More of the Britishiest Brits: The BBC’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Skip today’s entry if you find any of the following boring: British period pieces full of tricorn hats, pantaloons, masked balls, comedies of manners, compelling characters, dry British humor, magical imagery, and battles. If you are down with any or all of those things, please, read on! 

 

strangeandnorrell
Awkward stances and moody lighting! 

The phrase “modern classic” gets tossed around a lot, and isn’t always accurate. In the case of the BBC’s adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell, it is possibly the only description that fits. I’ve already watched it twice, once with one eye on my knitting, and a second time just so I could soak up all the magnificent production and performances. There’s not a wasted moment of the show, and one season really just wasn’t enough, even though it perfectly captured the entire 600-page book.

Today’s post is all about the glorious adaptation, with some light, inconsequential spoilers.

If you aren’t already familiar with the story from reading the book, here is a quick summary:

Continue reading “More of the Britishiest Brits: The BBC’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell”

Brief Post on the Oscar Wilde-Janelle Monae Connection

Perhaps other people have already identified the meaning behind this hat tip and I just missed it. Googling has found nothing about it, and so maybe it’s just my imagination, but I’d like to think that the hat tip is referencing another famous hat tip.

Because I am scum, I have still not written the Eddie Murphy post. I just can’t seem to get it together to work on it, and put the appropriate amount of energy and fun into it. But I shall persevere! Probably next week, as this week is going to be busy between work deadlines and writing stuff.

In the meantime, I would like to throw this out there. I am SURE someone has already talked about the connection between Oscar Wilde and Janelle Monae, but in case not…

Continue reading “Brief Post on the Oscar Wilde-Janelle Monae Connection”

Update!

The business of life has been more wearying than usual lately. I’m doing my best to keep productive and upbeat, but daily horrors on the news are making it an uphill slog.

Currently I’m working on a nice big post about Eddie Murphy and how I miss his creative output (yes, I know he’s still alive). Lots of fun rehashes of some of his best work, both old and … well, mostly old because I haven’t seen much of his work lately. But anyway, stay tuned for that! I’m also three episodes into Stranger Things, the Netflix series that basically has distilled American 80s film culture into a potent brew. I’m loving it so far! When I’m done I’ll do a write-up on that, too.

In the meantime, please enjoy this charming little song, The Unquiet Grave. It’s a folk song about a man in love with a ghost, and dates back to 14th century England. A version of it appeared on Penny Dreadful, sung first by Evelyn Poole and then refrained by her daughter, which is where I first heard of it. After a little digging I found the whole song, sung by a woman with a lovely plaintive voice in a slightly faster tempo than it appeared in the show. I’ll post the lyrics below, with some additional punctuation to make the speakers  more clear.

The Unquiet Grave

Cold blows the wind to my true love
and gently drops the rain
I only had but one true love
and in Greenwood she lies slain.

I’ll do as much for my true love
as any young girl may.
I’ll sit and mourn upon her grave
for twelve month and a day.

When the twelve months and one day had passed
her ghost began to speak,
“Why sittest thou all on my grave
and will not let me sleep?”

There is one thing that I want sweetheart,
there is one thing that I crave.
And that is a kiss from your lily white lips,
then I’ll go from your grave.

“My lips they are as cold as clay,
my breath smells earthy strong
And if you kiss my cold clay lips,
your days they won’t be long.

Go fetch me water from the desert
and blood from out of stone,
Go fetch me milk from a fair maid’s breast
that a young man never has known.”

T’was down in Cupid’s garden
where you and I would walk.
The finest flower that ever I saw
is withered to a stalk.

“The stalk is withered and dry sweetheart,
the flower will never return.”
And since I lost my one true love,
what can I do but mourn?

When shall we meet again, sweetheart,
when shall me meet again?
“When the old dead leaves that fall from the trees
are green and spring up again.”

When shall we meet again, sweetheart,
when shall me meet again?
“When the old dead leaves that fall from the trees
are green and spring up again.”

I hope your week is going well!

 

 

Welcome! Please, Let Me Show You Around!

Welcome to the big ‘Getting to Know Me’ post. I’ve noticed a lot of new folks reading my rambles, so I thought I would introduce myself and explain what kinds of things you’ll find here. Below the cut are some samples of the over 200 posts I’ve written that should help introduce you to me and my writing a little better.

Hi there!

Welcome to the big ‘Getting to Know Me’ post. I’ve noticed a lot of new folks reading my rambles, so I thought I would introduce myself and explain what kinds of things you’ll find here. Below the cut are some samples of the over 200 posts I’ve written that should help introduce you to me and my writing a little better.

Continue reading “Welcome! Please, Let Me Show You Around!”

Seeing ‘The Witch’ Tonight!

If you don’t know, The Witch is a horror movie taking place in 17th century America, about 50 years before the Salem Witch Trials. I am WAY excited about it. It’s been getting not just rave reviews but also lots of ‘Yes, this movie is hella scary’ reviews.

I can’t wait!

If you don’t know, The Witch is a horror movie taking place in 17th century America, about 50 years before the Salem Witch Trials. I am WAY excited about it. It’s been getting not just rave reviews but also lots of ‘Yes, this movie is hella scary’ reviews.

I am also looking forward to it because the setting, from what I can tell, is very similar to part of the setting of my first novel, The Secret Wilderness. Group hysteria, mad superstitions, iron-fisted patriarchy, and a group of miserable people scratching a living next to a grim, misty forest – well, in my book the lead character rebels against that shit and escapes, so it’s not a total downer. But my book is more about the resilience of the spirit and learning how to survive, and it pays off for the protagonist.  It does have horror, but the overall message is ‘Don’t give up because things will get better.’

Obviously I am not comparing the two, but I’m curious to see how the director makes use of the setting to tell the story. And I just love historical stuff! Either way, I’m way looking forward to seeing it. I will try to do a write up afterward!