Classics for Beginners discussion

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Recommendations > Classic Women Authors

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message 1: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth White I have read a lot of classics, but I have not read much from the truly classic female authors. I am.a member of the Easton Press "Greatest Books" series and I own 4 of probably the most renowned classic females authors.... But which to start with?? "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott...."Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte..... "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte or "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austin.... Also any other choices you may wish to put forth will be considered and appreciated!!!


message 2: by ☯Emily , moderator (new)

☯Emily  Ginder | 772 comments Mod
Well, Pride and Prejudice is a great start, followed by Jane Eyre. Another female author is Elizabeth Gaskell who wrote North and South, Mary Barton and Cranford. If you want to read American authors, then Uncle Tom's Cabin is one to read followed by Willa Cather's books.


message 3: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) I second Jane Austen followed by Charlotte Bronte. I also prefer Anne Bronte over sister Emily (I have tried to read Wuthering Heights twice and have never been able to get into it). Willa Cather's books are also really good.

Other female writers you might want to check out are George Eliot (real name Mary Ann Evans), Edith Wharton, Carson McCullers and Virginia Woolf. Oh, and don't forget To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.


message 4: by Gian (last edited Aug 23, 2013 11:48AM) (new)

Gian I fully support the idea of starting with Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Of her other works, I liked Emma and Persuasion.

Cather's A Lost Lady and Death Comes for the Archbishop are particularly memorable reads for me. I had a similar experience with McCullers's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, and The Member of the Wedding. The short stories of Eudora Welty, Flannery O'Connor, Katherine Anne Porter, and Katherine Mansfield are also wonderful.

Don't forget to include some poetry too. Emily Dickinson, Sappho, Elizabeth Barrett Browning ("A Musical Instrument") and Christina Rossetti come into mind.

I have read some great things about the works of Sor Juana Inès de la Cruz, Simone de Beauvoir, Colette, Anna Akhmatova, and Gertrude Stein but since I haven't read any of them, I cannot recommend them in full confidence.


message 5: by Holly (new)

Holly | 92 comments I second Emily Dickinson!


message 6: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth White Seems like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is in the lead so far... And along with whatever novel I'm reading I also always have a book of short stories so I just purchased "The Complete Works" by Flannery O'Connor. After those probably "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.


message 7: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth White More opinions still appreciated though. I can never have too many books in my to-read section!!


message 8: by Holly (new)

Holly | 92 comments To Kill a Mockingbird is on my TBR shelf as well.


message 9: by Heather L (new)

Heather L  (wordtrix) Holly wrote: "I second Emily Dickinson!"

Ugh! Dickinson is one of my least favorite poets, has been ever since I realized you can sing every one of her poems to "The Yellow Rose of Texas."


message 10: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth White Jane Eyre was just voted in on one of my other groups as their September read so I guess that one wins out now lol


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I can recommend Camilla Collett if you enjoy the romantic-area kind of books. She is also a wonderful feminist author, and actually inspired Henrik Ibsento write the strong female characters he is now known for.

And of course Daphne du Maurier with books like Rebecca and The Birds


message 12: by Squire (last edited Dec 13, 2013 10:37PM) (new)

Squire (srboone) | 131 comments There's Mary Shelley with Frankenstein and Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather and George Eliot.


message 13: by Nicolle (new)

Nicolle I really recommend Jane Eyre, if I had to pick an all time fav it would be right up there. Also Wuthering heights, the Handmaids tale by Margaret Atwood. Alice walker's the colour purple, daphne du Maurier Rebecca, little women by Louisa May Alcott and finally Jane Austen's novels.


message 14: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth White A lot of these choices have made it onto my list of next 100 works (which includes novels, short story collections, plays, etc) that I am going to read. That list will probably be a 2 to 2 1/2 year reading plan.


message 15: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth White Squire I didn't even think about Mary Shelley as a classic female author lol I have read Frankenstein several times and it's one of my top 5 all time favorite books.


message 16: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) The Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Dorothy L Sayers, Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh. Modern classics? Go for Margaret Atwood.


message 17: by Mark (new)

Mark André Of the authors here mentioned i like Austen's P&P.
I also like E.D. very much too.
But if the category is woman authors my top pick will always be Flannery O'Connor's: Wise Blood.
Its scary and its dangerous, but if you can finish it you'll never be the same. i don't know if you'll be better or worse, but you will certainly be altered (spoiler alert! stay away from the film version)


message 18: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) | 131 comments I've recently discovered Zoé Oldenbourg. Her Prix Femina Prize-winning The Cornerstone is on my classics tbr for this year.


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