Text conversations from classic novels

What if the characters of your favourite novels had smart phones? Jane Eyre, Nineteen Eighty-Four’s Winston and more ping their mates and paramours.

There’s a famous notion that mobile phones would circumvent the plot of most novels and films made before their invention: somebody lost in a city as part of the central story might simply whip open Google Maps; a character running late would send a text to let their counterpart know they’re running a little late and not to panic; young Macaulay Culkin would never have been left Home Alone.

But it got us thinking: what if some of those classic stories unfolded across the screen of a mobile phone, rather than in-person? If Madame Bovary could text u up?, and Crime and Punishment's Raskolnikov could text his buddy in real time? Below, we imagine that world.

(And, when you're done here – there are now More text conversations from classic novels.)

Jane Eyre (Part 1), by Charlotte Brontë

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Madame Bovary (Part 1), by Gustave Flaubert

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Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe

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Collage at very top designed by Flynn Shore / Penguin
Text conversation designs: Vicky Ibbetson / Penguin
Images included: traveler1116 / DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images | Issarawat Tattong / Moment via Getty Images | Yuko Yamada / Moment via Getty Images

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