Victorians Challenge 2012

Men judge us by the success of our efforts. God looks at the efforts themselves*

*by Charlotte Bronte


I didn’t do any challenges last year and I promised myself I wouldn’t this year either as when I have done them in the past I have found that they can sometimes feel like homework and that I “have” to read something. However, being a massive fan of Victorian literature, I have been eyeing up this one, hosted by Laura’s Reviews for some time and I have decided to give it a go.


Here are the rules:

1. The Victorian Challenge 2012 will run from January 1st to December 31st, 2012. You can post a review before this date if you wish.

2. You can read a book, watch a movie, or listen to an audiobook, anything Victorian related that you would like. Reading, watching, or listening to a favorite Victorian related item again for the second, third, or more time is also allowed. You can also share items with other challenges.

3. The goal will be to read, watch, listen, to 2 to 6 (or beyond) anything Victorian items.

So, knowing how rubbish I am at sticking to plans and lists, I have decided not to give myself a huge goal but to say that I will read six this year and then just keep going if I fancy more. Seeing as I have almost finished two so far this year, it’s looking pretty possible.

Here are some of the books / authors I would like to read this year. Obviously, I won’t get to them all but a girl gotta have options :):


1) The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy (already read)

2) The Complete Short Fiction by Oscar Wilde (almost finished)

3) Armadale by Wilkie Collins

4) Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

5) Something by Dickens (I’m thinking either David Copperfield, Oliver Twist or Little Dorritt at the moment)

6) Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

7) More books by Thomas Hardy (whom I have fallen in love with) like Jude the Obscure, Far From the Madding Crowd or The Woodlanders

8) Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

9) Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackaray


I wasn’t sure if non-Brits would be included at first but Laura (in her post) has included authors such as Mark Twain and Louisa May Alcott so I’m hoping it’s OK to include some other nationalities like the French and Russian for example. If so then I really want to read:

1) Cousin Bette by Honor Belzac

2) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

3) Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant

4) Germinal by Emile Zola (already started)

5) Hunger by Knut Hamsun (Norwegian)


And if I have time after that little lot I would also like to read some non-fiction like finish Claire Tomalin’s biography of Charles Dickens and also London Labour and the London Poor by Henry Mayhew.


  Are there any out of this little lot that I should be reading before the others?




22 thoughts on “Victorians Challenge 2012

  1. Shannon says:

    That’s an impressive list, Boof! I’m ashamed to say I’ve only read three that you’ve listed (Jude the Obscure, Wives and Daughters, Vanity Fair) but they were all enjoyable. Wives and Daughters is something of a favourite, so I hope you get to that one.


  2. Jen Thompson says:

    I’m trying this year to read things that I normally wouldn’t….there’s a few on your list I might just have to read. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.


  3. Cat says:

    We have a love triangle 😀 …….I’m in love with Thomas Hardy too. Just read Far from the Madding Crowd and wondering what next? Maybe The Mayor of Casterbridge would be a good choice if you liked it so much. In between I’m reading his biography by Claire Tomalin which is very good.
    A few on your list I’d like to get to this year also.


  4. Helen says:

    I’ve also signed up for this challenge and am looking forward to reading lots of Victorian literature this year. Wives and Daughters and Aurora Floyd are on my list too, and possibly Vanity Fair. Of the other books you mentioned, I loved Armadale, Jude the Obscure and Les Miserables, so would recommend all three of those!


  5. FleurFisher says:

    That’s a wonderful list of books. I have Vanity Fair and Wives and Daughters down for this year, and I’m a chapter into Les Miserables. I’m tempted to reread some Hardy too, and so many books by Dickens are calling …


  6. Sarah Rochel says:

    Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon and The Arrow Chest by Robert Parry not to be missed. And if US writers are OK don’t forget Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven poem) who was a Victorian. I have loved these lately. Good Luck with your challenge!


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