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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Part 2: Trudy’s Pet Peeves

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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

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(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?

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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!

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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

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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.

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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!
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(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!

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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

Armitage Activites to heat up the little grey cells

I don’t know what it’s like where you’re at, but it’s freeze your b*ll*cks cold here, so I’m serving up two Armitage related activities to at least keep the little grey cells warm!

First, here’s a Thorin word-search activity.

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And here’s a not very serious Armitage crossword puzzle:

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Across

  1. Name Richard gave his fans
  2. Richard’s first Tolkien character
  3. Is the general of _________
  4. Had his kettle nicked
  5. Makeup favored by Gizzy

Down

  1. The birthplace of a star
  2. Richard has thunder what?
  3. Feature allegedly adjusted recently
  4. She didn’t look back!
  5. Richard is 6’2 and a_________
  6. Thorin won’t be hanging out with_______
  7. I’d tie Thornton up with this

Stay warm, wherever you are 🙂

Crossword answers:

Across:

1. well-wishers

2. elf

3. Armitage Army

4. Harry

5. Guyliner

Down:

1. Leicester

2. thighs

3. nose

4. Margaret

5. half

6. elves

7. cravat

A post on Armitage nipples, but may need some tweaking…

Bull?

Get over here!

I’m about to grab you by the horns and there’s just no way of avoiding it!

This belongs at Richard Armitage Confessions, but I might as well post it here and hope for a sympathetic ear/eye.

Let me just get this off my chest:

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Richard Armitage has perfecto nipples.

There! I’ve said it!

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I’m not really a connoisseur of that body part by any stretch of the imagination (most of you know I’m a bum and thigh gal), but I know what is aesthetically pleasing and that pair certainly pleases me.

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Could be the size, could be the lack of any odd hairs trying to overgrow and chock the said nipple, could be the shape or probable taste, whatever it is, as men’s nipples go, it’s hard not to give them two thumbs up and clearly other nipples suck!

Bez nazwy 31If you’ve ever wondered why men actually have nipples, you can read more here.

I’ll stick to the answer: so all other males are once again inferior to Richard Armitage!

That’s a No No, Richard!

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A quick question for you today:

What would Richard have to do to make you go off him?

I remember the uproar when info spread that Richard was/is a smoker, not to mention the cat/dog person storm of 2013.

I’m eliminating any illegal activities for obvious reasons and asking about your specific pet peeves.

Here are mine:

A hairy back

No, just no.

There’s absolutely no excuse to have enough fuzz back there to knit your own sweater!

A foot fetish

Every time I see a picture of Quentin Tarantino (although I admire him as a filmmaker), my initial impulse is hide my feet under my bum, point my finger at him and yell No! Quentin, you’re not getting your grubby hands on my toes…

Feet are meant to hold up cute shoes and to get me from point A to B. The end.

Nail biting

Nice long fingers can catapult your thoughts to images of pleasure, but nails gnawed down to the cuticles make me shudder (no delight involved!).

I want piano-worthy fingers, not a piano has fallen on my fingers…

Lucky or unlucky, depending on how you look at it, for you Mr A, you don’t seem to posses any of the features that I would consider a deal-breaker, so I’ll just go on my merry fangirling way 😉

What are your fangirl/admirer/well-wisher deal-breakers?

Thorin is spreading and I can’t make him stop (where are Orcs when you need them!!!)

I don’t know about you, but I always enjoy posts which feature pics of bloggers in their natural habitat and am often confused that they actually exist in RL in oppose to being conveniently placed right inside my laptop.

Today I will be posting tiny peeks into Chez AgzyM, dust bunnies, vinyl wallpapers and all 😉

There’s a room in my flat which has  a set of shelves on the left hand side as you enter.

chez1Even before I move in, I started collecting fancy little shoe figurines and added the Andy Warhol Shoe book of illustration to the mix.

It was a cute feature, but it was time for a change…

You see, I’ve been fiddling about and in the meantime my Erebor has been slowly taken over!

 Thorin had been creeping into my flat (I have a sneaking suspicion he found my secret dwarf door and just used his key…and I don’t mean that in a dirty way…).

It started with London Thorin, a gift from my BFF while we were in London in 2012 to see The Hobbit AUJ.

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Then this Christmas I added Anime Thorin to the collection (thanks not-so-secret- Santa!).

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Then a beautiful Thorin stamp rounded things up (I’ll be changing the stamp background today, I think I can do a bit better and it certainly deserves it…).

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OK, three is hardly a company of dwarves, so Lego Thorin was added to strengthen the group.

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When you’ve already let decency go, it’s easy to go from four to five, so that’s how I ended up with Heroclix Thorin.

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If we add my own Stockingface Thorin who remains blind, so he won’t be battling dragons any time soon…

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….that makes SIX Thorins in one woman’s flat!

Slightly excessive, no?

I gathered my company of dwarves on my bookshelves, but the written word started to fight back, so I’ve succumbed and gave the shoes the boot…

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One bookshelf is hardly excessive, but then, if I’m honest, that’s not the only place where RA pops up.

There’s an Action Figure Gizzy on the way (and I’m still not ready to talk about that particular impulse buy…).

Gizzy will come stomping his feet, clad in squeaking leather, wielding his sword, and will find the lodgings somewhat cramped…

There’s my Pop Art Richard Pic that’s standing right by my front door (and contrasts the authentic 20s telephone pretty nicely, right?):

chez 9Then there’s the kitchen.

I really liked the beautiful card from Guylty and thought it’s go well with my 60s Polish Ćmielów figurines that are right above my cooker:

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I dare not think who else will set up camp in Chez AgzyM (although I’m certain it won’t be Weta Thorin, at least till I win the lottery…).

Other RA items are put away, for now, although last night I dreamed up a board where I could display all the beautiful cards I’ve received from my Armitage Admirer friends.

I’ll keep you posted…

Oh, and Sir PJ, as you vacation in luxurious exotic locations and I freeze my bollocks off, you’re very welcome 😉

Update:

I think Stamp Thorin looks much better… onto the shelf it goes!

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Armitage Weekly Round-Up Week 4

Holy cow, how is it already week 4???

Here’s another dose of RA/Hobbit/OT posts I’ve picked up throughout the week.

EDIT: Guylty brought to my attention that the links don’t open in a separate tab/window, I’ve gone back and changed the settings, so fear not and click away 😉

You can keep track of RA blogs here.

My list is by no mean exhaustive, so please feel free to add links in comments.

Also, please consider leaving comments on the posts you visit and just so you know winter won’t end and the frost won’t leave till you do! OK, not true, but I’m not above a little emotional blackmail…

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Arkenstone has rolled up her sleeves and gone through a sea of words to unearth the gems in fanfiction for this week.

Guylty once again braves the Johnlock and PenisFriday shark-infested waters of Tumblr and has provided us with another weekly round-up.

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There are still posts popping up for the RA Fan Flash Event, so make sure you check them out!

The event was so impromptu, but it was wonderful to go back to our fangirling roots and celebrate where we all came from and where we’re heading.

I for one wouldn’t mind actually ending up somewhere near RA, so Universe, make it happen!

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The New York Pinter/Proust event still lights a spark in our hearts (not to mention other places…) so here are posts written on the subject from this week.

On a personal note let me just tell you how much I’ve enjoyed them, not so much the Armitage side as the accounts of fellow Armitage admirers.

You all rocked, not to mention, judging by pics, you seem to be quite a good-looking bunch 😉

Armitage Besotted‘s account of the event! You rocked the evening, lady!

Zan allows us to vicariously live through her, all in three parts: 1, 2 and 3

Confessions of an Armitage watcher!

There’s no party like a play cast party!

Proof neither Richard nor our fandom friends are figments of our imagination, which is a relief, let me tell you…

I would be delighted to either put on or take off Richard’s mask…

Curiosity killed the cat, Richard! But seriously, what were you thinking?

Links to most of Richard’s performances at RAC

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RA/The Hobbit/OT posts:

Richard doesn’t appreciate his bits being frozen (allegedly…)

My mind is much too dirty to use the word “selfie” and not giggle, but I tried not to be so childish as I read about the Armitage selfies

If I ever need mouth-to-mouth, I’m keeping my fingers crossed Richard’s the one who does it!

What a great week to be an Armitage fan indeed! It’s the gift that keeps JustGiving!

Good to know I’m not the only one a bit crazy about fanfiction (Hobbit, Sherlock, RA… you write it, I’ll read it…)

Which Magical Tolkien Creature are you? I’m a Hobbit, I guess because of the hairy feet…

Lady Oakenshield resists running her fingers through Richard’s hair! I think you should have just gone for it and then ran away to avoid being knocked down and escorted out by security!

What do you get when you cross Trudy and Milton?

Arkie touches base and braves the cold (seriously, what is up with the weather? let’s send some cold Down Under so they can save on AC electricity bills…)

Meme Madness: Tolkien Edition! (made me giggle…)

An interesting take on Tolkien and strong female characters

Talking about strong females, another RA fan encounter! Adorable!

Obscura, you had me at “ancient nudity”!

From nudity to a wide variety of headgear… (Polish text, very pretty pictures)

This is why the eagles couldn’t take the dwarves all the way to the mountain

Adorable Smaug socks, what about some Thorin ones?

OT: Arkie’s Movie Alphabet and MorrighansMuse The Alphabet Movie Meme

Richard a member of the saggy bottom club? NEVER!!!

 I like pretty book-inspired trinkets *grabby hands* I’ll take them all please!

A letter to the cast and crew of The Hobbit

I’m not one for playing games (well, at least not of the computer variety), but Shadow of Mordor looks interesting if you like that sort of thing

When you’re ready to step out into the limelight, I’ll hold the curtain back for you, CC!

If it’s Thornton’s Mill and Queen’s Mill, does that make Thornton a queen?

How The Hobbit: DOS should have ended!

Guylty probably linked to this, but just in case… I sit in rooms full of people and none of them are ever Richard! Not fair! (thanks Serv!)

Is there a Gollum out there looking for his Precious?

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As promised, I wanted to offer up two sets of Golden Oldies to make up for last week.

Firstly, here are posts from Heirs of Durin which I found very interesting:

In Defense of Thorin Oakenshield

The post from August 2012 takes a look at Mr Majestic’s actions and analyses whether he is a hero, a villain, both or neither.

and

Legacy of the People: The Burdens of Thorin Oakenshield and Boromir of Gondor

A look at the broken and lost characters we hold so dear to us.

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My second choice was something a little different, but it seems the site is having problems and all the photos have disappeared 😦

I hope this is just temporary and I’ll be able to share my Golden Oldie choice next week.

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Remember to check out Guylty’s Tumblr Weekly Round-Up and Arkenstone’s Fanfiction Weekly Round-Up!

 I will see you next week for the RA Weekly Round-Up Week *gulp* 5!

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