• Reading

    Inklings February 2021: A Snow Scene: Warrior Scarlet

    When I first read February’s prompt for Inklings the first scene that popped into my head was when Harry, under his invisibility cloak threw snow at and generally repaid Draco and Co. back. However, I’ve had quite enough Harry Potter on my blog for the time being, especially since I chose a Harry Potter topic for my January Inklings. Per usual when asked to think about something, my brain was empty, so I took to Goodreads to see if my favorite books would trigger any memories.

    Which brings me to Warrior Scarlet by Rosemary Sutcliff. My mom read Eagle of the Ninth to us and then read Warrior Scarlet second (bear in mind that this contains spoilers of necessity). I was 14 or 15 and emotionally intense then, and this is one of her most emotionally intense books I think (Outcast wins as the most intense in every way of those I’ve read), certainly it was at that age. Drem was a child and teen with terrible things happening to him and as a childish teen, this was so much more poignant to me. I don’t want to spoil too much, I think this Sutcliff novel is often overlooked, but I do have to give some considerable spoilers. I also might be totally confused, I think the scene I’m thinking of happened in a winter storm, but I might be conflating two sections.

    Anyway, how should I tell this without spoiling, might not be possible, but long story short, the snow scene is quite a dramatic story of personal triumph and recompense (I know there is a word to express what I mean, but I can’t think of it). I don’t no how to describe it’s poignancy so well as deserved. If you haven’t read it, skip the below, it spoils the impact.

    Spoilers Below!

     

    Amongst British tribes, the each of the boys when training for warrior status had to kill a wolf or be killed by it whilst the other boys watched, if the other boys helped, they made the rescued boy a shamed outcast. Drem was not equal to the other boys and his best friend could not watch him die.

    He is ejected from the tribe and works with the “little dark people”* as an outcast and shepherd. During the winter guarding the sheep from predatory wolves, he meets up with or is stalked by a huge male wolf who attacks him, but this time he manages to kill it. This wolf seems familiar to him, he believes it is the same one he failed to kill a year maybe earlier. His people discover this fact and the fact that his old wounds are reopened/covered over with new wounds, and these facts combined cause them to consider that the signs point to his old shame being wiped out, that he has killed his wolf and is now a warrior and part of the tribe.

     

     

     

    *Historical note, I think the prevailing view in Sutcliff’s time is that these were the original Britons and the Celts came later, per what I read in Barry Cunliffe’s book The Ancient Celts it is not the prevailing view or at least his view from the evidence that there was any such change of people, that the language change did not in the case of British isles mean an invasion or change of people, that in fact Celtic only applied to the language and the people were not Celts in the original Roman usage of the term, it was misapplied later. Meaning, that perhaps there were not these two distinct cultures as is often shown in the Sutcliff novels of the taller, red-haired Celts with the shorter, dark haired “little people.” This is SUCH ancient history with only Rome (and Rome wasn’t in Britain during all this time) as a biased, written source and archaeological evidence, which without clear written language from the culture can be at best vague.

  • Reading

    Gross “Heroes”: Mr. Rochester

    I’m sure there has got to be other people who didn’t fall madly in love with Mr. Rochester, right? Right?!

    I didn’t understand the Jane Eyre obsession. I grew up super sheltered, I couldn’t understand why what I saw as an adultery story was so popular among the strict people I knew. I still find that part odd, I think they probably loved Jane’s courage in following her conscience first (that is the part where I have the most respect for her).

    When I finally did read Jane Eyre, it was right after I read Wuthering Heights, which I think was just way more my cup of tea at that point.* I was around 17 or 18. I’m a Marianne (who is close to Cathy Earnshaw) NOT a Elinor (who is close to a Jane Eyre), and I was at my most Marianne-est. Also my ideal type then was probably something along the Captain Wentworth lines, Aquila from Lantern Bearers, the bitter, strong, still waters run deep type which is how I saw the younger Heathcliff, I guess.

    I did enjoy reading Jane Eyre though, more than I expected. However, I didn’t like much less love Mr. Rochester. I feel like there was a lot of Mr. Rochester swooning where I read or hear of books. Just the way he was described put with his personality and age, he just wasn’t my type at all. I just didn’t get the hype. I was also no fan of Jane, I will never love the goody-goody types. I also found St. John (more like my type in the sort of quiet intensity way) more interesting than Rochester, probably in part because he irritated Jane who was, to me, disgustingly sappy over Rochester who didn’t deserve it. Oh, yeah, Rochester was grossly sappy, that was probably a major turn off to me, at least now, that may have been part of it then as well? All I know is that I never cast him as my hero in my mind.

    I can’t remember, but I think I may have watched the Ciarán Hinds version (and I was obsessed with that actor then) during this period.

    When I reread the book later, I appreciated the story more, and I think perhaps Mr. Rochester didn’t scare me as much? I think when I read it again, I was in the middle of trying to compare multiple movie versions (and I was QUITE attracted to Toby Stephens who didn’t look like the book Rochester, and I just loved his attitude). I found parts funny, but I definitely didn’t like the essence of the book Mr. Rochester or many of the movie versions (Ciarán Hinds now seemed goofy to me) as a hero of my type.

    I think even later I tried to reread it a third time, and by this point the age difference appeared QUITE creepy. He’s a 35 old (yet he always seem to be old to me no matter my age, just the way he is described, probably also compared to my naivete in terms of general experience) after an 18 year old (one of my sisters was near that age then). And yeah, combined with his domineering attitude, not great vibes. And they were just so goopily, sappily gross with each other.

    So the age difference, there are pretty big age difference in Jane Austen. Emma was at least 21, that in terms of maturity can be quite a big jump from 18, don’t love that difference, especially since Knightley was an adult when she was born, and they knew each other. The worst was Marianne. She was 16 or 17 when she and Colonel Brandon met, he was 35. However, in these type of old books the girls are presented as adult,** in that time period they would have been considered so, they seem fairly mature in the case of Emma and Jane, so that can lessen the creepiness ever so slightly. Also none of the movie portrayals ever really show the age difference as it really is.

    I think for some reason the Rochester age difference comes across as waaay creepier than even Marianne and Brandon. I think part of this because Brandon was so straight-laced and reserved and respectful while Rochester is creepy period even were there no age difference. Also, Jane is in his household, is alone in the world, and is seemingly under a fascination/obsession with him which doesn’t feel deserved. Plus, like I said, Rochester, no matter my age, feels older. He is very cosmopolitan, very worldly, written in a way to very much show the age difference (of course Brandon feels older as well . . . because he’s dry as dust)

    Rochester is creepy, obsessive, licentious, completely unrepentant over his many sins, very patronizing and controlling and yet makes himself out as the victim quite often. Ew, no thank you.

     

     

     

    *When I reread the books several years later I could see that Emily Brontë just didn’t have the same talent or at least didn’t develop it as well as Charlotte, the writing quality is markedly lower in Wuthering Heights than Jane Eyre.

    **I find it hard to believe that any possible historical maturity differences could be that great, brains don’t finish developing into the early twenties, and I believe puberty was quite a bit later in older times, at least for the lower classes with malnutrition. Could a “woman” of 18 (which wasn’t always the age of adulthood, for awhile it was 21, I think it switched back and forth for awhile) really have the same intellectual and emotional maturity as a 35 year old man, does it really seem like a good arrangement to have that kind of imbalance? What does that say about the type of man as regards his character and ego that he wants that? It is at best vaguely creepy at worst predatory. And then there are the older women whose only potential husbands are going after barely adults. And the young women, who haven’t been encouraged to look very far in the future by greedy parents or bad circumstances, they have to live with an old man or as a widow at a young age, especially since aging then was far faster than now!

  • Reading

    Favorite Love at First Sight Couples

    I’m linking up here to Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party.

    So, I’ve done, Friends to Lovers, Enemies/Frenemies to Lovers, and now for the oft-maligned, highly suspect love at first sight couples. I think this is best done when it is attraction at first sight (often the other tropes have this but its unequal or there is also enmity at first sight) sans any complicating factors that develops quite quickly into love.

    Also, there is a version of this type that features a huge amount of humor and/or suspense. So, lots of Georgette Heyer and Mary Stewart novels and some M.M. Kaye mysteries.

    Peter and Donna in A Tangled Web are both a fun, interesting love story, yet at the same time poking fun at this trope just a bit. Of course there is a real parody of this bit with the Jocelyn and Hugh situation. That book is a comedy gem.

    More serious and sweet pairings:

    • Lord Bradford and Azalea in Entwined.
    • The Ordinary Princess and her “Apprentice” in The Ordinary Princess.
    • Similarly Cinderella and Kit in the live action Cinderella.
    • Danielle and Henry in Ever After.
    • I think Linden and Rob in Rebel and Arrow. My 2nd favorite couple in this trilogy and the related duology who get the least amount of time.

    Any well-know, well-loved, respected (aka, NOT Romeo and Juliet, lol) couples that I missed?

  • Learning and Exploring

    The Friend-zone

    I’ve seen a lot of complaining about this. I think some guys try to call straight up disinterest with being friend-zoned and then girls pretend that this is the only thing that happens.

    When someone is clearly NOT interested in you, avoids you, has explicitly said they are not interested in you, you are rejected, not friend-zoned, sorry. Face it and move on.

    However, if person you are interested in you is using you as a pseudo-boyfriend/girlfriend or just in case significant other (aka, what Ann does with Justin in Parks and Rec), jealous when you date or are interested in someone else, selectively burns hot and cold as far as flirting goes, keeps other interested parties away from you, etc. also, not friend-zoned, that person has a narcissism and dehumanizing problem, and you need to run.

    I’d say friend-zoning to be where the couple manage to keep on the outside overall a respectful platonic friendship but where one person wants more from it and eventually probably won’t be able to manage the friendship part. The other party may not be truly interested because of personality, time of life, or unrealistic expectations or all of the above.

    I’d imagine there is a lot of variety, some blends or shading of all of the above. Let me give you my excruciating example. I was “little sister-zoned” by a guy who WAS flirting, but not seriously, just because I gave an obvious giggly response on cue always. It was a long time ago, he wasn’t a jerk, he wasn’t really leading me on or using me, I knew perfectly well he wouldn’t date me, my responses just gave him a little vanity boost. I just get second-hand from the past embarrassment thinking about my side of it.

  • Reading

    My Favorite Couples with Hilarious Love Moments

    I’m linking up to Cordy’s Lovely blog party here.

    Harry and Ginny in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince

    Ginny pined for Harry for awhile and then took steps to move in with her life. Harry got over Cho and then it was his turn to pine (oh how the turn tables). When I ship a couple I often love the dramatic jealousy bits, and Harry is ridiculous, I think he needed to suffer a bit after Ginny need.

    Book 6 is emotionally tumultuous with all the love triangles and fighting, the especial amount trouble with Snape, Ron’s Quidditch drama, all of this culminates for Harry when he, the team captain misses the final Quidditch game due to detention.A

    Then he walks in to the common room and hears they’ve won, and he kisses Ginny right in front of everyone in the midst of the jubilation, and its just such a perfect moment.

    Harry’s crush on Cho and Ginny’s crush on him were always so public plus they are both pretty confident, popular people, I just loved that their moment was so public and triumphant. . . in contrast to the unbelievably milksop scene in the movie. The movies did Ginny an injustice in the way they portrayed her, she’s useless.

    Peter and Donna in  The Tangled Web

    They are both so dramatic, she’s doing the crushed forever faithful widow bit with her cousin, he’s doing the manly outdoor, woman hating type.

    He’s outdoors and she’s stuck indoors at that absurd gathering, both probably bored out of their minds. Then they lock eyes and fall in love in a moonstruck madness love at first glance melodramatic parody way.

    They aren’t super young which makes is so much funnier about how dramatic they are including with their later fight. They are my favorite part about that hilarious book. LM Montgomery has a way of taking people who at first glance are trying to be a stereotype and then showing them to be acting ridiculous and knowing they are acting ridiculous and not caring a bit and choosing to go their own way.

    Perry and Ilse in Emily’s Quest

    Perry had a school boy’s crush on Emily while Ilse always liked him and continually fought with and berated him. I think Perry got over the crush by high school and simply remained stubbornly determined to have Emily because he set his mind to it.

    Ilse on the other hand, pretended to get over Perry and never let it slip for decades even to Emily that she loved him. Emily let it slip to Perry when it was “too late.”

    I just love the set up, Ilse on her wedding day (why oh why couldn’t it have been to some random man, let’s not think to hard about this monstrosity) hears that Perry’s been killed and hightails it to the hospital in her wedding dress, where after finding out he was hurt not killed, she declares that she will marry him.

    It’s just perfectly fitting for both of them, neither of them exactly follow society’s expectations. Loud, dramatic, causes a huge scene and scandal at the non wedding, just generally an awesome wrap up.

    Teddy and Bramble in Entwined

    Brash Bramble and jovial Teddy. Another love bit where she “hates” him because she’s not romantic, and he’s just so, doofy and their is just so much trouble in her life.

    It culminates when he does something noble and then declares his love while being snubbed. When she realizes the truth, she jumps at him and a magic rug swallows them both. It’s quite the scene.

    “Rather!”

    Meg March and John Brooke in Little Women

    Less dramatic and more mischievous. I love how Meg starts off declaring she’s going to calmly refuse John then loses her nerve straight off once he actually shows up.

    And then he shows himself too smug and gets snubbed for it.

    Aunt March barges in and then Meg’s mood changes again contrarily and of course John hears it all, and Jo comes down to rejoice over John’s rout only to find Meg on his knee.

    Just the moments, the prose, the humor, one of my favorite bits of Little Women.

  • Reading

    Fairy Tale Central’s Choose Your Own Adventure Tag

    linked header to choose your own adventure on thefairytalecentral.com

    I so enjoyed the tag they put out last year and the tag this year looks fun too, I love fairytale things. I’ve been looking through the lists of the retellings on their site for new authors to try, I have a few Mercedes Lackey books on my library shelf right now.

    THE QUESTIONS

    – Your father the king has declared a contest for your hand in marriage. But he’s allowing you to decide what kind of competition it will be. What do you choose? Is there a penalty for losing, or do the losers just go home while the winner remains to marry you?

    Hmm, I think it would be cool to have different types of tests, tests on bravery, tests on sword-fighting, tests on character traits. Everyone would all take the tests and get ranked a number then I would choose based on how important I thought the combinations or maybe I would weight the various tests, then I would want the top winners (lets just assume in this scenario that I’m stunning and brilliant and will have lots of suitors, lol . . . otherwise this wouldn’t be interesting) to sort of apprentice at the castle for a period of time, so I could get to know them. Of course knowing me, it would be the guy who doesn’t enter at all or can’t that I’d want.

    – You’ve just been told that you’re the Chosen One – the heir to your kingdom’s throne. Of course you demanded proof, but you didn’t expect quite so much of it to be brought forward. You grudgingly ask the state of the land. Your kingdom is at war with two neighboring kingdoms, a third kingdom is expecting your kingdom to ally with theirs and help them fight in agreement with an old treaty, there is famine in two counties in the north, and the barons of the kingdom are fighting over who will supply the palace with food for the next year. What do you do first?

    Send food and relief to the two counties in the north (and make sure it gets there and given out properly, preferably with a magical seeing device so I can’t be assassinated if I go and can get a grip on the wars), and while that is being done look at the facts behind all the wars and agreements.

    – You’ve set off to find your fortune but end up caught in a storm in the middle of the night in an enchanted forest…and there’s an ominous growl emitting from the trees. A warm looking cottage sits nearby but you’ve heard that questionable figures dwell in this wood. What’s your plan of action?

    Even if I climbed the trees, I could freeze to death, if I made an ice cave I could freeze or get mauled. Who knows what is in the cabin, but certain frozen death is outside, I’d risk the cottage, but take a peep in first or see if there was any outbuilding.

    – It is time to christen your dear new baby. It’s expected to invite the local fairies but they’re known for “gifting” babies with less-than-desirable characteristics (Ella Enchanted-style). Do you invite them anyway or “accidentally” forget to send out an invitation and risk the wrath of the petty (but powerful) fairy-kind upon your kingdom?

    I’d invite them with a “gift list” included, with if possible a royal rule disallowing gifts not on said list.

    – Your fairy godmother grants the choice of three gowns for your one chance to meet the prince at the ball: a dress the color of the golden sun, a dress the color of the silver moon, or a dress the color of the sky. Which dress do you choose?

    A dress the color of the silver moon, it just has so much of a ring of magic to the idea with the color and the moon, mysterious, mystical.

    – Your cursed beloved tells you that only when he marries a true-blood princess will he be set free. Do you choose to aid him by finding a princess that can set him free from his horrible curse? Or do you visit the witch of the forest and make a deal with her to become a princess – but you will only get to be with your prince one day a year.

    I’ll choose to aid him to find the princess and hope for something to come up, either that I’m unknowingly a princess, there is “fine print” in the curse somewhere, etc. Things tend to turn up like that in fairytales.

    – You’ve just completed a fairy tale adventure worthy to join the ranks of the world’s greatest legends. Alas, the kingdom’s most famous minstrel is also notorious for adding his own embellishments. Would you rather have your story lost to the world, your name and deeds forgotten, or to to be known as a hero throughout the land…just in a very inaccurate and mangled version of the story?

    I’d rather be lost to the world than misrepresented.

    – You’ve just been approached by a man in a pointy hat who says you’re the chosen one destined to save a magical world. Before you enter the portal to this new world, you are allowed to take one piece of modern technology with you. What do you choose?

    Not a phone or internet access, that would ruin the entire fun and adventure. I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that wouldn’t spoil the adventure or couldn’t be done with magic.

    – Your parents have angered a powerful witch in your land, and she has chosen to strike out at you to punish your parents. However, since you weren’t the one who actually angered her, she’s letting you choose your own fate: 1) sleep for 100 years and leave your parents to die of old age while you sleep, 2) be locked alone in a faraway tower so your parents will never find you, 3) lose your voice so you’ll never be able to speak to your parents, or 4) give you a fatal golden touch so that you can’t hug your parents lest you turn them into statutes.

    Does the golden touch extend to everyone? If no, then that one, if yes, then 1.

    – You just found out that you have a twin, and you two were separated from birth because an ancient prophecy claimed one of you would bring ruin upon the kingdom. Are you the prophesied twin of ruin, or is it your brother/sister? How do you figure that out, and what do you and your twin decide to do about it?

    Oh, no doubt I’d definitely be the one to bring about ruin to the kingdom. I have more than enough sisters in real life, I’d prefer to have a twin brother and maybe we could go on a quest to figure out how to thwart the prophecy, of course anything we do together would mean both of us would cause the ruin . . .

  • Reading

    The Friends to Lovers Couples

    I’m linking up here to Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party.

    “Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps . . . perhaps . . . love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.”

    Now, L.M. Montgomery really likes the friends to lovers arc, often where the man likes the woman, but he is not her “ideal.” Anne and Gilbert obviously, Pat and Jingle (I like Jingle best of all the guys), and Emily and Teddy (he’s not really a man but a spineless jellyfish). I however, feel that she doesn’t really develop the men super well in these. Barney and Valancy on the other hand where the friend-zoning is swapped, she develops both characters well.

    Where the girls get Friend-zoned:

    • Perry and Ilse in the Emily books (their love story is MUCH more satisfying than Emily and Teddy’s). Perry just had an Emily fixation rather than a love of her.
    • Polly and Tommy in An Old-Fashioned Girl. This is because Tommy is a vain young fool.
    • Molly and Roger in Wives and Daughters. Don’t get me started on Roger’s idiocy, although I can see how it would take a bit without his idiocy because Molly is young and girlish rather than womanly in attitude, outlook, and interests at first.

    Where the boys get Friend-zoned:

    • Mac and Rose in Rose in Bloom. Well, they are both cousin-zoned but we try not to think about that too much.
    • Mia and Michael in the Princess Diaries movie. This is a childhood fav, he’s just so cute and sweet and respectful about everything even when he is stood up.

    Double Friend-zoned:

    • Ginny is Ron’s embarrassing kid sister until she gets over (showing) her crush. They are friends for a couple years. Then Harry gets his taste of being in the Friend zone for a bit.

    I’m sure there are couples where they are both just friends then become lovers without any long one-sided interest, the sort of slow burn couples. I’m guessing that doesn’t usually make that interesting of a story as the enemies to lovers/bantering couples, the friend-zoning, or the love at first sight tropes, comment if you can think of any.

    Martin and Ivy in Swift and Nomad come across as friends before lovers (to the point I wasn’t at all sure they would get together, usually books give it away), but I’m not sure if it wasn’t a bit one-sided at one point, I’m not sure, but I think of my favorites, that is the closet to a slow burn couple where they are both in the same stage as I can think of.

    Ooh, wait, I think Josh and Cher were a sort of slow burn couple, its different from Emma, Clueless makes it seem as if they both realize it near the same time, both were rather in denial for a while.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    One of My Favorite Couple Tropes: The Bantering Couple as Seen in TV Shows and Movies

    To tie with my earlier book post, here are some of my tv and movie favorites examples of this trope off the top of my head.

    Declan and Anna in Leap Year.

    10 Things I Hate About You may be literally The Taming of the Shrew but it has some Benedict Beatrice vibes between Kat and Patrick.

    Clueless. I find Josh and Cher’s bickering more fun than Knightley and Emma. Cher is much nicer and funnier than Emma. Emma is definitely my least favorite JA heroine, and Knightley likes her, so I can’t love him.

    Dusty and Donovan in The Apple Dumpling Gang. Talk about characters in different worlds set to collide, yet nothing is trope-y about this relationship.

    Shawn and Juliet (unfortunately once they get together, they turn into a mushy couple and Shawn into a whiny baby).

    Jackie and Hyde in The 70’s Show (unfortunately they never move beyond that really).

    Josh and Mindy in Drake and Josh. Enemies, to bantering/competitive couple, to hilarious broken up couple, to super sweet couple.

    Sonny and Chad in Sonny with a Chance. Similar to above.

    It’s funny, how in both of the latter, aimed for kids, squeaky clean shows, the characters show some maturity in the relationships.

    I think Chandler and Monica is a variation. Chandler had banter with most people, but not really in his relationships until Monica, that is the one where both of them could combine passion with friendship. Whereas Ross and Rachel were either ridiculously dramatic or just gross.

    I just don’t go for sappy mush. I will however, go for drama sometimes, ala, unforgiving Captain Wentworth. But not all the time (e.g. Rochester).

  • Learning and Exploring

    Family Stories, Dating and Marriage in the late 1950’s: My Grandparents

    My grandmother met my grandfather on a blind date set up by a couple that were mutual friends. My grandmother was around 17, a high school senior and my grandfather around 20, I think he was working in a grocery at that point.

    I think the first date or at least an early date involved him coming to her house, so she wanted to make the meal. When it was time to eat cake, her dad tasted it and said, “Sis, this tastes like cornbread with salve.”

    The next morning her dad said, “Well, I guess that boy will be coming around again?” She said, “How do you know?” “He left half of his car in the driveway.”

    Papau apparently like to drive “fancy” cars and the bottom of his got stuck on their gravel driveway or something.

    Mamau graduated high school and got married in the same year. They wanted to buy a house rather than have a big wedding, so they had a civil wedding.

    They set the date then when they learned his dad was planning to take the fire trucks or something to do a shivaree down their street, they moved the date, lol.

     

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Heidi’s Valentine’s Day Period Drama Party Tag

    I’m joining here: Heidi’s Valentine’s Day Period Drama Party Tag.

    1) Your current three (or up to five!) favorite period dramas?

    Does Cinderella 2012 count? Ever After is an evergreen favorite. I honestly feel that I’ve worn all the other ones (the Jane Austen adaptations) out with over watching, and I’ve not found anything new that I love yet. The Importance of Being Ernest. The Scarlet PimpernelThe Inheritance.

    I need to watch some versions beyond the basic Bronte, Austen, and Dickens.

    2) What would you recommend to someone who’s never seen a period drama as a starter?

    Ever After. It’s fairytale and period drama and rom com in one, I think it ticks a lot of boxes.

    3) A favorite couple that wouldn’t be included in answer #1 (cause I’m figuring those are already top favorites ;)) and/or a favorite secondary character romance?

    Arthur and Amy in Little Dorrit. 

    Secondary character romances always just add that extra depth and sparkle to a story. I love that the nicer stepsister in Ever After gets her own romance.

    4) What do you consider foundational qualities for a healthy romance?

    Honesty, authenticity (i.e. generally the same in all situations, no one is playing any games, playing hot and cold). Trust. Pursuing interest genuinely (i.e. not dating/playing around or “trying to make up my mind” . . . or flirting to hide a previous attachment or marriage!). Communication (not jumping to conclusions, if the loved one is in a compromising situation, the other would go and honestly ask rather than assume the worst). Forgiveness (you know, not staying out at sea sulking because one was rejected several years before).

    5) Worst villain/antagonist?

    The disgusting would be rapist Pierre le Pieu from Ever After. I think he doesn’t always come to mind, because I try not to dwell on him, he’s so, so vile, actually I think I leave during his parts during recent watches.

    6) A favorite proposal scene?

    the 2007 Persuasion which blends BOTH of Jane Austen’s endings, granted it also includes the most awkward kiss and camera angles to be seen in a period drama. But Wentworth’s letter!

    Also, I don’t know if this is a proposal scene exactly, I think it’s more a profession of love, but that scene in the carriage in Belle, with John shouting, “I love her, I love her!” at Belle’s guardian/father when his intentions are questioned. I think that might have gotten or almost gotten tears from me, which has been rather hard to do.

    Now, if some one could get John Brooke’s proposal to Meg right! I think one of the older version’s gave it some justice, but I haven’t seen that one in ages.

    7) Favorite period drama characters based on a real life couple?

    I don’t think I’ve seen any real life period dramas, oh, wait some about Queen Elizabeth’s father. Yeah, I think that is it. Not really anything romantic. Oh, wait I like the romance in Miss Potter.

    8) Any classic b/w period dramas you like?

    Well, I don’t think we’d have the Anthony Andrews Scarlet Pimpernel without the Leslie Howard one. I wouldn’t say I liked it other than that inspiration for the best Scarlet Pimpernel. I’m not sure what other b/w period dramas I’ve seen. Oh, Jane Eyre, that definitely matched the atmosphere of Jane Eyre, again, not really to my liking though.

    9) Most mature romance in a period drama? (mature as in age and/or characters who are consciously and wisely ripened by life experience, etc.)

    Probably the Westons. I can’t really think of any more main couples. There are plenty with the guy older but they don’t feel very mature always when the girl is younger. Oh, wait, I love the Hamiltons in The Inheritance.

    10) Most excruciatingly long, slow burn romance in a period drama?

    I know Captain Wentworth and Anne feature a lot in this questions, but their story is so fraught with complications and details and intensity! Arthur and Amy also fit this.

    11) A story that has multiple film adaptations where you love more than one of them?

    I started out preferring the Kate Beckinsale/Mark Strong version of Emma (I HATE the Gweneth Paltrow version) but eventually the 2008 version won over. Kate Beckinsale is by FAR the most accurate Emma. I’ve yet to see the new abomination Emma.

    I think I enjoy different aspects of different Jane Eyre’s (as much as I could seeing as how I don’t love that story). I’ve yet to see the Timothy Dalton one.

    12) A book you think needs to be made into a film (or a new adaptation)?

    I wish more of the Alcott and Montgomery novels were adapted (but only by people who strive for accuracy on every point!).

  • Reading

    Top Ten Tuesday: One of My Favorite Romantic Tropes: The Bantering or Clashing Couple

    Now, this is totally overdone I realize. I also feel sure I’ve done a similar post, maybe even for Top Ten Tuesday, I really don’t care though.

    I’m also linking up to Cordy’s Lovely Blog party, I think this fits.

    I’m not talking about the couples who amateur writes try to make bantering or fighting coupes, where they are just people who are petty fighting and have no chemistry and would probably bicker with a lot of people. I’m talking about a variety from guys who tease (I also just tend to like guys who tease) to equally witty banter to occasionally genuine clashing. But the key? The outrageous chemistry between the two. You can have fight couples without chemistry. In no particular order of favorites:

    1. Obviously, the originals Benedick and Beatrice.
    2. Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane in the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.
    3. Mara and Sheftu in Mara, Daughter of the Nile.
    4. Ron and Hermione. I was thinking about how people have said Rowling later said it should have been Hermione and Harry or have themselves said why not Harry and Hermione. Ron and Hermione had a chemistry from the start, yeah the sparks were negative, but they were sparks, Harry just didn’t have the same reaction. He and Hermione had zero chemistry, absolutely sibling vibes, with Hermione as the elder sister. He was open and close with Hermione in a way that had no awkwardness or embarrassment because there was zero attraction, there was nothing there to hide, while Ron and Hermione kind of like circled around each other warily emotionally because there was an undercurrent of something they didn’t at first want to or know how to deal with. And also, I just love Harry and Ginny together (actually my favorite HP couples I think), and again, I think there was something there with them, yes Ginny’s crush, but when Harry finally woke up, they had amazing chemistry, their personalities were just so right for each other.
    5. Jo and Laurie, yes, I know they aren’t a couple, but their chemistry and closeness! And this is why I ship them!
    6. Perry and Ilse in the Emily books.
    7. For the same reason Jeffrey and Skye in the Penderwicks.
    8. Mr. Thornton and Margaret. Now, they don’t have the banter aspect, until a bit towards the end, but man, do they have the chemistry, and I’m talking about the book
    9. Now, lots of Georgette Heyer (most of them really) feature a bantering couple, but Charles and Sophy are a standout, they don’t fall into her hugely stereotype couples, and so I think The Grand Sophy is one of her better novels.
    10. Sophie and Howl in Howl’s Moving Castle.

    Now, you could put Darcy and Elizabeth down as being one of these couples, but um, they aren’t at all in my favorites, and really, its hard to use the word “chemistry” in connection with a lot of Austen couples, except of course Captain Wentworth.

  • Learning and Exploring

    More Family Stories

    We are closest with my mom’s mom’s family, that is why most of the stories are from them. Well, that and they are a close, loud, expressive, hilarious bunch and the older generation is as sharp as tacks still.

    One time my great-grandmother thought it would be funny to wake my grandfather up from a nap by setting his chest hair on fire with a cigarette, this was a JOKE, not a Hillbilly Elegy type story (there are so many parallels, except all mine are happy and all his are horrifying it was like a twisted mirror to read that sometimes, I was wondering where the difference started happening).

    My great-grandfather didn’t care to make too many pit stops going anywhere and on one road trip he was so focused on the destination when leaving one gas station that he left my great-grandmother behind. My grandmother said she was smoking coming out of her ears mad (or madder than a hornet type mad, I love this kind of expressiveness).

    So like I mentioned in my first post, there were a bit over 20 years span between the 5 siblings. My grandmother is about 10 years older than her youngest sister. I knew my great-grandmother had false teeth, I remember her dropping them up and done to fascinate my brother when we were little. I didn’t know or didn’t remember that she lost her teeth in her 30’s. They didn’t have the money to get her false teeth, so my youngest great aunt grew up knowing her mom without teeth.

    She said she remembers when her parents came home from getting the false teeth and how huge they looked in her mom’s mouth because her face muscles had collapsed over the years of not having and because she wasn’t used to seeing her mom with teeth.