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Do you want to read more classic fiction? Do you want to know more about how novels work, their technique? Do you want to do this in a low pressure bookclub-style setting? In this series, we will learn how novels work: the clues that novelists leave us. Each book is a tapestry. All the threads work together. Nothing is there for no good reason. As we learn more, we become better readers.
Salons run 7 PM London time on the first Tuesday of every month, except for January 2023 where it is on the second Tuesday.
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In addition to series tickets, members get access to our community Discord (with a channel for this series to chat between events)—as well as free salon tickets each month, discounts, free members-only events, and more.
# Date Episode 1 Sept. 6, 2022 Part I, Beginnings — Persuasion, Jane Austen.
We start with Persuasion, Jane Austen’s last novel. Why does it have such an unromantic opening? And what can we learn from novels openings in general?
2 Oct. 4, 2022 Part II, Morality — Silas Marner, George Eliot.
Our second novel is Silas Marner, George Eliot’s fable of fortune. How can a book that is so realistic also be read like a fairytale? What is the role of morality in a novel?
3 Nov. 1, 2022 Part III, Pattern — A Room with a View, E.M. Forster.
Third is A Room with a View, Forster’s social comedy and romance. What patterns of allusion, metaphor, and figurative language give this novel its structure? How do description and plotting work together?
4 Dec. 6, 2022 Part IV, Character — The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen.
Fourth is The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen’s compelling novel about a group of amoral characters and a young woman coming of age. Bowen has a genius for character. How does she make them so real?
5 Jan. 10, 2023 Part V, Irony — The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro.
Ishiguro’s hit novel about a butler that doesn’t understand the world. What is irony? How can it work for moral as well as comedic purposes?
6 Feb. 7, 2023 Part VI, Precision — The Gate of Angels, Penelope Fitzgerald.
The Gate of Angels, a hugely precise novel about Edwardian Cambridge. We will be asking the same question as the critics. How does she do it?
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