Classic novels are books that have withstood the test of time. Like a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, their popularity increases with time and they are always a delight to experience. They can be just as relevant now as they were when they were first published. Or maybe you just need to read it for school? Either way, you will be sure to impress if you’ve read one of these masterpieces.

We have written a brief summary to make it easier to choose. We have used haiku form, as they themselves are elegant and classic; and so entirely appropriate.

Nineteenth Century Classic Novels

 Jo and her sisters
Struggle to pursue their dreams
With help from Marmie.

Four little women
On their way to adulthood.
One doesn’t make it.
~ Little Women (1868) – Louisa May Alcott

Liz is prejudiced,
Darcy is proud. They must make
a perfect couple.
~ Pride and Prejudice (1813) – Jane Austen

The boy d’Artagnan
Learns to swashbuckle and fight
With help from three friends.
~ The Three Musketeers (1844) – Alexandre Dumas

Not like the movie.
The end of the road for the
Three Musketeers. Fin.
~ The Man in the Iron Mask (1847-1850) – Alexandre Dumas

‘It was the best of
times. It was the worst of times.’
How’s that for a start?
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) – Charles Dickens

my dear Watson; that mud
on your boots is wet.
~ The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1891-) – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A family cursed –
fake beards; foggy moors; and
a phosphorent dog.
~ The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Romanian count
with prediliction for blood
goes on holiday.
~ Dracula (1897)Bram Stoker

Pip’s expectations
are great. But Miss Havisham’s,
sadly, are greater.
~ Great Expectations (1861) Charles Dickens

Slavery was bad
and Beecher Stowe wrote a book
to illuminate.
~ Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)Harriet Beecher Stowe

Orphaned Oliver
escapes to olde Cockney slums
Falls in with bad crowd.
~ Oliver Twist (1841) Charles Dickens

Frankenstein wasn’t
the monster; maybe he was?
Regency sci-fi.
~ Frankenstein (1818) Mary Wollstoncroft Shelley

Maiden match-maker
Emma matches most; mayhaps
Regency chick lit?
~ Emma(1815)Jane Austen

Nelly the maid’s tale:
Cathy, Heathcliff, Yorkshire moors,
endless love… blah, blah.
~ Wuthering Heights (1847) Emily Bronte

In the red corner:
Captain Ahab. In the blue:
large white cetacean.
~ Moby-Dick (1851)Herman Melville

Family man Jude
tries to climb social ladder
but results are mixed.
~ Jude the Obscure (1895) Thomas Hardy

Becky Sharp’s vices
are numerous. Does she learn
morality? No.
~ Vanity Fair (1848)William Thackeray

Twentieth Century Classic Novels

Astronaut crashes,
captured by ape overlords.
Who laughs now, human?
Planet of the Apes (1963) – Pierre Boulle

The whisky priest is
On the run in Mexico:
Can he be redeemed?
~ The Power and the Glory (1940) – Graham Greene

Sir Percy Blakeney’s
A spy disguised as a toff:
The Frenchies seek him.
~ The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905) – Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Poor, young English rose
He loves me, he loves me not;
what’s a girl to do?
~ I Capture The Castle (1948) Dodie Smith

All sons need their mums
but the Morel boys just can’t
cut those apron strings.
~ Sons and Lovers (1913) D. H. Lawrence

Boys stranded without
parental supervision
vote each other off
~ The Lord of the Flies (1954) William Golding

Gang member makes good
after Johnny tells him to
stay gold, Ponyboy.
~ The Outsiders (1967) S. E. Hinton

Disenchanted youth
has emotional collapse;
you bunch of phonies.
~ The Catcher In The Rye (1951)J. D. Salinger

Alabama girl
says boo to a goose; learns life
is not black and white.
~ To Kill A Mockingbird (1960)Harper Lee

Big Brother crimestop oldspeak
dystopic oldthink.
~ Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) George Orwell