October 11, 2002
"Carol's Reading List"
Highlights Smith President's Favorite Books
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-As Smith College
was getting to know its incoming president, Carol T. Christ,
interviewers often asked, "What books are on your bedside
But knowing of Christ's passion for 19th-century English literature
(her field of scholarly expertise), the college's rare books
curator, Martin Antonetti, took things one step further, mounting
an exhibition of Christ's favorite books in conjunction with
her Oct. 19 inauguration.
Titled "Carol's Reading List," the exhibition features
some 22 rare editions of 16 different works, each selected by
Christ and her husband, Paul Alpers, also a scholar of English
A highlight of the exhibition is the running commentary by Christ
herself, excerpted below, which accompanies each work and provides
literary and historical context, as well as insight into the
book's appeal to her.
Selected items on "Carol's Reading
"Persuasion" by Jane Austen
- "The book has an autumnal tone. It is a story of second
"Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
by Lewis Carroll
- " perhaps the single most influential book in children's
"Little Dorrit" by Charles
- "Though often laugh-aloud funny, it imagines a bleak vision
of Victorian England in which actual prisons provide metaphors
for the prisons we build within ourselves."
"Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial
Life" by George Eliot
- "Eliot is the profoundest of the British novelists, and
this is her greatest book."
"Can You Forgive Her?" by
- "Trollope's social observation, his sense of the texture
of life and character, is continually just and engaging."
The exhibition will be on display through
Nov. 7 in the Morgan and Book Arts galleries of the college's
Neilson Library. It is free and open to the public.
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