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19th Century recommendations please

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Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Apr 2011 19:34:31 BDT
C. Barton says:
I've recently finished 'Lady Audley's Secret' by Mary Elizabeth Braddon and really enjoyed it. I've never heard of her before and wondered if there are other 19thC gems I'm missing out on.

I've read Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Bronte sisters, Jane Austen and loved them all. I can't seem to get on with Thomas Hardy, although I managed to finish 'Far from the Madding Crowd' I didn't really care for it and I gave up on 'Jude the Obscure'.

By the way, they don't have to be English authors!

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 19:44:01 BDT
Oracle says:
I would recommend Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (Penguin Classics) if you haven't read it already.

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 19:44:09 BDT
Ruth O'D says:
you don't mention George Eliot - not really a 'hidden' gem, but very good, especially Middlemarch (nice and long) or Silas Marner (nice and short!). I enjoy Tolstoy, especially War and Peace, and used to like Dostoevsky (The Devils was the best) many years ago, but haven't reread him since.

I must look up your Mary Elizabeth Braddon; sounds interesting.

Curiousity lead me to try Ann Radcliffe's 'Romance of the Forest' recently - it was AWFUL!!!!

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 19:55:45 BDT
Ethereal says:
The Awakening by Kate Chopin, can find it on Amazon

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 20:00:40 BDT
Ruth O'D says:
There's also Anthony Trollope - he writes gentle social satire, a bit like a light-weight George Elliot. I've only read Barchester Towers, but my daughter (12) has also read right through the 6 Palliser novels.

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 20:43:37 BDT
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Read Red) would be my favourite 19c novel, closely followed by Wuthering Heights.
The poetry of Christina Rossetti is pretty good too.

Feed the Enemy

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 21:16:36 BDT
Dan Holloway says:
Rosetti and Wuthering Heights is a great combination, James!

If I might add a novelist, try Elizabeth Gaskell

and a poet to go with Rosetti would be Emily Dickinson

The Company of Fellows

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 22:21:15 BDT
C. Barton says:
Thanks for the recommendations. I have read Madame Bovary, a couple of Tolstoy and I love Dostoevsky. I've not tried Eliot, Gaskell or Trollope though so will give those a go. Seems like I'm missing out on quite a few.

Mrs J Braysher - Not heard of Kate Chopin before, I will look out for her too.

Ruth O'D - Apparently Mary Elizabeth Braddon wrote over 80 books!

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 22:38:22 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 29 Jan 2012 01:04:21 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2011 22:48:53 BDT
LEP says:
Henry James - Portrait of a Lady etc.
Thackeray - Vanity Fair
Mrs Radcliffe

I personally can't stand Hardy. They are SO depressing ! Just a personal opinion as many love his books.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2011 23:08:19 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Apr 2011 23:08:42 BDT
LEP says:
Here's some more authors, I have no idea with a lot of them whether they are "gems" or not, besides the obvious ones such as Dumas, Scott, Stevenson, Stoker, Carroll etc.

Henry Fielding
Walter Scott
Alphra Behn
Samuel Richardson
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Mary Shelly
William Godwin
Elizabeth Gaskell
Francis Burney
George Eliot
Daniel Defoe
Elizabeth Inchbald
Laurence Stern
James Joyce
Virgina Woolf
Oscar Wilde
Henrik Ibsen
Ivan Turgenev
Alexandre Dumas
Louisa Alcott
Arthur Conan Doyle
Robert Louis Stevenson
Bram Stoker
Lewis Carroll
Leo Tolstoy
Herman Melville.

Some of these might overlap the 18th and early 20th centuries.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2011 23:20:26 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Apr 2011 23:30:17 BDT
LEP says:
A few more. Some of those I've mentioned above and here might have already been mentioned by others, sorry if that is the case. Some of these listed in particular wrote children's books (or they are now classed as children's books even if they weren't written as such). However, so called children's books such as Anne of Green Gables for instance are a series and take Anne right up into adult hood and marriage. Black Beauty wasn't written as a children's book. It was written to highlight the plight of many horses.

Susan Coolidge
L Montgomery
Anna Sewell
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Kenneth Graham
R Kipling
J M Barrie
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edgar Allan Poe
Eleanor H Porter
Harriet Beecher Stowe

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2011 23:27:46 BDT
Last edited by the author on 26 Apr 2011 23:29:00 BDT
LEP says:
Some more, many of which I have read at least one by the author.

James Fennimore Cooper
Herman Melville
Kate Chopin
Victor Hugo
John Meade Faulkner
Edith Wharton
H Rider Haggard
John Cleland
Jerome K Jerome
R D Blackmore
Arnold Bennett

Posted on 26 Apr 2011 23:31:44 BDT
I generally prefer the Russians (Dostoyevsky, Gogol, Chekhov) and the French (Zola, Maupassant, Hugo), though I have recently read more British authors.

Slightly more unusual ones you might want to consider are 'Venus In Furs' (Sacher-Masoch), 'Oblomov' (Goncharov), 'Against Nature' (Huysmans).

I've recently read some good 19th C books that I can recommend: 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame', 'Tales of Hoffmann' (ETA Hoffmann) and the amusing 'Diary of a Nobody' (Grossmith).

As for non-fiction I'd recommend 'How I Found Livingstone' (Stanley), 'Travels in the Interior of Africa' (Mungo Park) and the brilliant 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions' (Charles McKay).

Posted on 27 Apr 2011 07:54:23 BDT
I love these type of threads. They make me realise how poorly read I actually am, rather than the well-read chap I like to imagine myself to be.


Posted on 27 Apr 2011 08:34:00 BDT
KJ Charles says:
If you like Mary Eliza Braddon...

Wilkie Collins - have you read Armadale (Penguin Classics)?

Anthony Trollope - his masterpiece is The Way We Live Now (Penguin Classics). The Eustace Diamonds (Penguin Classics)is part of the Palliser series but only loosely related and has a female protagonist you'll like if you likes Lady Audley! His very late novel Ayala's Angel (World's Classics)is a delightful romance.

The Oxford Popular fiction series has a wonderful list of Victorian pulp including The Hidden Hand (Oxford Popular Fiction) and The Sorrows of Satan: Sorrows of Satan: Or the Strange Experience of One Geoffrey Tempest, Millionaire - A Romance (Oxford Popular Fiction), Trilby, Paul Ferroll, etc. Worth a trawl!

Posted on 27 Apr 2011 09:11:31 BDT
Jdb Quinn says:
Ainsworth never gets a mention and yet in his day he was equally as popular as Dickens. Old Sait Pauls is a much under-rated classic with great characters and a gripping plot.

Posted on 27 Apr 2011 11:01:17 BDT
Gnomon says:
If you enjoyed "Lady Audley's Secret" you might like Sheridan Le Fanu's "The Rose and the Key".
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  26 Apr 2011
Latest post:  27 Apr 2011

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