Re-read 1/25/10: I last read S&S in the mid-1990s when in college. I decided I wanted to re-read it this year after watching the Masterpiece TheatRe-read 1/25/10: I last read S&S in the mid-1990s when in college. I decided I wanted to re-read it this year after watching the Masterpiece Theatre movie a couple weeks ago. The story is one of my favorites by Jane Austen.
I will say that even if the Emma Thompson movie doesn't follow the story verbatim, I still prefer that version of the movie to the more recent Masterpiece Theatre version from last year. I watched the MT version and it was more faithful to the original, but it somehow lacked emotion to me. ...more
Persuasion is a good read, and it contains quite possibly the most romantic love letter I have ever read. If you like Austen, I recommend you take thePersuasion is a good read, and it contains quite possibly the most romantic love letter I have ever read. If you like Austen, I recommend you take the time to read it. And now, I move onto my random musings (thoughts that demonstrate why nobody will invite me to participate in a book club with them). Beware the length of my rambling… I warned you!
What exactly does an apothecary do? I always envisioned an apothecary more of a pharmacist than a typical physician. So, when Charles’ and Mary’s son fell out of a tree, I would think that they would have fetched a surgeon, not an apothecary. Apparently, I am wrong. It just seemed strange to me. Just imagine: ……..Child: I’ve broken my leg and need to have my bone set! ……..Distraught Mother: Fetch the pharmacist! It’s probably just my weird notion of what apothecary means, but the dictionary entry online seemed to make it sound like a drug-dealer as well. Very strange to me. Maybe surgeons didn’t carry around pain killers and opiates? Have to have that Laudanum to numb the pain, I suppose. Then again, when Louisa takes a fall later in the book, they call for a surgeon and not an apothecary, even with no visible wounds. That leaves me totally confused (not that it takes that much to confuse me! hehehe)
Speaking of Louisa’s fall, I found it very amusing that both Charles and Captain Wentworth could not handle the situation. I would expect the usual histrionics from Mary, but for the men not to take charge? They both turned to Anne not knowing what to do. She called for the surgeon. She held Louisa all the while quieting crazy sister Mary, comforting Charles, and trying to relieve the feelings of the Captain. She told them maybe they better carry her to the inn. Go Anne! Woman power! Hehehe. A fun quote from this section of the book: “By this time the report of the accident had spread among the workmen and boatmen about the Cobb, and many were collected near them, to be useful if wanted, at any rate, to enjoy the sight of a dead young lady, nay, two dead young ladies, for it proved twice as fine as the first report.” What better fun by the seaside than going to see dead young ladies! WHEEEE!
More random thoughts. Captain Wentworth announces to his sister: “Anybody between fifteen and thirty may have me for asking.” It is still hard for me to imagine a fifteen year old being a suitable match for marriage, especially to anyone Wentworth’s age (I believe him to be 31). Yes, I understand these were different times. But 15!?!?!?! EEK! That would be half his age and squicks me out. He could easily be a fifteen year old’s father. Icky.
I enjoyed reading Sir Walter’s distaste for men in the navy: 1) referring to a 40 year old Admiral looking like a 60 year old: “…they are are all knocked about, and exposed to every climate, and every weather, till they are not fit to be seen. It is a pity they are not knocked on the head at once, before they reach Admiral Baldwin’s age.” . Kill ‘em off! He has to be at least 40 himself. *laugh* 2) When he learns that his potential Admiral tenant has been in the East Indes since partaking in war in Trafalgar: “Then I take it for granted,” observed Sir Walter, “that his face is about as orange as the cuffs and capes of my livery.” Orange face = oompa loompa from Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka movie. That is what came to my deranged mind. They could rename his character Admiral Oompa in a movie adaptation.
A particularly good quote from the book (in my opinion): “He could not forgive her, but he could not be unfeeling. Though condemning her for the past, and considering it with high and unjust resentment, though perfectly careless of her, and though becoming attached to another, still he could not see her suffer, without the desire of giving her relief. It was a remainder of former sentiment; it was an impulse of pure, though unacknowledged friendship; it was a proof of his own warm and amiable heart, which she could not contemplate without emotions so compounded of pleasure and pain, that she knew not which prevailed.”
Captain Wentworth’s love letter was divine. I highly recommend reading this book just to get to the last few chapters where the lover letter occurs. Even better, I loved Anne’s reaction to the letter: “Such a letter was not to be soon recovered from. Half an hour’s solitude and reflection might have tranquillized her; but the ten minutes only which now passed before she was interrupted, with all the restraints of her situation, could do nothing towards tranquility. Every moment rather brought fresh agitation. It was overpowering happiness.”
It seems that Jane Austen likes to use the word intercourse where I would normally use something more like the word discourse. I suppose that not using intercourse is just a modern convention on my part. It just struck me as really odd and caught me abruptly a few times. I did, however, notice that Austen used the word discourse as well. It is likely just my remedial vocabulary skills causing me grief over it.
Watching the 90s movie version of Persuasion with my husband, he was convinced that the actress playing the governess that Anne visited frequently in Bath was a man in drag, more specifically a Monty Python character. Every time she came on the screen my husband lost it laughing. After having enough of him shouting “Bring out your dead” at the screen, I lost it laughing as well. Definitely not a bad movie version of the book, however it wasn’t perfect either.
In the latest PBS version of Persuasion to air on television, Sir Walter is played by Anthony Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I almost expected Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy) to play Elizabeth and vampires to appear. Overall, I liked the actors/actresses in this version, but I wish they had stayed true to the book a little more. The finale where they have Anne running a marathon and back again almost had me laughing. Still, it is worth a watch. :)
If you actually made it all the way to the bottom of this review, I commend you. You win a cookie. All I have left is gingersnaps. Hopefully, that will be agreeable to you....more
Ahhh. Another long (and very random) review of an Austen novel. Only the brave should endeavor to read my inane babble.
I have to admit that had I notAhhh. Another long (and very random) review of an Austen novel. Only the brave should endeavor to read my inane babble.
I have to admit that had I not already seen and enjoyed Mansfield Park as a movie, there are sections of this book that would have easily lost my interest as a reader. It is a bit of a more serious story than some of the other Austen novels I have read. There is a romantic plotline, but it is definitely dry and heavy on outright social class criticism (not that other Austen novels don’t fixate on the silly conventions of society – it just wasn’t as disguised in Austen’s usual token witty style compared to some of her other novels). There were a couple chapters that were a bit long-winded to me, and I found myself slightly distracted while reading them. It also took me a longer period to read this novel than other Austen novels I have read. Perhaps to allow myself more time to digest what I was reading, maybe?
Despite the more somber tone, there were a couple of humorous moments in the novel. I enjoyed Miss Crawford poking fun at the tendency of men to write short letters: ”’Dear Mary, I am just arrived. Bath seems full, and everything as usual. Yours sincerely.’ That is the true manly style; that is a complete brother’s letter.” Short and succinct, to say the least ;)
Another thing that struck me as funny was contrasting some modern language phrases versus Jane Austen’s time. In one passage, Edmund was struck by his family’s treatment of Fanny in making her perform an arduous exercise stint in the heat of the day. One of the females (though it is not quite clear who… perhaps Mrs. Norris?) says: ”If Fanny would be more regular in her exercise, she would not be knocked up so soon.” Hehehehe. Okay, I know knocked up must be equivalent to saying something like ‘tuckered-out’. I just thought it was funny because I sincerely doubt that Jane Austen was referring to Fanny having ‘a bun in the oven’. WHEEE! Slang Austen style! Of course, Edmund’s reaction to the situation is almost as amusing to my modern sensibilities. He took a glass of Madeira wine to Fanny and insisted she drink a large part of the glass. Nothing like thirst-quenching Madeira after a long day of walking in the hot sun to replenish your electrolytes. hehehe
Here’s something that I find curious: often, the characters make references to miles as a unit of measure when walking. When did the British start using the metric system? Are the miles in Austen’s time the same as miles in the modern day USA? If so, did they have feet and yards as well? Edmund refers to walking approximately four miles an hour, but that seems rather fast in modern terms for a leisurely stroll through the woods. I may just have to research the units of measurement as I am interested in knowing if a mile means the same to them as it does to me in the present. I think I answered my own question by reading further into the book when they refer to a character’s height as five foot eight. I had no idea that the British weren’t on metric during that time period. Interesting.
I did a double-take reading a passage from the version of Mansfield Park I read on the Gutenberg project’s website. I still wonder if it’s a typo or something. See if you can figure out where I stumbled in the following passage: ”Fanny, feeling all this to be wrong, could not help making an effort to prevent it. ‘You will hurt yourself, Miss Bertram,’ she cried; ‘you will certainly hurt yourself against those spikes; you will tear your gown; you will be in danger of slipping into the ha-ha. You had better not go.’” Ummmmmmm. Ha-ha? Where is my annotated version of this book when I need it?
Another sentence that stuck out at me: ”That is what I dislike most particularly. It raises my spleen more than anything” I read that passage and wondered how one could tell the spleen was acting up. I guess I have never thought about what my spleen feels like. By the way, I love the word spleen. Almost as much as I love the word fisticuffs. Then again, I am weird.
What!?!??! You’re still reading!?!?!??! Well, more power to you. I shall continue my ramblings!
In the book, the characters decided they wanted to put together a play. I was amused by both Mr. Rushworth announcing every other paragraph proudly that he had forty-two speeches to learn for the play (yet needing prompts for every line), as well as Tom’s insistence that Fanny must be in the play: ”Indeed, but you must, for we cannot excuse you. It need not frighten you: It is a nothing of a part, a mere nothing, not above half a dozen speeches altogether, and it will not much signify if nobody hears a word you say; so you may be as creep-mouse as you like, but we must have you to look at.” Hehehe. I want to know what kind of play this was that it doesn’t really matter how loud Fanny would speak her part, as long as she was viewable.
I have read several Austen books over the past couple of months, and I definitely want to look up the card game rules to both the game of Speculation and to Whist. Those games are frequently mentioned, but I have no idea how they are played. I read an annotation about Speculation, but I wonder if the games go by other more modern names now? Perhaps they are still common? Another point of research for me, I suppose.
I found it amusing that Fanny was trying to actively ‘repulse’ Mr. Crawford: ”…was trying by everything in the power of her modest, gentle nature, to repulse Mr. Crawford, and avoid both his looks and inquiries; and he, unrepulsable, was persisting in both.” Reading this made me wonder what lengths a woman in that time period would go through to try to make herself look disagreeable to a male, let alone repulsive. It’s not like she would be picking her nose or something… or would she? Hehehe
As final thoughts, I will admit that though the 1999 Rozema movie version of Mansfield Park did not follow the book well, I liked it better than the book itself in many ways. They played up the class differences between Fanny’s family and Mansfield Park, they took an interesting angle on the West Indes that isn’t featured in the book, and the romantic storyline was more interesting. It almost seemed like an afterthought in the novel how Edmund felt about Fanny Price. After finishing the novel, I also watched the more recent Masterpiece Theatre (MT) version of Mansfield Park on dvd. I admit to not being crazy about that version as it lacked the emotion I wanted, but I did enjoy the actor playing Edmund (Blake Ritson). I believe he was also in the MT version of Emma that played in 2010. As a bonus, when Tom was ill they bleed him with leeches in the MT version. WHEEEE! Leeches. Fun for the entire family. *impish grin*...more
If you're looking for anything historically accurate, this is not the book for you. This book is full of Katie MacAlister's token humor, but set in ReIf you're looking for anything historically accurate, this is not the book for you. This book is full of Katie MacAlister's token humor, but set in Regency England as opposed to her typical modern day setting.
There were lots of laugh-out-loud moments in this book. The heroine had a way with setting things on fire and fussing over her husband's anatomy. Another reviewer compared her to I LOVE LUCY, and I think that was a good comparison.
I won't spoil it for you -- but there were a couple of really funny scenes that made this book. I recommend this if you like humor :)...more
Ahhhhh.... Katie MacAlister's books never fail to make me laugh. And, this book was no exception. Parts of this book were hilarious!
Charlotte, the herAhhhhh.... Katie MacAlister's books never fail to make me laugh. And, this book was no exception. Parts of this book were hilarious!
Charlotte, the heroine, was always mistaking one word for another in her ineloquent speeches. Codpieces with small animals... wives with pistols... explosions... the Vyvyan La Blue's Guide to Connubial Calisthenics... carpet beating antics... eye-patches befitting the finest kilts.
Why is there a stigma involved with reading a romance novel? I was embarassed to check this out from the library, even knowing that I needed a book foWhy is there a stigma involved with reading a romance novel? I was embarassed to check this out from the library, even knowing that I needed a book for a goodreads.com challenge where the author started with the letter Q.
This author is Harvard educated. She writes well. The story was amusing and poignant. I should not be ashamed to enjoy the happy-ever-after story. I need to get over my prejudices.
I believe I will read another in this author's series. And, I will try to not be so red-faced when checking it out at the library!...more
This is the second book in the Bridgerton's series by Julia Quinn. I am still very impressed with Ms. Quinn's writing. She has a way of working wordsThis is the second book in the Bridgerton's series by Julia Quinn. I am still very impressed with Ms. Quinn's writing. She has a way of working words into the story that I don't know and have to look up. I never thought I would expand my vocabulary reading a romance novel ;)...more
I really enjoyed this book, but it was also a very strange, eccentric story. There were penguins in Regency Wales. There was weird gypsy mating dancesI really enjoyed this book, but it was also a very strange, eccentric story. There were penguins in Regency Wales. There was weird gypsy mating dances. There was dueling fought with whips. There was Indiana Jones-esque escaping from burning buildings. There was naked billiards. There was Christian dogma. There were mine scenes that made me think of times when people fell down shafts in Little House on the Prairie.
Did I mention there was skinny dipping with penguins?
Anyway, it was a very interesting book and captured my interest. It was the first book I have ever read by Mary Jo Putney, but I believe I will read some more by her now that I have read this one. :)...more
At first glance, you might think that this novel is just going to be another variant of Cinderella -- the same old tale told a million times.
However,At first glance, you might think that this novel is just going to be another variant of Cinderella -- the same old tale told a million times.
However, Julia Quinn has an eloquent voice and can carve a lot of emotion over Regency society and the improprieties found therein. Yes, this is not an intellect's beloved classic, but it is definitely a book that I will be keeping my shelf. It made me cry, but left me with a big grin on my face reading it....more
I went into this Julia Quinn Bridgerton family book thinking I wouldn't like it as much as some of the others in the series. However, I was delightfulI went into this Julia Quinn Bridgerton family book thinking I wouldn't like it as much as some of the others in the series. However, I was delightfully surprised to find that I was deeply moved by the book.
The children in this book had many scenes that made me giggle out loud. The last 30 pages of the book brought some tears to my eyes. It was a very good read. I love this series!!!!...more
4.5/5 stars. Whew! Oh my. There was a scene in this book that was so hot I felt like I could use a cold shower after reading it. Hehe. He was definite4.5/5 stars. Whew! Oh my. There was a scene in this book that was so hot I felt like I could use a cold shower after reading it. Hehe. He was definitely wicked. *grin*
I couldn't stop reading. Ended up staying up all night to finish. Couldn't help myself. Naughty me!
The book overall was good. The first part of it started a little slow for me, but the last half more than made up for it. This series continues to be very enjoyable....more
Lady Danbury stole the show, in my opinion. I laughed at some of her scenes. I loved the scene with a very aggitated Hyacinth trying to do embroidery.Lady Danbury stole the show, in my opinion. I laughed at some of her scenes. I loved the scene with a very aggitated Hyacinth trying to do embroidery. It had me in stitches. Get it!?!?!? Oy. I'm tired and making bad jokes. :)
I found Hyacinth to be more annoying than the other Bridgerton siblings. However, I still enjoyed the book....more
I felt more disconnected from this Bridgerton story than all the others in the series. I suppose it was inevitable being that Gregory (the hero) had sI felt more disconnected from this Bridgerton story than all the others in the series. I suppose it was inevitable being that Gregory (the hero) had such little face time in the other books. I enjoyed Gregory teasing his sister in book #7, but his personality was not really known to me before that.
I did like how the prologue ended in a big cliff hanger. The wedding was quite the scene. I felt so bad for the hero/heroine.
I really enjoyed the Bridgerton series. I look forward to reading more Julia Quinn in the future. I also plan to read the second epilogues as they are published (hopefully eventually all in one volume!)...more