Monsters and Magic in Victorian England | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

Monsters and Magic in Victorian England
a librarian-led discussion group

Victorian society firmly believed in science and rationalism; meanwhile, the popular imagination and the arts became obsessed with monsters and magic – things that weren't real. Or were they?

In this seminar, we'll read and discuss Victorian literature together, starting with Christina Rossetti's controversial poem "Goblin Market". We'll look at how real-life events influenced the literature of the time, and examine how authors responded to one another in their novels. Together we'll explore the grotesque, the gothic, and the horrifying threads that stuck in the Victorian consciousness, and refused to be ignored.

Registration is strongly recommended to ensure a spot at the table, but walk-ins are welcome as space allows.

  • At the April 9 meeting, attendees will read and discuss Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market".
  • For the April 23 meeting, attendees should read Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells.
  • The May 21 meeting will entail a discussion of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray.
  • The reading for June 18 is TBD.


Mechanics' Institute Members Only; Free
Register now ›
4th Floor Board Room
Information Desk - 415-393-0102
Register now by using the form below or calling .

Future Activities