This is the last day of Allie's two-month Victorian Celebration, so it's time for a wrap-up post. First of all, we would like to thank Allie for organizing this event. We had less time to dedicate to it than we would have liked, but, nonetheless, we are very happy to have participated. To tell you the truth, it kept us blogging. We both had a complicated couple of months in real life and, if not for this commitment we'd made to read a handful of Victorians in June and July, we're not sure we would have had the drive or the energy to continue with the blog. So, thanks, Victorians, for not letting us quit.
Now on to the main attraction of the Victorian Celebration: other people's posts. We enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts and added quite a few books to our TBR piles in the process. And, with the caveat that we didn't have a lot of time to check everything (especially on new-to-us blogs), there were a few series that we absolutely loved and want to highlight:
- Fanda's excursions into Victorian London: Fanda set out to explore Victorian London as depicted in Dickens' Sketches by Boz, covering popular pastimes, occupations, transportation etc. We loved this project for its nice historical glimpses - useful & enjoyable even if one isn't that much into Dickens.
- Allie's Author Focus: Allie profiled some of the most important Victorian writers: Dickens, Hardy, Eliot, Collins and the Brontes. Sometimes it's nice to have this sort of broad overview of an author's life and work, and with every post, we felt like we were slowly mapping out the Victorian period.
- O's reading organized by decade: we are not quite sure when o from Délaissé sleeps, but she read something from every decade of the Victorian period for this event, and wrote eloquently about the books she read. She's an inspiration. Also, check out this post for some very interesting thoughts on one of those decades (the 1870s).
- Becky's reviews of the Jane Eyre movies: this is one of the most helpful things the internet has thrown at us lately. Becky watched ten film adaptations of Jane Eyre, reviewed them individually and then compared their strengths and weaknesses. It's a great project and we're very grateful to Becky for her recommendations.
Okay, so that's how awesome people spent their Victorian Celebration. What did we do? Well..., we started with a list, completely ignored it in June, and then tried to catch up by reading & reviewing the following things in July:
- Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
- An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
- Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
- What Maisie Knew by Henry James
- Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey
- The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton
- How to Marry An English Lord by Gail McColl and Carol Wallace
As you can see, we're still four books short of the original list:
- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights (to be read in August)
- Charles Darwin, On the Origins of Species (started but not yet finished)
- A.S. Byatt, Possession (to be read in August in a Goodreads buddy read)
- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (unappetizing. maybe someday?)
We'll cover these books in the near future (and we're not quite talked out about the already-reviewed titles either). Also, Claudia won Villette in a giveaway organized by Kristi from Kristi Loves Books (thanks, Kristi!) so that will be one of the books discussed in August.
We're not going to lie. This challenge has been much fun and got us through a blogging slump, but we're sort of looking forward to an August of less-scheduled reading too. What about you? What did you read? What posts from the Victorian Celebration did you like? What do you plan to read in August?