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Old 05-20-2019, 04:21 AM   #16
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One could spend a lot of time clicking on links on the Victorian Web, which can be described as collated links to mostly scholarly input.

http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/collins/index.html
Great Link! Thank you.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:02 AM   #17
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I am glad that the Lit club is reading this! I enjoyed it the first time I read it in college and again when I re-listened years ago. I am not going to do a full re-read this time, but I hope to participate in the discussion.

My first reading was in a class at university called "The Roots of Modern Horror Literature." We read Collins, Radcliffe, Stoker, Shelley, James, and Sherlock Holmes. The compare and contrast was fascinating.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:11 PM   #18
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That university course sounds like it would be great fun, astrangerhere!

I'm about 2/3 complete. Just starting the 3rd Epoch. I don't want to say too much for now to avoid spoilers. I'm looking forward to the long holiday weekend to keep reading.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:31 PM   #19
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I am just past halfway and enjoying the book very much so far; probably more than most novels I have read for some time. I felt early on when Walter was describing his attraction to Laura that it was maybe written a bit too earnestly, but as the book moved on that was not repeated and it is possible that the earnestness helped set the scene?

A bit off topic but astrangerhere's post reminded me that a couple of weeks ago the BBC's In Our Time podcast was on Shelley's novel Frankenstein; a bit less than an hour long and quite good if anyone is interested.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:48 PM   #20
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The discussion is moving along nicely and this might be redundant to some of the recent posts, but I said I'd begin asking about everyone's progress during the month, so... how far along are you and how are you liking the book so far?

~

For me, I'm not to 10% yet, but since it's longer I'm into the book a little ways already. I am really enjoying it and I hope the rest of the book is as good. If I wasn't so busy this is without a doubt the type of book I'd sit and read all day long without realising any time had passed. It grabbed me from the first and really sets a great atmosphere and pulled me in, which I feel is very important especially for many mystery books, and is always more impressive to me the older a book is.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:49 PM   #21
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I agree that the enjoyability factor is high. One can understand why it was extremely popular with the public when published. It's been a while since I couldn't put a book down like this. I really like the Amazon whispersync feature. I have been able to switch from the ebook to listening while commuting and exercising. I've been able to progress at a faster pace through this efficient time management. After I listen to an audio portion, I go back to the ebook to skim the written word and take notes.

Thanks for the info, AnotherCat! I read Frankenstein last autumn so it's still somewhat fresh in my memory and the podcast sounds interesting.

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Old 05-25-2019, 08:13 PM   #22
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sun surfer, you posted while I was writing my post so I didn't see it until afterwards! Hopefully you have some time to relax over the holiday and slow down.

I would be much further behind without the audiobook whisper-syncing. I have a lengthy commute so it makes a big difference with this multi-tasking to expand my reading time in a day. It also makes the commute more enjoyable and less tedious to have some entertainment.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:40 PM   #23
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I am enjoying the novel enormously! The plot is engaging and the audio is splendidly read.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:48 AM   #24
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sun surfer, you posted while I was writing my post so I didn't see it until afterwards! Hopefully you have some time to relax over the holiday and slow down.

I would be much further behind without the audiobook whisper-syncing. I have a lengthy commute so it makes a big difference with this multi-tasking to expand my reading time in a day. It also makes the commute more enjoyable and less tedious to have some entertainment.
Thanks! My time varies but I've also been travelling a good bit for work recently and that's leaving me a lot of time for audio. I've been using it the last few months to catch up on some of the few lit club books from the past I hadn't finished or got to. After finishing the audiobooks of Frankenstein in Baghdad and Eva Luna, I listened to Mrs Dalloway and In the Heart of the Sea, and am currently listening to A Tale of Love and Darkness.

I'm thinking about trying the audiobook of the Collins recommended by you and fantasyfan after I finish that if I get too far behind, because I want to finish it in a reasonable time for discussing and that would definitely speed up my progress dramatically, but I'm really enjoying reading it as an ebook. I'm over 15% now. I already have some suspicions but I don't want to say them at the moment. I don't think it would spoil anyone since I think all of you are ahead of me, but I'm afraid I may be wrong!
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:04 PM   #25
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I can understand why I remember reading it quickly or the sense of reading it voraciously. I don't want to put it down now to go eat my dinner, but I think my husband may feel neglected if I take my Kindle to the table. This book was originally published in serial format, and I can imagine the excitement waiting for the next installment.
I hope you've been able to tear yourself away from the kindle some so your husband isn't too jealous. It's rare these days that a book so takes me that I really don't want to stop reading, even books I really like. But this one is like that!

I hope the rest of the book is as good as the beginning. My Voyage tells me I have about 17 hours of reading left to finish the book which sounds a bit excessive even for my slow reading.

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I am glad that the Lit club is reading this! I enjoyed it the first time I read it in college and again when I re-listened years ago. I am not going to do a full re-read this time, but I hope to participate in the discussion.

My first reading was in a class at university called "The Roots of Modern Horror Literature." We read Collins, Radcliffe, Stoker, Shelley, James, and Sherlock Holmes. The compare and contrast was fascinating.
I'm glad you find this title interesting! I was a little worried you might not like seeing a book you'd already read and discussed with the general book club up for discussion again, even if it was many years ago. I look forward to your thoughts on it.
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Old 05-28-2019, 04:41 PM   #26
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That university course sounds like it would be great fun, astrangerhere!

I'm about 2/3 complete. Just starting the 3rd Epoch. I don't want to say too much for now to avoid spoilers. I'm looking forward to the long holiday weekend to keep reading.
It was one of my absolute favorites outside my core requirements. We spent much more time looking at the surrounding socio-economic situations and I was taking Victorian history that semester as well. So I was fairly awash in the time period.
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Old 05-29-2019, 11:54 AM   #27
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I've finished the section with the drawing instructor and begun the section with the lawyer. I thought it'd be fun to post my thoughts on the mystery so far and see how it measures up after I've finished the book.

Spoiler:
My first thought on meeting the family was that Collins makes sure to describe Miss Halcombe as manly and the uncle Mr. Fairlie as womanly. I thought perhaps this could point to someone somewhere in the story appearing to be someone of the opposite sex. Definitely if this were a more recently published book I'd think that. As it is, I'm not sure this book will take such a dramatic turn as that, but I'm holding the possibility open. My inclination at the moment is that Collins may have described them that way for two separate reasons- to make it obvious why the drawing instructor wouldn't fancy Miss Halcombe as any sort of romantic interest, and to give even more reason to dislike Mr. Fairlie. I do however still hold open the possibility of people posing as other people, cross-dressing or no, and I do note that Mr. Fairlie is rarely seen and when seen it's only in a darker room with no sunlight coming in.

My second thought was to suspect everyone of mischievousness in turn. Could Miss Halcombe be orchestrating some elaborate ruse that would result in her inheriting the money? Or could Mr. Fairlie (or whomever they may be) have a reason to orchestrate something? Or could they even be working together, or be the same person? If any of these hold true, it would mean they sought out a drawing instructor to come to set their plan in motion, making the instructor one of the victims/pawns. The plan could have called for finding an instructor that would be likely to fall for Miss Fairlie, setting up the scene as it were. This could even also implicate his Italian friend who found him the job, whom for all we know faked the drowning so as to have a reason to owe the instructor a favour.

Then there is Miss Fairlie herself. Could she somehow be in on it? Or is she another pawn in this that the drawing instructor or whomever will eventually need to help save? Or is she even Miss Fairlie? There is the possibility the Miss Fairlie at present is actually Anne Cathericke (I'm not sure I have the name right, but it's close enough). Miss Fairlie and the woman in white could either be the same person, or they could be separate people but switched (the real Miss Fairlie being the woman in white).

The points in favour of there being a ruse against Mr. Hartwright (I can't remember if it's spelled Hartwright or Hartright) in one way or another is that there are so many coincidences. He just so happens to meet a woman on the road to London that lo and behold ends up being central to a plot of the far away place he is about to go to. And after he drops her off, he just so happens to be at the correct spot to hear some men discuss looking for her. And there are more as the story progresses. However, these types of coincidences are more common and more accepted in older books, so I can't say for sure if they mean anything in particular.

If the whole thing is taken more innocently - that the woman in white, Miss Halcombe and Miss Fairlie at least are all as they say they are without ulterior motives - then I must look at things in a simpler way. There must be a reason for Miss Fairlie and the woman in white to look so similar. If they are not the same person, then I think maybe they are sisters. It is stated that the woman in white's father abandoned them and she doesn't know who he is, and it is also stated that Miss Fairlie looks like her father. So, if her father Mr. Fairlie had an affair and another child, and they both were born around the same time and both bear a strong resemblance to him, then we could have the situation at present.

I don't know enough about Sir Percival yet to make any particular guesses, but my first instinct is that he is going to be on the villainy side of things.
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Old 06-02-2019, 04:31 AM   #28
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Recently I watched the TV series which was quite well done. But the book has so much more!
At the moment, I’m into the second epoch. I find in Marian Halcombe one of the finest portrayals of a Victorian heroine I have ever encountered. And the narrator does her full justice, magnificently conveying a range of emotions. Consider, for example, the dramatisation of Marian’s reaction to the approaching carriage as Laura and Sir Percival return from their European trip.

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Old 06-02-2019, 05:47 PM   #29
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I finished the book a couple of nights ago - my credit to it can be represented by my now having The Moonstone ready to start reading as soon as I've finished my current book.
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Old 06-02-2019, 06:07 PM   #30
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It was one of my absolute favorites outside my core requirements. We spent much more time looking at the surrounding socio-economic situations and I was taking Victorian history that semester as well. So I was fairly awash in the time period.
I would love to study the Victorian period in a school setting. As an adult, there are so many topics that you reflect would have been fun to study at university. Of course my interests are a lot different now too. My degree was in a STEM-field (which wasn't even an acronym then!) so I did not have the opportunity to explore courses in the areas of literature or history. However the Victorian era is interesting from a science/technology perspective in addition to the literature and societal issues. I think that's why I find it such fascinating time period. So much change in so many ways that affected the world and the future.

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I've finished the section with the drawing instructor and begun the section with the lawyer. I thought it'd be fun to post my thoughts on the mystery so far and see how it measures up after I've finished the book.
I think it will be fun for you to review your thoughts as the book progresses. I also took many notes as I was reading on what I thought might happen so I could look back on them at the end. It's not something that I typically do (mostly I just highlight passages), but I'm trying to be more aware of what my thoughts are while reading.

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I finished the book a couple of nights ago - my credit to it can be represented by my now having The Moonstone ready to start reading as soon as I've finished my current book.
I'm glad you enjoyed it and are planning to read The Moonstone too. I finished a few days ago. I loved it! Thanks for nominating it, AnotherCat.

Next I need to compile my thoughts while I wait for others to catch up so we don't reveal too many spoilers. I also need to read the publisher's Introduction essay.
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