A Taste of Victorian Literature

A Taste of Victorian Literature

A Taste of Victorian Literature is a unique book group experience focused on four enduring authors of the Victorian era from February – May 2011 at the Plaza Branch.


A Taste of Victorian Literature is a unique book group experience focused on great works and enduring authors associated with Victorian literature: Jane Austen, author of Mansfield Park, her most ambitious and most underrated novel; Charlotte Brontë, author of Jane Eyre, a seemingly innocuous gothic romance; George Eliot, author of The Mill on the Floss, a tragic story of siblings whose antagonism is washed away amid a flood; and D.H. Lawrence, author of The Rainbow, a nuanced and controversial family saga.

The Plaza Branch will host participants for conversations about these featured books with the guidance of expert discussion leaders and a small cadre of like-minded readers; these discussions will take always take place on Wednesday evenings every month at 6:30 p.m. from February through May 2011.


A broad definition of Victorian literature includes any work published during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 – 1901) of England. It is during this timeframe that the literary world first welcomed women into its fold, as both serious fictional subjects and serious authors on equal footing with (if not a step above) their male peers. Victorian literary voices are distinctly different from those of contemporary authors, but these voices proved integral in shaping the attitude and narrative approach of contemporary literature.


Andrea Broomfield is author of Food and Cooking in Victorian England: A History and co-edited the anthology Prose by Victorian Women. She is associate professor of English at Johnson County Community College.

Kaite Stover is the Head of Readers’ Services for the Kansas City Public Library, where she serves as the resident expert on book groups. She hosts workshops and presentations nationwide that focus on improved book group experiences. Booklist magazine publishes her side of its regular column “He Reads/She Reads.” She is the lead coordinator for A Taste of Victorian Literature.

Melissa Carle is a Reference Librarian and the Weekend Supervisor at the Plaza Branch. Along with her B.A. in English Language and Literature, she nurtured her love of English Literature by studying for a year at Oxford University. Her favorite Victorian novel is Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure.