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02 Aug
Fri / 2013

Good Books and Great Conversations! Part II: Rienzi Selections

This post is a follow-up to the post: Good Books and Great Conversations! Part I: Bayou Bend Selections

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Fueled by a love for reading, history, and our respective MFAH house museums, Jennifer Hammond and I decided to launch a program to share our enthusiasm with all of you! Jennifer is the director of education at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens.

The Rienzi and Bayou Bend Book Club was inaugurated in September 2011 and features books about the culture, history, and experience of the 18th and 19th centuries in America and Europe. We are always eager for new participants like you to join us—whether for one book or all of them! Check out the list below for Rienzi’s upcoming selections, and click here for our blog about what’s in store at Bayou Bend.

Visit for the dates and times of the discussions, and drop in to participate!

Happy reading,
Casey & Jennifer
For the 2013–2014 season, Rienzi’s book selections look at trade, empire, material culture, and iconic women of the 18th and 19th centuries.
In November, we discuss The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne. This biography investigates one of England’s most celebrated authors through objects connected to her. Items such as topaz crosses, a royalty check, and an Indian shawl come to life, speaking volumes about the life, world, and works of Jane Austen.
Our March selection is Matthew Parker’s The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire, and War in the West Indies. This book chronicles the Caribbean sugar trade, which brought prosperity and power to the British Empire and spawned the modernization and industrialization of its society.
In July, we return to women’s history with Robert K. Massie’s biography Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman, which paints a picture of a determined woman—surrounded by a colorful cast of characters—leading a vast empire during the Enlightenment.

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About Casey Monahan

Casey Monahan

Casey Monahan joined Rienzi as education assistant in 2010. She received her B.A. in art history and history from the College of the Holy Cross, and her M.A. in art history from the University of Houston. At Rienzi, the Massachusetts native works with docents, tours, and other public programs. 

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