Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Heroine Is You

Yesterday, I finished reading "Jane Eyre" and loved every page of it (my kind of book). My goal this year is to read at least one classic every two weeks, with a few recent works thrown in, somewhere in between. So, as not to lose any time, I started my next reading project, "Hester" by Margaret Oliphant, last evening.

I read almost anything I can get my hands on (I've hardly ever met a book I didn't like), but the books I relish most are usually those written in 19th century or early 20th century England or France. I enjoy Victorian and Edwardian settings and stories about strong independent women or women who have overcome great difficulties and come out of top.

My favorite genre is Victorian Gothic Romantic Fiction. Does that make me shallow? *smiles*

***If you were the heroine of a great novel, in which of these settings would it take place?

1. Bible times

2. Medieval times

3. Napoleonic era

4. Victorian era

5. Civil War Days

6. Edwardian era

7. The Wild West

8. The Roaring 20's

9. 1930's-1940's

10.1950's

11. 1960's-present time

32 comments:

Linda said...

I enjoy reading books of the 19th Century from all over the world--Russian, American--English...

Jane Eyre was one of my favorites and I've read it again and again.

There's a Hester in the Scarlet Letter. I wonder if there's any connection to the book you're reading now.

I think what you're doing --reading a classic every two weeks--will be incredibly fun! I look forward to reading your journey!

Barbara said...

Linda- I'll probably read The Scarlet Letter very soon since I've included it in my Everyman's Library Collection (which I love, by the way).

So many books, so little time!!! Right?

I'm already enjoying reading "Hester". It is so well written by Margaret Oliphant. I think it's going to be a real page-turner.

I'm VERY excited about the journey I'm taking with my classics and will keep everyone informed.

Nancy said...

I would be a hero in biblical times...and then my chapter would be excluded because I would make women look way too equal to men and what a big no no for biblical times. Still, I could see it.

Barbara said...

Nancy- You sound like a independent woman who could be the heroine of any of my favorite classics. Stay strong!

Lesley said...

Hi Barbara. :) Jane Eyre is one of my favourite novels. I read it in one day...... but only because I was in a hospital bed waiting to go to the operating theatre in the afternoon! lol (nothing major) I loved it and it took my mind off the surgery. Hubby and I have visited Haworth many times, where the Bronte family lived.

If I was to be the heroine in a novel, it would probably be Victorian or Edwardian.... something deliciously gothic and spooky. :D

Lesley said...

p.s. Our daughter, Charlotte, was named after Charlotte Bronte. :)

diane said...

I enjoy reading autobiography books best and ones about strong women are my favourites.
Mmmm not so wrapt in classical, I think I was put off at school when we HAD to read them. I did enjoy classical Australian authors, especially Henry Lawson and books about the early convict time.

scb said...

You make me want to read Jane Eyre! (haven't done so since Grade 9, many long years ago)

I think my heroine would be in 1930s - 1940s England. Women had to be so strong then, holding things together while things fell apart all around them.

Have you read "My Brilliant Career" by oh, gosh, an Australian woman... just a moment... Miles Franklin. The movie delighted me, but I don't think I've actually read the book... (hangs head in shame)

Barbara said...

Lesley- You're my kind of reader!! How fortunate you are to have visited her home. You must feature it on your blog sometime in the near future!! I would love to see it.

Barbara said...

Lesley- Your daughter must get an enormous sense of pride from her name.

Barbara said...

diane- I'll look up Henry Lawson on Amazon. I've heard of him, somehow.

Barbara said...

scb- I'll look up the book you mention. And you MUST read Jane Eyre again, now that you're older. It had meaning to me, on so many different mature levels.

Joanne said...

Jane Eyre is one of my favorites too, the type of book that I'll reread throughout my life. If I were a heroine, I'd choose present day, but maybe with flashbacks to an earlier era, adding a bit of intrigue to the story.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Probably 30s-40s. Love Art Deco.

Star said...

For me it would have to be medieval times. I fancy myself as one of King Arthur's women or maybe Robin Hood's Marilyn - yeah all long red hair and a flowing gown. I'm going all dreamy now).

Blessings, Star

Barbara said...

Joanne- Write your story and I'll buy a copy! Sounds mysterious...my kind of book.

Dani said...

Have you read Tess of the D'Urbervilles? It's been a while since I read it, but I have a feeling you may enjoy it.

Another classic- Les Miserables. Although it doesn't contain a heroine per say. Nonetheless- an amazing work.

I would love to be a strong willed 20s flapper- edgy and sexy at the same time.

Happy Monday!

Barbara said...

Angie- Your answer is interesting. A little French, eclectic, elegant, and stylish...my picture of you.

Barbara said...

Star- That's exactly the way I see you in my imagination. Good choice for you, I think.

Barbara said...

Dani- "Tess" is on my list of "must reads"...hope to read it sometime in the summer.

I'll be doing a post on my "wish list" of books tomorrow.

Flapper Heroine- Sexy, exciting, strong willed, fashionable. Who could ask for a better story?

Astaryth said...

It's not a romance exactly, but someone is doing Dracula as a blog with each entry or letter put up on the date that it would be happening. It began on May 3 and will be going thru Nov. I thought this was a neat way to read it. http://dracula-feed.blogspot.com/

Barbara said...

Astaryth- How interesting! I'll check it out. Thanks for the web address.

Terri Tiffany said...

I think the 50's--when I was born but it would be fun to be grown up then with everything going on that I remember.

Lesley said...

Barbara, the Bronte Society have done a marvellous job of presenting the Bronte Parsonage. Whenever we visit, it seems as if the family have just popped out for the day instead of not inhabiting the Parsonage for about 150 years!

I'll have to think about how I can incorporate Haworth and the Brontes into my gardening or tarot blog. :D

Barbara said...

Terri- The 50's were certainly the "good ole day" for me. I was a pre-teen and teenager back then. Oh, what delicious memories!

Barbara said...

Lesley- Is there a website for the house and grounds?

JD said...

It would probably be the 50's for me too. I like the music from the 50's and the clothes.

Barbara said...

JD- A heroine from the 50's could be fun to represent. In my opinion, that was the "happy days" in America.

suZen said...

Ok - you convinced me to join you in the re-reading of some classics, starting with Jane! I LOVE history so it would be a hard choice from your list, but since I'm such a sap over Gone With The Wind, I'll pick the Civil War days. I named my daughter after Scarlett (my husband hated Scarlett and Vivian so I went with Leigh). My son was SUPPOSED to be Rhett - guess who wouldn't hear of that? So I went with Garrett, thinking I'D call him Rhett - that didn't work either! ha!

Laura Essendine said...

Barbara - you've just blogged about my favourite book ever. I can't count how many times I've read Jane Eyre.

May I also recommend Rhoda Broughton, Cometh Up As A Flower, if you like Victorian literature or Wilkie Collins who was a great friend of Dickens.

If I could chose an historical period, I'd choose the Civil War, but the English Civil War around the time of King Charles II. So little is written about this time.

Great blog

Laura Essendine
The Accidental Guru Blog

Barbara said...

suZen- I'm sooo glad to hear that you are thinking of re-reading Jane Eyre. I loved it on so many levels, and will read it again, perhaps, next summer.

Barbara said...

Laura E.- Wouldn't it be fun to be in a Jane Eyre discussion group? I'm hearing so many readers say they love the book.

I'll look on Amazon for the one you mentioned.

Wilkie Collins is one of my favorite authors. Recently read The Law and the Lady and also Woman In White. I'm ordering The Haunted Hotel in a few days.