Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Literary Heroine Blog Party

I've been working on my answers to Kellie's Literary Heroine Blog Party questions for the past week, but it's only today that I've finished them.   If you aren't already participating, just hop on over to Accordion to Kellie (click on the link below) and check it out!  She's hosting a fun tag (my answers are below the below) and a pretty amazing giveaway.  

(This is Cecily Cardew from The Importance of Being Earnest, if you're wondering--
she isn't my absolute favorite literary heroine, but I love her dress in this photo)
~The Questions ~

Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!

Good grief, where to begin?  Well, at the beginning of course, then go on until I get to the end.  Then stop.  (Alice in Wonderland, anyone?) First of all, I am a daughter of the King of Kings, bought with a price, ransomed for all eternity by Jesus Christ, my Savior.  My identity is in Him, never to be lost.
I am also a history buff, a period drama nut, a bookworm, a lover of all things chocolate and a member of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel.  Without music and Jane Austen, life would be a blank to me.  I suffer from a serious case of cacoethes scribendi, read anything I can lay my hands on (especially classics and historical fiction), take long and vigorous walks, love riding my bicycle and am completely happy when I'm in the kitchen, stirring up something delicious (preferably with tomatoes and garlic or chocolate, but NOT all three) and singing along at the top of my lungs to the amazing music from Les Miserables.
I've been homeschooled all my life, I have four younger siblings who I love to pieces, two amazing parents, and a lot of wonderful, kindred-spirit blogging friends who make my day every day.  I am a stickler for correct spelling and word usage.  But I am nice about it.  I hope.
Also, I like historical fashion.  Let's be friends!

What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine?

A girl who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in, who loves unconditionally, who is brave and truthful and sweet and generous.  But not perfect, because if she's perfect nobody can relate to her, least of all me.   And of course, a good sense of humor Does Not Come Amiss.

Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.

Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables- because there's just something in me that clicks with Anne.  I'm not as dreamy and imaginative as she is, but I share her thoughts about kindred spirits (that is the general idea) and I admire her zest for living, her optimism, her bookworm-ish-ness and her ability to make friends with anyone.  Anne is amazing.
Jo March of Little Women- She's a writer, do I need to say more?  Well, yes. Jo's fiery and impassioned and gets mad easily (well, of course in this I don't relate to her, because naturally I NEVER get mad) and she likes things to stay just as they are.  Like me. :)  But I admire her because she's selfless and fiercely protective of her family and willing to do the right thing even when it's hard.
Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice- She's witty, sparkling, funny and always on her toes.  She's everything I want to be and... well, am not.  But we both have three younger sisters, so see, I can relate.  (Only I trust my sisters are quite unlike hers...) Lizzy isn't perfect, but she goes through a lot of maturing throughout her story, and I admire her willingness to admit she's wrong in the end.
Elinor Dashwood of Sense and Sensibility- Well, duh.  I mean, I have her NAME and all that.  Seriously, though, Elinor is a lot like me in some respects and rather unlike me in others.  We're both blessed with sisters whose sorrows and joys can have no moderation, we both have a tendency to hide our feelings, and we both like Edward Ferrars. :P Elinor is an amazing character, and I want to be like her... but I'm not going to say much more, I'll just save it for my post on her later this week.

Five of your favorite historical novels?

I only get to choose five??? Oh, very well.  I'm assuming "historical novel" encompasses both contemporary historical fiction and classic literature--or at least, that's how I'm interpreting it.  These aren't necesarily my Top Five Favorites, they're just five OF my favorites.  In no particular order, Pride and Prejudice, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Wives and Daughters, Johnny Tremain, Les Miserables.

Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why?

This is seriously a toss-up between Johnny Tremain, Jean Valjean, Molly Gibson and Sir Percy Blakeney.  *ducks tomatoes and hides behind Sir Percy* No, I mean it! I like them all for different reasons, and I can't decide which I like best.  My sister's probably getting ready to boot me out of the League, but I really think I like Molly and Valjean and Johnny just as much as that Baronet guy.  *ducks cabbages*

Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why?

Out of those five books, it'd be Rab Silsbee from Johnny Tremain, hands down. (Please, please tell me you've read this book.)  Ooh! Also maybe Marilla Cuthbert from the Anne books.  And out of all the books I've read, it might have to be... um... either Jeeves from any of P.G. Wodehouse's books, or maybe Philippa Gordon or Diana Barry from the Anne books, or maybe Daniel Peggotty or Aunt Betsey Trotwood from David Copperfield.  Ooh! Edmund Sparkler from Little Dorrit!
...This is too hard.

If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?

"Oh, to be in England, now that April's there!" I would most definitely go to the British Isles, where I'd visit every place mentioned in Jane Austen's novels (like Sir Walter Scott, I'd hie me to Lyme and say, "Don't talk to me of the Duke of Monmouth--show me the exact spot where Louisa Musgrove fell!"), and tour London like a tourist.  I'd also stop over in Ireland and Italy.  Because they're gorgeous places.  Wouldn't it be fun to zoom through Rome on a Vespa just like Audrey Hepburn?  :)

What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?

The entire nineteenth century.  Also the Edwardian era. And anything British (from those periods) is going to immediately grab my attention.

You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?

Probably singing.  From a musical.  From Les Miserables.  Yeah, probably "On My Own".  Or "Stars". Or even "Bring Him Home."  If I had a prayer of hitting those high notes.  Why am I writing such short choppy sentences?

If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?

Marguerite Blakeney, for two reasons.  A) She has the best clothes--- that is, the ones that come up high enough if-you-know-what-I-mean.  B) Whenever Marguerite goes anywhere, she's escorted by the one and only Sir Percy Blakeney. Need. I. Say. More?

What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?

"And on the eighth day, God created chocolate." Dark is the best, milk is amazing, white is too sweet.

Favorite author(s)?
  • Jane Austen
  • Charles Dickens
  • Elizabeth Gaskell
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • P. G. Wodehouse
  • O. Henry
  • Mark Twain
  • Charlotte Bronte
  • Baroness Orczy
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Elizabeth Enright
  • E. Nesbit
  • Carol Ryrie Brink
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder
(Yes, I took advantage of the "s" that made "author" plural.)

Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land?

My camera.  A notebook and a stash of pens to write down impressions of things.  Money. :P Okay, I guess that's an essential.

In which century were most of the books you read written?

The nineteenth, definitely.  Totally an old-fashioned girl here.

In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…

Mr. George Knightley from Jane Austen's Emma.  He's quiet and unassuming and unpretentious, but he has a heart of gold, an amazingly generous spirit, wisdom beyond belief and a delightful sense of humor. Also, he's incredibly sweet and not perfect.  Because nobody wants a perfect man.  At least I don't.  He'd show me up shamefully.
Mr. Knightley isn't the kind of guy who shoots bad guys every morning before breakfast.  (That sentence makes me laugh.  I'm reading it over and over again and laughing, and now I'm laughing again, but this time I'm laughing at how pathetic I am.  Um.  Anyway.)  He isn't a superhero.  He isn't dashing and swashbuckling and he probably never fenced in his life.  (Sad to say.)  But he's the kind of man that I want to marry someday.  He loves Emma unconditionally, with all her faults and failings, and he is never afraid to admit when he's wrong.  (It doesn't happen often, but that's be cause he just isn't wrong very often.) Now don't get ME wrong, I have nothing against Mr. Darcy and Mr. Thornton and Henry Tilney and Sir Percy and Colonel Brandon.  They're all great guys and totally deserving of the title "hero."
But I'm still Team Knightley.

Describe your ideal dwelling place.

The castled crag of Drachenfels.  :P
No, kidding.  My ideal dwelling place would be a tiny cottage on the coast in Price Edward Island, preferably at the foot of a lovely lighthouse.  It's on a cliff, overlooking the sea, with the smell of salt air and the wail of seagulls and stormy clouds (or sunny skies) overhead.... ahhhhh.
Inside, the cottage is charming and old-fashioned, but completely fitted out with modern conveniences ("I said to Mr. E, don't give me two carriages, don't give me enormous houses, but I could not live without my indoor plumbing. No. Life would be a blank to me.").  The kitchen has a low ceiling and gingham curtains at the windows and a cat or two and geraniums in pots... and of course there's a fireplace in the tiny, cozy living room.  And there's wallpaper on all the walls, which I adore.  The staircases are crooked and twisty but simply jam-packed with character, and there's an Attic.  Because I love attics.
In short, my dream house is one Lucy Maud Montgomery would approve of.

Sum up your fashion style in five words.

"I have no particular style." There, five words. :)
Oh, you want me to be more specific? Very well.  Skirts, feminine, old-fashioned, vintage, sweaters.

Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?

Definitely, many times, but the only example that comes to mind is Mr. Knightley.  Why must he be George and his brother John? Why can't they be reversed? During the entire first half of Emma, I was under the impression that their names WERE reversed, and when I discovered that "my" Mr. Knightley was actually called George, I was Most Severely Put Out.
I've gotten used to it since then, but I still don't like the name George.

In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...

Chauvelin's pretty awful in the Scarlet Pimpernel books (although I actually sympathize with him in the movie) but I can't really think of any truly dastardly villains.  Except perhaps Oskar the Odacious in The Romantical Perils of Lester and Lynette.  (Eighteen thousand Miss Dashwood points if you get that reference and your name isn't Melody or Anne-girl.)

Three favorite Non-fiction books?

A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot, Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris, Joyfully at Home by Jasmine Baucham.

Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?

Either on a long, leisurely walk, or perhaps on our back porch with a tall glass of lemonade and a good book. Or maybe I'd write a blog post. :) Or call a friend on the phone.

Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.

My true character has to be summed up in a piece of headgear??? Oh dear.  Here goes:
A big, wide-brimmed hat made of straw ("Why mind the fashion? Wear a big hat and be comfortable!") in a sort of Edwardian style, something you might see on Road to Avonlea... lovely and cool and shady, with yellow roses and some trailing ribbon, but not too flowery "with weeds here and weeds there". :P Something sensible yet utterly fetching and cute.  Without an elastic thingy, though, because they pinch my chin.

Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.

*hastily reviews year* Well, I had the amazing opportunity of helping out at with a young ladies' Christian conference last August (is anyone else familiar with Bright Lights?), and the Lord used that to teach me a great deal.  Soon after that I began leading a Bible study group for preteen girls, and that's been a fantastic experience.  It really is true that the teacher learns more than the students, and God has been using this ministry to instruct me and humble me in ways I wouldn't have imagined.

Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.

First Corinthians 13, the Love chapter.  It's always been a familiar passage, but lately the Lord has been impressing on me the fact that I need to actually, you know, put those character qualities (patience, kindness, not being easily provoked) into action instead of just being able to recite them. :) "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or the tinkling of a cymbal..." 

Thank you, Kellie, for hosting this lovely literary event!


Anonymous said...

I loved reading your answers!! And I COMPLETELY agree with you on everything you said about Mr. Knightley. He is the picture of a true gentleman. Even better than Darcy in that respect! And yes, I'm with you on his name. George? Really? Why couldn't he have been John?

Your description of chocolate made me think of this saying I read last year...

"In the beginning, God created chocolate. And God saw that the chocolate was good. And He separated the light from the dark." =) That makes me smile!

Alexandra said...

Johnny Temain just as epic as The Man Himself?????

(I throw a cabbage - and a tomato for good measure).

Just kidding. :-P

Actually...ok, so all I've seen is the Disney film version of Johnny Tremain, and I had a crush on Rab when I was twelve or so (played by Richard Beymer...Tony in West Side Story). Soooo yeah, I thought he was purty cool, too. Never read the book, though.

Mr. Knightley is my second-favorite literary hero (as portrayed by Jeremy Northam). So we are almost in agreement. :-D And I TOTALLY agree about George...in the 1996 film they don't mention his name at all, so it wasn't until the 2009 version that I found out his name...I was like, *seriously*??!?!?!?!!?

We'd be a whole gaggle of Marguerites! (which sounds *quite* fun IMO.) And would have to fight over who would get Percy. Which might get ugly. I can be an ugly fighter. :-P

Can I come visit you in your dream house someday?

REALLY enjoyed reading through these. Hasn't it been fun?

Melody said...

Read everything you can lay your hands on?? Except: {long list follows} :P
Soary. Couldn't resist.

Long and vigorous walks? You Elizabeth Bennet, you...
I am very rarely in the mood for a long and vigorous walk. But sometimes I do it anyways. :P
You like tomatoes? *sigh*
Haha, but you're nice about it, you hope....
You make me laugh. ;-) (You are pretty nice about it, btw.)

Oooh. I think that was a hint that a heroine post is finally coming again. ;)

So, I assume you have READ Les Miserables? I never did ask you that... and you didn't mention it, unless I forgot. Which you know is a possibility. heh

Haha, I love that Sir Walter Scott quote! I'm glad he liked Persuasion even if there was a Sir Walter therein...:P
Haha, when we play Authors I like to say 'Sir Walter Elliot' rather than 'Sir Walter Scott'. :P

ITALY!!!! That was the other one! ;-)

*Gasp* You sacrilegious and heathen creature! Haha, just kidding. (I'm talking about your chocolate quote.)
I was in a play once set in the American Revolution, and for some reason people kept saying "give me liberty or give me chocolate"... which annoyed me a deal and made absolutely no sense.
Random story of the day. :P

Hello? You forgot one thing to take on your voyage!! --Your Nonsensical Girl?
Oh wait. That was proberly included in the 'essentials'. ;P

Wait... how do YOU know Mr. Knightley never fenced in his life? Many gentlemen learnt the art. :P

Hahahahaha, Drachenfels.... ;D
Attics are indeed a must.

I don't exactly like the name George...but in recent years I call people that just to be silly, and it someone grew on me. :P Not to mention that being Mr. Knightley's first name. (Wick...Wick-what? Villain in Pride and what?)

Awwww nuts, I can't get 18,000 Miss Dashwood points. >.<
Hmm... Well, I probably already got them sometime else, right? ;-)

By the way, Nothing of Consequence today.
If you follow me. ;-) (That is in place of a disgruntled e-mail.)

Lauren said...

I enjoyed reading your answers! I love your description of a cottage on Prince Edward Island. It reminds me of Anne's house of dreams:) First Corinthians thirteen has really been speaking to me lately as well! In fact, I put it as my answer for the last question.

Miss Dashwood said...

I love that chocolate quote. :) The dark is better than the light, of course, though...

Are you going to do this tag? I'd love to read your answers! Glad to find another Mr. Knightley fan!

*returns fire with a mango*

I never said he was as EPIC as Sir Percy, I just said I thought I liked him as much! And, oh, puh-leese. You can't judge a book by its movie. The Disney version is completely different from the book. Trust me.

Haha, you weren't the only one with a bit of a crush on Rab-in-the-movie---but believe me, read the book. He's way, way better in the book. And... uh... well, you'll cry. Let's just say the book's ending is very different from the movie.

Ha! All those Marguerites having an ugly catfight... heh, heh. The mental image is... amusing. Yes, of course you can visit my dream house if I can visit yours (all that pink! ahhhh). This has been a blast!

Miss Dashwood said...

Pot calling the kettle black...
Soary. Couldn't resist. :)

I adore tomatoes. Don't you?
Of course I am nice about it. In fact, I am so nice that I'm not even going to point out the fact that you said "you're nice about it, you hope."

I did read Les Miserables, for school. It was epic. And awesome. And I grinned. :P

Sacrilegious and heathen creature? Don't you mean "That girl is next door to a perfect heathen"? :P Of course my Nonsensical Girl would come with me on my travels far and wide. That's a given, Tween.

HAHAHAHA, "the villain in Pride-and-what?" That made me laugh, giggle and snicker/snort. You already have 18,000 Miss Dashwood points, btw.

"What was that, my love?" Silly snail mail.

I'll admit, Anne's house of dreams was on my mind as I was writing about my house of dreams. :) I enjoyed reading your answers, too!

Ashley said...

Well, johnny isn't as epic as M'Lord Percy, but he very nearly as likable!

Maria Elisabeth said...

Ooooh, I loved Johnny Tremain. It was very close to getting onto my favorite list, but five is....... only five. :(

I told myself that I was going to be very self-controlled and not throw any tomatoes at you, but since you like them, I'm cheerfully pelting them at you. Along with the garlic. :P I mean, how could you like Johnny better than the Inimitable Someone? And even Molly Gibson can't compare... *ducks from the tomatoes that just might be coming back*

I'm in a muddle at the thought that you have to chose from all those secondary characters. I'd be as indescicive there as Philippa Gordon. (Who I do like, as I like Edmund Sparkler and Aunt Betsey. Janet, donkeys!)

Kellie was a genius in sticking that chocolate question in. Every good heroine likes chocolate, especially the dark kind. :)

Now I am jumping up and down in joy that you like Carol Ryrie Brink. When I was younger Caddie Woodlawn was one of my absolutely favorite books.

What on earch is 'The Romantical Perils of Lester and Lynette'? IT sounds odd, to say the least. Maybe you could post a review?

Melody said...

Hahaha, Maria Elisabeth speaks about similar subjects in two paragraphs without having any idea they are connected... ;-)

Miss Dashwood,
Haha! But I think that's a good thing, so I'm the something calling the something else some other color.... that's not black...;-)

Er... what was I supposed to say? "You are nice about it, you hope"? o.O

I am so making a list of words that annoy you.... ;P

For once I'll excuse the fact that you said "snail mail". Especially today. *disgruntled growl*
Haha, I think I like that word a little too well...

Alexandra said...

And I love mangoes. Thank you.

(is mango plural spelled with an e? :-P)

We have way too much fun. It ought to be illegal.

Miss Dashwood said...

Well, not at first, but definitely towards the end. I like characters who mature and change, and don't just stay stagnant throughout the story. Which Johnny certainly doesn't.

Maria Elisabeth,
Haha, okay, I'll stop. I'm glad you appreciate Johnny Tremain (the book).
Now, your question about "The Romantical Perils of Lester and Lynette" really made me (and Melody) laugh, because you see it's the name of a Romantical Novel that two girls write together in Two Are Better Than One... which is a book by Carol Ryrie Brink. ;) It's excellent, even better than Caddie Woodlawn! Maybe I should post a review...

Miss Dashwood said...

Mellow D.,
*facepalm, facepalm, facepalm*
Okay, I completely misread your sentence (going too fast yet again) and I thought you were saying "your being nice about, you hope" as in, "your" being possessive. Which, I see, is not at all what you meant and I just made an idiot of myself.
There is nothing like embarrassing yourself in the comment box for making you more humble. :/
Snail mail, snail mail, snail mail...
Yes, I take delight in vexing you. :)

I adore mangoes. And they were the first squishy thing that came to mind. I first thought of rutabagas and then thought, "No, that would hurt," so I chose mangoes instead.
Well, according to Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show, we ARE behaving illegally. "Mr. Bass, throwing food is a SIN!" :P

Maria Elisabeth said...

Oh, you clever creature! I wish I had known that before. Just think of all the Miss Dashwood points I could have gotten!

And we do have way too much fun. If I ever get insane from too much laughing, I'll blame you. :P

Alexandra said...

"I got a rude. I bet you ain't never got no rude."

Not the same episode, I know, but love it just the same. :-P

Melody said...

Miss Dashwood: Oh good, I thought *I* had a facepalm coming on... ;-) Haha, that's all rather ironic when you think about it... you were saying I didn't use something right, when in fact I did, and you just read it wrong...
But you really don't need to be embarrassed. It 'appens to us all. Well, me anyways. hehe.
I always go too fast, too. Which made it likely that I had said something stupid. :P

I was referring to when you said "awesome and epic and grinned", about making a list of words that irritate you. If you ever tell me any. Hmm...now you proberly won't...

If you take delight in vexing me though, I must just do what Mrs. Bennet never figured out and decide Not To Be Vexed. :P

Hayden said...

If I had to pick one period drama hero to MARRY- it would be Mr. Knightley. And I cannot refer to him in any other way than Mr. Knightley...because his name IS George. Which name I actually like a tad bit better than I used to, because...well....it's Mr. Knightley's.

But other than that...He. Is. Awesome. And I am under the belief (not that I have any proof) that he is a very good fencer. Because I wish him to be. And Jane Austen never said he wasn't :)

So I won't throw any tomatoes at you (the nasty things- how can you like them????)

Phillipa Gordon is one of my absolute FAVORITE secondary characters. Ever since I read Anne of the Island I've had a fascination with the name Phillipa. If I ever get a laptop that's what I'll name it :)

And if you ever get your dream house please prepare, as I may show upfor an extended visit of three or four weeks which may turn into months...Like Aunt Mary Maria :)

Laura said...

What fun reading your responses!

I love your description of Mr. Knightley and I definitely understand the issue of period dresses that are a bit low. I sometimes blush when I see classic-lit-turned-tv-movies and I always hope there are no men watching!

I also love your use of quotes and capitalization. It definitely makes the answers more personal anad very interesting. :)

Diana said...

I'm so thrilled to see you list P.G. Wodehouse as a favourite author. He is tragically underread. I force him on my friends and family members at every opportunity. (Don't worry, they thank me for it.)

P.S. I also used to dislike the name George, but over the years it's rather grown on me.

Kellie said...

Everything I could possibly say about your great post has already been remunerated on=) The comments over here are quite as good as the post itself!

Well, I have to say that Phillipa Gordon is so adorable. Good choice there! Hehe... Edmund Sparkler;D And I need to read Johnny Temain.

And yes, I am a genius for sticking that chocolate question in. Every good heroine likes chocolate, especially the dark kind;) Yes yes yes.

Thanks so much for joining, Miss Dashwood;)

Jillian said...

We have in common 1 Corinthians, Jo March, and Elizabeth Bennet. But I said Marianne Dashwood where you said Elinor Dashwood. In truth, I consider her an incredible heroine too. But I only had so many slots. :D

Kimberly said...

Aunt Betsey Trotwood from David Copperfield--Can't believe I forgot her!!! LOVE the character and didn't Maggie Smith do a perfect job in the movie? So true to the book! This was fun to read. Looking forward to a longer visit later when I am not out of tea.