The 2019 Spring Life of the Mind Salon Series concludes on Wednesday, May 8 when professor Donna Harrington-Lueker explores the beginning of summer reading and the backlash against it. A prominent nineteenth-century preacher branded summer reading as “literary poison in August.” Today, though, the practice is celebrated as lists like O magazine’s “Best Summer Reads” take center stage. Books for Idle Hours: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading, explores the birth of the “beach read” and the practice of summer reading in the nineteenth century, tracing the ways in which readers, authors, and publishing houses came to frame summer reading not as a disreputable indulgence, but as a respectable pastime especially for the woman reader.
Donna Harrington-Lueker is professor of English at Salve Regina University.
Members Free; Non-members $10. Reception at 5:30 pm, followed by the lecture at 6:00 pm. Register online or call 401-847-0292 for reservations.