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Topic: Which of these classics should I read first?

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Subject: Which of these classics should I read first?
Date Posted: 3/15/2017 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,139
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Hey Classic Lit! I've just finished a couple of historical fictions and need a good classic to read next. I have quite a few on my TBR pile, but these three have been at the top for quite a while. I just can't decide which to start first! I've read the descriptions and some reviews for each one and I'm sure I'll love them all. Which one of these must I never spend another month without having read? 

Jane Eyre


Wuthering Heights

Thanks for your help! :) I may linger around here a bit...I have many, many classics to catch up on reading but of the ones I've read so far I have loved nearly every one. <3


Date Posted: 3/15/2017 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 3,448
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I think any of those 3 would be fine. Do you think those books would appeal to women more than to men?

Date Posted: 3/15/2017 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 316
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Jane Eyre 1847
Emma 1815 
Wuthering Heights 1847

I'd go with Emma first because it was publsihed first. Then, Jane Eyre next and WH next. Save the "Best" for " Last" because in Ten Novels and Their Authors Somerset Maugham put WH on his best list.

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal
Le Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky
War and Peace by Tolstoy

I'm with Maugham about David Copperfield and P&P so I'm motivated to give Tom Jones, Red & the Black, and WH a try.

Last Edited on: 3/15/17 8:39 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 3/15/2017 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 485
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It depends on your mood.  Emma is a story that focuses on manners and relationships and is very witty. Jane Eyre is romantic, gothic, and has a lot of drama and adventure. Wuthering Heights is super moody, gothic, and a good "October" book, in my opinion.  If it were me, I'd start with Jane Eyre because it is so accesible and compelling to read.  Then I would go to either Emma if I wanted a quieter look at relationships with some humor/snarkiness or Wuthering Heights if ungoverned passion would suit the bill.  They are all, of course, great reads. Have fun!

Date Posted: 3/15/2017 7:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
Posts: 2,139
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Thank you for the suggestions! I also asked my FB friends, and of the ones that actually suggested one of the three (and not other, random fictions), Wuthering Heights was a unanimous favorite. So. also taking into account the best list posted above, I think I'm going to start with WH. I've put off SO MANY books because they're super-fabulous and I was "saving them" - for what, I have no idea! They just collected dust and I've been missing out. :)

Michele - thank you for the descriptions! I've heard Jane Eyre described as a romantic gothic before and that intrigues me...I read my first gothic (thriller) novel earlier this year - The Asylum by John Harwood. I really enjoyed it. Until the ending. *sigh* 

Last Edited on: 3/15/17 7:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 1