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Going Victorian

The famous painting of the Brontë sisters by their brother Branwell. They are, from left, Anne, Emily and Charlotte.

My freshman year in college I took an English literature course titled “The English Novel,” where I first read Jane Eyre. From that initial reading I was drawn to Victorian literature.

So, when I saw Write On, Door County was looking for book group facilitators in a press release, I jumped at the chance to be part of it…and to spread my love and knowledge of this literary period, when many modern/contemporary concerns – issues of class, race, gender, education, religion, etc. – were initially voiced.

This Victorian reading group will be held once a month, usually the last Saturday at 2 pm, at Write On’s new facility at 4177 Juddville Road in Fish Creek. The first gathering is scheduled for March 29 and the featured novel is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë.

The books for the rest of the year are: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell (April), Villette by Charlotte Brontë (May), The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (June), Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (July), The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (August), Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (Sept.), The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner (Oct.), New Grub Street by George Gissing (Nov.), and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (Dec.).

I will come with a list of questions, themes and passages to start the conversation, but discussions are free to go where they may. Depending on reading styles, these novels may be a challenge, but they’re rewarding texts to wade through.

Also, at this first meeting I’ll have lemon pound cake and Earl Grey tea! If anyone is interested or would like more information, feel free to email [email protected].