Posts Tagged charles dickens
Miss Georgiana Darcy has tagged me!
This is a tag with very elevenish rules:
1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself (optional)
3. Answer the questions the tagger posted for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them that they have been tagged
Here are the 11 random things about me.
- Purple is my favorite color. I prefer a dark, rich purple to a lighter lavender color.
- I just switched my Jane Austen blog from WordPress to Blogger. I’m slowly but surely adapting myself to Blogger.
- I have the whole set (almost!) of the Elsie Dinsmore series.
- My favorite breakfast food to make is coffeecake. I’m really good at it (IMHO).
- I love reading books by the Brontë sisters – I just finished Agnes Grey and I loved it.
- I entered a giveaway today.
- I love, love, love music – classical, from a Jane Austen film, just anything beautiful.
- My favorite blog is Old-Fashioned Charm.
- I started blogging a little over a year ago.
- My shoe size is a woman’s twelve.
- Little Dorrit is my favorite movie. Period.
Here are Miss Darcy’s questions.
- If you could meet a character from a book in real life, who would you meet?
- What is the worst movie you’ve ever watched?
- What is your favorite color?
- Who makes you laugh the most?
- What do you think it would feel like to fly?
- Have you ever met a famous person?
- How many blogs do you have?
- Have you ever read a book by one of the Brontës?
- What fictional place would you most like to travel to?
- How many followers do you have on your blog?
- What is your favorite literary quote?
Since I never like leaving people out, I tag everyone. If you happen to stumble across my blog, feel free to think yourself tagged (because you are).
I just finished watching episode five. Little Dorrit is my favorite movie of all time. I’ll be posting a review once I’m done watching it.
I found Bleak House a little hard going at first but now I’m really enjoying it. Have you read it?
Kellie at Accordion to Kellie is hosting a Literary Heroine Blog Party. It’s taken me forever to get all the questions answered but here it is. Hope you enjoy reading this.
What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?
A girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind…a true lady, sweet and kind but with spirit.
Five of your favorite historical novels?
What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
Regency England wins hands down.
You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation – what is your act comprised of?
I hate performing in public so I’d probably turn down the invitation.
If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?
What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?
Wonderful! Milk chocolate (especially Galaxy ©) is my favorite but I also like dark if it isn’t too dark.
Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?
My set of Jane Austen novels
My Jane Austen Anthology – Jane Austen Made Me Do It
My writing notebook
In which century were most of the books you read written?
In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
Describe your ideal dwelling place.
Where I’m living now…it’s a secret…
Sum up your fashion style in five words.
Tailored. Simple. Mix-and-Match. Purple. Denim.
Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?
In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is…
Three favorite Non-fiction books?
Jane Austen: A Celebration of her Life and Works
Spirit of the Horse
The Jane Austen Handbook
Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
Writing and listening to beautiful music.
I guess this is becoming a regular thing – posting what I’m currently reading.
I finished Jane Eyre in two days. I couldn’t keep away from it. It’s a fabulous book and I’ll definitely be re-reading it in the near future. Anyway, I’m reading Bleak House at the moment. I find it somewhat hard to understand but I’m keeping at it and it’s bound to get better soon.
Have you ever read Bleak House? Would you recommend it? Would you recommend the 2005 miniseries? Let me know your thoughts.
I’m currently reading Jane Eyre and I’m really enjoying it.
I probably won’t be posting a review when I’m finished it, because I can never find the right words to describe great classics. Just read the book for yourself if you want to see what it’s about.
By the way, I reading a lot of classics these days and I have several books on my TBR shelf. The include – Bleak House, The Olde Curiosity Shoppe, Persuasion, and Charity Girl (By Georgette Heyer. It will be the first book of hers I’ve read.)
Author: Charles Dickens
My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 10
Time Period: Victorian
Main Characters: Little Dorrit, Arthur Clennam
My Review: Little Dorrit lives in debtors prison with her father. When an unexpected find brings them unexpected riches, will it become a blessing or a curse?
My overall opinion: The reason I did such a short review is because I honestly can’t find words to describe this book. I recently watched Little Dorrit 2008 and I like the book even better. This book is a great read, although quite long.
After watching the wonderful Little Dorrit 2008 miniseries, I resolved to read the book. I had heard such good reviews of it from other bloggers and so far I’ve not been disappointed. It’s a very interesting book. When I’m done it, I will definitely post a review.
All these wonderful CD birthday celebrations! This one is hosted by Alexandra of Of Trims and Frills and Furbelows.
1. How were you first introduced to Dickens? Watching the old black and white A Christmas Carol was my first introduction to Dickens. This year is the first year I’ve ever read an unabridged copy of one of his books.
Author: Charles Dickens
My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 7
Time Period: Mid-1800′s
Main Characters: Oliver Twist, Fagin
My Review: I enjoyed reading Oliver Twist for the Charles Dickens Reading Challenge. Oliver Twist is a young orphan who, after running away from his cruel master finds himself in London. He is taken in by a pack of thieves who try to make him steal. But Oliver refuses to do their bidding…This story of good triumphing over evil makes for a fascinating read.
My overall opinion: I was surprised at how easy Oliver Twist was to understand. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it but for one thing…Charles Dickens seems quite anti-Jewish and constantly referred to Fagin as ‘the Jew’. But other than that, it was an interesting read.
Oliver! is the only Dickenson film I have watched beside Little Dorrit. I’ve watched Oliver! several times and each time, I found new things to enjoy. Oliver! is a musical/movie. It has great casting and lots of funny, sad, or beautiful songs in it.
The musical opens in the workhouse, as the half-starved orphan boys are entering the enormous lunchroom for dinner (“Food Glorious Food”). They are fed only gruel. Nine-year-old Oliver (actually identified as thirteen in the libretto but generally played as much younger, as in the Dickens novel) gathers up the courage to ask for more. He is immediately apprehended and is told to gather his belongings by Mr. Bumble and the Widow Corney, the heartless and greedy caretakers of the workhouse (“Oliver!”). Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney are left alone, and Mr. Bumble begins to make amorous advances. Mrs. Corney pretends to resent his attentions (“I Shall Scream!”), but ends up on Mr. Bumble’s lap, kissing him. Oliver comes back and is promptly sold (“Boy for Sale”) and apprenticed to an undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry. He and his wife taunt Oliver and Mr. Bumble (“That’s Your Funeral”). He is sent to sleep in the basement with the coffins, something which makes him visibly uncomfortable. (“Where is Love?”).
The next morning bully Noah Claypole, who oversees Oliver’s work, insults Oliver’s dead mother, whereupon Oliver begins pummeling him. Mrs. Sowerberry and her daughter, Charlotte run in, and become hysterical. Mr. Bumble is sent for, and he and the Sowerberrys lock Oliver in a coffin, but during all the commotion Oliver escapes. After a week on the run, he meets the Artful Dodger, a boy wearing an oversize coat and a top hat. He beckons Oliver to join him (“Consider Yourself”). Dodger is, unknown to Oliver, a boy pickpocket, and he invites Oliver to come and live in Fagin’s lair. Fagin is a criminal, and he is in the business of teaching young boys to pick pockets. Oliver, however, is completely unaware of any criminality, and believes that the boys make handkerchiefs rather than steal them. Oliver is introduced to Fagin and all the other boy pickpockets, and is taught their ways (“You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two”).
The next day, Oliver meets Nancy, the live-in girlfriend of the evil, terrifying Bill Sikes, a burglar whose abuse she endures because she loves him. Nancy and Oliver take an instant liking to each other, and Nancy shows motherly affection toward him. Bet, Nancy’s younger sister (her best friend in Dickens’ novel and the 1968 film), is also with her. Nancy, along with Bet and the boys, sing about how they don’t mind a bit of danger (“It’s a Fine Life”). Dodger humorously starts pretending to be an upper-class citizen, (“I’d Do Anything”), along with Fagin, Oliver, Nancy, Bet, and the boys mocking high society. Nancy and Bet leave and Oliver is sent out with the other boys on his first pickpocketing job (“Be Back Soon”), though he still believes that they are going to teach him how to make handkerchiefs. Dodger, another boy pickpocket named Charley Bates, and Oliver decide to stick together, and when Dodger and Charley rob Mr. Brownlow, a wealthy old man, they run off, leaving Oliver to be arrested for the crime (“The Robbery”).
The next morning, at Mr. Brownlow’s house in Bloomsbury, Ms. Bedwin, the housekeeper (who sings in the stage version, but not in the film), sings to Oliver, (“Where Is Love? [Reprise]“), and Oliver wakes up. Mr. Brownlow and Dr. Grimwig discuss Oliver’s condition. They come to the conclusion that he is well enough to go outside, and Mr. Brownlow sends Oliver on an errand- he asks him to return some books to the library. From his window, Oliver sees a group of street vendors and joins them in song once he steps outside (“Who Will Buy?”). As the vendors leave, Nancy and Bill show up and grab Oliver. They bring him back to Fagin’s den, where Nancy saves Oliver from a beating from Sykes after the boy tries to flee but is stopped. Nancy angrily and remorsefully reviews their dreadful life, but Bill maintains that any living is better than none. Fagin tries to act as an intermediary (“It’s A Fine Life [Reprise]“). When Sykes and Nancy leave, Fagin, who also wants out, humorously ponders his future (“Reviewing the Situation”). However, every time he thinks of a good reason for going straight, he reconsiders and decides to remain a criminal.
Back at the workhouse, Mr. Bumble and the Widow Corney, now unhappily married, meet up with the dying pauper Old Sally and another old lady, who tell them that Oliver’s mother, Agnes, left a gold locket (indicating that he comes from a rich family) when she died in childbirth. Old Sally stole the locket and now gives it to the Widow Corney. Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney, realizing that Oliver may have wealthy relatives, visit Mr. Brownlow in order to profit from any reward given out for information of him (“Oliver! [Reprise]“). He throws them out, knowing that they have suppressed evidence until they could get a reward for it. Brownlow looks at the picture inside the locket, a picture of his daughter, and realizes that Oliver, who knows nothing of his family history, is actually his grandson (Oliver’s mother had disappeared after having been left pregnant by her lover, who jilted her).
Nancy, terrified for Oliver and feeling guilty, visits Brownlow and promises to deliver Oliver to him safely that night at midnight on London Bridge – if Brownlow does not bring the police or ask any questions. She then ponders again about Bill (“As Long As He Needs Me [Reprise]“). Bill suspects that Nancy is up to something. That night, he follows her as she sneaks Oliver out, although in the stage version it is never made clear how he knew exactly when to do this. At London Bridge, he confronts them, knocks Oliver temporarily unconscious, and brutally clubs Nancy to death (in alternative stagings of the show, he either strangles her, stabs her, or slits her throat, but the musical’s original libretto follows the Dickens novel in having her beaten to death). He then grabs Oliver, who has since revived, and runs offstage with him, presumably back to the hideout to ask Fagin for getaway money. Mr. Brownlow, who had been late keeping the appointment, arrives and discovers Nancy’s body. A large crowd soon forms, among them the distraught Bet. Bullseye, Bill’s fierce terrier, returns to the scene of the crime and the crowd prepares to follow him to the hideout. After they exit Fagin and his boys, terrified at the idea of being apprehended, leave their hideout in panic. Not finding Bill at the hideout, the anxious crowd, now whipped up into a thirst for justice, returns to the Thames Embankment, when suddenly Bill appears at the top of the bridge, holding Oliver as hostage and threatening to kill him if the crowd tries to take him. Unseen by Bill, two policemen sneak up on him. One of them fatally shoots Bill and the other grabs Oliver as Bill releases him. Oliver is then reunited with Mr. Brownlow. The mob, still eager for vengeance against this underground criminal network, begins a mad search for Fagin. When one of the members of the crowd suggest that he may be at the Three Cripples pub, they disperse offstage in order to track him down. As the crowd exits, Fagin sneaks on and decides that, after years of pickpocketing and training junior pickpocketers, the time has never looked better for him to straighten out his life.
If you want to check out the official website for all the productions of Oliver! go here.
I’m sorry I couldn’t get any pics of the movie…
Since her birth, Amy Dorrit has lived in the Marshalsea Prison for Debt, where she cares for her father William, who is held in great esteem by the other inmates. To help financially assist her family, she works as a seamstress for Mrs. Clennam, a semi-invalid who is confined to her crumbling home with her servants, the sinister Jeremiah Flintwinch and his bumbling wife Affery.
Arthur Clennam returns from China with his father’s pocket watch and delivers it to Mrs. Clennam, as Mr. Clennam’s dying wish was for the watch to go to Arthur’s mother. Arthur becomes reacquainted with his former sweetheart, the now overweight widow Flora Finching, who hopes to rekindle the affection the couple shared before they were separated by their disapproving parents. However, he is enamoured with Pet Meagles, who favours ne’er-do-well aspiring artist Henry Gowan, much to the distress of her parents. Meanwhile, in Marseille, murderer Rigaud and his timid cell-mate Jean-Baptiste Cavaletto separately are released from jail, and Cavaletto makes plans to journey to England.
Arthur befriends Amy, whose affection for him grows as John Chivery, who oversees the Marshalsea entrance with his father, watches in dismay, as he is in love with the girl.
Arthur’s father’s dying words lead him to believe his family may have been responsible for the Dorrits’ misfortunes, resulting in Mr. Dorrit being imprisoned without just cause. He asks rent collector and amateur detective Mr. Pancks to investigate the situation. He then visits the Meagles family in their rural home, where he is intrigued by their servant, the orphaned black girl Tattycoram, and her odd relationship with the mysterious Miss Wade.
John Chivery proposes to Amy, who gently declines his offer, upsetting her father, who fears a rift in their relationship will affect his favoured position in the prison. Arthur, unaware how much Amy cares for him, realises Pet Meagles prefers rival suitor Henry Gowan to him. Through her parents he meets inventor and engineer Daniel Doyce, and the two men decide to become business partners.
Cavalletto arrives in London and discovers he’s been followed by Rigaud, who meets Ephraim Flintwinch, Jeremiah’s twin brother, in a tavern. The man has in his possession a box containing Mrs. Clennam’s secret papers, which she had ordered her servant to burn but he had given to Ephraim for safekeeping instead. Rigaud suspects the contents of the box are valuable and, after plying Ephraim with drink, he leads him to a deserted passageway, where he murders him and confiscates the box.
Amy’s sister Fanny brings her to visit Mrs. Merdle, the wife of a wealthy investor and the mother of her ardent admirer, Edmund Sparkler. Mrs. Merdle disapproves of Fanny’s career as a music hall entertainer and offers her a gold bracelet and new dresses to leave her son alone.
Mr. Pancks continues to investigate the connection between the Dorrits and the Clennams, prompting Amy to become suspicious. Cavaletto, fearfully running away from Rigaud, who has changed his name to Blandois, is knocked down by a horse and treated by the impoverished Plornish family, who offer him accommodations. Cavaletto eventually finds employment with Arthur and Daniel Doyce in their factory in the Bleeding Heart Yard.
Arthur proposes to Pet, who announces she is marrying Henry Gowan. Tattycoram, tired of taking orders from the Meagles family, leaves them and finds shelter with Miss Wade.
Blandois visits Mrs. Clennam. Although he does not reveal he has her papers, Flintwinch suspects he managed to wrest them from his missing brother. Mrs. Clennam invites Blandois to return at a later date and discuss business.
Pet and Henry marry and depart for Venice, where he plans to study art. Arthur confesses he loved Pet to Amy, who does not reveal her feelings for him.
Mr. Pancks reveals his investigation is complete. He has discovered William Dorrit is heir to a fortune and now is in a position to settle his debts and leave Marshalsea as a very wealthy man. Mr. Dorrit insists his family forget their shameful past and everyone who was a part of it, and he hires Mrs. Hortensia General to educate his daughters and prepare them for their new position in society. They depart on a Grand Tour of Europe, but before they leave England Amy gives her friends the Plornishes a substantial sum of money so they can start a business and free themselves from poverty.
In Venice, the Dorrits encounter Blandois, who has befriended the newly-wed Gowans at the bequest of Miss Wade, who plans to have him eventually harm Henry for reasons not yet disclosed. Both Pet and Amy find themselves uncomfortable in the presence of Blandois, although Henry finds him to be a source of amusement. His feelings change when his dog, who had snarled at Blandois, is found poisoned shortly after the man departs without warning.
William Dorrit becomes increasingly upset with Amy, who has been unable to adapt to the family’s new lifestyle as easily as her father and sister. Her uncle Frederick appears to be the only one who can relate to her feelings.
Also in Venice are Mrs. Merdle and Edmund Sparkler, who tries to romance Fanny. Mrs. Merdle writes to her husband and asks him to find work for her son so she can get him away from Fanny. Back in London, Arthur is frustrated by his efforts to acquire patents for Daniel’s inventions at the Circumlocution Office, where nothing ever is accomplished. At the suggestion of Mr. Pancks, Arthur invests in Mr. Merdle’s highly successful bank in order to increase capital for the business.
Blandois returns to London, where Arthur observes him talking to Miss Wade. He follows her to Flora’s house, where he is told her father holds an allowance in trust for the mysterious woman, but he is not convinced the story is true. His suspicions increase when he encounters Blandois at his mother’s and she refuses to disclose their business. When Blandois mysteriously disappears, Mrs. Clennam comes under suspicion. Cavalletto informs Arthur Blandois is really the murderous Rigaud, but when Arthur confronts his mother with this information, she still refuses to answer his questions. He hires Mr. Pancks to find Miss Wade in the hope she knows Rigaud’s whereabouts.
William Dorrit returns to England with Fanny and Sparkler, who have married. He seeks financial advice from Mr. Merdle, who suggests he invest his fortune in his bank. Mr. Dorrit is welcomed into some of London’s finest homes, but as faces from his past begin to surface, he begins to lose his grasp on sanity. He returns to Venice, where Amy is concerned about his confused state of mind. When Mrs. General rejects his proposal of marriage and quickly departs the family, Mr. Dorrit’s mental state unravels and, at a masked ball hosted by Mrs. Merdle, he humiliates himself when he mistakes her home for the Marshalsea and her guests for his former fellow inmates. Amy brings him home, where he dies, followed immediately by her uncle Frederick. Now alone, Amy returns to London, where she is welcomed by Fanny and Edmund, who invite her to stay with them.
Mr. Pancks has found Miss Wade. She tells Arthur she was an orphan, which inspired her empathy with Tattycoram, and that she once loved Henry Gowan, who rejected her, which prompted her desire to have him killed, but she insists she knows nothing about Rigaud’s fate.
Mr. Merdle visits Fanny and Sparkler and borrows a penknife, which he uses to slash his jugular vein in a tub in the local bathhouse. His suicide note reveals he was a swindler who had had been manipulating his books and has left thousands of people who invested with him in financial ruin. Among them is Arthur, who becomes an inmate at Marshalsea Prison when he is unable to pay his debts. John Chivery then tells Arthur that Amy has always loved him. Arthur becomes seriously ill with a high fever and is nursed back to health by Amy. Amy then offers to use her inheritance from her father to pay Arthur’s debts and release him from the Marshalsea, but he sends her away and asks her not to return.
Rigaud returns to Mrs. Clennam and reveals what he knows from the stolen documents. Her stern, unloving attitude drove her husband into the arms of a woman who bore him a son, Arthur, whom she raised as her own, albeit without any feeling for him. When Arthur’s birth mother died, his father, anxious to help someone else who was disadvantaged, bequeathed money to Amy. Rigaud demands £2,000 to keep silent, but Mrs. Clennam leaves her house for the first time in years to find Amy, reveal the truth, and beg her forgiveness. During her absence, her dilapidated house literally falls apart at the seams and collapses, killing Rigaud. Returning home and discovering the rubble, Mrs. Clennam collapses and dies in the street.
When their father’s will is read, the Dorrit children learn they are penniless, since William had invested all his money with Mr. Merdle. Daniel Doyce returns from Russia, where he patented his inventions and made a fortune, and he insists on sharing his wealth with his business partner.
I deleted the ending. :)
I really liked seeing Matthew Macfayden as Arthur Cleman. I’ve seen him in Pride and Prejudice (2005) so it was nice to see him in another film. All the other actors did a great job in their roles. I also saw another familiar face – Harriet Walter…who plays Fanny Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility 1995.
The music was very good – creepy for the villain, sad for…well, sad parts, and cheerful when needed. Dickens was a great plot artist; he really knew how to build a complicated plot and have it all tie together. For instance, how do a French criminal, a headstrong servant girl, a poor seamstress, and a mysterious family come together to make a believable plot? Amazing.
For me, Little Dorrit will always be one of my favorite movies (even though its seven and a half hours long). And for those of you who think it will be to dark, be assured it has a happy ending. I’m planning to read the book soon.
One of the funniest scenes!
Author: Daniel Pool
My rating on a 1 – 10 scale: 8
Time Period: A book about the Regency and Georgian Period
Main Characters: None
My Review: What Jane Austen Ate… is a comprehensive guide to all the puzzling factors of the Regency and Georgian Periods. What does ‘franking’ mean? How were you to address the King’s children? What was the etiquette of calling cards? This books offers these answers and many more. A great book for any fan of those time periods.
My overall opinion: I enjoyed reading this book. It gives information in an interesting way and I would recommend it to anyone.