Turn of the Century Salon: January – An Introduction

Turn of the Century Salon

During 2013 I am going to be taking part in the Turn of the Century Salon, hosted by Katherine of November’s Autumn. The idea of the salon is to read and discuss classics from the late 1880s to the early 1930s.

This month Katherine has asked a few questions to help us introduce ourselves…

What era have you mainly read? Georgian? Victorian? Which authors?

I’ve definitely read more classics from the Victorian era than any other period. I love Wilkie Collins, the Brontë sisters (all three), Thomas Hardy, Anthony Trollope, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Alexandre Dumas.

What Classics have you read from the 1880s-1930s? What did you think of them?

When I first saw this question, I could think of very few classics I had read from this period (the only one that came instantly to mind was The Great Gatsby). Then I had a look back at my list of books read since I started blogging and discovered that I had actually read a lot more than I thought I had! Here are some of the books from the 1880s-1930s that I’ve read in the last few years (I haven’t listed all of them):

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (published 1889)
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (published 1895)
Ann Veronica by H.G. Wells (published 1909)
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (published 1911)
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West (published 1918)
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim (published 1922)
Orlando by Virginia Woolf (published 1928)
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (published 1929)

Name some books you’re looking forward to read for the salon.

I don’t really like making reading plans in advance as I never manage to stick to them, but here are some books I would like to read for the salon, listed in order of publication. I won’t necessarily read all of these and will almost certainly also read other books I haven’t mentioned here.

Germinal by Emile Zola (published 1885)
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (published 1886)
The Odd Women by George Gissing (published 1893)
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (published 1905)
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (published 1908)
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (published 1915)
The Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham (published 1925)

Is your preference prose? poetry? both?

Definitely prose!

12 thoughts on “Turn of the Century Salon: January – An Introduction

    • Helen says:

      I’ve been wanting to read The House of Mirth for a long time so I’ll make an effort to get round to reading it this year. It’s good to know that you and your book group enjoyed it.

  1. Charlie says:

    Interesting time period to choose. I’m not sure I’ve read many books of that era either (though unlike you I think I’d find that to be true… I suddenly feel less well read). I haven’t read the books on your list, but know enough to believe you’ll enjoy the salon!

    • Helen says:

      I was surprised to discover how many turn of the century books I’ve actually read. I’ve always felt more comfortable reading the Victorians and don’t actively look for books from this era.

  2. Cat says:

    You have a few titles that also appear on my list and it sounds as though I should add The Painted Veil to it as well. I’m thinking of reading The Good Soldier next – that first line intrigues me.

  3. heidenkind says:

    I absolutely loved Nana by Emile Zola; it was like being drop-kicked into the 19th Century. And The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton is one of my favorite books of all time.

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