Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cozy Up With Tea, Scones, and a Book

"Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea." (Anonomous)
Or in this case, scones and tea.

Basic British Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
¼ cup margarine
1/8 cup white sugar
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a bowl.

Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and enough milk to mix to a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface, knead lightly and roll out to a ¾-inch thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with milk to glaze.

Bake at 425° F (220° C) for 10 minutes then cool on a wire rack. Serve with clotted cream and jam.

Makes approximately 12 servings.

The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, first published in 1892. It centers around a Victorian woman who has lost a child and is suffering from depression. Her husband, a doctor, takes her to a country home to recuperate. The bedroom wall is hung with yellow wallpaper and the woman descends into an insanity involving the wallpaper.

It sounds quite grusome and depressing, but it is an excellent book and a fascinating look into Victorian society.

You can read the short story online, here.

There is a new film that has just finished production, based on the book, but with a slightly different storyline. Here are some stills from the movie, directed by Logan Thomas. Read an update here.

Link To Jane Austen's Window View

Head on over to Jane Austen's World to read their post and see the photo from Jane Austen's bedroom at the Chawton house - (complete with English raindrops splattered on the window).

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Turn of the Screw

A new version of Henry James novel, "The Turn of the Screw" will begin filming August 2009 for BBC One. If you cannot wait for this new version, check out the classic film "The Innocents" with Deborah Kerr, also based on the book. One word...scary! Or just read the book online here.

From BBC:

The Turn Of The Screw on BBC One
Date: 17.08.2009
Category: TV Drama; BBC One

BBC Drama announces a re-working of the Henry James classic, The Turn Of The Screw, for BBC One, starring Michelle Dockery (Cranford, Red Riding) as the young governess, Ann, Sue Johnston (The Royle Family, Waking The Dead) as Mrs Grose and Mark Umbers (Mistresses) as the Master.

Adapted by Sandy Welch (Emma, Jane Eyre), the 90-minute drama is reset in the Twenties, when Britain is still imbued with the grief of the First World War, adding a chilling extra dimension.

Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama Commissioning, says: "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a ghost story for the adults to watch in front of the fire when the children are in bed, and they don't get more chilling than this bold reimagining of the classic Henry James tale."

The Turn Of The Screw tells the story of a young governess, Ann, who is sent to a country house to take care of two orphans, Miles (Josef Lindsay) and Flora (Eva Sayer).

Shortly after Ann begins her duties, Miles is expelled from boarding school for being "a threat to the other boys" and Ann fears that there is something else behind the expulsion. She is, however, too charmed by the adorable young boy to want to press the issue.

Ann starts to see the figures of a man and woman around the grounds of the estate. The figures come and go at will without ever being seen or challenged by other members of the household, and they seem to Ann to be supernatural.

She learns that her predecessor, Miss Jessel (Katie Lightfoot) and her illicit lover Peter Quint (Edward MacLiam), another former servant of the household, a clever but abusive man, both died under curious circumstances. Prior to their death, they spent most of their time with Flora and Miles, and this fact takes on a grim significance for Ann when she becomes convinced that the two children are secretly aware of the presence of the ghosts.

Ann soon becomes obsessed with the belief that malevolent forces are stalking the children in her care, manipulating Miles and Flora and even using them to continue their relationship from beyond the grave. Ann determines to save her charges from these supernatural beings, but this comes at huge cost to herself and her sanity.

The Turn Of The Screw was commissioned by Ben Stephenson and Jay Hunt, Controller of BBC One, and is executive produced by Jessica Pope (Hunter, Sense And Sensibility), produced by Colin Wratten (Waking The Dead, EastEnders) and directed by Tim Fywell (The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency).

Originally published in 1898, the short novel was written by US-born British author Henry James.

Filming begins in August on location in the West Country.

Bronte Parsonage Museum

Monday, August 24, 2009

The White Queen

This looks interesting!

White Queen Website

From Simon & Schuster


Philippa Gregory, "the queen of royal fiction" (USA Today) Presents the first of a new series set amid the deadly feuds of England known as the Wars of the Roses.

Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.

The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.

With The White Queen, Philippa Gregory brings the artistry and intellect of a master writer and storyteller to a new era in history and begins what is sure to be another bestselling classic series from this beloved author."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Death of Emily Bronte

This aired on the TLC/Discovery channels in the 1990's as part of the Great Books series

Friday, August 14, 2009

Henry David Thoreau Tour

History - Born In The Wrong Era

Were You Born
In The Wrong Era?

...go back in time...

Ancient (Before 476)
Medieval (476-1450)
Renaissance (1450-1600)
Elizabethian (1558-1603)
Baroque (1600-1750)
Georgian (1714-1811)
Regency (1812-1830)
Victorian (1839-1901)
Edwardian (1901-1919)

Era Timeline obtained from Eras of Elegance

Sunday, August 9, 2009

National Parks

Coming to PBS September 27, 2009 / DVD October 6th

From PBS
"Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales — from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska — The National Parks: America's Best Idea is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background — rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy. It is a story full of struggle and conflict, high ideals and crass opportunism, stirring adventure and enduring inspiration - set against the most breathtaking backdrops imaginable.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a six-episode series directed by Ken Burns and written and co-produced by Dayton Duncan.

Dr Quinn On Set Photos

Back when Dr Quinn was filming in California, my sister and her family went on vacation and got these pictures on the set. They are also posted on the official Dr Quinn Site, along with many other candids from fans. The complete Dr Quinn series comes out on DVD October 20th.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Lady of Shalott

The Lady of Shalott

by Alfred Tennyson

Part I

On either side of the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow veiled
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her wave her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?

Only reapers, reaping early
In among the bearded barley,
Hear a song that echoes cheerly
From the river winding clearly,
Down to towered Camelot:
And by the moon the reaper weary,
Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
Listening, whispers "'Tis the fairy
Lady of Shalott."

Part II

There she weaves by night and day
A magic web with colours gay.
She has heard a whisper say,
A curse is on her if she stay
To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be,
And so she weaveth steadily,
And little other care hath she,
The Lady of Shalott.

And moving through a mirror clear
That hands before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the curly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-haired page in crimson clad,
Goes by to towered Camelot;
And sometimes through the mirror blue
The knights come riding two and two:
She hath no loyal knight and true,
The Lady of Shalott.

But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often through the silent nights
A funeral, with plumes and lights
And music, went to Camelot:
Or when the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed;
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

Part III

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley-sheaves,
The sun came dazzling through the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight for ever kneeled
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

The gemmy bridle glittered free,
Like to some branch of stars we see
Hung in the golden Galaxy.
The bridle bells rang merrily
As he rode down to Camelot:
And from his blazoned baldric slung
A mighty silver bugle hung,
And as he rode his armour rung,
Beside remote Shalott.

All in the blue unclouded weather
Thick-jewelled shone the saddle-leather,
The helmet and the helmet-feather
Burned like one burning flame together,
As he rode down to Camelot.
As often through the purple night,
Below the starry clusters bright,
Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
Moves over still Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnished hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flowed
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lira," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She looked down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror cracked from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.

Part IV

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining,
Heavily the low sky raining
Over towered Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And round about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance —
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Lying, robed in snowy white
That loosely flew to left and right —
The leaves upon her falling light —
Through the noises of the night
She floated down to Camelot:
And as the boat-head wound along
The willowy hills and fields among,
They heard her singing her last song,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turned to towered Camelot.
For ere she reached upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and burgher, lord and dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? and what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the knights at Camelot:
But Lancelot mused a little space;
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."

The Tennyson Page

History of the Poem

Lady of Shalott Pages

Loreena McKinnitt Sings "The Lady of Shalott"

Imagining of "The Lady of Shalott"

Buy Howard Pyle's Book

The Highwayman

Alfred Noyes (1880-1958)

The Highwayman



The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.


He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin;
They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh!
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.


Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord's daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.


And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's red-lipped daughter,
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—


"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."


He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(Oh, sweet, black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonliglt, and galloped away to the West.



He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon,
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
King George's men came matching, up to the old inn-door.


They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed;
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.


They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest;
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now, keep good watch!" and they kissed her.
She heard the dead man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!


She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!


The tip of one finger touched it; she strove no more for the rest!
Up, she stood up to attention, with the barrel beneath her breast,
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed to her love's refrain .


Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!


Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.


He turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.


Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

artwork: Maude and Misha Petershams

Three Days Ride


by: Stephen Vincent Benét

      "ROM Belton Castle to Solway side,
      Hard by the bridge, is three days' ride."
      We had fled full fast from her father's keep,
      And the time was come that we must sleep.
      The first day was an ecstasy,
      A golden mist, a burgeoning tree;
      We rode like gods through a world new-made,
      The hawthorn scented hill and glade,
      A faint, still sweetness in the air--
      And, oh, her face and the wind in her hair!
      And the steady beat of our good steeds' hooves,
      Bearing us northward, strong and fast,
      To my high black tower, stark to the blast,
      Like a swimmer stripped where the Solway moves.
      And ever, riding, we chanted a song,
      Challenging Fortune, loud and long,
      "From Belton Castle to Solway side,
      Strive as you may, is three days' ride!"

      She slept for an hour, wrapped in my cloak,
      And I watched her till the morning broke;
      The second day--and a harsher land,
      And grey bare hills on either hand;
      A surly land and a sullen folk,
      And a fog that came like bitter smoke.
      The road wound on like a twisted snake,
      And our horses sobbed as they topped the brake.
      Till we sprang to earth at Wyvern Fen,
      Where fresh steeds stamped, and were off again.
      Weary and sleepless, bruised and worn,
      We still had strength for laughter and scorn;
      Love held us up through the mire and mist,
      Love fed us, while we clasped and kissed,
      And still we sang as the night closed in,
      Stealthy and slow as a hidden sin,
      "From Belton Castle to Solway side,
      Ride how you will, is three days' ride."
      My love drooped low on the black mare's back,
      Drowned in her hair . . . the reins went slack . . .
      Yet she could not sleep, save to dream bad dreams
      And wake all trembling, till at last
      Her golden head lay on my breast.
      At last we saw the first faint gleams
      Of day. Dawn broke. A sickly light
      Came from the withered sun--a blight
      Was on the land, and poisonous mist
      Shrouded the rotting trees, unkissed
      By any wind, and the black crags glared
      Like sightless, awful faces, spared
      From death to live accursed for aye.
      Dragging slow chains the hours went by.
      We rode on, drunk and drugged with sleep,
      Too deadly weary now to say
      Whether our horses kept the way
      Or no--like slaves stretched on a heap
      Of poisoned arrows. Every limb
      Shot with sharp pain; pain seemed to swim
      Like a red cloud before our eyes. . . .
      The mist broke, and a moment showed,
      Sharp as the Devil's oxen-goad,
      The spear-points where the hot chase rode.
      Idly I watched them dance and rise
      Till white wreaths wiped them out again . . .
      My love jerked at the bridle rein;
      The black mare, dying, broke her heart
      In one swift gallop; for my part
      I dozed; and ever in my brain,
      Four hoofs of fire beat out refrain,
      A dirge to light us down to death,
      A silly rhyme that saith and saith,
      "From Belton Castle to Solway side,
      Though great hearts break, is three days' ride!"
      The black mare staggered, reeled and fell,
      Bearing my love down . . . a great bell
      Began to toll . . . and sudden fire
      Flared at me from the road, a pyre
      It seemed, to burn our bodies in . . .
      And I fell down, far down, within
      The pit's mouth . . . and my brain went blind. . . .
      I woke--a cold sun rose behind
      Black evil hills--my love knelt near
      Beside a stream, her golden hair
      Streaming across the grass--below
      The Solway eddied to and fro,
      White with fierce whirlpools . . . my love turned. . . .
      Thank God, some hours of joy are burned
      Into the mind, and will remain,
      Fierce-blazing still, in spite of pain!
      They came behind us as we kissed,
      Stealthily from the dripping mist,
      Her brothers and their evil band.
      They bound me fast and made me stand.
      They forced her down upon her knees.
      She did not strive or cry or call,
      But knelt there dumb before them all--
      I could not turn away my eyes--
      There was no fear upon her face,
      Although they slew her in that place.
      The daggers rent and tore her breast
      Like dogs that snarl above a kill,
      Her proud face gazed above them still,
      Seeking rest--Oh, seeking rest!
      The blood swept like a crimson dress
      Over her bosom's nakedness,
      A curtain for her weary eyes,
      A muffling-cloth to stop her sighs . . .
      And she was gone--and a red thing lay
      Silent on the trampled clay.
      Beneath my horse my feet are bound,
      My hands are bound behind my back,
      I feel the sinews start to crack--
      And ever to the hoof-beats' sound,
      As we draw near the gallows-tree,
      Where I shall hang right speedily,
      A crazy tune rings in my brain,
      Four hoofs of fire tramp the refrain,
      Crashing clear o'er the roaring crowd,
      Steadily galloping, strong and loud,
      "From Belton Castle to Solway side,
      Hard by the bridge, is three days' ride!"

An English Ladye Bright

It Was An English Ladye Bright

by Sir Walter Scott

It was an English ladye bright,
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,)
And she would marry a Scottish knight,
For Love will still be lord of all.

Blithely they saw the rising sun
When he shone fair on Carlisle wall;
But they were sad ere day was done,
Though Love was still the lord of all.

Her sire gave brooch and jewel fine,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall;
Her brother gave but a flask of wine,
For ire that Love was lord of all.

For she had lands both meadow and lea,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,
And he swore her death, ere he would see
A Scottish knight the lord of all.

That wine she had not tasted well
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,)
When dead, in her true love's arms, she fell,
For Love was still the lord of all!

He pierced her brother to the heart,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall:--
So perish all would true love part
That Love may still be lord of all!

And then he took the cross divine,
Where the sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,
And died for her sake in Palestine;
So Love was still the lord of all.

Now all ye lovers, that faithful prove,
(The sun shines fair on Carlisle wall,)
Pray for their souls who died for love,
For Love shall still be lord of all!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lady Clare

Lord Alfred Tennyson's poem: Lady Clare

It was the time when lilies blow,
And clouds are highest up in air.
Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
To give his cousin, Lady Clare.

I trow they did not part in scorn:
Lovers long betrothed were they;
They two will wed the morrow morn;
God's blessing on the day!

"He does not love me for my birth
Nor for my lands so broad and fair;
He loves me for my own true worth,
And that is well," said Lady Clare.

In there came old Alice the nurse,
Said, "Who was this that went from thee?"
"It was my cousin," said Lady Clare;
"To-morrow he weds with me."

"Oh, God be thanked!" said Alice the nurse,
"That all comes round so just and fair:
Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,
And you are not the Lady Clare."

"Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse,"
Said Lady Clare, "that ye speak so wild?"
"As God's above," said Alice the nurse,
"I speak the truth: you are my child.

The old earl's daughter died at my breast;
I speak the truth, as I live by bread!
I buried her like my own sweet child,
And put my child in her stead."

"Falsely, falsely have ye done,
O mother," she said, "if this be true,
To keep the best man under the sun
So many years from his due."

"Nay now, my child," said Alice the nurse,
"But keep the secret for your life,
And all you have will be Lord Ronald's,
When you are man and wife."

"If I'm a beggar born," she said
"I will speak out, for I dare not lie,
Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold,
And fling the diamond necklace by."

"Nay now, my child," said Alice the nurse,
"But keep the secret all you can."
She said, "Not so; but I will know
If there be any faith in man."

"Nay now, what faith?" said Alice the nurse,
"The man will cleave unto his right."
"And he shall have it," the lady replied,
"Though I should die to-night."

"Yet give one kiss to your mother, dear!
Alas, my child! I sinned for thee."
"O mother, mother, mother," she said,
"So strange it seems to me!

"Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,
My mother dear, if this be so,
And lay your hand upon my head,
And bless me, mother, ere I go."

She clad herself in a russen gown,
She was no longer Lady Clare:
She went by dale, and she went by down,
With a single rose in her hair.

The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought
Leapt up from where she lay.
Dropped her head in the maiden's hand.
And followed her all the way.

Down stepped Lord Ronald from his tower:
"O Lady Clare, you shame your worth!
Why come you dressed like a village maid,
That are the flower of the earth?"

"If I come dressed like a village maid,
I am but as my fortunes are:
I am a begger born," she said,
"And not the Lady Clare."

"Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald,
"For I am yours in word and in deed;
Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald,
"Your riddle is hard to read."

Oh, and proudly stood she up!
Her heart within her did not fail:
She looked into Lord Ronald's eyes,
And told him all her nurse's tale.

He laughed a laugh of merry scorn:
He turned and kissed her where she stood;
"If you are not the heiress born,
And I," said he, "the next in blood--

"If you are not the heiress born,
And I," said he, "the lawful heir,
We two will wed to-morrow morn,
And you shall still be Lady Clare."


A list of quotes, (from literature, authors, philosophers, etc.)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."
Jane Austen, opening line from Pride & Prejudice

Willows whiten, aspens quiver, little breezes dusk and shiver, thro' the wave that runs forever by the island in the river, flowing down to Camelot. Four gray walls and four gray towers, overlook a space of flowers, and the silent isle imbowers, the Lady of Shalott.
Lord Alfred Tennyson, from the poem, The Lady of Shalot

My bride is here,
because my equal is here."
Charlotte Bronte from Jane Eyre

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
Victor Hugo

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Oh, tell me I may sponge away the writing on this stone!"
Charles Dickens from A Christmas Carol

The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life.
Henry James

People may flatter themselves just as much by thinking that their faults are always present to other people's minds, as if they believe that the world is always contemplating their individual charms and virtues.
Elizabeth Gaskell

The future of English fiction may rest with this Unknown Public -- a reading public of three millions which lies right out of the pale of true literary civilization -- which is now waiting to be taught the difference between a good book and a bad.
Wilkie Collins

At night, when the curtains are drawn and the fire flickers, my books attain a collective dignity.
EM Forster

A little kingdom I possess, where thoughts and feelings dwell; And very hard the task I find of governing it well.
Louisa May Alcott

"For five months I got up at six o'clock and got dressed by the lamplight. The fire would not yet be on. The house was very cold but I would put on a heavy coat, sit with my feet up to keep them from freezing and with fingers so cramped that I could scarcely hold a pen. I would write my "stunt" for the day. Sometimes it would be a poem in which I would carol blithely of blue skies and rippling brooks and flowery meads! Then I would thaw out my hands, eat breakfast and go to school. When people say to me, as they occasionally do, 'Oh how I envy your gift, how I wish I could write as you do', I am inclined to wonder, with some inward amusement, how much they would have envied me on those dark, cold, winter mornings of my apprenticeship."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

But he that dares not grasp the thorn Should never crave the rose.
Anne Bronte

One evening of late summer, before the nineteenth century had reached one-third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot. They were plainly but not ill clad, though the thick hoar of dust which had accumulated on their shoes and garments from an obviously long journey lent a disadvantageous shabbiness to their appearance just now.
Thomas Hardy from The Mayor of Casterbridge

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them"
Shakespeare from Twelfth Night

The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.
CS Lewis from Mere Christianity

Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.
Anne Frank from The Diary of Anne Frank

Joy runs deeper than despair.
Corrie Ten Boom from The Hiding Place

Author Mini Bios

Victor Hugo was a French writer, playright, and poet. He is best known in America as the writer of "Les Miserables."

Les Miserables
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Toilers of the Sea
The Man Who Laughs

Charlotte Bronte grew up the daughter of a clergyman in Victorian Northern England. She, with her sisters, Anne and Emily, became the greatest literary family to the known world. Charlotte wrote her novels using real life experiences and feelings. One of the best biographies that illustrates this is a book called, "Charlotte Bronte: The Self Conceived."

Jane Eyre
The Professor

Jane Austen was an English country girl who wrote about the country life in southern England that she knew firsthand. Six novels were published under the name "By a Lady" or "By the Author of." She died at age 41, but not before she wrote several brilliant novels to share with the world.

Sense & Sensibility
Pride & Prejudice
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey

Charles Dickens wrote about the real Victorian England in his books. An England many did not want to know, or hear about, the poor and suffering. Oliver Twist and David Copperfield come to mind. In "The Life of Our Lord," Dickens wrote his religious beliefs to his children. His most famous work was, "A Christmas Carol."

A Tale of Two Cities
Oliver Twist
David Copperfield
Great Expectations
Nicholas Nickleby

Henry James was an American writer who wrote like an English novelist, something he purposefully pursued as an anglophile. From wikipedia: "James insisted that writers in Great Britain and America should be allowed the greatest freedom possible in presenting their view of the world, as French authors were. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators in his own novels and tales brought a new depth and interest to realistic fiction."

Washington Square
The Europeans
Portrait of a Lady
The Bostonians
Daisy Miller
The American

Although Wilkie Collins wrote 27 novels and a variety of other writings including poems, he is best known for two books, The Woman in White and The Moonstone. Both are suspenseful books and were serialized at their first publication.
Collins was a contemporary and friend of Charles Dickens and at one point was more successful monetarily.

The Woman In White
The Moonstone

Elizabeth Gaskell wrote several novels in the Victorian era, which have now been adapted to film many times, including North and South and Cranford. She is best known for her biography of Charlotte Bronte called, "The Life of Charlotte Bronte."

North and South
Wives and Daughters
The Life of Charlotte Bronte

The British-born Forster is mainly known for his novels, including, Room With A View, Passage To India, and Howard's End. A quote from Room With A View says, ''Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along."

A Room With A View
Howard's End
A Passage To India

Louisa May Alcott was an American writer, influenced by "visits to Ralph Waldo Emerson's library, excursions into nature with Henry David Thoreau and theatricals in the barn at Hillside, now Hawthorne's "Wayside"."(from Alcott's official site). Her most famous work, Little Women, was based on her own life and the lives of her sisters. During her lifetime, she had 30 books published.

Little Women
The Inheritance

Lucy Maud Montgomery created one of the most loveable characters and wonderful stories of Canadian country life when she planted Anne Shirley on Prince Edward Island. Montgomery wrote other book series, but none as enchanting as Anne of Green Gables.

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Avonlea
Anne of The Island
Anne's House of Dreams
Rainbow Valley
Rilla of Ingleside
Anne of Windy Poplars
Anne of Ingleside

Thomas Hardy wrote a host of critically acclaimed novels that reflected real life and portrayed flawed characters. Interestingly, Hardy wrote novels mostly to pay the bills, considering his main profession to be a poet.

Tess of the D'urbervilles
Far From The Maddening Crowd
The Mayor of Casterbridge
Under the Greenwood Tree
Return of the Native
The Woodlanders
Jude the Obscure

As part of the Bronte family, Anne, along with her sisters Charlotte, and Emily, wrote some of the best literature of her time and beyond. The sisters lived tragic lives and were often isolated at their parsonage home. Anne wrote only two novels, "Agnes Grey," in which she reflected upon her experiences as a governess, and "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall."

Agnes Grey
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote books and poetry and became Poet Laureate in 1850, until his death. Some of his best known works include, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," and "The Lady of Shalott, which inspired many artists to paint scenes from the poem."

Out flew the web and floated wide-
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott

Irish born author C.S. Lewis wrote about his conversion to Christianity in Mere Christianity, and his other books contain Christian themes as well. Many have been inspired by his works, including J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books.

Mere Christianity
Narnia books

Anne Frank was a Jewish teenager living in Holland when her world was turned upside down during World War 2. She went into hiding for two years with her mother, father, and sister. During her time in hiding, she kept a diary of her life and thoughts. After two years, her family was caught and she died in a concentration camp with her mother and sister. Her father survived and had her diary published. Anne was wise beyond her years and her words speak for her and millions like her who had no voice.

The Diary of Anne Frank

The story of Corrie Ten Boom and her family takes place during World War 2. She lived in Holland with her sister and parents. The Ten Booms were driven to hide Jewish people in their home and watch shop, at the risk of their own lives. After years of hiding and helping many people, they were caught and sent to a concentration camp. Corrie survived and wrote The Hiding Place about their experiences, and as a testimony to God and the human spirit.

The Hiding Place

Alison Weir is a modern author whose works are primarily biographies of English Royalty, particularly the Tudors.

The Six Wives of Henry 8th
The Life of Elizabeth 1
Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy
The Princes in the Tower
The Wars of the Roses
The Children of Henry VIII
Henry VIII:
The King and His Court
Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley
Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England