The Classics Club Challenge (5)

So I haven’t done an update in three months (shocked gasp!) mainly because I haven’t read much classics. Or hardly at all.

News #1: I’ve started Zola’s The Fortune of the Rougons, read the first two chapters, got fed up with his obsession with virgins, and haven’t touched it since.

News #2: I finished another classic! It’s a novella of 70 pages, but I decided to let it count. Quite enjoyable, lots of tongue-in-cheek moments. Oh, and it’s called Mr. Harrison’s Confessions. Some people say it’s a fore-runner to Cranford.

News #3: I’ve started and finished The Doom of the Griffiths, which was tragic and engrossing and had a chillingly beautiful landscape. Review will be up with other two Gaskell short stories, which all will count together as one “book”.

News #4: I’ve started Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell, which is another novella contained in my edition. I’m somehow stuck in the middle, though.  I don’t remember much of details already. Manasseh is the creepy older brother/cousin. Prudence is an occasionally evil brat. The Indian servant likes to scare children. Lois’ uncle is soon dead, and her aunt-in-law is not very welcoming. Faith, the middle cousin, is unlucky in love, I believe? And through all this, the witch craze is going through the country. Oh, Lois is an orphan from England, of course, who sailed across the ocean to the New World after her parents died. Gah, still have a lot to go.

News #5: I’ve started Shirley by Charlotte Brontë. The warning in the first sentence is true, you know. It truly is not another Jane Eyre. Instead, Shirley plays off of another angle – and historical background knowledge is needed here. Napoleonic Wars, industrial unrest in England, United States cutting off trades, Luddite attacks, what-have-you. All of this made it harder to sludge through the book, and the only main character we’ve met so far – Robert Moore – well, isn’t he a bright personality. NO, he’s not, he’s quite sharp and focused and a smart businessman, it seems, but he’s also a little… dull. So far. The heroine that gave the book its name hasn’t even been mentioned, and won’t grace us with her appearance for some time to come, I hear.

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