Monthly Book Group with James Kraft

  • Sunday, September 16, 2018
  • Sunday, April 14, 2019
  • 7 sessions
  • Sunday, September 16, 2018, 2:00 PM 3:30 PM
  • Saturday, October 13, 2018, 2:00 PM 3:30 PM
  • Sunday, November 11, 2018, 2:00 PM 3:30 PM
  • Sunday, December 09, 2018, 2:00 PM 3:30 PM
  • Sunday, February 10, 2019, 2:00 PM 3:30 PM
  • Sunday, March 10, 2019, 2:00 PM 3:30 PM
  • Sunday, April 14, 2019, 2:00 PM 3:30 PM
  • Devonshire Estates. 329 Pittsfield Road, Lenox
  • 19

Registration


Register



Immigration & Terrorism
in English Novels of the Late 19th Century

A Monthly OLLI Book Group Led by James Kraft

September 16, 2018 - April 14, 2019

Longtime OLLI instructor James Kraft will lead a new monthly group entitled "Immigration & Terrorism in English Novels of the Late 19th Century" in Lenox starting on Sunday, September 16th at 2pm, and continuing on the second Sunday of each month (except for January) through April 2019. 

Participation is free for all OLLI members. (If you are not yet a member, please join to take part in this program by calling 413.236.2190 or join online here. You must be an OLLI member to attend.)  Please read, or begin to read, The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad for the first meeting.

Near the end of the nineteenth century, various authors addressed unusual aspects of British life at the height of its imperial era. Henry James wrote two novels that remain largely unknown. The Princess Casamassima (1885) concerns radical politics and terrorism in London, and The Tragic Muse (1889) is a portrait of a young Jewish immigrant whose success as an actress forces her to choose between a career and a position in British social life.

Also at this time, Joseph Conrad wrote The Secret Agent (1907), his vivid account of a spy ring, and George Eliot wrote in Daniel Deronda (1876) of the challenging place of the Jewish immigrant in the new democratic state.

Finally, we will read the end of the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (1886) illustrating the difference between Robert E. Lee and Grant when they meet for the Civil War surrender in Appomattox.  It is a subtle portrait of the emotional basis of honor, fear and democratic beliefs, beyond the subject matter of most novels of that era, with surprising relevance for today.

The group will read the following books in this order:

  • Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent (Click here for a free ebook, or here to purchase on Amazon: please read, or begin to read before the first meeting. There are also several film adaptations of the book.)
  • Henry James, The Princess Casamassima
  • Henry James, The Tragic Muse
  • George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
  • And for the last class, the final chapter of the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
All meetings are on Sunday afternoons at 2pm at Devonshire Estates, located at 329 Pittsfield Road in Lenox, Mass.
 
The Book Group is led by longtime OLLI literature instructor James Kraft who attended Princeton, King’s College, Cambridge University, and Fordham.  He has a doctorate in literature and has taught at the University of Virginia, UniversitĂ© Laval in Quebec City, and Wesleyan in Connecticut.  He was assistant director of the Whitney Museum for eight years, and now teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College and at the New York Society Library in New York City.

Book Group Schedule-at-a-Glance

9/16/18 The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

10/13/18 Henry James, The Princess Casamassima

11/11/18 The Princess Casamassima, continued, beginning of The Tragic Muse

12/9/18 The Tragic Muse, continued

2/10/19 George Eliot, Daniel Deronda

3/10/19 Daniel Deronda, continued, and beginning of Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

4/14/19 Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant & final discussion



Click here to sign up for our free email newsletter, and don't miss out on our great programs!

OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

1350 West Street | Pittsfield, MA 01201 | 413.236.2190 | olli@berkshirecc.edu

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software