I never intended that my first post for My Victorian Summer would come a full month after the inauguration of my project, but I’ve found that with summer weather, long books, and family in town, my blogging is becoming less of a priority than before. To my surprise, I’m okay with this. I may continue to leave things rather “hands off” for the next little while. Maybe I’ll get back into a blogging groove at some point, but for now, I’m living my life.
The two Victorian-esque books I have finished this month are completely different.
We Two: Victoria and Albert, Rulers, Partners, and Rivals by Gillian Gill is a non-fiction biography of the monarch and her husband. It was not, of course, written during the Victorian era, but I read it to get a sense of what made the Victorian Era a distinct era. I found the biography quite fascinating, even if the relationship between Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert was not quite as satisfyingly romantic as Hollywood made out in The Young Victoria. See review.
Armadale by Wilkie Collins, on the other hand, was a fantastic sensation novel from the 1860s, complete with dual and mistaken identities, poison, attempted murder, and above all superstition. While the almost-700-page novel seemed a little slow to begin, the convoluted plots and depth of characters made it a satisfying and delicious book to devour. See review.
I also share my current Reading Journal below.
Reading Journal (30 June)
I’m trying to let go of schedules a little bit more and just read what I want. I have so many Victorian reads on my radar I could just read Victorian for the rest of the year!
Recently Finished: The Audacity of Hope (audiobook, abridged) by Barack Obama
Recently Abandoned (for now): The Inferno by Dante, Hollander translation (I may have a post about this abandonment)
In Progress: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (for My Victorian Summer); Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome (audiobook, for My Victorian Summer); Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang (for Orbis Terrarum/Asia); Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader (for Imperial Russia Classics Circuit); I Am A Cat by Natsume Soseki (my personal JLit Challenge); Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose (for my other book club)
On Deck: The Art of Victorian Fiction (essays for My Victorian Summer); Great Expectations (for My Victorian Summer); The Stranger and The Plague by Camus (the former for my Classics Reading Group); The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee (for the Spotlight Series); whatever other books as please my fancy.