[LMB] AKICOT:L - References in Edna Ferber

Gretchen Wright gretchen.m.wright at gmail.com
Thu Jan 10 15:12:24 GMT 2019

Technically off-topic, but I have just discovered Edna Ferber and I feel
like there would be overlap between her fans and Bujoldians. The writing
has the same property that the characters seem to jump off the page and
become real people that you know personally.

Anyway, I am bemused by the reading list of the character Selina DeJong
(nee Peake) from _So Big_. Reading this book is requiring me to do homework
in the best possible way - I want to look up those of her favorite books
that I haven't already read, in order to get a better sense of her. For
example, she likes Washington Irving, which I've never been able to get
into before, but now I'll be able to read it through her eyes.

My question for this list is about the following quotation. The first four
mentioned authors I obviously know. The other ones I have never heard of. I
am guessing they are contemporary to when the story is taking place (the
1880s, roughly). I'm curious if they are familiar to readers of this list.
I figure if there are 21st century people who know them, this list is a
good place to look for them!

 "At fifteen, [Selina] knew the writings of Byron, Jane Austen, Dickens,
Charlotte Bronte, Felicia Hemans. Not to speak of Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth,
Bertha M. Clay, and that good fairy of the scullery, the Fireside
Companion, in whose pages factory girls and dukes were brought together as
inevitably as steak and onions."

The last sentence is a good example of why I'm loving this book. She knows
how to turn a phrase!


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