Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Historical Classics

Since we're celebrating historical romance this week, I imagine everyone here enjoys stories set in the past! But what about stories actually written in the past? After all, you can't get much more authentic than a voice from the time!

Have you read - and did you like - classic stories of romance like Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights? Pride and Prejudice? Or any of Jane Austen's other novesls - Persuasion, Emma and Northangar Abbey are favourites of mine too.

I regard Charles Dickens's novels as a bit of a treat too, and although not romances as such, I find some of the unusual love stories in his books very touching, eg Our Mutual Friend and The Old Curiosity Shop. And, of course, A Tale of Two Cities (which he actually wrote as a historical novel set in the French Revolution), where if I'd have been the heroine, I'd have married Sydney rather than his more conventional double :).

George Eliot is another classical favourite of mine. Again, her books are not regarded as romances as such, but I love the romances in them, especially Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda. She also wrote a historical novel set in Renaissance Italy, Romola.

And talking of classic authors who wrote historical novels, I have to mention Tolstoy's "War and Peace". This is obviously a huge and daunting work, and I confess there are passages I skimmed! But it's also mesmerizing and thought provoking, and I found the romantic elements very moving.

So what are your favourite classics? Or do they not interest you?



  1. I have a large collection of the "classics" on my Kindle. I haven't read any recently but they are on my list. I hope to read them before my kids get to them in school. A modern classic that my son just finished is The Hobbit. He and I were discussing it yesterday and I think I have forgotten more than I remember! Time for a reread!

  2. Hi Jen,

    It's nice when you can talk books like that with your kids :). (Though I must admit I never got into the Hobbit the way I did with the Lord of the Rings!). Enjoy!


  3. Hi,

    I read a lot of the classics when I was a teenager and reread some later. My oldest daughter is a big fan of the classics, Austen, Bronté and the such.

    Oh, I loved the Hobbit when I was a teen and it directed me straight to Lord of the Rings!!!

    in Germany

  4. Hi Valerie! I confess I only read The Hobbit as an intro to The Lord of the Rings, which I was desperate to read :). But I remember them having a very different feel from each other, which isn't really surprising, I suppose, since I think Tolkein wrote The Hobbit for children and Lord of the Rings for adults. Or have I got that wrong? :)