|(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.
- 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
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!