The Brilliant Comedy of Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813) is the first book on the BBC book list.  I think that is fitting, given the fact that it is a popular novel, even among young people today.  In its time, the book was admired and imitated (see Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South).  The title was originally First Impressions,... Continue Reading →

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Hope, Courage, and Feminism in The Portrait of a Lady

I’m not a big fan of Henry James (1843-1916), pictured below. I’ve dutifully read him for class assignments, but never for pleasure until last fall. My favorite professor, whom I still see often because we teach at the same university, recommended that I read James’s The Portrait of a Lady (1881). He was reading it... Continue Reading →

How to Train Your . . . White Whale?

My only in-person experience with white whales occurred at Stanley Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when a male beluga whale aggressively chased the female whale in the tank, alternately poking out and pulling in his male member.  I know, pretty gross.  Watching the birds and the bees in action was memorable and fascinating to... Continue Reading →

Death Changes Mrs. Dalloway and Us

The first time my sister Haley received an invitation for a sleepover, it was to her best friend Martha’s house.  Such an invitation is exciting and a celebrated first experience away from home.  However, Martha lived in a mortuary.  Her father was a mortician, whose residence was attached to his place of work and business. ... Continue Reading →

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