Challenge one – read a book by a female author (bonus if you haven’t read it before):
There are a lot of great female Victorian writers, many of whom I still need to get to. I’m always an advocate for Mary Elizabeth Braddon who doesn’t get nearly as much love as she deserves, but my book by a female author that I haven’t read before will be Shirley by Charlotte Brontë.
Wuthering Heights is my most re-read Victorian novel, with Frankenstein a close second. With Christmas fast approaching though, I think I might give Charles Dickens’ Christmas books another go.
Challenge three – read a book under 250 pages or over 500 pages:
My favourite short story from the period (although not from a British author so not sure if it entirely counts) is The Yellow Wallpaper. For the 500+ pages I’m going to suggest Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin, a generally under read book that may have had a boost with Sarah Perry’s re-imagining Melmoth last year.
Challenge four – read an underrated book from the same year as your favourite:
I’m going to go for The Professor by Charlotte Brontë which I know wasn’t technically released in the same year as Wuthering Heights but Charlotte was trying to get it published at the same time and it would have been written around the same period. I read it last year and wasn’t sure what to expect as it’s famously her first rejected novel, but it was brilliant, and I’d recommend picking up a copy.
I’d love to hear from you if you’re taking part or for a general chat about all things Victorian.