10 of My Favorite Classic Authors

Classic Remarks

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!

You can find more information and the list of weekly prompts here.

(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:

Tell us about a few of your favorite classic authors.

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott may be my favorite children’s author. I love how she makes everyday scenarios feel extremely important, the way in which she still seems to be able to enter in childhood and remember what it felt like. Her children’s books are all charming, making me wish I could enter into her world and spend some time there, getting to know the characters and just enjoying life.

Discover some of Alcott’s lesser-known works.

Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy is one of my favorite works of literature and, for a time, I would reread it every year. I still return to it often to ponder Dante’s insights on everything from politics to theology to love. The sheer breadth of the work is astonishing, but Dante also manages to make it feel personal, as it comes alive with the stories of the best and the worst of humanity.

Is Dante’s Divine Comedy Still Relevant Today?

Jane Austen

Jane Austen continues to delight the world with her witty novels, which brilliantly critique the upper class society of her day, while also providing engaging plot lines and swoon-worthy romances. Her books come alive with her vibrant heroines, wicked cads, and, of course, chivalrous love interests. It’s difficult not to find one’s self completely absorbed by Austen’s work.

Read our review of Jane Austen’s Emma.

Anne Brontë

Anne is known for writing more realistic stories than her sisters and for her progressive views on women, which today are read as perhaps even more feminist than Charlotte and Emily’s. In The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, for example, Anne writes about the laws that allow men to abuse their wives, suggesting that marriage can become a form of imprisonment. Her story shocked Victorian society and, after her death, Charlotte tried to tame her sister’s memory. Charlotte refused to republish The Tenant of Wildfell Hall because she claimed its scenes of debauchery did not reflect Anne’s true, gentle character. Some scholars believe it is in part Charlotte’s intervention that lead to Anne’s literary reputation falling. Anne, however, is my favorite of the Brontë sisters because of her clear insight into character, her refusal to romanticize bad boys, and her sharp critiques of society. She did not live long to write much, but what she did write is worth reading.

Read our review of Agnes Grey.

Charles Dickens

I have loved Charles Dickens for years, ever since high school, and I am actually glad I have not yet read all of his works. It gives me something to look forward to! Dickens is a master of characterization, always managing to pull out distinguishing features to mark his people as either heroes or villains. He’s also wonderful at creating tightly woven plot lines, where all the disparate threads come neatly together at the end.

Read our review of Bleak House, regarded as one of Dickens’ best works.

Alexandre Dumas

I love a good swashbuckler, and Dumas is among the best when it comes to writing them. From The Count of Monte Cristo to Three Musketeers, Dumas knows how to spin a yarn that’s packed with action, adventure, danger, and romance. Many of his works are long, but they are certainly worth the time.

Read our review of The Three Musketeers.

George Eliot

I first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch on the recommendation of a college professor. At the time, I had never read anything written by Eliot and really had no idea who she was–even though I loved reading Victorian novels. She was just one of those names I heard all the time, but never looked into. However, I liked this professor and trusted his recommendations, so I picked up Middlemarch to see what it was all about. I was blown away by its vision and its power. It is one my favorite books, though I’ve only managed to read it twice so far.

Read our review of Middlemarch.

C. S. Lewis

I first discovered C. S. Lewis when I was in third grade and began reading the Narnia books. They transported me to another world! Lewis, however, has written a great deal more, from works on Christianity to his famous Space Trilogy. I still love diving into his work and engaging with his ideas.

Discover 10 must-read books about C. S. Lewis.

L. M. Montgomery

I think I have enjoyed everything by Montgomery that I have ever read from her novels to her short stories. She has a real gift for characterization, making her characters come alive through their foibles and their little everyday mannerisms. But she also has the ability to make readers feel like there is magic everywhere, waiting just around the corner. My favorite book by L. M. Montgomery is Pat of Silver Bush.

Discover L. M. Montgomery’s books beyond Anne of Green Gables.

William Shakespeare

Perhaps it’s overdone to call Shakespeare a literary genius–but he is. It may take some time to become familiar with his language but, once you do, the beauty of his verse is breathtaking. Add to that his engaging plot lines and his fascinating commentary on life, love, and nature, and you have a writer whose work feels continuously relevant and always in need of a re-read.

Learn how to Read Shakespeare

25 thoughts on “10 of My Favorite Classic Authors

  1. jawahirthebookworm says:

    Austen used to bore me to death when I first read her during middle school 😂 But I grew up to love her witty dialogue and sharp tongued humor. Dumas is my favorite classic author, yes I totally agree his works are long but definitely worth the wait!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Oh no!!! Haha. I can see that, though. There are some books I read in middle school/high school that didn’t resonate with me until much later. Sometimes the timing just have to be right.

      And, yes! Dumas is so great! I guess his lengthy tomes mean he doesn’t get read as often, but, on the bright side, once you get settled into one of his works, you know you’ll be able to avoid that sad part of reading for awhile–finishing the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mphtheatregirl says:

    10 classics authors- if I think of enough. That might include more recent authors

    1. Homer
    2. Miguel de Cervantes
    3. Charles Dickens- which I loved since elementary school
    4. Victor Hugo
    5. C.S. Lewis
    6. Tolkien
    7. Louisa May Alcott
    8. J.K Rowling- I think Harry Potter has already reached the word “classic”
    9. Frances Hodgson Burnett
    10. Thomas Hardy

    So far, not liking Austen- only read Pride and Prejudice, which I didn’t like

    Liked by 1 person

      • mphtheatregirl says:

        Almost finished with Little Women- still love that book.

        Narnia and Harry Potter were most responsible for my love of fantasy- that is why eventually I read Lord of the Rings

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Alyson Woodhouse says:

    I’ll need to read the Divine Comedy, it has come up in conversations a few times recently, and I’ve somehow never got round to reading it. I’m glad you still have some Dickens to read, even his lesser known novels like Dombey and Son or Martin Chuzzelwit are worth a shot. I still have the Pickwick Papers to go, but I’ll leave it till I’m able to consentrate on long novels again.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I need to be in your conversations! The last time someone asked what I was reading and I said, “The Divine Comedy” there was this long, awkward pause before they recovered, haha!

      I have read The Pickwick Papers, but not Dombey and Son or Martin Chuzzlewit! But Dickens feels like a winter read. Maybe this is the season for me to pick up some of his works….

      Like

  4. BookerTalk says:

    I’ll join you in having George Eliot on the list – Middlemarch is my all time favourite. I’ve read it about six times and each time I find some aspect I hadn’t noticed before

    Like

  5. Eleanor J. says:

    WOW this post is incredible!! I love how you structured it. I agree, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was beautifully penned despite being set in more normal settings. I think I’ve read three of Jane Austen’s novels, and her protagonists are so original! L. M. Montgomery is amazing, Anne remains one of my absolute favorite literary heroines. C. S. Lewis’s Narnia is such a classic, I’m happy to see him on here too! I have quite a few Dickens novels I need to get to, and I want to read more of Dumas. And of course the Bard known as Shakespeare. Again, beautiful list!!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it! I agree that is Anne Shirley is one of the great literary heroes! I always love going on adventures. They feel new and exciting every time!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. libraryaunty says:

    From your list:
    1. C.S. Lewis. From the age of 12 to maybe 30, I re-read the entire Chronicles of Narnia every year. I stopped because I had total recall and no longer needed to physically pick up the books.
    2. L.M. Montgomery. Reread the Anne series too, then stopped because I got her out of my system.
    3. Louisa May Alcott. Likewise with Little Women.
    4. Charles Dickens. Great Expectations is my favourite. Will be happy to read again.
    5. Jane Austen. My favourite is Persuasion. Emma is hateful and delightful at the same time.
    6. William Shakespeare. As You like It, Measure for Measure. Othello. For different reasons.
    My additions:
    7. Jack London. Call of the Wild.
    8. Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451.
    9. Thomas Hardy. Jude the Obscure made me cry buckets.
    10. Mary Shelly. Frankenstein. Incredible.

    Anne Bronte…It wasn’t just the Victorians who were shocked by Tenant of Wildfell Hall!
    Dante. Yet to enjoy this delight!

    I hope to write a blog post on classics one day, but don’t have time this week. Will link back when I finally do! Thanks for your wonderful blog. I am learning a lot!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Wow! I am impressed you read Narnia so much you could just recall it! That is dedication!

      I still love Anne, but I admit that Pat is my favorite. I like that she’s an ordinary girl. She doesn’t have special literary talents like Anne or Emily, she does just all right at school, and she has basically zero ambitions other than taking care of her house. I think it’s great that she seems so average, but still gets to be a heroine!

      Haha, I love how you describe Emma as “hateful and delightful” at the same time. I used to really hate her, but, over time, I have begun to read her as more youthful and immature than malicious, so, even though I don’t condone her actions, I feel more forgiving.

      And I love your additions! I haven’t read any Thomas Hardy yet, but it’s never too late to start!

      Liked by 1 person

      • libraryaunty says:

        I never tried Pat, but don’t think I will go back to L.M. now…Read Hardy only when you are not depressed. Seriously. Similar in some ways but maybe not quite as depressing as Jude is Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage. Unlike Narnia and Anne, these classics are definitely not for children.

        Like

  7. cupidandkatcreations says:

    Wonderful list! I love how CS Lewis is on there. I feel like he’s largely only known for Narnia (which is definitely a wonderful series), but he has written so many amazing other books as well both nonfiction and fiction!

    Like

  8. Michael J. Miller says:

    Hmmm, if I was to pick a favorite classic author, while he is admittedly a more modern classic voice, I’d have to go with Kurt Vonnegut. I first read him while in college (for fun/by choice – I’ve never been assigned Vonnegut in any class) and he just changed everything. He helped me to develop so many of my views on war and peace, justice, God, morality, modernity, relationships, religion, etc. I found his work at a time when I was starting to first form so many of the views which would guide me into my fully formed adulthood and his works were an important part of that journey and a welcome companion and guide as I travelled it. I’ve read just about everything he’s written and have returned to many of his works multiple times.

    I can’t riff another nine because a) Vonnegut just immediately came to mind as soon as I saw this post and b) if I try to come up with another nine I’ll over think it and never actually get around to clicking “Post Comment” XD.

    Like

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