Thursday, June 30, 2011

Literary Tag Days 26 -30

Question 26: Most quotable novel of five of your favourite quotes from any books.  
Ohhhhh, it would be too hard to chose my five favourite quotes, so I'll just say that Pride and Prejudice is very quotable.  I quote Lady Catherine incessantly.

Question 27: Any five books from your 'to be read' stack.  What makes you select a book for your 'to be read' stack?
It normally depends on what I'm feeling like when I start reading.  Normally I don't have a 'to be read' stack, but now I do - it's the pile of books I'm taking along on holidays!
A Loyal Huguenot Maid by Margaret S. Comrie (reread)
Probable Sons by Amy Le Feuvre (reread - lovely little book!)
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O' Dell.
If All the Swords in England by Barbara Willard
Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott (reread)

Question 28: Some firsts: first book that you remember loving/being obsessed with.  The Young Huguenots by Edith Floyer.  First book that made you cry. probably the same.  First book you gave to someone else as a gift.  I don't know, but it could have been Heidi by Joanna Spyri.

Question 29: Saddest character death or most satisfying character death (or both.) 
The death of Claude Brousson in Done and Dared in Old France by Deborah Alcock.  It was probably both.

Question 30: The end: do you prefer to have everything tied up or be able to 'make up your own mind'?  Considering that the author made up his/her mind about what should happen through the whole book, I like to see what they say happens in the end.  What is the worst ending to a book you have read?  Having endings at all is often unpleasant, but as I said before, a good feeling is a horrible end to a book.  And the best? I like the ending of The Lost Baron by Allen French because it told what happened to all of the characters.  Still, I like to be able to speculate a little too.

So, this is the end of the Literary Tag!  I will be leaving for holidays tomorrow, and probably won't have internet access for most of the time, but I have some posts scheduled and I will answer your comments in about three weeks when I get back. :)   


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Strange Phenomenon: The Villain in Emma

I've been thinking about this for a while: who on earth is the villain in Emma?  A recent post from Melody's blog reminded me to post my thoughts about the villain in Jane Austen's Emma.  Melody has three options about the villain.

1: Frank Churchill
I used to think that Frank Churchill was the villain.  He seems to be cast in the perfect Austen-villain mold.  Handsome, charming, hiding a secret and flirting with the heroine without meaning to marry her.  But now I like him more.  He really loves Jane Fairfax.  He really thought that Emma knew, or at least guessed, their engagement.  He has many faults, but he's not a villain.

2: Mr. Elton
Mr. Elton is ungentlemanly and villainous, but is he the villain?  A villain is someone who does something really bad and keeps the plot from going forward and the book from ending as it should.  All Mr. Elton did was give Emma a reality check, which she thoroughly deserved. 

3: No villain

No, that can't be!  There has to be have a villain/antagonist or somebody who keeps the plot from moving forward and nearly ruins everybody's happiness! 

There is a villain......................

Emma Woodhouse! 

This is when everybody looks at me funny and says, "I thought she was the heroine!"  She is the heroine, but she is also the villain.  She keeps the plot from moving forward, and nearly ruins everyone's happiness.  She is almost as guilty of flirting without any real intentions as is Frank Churchill.  That flirting nearly breaks Frank and Jane's engagement.  Her friendly actions hurt poor Harriet Smith more than all of Mr. Elton's ungentlemanly behaviour.  And she nearly ruins Mr. Knightley's happiness, not to mention her own.  This phenomenon of having the heroine and the villain be the same person is what makes Emma so unique.  

So, do you agree with my conclusion?  Disagree?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Literary Tag Days 23 & 24

Question 23: Favourite book cover including a picture.
I know this isn't a novel, but it's my favourite book cover.

The cover painting is Mrs. Graham by Thomas Gainsborough, one of my favourite artists.

Question 24: Favourite fictional relationship (romantic, friendship, familial.)
All of them!  A book should have a good mix of all three. :)

Question 25: Most annoying character ever.
Not really villainous, but annoying and causing a whole bunch of problems?  I think that would be..............

John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey!  He is boastful, rather disgusting, and given to great exaggeration.  And he caused a whole bunch of problems too.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Literary Tag Days 17 - 22

Question 17: What is the most difficult book you've ever read?
Um, that's hard.  Normally for me, books are either in the category of 'easy reads' or 'unreadables.'  I'm not sure about overall, but the most recent difficult book was The Count of Monte Cristo, which I stopped reading halfway. It was quite a few inches thick, and the plot was complex, and, dare I say - weird. 

Question 18: Your favourite book series and your favourite book out of that series.
Favourite three series please? ;D
Thank you.  They would be:
The 'William and Mary Trilogy' by Marjorie Bowen, with I Will Maintain as my favourite book.
The 'Reformation Trail Series' with The King's Service by Deborah Alcock.
The 'Huguenot Inheritance Series' with either Done and Dared in Old France by Deborah Alcock or A Loyal Huguenot Maid by Margaret Comrie or perhaps The Young Huguenots by Edith Floyer.
Is it a coincidence that all three of these series are from Inheritance Publications?  There's a reason that they're my favourite publishers. :)
And I know that I only said I'd write down three series, but I also really like the 'Seasons of the Heart' by Janette Oke.

Question 19: Your favourite picture, junior fiction, and young adult books.
-Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.  What a cute little story!  But what really makes it for me is the lovely illustrations......
-The Young Huguenots by Edith Floyer.  I'm not sure that I should call this 'junior fiction' but it was my favourite novel when I was that age.
-The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare.  Like the book above, I'm not sure what to call it, but I think I could safely class it as 'young adult.'  

Question 20: Least favourite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise.
I actually enjoy slightly re-used plots, so I don't have much to say here, but I hate when at the end of the book the conflict is either not or just barely resolved, and the main character just 'feels good' so they know its going to work out fine.  That annoys me.

Question 21: A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving.
Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare.  I thought it was just going to be a silly children's story and the ugly front cover didn't help at all.

Question 22: Your 'comfort' book.
It really depends on what I'm feeling at the time.  Audiobooks are especially nice, because I can do crafts while I'm listening to them. :)

And, as to the 'Period Drama Hero Tournament' the winner is Mr. Knightley.  I was really hoping for Mr. Darcy to win, but a recent audiobook listening of Emma convinced me that Mr. Knightley deserves the title.  Mr. Darcy is very interesting and has his share of goodness, but Mr. Knightley is just plain good, inside and out, not to mention that he's interesting too.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Literary Tag Days 15 & 16

Question 15: Do you recommend books to other people?  To people in my family or close friends sometimes.
If you could force everyone you know to read one book, what would it be?  Other than the Bible, Do Hard Things and Pride and PrejudiceDo Hard Things because it's very Christian and motivational; it's the kind of book that everyone, whether I know them or not, should read.  Pride and Prejudice because it's just so.....amazing.  Even apart from the wonderful plot line and delighful characters, everyone should be able to read and recognize such genius. 

Question 16: Adaptation: what book would you most like to see made into a film?  I'm not sure.  Whatever the book is, I'd like to write the script and act in it!  (Not that my scriptwriting and acting skills are good, unfortunately.) :(
Do you like to read the book first or see the film? Oh, read the book first, of course.
Any books you have read after seeing the film version?  Not really, I'm normally pretty good at reading the book first, but when I was younger, before I really read a lot, I watched things like 'The Sound of Music' without reading the book.  Oh *blushes* I watched the 2005 Pride and Prejudice without reading the book.  I know, bad idea, but now I've read the book many times and, incidentally, the 2005 version isn't my favourite P&P adaptation.  How can it be, when there's the wonderful, magnificent, amazing, delightful, P&P 1995 around? (I know, I'm slightly obsessed, I can't help it.)

Thank you for voting on my polls.  I'm glad to see that you don't seem to mind getting Jane Austen posts and book and movie reviews, because in all likelihood you'll be getting a lot of them. :)
And I'm glad to find out that most of you like my current font.  I was really hoping you'd say you liked it, because fonts in another one of my obsessions. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Your vote, please!

Miss Georgiana Darcy is just starting up, and I'd like your opinions about what I should post.  For the month of June I have plenty posting ideas with the Literary Tag, but after that I'm not quite sure where I should go with this blog.  Please vote on the poll on the left sidebar (I've allowed multiple answers because many of the objects are related) and give me your advice.

Thanks a lot,

EDIT: Since posting the above I have added another poll about what kind of font you'd like on my blog.  I like Corsiva (the calligraphy-like font I have currently), but I'm not sure about other people's opinion so if you could vote on the poll that would be great.

Literary Tag Days 13 & 14

Question 13: do you read a lot? yes Why (not)? because I can't help reading. :D Name a book you have reread many times.  Pride and Prejudice, 6 times in 14 months.

Question 14: what is the best book you've read in the past year?  Hmm, other than the Bible, of course, I think it would be Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris for non-novel, and for the best novel, check the Books I Like page.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Literary Tag Days 10 - 12

Yesterday's, today's, and Sunday's questions.

Question 10: what author do you own the most books by and why?
I am sorry to say that it is the Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene, which I read when I was younger and had nothing else to read.  I bought them because they were cheap and plentiful at the used book store.

Question 11: do you own multiple copies of any book?
Well, I don't but my family altogether has multiple copies of books.  I think we have 4 or 5 copies of Hans Brinker and other classics like that and also of some other books that we got as gifts or bought at book sales when we already had copies.

Question 12: book borrowing - do you use the library? yes I do
Do you prefer to try before you buy? Absolutely!  What's the use of buying a book if I'm not sure it's going to be good enough to read more than once?
What about lending your books to friends?  I'd probably lend books to them if they asked, but they don't really.
Are you a good borrower, do you remember to return books? Most of the time.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Literary Tag Days 7 - 9

Question 7: What fictional character are you (secretly) in love with?
Well, this question could be interpreted in three ways.
1: a ridiculous and irrational infatuation for somebody who doesn't exist.
2: when you read a book, you step into the main character's shoes, and while you feel like you're that character you are 'in love' with whoever the main character is in love with.
3: a general admiration for a pretty nice hero.

I think I'm going to answer question 3.  I really like Mr. Knightley, because he loves Emma enough not to be blind to her faults, and wants to make her a better woman, even if it is at the cost of her regard for him. 
To that list add Darcy, Tilney, Wentworth, and all the other Austen heroes.
Most of the heroes from the Henty books, especially Rupert from The Cornet of Horse, Edmund from The Dragon and the Raven, and Philip from St. Bartholomew's Eve. They're so generally nice, with a whole pile of virtues stuck into one guy, but not still not quite perfect. 

Question 8: the last book you acquired and how (begged, bought, borrowed?)
The last book I acquired was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas borrowed from the library.  Other than library books it was the free copy of my nanowrimo novel from Create Space.

Question 9: your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next.
My current read: Crushed Yet Conquering by Deborah Alcock, and on audio book; Emma by Jane Austen.  My last read: The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson. The book I'll read next: probably The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, but I'm not sure.  It depends on what I feel like when I start reading.


P.S. In the hero tournament, Wentworth is thirteen votes behind Thornton.  Darcy and Knightley are tied.  It seems that Darcy wants to do something like in the book and waits until the end to make himself liked............

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Literary Tag Days 4 - 6

Question 4: the book that's been on your shelves the longest
An abridged version of Anne of Green Gables given to me when I was eight.  Now I read the unabridged, so I tried to sell it at a book sale but nobody would buy it.  So it's just sitting on my bookshelf doing nothing.

Question 5: a book you acquired in some interesting way
A cloth-bound edition of Pride and Prejudice bought at a homeschool sale for either 50 cents or a dollar.

Question 6: a book with a story for you, that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time.)
I can't think of anything in anybody else's books but my books remind me of sitting in front of the computer writing them.


I am most seriously displeased

My character has ever been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness.  I am not in the habit of brooking disappointment.  I am most seriously displeased.

Okay, enough imitation of my dear aunt Lady Catherine.  But the thing is, at the Period Drama Hero Tournament at Elegance of Fashion Georgiana's dear brother Fitzwilliam Darcy is four votes behind Mr. Knightley and Captain Wentworth is sixteen votes behind John Thornton.  They both stand to not reach the final round.  Is this to be endured! But it must not, it shall not be.
(Believe me, I'll stop quoting Lady C. now)

In all seriousness, there are only four more days to vote on the tournament.  Go to Elegance of Fashion and vote on the left sidebar.  I guess you all know who I want to win.  But for honesty's sake, if you like Mr Knightley and Mr Thornton better, vote for them, and I will still send compliments to your mother. ;P

**both banners are from 'Elegance of Fashion.'**


Literary Tag

I just found a interesting literary tag through Alexandra's blog. The thing is, I learned about it a little late, so I'll be posting three questions and answers per day until I get on track.

Question 1: a fictional character that you identify with and why
(Something makes me think that this will be a long, multi-character answer.)

via with some cropping
Georgiana Darcy
You could have probably guessed this one: Georgiana is sweet, affectionate, very shy, and sometimes naive. She's not enlarged on very much in either the book or the movies but that just gives room for possibilites. Under her shyness is are many personality traits few have seen..................


Elizabeth Bennet
I probably identify with Elizabeth more than I do with Georgiana. (Because I know more about her to identify with.) Elizabeth has a good sense of humour, and is quick to notice the ridiculous. But she can be serious too, if necessary. She doesn't believe good about everyone like Jane does, but she values Jane all the more for that. Besides, can you read Pride and Prejudice almost a million times without identifying with her?

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood
I identify with Marianne in the 'passionate about everything' and 'love of tragic romances' sense, but I think I'm more like Elinor in that I don't show it that obviously. Also, I think I would be more attentive to social rules and silly people (like Mrs Jennings and Lady Middleton.)

On the list of literary characters I identify with are also:
Catherine Morland
Anne Shirley
Diana Barry
Clover Carr
Amy March
Jo March
(I won't go into detail now. Maybe later.)

Question 2: Your earliest memory of reading or being read to
I was about two and a half and we were sitting on the floor of a house we had just moved into. Dad was reading out loud one of the Little House books. {I think I was grumpy too, I don't know why.}
It just happens to be that is is my earliest memory at all. Maybe that has something to do with my current book addiction................

Question 3: Your favourite book aged 9 1/2 or 13 3/4, whichever you remember best
Well, I don't remember it very well, but my favourite novel at 9 1/2 was probably The Lonely Sentinel by Piet Prins. It could have very well been something else, though.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Characters Who Are Caricatures: Mrs Bennet

Jane Austen was an amazingly perceptive writer, with many true-to-life characters.  Sometimes, though, she increased the personality of her characters to become caricatures.  I know some people don't think that some of Austen's characters are caricatures, but you're free to tell me why you disagree if you do.
I've decided to make a series of the most ridiculous caricatures in Austen's novel's.

So, we come first to - Mrs Bennet! 

She is one of the most ridiculous characters in literature. 
"Well, well, and so Mr. Bingley is coming down, sister," (for Mrs Philips first brought her the news.) "Well, so much the better.  Not that I care about it, though.  He is nothing to us, you know and I am sure I never want to see him again.  But, however, he is very welcome to come to Netherfield, if he likes it.  And who knows what may happen? But that is nothing to us.  You know, sister, we agreed long ago never to mention a word about it.  And so, is it quite certain he is coming?"
                           Pride and Prejudice, chapter 53
And the next time we hear of Mrs Bennet, she is trying to get her husband to visit Mr Bingley and announcing her intention of inviting him for dinner.

She is very comic, but just imagine all the trouble she caused. 
If Mr Bennet's wife was a richer woman, without relatives in trade, who was affectionate and sensible, then:
1: The Bennets would be richer
2: They would not be related to people in an 'ungentlemanly' profession.
3: The Bennets would have been able to save money for after Mr Bennet died
4: The girls' mother would either have instructed them herself or given them a governess.
5: Mr Bennet would not be ignoring his family.
6: Mary's conceit would have been lessened and her abilities improved.
7: Kitty would have been less shallow and silly.
8: Lydia would not have run away.

Back onto topic: I think that in Jane Austen's novels excessive contradiction is a sign of especial silliness.  Just consider the characters that are not really villains, but just really silly and stupid. 
Still, Mrs Bennet is not always in hysterics contradicting herself.
Not always, but most of the time.

Miss Georgiana

Review of Emma (1996) starring Gwyneth Paltrow

This review of an Austen adaption, with some changes, is reposted from my previous blog

Summary: Emma Woodhouse, 'handsome, clever, and rich' is a young woman living in the village of Highbury.  Her matchmaking efforts with the silly Harriet Smith cause heartache for Harriet and disagreement with the family friend George Knightley.  Further complications arise when her former governess's stepson, handsome Frank Churchill, comes to Highbury.  But when, I think I'll stop now to avoid spoilers, in case you haven't read or watched this before.

I was rather surprised to see this cover. Later in the move I guessed that this is from the archery scene when Emma winks while she's aiming at the target. Still, it seems to show Emma's mistaken matchmaking efforts quite well.

First of all, on the whole I loved this movie. It was pretty close to the novel. I noticed that they stuck together the strawberry picking at Donwell Abbey and the Box Hill excursion, but I don't think I noticed anything else. The regency costumes and hairstyles are lovely, and so are the buildings, although when the screen said Donwell Abbey when Emma was going there, unless I had read the book I would not have known that that was where Mr. Knightley lived. Also, one thing that happened quite frequently was that they were speaking of something that was going to happen in the future, a character starts a sentence about it, and then they flash to the event and the character finishes the sentence. I know this doesn"t sound very clear, so I'll give an example: Emma is talking about not getting an invitation to the Coles and what she'll do if she gets one, then she says something like, "I am- "and then it shows her at the Coles party telling Mrs. Cole she was, "delighted to be invited."
Now my opinions of the actors, in no particular order:

Emma Woodhouse: Gwyneth Paltrow was just PERFECT as Emma. This Emma is fair haired, and beautiful and made me understand and identify with Emma a lot more than I could in the book. She is ladylike while still being the meddlesome Emma. Also, I love her acting. My brother glanced at it a bit before the proposal scene when Emma and Mr. Knightley were walking, It's obvious they're acting, he said. Well yes, it was not only Gwyneth Paltrow acting as Emma, it was the Emma-in-love-with-Knightley trying to hide it from him and act perfectly carefree when she thought he was going to tell her he was engaged to someone else.

Mr. Knightley: Mr. Knightley sort of grew into his role. At first I thought, No, this can't be Mr. Knightley, it just won't work! but as I got into it he seemed better and better as the Mr. Knightley for Emma and by the end I decided he was just right for Mr. Knightley after all.  He looks mature without looking old and he really cares for Emma.  

Mrs. Weston: Mrs. Weston was a very pretty, gentle brunette. The only problem is that she looks way to girlish to have been Emma's governess.? She seems only three or four years older than Emma.

Mr. Elton: His looks and actions aren't gentlemanly enough. I mean, in the book Emma holds him up to Harriet as a perfect model for a gentleman.Also, his courtesy seems commonplace and put on. In the middle of the novel we see that he's not the perfect model for a gentleman, but in this movie you seem to see it more at the start.

Harriet Smith: Toni Colette was very good in interpreting Harriet's character. The only thing is, in the book Emma first is attracted to Harriet because she's so very pretty but in this version Harriet's looks aren't anything out of the ordinary.  She also has red hair.

Miss Bates: Miss Bates was a little younger than I'd guess from the book.[EDIT: I've realized that I was guessing her age wrong and she would be about that age.]  She talks and giggles a lot, but we can see that it's all well meant.

Frank Churchill: His hair is longish, to between his ears and his chin, and he fits into his role quite well. (Handsome, rich young man who doesn't deserve the girl he's engaged to at all.)

Robert Martin: I like the way they portrayed Robert Martin. Even at the start I liked him better than Mr. Elton and if his manners aren't quite as polished, his are much more honest.

Jane Fairfax: A very reserved brunette. I would have imagined a much lighter and paler girl, and certainly we can't help feeling sorry for Jane, with all the rudeness of Mrs. Elton.

Mrs. Elton: As Knightley said about Emma's wanting to make silly, clumsy Harriet marry Mr. Elton, "You chose better for him than he did himself." Juliet Stevenson is a good actress, but I can't say anything better about her role as Mrs. Elton. Mrs. Elton is awful, rude and vain. During the movie I picked up a pencil to write something long and descriptive about her actions but all that appeared on the paper was "Ugh!" I guess that pretty much describes her. She was funny to watch sometimes, though.

It was a pity that this was so short, I think around two hours.  Because of that it couldn't get all of the wit and delightful dialougue of the book.  Emma is a story with a spring-y feel to it, and that is enhanced by the movie's good soundtrack, light-filled scenery, and delighful regency hairstyle and costumes. 

I read one person complain that this isn't really an Austen adaption as much as a romance movie.  But that's what Emma (the book) particularly is, especially with Emma's matchmaking efforts.  And besides, this movie can do triple duty, as a really good romance movie, as a period drama (the costumes are gorgeous) and as an Austen adaption. 

Anyways, I think I would give this movie 4 stars.  I can't really compare it to any of the other adaptions right now, but I plan to do a post on that when I watch them.

Miss Georgiana

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Welcome to Miss Georgiana Darcy!

Welcome to Miss Georgiana Darcy! This blog just starting up, so I'll be adding more things to it.  Eventually I hope to be posting book and movie reviews, recipes, history, and whatever else I can think of.  Expect lots of posts about Jane Austen's books and movies, because I'm a gone-crazy Janeite right now.  Please do leave a comment - it's nice to know that people read and appreciate what I write.

Miss Georgiana