What I really loved about this diary was the sheer number of random facts that I learned about the late 18th century. Things like when umbrellas first came into use, or the fact that sometimes visits and dinners were postponed due to the lack of a moon to illuminate the roads.
This November, I want to celebrate that with a month dedicated to essential romance novels from classic literature. Romance is not a genre I often read, but these books have made a profound impact on literature in general, and as such deserve their due consideration and analysis. This is a review of Samuel Richardson’s Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded and two books best read with it Shamela and Joseph Andrews, both by Henry Fielding.
The difficulty of the year has me turning to books more than ever as a soothing distraction and in my search for them I can’t help but notice the decided uptick in plague literature. Most of the books I have seen mentioned I’ve read before all of this began — but this one was sitting in my to-read stacks. This is a review of Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of a Plague Year.
The little details and techniques matter, and can be the difference between a good book and an unforgettable one. This book changed the way I saw font, style, technique, and it showed me the power of humour to be as immortal as literature itself. This is a review of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy.
I’d actually heard of this book several years before finding it by chance on the shelf of the local bookstore. I couldn’t resist purchasing it, if only to find out why it was so heavily referenced. This is a review of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera.
As someone who reads classical literature — a lot of which was around before cameras were common or in some cases existent — instead of photographs, I see a lot of author portraits when I do research. This is a review of The Man of Feeling.
One of the first things you should know about the wide world of antiquarian and rare books is that, though they may be used, they will not necessarily be cheap. This is a review of Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship.
There are some problems that only happen with antiquarian books. Namely, that sometimes you can collect a single work in bits and pieces. This is a review of Jan Potocki’s The Manuscript Found in Saragossa.