Saturday, November 27, 2010

2011 Victorian Literature Challenge.

There is no way I couldn't sign up for the Victorian Literature Challenge hosted by Bethany over at words, words, words. I mean, I do love most Victorians and this will be an excellent kick in the pants to read some of their work...and some of that work by that reader I hate (you know, that Dickens chap). And, like said in another challenge sign-up post, this challenge serves as a great way to get more books read off my list (I am only signing up for challenges that allow me to do so, and I figure that challenges are a great way to reach out into the book blogging community).

Anyway, like all challenges there are a number of levels to choose from:

Sense and Sensibility: 1-4 books.
Great Expectations: 5-9 books.
Hard Times: 10-14 books.
Desperate Remedies: 15+ books

I'm aiming for some middle ground and while I am reaching for some Hard Times, I might just get to Great Expectations. (haha).

In any case, I have a lot of Victorians on my list and I know that reading too many of them will make me sick, so I made a list of 15 books that are possibilities. This list will most likely change as I go and I am sure that when I finish this thing, hardly any of these titles will make it. :)
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Tess of D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot
  • Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
  • The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
Anyway, that is where I am starting from. I hope you'll give this one a go as some of my favorite writers are from this era, as well as my arch-nemisis. :)


  1. Yaay! Nice list - though I see some quite yucky ones there too. Well, Heart of Darkness, basically. Dracula is great fun, and my heart belongs to Thomas Hardy so I'm pleased about that choice too!

  2. I might have to join this challenge. I think I already have on my list for 2011 enough to fit in the Desperate Remedies category. Now whether I could finish them all...

  3. The Woman in White was lots of fun! It's a thick book, but I read it in just a few days.

    And Heart of Darkness might have taken me three reads before I realized it was a very good book and not the worst book in the history of books. So I'm excited to hear your perspective on it.

    I'm currently reading Daniel Deronda by George Eliot, but I've heard Silas Marner is very good too.

    Good luck!

  4.'s been a while since I've read any Victorians, but I've been a fan in the past. I haven't read A Woman in White, but the other Collins I've read were fun reads. I loved Dracula, too, (I've read it twice!) and have enjoyed Elizabeth Gaskell, although I haven't read the novels on your list. Overall, I'd say you have some great books to choose from, even if you want to avoid Dickens. Have fun!

  5. Yay!! I'm glad you're joining! :-)

    From my blog:

    "Anyway, we’re both reading Oliver Twist and Dracula. We should coordinate. It would make reading Dickens much more enjoyable for me."

    Yes! That would be fun.

    I know: I'm a bit tentative on Dickens too, having heard so many don't care for his books. My mother loves him, so we'll see. :D

  6. I loved, loved, loved Wives & Daughters -- I think it's a better read than Cranford, despite the length. I also strongly preferred Middlemarch to Silas Marner, again, despite the length. MM started out a bit slow but was so worth sticking with! Vanity Fair was a bit of a chore. I also quite liked Dracula, a pleasant surprise, and Treasure Island. However, I must warn you against Hard Times!! It's the only Dickens besides Christmas Carol that I truly disliked. It's his shortest work but I didn't like anything about it. Oliver Twist is MUCH better.

  7. +JMJ+

    Hi, Allie! =) I'm doing this challenge, too, and comparing book lists.

    Well, you and I have Dracula in common . . . but I'm doing different stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson.

  8. I just joined this challenge too! I'm excited to have a group to read Victorian lit with. You've got some great books on your list.