Saturday, June 29, 2013

Period Dramas Hand Game

It's been a while since I posted a couples hands game so it seemed the perfect time! 

To Play: Look at the photos of hands below and try to guess the lady, the gentleman and which period drama they are from. Leave your guesses in a comment and I'll respond with your score. Feel free to guess as many times as you wish.

Scoring: Five points will be awarded for each correctly guessed lady, gentleman and period drama. A total of 150 points can be earned. 











Enjoy! :)

Guess The Charles Dickens Novel Game - Answers!

These are the answers to the Guess The Charles Dickens Novel from last week. Thanks for playing everyone! :)

Guess The Charles Dickens Novel!

#1. Doyce, Meagles, Flintwich, Gowan - Little Dorrit
#2. Nancy, Rose, Bill, Brownlow - Oliver Twist
#3. Nicodemus, Mortimer, Sloppy, Rokesmith - Our Mutual Friend
#4. Flight, Boythorn, Ada, Woodcourt - Bleak House
#5. Belle, Marley, Dilber, Fred - A Christmas Carol
#6. Jerry, Pross, Lucie, Cruncher - A Tale Of Two Cities
#7. Landless, Jasper, Crisparkle, Rosa - The Mystery Of Edwin Drood
#8. Pumblechook, Herbert, Biddy, Wemmick - Great Expectations
#9. Winkle, Snodgrass, Sam, Jingle - The Pickwick Papers
#10. Squeers, Ralph, Cheeryble, Kate - Nicholas Nickleby
#11. Trotwood, Murdstone, Dora, Wilkins - David Copperfield
#12. Florence, Cuttle, Lucretia, Carker - Dombey and Son
#13. Josiah, Sissy, Gradgrind, Blackpool - Hard Times
#14. Kit, Quilp, Jarley, Trent - The Old Curiosity Shop
#15. Solomon, Varden, Dolly, Haredale - Barnaby Runge
#16. Graham, Pecksniff, Pinch, Charity - Martin Chuzzlewit

Players Scores:
Karen from Canada - 160 points
Miss Dashwood - 160 points
Mizzie-Me - 160 points
birdienl - 140 points
Elisabeth Grace Foley - 140 points
Essy Romaine - 140 points
Melody - 140 points
Anonymous - 120 points
Kiri Liz - 120 points
Emma Jane - 100 points
Sadie Ann - 90 points
Emily - 70 points
CreativityStartsHere - 50 points

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Regency Life In Art

In the past couple weeks I've encountered several paintings that depict scenes of Regency life. 
This is purely a Regency eye candy post. 
Enjoy the dresses, bonnets, hairstyles, scenery and elegance of the time period!

While browsing through these beautiful works think of the story behind each painting. Some such as Love Will Triumph and At The Garden Gate are quite intriguing!

 Dare I
Charles Joseph Frederic Soulacroix (1825-1879)

 Elegant Lady and Her Whippet
Jules Worms (1832-1914) 

 La Soire 
Vittorio Reggianini (Italian 1858-1938)

 The Proposal
Alois Heinrich Priechenfried

 Love Will Triumph
Charles Haigh Wood (English 1854-1927) 

Francis Sydney Muschamp (British 1851-1929)

No Getting Over-Snowed Up at the Church Stile
1905 - Lucien Davis

The Kiss
Wilhelm Menzler

At The Garden Gate
Charles Sillem Lidderdale

 The Dancing Lesson
Vittorio Reggianini 

 Thoughtful Moments
Charles Haigh-Wood (1856-1927)

Which painting is your favorite? 
What stories do these scenes suggest?

Have you ever heard of these artists?

Monday, June 24, 2013

"Books To The Ceiling..."

I want one! :)

"Books to the ceiling, 
Books to the sky. 
My pile of books 
Are a mile high. 
How I love them! 
How I need them! 
I will have a long beard 
By the time I read them.“ 
— Arnold Lobel


"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. “ 
— William Somerset Maugham


"Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are." 
— Mason Cooley

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Guess The Charles Dickens Novel Game!

This game is like the Guess The Jane Austen Novel Game that I posted a few weeks ago. Below are groups of four names (first names and surnames)  each from a major work by Charles Dickens. The names I chose should make it a bit trickier to guess which novel each group refers to but not too hard.

To Play: Guess which Charles Dickens story the groups of four names below refer to. Leave your guesses in a comment. I'll respond with your score. Guess as many times as you wish. Answers will be posted next Saturday.

Helpful Hint: At the very bottom of this post is a list on the sixteen major works by Charles Dickens that will be the answers to the clues. You are welcome to use that list if you wish but you can try playing without looking at the list for ideas.

Scoring: 10 points for each correctly guessed novel or unfinished story. High score of 160 points can be earned!

Guess The Charles Dickens Novel!

#1. Doyce, Meagles, Flintwich, Gowan
#2. Nancy, Rose, Bill, Brownlow
#3. Nicodemus, Mortimer, Sloppy, Rokesmith
#4. Flight, Boythorn, Ada, Woodcourt
#5. Belle, Marley, Dilber, Fred
#6. Jerry, Pross, Lucie, Cruncher
#7. Landless, Jasper, Crisparkle, Rosa
#8. Pumblechook, Herbert, Biddy, Wemmick
#9. Winkle, Snodgrass, Sam, Jingle
#10. Squeers, Ralph, Cheeryble, Kate
#11. Trotwood, Murdstone, Dora, Wilkins
#12. Florence, Cuttle, Lucretia, Carker
#13. Josiah, Sissy, Gradgrind, Blackpool
#14. Kit, Quilp, Jarley, Trent
#15. Solomon, Varden, Dolly, Haredale
#16. Graham, Pecksniff, Pinch, Charity

Enjoy! ;)

Dickens Major Works: A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Barnaby Rudge, Bleak House, David Copperfield, Dombey and Son, Great Expectations, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, Martin Chuzzlewit, Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, Our Mutual Friend, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Old Curiosity Shop, The Pickwick Papers 

Jane Austen Crossword Clues Answers!

These are the answers to the Jane Austen Crossword Clues - W game from last week.

Jane Austen Crossword Clue Answers:

1. Lieutenant _______ Price - Fanny Price's brother.
Answer: William

2. Sir ______ Elliot - Anne Elliot's father.
Answer: Walter

3. Captain Frederick ________ - Naval hero.
Answer: Wentworth

4. Colonel ______ - Mr. Elliot's gossipy friend.
Answer: Wallis

5. Mr. ______ -  Gentleman Miss Taylor marries.
Answer: Weston

6. Surname of Emma and her father.
Answer: Woodhouse

7. John __________ - Villain of Sense and Sensibility.
Answer: Willoughby

8. George _______ - Villain of Pride and Prejudice.
Answer: Wickham

9. The _______ - name of unfinished Austen work.
Answer: Watsons

10. Village where Charles Hayter lives.
Answer: Winthrop

11. Finish the quote: "Pictures of perfection make me sick and ______."  
Answer: Wicked

12. Finish the quote: "I never heard of such a thing. Dancing with open ______!"
Answer: Windows

13. Henry Tilney's parsonage.
Answer: Woodston

14. Catherine Morland's home county.
Answer: Wiltshire

15. Eliza ________ - Colonel Brandon's unfortunate sister-in-law.
Answer: Williams

Players Scores:
Melody - 120 points
Anonymous - 110 points
Scullery Maid - 110 points
birdienl - 100 points
Livia Rachelle - 100 points
Emma Jane - 90 points
Kelsey - 90 points
Kiri Liz - 80 points
Hamlette - 70 points
Sarah Jane - 70 points

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Room With A View (1985)

"To experience the true Italy, one must be a little daring! 
Eschew the Baedeker, dismiss the Cicerone, and venture out alone..."
— Miss Lavish in A Room With A View
As it is considered a classic story I've always been interested in E.M. Forster's A Room With A View. Since I enjoyed watching the 2007 version on Masterpiece Theatre when it came out I decided to watch the 1985 James Ivory directed film which I knew starred a ton of my favorite period drama actors. Reading up on the film beforehand I knew there was at least one completely objectionable scene that I would be skipping. Armed with this knowledge I watched A Room With A View (1985) on Netflix and really enjoyed it!

 Story: Florence, Italy, 1912. Lucy Honeychurch is eager for adventure, but finds herself in a safe haven of English tourists, spinsters and clergymen. Add to this the huge disappointment of rooms without views contrary to what they were promised.  When fellow guests, the socialist Mr. Emerson and his railway worker son George, step into remedy the situation sparks fly between Lucy and George, but Lucy does her best to ignore them. After an astute observer purposefully mistranslates her request for the good men (clergymen) and sends her into the arms of "a good man," Lucy receives a passionate kiss from George in the middle of a field of poppies. Meeting the Emersons could change Lucy's life forever but, once back in England, how will her experiences in Italy effect her marriage plans to the most suitable Cecil Vyse?

Scenery: Filmed on location in Italy, London and Kent, England this film has some gorgeous cinematography! Every shot is such a picturesque scene! There's the city of Florence with various historical sites and there's scenes shot in the amazing Tuscan countryside peppered with poppies! Then the last half of the film is shot in the English countryside at a Foxwold House and St. Mary's Church in Chiddingstone, Kent, England.

Music: Opens with a lovely classical theme and the music throughout is just lovely. There also some lovely Italian songs like "O mio babbino caro" that set a wistful mood. Lucy also plays the piano and her brother Freddy does once as well. Part of the plot rests upon Mr. Beebe's thoughts that “If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting--both for us and for her.”

Costumes: Designed by Jenny Beaven the Edwardian fashions are truly scrumptious! The hats, boots, parasols, gloves, blouses, skirts and dresses are so lovely. Lucy Honeychurch's styles are particularly sweet and pretty and her puffy hairstyles are actually very nice (if untidy at times). The gentlemen are always very smart in their dandy outfits with colorful ties and vests to make their outfits unique. Overall the costumes are some of the best I've ever seen for the time period they are portraying.

Objectionable Content: There is a murder at the beginning of the film which isn't gory but can be a bit disturbing if you're not prepared for it. There are a couple longer kissing scenes and one awkward (and hilarious really) kissing scene but they aren't too bad. There is also a more intimate kissing scene between married characters at the very end of the film that could have been cleaned up a lot to make the ending nicer. But the HUGE HORRID scene is rather in the middle of the film and features three men swimming/bathing in the buff. Cecil and Lucy are out for a walk when they encounter the three men and thankfully Lucy's reaction is to use her parasol to shade her eyes. I was so glad I had read about this scene beforehand and was able to skip it entirely. It is really very unnecessary and is a big stain on an otherwise lovely film. Maybe ClearPlay or some other family friendly program might edit that scene out for viewers, but I'm not sure.

Characters & Actors:
  • Helena Bonham-Carter as Lucy Honeychurch - Lucy is the heroine of the story, a rather quiet and thoughtful young lady with a bit of an artistic temperament. After growing up in an English country village she is ready for adventure in Italy. Helena Bonham-Carter is not my favorite actress but her talents here are at such a young age and she is so talented and pretty. It's easy to like Lucy and cheer for her to find perfect happiness that she deserves.
  • Maggie Smith as Charlotte Bartlett - Lucy's chaperon who is a bit like Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park. She is very particular about how things are done and keeping to propriety and watching how things might look to others. She also has a tendency to make others feel bad for her to get what she wants. Maggie Smith was so young in this role! She plays it perfectly and you hate but feel sorry for Charlotte at the same time. 
  • Denholm Elliott as Mr. Emerson - He's a straightforward kind of person with no nonsense about him. He is a bit odd at times and has a lot to say but his heart is always in the right place. He wants his son to have a purpose in life and tries to direct him on the right path. Mr. Emerson turned out to be one of my favorite characters in this film and I prefer Mr. Elliott's portrayal to Timothy Spall in the newer adaptation.
  • Julian Sands as George Emerson - He's quiet and rather listless at first not finding much to interest him in life. He has a very kind heart though and cares deeply about the things in life that really matter. When he meets Lucy he immediately likes her and you can tell his love for her is genuine because he starts taking an interest in life and becoming all that he could be. He helps Lucy out of a few scrapes and is always gentlemanly. I've seen Julian Sands portray more villains so it was difficult for me to like him at first but he does a great job with the character, especially portraying the feelings of George without using many words.
  • Simon Callow as Reverend Mr. Beebe - The new vicar of Lucy's home town who she and Charlotte meet by chance in Italy. I'm not a huge fan of actor Simon Callow and I generally dislike the characters he plays but the insightful Mr. Beebe is a very necessary character because he often interprets the silences and helps Lucy understand herself. Again it was neat to see an older actor being so young with dark hair!
  • Judi Dench as Eleanor Lavish - A free thinking romance writer who Lucy and Charlotte meet and befriend in Italy. She is adventurous and clever though essentially a silly tourist. It was neat to see Judi Dench so young and pretty looking and in a stalwart character unlike some of the sillier characters I've seen her portray. It was also great to see her acting with Maggie Smith as the two have been great friends for years since!
  • Rosemary Leach as Mrs. Honeychurch - Lucy's mother who features much in the latter part of the movie when Lucy is back at home. She is very kind and wants the best for her children although she doesn't always know how to help them. As a widow she also longs to have Lucy settled and provided for. She has some lovely hairstyles and dresses and is overall a very nice character.
  • Rupert Graves as Freddy Honeychurch - Lucy's younger brother who is quite annoying at times! I'm not a huge fan of Rupert Graves but it was fun to see him so young and playing a fun character. Freddy is a troublemaker sometimes but often moves the story along by telling others things they should know but that Lucy won't tell them. He wears some brightly colored hats and jackets.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis as Cecil Vyse - Lucy's fiance who is very proper but very stuck up. I disliked him from the first and am not quite sure how Lucy could put up with such a ridiculous fellow. He got better as time went on but he's just so comical and horrid at the same time that it's hard to know whether to laugh or hate him! Kudos to Daniel Day-Lewis for portraying such a difficult character! 

My Thoughts: It's an odd story and the characters are so proper and concerned with seemingly trivial things but there is a great deal of heart too that comes from the Emersons. This 1985 version is quite grand and romantic in it's feel which I don't usually like but I got into the feeling of the story more this time than I did when I watched the 2007 film for the first time. I'm anxious now to re-watch that newer version because I know there's no huge inappropriate scene in it and I do like many of the actors in it.
The actors in A Room With A View (1985) were absolutely brilliant, the costumes were gorgeous, the scenery was stunning and the music was lovely. This is a beautiful film and the story is intriguing and has it's sweet moments. I might watch it again in a year or so but it's not one of those films you can just watch over and over again.

My Recommendations: I can only recommend this film to adult viewers who don't mind skipping over the two objectionable scenes. It is a beautiful film but if you're interested in the story I'd either watch it with ClearPlay or watch the 2007 version.

Have you seen A Room With A View (1985)? How about the 2007 version?
Any thoughts about the costumes featured in these photos?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Jane Austen Crossword Clues - W

Are there any crossword fans out there? Well the idea of this game is a Jane Austen trivia quiz where the questions sound rather like crossword clues. To make it interesting and a bit easier all of the answers are one word and start with the letter W!

 To Play: Read the clues below and guess the answers. All answers start with the letter W. Leave your guesses in a comment and I'll respond with your score. You may only guess once for each question so think hard about your answers before you respond! Answers to this game will be posted next Saturday.

Scoring: 10 points for each correct W answers. Highest possible score is 150 points!

Jane Austen Crossword Clues:

1. Lieutenant _______ Price - Fanny Price's brother.

2. Sir ______ Elliot - Anne Elliot's father.

3. Captain Frederick ________ - Naval hero.

4. Colonel ______ - Mr. Elliot's gossipy friend.

5. Mr. ______ -  Gentleman Miss Taylor marries.

6. Surname of Emma and her father.

7. John __________ - Villain of Sense and Sensibility.

8. George _______ - Villain of Pride and Prejudice.

9. The _______ - name of unfinished Austen work.

10. Village where Charles Hayter lives.

11. Finish the quote: "Pictures of perfection make me sick and ______."  

12. Finish the quote: "I never heard of such a thing. Dancing with open ______!"

13. Henry Tilney's parsonage.

14. Catherine Morland's home county.

15. Eliza ________ - Colonel Brandon's unfortunate sister-in-law.

Looking forward to seeing your answers! :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

News Flash: Death Comes To Pemberley (2013)

I am not sure how I missed this news that was apparently released at the end of May. There is to be a new TV miniseries about Pride and Prejudice based on the book Death Comes To Pemberley by mystery writer P.D. James!

News of this miniseries came back in February when it was rumored that Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey) was to play Mr. Darcy but thankfully those rumors seem to be false.

Crime Writer P.D. James
Book Blurb: In their six years of marriage, Elizabeth and Darcy have forged a peaceful, happy life for their family at Pemberley, Darcy’s impressive estate. Her father is a regular visitor; her sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; the marriage prospects for Darcy’s sister, Georgiana, are favorable. And preparations for their annual autumn ball are proceeding apace. But on the eve of the ball, chaos descends. Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister who, with her husband, has been barred from the estate, arrives in a hysterical state—shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. Plunged into frightening mystery and a lurid murder trial, the lives of Pemberley’s owners and servants alike may never be the same. - from Amazon listing

Screenplay was written by Juliette Towhidi and it will be directed by Daniel Percival (I've enjoyed a couple of his mystery TV series). Filming starts in Yorkshire, England in June and the three-part miniseries is expected to air on BBC One in the UK around Christmas time.

The most exciting news is that three major cast members have been announced!

Cast Announced So Far:

Matthew Goode as Mr. Wickham
If you've seen He Knew He Was Right then you might remember Matthew as Mr. Brook Burgess (Aunt Stanbury's nephew who takes a liking to Dolly - my favorite story of that miniseries!). He's been in a few other period drama films (Confessions of An Ugly Stepsister, Brideshead Revisited 2008, Copying Beethoven, Marple: A Murder Is Announced) which I don't really recommend but at least we know he has some experience with the costume drama genre. I also really enjoy his witty, slightly cheeky character in the modern romantic comedy film Leap Year (Read My Review) and have been wanting to see him do more period dramas. Overall I think his charming dark looks and charisma will make an irresistible Mr. Wickham! 


Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth (Bennet) Darcy
We love her as Esther Summerson in Bleak House, Bessy Higgins in North & South and we think that Cassandra Austen she was the best thing about Becoming Jane. I call her one of my favorite actresses of all time (read my post on Anna) and have been longing to see her play a Jane Austen character such as Anne Elliot in Persuasion. Choosing a very clever actress like Anna to play Lizzy is a great move towards getting this Janeite on board with the whole idea of a P&P sequel. Not sure Anna exactly looks the part of Elizabeth   but she should be able to capture much of the character's personality quite well.


 Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy
Who is going to play Mr. Darcy is of course the big buzz, it seems to be the focus of the various announcement articles I've been reading online. 
I've seen Welsh actor Matthew Rhys in The Abduction Club and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Read My Review). He's also been in a couple other period dramas including a role as Lord Byron in a Regency Era miniseries about style icon of the day Beau Brummell (tried watching it once really don't recommend it) which means he's no stranger to Regency fashions. The characters he's played before seem to have a lot of depth to them so we can have hope that he will do the same for Mr. Darcy.  

Matthew Rhys said: “Exciting as it is, one of the challenges of a part such as Darcy are the comparisons that will be drawn to those who've institutionalised him in the past. The beauty of 'Pemberley' is that it is an entirely new and different Darcy 6 years on. (And also, I don't have to appear from a lake in a white shirt and breeches).”

So long as Mr. Darcy doesn't end up being the murderer and as dark as John Jasper in Edwin Drood then Matthew Rhys might be okay. 


Announcement Links:

Other Links:

It will be interesting to see what other actors are drawn to this production and cast in the other roles and what new characters might be added to the story. It seems that Darcy & Lizzy have two young sons in the book so it will be interesting to see how that plays out. I read excerpts from the book on Amazon and found it interesting reading but the Austenprose review doesn't give the book a very high rating.

As I love Jane Austen and murder mysteries this film might be right up my alley, hopefully it will have Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy as the detective figures. And Death Comes To Pemberley (2013) can be considered as separate from P&P because it is a sequel, unlike Lost In Austen (2008) that just messed with the original story so badly. And if there's several nods to Pride & Prejudice (1995) then I'd like it even more! :)

What are your thoughts on this news and the cast so far?

Have you ever read Death Comes To Pemberley?

Who would you cast in minor roles like Lydia, Georgiana, Colonel Fitzwilliam or Lady Catherine?

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