What follows is a light-hearted escapade through the tropes and clichés of rural melodramas complete with a happy ending and a lot of jokes at the expense of 1930s high society and their ideas about farming and the poorer classes. This is a review of Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm.
I had read some of Murdoch’s work previously, but I admit that I wanted this set because the book design was gorgeous from the covers to the selection of typeface and the ratio of text to margins. This is a review of Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea.
This particular book I found in a bargain bin in a used bookstore and, when I went to research it, found very little information on it and only about three paragraphs of information on the author. This is a review of Anne Douglas Sedgwick’s The Dull Miss Archinard.
This book is one of the prettiest ones that I have come across in recent time in terms of book design and binding. However, it is definitely a work that should be limited to those that have a knowledge of the time in which it was produced or are studying this specific era of literature or history. This is a review of George du Maurier’s Trilby.
Sometimes when the New Year is young, it’s easy to look back on other times of transition. I know a lot of fiction describes a moment where suddenly one transitions from childhood to adulthood, but I think the reality is that childhood ends in a series of moments, realizations, and formative events. This is a review of May Sinclair’s Mary Olivier. The book is a 1919 first edition.
I’ve been reading classic literature since I was very young, but the work of Austen was a blind spot for me. Mostly, that had to do with the way acquaintances pushed me to read them. Bright. Sparkly. Light. Romantic. Those are not the words that draw me to literature. They also weren’t the entire picture of either the novels or the author. This is a review of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
The romance of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw is one of the most well known in English literature. The narrative proceeds in twists and turns that never lack for dramatic flair. This is review of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights — an essential ghost story as much as an essential romance.
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.
As much as I rarely buy newly published books, I make exceptions for curations of ghost stories and new printings of old, often forgotten work. This is a special Halloween review of Weird Women and Haunted Houses.