The Old Curiosity Club discussion

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General Discussion > Mr. Jaggers's Office

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message 1: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
This is the place for club business to take place. Announcements, suggestions, etc. should all take place here, leaving the local pub exclusively social.


message 2: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2229 comments Which brings me to the first order of business...

Have the moderators determined where the OCC will be starting its journey together?


message 3: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "Which brings me to the first order of business...

Have the moderators determined where the OCC will be starting its journey together?"


Yes. We're going to be continuing the discussion of Great Expectations where it got interrupted. I'm not sure who will be posting the next topic, Tristram, Kim, or Peter, but it will be up in the next day or two. I think gradually topics will be opened also for earlier chapters for those who want to post on those.

It may take a few days to get fully underway, but it's happening as fast as the hamsters can scurry!


message 4: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
I have added to our bookshelf four biographies of Charles Dickens which were recommended in the Norton edition of Great Expectations as "the definitive biographies."

I may be adding a limited number of other materials as I find recommended ones. But I don't want to overwhelm the bookshelf, since there are probably several hundred volumes on Dickens which could be added, making it harder to find those of the highest quality and usefulness.

If anybody has a suggestion for a work they have found particularly helpful, please mention it here so we can add it to the bookshelf. In order to keep the shelf neat, clean, and well organized, unless you're a professional librarian (and I know we have at least one; librarians are always an excellent source for quality materials and are passionate about organizing shelves so will make sure all books get onto the "to read" shelf and not the other shelves, so they're welcome to add as they feel fit, and yes, that means you, Mary Lou!) we're asking that all books be added by the moderators.


message 5: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2229 comments Full disclosure -- I'm not a librarian. Those with their MLAs get testy when we peons in shelving and circulation get called librarians. But as my initials are MLA, and my first name is actually Marion, I'm as good as. ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N9C2...


message 6: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
I didn't mean to exclude other librarians by mentioning Mary Lou; if we have other librarians than Mary Lou, you're welcome to help maintain the bookshelf, too.


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda | 362 comments Mary Lou wrote: "But as my initials are MLA, and my first name is actually Marion, I'm as good as. ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N9C2..."


I love it, Mary Lou! And it's been so long since I've seen that movie. What a classic.


message 8: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "Full disclosure -- I'm not a librarian. Those with their MLAs get testy when we peons in shelving and circulation get called librarians. ."

Well, you're plenty good enough for us here.


message 9: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 03, 2017 01:25AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Haha Mary Lou!

I'm not sure if you mean in real life or here, Everyman. In real life, in my youth I spent a few years as a full-time library assistant before I decided to switch to studying Art (a chequered past, me) but never fully trained up. Here, by Goodreads terms I am a librarian and each day correct a few basic mistakes in the database. It also means I can do fun things like add covers :) But I also have bugbears because I have to toe the line and remove things I don't want to ... for instance Goodreads insists we remove the honorific and call him George Gordon Byron when everyone knows him as Lord Byron. However, I digress.

Another is that I have never yet found a way of sorting a group's bookshelves by author, or even by title, to set as the default. In the group I co-moderate, I have got around that by having various directories of reads at the top of each folder, which we keep up to date...

That's not a suggestion for here, necessarily, just that if anyone knows how to get round the randomness of Goodreads in this particular aspect, I'd love to hear it!


message 10: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 03, 2017 05:27AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Here I shall place titles of the biographies I have about Charles Dickens, for you to add as you see fit. I'm sure other members will also have read some of these - and many more! You've already added a shortened version of what I think is the best one, Peter Ackroyd's. He's written lots of books about Dickens, but I've put the original one, which is over 1000 pages, here.

Dickens by Peter Ackroyd
Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World by Simon Callow
Charles Dickens by G.K. Chesterton
My Father as I Recall Him by Mamie Dickens
Charles Dickens, By His Eldest Daughter ditto
The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete by John Forster
The Immortal Dickens by George Gissing
Dickens World by Humphry House
Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph by Edgar Johnson
Charles Dickens in Context by Sally Ledger
Dickens: A Life by Jeanne MacKenzie
Dickens Of London by Wolf Mankowitz
Dickens: His Work and His World by Michael Rosen (children's)
Charles Dickens by Michael Slater
Charles Dickens by Jane Smiley
Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin
The Life and Times of Charles Dickens by Alan S. Watts
The World of Charles Dickens by Angus Wilson

This is by no means a complete list - just the ones I happen to have. It's been estimated that a "definitive" biography has been written about him every decade since his death!

I've missed out ones such as Judith Flanders's The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London which are more about social history, or those just about part of his life, or relating to individual works, or novels about him.


message 11: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 03, 2017 05:30AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Another thought, has the group been tagged? It's obvious from the banner and description whom we read, but since Charles Dickens is not part of our group's name, it might be a good idea for those who are searching specifically for a Dickens group.


message 12: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Tyler (doulton) Jean! ". ...for instance Goodreads insists we remove the honorific and call him George Gordon Byron when everyone knows him as Lord Byron....."

Horrifying! You can call him Byron, Lord Byron, or George Gordon, Lord Byron but Byron is not his surname. Gordon is. But his title supersedes his surname of Gordon. You might want to cite Debrett's or Burke's....


message 13: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Another thought, has the group been tagged? It's obvious from the banner and description whom we read, but since Charles Dickens is not part of our group's name, it might be a good ..."

As far as I can see it, the group has been tagged already, probably by Everyman, who thinks about everything. The tags are "dickens-victorian". So, no worries there.


message 14: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Here I shall place titles of the biographies I have about Charles Dickens, for you to add as you see fit. "

What a list! Would it be fair to call you a Dickens nut? [g]

I don't want to overwhelm the bookshelf, but point people to what members here think are the most valuable resources. If any of those you mention are of particular value or interest and should be on the shelf, go ahead and add them.


message 15: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Haha Mary Lou!

I'm not sure if you mean in real life or here, Everyman. In real life, in my youth I spent a few years as a full-time library assistant before I decided to switch to studying Art (..."


Your expertise in the peculiarities of the Goodreads Bookshelf will be welcome. I wasn't intending to be exclusionary above, but I've seen other groups where the bookshelves got into a bit of a shambles by people putting things on without shelving them properly, and just want to avoid that. Hope there are no hurt feelings!

I'm tempted suggest that the moderators appoint you Ye Younge Official Curiosity Bookshelf Manager.


message 16: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Pennington (bluemoonladylynne) | 19 comments Everyman wrote: "Jean wrote: "Haha Mary Lou!

I'm not sure if you mean in real life or here, Everyman. In real life, in my youth I spent a few years as a full-time library assistant before I decided to switch to s..."


If mere members get a vote, I second the notion! Anyone with the fortitude to master the peculiarities of the Good Reads bookshelves gets a nod of respect from me. And, by the way, I am one of those who did get the degree, though in the technological aspects of librarianship, which was quite new back in my day. And I never could understand why so many librarians took umbrage, when people who worked long and hard in the library but didn't have a degree in that particularly, at calling them librarians.


message 17: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Librarians (using the term most definitely to include non-degreed library workers) and teachers seem to abound here. Like foxes in a Trollope novel???


message 18: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Pennington (bluemoonladylynne) | 19 comments Everyman wrote: "Librarians (using the term most definitely to include non-degreed library workers) and teachers seem to abound here. Like foxes in a Trollope novel???"

Oh yes, foxy dames every one of us!


message 19: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "JAs far as I can see it, the group has been tagged already, probably by Everyman, who thinks about everything. The tags are "dickens-victorian". So, no worries there. ."

Yes, I did stick those in there to help people find us, but if there are suggestions for additional tags that would help people discover the joys of our little (so far, but growing fast! And after all, quality is more important than quality any day) group, the mods can certainly add them.


message 20: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 03, 2017 10:39AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Hi Natalie, and apologies to everyone for the diversion here ...

I'm not exactly sure what it is you find horrifying. I agree that each of the names you say is correct. But when you say "Byron is not his surname. Gordon is." I'm not sure why you think that. Perhaps I've misunderstood you somehow ...

Lord Byron was born George Gordon Byron in London. As far as that goes Goodreads is correct, unless you want to call him by his mother's maiden name for some reason. His mother was Catherine Gordon, certainly but his father was John Byron. He only took the additional surname "Gordon" later, so that he could claim his second wife's estate in Scotland. When Byron was young, his father called himself "John Byron Gordon", and so when he started school in Aberdeen he was called "George Byron Gordon".

However, this was only until he was 10 years old! He then inherited the English Barony of Byron of Rochdale, and was entitled to use the honorific properly. He became the "Lord Byron" we all know and love, or more accurately, The Right Honourable The Lord Byron FRS and dropped the Gordon bit.

This is all quite incidental however, to the Goodreads policy of adding authors by the name which they are published under. Here, in his own country, he is always "Lord Byron".

Phew! I hope we are still friends since we've only just got to know each other!


message 21: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
I don't exactly feel horror at GR insisting on using his birth name (but I do wonder, do they insist that George Eliot be listed only under Mary Ann Evans? (Or Mary Anne, or Marianne)? If not, it seems inconsistent to insist on his birth name rather than a name people would be most likely to search under when looking for his works.

Though I find it amusing that Amazon, which of course now owns Goodreads, is not as consistent in listing works by or about him for sale on their website. Searching, for example, on "George Gordon Byron" I find listings for that, for "Lord George Gordon Byron" (Is there any justification for that??), "George Gordon Lord Byron," "George Gordon Byron Byron," (!!), "Lord G. Gordon Byron," and others. So on the commercial side, they're not nearly as fastidious!


message 22: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
P.S. What Jean calls the truly accurate name, The Right Honourable The Lord Byron FRS, comes up with zero results on Amazon!


message 23: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 03, 2017 10:16AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Hi Everyman - yep I'm a Dickens nut, as you well know, but not nearly as well versed as many of you literary types here :)

And there must be many, many more bios that I don't have. I realised as I did it, just how long that list was though, and could still think of others folk have mentioned. I think you're right not to add them to the shelf. Perhaps just when we have a discussion about a particular one? Or even a "side read" at some future date, if the mods ever decide it's appropriate?

LOL - I know what you mean, and would happily have accepted being "Ye Younge Official Curiosity Bookshelf Manager" should it be offered, if the Goodreads program all worked a bit better and I could sort things as I indicated earlier. But unless someone has found a way round it, I think it's best if the mods keep doing it!

(Why does your generous offer remind me of when I was appointed "Teacher In Charge Of Stray Dogs In The Playground" I wonder.)


message 24: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 03, 2017 10:55AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Everyman wrote: "P.S. What Jean calls the truly accurate name, The Right Honourable The Lord Byron FRS, comes up with zero results on Amazon!"

LOL! The intricacies of the British aristocracy ...

And I agree, there should be way of searching for an author by what people know as their usual name. The aim is to keep author pages as their recognised published name, so "Mary Ann Evans" is credited on the author page for George Eliot.

Now I have found several rogue George Eliots I will have to merge *sigh*. I keep having to merge all the "incorrect" Byrons, yet many people won't know he is called "George Gordon"! Do you know all the first names of authors? Sometimes I find myself googling to get a full name just so I can search on Goodreads! Ridiculous.

As for the honorific, I tried to get the superlibrarians to agree it was an exception by their own rules:

"The only exceptions are those where the author is known primarily by a name that includes the honorific:
Example:
Mahatma Gandhi (not Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi)"


but was told there had been discussion about it before and it was to stay as it is :(


message 25: by Mary Lou (last edited Feb 06, 2017 07:42AM) (new)

Mary Lou | 2229 comments Deleting my previous comment. In the immortal words of Emily Litella, "Never mind."


message 26: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Sadly I can't remember what it was, Mary Lou, scratch my head as I might ...

But I'll just mention just one more little difficulty about the Goodreads program here, and the way they've set up the "add book/author" link. I regularly get rid of rogue author entries every day, as I said, but ordinary librarians like me are not allowed to touch some major authors such as ... Charles Dickens! There a big yellow warning telling us to leave it to the superlibrarians :D

Unfortunately there are numerous mistakes - guess they can't keep on top of them all - and it took me an age to type my list in comment 10, because it would keep predicting and linking to Dickens's novels whether it was a book about Dickens or a slightly different title or what! Drove me bananas!

Right, I've had my little grumble. I promise to keep schtum now, since I certainly can't afford Mr. Jaggers's rates to take this all to court ;)


message 27: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Tyler (doulton) Jean, I apologize. I was totally wrong and I was wrong because I was channelling a college professor I had a long time ago who INSISTED -- well, what I wrote above. You are correct.

According to the Peerage: "George Gordon Noel, 6th Baron Byron of Rochdale was born on 22 January 1788. He was the son of Captain John Byron and Catherine Gordon."

I can see how that particular canard might have been repeated especially by an American. I apologize but will allow my posting to stand to remind me of my errant ways.


message 28: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 07, 2017 03:05AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Aw Natalie - you made me giggle there! I thought to myself, "This is really not good form, to correct someone the first time you speak to them", so I apologise for any ill manners in my constant quest for truth and correcting erroneous assertions (due on this occasion to a naughty professor).

I am so relieved all is now clear, especially at this fragile time for all Dickens enthusiasts, and if we were again 5 year-olds in the playground would hold out my little pinkie finger in a crook for you to take in yours. "Pax!" Or is that a peculiarly English custom?


message 29: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Tyler (doulton) Thank you, dear Jean, for forgiving me. I rarely assert myself except when I am repeating professors. It's a habit that has failed me on more than one occasion. And American professors, of course!

Ah, the pinkie finger! I'm not certain if that's used by American children. How would I know? My childhood is buried in the mist of time. I cannot even recall if we had fingers back then?


message 30: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2229 comments Jean wrote: " if we were again 5 year-olds in the playground would hold out my little pinkie finger in a crook for you to take in yours. "Pax!" Or is that a peculiarly English custom? "

When I was little, the pinkie was used for a "pinkie swear" when you and a friend were making a solemn oath (usually to keep a secret), or sometimes when swearing to the veracity of some outrageous story or making a promise.


message 31: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "When I was little, the pinkie was used for a "pinkie swear" when you and a friend were making a solemn oath (usually to keep a secret), or sometimes when swearing to the veracity of some outrageous story or making a promise. "

The girls did this when I was young, too. The boys scorned it. Our equivalent was to exchange arm punches.


message 32: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 19, 2017 02:48PM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I thought this was an interesting article, "The Many Voices of Dickens"

link here


message 33: by Tristram (last edited Feb 20, 2017 09:29AM) (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
Thanks for the link, Jane! I found that a very interesting article, all the more so since I read The Haunted House last year, where it was fairly easy to see by whom the indvividual tales and the frame story were written. I think it might be interesting to read one or two of the collaborative works together one day and to debate on authorship questions.

I don't know if you are familiar with my favourite director, Anthony Mann, but there is one film - "He Walked by Night" -, where Mann came in as a director to take over from Alfred Werker, and whenever I watch that film I start debates with my friends on what parts must necessarily be by Mann because they are superior to other parts. The same is true of "Spartacus", which is commonly credited to Stanley Kubrick but whose finer scenes are definitely Mann.


message 34: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Anthony Mann? What happened to John Ford?


message 35: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
John Ford is, of course, one of my favourite directors - along with Peckinpah, Fritz Lang, Billy Wilder, Robert Siodmak, Kurosawa and some others, but Anthony Mann has such a dark style that he is my favourite.


message 36: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
Speaking of which, my daughter (three years old) made me very proud yesterday: She pointed at a still from "Double Indemnity" and said, "Film noir". She must be one of very few three-year-olds to know that term.


message 37: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Speaking of which, my daughter (three years old) made me very proud yesterday: She pointed at a still from "Double Indemnity" and said, "Film noir". She must be one of very few three-year-olds to k..."

Three-year-olds? I had to look it up when I first knew you. Oh, and I now know all those names you mentioned are directors. Before knowing you I didn't know they were alive.


message 38: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2923 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Speaking of which, my daughter (three years old) made me very proud yesterday: She pointed at a still from "Double Indemnity" and said, "Film noir". She must be one of very few three-year-olds to k..."

I would venture to say the ONLY three year old.


message 39: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) LOL!


message 40: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "I would venture to say the ONLY three year old."

Let's say, the only one I know ;-)


message 41: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Speaking of which, my daughter (three years old) made me very proud yesterday: She pointed at a still from "Double Indemnity" and said, "Film noir". She must be one of very few thr..."

Kim, you should watch some movies by these directors, esp. by John Ford, who did not really like to talk about his films, as the following "interview" demonstrates:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25b5T...


message 42: by Linda (new)

Linda | 362 comments And now I know where this thread title came from... :)


message 43: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "And now I know where this thread title came from... :)"

You're quickly catching up with the threads, and that's good. I am looking forward to hearing your impressions, Linda!


message 44: by Bionic Jean (last edited Mar 24, 2017 04:07AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) We did not manage to accumulate quite enough funds to purchase Dickens's summer home, now called "Bleak House", last time round, but it's on the market again, for a cool £5.2 million:

LINK HERE

Any "Old Curiosities" got a secret hoard?


message 45: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2923 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "We did not manage to accumulate quite enough funds to purchase Dickens's summer home, now called "Bleak House", last time round, but it's on the market again, for a cool £5.2 million:

LINK HERE

A..."


I'm still waiting for Miss Havisham to acknowledge my existence with a big legacy. :-))


message 46: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "We did not manage to accumulate quite enough funds to purchase Dickens's summer home, now called "Bleak House", last time round, but it's on the market again, for a cool £5.2 million:

LINK HERE

A..."


I might just as well spend my Euros before the whole currency disappears, but then they hardly amount to anything in the vicinity of 5.2 million ...


message 47: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2229 comments They'd have to lower the price enough so that I'd have enough left to change that yellow wallpaper! :-)


message 48: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Indeed, "the colour is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight"


message 49: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4346 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Indeed, "the colour is repellent, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight""

Sounds like a description of somebody I used to know :-)


message 50: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Careful Tristram, this was said by a character in the first stages of schizophrenia ;)


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