The Classics Club

Recently established by Jillian, The Classics Club is a spot for bloggers and readers to connect and share their love of the classics. 

I must say it was quite the task conjuring up the list of classics I hope to read within the next five years. I love writing up a good list of TBR titles -- but that was precisely the problem. Before I knew it, my five-year plan was snowballing into a Bookish Bucket List: any book that I was hoping to read before biting the proverbial dust managed to worm its way onto The List before I realized I was getting ahead of myself.

Consequently, I have attempted to scale back big time. After a lot of pondering, I've written up a pile of 100 works of fiction (e.g., novels and collections of short stories) that I hope to read in the next five years. I've completed separate, and much shorter, lists in the categories of poetry, drama and non-fiction. All of the non-fiction titles relate to classic literature in some way, whether they're non-fiction texts by Victorian writers, biographies on beloved authors, or historical accounts of the period wherein the majority of my chosen texts are situated. Since I'm adding these additional titles, my overall goal is to complete the list in its entirety in six years, by March 2018.

I may change or lengthen this list as I become aware of or interested in new texts, but for the most part I'm happy with what I've come up with. Most of these titles are currently sitting on my bookshelves, waiting to be read, so this project should be fairly easy on the wallet. Anybody who peruses my list will notice that the long-nineteenth century is overwhelmingly represented. This is deliberate. I want to remain focused on my beloved Victorian and late-eighteenth-century novelists. However, I've also attempted to include texts from the Renaissance to the contemporary -- I've even included some American writers in there. In this, I'm hoping to continue to specialize in what I know best but also broaden my reading horizons a bit, become more well-rounded and all that. I haven't included any rereads, but many of my chosen texts I attempted to read on a previous occasion without making it to the end. I'd like to remedy that! 

So, without further ado, here is My List...

*Completed titles are highlighted in bold print. 

100 Works of Fiction 
1.   Atwood, Margaret – Alias Grace
2.   Austen, Jane – Catharine and Other Writings {Juvenilia}
3.   Austen, Jane – Sandition and The Watsons {Novel Fragments}
4.   Bage, Robert – Hermsprong
5.   Barrie, J.M. – Peter Pan
6.   Bonhote, Elizabeth – Bungay Castle
7.   Bradbury, Ray – Fahrenheit 451
8.   Braddon, Mary Elizabeth – Lady Audley’s Secret
9.   Brontë, Charlotte – The Professor
10. Bulwer-Lytton, Edward – The Coming Race
11. Burnett, Frances Hodgson – The Secret Garden
12. Burney, Frances – Camilla
13. Burney, Frances – Cecilia
14. Byatt, A.S. – Possession
15. Christie, Agatha – Murder on the Orient Express
16. Collins, Wilkie – The Moonstone
17. Collins, Wilkie – The Law and the Lady
18. Collins, Wilkie – No Name
19. Collins, Wilkie – The Woman in White
20. Conan Doyle, Arthur – The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
21. Conan Doyle, Arthur – His Last Bow
22. Conan Doyle, Arthur – Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
23. Conan Doyle, Arthur – The Return of Sherlock Holmes
24. Conan Doyle, Arthur – A Study in Scarlet
25. Conan Doyle, Arthur – The Valley of Fear
26. Coventry, Francis – The History of Pompey the Little
27. Dacre, Charlotte – Zofloya
28. Dahl, Roald – Matilda
29. Dahl, Roald – The Witches
30. De Quincey, Thomas – Confessions of an English Opium Eater
31. de Sade, Marquis – The Crimes of Love
32. Delafield, E.M. – Diary of a Provincial Lady
33. Dickens, Charles – Barnaby Rudge
34. Dickens, Charles – Bleak House
35. Dickens, Charles – Dombey and Son
36. Dickens, Charles – Great Expectations
37. Dickens, Charles – Little Dorrit
38. Dickens, Charles – The Mystery of Edwin Drood
39. Dickens, Charles – Nicholas Nickleby
40. Dickens, Charles – Our Mutual Friend
41. Dickens, Charles – The Pickwick Papers
42. Dickens, Charlotes – Sketches by Boz
43. Du Maurier, Daphne – Rebecca
44. Edgeworth, Maria – Belinda
45. Edgeworth, Maria – Patronage
46. Eliot, George – Adam Bede
47. Eliot, George – Middlemarch
48. Eliot, George – The Mill on the Floss
49. Fowles, John – The Collector
50. Gaskell, Elizabeth – Gothic Tales
51. Gaskell, Elizabeth – Ruth
52. Gaskell, Elizabeth – Sylvia’s Lovers
53. Gaskell, Elizabeth – Wives and Daughters
54. Gibbons, Stella – Cold Comfort Farm
55. Grahame, Kenneth – The Wind in the Willows
56. Grossmith, George – The Diary of a Nobody
57. Hardy, Thomas – Far From the Madding Crowd
58. Hardy, Thomas – Jude the Obscure
59. Hardy, Thomas – The Return of the Native
60. Hardy, Thomas – Under the Greenwood Tree
61. Hawthorne, Nathaniel – The House of Seven Gables
62. Haywood, Eliza – Love in Excess
63. James, Henry – The Aspern Papers
64. James, Henry – The Portrait of a Lady
65. Kipling, Rudyard – The Jungle Book
66. Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan – Uncle Silas
67. Lennox, Charlotte – The Female Quixote
68. Lawrence, D.H. – Mrs. Chatterley’s Lover
69. Lewis, C.S. – The Screwtape Letters
70. Lewis, Matthew – The Monk
71. London, Jack – The Call of the Wild
72. Marsh, Richard – The Beetle
73. Meredith, George – The Egoist
74. Mitchell, Margaret – Gone With the Wind
75. Mitford, Nancy – Love in a Cold Climate
76. Mitford, Nancy – The Pursuit of Love
77. O’Connor, Flannery – A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories
78. Oliphant, Margaret – Hester
79. Oliphant, Margaret – Miss Marjoribanks
80. Orwell, George – 1984
81. Peacock, Thomas Love – Nightmare Abbey
82. Plath, Sylvia – Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams
83. Pyle, Howard – The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
84. Radcliffe, Ann – The Mysteries of Udolpho
85. Schreiner, Olive – The Story of an African Farm
86. Sewell, Anna – Black Beauty
87. Sterne, Laurence – A Sentimental Journey
88. Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island
89. Streatfeild, Noel – Ballet Shoes
90. Townsend, Stephen – A Thoroughbred Mongrel
91. Trollope, Anthony – Barchester Towers
92. Trollope, Anthony – The Duke’s Children
93. Trollope, Anthony – The Warden
94. Verne, Jules – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
95. Walpole, Horace – The Castle of Otranto
96. Wharton, Edith – The House of Mirth
97. White, T.H. – The Once and Future King
98. Wodehouse, P.G. – Mating Season 
99. Wood, Ellen – East Lynne 
100.Woolf, Virginia – Mrs. Dalloway


Barrett Browning, Elizabeth – Aurora Leigh
Barrett Browning, Elizabeth – Sonnets from the Portuguese
Byron, Lord George Gordon – The Major Works
Keats, John – The Major Works
Milton, John – Paradise Lost
Plath, Sylvia – The Collosus
Tennyson, Lord Alfred – The Major Works


Behn, Aphra – The Rover
Ibsen, Henrik – Ghosts
Jonson, Ben – The Alchemist
Jonson, Ben – Volpone
Marlowe, Christopher – Doctor Faustus
Marlowe, Christopher – The Jew of Malta
Shakespeare, William – As You Like It
Shakespeare, William – The Merry Wives of Windsor
Shakespeare, William – Richard III
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley – The School for Scandal
Stoppard, Tom – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Wilde, Oscar – Lady Windermere’s Fan
Wilde, Oscar – Salome
Wilde, Oscar – A Woman of No Importance 

Austen, Jane – Selected Letters
Barker, Juliet – The Brontës
Beeton, Isabella – Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management
Bradshaw, John – In Defence of Dogs: Why Dogs Need Our Understanding
Darwin, Charles – On the Origin of Species
Fadiman, Anne – Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
Gaskell, Elizabeth – The Life of Charlotte Brontë
Gill, Gillian – We Two: Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals
Greer, Germaine – Shakespeare: A Brief Insight
Keats, John – Selected Letters
Lear, Linda – Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature
Picard, Liza – Victorian London: The Tale of a City 1840-1870
Pool, Daniel – What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew
Tomalin, Claire – Charles Dickens: A Life
Tomalin, Claire – Jane Austen: A Life
Wollstonecraft, Mary – A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
Woolf, Virginia – A Room of One’s Own


Terri B. said...

So many good books here! I see you will also be reading Mysteries of Udolpho and Mrs. Dalloway :)

Caro said...

Love your list! Seriously ambitious and eclectic enough to keep things interesting. I can't believe I forgot to add Marlowe to my list.

Diana said...

Terri: We'll have to compare notes on the Radcliffe and Woolf. I'm looking forward to this so much. :)

Diana said...

Caro: Thank you! I felt compelled to add Marlowe, because I've never read him. I had a friend tell me that that her university tutor wondered what would have been if Marlowe hadn't died so young -- and so tragically. Would he be revered instead of Shakespeare? I've been curious about him ever since!

Hafsah said...

Wow, this is one awesomely ambitious list! Look forward to seeing what you think about many of these books. Good luck! :)

Diana said...

Hafsah: I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Classics Club reading as well. We'll have to compare notes!

Anonymous said...

This is quite the list you have here! I haven't yet had the chance to look at too many people's lists, but yours is the first I see that also has The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. I look forward to comparing notes with you!

Diana said...

Manymediamusings: Likewise! I've had a copy of Robin Hood for some time but haven't got around to it. My experience with the Robin Hood folklore is mainly the result of watching film adaptations on the subject, so I'm interested to see how they compare to the mythology.

Karen K. said...

So many of my favorites on your list! I don't even know where to start -- Rebecca, Bleak House, House of Mirth, Love in a Cold Climate, Wives and Daughters, Diary of a Provincial Lady, MIddlemarch, Lady Audley's Secret. I wish I was reading them all for the first time. And I can't believe I forgot to add Peter Pan to my list.

Diana said...

Karen K: It excites me to know that a lot of your favourites are on my list. You have great taste in literature, so I'm sure I'll love these. :)