As a literature major, reading classics sort of comes with the territory. I mean, whether I liked it or not? I was going to read the major classics of the languages I was studying. Now, mind you – that didn’t necessarily mean I actually read all of these books for college. Or, at least… Not when my professors asked me to. However, I do think it’s given me the possibility to broaden my horizons a bit. Which probably just means that there’ll be sequels to this post – as I tend to do 🙂 My favorite British classics!
Now, for the sake of this post, I’m focusing on exactly that: books that were written by someone who lived somewhere on the British Isles. I feel like that might still be a fairly broad term, but, you know… I have to limit myself somehow, right?
1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Now, we all know I love Persuasion more than any other of Jane Austen’s works. However, when it comes to absolute “classic”-status, even I have to admit that Pride and Prejudice probably tops the bill. Not only is this book so prototypical for the rest of Austen’s work, more than any other of her novels, the characters have made their way into every day life. I mean, who wouldn’t like a Mr Darcy, right? (Goodreads)
2. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
Don’t get me wrong – I love Bleak House and Christmas Carol, and all that jazz. But, again: it’s this book that everybody knows. It’s also the first of Dickens’ novels I ever came into contact with (because, you know: the musical)… Basically, this one just has a special place in my library. Also – it has a happy ending. So that’s good 🙂 (Goodreads)
3. The Railway Children, E. Nesbit
This is one of my favorite children’s classics as is – I feel like there’ll probably be another post just about those anyways, but I just couldn’t wait to mention this one. As far as the books that perfectly capture that “nostalgic” spirit of the late 19th, early 20th century. Also – I quite like being on trains (at all times) as well. For some reason, that just seems to make me more productive? Either way: another reason to like this book, right? (Goodreads)
4. Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome
While this one is a classic, I do feel that maybe it isn’t quite as known as it ought to be. That is a petty, as it has a really witty style, and I have stated before that I feel as if this is kind of a male version of Jane Austen’s work? It certainly has that same, slightly parody-like style. In short: I love it. (Goodreads)
5. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brönte
This is actually, if you would believe it, another book that I got into because of its adaptation to the screen. In 2009-ish, we went to Switzerland and stayed in an apartment where they had a large collection of dvd’s. Amongst them, a serial adaptation of Jane Eyre. Let’s just put it this way: after that week? We could collectively quote verbatum that series. I’m pretty sure my sister still can, actually. Either way: a new-found love for the Charlotte-Brönte book was born. (And yes – I did eventually get round to reading the actual book!) (Goodreads)
There you have it, that’s 5 of my favorite British classics! Are there any you feel should definitely have been on there? Be sure to let me know below!