Sunday, 11 November 2007
Monday, 3 September 2007
It is during the significant turning point of Persuasion’s storyline, the visit to Lyme, that the accidents of Uppercross come to a head, and where the strands of the web holding Wentworth close to Louisa Musgrove and away from Anne shift and snap in their course. The visit to Lyme heralds the closing of the country setting and the opening of the
The climax of the bond between Louisa and Wentworth, a frenzy of school-girlish admiration on her side and careless enjoyment on his, comes in the form of Persuasion’s most significant accident, Louisa’s near tragic fall on the Cobb at Lyme. The intimacy between Wentworth and Louise is child like and during their walks around Uppercross ‘he had had to jump her from the stiles’ as ‘the sensation was delightful to her’. From the steps on the Cobb Louisa insists Wentworth catches her, which he does, but a second, too precipitous jump leaves her seriously injured, concussed, unconscious for a period and bedridden during a long convalescence at Lyme. Louisa’s accident puts crucial developments into motion, realizations and reactions that pull Wentworth away from her and towards Anne:
…he had seen everything to exalt in his estimation the woman he had lost; and there begun to deplore the pride, the folly, the madness of resentment, which had kept him from trying to regain her when thrown in his way
Louisa’s obstinacy in jumping despite warnings of danger and Anne’s quick thinking and sensible reactions to the emergency, his feelings of guilt and responsibility and the group’s assuming there to be agreement between himself and Louisa force Wentworth to analyze his actions of the past few weeks, and to acknowledge his obligation to Louisa even while he confronts the reality that he is still very much in love with Anne, but honor bound to Louisa.
But as Louisa recovers she begins to fall in love with, and to be loved by, Captain Benwick. Benwick’s fiancé had died the previous summer while he was at sea, an accidental chance that left Benwick broken hearted and in need of healing himself. And though he could not be at the sickbed of Fanny Harville, he could be by Louisa Musgrove’s. The quiet, nervous girl that Louisa emerges as is the patient that Benwick can nurse, and the bookish, intelligent and kind Captain is exactly the man to now capture her heart. The news of their engagement frees Wentworth of any obligation and propels him to
To be continued.
Saturday, 25 August 2007
I must humbly ask that my dear readership, parva sed apta, stand by me with angelic patience while I take yet a little more time off from writing. After more than twelve months of worry, of fussing about with paperwork, of pushing forward blind and not really knowing where were going and lamenting not having a lawyer, I've recently been notified that next week I am being granted my Canadian residency, for as some of you already know I'm Australian and married to a Canuck. My residency will finally allow me to work, study and leave the country. Though I'm just across the border in Vancouver I haven't been able to visit America in almost two years and I'll tell you, the stores in Seattle that carry Tom's Shoes and Ethiopian coffee beans and competitively priced liquor are not going to know what hit them. Me. In a caffeine fueled, Tom's wearing shopping frenzy with my Seattle based sister in law. (Hi Dieringers!)
But that's for later. Right now I need a little time to prepare for my entré into Canadian Residency. I'll still be manning Old Grey Pony as before when I've gotten myself organized. In the meantime, here's a few points of interest.
- Many Books is a fantastic resource from which you can download many books in PDF, eBook or iPod Notes format, and from where I just acquired some long desired works of Elizabeth von Arnim.
- Many readers of Jane Austen's novels and short stories enjoy a dive into the dubious world of Austen film and TV adaptations and I'm not immune to an occasional dip myself. I have seen every, and I mean every, adaptation and the only ones I can recommend unreservedly are Persuasion 1995 (Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds) and Northanger Abbey 1986 (Peter Firth and Katharine Schlesinger).
- It has nothing to do with Austen but I think Indexed is adorable. Enjoy.
Back in a week or so.
Thanks for reading.
Friday, 17 August 2007
Tuesday, 14 August 2007
c. 1765 - 1815
One of the most scandalous relationships of Georgian England was the devoted alliance between Emma, Lady Hamilton and the hero of the nation, Horatio Nelson. Like any public and unconventional woman, an inordinate amount has been written about Lady Hamilton, much of it unflattering and most of it untrue. The daughter of a Blacksmith, Emma, born Amy Lyon in Cheshire circa 1761-5, at the age of sixteen or seventeen was a most ravishingly beautiful girl who had become the full time mistress of the Hon. Charles Greville in London after having been very lately abandoned pregnant by her former lover Sir Harry Fetherstonehaugh. Before her entry into the demi-monde
During the five years she lived with Greville, Emma sat more than 100 times for the painter George Romney. Though a majority of these sittings were by Romney's obsessive desire, many of them were commissioned by Greville and it was the cost of these portraits that helped contribute to the massive personal debts that forced Greville to give Emma up in 1786 in search of a wealthy bride. Greville sent her to
As Lady Hamilton Emma was literally the toast of
Roman history, that became famous and much admired in Europe by many, including writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe and composer Joseph Hadyn, other artists and academics and many of the members of parliament, of royal families and of aristocracies within Sir William's vast and varied ambassadorial and scientific circles.
Although Emma was very beautiful, it was the way she could embody a character as an ideal and her eye for the visually artistic, the skills of a good model and a muse, that made her prized by many painters as a subject, including Vigée le Brun, Marie Antoinette's friend and principal portrait artist. The Neoclassicism of the Enlightenment and the European Republican admiration for Ancient Greece and
Emma first met Admiral Nelson briefly in August 1793 when his ship The Agamemnon docked in the
In 1800 the Hamiltons and Nelson returned to
Their daughter Horatia was born in 1801. Sir William, quite elderly by this time, died in
I sometimes wonder if the very public and well publicized scandal of Emma and Nelson had an impact on the way Austen chose to portray the navy, sexual misconduct and sexual misconduct within in the navy in
Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton in a White Turban
The Hunting Library,
Monday, 13 August 2007
Residents of Vancouver BC may be interested to know that in January 2008 the East Vancouver Cultural Centre will be housing the Catalyst Theatre's very well received production of Frankenstein.
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was published in 1818. The production is an original and faithful adaptation by Jonathan Christenson.
Photo by Photomagic featuring Tracey Penner
Friday, 10 August 2007
Little did I expect to come across The Greatest Podcast of All Time.
iTunesU features a brand new selection of free podcasts created and published by universities for their students and the Lit2Go (love the name) cast created by the University of South Florida is phenomenal and includes, among many others, a fantastic reading of Sense and Sensibility in the Group 9 collection and Northanger Abbey in the Group 12 collection. I don't know who the narrator is but his voice and his style of reading are excellent and it's very refreshing to listen to an Austen novel read by a male narrator for a change, and who is much more talented at reading than some of the actors narrating purchasable titles.
Lit2Go is very exciting and features many classics, too many to mention here but a quick look reveals several Georgian and Austen related works, including:
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Castles of Athlin and Dublayne by Ann Radcliffe
Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
The Purple Jar by Maria Edgeworth
There are so many more and a quick special mention to the Brontë sisters, Sir Aurthur Conan Doyle, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Lewis Carroll and Virginia Woolf, as well as poetry and traditional readings and also another collection En Espaňol. Nice one, University of South Florida. If you do not have iTunes already, you may download it free of charge on the Apple website.
I'm going to have a good old browse through the rest of iTunesU and a blueberry muffin.