Friday, January 4, 2013

Personal Victorian Challenge

In 1913 G.K. Chesterton’s published The Victorian Age in Literature in which he expressed his opinions about several dozen writers of the Victorian period. These authors were fresh on the minds of his readers.  Therefore he assumes much and explains little.  Also, this is not a treasure trove of the theological and philosophical maxims that make Chesterton’s writings popular even today.  So I can’t heartily recommend the book.  

BUT since I am a fan of classic literature, I enjoyed his many references to beloved authors and he piqued my interest in several names with which I was unfamiliar.  

Based on Chesterton’s critiques, I’ve decided to read one Victorian author per month in 2013 (not in any particular order).  With each review I will add an applicable quote from Victorian Age.  Should be interesting.

1. George Eliot - Adam Bede - finished 9/12/13
2. Wilkie Collins - The Moonstone - finished 1/18/13
3. Robert Louis Stevenson - The Master of Ballantrae - finished 8/17/13
4. Charles Dickens - Dombey and Son switched to David Copperfield
5. Anne Brontë - Tenant of Wildfell Hall - finished 10/12/13
6. Margaret Oliphant - The Marriage of Elinor - finished 2/7/13
7. Charlotte Yonge - The Heir of Redclyffe
8. Mary Louisa Molesworth - The Carved Lions - finished 2/28/13
9. Juliana H. G. Ewing - Fairy Tales - finished 7/10/13
10. Thomas Hardy - A Pair of Blue Eyes - finished 3/29/13
11. Matthew Arnold - Sohrab and Rustum and other Poems - finished 7/15/13
12. Anthony Trollope - The Claverings - finished 5/6/13

Alternate titles: North and South, Agnes Grey

I'll continue with my Classics Club Challenge as well.

Postscript: Wrap-up is posted here.


Becky said...

What a fun way to challenge yourself! I love the Victorians! I especially love Anthony Trollope, Wilkie Collins, and Elizabeth Gaskell. (North and South is one of my favorite books!)

Alex in Leeds said...

I love Chesterton but haven't read this book of literary criticism, I'm intrigued now to see who else he mentions. I've never heard of Molesworth and only know Newman by name, I've not read any of his work. :)

Karen G. said...

I'm a huge Victorian Lit fan. I haven't read everything on your list, but I have read most of the authors. I'll look into the two I haven't read yet--Oliphant and Molesworth--and in return, offer as a suggestion something by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. I loved Lady Audley's Secret! (I guess you need another month in your year?)

Dan Taverne said...

I love The Moonstone!

debbie bailey said...

Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog and pointing out the Vintage Sassy blog. I haven't read that blog for a long time which is why I hadn't discovered the erotica on it. She must not use that blog anymore and got hacked, because I don't believe she would put that sort of garbage on her blog. Anyway, thanks very much for pointing it out.

I'm going to follow along with your Victorian challenge, since that's one of my favorite periods of literature. I love your book reviews as they're easy to read and aren't excessively wordy or pedantic. You have a new follower; me!

Fiordelisa said...

I have Chesterton on Victorian Literature, but haven't read it yet. I will pull it out. It sounds as though this work has the same effect on you that C.S. Lewis' Letters have on me. I consider him to be my reading companion, and never read a classic without going to search the index to see if he ever commented on it, loving to both agree and disagree with him, while safely assuming that he's probably the one who is right. :-)