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Can't Beat the Classics!

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Possibly the best book ever written. How did Jane Austen write with such flair, humour and elegance? How many drafts did it take to achieve such a state of perfection?There are so many quotes from this book, but my very favourite is this one from Lady Catherine de Burgh, speaking to Elizabeth about the Bennetts' garden: "Miss Bennet, there seemed to be a prettyish kind of a little wilderness on one side of your lawn.” It’s so polite, so rude and so like my garden!

P&P is an old-fashioned story, but so much of it rings true today with

regard to emotions, strivings and indeed prejudices. I loved the TV series from 1995 with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I wouldn’t ever watch a different version!

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In the guise of a children’s book, The Little Prince is actually a life-lesson for all human beings. A pilot's plane crashes in the desert where he meets a boy, whom he calls the little prince, from asteroid B-612. As the pilot repairs his plane, he learns of the little prince's travels. The little prince lives on a tiny planet and cares for a lovely rose. It’s such a beautiful, simple story, and yet it contains a depth of meaning that could be discussed eternally. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly: what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

The Warden – Anthony Trollope

I included this book because it was my Granny’s favourite. She loved anything by Trollope, and I enjoy his novels too. The plot involves two men who want to do what is right in the world. The problem is that their ideas of what is right are very different. I actually only added the book so I could mention Granny. I’m sure it was through her that I inherited my love of literature, children and animals. I wish she was still here so I could tell her about the books I’ve written.

The Portrait of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wild

The Portrait of Dorian Gray is an intriguing tale of a young man prepared to sell his soul for youth and beauty. It’s a good story, but only included here because I couldn’t find my coy of The Importance of Being Earnest which is my absolute favourite of all Wilde’s writing. Imagine being able to come up with all those quotes in just one play!

Here are three of my favourites.

 “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

“I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.”

And my husband’s favourite: “The General was essentially a man of peace, except in his domestic life.”

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

You couldn’t have a list of classic novels without including To Kill a Mockingbird. You can tell by my copy how much it's been read! It tells the story of Scout and Jem Finch as their father Atticus defends a Black man falsely accused and convicted of rape by an all-white jury. The question is similar to that of many other books I have mentioned: Is the human race essentially evil? There are many bad humans, and let’s face it, we all have our flaws, but when we feel a bit down about the state of the world, we should perhaps reflect instead on Atticus Finch's words to Jem: “There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ‘em all away from you. That’s never possible.”

If you haven't read The Runaway Children of Chennai  yet, please do - the sequel will be out in January.

Also, it would make a great Christmas present.

Look who's beating David Walliams!

99p on Amazon (kindle) for a limited time only.

  If you know anyone who might enjoy my blogs or my books, please feel free to forward.

Happy Advent!



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