In the land of BookTube, October is Victober; a whole month of reading Victorian writers. There are specific challenges that can be followed – search Victober 2017 on YouTube for more information and reading suggestions – but I am simply going for three books, that I feel really drawn to read. So here they are:
1. North and South: Elizabeth Gaskell. Industrial revolution. Poverty. Social injustice. A tempestuous relationship and a sparky heroine. I am not quite sure why I haven’t read this before!
2. The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories. I do love a good ghost story in autumn and the Victorians were rather good at those! I chose this collection because it promises a focus on women writers of the time.
3. The Turn of the Screw: Henry James. I watched a screen adaptation a couple of years ago, which I absolutely loved in all its creepiness and I’ve been meaning to read the real thing ever since. Victober is the perfect opportunity. And that cover- creepy!
Do you enjoy Victorian literature? I have a love hate relationship with it if I am quite honest. I find some of it too dry (like George Elliot), I can’t connect with some of the masters – Charles Dickens for example, and I’m not too great at the sumptuous depravity angle either. But creepy and scary I can do, as well as good social commentary with a strong female lead. I shall report back.