Classics Challenge: ‘Belinda’ Questions
What ho, Challengers and welcome to the non-Atwood branch of our current Classic Challenge cycle. We’ll be looking at Maria Edgeworth’s 1800 novel Belinda to start. Here are some questions and themes to consider whilst reading and we’ll reconvene to discuss on August 12 (plenty o’ time to get through this light read!).
1. Consider Edgeworth’s presentation of various female “types.” What do you think she is trying to tell her readers about ideal womanhood? Is she successful?
2. What is the role of Empire within the narrative? What part does foreign “Otherness” play in Edgeworth’s portrayal of characters from English colonies or other sites of Empire? Note that there are no actual “foreigners” in the novel in the traditional sense of foppish French or nefarious, Radcliffean Italians.
3. Does the novel’s format as a triple-decker change the way it is read?
As ever, feel free to come up with your own questions and ideas about the book. These are just starters and see you back here on August 12!