There are many characters who on the surface look the same, they are elegant, have high standards, popular, live a charmed life in many ways, but they get such different reactions from me. For example, Anne Shirley, who I like and would like to be more like, and Amy March who I resent.
The Amy characters seem to have everything handed to them (and are very spoiled) without, in my opinion being very interesting while I think Anne type characters earn their way far more often of the time.
Also, I feel like Amy was a “told” character rather than a “shown” character. And well, I don’t think she ever learned to laugh at herself. Anne did learn to laugh at herself. Anne had dignity and could be offended by presumption, but I always sided with Anne while I always thought Amy a spoiled snot.
However, I should note, that I feel that Anne turns into more of an Amy type in the later books when the focus is on her children, she’s not Anne Shirley any more who is hard working and earns her way, I feel like the writing portrays her more as a haughty lady of leisure, who sits above it all and offers judgement. Also, I don’t like Rilla very much at first, Rilla is very much an Amy March type character.
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 Pimpernel. The 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
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!).
The 1st draft of this post has been lingering in my drafts for a year or two. I’m under 20 drafts, and I’m determined to clear them out as much as I can.
I’ve noticed a round of defense of the popularly disliked characters which seem to includes some straw arguments for why those of us who dislike characters, dislike them. Susan, Cynthia (here is the post on Cynthia which spurred my post), Amy (I’ve done a post on Amy) dislike them? I like being contrary (ya think?!), so I’m going to develop why I’m bothered by Cynthia; I greatly dislike Amy, I have moral issues with Cynthia.
I think that sometimes people don’t realize that its the characters (or people) that are portrayed as main or sympathetic that get the most ire, because their faults and sins are glossed over. I think most everyone thinks characters like Mr. Preston are villains, he isn’t given a bit of sympathy, he’s very simply bad. Not much need for discussion. Similarly with the newest Mrs. Gibson. Also, both of them get their come-uppance, often in quite satisfyingly hilarious ways, and they aren’t super popular either in the book or with readers. I doesn’t seem to me to be very important or nearly as interesting to discuss characters I see as obviously bad.
There are many characters I find obnoxious in Wives and Daughters, I want to strangle Squire Hamley most of the time. I want to throttle Dr. Gibson for falling for that sneak. I want to clobber Roger for falling for shallowness (I love when Osbourne calls him out on this!). To me, however, Cynthia is the worst because:
- The nature of her sins and faults
- Her sins faults get defended not merely by herself but many other characters and readers
- She never either gets a come-uppance or has real repentance
The nature of her sins and faults
She is extremely selfish, and gets away with it in ways that no one else does. Everything she does, even her “unselfish” acts towards Molly are done because its what she wants to do, nothing to do with conscience.
When characters (or people) are pointed out as being selfish, people often rush in with the fallacious, “but everyone is.”
- I’m not talking about everyone, I’m pointing out one character, clearly I see this character as being more selfish
- Everyone is not equally selfish, there is a wide spectrum of selfishness
- Other people’s sins don’t justify one’s own sins
She’s dishonest and in an especially deceptive way. She’s selectively honest (aka, falsely honest), in the way the that shows up so people think she’s fundamentally honest, which is not in fact honesty at all. And its not a repentant honesty, it’s the (oh, my favorite), “This is just the way I am” sort. She uses “honesty” as deception and manipulation.
She minimizes her faults into non-existence by turning the tables and focusing on other’s faults, blaming Molly and Mr. Gibson, when she was totally or majorly in the wrong. In the case of Mr. Preston whose age, lack of character, and position puts him in the major part of the wrong, she uses that to pretend she was totally without fault and also to excuse acting wrongly towards other people.
She uses people. She charms people and plays on their emotions for her own ends. She claims to care for Molly yet what she really means is she likes Molly better than others. She still uses Molly like a tool.
She’s manipulative. Everything turns to her own end, her selfishness, her charm, her playing on other’s emotions, her manipulating circumstances, her vanity of her “character,” her blame-shifting, her victim playing.
These are not simply garden variety faults, but rather sins of a narcissistic and sociopathic tinge.
Her sins faults get defended not merely by herself but many other characters and readers
I’ve always fell firmly in the anti-Cynthia camp, I know people who tried to defend her, and quite frankly, that makes me like her less. To me I see this as turning a blind eye to a not good person, to enabling that person, to enabling this sort of thing in the real world. It’s like another layer of deception on an artistically laid intricate system of respectable sins.
She never either gets a come-uppance or has real repentance
She is fairly popular and leads a rather charmed life. When she is confronted (in private usually), she manages to turn it against the person and paint herself as a victim. She leads on one very silly boy and one good man (Mr. Preston cancels himself out, so I’m not including him). She nearly destroys Molly’s life by using her as a tool and then waltzes in and takes her man by wooing Roger (don’t think I’m letting Roger off the hook for being such a Dodo) simply because she wants to get married and be “independent.” She manages to get what she wants in life (an obedient husband who would never say anything negative to her and wealth) by the end without any qualms of conscience.
Like I mentioned in my other post I don’t think its possible to come from my state or certain of the surrounding states and have a bland family history. We just don’t do that here. And it goes further back.
My grandparents love genealogy and went digging through archives over our state and maybe one or two others (that side of the family has mostly been in this state since Europe). They have tons of old photos and documents. Papau has scanned some of them, but they still have tons to go.
We have a ration card from my great, great uncle from WWII period with some of the tickets still in it.
We have photos of my great grandfather who was stationed in India during WWII. He’s holding a monkey in one of them.
We have a Swiss identity document from my great-great-great grandfather, my Papau’s great grandfather (his great-grandparents and his great grandmother’s brother’s family came from Switzerland).
Someone died from being kicked in the head by a cow.
Someone died from skinning a rabid rabbit.
Someone killed a man in a bar brawl.
My state is a byword for cousin marriages and low out of state movement, and yes, my great-great grandparents were first cousins. I’m almost absolutely positive going by last names and the counties involved that one of my crushes was a distant cousin (!!!).
Also, you know how Laura Ingall Wilder’s mom’s family married multiple times into her Dad’s family (2 sisters and a brother married 2 brothers and a sister)? Well, one of my great-grandmother’s older sisters (the one responsible for stealing my great-great grandmothers handsewn quilts one of which my grandmother was supposed to get) married my great-grandfather’s older brother. Then my great-parents married. Later, my great-grandfather’s sister remarried and married my great-mother’s brother.
Also, I feel like I’m related to half of the state if not America. Apparently it is possible to get a DNA test and not have thousands of cousins 4th cousins and closer like I have.
Which leads me to, my grandmother’s family was, uh, prolific. She was one of 5, which was small for her side. My grandfather had more sets of two kids in his family before my mom and her sister and reasonable large family sizes of 8 kids. My grandmother had HUGE families in her family tree, 8 seemed typical. The largest?
Her great-grandfather I think it was had 20+ children between 2 wives. Not at the same time (married cousins in our family yes, bigamy no, at least wait, I feel like there may have been a bigamy story or claim somewhere). No, in this case the first wife must have got worn out with 12 or so kids and then the next wife produced around 8. 19 were listed as still living in the the newspaper clipping of his death. I think 20 lived to adulthood, and there were around 2 that died as young children.
That isn’t the only case of a large family from two wives, I think the other was more reasonable, you know, like 14 or something.
Alison from Alison’s Well tagged me a few weeks ago. Here’s the link to her original post.
It’s taken me awhile to figure out some good ones, I wanted to try to get as many lesser know characters as I could . . . not sure that really worked. I’ve not watched enough movies, and I need to read more and maybe less to type or more lesser known works.
PRINCE FLORIAN – A Character Who Stumbles Into Things
Timothy stumbles into the world of faeries in Rebel book 2 of Faerie Rebels.
PRINCE CHARMING – A Character Who Looks Past The Exterior Of Those Around Him.
Jip (in the book of the same name) and his friend who does it for him. People cast out together have to do that or they will be just like those who cast them out. Read this book without any prior knowledge, it is WAY more impactful that way.
PRINCE PHILLIP – A Character Who Fights For Those He Cares About
Aquila in Lantern Bearers. The problem is, sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop fighting or who to stop fighting or how to stop fighting, in his heart and soul.
PRINCE ERIC – A Character Who Fulfills The “Dreamy Soft Boy” Trope.
Peeta Mellark, I mean who else.
THE BEAST – A Beastly Character Who Is Redeemed
If beastly can stand for “bad” because as you will see, my mention has a different style of bad. Read these books.
Martin from Rebel (books 2 of Faerie Rebels by R.J. Anderson), Arrow (books 3 of Faerie Rebels Trilogy) by R.J. Anderson), Swift and Nomad (books 1 and 2 from the now named and finally to get a third book in the connected Flight and Fire Trilogy). I think this prompt feets Martin better than Scoundrel with A Heart of Gold. I think. You decide.
Presumably he will also in be Torch (which from what I got from the Nomad will be a LOT about him, no spoilers) which will hopefully still be coming out next February 6 years after Nomad, I cannot WAIT!* Read these people!
Oh, also, I bought all mine from Amazon UK, so they match and because Arrow, Swift, and Nomad weren’t given U.S. editions. Also Knife, the first book of all of them and Rebel have different names in the U.S. and The Flight and Fire trilogy are being redone. Did I mention, READ THEM?!
ALADDIN – A Character Who Assumes A False Identity.
Phaedrus in Mark of the Horse Lord. YOU have to find out.
JOHN SMITH – A Character Who Loves To Explore.
Spiller in The Borrowers series. I had such a crush on him growing up.
LI SHANG – A Character Who Is A Tough, Military Leader.
Alexios Flavius Aquila in Frontier Wolf.
FLYNN RYDER – A Character Who Is A Scoundrel With A Heart Of Gold.
PRINCE NAVEEN – A Character Who Undergoes A Transformation.
Costi in Wildwood Dancing.
KRISTOFF – A Character Who Is A Down-To-Earth Hero.
Jamie in Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton-Porter.
EMPEROR KUZCO – A Character Who’s Obnoxious But Still Lovable.
Ah, Kuzco. How could I get even close to Alison’s pick? Or to matching the pizzazz of Kuzco himself. Algernon Moncrieff maybe? Jack Sparrow also fits this.
*The publishing industry . . . has problems, I know the author always had this book planned/written, and I know another series that got dropped, the Martha series about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s grandmother, that stuff is so irritating.
I tend to relate to a lot of them tomboys in books like Jo and her counterpart Skye Penderwick in terms of temperament. But I’m not a tomboy, I relate to the Megs in terms of domesticity and to the Amys and Annes in terms of taste. It gets kind of irritating to read about all the sweet domestic and/or traditional girls. Sorry, I wasn’t born sweet and mild, the best you will get is somewhat toned down. I’ve been told to tone down, be quiet, stop expressing so much frequently by family members. I think I scare people outside my family.
Another similar stereotype is that of the loud (often tomboy) women being brave and courageous. Brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud doesn’t equal strong or brave. Some of us are just programmed to be brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud. And I’m not programmed brave, like at. all. K, maybe if you are usually a meek, people-pleaser, it IS brave to stand up and firmly say, “please, respect me.” But um, I have have to tone down, calm down to say that. And loudness can come from fear as well as just innate personality.
Often either explicit or implicitly, these characters and/or their authors state that domesticity equals a level of anti-intellectualism or lack of intelligence. Again, NO. I can love both and do, thank-you-very-much. How one earth does liking homemaking have anything to do with the intelligence and interests I was born with?
I was raised in a homeschooling sphere that emphasized domesticity, crafts, etc. for girls. I never understood why so many rebelled against them, I took it personally, until I found more people with different backgrounds who like creating things. I learned of them term “maker.” These people like me just LOVE handicrafts, historical fashion, fiber, making things, its part of our DNA.
Another fallacy involves being girly and sporty or interested in physical activity (climbing trees, fencing, hunting, you name it). You can love to get completely dolled up and also love to play sports and get sweaty. I think this one is older and maybe it has mostly been killed by now? Or maybe it is because I’m more in the volleyball world because of my sisters and volleyball girls don’t follow this stereotype.
I think in books this is still in force with the heroine who disdains all “frivolous” dress and fuss and goes gallivanting off with her horse and sword. She can like both. Disliking or like frills doesn’t mean you are physically weak or strong.
Here is to the loud, brassy, girly, domestic shrews. Oh, wait, what?!
***Spoilers and a VERY Critical Review***
I was not originally going to see this. I don’t usually see movies in theatres, and I didn’t even really want to try this one at all. I was horrified by the non-American and otherwise poor casting. Laurie is not a frail, delicate French-American boy. He was a big, bonny Italian-American boy. I get frustrated with Little Women adaptations because of the inaccuracy of the rendering and because I HATE a part of the book’s plot. I hate Laurie and Amy together at a soul level so I will never love an adaptation.* However, I went to see Star Wars in theatre, I kept seeing Little Women everywhere, and I always want to like a Little Women retelling, I was feeling too optimistic, and I thought I could be okay if the professor was young and Laurie wasn’t Laure (like in that cute, shallow, quick little modern retelling), I thought I could suspend my infuriation at the Laurie-Amy thing. Well, one can only do that if Laurie and Jo is minimized and Laurie and Amy is minimized, it wasn’t.
- Not great acting, so many things felt forced, and I could hear the accents
- It overall felt slick and flippant. The choice to cut back and forth in time was terrible, it wasn’t flashbacks, it was every scene. It hurts my brain. It ruined the pathos of Beth’s story, made everything feel rushed and shallow. I think it rather disguised the other flaws by flicking you away before you could digest the ineptitude of the scene. As did wasting time on dramatic scenes, feminist sermons, slow motion parts, etc. when two hours isn’t really enough to do the book justice and other episodes from the book could have been included.
- Why do Meg and John get cut out so much? I adore that proposal scene and a couple other of their scenes? Its Little Women, not Jo March or The Jo and Amy and Laurie Triangle. Not that I really wanted to see more of this John, I think his accent and his acting was the worst. And why in heaven’s name does almost every version feel the need to make John a needy, creepy sort of person. Quietly liking someone doesn’t mean creepy. I think he was WAY more subtle than that. It was only brought out by Laurie’s (awesome) mischievousness, another thing lacking in the movie.
- Laurie was more Laurie in behavior than I expected despite his looks, but he didn’t feel genuine.
- Why are almost all the girl blonde or red-head? I think they were all brunettes, possibly dark brunettes, definitely Alcott herself was, except for the golden girl, Amy (that heightens the contrast of Amy and the others). They all look too small except for Amy who looked and sounded coarse (the exact opposite of book Amy). Emma Watson is overacting as useful. Beth was okay. Saoirse Ronan wasn’t bad acted, she just was the least Jo of any Jo I’ve seen.
- Stupid additions of modern thought that are historically inaccurate, I mean some people think incorrectly about history and so they put incorrect and modern historical opinions on these characters. Also reflected in the slovenly, unlady-like dressing and behavior (the hair, oh, my stars, put up their hair, Meg would never have been so sloppy). In the book Jo was rude, brusque but she still followed some manners of then, like being decently dressed and not putting her skirts up to her waist or dancing in a weird, wild bar scene (the Marches were teetotalers and very sheltered, that is mentioned in the book).The Marches were unconventional, not inappropriate and not modernly conventional, sorry. If you want a modern retelling, do a MODERN version. Granted there has been one done (very indie and quick), but there have been so multiple period ones done as well.
- So much second hand embarrassment, so little of the books genuine humor. I chose to go to the bathroom around the part Jo was writing Laurie a desperate letter, I couldn’t bear it. I missed when he and Amy came back. Actually I was getting ready for it to be over well before then, but I seriously considered just leaving then and several times after that, but I was sure it was almost done. And then it got really just plain goofy when the professor comes back. Any sweetness in that was sapped right out but the silliness, shallowness, and insincerity of that scene, why couldn’t they have had a quiet moment and more time together overall. If you are going to change the plot, change that part, give them a real spark. They just emphasized him as being an afterthought.
- Also, I recognized Marmee from somewhere (note: I feel like they didn’t call her Marmee enough and Teddy was only used like once). And I knew I hadn’t liked her at.all and thought her poorly acted. Later that evening I remembered, she was the idiot, terribly acted purple haired catastrophe from the NOT REAL parts of Stars Wars Episode VIII. Figures.
- As much as things in the 94 version of Little Women irritate me (Laurie and Amy, John and Meg being too old and shunted to the side, and John being a creepo), that is still the best we have. Everything is just way more iconic, the music, the acting, the script, the clothing. Amy’s European wardrobe is just stunning. And everything about the overall feel and look of the setting, houses, clothing, etc. felt more historically accurate.
- Did I like anything? Well, I liked that Professor Bhaer was young and handsome and not poorly acted. Too bad he was given hardly any time. I loved the knitted sontags the girls were wearing. I’d first seen them/noticed them on A Bluestocking Dressmakers instagram. As a knitter, it’s always cool to see handknits, especially since I don’t feel like they show up much in period pieces, and I don’t know much about that aspect of historical costuming. The scenes were pretty. I liked Meg’s purple dress. I do want to go and look at photos of the clothes more particularly.
*I swear I hate the Laurie and Amy thing all the way to the very atoms of my being. I’ll never in anyway be okay with it. It is just fundamentally wrong.
Nobody cheers when the stereotypical jock and the perfect cheerleader get together. The basic rich boy and basic middle-class girl. And that is all Laurie and Amy end up being once they get married, before he was something special, although she was never super unique.
I just can’t like Amy. I wouldn’t like her much without Laurie, but the Laurie thing drives everything home. She’s one of the lucky ones who get everything without effort without depth. She’s blessed and boring. And charming, witty Laurie gets flattened, faded out, out to be her “perfect” match. He loses every part of his “Laurie-ness,” his “Teddy-ness.” Look, Teddy was Jo’s pet name for him . . . she has a pet name for him. Amy calls him my lord (ick), isn’t that evidence enough?
Jo and Laurie are so close, I think that Laurie could’ve waited. I think the concept of love as a pie in the sky stars above thing is untrue. Love is made up of attraction/passion, affection, trust, friendship, and CHOICE. If Jo didn’t have the first, or didn’t think she did (they were SO close, it seems like it could only have been blindness), she would’ve learned later. And why must Laurie fit society’s mold? Rich man, rich wife, blah, blah. Suited to each other? They brought out each others shallowness. Bhaer and Amy got leavings, sorry. And someone mentioned thinking Amy would’ve turned Laurie down had he not been rich. I think it’s too convenient that Amy gets everything she wants. Its too unbelievable how easily Laurie gives up. And there is the sister code. Doesn’t matter if Jo rejected him. Hands off, period.
All the rationalizations, are rationalizations. Jo and Laurie were too similar? Um, “similar” people (and I don’t think they were all that similar, and better to be like either of them than a milksop like Amy). Jo and Laurie had a spark, John and Meg had a spark (in the books, the movies seem to manage to ruin this). No one else did.
I’ve sure been hitting my vintage stride. Hallmark has bored me (which is good considering my embarrassing spree over the last years), and I’ve really been needing comfort movies and classic comedies have been hitting the spot, or rather classic movies period, I just prefer the comedies, so I’m going to try to load up on more.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Both sad and boring, but oh, my, young Gary Cooper is stunning. Also, he looks like Jason Isaacs, so so much.
Monkey Business. Absolutely hysterical. Cary Grant is a comedy genius (definitely like him better now that I’ve seen and understood him in his best role type instead of comparing him to the dreamy Gregory Peck or handsome sweetheart Jimmy Stuart or the appealing Peter O’Toole who are my romantic favorites). I definitely want to own this one.
How to Marry a Millionaire. Not as nearly as hilarious, but still fun.
To Have and Have Not. A sort of different version of Casablanca. I liked it slightly better, but rather boring still. Bacall and Bogart together, yes, definitely iconic.
The Big Sleep. This and Dark Passage were my favorites of the Bogart/Bacall pairing. I think that this was the better movie, but I actually think I liked the other better or at the least romance was better in Dark Passage. Bogart is better in this murder mystery stories. He’ll never be a crush or a favorite, but I understand better his iconic status
Key Largo. Boring and too many horrible death of innocents.
Dark Passage. See notes above.
Pearl in Paradise. Eh.
Falling for You. Cute.
Under the Autumn Moon. Eh.
I’m joining Molly Rebekah’s A Ramble Through the Woods Little Women blog party; Abby from Lavender Spring is her co-host. I think the focus is mainly on the 1994 film version, so that is how I will be answering the tag questions (also, I strongly advise listening to the soundtrack Molly uploaded whilst answering the questions). I’m a glutton for punishment; Jo and Laurie’s ending is one of the most devastating storylines in literature.
1.) Is there anything from the book that you wish were in the movie?
Well, I wish nothing had been changed (that I liked; I would totally be okay with the directors putting Laurie and Jo together). The John and Meg proposal scene is one of my favorite proposals in literature. I love the chapter “Secrets” and the ensuing results (note: the Anne of Avonlea movie plagiarizes part of this chapter as well as other parts of Little Women; I’ve been meaning to go into that into more detail, and I even purchased the screenplay just for that purpose . . . one day, one day).
2.) If you could change one point of the plot, which would it be?
I think we all know my answer to this one. Jo and Laurie. I think I need to re-read and devote an entire post to this.
3.) In Chapter 13, the March sisters and Laurie talk about “Castles in the Air,” basically their unrealistic but lovely hopes and dreams. What is your castle in the air?
I’m pretty sure mine is basically like Meg’s.
4.) What would you most like to see in a new adaptation of Little Women, whether in book or film? Any specific actors, setting, or time period changes?
An accurate portrayal with actors and actresses the CORRECT ages (most of those girls looked way too old or weren’t even girls anymore). I would prefer better costumes, they were very underwhelming.
5.) What is your favorite dress from the movie?
The peach one Amy wears when she gets her letter about Beth. This one; I cannot for the life of me find a better photo that shows the lovely skirt. I also love her hair style.
6.) Which March sister(s) do you relate to most?
I’m probably like all of them, except Beth. I have Jo’s temperament with Meg’s domesticity and wishes and Amy’s taste and some of her wishes.
7.) Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Little Women?
I like parts of 90’s film (music and Laurie) and part of the 30’s one (most accurate John and Meg proposal scene).
8.) What is your favorite quote from Little Women? (Movie quotes count!)
Hard to pick and I’m too lazy to get out of bed, walk two steps and grab the book, and peruse it. So I will grab a light one from Goodreads and hope it is accurately quoted.
“Jo’s nineteen hair-pins all seemed stuck straight into her head, which was not exactly comfortable; but, dear me, let us be elegant or die!”
9.) Do you have a favorite scene from Little Women?
I’m going to go by book “scenes.” The proposal as before mentioned; the whole saga of Jo submitting her story/Laurie’s secret as before mentioned; the picnic . . . yeah the book is better.
10.) Aside from the March sisters, who is your favorite character from the story?
Um, LAURIE!!!!!!! I do like John Brooke in the book though, the movie doesn’t get him at all right.
I’m posting this review as part of Cordy’s Lovely Blog Party.
The Ordinary Princess is a sweet little story that is part a blend of fairy-tales and part a fairytale in its own right. I don’t want to have too many spoilers, so I will keep it short, sweet, and general. The basic plot is this: Princess Amethyst receives an odd gift at her christening and goes on an adventure under an assumed name and meets a young man. Of course the story has tons of delightful details, but like I said, I don’t want to spoil things in my synopsis (although there are spoilers at the end of the post relating to my comparison of this book with Cinderella (2015) which you can avoid).
This princess story has some similarities with a few fairytale re-tellings including the basic Sleeping Beauty story and the 2015 live action Cinderella. It has of course, the proper fairytale elements which includes everything from obscure kingdoms to woodland wanderings to animal friends. This fairytale elements are sometimes exaggerated for comedic effect. This story also has an intentional overlay of the modern and mundane that, when juxtaposed with the exaggerated fairytale extravagances, makes for a quirky, humorous, tone. For example, an absurd amount of bureaucracy is involved in inviting fairies to a christening . . . who would have thought of the words “fairy” and “committee” in conjunction?!
Because of a few noticeable similarities I have The Ordinary Princess and Cinderella (2015) together in my mind. Both stories include:
~The leitmotif of the folk song Lavender’s Blue
~The couple meeting under assumed names and positions
~Said positions are the same or similar: Cinderella and Amy are servants, and Kit and Peregrine are an apprentice and man-of-all-work, respectively
~The genuine sweetness and candidness of the members of the couple
~Quaint, tiny, happy kingdoms
~An overall magical loveliness, brightness, and joy
And I just know that Phantasmagoria is as beautiful and charming and quaint as Kit and Cinderella’s kingdom in the movie
I read/finished the most books per month this month: 15. Four of these are nonfiction. We’ll start with the heavy
1. Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry by Philip D. Morgan. I will be brief. I’m not going into the topic, not the scope here, just the scholarship. Exactly the type of meticulous research and analysis that I think all historians should use. Reminded me of my favorite Albion’s Seed in the scholarly rigor. I do think he could have cut out some redundancy in the end and much detail in the beginning (I don’t need to understand every single step of the cultivation process of every plant to understand his point about the grueling brutality). So for my self-imposed U.S. history course, I have 2 out of 3 books in less than two years (maybe when I’m 40 I will have completed it), still, with all the books out there that are a great percentage.
2. Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky by Paul Johnson. Yes, this was rather disappointing. I didn’t think the author wrote well. His points, clarity, structure, and continuity are unclear and convoluted. I do appreciate learning about some of these people, but I don’t understand his decision-making process for including others. I have to say I thought he made mostly poor choices. I wouldn’t call all his choice intellectuals and of those who might be not all were/are all that influential.
Now “ad hominem” came to mind, and many other reviewers claimed that the author made this fallacy, but I think that is misplaced and misconstrued here. I don’t think he is analyzing these people’s arguments; however, like I said before, clarity is not his strong point (if he has a strong point?). I don’t choose arguments based on people, but I do think you should reject immoral people even if their arguments aren’t sound; the ends do not justify the means. Logical argument is not the only consideration, there are also morality and persuasion. However, immoral and fallible are often confused.
I would definitely state that most of these people are terribly immoral and massively hypocritical. Some reviewers said he only focused on the bad. Quite frankly, unless he lied, no good could cover all the bad that he described in these people. I think it is good to know the failings of influential people, particularly if they practiced a lack of ethics and lied in their contributions to society. However, I don’t think we need to know all the biographies of unimportant people (which adjective I think describes most of these in terms of intellectual influence). And we certainly don’t need to know a gross level of scandal.
That I think is the worst part of this book. His disgusting, obsessive, voyeuristic descriptions of sexual issues. I felt that he had some sort of complex. I mean he gave waaay more detail to this, graphic in my opinion, than any other issues he described. Immorality and abuse can and should be stated, but I don’t need to know such vile detail that he too clearly enjoyed giving. Some of the things he shared didn’t even relate to the major figures he featured. Even if the book had been well-written, I’m not sure that that would justify reading this. I wish I had put it down. Actually, I should have put several books down this month.*
3. Belles on Their Toes by Ernestine Gilbreth and Frank Gilbreth, Jr. Sequel to Cheaper by the Dozen. I found this even funnier than the first although I will note that some may be uncomfortable with the at times slightly suggestive humor.
4. Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light by Amy Thomas This is indescribably silly, trivial, and poorly written. I didn’t really learn much about Paris or Parisian culture. The author focused on
#1 Flinging a slew of French food terms that meant nothing to me without pronunciation aids (which is frustrating); I couldn’t appreciate learning about new food because I couldn’t understand what the food was.
#2 Switching back between New York and Paris restaurants. Um, what about the rest of the city of Paris. And the book isn’t about New York.
#3 Herself and her embarrassing, insecure, awkward, immature #firstworldproblems.
I had no connotations, no knowledge to draw from to understand any of the French terms she threw at me. I felt like she was being intentionally snooty and ostentatious without being in the least educational. I wish I had put this down, a waste of time; I learned so much more from my skimming of Lessons from Madame Chic, and I’m sure there are tons of better books on Paris and Parisian food. This book is one of the most poorly written I’ve ever read; it is clearly all about the author having a publishing deal for herself.
Not a great nonfiction month, especially considering the fact that I had at least one guaranteed excellent nonfiction book on my shelf that I could have been reading instead of the absurd/awful ones.
*Oh, and he also quoted foul language. Again, just stated that the person cursed or something. I hate when people write for shock value. That distracts from the rest of the writing, which oftentimes in such cases is weak.
I’ve watched 5 new Hallmark movies: Love on Ice (eh), A Royal Winter (adorable), Birthday Wishes (hilarious), Love Blossoms (gorgeous setting and scenery and fun story with decent actors for Hallmark), and Campfire Kiss (absurd and with bad actors, even for Hallmark).
I’ve watched 7 more miscellaneous films and miniseries, which I organized by date.
Sword in the Stone, 1963
The Great Mouse Detective, 1986
This is Sherlock Holmes for mice which is a funny concept, but I thought the movie too sad and scary for an animated children’s film. Boring for adults.
Henry V, 1989
While I prefer the Hollow Crown version, I enjoyed this film. I like the play or at least the performance of it. I don’t enjoy every single minute, but the speech is thrilling, the fencing of words and challenges with the French is interesting, and the courtship charming. I love Henry’s stalwartness and dignity.
Howl’s Moving Castle, 2004
I need to re-read this book because I don’t remember much, and I think the filmmakers changed quite a bit. Also, I didn’t care for the anime; Howl is SO effeminate despite Christian Bale’s awesome voice.
Little Dorrit, 2008
I read the novel a couple of years ago, so I didn’t remember everything. And watching a creepy, disturbing story is different than reading it. Andy Serkis’ character is truly a psychopath, and I do think the filmmakers made some parts worse (although everything fit in with Dicken’s story) plus violence is worse when watched. I skipped some scenes and would skip more next time, so be warned.
The miniseries captures the story brilliantly. I thought the plot, most of the characters, and scenery excellent. Amy and Arthur are perfect. I loathed Matthew McFadyen as Mr. Darcy, but what little else I’ve seen of him, I’ve liked, and I LOVED him here; Arthur Clennam’s character is perfect for him (I had a eureka moment after pondering all this, and realized he would be the perfect Colonel Brandon).
Letters to Juliet, 2010
Although this film is rift with objectionable aspects and has a super awkward heroine, I did enjoy it well. And I loved J.J. Fields (especially in modern clothes at the end).