We are behind the creation of a time machine, but a person can go back in time through books. Opening the first pages in your room and returning to a different century by living your heart and soul in a book is easy The Victorian era was a creative time that gave us a the gift of taking ourselves to the heart of time. With the Bronte sisters and Eliot, the Victorian era saw a number of women writers who told the story of Victorian women in one pen and one.
Victorian reading list: Here are 5 books written by women that you should read:
Middlemarch by George Eliot
A story of the pit, of contradictions. The wise and the unwise; workers and thinkers; youth and experience. The story doesn’t judge any type of people but brings them together to show how they interact at this point in British history. There is a lushness to the description and prose of Middlemarch. You will find yourself laughing at the end of the story as George Eliot gives you a happy ending with the bonus side of country and culture. A simile in the text where the narrator tells you exactly what certain characters are is enlightening. The book is for hard work, dedicated, for building a complex and careful that you can describe it as love. Don’t worry there is a lot of breathing room, moments where you can relax and enjoy in the liminal areas of each kind of arc and action.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Untamed personalities, those who love wildly, who act wildly, unsocially, act according to the force of nature, when the mind takes it, a book on the wildness of nature, and the wildness of kind person. Victorian tale of the tragic, dark side of love. You will find that it is no good if their wildness varies by degrees, and you cannot like any of them. What should be taken is an expression of the cyclic nature of nature, of life. How something is nurtured is reflected in its growth. There is a part of you that wants to see the best in the desert. If you can’t imagine it’s a story of the wind howling on the moor, rattling through the windows, whispering to the wildness of the human spirit, to merciless power.
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
An immersion into Victorian Realism is what sums this book up. You have to believe it’s a tough read esp. When Eliot’s characters are drawn into the conflict, it can be very satisfying. There is a reason why this text is called ‘Realist’ because it understands how it understands its characters before they understand themselves. But this is perhaps the greatest strength of the story, when the characters fight with each other when events bring their good and bad sides to the surface, it feels real because it is Eliot assures us of their qualities.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott’s 150-Year-Old Masterpiece is in and out of date. The Victorian world you see is as detailed as our own and their history is very real. You’ll notice that each chapter is like an arc of its own that focuses on certain characters and foreshadows future outcomes. In a Victorian society where marriage was only a moment of triumph for women, Alcott made Jo a breath of fresh air with a sunset. Alcott’s writing is characteristic but charming at times, and appropriate for the era in which it is set, as the character of the sister is described throughout the book. It gives you a sense of what it was like to be a typical family in the 1800s and easily shows the emotions of each character.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The texts of the Brontë sisters are a must read from the Victorian era as they give you a radicalism of thought that is not seen in the reality of the time. Charlotte wrote her text about the shortcomings and demands of independence and privacy by Victorian women through Jane. Shown as a strong female symbol, arguing throughout the novel that women should be free to pursue their desires, express their true selves, and secure their own destiny jane in her demand for free choice. Rebellions have consequences like the journey of Jane or any other woman you try to get out of the box, but you will see that changes happen not overnight but slow and steady like an earthquake. If you’re looking for a twist on Victorian ideas Jane Eyre is your go-to.
The opinions expressed are the author’s own. The list is exhaustive and not exhaustive.
Recommended Reading: Reversing Pride and Prejudice: 5 Jane Austen Books You Must Read.