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April 10th, 2008, 17:26
Thanks for the input, ISS. I've read Udolpho, but so long ago it's very indistinct. I think I've missed The Monk, though I'm familiar with its place in the field, so that's one I need to pick up. I definitely agree that it's rewarding in the end to work through these older classics, and I'll give Otranto a try next time my online bookseller has a sale.

Yes, I 've read a lot of Victoriana over the years as well, starting with Conan Doyle who broke me in to the narrative style, and perhaps some of my favorite novelists fall into that period—George Elliot and Thomas Hardy on the more serious end. It's easier I think for me to get into these books because they're quite similar in tone, phrasing and structure to the children's classics I read back in the late Stone Age of my childhood—Treasure Island, The Black Arrow, Black Beauty,Heidi, The Secret Garden etc. So segueing into the adult Victorians wasn't much of a reach. The stuff written a century or so previously, though, is bit more challenging, but as I said, I enjoy it's over the top quality, and sometimes, as in Frankenstein, it's surprisingly fresh and readable.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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