Victober & Witch Week | 2021

Hi, folks!

It’s almost time for another of my favourite reading events:

Victober – Victorian Lit in October

Victober is a month-long readathon hosted by KateKatie, and Lucy, where we try to read as much Victorian literature as we can in the month of October.

By Victorian Lit the hosts understand any book published from 1837 to 1901 in the UK. The hosts usually set some prompts or challenges to inspire our reading, and they also have a Goodreads group, where, among other things, we can discuss our choices and get book recommendations.

I will list here some recommendations for each prompt (most of the books will fit more than one category):

— Prompts & Recommendations —
1. Katie’s challenge: Read a Victorian book set in the countryside AND/OR the city

2. Lucy’s challenge: Read a Victorian book with a female main character

3. Kate’s challenge: Read a Victorian sensation novel

Florence Marryat


4. Group challenge: Read a popular Victorian book you haven’t yet read (how you define popular is up to you)
  • Popular both now and in the Victorian period:
  • Popular in the Victorian period and now more or less forgotten:
    • Belinda, by Rhoda Broughton (1883)
    • Hester, by Margaret Oliphant (1883)

5. Group readalong: 

Elizabeth Gaskell

  • Gothic Tales, by Elizabeth Gaskell, ed. Laura Kranzler (2000)

6. Bonus challenge: Read aloud a section of a Victorian work, or have it read aloud to you (ie, by a friend or an audiobook)

0021-1

  • I recommend the audio version of Middlemarch, by George Eliot (1871), read by Juliet Stevenson ❤

As usual, Victober will coincide with our beloved R.I.P. and LOHF reading events, and I’ve just found out through Cathy about

Witch Week

Witch Week is an event first created by Lory at The Emerald City Book Review (Enter the Enchanted Castle), and now co-hosted by Calmgrove and Lizzie. The event runs from Hallowe’en to Bonfire Night (October 31st to November 6th):

“Our theme, TREASON and PLOT, takes its cue from Guy Fawkes’ Day, the last day of Witch Week, the 5th of November. That was the day Guy Fawkes and his treasonous crew planned in 1603 to blow up Parliament with all who were in it, including King James I. Thus bonfire night, and Diana Wynne Jones’ Witch Week, and this annual celebration of fantasy and witchy deeds that runs 31st October to 6th November.”

They will be looking at some of the ways the theme of treason and plot was interpreted in speculative fiction, and will also be hosting a read-along of The Tempest.

Here are some of my recommendations for the event:


Finally, without further ado, here is my TBR for Victober (with some plot, treason, and witches thrown in for the fun):

Victober + Witch Week TBR
  • Red Pottage, by Mary Cholmondeley (1899)
  • The Sorrows of Satan, by Marie Corelli (1895 + R.I.P. and LOHF)
  • The semi-detached couple, by Emily Eden (1860, + Booktube Spin #3)
  • The Story of a Marriage, by Louisa Baldwin (as Mrs. Alfred Baldwin, 1895, + Booktube Spin #3)
  • Miss Brown, by Vernon Lee (1884)
  • The Virago Book of Victorian Ghost Stories, edited by Richard Dalby (1988 + R.I.P. and LOHF)
  • Witch Stories, by Eliza Lynn Linton (1861 + R.I.P. and LOHF +Witch Week)
  • A Welsh Witch by Allen Raine (1902 + R.I.P. and LOHF +Witch Week)

That’s all for now, folks! As L.M. Montgomery writes in Anne of Green Gables, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”. What will you be reading in October? Tell me about it.

Yours truly,

J.


Eastman Johnson, The Girl I Left Behind Me, ca. 1872
Eastman Johnson, “The Girl I Left Behind Me”, ca. 1872

5 thoughts on “Victober & Witch Week | 2021

  1. I do love a good Victorian! My Trollope book group is beginning a readalong of The Bertrams, but I don’t like to read too far ahead. So I’ll probably go for a book with a female main character. I still have The Clever Woman of the family by Charlotte Yonge and Marcella by Mrs. Humphrey Ward — both books by and about women! Though I’m also intrigued by The Beth Book, I think it’s in the public domain so I could read it on Gutenberg.

    Liked by 1 person

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