A freelance writer living in Perth, WA. My blog is coming soon. Watch this space!
Published March 10th 2012
7 Classic Novels You Should Read
The classic novel is widely considered to be a quality piece of work that can stand the test of time. Stories that remain 'alive', have a universal theme and a story that people can relate to or find relevance in.
A classic novel can transport you to another place and time, has a story that comes alive as you read it and characters that you care about. It can take you on a journey to a different world and introduce you to people that you will grow to love. A good book is hard to put down and you can't wait to find out what happens, when you do finish reading it you want more.
Many books written in the 1800's were serialised in magazines before being published as books and a lot of writers had to use pseudonyms to get their work published. Many writers died long before their works were popular and made little or no money from them.
There are so many classic novels available to read that it is very difficult to single out just 7.
Jane Eyre is the story of an orphan girl, who is sent to live with her uncle when her parents die. Her Aunt does not like her and treats her like a servant and she suffers years of physical and verbal abuse before being sent away to school. Eventually she becomes a governess to a young French girl and then falls in love with her employer, Edward Rochester.
Mr Rochester is madly in love with Jane but is married to someone else, Blanche Ingram, who is quite, quite mad and is soon locked away. After many years and even more disasters Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester are reunited and marry.
The story revolves around a farmhouse called Wuthering Heights and the people that live there. It is basically a story of the love between Heathcliff and Catherine (Cathy) Earnshaw, how she is forced to choose between her husband and the man she has loved since she was a girl.
The story begins with a stranger, caught in a snowstorm in the middle of the night, looking for shelter and how he learns the story of the passionate love between Heathcliff and Cathy and the stories of betrayal, revenge and torment of the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights.
The Picture of Dorian Gray begins with a handsome young man, Dorian Gray, having his portrait painted. He realises that he will not stay young and handsome for ever and wishes that his portrait would age instead of him. He sells his soul to the devil to ensure that this happens and goes on to live a wild life, never aging. Dorian keeps the portrait which ages while he stays young.
Many years later, in a drunken rage, he decides to destroy the portrait and thrusts a knife into it. His body is later found with a knife through his heart, suddenly old, withered and ravaged, and the portrait has reverted to its original form.
Frankenstein, published in 1818, was written by Mary Shelley (1797-1851).
Frankenstein is the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist, who becomes obsessed with reanimating dead bodies. He creates a creature using materials from the slaughter house and dissecting room of the university, and sets about bringing to life something beautiful. However, after he has brought his creation to life he is repulsed by it and leaves hoping to regain a normal life. The creature is abandoned and is angry, confused and afraid.
The story then follows the lives of Frankenstein and his monster through the years until finally Victor Frankenstein returns planning to destroy the monster.
The series of books tell the stories of the brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes and his good friend Doctor John Watson. There are 56 short stories and 4 novels, featuring Sherlock Holmes, with stories full of murder, mystery and mayhem.
The story centres around the Bennet family, Mr and Mrs Bennet and their 5 daughters Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Catherine (Kitty) and Lydia. It follows their lives and relationships and the romance between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy.
Beginning on Christmas Eve, A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean and miserly man, who is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The ghosts show Scrooge scenes from his past, present and future, warning him to change his ways or perish.
After the final visit Scrooge wakes to find that it is Christmas Day. He has become a different man overnight and he is now generous, kind and compassionate. He goes on to live a completely different life than before, full of happiness and kindness towards his fellow man.
There are many, many more classic novels available for you to read, these are examples of just a few. They are a great read when you have some spare time and you can really get lost in a good novel. Most people have a favourite novel or author, it all depends on what you like to read best.