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 classic series you love?
Little Women Books by Louisa May Alcott
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. It’s a worthy follow-up to Little Men.
The Three Musketeers Books by Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas’s classic novel saw the publication of two sequels, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne: Ten Years After. This third book is typically published in English in three volumes, The Vicomte de Bragelonne, Louise de la Vallière, and The Man in the Iron Mask. The great thing about the series is that D’Artagnan grows up, and realizes just how awful he was as a young man. However, the high-stakes drama continues in each of the installments.
The Hornblower Series by C. S. Forester
C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series seems to have it all. Action and adventure set on the high seas during a fascinating historical moment, the Napoleonic Wars. A compelling hero who possesses an intellect as remarkable as his physical courage. One of my favorite male friendships, forged by shared hardships. Even a star-crossed romance. It’s a treat to watch Hornblower ascend through the ranks, until a well-deserved retirement.
The Nancy Drew Books by Carolyn Keene
I first fell in love with the Nancy Drew stories when I was growing up and my mother pulled a few of the classic yellow hardbacks out of some forgotten box for me to read. I am sure she does not remember this moment, but I do, because it would instill in me a love of the girl sleuth that continues to this day. Nancy Drew was a smart, skilled teenager who never backed down from a case and who always solved the mystery, regardless of the obstacles she faced. In addition, she was always confident, kind, and polite. If I didn’t want to be Nancy, I definitely wanted to be like her. I still love reading the books and playing the Nancy Drew PC games!
Check out our list of books to read if you love Nancy Drew!
Anne of Green Gables Books L. M. Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables is, of course, Montgomery’s most famous work, and it’s not difficult to guess why. Anne is a girl full of imagination who longs for beauty and who also finds herself forever getting into scrapes. She can take readers from a moonlit journey to distant shores back to the harsh reality of farm life, red hair, and broken slates in an instant. Though she was introduced in 1908, touches of the sentimental lie lightly on the story, and Anne’s adventures and concerns feel as fresh and relevant as ever. Seven sequels followed, as well as few companion books.
Emily of New Moon Books by L. M. Montgomery
Anne Shirley may be L. M. Montgomery’s most famous heroine, but Emily of New Moon possesses her own unique charms. Sensitive to beauty, possessed of a strong sense of justice, and endowed with the famed Murray pride, Emily bears some similarities to Anne but is ultimately her own character. Her adventures are not the misadventures of Anne but the typical ones of childhood–attempting to fit in at school, being subjected to the teacher’s sarcasm, visiting relatives, and having her first real fight with a friend. Montgomery transforms it all, making Emily’s pain and delight come to life in equal measure. I love all three books in this trilogy!
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Lewis’s Narnia books are a classic for a reason. As soon as Lucy steps through the wardrobe, readers know they are in a magical world unlike any other. I went on many an imaginative adventure in Narnia growing up, and I still can’t help but check the backs of any mysterious-looking wardrobes!
The Scarlet Pimpernel Books by Baroness Orczy
Baroness Orczy’s elusive hero proved so popular that his adventures continued in ten sequels and two collections of short stories–the first written was I Will Repay, about a young girl sworn by her father to kill the man she loves. The Pimpernel’s series also expanded to include two books about one of his ancestors, The Laughing Cavalier and The First Sir Percy, as well as one about a descendant living after World War I, Pimpernel and Rosemary.