Cecilia Read-Along: #SquadGoals

Fair travelers, journey to the master post if thou art lost.

Cecilia Readalong Button edit

I trust you’ve all started reading? If not, read on for some more information about where to find the book, and if you have, I’ve started a running list of characters, which is helpful with these big novels.


cecilia editions.jpg

My line-up: Kobo ebook, Oxford World’s Classics print, and Project Gutenberg html for easy searching

As I noted in the master post, it’s not easy to get your hands on Cecilia. And it’s only become more complicated since then. Let’s break down the options, and read-alongers, if you post this week, please show off your edition!

  • Print: While difficult to find in libraries and physical book stores, you can order online. I believe the Oxford World’s Classics edition I have is a good one; it reproduces the first edition and does not correct “eccentricities of punctuation, spelling, and grammar” which would take all the fun out of reading an 18th century novel. You can order straight from the source.
  • Ebook: Earlier, I recommended an ebook because they’re readily available. HOWEVER. My cheapie Harper Collins edition is decidedly not the same text as the first print edition; comparing to Oxford, the ebook is watered down: unnecessary capitalization removed, “everytime” becomes “every time,” and so on. Not sure if this is reproducing a later edition, or is just modernized, or what. Same deal with the Project Gutenberg edition.
  • Audio: There is a free audio version on LibriVox and perhaps I’m being snobby here but shouldn’t the narrator be British?

Cecilia’s Squad: Who we’ve met so far

This is only up to about Book I Chapter 7 as of this writing. For those of you just beginning, this may help you get your bearings.

  • Our Heroine: Cecilia Beverley: 21, orphan, heiress
  • Her guardians:
    • Mr. Harrell, husband of childhood friend, chosen simply so Cecilia can live with said friend.
    • Mr. Briggs, a business man who will provide “vigilant observance” of Cecilia’s fortune.
    • Mr. Delvile, ” a man of high birth and character” who will make sure Cecilia “should in nothing be injured” – i.e. remains a lady in the streets… and the sheets.
  • Her suitors:
    • Mr. Monckton: married to a 76-year-old crabby pants, he’s probably in his thirties or forties and was real annoyed when, just a few years after marrying this old lady for money, a 17-year-old heiress moved in next door. Timing is everything!
    • Mr. Arnott: brother of childhood friend Mrs. Harrell, lays it on pretty thick, likes that Cecilia “isn’t like the other girls,” gag me…
    • Sir Robert Floyer: Fashionable, friend of Mr. Harrell, weird horse obsession
  • Her friends
    • Mrs. Harrell: A childhood friend who moved to the big city some years ago. A very “city and country mouse” reunion so far.
    • Mr. Morrice: Her friend whether she wants him or not. This guy cracks me up.
  • Her frenemies
    • Miss Larolle: “flirting, communicative, restless, and familiar” she is the 18th century equivalent of a basic bitch.
    • Miss Leeson: “silent, scornful, languid, and affected,” definitely afflicted with resting bitch face.

Be you VOLUBLE or SUPERCILIOUS (see ch. 5) we’ll meet back here next Monday to discuss Book I.



    • lauratfrey

      Well her and Miss Leeson are both pretty basic. Though I hope this doesn’t become “Cecilia – not like all the other girls, she’s *special*” because that’s annoying too.

  1. Mary R Higgins

    Not sure what chapter I was on when I stalled last week sometime- don’t know about the rest of the “reader alongers” out there , but I have to b in a certain mood for this sort of endeavor. Anyway so far I have been quite entertained and amused by Cecelia’s introduction to the high life of the “ton” I think a similar reaction might take place today given two divergent enough societies colliding. I am enjoying Cecelia’s dry wit and keep thinking who might play her in the PBS version

    • lauratfrey

      Yes, I’ve read that in several reviews… this isn’t a book to read quickly. So it’s a good thing we’re spreading it out over ten weeks! Any front-runners for Cecilia actresses? It’s tough because it has to be someone pretty young. I usually just end up saying “so and so circa 1995” lol. Like, I was Jude Law to play every leading man… but Jude Law circa the late 90s, not present day 🙂 I don’t even know who the “leading man” is here yet, if there is one…

  2. Melanie Kerr

    What about Mr Gosport? And the south sayer in the wings? I live for casting, and like you, always choose people from the 90s because I don’t know who anyone is any more except the cast of Harry Potter and, no. Mr Morrice cracks me up too! I’m noting odd language use on my Facebook thread for future reference as you probably noticed.

    • lauratfrey

      Yes, I realized I missed Mr. Gosport. I’ll add him next time. And the cranky old man. And Mrs. Hill!

      Yes I noticed, I’ve been underlining odd words and things too.

    • Mercurial Vicissitudes

      These social engagements are the things of nightmares, I swear this book is giving me social anxiety! I’ve been reading a couple of chapters a night, so I have just finished ‘An Assembly’ and so far I am enjoying it, certainly an interesting cast of characters so far.

      I just want to add that Jude Law is one of those actors that I have an inexplicable and intense dislike of and now I believe the hero, if there is one, will undoubtedly be wearing his face. Thanks guys!

      • lauratfrey

        I know, I totally relate to Cecilia wanting to be alone. Reminds me of Caroline in Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley (just finished it before diving into this one)

        I am deeply disturbed by your Jude Law comments, but do you perhaps have another favourite 90s heartthrob you could substitute? 🙂

      • Netta Johnson

        Fanny Burney is so good at tormenting her poor heroines. As for the unnamed hero (has anyone met him?) what about James McAvoy? He is kind of like that. Charming and ernest. Very thoughtful. Laura, can’t wait to hear more.

  3. Alice

    Oh, I wish I had seen this sooner, I have it on my Kindle and would have loved to give it a go this way. Ah well, I shall read vicariously through you 😀

  4. Pingback: Cecilia Read-Along: Summer Reading for People Who Don’t Like “Summer Reading” | Reading in Bed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s