My Penguin English Library Collection II

It’s so satisfying to look at the colourful and stripy spines of the Penguin English Library classics lined on my shelves that I’m always eager to add more copies to my collection. I obviously have to be interested in the story as well. I don’t buy them solely for the covers and overall design by Coralie Bickford-Smith.

Since I revealed the classics that I had in these editions almost four years ago, I bought a few more. I have now sixteen in total. Most of my latest acquisitions were written by Charles Dickens, but there are other authors amongst the seven books mentioned in this post.


Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Despite being full of unpleasant characters, Wuthering Heights is a gripping and convincing novel, which explores obsession and revenge in a believable way. Mr Earnshaw found Heathcliff on the streets of Liverpool when he was just a boy and took him to Wuthering Heights to live with him and his children. While he was looked down on by Hindley, he grew very close to Catherine. His unhealthy fascination with her led him to seek revenge. Continue reading

Monthly Favourites – November 2020

As it has been mostly the case this year, this instalment of my monthly favourites is very brief. I finished three books in November and, surprisingly, DNFed another (after liking all the books that I had read by John Burnside, I wasn’t expecting to give up on Ashland & Vine). However, I only truly liked one of them, the others were just satisfactory at best. I also started watching a couple of TV series, but only completed one of them.

My favourite book from the ones that I read last month is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë. To be honest, I read the majority of this epistolary novel during October but only finished it at the beginning of November. Gilbert Markham writes a letter to a friend telling him the story of how he met a young widowed woman, Mrs Helen Graham, how he became in love with her, and how she let him know about the mistreatment she suffered from her husband. Although it doesn’t have a perfect pacing, this novel by the youngest of the Brontë sisters features various fleshed out characters. As we learn more about Helen Graham’s past, her initial behaviour becomes understandable.

I’m sure that you have all already heard of (or watched) The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, but I have to join in the praise. It is an adaptation of the book with the same title by Walter Tevis, which I haven’t read, that focuses on the life of Beth Harmon, a chess prodigy who struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. I’d never thought that a TV series about chess could be so compelling, only one of the episodes is a bit boring. I have no idea how to play chess and was gripped nevertheless. The performances are terrific, and whoever chose the main character’s wardrobe deserves an award! Continue reading

‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ by Anne Brontë

My rating: 4 stars

The Brontë family wasn’t short of talent. The epistolary novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by the youngest of the Brontë sisters, Anne, is a story about how women cannot hope to change men’s behaviour after marriage and how a mother will always try to protect her son. Offering two complementary perspectives, this book comprises various fleshed out characters. But the pacing is not always perfect.

Gilbert Markham decides to write a long letter to his old friend J. Halford to reveal to him significant moments from his life. In the autumn of 1827, Gilbert’s mother and sister paid a visit to the new inhabitant of Wildfell Hall, a young widowed woman called Mrs Helen Graham. Only later did he make her acquaintance. As he was once passing by Wildfell Hall, he saw Mrs Graham’s son, Arthur, on the top of a wall and helped him climb out of it. This was only the first time that he had the opportunity to speak with her.

A few days later, Mrs Graham also paid a visit to the family at Linden-Car. They discussed her son’s education. It wasn’t part of her plans to send him to school, since she wanted to prepare him for the challenges of life herself. She believed that there was no need for boys and girls to have different types of education. Gilbert’s mother disagreed with her views and considered her to be too obstinate. Continue reading