Literary Parlor

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The Mansion is hosting a Victorian Literature Book Club a.k.a. “Literary Parlor.” Everyone is welcome to join 19th century bibliophile, Kate Howe, at Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion for cookies and conversation about Victorian novels.

The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Join bibliophile, Kate Howe, as our Literary Parlor discusses Joseph Conrad’s 1899 book, The Heart of Darkness. The narrator, Charles Marlow, tells the story of a voyage up the Congo River into the “heart of Africa.” The novella is based on Conrad’s own experience in 1890 as he became the Captain of a steamer traveling to various stops along the Congo River. Marlow tells his story while aboard a boat anchored on the Thames River in England. Conrad compares London with Africa illustrating that there is little difference between so-called civilized people and those described as savages.

Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 1:30 pm

Cost: $15; Member cost: $10

Reservations are required. Make reservations online  or call 215-438-1861

Written by Frances Milton Trollope (mother of Anthony Trollope) in 1839, The Widow Barnaby is a lighthearted Victorian romance. The novel opens with the death of Old Reverend Compton, which leads to a squabble over the inheritance by the relatives. The tale evolves with the vain, flirtatious and presumptuous husband hunting Mrs. Barnaby leading to awkward moments and ridiculous mistakes. Added to this are the loves and distresses of the Widow Barnaby’s lovely and demure niece Agnes. Join bibliophile Kate Howe in a lively discussion of Frances Trollope’s highly regarded novel.

Sunday, July 21, 1:30 pm

Cost: $15, Member cost: $10. Reservations are required. Make reservations online

or call 215-438-1861 for information or reservations.

Penny Dreadful – Wagner the Werewolf

Penny dreadfuls were cheap popular serial literature produced during the nineteenth century in the United Kingdom. Issued weekly each episode was either eight (or occasionally 16 pages long) with black and white illustrations on the top of the first page.

Join us for a fun-filled afternoon as we take turns reading chapters from a penny dreadful, Wagner the Werewolf by George W. M. Reynolds. Fernand Wagner’s deal with the devil buys wealth and youth―at the price of monthly transformations into a ravening beast. The first important fictional treatment of the werewolf theme in English literature, this Victorian thriller traces Wagner’s blood-soaked trail through sixteenth-century Italy.

Sunday, August 11 at 1:30 pm

Cost: $15, Member cost: $10 Reservations are required.

Make reservations online or call 215-438-1861

Love and Mr. Lewisham by H.G. Wells

Love and Mr. Lewisham, set in 1880, is among H. G. Wells’ first fictional writings outside the science fiction genre. Plot: Mr. Lewisham is an 18-year-old teacher at a boys’ school in Sussex. He meets and falls in love with Ethel Henderson, who is paying a visit to relatives. His involvement with her costs him his position. He moves to London and cannot find Ethel. Over two years later, chance brings them together again at a seance led by her stepfather, a spiritualist charlatan. They marry and Lewisham continues to take care of Ethel and her mother. Love and Mr. Lewisham is considered one of Wells’ best novels. Join Kate Howe for scintillating discussion.

Sunday, September 8 at 1:30 pm

Cost: $15, Member cost: $10 Reservations are required. Make reservations online or call 215-438-1861

Spooky Literary Parlor

Join us for a spine chilling evening of Victorian ghost stories. Volunteers select a favorite 19th-century scary tale to read aloud to the group. Select a story that can be read aloud in less than 10 minutes. If you want to be a reader, call Diane at 215-438-1861 Advance reservations are required. Time allows for only eight story readers so submit your selection early.

Friday, October 11 at 7:00 pm Reservations are required. Make reservations online or call 215-438-1861 for details and reservations.