Follow Friday is hosted by Alison Can Read and this week's question is:
'Bookselling time: Go to your biggest bookcase, the second shelf from the top and pick the sixth book from the left. Handsell that book to us - even if you haven't read it or hated it.
I am actually really excited to answer this question because the sixth book on the left is one I recently bought and am really excited about. So I'm going to try to not just sell you the book but also the specific edition. Some weeks ago, I bought the American 1943 edition of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. So first, Wuthering Heights. I know it is quite a divisive book, people either love it or hate it and I can't tell you which of the two it will be for you. But one thing I do know is that no one who has read it and given it a chance has been completely unaffected by it. There is a certain uncanny quality about it, about its characters that are too real to be completely good, bad or likeable.
Now, for the edition. It is absolutely stunning because of the Fritz Eichenberg illustrations. He has managed to capture that distinct dark quality that gives Wuthering Height its desperate yet enthralling grip on the reader. Thankfully he didn't try to make the novel or its characters any prettier than Emily wrote them.
I'm not quite sure how else to convince anyone, but then again, I feel that if a novel like Wuthering Heights cannot sell itself, neither can I.
Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader and Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice. This week I am using Jane Austen's Mansfield Park which I never really liked until I started studying it. There is so much subtext to it and I'm even starting to find myself appreciate Fanny, to a certain extent that is.
'About thirty years ago, Miss Maria Ward of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the country of Northampton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet's lady, with all the comforts and consequences of an handsome house and large income.'I think Jane Austen's style is quite recognizable in this opening, although the irony that is always present in her writing seems a bit harsher here and more judgmental, perhaps.
'Fanny's rides recommenced the very next day, and as it was a pleasant fresh-feeling morning, less hot than the weather had lately been, Edmund trusted that her losses both of health and pleasure would be soon made good.'I think Fanny's occasional horse rides with Edmund are some of the very few instances in the novel where she is actually active. What I have started to appreciate is that Fanny is the single constant in the novel, the only character you can rely on throughout.
So, what about you?