Please Vote For Me! &c.

Voting in Brisbane, 1937

No, I’m not running for American presidency! Or French presidency! Or presidency of any nation, actually (I’ll let you know, though).

Please vote for me at the Period Drama Advice Event if you enjoyed reading my letters of advice post, written in the voices of the characters Mr Tite Barnacle, Miss Marianne Dashwood, and Mr George Wickham. You can vote for me on the left-hand side bar of Elegance of Fashion’s home page! I would be extremely grateful if you enjoyed my stab at creative writing and would like to vote (for me and/or others!). I had so much fun entering the competition and the winner gets a badge for their blog! : )

In other news, I have a new ‘About the Somersaulter‘ page, for the stalker within you! I doubt anyone is particularly interested, but you never know!

I’d also like to quickly thank Mandy over at Bork Adventures for awarding me the Beautiful Blogger Award! Thank you so, so much! I can’t thank you enough! Keep a look out for a post all about that coming up.

Have a lovely day.

STL.

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Watchable Wednesdays

True to its name, every Wednesday I hope to share with you videos which I have enjoyed and think you might, too.  We all need a bit of cheering up to last until the end of the week, don’t we?

This is such a sweet animation, it will surely brighten up your day.

Found via The Happiest Cow! That blog is great.

STL.

Period Drama Advice Event

To all of those who don’t follow The Elegance of Fashion, an amusing competition event is being held whereby we are given a plea of help from a fictional character, and must reply in the voice of another. Unfortunately, I’ve only just discovered her wonderful blog and this event, so I am entering the final stage; however, this was really fun! I hope you enjoy reading my three attempts (to make up for not entering before!).


ORIGINAL LETTER

'Cranford' (2007)
Photo: BBC

Dear Jane Austen Advice Column,

My name is Frank Harrison. I am a medical doctor and have recently taken up a new post in the small town of Cranford where I assist the elderly Dr. Morgan by attending some of his numerous patients. Cranford is a bit of an oddity where the women reign supreme (not unlike amazons!), careless of new fashions and fearful of change. I’ve already had to rid my wardrobe of a particularly handsome red jacket because Dr. Morgan told me the ladies of Cranford would think it fanciful. But on the whole I had found the residents of Cranford very welcoming until today when many things unseen to my eye came to a head. Upon my arrival here one of my first visits was to the vicarage where I met Reverend Hutton and his lovely daughter Miss Sophy Hutton. She is an angel! and I was making strides to ask if I might court her when her young brother Walter fell ill and despite all of the methods of modern medicine I applied soon died. You may well imagine what a rift this caused between the young lady and myself and yet I loved her more each day. Quite a few months later Miss Hutton came to trust me again and I was bold enough to ask her father if I might court her. What happiness when he gave his permission! Our courtship was going on so well until this afternoon while attending the town’s May festival, it came to the attention of the whole town that two other ladies felt themselves as good as engaged to me! Miss Tompkinson is a spinsterish young lady who lives with her sister in town and though I have attended her many times for palpitations and other maladies I was never aware of having shown her any other interest than that of a doctor to his patient. Likewise Mrs. Rose, who is my widowed housekeeper, seems to think that I have shown signs of love for her, which I never have done! The worst of the matter was seeing my dear Sophy stricken with horror at my supposed unfaithfulness and see her directed away by her father. I am in a state of shock from which I shall not soon recover! Please tell me dear sir or madam, what am I to do!?!

Desperate for advice,

Dr. Frank Harrison


REPLY FROM MR TITE BARNACLE JUNIOR, OF THE CIRCUMLOCUTION OFFICE

'Little Dorrit' (2008)
Photo: BBC

To a Dr Harrison,

Oh, I say! Now, look here, Dr Harrison. Upon my soul you mustn’t just barge into the place saying you want to be advised.

It’s not anything about— Wanting to Know— or that sort of thing, is it? No, no, it’s not? You want to be advised, you say? No, no, no, that simply will not work. You have no right to come this sort of move.

Look here. Egad, you haven’t got any appointment. Oh no. You really are going at it at a great pace, you know.

Then, look here, is it private business? If it is, you oughtn’t write to us. But I say! Is this public business? If it is, I tell you what! I’ll forward this letter on to the Secretarial Department next door. Here are some forms to fill in.

Upon my soul, you mustn’t just barge into the place saying you want to be advised, I do advise. That’s not the way to do it.

Signed,

Mr T. Barnacle Jr.


REPLY FROM MARIANNE DASHWOOD (Before she fell for Col. Brandon)

'Sense & Sensibility' (2008)
Photo: BBC

Sir,

I write to you with the utmost urgency so that you may follow my words of instruction directly and end this poor, beautiful girl’s misery.

Let me be clear, as opacity cannot be tolerated in times of life and death; you have been a deceitful man and betrayed the trust of a girl with youthful innocence, whom may never see any light in this world again. Do you not see what damage you have caused with your recklessness? A woman’s first love should be treasured indeed and you have caused havoc within her heart. The once peaceful sea within her chest has now evolved into a hurricane of storms. You say that you have not come to be in this position by choice. Well then, sir— and I use that word with utter disdain as I waver on the point of your having a gentleman’s soul, mind or character,— if that is true, in order to reverse this perhaps irrevocable mess, you must consult with her at once and admit your love in the most passionate of ways. I recommend you recite to her a favourite poem of yours— you must carry around Shakespeare’s Sonnets which you have read to her, if you are her true lover, to be sure— for there is little more that a girl with a soft heart could wish for and she will surely forgive you if she loves you as a lover should.

As for the other deluded, old fools, you must dismiss them immediately without any hint of sympathy. You must not worry yourself on their behalf; those past the age of seven-and-twenty can never feel or hope to inspire affection again. Particularly the widow, she must be deranged from the death of her first love, poor soul. I hope I die before my love, that way I will never have to endure the pain of living and breathing without them, weighed down by the pain of grief. If they continually persist, ignore them entirely. I would recommend elopement with your sweetheart, and perhaps you could find a pretty church somewhere in Scotland surrounded by wild flowers. That would be best.

Sending my warmest regards to the young lady,

Marianne Dashwood

P.S. Apologies for the holes which I have eroded into this parchment and for my hurried handwriting; however, in the seriousness of this emergency, the heart of the matter is more important than the façade, indeed, is it not?

P.P.S. I enclose within my letter a sonnet which I think would be highly suitable to recite by memory to your love.


REPLY FROM MR WICKHAM

'Pride & Prejudice' (1995)
Photo: BBC

My dear friend, Dr Harrison,

I am afraid that you have got completely the wrong end of the stick! Sir, if I cried out for help whenever there was a mishap between two lovers, I would be a gentleman of leisure, with no need for a profession! If anything, you now have the upper hand. Love is like a game of cards, you must pick and choose carefully until you hit the jackpot. Strike too early and you may lose all; bet too little and you may gain nothing; time the bullet perfectly and you just might make the kill.

I can say with complete confidence that having all of this attention amongst the female sex is making yourself as a suitor become even more desirable. Being a celebrity in your village should be used to your utmost advantage. Flirt to make the “indifferent”— or so they say— jealous. The more you play, the richer those who are “indifferent” will be. You have clearly come thus far in winning the real prize— who, as I have no doubt in your being a sensible gentleman, must be worth her weight in gold,— since she is already showing signs of trepidation. All you have yet to do is flirt with the other women until they start to swoon to the ground upon seeing your handsome face, and wait for your future wife to beg you to take her in to your humble abode and marry her immediately. She will not care about any other woman, only that she is the one you have chosen. She will be grateful to you everyday and her parents will be ecstatic that you have made their previously emotionless daughter so joyful, allowing you complete access to her dowry.

If all else fails, Harrison, elope with her— or take her hostage,— then order family or anybody who cares in the slightest to pay immediately so that you may be married, or else lead the family further into scandal. Alternatively, an inside source tells me that the British red uniform lies very well over in the minds of the New World’s finest, richest ladies. The gambling is also said to be reputable over there.

Yours faithfully,

George Wickham


Thanks for reading!  I’ll let you know how the short-listing goes!

STL.

Great Expectations (TV mini-series)

Rating: 5 out of 5 somersaults.

The BBC’s lavish production of ‘Great Expectations,’ which finished airing last night on PBS, was both breathtaking and spine-chilling. I watched it in December when it fist aired here in the UK and absolutely loved it.

The clean cinematography made the programme visually stunning and greatly aided the director, Brian Kirk, in bringing his new take on Dickens’ classic story to life.

The acting was also out of the ordinary. The series got off to a sumptuous start with wide-angle shots of a gloomy swamp, which looked like a clip from a horror film. The steel, unsaturated look captured perfectly the squirmish feelings which I had when I read the opening chapter of the novel. I also found Orlick and Magwitch to be suitably vile.

Gillian Anderson, who played the infamous Miss Havisham, did a wonderful job. The forty-three year old actress is the youngest to have ever played the part; therefore, she was naturally put under the spotlight by critics. I found that her youthful portrayal of the old woman was fresh as she showed that Miss Havisham may old in her mind after refusing to leave Satis House on her wedding day, but truthfully she is young in spirit. She represents the destruction love can make on the young and passionate. Her frail white hair and lips, paired with her soft, eery voice made me shiver. Anderson is not unknown to Dickens adaptations, and she may be familiar to you as Lady Dedlock from Bleak House (2005).

Douglas Booth, who played Pip as a young man, was praised by the press for his accomplished acting; however, many disagree as to whether he was right for the part. Some said that he was too good-looking to play Pip, even more so than Estella, who was played by Vanessa Kirby. Since Estella is meant to be a heart-breaker, they argue that she should be stunning compared to a more ordinary-looking protagonist, Pip. For myself, I cannot see how casting the Burberry model/actor should make the series any less agreeable. It just reinforces the stylised take Kirk has made on the novel and adds to the sense of fantasy which Dickens created.  The adaptation involves a lot of an artist playing around and experimenting, and I think it paid off.

The only major turn-off for me was the gory scenes of violence; however, Dickens used strong references to violence in his plot lines, anyway. The BBC did not invent Victorian England! Besides, I’m a squirmer and can’t stand that kind of thing, so it might not bother some others.

Overall I thought the production was fantastic. It was extravagantly done and on the cinematography alone, I would give it a rating of five somersaults. Add in Douglas Booth’s chiselled cheek-bones and Gillian Anderson’s hair-raising presence, and you have me on board.

My thoughts on the book are recorded here.

STL.

Photos: BBC

Who Would Have Known?

Versatile Blogger AwardGreat news, everyone! I have been awarded my first blogger award; apparently, I’m versatile!

E A M Harris was kind enough to nominate me and I can’t thank her enough! You should all take a look at her blog if you’re interested in literature or poetry.

According to the rules, I have to nominate 15 blogs myself, who I’ve “recently discovered or follow regularly.”

The problem is that I have so many ‘favourites’! I love getting emails for everyone’s new posts… Anyway, here are a few who haven’t been nominated already by others, as far as I know:

Adventures in Borkdom – always plenty of interesting book-ish posts to read over there!

Austen Prose – fantabulous

Cinnamon & Apple – posts awesome, crafty things. Everyday.

Frances Cannot Write – Frances actually can

The Happiest Cow – that’s one happy cow!

Jane Austen Today – so much love for this blog (also writes Jane Austen’s World :O)

Je Ne Parle Pas Français – inspirational

Litlaffluv – for the lovers of Literature

Madame Guillotine – for history geeks or Marie Antoinette fans

Musings of an Anglophile – we watch similar TV programmes :D

A Room of One’s Own – because she loves Classics, too

The Tiny Sartorialist – this baby can already write a blog; he has big things ahead

Truth and Cake – her blog looks delicious

Twigs for Pigs – she makes me laugh

ZMCD Creates – a cute little blog which has just started up (for any tweens out there)

Congratulations! To everyone else who I haven’t mentioned, keep blogging! You’re all brilliant. I do not have an acceptance speech prepared which is as clever or creative as Emma Thompson’s was for Sense and Sensibility at the Golden Globes in 1996, when she pretended to be Miss Austen…

However…

Here are seven [random] facts about myself which you may or may not know:

1. My favourite author is Jane Austen. You may already know that, but it’s important. Being a Janeite is a way of life. :P

2. I like cake, macaroons, cookies and all yummy desserts in general.

3. I prefer snow to sun.

4. I have a solid and loyal passion for Friends, the epic TV show.

5. I also watch programmes like: Sherlock, Merlin, Downton Abbey, Glee etc.

6. I’ve never watched an Audrey Hepburn movie (but these people have persuaded me that I need to.)

7. My favourite colour is rainbow. (Just kidding! That’s my favourite food! Got you again! Ok, I’ll stop now…) I sometimes make jokes… (“That was a joke?!”)

Please note, the award is completely optional and you do not have to accept. You can also get a little badge to stick on your site, if you choose to.

(Although I’ve seen one or two which are white and look like this:

Versatile Blogger Award

Sneaky… I like :P)

Thanks to E A M Harris, once again!

STL.

The History of the English Language in 10 Minutes

Welcome to Somersaulting Through Life’s new weekly feature:

Watchable Wednesdays

True to its name, every Wednesday I hope to share with you videos which I have enjoyed and think you might, too.  We all need a bit of cheering up to last until the end of the week, don’t we?

To kick off, here is a thoroughly informative and entertaining cartoon documentary of the birth of the English language.  It is the first of a 10-part series by the Open University, which I highly recommend for all avid readers or any who are interested in the words we use on a daily basis.

The full length version (PG) only takes up 10 minutes of your time and is sure to make you chuckle.  The cartoons are rather “Horrible Histories”-esque and that is why I like them.  My personal favourite is Chapter III: Shakespeare – a perfect example of an educational diversion from the stress of weekdays.

I hope you enjoy.
STL.