RTT Quarterly - Jul-Sep - 18th Century

DiskuteraReading Through Time

Bara medlemmar i LibraryThing kan skriva.

RTT Quarterly - Jul-Sep - 18th Century

Redigerat: maj 30, 11:32am

The 18th Century

Storming the Bastille
- Watt's steam engine

The 18th Century was a century of Revolutions: Industrial, American, French, Brabant, Haitian, and others.

Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations and Gulliver's Travels and Robinson Crusoe are published. Messier publishes his catalogue of astronomical objects. And some woman named Jane Austen publishes some books.

The first piano was built in 1709.

Bering 'discovers' Alaska. Ben Franklin creates the lightning rod and bifocals.

In Opera, The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni wow audiences. John James Audubon publishes his works.

A list of qualifying books: https://www.librarything.com/tag/18th+century and associated tag mashes

Don't forget to update the wiki:

maj 30, 12:11pm

Thanks for setting this up. Although it's scary that the next quarter is so close already!

maj 31, 3:33pm

Austen's novel were all published in the decade of the 1810s, but they are set in the late eighteenth century, so on that basis I guess they qualify.

I'm actually glad they do, because I read Austen back in high school but was never much of a fan. I reread Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice a few years ago and wasn't impressed, but I'd been planning on doing a complete reread using the Harvard/Belknap annotated editions and also take a look at the supplemental materials in any of the Norton Criticals I have.

There's also a Great Courses video series on Austen that I plan to watch.


In addition to Austen, I've also got the Durant Age of Voltaire and Rousseau and Revolution that I'd like to get through. I've just started reading The Age of Reason Begins and I'm thoroughly unimpressed — "middle brow" Reader's Digest feel to it, but that may just be that the beginning is England 1558-1648 concerning which I'm quite knowledgeable, and maybe I'll be more impressed when I get to the later two-thirds of the book dealing with continental Europe.

jun 8, 12:06pm

I'm reading Margaret Lawrence's Hearts & Bones set post American Revolution.

Have requested McCullough's John Adams on audio.

jun 18, 11:59pm

I'm going to read Edgar Huntley, Memoirs of a Sleepwalker which is an 18th century American gothic.

Redigerat: jul 1, 11:05am

I have a few possibilities from which to choose: two histories which have sat on the shelf unread for too long, American Colonies: The Settling of North America and American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750 — 1804, both by Alan Taylor; and a novel set in the 18th century, Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette by Sena Jeter Naslund.

The scope of the first book (one of my current reads) is probably too wide to be included in this thread, since its focus is on settlement in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and discussion ranges even outside those centuries. Hopefully I can read the other two books this quarter.

Redigerat: jul 2, 2:56am

>6 dianelouise100: Oh I have abundance on my tbs stack. I was not in the mood for it, since I'd read Antonia Frashers non ficion account and wasn't ready for that to live in my head just yet, but it migt be time

I recognized the author of this book, so looked it up, she also wrote and Ahab's Wife which I loved but also had real problems the story, esp how characters reacted that seemed very out of place. Shes a good writer tho.

>6 dianelouise100: since its focus is on settlement in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries and discussion ranges even outside those centuries. Hopefully I can read the other two books this quarter.

Sounds like Nora Loft book bless this house which ended up being three books from the same time period Loved it!

jul 2, 3:15am

I was looking at my selves and noticed that one of my fav books Fingersmithwould definitly fit into this thene, Perhaps its time for a reread!

jul 2, 5:30am

>8 cindydavid4: Isn't Fingersmith Victorian, not 18th C? (Been a while since I've read it, so I could be wrong.)

jul 2, 11:39am

oh right - for some reason the images I recall were more 18th C. And the more I think about it, the more I think you are right! off to find another....

Redigerat: jul 2, 11:54am

sorry got my themes mixed up!

jul 3, 2:48pm

I read Edgar Huntley or, Memoirs of a Sleepwalker by Charles Brockden Brown. This was billed as America's first gothic novel. it did have all things requisite for being a gothic novel--that is the most positive thing I can say about this book. The story was sufficient, but the prose is over done and over dramatic. The plot is rambling. The author writes in first person throughout the book, but fails to introduce the characters sufficiently. Basic story: A man is trying to search for the killer of his fiance's brother. Can not recommend this one! Published in 1799. 285 pages 2.75 stars CAT: RTT 18th Century

jul 10, 6:56am

I also read, Waverley by Sir Walter Scott. This is my first Scott, and while I did not particularly care for the book/writing, I did like the story. I think my reading was somewhat enhanced by knowing the history of the Jacobite Rebellion and the Battle of Culloden. Had I not known something about the Highlanders and their rebellion(s), I would have been lost. I was not a fan of the romance part of the novel, it seemed obligatory or contrived. I started to read the introduction, but after 9 pages of self-absorbed drivel, I skipped it. 484 pages, just barely 3 stars. 3 stars for me is your average read--can be mediocre or enjoyable, this was not necessarily enjoyable and yet not mediocre.

Redigerat: jul 12, 4:36am

I have finished Der falsche Inder, where a young man escapes from Saddam's Iraq and makes it to Germany after a long and harrowing trek.

ETA: Oh dear, just saw that I posted this in the wrong thread. Of course this was meant for the July monthly theme.

Redigerat: jul 11, 8:52am

I have just finished The Red Queen: A Transcultural Tragicomedy by Margaret Drabble. This is an unusual novel, as you might guess from its subtitle. I was fascinated by the story contained in the first half of Korean Crown Princess Hyegyong, who lived from 1735 to 1815. Towards the end of her life, Lady Hong, as she comes to be known, wrote her memoirs, which provide the basis of the first part of the novel. In this part we get a picture of court life for women in the Korea of the18th century. Intrigue, violence, madness and loss are the Crown Princess’ lot. Her strength of character must be admired, as her powerlessness to influence outcomes is always apparent.

The next part of the novel moves into modern times, following a British professor, Barbara Halliwell, as she embarks on a journey to Seoul to present a paper at a conference. Someone unknown has sent her a copy of Lady Hong’s memoir, which she reads during her flight. The impact this story has on her as she spends time in Seoul, visits some of the sites associated with the Lady, attends conference events, has a brief love affair, and returns home is the subject of the rest of the novel. I was confused by this part, particularly by point of view, and I guess I just didn’t get the connection between past and present, between Lady Hong and Barbara Halliwell. A reread would surely give me more of a “feel” for the novel, but I don’t know when that might happen.

I gave this book four stars, because despite my problems with it, I really enjoyed reading it. It is the first novel by Margaret Drabble I’ve read, and I’d like to read more.

Redigerat: jul 26, 8:20am

I recently finished Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart. Set in 18th-century China, this novel is the first in a series featuring Li Du, a former imperial librarian who has been exiled and is making his way out of China to Tibet. He is delayed in the small town of Dayan, where he must solve the murder of a Jesuit astronomer in order to receive permission to cross the border.

Hart creates a very sympathetic detective in the intellectual and ascetic Li Du, and all the other characters are well drawn and believable. The richness of Chinese culture and the stunningly beautiful landscape of this particular region come alive in her prose. This novel gave me the experience of a new world that I am eager to explore further in the rest of the series.