The Classics Club Spin number has been announced: #8! I’ll be reading Wired Love by Ella Cheever Thayer. This is a perfect choice, as it fits both with the Women’s Literature Event and my constant desire to read more obscure works. It will also push me out of my comfort zone a bit, as it has romance at its core, and I’m not a romance reader.
This book is a really interesting specimen – an early example of technology in fiction that is realistic for the times rather than speculative, as well as an example of epistolary format using proto-“online” methods of bringing the protagonists together. In this case, the technology in question is the telegraph. Published in 1879, the book is subtitled “A Romance of Dots and Dashes.” It tells the story of a budding romance between two telegraph operators who communicate via Morse code, falling in love without ever seeing one another. Ella Cheever Thayer, a suffragette in addition to being an author and playwright, was herself a former telegraph operator, so the technical details in the story should be spot-on.
Despite the central romance plot, I’m really excited to read this! I feel like it’s a lost bit of really unusual, groundbreaking fiction, and I’m hoping to love it.