October 2019 is going to be my first October participating in Victober, a Victorian themed read-a-long through the month of October. This year it’s being hosted by Lucy@LucytheReader, Kate@BooksandThings, Ange@BeyondthePages, and Kate@KateHowe. I’m sort of folowing the prompts, but will admit that I’m stretching some of them a little, and I’m not doing all of the prompts.
Re-read a Victorian Book:
Dracula by Bram Stoker, read by a full cast.
As I’m going to be traveling a bit this month for my sister’s graduation, and it’s Halloween, I figured that it was high time that I not only re-read Dracula but listened to the audiobook. I actually studied Dracula as part of my undergraduate dissertation so I know it pretty damn well. I’d imagine that everyone kind of knows the story of Dracula, even just vaguely becasue it is iconic. In casue you don’t it’s an episolary format, meaning that it’s told through letters, journal entries, memos, etc from a variety of people who find themselves entangled with Count Dracula, a mysterious Transylvanian looking to buy property in England.
Read a book under 200 pages and/or over 500 pages:
Sweeney Todd or A String of Pearls by James Malcolm Rymer
As with Dracula, Sweeney Todd is pretty iconic and an awesome musical so if you haven’t listened to that cast album you really should. It’s the story of a barber, some may call him the demon barber of Fleet Street, who is on a journey of revenge and begins to kill people. What do you do with a corpse? Well, there’s a pie shop in need of ingredients… The author wrote one of my favourite vampire stories, Varney the Vampyre, which was also part of the aforementioned dissertation though this is remarkable shorter. Both were originally published in the form of penny dreadfuls, during the 1800, which were cheep weekly publications produced on mass. I bought this originally for my postgrad dissertation, though things changed and I didn’t end up using it, I’m excited to finally see what I’ve been missing. Technically my edition is around 250 pages, but I’m sure some edition has it at under 200.
Read a book published in the same year as your favourite Victorian Classic:
Wagner the Wereworlf by George W. M. Reynolds
My favourite Victorian calssic is Jane Eyre which was published in 1847, and s if one penny dreadful wasn’t enough I bring you a second in the form of a werwolf story published between 1846-1847. Similar to A String of Pearls, this was also bought for the same reason, and I’m only now getting ready to read it. I’ll also be taking it away with me and reading it when I’m not in the car. I always find that nineteenth century books always take more effort to read, and I can’t do it in front of the TV so this month should be perfect. I don’t really know what the book is about, though the title seems pretty self explanatory. We can safely say that there is a werwolf and his name is Wagner, so I’m just going to take my chances and jump straight in.
Group Read: A Woman of No Importance and The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
These are both plays which is great because they’ll be super quick reads, which means the group read(s) are really accessible. I have read A Woman of No Importance before as I read it for a class on Victorian Literature as part of my undergraduate course, though I’m not sure I kept any of my notes which is a shame. I’ve never read The Importance of Being Ernest but I have seen an adaptation, so it is something that I have been meaning to read and this gives me the perfect excuse.
Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor
Back in May (I remember it vividly as I was waiting for a train to Comic Con) Vintage very kindly sent me this unsolicited ARC of Shadowplay which I hadn’t heard of. As soon as I glanced at the blurb I was super excited about it because it features my good friend, Bram Stoker. Yes, author of Dracula Bram Stoker. It seems to be historical fiction, based on real people, set at the Lyceum Theatre in London. (Side note: I would really like to read a good Stoker biography). The story takes place in 1878, which is almost twenty years prior to the publication of Dracula, and sounds very if-Bram-Stoker-was-in-Phantom-of-the-Opera, which is almost the dream recipie. As it’s taken me so long to get to this book it is already published and availible in the usual places.
What about you? What are you reading this month? What are your favourite Victorian books?