Classics, are called classics for a reason. They’re timeless works of art that have stood the test of time, and manage to stay relevant no matter the zeitgeist and historical context. Apart from the fact that classics freeze time and distil it into an ever-static fossil which is extremely valuable to literary historians, classics also act as ancestors of sorts for us. They pass down collective wisdom through generations and teach us more about life than universities ever could. On that note, here’s a list of our favourite 6 classics that deserve a place on everyone’s bookshelf.

Anna Karénine de Léon Tolstoï

6 classiques que tout le monde devrait lire une fois dans sa vie - Anna Karenina
6 Classics Everyone Should Read Once In Their Lifetime – Anna Karénine

Ce livre est la mère de tous les classiques. En plus de 800 pages, Tolstoï fait revivre la Russie impériale de la fin du 19e siècle. Il le fait à travers la belle Anna, l'innocente Kitty, le rustique Levin et le vif Vronsky. Alors qu'Anna, au sommet de sa beauté, tombe amoureuse d'un homme en dehors de son mariage avec un homme ennuyeux et sans inspiration, un scandale éclate. Pendant ce temps, Levin, simple et campagnard, connaît les joies et les tumultes du premier amour. Anna Karenina est une enquête ontologique sur la vie, l'amour, la perte et un paquet de sagesse et de beau langage.

Orgueil et préjugés de Jane Austen

Orgueil et préjugés
6 classics that deserve a place on everyone’s bookshelf – Orgueil et préjugés

On the face, this is a Romantic period masterpiece, telling the story of a strong willed woman who falls for a man who looks arrogant but is a sweetheart. But this book is so much more than a love story. It’s the story of womanhood, of family, of resilience and of possibility. With precise observations about life standing out like gems in the prose, and the lively cadence of an exquisite romance flowing through its veins, this book is a must read.

Jane Eyre de Charlotte Brontë

6 classiques que tout le monde devrait lire une fois dans sa vie - Jane Eyre
6 Classics Everyone Should Read Once In Their Lifetime – Jane Eyre

Ce livre suit une orpheline, Jane Eyre, qui obtient un emploi comme gouvernante à Thornfield Hall, la maison du mystérieux Rochester. Au cours de leur vie, Rochester et Jane tombent irrévocablement amoureux l'un de l'autre. Mais Rochester cache un secret profond et sombre dans les murs de sa maison, et il menace de se répandre, à la veille de leur mariage. Avec une belle prose engageante et une intrigue stable, ce livre est à dévorer.

Le Comte de Monte Cristo d'Alexandre Dumas

6 classics that deserve a place on everyone’s bookshelf - The Count of Monte Cristo
6 classics that deserve a place on everyone’s bookshelf – Le Comte de Monte-Cristo

This story of adventure, conviction and revenge follows an innocent man who gets arrested on the brink of his engagement. Through rotten years in prison, a friendship with a madman and years of hard work, he escapes the deadly prison. When he returns with a new identity, he is no longer the naïve and idealistic youth he used to be. He is a seeker and exacter of a deadly revenge, and possessor of a treasure.

1984 de George Orwell

6 classiques que tout le monde devrait lire une fois dans sa vie - 1984
6 Classics Everyone Should Read Once In Their Lifetime – 1984

In this dystopian allegory to the communist regime, Orwell constructs a fictional world where the Big Brother monitors everyone. Here, language influences the collective psyche. Plus, the obliteration of words like ‘love’ from the language serves to obliterate them from memory, thought and existence itself. Amidst this, we follow a singular man who dares to love, but in the end succumbs to the Big Brother – a symbolic defeat of mankind.

Le mouron écarlate par Emmuska Orczy

Le mouron écarlate
6 classics that deserve a place on everyone’s bookshelf – Le mouron écarlate

One of the lesser known classics, this book unfolds in the backdrop of the French Revolution against the aristocrats. Orczy tells the story of a mysterious Englishman who is notorious for rescuing French aristocrats and bringing them to England and safety. Meanwhile, we follow a beautiful Frenchwoman, Marguerite married to a dandy (the Scarlet Pimpernel in disguise). There is also a French cop, Chauvelin who preys on Marguerite’s nationalistic sentiments to help her betray the Scarlet Pimpernel. She unwittingly does this, and what ensues is a saga of romance, both terror and love.

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