Ah, Victorian literature! That little dark and twisted sparkle of the vintage literature! I’ve heard so many people saying that Victorian literature is grotesque, cliché and overall not enjoyable. This is why I’m here to present you Victorian literature from my point of view, with two books that I’ve (re)read this month!
Wuthering Heights, a misplaced book in the “romance” isle
Written by Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, limn a cluster of symbols. It reflects the raw Victorian mentality and reality portrayed in the English society from the 19th century. It’s a pretty common gothic book. From the uncanny moors, the confusing name choices and the classic ghost, this book is frequently misunderstood as a romance novel. Oh, boy, let me tell you, it is NOT a romance story, at all. I’ve read this book over and over again, I’ve analysed it from every possible point of view. Yet, I see no romance, just obsession, misery and suffering (not suffering from love, but suffering in general.)
It’s a pretty short book, with around 400 pages. It frames two narrators and uncovers some pretty confusing and twister mysteries about some “big money guys” from the moors of England. Unveiling the reason why Heathcliff is such a sour geezer, this book shows how obsession is fatal. The tamed wilderness of this book has the taste of liquor filled chocolates. Have I made you curious?
Edgar Allan Poe’s ghastly, yet tempting short stories
If we talk about Victorian and/or gothic literature, Poe’s books represent an emblem. I’ve first read his short stories two years ago. After I’ve finished his story, “The Gold Bug”, I started looking around for his other books. And it was one of the best choices ever! His books are so short, yet so fascinating. His life was a total mess, but his imagination and creative power were so unpredictable. I’ve read and analysed almost all his short stories, and reading his poems is always a delight.
If I had to name my favourite stories from Poe, “The Masque of The Red Death” and “The Black Cat” would be my first choices. I loved the “Masque of The Red Death”. It was a pretty gore-ish story, yet, at the same time so hypnotizing! Poe took Shakespeare’s character from “The Tempest” and put a little dark twist to Prospero’s story. I should say a little red twist, since the short story starts and ends with bloody deaths. And “The Black Cat”? Oh, boy, the unboxing of that story is so unexpected!
So, should you read some Victorian literature books? You should definitely give it a try! If you love reading in general, why shouldn’t you expand your bookshelf?