The State Library is temporarily closed until further notice. See updates here.
Book a series ticket for all three lectures.
Lecture 1) 6 May: Mark Twain and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer In 1876 the world was introduced to Tom Sawyer, a boy who lives by the great Mississippi River, who loves Becky Thatcher and who is friendly with Huck Finn. Tom's adventures on the river, whitewashing the fence, encountering Injun Joe and trying to impress Becky have become an important part of American culture. Twain did something very new with this novel and also reflected his own youth.
Lecture 2) 13 May: F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Great Gatsby Is this 'the great American novel'? The tale of Jay Gatsby and his hopeless love for beautiful, selfish Daisy Buchanan is moving, powerful and a superb evocation of the Jazz Age. It explores idealism and excess, decadence and the American Dream. When published in 1925 it was not an immediate hit, but film versions and its inclusion on school curricula ensured greater popularity. Learn about Nick Carraway, mysterious Gatsby and how much of himself Fitzgerald put into his characters.
Lecture 3) 20 May: Margaret Mitchell and Gone with the Wind In 2014 Americans voted this Civil War classic their second favourite book (behind the Bible). When published in 1936 it went immediately to the top of the bestsellers. When the movie was made, it zoomed up to the top once again, and the book has never been out of print. There's a whole industry of tourism and fandom for 'Windies'. What was the author originally going to call her heroine? Did her own personality influence Scarlett's? Who was the model for Rhett Butler? Discover some of the intriguing tales behind Gone with the Wind.