A year to visit the classics

As I write this I am also watching the first episode of the second season for Downton Abbey on PBS.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the first four episodes last year and I am anticipating much the same for this season.  I highly recommend the series.  God bless PBS for actually making movies and shows that I actually have a desire to watch (because Hollywood sure isn’t!)

So what I am thinking of doing this year is reading some classics that I didn’t have the opportunity to tackle during my school days.  After being forced to read specific works during school courses, I disliked looking too closely at the literary canon.  In fact I shunned it.  I purposely avoided anything that looked more than 50 years old after I graduated.

Now I believe I am ready to return to those authors and novels that are part of the literary canon.  I want some wildly romantic stuff.  I want darkness and treachery.  I want saucy language.  I want uptight drawing room conversations.  I want farmers, kings, and merchants.  I want peasants, ladies, and brats.  Anything with a broad vocabulary will suffice!

Authors I’d like to tackle:

1.  George Eliot.
2.  Sir Walter Scott.
3.  Alexandre Dumas.
4.  Mary Shelley.
5.  Charles Dickens.
6.  Jonathan Swift.
7.  Thomas Hardy.

There are quite a few books under those names which I have not yet read.  And, maybe I’ll even revisit those I read a long time ago.

It would be noticeable that I did not post Melville on my list.  Why?  Because I would rather stick a fork in my eye than read such dry, ponderous amounts of nothing.  I made it through my entire set of schooling without having had to pick up Moby Dick–a fact of which I am immensely proud!  And, unless the planet goes spinning off into the void, I never will. 

I think I will start with Ivanhoe.

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