This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is “Books with Names/Character Names in the Titles”.
I have decided to focus on classic novels and have listed five female characters and five male – interestingly, I had much more choice when it came to the women! As usual with my Top Ten Tuesday posts, I have tried to stick to books that I’ve read and reviewed on my blog.
1. Ann Veronica by HG Wells – This novel about a young woman’s struggle for independence and her involvement with the suffrage movement isn’t something you would normally associate with science fiction author HG Wells, but I thought it was an interesting read.
2. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier – Du Maurier liked using names in her titles! As well as the most obvious choice, Rebecca, there’s also Julius, Mary Anne – and this one, My Cousin Rachel, a dark and atmospheric novel which is one of my personal favourites by du Maurier.
3. Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore – Set in 17th century England, I loved this novel about a man who falls in love with a woman from a clan of violent outlaws. Although Lorna is the title character, I actually found some of the minor characters more interesting, and I could probably say the same about a few of the other books on this list too.
4. Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell – I’ve read several of Gaskell’s novels and this is one that I particularly liked. Set on the North Yorkshire coast during the Napoleonic Wars it’s a beautifully written novel but I agree with Gaskell when she said it’s “the saddest story I ever wrote”.
5. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë – I’ve chosen to highlight this one rather than Charlotte’s more popular Jane Eyre. Although it’s not one of the strongest novels by the Brontë sisters, I think it deserves to be more widely read. It’s an interesting fact that Shirley was seen as a male name rather than a female one until the publication of this book.
6. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad – I thought this was a fascinating book, but also a difficult one to read and understand because of the structure and the complex, morally ambiguous title character. I can’t really say that I enjoyed it, but I was pleased to at least make it to the end.
7. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens – Another author who used a lot of names in titles! I haven’t read all of them, but those I have read and could have chosen from include Oliver Twist, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Dombey and Son. I decided on this one because it’s a book I particularly enjoyed, with a selection of fascinating characters – apart from the very annoying Dora Spenlow!
8. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy – If Sylvia’s Lovers is sad, this book is heartbreaking. It follows the story of a young man from a humble background whose attempts to gain an education and live with the woman he loves leads to tragedy. I love Hardy but can see why he doesn’t appeal to everyone!
9. Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu – This Victorian classic has everything you could wish for in a Gothic novel and after a slow start, I loved it. A good choice for a Halloween reading list or to curl up with on a dark winter’s night.
10. Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope – Phineas Finn is a young Irish politician who appears in Trollope’s Palliser series. His name actually features in two of the books from this series – this one and Phineas Redux, both of which I enjoyed.
Have you read any of these? Which other classics can you think of with character’s names in the title?