Some of these are classics and some of them are only sort of classics….
In alphabetical order!
Anne Bronte– An amazing feminist! Loved The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. #1 also enjoyed her boring rags to respectability books that didn’t do so well on the market.
Charlotte Bronte (but not Emily)– Who isn’t in love with Mr. Rochester? (well, #1, but she’s still read and reread Jane Eyre)
Charles Dickens — My favorite: The Pickwick Papers
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — I love Sherlock Holmes stories, with all their lumps and weirdnesses and creepy things and details… Fond childhood memories. I have them all in one volume. (#1 has never really gotten into the stories, though she loves all manners of the video adaptations. She’s such a prude it’s probably just the cocaine that’s the problem. But Holmes always seems so much more likable on the screen.)
Alexander Dumas — Mmmmmm read the entire Three Musketeers saga (and LOVE the Steven Brust homage) (#2 prefers the Brust series to the original) (Honestly #1 does too– stronger female characters on the good guys’ side, not just the bad.)
Maria Edgeworth — she saved me once, lost and alone in a foreign company (along with some remaindered Craig Shaw Gardener books). (And yes, she’s from THE Edgeworth family and used to hang out with Ricardo and Malthus and other famous dismal folk.)
L.M. Montgomery — Anne, Emily… pure comfort.
Baroness Orczy — Sequels never really matched The Scarlet Pimpernel, but who cannot sympathize with the main character? Wonderful drama, terrific romance. #2 likes Lady Molly of Scotland Yard. (#1 must needs add this one as well.)
Rafael Sabatini — It was so disappointing to find out that not all of his books are as good as Captain Blood or Scaramouche. Still, I wish I had access to a big city library that keeps them all so I could finish winnowing out the good ones.
Dorothy L. Sayers — both of us love her Wimsey stories. #2 has also read some of her letters, essays, etc.
Samuel Shellabarger — Not as light as Sabatini, with a lot more shades of grey. Captain from Castile is phenomenal on many levels that I would love to go into but don’t want to give major plot points away! Let’s just say I was expecting a formula and he did not provide one which made the book a thousand times richer and more satisfying.
Booth Tarkington — Loved Penrod and Seventeen as a kid. I hope to get a set for my own child(ren). Really? No Powell’s links to Penrod and Seventeen? These are children’s CLASSICS y’all. Let’s check out Amazon… (Maybe it’s the Little Rascal’s style portrayal of race… have to explain the phrase “wrong, but a product of its time… we know better now” to the kid.)
Mark Twain — I liked The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and all its sequelae best. (#2 says, enh, I never really loved them that much.) Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court was great until it turned into a morality treatise. Went all Ray Bradbury somewhere in the middle there.
PG Wodehouse — Who ISN’T in love with Jeeves and Wooster? And the Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry adaptation is sublime!
What long-dead authors do you love?
p.s. We decided that for the purposes of this post, “long-dead” meant 20 years or more. Authors who died more recently will be in a different post.