Top Ten Tuesday: Opening Lines in Classic Novels that Feel Very Relevant

Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is to share ten opening lines that we find funny, interesting, well-written, etc. I’m focusing my list on ten opening lines in classic novels that feel very relevant right now.


It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

1984 by George Orwell – April felt pretty topsy-turvy indeed.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – This is sort of how everything feels right now: so many emotions all at once that you don’t know what to think!

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce – Confused? So am I.

All this happened, more or less.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut – How I feel when I update my friends on what I’ve been up to lately…

Β I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Clark – Pretty much sums up how wild everything feels right now.

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – My forlorn thoughts whenever it’s raining outside and I’m sitting at my desk, gazing out my window.

The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – How I imagine my family feels whenever they walk into my room after I’ve been lighting candles for hours.

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Sort of how I feel about summer… what will summer be without beach trips and ice cream stands and camping and little road trips to visit friends and fireworks and cookouts?

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien – Me when I finally leave my room after hours of studying.

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – Always looking for little ways to make each day brighter!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list! It was so fun to make. What are your favorite opening lines? What do you think of the ones I’ve mentioned, or of the novels they come from? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

55 Replies to “Top Ten Tuesday: Opening Lines in Classic Novels that Feel Very Relevant”

  1. Such a lovely list, Holly! Some of your reasons for choosing these opening lines really had me chuckling πŸ˜› I love those opening lines for Tale of Two Cities but I have yet to read it, even though every time I see it I want to immediately pick it up!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh I love this! The opening lines of Mrs. Dalloway get me every time. So much meaning in those few words. And I have to admit that while I do love the opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities, I did not enjoy most of the book. It was a beast. Ha! Great post! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post! April did feel very topsy turvy indeed (and I love that opening line from 1984). And I agree about tale of two cities and I capture the castle! Really relate! And yup to Jane Eyre and little women. I really like your reasoning for picture of dorian gray as well. haha I’m most definitely the hobbit right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this idea! One of my favourite opening lines is:
    “Two households, both alike in dignity
    In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
    From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
    Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”
    –I guess I don’t even have to mention the source πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Holly!! I love this list of opening lines. Usually I am intimidated by classics but this makes me feel more like reading them more. Little Women in one of the books that I hope to read soon πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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