Literature & Film Recommendations

  • February 4, 2006 at 6:47 am #1615

    I am really going to kill Steven for bringing me into this because I have a personality that easily allows me to obsess about the weirdest things, and I am starting to obsess.

    I decided to pull down some of the books from my bookshelf that I figured my character might have on hand, be reading, or have read. I thought that I would create this thread for anyone who has come across a resource in literature or film that could be useful or inspiring to those of us playing the game. The sad thing is, I probably really am going to be reading some or all of these simultaneously… I can already smell my brain burning.

    What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew:

    From Fox Hunting to Whist – The Facts of Daily Life in 19th Century England

    Daniel Pool

    This isn’t specifically geared towards the Victorian Era (spans back to the Regency as well), but it does contain a lot of good general information. For example, a lot of houses have names, but do you know the differences between Ullathorne Court, Thrushcross Grange, Thornfield Hall, Netherfield House, Ferndean Manor, and Mansfield Park? I do. And now I know that I’ll have to change Ligeia’s “location.” LoL.

    Wuthering Heights

    Emily Bronte


    The Misfortunes of Virtue

    Marquis de Sade


    Owning copies of Sade’s works will be one of Li’s VERY well kept secrets. ::winks.::


    Mary Shelley

    1818; revised third edition 1831

    The story about the summer of 1816 when Shelley actually came up with and wrote the idea of Frankenstein is a rather intriguing one, especially as it relates to the development of Gothic horror.

    Film: Rowing in the Wind (starring Hugh Grant as Lord Byron) is about that fateful summer.

    The Mill on the Floss

    George Eliot


    The House of Mirth

    Edith Wharton


    Okay, so this is an American Novelist and it is published well after the current year of the game, but I still think that it’s a great illustration of a woman’s restriction in Victorian society.

    Film: There’s a 2000 version staring Gillian Anderson as Lily Bart.

    And last, but not least…

    Basically anything by Lord Byron. LoL.

    Anyone else have any recommendations?

    February 4, 2006 at 10:46 am #2147

    If you’re including Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, her husband Percy Bysse Shelley was also a rather famous and well-known poet.

    February 4, 2006 at 3:14 pm #2148

    A lot of Dickens’ works were published already at this time, no?

    Those could be good ‘insights’ on certain aspects of Victorian Society, one of which being poverty.

    February 4, 2006 at 11:13 pm #2149

    All of Dickens’s major works were published before his death in 1870. So, to answer your question, Origin, yes. Not only are they good references to Victorian life, they would be fresh on the minds of British society in 1871.

    Some other authors I recommend:

    Any of the Bronte sisters.. William Butler Yeats, Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain.. Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes, holmes!) Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island), Henrik Ibsen (I personally recommend A Doll’s House. It is an excellent work if you are wanting to play a female character that will go against the whim’s of society.) Lesse.. Alfred Tennyson. Thoreau’s On the Duty of Civil Disobedience outlines the blossoming thought that questioning authority was healthy for a population to be successful. Its actually pretty good because alot of people in Britian who were staunchly opposed to the American Revolution were swayed by this work. Also check out John Keats, Edgar Allen Poe (so morbid), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.. Oh, and Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was making a huge ruckus amongst the scientific and religious world.

    There are so many more than this. But these are a couple of my favorites. British poetry was almost limitless during the Victorian Era.

    February 6, 2006 at 4:50 am #2150

    I didn’t see anyone mention it yet, but …

    Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

    ::nods sagely::

    February 6, 2006 at 10:59 pm #2151

    I think Bram Stokers Dracula wasn’t released until 1897. Though I am not positive, I do believe it was published after our time. A shame really for us.

    February 7, 2006 at 12:43 am #2152

    Yeah, Stoker’s work was published in the latter part of the 1890s… although the work can give you a slight idea as to what people would THINK of supernatural stuff in that kind of an era.

    February 7, 2006 at 3:19 am #2153

    I more meant it to also give an idea of how language was used in the 1800s. Since the book was published all in diary and letter format.

    February 10, 2006 at 5:03 pm #2154
    Holdyn Wolf

    Hello all

    I myself am most intrigued by history, and tend to read mostly books that subject matter is before 1900. A good book that I would recommend to get an idea of victoria era in britian would be:

    Victorian People and Ideas: A Companion for the Modern Reader of Victorian Literature by Richard Daniel Altick.

    Its a great book but very hard to find. Then if you are interested in finding out about the woman of the victorian area these two books are great. They give you a real insight into that time period nad how woman were represented.

    City of Dreadful Delight : Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London (Women in Culture and Society Series)


    Prostitution and Victorian Society : Women, Class, and the State

    by Judith R. Walkowitz

    I hope some of these works can help.

    Catherine Franklin

    Duchess of Somerset

    February 14, 2006 at 10:19 pm #2155

    Sense everyone is listing books I thought I'd bring up some movies as well that may help…. Little Women, From Hell, Bram Stokers Dracula, Sleepy Hollow, Interview with the Vampire ( as well as many of Anne Rice's books) even Pirates of the Carribean and Gangs of New York I've found helpful as well. If I can think of any more or find something cool I'll add on but right now I'm drawing a blank, anyways hope those help and if you've seen them already give them another look, I did and caught on to things I didn't notice before because I wasn't close attention for the little details. Okay I'm done ranting now lol

    March 25, 2006 at 6:38 am #2156

    Jules Verne. Even has many of his works online. Watch the dates, though; Twenty-thousand Leagues Under the Sea wasn't written until 1873

    This site has a Chronological list of British and Irish Authors:

    BRITISH AND AMERICAN LITERATURE 1800-1899: A web guide to 19th century British and American literature from :

    Romantic Circles: Devoted to the study of Lord Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, their contemporaries and historical contexts.

    I've become an online researcher, I'm afraid. Living in a small town with a sucky library can do that to you…


    March 26, 2006 at 9:15 pm #2157

    Oooo thank you for those links Evelyn mun I appreciate them cuz I've been having trouble finding stuff like that online for some reason. I also wanted a book I recently picked up that I think would be good for ya'll to read it's called The Crimson Petal And The White by Michel Faber. It's about a 19 year old prostitute in victorian London which ties in perfectly with this game and I've found it a big help. That's all I have to add for thanks all.

    March 27, 2006 at 3:59 pm #2158

    My favorite Victorian novelist is Anthony Trollope, and I would highly recommend that anyone interested in the period check him out. Most of his novels are set in the mid-1800s, and he has a real nack for character depth. Also, he pays particular attention to female characters, and there are always a myriad of women running around his novels. I found that interesting because it's commonly thought that ladies in the Victorian period had nothing to do. His conceptions of the Lady and the Gentlemen have been examined extensively, and Henry James has written several essays on how inappropriate and un-fiction-like his narrative voice is. I love Henry James (Potrait of a Lady, specifically), but he's got nothing on Trollope, in my opinion. He's very prolific, however, and so if anyone has the sudden urge to go pick up one of his books, I'd suggest beginning with either: The Eustace Diamonds, or Small House at Alington. Several of his novels take place in the same fictional county, and the characters overlap. These novels are referred to as the Chronicles of Barset, and Small House is one of them.

    Also, most Victorian literature focuses on extreme detail. The minutae of day-to-day life is what really fascinated the Victorians, and authors such as Elizabeth Gaskell are excellent references, as well. Trollope can be a lot of fun, but Gaskell is really quite pastoral and to really get an idea of what life was like for middle-class folk — especially women, again — I'd suggest reading her work as well.

    Yay, Victorians.

    April 11, 2006 at 9:17 pm #2159

    Wanted to add a site I found that seems to have some good literature links:


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