Top 5 Books – Classic Literature.

 

Apologies for the lack of posting. My work has been hectic, and I’m taking a much deserved family holiday this week. A regular blogging schedule will resume soon.

To me, classic literature doesn’t mean it’s just old literature, but something that will echo for generations to come. Whether it be remarkably forward science fiction, or acts of romance that make people swoon, or just stories with morals, my top 5 list is my interpretation of literature that people should read in their lifetime.

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1: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

A personal favourite, this novel is grand and sweeping. A dazzling romance set in one of America’s most brutal and blood-thirsty periods, Gone with the Wind shows a civilisation and time that has now disappeared. It’s a tale of survival and new beginnings for one Southern Belle, who changes from being a pampered mistress to a fighter in the Deep South.

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2: 1984 by George Orwell

This novel is one I can read time over time over time again. An alternative yet familiar world, 1984 set the bar for dystopian literature. With forbidden romances, government control, cult leadership and surveillance taking over the world, 1984 is one of those novels that will broaden your mind forever, and make you realise that Big Brother really could be watching you.

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3: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Set in the sublime and wild Yorkshire Moors, Wuthuring Heights is a classic tale of revenge and obsession. With a multi-generational family, gothic overtones, physical and mental cruelty, Wuthering Heights tugs at the very extremes of nature vs nurture. A fantastic book.

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4: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Another tale of revenge, tragedy and ghostly happenings. Hamlet is a classic for its use and portrayal of madness and murder, and with famous soliloquies surrounding dreams, death and life, Hamlet also offers an insight into the human condition.

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5: Dracula by Bram Stoker

Another personal favourite, and subject of my dissertation. Dracula has set standards for the vampire novel, as well as being a staple in the gothic genre. The novel also focuses on Victorian ideas of masculinity, femininity, religion, science and invasion from foreign shores, and with a host of excellent characters and bone-chilling moments, you won’t forget Dracula in a hurry.

 

These are my top 5 choices for Classic Literature, and if you have any personal choices/opinions, don’t hesitate in letting me know.

 

The Rivals of Dracula by Nick Rennison – Book Review

Title: The Rivals of Dracula

Author: Nick Rennison

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Gothic Fiction, Horror, Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Short Stories.


If there is one thing readers and viewers of this blog should know is that I’m obsessed with the Gothic. After studying it as a module in my degree, and even writing my dissertation on Dracula, I have developed a deep appreciation for this particular genre of literature, architecture and story-telling. So when I was sent The Rivals of Dracula by Nick Rennison to review from Nudge-book.com, I was so pleased as not only does it combine Dracula and the Gothic, but also my love for short stories.

Published two months ago, The Rivals of Dracula is a collection of short stories which have been put together and organised by Nick Rennison – author, editor and bookseller – and it focuses on, as the sub-title states, ‘The Golden Age of Gothic Horror’. Stoker’s Dracula was first published in 1897, and despite being one of the most prolific and famous Gothic stories to come out from the fin-de-siècle of the century, it was not the only vampire story to emerge from this period. And within this collection, Rennison introduces the reader to fifteen different authors, fifteen different short stories, and fifteen different vampiric characters. With a mixture of well-known writers and lesser familiar authors, the collection is a succinct, well-documented and diverse collection of vampiric tales from around the globe. 9781843446323

Rennison clearly took his time in the organisation of what authors and stories to pick for the collection, as despite them all featuring a ‘vampiric figure’, some are more obvious than the others whilst others take more a supernatural/ghostly appearance. The stories are easily readable, and highly Gothic, in the sense that they actually gave me chills when reading them. I’d thoroughly recommend F Marion Crawfords ‘For the Blood of Life’ and EF Benson’s ‘The Room in the Tower’, as these were so tense. Rennison also includes a little author biography before every story, which gives information about the writer, as well as other texts they may have written. There is also an introduction written by Rennison about Stoker’s novel and the world of the Gothic.

I was so pleased that I got to review this book, as it’s definitely up my street. This is a good collection of classic tales of the supernatural, and I was very impressed with Rennison’s introduction and choice of short stories. A must-have for Gothic fans!

Big thank you to Nudge for making me one of their reviewers, and sending me these perfect books!

Links:

To buy the book – Waterstones/Amazon