Classics and Potboilers, and Penny dreadfuls

Tarzan of the Apes book coverImage via Wikipedia

I can't help contrasting two books I recently finished reading. One I read out loud to my ten year old and many home school moms would say it is a classic. The other I read myself and probably quicker than the one I read to my son. Most home school moms wouldn't recognize it and would be leery of letting their older children read it without some investigation.

At a certain level they were both great reads. The one has been made into many movies (and I think a TV series). It's the story of a child reared in the jungle by animals who eventually encounters a group of humans and saves them (multiple times) and falls in love with the girl in the group. He returns to civilization with one of the party and learns French and that he is the son of a well to do man and pursues the girl. Alas, she is already promised to another. He returns to the jungle.

The other is a play about a man who's brought home a war captive and her child. He's fallen in love with her and she will have none of him. He's also got a promised bride who loves him. Into the scene arrives another man demanding the death of the child (son of the enemy in the last great war) and who is also in love with the promised bride. Two die, one is insane, and the captive woman is ruling the country at the end of the play.

So which is which? Which the classic? Which the potboiling penny dreadful?


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