The Old Curiosity Club discussion

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message 1: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Please introduce yourself in the Introductions thread. We would like the chance to welcome all our new soon-to-become friends.

We read the major novels of Dickens in the order of publication, interspersed from time to time with shorter stories and other writings. We normally divide the novels according to the original serial publication schedule, reading one or two episodes a week, depending on length. The moderators will offer an initial post to start the discussion for each episode. As soon as that is posted, discussion of that episode may proceed.

As noted in the rules, spoilers are absolutely NOT permitted. A spoiler is defined as any information which includes, mentions, or pertains to any part of the work which has not yet been opened for discussion. To clarify, if we have reached Chapter 10 of a work and the Chapter 10 thread has been opened by the moderators, anything up to and including the text of Chapter 10 is ripe for discussion in the Chapter 10 thread, but any mention of events from Chapter 11 on is forbidden.

Because the order of the major novels is the reading plan, we do not take nominations or vote on selections, although from time to time the moderators may open a discussion on what shorter works the group may want to interpose between the novels.

While we don’t prohibit lurkers, we certainly encourage you to participate actively in the discussions. The more ideas that get exchanged here, the more appreciation we can get for the wonderful writing of our beloved Charles.

Although the rules of the group prohibit any self-promotion, the moderators may, if requested through a Private Message, make an exception for an established group member to mention new books or articles which are directly related to the life and works of Charles Dickens. Otherwise, the no self-promotion rule will be strictly enforced.

Discreetly quoting from one’s own writings about Dickens will not be considered self-promotion.


message 2: by Francis (new)

Francis | 27 comments Everyman wrote: "Please introduce yourself in the Introductions thread. We would like the chance to welcome all our new soon-to-become friends.

We read the major novels of Dickens in the order of publication, int..."


I see your reading Sketches next. Will Our Mutual Friend be upcoming any time soon?


message 3: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2263 comments Francis wrote: "I see your reading Sketches next. Will Our Mutual Friend be upcoming any time soon? "

We usually read just a few of the Sketches to catch our breath between novels. This time it will be "Mr. Minns and his Cousin" and "Sentiment" from May 18th to 24th, followed by "The Tuggses at Ramsgate" taking us to June, at which point (I believe) we'll jump into OMF.


message 4: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
Francis,

I will post a reading schedule, once we have started reading the Sketches mentioned by Mary Lou.


message 5: by Dylan (new)

Dylan | 2 comments So in June we'll be tackling OMF, can't wait!


message 6: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
Dylan, to tell you the truth, neither can I. It's a wonderful novel, esp. the parts with Silas Wegg.


message 7: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5558 comments Mod
It's been awhile since I read it, I can't picture right now who Silas Wegg even is. He probably isn't nice and sweet though.


message 8: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
He isn't exactly nice and sweet, but he would make a perfect husband for Mrs. Gamp.


message 9: by Bionic Jean (last edited May 23, 2017 02:00AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh my! Actually if you didn't see the series "Dickensian" last year, then you are being very intuitive there Tristram. Silas Wegg and Mrs Gamp did indeed have a drink-and lust-fuelled ongoing flirtatious relationship in that, and it alternated between being hilarious and horrific to watch!!


message 10: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
I'm afraid I was just being very intuitive here, because I don't know the series at all. It just popped into my head that Silas and Sairey might really hit it off with each other - but I would never dare to write their love story. This could only be done by Dickens himself.


message 11: by Bionic Jean (last edited May 27, 2017 06:37AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) "...This could only be done by Dickens himself"

A smack on the hand for the creators of the series? Well, it was very entertaining to watch, nevertheless :) And interesting that others had the same thought!

Dickens dramatised is never the same as Dickens read, anyway, I feel.


message 12: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2263 comments I truly enjoyed Dickensian, despite a few literary anachronisms. Sarah and Silas were fun to watch together.


message 13: by Bionic Jean (last edited May 27, 2017 06:56AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It was one of those times in life when I was very pleased to be proved wrong! (I was sure that it would be a travesty and I'd hate it.)


message 14: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
Jean,

You made me curious, and so I just ordered the series from Amazon. The whole season for 13 Euros is not much of a risk ;-)


message 15: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh yikes! *panics quietly*


message 16: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Jean,

You made me curious, and so I just ordered the series from Amazon. The whole season for 13 Euros is not much of a risk ;-)"


It's not available for American DVD yet. I'm waiting until it is, then I'll jump in and get our library to order it and be the first in line for it!


message 17: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I enjoyed it so much that Chris bought me the DVDs for my birthday, but I haven't rewatched them yet. It's a mystery story, which features Inspector Bucket, but there are many more story threads - a tip of the hat to The Inimitable ;)


message 18: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2263 comments Everyman wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Jean,

You made me curious, and so I just ordered the series from Amazon. The whole season for 13 Euros is not much of a risk ;-)"

It's not available for American DVD yet. I'm wai..."


It has been showing on PBS stations in my market, Everyman. Check your local listings. :-) But I'll still buy the DVD when it comes out.


message 19: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5558 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Jean,

You made me curious, and so I just ordered the series from Amazon. The whole season for 13 Euros is not much of a risk ;-)"

It's not available for American DVD yet. I'm wai..."


And then send it to me I suppose.


message 20: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
As far as I gathered from the summary at Amazon, it's about who killed Jacob Marley, and there are lots of side characters from Dickens novels involved in the case.


message 21: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It is, yes. But as in Dickens, some of the "subplots" are equally of interest, and function as prequels to the novels themselves.

At the end there was a way in for another series, and there was going to be one, but the funding stopped.


message 22: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
There's one thing I like about English series such as Fawlty Towers or Black Books (I don't know if you know that one, but it's fun): They usually stop before they fall out of favour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwF_L...


message 23: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I really enjoyed that! Thank you Tristram :D


message 24: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
You're most welcome, Jean!


message 25: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "It has been showing on PBS stations in my market, Everyman. Check your local listings.."

Hard to do, since I don't have a TV!

Well, I do have an old analog TV, at least 15 years old, which I use to watch DVDs, but we're too far out to have reception, no cable here, and I won't pay for satellite TV for the little I would watch. I prefer to spend the money on books!


message 26: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "And then send it to me I suppose. ."

A library copy? Not likely. Get your own library to buy it!


message 27: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2263 comments Everyman wrote: "Hard to do, since I don't have a TV!

Well, I do have an old analog TV, at least 15 years..."


Aha! That explains how you find so much time to read!


message 28: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
I'm as guilty as anybody, but I think if this discussion is to continue, we should move it out of the How This Group Works thread into one of the pub threads.


message 29: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5558 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "I'm as guilty as anybody, but I think if this discussion is to continue, we should move it out of the How This Group Works thread into one of the pub threads."

That's fine with me, I'm not sure how we got talking about this here in the first place.


message 30: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
Fine with me, too, as long as Everyman pays for the drinks!


message 31: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It just sort of grew ... but thanks for the timely reminder, Everyman, that all chat in this group should be restricted to the pub threads.

And of course we will all adhere to that most strictly, won't we? That's how this group works ;)


message 32: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1033 comments I'm curious about the reading order. Is the next book in line Edwin Drood?


message 33: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2263 comments John wrote: "I'm curious about the reading order. Is the next book in line Edwin Drood?"

Yes, John -- we're reading the novels in publication order, doing some of the Sketches and short stories in between. There was some debate, but it sounds like we'll be starting over again when we finish Drood - I'm sure that will be discussed and confirmed when we get closer to that point.


message 34: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1033 comments Mary Lou wrote: "John wrote: "I'm curious about the reading order. Is the next book in line Edwin Drood?"

Yes, John -- we're reading the novels in publication order, doing some of the Sketches and short stories in..."


Okay, that's great. I was not sure. I'd love to have his American Notes in there somewhere too. Have never read and think it would incur lively debate, too.


message 35: by John (last edited Jul 15, 2017 02:58AM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1033 comments This is a procedural question.

In other types of forums where there are many threads, it is sometimes better to close older threads.

For example, we now have a thread to address Book 1 in total. I suggest closing the threads for Book 1 that cover the chapters.

I find myself bouncing around to keep up, and I noticed that even in threads related to the early chapters of Book 1, we still get posts.

This get confusing. Once, in the case of OMF that a Book has been completed, then comments related to it should be in the General Thoughts thread, with the individual chapter threads closed for posting (you can still read what is there, of course).

This creates a more "linear" way to discuss the book, which makes things easier and helps to focus the discussion.


message 36: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2263 comments John wrote: "This is a procedural question.

In other types of forums where there are many threads, it is sometimes better to close older threads.

For example, we now have a thread to address Book 1 in total. ..."


I have to disagree, John. I recently read Dombey and Son on my own, but still referred to the group's prior discussion as I read the chapters, and found it very helpful.* Even though I was a few years behind, it still felt as if I was reading along with the group, and I loved reading everyone's comments and insights. So much would be lost if we just deleted all those conversations.

*it was actually this group's precursor, under a different name, but the same active members. The Olde Curiosity Club hasn't yet read Dombey.


message 37: by John (last edited Jul 15, 2017 05:51AM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1033 comments Mary Lou wrote: "John wrote: "This is a procedural question.

In other types of forums where there are many threads, it is sometimes better to close older threads.

For example, we now have a thread to address Book..."


I may have been misunderstood.

I don't want any posts deleted. Just once a section of the book is completed, it might be better to close certain threads (that is, for new posts, but the existing posts can be seen).

For example, we have a general thoughts thread on Book 1. Since we have completed Book 1, might be better to post any comments on the first seventeen chapters there. If the segmented chapter sections are closed for further posting, then it helps to track posts.

Anyway, just a suggestion. I have seen this used to good effect in other forums.


message 38: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2263 comments John wrote: "I may have been misunderstood."

Sorry if I misinterpreted.


message 39: by John (new)

John (jdourg) | 1033 comments Mary Lou wrote: "John wrote: "I may have been misunderstood."

Sorry if I misinterpreted."


Ah, no problem. I probably am in too many other types of forums, lol. I partake in sports and music forums. It probably keeps me from my reading too often.


message 40: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 55 comments As a new member, I'm still catching up with OMF and am enjoying catching up with the discussions as I go, and responding to a few of the very interesting posts in the open threads.

So ideally I'd prefer the earlier threads to stay open if possible - having to post in the thread for the whole of book 1 wouldn't be ideal for anyone who hasn't reached that point yet.


message 41: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) On this topic I do agree with Mary Lou. I've read over a dozen books by Dickens with this group of friends, but sometimes life interrupts, and my reading is more spasmodic. I have been heartily grateful that all the threads stay open, and live for comment at any time. I've noticed that others' lives too, sometimes do not go to plan, and they comment when they are able.

I am very grateful that when I do comment on a different thread from the officially timetabled one, quite a few group members add their replies. Equally, I may reply to a comment which is not strictly current.

If threads are closed and locked, then we may miss some very good discussions, and those currently reading that book, or a little behind will be excluded.

Being able to "catch up" with my Dickens friends has on occasion been a life-saver for me! I value the interaction enormously, and feel this forum is far more than a study group with a fixed and timed curriculum.

There does not seem any reason to have a straitjacket on our reading, since our mods always provide a formal, very clear structure. Looking at the list of discussions is an easy way to see the latest thread, or one can refer back to the original schedule, which is always posted in both USA and European style! I can't see that closing any threads would be either beneficial - or even necessary.

I do like the additional idea of general thoughts on each book/section, however.


message 42: by John (last edited Jul 16, 2017 02:59PM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1033 comments Jean wrote: "On this topic I do agree with Mary Lou. I've read over a dozen books by Dickens with this group of friends, but sometimes life interrupts, and my reading is more spasmodic. I have been heartily gra..."

Understand. I tend to think and write out loud, and not everything seems to work as well as I wished.


message 43: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) It's always good to hear different options though John! And as I said I like the new additional thread :)


message 44: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4381 comments Mod
Hello everyone,

We moderators discussed the question whether or not to close individual threads after a certain time, and since we all agreed it was not a very long discussion.

In short, we had rather leave the threads open for an unlimited time, and here are some reasons:

1) We think that leaving the threads open is better for slower readers or for those who revisit individual chapters after a certain time and want to make observations in the context of the respective chapters.

2) We also see the individual chapter threads as spoiler-free, and so if you want to read about a particular chapter you can be sure that in the respective thread you will not be given plot elements that are revealed later.

3) The concluding threads on the books, an idea for which we stand indebted to John, offer the opportunity to discuss things in a wider context for those who wish to do this.

4) As moderators, we would not want to decide that now the moment has come for everyone to move on and not to add observations in any place they want to.

5) If you want to keep informed on recently added posts, you can change your setting so that threads with new additions have a red mark saying there are new posts.

Personally, I think it is one of the charms of this group that discussions which had been sleeping for a while can be picked up at any time and in a meandering way. It's easy-going and somehow baroque.

I hope that all in all, our decision will meet with your approval and that no one feels so vexed by it that they withdraw from our discussions.


message 45: by Peter (last edited Jul 17, 2017 06:35AM) (new)

Peter | 2976 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Hello everyone,

We moderators discussed the question whether or not to close individual threads after a certain time, and since we all agreed it was not a very long discussion.

In short, we had r..."


Hear! Hear! As always, a rational and thoughtful consideration of our various needs and reading habits.

Now off to the local for a pint. I will, of course, behave myself.:-))


message 46: by Bionic Jean (last edited Jul 17, 2017 10:10AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Brilliantly explained Tristram! I think it's really tricky in a group which appears on the face of it to be a new group, to explain that the policies are well tried and tested.

John - As an ordinary group member, I do hope that as a new member you are not feeling your idea was a bit quashed by other members like me. When I recommended this group to you, I maybe did not say how well established the procedures were.

I too really like the idea of summing up each section as we go though, and our mods are always happy to hear new approaches :)


message 47: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "Now off to the local for a pint. I will, of course, behave myself.:-)) ."

I suppose there's a first time for everything.


[g]


message 48: by John (last edited Jul 18, 2017 01:47AM) (new)

John (jdourg) | 1033 comments Jean wrote: "Brilliantly explained Tristram! I think it's really tricky in a group which appears on the face of it to be a new group, to explain that the policies are well tried and tested.

John - As an ordina..."


Not at all, Jean. I'm glad my suggestion was considered by the moderators.

I'm finding the book to be tough going for me, which probably explains why for the last decade I have mostly read just poetry. I have a tough time keeping all the characters in my mind, which may in part be due to some mild dyslexia I have. It's all about order, lol.

But, I have this group to help me along.


message 49: by Bionic Jean (last edited Jul 18, 2017 12:06PM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Phew, that's a relief John :) This is a great group, where frequently friends come up with ideas and interpretations I'd never even thought of!

There do seem to be even more characters introduced than usual, don't there, and not all seem to be just cameos.


message 50: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5558 comments Mod
I knew there was something I was going to look up and forgot, here's all the lists I can find, good luck counting.

Nicodemus (Noddy) Boffin,
Henrietta Boffin,
John Rokesmith,
Bella Wilfer,
Lizzie Hexam,
Mortimer Lightwood
Eugene Wrayburn
Charley Hexam,
Gaffer Hexam,
Rogue Riderhood
Silas Wegg
Mr. Venus
Mr. Veneering
Mrs. Veneering
Mr. Podsnap
Mrs. Podsnap
Sophronia Lammle
Alfred Lammle
Lady Tippins
Miss Georgiana Podsnap
Miss Abbey Potterson (proprietor of the Jolly Fellowship)
Mr. Twemlow
Miss Lavinia Wilfer
Mr. George Sampson
Mr. Reginald Wilfer
Mrs. Wilfer
Jenny Wren
Mr. Riah
Mr. Inspector
Betty Higden
Sloppy
Johnny (grandson of Betty)
Miss Peecher
Mary Anne (Miss Peecher's favorite student)
Boots
Brewer
Mr. Dolls
The foreign gentleman (at Podsnaps dinner)
Mr. Grumpus (also at the dinner)
Reverend Frank Milvey
Mrs. Milvey

That's all I have (so far). Then there is this:

http://www.namenerds.com/uucn/listofw...


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