Wherein We Elect Our Favourite Novels of… the 1880's, pt.2 (1885-1889)

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Things are getting unwieldly now - actually think I've included more books by authors outside of the big centres this time, including quite a few Asian classics (none of which I've read, sadly).

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Three Men In A Boat by Jerome K. Jerome 2
Germinal by Émile Zola 1
A Study In Scarlett by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1
Setchubai by Tetcho Suehiro 1
Os Maias by Eça de Queirós 1
Staurofila by Maria Nestora Tellez 0
Kundalatha by Appu Nedungadi 0
Fortunata Y Jacinta by Benito Pérez Galdos 0
The Drifting Cloud by Futabatei Shimei 0
The People Of Hemso by August Strindberg 0
Frau Sorge by Hermann Sudemann 0
Les lauriers sont coupés by Édouard Dujardin 0
She by Rider Haggard 0
Saraswatichandra by Govardhanram Tripathi 0
The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson 0
A Dream Of John Ball by William Morris 0
Mastro-don Gesualdo by Giovanni Verga 0
The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne 0
The Master Of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson 0
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain 0
Nad Niemnem by Eliza Orzeszkowa 0
Chandrakanta by Devaki Nandan Khatri 0
A Carne by Júlio Ribeiro 0
O Ateneu by Raul Pompeia 0
The Romance Of A Shop by Amy Levy 0
Allan Quartermain by Rider Haggard 0
Noli Me Tángere by José Rizal 0
Demos by George Gissing 0
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett 0
The Bostonians by Henry James 0
A Romance Of Two Worlds by Marie Corelli 0
La Regenta by Clarín 0
Nínay by Pedro Alejando Paterno 0
Juan de la Rosa by Nataniel Aguirre 0
Fra Kristiania-Bohêmen by Hans Jaeger 0
Constance Ring by Amalie Skram 0
Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant 0
Kidnapped by George Louis Stevenson 0
The Mayor Of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy 0
Tjhit Lipa Seng by Lie Kim Hok 0
Teresa by Neera 0
The Outpost by Boleslaw Prus 0
The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume 0
The House Of Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazán 0
The Deluge by Henryk Sienkiewicz 0
The Blind Musician by Vladmir Korolenko 0
Albertine by Christian Krohg 0
Robur The Conqueror by Jules Verne 0
Ved Vejen by Herman Bang 0
King Solomon's Mines by Rider Haggard 0


Daniel_Rf, Monday, 15 June 2020 13:55 (three weeks ago) link

100% voting Os Maias, which is funny and tragic and my platonic ideal of a big 19th century novel. There used to be a Penguin Classics edition if you fancy giving it a go.

Daniel_Rf, Monday, 15 June 2020 13:56 (three weeks ago) link

The Bostonians is a masterly novel.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 June 2020 14:12 (three weeks ago) link

I find it problematic.

neith moon (ledge), Monday, 15 June 2020 14:13 (three weeks ago) link

Only read the Strindberg. Although Hemso is not the best example, he is an amazing novelist/prose writer.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 15 June 2020 16:12 (three weeks ago) link

I find it problematic.

― neith moon (ledge),

Exactly. That's what makes it masterly. Peak of James' Dickens influence on portraiture, peak of James' skepticism about every -ism in Boston life.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 June 2020 16:19 (three weeks ago) link

The thread title only asks humbly for our favorite novel among those listed, not the greatest specimen of the literary art, so I have unapologetically voted for a piece of amusing fluff, Three Men in a Boat: To Say Nothing of the Dog, by the redundantly named Jerome K. Jerome.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 15 June 2020 17:10 (three weeks ago) link

xp ignoring (for the moment at least) his ungenerous treatment of the nascent feminist movement, the emotions and motivations of James' characters are normally so deeply considered as well as deeply felt, that it seems unsatisfactory that one of the major protagonists here is such an empty vessel.

neith moon (ledge), Monday, 15 June 2020 17:20 (three weeks ago) link

You could be referring to Olive, Basil Ransom, or Verena. I think they're equally venal but the way he plays with our sympathies by shifting POVs and modulating the irony impresses me.

The best essay on the novel I've read is by, of all people, Pauline Kael's take in her review of the deadly Merchant Ivory adaptation

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 June 2020 17:23 (three weeks ago) link

I'll have a look (and a watch too, maybe). Verena is the problem, she simply has no inner life. Basil is a not unenjoyable moustache-twirling villain, I don't recall Olive so well but the critical take of her as a caricature is probably apt.

neith moon (ledge), Monday, 15 June 2020 17:31 (three weeks ago) link

I should read the James and Zola novels and am now intrigued by Os Maias

The Mayor of Casterbridge is worthy, but I can't front, my favorite here is A Study in Scarlet

Brad C., Monday, 15 June 2020 17:33 (three weeks ago) link

Basil is a not unenjoyable moustache-twirling villain

i want to take back this faint praise already! he doesn't have any schemes worthy of such a villain.

neith moon (ledge), Monday, 15 June 2020 17:37 (three weeks ago) link

to James' credit, he finds almost nothing of interest in Basil.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 15 June 2020 17:50 (three weeks ago) link

Has anyone read Demos? I enjoyed (if that's the word for it) The Nether World and New Grub Street but didn't exactly feel the urge to read more Gissing after I was through them.

handsome boy modelling software (bernard snowy), Monday, 15 June 2020 17:53 (three weeks ago) link

Can't be doing with Gissing, writing about downtrodden people and implying that they are getting their deserved lot in life, no wonder nobody reads him any more.

Obviously am going for Germinal here, in some sense the book that made me a socialist.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Monday, 15 June 2020 17:59 (three weeks ago) link

The thread title only asks humbly for our favorite novel among those listed, not the greatest specimen of the literary art, so I have unapologetically voted for a piece of amusing fluff, Three Men in a Boat

same.

germinal has been looking at me from a shelf for a few years now, maybe I'll get round to it.

neith moon (ledge), Monday, 15 June 2020 18:13 (three weeks ago) link

It's fine to vote for the comic novel, or indeed the Victorian adventure novel if there's any Haggard fans in the house.

Although Hemso is not the best example, he is an amazing novelist/prose writer.

Should read something of his besides that pamphlet where he basically reiterates what Marx said and adds "BTW IT IS ALL THE WOMEN'S FAULT, INCELS OF THE WORLD UNITE".

am now intrigued by Os Maias

Its author, Eça de Queirós, is Portugal's biggest contribution to the realist/naturalist movement and our biggest pre 20th century novelist period. Early on he attracted quite a lot of controversy for anti-clerical positions. This is his late masterpiece, an epic about the upper classes in Lisbon dragging their way from ball to ball, bullfight to bullfight. It's very much shaped by Queirós' vision of 19th century Portugal as a nation in decline and decadence (kind of anticipates the post WWI malaise in European fiction in this); it's also often very funny. I find the ending very moving.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 16 June 2020 09:35 (three weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

"Should read something of his besides that pamphlet where he basically reiterates what Marx said and adds "BTW IT IS ALL THE WOMEN'S FAULT, INCELS OF THE WORLD UNITE"."

What was it btw? Yeah its a very unbalanced worldview to say the least ..

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 17 June 2020 10:27 (three weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 18 June 2020 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

Poor showing if only two of the three men in the boat turn up to vote :(

Scampidocio (Le Bateau Ivre), Thursday, 18 June 2020 07:02 (two weeks ago) link

and their dog

koogs, Thursday, 18 June 2020 08:48 (two weeks ago) link

The Bostonians is a masterly novel.

Not masterly enough for people to vote for, apparently.

Daniel_Rf, Thursday, 18 June 2020 11:24 (two weeks ago) link

Damn, missed this one. Would have been between casterbridge (my favourite hardy), germinal and three men in a boat so, I’m not sure I’d have lived the needle.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Thursday, 18 June 2020 12:02 (two weeks ago) link

Pretty poor showing on this one.

A Study In Scarlet is such an odd book, the massive section in the middle where suddenly this is a story about Mormon settlers in the wild west, and no clue as to why for an age. This is on balance a good thing though. It's much better than The Sign of the Four, which is one of the most racist novels I've ever read.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 18 June 2020 12:33 (two weeks ago) link

Fans of Three Men On A Boat, I would recommend the sequel, Three Men on the Bummel, if you haven't read it already.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 18 June 2020 12:38 (two weeks ago) link


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