Tournament of Classics 2017: Lizzie for the Win!

And we have a winner! It was a close fight, but our bookish battle royale could have only one victor: Miss Elizabeth Bennet! Carried to victory by your votes (and your affection for Jane Austen), our beloved Lizzie proved once again “there is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” More than two hundred years after she was introduced to the world, Lizzie continues to inspire, enchant, and amuse. Thanks to everyone who voted during this year’s Bas Bleu Tournament of Classics. Though Lizzie won the day, all of our competitors are winners in the hearts of readers the world over, for whom they have provided solace, guidance, entertainment, and more, all from the pages of classic novels. Happy reading, bluestockings!

Tournament of Classics 2017: Championship Match

In the beginning, there were sixteen. Now, there are two. Two fiercely independent, strongly opinionated, keen-minded women who refused to settle for second-best, even when their choices exposed them to criticism and derision from society. Elizabeth Bennet and Jo March have been heralded by generations of readers, admired by millions who read Pride and Prejudice and Little Women until the pages were worn and the spines cracked. Both have earned permanent places in our hearts…but only one can claim the crown in Bas Bleu‘s Tournament of Classics 2017. Cast your vote! Continue reading

Tournament of Classics 2017: Final Four

And then there were four.

We’re down to the semifinal round in Bas Bleu‘s Tournament of Classics 2017. Lively Miss Bennet, she of the “fine eyes,” triumphed over the cunning Scarlett (who swore to fight on, but another day). Plucky Anne Shirley and precocious Scout Finch claimed twin victories over Hester Prynne and Jane Eyre. Jo March’s battle to the wits with Miss Marple was a tough one…ceded only, we suspect, because there was a murder in St. Mary Mead requiring the attention of England’s top sleuth. Continue reading

Tournament of Classics 2017: Elite 8

Wow! After five days of fierce literary debate (nearly 1,000 votes from avid readers), eight competitors still stand in this year’s Tournament of Classics. All are giants of the book world and beloved role models for many a bluestocking…but only one will be crowned champion of Bas Bleu’s literature-themed March MadnessTM. You know the drill: Vote in the polls below to determine who will advance to the Final Four! Continue reading

Tournament of Classics 2017

For those readers new to the Bluestocking Salon, Bas Bleu’s Tournament of Classics is our annual tribute to college basketball’s March Madness™, in which we pit literary classics against one another in a “big dance” to victory. In years past, your favorite classic novels, children’s stories, mysteries/thrillers, and literary villains jockeyed for the grand prize. This year, the tournament belongs to the women, as sixteen beloved and unforgettable literary heroines face off. (Click on bracket to enlarge.)

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Literary Leading Men


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which is all the urging we need to indulge in a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, and a stack of our favorite literary romances. In the past Bas Bleu‘s editors shared some of our favorite literary couples, unforgettable romantic words from literature, and lessons in love we’ve learned from books. This year, we’re sighing over ten golden-hearted romantic heroes from classic novels. Continue reading

Read, White, and Bleu: Vote Today!

vote buttonElection Day is here, bluestockings!

In January, we announced Bas Bleu would host our own 2016 presidential election, with your favorite literary characters as the candidates. You sent in your nominations, then helped us narrow down the nominees to six teams. Since then, we have presented our readers with the candidates’ biographies, platform issues, and schedules of campaign events. Continue reading

Read, White, and Bleu: Harry Potter and Hermione Granger

In January, we announced Bas Bleu would be hosting our own 2016 presidential election, with your favorite literary characters as the candidates. We’ve narrowed your nominees down to six teams, and in the months leading up to Election Day in November, we’ll be presenting you with the candidates’ biographies, platform issues, and a schedule of campaign events.

potter-granger500 Continue reading

In Search of the Perfect Man: Jane Austen’s Heroes

Those of us with an affinity for Jane Austen’s novels—the sly wit, the razor-sharp social commentary, the forgiving empire-waist dresses—also have a soft spot for Austen’s leading men. But while these half-dozen gentlemen all share a strong sense of honor and an affinity for bright, independent-minded women, they aren’t interchangeable. So which Austen hero is right for you? Continue reading