Immerse yourself in a classic work of literature.
A humanities seminar on a classic text
Supported in part by individual donors throughout Maine.
Join us at the 21st annual Winter Weekend and explore, in a group setting, an important work of literature. Held at Bowdoin College on March 9 & 10, 2018, the program begins with a Friday evening lecture and dinner (a gastronomic taste of the time and culture reflected in the chosen text). The group reconvenes Saturday morning to spend the day enjoying presentations by scholars on various aspects of the book, from cultural context, to critical analysis, to explorations of specific themes.
Money, corruption, and greed are the chief themes of this satirical portrait of London society in our 2018 book, The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope. Trollope’s mirthless satire of a Victorian London ruled by credit shows parallels to today’s political, economic, and cultural challenges.
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.