Tag Archives: victorian

Musings: Middlemarch and Final Paper Thoughts

Let me tell you something. If you ever decide to read Middlemarch, take longer than a week. I just went through the book in six days, and although there’s nothing really wrong with the book I felt a strong loathing towards it on maybe four of those days. This mostly happened around 10PM when I still had fifty pages to read and couldn’t care less about the elections or railways and just wanted to be done with it and go to bed.

I must have consumed about thirty cups of tea reading this. Almost started on coffee, which I don’t like, but couldn’t be bothered in the end.

It was never my intention to work extensively on this book, but now I know for certain I won’t be writing my paper on it. Nope. Won’t happen, although I’d like the things that resonate “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists” – goes to show how the tradition of Mary Sues is a long one! But no. I have yet to read Vanity Fair, but I’m fully prepared to like it and work with it.

A very stupid although tempting idea presented itself to me the other night. It would be interesting to compare Vanity Fair and War and Peace, as they both take place during the Napoleonic Wars and concern high society. It would be awesome, but also so much work that I shudder to think about it. I’ll have to see again after reading the book, but comparing it to Northanger Abbey or Sense and Sensibility seems like a much more manageable idea.

Besides, one of the reasons I chose my beloved major is that I could read Jane Austen and claim I was studying. Whenever that is possible, I’d very much like to take the opportunity.

Onwards I go. Next up on the reading list is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. I plan to manage that in four days so I can have the weekend for A) text analysis and B) myself.

I’ll see you next weekend with the Books in September post!

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Announcement: School Excitement and Victorian Novel

I’ve been so excited about this for a couple of days now. I’m starting my pro-seminar this fall, and had my fingers crossed that I’d get into the class that was my first choice (because nothing else would really do) – and I got in! Hooray!

The title of the course is Victorian Novel. Yup, you can probably see why I’m so excited. I like the teacher, too, so I’m all set to go. However, this pro-sem means my reading list will be very limited during September and the first half of October. We plough through six books in seven weeks, and as you will see in a moment, they are not exactly your lightest reading. Who knows, maybe I will have time for other books as well, but I seriously doubt it.

So here’s what I will be reading:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Middlemarch by George Eliot

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

The combined number of pages is 3,447.  I’m sort of taking a deep breath and getting ready for a period of intensive reading. We’ll see whether I’m absolutely fed up with Victorians by the time the period break rolls around… Hopefully not, because I’ll be doing this for quite a while after that, too!

So there it is. I wanted to share this, partly because I’m so excited and partly because now you know there will be lots of Victorian stuff lying around my blog. I’m thinking of doing Operation Classic reading diaries for these books (three of which I’ve read once already) and maybe musing on some stuff we go through in class. But we’ll see how I’ll go about this once the class starts next week.

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