Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Brontes or the Bennets?

Thornton or Darcy?
Jane Austen or Jane Eyre?
New books or old books?
Emily Dickinson or Emily Bronte?
Anne Bronte or Anne of Green Gables?
The Brontes or the Bennets?
North or South?
History or Classics?
Victorian or Medieval?
BBC or BBC America?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Jane Eyre In Random Order

These images are old book illustrations from one of my favorite books ever -Jane Eyre, in very random order - (Images from Bronteana)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Clarissa: History of a Young Lady

Richard Armitage is wearing a cravat again, sort of. BBC radio 4 has a four part radio dramatization of the 1748 novel, "Clarissa: History of a Young Lady," by Samuel Richardson, now available for listening.

There is also a movie based on the book, starring Sean Bean, from 1991, called "Clarissa."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wikipedia Meets Random House

I came across an interesting website called Librivox. The way it works is that anyone can narrate, and then submit as an audio file, any book that is in the public domain, to their site. Many Librivox free audio books are available at Audio Owl.
As a listener, something to be aware of is that some of the audio file quality is not as good as you might hope, but overall, it looks like fun, sort of a Wikipedia meets Random House kind of thing!

I have linked several here, but there are many more available:

Listen to Anne of Green Gables

Listen to Through The Looking Glass
Listen to Jane Eyre
Listen To North & South
Listen to Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Listen to Custom of the Country
Listen to The Watson's (by Jane Austen)
Listen to Agnes Grey
Listen to Portrait of a Lady
Listen to The Mayor of Casterbridge

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Out Like A Lion like a lamb...out like a lion? Oh dear!

O, wind,
if winter comes,
can spring be
far behind?

~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Photo "Windy Day" by Jane Maria Bowkett

Friday, March 19, 2010

Walking the Moors

The wind is howling outside my window - as spring challenges winter. Winter is winning the fight, but not the battle - thank goodness!
Wind puts me in mind of moors. The beautiful, spacious, glorious land of the Brontes. If they were my moors, I'd be walking them right now, wind blowing in my face, hair caught up by gusty zephyrs, and breathing the fresh air like refreshment.

Photo Credit - Top Withins by Tim Spencer, Nutclough

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mad About Toile

"Toile de Jouy, sometimes abbreviated to simply "toile," is a type of decorating pattern consisting of a usually white or off-white background on which a repeated pattern depicting a fairly complex scene, generally of a pastoral theme such as, (for example), a couple having a picnic by a lake. Toiles also often consist of an arrangement of flowers. The pattern portion consists of a single colour, most often black, dark red, or blue. Greens, browns and magenta toile patterns are less common but not unheard of. Toile is most associated with fabrics, (curtains and upholstery in particular), though toile wallpaper is also popular. Toile can also be used on teapots and beddings."

Toile de Jouy originated in France in the late 1700s. In the French language, the phrase literally means, "cloth from Jouy-en-Josas," a town of north-central France. Although it has been continuously produced since then, it experienced a marked upsurge in popularity around the year 2000. Previously only a decorating design, designers have been recently experimenting with toile-patterned apparel as well, although toile-patterned shirts were widely worn in the 1970s. (Wikipedia)

(Image from Designs by Bethann)

(Image from Designers Best Friend)

(Image from Lnique)

(Image from Tiff Stotes)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Say Look At the Trees

"When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious."
- Edna O'Brien

You have to love the Irish - almost as much as the British! Celebrate Irish - (Everyone's Irish in March - right!?)

Click to see "Stavros Flatly," who appeared on Britain's Got Talent, and are modeled after Michael Flatly/Riverdance :0)

To celebrate, try one or all of these recipes:

Irish Menu

2 lbs Potatoes
1 large 'Curly Kaye' or Cabbage
1 large Onion
4 oz of butter or margarine
Pinch of Pepper & Salt
Half pint Milk

Peel and divide the potatoes, chop the onions
and cabbage. Layer a saucepan with the potatoes
and add the pinch of salt and pepper. Layer the
onion and cabbage on top of the potatoes and add
enough water to cover the mixture. Boil and then
simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes
are cooked. Mash the mixture thoroughly adding
the butter and milk to ensure a good consistency.
Serve with meat, steak, sausages, etc.

4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 eggs beaten
1 cup butter or margarine melted
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a loaf pan. Place raisins and caraway seeds in a large bowl. Sift together flour, baking soda, sugar and salt. Pour sifted mixture over raisins. Add butter, eggs and milk to the bowl;
mix well. Mold dough into a loaf shape on a floured board. Place dough in greased pan and bake for one hour, or until bread tests done.

BLACK VELVET - Makes 1 Quart
1/2 qt Guinness
1/2 qt Champagne

Combine Guinness and champagne in a tall very chilled glass.
Stir gently and serve.

1 cup self rising flour
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 large apples
1/4 cup milk
2 oz. butter
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
For the top: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon,1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
Sift flour, salt, ginger and sugar. Rub in the fat. Add eggs and milk to bake a soft dough. Roll out on a floured board. Cover the base of a greased pie dish with the pastry. Grate the apples and sprinkle onto the pastry. Dot with butter. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg over top. Bake in a moderate oven for 1/2 hour. Serve hot with custard

"We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English."
- Winston Churchill

"You know it's summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer."
- Hal Roach

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.
~Irish Blessing

Friday, March 12, 2010

Jane Austen Slideshow

Click to view the Jane Austen slideshow at the Masterpiece Classic site.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Poor Man's Jane Austen

My guide book, otherwise known as a newspaper article
Virtually walking the streets of Winchester, England
The Grey Friar Pub - a quick pint before turning the page to Chawton House

Wrinkled page of Winchester Cathedral, (where dear Jane is buried)

I look on as two people walk where Jane's feet, and not mine, have trod; Jane Austen's house - Chawton
Photo Credits, Gary A Warner (sorry, Gary!)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Those Were the Days

Taking a look back to the good old days of period films - days when watching a 6 hour mini-series could be somewhere other than PBS.
The first time I saw the Firth-Ehle version of P&P, was as it aired on A&E for the first time in the U.S. I taped it onto a VHS tape, and saved it for years, before finally buying a DVD player, (and new DVD copy of Pride and Prejudice), JUST for this movie and all the extras on it.
Thank goodness for PBS, without them I'd never turn the tv on! I remember the days when mini-series like, "The Thorn Birds," and the other "North & South," aired in parts for weeks and weeks on broadcast television. Those were the days.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Update On "The Yellow Wallpaper" Film

A few months ago, I posted here about a period movie I was watching, based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper."
I am happy to have learned that the film has just finished production, and will be released, although no dates yet. Here is the information from Logan Thomas, the film's director.
"The Yellow Wallpaper" movie, was never going to come out in 2007, 2008, or 2009. It has, in fact, been in production during that time, and I'm happy to say, only now, finished. Media release dates are always backwards, I don't know why, (you'd think they'd just call the production office), but, there in you have it. So, I hope that the film appeals to the very people who come to this site. I know we're very proud of it."
I am really looking forward to seeing this and will post more about it if I hear anything.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Celebrating Sisterhood

The Bennet sisters, from Pride & PrejudiceSisterhood is powerful.
-- Robin Morgan

The Dashwood Sisters, from "Sense & Sensibility"

The Fairlie sisters, from "The Woman in White"
The Gibson Sisters, from "Wives and Daughters"

Hetty and Olivia King, from "Road to Avonlea"
The March Sisters, from "Little Women"
Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood. ~Louisa May Alcott

The Linley Sisters by Thomas GainsboroughThe Frankland Sisters by John Hoppner

To quote Jo from "Little Women," "I love my sisters!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More Alice Fun - Tag Swap

Don't be late for this important date - March 10th, to participate in this delightful Alice swap at Karla's Cottage Blog.
Here are some tags that will be in the swap from The Old Parsonage Blog - I want these badly, aren't they beautiful!

Monday, March 1, 2010

She's Back!

Alice is back - and I am looking forward to seeing her this weekend, perhaps, or very soon after.

Here are some beautiful, old book illustrations to celebrate her return.

Several of these images were obtained at this site, please check it out!
Public Domain Images