Not too long to readalong #WilloughbyReads

A reminder that in next to no time Ben Harris (@one_to_read) will be hosting a readalong of Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase on Twitter, using the hashtag #WilloughbyReads.

If you’ve never read it before but always wanted to, then now’s your chance to join in; and if like me you have already read it but fancy discussing it and seeing what thoughts others entertain about it, you’d be welcome too!

Ben plans that “days 1-11 will have a question about each chapter, an activity of a kind, and a question relating to JA’s writing ethos,” while “days 12-14 will be general”.

(Yes, I know that adds up to a fortnight, whereas 29th July to 9th August is just twelve days, but there is doubtless method in the madness: that would seem to leave a weekend for further thoughts and catching-up.)

If you want to get an inkling of what the fuss is about I’ve tagged some of my earlier discussion posts and my review, but the best introduction of all is the author’s:

The action of this book takes place in a period of English history that never happened — shortly after the accession to the throne of Good King James III in 1832 …

The title hints at the fact that the country is being overrun by wolves which have migrated through the newly-opened Channel Tunnel. As the actual tunnel wasn’t opened until 6th May 1994, more than 160 years later, you will have realised that this is not only set in a uchronia (alternate or alternative history) but also a paracosm (alternate / alternative world).

(Actually, Napoleon had already proposed a Channel Tunnel in 1802 and plans had been drawn up by Albert Matthieu-Favier for coach travel ‘sous la Manche’, with ventilation to the air above and candles to light the way.)

Le Plan d’Albert Mathieu-Favier pour un service de diligence par un tunnel sous la Manche, daté de 1802

And the Wolves? Well, they are fiercer and more dangerous than anything in our history, and that includes the animals as well as the humans…

Image credit: WordPress Free Photo Library

16 thoughts on “Not too long to readalong #WilloughbyReads

      1. Whoa, just to be clear 24 in 48 means *reading* for 24 hours in a period of 48 hours. Unlike Dewey’s 24 readathon where you read for 24 hours straight, this gives you some breathing room. If I could read 24 books in 48 hours…..wowee!

        I so enjoyed The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and am looking forward to the event and the discussions!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s much more understandable, Laurie–even for extreme speed readers 24 books is going it some! But still, 12 hours straight reading is definitely impressive! But yes, Wolves was, somehow, an instant classic and has remained so, for good reason. I too am eagerly anticipating what might come. 🙂


  1. Now I’m in a dilemma 😣 I have long wanted to make a start on the Wolves series but I have been holding out determinedly against Twitter. My resolve came very close to breaking for a similar reason not so long ago. Might this be the final straw that sees me succumb 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry to hoist you on the horns of this particular dilemma, Sandra! Twitter can be very time-consuming, I agree. But if you don’t succumb I might do a summary of reactions at the end of the event.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m inclining more and more towards a Twitter discussion summary here for those who don’t tweet (such a wasteful-of-time habit—except I get a lot of informed political opinion on there that I don’t get from the conventional news media).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This does sound tempting, I do occasionally drop by twitter, but I’m having a problem with time at the moment – I think it’s been put on fast forward and I don’t seem to have that setting. I’ve added this book to my list, though, and perhaps I’ll drop by to look, occasionally.

    I hope you will provide us with a summary. I like the idea of the questions and activities, sounds like my kind of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just seen this comment, Cath, sorry not to have picked up on it before. You will probably have spotted by now that I did do a post about the aftermath of this twitter tag! I agree, Twitter can be more time-consuming than one would like…

      Liked by 1 person

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