The Ventura Reading Group welcomes members from all corners of Ventura County (and beyond!) on the third Saturday of each month.


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 typically are held at the E.P. Foster Library in Ventura, a member home or area restaurant.


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


January 9
Flying Colours (Hornblower Saga Book 8) by C. S. Forester

February 20
The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen Flynn

March 20
The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow

April 17
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

May 15
Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

June 19
Not Just Jane by Shelley DeWees

July 17
Arcadia by Tom Stoppard

September 18
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

October 16
Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

November 20
The Regency Years by Robert Morrison 


January 18
Jane Austen’s Worthing by Anthony Edwards
Sanditon by Jane Austen

March 21
Rational Creatures by Christina Boyd

April 18
Evelina by Fanny Burney

May 16
Fanny Burney, A Biography by Claire Harmon

June 20
Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

July 18
Lovers Vows by Elizabeth Inchbald
School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley

August 15
A Journal of the Plague Year  by Daniel Defoe

September 19
A Ship of the Line (Hornblower Saga #7) by C. S. Forester

October 17
The Fishing Fleet by Anne de Courcey

November 21
The Fishing Fleet: Husband-Hunting in the Raj by Anne de Courcy

December 12
Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley


January 19
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

February 16
Beat to Quarters by C.S. Forester

March 16
Lady Susan by Jane Austen and Silas Marner by George Eliot

April 20
Women in White by Wilkie Collins

May 18
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier

June 15
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

July 20
Pride and Prometheus by John Kessel

September 21
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

October 19
The Female Quixote by Charlotte Lenox

November 16
Jane Austen’s England by Roy and Lesley Adkins

December TBD
Jane Austen’s birthday celebration


January 20
What Regency Women Did For Us by Rachel Knowles

February 17
The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser

March 17
Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld

April 21
Hermsprong: Or, Man As He Is Not by Robert Bage

May 19
A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney

June 16
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

July 21
Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence by Carla Berkin

September 15
Persuasion by Jane Austen

October 20
The Genius of Jane Austen: Her Love of Theater and Why She Works in Hollywood by Paula Byrne

November 17
Horatio Hornblower: Hornblower and the Atropos by C.S. Forester


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

October 21
History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

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


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


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


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


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

Ventura County

Reading Group

Next Meeting

Saturday, November 20, 10:30 a.m.
The Regency Years by Robert Morrison

The meeting will be held via Zoom.