What Is Classic Remarks?
Classic Remarks is a meme hosted here at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.
How Can I Participate?
Leave your link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. And feel free to comment with your thoughts even if you are not officially participating with a full post!
(Readers who like past prompts but missed them have also answered them on their blog later and linked back to us at Pages Unbound, so feel free to do that, too!)
This Week’s Prompt:
What are some lesser-known works by a classic author you think people should read?
The sequel to the classic Little Women, Little Men follows the students at Jo’s boarding school as they get into scrapes and learn how to be better people. Essentially, it’s Little Women but with (mostly) boys as the focus. The March family make cameo appearances, which is fun. It’s arguably not quite as good as Little Women, which is probably why it has been adapted less and experienced less popularity. Still, fans of the the first book will find some of the same charm in this one.
Jo’s Boys follows the students at Jo’s boarding school as they begin to grow up, fall in love, and decide what they want to do with their lives. It’s bittersweet watching Jo watch her boys set off into the unknown. She clearly wants the best for them, but she also knows she cannot keep them safe with her forever. A worthy follow-up to Little Men.
Orphan Rose Campbell arrives at the “Aunt Hill,” where her six aunts and seven boy cousins live. At first, Rose is overwhelmed and sickly. But her Uncle Alec prescribes outdoor activity as the remedy and, soon, Rose and her cousins are getting into all kinds of adventures. A classic tale of growing up in the vein of Anne of Green Gables or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
Rose in Bloom
In the sequel to Eight Cousins, Rose Campbell returns to the “Aunt Hill” after going abroad. She wants to be an independent woman and find her calling in life, but she also has many potential suitors. Will Rose be able to identify true love when she sees it?
Jack and Jill
Best friends Jack and Jill are laid up with injuries when they tumble out of a sled. Fortunately, they have plenty of friends to keep them amused with theatrical productions, seaside visits, and other adventures. A story filled with the simple amusements of childhood perfect for readers who always longed to join the March sisters with their games like writing a newspaper or setting up a mailbox.
An Old-Fashioned Girl
Polly Milton goes to visit her cousin Fanny in the city, only to discover that city life has many temptations she did not expect. Fanny is glamorous, rich, and oh-so-grown-up. At first, Polly wants to be just like her. But are there charms to being “old-fashioned” after all? This story is somewhat similar to Meg’s in Little Women in that it follows a young girl who feels left out and insignificant due to her background. As always, however the book teaches a lesson: it is good to be true to yourself.
Under the Lilacs
Ben and his dog Sancho run away from a cruel ringmaster at the circus only to find themselves welcomed into a loving community. A sweet children’s story full of the childlike adventures Alcott knew so well how to make interesting.