Sunday 11 October 2015

The Women's Classic Literature Event

This week The Classics Club, that often ignored mainstay of my blogging life, announced the Women's Classic Literature Event, the idea of which is to read classic literature by women. It runs from now until the end of 2016 and as you can imagine I am super super excited about it!

They also posted a survey of which I will answer some questions here, because who doesn't love a good survey?

Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Zora Neale Hurson, George Eliot, Rose Wilder Lane, Louisa May Alcott, & Virginia Woolf.

1. Introduce yourself. Tell us what you're most looking forward to in this event?

I'm Bex and honestly I'm most excited about exploring some of the titles by women already on my list. I'm also really looking forward to seeing what other people are reading and hopefully taking part in some events and talking all things womens literature. 

2. Have you read many classics by women? Why or why not?

I've read all of Austen as well as Jane Eyre, Wutherine Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by the Bronte sisters. I also read To The Lighthouse by Viriginia Woolf in University, which I strongly disliked, and Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, which I remember next to nothing about. More modern classics include The Colour Purple by Alice Walker and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston as well as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and The Bell Jar (and selected poetry) by Sylvia Plath. 

Honestly in the past I've not gone out of my way to ensure that I'm reading a lot of classics by women. Naturally my reading tends to be more than 50% female authors but this doesn't seem to translate to classics. I don't know if it's because there's less available (unlikely) or just because there's less that I know about, but hopefully this event will help to rectify that!

3. Pick a classic female writer you can't wait to read for the event. List her date of birth, her place of birth & one of her most famous works.

I've had the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder on my Classics Club list since the start and I'm really excited to finally start it for this event. She was born in February 1867 in Pepin, Wisconsin which only had 837 people living in it at the 2010 census so I can't imagine how tiny when she lived there!

8. Will you be joining us for this event immediately or will you wait until the new year starts?

I'm going to be joining in December, although I'm doing Hanna's Moby Dick readalong starting tomorrow so that's a classic at least, but then there's Nonfiction November so I'm kind of tied up with that (in the most awesome way of course). 

9. Do you plan to read as inspiration pulls or will you make out a preset list?

I plan to do a bit of both. I'm including here all the titles by women left on my list and then I'll probably do some browsing at Persephone when we're there on the bookshop crawl and be inspired by what others are reading as well. The titles I have on my list are: 
  • A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • Ariel by Sylvia Plath
  • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
  • Let the Circle Be Unbroken, The Road to Memphis by Mildred D. Taylor
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
  • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggins
  • Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
12. Do you hope to host a readalong for the group?

Yes! I'd like some company reading the Little House books so I'm going to do a series readalong starting in December. Hopefully some other people will be interested in joining me for at least some of the books. The tentative schedule will be thus:

December: Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie
January: On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake
February: The Long Winter
March: Little Town on the Prairie, Those Happy Golden Years
April: Farmer Boy, The First Four Years

Let me know in the comments if you're interested in joining me for some or all of it. I'll post an official schedule and sign up next month sometime. 

13. Is there an author or title you'd love to read with a group or buddy for this event?

I need a buddy to read The Age of Innocence with me! I started it before and couldn't get into it but really want to. 

Excited for this event! Please leave links to your posts about it in the comments, I'd love to check them out! For more details check out this post or find the full survey here.


  1. I'll read the Age of Innocence with you! It's on my list too!

    I've slowed down a bit on the Classics Club. I think I started with too many books I felt I should read, but didn't want to, so I'm going to adjust it.

    1. Oh I did that too, my list now is my second attempt at it! While it's great to have a few that challenge you, there's no point having a list full of stuff you don't want to read!

      Awesome, I'm excited! Looks like there might be a readalong happening :-)

  2. I will be hosting my annual Edith Wharton readalong in January 2016. I would be happy to make it An Age of Innocence month :-)
    I've also embraced the Women's Classics Challenge (post on my blog went up earlier today).

    1. That would be so awesome Brona, thanks! I'll check out your post later on :-)

  3. Gone with the Wind!!! Oh! My! Goodness! I'm so excited to see that on your list! And Aeriel is magnificent. (You know Charlotte's Web was written by a man, right? It's one of my favorites, but so you know.) :)

    I definitely might join you for the Little House readalong. I don't want to commit (I'm so bad at committing!) but I'm tentatively interested!

    1. Oh that's really embarrassing, I did know he was a man! I think I just saw Charlotte as I was scrolling through and was like 'yep,woman'. Thanks for pointing it out!

      Tentative interest is great :-) Honestly I'll read them regardless, it's just nice to have people to chat with!

  4. I am excited about this event, so much so I plan to start immediately! I see you have Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons on your list. I loved this book! I hope you enjoy it too.

  5. Plath's Ariel is amazing, I actually recommended it in my survey post that will be going up on Wednesday. I have never made it all the way through the Little House series, so I will keep an eye on your read-along! Enjoy your classics!
    Mallory @ The Local Muse

  6. Plath's Ariel is amazing, I actually recommended it in my survey post that will be going up on Wednesday. I have never made it all the way through the Little House series, so I will keep an eye on your read-along! Enjoy your classics!
    Mallory @ The Local Muse