I've decided to take part in A Victorian Celebration which is being hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey. I've been thinking that I need to get back into a) my classics reading and b) my Project Fill in the Gaps reading, so I'm going to combine the two by tackling this. And by reading some Victorian literature or, as it is also known, huge crazy doorstop books that can be used to ward off intruders if hurled accurately.
Below is a list of my Fill in the Gaps books which qualify for the Celebration - I'm not going to read all of them, but I will aim to read at least two. There, my target is two, or one a month, aka pitiful.
Middlemarch by George Eliot
I have read half of Middlemarch before so I know I'm letting myself in for Rosamund and her idiocy and my intense desire to Thursday Next myself into the book and give her a shake. Which is a shame, because the beginning with Dorothea is awesome.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Think I read the first two chapters years ago, and I've watched quite a bit of the BBC adaptation, but I don't know much about this book. I think it's definitely something I'm going to aim to read, as it seems fun. Also: Tiger Joss.
Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
I love girls' school stories, the few boys' ones I've read I've enjoyed and this is pretty much the grandfather of all school stories. I really should have read it. And it's shorter than a lot of the other books (this is always a consideration).
Villette by Charlotte Bronte
I only have three Bronte books left to read, and they're all Charlotte: The Professor, Shirley and Villette. This is the only one on my Fill in the Gaps list, and I know some people prefer it to Jane Eyre which seems ludicrous because it's Jane Eyre are you mad how could anything be better?, but I think it will be interesting to read, particularly for the autobiographical aspects.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Got halfway through ages ago, and I've watched the BBC adaptation with its Spooks-style editing and ridiculously impressive cast several times ("shake me up, Judy!" and "Sir Lester Dedlock...Baronet" are much quoted amongst my friends), so I really do want to finish this. I want to read more Dickens now I've read Oliver Twist, and this seems like a good place to start as it seems a lot less sentimental than some of his other works.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Yet another book I've read some of, this time for my Victorian Literature module on my MA (Middlemarch was also part of the reading list). I quite like the Cranford chronicles, and Gaskell is someone I want to read more of, given her social conscience and politics. Also, there is a BBC adaptation which I haven't watched, and it's all about the costume dramas with me.
There are other 19th century/Victorian books on my Fill in the Gaps list, but I'm going to stick with these six (for now). I may split posts about them, especially the long ones. And I think I'll pick my first one by the simple method of pulling a title out of a hat - though I may overthrow that and just start on Tom Brown's Schooldays. Or Vanity Fair.