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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 ūüôā

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

King Richard Vegas Competition Day 5

Congrats to the winner of Day 4 of the King Richard Competition.

I shall be getting in touch with you shortly ūüôā

RA day4

Just wanted to take a moment to express how much I’m enjoying reading all your comments ūüôā

I don’t respond to competition comments because I don’t want to be accused of favouritism, but you’re all making me giggle.

King Richard 2013

This is Day FIVE of the King Richard Vegas Competition!

Up for grabs today is:

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A Richard pendant you can keep close to your heart.

This could be handy as the real one seems to be elusive and reluctant to go anywhere near our hearts, or any other part of our anatomy!

And I don’t mean in the metaphorical sense- he’s always lodged there ūüėČ

RA5.2

Here’s the thing:

The news that Richard may be in London got me breaking into song!

Forget Fergie¬†Ferg, it’s Agzy¬†Agz!

He just really makes “My London Bridge wanna go down!” (whatever the heck that means…).

The question is:

Which line of a song best describes how Richard makes you feel?

I’ll just leave this right here for inspiration…

Richard Armitage Ben Rayner shoot

Comments will close at 12 GMT tomorrow when I will announce the winner and Day 6 competition will be out!

Good Luck!

Day 5 winner

King Richard Vegas Competition Day 4

Things are going from bad to worse with the prizes and on top of that my toner is dead as a dodo or as Richard’s chances of playing Batman.

I may have to rethink¬†some prize ideas but, as always, I’ll just wait till the very last moment to make the decision.

Nothing like procrastination to get the blood pumping!

I really can’t wait to share the pieces of jewellery that has gone Oh so very wrong! with you.

It is really a sight to see!

I think I should hang on to them and hand them out as gifts on Halloween because it really is the Night of the Living Dead in handmade stuff ūüėČ

King Richard week 6

Welcome to King Richard Week Vegas Competition Day 4

I can’t believe we’re half way there!

Congrats to all the winners so far and I hope the rest of you “beat the odds, against the odds”.

I have drawn the name of the winner of Day 3.

I will be contacting you shortly.

Day 3 winner

To read about the rules of the KRA Week Competition, please go HERE.

Up for grabs today is…

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An RA brooch

Lemon used to stabilise the brooch while it dries not included, but severely limits photo options¬†ūüėČ

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Here’s the thing:

We all know that Richard likes to supplement his income with the odd  voiceover in ads.

Don’t get me wrong, anything that features RA’s velvety voice (actually, anything at all!) get’s the seal of approval from my ears… and other parts of me.

The question for today is:

The advertisement for which product should feature a Richard Armitage voiceover? 

What product would benefit from Richard’s voice?

I’ve always dreamt of celebs¬†providing the voice¬†for the GPS navigation in the car.

Can you imagine Richard whispering: “Take the next left”.

I’d end up just driving around in circles all day, taking wrong turns just so Richard scorns me!

Comments close tomorrow at 12 GMT.

RA day4

Armitage Day Competition starts TOMORROW!

As many of you may remember, Thursday is Armitage Day, the day¬†when RA fans¬†celebrate the event when the world got that little bit better ūüôā

Last year I celebrated Armitage Day with a 7 day competition counting down to the event.

On Armitage Day I literally had to put myself in time out because I just went a bit… crazy, but I digress.

As I’ve been tanning¬†my carcass by the Polish seaside in the run-up to the blessed event, and I DID promise you a little something something commemorating Richard turning 42, I’ve decided to switch my annual RA competition to coincide with King Richard Week.

Oh, and did I mention we’re doing it Vegas style?

Richard III isn’t the only king Richard could play ūüėČ

King Richard 2013

Here’s how we play:

Starting Thursday, 12pm GMT, you ( yes, YOU!) will have the chance to get your hands on a one-of-a-kind Richard Armitage related goodie each and every day for the next 7 days.

Horrid as I am, and in keeping with tradition, I’m not going to tell you what the goodies are, they will be revealed to you each day.

Let’s just say they won’t be the same as last year, and I’m no Oprah, so don’t expect me to give away cars…

At 12pm GMT on each of the 7 days I will post and the item up for grabs will be revealed.

These are all one-of-a-kind, so there won’t be any exchanges for other items, and No, you can’t get cash instead ;)

I will ask a question connected with who the hell knows what.

You leave your answers in the comments section, remembering to sign in with a valid email address and/or twitter account.

At exactly 12pm GMT the next day, as another post is out, I close comments, write all the names from comments on pieces of paper, throw them in a box, and my lucky hand will draw ONE name from the box.

This is the winner of the day!

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You may ask why you have to answer the question asked in the post if all the names go into the box.

Well, let’s just say I want you to sing for your supper :)

Plus, I love to read your comments!

I will be contacting the lucky winners, so make sure I have the means to do that!

If by the 28th I can’t get in touch with someone, I will pull out another name from the list from that day.

You are more than welcome to enter your name on multiple days, although the winner will be eliminated from the other draws.

I hope to see you all here tomorrow, 12pm GMT!

Good Luck!

KRW chips

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