Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Some Jane Austen quotes

In a post at Regency Delight it was brought to my notice, that today is Talk Like Jane Austen Day.
And what better way to celebrate it, than to post some of my favourite Jane Austen quotes/passages:

"There certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world as there are pretty women to deserve them"
                         - Mansfield Park

"No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be an heroine"
               - Northanger Abbey

"To look almost pretty is an acquisition of higher delight to a girl who has been looking plain the first fifteen years of her life than a beauty from  her cradle can ever receive"
            - Northanger Abbey

"Mrs. Ferrars' family had of late been exceedingly fluctuating. For many years of her life she had had two sons, but the crime and annihilation of Edward a few weeks ago, had robbed her of one, the similar annihilation of Robert had left her for a fortnight without any, and now by the resuscitation of Edward, she had one again.
In spite of his being allowed once more to live, however, he did not feel the continuance of his existence secure, till he had revealed his present engagement, for the publication of that circumstance, he feared, might give a sudden turn to his constitution, and carry him off as rapidly as before"
                  - Sense & Sensibility

"More than once did Elizabeth in her ramble within the Park unexpectedly meet Mr Darcy. She felt all the perverseness of the mischance that should bring where no one else was brought, and to prevent its ever happening again, took care to inform him at first, that it was a favourite haunt of hers. How it could occur a second time therefore was very odd! - Yet it did, and even a third"
              - Pride & Prejudice

"A lady's imagination is very rapid, it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment"
               - Pride & Prejudice

"There is but one married woman in the world whom I can ever allow to invite what guests she pleases to Donvell, and that one is...Mrs. Knightley, and till she is in being, I will manage such matters myself."
            - Emma

"I examined my own heart, And there you were. Never, I fear, to be removed"
           - Emma BBC 2009 (I know it's not in the book, but it's just so perfect)

And then of course this classic, that I could never exclude:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife"
                         - Pride & Prejudice

If your favourite quote isn't here, or you think I've left out a big treasure, you can let me know in a comment.

Happy Talk Like Jane Austen Day to all.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

One day more tonight

I watched West Side Story the other day, as part of my project of watching classical Hollywood musicals, and I gotta say, except for the opening scenes which were hilarious without intending to, I was positively surprised.

The songs are light and catchy (I've been singing "Tonight" all day - quite a task when you don't know the lyrics), and there's surprisingly few heartbreaking scenes. The ending, however, nearly killed me, but what to expect when the story is a remake of Romeo & Juliet. It was actually quite fun to look for the parallels to Romeo & Juliet in the plot.

And speaking of parallels...when I heard the song "Tonight Quintet", I couldn't help exclaiming "Hey, that song is just like One Day More in Les Miserables."



There are some definite likenesses right? Not just the fact that all the main characters sings with voices overlapping, but also the dramatic quality, and then the placement in the movie as a sort of Point of no return, before all the inevitable bad things happen.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

A tale of two cities

This spring I had a "historical french literature"-theme, starting with The three Musketeers, going on to Les Miserables, and then the entire Scarlet Pimpernel-series.

After having read so much about the time around the French Revolution, I thought, "why not have a good and nice wrap-up to this theme, by reading A tale of two Cities?"

So I did... and it left me rather traumatised...

Don't get me wrong, it was a good book,with a plot full of twists and surprises, and probably gave the most accurate picture of the French Revolution, of all the books I have read, regarding that period of time.

And that was the traumatising part...

I guess I had a rather romantic view on the period, due to the 8 Scarlet Pimpernel-books I'd just read (and also because in Les Miserables, the main characters all loved the French Revolution), but there's nothing of that in Charles Dickens' writing -  it is all painfully realistic.

The following will contain a lot of spoilers, so if you intend to read the book, don't read this.

First of all I found the book a little confusing, due to the changes of narrators and all the characters you are introduced to, who don't seem to be connected at all. However I liked that you see some of the pre-revolution-France, it made me understand the reasons people had for rebelling more clearly. And I actually liked the revolutionaries - that is, until all the violence started.

At first I had a hard time discovering who was actually the main character - but I admit after being introduced to Sidney Carton, there wasn't any doubt. He is definitely my favourite character - and also the most pitiable character. I felt so sorry for him during the entire book, where he never got what he wanted. And then the ending. I think that was what traumatised me the most (I just don't like deaths in books/movies).

The last pages of the books I constantly hoped he would find an escape, and when he didn't I was just thinking, "WHY? WHY DID HE HAVE TO DIE?`"
By the way was I the only one thinking "where is the scarlet pimpernel when you need him" during the entire execution scene?

I was mostly shocked by the ending, because I was under the impression the Charles Dickens wrote happy endings. And yes, upon analysing the ending, I can see that in some way it was a happy ending for Sidney - he finally found a purpose with his life (even if was dying), and he saved the happiness of the woman he loved, but still... a happy ending in my opinion is no deaths whatsoever.

And another thing that irritated me to no ends, was that his sacrifice wouldn't even have been necessary if Charles Darnay hadn't been so stupid to go to France. I mean wasn't that rule no 1 for french aristocrats who valued their life? - "Don't go to France in the middle of a revolution, whose main purpose is to kill all of your kind."

So, yeah, after reading that book I swore never to read anything about the French revolution again ( I actually also swore I would never read Charles Dickens again, but I guess I can't blame him for writing realistically about a terrible time period)

So now I'm moving on to non-french authors and stories with a happier theme.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013


So...after discovering a lot of wonderful blogs about classic literature I finally decided to start one of my own.

After reading heaps of books for years and years (some harder to get through than others) I thought why not make a list of all the books I've read?
Maybe the concept was inspired a bit by "Rorys Readinglist", which I found on the internet, and as I read it through Idecided to make my own, just different.

The only problem with reading tons of litterature no one of my friends have read is this: I can't just ramble on about the book as I wish, because that would include lots and lots of spoilers - and then they have no reasons for reading the book.

So that will be the main focus of this blog. A place where I can go on and on about my favourite books (and probrably some tv-adaptions too), knowing that I won't spoil it for the readers, and maybe also getting some responses from others who have read the books.

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