The Classics Club originally a concept by Jillian has been given new lease on life with its own website managed by a group of fine and dedicated bloggers including Jillian and Heather. The managers of the Club have come out with a series of activities from August to December 2012 with the intention of stimulating fun and interesting debate among Clubbers on the Classics they are reading. And so this, month, the Meme is ‘What is your favourite classic book?’
To answer this question is to give a little background information on how I came to love classics or classical books. Everyone who knows a little bit of the history of Ghana would know that the country was formerly a British colony and therefore some of the reading books in the primary, secondary and tertiary schools within pre and post colonial days were spiced with classical literature, mainly British. My mother, a retired teacher introduced me to reading at a very early age. By four years, I was reading Ladybird series. In pre-teen years I had graduated to the abridged version of the Classics and I happily delved into her huge chopbox full of books and voraciously read Classics like Prisoner of Zenda, Nada The Lily, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, David Copperfield, Silas Marner, Heidi, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Count of Monte Cristo, Kidnapped, Treasure Island, and so many more. (I’m sure I’ve mentioned this on the blog somewhere in one of my posts). I loved all that I read in those years.
I followed it up reading more of Shakespeare in secondary and university days. To say therefore that I have a favourite Classic might not be easy as I read a lot of them, but so long a ago. ( since joining the Club, I have read only two). I must say however that a few had great impact on me
Wuthering Heights affected me so much. I felt an attraction for Heathcliff, and for days I would fantasies about his dark and brooding looks. His background and how he suffered at the Earnshaws touched me, though I admit that his cruel vengeance on the family later bordered on the pathological.
I loved Heidi for the grass to grace human element in the story. I remember falling in love with the Swiss Alps and spent days visualising Heidi running up and down the mountain with her goats. Till now, I’ve always had a yearning for fresh milk, freshly milked from a goat.
Little Women I vividly recall my mother’s maroon coloured hard covered Little Women, so squat and square and I used to think that Jo March was as little and squat as the appearance of the book. Funny!
Jane Eyre Even as a young woman growing up, I had always regarded Jane Eyre as too prim and ‘goody goody’ as we say in Ghana. I had wanted her to tick a little. This notwithstanding, I admire her for standing up to her aunt, Mrs. Sarah Reeds after series of abuse; her stance on refusing to be a mistress to Edward Rochester. I felt that Rochester had taken advantage of her love and trust. But I guess love conquers all and her sacrifice in marrying a truly repentant and ‘chagrined’ Rochester should not be held against her for ‘matyring’ herself.
I have my dear mother to thank for this wonderful nurturing and for me, joining the Classics Club is an opportunity for me to re-read these Classics and more, to gain a deeper understanding of themes and gain an appreciative insight into issues that informed those themes. Sharing ideas with fellow Clubbers is also an added and irresistible bonus.