Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bookmark - Monticello

Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello,
as it appeared in an illustration from 1853.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Return to Cranford

I'm waiting for the second (and last) episode of Return to Cranford to start on PBS. I will be sorry to see it end. The stories are so charming, and the casting and acting so exactly fit my images of the characters. I have read the book and listened to the audio book version read by Nadia May.

Another wonderful Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation for television was Wives and Daughters. I wish PBS would show that again. (I think it was originally on PBS, although I might be wrong about that.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Man in His Time

I am reading One Man in His Time by Ellen Glasgow. The title comes from Shakespeare's As You Like It, the part starting with All the world's a stage . . .

The novel is set in Richmond Virginia. Many scenes are set in Capitol Square, and the statue of George Washington there is mentioned several times. The huge bronze monument was sculpted by Thomas Crawford and was put in place in 1858.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Miss Mary Pask - by Edith Wharton

While "Miss Mary Pask " by Edith Wharton does not entirely fit Susan Hill's definition of a ghost story, it does have one very important element of her definition: atmosphere. It is very spooky, and well worth a read for those who enjoy ghost stories. It is available at Project Gutenberg Australia in the collection called Here and Beyond. For those who prefer physical books to ebooks, "Miss Mary Pask" is available in the collection called The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton.

Bookmark - Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot

From Scenes of Clerical Life
by George Eliot

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bookmark - Romola by George Eliot

Romola by George Eliot
Everyman's Library Edition
I am thinking of reading Romola again. I read it first in Florence several years ago when I was there for a month. What an extraordinary reading experience!
Later: I have begun re-reading Romola, as well as reading A Study of George Eliot's Romola by Roy Sherman Stowell, which I am finding to be a most thoughtful and illuminating study. Of course, this is awakening a homesickness for Florence. Would that I could go there again!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Harvest of Fear - by Margaret Deland

I just finished reading another Old Chester Tale titled "Harvest of Fear". Lewis Halsey disinherits his son Nicholas and forbids his daughters, Sarah and Sylvia, to ever mention Nicholas's name again or to have anything to do with him. This very powerful story examines the consequences of Halsey's action and its effect on all who know of it. This story is in the collection called Around Old Chester.

Mr. Tommy Dove - sequel

The story of Mr. Tommy Dove is continued in the novel titled The Story of a Child, which I am now reading.

The more I read of Margaret Deland's work, the less able I am to understand how her work has become so obscure. Her writing is truly wonderful. Last night I read a short story by Mrs. Deland titled "Many Waters". It is not an Old Chester tale. As I was reading it, I kept changing in my mind what I thought was the theme or focus of the story, and it wasn't until the very end that I understood the them to be the power of love.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Xingu - by Edith Wharton

If you've ever found yourself uncomfortably involved with a snobish book club, you will love Xingu, a story by Edith Wharton in the collection titled Xingu and Other Stories. What a wonderful read! I loved it.