I have always loved classic literature more than most new releases. There is a soul in good classic literature which you can feel once it draws you in. Times were different when these books were written; social norms were not what we now know.
Classics such as Pride and Prejudice have earned their fandoms (and with reason). However, I want to read more than the popular books. I am always on the lookout for a classic book that people don’t seem to talk about. Here are four I have read which have stayed with me.
1- The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas, fils(son)
I am a fan of the works of the Dumas duo who–sometimes confusingly–share a name. Dumas Senior is famous for writing for The Three Musketeers. His son also went on to become a writer; his novel The Black Tulip is one of my all-time favorites.
It features a romance that makes your heart ache for many different reasons. He creates a masterpiece of every single scene, describing gloom as well as hope with a grasp on words that I wish I could achieve.
2- The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola
I’ve read The Belly of Paris several times and reviewed it here. From the epic beginning of this novel to the obsessive way in which Zola describes food, The Belly of Paris is unforgettable.
The female characters in this novel are strong, an unusual characteristic for most novels of the time. I don’t remember any fainting spells or smelling salts from the roughened market-women!
Find out why Zola is one of the best classic writers of French literature. I hope one day to read all of his work.
3- Camille by Alexandre Dumas, fils(son)
I know, I know—I’m shoving the Dumas family at you. Camille is another one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read. How far will Armand go to win the heart of Camille—and can it end well when their social classes are so different?
The pages of this novel drip with scandal as well as forbidden love. Most of all, they are heavy with humanity. We as a race have a tendency to do things out of passion that might not lead to a favorable end. The good news is that a hard lesson learned makes for a good story.
4- The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
Some characters are so despicable that this fact alone makes the novel a classic to read. In The Mayor of Casterbridge, a skilled farm laborer has a quarrel with his wife. He makes the drunken decision to sell his wife and child to a passing sailor.
Twenty years later, we will find out what became of this awful man. It is a novel of ambition, revenge, and bitterness. Will he receive justice for the horrific thing he did to his family?
I hope that by the end of my life I can compile a longer list of obscure classics to read. I want to see for myself why, even though these books aren’t mentioned on bestseller lists, their names never vanish.
Do you also read classic novels? If you have any book recommendations for me, please share in the comments. Help me to reach my goal!
Finally, congratulations–you have just read my 400th blog post. A real milestone for me! I am thankful to everyone who has followed me on this long and exciting blogging journey. Your support is appreciated.