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.)
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…