Hosting or attending parties can sometimes be stressful, but my favorite parties to attend are the ones we find in fiction. Fictional parties are the best social events ever because you can have all the fun without a real-life party’s stress or tackless social situations. So please pick up a book or two from our list of memorable parties in classic literature!
David’s London Dinner Party in David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Newly independent in London, David is both eager and anxious to host a party for his friends, so much so he orders too much food and bottles of wine. He starts off the evening both shy and enthusiastic. He ends with being intoxicated, falling down the stairs, and talking to himself, but eventually, he finds himself in bed. Can anyone relate?
The Costume Ball in Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Lady Crowan asks if Maxim and our narrator, the second Mrs. de Winter, will host the costume ball, a yearly tradition at Manderley when Rebecca was alive. It will be our narrator’s first grand affair as mistress of Manderley. Unfortunately, instead of a social triumph, she was tricked by her housekeeper into dressing up as her husband’s deceased first wife. We’ve all had bad outfit days, right?
The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This tea party has continued to captivate the minds of both children and adults alike years after its original publication. The story follows Alice as she meets unreal creatures that inhabit Carroll’s world. During the tea party, she meets the Mad Hatter, a pop culture fixture and inspirational figure, along with a March Hare and the drowsy Dormouse.
Saturday night parties hosted by Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Get lost in the enchanting and over-the-top world of Gatsby and his glamorous Saturday night parties that he hosts as a part of his hopeful plan to reunite with Daisy Buchanan, the love of his life.
Clarissa’s Party in Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Written in a modernist stream of consciousness style and turning the seemingly mundane details of life into something spectacular, Woolf goes deep into the mind of Clarissa Dalloway as she gets ready to host a party.
Netherfield Ball in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Elizabeth is embarrassed by her family’s behavior because she understands the codes of conduct at such an event. But if you don’t care about etiquette and you’re looking for a good time, you need to hang with Lydia and Kitty — these girls drink, dance, and socialize. But Lizzie isn’t always a downer, you can rely on her to make jokes about the other guests at the party.
Have you read any of these classic novels?
Are any of these books on your TBR? What classic novels with memorable parties would you add to this list?