RSS Feed

Tag Archives: North and South

Happy World Book Day (Armitage Style), Bookworms!

Posted on

thornton pineapple book

Happy World Book Day (unless you are either Swedish or British)!

I don’t know about you, but for me there’s nothing better than to dive between the pages (paper or electronic).

I shall be writing more about the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge I’ve decided to undertake, but today I wanted to have a peek at the books I’ve read because I am a raving loony Armitage fan.

Ya see, Richard makes us better people ;)

One of the first books I read inspired by Richard was Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South.

north-and-south1

I’ve loved the mini-series dearly since it hit me like a ton of bricks in July 2012 and turning to the book seemed like a great idea to squeeze a bit more from my beloved story.

True, Margaret has raven black hair and Thornton is described as a big unattractive Shrek (not really, but he’s got nothing on Armitage), but there are many delicious goodies that never made it to the TV adaptation.

Another book that I reached for was Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Hobbit9

Although many of my UK and US friend remembered reading this book as children, I didn’t know who or what a Tolkien was until a friendly American bar owner in Warsaw told me about Gandalf and the world of the rings (while serving my underage a*se a bunch of drinks…).

Since then I feel I’ve done my duty to educate myself with regards to Middle Earth, plus I’m more than a little relieved that I didn’t kill off that many brain cells during my wayward youth…

Another book that I have started reading (and need to finish finally) was a book that Richard himself had often referred to.

9780312375935

Penman’s The Sunne in Splendour follows the life of Richard III, from his youth to the Battle of Bosworth Field.

I can’t really explain why I’d drop it time after time having read a few chapters, it’s well written and I do have a thing for British history.

Sunne, your time will come…

From the books that are on my list of “to read”:

I’m still not ready to delve into the world of Arthur Milller’s The Crucible.

2031928718_1393803721

I have no doubt that I will weave my way in and out of the story, but for now I shall leave it on my Kindle as a reminder of what’s to come, a source of temptation and delayed gratification till I’m ready to create my own emotional crucible.

Talking about delayed gratification, I haven’t actually got this next book:

1048652

Urban Grimshaw and the Shred Crew by Bernard Hare

I can’t wait to get my hands on this story, although wait I must till the embargo on frivolous shopping passes.

This is just a handful of books that I’ve read after being prompted by Armitage, one way or another.

What have you read as an extension of your Armitage admiring?

Part 2: Trudy’s Pet Peeves

81uiI+fCcwL._SL1500_

This is the second day when I’m fortunate enough to welcome North & South continuation writer Trudy Brasure, author of A Heart for Milton and In Consequence.

You can check out Trudy’s previous post here.InConsequenceSmall

I hope you all did your homework from yesterday and have thoroughly researched the answers to the quiz questions!

You can also get your hands on Trudy’s latest book In Consequence which is a corker, so check out the giveaway info :)

and now, here are ….

Trudy’s PET PEEVES regarding North and South

ns3-105

(John withers away insipid comments with one penetrating stare…)

Mind you, I’m aware that my passion for my favorite book/film can get rather geeky and intense. But I’ve spent the last four years thinking about and discussing Gaskell’s story and characters. Forgive me.

#1  The constant comparison of Gaskell to Austen and North and South to Pride and Prejudice. Must every story with a failed proposal set in the horse and buggy days hearken us back to Austen’s patented plot? Couldn’t we look at Gaskell’s merits as a writer based on her own style and subject material? Austen and Gaskell aren’t even from the same era for crying out loud! Bronte and Dickens seem more likely comparisons for the passion and social issues dealt with in North and South. I know this annoying occurrence will never cease in my lifetime but …Grrr!

#2  The half-knowledge behind the oft-repeated fact that Gaskell was rushed to finish her ending.  Yes, Dickens forced her to hurry her story’s conclusion during the serial publication of N&S in his magazine. It’s a tasty tidbit of history that sticks in the mind. Poor Gaskell – that mean ol’ Dickens! However, what many don’t realize or remember is that Gaskell went back to add two whole chapters and embellish other sections of North and South before it was published as a book. She left that end scene alone. Hmm…. ( psst! I loved the ending in the book! for more about Gaskell’s ending see my post at WestofMilton here:  LINK)

#3  That PBS/Masterpiece missed airing North and South in the US.  Will we ever know the mystery behind this omission? I’ve heard a few theories, but I’ll never get over this disservice to the American public. If PBS is meant to bring fine art to the masses, they certainly missed sharing one of the BBC’s finest period dramas…. and the best kiss scene ever recorded on film.

#4  Interpretations of John and Margaret based solely on the first half of the book/story.  I have to wonder if some people really saw/read the whole thing. Granted that the first half is all spitfire and clashing, but the second half in which each learns to deeply consider the other’s perspective is beautifully, if more subtly, drawn. I can’t fathom that Gaskell intended her characters to stay the same throughout the arc of the story. So pardon me if I disagree wholeheartedly with those that believe that Margaret and John would be forever clashing on ideology and social morality. Where’s the proof of that in the unfolding events, actions, and words of the second half?

ns3-198

Does this look a girl who still holds grievances about the Master’s character and business practices?

#5  The lousy introduction to the book in the Penguin edition. This almost ruined my appetite for reading the book the first time around. With a heavy emphasis on sexual symbolism and the power struggle between male and female positions, this analysis of Gaskell’s work sapped most of the deeper meaning out of the story and highlighted the dry, intellectual wrestlings that academics feed upon. I’d like to have it out with Patricia Ingham, Ph. D. on a few of the aspects concerning John and Margaret’s relationship that I feel she interpreted completely wrong.

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

InConsequenceSmall

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of In Consequence!  The winner will be announced next Thursday.

Now’s the perfect chance to chat with me, ask me something, or (gasp!) disagree with my interpretation of the story and characters.  I’d love to hear from you.

  

Quiz Answers:

1.) Margaret is 18 in the opening scene of the book.

2.) The Lennox family is from Scotland.

3.) Anna Beresford married  General Shaw.                                 ns4-063 damn! missed that one!

4.) Adam Bell.

5.) Bessy

6.) Helstone is not too far from Southampton. It’s mentioned that Mr. Hale walked there once from the vicarage.

7.) George Leonards (from Southampton) had a job as a railway porter at the time of the incident.

8.) Maria and Richard Hale.

9.) False. It’s not possible to draw an accurate calendar of the events as they are indicated in the book. The Thornton dinner is on the 21st of July, yet Gaskell has Margaret going to Marlborough Mills for the water mattress three days later under “an August sun.” Frederick also arrives much too early on the scene after Margaret has written for him. (Where was the Dickens’ editing hand here I wonder. lol.)

10.) Aunt Shaw had a lap dog named Tiny.

11.) Frederick married Delores Barbour.

12.) Hannah reads from the Bible every night to the household. She tries to read from Matthew Henry’s Commentaries as she awaits John’s return from the proposal.

13.) Hannah remembers “a little daughter – dead in infancy.”

14.) False. The Great Exhibition is never mentioned in Gaskell’s work.

15.) True. In the book, Mr. Thornton learns that Margaret has a brother from Mr. Bell.

16.) True. Higgins calls Thornton a bulldog in the book as well.

17.) Thornton saw Helstone on his return from Le Havre.

18.) True.  John attends both Mrs. and Mr. Hale’s funerals without Margaret knowing he has done so.

19.) Mr. Colthurst is a the vaunted guest at the dinner party in London.

20.) d. It has been two years of struggle and heartache since John first declared his love the day after the riot and that private meeting sans Henry in Aunt Shaw’s back drawing room.

How’d you do? Thanks for joining in the fun!

The Book Giveaway is now finished!

winner

Part 1: Trudy’s post + N&S Quiz + Book Giveaway

Dear Readers,

81uiI+fCcwL._SL1500_      Today I have such a treat for you I can hardly contain my glee!

Fellow Richard Armitage/North & South connoisseur and author extraordinaire Trudy Brasure has accepted my invitation to share with us her take on Gaskell’s masterpiece and she’ll be spoiling us today and Friday, so make sure you stop by.InConsequenceSmall

Most of you are familiar with Trudy’s writing as she has long been considered one of the most notable fanfiction turned published authors with an uncanny ability to capture our Mr Thornton and make us fall for him hard all over again.

I leave you in the capable hands of my guest blogger and one of my most favorite N&S continuation authors (not to mention a thoroughly lovely person…):

Trudy Brasure

Trudy author pic

Five things you probably didn’t know about me:

1. I had a great childhood. As one of nine children, I was surrounded mostly by brothers. Boys? Yeah, we got ‘em. I faked my first crush in school to fit in with the crowd. Heck, I didn’t find boys that mysterious or enchanting in those pubescent years.

2. My obsession before I discovered John Thornton/Armitage was … um… Abraham Lincoln. What can I say? I love a good, brooding man in a top hat.

images ns3-132

3.  My first plane ride was from Toronto to Paris – alone, at age 17 – to stay for a month with the family of the exchange student our family had hosted the summer before. Unforgettable adventure for a small town girl from Pennsylvania.

4. I’m the organist/pianist on Sundays at the church I attend. All those years of piano lessons were not wasted!

5. I’ve never been to England! I know, I know…. it’s really quite presumptuous of me to write stories set in a place I’ve never been. Thank goodness for my British editor. I’ve been close, though! My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Ireland and Scotland.

Get your pencils (or quills) ready for QUIZ TIME!
ns4-054

(John has studied hard for this.)

Think you know North and South? I’ve seen a few fun quizzes posted here and there. But they were too easy.  Try this mean baby if you’ve read the book.   Hey, if you’ve read my stories you might be able to answer a handful of these.  Level: Wicked

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post for the answers!

1. How old is Margaret at the time of Edith’s wedding?

2. Where is the Lennox family from?

3. What military rank did Aunt Shaw’s late husband hold?

4. What is Mr. Bell’s first name?

5. Is it Bessy or Bessie?

6. What is the port town nearest Helstone?

7. How did Leonards happen to be at the station to discover Fred?

8. What are Mr. and Mrs. Hale’s first names?

9. True/False:  Gaskell was a master of precision in writing the sequence of events.

10. What pet did Aunt Shaw have?

11. What is the name of Frederick’s intended (and later, wife)?

12. Name one of the books that Hannah Thornton reads from.

13. What personal tragedy did Hannah silently recall during her visit with the dying Mrs. Hale?

14. True/False: The Great Exhibition is mentioned in a conversation between Thornton and Mr. Hale.

15. True/False:  Thornton discovers that Margaret has a brother from Mr. Bell.

16. True/False: Higgins calls Thornton a bulldog.

17. Mr. Thornton made a point of visiting Helstone while returning from a business trip to what venue?

18. True/False: Mr. Thornton attends the funeral of both Margaret’s mother and father.

19. What is the name of the member of parliament who comes to dinner at Aunt Shaw’s house in the penultimate chapter?

20 . How much time passed between Thornton’s post-riot declaration of love and the final scene in London in which Margaret offers her fortune to Thornton?  (a.) six months  (b.) a year  (c.) 18 months  (d.) two years

BOOK GIVEAWAY!

InConsequenceSmall

If you loved the angst and repressed passion Richard portrayed as John Thornton in North and South, you’ll love my new story! In Consequence puts a twist in the story at the time of the riot which spins the developing story of love and attraction in a whole new direction.  Available for free at C19 and Wattpad, In Consequence is also for sale as a Kindle book at Amazon. It will soon be available in print and as a Nook, ibook, etc. as well.

Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win a copy of In Consequence - paperback or Kindle. (worldwide) The winner will be announced next Thursday, February 6th.

Share what you love most about N&S, ask me a question, or talk to me about my story or Gaskell’s.  There’s nothing I enjoy better than engaging in discussion about North and South!  

Coming up tomorrow: Trudy’s pet peeves regarding all things North and South as well as the answers to the quiz!

The Book Giveaway is now finished!

winner

RA Flash Fan Event: The Armitage Fairytale

Posted on

RA Flash fan event thronton

This post is part of the RA Flash Fan Event and is inspired by the phrase:

I Saw Something Fine…

I think I’ve mentioned how I came to catch Armitage fever in the summer of 2011, but if you haven’t heard this one before, gather round and let me weave my tale…

disney-fairy-tale-once-upon-a-time-sparkle-text-Favim.com-433388_large

…there was a girl with a head full of dreams.

She lived East of Wurstia and West of the Great Red Empire, in a land called Middle Europa.

She loved nothing more than to immerse herself in tales of far away lands and dashing young princes and would spend the entire summer months traveling to places and times captured on the pages of old parchments without moving an inch.

Her dear friend Maximilianus knew of this love and in the cold months of 2011 gifted her a set of magic discs that were filled with tales of passion, but the girl was much occupied with learning to fill her head with hocus pocus.

The magic discs lay forgotten and abandoned, gathering dust and being nibbled on by mice until the frost thawed and spring turned to summer.

As the flowers blossomed and bees busied themselves gathering nectar, the girl once again turned her attention to the special present her dashing friend had gifted her.

John-Thornton-john-thornton-9edited995703-1024-768

This time though, without further hesitation, she inserted the discs into the special box that housed a plethora of mini people and places, and was filled with unfamiliar sights and sounds.

The stories from books and parchments came alive before her very eyes!

A brand new world, one alien to our heroin, filled her senses with delight.

No longer was she in her little cottage in the countryside, nor was it summer and the birds chirped no more.

She had been transported to a gloomy world where constant snow resided.

At first glance everything was wrong- happiness had been replaced by misery and grief, where trees blossomed, stood monstrous buildings that released smoke as if dragons resided at their very core.

Worst of all dashing prince was not charming at all!

He was harsh, brutal and violent!

But appearances may be deceiving and it took a while for the girl to understand that each frog needs a tender kiss to release the prince from the evil spell.

Before she knew it, the girl started falling deeper into the rabbit hole.

She kept drawing strength and delight from the images the discs provided, her heartbeat quickened and the air around her felt hot.

A strange sensation brew in her belly, a fever had taken hold.

With each retelling of the story she wished to know more about the prince, to learn who he was, which kingdom he resided in and what chivalrous acts he had committed.

The deeper she fell, the more people she met who were on a similar journey, although each and every one of them started out from a different place.

She began creating her own magic parchments, visible to those from lands near and far away, in which she described the heroic adventures the prince had been on (or would likely embark on), and were filled with representations of the prince’s beauty.

And although the prince was far away, battling dragons and defending fair maidens, the tale of his wonder continued, whispered around camp fires in far off lands and transcribed in books.

Time passed, more magic discs capturing the delights of the prince found their way to the girl from Middle Europa,and her adoration continued to grow.

And she lived happily ever after…

Well, almost because…

How do you pick up a thread of your old life?

John-Thornton-Fan-Art-john-thornton-34608337-245-164

How do you go on when, in your heart, you begin to understand there is no going back?

tumblr_mzcnk9fAUF1sq1l2ao3_250

There are some things that time cannot mend.

John-Thornton-Fan-Art-john-thornton-34608344-245-148

Some delights that go too deep…

John-Thornton-Fan-Art-john-thornton-34608363-245-135

that have taken a hold…

tumblr_mzcnk9fAUF1sq1l2ao10_250

Because I have seen something fine and I can never go back…

Christmas hangover, the crackers are pulled, the wrapping is torn…

Posted on

I hope everyone had a wonderful Xmas this year, for us it was a corker, but then I presume it’s always good to put things into perspective and remind yourself about what is important.

Christmas Eve was made even better with the brilliant presents under the tree.

Richard Armitage christmas tree

And for the record, there was no Richard Armitage with a name tag signed For AgzyM on it and he better not have appeared under some other fan’s tree or I’ll scream bloody murder ;)

Believe me, the tree was big enough to accommodate a Richard slid under it (he’d have to be careful not to crease the red ribbon around his neck though) and I even decided to crank up the heater so he wouldn’t be chilly laying on the floor.

present 1

Nevertheless, I think Santa’s on to me which was made evident when I tore open the RA/Hobbit/dwarf box.

I got a wonderful collection of Armitage related goodies I’d like to share with you (the pictures NOT the presents to mitts off ladies!).

Firstly, as you may know my Magzy is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle nerd enthusiast.

I had once stated that I’d actually give puzzling a try if I ever got jigsawed Thorin and I knew I had to keep my word when I opened two Hobbit-related puzzles (cracker not included, just a misguided and failed attempt to be more artsy…).

present 5

I’ve already completed the 500 piece Elf one and can only huff over how much bloody hair that sassy Thranduil has and how hard that part of the puzzle was.

I’ll be doing the other 1000 piece one tomorrow so look out Thorin and gang, AgzyM will be taking you part and putting you back together again!

present 4

Apart from the jigsaw puzzles, I also finally got my hands on The Hobbit: AUJ DVD.

I haven’t checked out all the footage yet, but is it just me or do we have to change the disc in the middle of the movie?

Strange…

I also got a dose of Anime Thorin, a figure that fascinates many but just freaks Magzy out.

present 3

He stands proudly defending my bookcase, accompanied by my other Thorin figure which I got from my BFF Max last year in London.

Is it just me or is there CLEARLY a Lego Thorin missing from my Majestic Dwarf collection?

present 6

I’ll have to rectify that soon…

Anyway, the boys know what I value most in my home and stand guard!

present 2

Speaking of books, I also received an item that I had been pining for meaning a paper copy of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South.

I think I’ve mentioned it a few times that I’m very much an ebook convert and my Kindle is my prized possession, but there’s something wonderful about flipping pages, delighting in the smell of a new book.

The last piece in the Hobbit box is a bit of a head-scratcher.

May I present to you the Barrels out of Bond kit:

present 7

I must admit that I saw on Serv’s blog (can’t find the post), this set of figures of barrelled dwarves that you paint, I thought it’d be a great idea, impulse-bought it and forwarded the info to Magzy.

I thought I’d take my time and casually paint the figures as a long-term summer project.

This is how they looked on the picture that first caught my imagination:

m3610121a_99811499018_BarrelsOutOfBondWithGiftIcon01_873x627

This is what I got which on opening the box, made me say: The fuck is this???

(Anime Thorin serves to show you the size of the kit)

present 8

Clearly I should have focused more on the description because the figures are tiny.

Actually, they are so tiny I’ve had to ever so lovingly point to where the they actually are in the pictures.

There’s just no way that I’ll do anything more than dip the whole figure in paint and call it a day…

I have a feeling I’ll be selling these off very soon.

iphone5c-kids-09132013-600x412

Apart from my Hobbit box I also got a ton of other goodies including a pink iPhone 5c and that’s where my nightmare before after Christmas began.

iTunes hates me.

In fact it’s more iHateYouAgzy.

My relationship with iShit is so sado-masochistic I really do wonder why I bother until I take the phone into my hand, start caressing it and whispering: My Precious!

It turns out that an error had occurred in my archived file and I lost all the data from my old phone, but luckily a nice iMan managed to at least save my contacts although the rest is gone and I can’t seem to save anything on the iShitCloud.

iWanttoMakeYourLifeDifficult is still working incorrectly but I feel I need to let it go for today, admit that technology had kicked my arse and prepare for battle tomorrow.

Anyway, how was your Christams?

Dish about what you found in your stocking/under the Christmas tree :)

On John Thornton moving into my bedroom…

Posted on

Friday was a very busy day for me as I was feeling crafty.

I was planting herbs in lovely and ridiculously expensive French rustic pots and preparing for a new Thorin project that I won’t utter a peep about just yet.

I’m also on a high of adding artwork to my walls, I’ve always favoured a minimalistic approach to décor, but I figured it’s time for a wee change.

I’m not going to bore you with all the stuff I’ve made, but I wanted to share one I’ve been meaning to do for some time.

There just aren’t enough sexy British men in cravats in my bedroom, so I decided to remedy that.

Here’s the result:

(picture removed, will post a different one)

(BTW, not my bedroom, Thornton’s temporarily housed in Magzy’s living room till I can get my dad over with a nail and hammer)

I took the beautiful image that can be found here, but stuck it on a background.

I chose a page from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, but wanted to have it hand-written.

Luckily, I stumbled upon a Jane Austin font that can be downloaded for free (me likey!).

 

Originally, I had intended on going a bit artsy with the image, I considered making the silhouette float above the writing background (as in sticking it on foam), maybe age the image so it looks like old parchment etc, but in the end the simplicity really worked.

I mentioned “men in cravats” and ultimately I would like to add a similar image of Mr Darcy.

My two favourite boys stuck on one wall aiding me in getting a good night’s sleep full of delicious dream.

(picture removed, will post a different one)

The problem is I can’t find a good Darcy silhouette that would rival the beautiful Thornton one.

Have you come across any good ones?

If so, let me know in comments and my bedroom wall will be eternally grateful, not to mention seeing my boys first thing in the morning will surely add a spring to my step.

Finding Comfort in Beauty

Posted on

Just a quick one today :)

I have so many other posts, some inspired by that mega conversation we had a few days ago, all floating around in my head, in need of constructing and scheduling.

They are coming, along with a mini tutorial and a post/message I want to dedicate to an online friend who’s struggling.

3

This post was inspired by an exchange I had with Morrighansmuse regarding what we watch when we need to find some beauty to counterbalance the blues or some drama you may inevitably be dragged into.

Morrighan mentioned that Thorin was her go-to, and I can see why he would be, although I hope she might elaborates on the topic more in future.

Yesterday I needed to catch my equilibrium and take my mind off things, so I started with a few documentaries, but they didn’t engage me.

Then I thought surely The Forsyte Saga would do the trick, but I just couldn’t focus fully and Damian Lewis’ Soames deserves my full attention ;)

0231

I found myself reaching for an oldie but goody.

Out came my trusted North and South DVD.

1

Isn’t there a limited to the amount of times you can watch it and be mesmerized by Mr Thornton?

How can I still find little details that captivate me.

I don’t know how you do it but, Mr Thornton, you make any bad day so much better :)

2

So, what is your go-to viewing when things just aren’t going your way and you need a pick-me-up?

What lightens your mood when the dark clouds above your head don’t want to dissipate?

Talking about things that are an immediate boost in happy feels, anyone up for one of these?

1235071_647945015229952_1690755722_n

I’ve tried to find the author of this beauty, but to no avail.

Whoever you are, you’ve created something that most RA fans desperately want and producers/companies don’t want to supply us with.

Update: Just found out it was Jonia who visualised my dream!

Please check out the whole post as she’s come up with many other wonderful suggestions!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 887 other followers

%d bloggers like this: