A Secret Sisterhood by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney

Full disclosure:  I bought this book because of the subtitle:  The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf.  I should have known that I wouldn’t like it from the lack of an Oxford comma in the subtitle, but I pressed on.  The authors are academics, and there are endnotes andContinue reading “A Secret Sisterhood by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney”

The Regency Years by Robert Morrison

The full title is The Regency Years: during which Jane Austen writes, Napoleon fights, Byron makes love, and Britain becomes modern. Morrison’s book is highly readable and engaging, while maintaining a level of scholarly rigor not often seen in works marketed to a lay audience.  For those interested, there is a wealth of endnotes andContinue reading “The Regency Years by Robert Morrison”

The Mysteries of Udolpho, the final chapters…

Dear Reader, I do apologize for taking so long to finish up with Mrs. Radcliffe’s enormous tome.  My goal was to finish it before the JASNA AGM, and I did, but just the day before on the plane, so it was only by a hair’s breadth.  Then the splendour of the AGM temporarily stalled myContinue reading “The Mysteries of Udolpho, the final chapters…”

Year of Reading Dangerously: The Mysteries of Udolpho, volume I

Originally published in 1794 in four volumes, The Mysteries of Udolpho is probably the prototypical Gothic Novel. Regular readers will know that I did not read it first, though it is of primary importance to Catherine in Northanger Abbey, preferring instead to work my way through Walpole and Lewis in preparation for Udolpho.  I mustContinue reading “Year of Reading Dangerously: The Mysteries of Udolpho, volume I”

The Year of Reading Dangerously: Northanger Abbey on Film

I am writing this whilst slogging my way through 672 pages of The Mysteries of Udolpho.  Yes. 672 pages.  I am hoping to have something to write about on this blog when I get to the halfway mark.  Until that delightful day, dear readers, I thought we might pass the time with a discussion ofContinue reading “The Year of Reading Dangerously: Northanger Abbey on Film”

Year of Reading Dangerously: The Monk part II

When last we saw our cast of characters, Ambrosio was locked in Matilda’s illicit embrace, she having saved him from the viper’s poison through witchcraft; we have heard the tale within a tale of Don Raymond’s adventures, and Agnes was presumed dead, although Lorenzo was still searching the convent for her daily. In the secondContinue reading “Year of Reading Dangerously: The Monk part II”

The Year of Reading Dangerously: The Monk by Matthew Lewis, part 1

The Monk was published in 1796; some critics suspect that it was written, or at least started as early as 1792, during Lewis’s visit to the continent.  Several letters to his mother mention that he is working on a novel, and in a 1794 letter to her, he specifically mentions having written a novel inContinue reading “The Year of Reading Dangerously: The Monk by Matthew Lewis, part 1”

The Year of Reading Dangerously: The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

In Gordon Wood’s Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different, he writes that Revolutionary era literature contained a great deal of satire. He further argues that, “Satire as a literary device depends on a comprehending…audience…” (251). If we accept, as many Austen fans do, that Northanger Abbey is a satire of Gothic Romances, then inContinue reading “The Year of Reading Dangerously: The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole”