“British classics books,” The genre that every modern book lover adores to read and feels revered about it. It gives you a special feeling to dive into the stories that many generations have enjoyed reading. The time and societies that changed, but the tales that pre-exist them stayed there. Classic novels transport readers through these tales to a different dimension. So in this article, I will be discussing some of the top 13 British classics books that you should read.
“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”― Italo Calvino
Well talking about the Classics books, it helps us to think more productively and analyze the cultures of the ancient world. Reading classics helps us to look into different histories from our perspective and gain more knowledge. We can change ourselves into better human beings by reading classics since we can put ourselves in other’s shoes and look at the world from their perspective.
So without any further ado, let’s hop to the top 13 British Classics Books you must read.
13 Must-Read British Classics Books
Here are the British classics books I recommend you to read.
1. The Good Soldier
“The Good Soldier,” Published in 1915, is a novel based on domestic fiction, written by Ford Madox Ford, an English novelist and critic. It is one of the best British classic books based on the contrast between reality and appearance.
The novel narrates the life of two couples- one English and the other American as they face a complex sexual and social relation, who misuse religion and try to pursue their happiness in different places which are wrong to go. Out of the best 100 British novels, “the Good Soldier” ranks 13th, and it is a splendid story and should be read by all.
2. Pride And Prejudice
Written by Jane Austen, “Pride and Prejudice” is a romantic novel and one of the most popular novels in English. It is a “happily ever after” tale based on love, family, class, marriage, and reputation.
This story revolves around a love story between Elizabeth Bennet, a daughter of a gentleman of the country, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a wealthy landowner. The main thing to see is whether society has any space for romantic marriages and how love builds up and disappears in different forms. With the mingling of humor, love, romance, and many more, this will probably be the best book you have ever read.
This romantic novel was published in January 1813.
3. The Chronicles of Narnia
Written by C.S. Lewis, “The Chronicles Of Narnia” is a series of seven novels based on fantasy which you can enjoy a lot while reading. This series of books are all based on the world of magic, where you can find animals talking and many mythological beasts.
- The name of those series are:
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- Prince Caspian
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- The Silver Chair
- The Horse and His Boy
- The Magician’s Nephew
- The Last Battle
More than 100 million copies of this series have been sold, and you shall be the next one to read it because once you start reading it, there shall be no turning back.
4. Animal Farm
“Animal Farm” is a novella based on control and power, corruption, class, equality written by George Orwell. The book was published in August 1945, and in 1996 the book received a Retrospective Hugo Award and was one of the best books of all time.
This story is an anti-utopian banter based on the circumstances related to the Bolshevik revolution of Russia. The book tells us about a gang of barn lot animals who chase expel their human masters who exploit them and builds up an equitable society, and in due course, this revolution is debased by the pigs who love power and play the role of leaders.
5. The Little Stranger
“The Little Stranger,” published in 2009, written by Sarah Ann Waters, is a gothic novel. It is a phantom story of the 1940s set in a dilapidated building in Warwickshire, England. This story is based on the themes of science versus philosophy, the nature of evil.
The story revolves around Faraday, a country doctor whose kinship, job, romantic interests get interwoven with the family members of a haunted house. Most of us love to read ghost stories, and if you are one of those, then you should indeed read this book once in a lifetime.
“Frankenstein” is a gothic novel written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. It is based on creation, ambition, injustice, isolation, and alienation. This novel was published in 1818, is one of the best British novels, and is a must-read for all.
The book narrates the life of a Swiss student, Victor Frankenstein, who studies natural science and tries to bring life to an artificial man he has created from parts of corpses. The monster being lonely turns upon Victor and ultimately loses a life.
7. The Paying Guests
“The Paying Guests” Written by Sarah Ann Waters. It is a fascinating novel nominated for Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. The Paying Guests is a story of 1922 and is set in Camber well, London, and was published in August 2014.
The book revolves around the life of spinster Frances, who resides with her genteel mother, Mrs. Wray, whose brother has laid down his life in the Great War. Leaving behind a lot of debts, Frances’s father has also died, and they being hopeless, had to take in tenants who bring a lot of amusement and fun in their house but at the same time stimulate deadly wishes in Frances. Through this book, we learn about the noble effects of passion, which is worth reading.
8. In A Dark, Dark Wood
Ruth Ware’s “in A Dark, Dark Wood” is an absolute thriller and one of the best-selling books on the international level. It is a fictional story based on women’s psychology. This book was published in 2015.
This book describes a group of 20 women living in a secluded rural house and has set for a bachelor girl party, which is the best location for deep secrets and awful deeds. This novel is one of the most read books in the UK and should be read by all.
9. Jude The Obscure
“Jude The Obscure” is a novel written by Thomas Hardy and was published in 1895. The story is located in the southwest of England. The book reconnects with our life as it brings the issues related to education, class, love, and marriage, making this novel a must-read for us.
The story revolves around Jude Fawley, an orphan young man from a working-class whose ultimate dream is to become a scholar. The story also brings in Sue Bridehead, his love interest.
10. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland
Written by Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland” is a tale for children. It is based on the theme of how one grows up. Through this story, we can see how innocent children look at the world from their perspective. It is a children’s book loved for ages and is one of the best British classic books.
The novel tells the story of Alice, a young girl who falls into a world of delusion having humanlike creatures through a rabbit hole. Through this story, we learn that we should always take a stand for ourselves and never let teases get us down.
Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland was published in November 1865.
11. A Passage to India
This book was published in June 1924. Written by E.M. Forster, “A Passage to India.” It is an excellent book based on the themes of colonialism and racism. The entire plot is set against the background of the prejudice of British rule and India’s Independence Movement.
Through this book, the writer tries to find out the difference in culture between the British and Indians and whether, at times of rivalry between these two places, a friendship between an Indian and British man is possible or not. From this book, we learn that the imperialistic way of approach by the British cannot be a reason for their long-term success.
“Regeneration” was published in May 1991 and was written by Pat Mary W. Barker. “Regeneration” is an anti-war novel based on actual events of the First World War. Based on the themes of war, love between men, this war story is a must to read book as it allows us to put ourselves in the soldier’s shoes and understand the effect that war causes in their mentality.
Barker’s grandfather was himself a soldier and the writer, being inspired by his experience, wrote this book. During the First World War, at the Craiglockhart War Hospital located in Edinburgh, the armies of the British had an incredible experience described in the book.
13. Under The Volcano
Written by Malcolm Lowry and published in 1947. “Under The Volcano” is a haunting novel based on love versus hatred, fate, life versus death. This book is regarded as one of the most famous novels of the 20th century, and one of the most read books in the UK.
The book revolves around a former British consul, Geoffrey Firmin life, an alcoholic and lives in a small town in Mexico. We are introduced to Yvonne, his divorced wife, who tries to fix their marriage despite having two former lovers. A fantastic novel that deserves a lot of appreciation and has acquired a good place in the heart of the readers.
The more you read classics, the more you fall for it. You can learn a whole lot of things by reading classics, and your way of thinking and your perception about life can also change by reading classics. So here were the list of some best British classic books that you must read once in a lifetime.
If you love reading this article, I’m sure, you will also love reading the books recommended by Barack Obama.