Book buys · Bookish Discussions

Book Buying: Classics


If you read my Brontë Birthday Buys, you would know it was recently my 21st birthday. With the money I received, I decided to add some new books to my collection. I wanted to share my recent buys with you, but as I bought so many I’ve split this into three parts – you can read part one here.

Although all the books I’ve purchased are classics, this blog post will discuss the full-length novels I’ve recently picked up, whereas the others are split thematically and who is the publisher.

William Wordsworth’s The Major Works:

Wordsworth has been one of my favourite poets for a while now, so I’ve finally decided to purchase a collection of his verse. Beforehand, I had an anthology of the most celebrated Romantic poems, of which he was included. This Oxford World’s Classics presents “his poems in their order of composition, enabling the reader to trace Wordsworth’s poetic development”. It includes a collection of his poems from Lyrical Ballads, as well as some of his lesser known work. Also included is important letters, prefaces and essays to help enrich my reading experience.

Although this will probably take me ages to get through, I am excited to start reading some more of Wordsworth’s poetry. There is something about his language, his natural imagery and use of Place and Time that captures my attention. I’m most looking forward to reading ‘The Prelude’ in its entirety, even if it’s over 200 pages long!

E.M. Forster’s Howards End:

Howards End is “a heart-breaking and provocative tale of three families at the beginning of the twentieth century: the rich Wilcoxes, the gentle, idealistic Schlegels and the lower-middle-class Basts. As the Schlegel sisters try desperately to help the Basts and educate the close-minded Wilcoxes, the families are drawn together in love, lies and death”.

I’ve recently started reading fiction written in the early twentieth century, so to fuel this new habit I decided to pick up one of the most celebrated pieces of fiction. Howards End “brilliantly explores class warfare, conflict and the English character”, which are all subjects of interest to me. I’m quite hesitant to start this, I’m worried it won’t be my cup of tea, but with a little perseverance and an open mind I’m sure I will enjoy it.

Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White:

Written in 1859, The Woman in White is not only considered one of the first mystery novels, but the first and greatest bestselling Victorian thriller, otherwise known as a ‘sensation novel’. Famously opening with Walter Hartright’s encounter with a ghostly female figure on a moonlit road, the story is concerned with “the terrifying world of intrigue, crime, disguise and insanity”.

Despite the length of this story (just over seven-hundred pages), I am very excited to read it. It’s been on my TBR for far too long, and every time I went to buy it, something always made me put it back. But I finally bit the bullet and purchased it, so now all I have to do is bite the bullet and read it!

Frances Burney’s Evelina:

This follows the story of the young and beautiful Evelina. She “falls victim to the rakish advances of Sir Clement Willoughby on her entrance to the world of fashionable London. Colliding with the manners and customs of a society she doesn’t understand”, Evelina can hold no hope for the man she loves. Evelina is a novel bred on notions of sensibility and early Romanticism; it also satirizes the society in which it is set.

I’ve been meaning to read this for quite some time now, so I finally picked a copy up. Evelina is said to be a mixture of Austen, Dickens and Wilde, so I’m excited to see how that translates in the novel.

Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express:

“Just after midnight, a snowdrift stopped the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train was surprisingly full for the time of the year. But by the morning there was one passenger fewer. A passenger lay dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside”.

After reading Christie’s Murder of Roger Ackroyd earlier this summer, I’ve been wanting to pick up more of her work. With the new movie adaptation coming out, I thought now would be a good time to read Christie’s most famous novel, Murder on the Orient Express. I also thought this would be the perfect book to read in the upcoming gloomy months due to the mysterious nature of the story.

These are all the full-length classic novels I’ve recently bought. In the grand scheme of things, I probably went a little overboard with the buying, but I just couldn’t help myself! These have been on my TBR pile for so long, and I finally had some extra money so it was the perfect chance to get them (well, that’s what I tell myself anyway).

I hope I have inspired you to pick some of these up!

Thanks for reading, Lauren Xx

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