Friday, June 20, 2014

Fullness of Joy Birthday Tag

Hello, friends and fellow bibliophiles! Fullness of Joy is celebrating it's third blogoversary this week, and as part of the fun, Joy is writing a variety of tags for other bloggers to join in! I always love answering a good tag, and today's theme is Historical Classics.

Be sure to drop by Joy's blog, where she's having a giveaway to celebrate her party!

1. Tell us  a little bit about yourself, your tastes, and the little hobbies and things that your readers probably don't know about you!

Hmm, let me see what I can think of that's fresh and new. (Besides the usual homeschool graduate, writer, ministry leader, etc.) I am on Pinterest, where I flatter myself I can keep up with the best of 'em as far as LOTR screencaps and funny comics go. Lately I've been listening to Andrew Peterson, Jackie Evancho, and Eric Nordhoff's instrumental meditation music. (Yes, I am a trend-follower. It makes me sad, but there you have it.) I love old books, good friends, and Irish breakfast tea. The last named item is like drinking liquid Ireland. When I'm together with you, I will probably try to make you laugh often, but underneath I'm a pretty serious person. I write WWI historical fiction, and wear my character-themed bracelets almost every day. I am an introvert. Thus why I blog--Blogger is the Worldwide Introvert Feelings Outlet. I love pockets in things. I'm holding strong on my 2014 resolutions to wear make-up every Sunday, read 52 books, and keep a 1,000 gifts list. I've memorized six chapters of the Bible since January.

2. Books! We really do love them. . . but we all have preferences of what kind of books we love best. What is your favourite genre to read from (and to write in, if you happen to be a writer too)? Could you tell us why?
Genre? To be honest, my favorites in the historical genre are gut-wrenching journey stories with a dash of social justice thrown in. Personally, I most love books that are 'historical' now, but were present day to the author at the time.
As far as writing, I'm currently writing historical fiction--a big, involved story with most of my favorite plot and character elements. But I also have a light and satirical modern fiction going as well. I prefer to write in a wide variety of genres and time periods.

3. Are you fond of classic literature or do you generally find them too "dry" and hard-going for your tastes? Alternately, how much of your reading diet consists of books written by authors of the 21st century? Are you more fond of the old books or the new. . . or maybe a little bit of both?
Oh, very fond of classics. What bibliophile wouldn't be? They take dedication, true, but they are much more rewarding to accomplish.
As far as fiction goes, I read mostly 1930s or earlier, but with nonfiction I've never read most old classics, and my nonfiction diet consists of books written in the 1990s to present day.

4. What is your favourite historical time period and setting? How did you come to be especially interested in it? Would you be happy to live in that time-period or era? 
The French Revolution has always been a favorite of mine, and I love being able to talk about the Sans-cullotes, Robespierre, and the goddess of reason with some small degree of knowledge. Being American, the American Revolution is also near and dear to my heart, and I've studied quite a bit about that. Being Irish/Scottish, I love the Irish revolt for Independence in the early/mid 1900s, and the Scottish fight under Bonnie Prince Charlie. And being a writer, I've hung out in WWI for quite a few years now, so that time period and I are old friends, though I don't claim to be an expert. But as I don't wish to be guillotined, shot in the streets, or live out on the Scottish Highlands, I think the only one of those I would possibly like to live in is WWI. It would be so convenient for writing atmosphere, you know.

5.. List three of your favourite classic authors (authors from the 1500s and up to the very early 1900s such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain etc. . . )? What makes you love them so much?
Oh boy. Dickens; he's a given. Robert Louis Stevenson I also highly enjoy, what with The Black Arrow and Kidnapped. And perhaps as far as classics go, I would choose Jules Verne as highly enjoyable. Especially his lesser-known works, such as Mathias Sandorf and The Mysterious Island.

6. What type of "Historical classic" is your favourite: Adventure and exploration, romance, mystery, social, memoir, or political?
When it comes down to it, I would probably have to choose social, followed very closely by adventure and exploration. A&E is fun, but social goes deep into thought processes and character development, and it also moves me more. I like to be moved deeply by the books I read.

7. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from historical novels in literature, and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to attain yourself? 
I just did that recently, so will link to my post here.

8. Who are your favourite heroes from historical literature? (You may share up to five). What makes them stand out among the rest as special?
Malcolm MacPhail
Mr. Knightley
Henry Tilney
John Thornton

They're all gentlemen, treat ladies respectfully, have thoughtful opinions, and are kind to those beneath them. Tilney has the added benefit of knowing how to make people laugh and being a master of satire, and Malcolm MacPhail is Scottish (what better can you get?).

9.  List your favourite "classic" novels. . . (as this is a painful question, you may list more than one!)
Great Expectations (Dickens), Mansfield Park (Austen), Northanger Abbey (Austen), The Hidden Hand (Southworth), Kidnapped (Stevenson), The Brethren (Haggard), The Way We Live Now (Trollope). There are more, but those are off the top of my head.

10. Which period-drama movies, (adaptions from historical classic works of fiction), fall under your favourite pile? Do you prefer the more modern adaptions or the old ones? Faithful renditions, or the more exciting ones?
Little Dorrit (Please, please watch the new one. Derek Jacobi just isn't Arthur Clennam)
2007 Emma
1980s Great Expectations
North and South
Wives and Daughters
I actually like adaptations from several decades. While the 1980s Pride and Prejudice is like watching paint dry, the 1980s Great Expectations is a work of art as far as adapting Dickens goes. What I look for is excellent casting and TRUE TO THE BOOK. (Ahem. Excuse me.) Thus, while I do love fancy camera angles and excellent scoring, I'll settle for older technology if the actors 'live out' the story.

11. Which historical classic has inspired and influenced you the most?
That, my dears, is my secret. ;)

12. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite period drama costumes (hats, hoops, gloves, parasols, etc) and from which movie/character they come from.

2008 Sense and Sensibility--Charity Wakefield, though her necklines were unfortunately low, had a lot of pretty fabrics for her gowns.

Mariane Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility

Emma; Bottom left. (and I love the jacket, too, but I couldn't find it.)

Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility


Margaret Hale, North and South. Love that blouse.
Barbara Spooner, Amazing Grace. Love the color. Love the style. Love the red hair. Only Ramola Garai could pull that off with class.

Jane Fairfax, Emma

I'm sure there are more. You know, I'm intrigued by this, and I think a fun fashions post will be in order in future. :)

13. How accurate do you think classic authors were about depicting history and accuracy of different cultures? Were they sometimes prejudiced or melodramatic in their descriptions, or do you think they often had a point to make?  
It all depends on the author; some of them were very accurate, others were not. All of them had agendas. Trollope gets his points across in a fairly mild and even-keeled way. Dickens went a little overboard on the melodrama in Oliver Twist, but most of his books are classy in the points he wants to make.

14. Think of the funniest "scene" in either a book or movie from classic literature, and share the quote/picture below (Gifs and animations allowed!)
I don't have a Gif, unfortunately, and this scene will only make sense to people who have read Great Expectations, but the scene that makes us laugh the most is when Pip comes to his hometown after he becomes a gentleman, and the local shop boy takes it upon himself to bring him down a notch.

Trabb's boy: "Don't know ya. 'Pon my soul, don't know ya. Somebody hold me."

15. Which villain of historical literature strikes the most dread and loathing in you?
Hmm, dread and loathing. Who would I not want to meet in a dark alley at night? Charles Augustus Milverton, Mr. Tulkinghorn, Compeyson, and Bill Sykes are all loathsome creatures. So is Colonel Le Noir.

On the other hand, Black Donald and Rigaud I love to hate. :)

16.  How many Charles Dickens novels have you read? Do you enthusiastically love his stories, or sob in misery over them, or worse get bored by them?
I enthusiastically love them. I preach Dickens like a fanatic to everyone I meet. Hopefully I haven't preached him to the same person twice. I have read Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, Martin Chuzzlewit, and Great Expectations.

17. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, or Elizabeth Gaskell?
You know--when it comes down to it I would probably choose Gaskell. I love Wives and Daughters and North and South.

18. Favourite French Revolution novel?
I think my favorite is In the Reign of Terror, by G.A. Henty. It beats out Emmunska Orczy's Eldorado by a narrow margin.

19. North and South or Pride and Prejudice? Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton? 
North and South. Mr. Thornton. Never got why people wanted to marry Mr. Darcy. He's a man who 'doesn't give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men'. ;) Mr. Thornton has thoughtful opinions, gentlemanly behavior, loves his mother, and cares for those beneath him. Richard Armitage does a fantastic job pulling off the introverted, strong-willed, caring man that he is in the movie.

Besides, look at this:

20. Which historical classic struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
After reading Suzannah Rowntree's War Games, I really should have a deep and ready answer for this. There are tons of classics that emphasized the author's Christianity, but unfortunately, some of the most obvious ones (such as Pilgrim's Progress) I haven't read, and for those I have read, nothing sticks out at the moment.

Infidel. Heretic. Pagan bibliophile.

You must excuse my tired brain, and please feel free to browse around at some of my book reviews on the blog for a better answer than I can give here.

21. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in literature of this genre? 
Ohhhh. Ouch. One, Joy? Really now? John Watson and Herbert Pocket. There, that was one. I speak of my knowledge of them from the books, as well as Jeremy Brett's faithful companion, and the 1980s Herbert Pocket. The more modern movie adaptations are beyond my knowledge.

And anybody who doesn't think John Watson wins out over Sherlock Holmes needs to see the light. I'm sorry, but it's quite true. Without him, Holmes's star would not have shone half so brightly. Plus, he would have been murdered by his clients out of sheer aggravation. Admit it, now. He would.

And Herbert Pocket, with his beloved "Handel, because we are so harmonious" and "Clara and Old Gruff and Grim" and "Looking about him" is the best sidekick I've ever read, hands-down.

22. List five "Historical Classics" you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
Lorna Doone--Richard Blackmore
Dombey and Son--Charles Dickens
Our Mutual Friend--Charles Dickens
The Portrait of a Lady--Henry James
The Last of the Mohicans--James Fenimore Cooper

23. What was the first historical classic novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
Oh, I don't remember. I've grown up with them, so we're practically life-long companions. Probably a Jane Austen? I was nine when I read Sense and Sensibility. But perhaps it was Treasure Island; that was around the same age.

24. What would inspire you to pick up a historical piece of literature - namely a "classic"? Do you believe it is important for our generation to get back to reading the classics? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of treasuring historical stories written by authors of the past?

I am inspired by an intriguing plot, a recommendation from a good friend, the name of the author, or the knowledge a book can give me about a subject I'm interested in.

I'm all for people picking up the classics and reading them. I think the classics tend to exercise people's thought processes and reading abilities more than modern books. The Bible says time and again to remember the ancient paths, and seek out those who have gone before. While classics are not inspired by God, and are therefore fallible, we can still learn wisdom and how the authors dealt with problems they faced, and which we still face today. People were educated more broadly and deeply then, and I think their literature shows it--and we, when we read classics, are broadened and deepened as well. 

However, just because a book is classic doesn't mean we have to read it. Sinful attitudes and presuppositions on the part of the authors are just as prevalent in the 1800s as they are today. Therefore, we should not worship the classics or put them up on a pedestal that only God's Word should occupy.

I look forward to joining in another tag as you post them, Joy, and hope especially that you will do one on writing, as I've been aching to blog about it recently. This classics tag has been simply delightful to participate in! Congratulations on three years of blogging. Your posts are a pleasure to read, and God bless you as you continue with your little corner of the web. :)

Lady Bibliophile


  1. Ooo...I second your wish for a writing tag!! :) That would be such fun, and I'd love to see your answers...
    I enjoyed reading your answers to these questions! I think WWI would be a better era to live in than, let's say, the French Revolution. :P
    The dresses you chose were so pretty! I love the yellow dress Emma wears and there's a similar dress Marianne wears after she sprains her ankle. You should really do a fashion post sometime! :D
    And this:
    "Infidel. Heretic. Pagan bibliophile."
    Oh dear, what shallI do to make you retract those remarks? I think you should relax with a long, luxurious book. And maybe I help too. ;)
    Herbert Pocket is one of the best sidekicks. And his remarks on good etiquette to Pip. :)
    Lovely post! I hope you do another one of these in the near future. :)

    And happy 3rd blogoversary to you, Joy! :D

    1. So glad you enjoyed the answers. It was fun talking with you about this today. <3 :) I agree--WWI would probably be much better, and I shall stick with that.

      Sorry!! I am not a pagan bibliophile, but it just seemed odd not to have anything to say on that particular question. :P

      You are a big help, darling, and I relaxed with Milne for a wee bit this afternoon too. There's something good about Pooh. He just soaks in deep to the very corners of your soul and gives you a pat to cheer you up. ;)

      Oh! Love the etiquette remarks! How could I forget! The glass, and the spoon, and the napkin. XD


  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers, m'lady. They were excellent. :)

    1. Why thank-you! And what a pleasure to have you stop by! :)

  3. You know, I have read "Great Expectations" but I cannot remember that particular scene. I think I was just over excited that the story line included an Australian convict. ;)

    I am starting to think I should read more French Revolution books. :)

    1. Are you an Aussie? :) I must say, I think I got my first favorable impressions of AU because of Magwitch, for he's a bit of an unlikely hero, and in spite of his crimes, had some endearing qualities about him. We thought Dickens handled his plotline fabulously.

      Thanks for stopping by! I so enjoyed having you on my own little corner of the web. :)

    2. I am an Aussie! :D It's been a while since my bout with "Great Expectations" but from what I remember, I really liked Magwitch. Have you read "Seven Little Australians"? It is an old classic and is a bit like Little Women only there's seven kids and they live in Australia (obviously! :P) It's a bit of a tear-jerker, but oh so sweet. :D

    3. I have never read 'Seven Little Australians", but I'm always on the lookout for good Aussie lit! Thanks for the suggestion! :D

  4. Here I am at last! :)) Schuyler, I don't know how it is but whenever you join up in a tag or do a vlog I get such a fun glimpse of your personality and sense of humour it makes me smile and want to hug you :) (that means meeting you in real life, which would be just as awesome!)

    What I mean to say is, I really enjoyed reading this post and seeing your wonderful answers! :)

    First of all, I don't believe anyone can beat pinning as many LOTR pins as I do :P But you come close, my dear, you come close ;).

    Oh, so you got hooked onto Andrew Peterson too - I have only recently started listening to him. While he's not my favorite, I do like some of his music and songs. Jackie Evancho is really sweet. Say do you happen to be on Spotify? Because I am on it and it is a great music program!

    By the way. . . is also a place for extroverts who have a more serious, deeper side of their life they are too shy to show people in real life and blogging has its way of granting a degree of anominity and privacy to tthe blogger to share those aspects without embarrassment (speaking of myself!)

    "I like to be moved deeply by the books I read." - a hearty amen to that! :) You know, I can't wait one day to read your novels, Schuyler, - they're gonna be EPIC and I think they're going to move me a lot!! And it would be convieniant indeed if we lived in the era of our novels sometimes ;)

    You mentioned the 1980s P&P, but have you watched either the 19950 version or the 2005 one? I actually don't like Mr. Darcy at all - I am so glad someone has finally mentioned just how prideful he was! And while he did grow less haughty and more caring eventually I still can't like him enough. . I was watching the 1995 version the other day and could not help but think that Mr. Darcy's first proposal was the jerkiest and most incorteous kind of proposal probably in most literature - imagine a man saying to a woman that he adored her, though he tried to suppress it and wished to marry her against his own better judgment! Uhm, no thanks. . . :) And then comparing him with Mr. Thornton who showed so much more kindness and affection to Margaret in his proposal. . . :). Yes, I definitely agree! Also, I like what you said about Mr. Thornton's character :). *grins*
    So do you like Mansfield Park and Northanger Abbey the best of Jane Austen's books? I still really want to read those two, as well as Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion. I am fond of having fun watching Emma, and Persuasion is quite sweet as well. But, like you, I think Gaskall is still my favorite!

    Tisk, tisk! You still haven't read The Pilgrim's Progress, Schuyler? *shakes head disapprovingly* but you really quite must! I shall make it a personal mission to see that you do ;). Also, The Holy War is wonderful too.

    Ah, yes, dear Dr. John Watson!! You are quite right, my dear, in assuming Sherlock Holmes would not have survived and been so well received were it not for his faithful friend and chronicler. I am very fond of Watson indeed :D

    I enjoy how you like Dickens so much. I am not so sure I can ever be as big a fan of his works as you are, but the more I read of his works or watch his films the more I like them :).

    Thank you so much for participating and joining in the tag! I had so much fun reading your answers, and I hope you can join in the other tags too. . . (today's one will be about fantasy, and then hopefully mystery/detective). Oh yes, Schuyler, I do hope to include some more writerly tags in the one about 'the Modern Novel and Ink Stains" :) - I am going to pry the deep dark secrets of your writing-life, just you wait and see!! ;))

    Aww, thank you, Schuyler! Your words are a great encouragement to me.

    Joy <3

    1. Aw, I'm so glad you enjoyed the answers to this tag! I would love to give you a hug, too, and hope Lord-willing that we are able to meet in person someday. :)

      Cool! Didn't know you listened to Andrew Peterson. Do you have some favorite songs from him? So far I love "In the Night", "Rest Easy", "After the Last Tear Falls", "Dancing in the Minefields", and "Many Roads"--well, those are some, but I'll stop there, as I have quite a few. :) I am on Spotify! I can't find you, but if you want to look for me I should love to connect with you on it.

      I've watched the '95 and '05 P&P. '95 is quintessential Austen, of course, and will probably never be beaten--just like PJ's LOTR. (Who's going to make that again?!) The '05 has a rather sassy Lizzy, and changes a lot of things, so we watch it sometimes, but with the understanding that she isn't always ladylike, and it's more of a comedy than accurate. :P Actually, part of my putting down Mr. Darcy is actually defending him. I think he gets a bad rap because so many girls fangirl over him, and I would love to show people that it's not Mr. Darcy's fault--it's more the false image girls have created of him.

      Can't wait for the writing tag! Oho, we shall see if you can drag out my secrets, my dear, we shall see. :)

      Much Love,


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