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Miscellaneous Archives > My Summer of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy

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Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
It has been a delightful summer of reading for me. As some of you are aware, I have been diligently working through the novels of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy. I undertook reading these two authors in the same fashion that I read all of the works of Charles Dickens in 2008-2009.

I participated in a two-month group read and discussion of Eliot's Daniel Deronda with my literary group on Shelfari.com. I read Silas Marner and The Mill on the Floss on my own and thoroughly enjoyed both! I have two major Eliot novels left to read-- Adam Bede and her monumental Middlemarch. I hope that we'll tackle Adam Bede as this group's first group read commencing in October; and Middlemarch I'm very close to reaching in the TBR pile.

The fiction and poetry of Thomas Hardy has proved to be a true literary 'gold mine' for me! I have been able to find and acquire nearly all of Hardy's novels, short story collections, and a wonderful volume of his complete poems. I have to say that I am a confirmed, dyed-in-the-wool Hardyphile these days. My favorites so far, include The Return of the Native, The Woodlanders, Tess of the D'urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure. I look forward to reading and re-reading his fiction and poetry for the rest of my life. I am also in the process of reading the well-known Hardy biographies, reference resources, and some of the excellent Hardy literary criticism that's out there. I have included some of the biographies, poetry collection, and criticism on the group's book shelf.

Well, enough about my summer of reading; what pages are the rest of you exploring these days?


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I love the idea of reading all of an author's works at one time (or at least as many as you can find) and commend you on your success! I've been reading Hardy this summer, but have been hijacked by my interest in Native American history. I do hope that by participating in this group I will get "back on track" with my 19th century lit reading!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "I love the idea of reading all of an author's works at one time (or at least as many as you can find) and commend you on your success! I've been reading Hardy this summer, but have been hijacked ..."

Oh, Sharon, trust me, you will, you will! ;-)


message 4: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments When I was a gel I used to get hooked on authors and whilst studying for my Higher School Certificate I had to read one volume of The Forsyte Saga. I happily ploughed through all of them and it was a wonder that I passed! Good job it wasn't Dickens or Trollope!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
MadgeUK wrote: "When I was a gel I used to get hooked on authors and whilst studying for my Higher School Certificate I had to read one volume of The Forsyte Saga. I happily ploughed through all of them and it was..."

I did the same thing with Galsworthy last year too. I really loved "The Forsyte Saga"!


message 6: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 02, 2010 11:00AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments There is some fine detail in there of how the Victorian era changed to the Edwardian.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

More books to pile onto Mt. TBR! :) Love it...


message 8: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments December to Janurary 09/10 I went on a Doesteyevsky bender. I read everything I could put my hands on and it was quite an exilirating experience.


message 9: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Just purchased The Idiot this week. Which was your favourite Dostoevsky?


message 10: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments I loved Brothers and Notes from the Underground. The idiot was very powerful but it's lack of a defined plot threw me off. It is a great read though.


message 11: by Grace Tjan (new)

Grace Tjan @Kester: Karamazov and Crime & Punishment are great, but I have been stuck on The Idiot for a couple of months now. I'm wondering if this is caused by the translation. Which translation did you read?

Haven't read Notes, but it's already in my ereader.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Sandybanks wrote: "@Kester: Karamazov and Crime & Punishment are great, but I have been stuck on The Idiot for a couple of months now. I'm wondering if this is caused by the translation. Which translation did you rea..."

I wonder if Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have done any updated translations of Dostoevsky yet? They did a masterful job with both Anna Karenina and War and Peace.


message 13: by Grace Tjan (new)

Grace Tjan Christopher wrote: "Sandybanks wrote: "@Kester: Karamazov and Crime & Punishment are great, but I have been stuck on The Idiot for a couple of months now. I'm wondering if this is caused by the translation. Which tran..."

Yes, they have.The Karamazov that I read is theirs. I'll check whether they've done The Idiot. I love their War & Peace, which I've read several times. I don't know any Russian, so I can't really judge the various translations, but quality of the translation seem to matter a great deal in reading these Russian classics. The P/V translations seem to be much more accessible to me than the other translations.


message 14: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Laurel is a Russian lit buff and has recommended the P/V translations - I am sure she knows others.


message 15: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments Personally, Constance Garnett does it for me everytime. I had problems at first when I just started off reading Crime and Punishment, but once you get used to her style, she remains consistent. I have read all of Doesteyevsky and Tolstoy using her translations and I am now reading Chekhov by her as well.


message 16: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 04, 2010 08:11AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Good - another Russian buff! I look forward to your comments when we get around to reading one of these great storytellers - although I prefer Chekhov's plays to his stories.

There are some nice free audio Chekhovs, translated by Garnett, here:-

http://www.archive.org/search.php?que...

Did you know that Garnett taught herself Russian - an example to us all!


message 17: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Nyet.
Seriously, that would be a difficult feat...with that strange alphabet..C meaning S and P meaning R and various unfamiliar letters! And how could you teach yourself pronunciation?
However, I can recite a nursery rhyme in Russian (poetry again). I learnt it from my cousin's husband, so you see, Madge, I'm related to a Russian.


message 18: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments I'm actually just starting to learn Latin using Wheelock's Latin textbook. I would love to be able to read Aeneid in the original Latin; what an acheivement!


message 19: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments What a wonderful ambition Kester!

Jan: You must have had very promiscuous relatives!!:O


message 20: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Not a Russian ancestor, Madge, just a cousin who married a Russian. I do have Swedish ancestry, however.
And ancestors from Yorkshire...if you go back 25 generations we all have about a million ancestors. And since there were only about a million people in the UK back then, everyone with British ancestry is probably related to everyone else...comes from living on an island, you know. So we're probably long lost relatives.Therefore don't cast aspersions on my family as they're probably yours as well, dear cousin Madge of the tribe of York. Do you have blue eyes, by any chance? :D


message 21: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments LOL, true. No I have very dark brown ones - or did have before cataracts started to cover them! My ancestry is Scottish and Viking, so some of my relatives have red hair and blue eyes.


message 22: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments Viking Madge? It figures! I just finished a fascinating study of The Vikings which taught me a lot about your ancestors and swept away a lot of the myth surrounding them. Very politically astute people those Norsemen!


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Vikings! I'm in the middle of The Long Ships which is loads of fun and I've learned some interesting historical bits too. It's a great combination of wry humor and everything Viking. Good stuff!


message 24: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Yes, it wasn't all rape and pillage Kester:).


message 25: by Kester (new)

Kester Andrews | 36 comments Yes I know! It just goes to show how popular culture can re-write history to a greater part of the population that do not have the energy and curiosity to seek the truth for themselves. Another good example is what the movie 300 did to the Herodotus' Persians


message 26: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Sharon wrote: "I love the idea of reading all of an author's works at one time (or at least as many as you can find) ..."

Many of your know Laurel, who I don't think has found her way here yet. But a year or two ago, I think it was, she did a complete read of all of Dickens's novels. If I ever get the gumption to, I'll follow in her footsteps on this.

I was part of a group, again with Laurel, several years ago that read through all of Shakespeare together, and then read through all of him a second time. Extraordinary experience.

There is something about immersing yourself in one author -- as long as you pick the right author!


message 27: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Kester wrote: "Personally, Constance Garnett does it for me everytime. "

I don't know any Russian, but from some reviews I've read I understand that while P/V are very enjoyable to read (I have several of their translations), Garnett is actually closer to representing the way Tolstoy wrote in Russian. I don't know, though -- that's all hearsay!


message 28: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Kester wrote: "I'm actually just starting to learn Latin using Wheelock's Latin textbook. "

I've been planning for two years or so to re-learn the Latin I took (and nearly flunked) in high school -- it was required for the college prep students then, which shows how ancient I am. I have Wheelock, but I also got Jones and Sidwell, which some people I talked (e-talked) with think is better for the self-directed learner. And I also picked up a neat DVD, Lingua Latina, which starts you out reading the Latin immediately in a picture and text format which makes the stories perfectly clear. It's a neat approach; don't know how far along it would get one, but it's a nice way to get into the language directly, and it reads the stories so you also get pronunciation. You might want to check it out.

Hmmm . . . I wonder whether there might be interest in a cooperative Latin Learning Goodreads group?


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Sharon wrote: "I love the idea of reading all of an author's works at one time (or at least as many as you can find) ..."

Many of your know Laurel, who I don't think has found her way here yet. ..."


I did the same thing with Dickens in 2008-2009, Everyman, and it was one of the literary high points of my life. I would love to do Trollope in the same fashion, though I fear it would take me two or three years!


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Kester wrote: "I'm actually just starting to learn Latin using Wheelock's Latin textbook. "

I've been planning for two years or so to re-learn the Latin I took (and nearly flunked) in high school ..."


The short answer, Everyman, is an unqualified "Yes" to learning Latin.

My father was in seminary and took Greek and Latin. He started at the Williston Academy in Massachusetts, and graduated from Carlton College, and then went to Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. I grew up with Greek and Latin texts all over the house (not that I understood a thing in them), but they were 'way cool' to handle and flip through.


message 31: by Jan (last edited Sep 05, 2010 08:29PM) (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Madge, Scottish and Viking...well there's the Swedish link and my Scottish links are to the Gunn clan which claims descent from Olaf the Black...a Viking.
And as for Latin, the clan's motto is:
Aut Pax, aut bellum.

I choose Pax.


message 32: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Everyman wrote: "Sharon wrote: "I love the idea of reading all of an author's works at one time (or at least as many as you can find) ..."

Many of your know Laurel, who I don't think has found her way here yet. ..."


Laurel has registered here but has not yet posted Everyman. I very much look forward to her learned contributions, especially on Russian lit.


message 33: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Christopher wrote: "Everyman wrote: "Kester wrote: "I'm actually just starting to learn Latin using Wheelock's Latin textbook. "

I've been planning for two years or so to re-learn the Latin I took (and nearly flunked..."


I did Latin at school and for my Higher School Cert but the only time I looked at Greek was when I was in bed after having my tonsils out when I tried to teach myself from an old Greek grammar. I thought it might get me nearer to those wonderful Greek gods!


message 34: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 05, 2010 11:58PM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments Jan wrote: "Madge, Scottish and Viking...well there's the Swedish link and my Scottish links are to the Gunn clan which claims descent from Olaf the Black...a Viking.
And as for Latin, the clan's motto is:
Aut..."


My Viking links are Norwegian - just a short distance by longboat from Scotland and Yorkshire.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bradford/voices2...

http://nose4news.files.wordpress.com/...


message 35: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Gotta be a connection there somewhere Madge!


message 36: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments I am doing my best not to be related to a family of criminals don'tcha'know:).


message 37: by Jan (last edited Sep 06, 2010 02:34AM) (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments In Australia it's like a badge of honour to discover a convict in the family tree, although this is fairly recent, years ago it would have been shame and scandal in the family. We still 'on speakers' then as Decca would say?(see bedside reading re Decca)


message 38: by Grace Tjan (new)

Grace Tjan Jan wrote: "In Australia it's like a badge of honour to discover a convict in the family tree, although this is fairly recent, years ago it would have been shame and scandal in the family. We still 'on speaker..."

Isn't Ned Kelly Australia's favorite folk hero? : )

That book about him by Peter Carey was pretty good.


message 39: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments I actually met a lady here in Perth, who once opened the door to one of the Kelly gang.


message 40: by MadgeUK (last edited Sep 06, 2010 11:15AM) (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments You antecedents get worse Jan - I am getting seriously worried!

(BTW my first husband emigrated to Australia with 'the other woman', leaving me with 4 children under the age of 7, so you can see where my prejudice against the criminal classes comes from.:O)


message 41: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments I hope it does not bias you against all things and all people Australian. By the way, I posted my song lyrics.


message 42: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments No, not really. Against Fremantle perhaps:D. Yes I saw them and responded! Good on ya!


message 43: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments Freo? What's not to love about Freo? With it's old stone cottages,cosmopolitan markets, free Sunday concerts, art galleries, the cappuccino strip, Shipwreck Museum, the opshops, the bookshops, and the eclectic mix of people...artists, musicians, hippies, Italians, fishermen, wharfies, backpackers, the fishing boat harbour, the restaurants and the Esplanade Park with its Norfolk Island pines...and...*lowers voice to a whisper*...its left-wing politics. It even has its own footie team.(Aussie Rules)Oh and I forgot...the cinema showing lots of foreign films...


message 44: by MadgeUK (new)

MadgeUK | 5214 comments He and she live there.


message 45: by Jan (new)

Jan (auntyjan) | 483 comments 'Nuff said.


message 46: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments Everyman wrote:

Many of your know Laurel, who I don't think has found her way here yet. ..."


Hi, Everyman. Laurel is at Goodreads, I'm pleased to say, as are a few of our friends from that other site. Maybe she hasn't found this new group yet.


message 47: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Rochelle wrote: "Everyman wrote:

Many of your know Laurel, who I don't think has found her way here yet. ..."

Hi, Everyman. Laurel is at Goodreads, I'm pleased to say, as are a few of our friends from that other ..."


By here, I meant this group. She made here way to GR a while back, and has been extremely active for some time in the Western Canon group. But she has also signed up for this group, so my prior post is now officially out of date.


Captain Sir Roddy, R.N. (Ret.) (captain_sir_roddy) | 1483 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Rochelle wrote: "Everyman wrote:

Many of your know Laurel, who I don't think has found her way here yet. ..."

Hi, Everyman. Laurel is at Goodreads, I'm pleased to say, as are a few of our friends..."


Laurel is a member of every group that I belong to, I believe, here on Goodreads and on Shelfari. Oh, and not that I had a darn thing to do with it, but it is a lovely coincidence. ;-)


message 49: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments She devours books at an enormous rate, books of almost every genre, and retains everything.


message 50: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3742 comments Kester wrote: "...how popular culture can re-write history to a greater part of the population that do not have the energy and curiosity to seek the truth for themselves. Another good example is what the movie 300 did to the Herodotus' Persians

Or Oliver Stone's "Kennedy." Or just about any historical film you can think of.


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