Monday, January 29, 2007

Gothic Novels

I've been reading again. This is a big deal. For a few years there I didn't read much - I was always knitting instead (There are people who knit and read AT THE SAME TIME but I'm not even talented enough to bother trying.). But lately I've been reading almost like I used to - and by that mean lots of books and lots of time.

I finished the latest Jane Austen mystery, which takes place while Jane is in London waiting for her first published book - Sense and Sensibility - to be printed. So the next logical book, or course, was Sense and Sensibility. What can I say - I've always liked this story. The 1995 movie is one of my favorites too.

When I was searching for Sense and Sensibility I came across Wuthering Heights. I haven't read this since high school. The blurb on the back cover describes it as "the most original tale of thwarted desire and heartbreak in the English language." How could I not read that?

Friday night I watched Jane Eyre on Masterpiece Theater (I like to stay home on Friday nights and watch Masterpiece Theater.). I really enjoyed the TV version of it.* You know how sometimes they're bad and sometimes they're good? This one was very good. I figured I had better read Jane Eyre too.

Then I did some research (I love research!) and found that Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are both considered gothic novels. So now I need to read more gothic novels. I've started with The Mysteries of Udolpho. (The link isn't to the copy I actually got from the library, but I totally love the picture on the front! lol) This book was supposedly the first best seller. It has all the classical gothic novel traits - a beautiful young woman, a creepy castle, some spooky goings on, mysteries all over the place, and a love story with a handsome but possibly evil man. (That's how I like my men - handsome but possibly evil.)

I was looking for Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen's parody of gothic novels, but they didn't have it at my library. Northanger Abbey is logically the next book to read since The Mysteries of Udolpho is referenced by the main character in Northanger Abbey.

And for light reading - The Masque of the Black Tulip. (All that doom and gloom of The Mysteries of Udolpho is too much for me to read before I go to bed! I'm having wacky enough dreams as it is because of the meds I'm taking, I don't need scary dreams too!)

So... what's next? Jane Eyre, Northanger Abbey and then maybe The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas. Unless I get caught up in something else. :)

* I got a friend invite on myspace recently from a guy who said "I'll read just about anything, even if it's already been on tv." I just find that really funny.

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