Richard Fadem, Ph.D., retired English literature professor from Scripps and Claremont Colleges in California, has created a website for reading books online, www.bookdoors.com. The heart of the e-library is BookDoors’ In Context series.
Fadem, whose focus is Romantic and Victorian literature, has taught many classes here with Orcas Islanders, simply for “the joy of inquiry — learning pursued entirely for its own sake.” He has personally annotated the six Jane Austen books currently available through Bookdoors. A timeline, “Jane Austen in Her Time,” sets her life within her era, and a select bibliography provides further background.
The website also makes available as ebooks other major works of literature in English, accompanied by extensive, instantly accessible commentary.
Fadem said, “This is more mission than business: an informed, appreciative readership will keep the canonical works alive, and great literature will change for the better the lives of all engaged readers.”
Other islanders have been engaged to provide artwork for the e-books: Frank Loudin drew the covers for Northanger Abbey and Frankenstein; and Andrea Hendrick completed several original sketches for Dickens’ covers and separate illustrations for scenes in the novels.
After Frankenstein becomes available this month, Fadem expects David Copperfield and Great Expectations and some Romantic poetry to be available at BookDoors.com