Lovely London

Self was supposed to go on an Old Parish Maps walk of Clerkenwall but she bailed because she wanted to take things slow today, after that loooong train journey from Cornwall yesterday.

She had an early breakfast, then set off walking. Soon, she found herself in front of the British Library, but instead of going in, she went next door, to St. Pancras/Renaissance Hotel, and inquired at reception if they could ring her son’s room.

He did not pick up, probably because he’s just arrived in London. She told the receptionist to let son know that his mother had stopped by. Then, she twirled and waltzed out without waiting for a response from the receptionist.

She wandered on Leigh Street and found North Sea Fish was closed. She walked down Marchmont Street and stopped at a cafĂ© for very yummy hot banana bread with yogurt. Topped that off with red bean gelato. Picked up a couple of flyers from LSE (London School of Economics, Dear Departed Sister’s alma mater), returned to Russell Square (one side of which was sprouting police cars, she wonders why) and resumed reading Northanger Abbey.

UGH, the horrible stress inflicted on poor Catherine Morland (so far, self’s favorite Jane Austen heroine — yes, a better heroine than Emma or Anne Elliot) by manipulative Thorpe sibs Isabella and John! In the latest situation, they have conveniently dismissed Miss Eleanor Tilney (sister of that elusive love interest Henry Tilney) without checking first with Catherine whether she intended to keep her appointment with Eleanor. Catherine, on learning of the Thorpes’s horrible presumptuousness, goes running full tilt after Eleanor (and why should she not? Henry Tilney is quite a fetching man! Self too would go running if someone told her that Timothy Olyphant or Nikolaj Coster-Waldau were just around the corner!).

p. 111:

Thorpe would have darted after her, but Morland withheld him. “Let her go, let her go, if she will go.”

“She is as obstinate as — “

Thorpe never finished the simile, for it could hardly have been a proper one.

lol

Morland refers to Catherine’s older brother, James. And a wonderful older brother he is, too. He’s in love with Isabella Thorpe, who’s a ninny. If not for that, he would be self’s third-favorite Jane Austen suitor, after Mr. Knightley and Henry Tilney. He most certainly is self’s favorite Jane Austen brother.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

John Thorpe, Villain: NORTHANGER ABBEY, pp. 48 – 49

Self might as well tell you who the villain is; you will enjoy this novel so much more as you read: That is, you will be so much more aware of the dangers posed by hypocrisy, and insincere flattery, carelessness and a sense of entitlement. Self advises all blog readers to take notes, in case any of your acquaintance or any members of your immediate family exhibit similar behavior (Every family has its own villains, don’t deny it):

“Ah, mother! How do you do?” said he, giving her a hearty shake of the hand: “where did you get that quiz of a hat, it makes you look like an old witch. Here is Morland and I come to stay a few days with you, so you must look out for a couple of good beds some where near.”

This address seemed to satisfy all the fondest wishes of the mother’s heart, for she received him with the most delighting and exulting affection. On his two younger sisters he then bestowed an equal portion of his fraternal tenderness, for he asked each of them how they did, and observed that they both looked very ugly.

You can always tell who the shallowest men are in a Jane Austen novel because they pass the silliest judgments on women’s appearance.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Jane Austen Feels It Necessary To

Defend the novel.

Northanger Abbey, p. 34:

Alas! if the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard? I cannot approve of it. Let us leave it to the Reviewers to abuse such effusions of fancy at their leisure, and over every new novel to talk in threadbare strains of the trash with which the press now groans. Let us not desert one another; we are an injured body. Although our productions have afforded more extensive and unaffected pleasure than those of any other literary corporation in the world, no species of composition has been so much decried. From pride, ignorance, or fashion, our foes are almost as many as our readers.

Catherine Morland: Northanger Abbey, p. 26

With more than usual eagerness did Catherine hasten to the Pump-room the next day, secure within herself of seeing Mr. Tilney there before the morning were over, and ready to meet him with a smile: — but no smile was demanded — Mr. Tilney did not appear.

DSCN1905

Jane Austen Centre, Bath, May 2017

Too. Funny.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Northanger Abbey, p. 24

This is a 2nd reading, and great is her reward, as she really lingers over the story now, and sometimes even bursts into laughter in public, so much so that, this afternoon, an American woman in a party of four just had to break briefly from her companions and ask self what it was she was reading that made her laugh so much. When self showed her the book cover, she seemed a little taken aback.

Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney have just met. Tilney is a clergyman. Not as exciting as being a Captain in HRM’s navy, but Tilney is way more flirty thatn Captain Wentworth, and Catherine is much livelier than Anne Elliot (perhaps because she is 18 and not a spinster of 27!) therefore twice as much fun.

They danced again; and, when the assembly closed, parted, on the lady’s side at least, with a strong inclination for continuing the acquaintance. Whether she thought of him so much, while she drank her warm wine and water, and prepared herself for bed, as to dream of him when there, cannot be ascertained; but I hope it was no more than in a slight slumber, or a morning doze at most; for if it be true, as a celebrated writer has maintained, that no young lady can be justified in falling in love before the gentleman’s love is declared, it must be very improper that a young lady should dream of a gentleman before the gentleman is first known to have dreamt of her.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Reading in Fowey

Finished Persuasion, on to Northanger Abbey:

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It’s been a very stimulating week at the Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature. Hopefully self can do this again.

She bought her copy of Northanger Abbey from Bookends, which is a sweet, sweet corner bookstore in Fowey.

From the Introduction is by P. D. James:

  • Catherine’s days are spent in thinking about Henry Tilney, when and how they may next meet, and looking out eagerly for any glimpses of him. She is deeply in love, a love which is reciprocated, though more mildly, by Henry, whose affection is based on her obvious love for him. He introduces her to his sister Eleanor and the two young women immediately like each other and become friends.

Stay tuned.

 

Sir Walter Elliott!

Persuasion, p. 213:

  • Morning visits are never fair by women at her time of life, who make themselves up so little. If she would only wear rouge, she would not be afraid of being seen; but last time I called, I observed the blinds were down immediately.

Stay tuned.

Elizabeth Elliott: PERSUASION, p. 212

Self is so energetically barreling on with Persuasion! This is the fastest she’s read any Jane Austen! Last year, Emma took her forever. But Mr. Knightley made up for it.

  • Oh! You may as well take back that tiresome book she would lend me, and pretend I have read it through. I really cannot be plaguing myself for ever with all the new poems and states of the nation that come out. Lady Russell quite bores me with her new publications. You need not tell her so, but I thought her dress hideous the other night. I used to think she had some taste in dress, but I was ashamed of her at the concert. Something so formal and arrangĂ© in her air! and she sits so upright! My best love, of course.

lol

lol

lol

Stay tuned.

Throwback Friday: Raindrops, Paris (Photo-a-Week Challenge)

For only her second post participating in Nadia Merrill’s Photo-a-Week Challenge, she has to go back, waaaaay back, to 30 December 2017. She’d just spent one of the loneliest Christmases ever, in Paris. Lo and behold, when it was time for her to leave, she realized she’d come to feel comfortable in Paris (after spending two weeks holed up in a hotel just a few blocks from the Arc de Triomphe, where a very discreet hotel staff never asked her a single personal question, and only interfered with her routine once, when they insisted she go to the Louvre on Christmas Day — No lines, Madame!)

This week’s Photo-a-Week Challenge is RAINDROPS.

She thinks that’s what’s going on in these pictures. Or mebbe she was just too tired and it was too early in the morning and her hand was shaking. She was in a cab headed to the airport, where she was going to fly, first, to London, and then to the Philippines.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

“Safe in all worldly matters”

The above words from Mrs. Smith, Anne Elliot’s former governess, who has fallen on hard times. The fact that Mrs. Smith has been the person Anne has sought out in Bath, as a way to escape the pressure of society, the fact that she then reveals her wish to have Anne settled, comes as a disappointment.

The next part of the conversation, with Anne being so gracious and so cheerful (so — pardon me — dense) results in this:

Mrs. Smith: “He was not married when I knew him first.”

Anne: “And were you much acquainted?”

Mrs. Smith: “Intimately.”

Next: Mr. Elliott is the devil incarnate! It appears he married, purely for money, a woman whose “father was a grazier” and whose “grandfather had been a butcher.”

Stay tuned.

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