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Who is your favorite classical writer? Please provide name and books that you like.
I am always wanting to read great authors and stories. Please share your favorites. Share more than one if you wish. My favorites are Fyodor Dostoyevsky - (My favorite - The idiot) and The Brothers of Karamozov. Voltaire - Candide. Mikhaíl Bulgakov - The Master and Margarita.
John Milton: "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise Regained". Avoid "modernized" translations. I have Hackett's publication.
Judging from your list above, you may have already read Tolstoy's "War and Peace." I recommend the Pevear & Volokhonsky translation.
Your list was all literature, but if you'd like to read some philosophical or scientific writings, I can recommend some of those too
Thomas Hardy - "Far From the Madding Crowd." One of the best classic novelists out there, with a grasp of vocabulary and language that is mind-blowing, and an understanding of the human condition that is at once universal, touching, and profound.
Other famous books by Hardy:
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
The Mayor of Casterbridge
Jude the Obscure
The Return of the Native
Under the Greenwood Tree
Hardy comes very highly recommended.
My all time favourite would have to be British writer Charles Dickens. There are the Christmas stories including A christmas Carol. Then there are novels such as A Tale of Two Cities, The Adventures of Oliver Twist, and Hard Times. He was one of the great humanitarian writers of the Victorian age.
Another favourite of mine would be Samuel Clemens who is better known as Mark Twain. I have a fondness for his banned books such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Present day writers, including script writers (Family Ties), have fought to keep this book in circulation. It was once banned in the South for being too anti-slave. Even though it was written well after the American Civil war, the subject of slavery was still a touchy one when it first saw print. This should always be remembered. Now people wish to ban it because the author was using the colourful language of his time which today is not considered to be politically correct.
My third choice would be Rudyard Kipling. If you wish to understand India in the 19th Century then Kim is an excellent place to start. India is there, warts and all, with no cover up concerning what the British were up to. In reading Kim, you can understand more clearly why the people of India were so determined to get their freedom from British rule. Kipling's Jungle Books plus Kim were used by Robert Baden-Powell to start the Boy Scout movement.
Your choices are among the best of the best! Of course Dickens was an humanitarian; he was an Aquarian, the most humanitarian of the signs (mine, too, btw). I grew up reading Mark Twain, & "If" by Kipling has been my guide since Dad gave it to
It's not easy to choose just one, but I can unhesitatingly name Jane Austen. She wrote about and from a time in England when women of high class had virtually no rights, the major ones lacking being the right to inherit a father's estate and the right to work and earn money. This set up some quite dramatic conditions for daughters, especially in families with no sons/brothers. The estate had to go to the father's closest male relative, even if that heir had never been known to him! Daughters had to either marry 'well' or depend on the generosity of the male heirs to care for them, which, in cases of unknown heirs, was quite a traumatic prospect, not to mention the tension of hoping to find a suitable husband, especially one that might include love in the mix! That was a major obsession, as one might expect. Mothers of daughters were especially solicitous of achieving this outcome!
Though it might seem that these are just aimed at women readers, that's far from so. The stories are strong and the male characters are fascinating. Austen, herself, was set to marry but it fell through. Her father was a pastor of a church, and a landowner, but without title. The family of her beloved didn't approve, which was another factor for women then. She was a rebel in that she decided to write professionally, in spite of the taboo against it. The rest is history, as they say.
The most famous of Austen's 6 novels is "Pride and Prejudice", which is a marvelous story. Austen's female heros are inevitably intelligent, witty, independent-minded (in spite of the limitations of the day), and interesting, as she, herself, was.
I have all 6 books and like them all, though not equally. I also have the film versions on DDV of each of them. I've 2 film versions of "Pride and Prejudice" and, though each has merit, the best is the BBC production.
The others (in order of my preferences) are:
Sense and Sensibility
It is a choice I would not only agree has merit but one also the author of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, saw merit in. Apparently he liked Pride and Prejudice.
I didn't know that! Thanks, Rod! Bradbury is quite a writer himself! "Persuasion" is mentioned in the movie, "The Lake House", by the way. Each of the 6 of her books is unique, though with that overriding social situation of the time dominating.
I also enjoyed Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamozov. I like Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons as well. As an American history buff, I have to also throw in the Education of Henry Adams by the same.
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What is your favorite book? What would you recommend?
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