Sunday, March 22, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
North and South is a mid-19th century about the clash between rural southern England and industrial northern England, but "clash" is really too strong a word, probably left over from when I was under the mistaken impression that it was a book about the American Civil War. (Because there was that mini-series called North and South, though I've never seen it, and I don't know why it has stuck in my head for many years.)
Anyway, I feel silly that I am just now beginning to discover Elizabeth Gaskell, who wrote novels and short stories in the mid-1800s. I'd never heard of her until I took a class on the Brontes at BYU, in which I learned that she wrote a biography of Charlotte Bronte. Much later, I became aware of some of her novels, but I didn't read anything by her until my friend Adrienne gave me Wives and Daughters for my birthday (thanks, Adrienne!). I think I started reading that just because she'd given it to me and I felt a certain amount of pressure to read it (not directly from her, I hasten to add; I just made it up myself). I loved it.
Maybe if I'd been an English major, I would have read her in college? I don't know. I was a Comparative Literature major. I'd like to know if she's included in a typical English literature education. Anybody know?
So I finally picked up North and South at a time when I was fairly desperate to find something I'd enjoy reading. And I loved it, too! There's a delightful love story that drags on and on just as it should in a Victorian novel; there are funny characters, though maybe not quite as funny as Jane Austen's; and in this novel, there's a lot of interaction between the leisure class, the manufacturing class (I don't know exactly what to call that class, but I mean the factory owners), and the working class.
I raved about it to my sister Leah, who's watched the BBC production and now also read the book. She loves it, too.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I do have some meatier posts coming up, but I'm getting all the fluff out of the way first.
I watched this while trying to decide what Jon and I should see in New York (we went at the end of January). Mamma Mia! is playing on Broadway there right now, but it was not our choice. The movie was okay. Definitely fun to see seasoned actors singing and dancing to beloved Abba songs; they were obviously having a delightful time. But what a lame story! I don't regret seeing it--who doesn't love Abba?--but it's fluff. (I think Jon said he'd still be interested in seeing it live sometime, though.)