For the November segment of her Classics Challenge, Katherine at November's Autumn posted a series of questions about the classics we've read over the past months. We're free to answer any or all of the questions, the first of which is, "Of all the Classics you've read this year is there an author or movement that has become your new favorite?"
It isn't really a movement, but I have had a wonderful year of reading Victorian writers, in such a rich variety. I started this challenge with Charlotte M. Yonge, whose The Heir of Redclyffe is still one of my favorite books of the year. And then I just read Mary Cholmondeley's Red Pottage, which is completely different from The Heir but an equally engrossing read. It's a shame that these authors' other works are so hard to find, at least in print. I also have to include Emily Eden's Up the Country, a collection of letters from a trip up the Ganges starting in 1837, which provide a fascinating and unique perspective on India under British rule. Reading The Mill on the Floss helped me understand why George Eliot is considered such a great writer, and it gave me confidence that I will try Middlemarch again one day.
This was also the year I read William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair for the first time. I'm only sorry I waited so long to meet the immortal Becky Sharp. And then there is my continuing love affair with Anthony Trollope's novels. Of the three I read this year, The Three Clerks is easily my favorite and one of the liveliest of his wonderful stories.
In another of her questions, Katherine asks, "From reading other participants' posts which book do you plan to read and are most intrigued by?" I was very intrigued by posts on Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo, which as I've mentioned is already on my TBR stacks (and weighing them down at 1243 pages, not counting notes & introduction). I also look forward to reading more of all the authors that I've included here. They have so enriched my reading this year, as have these discussions around the Challenge.