Reading England 2015


This is a new challenge to me and it looked interesting.  Here is what the host has to say about the challenge:


The Goal: To travel England by reading, and read at least one book per however many counties of England you decide to read.

Example: You aim to read three books set in three different counties, and you read Far From the Madding Crowdby Thomas Hardy, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolfand The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates. Reading these means you have read a book from Dorset (Far From the Madding Crowd), London (Mrs Dalloway), and Kent (The Darling Buds of May).

The Rules:

  • This challenge begins on the 1st January 2015 and ends on 31st December 2015, but of course if you really get into it then keep it going :)
  • You can sign up any time between now and the end of 2015. Only books read after 1st January 2015 count, though.
  • Choose a level (below), but do not feel obliged to pick your books or even your counties beforehand. 
  • Because this is a classics blog, I'd encourage people to read classic novels, but how you define classics is up to you.
  • You are not limited to English authors. Henry James, for example, is American but his novel The Turn of the Screw is set in Essex, and so he counts for the challenge.
  • It would be grand if you blogged about the books you read for each county but you don't have to. If you do, you don't have to feel obliged to give any information about the county in general other than, maybe, "This is my review of which is set in the county of x". You could also include a description of the landscape in your posts, but again you don't have to.
  • You do not have to read the books in their original language, translations are accepted (I only read in English so I would never dream of making other people read in their second language!)
  • Audio books, Kindles, and whatnot are accepted too.
  • Poetry, plays, biographies, and autobiographies count as well as novels. 

The Levels:
  • Level one: 1 - 3 counties
  • Level two: 4 - 6 counties
  • Level three: 7 - 12 counties
  • Level four: 12 + counties

The List:
Bedfordshire
  • The Two Sisters by H. E. Bates
  • My Uncle Silas by H. E. Bates
  • Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan
Berkshire
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy 
  • Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes
  • Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
  • The Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde
Bristol
  • Evelina by Fanny Burney
Buckinghamshire
  • Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
Cambridgeshire
  • The Longest Journey by E. M. Forster
  • Maurice by E. M. Forster
  • Glory by Vladimir Nabokov
  • Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf
Cheshire
  • Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
Cornwall
  • Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Basil by Wilkie Collins
County Durham
  • Afternoon Off by Alan Bennett
  • Rokeby by Walter Scott
Cumbria
  • The Tennant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins
  • Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
  • Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope
  • The Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth
Derbyshire
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë [uncertain]
  • Adam Bede by George Eliot
  • Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
  • The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker
Devon
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley
  • He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
  • Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope
Dorset
  • The Worm Forgives the Plough by John Stewart Collis
  • Moonfleet by J. Meade Faulkner
  • Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  • The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy
  • Thank you, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
Essex
  • Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  • Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
  • Nightingale Woods by Stella Gibbons
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Gloucestershire
  • Cider With Rose by Laurie Lee
  • The Tailor of Gloucestershire by Beatrix Potter
Hampshire
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Herefordshire 
  • On The Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
  • The Diaries of Francis Kilvert by Rev. Francis Kilvert
Hertfordshire
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Kent
    • The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates
    • The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
    • Murder in the Cathedral by T. S. Eliot
    • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    • The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
    • Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham
    • Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
    Lancashire
    • Hard Times by Charles Dickens
    • Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
    • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
    • Redburn by Herman Melville
    • The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell
    • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
    Leicestershire
    • The Right to an Answer by Anthony Burgess
    Lincolnshire
    • John Marchmount's Legacy by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
    • The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
    • Pamela, or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson
    London
    • Emma by Jane Austen
    • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
    • A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
    • The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
    • Fanny Hill by John Cleland
    • No Name by Wilkie Collins
    • Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
    • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
    • The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
    • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
    • Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
    • The Nether World by George Gissing
    • New Grub Street by George Gissing
    • The Diary of a Nobody by George and Wheedon Grossmith
    • Hanover Square by Patrick Hamilton
    • Esther Waters by George Moore
    • The Diary of Samuel Pepys
    • Vanity Fairy by William Makepeace Thackerary
    • Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
    • Night and Day by Virginia Woolf
    Norfolk
    • The Big Six by Arthur Ransome
    Northamptonshire
    • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen [uncertain]
    • Mistress Masham's Repose by T. H. White
    Northumberland
    • The poetry of Wilfrid Gibson 
    • Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
    • Ruined City by Nevil Shute
    Nottinghamshire
    • Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
    • The Rainbow by D. . Lawrence
    • Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence
    • The White Peacock by D. H. Lawrence
    Oxfordshire
    • The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
    • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
    Shropshire
    • Howards End by E. M. Forster
    • A Shropshire Lad by A. E. Housman
    Somerset
    • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
    • Persuasion by Jane Austen
    • No Name by Wilkie Collins
    • The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding
    • Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
    • The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope
    • Aunts Aren't Gentlemen by P. G. Wodehouse
    Staffordshire
    • Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett
    • The Old Wives Tale by Arnold Bennett
    • Adam Bede by George Eliot
    Suffolk
    • Celia by Fanny Burney
    • No Name by Wilkie Collins
    • We Didn't Mean to Go to Sea by Arthur Ransome
    Surrey
    • The Watsons by Jane Austen
    • A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
    • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
    Sussex
    • Sanditon by Jane Austen
    • The Worm Forgives the Plough by John Stewart Collis
    • The Last Post by Ford Maddox Ford
    • The Collector by John Fowles
    • Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
    • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
    • The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
    • The History of Mr. Polly by H. G. Wells
    • The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
    Tyne and Wear
    • The novels of Catherine Cookson
    • The Stars Look Down by A. J. Cronin
    Warwickshire
    • The Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden
    • Tom Brown's School Days by Thomas Hughes
    • Kenilworth by Walter Scott
    • As You Like It by William Shakespeare
    Wiltshire
    • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
    • The Chronicles of Barset by Anthony Trollope
    • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
    Worcestershire
    • Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    • The Well of Loneliness by Radcyffe Hall
    Yorkshire
    • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë [uncertain]
    • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
    • Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
    • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • No Name by Wilkie Collins
    • Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
    • The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
    • A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
    • The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shady, Gentleman by Lawrence Sterne
    • Dracula by Bram Stoker

    I don't know about more modern reads, as the host has only mentioned books that would be classic in nature, so you would have to ask.  But if you are going to be doing something more modern, you might want to check to see which county the book takes place in.

    My aim is to do 4 or 5 books and these are the ones that I am going to attempt:
    • The Woman in White (Cumbria)(Hamphire)
    • North and South (Lancashire)
    • The Canterbury Tales (Kent)
    • A Christmas Carol (London)
    • Wolf Hall (Wiltshire)
    I will aim for level two (4-6 counties). I will link up the titles with my reviews of the books as I read them.  If you are interested in joining, you can sign up at Behold the Stars.

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