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Category Archives: Pride and Prejudice

George?

Mrs. DallowayThere are two places in Mrs. Dalloway where Richard Dalloway is called “Wickham”.

In Pride and Prejudice George Wickham was the charming, but less-than-honorable man who stole Lydia Bennet away and eloped with her.

Coincidence?

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Posted by on July 30, 2013 in Mrs. Dalloway, Pride and Prejudice

 

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Some Dads

Happy Father’s Day Sancho, Christian, Gulliver, Mr. Bennett, Fagin, Mr. Brockelhurst, Arthur Dimmesdale, Ahab, Arthur Shelby, Charles Bovary, Marmeladov, Vronsky, Damon Wildeve, Gilbert Osmund, Pap Finn, and Tom Buchanan.

Thanks for not being my dad.

You see, he’s pretty awesome.  And you guys, well, let’s just say that you’re best left where you are:  inside the covers of a book.

Dad Dance

 

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The Fastest 300 Years EVER!

Sancho and the donkey.  Christian.  Yahoos and Houyhnhnms.  Elizabeth and Darcy.  Oliver.   Bertha-in-the-attic.  Hester and Pearl.   Moby Dick.   Uncles and Madams.  Rascal.   Anna-Kitty-Levin-Vronsky-oviches.   The Heath.   Isabel.   Huckleberry.   The Journeys of Henry and Marlowe.   And now Lily, whose outcome, at least for me, is still uncertain.

While paging through the Well-Educated Mind list of fiction books, I realized that Don Quixote was published in 1605 and House of Mirth in 1905.   300 years!  I congratulate myself and you, fellow readers, on plowing through 300 years of literature.   May the crop be plentiful!  I suggest a glass of red wine and some good chocolate to celebrate.

 

 

Christmas Is Coming

Readers are easy to shop for because they’re always happy to get a book.  But what if you want to validate their love of literature without adding to the addiction?  Here’s a list of some unique classic gifts that might appeal to us WEMers.  Feel free print it out and leave it in a conspicuous spot for the shoppers in your life.  Or not.

(If all went well, clicking on the picture should open a new window to the site where the item is available.)

Don Quixote

The question I want answered is do these earrings belong the beautiful Dulcinea of Don Quixote’s dreams, or the brawny girl of Sancho’s acquaintance?  Decide before wearing.

Pilgrim’s Progress

Because a Bunyan vest is better than Bunyan Shoes.

Gulliver’s Travels

The site says that the pages are still readable.  Never mind.  Do not buy this for me.

Pride and Prejudice

This is obviously a doll version of Darcy from the beginning of the novel.  You know, when he was really crochety, um I mean crotchety.

Oliver Twist

You could make up a batch of homemade gruel mix, put it in a mason jar, and add a festive bow, or you could give a Dickinsonian this lovely print of a giant gruel pot.

Jane Eyre

These hues of the moors are named “To the Stars,” “A Strange and Unearthly Thing,” and “Independent Will!” (Exclamation point the artists, not mine.)  Aside from the fact that I can’t imagine Jane Eyre for a moment considering her own appearance long enough to put on a coat of nail polish, they are kind of pretty, in a moody, murky way, of course.

Scarlet Letter

These days bearing a shirt with a scarlet A on it doesn’t denote you as an adulteress, although I think that meaning might be preferable.  So instead of clothing, the Scarlet Letter lover might appreciate this ignominious bracelet.

Moby Dick

The Herman Melville gift options seem endless, from “Call me Ishmael, maybe?” t-shirts to Captain Ahab Baby Swaddlers but this print is the item that really made my jaw drop.  It’s as striking and surprising as the novel itself.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Personally, I would much rather have a piece of Aunt Chloe’s pie.

Madame Bovary

What could be more fitting for Emma than a vanity mirror?

Crime and Punishment

There are hollow book safes available for nearly all of these classics, but this one for C&P has a certain, well, charm?  Although it doesn’t seem big enough to hide an axe.

Anna Karenina

If you can’t buy the gift you can always buy the pattern and knit it yourself this “adorable” and “cute” Anna Tea Cozy.  Also, shouldn’t it really be a samovar cozy?

The Return of the Native

And when in doubt, sending flowers is always a good idea.  Especially heather from the heath.  It’s much more beautiful than a furze faggot, and easier to carry.

Happy shopping and a Merry Christmas!  Oh, and don’t blame me if you get any of these things.

 

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Balls are Bad News

Today I started watching the Vivien Leigh version of Anna Karenina. I’m only a half hour into the movie, but I have had a revelation.

Balls are bad news.

Why do I say this?

Let’s think back.  The first ball we attended as classics readers was in Pride and Prejudice.  It was not a pleasant experience for Lizzy Bennett, our main character.  Darcy insulted her saying, “she is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me.”  At the second ball things weren’t much better.  Lizzy suffered through dances with Mr. Collins.  She ended up dancing with Darcy and had a terribly awkward conversation with him about Wickham.  Later that evening her mother and sister Mary each did things that brought embarrassment to the Bennett family.

In the end, Darcy and Elizabeth have the fairy tale ending, so perhaps we should look at another book and another ball.

How about Madame Bovary?  There’s a ball in that book.  The honeymoon was over for the Bovarys.  Emma was quickly disappointed in her dull, clumsy spouse, so when a wealthy patient invitesd the newlyweds to their ball, Emma was delighted.  Instead of dancing with her husband (who snoozes in the corner wearing pants too tight for dancing), Emma danced with a viscount.  The same viscount later dropped his cigar box. which Emma kept.  She held on to it dreaming of (and scheming to get) the beautiful, wealthy, decadent, extravagant (pick your favorite adjective) life she could have had.

Remember the end of this book?  Emma took arsenic, chosing to die rather than face the enormous debt she had run up in her search for (shallow/material) happiness.

And now back to our current book, Anna Karenina…  Remember that ball?  Kitty danced waltzes with Count Vronsky, sure that a proposal of marriage was not far off.  Anna arrived in her stunning black dress.  Kitty watched Anna and Vronsky interact.  She saw Anna’s sparking eyes and happy smile.  Kitty knew exactly what was happening.

“No, it’s not the admiration of the crowd has intoxicated her, but the adoration of one.  And that one?  can it be he?”

Kitty was crushed when Vronsky did not ask her to dance the Mazurka.  It was going to be the dance that decided her future, and it never happened.  Anna chose not stay for supper, but the damage was done.  Vronsky was now infatuated with the married woman, and Kitty was forgotten.

Now in the end everything turned out happily ever after for Kitty, but we know how things ended up for Anna.

I repeat.  Balls are bad news.

 
 

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A Classic Case of Tongue Twisters

Pyotr Petrovich perused Pride and Prejudice perhaps perturbing Porfiry who preferred Pilgrim’s Progress.

Dostoevsky, Vronsky, Oblonsky, and Shcherbatsky went for a brewski.

Inimical monomaniacal ignominy.

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Friends, feel free to form fun phrases for a folio of fictional phonetic frolicking.

 

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Choose your own Austen Adventure

Oh, this next book is a fun one.  I picked it up at a used library book sale early this spring.  It’s been sitting on my nightstand ever since.  A few nights ago I picked it up so I could give it a quick perusal and write a post about it.  I never got as far as the post.

Do you remember “choose your own adventure” stories from grade school?  You would read a little and come to a choice:

If you choose the river route, turn to page 37.
If you choose the meadow path, turn to page 49.

Weren’t those fun books?  Here’s a “choose your own adventure” book Lizzy Bennet-style.

Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure
by Emma Campbell Webster

Here’s part of the book’s description from the back cover:

Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure begins in Pride and Prejudice, but your decisions along the way will lead you into the plots of Austen’s other works, and even newly imagined territory.”

The book suggests dividing a piece of paper into five sections with the following headings: accomplishments, intelligence, confidence, connections, and fortune.  As you read, you add or deduct points from certain categories.  Why do this?  Well, the books says, “While you can gain points, you can also lose them, which could harm your chances of marrying happily and affect the outcome of your adventure.”  I want to be happily married, so I’m keeping track.  What’s that you say?  I’m already married?  Oh, you know what I mean.  I’m a rule-follower, so I’m keeping track of my points.

RIght now I have 220 points in confidence but only 70 in fortune.  The heading “accomplishments” is divided into two parts: accomplishments and failings.  My only accomplishment so far is that I learned the Boulanger dance, but the book tells me this skill will have no effect on my marrying well.  Under failings I have no style, no taste, and no beauty (Thanks a lot, Miss Bingley.).

It’s been a hoot to read.  I’m still in the Pride and Prejudice section, but it will be fun to continue reading into other Austen tales.  When I need a break from Crime and Punishment, this will be the book I choose.

Lost in Austen… It’s one of the books on my nightstand.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Pride and Prejudice

 

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