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.