While I am enjoying and valuing the connections I am making by reading classic literature in approximately chronological order, I do feel the occasional weakening of determination and the call of a favourite author from much later. Shakespeare winks and beckons from the shelves, foaming beer glass in hand. Austen blushes behind her fan, and shows a shapely ankle, while Dickens blusters, and Washington Irving, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde nod and wave with a twinkling eye. Other, less familiar poets and playwrights : Coleridge and Wordsworth, Whitman, Chekhov and Shaw, smile and hint at as-yet unknown pleasures. Hugo and Dumas toast me from a Parisian sidewalk cafe. Travellers such as Chaucer, Marco Polo, John Muir and Jack Kerouac offer to share a campfire. Lovecraft and Lewis and King stand in front of heavy blood-red curtains, offering a peek inside, while Wells and Verne stand beside a huge telescope peering into the heavens.
So I am more encouraged than ever to make sure I finish with the Classical Greeks by year end, and earn my laurels. My Roman toga is back from the dry cleaners ready for 2017 when I will be invading Britain with Caesar and climbing the Alps on elephant back with Hannibal.