“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 Woolf, Penguin 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 Shakespeare, Penguin 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 Andersen, Little 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 Maupassant, Little 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 Austen, Little 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.