Victorians 2023

I told myself, no more reading challenges. This isn’t a reading challenge. I’m not sure what it is if it isn’t, but it can’t be one because I am not doing those anymore. 🤭

I’m about to start the last part of The Woman in White. It’s been quite a ride! I love the characters so much, even if the plot plods here and there.

Overall, I’ve been inspired to read some Victorian (British) lit again, which I haven’t read much of in years. Here are some others I’d like to read this year:

  • Jane Eyre (reread), February – A friend of mine is reading it for the first time, and I jumped at the chance to read it again. I haven’t read it in something like 18 years! It will be interesting to see how I feel about it now.
  • Daniel Deronda, spring- I actually started this in December but was too busy to continue with it at the time. This has a very different vibe to it than Middlemarch, and I sense I’m going to like it a lot! This will be a buddy read with another YouTuber who is knowledgeable about all things George Eliot.
  • The Heir of Redclyffe (reread), summer?? – Charlotte Mary Yonge’s novel was a bestseller in her time and even referenced in Little Women. I remember liking it but struggling to understand the conflict as it seemed a bit of “much ado about nothing.” Hopefully that was just user error and I can decipher it this time…
  • Middlemarch (second half) – Undecided, but I might be able to muster the determination to finish this later in the year.
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and/or Wuthering Heights – I own Tenant, but it’s the last Brontë novel I haven’t read yet. I read Wuthering 2 or 3 times as a tween, but I need to read it again because it was always kind of fuzzy in my memory. It would be neat to finish off the year having “completed” the Brontës’ works.

I would be quite happy to manage to read all of these. I would like to add some other novels like David Copperfield and Vanity Fair, but I don’t think that will be a practical plan based on the other reading I have going on.

What’s your favorite British novel of the 19th century?


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27 responses to “Victorians 2023”

  1. cirtnecce Avatar

    Great selection! I may join you for Daniel Deronda. I started it two years back but left it midway. I must read David Copperfield again soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      It would be so fun if you did!! I don’t have a set schedule for it, but I’m thinking of starting in March and reading it at a two-month gentle pace.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jade Avatar
    Jade

    I haven’t read enough recently! But British 19th century are top on my to read list lately. So far, I really loved Charlotte Bronte’s Villette.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      Villette is SO good. Now I am tempted to add it to this list. 😮

      Like

  3. Cyberkitten Avatar
    Cyberkitten

    I’ve been itching to read some Imperial adventure novels of the era and hope to read at least ‘She’ by H Rider Haggard this year. I’ll do my best anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      Ooh! I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts on She.
      Also, have you read The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? That used to be one of my favorite books of all time. Maybe a bit dated but a bit more on the “dinosaurs” side of things instead of the “imperialist” side of things. 🙂

      Side note… I don’t know why WP keeps marking your comments as “To Be Approved” but luckily I get a notification every time so I’m trying to approve them quickly!

      Like

      1. Cyberkitten Avatar
        Cyberkitten

        I’ll try to schedule ‘She’ early in the year. I have most of the books in that series now – plus (of course) ‘King Solomons Mine’. I have indeed read ‘The Lost World’ many decades ago. I’m a BIG Conan Doyle fan. I have one of his shorter books (more like a novella) starring Prof Challenger coming soon(ish). I also keep meaning to re-read his Sherlock books. It’s been around 40 years since I read them first time so it’s about due for another reading I think!

        I Noticed the ‘To Be Approved’ note on my post and assumed you’d enabled Moderation. Must be a WP/Blogger dispute somewhere…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Marian Avatar

          Professor Challenger is a blast!! Gets a little strange in the last book (re: spirituality) but I do enjoy that character.

          I’ve also been meaning to re-read Sherlock Holmes. 40 years, wow! I think it’s about 18-20 for me, but there’s still a lot I can’t remember from it.

          No, no moderation here… For whatever reason, WP has bestowed upon you the dubious honor of being the only commenter who should be moderated. :p

          Like

          1. Cyberkitten Avatar
            Cyberkitten

            Is that ‘The Land of Mist’? Not something that would interest me really! Conan Doyle was a BIG fan of Spiritualism so I guess his beliefs bled over into his writing.

            Interesting that’s it’s only moderating me [lol] Maybe WP knows something about me I’m not aware of [grin]

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Marian Avatar

            Yep, The Land of Mist! I didn’t care for it myself… It doesn’t even really fit the Challenger series!

            Like

  4. Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus Avatar

    A great idea, good luck with that! I would love to re-read Jane Eyre one of these days, but I am currently re-reading a Dickens – Great Expectations. My favourite British novels of the 19th century are Bleak House, Dombey and Son, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and No Name.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      Ah, I must read No Name! I keep hearing good things about it, and I feel inspired to read more Collins now. 🙂

      Like

  5. Fanda Classiclit Avatar

    One never reads enough Victorians, eh?
    I wish you’d read Tenant of Wildfell Hall; in my opinion, it’s the best of the Brontes’ (team Anne forever! :P).
    I’ve never heard about The Heir of Redclyffe, though, so I’m very looking forward to your review on this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      Yes, Redclyffe is a bit of an obscure book these days! I can definitely see why it is no longer considered a classic but I need to refresh my memory on certain points. 😀

      Like

  6. grllopez (@freedomandbooks) Avatar

    Marian, I had to look at a list of 19th C. Brit. Lit. to see what I have read and if I liked it. I found that I disliked a lot of what I have read. I bailed many of my Dickens reads. Of the list, I stuck with Austen and, of course, Hardy! Dracula I need to reread, and Frankenstein was impressive. Jane Eyre was the only Bronte I enjoyed. I probably should reread Wuthering Heights with new eyes. So, as you see — much of a love/hate relationship w/ 19c Brit lit. 😦 I wish I liked Dickens more.

    Of your list, I still have to read Middlemarch and Woman in White and Vanity Fair. (I own copies, I think, but I’m avoiding them like the plague.)

    Wishing you great success w/ your “challenge.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      I love your honesty, Ruth! I think there are certain books we all feel like we “ought” to appreciate more, but if it doesn’t click, it just doesn’t click!

      Have you watched any of the Dickens miniseries from the 80s/90s and early 2000s? Don’t tell anyone I said so, but sometimes it’s just fun to watch those. 😉

      Now that you mention it, though, Dracula was a big favorite of mine when I first read it. I will be revisiting that at some point, too.

      Like

      1. Cyberkitten Avatar
        Cyberkitten

        I was rather disappointed with ‘Dracula’ – especially as a long time Vamp fan. ‘Frankenstein’ was MUCH better I thought. I was very much impressed by it. I need to read her other stuff too.

        Like

        1. Marian Avatar

          I found Frankenstein to be terribly disappointing 😆 But I read the earlier 1818 version (with none of Percy Shelley’s edits). I’m starting to think the 1831 version might be significantly better because everyone I meet seems to love Frankestein!

          Like

          1. Cyberkitten Avatar
            Cyberkitten

            Not 100% sure which version I read. I’ll see if I can dig it out at some point and check. I was VERY surprised at just how different it was from the movies [lol]. Not that surprising though that a teenage girl would have a socially awkward and very misunderstood misfit as the hero of the piece!

            Liked by 1 person

      2. grllopez (@freedomandbooks) Avatar

        I’ve seen Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. Also, I preferred Frankenstein far more than Dracula, too. Frankenstein had a good moral. I never figured out Dracula, which is why I should reread it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. smellincoffee Avatar

    Despite the many strengths of Dickens, I like Jane Eyre the most of those Victorians novel that I’ve read. (I’m exempting Christmas Carol, of course…not quite long enough.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cyberkitten Avatar
      Cyberkitten

      ‘Jane Eyre’ was pretty good, but ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ was MUCH better (IMO). Only read 2 Dickens so far – the other being ‘Christmas Carol’.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Marian Avatar

      It’s fascinating to me how Jane Eyre has such wide appeal. I wonder why?!

      Like

  8. Cleo @ Classical Carousel Avatar

    I couldn’t pick a favourite but Jane Eyre is certainly up there! You look like you have a great list. I’ve read them all except The Heir of Redclyffe. I’ll be watching for your reviews!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      Thanks for the encouragement, Cleo! 😀

      Like

  9. Beth @ Beth's Bookish Thoughts Avatar

    I loved The Tenant of Wildfell Hall! And I really recommend George McDonald’s Lilith, if you haven’t read it. It’s weird, but fascinating. Daniel Deronda might be interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marian Avatar

      You’ve reminded me I seriously need to read George MacDonald… I love whimsical stories. 🙂

      Like

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