What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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Suggest books for me > The class divide, historical fiction, Britain

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message 1: by Anna (last edited Feb 22, 2012 03:11PM) (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments I recently read Maurice by E. M. Forster and love it. The main character in this book is upper-middle class who starts relationship and falls in love with man who is servant class.
So I would love to read historical fiction (set in Victorian or before WW1, England) where main theme is a class divide.


message 3: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (drokka) | 211 comments Most of Julian Fellowes books are about class divide in Britain. He is also the creator of Downton Abbey, the tele show, which is all about class divides. He also played a significant role in Monarch of The Glen tele show, which are based on a series of books set in Scotland during, if I recall, the inter-war period, but I'm not sure those would fall within class divide.


message 4: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments Thanks:)


message 5: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)


message 6: by Michele (new)

Michele | 280 comments Anne Perry has a long Victorian mystery series, 1st book is The Cater Street Hangman, where the detective is lower class and all the mysteries involve the upper classes.

Also there is Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence, She is upper class, he is definitely not :)


message 7: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments thanks


message 8: by Kris (new)

Kris | 34332 comments Mod
This list might be helpful:
https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...


message 9: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments thanks


message 10: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 38140 comments Mod
Sybil or the Two Nations

The aristocracy vs. the working class and peasants in the early Victorian era. It's by a British prime minister (before he became prime minister) but don't let that unduly alarm you. He's actually a good writer. (He wrote novels before going into politics.) It's also a love story and there's intrigue and everything.


message 11: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments Thanks, I've Sybil on my to read list.

So many books, so little time.:(


message 12: by Rosana (new)

Rosana Lady Chatterley's Lover is as much about class division as it is about sexuality. I actually thought a lot of Lady Chatterley's Lover while reading Maurice


message 13: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments Lawrence and Forster were friends, and Lawrence had read Maurice and apparently his Oliver is loosely inspired by Alec. At least that was said in my Maurice edition's introduction.


message 14: by Rosana (new)

Rosana Anna, that would make a lot of sense. I "listened" to Maurice recently, but my audio version did not have a preface. Thank you for this.


message 15: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 38140 comments Mod
Of course The Collector isn't historical fiction nor of the periods you mention, but I thought it was interesting how much the class divide was the focus.

Fowles talks about it here - warning, spoilers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coll...


message 16: by Rosana (new)

Rosana Another one came to mind Rebecca


message 17: by Teri-K (last edited Nov 03, 2014 04:09PM) (new)

Teri-K | 301 comments North and South by Gaskell has an interesting slant on this, as she's a minister's daughter from the South of England and he's a poor man's son who rose to be a mill owner up North. Class divisions and then some. :) It's also really good, I think. And the movie version with Daniela Denby-Ashe & Richard Armitage is very good, too.

Not as classy but still good is Lisa Kleypas' Again the Magic, about Lady Aline, her snobby family, and John McKenna, who was a servant. Kleypas has a number of books with this issue and I think she's a better-than-average historical romance writer.

And don't forget that Jane Austen always deals with class in her novels. In Persuasion Anne Elliott refuses to marry the man she loves because she's convinced by others that he's not "good" (rich) enough for her. When he comes back into her life he's "too good" for her.


message 18: by Holly (new)

Holly (hollylovesbooks) | 761 comments If anyone is looking for a YA take on this, I have a few suggestions! All of these are basically teen Downton Abbeys set in the 1910s (and might not be of the highest quality, haha)

Cinders & Sapphires (At Somerton, #1) by Leila Rasheed Diamonds and Deceit (At Somerton, #2) by Leila Rasheed Emeralds & Ashes (At Somerton, #3) by Leila Rasheed
Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame


message 19: by Anna (last edited Nov 04, 2014 03:46AM) (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments Rosana wrote: "Another one came to mind Rebecca"

I love that one :)


message 20: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments Teri-k wrote: "North and South by Gaskell has an interesting slant on this, as she's a minister's daughter from the South of England and he's a poor man's son who rose to be a mill owner up North. C..."

I've read Persuasion and North and South and I'll definitely check out Again the magic, sounds interesting. Thanks.


message 21: by Angharad (new)

Angharad | 34 comments Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", "Sense and Sensibility", and "Persuasion" all deal with the class divide as well as relationships. Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre", Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights", Dickens' "Great Expectations", and Gaskell's books all deal with the class divide.

You've already mentioned "Maurice"; other books by the same author that you might enjoy are "A Room With a View" and "Where Angels Fear to Tread".

I'll second Anne Perry's mysteries. She has written two series featuring different main characters set during different times in the Victorian era. Of the two, I prefer the ones featuring Charlotte and Thomas Pitt over the ones feature Hester and William Monk. The latter series is okay, but I find it has gotten more preachy. Both series do a wonderful job detailing the class system that governed every aspect of life during the Victorian era.

Darcy mentioned Julian Fellows and the tv series "Downton Abbey". I've watched "Downton Abbey", but find that I much prefer "Upstairs Downstairs", which is older by 40 some years but does a wonderful job with the issue of social class/caste during the Edwardian era.

For a very adult YA series, try the Flambards trilogy by K.M. Peyton, which is set during the years around and during World War I (1907/8-1917/8). Don't let the YA designation discourage you; plenty of class divide and social class conflicts, and very adult themes with excellent writing and storyline.


message 22: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments Thank you very much!

I agree 100% Upstairs Downstairs is so much better. I liked the 1st and 2nd season of Downton Abbey but after that the show became cringeworthy.


message 23: by Jaye (new)

Jaye  | 372 comments Upstairs Downstairs by John Hawkesworth Upstairs Downstairs
by John Hawkesworth
I enjoyed the 1st book, but haven't read the 2nd yet:
In My Lady's Chamber by John Hawkesworth In My Lady's Chamber


message 24: by Jaye (new)

Jaye  | 372 comments re: Upstairs, Downstairs
Apparently there are a bunch of them which I didn't know until just now:
https://www.goodreads.com/series/4536...


message 25: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments Thanks! Sadly it looks like these books are out of print.


message 26: by Jaye (new)

Jaye  | 372 comments Anna wrote: "Thanks! Sadly it looks like these books are out of print."

Well, there's always the library.
They always manage to find the books I want even if they have to come from across the country!


message 27: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments I ♥ library


message 28: by Merrilee (new)

Merrilee (jrsygrl626) | 189 comments A Matter of Class deals with this. I've read a few romance books that deal with the subject, but my mind is mush and only the one I've given springs right to my mind


message 29: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments thanks :)


message 30: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2359 comments Try Longbourn -- it's a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the "below-stairs" perspective. You might also like The Forsyte Saga, and perhaps The Age of Innocence. The latter is set in New York City rather than England but has the same theme and much the same feel.

And of course there's Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey".


message 31: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 591 comments The Weaver Takes a Wife is a Regency Romance where the heroine (daughter of a Duke) is forced to marry a wealthy tradesman (who is illegitimate and raised as a worker, but eventually becomes wealthy). So sort of about class divide.


message 32: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 38140 comments Mod
Behind a Mask, Gothic novella by Louisa May Alcott. Set in Britain.


message 33: by Michele (new)

Michele | 2359 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "Behind a Mask, Gothic novella by Louisa May Alcott. Set in Britain."

Ooh, good one! Her "blood and thunder" tales are great.


message 34: by Anna (new)

Anna (annamatsuyama) | 399 comments Thanks!


message 35: by Cate (new)

Cate | 9 comments Does it have to be historical fiction? How about some Oscar Wilde? The Importance of being Ernest, or A Woman of No Importance are great reads.


message 37: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)


message 38: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 16819 comments Alec

A reimagining and continuation of Maurice.


message 39: by Helena (new)


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