Some novels feel like they fit with a certain season. Jane Austen’s novels seem perfect for summer days and warm weather vacations. Dracula and Frankenstein are perfect reads for Autumn, and Shakespeare’s Comedies–what with their marriage plots and occasional fairies–are excellent for Spring.
While a list full of Dickens novels would probably be appropriate for Winter (there’s something about his London that just screams snow and dampness), I haven’t read too many of his novels and so couldn’t really attest, personally, to their appropriateness. Instead, I looked through my shelves and thought about what books (that I’ve actually read) reminded me of everything that comes with Winter.
Six Classics to Read In Winter
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ~ No surprise here, right? I try to reread The Christmas Carol once every holiday season. It’s one of those books that always gets me in the mood for Christmas and ready for the brisk, Winter days to come.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte ~ There’s something about Jane Eyre that makes it seem like the perfect book to read curled up in a blanket by the fire. Maybe it’s the Gothic nature of it. Maybe it’s the fact that in the adaptations Thornfield Hall always seems cold and damp.
- Little Women by Louise May Alcott ~ The chapters about Christmas in the beginning are obviously what puts me in the mind of Winter. My book cover, though, even has the March girls tromping through the snow. The novel just calls to mind snow, Christmas, ice skating, and lots of layers of clothing.
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell ~ It’s been awhile since I read the book so the miniseries may be more in my mind as I write this, but I just picture Milton as a place where everyone’s breath smokes and hangs in the air and warm, knit shawls are to be worn at all times. This is a novel you want to read in your heated home with a steaming mug of tea.
- Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy ~ This isn’t a happy novel to take with you on a summer location. To me, Tess is a book to read when it’s cold and damp and you’re in need of a distraction from thinking about how annoying your family can be during the holidays.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte ~ This is another unhappy novel, but as it’s mostly told through fireside stories and journals read in bed, I think it’s perfect reading under blankets while you’re trying to forget about how many layers you’ll have to wear next time you step out your door.
Are there any classics that you think of at wintertime?