Ventura County

Reading Group

Next Meeting

June 17
Founding Mothers, the Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts
Location: E.P. Forster Library, Ventura

Upcoming Meetings

July 15
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

September 16
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

October 21
Mr. Collins Considered (aka Jane Austen and the Interplay of Character) by Ivor Morris

November 18
Hornblower and the Hotspur, Vol. 3 by C.S. Forester

Contact

Linda Terry

About

The Ventura Jane Austen Reading Group’s current yearly format includes reading and discussing four of Austen’s works with accompanying letters, as well as biography, novels and nonfiction illustrating the Regency era. At present, we have approximately 14 members, and our moderating is done by a different member each month. The group maintains a Ventura Jane Austen blog.

Meetings are held at the E.P. Foster Library in Ventura.

History

Around 1995, Lillian Goldstein started the Ventura Jane Austen Reading Circle to celebrate the author’s birthday each December. A few years later, the reading group began meeting monthly at the Foster Library, with a December party at a member’s home.

For about seven years Dr. Gracia Fay Ellwood, moderator emerita, led our small group in a concentrated study of Austen’s writings, letters and biographies. To broaden the focus, we launched an 18-month project of examining popular novels written either in similar style to Austen or as a tribute to her work, from Jane Eyre to Twilight.

Reading List Archive

2017

January 21
The Wanderer, or Female Difficulties by Fanny Burney

February 18
Growing Older with Jane Austen by Maggie Lane

March 18
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth

April 15
Belle by Paula Byrne

May 20
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

June 17
Founding Mothers, the Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts

July 15
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

September 16
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

October 21
Mr. Collins Considered (aka Jane Austen and the Interplay of Character) by Ivor Morris

November 18
Hornblower and the Hotspur, Vol. 3 by C.S. Forester

2016

This year the group read selections from Jane Austen’s Letters (Deirdre Le Faye, ed.) in addition to its monthly book selection.

January 16
Juvenilia by Jane Austen; Letters 81-86

February 20
Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall by Winston Graham; Letters 87-91

March 19
Our Tempestuous Day: A History of Regency England by Carolly Erickson; Letters 92-96

April 16
Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen by Sarah Jane Downing; Letters 97-105

May 21
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell; Letters 106-120

June 18  
Sanditon by Jane Austen and Another Lady; Letters 121-129

July 16
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; Letters 1-7 and 70-80

September 17
The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe; Letters 130-145

October 15
Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith; Letters 146-154

November 19
Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forester; Letters 155-CEA/3

2015

January 24​​
Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester

February 21​
The Courtesan’s Revenge by Frances Wilson

March 21
The Watsons by Jane Austen

April 18
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

May 16
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

June 20
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

July 18
My Dear Charlotte by Hazel Holt

September 19
Waverly by Sir Walter Scott

October 17
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

November 21
Old Friends and New Fancies by Sybil Brinton

2014

January 18
Longbourn by Jo Baker

February 15
Jane Austen’s Letters, Letters 41-74, edited by Deirdre Le Faye (fourth edition)

March 15
Duty and Desire–These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan

April 19
Emma by Jane Austen

May 17
George Knightly, Esquire: Charity Envieth Not by Barbara Cornthwaite

June 21
The Real Jane Austen by Paula Byrne

July 19
George Knightley, Esquire: Lend Me Leave by Barbara Cornthwaite

September 20
Jane Austen’s Sailor Brothers by J.H. Hubback and Edith C. Hubback (grandson and great granddaughter of Sir Francis Austen)

October 18
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

November 15
Persuasion by Jane Austen

2013

January 19
Discussion: minor characters in Northanger Abbey compared to minor characters in other Austen novels

February 16
Sanditon by Jane Austen

March 16
The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James

April 20
Jane Austen’s Letters, Letters 1-40, edited by Deirdre Le Faye (fourth edition)

May 18
Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester

June 15
An Assembly Such as This, A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman by Pamela Aidan

July 20
Belinda by Maria Edgeworth

September 21
Lady Susan by Jane Austen

October 19
A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer

November 16
Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin