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Anthony Julius's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Anthony Julius recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Anthony Julius's favorite book recommendations of all time.


The Rise of the Novel, Updated Edition

The Rise of the Novel is Ian Watt's classic description of the interworkings of social conditions, changing attitudes, and literary practices during the period when the novel emerged as the dominant literary form of the individualist era.

In a new foreword, W. B. Carnochan accounts for the increasing interest in the English novel, including the contributions that Ian Watt's study made to literary studies: his introduction of sociology and philosophy to traditional criticism.
Recommended by Anthony Julius, and 1 others.

Anthony JuliusIt’s a remarkable work. It’s the first post-war conceptualisation of the English novel in its 18th-century inaugural moment, and it’s still the way in which one can think about the specific problems of English fiction – even though the novel is a highly international form, the literary form that is probably least inflected by specific national peculiarities. Vargas Llosa is writing in South... (Source)

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The Trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover

When Penguin released a new, unexpurgated edition of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1960, they were charged with the crime of publishing obscene material and made to defend the book’s literary merit in court. Thus began one of the most famous trials of the 20th century.

There to take it all in was Sybille Bedford. With her trademark wit and flair, she presents us with a play-by-play of the trial: from the prosecution’s questioning of the novel’s thirteen ‘unvarying’ sex scenes and 66 swear words, to the dozens of witnesses who testified – including the Bishop of...
Recommended by Anthony Julius, and 1 others.

Anthony JuliusThe two remaining books are Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel (still the most important book about the English novel, and one that has guided me through my thinking about censorship) and The Trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, by C H Rolph, which is a summary transcript of the trial. (Source)

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The Satanic Verses

One of the most controversial and acclaimed novels ever written, The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie’s best-known and most galvanizing book. Set in a modern world filled with both mayhem and miracles, the story begins with a bang: the terrorist bombing of a London-bound jet in midflight. Two Indian actors of opposing sensibilities fall to earth, transformed into living symbols of what is angelic and evil. This is just the initial act in a magnificent odyssey that seamlessly merges the actual with the imagined. A book whose importance is eclipsed only by its quality, The Satanic... more
Recommended by Anthony Julius, and 1 others.

Anthony JuliusI’m interested in the trials, of course – particularly the trial here, but also the trial in the States – because of what they meant in the context of the 1960s. Just as I’m interested in what The Satanic Verses meant at the moment of its publication in 1989/90: with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the extinction of socialism as a project of human liberation, and,... (Source)

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Lady Chatterley's Lover

Lawrence's frank portrayal of an extramarital affair and the explicit sexual explorations of it's central characters caused this controversial book, now considered a masterpiece, to be banned as pornography until 1960. less
Recommended by Anthony Julius, and 1 others.

Anthony JuliusOf course, this book was also the object of censoring attention, culminating in a couple of trials (one in the States and one in Britain). But it’s also itself about the violation of norms – in this case, the violation of the marriage contract and the norm of monogamous living. (Source)

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Jude the Obscure

'Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul?'

Jude Fawley, poor and working-class, longs to study at the University of Christminster, but he is rebuffed, and trapped in a loveless marriage. He falls in love with his unconventional cousin Sue Bridehead, and their refusal to marry when free to do so confirms their rejection of and by the world around them. The shocking fate that overtakes them is an indictment of a rigid and uncaring society.

Hardy's last and most controversial novel, Jude the Obscure caused outrage when it...
Recommended by Anthony Julius, and 1 others.

Anthony JuliusMy first three books are each about censorship, as well as being the objects of censorship themselves: Jude the Obscure, Lady Chatterley’s Lover and The Satanic Verses. (Source)

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