Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

To Autumn- Ben Whishaw

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees, 
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too-
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the rivers sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats Ode To Autumn brings back memories of a lovely trip to England in September of 2015. Ben Whishaw reading the poem is divine. Transcendent!

Enjoy the coming Autumn season my friends.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Love & Friendship - The Film AND The Book

Jane Austen meets Oscar Wilde meets Monty Python? Yes, please!

First let me say, I loved Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship (based on Jane Austen's Lady Susan). Just wonderful. Second, I saw this on a middle aged double date! My friend enjoyed it almost as much as I did and our husbands were good sports (I think Kate Beckinsale helped). However, another of my friends happened to be sitting behind me in the theatre on a girls night out and when the film was done said "Well, THAT was different!"

So, a super film but not necessarily to everyone's taste. As you are reading my blog, you will likely love it as much as I did. I can't wait to own it and watch all the DVD extras. It might also be an idea to leave the captions on in order to appreciate the quick paced dialogue.

Kate Beckinsale, who in her younger days dove enthusiastically into the two slightly bossy/comic roles of Emma Woodhouse (BBC Emma 1996) and Flora Poste (BBC Cold Comfort Farm 1995) now gets another juicy role with the very wicked and quite funny Lady Susan Vernon. Created by a young Jane Austen and embellished by Whit Stillman, you can tell she is having the time of her life.

The other characters are also well cast, and you will see new faces amongst well loved period drama players such as James Fleet, Stephen Fry and Jemma Redgrave (I used to love watching Jemma Redgrave as Dr. Bramwell in the 1990s).

It was brilliant to release a hilarious version of the film script in book form as well, as it is difficult to pick up on all of the witty dialogue. Mr. Stillman also had the good sense to include--as a bonus--the original Lady Susan written by Jane Austen, the "spinster authoress" as he puts it, amended constantly by a certain Rufus Martin-Colonna de Cesari-Rocca (a supposed great-grandson of said Lady Susan whom he tries to vindicate).

Very smart move as I have bought both the Love & Friendship book and pre-ordered the DVD of Love & Friendship which is coming out on September 6 2016.

Please comment below and tell me whether you liked it too. It is a rather wry, satirical film and not to everyone's taste but I will leave you with an example of Lady Susan's view of the world:

    "That's the parent's lot! We bring these delightful creatures into the world--eagerly, happily--and then before long they are spying upon and judging us, rarely favourably. Having children is our fondest wish but, in doing so, we breed our acutest critics. It is a preposterous situation--but entirely of our own making." 
    Susan spoke not in exasperation but with a charming laugh.




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