For all of 2013, Katherine Cox is hosting a 'Turn of the Century Salon' - something I've been very much looking forward to, although I haven't blogged properly about it yet. All the details are here: each month, those participating write about a book written during the turn of the century, which she defines as the 1880s - 1930s. I feel I'm quite under-read with this period, so I'm jumping at the chance!
In England, this period extends from Queen Victoria's reign (1837 - 1910), through King Edward VII's (1901 - 1910), George V's (1910 - 1936), and Edward VIII's and George VI (1936 - 1952), and as we all know, right in the very centre of it, saw the First World War. But, for this Salon I don't want to focus solely on English Literature.
For this event, well, obviously I want to read lots and lots as I always do, but I have a plan for a structure, too. As well as my usual erratic reading, I would like to write post every other month focusing on each decade. I did this for the Victorian Celebration, writing not only about what I'd read, but giving a brief social / historical context and including artwork from the period, but as it happens, that structure died out a little for the 1880s. So, I will be picking up there, and spend two months focusing on each decade, as well as random reads from the period Katherine has defined throughout. This approach may mean I'll wait before I start Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford, but that's ok. I'm not sure I'm as ready for it as I thought.
The 1880s, then: there are two from this decade that I'm very keen on reading - The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880), and The Nether World by George Gissing (1889). These will be my January - February reads, as well as whatever comes my way!