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Ten Enjoyable Literature Classics

Updated on March 18, 2015
Scene from A Tale of Two Cities
Scene from A Tale of Two Cities

Everyday a new book is released. Writing has always been a way for people to express themselves and tell the untold stories of others. Even though contemporary authors hold our attention, the classics are those books which have been so cleverly and thoroughly written that they remain popular though time may pass.

Here are the top ten Literature Classics which I have enjoyed:

  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

First published in 1850, this book has certain events that occurred in the author's life. It was his favorite work and Copperfield his favorite character. The story is about the life of David Copperfield from his childhood to adulthood. It examines life's ups and downs and twists and turns. In Copperfield's story his life is so examined so that we can see and know him by the end of the book. Dickens' way of writing was so precise that every nook and cranny of each scene can be visualized by the reader and this makes it an enjoyable read. One can hear the trees rustling and feel the warmth of the fire in the opening scene where his mother is about to go into labor. The emotions that play about the characters' faces are not vague but clear and easy to distinguish. It is a true masterpiece.

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Tells the story of Edmund Dantes who through certain circumstances of betrayal and fraud has been jailed at the Chateau d'lf . His life is taken away from him. His job, his love - everything. He befriends a man who is digging a way out of the prison. Dantes helps and the man tells him of a treasure on the isle of Monte Cristo. When Dantes escapes, he goes to the isle, gets the treasure and establishes himself as the Count of Monte Cristo. Then he plots his revenge on those who sent him to his prison. The way in which he does it is exciting to say the least. It is a tale of intrigue and surprise, adventure and romance. A real sit-at-the edge- of -your seat read. Most enjoyable.

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The foreword alone, of this book, gives one a lot to ponder on and the story itself, makes one think. What is the point of writing if it does not lead the reader to thought? Dorian Gray is a young, handsome man who has his portrait painted by an artist. The portrait is stunning and captures the beauty of his face. When Dorian sees it he wishes that he could remain young as the portrait and that the portrait, instead of him, will grow old. His wish comes to fruition and Dorian Gray does not age in the eighteen years that pass. He does all manner of things with no thought to the consequences and though no signs of it appear on his face, these sins, the crimes and wickedness which he does, takes form on the canvas of his painted face. The painting becomes ugly, filled with the darkness of his soul. The book is one that is written rather straightforwardly and a type of book that can't really be put down until it is finished. The end is a true shock and a memorable one to say the least. Dorian Gray is one of the most interesting characters in a book I have ever known.

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Yet another work from Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities start with the lines we know we have heard somewhere before - "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." and such was the time of the French Revolution which is the setting of the novel. The book itself is divided into three parts being Book The First: Recalled To Life, Book The Second: The Golden Thread, and Book The Third: The Track of The Storm. The characters of Sydney Carton and Charles Darney are particularly interesting to read about as both are mistaken for each other and yet are quite unalike. The intertwining of history and fiction makes this book a fascinating read.

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Written in a time when slavery existed. This book is decidedly anti-slavery.The author was an abolitionist and through her writing succeeded in highlighting the suffering of the slaves. It tells the story of two slaves, Tom and Eliza. One is sold and one runs away. The story of their journey is then shown with the perils they face, the joys and sorrows and through it all their immovable faith. I would classify it as historical fiction if possible because it shows just how slavery was.

  • The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Another of Dumas' masterpieces, The Three Musketeers is a tale known well. D'Artagnan is a young man who goes to Paris to fulfill his dream of becoming a Musketeer. He meets three Musketeers named Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Set in the time of King Louis XIII France and Cardinal Richelieu, this book is an adventure you will not want to put down. Action, romance, and humor all are present in the book. There are plots of revenge, secrets lurking and surprises around every turn. A book you can truly sink your teeth into.

  • The Man In The Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

Do you see a theme occurring here? Dumas is a truly talented teller of tales -how's that for an alliteration?- and The Man In The Iron Mask is no exception. Centered around the mystery of a prisoner who wears an iron mask, his face never exposed, the story again allows us to meet with the Musketeers of France. It truly is part three of a book whose real title is The Vicomte of Bragelonne:Ten Years Later. The book in its entirety lets the reader know just what happened to each of the Musketeers whom we grew to know. It is a book one almost has to read after reading The Three Musketeers.

  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne

The story of Captain Nemo and his submarine is not one that can lose popularity that easily. Verne creates a world under the sea that makes one marvel. Nemo is himself a mystery and the adventure on the Nautilus that Aronnax describes is exciting even in the calm moments. The world of under water is strange to say the least.

  • The Last of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

Written during the time of The French and Indian War, The last of The Mohicans tells the story of two sisters, Cora and Alice who are traveling with troops from one fort to another. When they are ambushed, they are rescued by two Mohicans and a man named Hawkeye. Tracing their story, the novel leads up to the outcome which the title comes from. Once again, the setting is historical although the book is fiction which makes it an interesting read.

  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

The character of Margret Hale alone makes this book a worthy read. A family from the North move to the South and have to deal with the differences in society there. They meet one, Mr. Thornton. John Thornton and Margret Hale do not get along as they disagree on many things. However, he finds himself in love with her. One of those books when you reach the part where he realizes this you possibly squeal and throw the book in excitement.

Each book is well-written and are enjoyable to say the least. There are however, countless other classics which are equally delightful and it can be said that in their own right are masterpieces as well.



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    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you, silverstarrow. Yes, A Tale of Two Cities is a great classic.

    • silverstararrow profile image

      silverstararrow 5 years ago from India

      A Tale of Two Cities has always been among my favourites. Sydney Carton indeed is larger than life; 'It's a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done. It's a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.'

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello Keith Tax,

      I think it is great that your daughter gets to read one of the classics in school. I hope she has a good teacher who will make the book come alive for her.

      The Count of Monte Cristo and North and South are two of my favorites. The Picture of Dorian Gray has a good lesson in it concerning vanity.

      I find that older books tended to contain some sort of teaching for life whereas it is harder to find a message in newer books. I enjoy classic literature very much and this list of ten is merely the tip of the iceberg!

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      I read 7 out of 10. My daughter is reading A Tale of Two Cities right now for school. My todo list contains The Count of Monte Cristo, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and North and South. The seven I read are excellent books by my standards.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

      Hello Mathira, I think that those really were great books. The descriptions were so illustrated that I felt as though I was standing right there in the cottage when Copperfield was born. He really had a wonderful skill!

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 5 years ago from chennai

      David Copperfield and A tale of two cities has always been my favorites.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 6 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thank you Thamisgith! I know a lot of the classics are free f you have an e-reader. They are available to read online as well. To think the best written books are free!

      Once again, thank you for your comment!

    • Thamisgith profile image

      Thamisgith 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      These are all classics which should be on everyone's reading list. If you have an Amazon Kindle, you can probably get all of these for free - or you could try Project Gutenberg if you want another format.