Last week, Ginger’s post expressed very well her disdain for classics. We welcome her honest opinion. So, is classic literature boring? There is a chasm between lovers and haters of classic lit. Most of us developed strong feelings for the classics early, probably in high school, when we had to read things like The Crucible, Animal House, and Les Miserables…
I admit, I was bored too, in high school. But as I read over the list, my eyes were arrested by Aesop’s Fables, Robinson Crusoe, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland…just to name a few. What would my childhood have been without these wonderful stories in it? They, and others like them, kindled my fertile imagination.
My childhood was not always easy, so I often looked for escape in the pages of the wonderful books named above, and in many others. My all-time favorite top-of-list is The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, (1911). I also loved Little Women (1868) and Little Men (1871) by Louisa May Alcott. And how many little girls growing up in the twentieth century loved The Little House on the Prairie Books? My heart still thrills every time I hear the name Laura Ingalls Wilder. More than any other series of stories, her books made me want to write.
What about Mark Twain’s books? I read them and was delighted by the humor and voice. I grew up in the South, between two brothers, one of whom could have easily passed for Tom Sawyer. The Prince and the Pauper. How many times did I dream of something like that happening to me?
Okay, enough rambling. I may be boring you even more than some of the titles on the classics list. I set aside my love for all things Austen and picked out a few of my other personal favorites:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll (1865)
Alice: Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll (1871)
The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling (1894)
Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie (1911)
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson (1881)
Swiss Family Robinson, Johann David Wyss (1812)
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (1908)
The Call of the Wild, Jack London (1903)
The Red Badge of Courage (Short Fiction), Stephen Crane (1895)
O.Henry’s Short Stories (1903-17)
The Time Machine, H.G. Wells (1895)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum (1900)
Mary Poppins (Series), P.L. Travers (illustrated by Mary Shepard) (1934-68)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith (1943)
Nancy Drew Mysteries, Various Authors, (1934-present)
As noted in my first post on classics, the list at this link supplies the published date, so you can easily find books to include in your historical novel. The list also provides many direct links to read these classics. So, if you are interested in increasing your awareness of classic literature, the blog’s author makes it easy. And don’t miss the Modern Classics list, which includes Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Faulkner.
Perhaps my mentions and list above have convinced you classics are not all boring. Or maybe you are more convinced than ever that they are. It matters not. The main purpose of our posts this month is to provide information and positively edify your creative aspirations (see our mission statement). But if I have also encouraged you to expand your literary boundaries, that would please me very much.
Be a Winner!! This month, we’re offering a ten-dollar Amazon gift certificate for one of our commenters on the “Classic Literature” posts. You can either complete one of our prompts or comment on our post. Think of the books you can order on Amazon! Let us know how you feel about classic lit. What is your all-time favorite book or story? Which of our present-day books do you think will make the classics list of tomorrow?
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Today’s Prompt: If I had access to a time machine, I would definitely travel to (insert date here) so I could…