Archive for category Intro and Sign Up
I’m defining the era as pre-1840. The following information may give you an idea where to begin as you search for what work you’d like to read for the tour. You may also want to read the LitGothic page for some additional ideas. Some people may also be interested in the gothic novels that Catherine Moreland references in Austen’s Northanger Abbey. You can find some information about those novels here.
Keep in mind that although the literary gothic extends to present day, we’re only counting books or stories written before 1840 for this current tour.
Other than the year written guideline, I don’t want to be too picky: if the work you want to read is not on this list but if you think it fits the gothic tradition, then go ahead and select it!
The button for this tour is an image I took in September 2005. It is a gargoyle on the side of Notre Dame. Feel free to use it to promote the tour on your blog.
How the tour works: If you are new to the Classics Circuit, please read this paragraph so you may have a better understanding of how the tour operates. First, make sure you sign up via the form, not in the comments. You must have a blog to be a tour participant. On the sign up form, please indicate either which days you want to post, or which days you are unable to post on your blog. Someone from the Classics Circuit will email you your assigned date. We will post a schedule on this blog linking to all the participating blogs. On your assigned day in your time zone, please post about your selected work. If this is not clear, feel free to email rebecca[at]rebeccareid[dot]com. Thanks for your interest in joining the Circuit! If you do not have a blog, I still encourage you to follow the tour once it begins in October.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert or student of gothic literature at all. I am simply a reader of classics (like the rest of you) that decided to compile a list of what I’ve found classified as gothic literature, pre-1840s. If you are a gothic literature expert, please share what I’ve missed in the comments for those that come along in the future.
Sign up is closed.
It’s time for another tour! This time, we’re celebrating the writings of John Steinbeck.
John Steinbeck lived from 1902 to 1968, writing more than two dozen books, including fiction, nonfiction, and stories. Steinbeck won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for The Grapes of Wrath, and in 1962, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, an award given to an author with the best body of work.
I’d like to thank Karen from Books and Chocolate for her help in compiling this information.
The button is a government image of an Okie family packing up their car to travel out of the dust bowl during the Great Depression. Since this is the subject Steinbeck’s Pultizer Prize-winning novel (The Grapes of Wrath), it seemed a significant image to use to promote our own tour around the blogosphere. Feel free to download the button for your own use.
Although the tour dates are not determined yet, the tour will probably run beginning August 15 and going until about August 26, depending on how many people have signed up. We will email an assigned day. You are to post on your blog on your assigned day.
If you are coming to this late and would really like to participate, send an email to rebecca[at]rebeccareid[dot]com with your blog url, the book you’d like to write about, and your available days. Please contact me before the tour begins.
Welcome to Dueling Authors: Charles Dickens vs. Jane Austen! Below, you can read brief summaries of the lives and major works of both authors along with other bloggers’ and readers’ thoughts on these works. And then, sign up for this upcoming Classics Circuit tour (tentatively scheduled for May 8 – 21 depending on the number of people joining in).
This tour is pretty self-explanatory – to participate you can read and write anything written by Charles Dickens or Jane Austen. This time around we won’t be including any including any biographical works or outside sources on the authors. They will be duking it out mano y mano, so to speak, for the the title of best known/best loved classic English author. (Listed below are the major works of both authors, but feel free to write in another novel or collection of stories if you don’t see it here.)
Book and author information compiled from Wikipedia, Goodreads and Amazon by: Karen and Nicole. Bloggers and readers are noted by their review quotations. Button design: Rebecca. (Images used under CC license: Byzantin3 and echoln.)
One of the most beloved authors in English Literature (and perhaps the world), Jane Austen was born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. She lived with her family at Steventon until they moved to Bath when her father retired in 1801. After his death in 1805, she moved around with her mother; in 1809, they settled in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire. Here she remained, except for a few visits to London, until in May 1817 she moved to Winchester to be near her doctor. There she died on 18 July 1817.
Works by Jane Austen
Jane Austen produced only six novels, two of which were published posthumously after her death in 1817.
Sense and Sensibility (1811)
‘The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!’
Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.
- “I felt that this book was much lighter than any of Jane Austen’s other works. Many of her common themes show up (death, sickness, betrayal), but not in as much abundance and it is taken in a much less serious mood. The characters have their flaws, but they ultimately end up being endearing.” (The Broke and the Bookish)
Pride and Prejudice (1813)
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. Renowned literary critic and historian George Saintsbury in 1894 declared it the “most perfect, the most characteristic, the most eminently quintessential of its author’s works,” and Eudora Welty in the twentieth century described it as “irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.”
“The wit of Jane Austen has for partner the perfection of her taste.”
- “There’s not much to the storyline at all. I could sum up the events of this story in a paragraph lined with a few sentences… no problem! Rather, it’s the addiction to discover the inner workings of the minds of the characters. As a reader, I couldn’t wait to see Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy find a way to one another…” (A Novel Menagerie)
Mansfield Park (1814)
‘We have all been more or less to blame … every one of us, excepting Fanny’
Taken from the poverty of her parents’ home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally. When Fanny’s uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry’s attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary’s dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawford’s influence and finds herself more isolated than ever. A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen’s most profound works.
- “Among Austen’s heroines, Fanny Price is an anomaly. She’s not lively. She’s not witty. She’s so shy and eager to be ignored that Edmund accuses her of being a masochist–although not in so many words.” (Literary Omnivore)
‘I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall’
Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr. Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protégée Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.
- “Reading Emma made me feel like I had moved to Highbury and become one of its inhabitants. I lost myself in Emma’s world, and soon discovered that I cared about the fate of each and every one of the characters.” (Things Mean A Lot)
‘She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older – the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.’ Anne Elliot seems to have given up on present happiness and has resigned herself to living off her memories. More than seven years earlier she complied with duty: persuaded to view the match as imprudent and improper, she broke off her engagement to a naval captain with neither fortune, ancestry, nor prospects. However, when peacetime arrives and brings the Navy home, and Anne encounters Captain Wentworth once more, she starts to believe in second chances. Persuasion celebrates romantic constancy in an era of turbulent change. Written as the Napoleonic Wars were ending, the novel examines how a woman can at once remain faithful to her past and still move forward into the future.
- “Though I will *admit* that it perhaps isn’t a book that will “grab” you from page one. It might take some patience and effort, but give it a chapter or two (or three) and you might just find yourself swept up in the story of Anne Elliot.” (Becky’s Book Reviews)
Northanger Abbey (1818)
A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody.” Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist. The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art. Executed with high-spirited gusto, Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen’s novels, yet at its core this delightful novel is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage.
- “I was surprised, though – it’s a lot more tongue-in-cheek than I was expecting, even compared to Austen’s other novels, and not at all shy about poking fun both at its characters and at the elements of the real world that inspired them.” (Fyrefly’s Book Blog)
One of the most well known and beloved authors in the world, Charles Dickens was born at Portsmouth, England, on February 7, 1812. Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836. The couple had ten children. He published over a dozen major novels, a large number of short stories, plays, and several non-fiction books. Dickens’s novels were initially serialised in weekly and monthly magazines, then reprinted in standard book formats. He was well known for his realism and shedding light on social ills of his time. Dickens died in his home on June 8, 1970 the day after suffering a stroke.
The Works of Charles Dickens
The Pickwick Papers (1836)
The Pickwick Club was founded by the most learned minds in London for the purpose of making a scientific tour of the world. No sooner have the distinguished members begun their historic journey than they are set upon by a charming but notorious con man. So begins a series of hilarious misadventures that takes the incorrigibly innocent Pickwicks wandering around England, coming in contact with some of the most colorful and comical characters in all fiction.
- “Dickens’ first novel shows his comic gift and knack for character development. Really a string of connected episodes rather than a complex novel as he later created, this is still an enjoyable romp.” (Brad, Goodreads)
The Adventures of Oliver Twist (1837)
This darkly satiric indictment of the social ills of Victorian London tells the story of a young orphan who becomes involved with a gang of criminals.
- “I really enjoyed this. Some classics are difficult to get through, but not this. The conditions for England’s poor at the time Dickens wrote this were so wretched that at times, I almost had to laugh, otherwise I’d cry.” (Open Mind, Insert Book)
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (1839)
Following the success of “Pickwick Papers” and “Oliver Twist”, “Nicholas Nickleby” was hailed as a comic triumph and firmly established Dickens as a ‘literary gentleman’. It has a full supporting cast of delectable characters that range from the iniquitous Wackford Squeers and his family, to the delightful Mrs Nickleby, taking in the eccentric Crummles and his travelling players, the Mantalinis, the Kenwigs and many more. Combining these with typically Dickensian elements of burlesque and farce, the novel is eminently suited to dramatic adaptation. So great was the impact as it left Dickens’ pen that many pirated versions appeared in print before the original was even finished.
“His idiosyncratic characters each have an unmistakable and unforgettable voice. His highly crafted language is endlessly inventive and evocative. Finally, he created a parade of some of the funniest, evilest, and most pathetic characters one will ever encounter and although extreme, they also ring true to equivalent characters from any time.” (Brad, Goodreads)
The Old Curiosity Shop (1840)
The Old Curiosity Shop is a story of the road, a genre at which Dickens excelled. Little Nell and her grandfather, pursued relentlessly through England by the evil and loathsome dwarf Quilp, meet a fascinating variety of vividly portrayed characters, including Mrs. Jarley, and Codlin and Short, the Punch and Judy men.
- “I’m a big fan of chunky books with endless descriptions and characters, numerous plots, etc. If it doesn’t possess these qualities, it rarely keeps my attention. The Old Curiosity Shop does have these details, and it is simply perfect for your favorite chair, cold months, and hot drink. The story is interesting, and savory. It takes a while to move along at times, with many characters and incidents, yet all these are pulled together in the end and you’ll see that they all have a reason.” (Courtney, Goodreads)
Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty (1841)
Barnaby, a kind, half-witted young man, joins the Gordon rioters to proudly carry their banner. Along the way we get to meet Barnaby’s murderous father, the hangman Dennis, and the madcap Hugh. There are vivid scenes of pillage, battles and executions as well as myriad characters who are grim, romantic and humorous.
- “A writer of enormous creativity and unrivaled skill at depicting original characters, Dickens had enormous trouble with his young heroes and heroines. These characters are the greatest flaw in his early novels.” (Wuthering Expectations)
A Christmas Carol (1843)
A Christmas Carol is the first in a series of five novels that Charles Dickens wrote for the Christmas Season. A Christmas Carol is a Victorian morality tale of an old and bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve night. If the experience doesn’t change Scrooge’s ways, he will end up walking the Earth forever being nothing but an invisible and lonely ghost, like his deceased friend Jacob Marley.
- “Dickens is a master at metaphor, comparing Scrooge to weather “The cold within him froze his old features….A frosty rime was on his head…” indicating that not only is Scrooge an icy creature, but also a force of nature. The details are marvelous and one finds new ones with each reading.” (Vulpes Libres)
Dombey and Son (1848)
Dombey and Son is the story of Mr. Dombey, the proud, rich owner of a shipping house, whose selfishness has tragic consequences for his family. As his world collapses around him, Dombey becomes a sad figure, estranged from his mistreated though ever-sympathetic daughter Florence.
- “Dombey and Son is richer, the best characters are more complex, and the structure is innovative, even surprising. The first quarter or so really builds to a moving and significant climax. I can see why someone might single this part out as a great favorite. Then there are seven hundred more pages. Long book, ain’t it? The long part two builds to a satisfying end as well, although Dickens seems to need more plotty nonsense to get there.” (Wuthering Expectations)
David Copperfield (1850)
From seaside Yarmouth to London and beyond, as plots and counterplots effortlessly interweave into one intricate, grand design, David Copperfield captures the brightness, magic and terror of the world as seen through the eyes of a child: his bafflement turning to self-awareness and his young heart growing ever more disciplined and true.
- “So, I didn’t like David Copperfield (the hero I mean), and I wouldn’t have liked the book either if not for the really interesting secondary characters. There is Agnes – David’s good and wise childhood friend who is in love with him, David’s silly wife – Dora, the perennially in debt Micawbers, the evil albino Uriah Heep, the sentimental and kind Mr. Peggotty, David’s aunt – the strong, feminist Betsey Trotwood…so many people to keep track of…but good fun anyway.” (Nishita’s Rants and Raves)
Bleak House (1853)
Bleak House is a satirical look at the Byzantine legal system in London as it consumes the minds and talents of the greedy and nearly destroys the lives of innocents–a contemporary tale indeed. Dickens’s tale takes us from the foggy dank streets of London and the maze of the Inns of Court to the peaceful countryside of England. Likewise, the characters run from murderous villains to virtuous girls, from a devoted lover to a “fallen woman,” all of whom are affected by a legal suit in which there will, of course, be no winner.
- “This novel held me unsure of my feelings for it over a number of months. Split into two narratives, Esther’s and a unknown narrators, we view all manner of peoples lives, many who are only barely linked to Esther’s story. And while I loved her narrative, which focused on just the few people she met, I dislike the other narrative which introduced too many characters and was hard to follow.” (Katrina’s Reads)
Hard Times (1854)
Dickens’s widely read satirical account of the Industrial Revolution. Dickens creates the Victorian industrial city of Coketown, in northern England, and its unforgettable citizens, such as the unwavering utilitarian Thomas Gradgrind and the factory owner Josiah Bounderby, and the result is his famous critique of capitalist philosophy, the exploitative force he believed was destroying human creativity and joy.
- “This book had some fine writing, a good variety of characters, plenty of British understated witticisms, and an intriguing story. But, frankly, I found it too depressing.” (Worthwhile Books)
Little Dorrit (1857)
The story of William Dorrit, imprisoned for debt in Marshalsea Prison, and his daughter and helpmate, Amy, or Little Dorrit, the novel charts the progress of the Dorrit family from poverty to riches. In his Introduction, David Gates argues that “intensity of imagination is the gift from which Dickens’s other great attributes derive: his eye and ear, his near-universal empathy, his ability to entertain both a sense of the ridiculous and a sense of ultimate significance.”
- “Little Dorrit is not without problems. The plot sometimes gets a little lost when Dickens is hitting his targets and a few of the sub-plots and characters are not as strong as the others – maybe even a little superfluous. But when it works it is superb, packed with incident and provoking an incredible mix of emotions.” (Fleur Fisher in her world)
A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the aging Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.
- “After the initial hump, I was engaged in the story. To balance my lack of understanding of the French Revolution, I referred to the timeline at the front of my copy, which highlighted both the actual history of the Revolution and the novel’s story as it progressed. By the end of the novel, I was sincerely interested in the story, and I felt emotional engaged when it ended. (Rebecca Reads)
Great Expectations (1861)
Great Expectations is different from the usual Dickensian fare: the story is dark, almost surreal at times, and you’ll find few of the author’s patented comic characters and no comic set pieces. And yet this is arguably the most compelling of Dickens’s novels for, unlike David Copperfield or Martin Chuzzlewit, the reader can never be sure that things will work out for Pip. Even Dickens apparently had his doubts–he wrote two endings for this novel.
- “Though I have repeated the point more than once, but ‘Great Expectations’ is truly an unforgettable book. Combined with prolific writing and memorable characters, this book is something which should be read at least once by all.” (My Love Affair with Books)
Our Mutual Friend (1865)
John Harmon returns to London from exile at his father’s death, to claim his inheritance. But he finds he is eligible only if he marries Bella Wilfer, and in order to observe her character he assumes another identity and secures work with his father’s foreman, Mr. Boffin, who is also Bella’s guardian.
- “It’s certainly his most DICKENSIAN, at least out of the ones I’ve read. There are the weird names, the grotesque characters, the lovable and selfless women in impossible positions, and the pompous rich people. There are page-long descriptive paragraphs about the ickiness that is the river Thames. There is the social commentary, the justice-for-everyone-in-the-end, and the characterization of London that makes me want to never go there without hand sanitizer. BUT. This one has a MYSTERY- and it’s a page turner.” (Dead White Guys)
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit (1868)
Set partly in the United States, this novel includes a searing satire on mid-nineteenth-century America. Martin Chuzzlewit is the story of two Chuzzlewits, Martin and Jonas, who have inherited the characteristic Chuzzlewit selfishness. It contrasts their diverse fates: moral redemption and worldly success for one and increasingly desperate crime for the other. In her Introduction to this new edition, Patricia Ingham discusses how, in writing a story that was meant only to recommend “goodness and innocence,” Dickens succeeded in exploring “the intertwining of moral sensibility and brutality.”
The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)
Edwin Drood is contracted to marry Orphan Rosa, but they break the engagement off-and soon afterwards Edwin disappears. Is it murder? And is his jealous uncle-a sinister choirmaster with a double life and designs on Rosa-the killer? Dickens died before completing the story, leaving the mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to turn detective. In addition to its tantalizing crime, the novel also offers a characteristically Dickensian mix of the fantastical world of the imagination and a vibrantly journalistic depiction of gritty reality.
- “I loved reading this. First of all, does Dickens just love orphans or what? And then there is the names! They crack me up. Like Rosa Bud….seriously? Here’s some more characters: Reverend Crisparkle, Durdles (the creepy stonemason of the crypt), Princess Puffer (the opium queen), Miss Twinkleton, and Mr. Honeythunder. O my gosh.” (Life and Times of A New New Yorker)
Tentative tour dates are May 8 to May 21. Sign up will remain open until the Tuesday, April 19.
The “Lost generation” is a term popularized by Ernest Hemingway and credited to Gertrude Stein. It refers to the persons who came of age and were called to service during the “Great War.” Many of the writers of the “lost generation” had gathered in Paris during the 1920s, and formed a literary circle that experimented with a modernist style and expression. See Wikipedia for more details.
Because this subject can technically include many authors, I’ve felt the need to limit this introductory post in some way. I’ve listed below details and books by some of the main authors of the American expatriate “lost generation.” These authors were part of the movement in Paris. The following authors link to more information below.
- Gertrude Stein (who coined the term and coached the writers)
- Ernest Hemingway
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- T.S. Eliot
- Ezra Pound
Other authors that may be considered lost generation are listed without book lists. Their names link to a Wikipedia page about them so you can do further research if you’d like to read one of these authors for the tour. These authors may not have been expatriates in the tight circle of “lost generation” writers, but they still may be considered “lost generation.”
- Sherwood Anderson
- Hart Crane
- E.E. Cummings
- John Dos Passos
- William Faulkner
- Zelda Fitzgerald
- Alan Seeger
If you want to read someone not on these lists, I ask that at least the author you choose to read is an American who was writing in the 1920s or 1930s. The work does not need to have been written in the 1920s (it may have been written sooner or later than that), but since those are the active years of the “lost generation,” the author you choose to read should have been a writer during those years.
Tentative tour dates are March 21 to April 1. Sign up will remain open until the March 2.
Sign up is now closed. If you’d still liked to join the tour, send an email to rebecca[at]rebeccareid[dot]com and we’ll fit you in.
Welcome to a brief introduction to Ancient Greek Classics! Below, you can read other blogger’s and reader’s thoughts on ancient works and you can sign up for the upcoming (late January) Classics Circuit tour.
Although dates are tentative, the Ancient Greek tour will probably begin Monday, January 24, 2011 and will run for between five days (ending January 28) and ten days (ending February 4), depending on the number of people who join the tour.
For this tour, you can read and write about anything written in Ancient Greece before 338 B.C.E., which was when Philip of Macedon had overtaken all the Greek city states and the Hellenistic age begins. (See note below about flexibility. We aren’t picky.) Below, I have information about epic poets, lyric poetry, Greek tragedy, Greek comedy, historians and philosophers.
About the Classics Circuit: The Classics Circuit: Ancient Greek Classics Tour is a blog tour of Ancient Greek classics. Participants select a work to read and let us know of the selection. Via email, we will assign participants a day to post about the work. On the assigned days, participants post about the work on their blogs. Participants write in their own style, for whatever length of post they’d like. After the tour is over, we will post on our site a list of permalinks to all those who participated in the tour. Note that you must have a blog to participate. Only one day will be included on the tour schedule and only one post linked to on the permalink post, although bloggers may post as many times as they want during the tour.
Get ideas of what to read after the jump.
Sign up is currently closed. If you’d still like to participate in this tour, please send an email to rebecca[at]rebeccareid[dot]com with the following information: your blog name and url, the work you’d like to read for the tour, and any date preferences.
Anthony Trollope was born in London in 1815. When he died in 1882, he’d written 70 major works, including novels, stories, sketches, essays, and travelogues. Our hopes are that this Classics Circuit appropriately recognizes his talent.
The tour will be shorter this time around, as I plan on changing the set up of the tour to be a little more cohesive. Dates are tentative, although I anticipate that the Anthony Trollope Tour will begin on December 6 and run until December 17.
I have prepared this introduction in a slightly different way than I have in the past. I’m letting my fellow bloggers and book reviewers speak for each book. Instead of including summaries of each book, I’ve linked the title, where available, to Wikipedia’s summary of the book. (Although note that the bulk of the Wikipedia entry may include plot details.) Also, after each book title, I’ve included a blurb from a blog, a LibraryThing review, or an Amazon review. Often those reviews contain basic plot information without spoilers, and you should be able to get a general idea about what the book is about and whether you will enjoy it.
It is my hope that this list and the praise from fellow readers will help you get ideas about which Anthony Trollope novel (or nonfiction) you would like to read for the tour. Please note that I personally am not an expert on Anthony Trollope. I’m just a reader like you hoping to enjoy this journey.
There are sections on this page for Anthony Trollope’s two major series, The Chronicles of Barsetshire and the Palliser Novels, as well as sections for other major works, lesser-known works, and works Trollope wrote without online summaries or reviews. Anything by Anthony Trollope would work for this tour, even if it’s not listed below.
About the Classics Circuit. The Classics Circuit: Anthony Trollope Tour is a blog tour of Trollope’s works. Participants select a work to read and let us know of the selection. Via email, we will assign participants a day to post about the work. On the assigned days, participants post about the work on their blogs. Participants write in their own style, for whatever length of post they’d like. After the tour is over, we will post on our site a list of permalinks to all those who participated in the tour. Note that you must have a blog to participate.
Sign up is open until Wednesday, November 3 in the evening.
Sign up is closed.
The Classics Circuit is pleased to announce an upcoming tour! In the Land of the Rising Sun tour, we will be exploring Meiji-era Japanese Classics.
As the Western novel writing influences entered Japan after 1868, literature became a blend of western and classics Asian styles. Themes in Meiji literature were the relationship between westernization and the Japanese cultural tradition and the structural poverty of the general public.
The tour will be shorter this time around, as we both anticipate a smaller tour and we will be changing the tours to be a little more cohesive. The Land of the Rising Sun tour will begin on October 25 and run until November 5.
Although we highlight some Meiji authors below, for this tour, you can read anything written between 1868 and 1912 in Japan, or anything by an author indicated below. You’ll note that Natsume Soseki was the most prolific author in this group. If you have trouble finding the others in your library or bookstore, Soseki might be the choice for you.
About the Classics Circuit. The Classics Circuit: Land of the Rising Sun Meiji Tour is a blog tour of Meiji era authors. Participants select a work to read and let us know of the selection. Via email, we will assign participants a day to post about the work. Participants find their own copy of the work and read it. On the assigned days, participants post about the work on their blogs. Participants write in their own style, for whatever length of post they’d like. After the tour is over, we will post on our site a list of permalinks to all those who participated in the tour. Note you must have a blog to participate.
Sign up is currently closed. If you are coming here late and would still like to join, please send an email to rebecca[at]rebeccareid[dot]com . The Tour will run for five days, from November 1 until November 5. Please only sign up if you intend to read and then post about your selected work.
On June 21, we will begin a new Classics Circuit, the White Nights on the Neva: Russian Imperial Literature. Depending on the number of people who sign up, it will run for three or four weeks, that is, until July 11 or July 17.
The nineteenth century is generally known as the “golden era” of Russian literature, and this tour is our opportunity to embrace it. Romanticism flourished with Alexander Pushkin’s poetry, followed by many other poets, such as Mikhail Lermontov. For those outside of Russia, the prose writers are possibly more well known: Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Anton Chekhov, as well as Goncharov.
While on this information page we highlight some of the most well known novels and stories by these authors, any author or writing from the golden age of Russian literature (19th century) is suitable for the tour. This list is just to give you ideas and get you started if you are a newbie. Some of these works are quite long, but most authors also wrote short stories. Choose something you have time to read for the Circuit and enjoy! For more information and other authors you may want to consider, see Wikipedia.
Sign up is now closed.
If you missed sign up and would still like to participate in the tour, please send an email to the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see if we can add you to the schedule.
Time to pull out your magnifying glasses, examine all the clues, and figure out “whodunit” because the many wonderful authors from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction will be touring the Classics Circuit in May and June!
The 1920s and 1930s are often referred as the Golden Age of Detective Fiction because of the flourishing of the genre during those years. Some of the most famous mystery writers ever were writing during that period, and their works continue to define the mystery genre in the minds of many readers. Most of the authors of the Golden Age were British, but some were Americans, and many of these wrote in a more hard-boiled style than their British counterparts.
Read on to find out more about the authors widely considered part of the movement and some of their works from the era. These authors and works (selected from the Wikipedia entries on the Golden Age and the Detection Club) are just a few examples of the wide array of Golden Age Detective Fiction out there, so you don’t need to limit yourself to these writers. We have limited these lists primarily to works published in the 1920s and 1930s that are still in print; however, any detective fiction from the 1920s and 1930s by a now dead author, as well as works by Golden Age authors published outside this 20-year period, would qualify for inclusion. Posts about biographies of the authors or books about detective fiction in the Golden Age would also be welcome on the tour.
Click on the appropriate link below to go directly to a list of each author’s works. Unless otherwise noted, book lists and plot descriptions are from Wikipedia. (Note: We are avoiding spoilers as best we can in our descriptions, but some of the linked plot summaries do give away the solutions to the mysteries, so proceed with caution.)
- The Detection Club
- Margery Allingham
- H.C. Bailey
- Anthony Berkeley
- John Dickson Carr
- Raymond Chandler
- G.K. Chesterton
- Agatha Christie
- Freeman Wills Crofts
- R. Austin Freeman
- Dashiell Hammett
- Michael Innes
- Ngaio Marsh
- Dorothy L. Sayers
- Josephine Tey
See the Golden Age of Detection Wiki for an extensive list of authors and works and links to other resources.
Sign-ups for the tour are closed.
The tour is expected to run from May 17 to June 11.
Beginning Monday, April 19, 2010, Alexandre Dumas will be going on a virtual tour of the blogosphere. Check out these participating blogs where you’ll find reviews of a number his works, as well as general information posts about this classic author.
Feel free to use the button (or perhaps make your own if you’re so inclined). Please download it to your computer before using it.
April 19, 2010 Reading Through Life The Three Musketeers or a post about the relevance of Dumas to adolescent readers
April 20, 2010 Rebecca Reads The Three Musketeers
April 21, 2010 book-a-rama The Wolf Leader
April 21, 2010 First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice The Companions of Jehu
April 22, 2010 Bibliolatry The Black Tulip
April 22, 2010 Semicolon La Reine Margot
April 23, 2010 A Literary Odyssey The Three Musketeers
April 24, 2010 Stiletto Storytime The Queen’s Necklace and/or La Reine Margot
April 25, 2010 Tales of a Capricious Reader The Three Musketeers or The Count of Monte Cristo
April 26, 2010 Badgerish.Net The Companions of Jehu
April 26, 2010 Sparks’ Notes The Three Musketeers
April 27, 2010 One Librarian’sBook Reviews The Man in the Iron Mask
April 27, 2010 In Spring it is the Dawn The Count of Monte Cristo
April 28, 2010 Good Books & Good Wine The Black Tulip
April 28, 2010 Kay’s Bookshelf La Reine Margot
April 29, 2010 Wuthering Expectations “A Gossip on a Novel of Dumas’s” by Robert Louis Stevenson
April 29, 2010 Carol’s Notebook The Three Musketeers
April 30, 2010 A Striped Armchair undecided Dumas
May 1, 2010 Maxine Reads The Count of Monte Cristo
May 2, 2010 Literary Lolita Camille
May 3, 2010 FLY HIGH! The Black Tulip
May 4, 2010 Shelf Love The Count of Monte Cristo
May 4, 2010 Fleur Fisher Reads 1001 Ghosts
May 5, 2010 The Reading Life Georges
May 5, 2010 Daily Words and Acts The Count of Monte Cristo
May 6, 2010 A Book Lover The Three Musketeers
May 7, 2010 Laura’s Reviews The Count of Monte Cristo
May 8, 2010 The Blog Jar The Count of Monte Cristo
May 9, 2010 It’s All About Books Twenty Years After
Please note: If you are participating in this tour and the information above is incorrect or you need to make a change to your tour day, please let us know by leaving a comment or emailing classicscircuit [at] googlegroups [dot] com. Someone from the Committee will update the schedule.
If you missed sign up and you would like to be added to the schedule at this late point, we still have a few free slots and we can still fit you in.