This coming Saturday the Cornflower Book Group will be discussing the first of Ellis Peters's Brother Cadfael series, A Morbid Taste for Bones, but for our April book we shall be moving far away from a 1970s depiction of twelfth century monks, going instead to late Victorian England, the aesthetic movement, and the scandalous Oscar Wilde, with his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.
"Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence."
A Faustian pact, hedonism, gothic horror clad in silken draperies ... there will be lots here to interest us, I should think! I've chosen the Penguin Classics edition pictured above as it comes with two introductions - one of them by Peter Ackroyd - and contemporary reviews, but any copy you can get hold of will be fine. The novel should be widely available (though in case of difficulty, The Book Depository will send it anywhere in the world, post-free), and at just over 200 pages, it shouldn't take us very long to get through, so how about we set our discussion date for Saturday, 23rd. April.
I say this every month, but the group is open to all who care to read the book and give us the benefit of their thoughts on it, on or after the set date. A few words will suffice, or a much longer analysis - regardless of length, your contribution will be welcome, so I hope Mr. Wilde and his Mr. Gray will not disappoint.