Mark J. Schenker of Yale College returns to Guilford Library to continue his virtual lecture-discussions on the subject of the flourishing of great novels that were published during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). He will discuss characteristics of these classic books in general, focusing on their style and structure as works of literary art, as well as the social and intellectual issues they engage. Among the latter are: the status of women: the tensions between optimism and anxiety, and between religion and science; the changing perceptions of children and childhood; and the centrality of the themes of class, sex, criminality and moral earnestness.
Having given special attention to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847) to Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1861) in the fall, he turns this spring to George Eliot’s Middlemarch (1871) and Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891). Attendees are not expected to read or reread these novels, but a familiarity with them will of course make the lectures more meaningful.
10 February Middlemarch
2 March Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Registration is required. Please register separately for each session.