Sunday, February 16, 2014

Literary Heroine Blog Party Questions 2014

It is that time of year again! Accordion to Kellie is hosting her fabulous Literary Heroine Blog Party. It runs from the 16- 28. There will be games and giveaways, so hop on over to her blog to see everything.

  1. Introduce yourself!  Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! Hi, for all of you who don't already know, I am the Madd Rose and I post about books, movies, and shows that I love. Many of these are period drama related. I like Books (especially classics), movies (especially BBC period dramas) and I love tea! I dislike cold very much at the moment, I do not like Twilight and the like, and I do not like crude language. Something completely random... I always wear a wristwatch.
  2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? A true heroine does not have to be perfect. In fact, I usually like her better if she is not. (Not to be completely off topic, but I am reading A Tale of Two Cities for school, and perfection is exactly why I can't seem to connect with Lucie Manette. Did anyone else have that same problem? Also her fainting... YEESH. Anyway...) I like heroines who aren't perfect, who grow, change, learn, and I especially like if they end up finding true love. Girls with some selflessness, fun, smarts, and kindness. Those kind of girls are fun to read about. 
  3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. Anne Shirley. She is what started me on classics. She is imaginative, talkative, fun, and kind. She is not perfect, but she never makes the same mistake twice.  :) I wish I were more like her and I hope I end up with a Gilbert Blythe. Emma Woodhouse. She is silly, naive, kind, and rather selfish. I can be all those things too. I love how NOT perfect she is. It is so refreshing. Emily Webster. From the little known Emily of Deep Valley. She is tall, shy, and unsure of herself. She is pretty much me on paper for the most part. Elizabeth Bennet. Who doesn't admire her? She is so witty. I am not really very much like her, except in that I can judge people first, and learn about them later. Also, I like reading like her.
  4. Five of your favorite historical novels? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, An Old Fashioned Girl, Anne of Green Gables, Emma, and The Moving Finger.
  5. Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why? Out of those five, my favorite major character is... oh I already talked about some of them, so I will pick Juliet Ashton.  She is funny, breezy, and kind. She is a little older than the heroine I usually read, so she provided a refreshingly new perspective.
  6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? Out of those five, my favorite secondary character is Mr. Knightley. He IS a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. I adore him.
  7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? England! Or can I just say Europe in general? I would visit Bath, I would visit Jane Austen's house in Chawton. I would also shop in London and go into every little tea and book shop I see. I would visit the gardens and rent a little cottage in some out of the way village. If I could do all of those things I will think I have died and gone to heaven. :)
  8. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? I love to read about Regency, Victorian, Edwardian and WWII. I like to read about England, mostly.
  9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? I should sing, but I couldn't do it by myself. It would have to be a duet with my friend.
  10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? Oh! This is difficult. I would like to dress up in a fancy outfit, so I would be Marguerite St. Just. She wears such lovely outfits. I'm not sure I could do with that much hair piled atop my head though....
  11. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? I love it. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate with caramel, with raspberries, strawberries, hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream... You get the idea, right?
  12. Favorite author(s)? L. M. Montgomery, Jane Austen, Maud Hart Lovelace, Louisa May Alcott, Heather Vogel Frederick, Agatha Christie, and many more.
  13. Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land? Are books essentials? They should be. So, besides books, I would take a camera, a traveling diary, my laptop and phone.
  14. In which century were most of the books you read written? 20 C. I believe.
  15. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… Oh! I don't know. Maybe Sir Percy? He makes so many sacrifices for the greater good. (But I'd still rather marry a Gilbert or Knightley.)
  16. Describe your ideal dwelling place. It is still the same as last year. "A cozy cottage, with a little garden, and a hammock swung between two trees. It will have a little library with old beloved books and a nice, roomy window seat, simply strewn all over with pillows. I'd like a creamy yellow kitchen with a farmhouse sink. There should be a little piano somewhere, maybe in the library. It will have nice, crooked stairs, with a little platform and window. I'll have lace curtains billowing in the breeze. There will be bedrooms, of reasonable size, and at least one small walk in closet. It must have nice, shadowy little corners and some flowery wallpaper.  I'd like a little porch out front, with a rocking chair, where I could sit and hear the ocean; for my dream house must be reasonably close to the ocean, you know. I will see the lighthouse peeping through my living room window as I sit on an overstuffed chair by the fire on wintry evenings. Oh, and I'd like it to be on an island. "
  17. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. Comfy and cute. (Hopefully.)
  18. Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? Yes, specifically Mr. George Knightley. He isn't really a George. Also, Mr. Darcy. Fitzwilliam just doesn't really work for me.
  19. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... Um.. all of the sudden I cannot think of a single villain I REALLY disliked. Soary.
  20. Three favorite Non-fiction books? I'm afraid I don't read much nonfiction. So I shall skip this one.
  21. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? Reading on the hammock or by the pool. With lemonade!
  22. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. Ugh a HAT that portrays my CHARACTER? Wow pressure. So, I suppose I would want a simple straw hat like they wear in Road to Avonlea with a blue ribbon and a little bit of lace.
  23. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. Last year I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and had to change up my whole diet. That was a biggie.
  24. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. Philippians 4:13, Isiah 41:10, John 4:7-8, and the beatitudes. 
Well that was fun! I hope you all enjoyed yourselves, I know I did. Make sure to check out all the festivities Kelly has planned this week!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Here are some funny Les Mis Valentine's I wanted to share. I found them on Pinterest!


i know what i'm handing out to strangers next Valentine's day... :)

Now for a more serious one...

Jane Austen Valentine Card Mr Darcy Valentine Literary Card

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you all feel loved and appreciated. (And I wish you a nice amount of chocolates into the bargain.)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review of Rear Window

So Rear Window was my first taste of the infamous Alfred Hitchcock. It was good, but.... not what I was expecting! What I mean is, I thought it would be more of a Agatha Christie or typical gangster or something... but it was everyday life, the whole movie took place from one room, and no murder or body was shown. No policeman really, either. Just Jimmy Stewart, the lovely Grace Kelly, and Thelma Ritter.

Photographer "Jeff" has broken his leg, and is stuck in his apartment for weeks. He takes to people watching... and believes his neighbor has murdered his invalid wife!

At first everyone discredits this. He didn't even see anything, really. But then his glamorous girlfriend, Lisa starts to think he may be right. But his detective friend Doyle discredits Jeff after a brief search for clues. So Jeff, Lisa, and Jeff's nurse Stella decide to solve this thing for themselves!


It is mostly suspense that makes this murder mystery, not wild chases or blood and gore. It is unlike any other movie I have ever seen. Most of it was just "people watching." They developed these neighbors so much! And we never actually "meet" any of them really; yet they each have their own little story.

I was especially interested in the lonely woman in the apartment across the way. I loved her ending. So perfect for her!

And Grace Kelly is a perfect, blonde haired, blue eyed, tiny waist-ed little doll! My goodness, her outfits were gorgeous! How she stays with Jeff when he is so dismissive.... he really doesn't deserve her! ;)

And the nurse made for a little humor. She was quite funny, without even meaning to be most of the time.

So overall, this movie was nice but a little slow. The suspense, however, makes up for the slowness at the beginning.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Review of Mrs. Miniver

Some correspondents of mine recommended the book Mrs. Miniver to me a while back. It proved a bit difficult to find, but finally my library had it at their main branch and had it sent over to me. (I just love libraries, don't you?)

So, I wasn't sure what to expect, because though I had seen the movie, I had been told the book was really nothing like it. This book is not even necessarily a novel. Rather, it is a bunch of short stories on a woman's life in around a year or so, I would say.

Each chapter was a separate story in and of itself, and I could read the chapters out of order and not be a bit confused. This is because the chapters were originally written as a column in The Times.

Mrs. Miniver, a book by Jan Struther, is about an upper middle class housewife pre-WWII and during the early years of WWII. It is about her thoughts, doings, and family. Mrs. Miniver is a unique person in her thoughts, and has a gift of making the everyday something special.

Sadly, as I was reading I didn't mark the things that stood out to me. So I shall just try to find them now, but I am sure some of the best snippets shall just slip past me.

"Mrs. Miniver was a fool about inanimate objects... It wasn't, with her, a question of the pathetic fallacy. She did not pretend to herself that cars had souls or even minds (though anybody, seeing the difference that can exist between one mass-produced car and another, might be excused for believing that they at least have at least some embryonic form of temperament). No, it was simply a matter of mise en scene. A car, nowadays, was such an integral part of one's life, provided the aural and visual accompaniment to so many of one's thoughts, feelings, conversations, decisions, that it had acquired at least the status of one's house. To part from it, whatever its faults, was to lose a familiar piece of background."

"Words were the only a net to catch a mood, the only sure weapon against oblivion."

"Not that he disliked school; but it had to be regarded, he found, as another life, to be approached only by way of the Styx, You died on the station platform, were reborn, not without pangs, in the train, and emerged at the other end a different person, with a different language, a different outlook, and a different scale of values. That was what the stray grown-ups you met on the holidays did not seem to understand when they asked you the fatuous and invariable question, 'How do you like school?' It was impossible to answer this properly, because the person of whom they asked it never, strictly speaking, arrived at school at all."

"She wondered why it had never occurred to her before that you cannot successfully navigate the future unless you keep always framed beside it a small clear image of the past."

And when getting gas masks with the children, the chapter ends so: "You did look a fright,' she said. "I 'ad to laugh.' One had to laugh."

I found the whole At the Dentist's chapter interesting.

I loved Aunt Hetty. "'Come along-we're having tea in the strawberry bed.' 'In the strawberry bed?' 'Yes. it's  a new idea that occurred to me last time Vin was here. You know how much better they always taste when you eat them straight off the plants? Only the drawback is, there's never any cream or sugar. So I thought, why not take the cream and sugar under the nets with us? We tried it, and it's a capital plan. I can't imagine why I never thought of it before.'"

I liked Mrs. Miniver's description of her first airplane flight in the chapter The New Dimension.

Her description of traveling struck me: "For you cannot make them understand the essential point, which is that when you went away you took the centre of the universe with you, so that the whole thing went on revolving, just as usual, round your own head."

"And it oughtn't to need a war to make us talk to each other in buses, and live simply, eat sparingly, and recover the use of our legs, and get up early enough to see the sun rise. However, it has needed one: which is about the severest criticism our civilization could have."

I also was amused when Mrs. Miniver spent her commute trying to find out what sound the new car's windshield wiper makes (beef tea), her agonies over which new calendar to get, and her musings over the strangeness of people who do not wait to catch a door someone else has already pushed open (Chapter: Christmas Shopping). I also enjoyed Three Stockings, and her musings on the way her children empty their stockings.

 Mrs. Miniver is a dear, lovely woman, and I loved her little book full of odds and ends and random thoughts. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but if you don't mind a book that is more about characters than plot, and more about everyday life than a sweeping tale of daring-do, then I recommend this to you.

Until next time then, lovely blog readers! Are you staying warm? It is freezing where I am, and I spent more than an hour today shoveling up inches and inches of snow and ice from the driveway.... brr! I think it is a tea and reading day!