Looking back at the Women’s Classic Literature Event

Womens Classic Literature Event

During the last three months of 2015 and throughout 2016, I have been taking part in the Women’s Classic Literature Event hosted by the Classics Club. The idea was simply to read classics written by women, a classic being defined as any type of work (novels, essays, biographies etc) which was preferably published before 1960.

Here are the books I’ve read for this event which were already on my Classics Club list:

My Ántonia by Willa Cather
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

Wide Sargasso Sea was published in 1966, but I think most people would agree that it’s a classic!

There are also two more books by Woolf which I read for Ali’s #Woolfalong:

Flush by Virginia Woolf
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

I can’t say that I loved all of these books, but I did find them all interesting, worthwhile reads. I particularly enjoyed Kristin Lavransdatter, Wives and Daughters, Flush and my re-read of Jane Eyre.

However, I have also read other books by women which may or may not be considered classics in the same way as the books above. Because they fit the Classics Club’s definition of a classic for this event, I’m going to mention some of them here.

Non-Combatants and Others

* I’ve read books by authors who are new to me – Non-Combatants and Others by Rose Macaulay, The Nutmeg Tree and Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp and Mauprat by George Sand – and by authors I’ve read before – Amberwell by D.E. Stevenson, Troy Chimneys by Margaret Kennedy and Poor Caroline by Winifred Holtby.


* I’ve read some historical fiction published before 1960: The White Witch by Elizabeth Goudge, The Rider of the White Horse by Rosemary Sutcliff and several novels by Marjorie Bowen, Dora Greenwell McChesney and Georgette Heyer.

A Shilling for Candles

* I’ve read some classic crime, including A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey, Death in Berlin by MM Kaye and two Agatha Christies (Hercule Poirot’s Christmas and The Labours of Hercules).


* And one non-fiction book – A Chelsea Concerto by Frances Faviell.


So, that sums up my reading over the year-and-three-months of this event! Have you been participating too? What are the best classics written by women that you’ve read recently?

14 thoughts on “Looking back at the Women’s Classic Literature Event

  1. jessicabookworm says:

    Well done on reading so many books by women – off your Classics Club list and all of those less well known classics too! I have just got my own wrap up post up where I was pleased to discover that my final total is 8 books 🙂 Like you, my list includes Daphne du Maurier, Agatha Christie and Elizabeth Gaskell (x2).

  2. looloolooweez says:

    My goodness, I’m just blown away by all this reading you’ve done. I read ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ for this challenge too, so you won’t hear an argument from me about whether it counts as a classic, haha.

    • Helen says:

      Thanks. I didn’t realise I’d read so many classics by women this year until I started to list them all for this post. I’m glad you agree about Wide Sargasso Sea!

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