Category Archives: Classics

The Gentlewomen

This 1952 novel by Laura Talbot is about a snob — it says so right in the epigraph, which is a dictionary definition of the word. The snob in question is Miss Bolby, a gentlewoman who prizes her connections above … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 5 Comments

Alas, Poor Lady

This novel by Rachel Ferguson opens in 1936 at a town bazaar. At the event is a group of elderly men and women, formerly of the upper classes, but now in need and receiving assistance. Among those women is a … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 5 Comments

Poor Miss Finch

As you all may be aware, I am a big Wilkie Collins fan. In my view, there’s nothing more fun, or more satisfying for summer reading, than a big old sensationalist Victorian novel — and the more sensationalist the better. … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 6 Comments

Mary Barton

Mary Barton is Elizabeth Gaskell’s first novel. It takes place in the industrial town of Manchester, and (like North and South) it is full of industrial concerns: factories, foundries, trade unions, strikes, wages, masters and men, and the inevitable conflict. … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 2 Comments

The Fortnight in September

Every year, the Stevens family spends two weeks at the seaside in Bognor. The trip involves a series of rituals — they always take the same train, stay in the same boarding house, and engage in many of the same … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 9 Comments

Barnaby Rudge

Before I start my review, you guys, THIS IS MY LAST DICKENS NOVEL! I have now read all of Dickens (if by “all of Dickens” you mean “not his short stories, novellas, newspaper pieces, plays, travelogues, histories, or Edwin Drood.”) … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction | 17 Comments

Clouds of Witness

I began reading Dorothy Sayers about thirty years ago. Maybe even a little longer, actually, when I was around eleven or twelve. I started reading detective fiction with an alarming Agatha Christie binge and some of those Alfred Hitchcock story … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 13 Comments

The Duke’s Children

The final novel in Anthony Trollope’s Palliser series begins with the announcement that Lady Glencora, Duchess of Omnium, has died, leaving her husband Plantagenet Palliser to guide their three children into adulthood. The two sons, Silverbridge and Gerald, have shown … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 7 Comments

The Innocents Abroad

Mark Twain’s story of a cruise on the USS Quaker City from the United States to Europe, down through the Mediterranean, to the Holy Land, and home again, is something I’ve read about all my life. Elnora has her mother … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Nonfiction, Travel/ Exploration | 8 Comments

Ivanhoe

YOU GUYS. I read Ivanhoe and it was the most amazing thing. Walter Scott was extremely popular in his day and had legions of adoring fans and was invited to a private dinner by the Prince Regent so they could … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 31 Comments