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BRITISH AUTHOR CHALLENGE - MAY 2016 - BEFORE QUEEN VIC

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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1PaulCranswick
May 1, 2017, 9:04am Top

2PaulCranswick
Edited: May 1, 2017, 9:08am Top

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)

3PaulCranswick
May 1, 2017, 9:12am Top



4PaulCranswick
May 1, 2017, 9:13am Top

I want to read one book by a lady. The top row and possibly Castle Rackrent and one by a gentleman, possibly, Humphry Clinker.

5amanda4242
May 1, 2017, 1:50pm Top

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.

6PaulCranswick
May 1, 2017, 2:03pm Top

>5 amanda4242: As impressed as always, Amanda. xx

7kac522
Edited: May 2, 2017, 12:32am Top

>4 PaulCranswick:, >5 amanda4242: In 2015 Liz (lyzard) hosted a group read of Castle Rackrent and provided some important background notes:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/190749

8Familyhistorian
May 2, 2017, 9:25am Top

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.

9amanda4242
May 4, 2017, 3:14am Top

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.

10drneutron
May 4, 2017, 8:47am Top

Yeah, so many people have seen the movies and are surprised at how different the book is. :)

11RBeffa
May 4, 2017, 10:59am Top

>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.

12PaulCranswick
May 4, 2017, 1:52pm Top

>7 kac522: Thanks for that Katie. I am going to read Castle Rackrent so it will be a good reference point for me.

13laytonwoman3rd
May 9, 2017, 12:08pm Top

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.

14amanda4242
Edited: May 12, 2017, 5:35pm Top

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.

15amanda4242
May 16, 2017, 9:43pm Top

I'm about 100 pages into The Mysteries of Udolpho and the heroine has already fainted half a dozen times.

16amanda4242
May 20, 2017, 2:24am Top

I've finally gotten through Udolpho. It features long descriptions of scenery, an improbable plot, and a heroine who spends most of her time crying, blushing, or fainting. Oh well, at least it inspired the delightful Northanger Abbey.

17Familyhistorian
May 23, 2017, 12:13pm Top

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.

18amanda4242
Sep 16, 2017, 10:59pm Top

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.

19amanda4242
Oct 17, 2017, 10:32pm Top

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.

20amanda4242
Nov 15, 2017, 9:58pm Top

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.

21PaulCranswick
Nov 24, 2017, 4:03am Top

>20 amanda4242: Ahem, you are welcome, Amanda.

He is a founding voice in British conservatism. Enough said.

22amanda4242
Dec 23, 2017, 7:47pm Top

Waverley is a slow starter, and the style takes a bit of getting used to, but it turned into a very enjoyable read.

23amanda4242
Dec 28, 2017, 1:31pm Top

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.

24Familyhistorian
Dec 30, 2017, 10:30pm Top

>23 amanda4242: Was it ok, Amanda? I gave up on Paul Clifford a few chapters in. Maybe I should give it another try.

25amanda4242
Dec 30, 2017, 11:18pm Top

>24 Familyhistorian: It picks up considerably once Paul becomes a highwayman.

26Familyhistorian
Dec 31, 2017, 12:12am Top

>25 amanda4242: I hadn't gotten there yet. Is it very far along in the book?

27amanda4242
Dec 31, 2017, 12:20am Top

>26 Familyhistorian: Around chapter 10 I think.

28Familyhistorian
Dec 31, 2017, 5:07pm Top

>27 amanda4242: Thanks. That is a lot of preliminary chapters to get through.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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