10/31/2014

Minor Characters // Margaret Dashwood

Margaret Dashwood. Such a sweet girl. Funny, slightly annoying, but so likable. I really like her. She reminds me a bit of my sister, actually. But the Margaret in both Sense and Sensibility movies is not at all like Jane Austen created her. And I pity that.
 
 
I read Sense and Sensibility before watching either movies, so I imagined her as Jane Austen wrote.
 
Margaret, the other sister, was a good-humoured, well-disposed girl; but as she had already imbibed a good deal of Marianne's romance, without having much of her sense, she did not, at thirteen, bid fair to equal her sisters at a more advanced period of life.

Margaret is thirteen - cheerful, bubbly and a hopeless romantic. She loves getting involved in her sister's love lives. She reminds me a bit of a slightly younger Lydia Bennet, somehow - of course, somewhat less energetic and naughty, perhaps - but still, a little like her. A handful, but ready and growing. And although she's by no means clever, she means well.
 
 
His appearance however was not unpleasing, in spite of his being in the opinion of Marianne and Margaret an absolute old bachelor...
 
Margaret agreed, and they pursued their way against the wind, resisting it with laughing delight for about twenty minutes longer...
 
Marianne's preserver, as Margaret, with more elegance than precision, styled Willoughby, called at the cottage...
 
When I read the book, I had the feeling that Margaret and Marianne seemed pretty close. I liked their relationship. I can imagine the two of them talking about how 'old' Colonel Brandon is. 'An absolute old bachelor, ay, Marianne?!'
Also, I find it ironic that they made Marianne drag Margaret on the walk in the movies, as in the book she agrees with her sister that 'there is no felicity in the world superior to it.'
 
 
Margaret related something to her the next day, which placed this matter in a still clearer light. Willoughby had spent the preceding evening with them, and Margaret, by being left some time in the parlour with only him and Marianne, had had opportunity for observations, which, with a most important face, she communicated to her eldest sister...
 
Margaret's sagacity was not always displayed in a way so satisfactory to her sister. When Mrs. Jennings attacked her one evening at the park, to give the name of the young man who was Elinor's particular favourite, which had been long a matter of great curiosity to her, Margaret answered by looking at her sister, and saying, "I must not tell, may I, Elinor?"
 
"I never had any conjectures about it," replied Margaret; "it was you who told me of it yourself."
 
Haha, she really reminds me of Lydia Bennet in these snippets. She likes news (News? Oh yes, I always like news!) and she likes gossiping and... oh, she's such a cheeky, flighty teenaged girl.
 
 
I wish," said Margaret, striking out a novel thought, "that somebody would give us all a large fortune apiece!"
"Oh dear!" cried Margaret, "how happy I should be! I wonder what I should do with it!"
 
Mrs. Dashwood's and Elinor's appetites were equally lost, and Margaret might think herself very well off, that with so much uneasiness as both her sisters had lately experienced, so much reason as they had often had to be careless of their meals, she had never been obliged to go without her dinner before...
 
'The real' Margaret Dashwood was more grown up and sophisticated than either Margaret's in the adaptions. She's imaginative, and reads and wishes big things.
 
 
Marianne had retreated as much as possible out of sight, to conceal her distress; and Margaret, understanding some part, but not the whole of the case, thought it incumbent on her to be dignified, and therefore took a seat as far from him as she could, and maintained a strict silence.
 
Mrs. Dashwood was prudent enough to remain at the cottage, without attempting a removal to Delaford; and fortunately for Sir John and Mrs. Jennings, when Marianne was taken from them, Margaret had reached an age highly suitable for dancing, and not very ineligible for being supposed to have a lover.
 
Sneaky and cheeky as Margaret may be, she is not really clever, so doesn't understand all the why's and when's of Elinor and Marianne's love lives.
At the end of the book, Jane Austen writes that Margaret starts thinking of lovers and starts going to dancing, having reached an age 'highly suitable for dancing.' So seriously, this Margaret is a young lady - thirteen in the beginning - maybe fourteen or fifteen at the end.
 
 
In the 1995 S&S movie adaption, we hear Margaret ask her mother if she can also go to London. 'I'll be twelve soon,' she says.
The other version (2008) doesn't mention her age, but - see the screencap above - we can see her birth date in the Dashwood family Bible. Thus I have observed that in the 2008 version, they made her five years younger than Marianne. Marianne being, let's say, seventeen, Margaret is the right age - thirteen - in that version. That's probably the main reason why I prefer Lucy Boyton's Margaret - she was more the right age (and, for example, they made her dance in one scene, which I loved). But still, she wasn't the book-Margaret. She was small and tomboyish.
 
Both adaptions have the same sort of Margaret-girl. And both adaptations did not follow Jane Austen's instructions for the youngest Dashwood sister. They made her hide under library tables:
 
 
They made her a tomboy - climbing in trees, riding horses, whistling on grass, wading in mud and killing stabbing Edward during a game of fencing:
 
 
And sure, don't get me wrong, I loved the way they portrayed Margaret - it was really cute and she made many of the scenes funny and laughable. I loved the way they made the Edward-Margaret relationship (because, yes, this is not something Jane Austen made up, you know - nothing about Edward and Margaret in the book, you know!) and, in short, I love the Margaret in the movies.
 
But one of them should have stayed loyal to the book. Margaret was a young lady, romantic, cheeky, cheerful and ready for balls. Not a tomboy.
 
Did you like the way Margaret was portrayed in the movie?
 

10/27/2014

Gone with the Wind // Favourite costumes


I don't love this movie, but I do like it. A lot. The main reason? The costumes. The twirling, wirling, delicious, frilly hoop-skirts... just too awesome-saucy for words, no? If there would be no pretty costumes I would not like this movie. THE DRESSES IN HERE ARE AMAZING. Here's to my favourite Gone with the Wind costumes. Let's start!

 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Scarlett's Red Christmas dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Scarlett's red Christmas dress has a sweet ruffled top, long billowing red hoop skirts, and a white ribbon around the waist. Although I think I could do without the weird ribbon, I absolutely adore this dress - especially the top white-with-red-stripes bit. It's just too adorable!

 
 
  
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Scarlett's Green Barbeque Dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Scarlett's Green barbeque dress is probably one of her famous ones. And no wonder! It's absoblumelutely adorable! The ruffled neckline (of course, a little too low, as Mammy pointed out-) is adorable, the velvet waistband, the green ribbons, and - of course - the huge hoop skirts. I'm going to repeat how much I love the hoop skirts many more times in the post. :-) Stay warned.
 
 



 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Scarlett's Blue Dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Scarlett's Blue Dress is not extremely fancy, but I love it. (Sorry for the bad quality of picture, by the way.) The simple design and black trimmings look casual but thrilling on her. And the yellow gloves she wears with it - Oh, suffice to say that I like it. :-)
 
 
 
 
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Scarlett's Honeymoon Dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
I've always had a fondness for this dress - even before I watched the movie, if I can recollect well. As a younger girl I adored green and purple together - and the special, clashy patterns on this Scarlett's honeymoon dress made me squeal in delight! And that hat she's holding - I would have liked to see her wearing it. It looks weird.
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Scarlett's Red Dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
My best friend Emma and I have a mutual love for this deliciously filled, gorgeously rich hoop-dress. It's the sort of dress that you just yearn to wear - it looks so dashed fun to be in, no? I also love the smart little bodice with all the velvet buttons rowing downward.
 
 
 
 
 
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Scarlett's Sweet Dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Haha. My names for these dresses are so original, no? I named this one Scarlett's 'sweet' dress because I think she looks so sweet in this girlish, innocent-looking dress. It's white, with lace and baby-blue ribbons and waistband. I think it's a darling dress - it hardly gets enough screen! I can't even remember where she wore it - but when I saw this picture I knew I had to add it to my list. It's so sweet. :-)
 
 
 
 
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Melanie's Grey Dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I know this is not supposed to be Melanie's prettiest dress, but, according to myself, this mauve/grey/white/dove-coloured dress with the huge rosy ribbon looks absolutely darling on dear Melanie! Melanie is my favourite character in the movie and I wish she'd had gotten more nice dresses!
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Melanie's Blue Dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
Of course Melanie has the AMAZING blue silk dress she wears to Scarlett's wedding (where she marries Ashley's brother).  We can hardly see the dress in the movie, so thank goodness Olivia de Havilland wore it for the official posed photos! This gown is beautiful, elegant, and oh - my favourite of all the Gone with the Wind dresses. I know. Says a lot, right?
 
 
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Scarlett's White Dress
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 
But of course! Scarlett's beautiful frilled white dress - the one we all die to wear - the one she wears in the first scene! Oh it's such a delicious dress - so frilly, fussy, creamy, lacy... I could go on and on, sighing and swooning the whole way through. I would like to get married in a dress like this one - it's so SCRUMPTIOUS.


 
What is your favourite dress in Gone with the Wind?
Do you like the Fashion in that Era?

10/20/2014

Emma Week Tag Answers!

Heidi's Emma Week has officially started, and here are my answers to her clever and fun Emma-tag! In addition, I've made a game for this week, so don't forget to check it out and try to play!

1. Have you ever read Emma?
Yes, I have - only once properly, although I'm definitely planning to read it again, once I have time. :) I love it - Emma is a lovely heroine - a little annoying at some times, some people may think, but I think she's delightful, nonsensical and very fun. :) And Mr Knightley is adorable. They are such a cute couple!
2. If so, is that how you first made her acquaintance? (If not, feel free to elaborate!)
Yes, it is. I'm very proud to say that it is. :-) I read the book first, but as a rather young girl, and didn't understand much of it and didn't get far. Because, after all, Jane Austen is not exactly famous for her easy reads. So then we borrowed the Kate Beckinsale version from some friends and watched it. Na, I didn't really enjoy it.
BUT. That opinion was lost forever once I saw the Romola Garai version! FOR EVER. Emma 2009 is now officially my second favourite movie (after P&P95). Then I reread the book properly and loved it! :-)
3. Do you have a favourite film adaptation? 
Yes, Yes, Yes. The 2009 version forever! It's absolutely magnificent - Romola Garai makes such a sweet, nonsensical Emma and Johnny Lee Miller's performance of Mr Knightley is - Oh, beyond perfection! *Naomi swoons*
4. Favourite dress(es) from that film?
Heehee, where to start! Romola Garai has one of my favourite Period Drama wardrobes ever, and that says a vast deal indeed. All her dresses have such a youthful, sweet, simple, yet special and almost-elaborate feeling. She has some lovely flowery prints!
Okay, I've finally taken my decision. This is my favourite Emma dress:
Isn't it swoony?
5. Share a line you love from either the book or movie/s—several if you like!
Mr Knightley's, 'If I loved you less I might be able to talk about it more, ' is definitely one of my favourites. I also love the, 'Nonsensical girl!' quote, of course. Oh, and 'Ship-court!' heehee. Can you hear I love this book and the 2009 movie?
6. Is Emma one of your favourite heroines? Why or why not?
I know she annoys many people, but not me. Perhaps I'd think her a little over-the-top if I met her in real life (when she's at that nonsensical stage in the beginning of the book), but seriously, as a heroine she definitely one of favourites. She and I are more similar than you'd imagine. No, I don't play match maker. Um, not out loud, anyway.
7. What is one of Emma’s strengths (good qualities)?
Her wit/charm. And also her kind heart and her willingness to help. That wasn't just one. Oops.
8. Describe in one (or two…or three) sentences, why Mr. Knightley is so wonderful.
"Or two... or three"... Hahaa. Heidi, I comprehend your feelings. Thank goodness I'm good at making my sentences long! Mr Knightley is wonderful because - Ah, because he IS. He's so good and gentle and kind and witty AND handsome. What else do we girls want? I've actually made a post about why I love (Johnny Lee Miller's) Mr Knightley so much - stay tuned for some innocent fangirling. :-)
9. Why do you think Mr. Knightley and Emma are so well suited to each other?
Opposites attract. Well, Mr Knightley and Emma aren't that strikingly different, but still, they don't have that many similarities. While Emma is bouncy (a little too), funny and energetic, Mr Knightley has the practical, wise side that Emma needs. They have always been childhood friends, so they know each others strengths and weaknesses. Eck, their relationship is just wayyy too cute. I cannot take it in. I cannot.
10. Would you rather spend a week in Highbury with the Westons—on Abbey-Mill Farm with the Martins—or in London with the John Knightleys?
Good question. The John Knightleys. Because Mr Knightley pays them visits now and then, and because they have noisy children. I like that. :-)
Well, thanks Heidi for the fun tag! Do be sure to join the fun, friends!

10/16/2014

The five questions most people ask me when they hear I'm homeschooled


Here where I live home-schooling is not something many people do. Sure, there are some, but it's not as common as it is in America. And big families aren't at all that common either. Seeing as I have a big family, and seeing as we get home schooled, you can imagine that "people" say things to me. Here are the five questions I have answered million times in my life. Five stupid questions, if you don't mind me adding. Give me a penny for every time someone asks me one of these three questions and I could buy you a house. Pfff- I really get tired of these questions.
 
1. Don't you have any friends?
This is definitely the most commonly asked question. People think that, because I do my schooling in my room, it automatically means that the only friends I have are my siblings. I've had people say things like: 'I wouldn't like to be home schooled - all my friends are at school.' 'How do you make friends then?' 'Are you really close to your siblings?' 'Do you and your siblings often quarrel?' 'Do you have friends over now and then?' 'If you are home schooled you never get to see any friends,' 'How many times a week do you see your friends?' 'Do you have friends?' 'Don't you mind not seeing friends?' 'Don't you have any friends then?' 'Are your siblings your best friends?'
All the same question. People think I don't have any friends just because I'm home schooled. It may be true that I don't get to see people me age every day as much as most teenagers do, but it certainly does not mean that I don't have any friends, for goodness sake! I have all my blog-y friends, I have my Church friends, my other home schooling friends, my many many cousins and other random school girls here and there. I have every bit as many friends as the average person has (only spread out over the world, sob.)
So please people, when you see a home schooler - don't go ask him or her about friends. It's a very aggravating question.
 
2. Do you have homework?
Aaaaa. This is the DUMBEST question EVER. Do you have homework? Why do so many people ask that? Why does that question even enter their mind when I tell them I'm home schooled? Why? Because OF COURSE I have homework. Just think about it - I get HOME schooled, for goodness sake! Everything I do is HOME work!
And then, when I tell them that, they always say, 'Oh Yeah - but you know what I mean.'
NO I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN.
Ahem. Sorry guys.
 
3. Oh, so can you sleep in every day?
This question is often coupled with the ridiculous, 'Do you work in your pyjamas'-question. People think that, because I do my schooling at home, it means I can sleep till nine o'clock and calmly do my work in my pyjamas, on my bed. No people. I have never, ever worked in my pyjamas. I have never, ever woken up after seven o'clock on a workday. I wake up and I go to school (in my room) just as early as you do. ('You' is addressed to the sort of people who'd ask me these questions, by the way. I know many of my lovely blog friends are home schooled. It's good to have people who understand me. :-)
 
4. Do you like being home schooled?
This is like asking someone questions like this: 'Do you like your name?' 'Do you like your school?' 'Do you like your room?' 'Do you like your life?' 'Do you like being in a big family?' It's those like questions. Sorry to say, they are rather weird things to ask.
Do I like being home schooled? I don't think about it - it's just how it is. This is how my life is - why should I go and sit down and think about whether I like things or not? Why, pray? Have you ever thought about whether you like your life? I mean, it's how it is. Man, people ask me weird things. If I do think about it (which I do as so many people ask me this question) - Yes, I do like being home schooled. I would not want to go to a public school for anything.
So people, next time you see a home schooler don't go and ask him or her whether she likes being home schooled. You'll look like a weirdo. And yes, she or he does like it. Getting home schooled is dashed fun.
 
5. Oh, so you don't go to school?
ARGH. Help me. People seem to think that since I'm home schooled I don't have proper schooling. That home schoolers just don't go to school - that they just stay at home and do... what. That we don't go to 'school' - we don't do 'school'... ARGH. Help me.
People - we go to school - just in a different place. What's the big deal? We go to school just like you do! Please don't say that I don't!


I'm sorry if my long rant bored you - and if I sounded irritated and rash. :-) But those of you who are my fellow home schoolers, you understand, don't you? And those of you lovely people who aren't home schoolers, I hope you understand too. :-)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll go off and do some work. Heehee. :D

 
 

10/08/2014

I dearly love to dance!


Let me teach you how to dance
Let me lead you to the floor
Simply place your hand in mine
And then think of nothing more

Let the music cast its spell
Give the atmosphere a chance
Simply follow where I lead
Let me teach you how to dance

-Miss Potter


Sigh. I wish I could dance like Ginger Rogers. She was amazing. And so was that dress of hers. Swoon. Just. Head over heels swoony. Enough about the dress. Enough swooning. I shall proceed.
Although I don't follow any lessons, can't tap dance (sad, that), don't have a dancing partner, don't have dancing shoes and am by no means professional, I can dance. A little. On my own.
That last paragraph sounded very self-pitiful, but never mind. I'm not sad about it or anything, it's just the truth. Truths sometimes sound sad. It's the truth. Ahem. Anyway, what kind of dances do I dance? Well, I dance English Country Dances. Yep. It's not something spectacular like Fred Astaire and his high-heeled, feathered partners. It's not like Gene Kelly and his breath-taking performances. Nope. It's a simple, pretty, fairly easy Regency ballroom dance style, and it's addicting. Seriously addicting.
I love dancing English Country Dances (I don't know why I'm Capitalizing All My Words), and I shall bore you by telling you which ones I can dance, which ones you can see in which movies, and how I taught myself.
Too low waistline. SIGH.
I always (I still do) loved watching the dance/ball scenes in movies. In Pride and Prejudice (1995) we have some lovely long ones - including the loved Darcy//Lizzy dance (Mr Beveridges Maggot) - and the little ones like those times when Kitty and Lydia roll the carpet away and dance with a few officers. In Sense and Sensibility, we have the packed, sweaty ball (not my favourite- it's over in a jiffy). In Wives and Daughters, we have some delicious waltzes. And in Gone with the Wind - when Rhett and black-garbed-Scarlett dance the Virginia Reel. Oh, and the sweet waltz in Sound of Music. All those ball-scenes. I love those scenes. Definitely my favourite scenes in movies - I could re and re-watch them.
Sigh. Sweetness.
Then I read about people learning how to dance such dances. I realised they were called 'English Country Dances' (goodness, was there once a time when I didn't know what those dances were called?) Then, thank goodness, I came across this very useful site and I watched the clips of random people dancing the dances. If you are one of those random people of the 'Old Dominion Dancers', I thank you with all my heart. Because that, people, by watching those little clips, is how I learnt (rather quickly- I flatter myself) how to dance many of the dances.
I started with 'The Comical Fellow', which is a very good one to start with. It has an extremely nice, catchy tune (here) and it's fairly easy. The dance is in 'Pride and Prejudice 1995' in the first dance assembly (in episode one) and is also played in one of the Northanger Abbey 2007 balls. This is probably one of my favourite dances. Is darling! They dance it in this gif:
  

In Northanger Abbey (2007), you can hear 'Lord Byrons Maggot' (also great fun to dance! It's rather similar to Comical Fellow) as Mrs Allen and Catherine come inside the crowded ball. Ironically, later, in another ball, when someone calls out 'Comical Fellow!' the 'Lord Byrons Maggot' tune is heard again. They thought no-one would notice, but I did. Haha.
Henry and Catherine also dance 'Upon a Summers Day,' but I haven't taught myself that one yet.

Then I tried some others. First, I learnt the ones that looked fairly easy. These include 'Juice of Barley' which is, I believe, in the Kate Beckinsale version of 'Emma', Lord Byrons Maggot, and 'Hole in the Wall,' which I will go in on a deeper level as it's one of my favourites. :D

'Hole in the Wall' is danced in Becoming Jane...


Wives and Daughters...


And in Emma (1996)

As this a slow, romantic, gentle waltz, it is often used in romantic important dancing scenes. It's one of those dances that can look all steamy and romantic, and sometimes they alter it in order to make it EVEN more steamy and EVEN more romantic. Oh me. In Becoming Jane, for instance. First, Jane and the tall blond guy dance it the right way. Then, Jane suddenly bumps into Tom Lefroy (this also, is one of the right dance movements.) But then, they have Tom and Jane walking down... and I'm like um, WHAT. This is not how the dance goes. They mushed it up and made the ending very... different. 

But anyway, 'Hole in the Wall' is a lovely dance, and not too hard.

Juice of Barley is another simple, very fun one. It is also danced in the 1996 version of Emma, and in the Cynthia flashback (Wives and Daughters)

Then we also have harder ones such as 'Shrewsbury Lasses' (otherwise entitled as the 'Other way Mr Collins!' dance) and 'the Laendler' (It's not an English Country Dance, but yet it's one which I'd love to learn- the 'Maria von Trapp waltz') and, of course...


 Ah and finally, of course, we have 'Mr Beveridges Maggot', which is the dance Lizzy and Darcy dance together - their first dance. Now, this one is rather tricky and I still don't have the complete hang of it. (Maybe this is because the Dominion Dance Website doesn't have one of their clear, good videos of it.)


I love it. The rhythm, the unique sound, the almost march-y effect, and yet ... it's romantic. Another version of this danced is danced in the Gwenyth Palrow version of Emma - it's Emma and Knightley's dance.

Now, just to end off this boring excessively diverting post, I shall show you some lovely Period Drama dancing-scene pictures. Because they are the best. I wish people had balls in Belgium. I wish people had balls like every week. Like instead of disco parties and all that rot.

 
 

 Dancing scenes are just the best. :-) I can't tell you how taken away I am by them. Swoon.
Do you like dancing?
Which English Country Dances can you dance?