Showing posts with label Wives and Daughters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wives and Daughters. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yours faithfully... Letter #10, 11

Hello lovely readers,

First, I know last week I posted a snip it of a story idea that came to my mind but I have decided two works in progress was enough for me to handle. I have been loving these letters as a way to retell one of my novels Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. Second, I am happy and surprised that this story has lasted so long since it really just came out of a free-write in April, but I have been enjoying this project and I hope you have too.

Previous post
Dearest Aunt,
I am at a loss of what to say. I cannot breath. My heart is broken. How can you be gone?

Everyone thought you were on the mend and now you are gone. I wonder if you even hear my last letter and if it in any small brought you comfort. It probably came at the time when you were at your worse and you never heard it, and you will not hear this or read this as you are now gone.

People will think it is odd to write to you now that you are dead but you were my truest comfort and it only feels natural to write you even though you will never read this. 

Oh my dearest Aunt, I am at a loss. You were truer to me than my own late mama. I barely remember her, I was only three, and looking back on it I feel as though one day she was there and then gone the next. Besides the portrait of us taken when I was baby I have no remembrance of  how she looked or what it was like to be held by her. You were my second mother, no matter what my new mama tells me. 

I feel I cannot cry around her, she so hates to see grief. My one comfort at this moment is Cassie who lets me sit and cry on her shoulder. She is always so generous and loving. Her beauty on the outside reflects the pureness of her heart. I do not know how I would get through this moment without her strength.

I am being selfish. I wish I could be with Uncle, Ozzie and Hugh. I do not know how they are baring it. Uncle and Ozzie were quite tense with each other when I left, they did not speak of it but it was felt at every moment. They both depended on you so much. And poor Hugh to lose another mother. How will he feel this deeply? Oh my dearest aunt, I am sorry if we took advantage of your kindness, your love, and strength. If you can see us now, I hope you can see how desperately we need you. You were the cornerstone of our family. I do not know whats going to happen. 

I do wish my new mama would let me come to see them all but she claims that I would be a burden to them.  I hope I was never a burden to you. Mama also claims we have engagements that we are to keep, I do not know how I am to keep up appearances when my heart is so broken.

I will stay faithful to you and keep you updated on the events of my life. In that I feel I keep you with me. 

All my love.    

Dearest Aunt,

We buried you today. That feels odd to write. Unreal almost. The minister talked about your soul being in heaven and I do so hope you are at peace. 

The service was beautiful practically everyone in town attended.And my dear uncle stood as a rock not letting anyone see his heartbreak. You would have been embarrassed by the amount of tears Ozzie had for you, I think he feels your loss more than anyone.He told me you were always his biggest supporter and now he does not know how he will get on from one day to the next. I wanted to remind him of his wife and the support she will provide, but as I promised him and myself to never speak of it I did not feel right to mention it. The service was beautiful and I felt it truly reflected the beauty that is in your life. I hope you got to look down from heaven and see how much we down here love you. Hugh was so good to me and let me sit up front as if I was intimate family. Mama and Cassandra did not attend as Mama was called to The Towers this morning and Cassandra accompanied. I would have appreciated her company and have her meet Hugh, Ozzie and Uncle but I know when Mama puts her mind to something it is hard to dissuade her. 

Not much else to write, but I did want to copy down the poem Hugh read, he said it was your favorite. I think Hugh was the only one who could read a loud at the moment... 

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I knew you liked Dickinson but I did not know that was your favorite. I will carry it with me from now on. 

All my love.  

 Poem citation 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Yours Faithfully... Letter #9

Letter #8
* Dearest Aunt Hen,

I am so sorry to be away from you especially now as father has told me you have relapsed again. I wish I could be beside you and be of some use. I hope one of your dear sons will read this letter to you faithfully and will provide you some comfort as I am gone from your side. My only comfort here is my newest sister Cassandra, she allows me to call her Cassie, which feels like a mark of true friendship. My new mama cringes though every time I say it as she thinks it is rather childish. Is it so very wicked that I feel a little bit of joy when I see her cringe? I believe Hugh would say it was, as he has encouraged me to look for the best in my mama. 

If Hugh reads this please know that I am trying... but it is so very hard when I feel she cuts me down at every turn. She considers me childish and she says I speak to much. I feel I hardly say a word at all in front of her however when she scorns me Cassandra always defends me. She has been so quick to be my defender. She is so beautiful with red golden hair that is always in its proper place and she has perfectly shaped olive green eye with very fine skin. I feel so plane when I stand next to her however she compliments me quite profusely on my intellect and tells me kindhearted I am and she will not let me return the compliment in any manner. She must be so truly humble. Please tell Hugh that I have let her borrow some of the books he lent me, and she finds them of quite sturdy material. I have found her company quite pleasant and the only thing that could truly relieve my mind is knowing you are well. 

In other news, Mrs. Chemsworth and Miss Helene came to call on us the day after Cassandra's return. Mama was surprised that they return the neighborhood so early when they usually don't come till summer and she was flattered by the idea that they would come and call on her directly. However, she later commented I took to many liberties with Miss Helene, but I felt I was just doing my duty by answering all her questions. She did ask after you, she is so good to remember you and our closeness. If you remember from my previous mention of her that after the wedding Miss Helene and I became fast friends, so I felt fine in discussing my worries for your health (I hope that is all right). I feel if Miss Helene spent more time in the neighborhood she and Cassandra could become my truest friends, though nothing will replace you and your son's friendship. 

I cannot what else to write. As once said "life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings." My mind and heart are with you always. 

Your faithful niece,

P.S.- Mama is sick of hearing about you and not knowing you personally so when you are well she extends an invitation for dinner. Though she fears our house will not compare to your grand estate. I hope you will recover quickly and come to us soon. All my love. 
Previous post about Miss Helene

*Forgive me readers, I am sorry if I didn't make it clear this letter writing activity is mostly free writing. I have been trying to re-tell the story of Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, it is one of my favorites, but I have been intrigued by the epistle style of writing for some time so I am mostly trying to see if I can tell a whole story through letters. I am taking the premise of Wives and Daughters and bringing it to America at the turn of the twentieth century (read more here).

I do hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Yours Faithfully... Letter #8

Hello lovely readers,
I hope by now you have read my last "Frivolous Friday" post... I say that because Roger Hamley is the model for Hugh in my story. I don't think Roger gets a lot of credit as a great literary hero so in some ways I would like to boost his profile.
Dearest Aunt,

I was faithful in burning my last letter. I may not be able to let you read this letter now as you would probably ask why I burned the last letter and to answer that I would betray the trust of both your sons.

Today you have opened your eyes and what it was relief it was to see you again though you didn't recognize me and called me Rosie. I was later informed by Hugh that Rosemary was your daughter that died when she was a toddler. Oh I am sorry perhaps I should not write that, as I do not wish to cause you pain. Hugh in all this has been the rock. I do not know what any of us would do without him. It is sometimes hard for me to remember he is your stepson and not your own son for he is so faithful to you and bringing about the peace you are so consistent in. I fear I will never love my new mama like Hugh loves you.  

Speaking of my mama, she writes that Cassandra is coming home sooner than she expected and she wants me to return home. I don't want to leave you but I do want to meet my new sister, she was so loving in her last letter I cannot imagine she won't be absolutely splendid in reality. My mama has said she was quite a beauty, and that Cassandra took after her in that regard. I would never say my mama was gorgeous but she is very genteel looking and seems very well portioned in her looks. 

Oh my dearest Aunt Hen, what shall I do without you even in these latest trials this home has been such a comfort to me. I do not know if my own home will ever be the same... with my mama there it hardly feels the place of solitude I once knew. How I fear her dictates have greatly changed the environment. She wrote me she has dismissed Miss Carter, Miss Carter was my care giver all my childhood, she knew me better than anyone. I relied on her when father was away into the night and she would always allow me into her bed when I was scared of thunderstorms. Of course it has been many years since I needed her in that capacity, but still it seems disloyal that she should be dismissed so suddenly, and I was not even there to say goodbye to her. 

 Sorry, I just returned from a walk in the garden with Hugh. He wanted me to accompany him while he picked some flowers for you as I knew your favorite flowers. When you were asleep we picked very fragrant flowers for you to smell... Hugh says that scent is the most powerful sense. He said that smell can trigger more memories than any other sensor. We picked you a lot of flowers with an array of colors for you to enjoy now that you are awake. He is always so knowledgeable he not only know every flower's English name but Latin name as well. He also is quite skilled in knowing about Entomology and whole bugs have never been a favorite subject of mine, he has away to describe things that make it interesting. He knows I enjoy ancient history and today he showed me a type of beetle that has been around since the Romans invaded. I couldn't believe it myself. How could someone know that. Right now he is with uncle looking at some plumbing works that uncle is implemented in the cottages for his workers. Uncle truly seems more alive in Hugh's presence, which is quite a relief since Uncle and Osborne have been quite distant. 

Perhaps it is not right to think it but I do wonder if Osborne's marriage could have anything to do with their distance. Frequently I catch them looking at each other and it appears they both want to say something but they can't. Something holds them back. I wish I could have your voice, you would bring some reconciliation between them. 

I am sorry to be leaving this house at such a moment, but as I am reminded it is a daughter's duty to follow her mama's request. I do not know why a new mama trumps a long time serviceable niece. If only you would speak and know my name I feel I could convince her I am needed here. As it is I must leave.

All my love,
 I know I just went on vacation and took a break from blogging but I am happy to say I am leaving again to visit my sister, some family, and meet my newest nephew. But have no fear I will not leave you without a "Frivolous Friday" post... so check back here on Friday 9AM (EST).
My newest nephew and now he is 2 months old

Friday, June 5, 2015

Frivolous Friday... Period drama Heroes

Hello lovely readers,
I know I have made lots of post on Period Dramas... what can I say I am obsessed. I have probably written the most about heroines, plot lines or outfits. I have also written a lot about Jane Austen and Downton Abbey. So today for my Frivolous Friday post I am high lighting the heroes of the period dramas to hopefully shine light on other dramas besides Jane Austen and Downton Abbey.

1. John Thorton in  North and South
I put him probably because I have seen the mini-series North and South the most and I always squeal in the scene when he says "look back, look back at me." My friend me got me to watch this because she said it practically like Pride and Prejudice and she is right. Both Margaret Hale and Mr. Thorton have their pride that keeps them apart and both prejudge the other one. Also there is a great proposal scene. I would say that is not just a re-do of Pride and Prejudice but it deals with the very grim realities of the 19th century... think Charles Dickens meets Jane Austen.

2. Roger Hamley in Wives and Daughters
I have written a few blog post on Molly Gibson the heroine of the story but Roger is also great. I don't think he gets a lot of attention because he is quiet and steadfast and that could be considered boring for some stories. But he is not boring. I mean he goes to Africa to do some scientific exploration. Also he makes mistakes first he falls for Molly's step-sister Cynthia because she is charming and doesn't recognize Molly's inner beauty. I think it is totally fine for literary heroes to have faults because he who wants to read about person who is perfect... I mean that is boring. I also love Roger because he encourages Molly to learn more and thinks it is great she has such an inquisitive mind.

3. Prince Henri in Ever After 
In some ways he is very juvenile at the beginning of the movie, as he is running away from his duty. I mean I am not saying you should be forced to marry someone you do not love (though it happened a lot back then). I am just saying as a Prince he should have known that his life of privileged came at a cost. However it is Danielle that teaches him that yes his privileged life does come with a cost but he can use his power and influence to help others. He also learns his life is nothing without following his heart.


4.  Prince Albert in The Young Victoria

Okay another prince. This film has probably heavily romanticized the story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. But from other things I have heard they actually fall in love but they both had tempers. In that I think the movie portrayed that well because they do fight. And though he married to the Queen he doesn't sitting idly by but actually wants to help her rule. And in the film after they fight he still puts himself in harms way to protect her. He is a great example of supporting his wife, encouraging her to make good decisions and ultimately putting her first. Of course he is so cute as he tries to pursue her.

5.  Alf Arless in Lark Rise to Candleford

I know I have not given this show Lark Rise the love it deserves. And Alf is not like the other heroes on this list. Spoiler he doesn't end up with the main girl, Laura Timmins, but who he ends up will make you happy (if you watch it). He does start off the show with a crush on Laura and though he has some jealously toward a boy Laura falls for, eventually he puts that aside and is the best friend Laura needs. He supports her and looks out for her best interest. He also works hard to support his family and no matter what he puts his family first, even if sometimes it causes him to sacrifice his heart. He may not be the main love interest but he is a hero.

I guess the most common theme in this whole post is these are all strong men standing next to and supporting the strong women in their lives. They might argue with them but at the end of the day they are pushing the women they love to be better people. I am not saying you need a man for this but its nice to have a support team.

This hard was hard to only think of five men. Even with my period drama board on Pinterest to look for ideas, it was hard to only limit it to 5 so here are honorable mentions:

 Dr. Harrison in Cranford
Cranfrord is a good light hearted mini-series and while Dr. Harrison is surrounded by strong willed women he a little too soft spoken.
Jack Thorton in When Calls the Heart
this is a new love but I binged watched the first season and now I am going through the second season. I am waiting to see what do to the story before I give my heart away to Jack. But I am totally on Team Jack not Team Charles.
  Gilbert Blythe in Anne of Green Gables
I could not have had this list complete without Gilbert but as I have only seen the movie once (my own short comings) I didn't feel justified in putting as a love of mine.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Yours Faithfully"... letter #7

Hello Lovely Readers,

I know it has been a bit since I posted a letter in this series. My mind has been full of getting back to reality after vacation, being wrapped up in some emotional stuff (I am fine but some very close people to me are struggling and I am hurting for them), and trying to focus my energies on my other story in progress. But I do like this little project and want to keep it going.

For letter #6 click here.

Dearest Aunt,
My heart is aching... I think I will burn this letter as soon as I write it. Now I am desperate for your voice and guidance, and yet I know you cannot speak to me. If you could, I would not be able to tell you for I swore to both Hugh and Ozzie I would not say a word, and I will keep my word. However, my heart aches and I know that you will never read these words as I swear I will burn this letter as soon as I write it.

Ozzie is married. I know no other details than that. Only I imagine he must be ashamed of this marriage or why would he keep it secret... but I cannot think that Osborne would something that would bring such shame to the family, he has always proved himself to be such a good son, brother and cousin to myself. I can only assume that he meant to tell you about this marriage but with your health he did not want to add any more burden to your heart. Though I have not configured in my mind why his marriage would add a burden. Marriage is suppose to be a wonderful event and surely knowing that your son was so happy would bring comfort to you. 

However, like I said I know nothing of the details of her, the marriage, or anything only that it is to be a deep secret. 

I promise it was not my wish to add this secret to my life, I was in the library reading when Hugh came in announcing he had a letter for Osborne from his wife.

It feels so wrong to call Osborne, Ozzie, as I feel there is a great separation between us with his secret. I don't know if I can even look at him the same way I did through all our childhood. 

Anyway I was sitting in the library and Hugh came in and announced he had a letter from Osborne's wife. Hugh must have been in on the secret as it seemed the words were natural on his lips. Ozzie  Osborne then scowled that Hugh should have looked around before saying such things. That is when Hugh's eyes caught mine. I must have looked terrified because his face went white and then he stumbled over his words. 

I immediately got up in and left the library. I didn't know where to go but I knew I could not stay there any more. Half an hour or so later Hugh found me in the garden and tried to explain the details. I said I didn't want to know them as I knew I could keep any more secrets in me. He respected my wishes. 

The thing that hurts the most is feeling so separate now from you and my Uncle as I cannot tell you the truth. I also cannot talk to Hugh or Osborne about this either as I swore I would not mention it again and that separates us too. If it was not for you and the hopes you would wake soon keep me here, otherwise I would rather be home and in sweet innocence. Does that sound horribly selfish? I will be by your side till you awake, I promise and will not leave you. Please awake soon, I know seeing your smile again all will be well. 

Yours faithfully, 
Osborne and Mrs. Hamley from Wives and Daughters.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Story time Saturday- Letter #3

Dearest Aunt, 

I have barely had a moment to call my own since father's wedding. I apologize it has taken me this long to respond to your last letter. You are so good to think of me in your weakened state. I know you will be my confidant in all matters as you only have my best interest at heart. 

I am trying to do my best to look for the best in my new mother and so far all I can say is she is very refined. She has quite a structure to her life I worry that I will not be able to fit into. Usually father is gone making calls before the rest of the house is awake and she takes breakfast in bed, she says it is the way of married ladies, and while this time should be my own she frequently calls me to sit and talk to her. She says I have a soothing voice, however she does not share any of her breakfast with me and when she is changing I find a moment to sneak a bite or two. Then she receives calls in the afternoon, she has yet to make any calls as she states, that she is a new bride and the people should call on her. I feel she does not find Hollingbrooke desirable for she frequently complains about the lack of intelligent conversation. She also laughs at how people people put on airs when discussing the family at The Towers.

She definitely feels an intimacy towards them, I guess being a governess for them all those years ago and being the Mrs. Chemsworth's  special guest makes her feel such ways. Though I hardly understand what she did except to be at Mrs. Chemworth's beck-and-call when the Lady was in the area. Although she must have a been a good companion as both Mr.and Mrs. Chemsworth were at the wedding and their daughter Miss Helene was a bride's maid with me. After the ceremony Miss Helene and I became fast friends though she five years old than me,and she is far wealthier than I could imagine. She sometimes teases about the people of Hollingbrooke, over all she is very kind. She promised as soon as my new mother was settled she would call on both of us. "Mama", as father is trying to get me to say, does not like when I talk about Lady Helene, she thinks I am presumptuous, but I can tell you about her and how I think she is going to be true to her word and call on us. 

Sorry my dearest aunt, a few days have passed, since I wrote the last part. Oh I wish I had a moment to call my own. Mama has had frequent visitors and we have been called to attend dinner at neighbors homes. Mama thinks it is due to her providence of freshness in the town, but I think it is a greater compliment to father. Everyone in Hollingbrooke knows he is best doctor in the county and he is so favored by many families. While the invitations are for mama and father, father is more frequently than not able to attend and I must serve as a substitute. I don't mind much but I do so hate to hear her criticize our always generous host and hostess on the return trip. I am going to own it to the fact she is far more refined than any of us.

Father, told me my new mama had a daughter named Cassandra, about my age, she was suppose to come to the wedding but was unable to make it. I wish she had come she might have softened her mother up. I do not remember my own mother, but I know the way you speak about Ozzie and what a joy he is to you, I feel certain it would have been the same for Mama. However, today I received a letter from her. Mama didn't think it was right that she write exclusively to me but she is so kind in her letter I think if words can prove a person's character I will love Cassandra forever. 

Have to go mama is insisting I come to the drawing room.
Yours faithfully,

I honestly don't know where this letter writing is going to go but I find it interesting in trying to reconstruct the story of Wives and Daughters by letter writing. If you know the story I have changed a few character names and the town names. Though I love Molly Gibson and the way she is portrayed in both book and film, it is not how I see my Molly, at least not in looks. I want to keep the characteristics the same but I might modify the description (if this continues on). I hope you enjoy these letters and if you have not read the original source please do. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Free Writing Wednesday

In my last post I wrote I had the desire to retell the story of Wives and Daughters, I sat down to do a little free write and this is what came out. In Wives and Daughters, Molly is sent off to visit Mrs. Hamley as her father, Dr. Gibson, has learned one of his pupils is an admirer of his daughter. Like most dads he freaks out over his little girl, who is seventeen, having a suitor, so he sends her away. In that time she is away Dr. Gibson convinces himself he needs to get a new wife and new mother for Molly to protect her from men. This is kind of the telling of that.
Not a screen shot from Wives and Daughters

Dear Aunt Hen,

I hope you do not mind that silly nick name as you know it has quite stuck since my childhood days when I could not say Henrietta. 

I write to thank you for the wonderful time I had with you and uncle at your home. It was so generous for you to take me in for the entire summer especially since I know you were quite distracted with all the anxiety of my cousin Ozzie's time at Harvard. I am sure he will do quite well and will come home as soon as his time with his friends in New Port is over. Please keep posted on any updates. How I long to hear from you. I wish I was there for I could write your letters for you as I know you have been so very distressed in not in the mood to write.

I do so miss you and the walks in the gardens and even picking flowers for you, I know they always cheered you up. I made uncle swear he would pick flowers for you in my absence, but you know men can never be left to do a woman's work. I miss sitting by your window and letting the summer breeze brush over us.  Oh dear just thinking about it brings tears too my eyes, but I am an easier crier as you know. 

Things are just not the same at home, since I left. Father had a pupil, who was preparing to go to medical school and he is now gone. I can't say Mr. Cox was a great conversationalist but he was pleasant and his wild red hair was quite an amusement. Now without him the house seems almost empty. But I keep busy, preparing the house for my new step-mother who is to come. I know her so little and yet I feel at odds with her already. Oh please do not tell that to anyone for I would hate someone to think I was uncaring. I do so try to do as you say and look for the good in others but it is rather hard sometimes. All I feel is a great separation between father and myself growing everyday. I guess that is what happens when a man is about to get married, a new woman has replaced me in his eyes and in his love for me. 

I shall not write more I fear I have said to said too much. Forgive me Aunt Ham for my wicked thoughts. Please know I had an amazing time with you and uncle and I hope it can be repeated over and over. 

All my love, 

Dearest Molly,

Do not hold back any emotions on my account. Your happiness is my happiness, your sadness is my sadness. I did say to try to find the best in people but I do understand it is hard when you feel so uneasy with the situation. I am sure your father has found a good woman to be your new mother, he is such a good sound man and he would never think of a woman in such a way unless she was completely honorable. But I do know how grieved you were over the suddenness of this all and I cannot blame you for that. Do try to remember your own father's happiness though and how saddened he will be if he thinks you do not like his wife-to-be. No matter what please write to me and tell me all your heartache, sorrows, and happiness I will forever be your confidant. 

You are so kind, dear Molly, to ask after Ozzie, I do so hope his frivolity in New Port will end quickly. I do not wish to sound selfish but so much of my comfort relies on him, especially now that you are gone. Yes, while Arthur tries his hands at picking flowers, for my sake, he is not so nearly as clever at it as you were are. Oh Molly come back whenever you desire, I will keep your room just the way it was when you left. It can always be your oasis.

I am sorry I cannot write anymore I feel so weak, must rest.

Yours truly,
Aunt Hen

 I am sure this phase will pass and you will be ever first in your father's heart. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Too many stories in my head

Dear lovely readers,

I am writing mainly to the other bloggers out there who are writers... well I guess all bloggers are writers. But I feel like this is more a writing problem. I am in the middle of writing a story I love and it has been going through my mind for years, so writing it finally feels like I am accomplishing a goal. However, I am re-reading Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (I know I have talked about the book and mini-series a few times on this blog...if you have not read it or watched it by now, you are missing out) anyway I love this story so much and I have thought about how to update it.
Roger Hamley and Molly
Or re-tell it in some way. I have watched a lot of vloggers updating stories on YouTube and while I feel this would be a great and easy vlog to do... I do not have any film experience. So if a vlogger is out there reading this blog can you please please make a adaptation of this story I would be eternally grateful.

For myself, I feel more comfortable with writing about the early twentieth century than I do in modern times. The last story I wrote was a re-telling of Sense and Sensibility but set in 1906 in western Massachusetts. It was lots of fun bringing the characters of Elinor and Marianne, who I love so much to life as Laurel and Emmy and trying to figure out what women in 1906 do when they are completely dependent on the generosity of family members. 

Molly, Cynthia, Mrs. Gibson
So now I my mind wrapped up in how to bring Molly Gibson up-to-date. The basic premise of Molly Gibson is she is very selfless, and always trying to please people, especially her papa. Unfortunately she is too selfless and in that has a hard time speaking up for herself and when she does some people think she is being selfish, especially her new step-mom. Her new step-mom frequently pretends that she is better than the station she lives in and acts in ways that are quite silly because she wants to be considered high-class. With her step-mom come a new step-sister, Cynthia, who is beautiful... I mean it is said about a hundred times how enrapturing Cynthia is. I personally think this is because she is actually not that good of person on the inside. But good Molly loves her anyway and goes to great lengths to protect Cynthia... even at the cost of ruining her reputation. Eventually her reputation is restored, thanks to Lady Harriet and she does find love (sorry spoiler). However, Elizabeth Gaskell dies before the actual book is finished so we just have to assume all ends happily for Molly.

Going back to my writing- as I said I feel more comfortable with the early twentieth century. So I am trying to configure a way to bring Molly into that time period. However, as much as I am enjoying those musings I must stayed focused on my story at hand. Ugh to be a writer with too many stories on my mind. I guess it is better than not having any stories.
If I do write this story I must use this line.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten...Period Dramas

I love getting lost in the past, I have probably said it many times but I have a very idealistic view of the past. I love the world of etiquette, refinement, and perhaps some chivalry. When I am having a bad day I love escaping to the world of these dramas and escaping just for a bit.

These are my top ten favorite period dramas.

1. Pride and Prejudice (1995)- I owe this miniseries for starting my love of Jane Austen. I don't remember when I started watching this, it was always just around my mom's house on five VHS tapes. At first I thought it was ridiculously long and I got lost in all the characters but now I am happy to spend five hours watching it and still waiting to see if Darcy and Elizabeth get together.
2. North and South- I know there was an 80's or 90's drama with the same title about the Civil War, but this is not it. This is a mini-series based off the Elizabeth Gaskell novel and probably the only time I am going to say that the movie is better than the book. I think Gaskell was trying to be too much like Charles Dickens with lots of details and dealing with the struggles of society. But I feel the plot get lost in book. In the mini-series you can see Mr. Thorton and Margret's love develop (very much in the Pride and Prejudice way). And you still get great one liners from Mr. Higgins (you might recognize as Mr. Bates). Plus you get to watch the beautiful Richard Armitage.
Left to right: Mr. Higgins, Mr. Thorton, Margret Hale. Mr. Hale
He is just so beautiful I could not help but share..
3. Emma- I like both the Gwyenth Paltrow (1996) version and the Romola Garai (2009) version. They both portray Emma well. I know the 1996 version is not exact to the book and there are some plot points that get lost, but I think they casted it very well. Paltrow plays Emma with lots of arrogance and her facial expressions are right on. And I think they did a better job casting Jane Fairfax as a great beauty (as she is suppose to be). But I keep coming back to Emma (1996) because of the line "Now I might call you Mr. Knightley, but my Mr. Knightley."
Mr. Knightley and Emma 
But I also enjoy watching Jonny Lee Miller play Mr. Knightley and he really is concerned for her, which I think is more obvious in this version.

4. Sense and Sensibility- Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon, enough said. But in case you didn't know there is a 2008 mini-series with Dan Stevens playing Edward Ferras, which is also really good but it is hard to love it with no Alan Rickman and no Hugh Laurie. 
 Hard to decide

5. Downton Abbey- Speaking of Dan Stevens. I'm still getting over the loss of Matthew. The other week I went through season 2 of Downton and I admitted to my roommate I didn't own season 3 because it is hard to watch the end of it. However, I owe Downton Abbey my love for the Edwardian and WWI era (as I am sure many do). The costuming is wonderful, the Countess's one liners are brilliant, and it is hard not to get swept away in it.

"If you really like an argument... we should see more of each other."
-Edwardian flirting at its finest

6. Lark Rise to Candleford- As another series I recommend Lark Rise. It has some characters your will recognize: Julia Sawalha (Lydia Bennet (1995)), Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates and Mr. Higgins), and various others. It really cements my idea that there are only 12 British actors who do historical dramas because most of them have connections through this series, either being long time characters or guest of the show. The show revolves around Laura Timmins and when she moves from her little hamlet of Lark Rise to the bigger town Candleford to work at the post office. However all the characters and their shenanigans are the real enjoyment of the story with enough heart to keep the story grounded. I also love the love interest either in regards to Dorcas Lane (Sawalha), Laura Timmins and Alf Arless. 

7. Wives and Daughter- This is another Elizabeth Gaskell novel adaptation. I love Molly Gibson. She is a great heroine to look up to. In fact I have a whole post about my love for her: A new heroine to love
Rodger and Molly
8. Little Dorrit- A Charles Dickens adaption (thus far the only Dickens I have read). The story deals with a little more heart break than the others on this list. Amy Dorrit is born in a debtors prison because of her father and while the whole family tries to act grander than their fortune, she is very humble and selfless. She gets a jobs sowing for Mrs. Clennams when we meet her son Arthur (Mathew MacFayden). Like any Dickens work there are lots of sub-plots. So while I am glad to cross Dickens off my list of authors to read, I'd rather watch the mini-series.

9. Cranford and Return to Cranford- I personally like Cranford more than Return to Cranford but I mention it because it has a great story involving Tom Hiddleston (and wouldn't miss a moment to see him in a cravat and top hat. Cranford is great because like Lark Rise it takes place in a small town but yet is full of nonsensical commotions that bring laughter but lots hearts. Also the story line between Dr. Harrison and Sophy Hutton is sweet and a great reminder about courting.But there are also lots of stories that make this little town such a great to visit. Once again there are many people you will recognize: Judi Dench, Jim Carter (Carson on Downton), Imelda Staunton (Umbridge in Harry Potter), Julia Sawlaha (Lark Rise, Pride and Prejudice). 
Sophy Hutton and Dr. Harrison 

10. The Young Victoria- To end this list is so hard. I love so many films check out my Pinterest board (Chivalry does exist) to see more I love. There are other films I would include on this list if I had more time. So I will end this list on The Young Victoria, it is always a film that makes me feel better and the costumes are absolutely breath taking. 

I always enjoy learning about other period dramas so if you have any you think I should watch let me know. If you have seen these and want to know of other films... I found this article "British Period Dramas Online" it has links to many of the titles listed her and it has others not listed. Also I recommend checking out what is at your local library (they have hidden gems). 

Thanks for taking time to enjoy this frivolity.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A new to heroine love...

I have found another heroine to love. It is Molly Gibson from the novel Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. Molly Gibson is an only daughter of the strong headed and odd Dr. Gibson and she has made it her life's work to serve her father very unselfishly. At the beginning of the story a Mr. Coxe has fallen for her but her father, kind of selfishly, keeps Mr. Coxe's feelings unknown, and sends his daughter off to Hamley Hall. This is where the real action starts. At Hamely Hall we truly see Molly's sacrificing soul as we see her take care of the ailing Mrs. Hamely. Also during this time Dr. Gibson gets engaged to a silly woman. But what is most important for this blog post is we meet Roger Hamley, the second son of the Squire.
Molly and Roger
I have watched the mini-series a few times and I have fallen in love with it. Plus I know from the comments on YouTube it doesn't have the great romantic ending that the mini-series has because Gaskell dies before she finished the book. So I was intrigued to see where the novel ended. I began reading the novel and I have fallen in love with Molly Gibson.
Molly, Cynthia, and Mrs. Gibson
Molly is frequently compared to with her step-sister, Cynthia. I feel Gaskell stresses Cynthia's beauty because it is seems to be only outer beauty. Cynthia wants to be good but her mannerism is prone to trouble and while she talks a good deal of goodness she doesn't really improve. Also Cynthia knows she is a beauty, she likes to flirt with men, and use her beauty to get men's attention. Any way Molly is all goodness and everyone around her can see her sweet nature but the man she loves hardly notices her. In fact he sees her only as a sister. And Molly is so sacrificial that she never says one word of her love to Roger Hamley and actually encourages Cynthia in her relationship with Roger.

I am right now at the part where Molly is in pain because she is realizing that Cynthia does not truly love Roger and it breaks her heart. I am happy that have watched the mini-series to know that there is a happy ending for her because right now my heart is breaking for her. 

Molly is the kind of person who is sensible, good hearted, always caring for others over herself, and while she does not speak of it much she has a deep and passionate heart. In some ways I feel she is the heroine I wish I could be and in other ways I feel very much like her. By this I mean, I am not always good at expressing my emotions but I do have a deep heart to love. Molly is written off as plane and I sometimes when I look in the mirror I see a plane girl. Also Molly is noted for spending too much time in her books. But I wish I was like Molly in the way she is always caring for others above her own self and this in the end gives her a happy ending.
I used to get annoyed with characters who are seen as behaving properly all the time, they seemed too perfect, and a good heroine has flaws. Though the more I read the more I find the more I love these heroines who are sacrificial in the way they act, do not always let their hearts known, but yet they do long for passion and a soul mate. I would count Elinor Dashwood, Fanny Price, Amy Dorrit, and Anne Elliot even though I am not a big fan of Persuasion.

If you love Jane Austen or if you are looking for another heroine to fall in love with I recommend Molly Gibson. I hope she is the kind of heroine I can become and write about in my stories for I feel she is a great role model to live up to. 

Besides my love for Molly Gibson, the whole mini-series is great with some great one liners...
To read more on other heroines I have fallen in love with... A Jane Austen Heroine