ONLINE SEMINAR
November 24 | Victorian Christmas Ghosts

“But why do spirits walk the earth?” To Ebenezer Scrooge’s question, we might add “And why did ghost stories at Christmas become a tradition?”

In this seminar, we’ll be reading Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” as well as holiday- and winter-themed ghost stories by other British Victorian and Edwardian writers, including Elizabeth Gaskell, Algernon Blackwood, E.F. Benson, and M.R. James. Besides enjoying some shivery entertainment, we’ll explore how these stories address questions of purpose, ethics, and community. For what reasons do ghosts appear to mortals–and why at this time of year? What, if anything, do those visited by ghosts learn? What are authors using their fictional ghosts to say, and what unique qualities does each author add to the tradition of the phantom?

This seminar will be read-as-we-go and will include weekly questions about the texts discussed, sent in advance of each session.

When: Four weekly sessions on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, starting November 24, 2020.

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$275 plus 13% HST (approx. US$195 plus 13% HST)

Group Size: 12-participant limit

How: We will be using Zoom online meeting software; you will receive instructions on how to download Zoom free after registration. For your privacy, all our Zoom seminars are password-protected and are never recorded.

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable.

Select your registration below; please use the Toronto Pursuits credit option only if you are a registered participant of Toronto Pursuits 2020 who wants to put your deposit or previous payment toward an online seminar.

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Description

LEADER

Nancy Carr is a writer, editor and discussion leader with many years of experience at the Great Books Foundation. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia and an abiding love of Victorian fiction. She’s also been an avid ghost story reader since childhood, and requires her family to watch “A Christmas Carol” every year.

BOOKS

Fireside Ghost Stories For Christmas Eve, edited by M. Grant Kellermeyer
(Oldstyle Tales Press, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-1977752819

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
(Dover, 1991)
ISBN-13: 978-0486268651

We encourage you to use these editions, but it is not required.

“But why do spirits walk the earth?” To Ebenezer Scrooge’s question, we might add “And why did ghost stories at Christmas become a tradition?”

In this seminar, we’ll be reading Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” as well as holiday- and winter-themed ghost stories by other British Victorian and Edwardian writers, including Elizabeth Gaskell, Algernon Blackwood, E.F. Benson, and M.R. James. Besides enjoying some shivery entertainment, we’ll explore how these stories address questions of purpose, ethics and community. For what reasons do ghosts appear to mortals–and why at this time of year? What, if anything, do those visited by ghosts learn? What are authors using their fictional ghosts to say, and what unique qualities does each author add to the tradition of the phantom?

This seminar will be read-as-we-go and will include weekly questions about the texts discussed, sent in advance of each session.

All online seminar payments are nonrefundable.

 

“There is probably a smell of roasted chestnuts and other good comfortable things all the time, for we are telling Winter Stories–Ghost Stories, or more shame for us–round the Christmas fire.”
– Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Tree”

 

Additional information

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Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit

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