Monday, July 26, 2010

Beyond Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters: Classics Written by Women

So you know your Jane Austen. You've read Emma, Northanger Abbey, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion.

You've moved on to the Brontes. You've read Charlotte's Jane Eyre, Emily's Wuthering Heights and perhaps even Anne's Agnes Grey.

If you loved these books and want to read more classics written by women, this list should help get you started.
    Mrs. Dalloway (Annotated)
  1. Louisa May Alcott - Little Women, Little Men, Jo's Boys
  2. Daphne Du Maurier - Rebecca
  3. George Eliot - Middlemarch, Silas Marner, The Mill on the Floss
  4. Margaret Mitchell - Gone with the Wind
  5. Sylvia Plath - The Bell Jar
  6. Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Anthem
  7. George Sand - Indiana, Valentine
  8. Mary Shelley - Frankenstein
  9. Harriet Beecher Stowe - Uncle Tom's Cabin
  10. Virginia Woolf - Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse
Who else would you add to the list?


  1. +JMJ+

    I'd add some Willa Cather and Edith Wharton. =)

    (And I'd remove Ayn Rand, but that's just me. =P)

  2. I really like this post and can't wait to hear others' input. I'm thinking as well.

  3. ooh, I'm reading Little Women right now! :D

    Definitley think LM MOntgomery should be on that list (Anne of Green Gables), is she "classic" enough? :p

  4. I second Willa Cather (Death Comes for the Archbishop is my favorite) and would add:

    Toni Morrison (Beloved)
    Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
    Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden- children's book but it totally holds up for adult readers)
    Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits, Stories of Eva Luna)

    Love this post!


  5. I would definitely add Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South! It is "Pride and Prejudice with a social conscience".

    In my opinion Louisa May Alcott's An Old-Fashioned Girl is WAY better than Little Women!

  6. I'd add Isabel Allende, too. And Louisa May Alcott (for younger women ;)

  7. I would have to add Elizabeth Gaskell's "Cranford" and Mary Elizabeth Braddon's "Lady Audley's Secret." And ditto Hurtson's "Their Eyes Were Watching God."

  8. @Enbrethiliel - Oh, I haven't read either of them.

    @christina - Thanks! I love everyone's answers!

    @Audrey - I think so. I haven't read that one either.

    @Hannah - Thanks. I haven't read these ladies wither, but I do have one Allende book on the shelf that I hope to read soon.

    @Stella - I've never even heard of those books. Definitely going to have to check them out.

    @Alessandra - I really do need to read more Louisa May Alcott. Something beyond Little Women.

    @Chelle - Wow. I really never even considered there were so many classic women authors that I haven't read. I'm going to have to add all of these to my list :)

  9. She's from the Victorian era, so I'm not sure if she fits your definition of "classic," but Kate Chopin (The Awakening, At Fault, and oodles of short stories) is a great female author I haven't seen mentioned yet.

    Let's see...also, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper) and Frances Hodgson Burnett (The Secret Garden, A Little Princess).

  10. I hit "post" too soon. I meant to add authors Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor.

  11. The Bell Jar is our October book club read. I love classics - you have an awesome list here!

  12. That is a fantastic list of classics! Austen and the Brontes are great at getting people hooked! I really enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities--one I read as a sophmore in HS and it has stuck with me since :)

  13. Great roundup! A couple of my all time favorite books are on this list - Rebecca and Gone with the Wind!

  14. I was going to mention Kate Chopin & Elizabeth Gaskell, but I see they were already mentioned. My TBR list has definitely just grew! LOL

  15. @starshinedown - I don't have a solid definition for "classic," just kind of older and held in high esteem. I'll definitely be checking out some of your suggestions!

    @Sheila - Thanks!

    @Felicia - I hated A Tale of Two Cities. I read it about 10 years ago and could not stand it. Maybe if I had read it in high school with some guidance, but I don't know.

    @Amused - Thanks! I loved Gone with the Wind too!

    @Julie P - You're welcome. Or I'm sorry - depending on how out of control your TBR is :)

  16. Totally agree with recommendations for Hurston, Cather, Wharton, and Chopin. Also, how about Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) for Out of Africa and/or Shadows on the Grass, and Rumer Godden for The Greengage Summer?

  17. @J.G. - Ohh, more I haven't read! Thanks!

  18. This is a really great list. Thanks for sharing.

    Jennifer @