A ‘Classical’ childhood.

How familiar are you with the ‘classics?’

I once saw one of my friend in possession of Austin’s Persuasion. A bookmark neatly place about half way. I was curious to her choice of book.  Then I thought why, I should find this weird that someone is reading a classics.

I think I find it weird because I only opt for the ‘classic’ when it is educationally imposed on me. However, despite this, it dawned on me that I had been exposed to various classic novels at a young age.

Reading was a big thing during my primary school days. At least once a week we would individually read to the teacher. This was to test our reading level. We would also have a book which was read collectively as a class. This is where the so called ‘Classics’ would come in. To be honest, when I was exposed to these books I did not realise they were ‘classic novels’.

I am not too sure whether ‘classic novels ‘ are as available today on the primary school curriculum  but I can boldly say that before the age of 11 I had read quite a handful of ‘classics novels’

So what are these classics?

Call of the Wild by Jack London
I remember the huskies, sleighs and the snow. There were quite a few dogs and not many human characters. To be honest I did not really like this ‘classic’. it seemed to appeal to the boys in our class as opposed to the girls. think it had to do with all the huskies running across the snow. this book did not appeal to me as it made me feel quite cold. Think that had to do with all the snow.

Lorna Doone by R.D Blackmore

The boys in our class were more  excited about this book than the girls. They would re-enact scenes of murder and revenge  in the playground. this is all I basically remember about Lorna Doone.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Kate Bush’s shrill  soprano voice always come to remembrance when I think of this classic. Her song, of the same name, was a ‘number one’ in the pop charts for four weeks.

I am not too sure whether  our teachers chose this classic because of popularity of this song or it was just a mere coincidence. Anyway, coincidence or intentional……… Heathcliff, it’s me, Cathy, I’ve come home’ always evokes a  pictured Cathy, as a gypsy lady with long black hair, running across a rainy storm swept Yorkshire moor.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
This one caused me to feel rather fearful. The revelation of the lady in the attic caused me to approach lofts or rooms at the top of stairs with  trepidation.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
This is another Dickensian novel which I enjoyed. My heart went out to Miss Havisham. My minds eye sees her sitting in the cobwebbed room. Her wedding dress an off  white colour due to being jilted and refusing to take it off.  This plot also sticks in my mind since my as the protagonist was as a young person.

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
I think I may have a liking for Dickensian novels. It is either that or maybe because the protagonist was a young child and I, being under 11 years old, could totally relate with. However, due to his sycophantic behavior, I have always had an aversion to the name Uriah.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Every Christmas our school would stage a production. One year we staged A Christmas Carol. Maybe that’s why it is so vivid in my mind. And looking back we did a really good job. Prior to this I thought a ‘Christmas Carol’ was a Carol sang at Christmas. Though sick and a minor character, Tiny Tim was my favourite as I found him to be quite sweet.

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

This particular  ‘classic’ got my young mind wondering. I literally thought there must be something in the water.

Did Gulliver shrink in the sea prior to him being washed up on the shore of the Lilliputians? Did he then grow beyond normal human size  when he went to Brobdingnag.

It was only years later that I understand the term satire and then the whole story fell into perspective.

I think I am going to revisit some of these classics as well as read some which I have not read before.

Call to action.

Let me know what your favourite classic is? and why?

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