Category Archives: Classsics 2017

Book 26 – David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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I honestly can’t remember if I’ve read David Copperfield before or not. I might have done, many years ago, but I also might just have picked up the basic storyline from watching a film or TV adaptation. It’s a long old read, but a cracking novel and provided a real Christmas treat. I know some people struggle with Dickens, but am not entirely sure why. He’s not a hard read (bit wordy maybe), the plot and (many) subplots race along with cliffhangers galore and the characters sparkle on every page.

And Dickens is the master of description. As an example, here is the introduction to Miss Murdstone, David Copperfield’s cruel step-aunt:

“It was Miss Murdstone who arrive, and a gloomy-looking lady she was; dark, like her brother, whom she greatly resembled in face and voice; and with very heavy eyebrows, nearly meeting over her large nose, as if, being disabled by the wrongs of her sex from wearing whiskers, she had carried them to that account. She brought with her two uncompromising hard black boxes, with her initials on the lids in hard brass nails. When she paid the coachman she took her money out of a hard steel purse, and she kept the purse in a very jail of a bag which hung upon her arm by a heavy chain, and shut up like a bite. I had never, at that time, seen such a metallic lady altogether as Miss Murdstone was”.

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Book 19 – Swann’s Way

Sorry, I don’t care how wonderful it is in the French, in English it’s turgid and dull.

Book fail: I only got to P45.

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Book 16 – A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

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Wow, I had no idea. I’ve not really read any Woolf so far, but I’d this is anything to go by I’ll be reading much more. Second wave feminism being expounded 30 years before the first wave got going. And such writing.

(PS I’ve only read the first essay so far, may come back to Three Guineas later)

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Book 13 – Emma by Jane Austen 

I will never, ever tire of this novel. That’s all.

(ps, Clueless is the best film version, no contest)

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Book 1 – The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 

I was surprised how much I liked this book. I was expecting it to be a fairly turgid, Victorian morality tale. But I found it a very sensitive and warm novel.Yes it was all about guilt, hypocrisy and sin. And yes, it described a Puritan society that seemed to be enslaved to Old Testament legalism.  But who are we to judge, who didn’t create a new society from nothing. A recommend.

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