icepixie: ([Photos] Victorian lamps)
I finished The Mill on the Floss. Siiiigh. I guess that was the only way to end it, but man, these Victorians. No one escapes unscathed in their novels.

Downer ending aside, I really liked it! It got to be a page-turner by the end, and she has an excellent eye for familial relationships, and writes interesting female characters. I also detected more than a hint of biographically-related bitterness in the "shunned woman" part, and a sort of incipient "rah rah women's rights" kind of feeling that I much appreciated. Maggie is a great character.

(BTW, yes, the subject line is a direct quote. Not, perhaps, one of Eliot's finest clauses. Although it truly amuses me that, instead of the usual meaning of "clogged," i.e., "filled with," I think she means "shod in clogs." CLOGS OF EVIL.)

*

I'd do that sorting hat meme thingy, but really, is there any doubt which House y'all would sort me into? I mean, really? (For that matter, is there much doubt about which house basically all of fandom would be sorted into?)

Victoriana

Aug. 8th, 2007 08:26 pm
icepixie: (Victorian lamps)
Now, two years after I was there, Exeter Uni does something cool. Feh.
icepixie: (Default)
Anyone want to explain yesterday's The New Adventures of Queen Victoria to me? Anybody? I feel like I'm on the verge of getting it, but I'm not quite there yet...
icepixie: (Default)
I almost forgot! I discovered the most awesome webcomic the other day: The New Adventures of Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria, Price Edward, and Queen Elizabeth I, along with visitors such as the Virgin Mary, take on the modern day!

I think my favorite is this one, which is not exactly typical of the strip, but is definitely good for a lol.

Victorians!

Dec. 7th, 2006 06:55 pm
icepixie: (Victorian lamps)
Eeeeeeee.

This catalogue was conceived especially for me, I think. I should go hide my credit card now, before I do something like buy this hat. (You know, with that extra $300 I just have lying around for hat purchases...I wonder if it might not be cheaper to learn millinery myself and make a copy of that hat!)

Yay for fussy Victorian things. Even if they are outrageously expensive.
icepixie: (Victorian lamps)
Honestly, if you have any interest in the Victorian era at all, you should run to your library and pick up Inside the Victorian Home: a Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England, by Judith Flanders. Really, it's fantastic; she goes through all the rooms of a middle class Victorian urban home, and in this context, manages to talk about most facets of middle class domesticity, from the process of doing laundry to the impact of germ theory and S-bend toilets to the change in dining style from a la francaise to a la russe, and why the latter used two-thirds less food. She has just enough interpretation to make it not feel like you're reading lists (as in the similar book, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew), but not enough that it starts to feel like her conclusions are unsupported by facts. She does a lot of answering of "why did this change" kinds of questions, but without the irksome "the use of that in this situation indicates that blah blah blah philosphycakes, probably including reference to Freud and going off in random directions that have nothing to do with the topic at hand." (Why yes, I did run into that more than once in my history classes over the past four years. What makes you ask? And indeed, Linda Colley, I am looking right at you!) I'm glad that she also thoroughly debunks the whole "separate spheres" idea, or at least the idea that they actually were as separated as some secondary sources would have you believe. Ideally, I suppose, the domestic and the public were supposed to be two different things, but in practice, not so much, given that one's housekeeping was used as one of the chief indicators of status.

Despite this being obviously aimed at a popular audience, the references are very complete and she doesn't ever talk down to her audience in any way. Plus, there's a fabulous bibliography. (Shut up, I get excited over bibliographies.)

Also, the journals and letters and such that she quotes from are often hilarious. Such as this, from pages 196-97, on the excess of crafting projects Victorian women tended to engage in because they had nothing better to do:

Maud Berkeley was sure that it was the making rather than the purchasing, or even the object itself, that was important: "Decided to make my Christmas presents this year, rather than to buy them." She had no doubt that "while bought baubles are more immediately attractive, our hearts warm more to the home-made offering. Never shall I forget Aunt Bertha's quince jam. I had a stomach-ache for a week after sampling it."


Heh.

There were some particularly tart little asides from Beatrix Potter's journals included as well, which were entertaining enough that I think I need to seek out a copy.

So yes, after reading this book, I feel that I could write a nice little domestic drama set in 1880 and have it be at least 75% historically accurate. Of course, what I'm working on right now takes place in 1930. It never fails. *sigh*

*

Peter Ackroyd's "biography" of London, on the other hand, started out so nicely, but by page 160, has become as treacle. I can't imagine finishing it. Alas. There's just...so much hand-holding interpretation, exactly the sort of rambling I was so glad wasn't included in Flanders's book. Bah.

*

Finally, my copy of the Big Finish short story anthology Companions arrived today. The Eight and Charley story I was interested in wasn't bad--them and an eight-year-old Will Shakespeare in ancient Troy, with lots of drunkenness--and "Tales from the Matrix: True Stories from TARDIS Logs Retold For Time Tots" by "Loom Auntie Flavia" was frickin' hilarious. It wasn't quite as shippy as I'd been lead to believe, but still, a decent tale. "Qualia," a Five, Tegan, and Turlough story, was excellent; it starts out very weirdly, but actually does interesting things with Kamelion (omg) and Tegan both. "The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe" was not quite as amusing as the title, and came to a relatively pat conclusion, but was decent nonetheless. "Balloon Debate" was actually incredibly disturbing, and I'm not entirely certain that it was intended to be so.

On the whole, though--okay, Simon and Schuster? You've officially lost your "Most In Need of Proofreaders" crown. Ow. Ow. Inconsistent punctuation, much? Some of the stories had all the punctuation outside of the quotation marks, some had it half and half, some had them all inside--and then there were those that would have someone saying, "Hello Doctor," with no comma, and other crimes against grammar.

The fact that I feel some genuine outrage about this perhaps indicates what I should be doing for a living.
icepixie: (Victorian lamps)
Okay, people, I'm jumping on the photo meme bandwagon. (How could I resist?) Tell me what mundane part of my life you want to see pictures of! Shoes, house, bookcase, computer, my favorite [insert noun here]...whatever. You can even request stuff from Kenyon or Exeter, since, given the amount of pictures I've taken over the last two years, it's not entirely unlikely that I'll have a picture of it.

Heck, request multiple things. I like taking pictures.

*

So I watched "Pyramids of Mars" yesterday, and oooh. Sarah Jane is awesome. Competence is so becoming on a companion. Also, pretty dress. Not to mention just the right amount of snark and willingness to talk back to the Doctor. Hee.

The story was...not scary in the least, but that's okay. It was period, and that's cool. Tom Baker's googly eyes still kind of freak me out, though.

The Awesomeness That Is Sarah Jane inspired me to try "Genesis of the Daleks" again, and...it's just. not. happening. It should be interesting, but it's not. I'm somewhere in episode four or five, I think, and I just can't make myself finish it. Perhaps it has something to do with Harry.

*

Part of me is giving serious thought to writing the Eight-and-Charley-meet-the-SAJV-gang crossover my brain keeps threatening. And then somehow making Rebecca Fogg Charley's great-great-grandmother or something, because hee.

*

Judith Flanders's Inside the Victorian Home is love. Yay for social historians who can write both authoritatively and engagingly. As with all studies in the social history of the later nineteenth century, this makes me think that, had I been born then, around age four I would've gone up to my parents and said something along the lines of, "I've got...a disease...called, um...well, it doesn't matter, but the upshot is that I'm now a boy; please start treaing me like one," so that I could actually, oh, go to school.

Her chapter on servant life is one of the better ones as far as detail goes; in fact, it is so detailed that it makes me want to go lavish praise on the inventor of the washing machine, because OMG, ow. Taking apart a dress and sewing it back together by hand every time you wanted to wash it? Ack.
icepixie: (Victorian lamps)
I watched the first half of He Knew He Was Right this evening (saving the rest for tomorrow...or perhaps later tonight). Hee! So amusing! Mostly it's the excessive schadenfreude that's funny (David Tennant's expression and that little, squeaky "Camilla?" was just fantastic), although I'm also totally in love with the crazy old spinster aunt. She cracks me up. I like how she admits her mistakes, too; she's not a one-dimensional Mrs. Kravitz. I am so going to turn into her when I'm an old spinster--well, with less gossip, perhaps.

The trick of having the characters bemoan their current circumstances to the camera is great. DT walking by the cathedral whining about how Dorothy is a wonderful girl with or without £2000...all right, better with, was highly entertaining.

I've not read any Trollope (meant to get around to it last year, since he set several of his novels in Exeter, but never managed it), but he certainly strikes me as akin to my other favorite Victorian, Thomas Hardy. Although I think the amusement from Hardy is that he's secretly laughing at his very serious characters as he puts them in horrible situations; Trollope is more of a satirist, and lets his characters do some of the laughing as well. Plus, there's mocking of Victorian social mores. From a Victorian. Love. (I love the Victorian era; much of that is for its utter mockability. Good lord, just look at the skirts! The muttonchop sideburns! The top hats! Prime mocking material!)

The main plot is less interesting than the secondary ones (Gibson and the French sisters; Nora and her journalist beau, which is just very sweet), but I think that's because it's about the two straightmen characters compared with all the funny ones. Although Laura Fraser is still ethereally beautiful, and very good at the whole wide-eyed-innocent thing. I do enjoy her acting. I smell a comeuppance coming for that twat she calls her husband, of course; what else would you expect?

Hey, it's Anna-Louise Plowman and her atrocious American accent again! Why does the BBC consider her adept at those roles? Ow. Does anyone else find her rather wooden? I've noticed this in Doctor Who and SG-1, as well as in this mini. Sigh. But her Vivien Leigh impression was pretty funny--sadly, I'm not sure it was intentional...

Ooooh, they filmed at Stourhead! It looks much better on a bright summer day than on a dreary afternoon in October.

And ooooooooh, pretty costumes and sets. Naturally. I kind of want to make myself a straw bonnet if only so I can have all that pretty ribbon on it.

ETA: Okay, maybe I'm not going to be that particular spinster aunt. Hmm. Also, my @#$%*&^(#&!@*(@(&@(%&(@^%(! tape cut out only about an hour and fifteen minutes into the second part, just as we first see Sir Marmaduke and family in the Swiss Alps. Gaaaah!!! Maybe PBS will air it again sometime. Or I suppose I could go read the book...
icepixie: (Doctor/Charley (The Chimes of Midnight))
So I watched a whole lot of TV last week. Sunday night, we showed Kate and Meg "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances," because everyone needs to see those. I showed them the Fifth Doctor two-parter (only 20 minutes each, thank God) "Black Orchid," then I showed it to Chandra. (Ellen couldn't take the eightiesness of it and had to leave partway through. Silly girl.) So...lots of TV. Followed by lots more TV, with a side helping of audios.

And here's lots of commentary. Lengthwise, it's the equivalent of a ten-page essay. Yeah. Amazing what a bit of NO MORE SCHOOL EVER until grad school/library school will do for one's time and inclination towards fannish activities. Now I just need to put some of this energy towards finding a job...

Black Orchid ramblings )

On Monday (or possibly it was Tuesday) I also watched Earthshock )

I also got my hands on a copy of the parody, The Curse of Fatal Death )

One more thought about TEC/TDD, with a reference to TGitF )

And finally, the promised Eighth Doctor Audios spaz post. Spoilers through 'Other Lives.' )
icepixie: (Rebecca Bond)
I think my body holds insidious microbes in reserve for the weeks of choir concerts. Grrr. (It could be worse, I suppose; freshman year it was strep throat.)

Although I'm not sure if this is a cold or an allergy to something floating around in the air. It feels more coldlike than anything, and my eyes aren't all red and itchy, but for some reason I've got little mini-breakouts of hives on my hands and feet.

I don't understand my immune system at all.

*

In more cheerful news: Doctor Who: Tooth and Claw spoilers )
icepixie: (Rebecca snerk)
Feeling slightly less dead than before. Wheee! Still need to go into town. Boo.

This is one of the most entertaining games I've ever seen online. You get to be a Victorian person, and have to run the etiquette gauntlet. Funny things happen when you choose badly (the ninjas attacking if you pick the wrong dress for a walk in the park are especially amusing). And the way everyone "talks" ("boing boing boing") is far too hilarious. Reserve half an hour for it if you want to play both male and female and get all possible points.

NOOOOOO!!!

Apr. 5th, 2005 11:06 pm
icepixie: (headdesk)
*looks frantically at schedule of courses for next semester*

WHERE IS THE VICTORIAN CULTURE SEMINAR???

Noooooooo! It must still be there! It didn't just get deleted! It was there yesterday! NOOOOOOOOO!!!

*cries*

And now my entire schedule is thrown off, and if I don't get it situated tonight I'll be burdened with it all through France. ARGH!

*runs off to find replacement class*
icepixie: (academic)
(I have five million e-mails and comments in my inbox that I swear I will respond to at some point very soon. I'm not ignoring anyone, I promise! Just trying to get some work done on my essay and getting distracted by every little thing...)

So the class list for next year is up, and I'm procrastinating looking at it so I can be prepared to pick out classes next week. There's a 400-level History seminar on Victorian Culture and Society. Eeeeee! Add that to Browning's History of Ireland course, Klein's History of English course (it's actually in the English department) and Advanced Poetry or Intro to Anglo-Saxon (depending on if I get into Poetry) and I have my class schedule figured out without even looking beyond the English and History departments. (Well, and there's Community Choir, but that's a given.) Although I wonder if all that Old Stuff might not get really annoying after a while...and maybe I should take some kind of not-quite-so-reading-intensive class to balance all the history...hmmm... Okay, so maybe I don't have it all figured out yet. But I'm getting there. There's a class on "The American Ghost Town" which sounds really interesting, but it meets during choir and is a yearlong class, and I kind of need to get that last semester of choir so that I can graduate, so never mind. Sigh. Maybe I could take Intro to Soc? Ooooh, and Sergei's teaching a "Hardboiled Crime Fiction" senior seminar. I think I might need to take that. And Kinsella's doing the Poetry Manuscript preparation...I wonder if I could take that instead of Advanced Poetry? I wonder if they'll put the descriptions of the courses, as well as their titles, online at some point, too. Or perhaps I could go bug someone like, oh, [livejournal.com profile] laserhead... ;)

*looks at spring semester* EEEEEEEE!!! Courtney Brkic is teaching Advanced Fiction! OMG, I MUST TAKE THIS CLASS!!! *bounces all over the room* *wants to start working on submission right now* And Scott's teaching a Jazz Age history course. OMG!

*bouncing around the room* I think I watched too many cartoons today. I'm a little "looney" and "merrie," as it were. And how much do I love that watching Bugs Bunny & Co. for two hours this morning was considered "research"? Heh.
icepixie: (Rebecca Fogg)
Went to see Finding Neverland again with Mom. Still a fabulous movie that everyone should go see (or, isnce its US theatre run is probably ending just about everywhere, rent on DVD).

And then we went to the mall, and in addition to lots of fun clothing, I got a Victoriana calendar for next year (and just WHEN did we get to 2005? Augh!) that is just lovely. And it came with not only the wall calendar, but a desk calendar, a datebook, and four postcards. Not sure why there were postcards, but they're pretty, and they make nice coverings for the gray walls at Exeter, so they shall all return with me. I left room in my suitcase special for all the stuff I'll take back, although how I'm going to get it back to the US in June is a mystery...I think the Royal Mail may have to lend a helping hand.

Cupid icons coming in a bit...God, if felt nice to use Photoshop again. I haven't since I left the country in September. Must remember not to go that long without it again. (Yeah, so I'm an addict. Hey, it might make me some money one day if I'm lucky.)
icepixie: (Default)
I meant to do work tonight, but, well... I got caught up in scheming, you see. We (and you should know who "we" are by now) have decided that for next year's Phling, no matter the theme, we shall be going as Victorians. Somehow, we will find hoop skirts (or at least long and fussy ones) and corsets, put our hair in ringlets--or at least I will--and generally be as Victorian as possible. Not quite sure how we're going to find costumes (or how we'll fit through doors once we get them, come to think of it), but we will. Yes. This is our dastardly plot.

In other news, I had fun with money today. Specifically, I bought the most adorable mug with a cat going fishing in a fish tank on it. My other mug was chipped a bit, and hey, any excuse to buy a beautiful-yet-useful William Morris mug from Woolworth's. Also, we ventured into the bead shop and I had to buy some. Specifically, some pretty blue and purple glass beads and an adorable plastic seahorse pendant, and some wire and a clasp to tie it up with. It's a lovely necklace, and for a total of £1.50! I'm impressed. And I got some multicolored Christmas lights for my room, which I have to put up tomorrow. Yay, ways of making this place look less like a prison cell!

And I Jack Vettriano-ized my icons. Am in a very ballroomy mood of late, and, well, yeah. Plus a Rebecca Fogg icon, because of the aforementioned Victorian plotting.

Londonated!

Nov. 8th, 2004 07:33 pm
icepixie: (Default)
In the words of Ellen's sticker, I [heart] London.

This trip was a lot better than last time (which was wonderful as well, don't get me wrong) because a.) it was longer (four days instead of three), and b.) we didn't try to pack things in, and took more of a relaxed approach to seeing things, 'cause last time, whoa, we were exhausted. (Of course, we are going back two weekends in a row two weeks from now...)

Thursday, in which I ramble a lot about Phantom of the Opera )

Friday, in which I have a museumgasm )

Saturday, in which we are tourists and I am bloodthirsty )

Sunday, in which we spend far too much money )

Pictures from this trip, as well as the St. Ives trip last week, will be up soon. After I write this script for Wednesday's class, I am officially taking the week off to recouperate from the last two weeks and prepare for the utter craziness that will be next week and the week after. Ugh.

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