“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” Little Books

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare

Over the past six months I have acquired a small selection of short books by Penguin, with both their Penguin Great Ideas series’ and their new Little Black Classics – 80p books to celebrate the publishing giant’s 80th birthday. As these books are easy to get through, I decided to read them all together – to broaden my literary knowledge and views (as well as to get through a small proportion of my increasing TBR pile that threatens to engulf my bookshelf!)

A Room of One’s Own – Virginia WoolfPenguin Great Ideas

This is an essay based on one of Woolf’s speeches about women in literature. This feminist topic gave way to interesting views by Woolf, which I enjoyed discovering and debating for myself. The essay referenced lots of novels, poems, poets and writers (most of which/whom I knew). I liked this book – it was refreshing.

On Power – William ShakespearePenguin Great Ideas

This book comprises of four different sections to do with power: government, family, war & violence, and love. Within these sections were sonnets, speeches and dramatic dialogue by Shakespeare, that were to do with these topics of power.  Personally, I enjoyed the sonnets more as there is no context to miss. I also preferred reading from plays I had seen or read before, also because I knew the context.

The Tinder Box – Hans Christian AndersenLittle Black Classic

This is a book of several Hans Christian Andersen tales, some more well known than others (such as The Princess and the Pea). All 6 tales were extremely easy to read due to Andersen’s simple writing style, which suits these children’s stories he is so famous for.

Femme Fatale – Guy de MaupassantLittle Black Classics

This book is a collection of four short stories of 19th Century French literature. Having already studied Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert, in school I am accustomed to this style, yet I found these short stories more interesting than the latter. They were about women that were devious, gentle, spiteful, etc. – all interesting characters to begin these stories with.

The Beautifull Cassandra – Jane AustenLittle Black Classics

This is a compilation of short stories and letters, all written by a young Austen for her family. Her youthfulness comes across in her writing, which although is still interesting, doesn’t flow as well in comparison to her later, published works. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed reading and discovering the wild imagination of the young Jane Austen.



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