Course: Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady

Date / Time

  • February 7, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • March 7, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • April 4, 2019
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • May 2, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm

Sign up today for this course on Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady. Some have called The Portrait of a Lady Henry James’s best novel. The plot corrects what James saw as a great flaw in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, in which an optimistic and energetic young woman enters into a marriage that turns out to be a disaster, and then, fortunately for that heroine, the husband dies. But James is interested in more than finding a happy marriage for his heroine. In examining the difference between Americans and Europeans the book moves on to deeper questions.

Hands-On Tour: Book Arts

Date / Time

  • February 8, 2019
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Do you prefer to judge a book by its cover, or does the inside matter more? In this tour of book arts, we’ll take a look at various rare books in the Rosenbach collection, their aesthetics, their functions, how the processes in creating books inform how we use them today, and vice versa. Go behind the scenes of book binding, illuminating medieval manuscript leaves, the artistry of scribes and painters, 19th century printmaking– and perhaps stumble on a few surprises between the pages.

Course: Philadelphia Gothic

Date / Time

  • February 9, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • March 9, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • April 13, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • May 11, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • June 8, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

In this course, we’ll explore the works of authors, Charles Brockden Brown, Robert Montgomery Bird, George Lippard, Edgar Allan Poe, and Frank Webb — and see how they were inspired to look beneath the veneer of American democracy and expose our deepest fears.

Course: Ulysses by James Joyce (Sundays)-SOLD OUT!

Date / Time

  • February 10, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • March 10, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • April 14, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • May 19, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • June 9, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Heralded as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, Ulysses is also considered one of the most daunting. The Rosenbach offers a welcoming discussion-based environment and unparalleled access to primary resource materials from our James Joyce collection to deepen readers’ understanding of the text and the author himself. First-time Ulysses readers and returning fans alike are welcome in either group.

Course: Dark and Bloody Nights: A Literary History of Vampires-SOLD OUT!

Date / Time

  • February 13, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • March 13, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
  • April 10, 2019
    6:00 pm - 7:45 pm

In this course, we will read some of the seminal texts of vampire fiction and see how the legend grew and developed since the nineteenth century. We’ll also look at some accounts of the vampire in folklore and compare myths of the past with myths of the present (can there be such a thing as a present-day myth?). We’ll see how the texts of vampires highlight the fears and anxieties of the cultures that produce them and discover that vampire stories (like all monster stories) are just as much about themes of difference and otherness, race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, as they are about thrilling horror.

Hands-On Tour: Love Letters

Date / Time

  • February 14, 2019
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Join us for this rare peek into some of the most personal and emotional writing in our collections. From the aching yearnings of poet John Keats to the dying wishes of a Civil War solider, the Rosenbach is home to a variety of love letters. Spend an hour getting up-close and personal with a variety of treasures, including correspondence from Marlene Dietrich to Mercedes De Acosta and handwritten pages from James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Hands-On Tour: Founding Fathers

Date / Time

  • February 15, 2019
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

From George Washington’s earliest known letter (he was just 17!) to a meticulously folded page containing a scientific observation made by Thomas Jefferson while he was walking outside on a misty day, this tour offers an intimate view of the Founding Fathers’ writings to family, friends, colleagues, and even themselves. A rare opportunity to know our nation’s icons as real people: fathers, spurned lovers, jealous politicians, intellectuals, and, of course, revolutionaries. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin form the core of the tour.

Course: James Joyce’s Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – SOLD OUT

Date / Time

  • February 16, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • March 16, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • April 27, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • May 18, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • June 15, 2019
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

In this course, we’ll read two modernist masterpieces by James Joyce: Dubliners, a collection of stories, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce’s semi-autobiographical novel. Along the way, we’ll read some of Joyce’s letters and earlier writings, and a few key works of literary criticism, seeking to understand the forces that drove Joyce to exile himself from Ireland, only to then repeatedly turn his attention back to the city he left behind. Veterans of The Rosenbach’s Ulysses course will find so much to love in Joyce’s earlier writings, while those steeling themselves to take the plunge into Joyce’s famously difficult book will gain an invaluable introduction.