Happy New Year! I’m starting off this year on Favorite Friday Fiction with a classic, Quo Vadis. It’s a historical Biblical fiction of sorts dealing with the persecution of early Christians in Rome.
The book has unsurpassed details of that period of time and won the author a Nobel Prize in literature in 1905. A little long and hard to read at times, the story to me is worth reading.
Click to tweet: A classic read about the early Christians in Rome. #historical #fiction
Rome during the reign of Nero was a glorious place for the emperor and his court; there were grand feasts, tournaments for poets, and exciting games and circuses filling the days and nights. The pageantry and pretentious displays of excess were sufficient to cloy the senses of participants as well as to offend the sensitive.
Petronius, a generous and noble Roman, a man of the world much in favor at the court of Nero, is intrigued by a strange tale related by his nephew Marcus Vinitius of his encounter with a mysterious young woman called Ligia with whom Vinitius falls madly in love. Ligia, a captured King’s daughter and a one-time hostage of Rome, is now a foster child of a noble Roman household. She is also a Christian.
The setting of the narrative was prepared with utmost care. Henryk Sienkiewicz visited the Roman settings many times and was thoroughly educated in the historical background. As an attempt to create the spirit of antiquity, the novel met with unanimous acclaim, which earned the Nobel Prize in literature for the author in 1905. As a vision of ancient Rome and early Christianity it has not yet been surpassed, almost a century later.
During the month of December, I’ll be sharing some of my most-liked Christmas books. For my favorite classic, I introduce an all-time beloved Christmas book and movie, A Christmas Carol. I’ve always been a big fan of Dickens’ works and, to me, this is a fabulous story. It’s whimsical, speculative, full of fantasy and wonder, and with a wonderful life lesson to boot. What more could you ask for in a Christmas classic? And for an added benefit, the one I share below is free on Kindle right now 🙂
Click to tweet: A Christmas Carol, classic Charles Dickens. #Christmas #FridayReads
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London on December 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease on life during this time. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.
It’s the first of a new month and time for a new classic favorite. When I think of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, I enjoy books by Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy Sayers.
My very favorite Dorothy Sayers book is Gaudy Night. Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane have reached a point in their relationship where a decision must be made. Both have past issues they must deal with. Will it be love and marriage or breakup? Read on…
Back at Oxford for her reunion, Harriet Vane, Lord Peter’s beloved, finds herself in mortal danger.
Since she graduated from Oxford’s Shrewsbury College, Harriet Vane has found fame by writing novels about ingenious murders. She also won infamy when she was accused of committing a murder herself. It took a timely intervention from the debonair Lord Peter Wimsey to save her from the gallows, and since then she has devoted her spare time to resisting his attempts to marry her. Putting aside her lingering shame from the trial, Harriet returns to Oxford for her college reunion with her head held high—only to find that her life is in danger once again.
The first poison-pen letter calls her a “dirty murderess,” and those that follow are no kinder. As the threats become more frightening, she calls on Lord Peter for help. Among the dons of Oxford lurks a killer, but it will take more than a superior education to match Lord Peter and the daring Harriet.