Wednesday, Dec 02, 2020 6:00p -
Gibson House Museum
137 Beacon Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Art, History, Meetup, Social Good, Virtual & Streaming
Read-the-Room Book Club:
Winter 2020 Meeting
The Bostonians by Henry James (1886)
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
$12 per meeting; free for Nichols House Museum and Gibson House Museum members (details below)
Hosted virtually by Meghan Gelardi Holmes, Curator, Gibson House Museum
Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/read-the-room-book-club-the-bostonians-at-gibson-house-museum-tickets-122736314621
The Nichols House Museum and Gibson House Museum are excited to announce a new book club! Inspired by the literary salons once hosted in the Nichols House Museum and Gibson House Museum parlors, our Read-the-Room Book Club welcomes both those new to the museums and our familiar friends.
The book club will meet twice a season for group discussion followed by a tour of the host museum. Participants can expect to read a mix of Victorian-era and contemporary fiction (and even the occasional volume of poetry), and each month’s book selection will reflect some aspect or theme of the respective museum.
Participants will be given a list of discussion questions the week prior to the event, and each event will highlight particular objects or spaces at the host museum that connect to the book. Programs will take place virtually this fall; participants will be invited to meet on site when it becomes safe to do so. Space is limited, and advanced registration is required.
The Bostonians book summary from Penguin Random House: This brilliant satire of the women’s rights movement in America is the story of the ravishing inspirational speaker Verena Tarrant and the bitter struggle between two distant cousins who seek to control her. Will the privileged Boston feminist Olive Chancellor succeed in turning her beloved ward into a celebrated activist and lifetime companion? Or will Basil Ransom, a conservative southern lawyer, steal Verena’s heart and remove her from the limelight? The Bostonians is one of James's most provocative and astute portrayals of a world caught between old values and the lure of progress.
Discussion will focus on the changing social world of Boston’s elites at the end of the nineteenth century. We will also consider early feminism and the “Boston marriage.” And, of course, we will talk about material culture, both in the book and at the Gibson House.
The Gibson House was featured in the 1984 film version of the book, starring Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Reeve, which the New York Times called “a rare delight, a high comedy with tragic undertones.” (And we won’t tell if you just watch the movie and come to book club anyway!)
We’re thrilled to offer a very special joint membership in conjunction with the book club: join both museums for $60 (a savings of $35) and receive free access to the book club as well as member benefits at both museums! Register and sign up for membership here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/read-the-room-book-club-lolly-willowes-at-nichols-house-museum-tickets-122723813229
Purchase The Bostonians through your local bookstore or online through the local-bookstore network, Bookshop. An ebook version is free through Project Gutenberg.
The Gibson House is a historic house museum located in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. Now a National Historic Landmark, the home served as residence to three generations of Gibson family members and their household staff between 1859 and 1954. The Museum’s four floors of period rooms, including the original kitchen, are a time capsule of domestic life in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The museum is currently open for tours on select days, advanced ticket purchase only. You can also explore the house virtually through our website, social media, and virtual programs at thegibsonhouse.org.