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I have not read any of those books, but I DID mention you in my Thursday Thirteen this week!

Happy Thursday.

Dorothy W.

The only one from your list I've read is Bleak House. Thanks for the list -- lots of good stuff there! I should read Lady Audley's Secret -- and I also have another Braddon book I'd like to check out too.

As for my Victorian favorites -- I'm a George Eliot fan: Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda.


So, so glad to hear you loved Fingersmith. I'm thinking of suggesting it to my bookclub for next year. Thanks for the great list. I've enjoyed lots of these and others are on my list such as Lady Audley's Secret. I think you will enjoy The Linnet Bird. I loved the Faber. Though not Victorian, Slammerkin is a great story from a prostitute, mid 1700s. Also, I enjoyed The Trespass by Barbara Ewing.

Dark Orpheus

So glad you've enjoyed Fingersmith. Affinity is also beautiful and heart-rending. I literally felt a stone in my chest when I finished it. Hope you'll like it as well.


Fingersmith was one of my favorite reads last year, and is my favorite of Waters - although I love all her stuff. Affinity is great, too - a much darker tone, and not full of twists and turns like Fingersmith. Still, it ranks as my second favorite. :)

I love reading books from this period too, but I think you've listed all my faves.

Speaking of prostitute protagonists, have you read Slammerkin? Very much a page-turner, although it's set a couple hundred years earlier. Oh, and Moll Flanders, of course!


I recently read "Silent in the Grave" and thought it was very nice. Glad to hear when her next one is coming out. I also unpacked and processed "Nature of Monsters" just a couple of days ago for the library and took a look at it. I noted it on my list to read soon. My never-ending list. I really like this time period as well.


I've only read The Woman in White which I liked but which took my FOREVER to get through! I'm writing down all your suggestions because I'd like to do a bit of a Victorian reading challenge this winter. Do you think anyone would join in??


I'll second Lesley's recommendation of Slammerkin. I don't know if you've read that one yet. I love this list and am taking notes. I think I have most of these on my TBR list or have already read but it's good to double check :)

Ellie Robins

Hi Danielle,

Do read Lady Audley's Secret - it's brilliant. Same can be said for Bleak House, although I didn't watch the BBC adaptation so can't vouch for how true to the text it was...

Ellie, Hesperus Press

Sycorax Pine

I too LOVED "Fingersmith," and am filled with eagerness when I look at the rest of this Victorian-themed list. I have a lot of them on my shelf, but have only read three: "Fingersmith," "The Woman in White" (rollicking!), and "Bleak House" (absolutely extraordinary, though it took me a long while to get through it. It is now taking me a similarly long while to get through the amazing "David Copperfield").

Amy L.

I am also taking forever to get through David Copperfield right now, though I'm enjoying it. Fingersmith is my all-time favorite book, and Affinity is wonderful, too...I look forward to you reading that one, Danielle!


I just started The Woman in White last night, and I'm already half way through it! I'm loving it. :)

I adored Lady Audley's Secret-if you're a fan of sensational Victorian lit, you'll definitely like it.


What a great list, Danielle! Bleak House is indeed wonderful (as is Little Dorrit, my all-time favourite Dickens), and the series was pretty faithful to the book, I thought. I also loved Fingersmith, and thought Affinity was even better (Lesley describes it better than I can). And I second Dorothy in loving George Eliot - I am reading Middlemarch for the fourth time, and it's still wonderful!
I have been wavering over reading Kept, but now I will give it a try. And another one to add to your list - have you read the Observations yet? I loved it so much I couldn't put it down - I read it in a day, which is no mean feat for me now that I have a 2-year-old demanding my attention! (Sorry for the long comment - I could go on and on about Victorian novels!)


I thought I'll give Sarah Waters a break after The Night Watch since pretty much all her works are chunkster. But now I'll move up Fingersmith on my pile. She really knows how to entangle her characters and craft the plot.

I've had The Crimson Petal and the White for ages!!!! I think I should bring it to the light soon.


Lisa--Do pick up Sword and Blossom--I am really enjoying it. I have taken to having my notebook close by when I am reading blogs as I am also constantly writing down book ideas! Oh, and lucky you to get the new Rendell--I love her work and will have to watch for this one.
Dorothy--I really would like to read Daniel Deronda--I enjoyed Middlemarch a lot and am glad that I read it. I also have a couple other books by Mary Braddon--I wonder if shw wrote a lot of books?
Tara--I just recommended Fingersmith to a coworker today--I think it would appeal to a lot of people. I did read Slammerkin when it came out--another period that I find appealing. Thanks for the heads up on the Ewing book, I am going to look for a used copy.
Dark Orpheus--Waters is a wonderful author, I suspect I am going to like all her books. I'm looking forward to reading Affinity.
Lesley--Yes, I loved Slammerkin, too. I need to read Moll Flanders--I have wanted to for a while now.
Kay--I thought the Raybourn was a fun read and I can't wait for her next one. Isn't is dangerous working in a library and seeing all those new books?!
Heather--The Woman in White was long, but well worth the effort I thought! I think a Victorian reading challenge would be great fun--I'm already looking forward to it, and I suspect you will have lots of readers wanting to join in!
Iliana--I think I mentioned the biggies or popular titles. I wouldn't mind finding some new ones! It sounds as though lots of people read and enjoyed Slammerkin--I did as well.
Ellie--Bleak House sounds like a really good novel to sink your teeth into! I love those sorts of books. I think the Braddon sounds like fun, too. Do you suppose lots of husbands saw their wives reading it and thought their minds would be corrupted? (surely Braddon must have had lots of male readers as well!).
Sycorax Pine--Wasn't The Woman in White a rollicking read! I think reading Fingersmith I had some moments of deja vu. Her story reminded me of Wilkie Collins a bit. I am reading David Copperfield now--very slowly! I will get through it eventually though.
Amy--Thanks for urging me on to read Fingersmith! Hopefully it won't take me as long to read Affinity. And I also need to get back to David C.
Eva--Wow--you are zipping through the Wilkie Collins! That's a pretty chunky book, but I agree--very easy to get into the story. I'v just started Armadale and I am looking forward to reading Braddon.
Caroline--I recently bought Little Dorrit--it looks quite good as well. I read Middlemarch last summer and thought it excellent--I should read it again, though I also want to read some of her other novels. I also liked The Observations. I think you'll like Kept--it's quite well done. There are lots of appealing Victorian novels, aren't they--I totally understand your going on about them. I am always looking for reading suggestions for this period.


Matt--You are definitely in for a treat with Fingersmith! Seriously--move it up the TBR pile. It may look long, but you will zip right through it once you get started!! The Crimson Petal is also wonderful, but much slower going (at least it was for me), but still some books are better when read slowly.


So glad that you enjoyed Fingersmith! You'll have to watch the BBC version now- I thought it wasn't too bad. I also really liked Affinity, great atmosphere. The only other one from your list that I've read is Woman in White, but I have several others in my endless piles.


Tanabata--I plan on getting the movie from Netflix next! I would have gotten it this time around, but they had already sent out the two movies at the top of my queue. For some reason I am really drawn to this type of book.


Fantastic list! I need to come back to this and mark out some I'd love to read - and then save up some more before going on another shopping spree!


Litlove--I always enjoy lists, too--making them and reading other reader's lists!


Great list! Wilkie Collins is a great story-teller. I didn't try Waters' Fingersmith, but I couldn't let go of Affinity for a single minute... Btw, there's an online copy of Braddon's books on I'll give it a try!


Great must read The Quincunx by Charles Palliser...right now it's my favorite book.


Smithereens--I'm looking forward to reading Infinity! I agree with you on Wilkie Collins--he tells a great story. I will have to see which of Braddon's books is available online. There was a time I would not deign to read a book online, but now I do think it really has its moments (books online that is).
Joannie--You are not the first to recommend the Quincunx. I need to go and dig it out and take a look at it.

Alex F

I love Sarah Waters--if you haven't read her Tipping the Velvet I highly recommend that. Collins is great, though the only one I've read is The Moonstone.

And Bleak House is my favourite English lit book and second on my all time fav list.

And apropos of nothing--you and I have a lot of the same links on our blogs. Hesperus Press, Virago, NYRB and Persephone... mmmmm

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