"And to this purpose"

"If people like to read their books, it is all very well, but to be at so much trouble in filling great volumes, which, as I used to think, nobody would willingly ever look into, to be labouring only for the torment of little boys and girls, always struck me as a hard fate; and though I know it is all very right and necessary, I have often wondered at the person's courage that could sit down on purpose to do it." (In other words: rambling analyses, opinions, ideas, views, and comments from an English major, Essay/paper-writing enthusiastic, Austen-loving Master Librarian on, well, Jane Austen...and a whole lot of other things, too.)

"Celebrated Passages are Quoted"

Heidi's favorite quotes

"What is it really like to be engaged?" asked Anne curiously. "Well, that all depends on who you're engaged to," answered Diana, with that maddening air of superior wisdom always assumed by those who are engaged over those who are not."— L.M. Montgomery

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sick = Holiday Skipping

I'm here! I've had a birthday and a cold, but I'm still around. Trying to get a new poll up and I want to make sure it's a good one. Thought I would write so you knew I was hanging in there.

To liven things up, I'd like to hear some opinions. And as birthday is over and I'm currently on an ignore Halloween kick (sorry CK and Meredith!) because I've had it up to here listening to talk of Twilight and New Moon (sorry again, Meredith! And to the other lovers of it). I can handle some talk here and there. But really...I shouldn't have had to listen to all of that on my birthday. 'Cause it was my birthday!!! And with being sick on that day and enduring things I didn't want to endure, it didn't feel as much like my birthday as I'd hoped. Anywho. Now with birthday over, I'm skipping over to Christmas for a couple of days. Just because.

There is a new Christmas Carol film version coming out (and I'm aware of it more than typical because of a library program I'm hoping will get the go ahead). It has animation similar to Polar Express (which I wasn't the biggest fan of, even if I found it interesting) and uses the main voice talent of Jim Carrey. If he could keep the film in a serious vein (Like Majestic and Truman Show) instead of his usual off-the-wall craziness, then I might be OK with it. But I'm still highly skeptical of this coming version. So here is the question:

If you could have any current actor/actress in your version, who would your ideal cast be?
Other questions for discussion:
What are some of your favorite parts of the book that you want in your film version?
What are parts from the book if you are required to cut for time that you would be willing to part with?
What would your soundtrack be like? Would you make it a fun musical like the Muppets and Albert Finney versions?
Animated or live-action?
If you considered a more modern adaptation--like An American Christmas Carol or Scrooged--what would it be like and how would you adapt it?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wordle (which rhymes with turtle...sort of)

In my librarian attempts to learn more of the technological things in this world, I have now learned a bit more about word clouds, specifically using the fun generator Wordle. I also now know how these things can be fun and useful in libraries, schools, and education and aren't just something for show or interesting to look at. So I decided to create my own Wordle. I used the Our Mutual Friend film description post to try it out.
Fun, yes? Well, anyhow, I like it. And will probably spend more time than is good for me at Wordle in upcoming bored times. Yet I'll be sure to use it for its usefulness, too. Have fun creating your own!

P.S. This is the Wordle for this entry:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Possibly Loved North American Literature-Based Period Dramas on Film Poll Results

I know. I've gotten behind again. Here are the results for North American Literature-Based Dramas on Film Poll. 10 voters this time! Yay!! (Remember that though a trilogy or series might be mentioned, the poll dealt with only the first movie.)

Little House on the Prairie – 2005: 2 (20%)
Love Comes Softly series – 2003-2007: 5 (50%)
Tuck Everlasting – 2002: 5 (50%)
The House of Mirth – 2000: 1 (10%)
L.M. Alcott’s The Inheritance – 1997
Washington Square – 1997: 1 (10%)
The Buccaneers – 1995: 1 (10%)
Tom and Huck – 1995: 1 (10%)
Little Women – 1994: 8 (80%)
Legends of the Fall – 1994: 1 (10%)
The Age of Innocence – 1993: 2 (20%)
A River Runs Through It – 1992: 2 (20%)
The Last of the Mohicans – 1992: 2 (20%)
Sarah, Plain and Tall (trilogy) – 1991-1999: 2 (20%)
White Fang – 1991: 0 (0%)
Dances with Wolves – 1990: 1 (10%)
Glory - 1989: 1 (10%)
Anne of Green Gables (trilogy) – 1985-2000: 7 (70%)
The Color Purple – 1985: 1 (10%)
Moby Dick – 1956: 0 (0%)
The Grapes of Wrath – 1940: 0 (0%)
Gone with the Wind – 1939: 4 (40%)

These are what I love about books and movies--people have such varying opinions. There are some on this list that I absolutely despised, and yet they received votes. The differences of opinion are always interesting. I am a fan of the saying "To each his own." Or her own. Whatever. :-)

Of course, then it's also fun and interesting to see how people who can vary so widely in some opinions can agree in others. For example, our clear winner with 8 votes is '94 Little Women followed closely by Anne of Green Gables with 7 votes. That is the largest majority we have had on any of our polls, and thus our largest agreement. Times like that which make me feel that "It's a small world after all." And I'm pretty sure it's because we (females) all feel a little somethin' somethin' for the Lovesick Laurie and the Gallant Gilbert.

I will talk about these as well in upcoming posts, but I've been a bit busy of late and without Internet connection for a few days at home. So do not fear--I am still here. ha ha ha

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Our Mutual Friend" Movie Synopsis

SaraLyn had asked for a synopsis of Our Mutual Friend, so that is the first movie I've chosen to write of. I probably won't go in any particular order with them. And not all will be this long (maybe). But this is one I just loved!

Lizzie Hexam is a poor girl living with her father and brother on the river. Her father earns a living by dragging the river for bodies and turning them in--often after keeping whatever money was found on them. There is no shame if the body is dead. If the body is alive, that is quite wrong. His partner in this, Rogue Riderhood, has recently done just that. Mr. Hexam cuts off their partnership, angering Riderhood. Lizzie often helps her father by rowing the boat and such.

Lawyer Mortimer Lightwood has one case--that of Mr. Harmon, who made a huge fortune in "dust." (I'm pretty sure that means sifting through garbage.) Harmon had a knack of pushing people away, and had even sent his own son away years ago. Old Harmon has recently died. The will stipulates that his son John Harmon inherits the entire fortune, but only if he returns home and marries a woman he has never met--Bella Wilfer. This was part of old Mr. Harmon's twisted humor, selfishness, and so on. Mr. Lightwood is soon informed that in the return home, John Harmon had drowned. Charley is sent to retrieve him saying they have found the body and as lawyer he needs to come.

Lightwood's friend, Eugene Wrayburn (whose name you'll hear a lot, hee hee!) is a wealthy son with no convictions, causes, or anything. He's not bad, just lazy. His father won't support him unless he makes any advantageous marriage--of which Eugene has no interest to seek after. Eugene accompanies Lightwood to see the body. It is here that he first sees Lizzie, and is immediately enchanted/intrigued by her. In going to see the body, there is a Julius Handford who wishes to see it, too. He is quite startled in seeing the body, but says it is not who he was looking for. His actions raise suspicions in the officer, and he chooses to keep a watch on him. Only Handford disappears!

Then we meet Bella Wilfer--the unfortunate “widow” of sorts who never even met the man she didn't end up marrying. She is annoyed by her current situation and finds her father's new lodger, John Rokesmith, to be a bit odd. Mr. Rokesmith is new to town, and becomes secretary to the Boffins--loyal dustworkers to old Mr. Harmon who ended up inheriting the fortune due to the death of John Harmon. He is to help them keep track of their accounts and help them into "society" as they have no idea what or how to do any of that.

The Boffins feel terrible about taking away the fortune they feel belongs to Bella Wilfer, who had known all her life that it was intended for her upon marriage. So they invite her to be their ward of sorts so that she may benefit, too. She's a bit affronted in some ways by them (their social graces ain't so...graceful), but she also longs for a life beyond her family's meager one. So she accepts. This puts her in the way of Mr. Rokesmith even more, and she is frustrated by his "always watching" her.

Side story here!: Mr. Boffin hires Silas Wegg (one legged man) to read to the Boffins to help them become more educated. Later Wegg wants to take advantage of Mr. Boffin's wealth and tries to go into cahoots with Venus--a lovesick taxidermist. (He really is such an ironical character, played well by the guy who plays Wormtail.) Venus, though, soon does not agree with what Wegg is doing, and in a way double crosses him by confessing the whole to Mr. Boffin. Mr. Boffin in turn helps persuade Venus' love interest (Riderhood's daughter) to look on him--or rather his profession--more favorably. (I'll admit that while this story has its interesting moments, it's also the part that I'm thinking "Get on with it!" One good-guy character involved in the squelching of Wegg is almost completely erased from the Netflix version--his part mostly being in the missing 40 minutes.)

OK. Back to the others. Riderhood wants revenge on Mr. Hexam, but the latter ends up drowning before that could happen. Mr. Wrayburn, concerned about Lizzie, helps her to get to London and finds her a place to live with the doll-maker daughter-of-a-drunk Jenny Wren. First off, one would think Jenny's a little touched. But she does see things more clearly than some do and is so sweet. (She's a great character and the actress did so well with her. I always find something to think of when I see her again.)

Now Lizzie earlier on had wanted all that's best for her brother Charley, and knew he'd get that through education and not living on the river. So she had saved what she could and sent Charley on before their father's death. Charley is now under the tutelage of Mr. Headstone. Lizzie is working at Jenny's. She is proud of Charley's success, but doesn't want to interfere with his schooling. Mr. Headstone agrees (especially considering the poor past connections that it would give Charley), until he meets Lizzie. He's immediately bewitched (of his own accord).

Charley has noticed Mr. Wrayburn often visiting Lizzie, and he doesn't like it. (Charley's a major brat and ingrate by the way.) So he brings Headstone to see Eugene, and Lightwood is there to witness the scene. Humorous in its ways--I laughed a lot. But Headstone here starts to become quite jealous. Later, he proposes to Lizzie who politely refuses him. This is where we see him begin to show his insanity when he punches, well, a headstone. (Kind of a Collins-ish proposal, but his reaction was a bit scary; also, a warning--you'll see more of Headstone than you wanted to...literally.) Charley is furious with Lizzie's refusal and says he will have nothing to do with her. Lizzie is distraught and hurt, especially knowing that she has feelings for Eugene and stands no chance because of their social standings. So she runs away from London.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rokesmith is completely in love with Bella, and reveals to the audience that he is the drowned John Harmon. He details his story, and tells how he wanted to "test" Bella by watching her--not wanting to "come to life" and claim her for his own when it would be degrading to each of them. But now he is so in love with her and doesn't know what to do. Bella in turn finally confronts him to tell him to stop his "watching." He declares his feelings and she rejects them. He is distraught, but he continues with the Boffins. In that time, John and Bella slowly form a kind of friendship. (Best scenes of this are part of the missing footage, as is how Bella and Lizzie actually meet.)

As the friendship develops, Mr. Boffin starts to become miserly and treats John terriblly, his wealth having changed him. This greatly upsets Bella, who had come to love the Boffins a great deal. (She has still kept a charming relationship with her father--I think you [SaraLyn] will love that part, considering your own daddy-daughter relationship). When Mr. Boffin hears of John's refused proposal from some social parasites, he lays the charges at him, saying he is unworthy of Bella and that all Bella wants is money. Bella is hurt by both accusations, realizing her true feelings for John as he is fired and turned from the house. So she gives up the Boffins' wealth to return to her family's poor home. She is intercepted by John. (Oh, what a scene! I love it!!!) John and Bella marry. (Excellent scene there, too.)

Eugene has been searching for Lizzie. He cannot find her, and he misses her greatly. Lightwood is a bit confused by it, and then shocked when Eugene literally shows him how Headstone stalks him around town every night. Desperate to find her, Eugene uses "foul means" (as even he himself admits) by bribing Jenny's father with money for drink if he in turn will find Lizzie's address. The father complies, and later he is discovered drowned in the river, most likely having fallen in drunk.

Eugene learns that Lizzie is working in the country, and come spring, he follows her there. Headstone follows Eugene. Riderhood, having almost drowned himself, has moved to a different part of the river so that it cannot claim him. He is a lock-keeper, sees both Eugene and Headstone, and begins guessing what Headstone is up to. Eugene and Lizzie meet up again. They both admit their feelings to one another, but Lizzie asks him to leave her be as it is just not possible for the two to be together. Being evening, she promises to let him see her one more time the next day before sending him away.

However, Headstone attacks him, beats him, and then throws him in the river. Lizzie had heard a scuffle and ends up being the one to pull him from the river. (Irony of her past there! And what a heart-wrenching scene, too.) The doctor does not expect him to survive. Jenny and Lightwood both come to join Lizzie. Bella comes at one point, too, and in Lightwood’s conveying her, he meets her husband John for the first time. (Uh-oh!)

John’s secretive past begins to unfold there, and through it all Bella stays constant and loyal until he is able to tell her the full truth. But you'll just have to watch it to see how everything ends up!

I think it's totally worth the watch--even the the version missing 40 minutes. As long as you are able to see it, I think you will love it! I was quite happy with the acting. It has its mid-90s feel to it, but still pretty good! I'm a fan. Obviously. :-)

Much-Loved Literature-Based British Period Dramas on Film

With 7 people voting this time, here are the results!

Little Dorrit – 2008: 2 (28%)
Sense and Sensibility – 2008: 2 (28%)
Northanger Abbey – 2007: 2 (28%)
Persuasion – 2007: 2 (28%)
Jane Eyre – 2006: 5 (71%)
Under the Greenwood Tree – 2005: 1 (14%)
Bleak House – 2005: 0 (0%)
Pride and Prejudice – 2005: 3 (42%)
North & South – 2004: 1 (14%)
Master and Commander – 2003: 0 (0%)
The Young Visiters – 2003: 0 (0%)
The Importance of Being Earnest – 2002: 1 (14%)
Nicholas Nickleby – 2002: 1 (14%)
Daniel Deronda – 2002: 0 (0%)
The Way We Live Now - 2001: 0 (0%)
An Ideal Husband – 1999: 3 (42%)
Anna and the King – 1999: 2 (28%)
Great Expectations – 1999: 0 (0%)
Wives and Daughters – 1999: 2 (28%)
Mansfield Park – 1999: 2 (28%)
Horatio Hornblower series – 1998-2003: 3 (42%)
Tess of the D’urbervilles – 1998: 0 (0%)
Our Mutual Friend – 1998: 1 (14%)
The Woman in White - 1997: 0 (0%)
Emma – 1996: 1 (14%)
Emma – 1996 A&E: 1 (14%)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – 1996: 0 (0%)
Pride and Prejudice – 1995: 3 (42%)
Persuasion – 1995: 1 (14%)
Middlemarch – 1994: 0 (0%)
Remains of the Day – 1993: 0 (0%)
Wuthering Heights – 1992: 0 (0%)
Oliver! – 1968: 0 (0%)
My Fair Lady – 1964: 3 (42%)

I have decided to give my own synopses of these films (which will be rife with Heidi Comments!). I'm sure there will be plenty of spoilers, so here is your head's up now not to read them if you don't wish to know what will happen...or hear my good and/or bad opinions of things here and there.

As for the actual results? I'm perfectly happy with the overall winner: Jane Eyre 2006. Yay! Well done, voters! Some of the ones not voted for? Well, some weren't so great in my opinion, and others are probably not as heard about. My synopses may remedy that. What were some of your thoughts? I know SaraLyn's and mine are all over this blog. And I'm sure we have more of them, ha ha! But I am interested to hear from the readers what they did and/or didn't like about some of these movies.

Friday, September 11, 2009

"Gone but Not Forgotten"

(From my online journal today)
What is not taught
will be forgotten,
and what is forgotten
cannot be defended.
May We Never Forget
(Created for Memorial Day, but I think it is appropriate for Patriot Day, too)
P.S. Many, many thank yous to Jack for helping me keep my Freedom Tree tradition.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Meet Me...

I found this article (from an awesome website that would have helped in the making of my polls) which was enjoyable reading--partly because of the nostalgia it brought me. But I had no idea that Meet Me in St. Louis was based on a book. You know I would have included that movie (and voted for it!) if I had. So, here is my way of including it.

Now I'm off to do an Interlibrary Loan so I may borrow the book and read it. :-)

(And I have the music in my head, too!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beware the Zombie Chickens!

Oh my goodness! This year has just been leaps and bounds in the Internet 2.0 world for me. Only last week I was writing my first guest blogger post. And this week I was given a blog award! (By someone I've never even met!)
The Zombie Chicken Award was given to me by StephanieD at Misfit Salon.
"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken-- excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all."

Thus, I am proud to present this award to 5 blogging friends and their blogs which I thoroughly and greatly enjoy reading--even if I were under attack by said Zombie Chickens!

MBC at Slanted (which is on hiatus as she travels abroad, so you can see her abroad edition)
Mona at Mona's Musings (another on hiatus as she worked on greatness over the summer)
SaraLyn at The Brambler

Wonderful women, and wonderful blogs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Across the Pond Poll

Well, I have learned something about myself in creating this new poll. At first I thought it was that I was sadly neglecting my native land and not watching Period dramas based there. But it's more than that.

  1. Many of the movies based on books in a North American Period film were ones I just never wanted to watch. I mean...really.
  2. Many of the movies are based on books that have values, morals, characteristics, and standards that I do not agree with.
  3. I've read plenty of books that have been made into movies and would fit on this poll. But as I haven't seen the movie, I could not include it on the poll.
  4. Note that many of the North American Period films were made pre-2000, but many of the British Period films were made post-2000. I grew up with some of the N.A. films. But when I reached college and began to study British lit as an English major while all of these adaptations were coming out, well, what else would I be watching?

Of course, as you can see by this poll, I was really stretching for some adaptations. And there are plenty on here that I did not like then, or am not quite the fan of now. I'm not expecting too much enthusiasm from this poll, but boy could the comments sure roll!

So, it is the same for this poll as it was with the last poll.

  1. Vote for the ones you enjoyed.
  2. Make a comment here about the ones you did not enjoy--whether it be the storyline, the actors, the acting, the adaptation, or whatever. Actually, you can make similar comments about those you did enjoy. I'd like to hear both, though. Because I hope you will note that I put some up there that I did not end up enjoying.
  3. Make a comment here about ones you thought of but I did not think (or did not bother) to include on the poll.

Polls coming soon:

•Much-Loved British Period Dramas (of any kind)
•Much-Loved American Period Dramas (of any kind)

One more thing! Please send me suggestions for polls you would like. I'm considering doing polls on British films, British books, American films, and American books (all separate) using suggestions from you readers. So if you have ones you hold in high estimation, send them along and we'll see what others think of them, too!

I Should Feel Guilty

Every so often--like just now--I recommend (to those poor reading-hating high school students who are given classics I know they won't enjoy at all because they just aren't up to that, yet) watching the movie over reading the book.

Especially if they've gone 2 months and have only read 50 pages of a 300 page novel and have a paper due on it in a week.

More especially if that movie version is a good adaptation, entertaining, and absolutely fantastic.

And even more especially if that movie is the 2006 Jane Eyre.

Yes. I should feel guilty.

But I don't.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

SaraLyn & Heidi Movie Discussion - Continued

I read all of your comment--and loved it! You know you can't ever bore me, or ever talk enough. Plus compared to all that I write, I think your comments are just right in length. :-) As you can see, my response was so long, I felt I should just put it into a new post.

OK, OK, I do like the MP carriage scene. But if you've ever seen the version with the guy from Chariots of Fire, I thought the girl played a good Fanny. She was never meant to be a Lizzie, Anne, or anything. Just a good girl who knew her heart and what was proper. And people says she's spineless, but she stands up to everyone in defense of her own heart which she still has to keep secret! There's strength there, if muted. I love that old version now because of who plays Fanny. If you see it, you'll know why. And I think you'd laugh, too! As for the new version? Only seen it once. Not enough to truly form an opinion.

I am the same way about movies, only my analogy was dog poo in the brownies. I tend to go back and forth, but it always depends on the movie. The whole gleaning what I can. It also relates to how I don't go by ratings. I don't need the world telling me what is good and what is not. I can discern for myself. The movie Glory--case and point. We should talk more about movies. I think we'd have similar views as we do with books. :-)

I could bring "Under..." I just have to get it from Netflix. So...there is a possibility for Thanksgiving?!

I think that's what bothered me about the 07 Persuasion--not being too close to the book. Especially the Letter Scene! I'm partial to how it was done in the '95, and that would have been amazing with the 07 Wentworth. But I don't know why, I'm just very happy with Amanda Root as Anne. Sally wasn't bad, but I just loved Amanda. Must have been something in relating to her during the college days.

In reference to the movies you haven't seen:

Little Dorrit 2008 - I'm on the last 1.5 episodes of it and I have really, really loved it. I think you'll very much enjoy it. It’s typical Dickens – mystery and intrigue everywhere, and everybody is connected to everybody else.

Under the Greenwood Tree 2005 – we’ll take care of that. :-)

Bleak House 2005 – Gillian Anderson did an excellent job. Follows the book pretty well, too. Might be a little boring, but I don't know. One thing I love about Dickens is all the connections he makes between characters. This one is full of them.

North and South 2004 – it’s a little slower. And not the greatest ever. But if you take the intellectual take (north society vs. south society, and all the politicalness to it), then you’ll get more out of it.

Master and Commander 2003 – Gory! I think you’re fine without. Maybe read the book instead, though I haven’t ventured there myself.

The Young Visiters – just saw this one this week. Based on a book written by an 8 year old. Interesting and odd. Hilarious if you want to laugh at Jim Broadbent—he did a good job. I was furious with Hugh Laurie, though.

Daniel Deronda 2002 – I’m not sure if you’d really like this one.

The Way We Live Now 2001 – I liked this one because Moaning Myrtle is in it, and her character is quite interesting to watch evolve. The love story I was rooting for, well, I was still a bit upset with the hero of it. And I HATED Matthew MacFayden!

Great Expectations 1999 – Ioan Gruffudd as Pip? Of course! Plus, I like Justine Waddell.

Tess of the D'ubervilles 1998 – I will find you the river scene, and that is all you need see of this movie. I saw the last ¾ of the movie as a junior in high school and was mesmerized. Please note—I hadn’t even seen the ’95 P&P yet! This was one of my first British dramas, and I couldn’t tear myself away. Ja. was also reading it for school, so I had him tell me of the book so I could compare. Interesting. I just learned there is a new version, and I’m intrigued. But, yeah, WAY too depressing (it is Hardy!) and I don’t think you’d like it at all.

Our Mutual Friend 1998 – you. will. love. it.

The Woman in White 1997 – Justine Waddell again. And the woman who plays what’s her name in “Tenant.” I can’t wait to read the book! The music to the musical isn’t bad. That’s where I first heard about it.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall 1996 – I’ll have to bring this along, too, if I come down.

Middlemarch 1994 – You might like it. But I could see you doing the same thing as me: thinking how stupid so many people are being!

Remains of the Day 1993 – Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. It’s a thoughtful story, and no, doesn’t end the way everyone would want it to. It’s classic if anything so you can have a great laugh in the new Sabrina when he says “You’ve been watching Remains of the Day again.” Love it!

Wuthering Heights 1992 – I hate this story, too, and don’t feel to ever read the book. But this one was like Jane Eyre. Somehow I grew up watching all kinds of movie versions of it. Maybe because I was waiting to see one that would make me like the story. With Jane Eyre, I’d at least read the book—and no movie did it justice until 07. Wuthering Heights I didn’t want to read it, and after 3 versions I realized it was just going to be wretched no matter what. But Ralph played a good-looking, devious Heathcliff. And the scenery was pretty. But, yes, don’t bother.

Oliver! 1968 – I’m actually surprised you haven’t seen the musical! I grew up with it, and you know how those an be for nostalgia. The music is great. I have a tape of it that I would always listen to it while cleaning the bathroom during my college days. How can you not enjoy cleaning while singing "I'd do anyfing for you, dear, anyfing!" and "Who will buy this wonderful morning?" Love it!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Guest Blogger

Check it out! I can now add guest blogger to my accolades! Here is my first post, at my friend Mary's blog The Sweet Bookshelf.

Look at me go!

A new poll already to replace the old one. I'm still on the Period Drama kick, but I decided to focus only on those based on books, and which I myself have seen. The list is by no means exhaustive. There are plenty more that I could add. But it was getting pretty long already, don't you think?

So here's what's up with this poll.
  1. Vote for the ones you enjoyed.
  2. Make a comment here about the ones you did not enjoy--whether it be the storyline, the actors, the acting, the adaptation, or whatever. Actually, you can make similar comments about those you did enjoy. I'd like to hear both, though. Because I hope you will note that I put some up there that I did not end up enjoying.
  3. Make a comment here about ones you thought of but I did not think (or did not bother) to include on the poll.

Polls coming soon:

  • Much-Loved Literature-Based American Period Dramas on Film
  • Much-Loved British Period Dramas (of any kind)
  • Much-Loved American Period Dramas (of any kind)

Those last two will be heavily influenced on the results of the literature-based polls. Keep those votes and comments coming!

The (film) Heroes Poll results

First of all, I would like to note that there were 11 people who voted! Woohoo! A new record! Thank you to all who participated. I hope you enjoyed thinking on the men we love to watch on film, and knowing you had to go watch them again soon!

Here are the results:

Much Loved British Period Drama Heroes (from Film)

Mr. Edward Ferrars – 2008 1 (9%)
Mr. Henry Tilney – 2007 4 (36%)
Mr. Tom LeFroy – 2007 1 (9%)
Captain Frederick Wentworth – 2007 3 (27%)
Mr. William Wilberforce – 2006 2 (18%)
Mr. Norman Warne – 2006 2 (18%)
Mr. Edward Rochester – 2006 5 (45%)
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy – 2005 1 (9%)
Mr. Dick Dewy – 2005 1 (9%)
Mr. John Thornton – 2004 3 (27%)
Mr. Daniel Deronda – 2002 0 (0%)
Mr. Roger Hamley – 1999 4 (36%)
Mr. Horatio Hornblower - 1998-2003 1 (9%)
Mr. John Rokesmith – 1998 1 (9%)
Mr. Angel Clare – 1998 0 (0%)
Mr. George Knightley – 1996 3 (27%)
Mr. Gilbert Markham – 1996 0 (0%)
Colonel Brandon – 1995 1 (9%)
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy – 1995 4 (36%)
Captain Frederick Wentworth – 1995 1 (9%)
Mr. Will Ladislaw – 1994 0 (0%)

And now, my comments--my favorite part. Ah, the perks of this blog.

We already know that each man got on to this poll for one fancy of mine or another. But now I'm going to make a few comments of the results.

First off, my votes. I have my guesses on who some readers voted for. :-) I'm pretty sure that these were my votes for The Best of My Best:

Mr. Henry Tilney (surprise, surprise!)
Mr. William Wilberforce (Aaaaaaa-men!)
Mr. Norman Warne (awww...)
Mr. Roger Hamley (though I concede that he is Kim's)
Mr. John Rokesmith (mine all mine)

I am happy to see others agreed in some of these choices, too. My votes were because these men possessed qualities that I really do want to see in my best friend. That their traits are
  1. realistic, possible, and believable (meaning that I have actually met young men with their traits and have known that I personally love them and would like them to be part of my eternal companion)
  2. and that each one's love story is one I can connect to in some way or another...or that I want to connect to, anyhow.

Now, on to the poor, neglected, unvoted for men.

Mr. Daniel Deronda - well, even I acknowledged there wasn't too much "wow" about him. But he is quite sincere. And patient. And understanding. A good listener. And many other good qualities. I'm guessing it's a British Period film not too many have seen. Not to mention his love story being very background to it all.

Mr. Angel Clare - And, of course, we have acknowledged my shallowness in loving Angel for his looks. But I don't think his desire for a virtuous woman was a problem. In fact, it's a high point on my list of things I'd like my husband to be wanting in his wife. However, I would also want my husband to be understanding and willing to listen. It is not his fault he did not receive her note (though how literary characters have not yet learned that notes always get misplaced or put into the wrong hands). But when she did confess her past, he should not have shunned her. His ideal got in the way of him being practical, forgiving, and much more. I can see why so many wouldn't vote for him. But I do see him as real. And very attractive.
Mr. Gilbert Markham - I'm sure this is because no one else has seen the movie. I hadn't even heard of the book until SaraLyn mentioned it to me. Then, being on a Toby Stephens kick and seeing he was in the film, I couldn't wait to read the book first. I didn't mind.
Mr. Will Ladislaw - Again, one I think few have seen. And also that he not set up to be a glamorous hero like so many others. But he is worth it in his own rights.
Then we have the One-Vote Wonders.
Mr. Edward Ferrars - That was you, Meredith, wasn't it? No shame there. Not. At. All. This is my favorite Edward--in looks and personality.
Mr. Tom LeFroy - I can see why he wouldn't get many votes for a variety of reasons. (On my part, it's for being a wink historically inaccurate and more for being a bit of a rascal for the first 3/4 of the film.)
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy ('05) - That's just because Maggie hasn't voted, yet. In many ways, this is my preferred Darcy. But in others, he's not. And I must say I struggled for a few weeks after seeing him in The Way We Live Now. I was ready to smack him in a rage. But I'm loving him in Little Dorrit - probably more so than as Darcy. (Only 2 episodes left!)
Mr. Dick Dewy - It has to be because few have seen Under the Greenwood Tree. Trust me, ladies, you will love it! And him! The washing hands scene. The woods scene. The river scene (oh yeah). And my probably favorite--the singing apology scene.
Mr. Horatio Hornblower - Oh, where did I go wrong? Surely you have seen this debonair, upstanding swashbuckler with his wonderful smile, humor, loyalty, quick-thinking, leadership, humility, and much more? Of course, only two episodes of how his stupidity concerning Maria were enough to lessen him a great deal in my own opinion. So I guess there could be understanding there.
Mr. John Rokesmith - This has to be because no one else has seen Our Mutual Friend. While I know you'll enjoy both love stories, I have no problem claiming John as all my own.
Colonel Brandon - He is my favorite Brandon. Ever since he said "The air is full of spices." Cate and Jane teased me on that one in our sophomore year, but understood it, too. I think if Annie had seen this poll, she would have added an emphatic vote for him. As it is, though, he only got one. Sad.
Captain Frederick Wentworth ('95) - I love Ciaran Hinds in this role. He was my Wentworth in my college days. But as I've said, he only played it so well because he had Amanda Root as Anne.
Next there are the Two-Timers. In votes, that is.
Mr. William Wilberforce - This has to be because no one has come to love Amazing Grace as much as SaraLyn and myself. 'Cause I'm pretty sure we're the two who voted for him. No problem in wanting a man who is devoted, intelligent, witty, courageous, persistant, religious, and stands up for what is right even when he's alone in doing so.
Mr. Norman Warne - Again, I think this was just SaraLyn and me. (Norman does remind me of your husband.) It's either because others haven't seen Miss Potter, or they wer enot as enchanted with it as I was. He is not the showy hero like so many others. No, he is instead a gem to be found.
Now on to the Third-Votes-a-Charm.
Captain Frederick Wentworth ('07) - Well done. Well done.
Mr. John Thornton - I watched him again last night. Yes, the whole film. And there are definitely parts that I love. But I just don't feel I know him very well. Sure we get a chance to see his behavior, know of his past, and learn his views and opinions. But we rarely ever get to see him and Margaret together. I'm still trying to figure out how he came to love her, and thus what he loves about her. I can see her over time coming to love him. But they have few happy moments together. Few times of agreeable conversation. At least, from what we're shown in the movie. And there's where I have problems. (Anyone who knows me well would know that's quite similar to why I have issues with Twilight.) I guess if ladies like the dark, brooding, temper-passionate male, then these results make sense. But it's not quite for me.
Mr. George Knightley - You know this guy is some absolutely amazing person if we can all love him in spite of his ginormous nose. :-) Best Knightley. So far. Let's see what this new version will bring us.
Then to our Four Scores.
Mr. Henry Tilney - Oh my wonderful, wise friends! Not that I needed any justification in my dear Henry. But I'm so glad there are others who see his fantastic merits, too! (Especially the part on humor. Too many of the other heroes lack it, comparatively speaking.)
Mr. Roger Hamley - Again! Marks of true wisdom! And understanding, too, for Roger has his moments of blindess and stupidity. Two+ years of it, in fact.
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy ('95) - Well, I don't see how that could have been helped. But some of that conversation was in the previous post's comments. I can say that I'm happy he wasn't the overall winner, as it shows you readers have branched out your tastes and seen how many more wonderful British Period film dramas there are.
And the winner is...
Mr. Edward Rochester! - I am perfectly happy with this winner, as only Toby Stephens can play. Ciaran Hinds wasn't bad. But he wasn't Toby. This is another role that was accentuated by his female counterpart. They were perfect together. He was still dark and broody, but I felt I knew him so much more. And that the two really were perfect. Finally I could see why Jane loved Rochester so much, and why he truly could be a hero. Faults and flaws with the good stuff, too. He was very good. Excellent choice.
Well, of course, with every man on my list being there because it was, um, my list, I must say to you all:
"You chose wisely."
But, of course, I want to hear your reasons and opinions of who you did and didn't vote for. I'm sure there are some on my list that you thought "What?!" And others that were "Who?" I want to hear it all. It's time to confess your choices and stand by your men! (If you haven't noticed, discussions are my favorite here.)