Victorian Literature Challenge

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let the challenges begin! In the last two weeks I have seen 2011 reading challenges popping up all over the blogosphere. I can’t believe it’s already time for that! I will probably join a couple challenges for 2011, but I’m trying to reign myself in a bit. I tend to want to join every single one I hear about, because I love making lists and crossing things off.

Bethany is hosting the
Victorian Literature Challenge at words, words, words and I can’t help myself. There are so many Victorian era authors I love and a dozen more that have been on my TBR list for too long. So here are some of the details (you can visit her site for the rest)… 

This challenge will run from Jan. 1, 2011 - Dec. 31, 2011.

Participants can sign up at any time throughout the year.

Read your Victorian literature.

Queen Victoria reigned from 1837-1901. If your book wasn't published during these particular years, but is by an author considered "Victorian," go for it. We're here for reading! Also, this can include works by authors from other countries, so long as they are from this period.

Literature comes in many forms.

There are so many Victorian reads out there, including novels, short stories, and poetry. One poem doesn't count as a "book," though. Instead, pick up an anthology instead!

Choose from one of the four levels:
Sense and Sensibility: 1 - 4 books

Great Expectations: 5 - 9 books 

Hard Times: 10 - 14 books
Desperate Remedies: 15+ books

1) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (1895)
2) Villette by Charlotte Bronte (1853)

3) The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1902)
4) Middlemarch by George Eliot (1874)
5) David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (1850)

6) Lady Susan by Jane Austen (1871) 
7) The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1881)
8) The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905)

9) Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)10) The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (1897)
11) Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)
12) North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1855)
13) The Warden by Anthony Trollope (1855)

14) Heidi by Johanna Spyri (1880)
15) Kim by Rudyard Kipling (1901)

16) Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac (1846)
17) King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard (1885)
18) Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1869)

19) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844)
20) The Yellow Wall-Paper and Other Writings by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1892)
21) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1869)

22) A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1887)
23) Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (1845)

Despite my giant list, I’m committing to the Great Expectations level of 5 to 9 books. But I tend to get a bit ambitious with these things and I might end up doing the Desperate Remedies level (15+), we’ll see. I figured I would list 20 I want to get to this year, then I will hopefully read at least half of them.

I haven’t read any of the books on this list, but Austen, Dickens, Doyle, Bronte, James and Wharton are old favorites and I try to read at least one new thing from each of them each year.

I’ve read books by Gaskell, Verne, Kipling, Collins, Eliot and Wells, but want to get to know each author better.

I have never read anything by Trollope, Thackeray, Spyri, Balzac, Haggard, Gilman, Hardy or Dumas, but have always wanted to. I didn’t want to read any author twice for this challenge, so that’s the list I’m going to be choosing from.

Happy reading to all and I hope some of you join in on this challenge if it sounds like fun.

***UPDATE: The books I completed are in bold above. I read 15 books for the challenge and completed the Desperate Remedies Level!**


Bethany said...

The first four are on my list :) It's good to have a big list, and you can always up your level if you want to.

I'm basically recommending everyone to get some Hardy into their challenge. Heheh.

Amanda said...

I feel like I'm the only blogger who isn't signing up for this one...

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I am also joining this one and cannot wait -- I needed something like this to get me back into the Victorian reading. There are so many that I have wanted to read, and this challenge gives me a much-needed excuse to read them.

Tasha said...

This looks like a fun challenge. Of your list, I have read Middlemarch, The Port of a Lady, The House of Mirth, The Moonstone, and The Count of Monte Cristo, all of which I enjoyed. If you read Middlemarch, I would suggest keeping a list of all the characters -- there are a lot of them!

Ana S. said...

I could pretty much steal your gigantic list! Good luck and have fun. I'm trying to resist most challenges for next year, but we'll see how that goes :P

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Bethany - This will be my first Hardy, so I'm excited.

Amanda - Not too late, just saying, (book peer pressure).

Coffee -Yay! I agree, it's great to have fellow readers to keep you accountable.

Charley - Thanks for the tip, I'll take notes on Middlemarch.

Nymeth - I'm going to try to cut down on challenges as well, but I couldn't resist this one.

Teacher/Learner said...

Best of luck on this challenge! I like your idea of listing lots of books so you're not tied down & have flexibility in your choices.

BookQuoter said...

I have read two - Jude and House of Mirth, both I really liked. You have three that are on my tentative list so far- the Warden, Hound of Baskervilles and Middlemarch! I should probably decide very soon!

Enbrethiliel said...


We have three titles in common: The Invisble Man, King Solomon's Mines, and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea.

Three cheers for Victorian-style Action-Adventure! =D

LindyLouMac said...

I have signed up for the challenge as lots sitting on my bookshelf! How did you make the button smaller to fit your blog, it is a little big on mine.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

BookQuoter - I think House of Mirth is the one I'm looking forward to the most. I'm a bit nervous about Hardy.

Enbrethiliel - I checked your post, clearly we were both thinking of the League GN, love it.

LindyLouMac - I used the link Bethany put up on the original challenge. I think the size of mine has more to do with my blog layout.

Care said...

I always try to read at least one famous classic every year but I won't be signing up for the official challenge. Bytheway, The Yellow Wallpaper will take you 30 minutes to read - go do it! It's awesome.

Trish said...

That's a pretty comprehensive list you've got and it's given me some ideas :)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Care - That's good to know about Yellow Wallpaper. I'm not too familiar with that one. Some of the books on my list are pretty chunky, so it'll be good to have a shorter one in the mix.