As Game of Thrones season 7 wraps up this weekend, I find a deep void in my gut where the anticipation and excitement for each new episode used to be.
In an effort to kick start myself into more serious historical reenactment and to fill the void, I’m starting a fall book club. Back in the 1860’s, novels were often published first as serials in popular magazines. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for instance, first appeared over 41 weeks in the National Era, a DC-area anti-slavery paper. In the spirit of gothic novels and all things Halloween-y, I’ve picked The Woman in White to read in its serialized form, one chapter a week over the course of 40 weeks.
‘In one moment, every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop… There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth, stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white’
The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright’s eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter becomes embroiled in the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his ‘charming’ friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons, and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.
Rather than blog repeatedly about the novel, I’m asking people to join me! It will be difficult, especially knowing that the whole novel is just an Amazon Add-to-Cart away, but a chapter a week feels the perfect amount of commitment for a busy new mom and her very busy friends (that’s you, Dear Reader). I will send the installments in a weekly email along with an invitation for discussion/commentary through a social media hashtag. We can commune freely with our theories of what might happen next and thoroughly denounce spoilers, which would interfere with our enjoyment of the original publication experience c. 1859-60.
We will be living like great-great-great grandma, except that GGG Grandma didn’t have Twitter or Facebook. #LLGGbookclub
Enter your email in the form below! I’m sending out the first chapter Friday, Sept. 1. If you want to sign up after that, feel free! I’ll catch you up.