Monday, April 11, 2016

Let's talk about: Northanger Abbey

I have to admit something. 
I have never read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. 
And until recently I had never seen a movie adaptation of it either. 
When I saw the cover of this adaptation at the library I had to pick it up and watch it. Mainly because of the cast: Felicity Jones, Carey Mulligan, and JJ Feild. 

It wasn't my favorite Austen but I really liked it and watching this made me want to read it soon. 
I think the cast was so good, as expected. 
JJ Feild and Felicity Jones made this film. 

The sass that was JJ Feild as Henry Tilney was so fabulous that he made me giggle quite often. 
I just loved everything about him.

And Felicity Jones did a great job as the innocent, curious, and bookish Catherine Morland. 

I loved the glimpses into her imagination and definitely related to the idea of a book being so exciting you are always thinking about it. 

Overall I really enjoyed this movie and will watch it again!

Here is the trailer...

Friday, April 8, 2016

Let's talk about: Jane Austen, A Life by Claire Tomalin

Oh boy. I hate giving bad reviews but I can't give a completely good one for this book. 
While I think Claire Tomalin can be a good writer and she definitely did a ton of research, there is just not enough Jane in this book. 
I assume after reading this that we don't know too much about Jane. We don't even really know what she looks like as there are so many different descriptions of her and this one picture drawn by her sister was apparently not accurate, and yet we use it to depict her. 
The book was pretty long and most of the info in it was about Jane's relatives or neighbors. 
While it did have some very interesting information in it, I just found it slightly tedious and I really feel like it could have been half as long and there were a lot of things that could have been left out, especially speculation. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Let's talk about: Lady Catherine, The Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon

I recently picked up the second book about Highclere Castle's history written by the current Lady Carnarvon.  This book follows the life of Lady Catherine, the 6th Countess of Carnarvon. 
Catherine was American and moved to England with her mother and siblings after the death of her father. There she eventually met and married Lord Porchester ("Porchy"), the son of Lady Almina (from the last book). 
I found this book to be so interesting. Lady Catherine has a really cool background with ties to the Lee family of Virginia among others. I loved reading about her family and where they came from. 
The crazy thing about this book was how I felt about her husband. 
I gather that he was a charming man but I disliked him very much. Maybe he wasn't that different from other men of the time and station based on some of the other stories but I didn't think he was nearly good enough for Lady Catherine, whom I loved. I really liked both of his parents and his sister so that made me a bit disappointed. 
But, the great things about this book were plenty. Lady Catherine herself was great and I really liked their children as well. I loved all of the history given in the book. Just like with the first book, I learned things I didn't know and I felt a lot of it come alive through "knowing" the people involved. 
It was a great read. I can't wait to visit Highclere Castle next weekend. 
These books have brought the castle alive to me in so many more ways than it's being Downton Abbey. Now I want to visit it for Downton Abbey's sake but also it's own.