I found Paul Clifford on my shelves and have that geared up for this month. I couldn't figure out why I had bought it, then I read the blurb. Sounds interesting.
I finished Frankenstein tonight. It's amazing that the creation of the monster is usually one of the most memorable scenes in the movies, but in the book it's only bare glimpse and dealt with in just a couple of pages. And the eloquence of Frankenstein's creation! His descriptions of gaining awareness and his wonder at beholding nature are incredibly moving passages.
Yeah, so many people have seen the movies and are surprised at how different the book is. :)
>9 amanda4242: I'm reading Frankenstein now, maybe 2/3 done - and I think I blinked and almost missed the creation. I'm reserving judgement on the book until I finish but I think I can say that I admire it more than I enjoy it.
I don't know if I will get to any of these this month. The only title in the house is Frankenstein, and I have been meaning to re-read it, but it may not happen now.
Today's read was A Vindication on the Rights of Woman, which made some good points but was mostly long-winded and classist. Also, given her dislike of novels, I wonder what Wollstonecraft would have said about her daughter writing one of the world's most well-known novels.
I'm about 100 pages into The Mysteries of Udolpho and the heroine has already fainted half a dozen times.
I have Paul Clifford on my shelves and have cracked the cover. I can tell that this is going to be a long read; it clocks in at 538 pages and, so far, it is as long-winded as Dickens. Hmm, maybe that is why it has sat unloved on the shelf for so long? It begins - It was a dark and stormy night; - LOL.
I can cross Joseph Andrews off the list now. It's an outrageous and digressive read which I would have enjoyed more if I had more knowledge of the era it's satirizing.
It took me five months, but I got through The Expedition of Humphry Clinker. I really enjoyed it but it's best taken in small doses.
Thank you, Paul, for putting Reflections on the Revolution in France on the list. /sarcasm
I waded through all 300-odd pages of it and all I managed to take away was that Burke believed the foundation of a strong government was a hereditary monarchy and a (Christian) church working in conjunction with the state. Oh, and he didn't like Jews.
>20 amanda4242: Ahem, you are welcome, Amanda.
He is a founding voice in British conservatism. Enough said.
Waverley is a slow starter, and the style takes a bit of getting used to, but it turned into a very enjoyable read.
Paul Clifford is much better than its reputation. The language is a little florid, but it's no worse than many other works of its age. It's not as sharp as Swift or as raucous as Fielding, but it's an entertaining tale told with gusto.
This is the second book I've read beginning with "It was a dark and stormy night" and I must say it is my favorite of the two. Of course the other is A Wrinkle in Time, so the competition wasn't stiff.
>24 Familyhistorian: It picks up considerably once Paul becomes a highwayman.
>25 amanda4242: I hadn't gotten there yet. Is it very far along in the book?
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