Thursday, April 28, 2016

Jane Austen Humour



So far I have only seen about (exactly) two really good Jane Austen puns.
But they're good. (Of course, you all have probably seen them already. In which case you can just groan (inwardly) and think to yourself, "Not again.")

First, can we just appreciate the genius that came up with this one?
The awesome thing about this is it pretty much has a triple meaning because--of course, wood house and manor are houses, and then of course it means Emma Woodhouse, but then he literally gave up his manor for a Woodhouse! Ha! 
Sorry, did I mention that I have a thing for puns? Um.
(This isn't my first choice of Mr. Knightleys, Johnny Lee Miller is, but this is the picture that was with the pun. So...)

Now this one is REALLY good: 
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
Sorry.
But seriously--it's true, too, because she was the only one to be able to really change his...mind? Heart, I guess, would be more accurate. :) 

I probably am making these puns far worse with my comments. My apologies.
Now, since those are the only two good Austen puns (they might be the only ones I've seen), here's some more Jane Austen humour, some of it actually from Jane Austen herself.

(I got all of these from Pinterest. I have no idea where the credit is due for some of them, unless, of course, it's a quote from the movie or book.)

 Whoever made this captured Mr. Collins perfectly. I showed it to my dad, who just listened to P&P on CD at my...insistence request, and he knew right off that it was Mr. Collins. Seriously, this is great. I laughed way to much the first time I saw it. But not way too much, because it deserved that much appreciation!
Of course Mr. Bennet's humour is the best. 
(This should technically have an ellipsis because the actual quote is "Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives." Sorry, I know. I'll not be such a...)
I find this funny because, well, obviously Mr. Knightley is a man of sense. The question is, is Emma silly? Is she? Hmmm...
 Mr. Darcy's comebacks are always funny, whether they're to Miss Bingley or Miss Bennet.
 You must know I'm thinking of him marrying one of the girls, so I simply cannot keep calm!
 It really should be more like the last one; don't keep calm and call for Hill. Is Mrs. Bennet ever calm when she's calling for Hill?

 HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! This made me laugh way too hard.

And now I'm going to be singing this song in my best "Mary" voice for a couple of days. Sorry, siblings. I know you won't like it any more than the guests at the party did.

There. That's my best collection of Jane Austen humour. I hope you enjoyed it, even if you've seen all of those before, as you very well may have. :)

Monday, April 25, 2016

A New Look

Soo...I've finally put together a blog look with a header! (Don't laugh at me, please. I just recently figured it out, okay?)
I tried a header a couple days ago, but I didn't like it. Some of you may have seen it. (I kinda hope you didn't, but it wasn't terribly bad if you did. :) But now I've put together a header that I'm more satisfied with, and I've changed the background as well. It's very different.
I know it's a lot of Jane Austen, but so is my blog, so it works. :) 
I don't know, what do you think? 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rilla-my-Rilla


I just finished Rilla of Ingleside again.


Elisabeth, Naomi Bennet, Adellaide, (and whomever else has read it,) if you read this, please just sympathise with me for a moment.

This bit at the end of Rilla of Ingleside that describes Rilla's feelings perfectly describes my own while reading the last chapter:
"Emotion shook Rilla from head to foot. Joy--happiness--sorrow--fear--every passion that had wrung her heart in those four long years seemed to surge up in her sould for a moment as the deeps of being were stirred."

Yes. Yes, Rilla. That is how I felt whilst reading your book, such is the talent of L. M. Montgomery. 
I cried the whole time while reading the last chapter. It was Jem's homecoming that started it. Dog Monday--I was just smiling and laughing and sobbing silently. Then when Jem talks about Walter--more tears...

This book!!!


I don't know if there are words to properly describe how I feel about this book--except perhaps what I quoted already. 

I don't want to give any spoilers because seriously--I think everyone should read this book. You don't actually need to read the whole Anne series before, though it is the last book of that series. It works fine as a stand-alone, and in my opinion is the best of them all. 

I don't know if I could choose favourite parts--except that definitely the last chapter, the ending, is my favourite. As I said, I cried throughout it all--but they were mostly tears of joy. 

This book, admittedly, is sad. It's about World War I, so it has sadness connected with it. But I promise the sadness does not ruin it like sadness does in some books, and the ending is very happy. Tears of joy. I do not like books with sad endings. If it has sadness, it needs to end happily. And L. M. Montgomery did that very, very wonderfully.
(For anyone who doesn't know, L. M. Montgomery is my very favourite authouress ever.)

So. Have you read this book? If so, please feel with me. And I know you agree that it's a wonderful book, for anyone who has read it thinks so. If not: Go read it. (That is, if you enjoy such books as Anne of Green Gables or other L. M. Montgomery, or Little Women, or Jane Austen's books. If you like those old-fashioned books, I think you'll like this book.) It's--it's--indescribable. And in my opinion,
It is perfect.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Photographs

In the last couple months I became more interested in photography. I bought a camera from my brother for $10 and started taking pictures like crazy. It's actually a really good camera for having only cost $10. Lots of pixels.
Anyway, here are some of my favourite photos, because I felt like sharing (Not all of these are actually taken with my good camera, sadly. Some were taken by a cell phone camera.):

My sister (whose feet are in this picture) still doesn't quite approve...but it was an awesome angle and composition!

I'm afraid I've taken far too many pictures of the sky...but isn't this particular sky just glorious? 

There's a stream near our house that freezes over in the winter. This bit had frozen over except for this crack. Simply charming, isn't it?

The sun was beginning to set--or it was finishing setting. I don't remember, but either way--beautiful!

Peach blossoms!

Okay, I'm afraid the piano keyboard picture is rather overdone. I can see why, though--it looks good every time!

I believe it may have been raining lightly and that's what those little orbs are. Or perhaps they are will-o'-the-wisps that only show up in the flash of my camera...

I found the focus/blur of this picture quite fascinating.

Quote from Rilla of Ingleside: "Rilla was as fond of italics as most girls of fifteen are--" Honestly, when I read that I realised just how true it was for me (did anyone happen to notice the excessive amount of italics I used in this post?). I am quite fond of using italics...but then I must remember Mr. Carpenter: "Beware of italics." Oh, well, Mr. Carpenter can't cure me of them any more than he could cure Emily; even less, in fact. :)
There. I hope that was not too terribly dull...I do sometimes find that looking at other people's pictures is not quite interesting--sometimes I love it, of course, too--and perhaps others might feel the same about mine. I'm terribly sorry if that's the case.

Are you interested in photography at all?

Monday, April 11, 2016

My Ballgown (a. k. a. Prom Dress)

Last Saturday night I went to a ball, more commonly known as Prom. Mormon Prom, to be specific. 
I made my gown for that ball. In case anyone happens to be curious about what it looks like, I have pictures:

So I used two patterns and online instructions plus my own alterations and additions. The most part of the bodice was from a pattern, but I altered the pattern to make it more modest--and once I sewed it the first time I had to rip it apart and try again. Terribly frustrating, but worth it, don't you think? ;)

Does anyone else agree with so many on Facebook that my dress bears a slight resemblance to Rapunzel's dress in Tangled

I felt like a princess...'twas lovely!
For the skirt, I simply used a 3/4 circle skirt tutorial. I have done circle skirts and 1/2 circle skirts, so this was not difficult. 

And...how I planned for my hair to look, and how I did it for pictures. Long story. Perhaps I shall explain why by request. 

You can't quite see in the pictures, but besides my yellow flowers in my hair I had a yellow flower-shaped necklace (you can see that the most in the first one, not really the others) and yellow heels. 

The Ball was quite enjoyable, for many of my friends were there. I did not dance much, perhaps because the young men were "in no humour to give consequence to young ladies who were slighted by other men." (When I thought of this explanation I was comforted because I was just like Elizabeth Bennet, so it was all right!) However, I did have three very nice partners. And after all, having three nice partners is better than having six partners and only one of them is nice (I know from experience :). 

Friday, April 8, 2016

I Just Watched Wives and Daughters...(And it reminds me strongly of Mansfield Park)

...and why couldn't we get a slightly more romantic ending? I mean, it was great and charming and all, but...holding hands doesn't count.
Ahem.
I was told, however, that Elizabeth Gaskell died while writing the ending, so perhaps that explains it. I really, really want to read the book, but alas, our local library does not have it. I shall keep my eye out.
Well, the under-romantic ending reminded me of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. And that made me realise just how much of Wives and Daughters is like Mansfield Park in many ways. So--a comparison is in order.
Now, the characters that correspond with each other do not necessarily have as much in common in their personality and such; it's mostly the relationships. Of course, some character's personalities are very similar indeed.
Let us begin with Molly, of course. 
Molly's situation reminds me slightly of Fanny's. My best friend has pointed out that Fanny's story is very much a Cinderella story, and Molly's is as well. However, Molly's situation isn't as bad as Fanny's, really. 

Now, have you noticed that Fanny and Mary Crawford are similar to Molly and Cynthia? They aren't necessarily similar in character, of course, for Cynthia isn't quite as "bad" as Mary and Molly isn't quite as "good" as Fanny, but their relationship and situations struck me as quite similar. I must do this in some order or I shan't make any sense:
- Molly dosen't really have any (girl) friends, and then Cynthia, who is quite different from her, comes along and they are fast friends. 
Fanny hasn't got friends, and then Mary Crawford comes and takes quite a fancy to her and they are friends. 
- Cynthia got engaged to Molly's brother-like friend, whom she didn't love (she liked him) but who convinced himself to be in love with her, and then Cynthia broke off the engagement.
Mary got herself engaged to Fanny's cousin who was like a brother to her, whom she didn't really love, but he convinced himself he was in love with her, and then Mary broke off the engagement. 
In both cases, the man fell victim to looks, charm, and wit and then the both eventually came to their senses--but I'll get to the men. 
- Cynthia is rather more of an extrovert and Molly is more of an introvert. 
Mary is more of an extrovert and Fanny is definitely an introvert. 

-Cynthia was at first inclined toward Osborne out of monetary interest because he was the eldest son, but her tastes soon inclined toward Roger.
Mary Crawford was at first inclined toward Tom because he was the eldest and would inherit the estate, but she soon was attracted to Edmund.
-Cynthia is rather inconstant and accepts admiration from anyone.
Mary is also rather inconstant and while she's not as much of a "flirt" (it seems rather strong to use that word for Cynthia, oh dear...) as Cynthia, she doesn't stay as single-minded to Edmund as perhaps she should have.

-Osborne got very ill (and died).
Tom got dangerously ill.


Now, the whole Roger-and-Molly thing and Edmund-and-Fanny thing are very strangely similar in many ways:
-Roger was kind to Molly when she went to stay with the family and they became like brother and sister.
Edmund was kind to Fanny when she went to stay with the family when nobody else was and he became like an older brother to her.
-Roger came across Molly when she was crying and he talked comfortingly to her.
Edmund came across Fanny when she was crying and talked comfortingly to her.
-Molly, it is strongly implied, falls in love with Roger soon into the story (I really need to read the book, perhaps it is clearer). For sure she falls in love with him before he does with her.
Fanny falls in love with Edmund before he falls in love with her. 
Both girls are in love with their respective men when they get engaged to their friends Cynthia and Mary. 
-Roger realises after Cynthia breaks of the engagement that he is in love with Molly after all.
Edmund realises after Mary breaks off the engagement that he is in love with Fanny after all. 
-In Wives and Daughters, at least in the movie, the ending seems rather underdone to me. 
In Mansfield Park...the ending is very disappointing in how shortly it wraps it up. Of course, I can understand that Jane Austen was probably tired of drawing it out and wanted to finish it, but it barely mentions Edmund and Fanny's engagement. Really, it just basically says that Edmund might just like Fanny as well as--or even better than, hey!--Mary Crawford and Fanny was very happy about it, The End. 

There. Aren't they strangely similar? Of course, they have their differences, but still--! 
I just kept thinking of things and I tried to write them down as I thought of them and I'm terribly sorry if it's all jumbled. Did I miss any similarities? 
Have you noticed the same similarities?

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

In Which I Admire Gilbert Blythe

Gilbert Blythe has always been under-appreciated by me simply because he seemed to over-appreciated by everyone else (and also because I read the Anne series for the first time when I was only 7-8 years old so I did not fully appreciate him...I thought Anne was quite right in hating him; after all, he was a boy!). He was always in the "I like him, of course, but he's pretty average as far as fictional men go, and I like Jingle Gordon a lot better" category. I never thought he was anything very special. He just was. He liked Anne, she hated him for years, then they were friends, and then they got married and lived happily ever after with their 6 kids. I didn't see anything particularly special about him. 
But this post, as you can see, is titled, "In Which I Admire Gilbert Blythe" so let me come to the point:
I now admire Gilbert Blythe greatly as one of the most true examples of manhood in literature. My mind was changed when I read the following in Anne of Avonlea: 
"If Gilbert had been asked to describe his ideal woman the description would have answered point for point to Anne even down to those seven tiny freckles whose obnoxious presence still continued to vex her soul. Gilbert was as yet little more than a boy; but a boy has his dreams as have others and in Gilbert's future there was always a girl with big, limpid gray eyes, and a face as fine and delicate as a flower. 
Now for the part that really got me:
"He had made up his mind, also, that his future must be worthy of his goddess. Even in quiet Avonlea there were temptations to be met and faced. White Sands youth were a rather "fast" set, and Gilbert was popular wherever he went. But he meant to keep himself worthy of Anne's friendship and perhaps some distant day her love; and he watched over word and thought and deed as jealously as if her clear eyes were to pass in judgement on it. She held over him the unconscious influence that every girl, whose ideals are high and pure, wields over her friends; an influence which would endure as long as she was faithful to those ideals and which she would certainly lose if she were ever false to them. In Gilbert's eyes Anne's greatest charm was the fact that she never stooped to the petty practices of so many of the Avonlea girls--the small jealousies, the little deceits and rivalries, the palpable bids for favor. Anne held herself apart from all this, not consciously or of design, but simply because anything of the sort was utterly foreign to her transparent, impulsive nature, crystal clear in its motives and aspirations."
(Emphasis added.)
(Now, of course this says enough about Anne to make up a post of praise of her virtues, but for now let's look at Gilbert.) 
He admired her for her goodness! 
He wanted to stay worthy of her!
These things L. M. Montgomery tells us about Gilbert are truly magnificent indeed! 
In literature, too much is placed upon looks, intelligence, and such things. Too many men find themselves falling for a girl simply because she's beautiful. We know that Gilbert (most highly likely) did not originally admire Anne for her looks, for she was not considered pretty, especially when she was younger. Gilbert probably first admired Anne for what it says here in Anne of Avonlea: "She never stopped to the petty practices of so many of the Avonlea girls". He noticed that early on, I'm sure, and admired her for it, especially when Josie Pye was there for such contrast. 

Okay, so can we get how absolutely wonderful Gilbert is? He strove to make himself the very best he could be and he kept his ideals high because her ideals were high. 

I find this to be one of the most beautiful relationships in literature. Is this not just a glorious description of a righteous young man?
I have always kind of scoffed at the people who say, "I want to marry a Gilbert Blythe" because I knew most of them were really just referring to Jonathan Crombie and hadn't read the books. But having read that paragraph, I now think that if I had any inclination to marry (which, being still young, I haven't) I would want to marry someone who felt about me as Gilbert did about Anne. Someone who wanted to keep themselves worthy of me. It's just beautiful. Gilbert has been raised considerably in my eyes. 

And as we know, Gilbert was well rewarded for his faithful waiting--actually that brings me to another point:
Gilbert was faithful even without any sort of promise. He never looked seriously at another girl, and yet he was careful not to single Anne out too much for Anne's sake (she would have snubbed him if he made his attentions too clear). But he didn't court anyone else--
((And in case anyone is still labouring under the delusion that Gilbert got engaged to Christine Stuart let me tell you: HE DID NOT. That was one of Kevin Sullivan's scandalous lies. (Okay, but this makes me very angry. DID HE (Mister Sullivan) NOT KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING???!!!) L. M. Montgomery made it quite clear: "Christine was engaged to someone in her home town. I [Gilbert] knew it, and she knew I knew it." Christine was the sister of one of Gilbert's friends, and he befriended (please, he did NOT "date" her!) her at her brother's request. They never got engaged and how DARE anyone say they did! Why did they even put that in there? It makes no sense and it takes away from Gilbert's beautiful character. All right, rant over. Sorry.))
Anyway, he did not court anyone else and he just stayed true to his heart, waiting patiently for the right time to profess his love as he sought to win Anne's. Even after he proposed and was rejected, he still stayed her friend--he didn't want to lose her friendship even though she said she could never return his love!--and by-and-by he won it, even though he had to almost die for her to realise it. 

And now let me just share the reward Gilbert got for his faithful-, righteous-, and glorious-ness in L. M. Montgomery's own words (In Anne's House of Dreams):
"Gilbert, waiting for her in the hall below, looked up at her with adoring eyes. She was his at last, this evasive, long-sought Anne, won after years of patient waiting. It was to him she was coming in the sweet surrender of the bride. Was he worthy of her? Could he make her as happy as he hoped? If he failed her--if he could not measure up to her standard of manhood--then, as she held out her hand, there eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty. They belonged to each other; and no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other's keeping and both were unafraid."
Okay, so she has finally agreed to marry him, they have waited three years since their engagement, and they are about to get married. And what is Gilbert thinking? He is doubting his worthiness and manhood! He still finds Anne so perfect he doubts he can be good enough for her. But then, of course, "all doubt was swept away in a glad certainty" and thank goodness, because of course he was worthy of her! He certainly measured up to her "standard of manhood"! How could he not, after working so hard? I am so happy for Gilbert that he was able to get his heart's desire at last!

There. I simply had to get all that out. 
Gilbert, you have earned my earnest admiration in your stalwart and heartfelt feelings toward Anne and your desire to remain worthy of her. You will forever be one of my favourite heroes in literature. Thank you.

This is pretty much just for the sake of having a picture...and I didn't want Jonathan Crombie because while I know he kind of "is" Gilbert, he isn't the Gilbert I was talking about, at least not in this post. Sorry, it's nothing against him or his portrayal of Gilbert, I promise.