Why a “Sensation Season”, whats it all about?
So as I have mentioned previously on the blog I originally wanted to do a Sensation September, however when researching all the sensation novels that there were and after receiving quite a bulk from Penguin and Oxford University Press Classics I realised that with most Sensation novels being around 300-600 pages long a month simple wasn’t long enough. I didn’t want to rush these books and at the same time I didn’t want to get so lost in the Victorian era I may never come back… which could happen believe me! So Instead I thought ‘why not a sensation season?’
So why read the Sensation novels?
I have always loved dark spooky/sinister fiction and a bit of melodrama so the two combined is a perfect combination. Sensation novels also tend to be slightly shocking and you can imagine in the Victorian era they would cause scandal and gossip. The era they were written in is one of my favourites and they have inspired some of my favourite modern fiction such as work by Sarah Waters, Susan Hill, Jane Harris, etc. They are also perfect for this time of year as the nights draw in and you want to curl up with a gripping page turning yarn. I also thought it would be a great way to get through some more classics that I didn’t own, re-read a few of my favourite books and try some more modern fiction inspired by these books that have been lingering on my TBR.
What counts as original Sensation fiction?
Well you can look at Wikipediafor their definition which states that ‘typically the sensation novel focused on shocking subject matter including adultery, theft, kidnapping, insanity, bigamy, forgery, seduction and murder’ and ‘setting these themes in ordinary, familiar and often domestic settings’. I do think there are a lot of books that should have fallen under the ‘sensation’ tag that didnt like Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ and will be exploring this.
So which Sensation Novels will you be reading and when… so we can join in?
Well this took quite a large amount of time to decide (around two hours as Novel Insights can testify) what order to read them in and which books to do. I wanted to make sure I spaced out the cult classics like ‘The Woman in White’, ‘Lady Audley’s Secret’ and ‘East Lynne’ etc as they appear to be the most popular books people want to join in with and they are also hefty. So I thought what about Sensation Season Sunday’s – you know I love my alliteration and so…
- Sunday 13th September: The Haunted Hotel – Wilkie Collins
- Sunday 20th September: The Law & The Lady – Wilkie Collins
- Sunday 27thSeptember: Armadale – Wilkie Collins
- Sunday 4th October: Basil – Wilkie Collins
- Sunday 11thOctober: Lady Audley’s Secret – Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- Sunday 25th October: No Name – Wilkie Collins
- Sunday 8th November: The Dead Secret – Wilkie Collins
- Sunday 15th November: Aurora Floyd – Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- Sunday 22nd November: The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
- Sunday 6th December: East Lynne – Ellen Wood
- Sunday 20th December: The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
I do hope you join in and please leave comments on here about Sensation novels you have read, want to read or advise me to read… and what modern ones I maybe missing!