As booksellers, we often overhear customers lamenting that they've always meant to read “that other Jane Austen novel,” or Graham Greene, or Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but just never found the time. We've tried to remedy that with our Classics I Forgot to Read Book Club by providing motivation and a welcoming space to share your thoughts.

In choosing our ‘classics’ over the past few years, we've tried to select titles that had some visibility among readers, but were not necessarily included in the standard high school English class. We've also sampled a range of genres, from mystery (The Long Goodbye) to comedy (Cold Comfort Farm) to stream-of-consciousness (To the Lighthouse). So, whether our picks are already gathering dust on your bookshelves or this is your first encounter with the literary canon, we encourage you to join us on the last Wednesday evening of every month for conversation about the classics.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

October 2007--The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

by Anne Bronte

Despite the praise heaped upon her more celebrated sisters, Emily and Charlotte, it was Anne Bronte who achieved the most success and caused the most scandal during her short lifetime. Tenant is considered one of the first feminist novels of its age. Its narrator, Gilbert Markham, falls wildly in love with the beautiful and aloof Helen Huntingdon, who in turn gives him her diary to reveal what she cannot tell him face to face: the story of how, trapped in a humiliating and abusive marriage, she defied all social convention and left with her young son to seek refuge in the decrepit Wildfell Hall. Painfully sincere at times, but also strangely modern, the novel gives us the remarkable Helen, a devoutly humble, but unapologetic heroine. To her critics who condemned the book for its fearless portrait of a tragic marriage, Anne simply said “I wished to tell the truth, for truth always conveys its own moral.”


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