Wednesday, August 24, 2011

English Literature Classics: Suggestions?

Lately I've had an obsession with English literature. Well maybe not English literature in general, but specifically the kind that makes great chick flicks :)

I muddled through Jane Eyre as a teenager, but have recently been voraciously consuming it again and again. I never could get all the way through Wuthering Heights, but was able to conquer it yesterday thanks to a nasty cold. I started in the morning and finished by late afternoon, leaving plenty of time to download and watch two of the most recent movie adaptations.

Only I don't feel as though I've conquered it so much as was finally able to appreciate it. I didn't want it to end! I've devoured everything by Jane Austen of course, but considered Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights as a slightly higher accomplishment, since I had such a difficult time enjoying them when I was younger. But now I wonder, what else is out there?
"I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you--especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly."

For weeks now, I've had passages from the Bronte sisters stuck in my head like lyrics to a new song. The manner of writing and cadence of speech from that time period are like an entirely new language to me, one that I've grown used to and crave more of, like a catchy rhythm.

"You said I killed you - haunt me, then! ... Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!"

Sigh. So beautiful. So what should I try next? I'd love to hear your favorites!


Christine said...

I recently read Indiscretion by Jude Morgan. It was written in like 2008 or something but it has that same quality of historical English literature. Plus the heroine is smart and sassy, and there's romance - my fave! And if you love historical romance, you should try Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase. It's a "trashy romance novel" but so so good. You will adore the characters, I promise. And it's not stupid like so many TRNs are :)

EP Embroidery said...

Melissa, Have you watched or read Wives & Daughters? It's phenominal and it has a great BBC adaptation too! Highly recommended for any Austen fan. Here's alink to it on Amazon:

Lisa said...

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. I started it yesterday and haven't been able to do anything but read it--I'm on the last 10 pages. IT'S SO GOOD!!! Maybe even better than Jane Eyre! Ok, maybe not that good, but still...

Jenny said...

I agree with EP Embroidery, Wives and Daughters is great.

Also, Persuasion by Jane Austen. Love the book and the movie.

GardenofDaisies said...

I love
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South, Wives and Daughters)
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the d'Urbervilles )
E. M Forster (Room With A View, Howards End )
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest )

There is a blog that has lists of wonderful period piece books/movies. So instead of me trying to make a long list, why not just visit

Happy reading! And film watching.

SewSweetStitches said...

Thanks everybody, I'm going to look up all of those!

Allison said...

Oh yes, Wives and Daughters (seen the movie but haven't read). Consider Charles Dickens. He is a great writer. His works are not so...feminine, but romance exists in his novels. Little Dorrit is the first book I read of his after watching it on Masterpiece Theater. Good stuff.

Marisa Hopkins said...

I was huge into Oscar Wilde at one point of my life. Totally recommend The Picture of Dorian Gray and if you like plays, the Importance of Being Earnest (and the movie is so great, too!)

My fave book of all times is Persuasion. My computer is called Jane :)