by Anthony Trollope
Money, corruption, and greed are the chief themes of The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope, a satirical portrait of London society. Enter Augustus Melmotte, a financier with lavish tastes, a man reputedly rich beyond most characters’ wildest imaginations. The rumors shadowing him—of fraud and jail time in Europe—don’t stop London from bowing at his feet. Quite the contrary: his is Society’s most popular house. The story follows those who seek a touch of Melmotte’s fortune: the young aristocrats who seek to marry Melmotte’s awkward daughter, the businessmen who join Melmotte’s board of a shady railway scheme, and the Conservatives and Liberals who want him as their parliamentary candidate. A lady novelist who views positive reviews as social favors, an old-fashioned country squire who detests the new ways, and a vibrant—and potentially violent—American woman pursuing the modest Englishman to whom she was engaged reveal worlds outside of Melmotte’s, but they cannot be wholly free of his influence. Trollope’s mirthless satire of a Victorian London ruled by credit shows parallels to today’s political, economic, and cultural challenges.
Declan Kiely – The Carnivore’s Appetite: The Writing of The Way We Live Now
Director of Exhibitions at New York Public Library, Declan Kiely joined the NYPL in October 2017, where he oversees exhibitions at the iconic Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. He was most recently the Robert H. Taylor Curator at the Morgan Library and Museum and Head of its Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts. During this time he curated major exhibitions focusing on Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, and Abraham Lincoln.
Ann Kibbie – Circulating Anti-Semitism in British Literature
Associate Professor of English at Bowdoin College, Ann Kibbie focuses on representations of money and capital in early modern literature, the eighteenth-century novel, Samuel Richardson, sentimentalism, the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century gothic, law and literature, and literature and the history of medicine. Her teaching areas include Milton, restoration and eighteenth-century literature (all genres), the novel, the gothic, the sentimental, and Jane Austen.
Maeve Adams – For the Love of Fraud: Victorian Con-Artists, Finance, and The Way We Live Now
Assistant Professor of Nineteenth Century Literature at Manhattan College, Maeve Adams has also taught at New York University, Yale University, and the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. Maeve holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in English Literature from New York University and a M.A. in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent (UK); she completed her B.A., summa cum laude, at Smith College. Maeve’s work addresses intertwined histories of literature, society, and science, retrieving networks of writers that developed concepts in common (and competition).
Professor of Art History at Bowdoin College, Pamela M. Fletcher teaches courses ranging from Eighteenth-Century Art to Contemporary Art and Theory, with a particular focus on exhibition culture and British art. She has offered advanced seminars on the History of the Commercial Art Gallery; Modernism and the Nude; and The Pre-Raphaelites.
Professor of English at Wellesley College, Timothy Peltason writes and teaches on nineteenth and twentieth-century British and American literature and Shakespeare. His essays on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, focuses on its relationship to Wilde’s life, its origins in earlier Victorian literature, and its extraordinary afterlife in 20th and 21st century literature and culture. He has also written a sequence of web-based commentaries on five plays by Shakespeare and other essays about the place of value judgments in contemporary academic criticism.
Sean Fleming performs regularly with the Bowdoin Chorus, Coastal Chorale, Down East Singers, Lincoln Academy Lincolnaires, Lincoln Festival Chorus, Maine Friends of Music,St. Cecilia Chamber Choir, Sheepscot Valley Chorus, and Tapestry Singers. He is the assistant director of Midcoast Community Chorus, and is also the music director for the Hearts Ever Young Chorus. He regularly accompanies many high school and junior high festivals. He has worked with Ann Arbor Camerata, Bowdoin Chamber Choir, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival Chorus, Colby.
Mary Sullivan is the Artist in Residence with the Oratorio Chorale, where she teaches vocal technique and coaches section sound and musicianship in collaboration with Artistic Director Emily Isaacson. She worked with maestro Rohan Smith as vocal coach and choral consultant for the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra’s spring 2016 performance of the Verdi Requiem. Ms. Sullivan maintains a private voice studio in Brunswick, Maine.