Friday, June 6, 2014

The Great Big Answer Post: Part One

I am both delighted and overwhelmed by the quantity of inquiries that poured in from my recent post asking for questions! Reading through all your fascinating comments has been fun and inspiring, and I've got several new post ideas dancing around in a draft now.  Mission accomplished! :D

However, since there ARE so many questions to answer (and I'm keeping the comment box open until Sunday night), I'm going to divide this Great Big Answer Post into at least two, if not three parts.  Part Two will be along on Monday, but for now let's focus on Part One.

A Reader asked...

Whose work do you favor? Austen or the Brontes, and why? (The why is the actual part of the question, because I'm guessing I know which you favor!)

Jane Austen, beyond a shadow of a doubt... and the why could take a while, so I'm going to try and be concise as possible.  Though I love Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Jane Austen's books strike a chord with me that no other novels have ever matched.  The woman was nothing short of a genius-- she managed to make everyday life fascinating and funny simply through observation and a talent for word-crafting.  Her characters are relatable, her settings and situations amusing and realistic, her dialogue is witty and memorable, and her narrative... well, let's just say All Hail the Queen of Snark.

"It was impossible for her to say what she did not feel, however trivial the occasion; and upon Elinor therefore the whole task of telling lies when politeness required it, always fell."
~Sense and Sensibility

Favorite literary quote?

Um.  Can I give several?
Sure I can, it's my blog.
This is by no means an exhaustive list.  :P

Favorite male historical figure? Favorite female historical figure?

Hard call!  For the males... uh... maybe Martin Luther?  For the females, I've always admired Lady Jane Grey, and I've recently developed a fascination with Harriet Lane Johnston (James Buchanan's niece and First Lady of the United States from 1857-1861).

Favorite Austen heroes in order?

*insert five million disclaimers about how I know perfectly well that no one reading this is going to entirely agree with me and you may feel free to tell me so in the comments but you will not laugh me out of my opinion*

1- Mr. Knightley
2- Mr. Darcy
3- Edward Ferrars/Colonel Brandon
4- Henry Tilney (the 3 and 4 spots are Loose and Shiftable, I might add... sometimes I reverse them)
5- Captain Wentworth
6- Edmund Bertram (5 and 6 are also Loose and Shiftable spots, haha)

Favorite Austen secondary character?

Um, um, um... this is hard.  Maybe Miss Bates or Mr. Bingley? Caroline Bingley usually makes me laugh too but she's also really annoying.  Oh, oh, and does Hugh Laurie as Mr. Palmer count? :D Also John Knightley.  The guy is hilarious.

(Can I say Austen again?) :-)

You can always say Austen.
"There is never a time, madam, in which Jane Austen does not matter."
~Jeeves, sort of

Would you rather play the piano, walk in the woods, or write a play? (I don't actually know if you play the piano, but you seem like you do.)

Write a play!  I do like walking in the woods if I am in good company or alone with my thoughts, but I'm afraid I don't play the piano a'tall... wish I did.  Writing, however, is one of my Passions.

Anne-girl asked...

If someone told you you had to give up writing or sewing which would you pick? {pretty sure I know the answer but I was curious}

Sewing.  I love doing both, but sewing is a fun hobby/way of making a living whereas writing is What I Want to Do In Life.

Sara Lewis asked...

What is your favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie?

...Kidding.  I haven't actually seen any Hitchcock movies.

Which do you prefer, deep dish or thin crust pizza?

Always happy for an excuse, however flimsy, to use this gif :D
Thin crust.  I'm one of those annoying people who often really does like the healthier version of things.  You can boo if you like, but the deep dish kind is usually greasy.

Which font do you most like to type in?

Hoefler Text for just-plain-whatever, Monotype Corsiva if I'm doing a fancy title or invitation, and Jane Austen when occasion requires.  Because, ya know.  Jane Austen.

Do you prefer to write with a pen and paper or on a computer?

I like both for different reasons and purposes-- nothing compares with the feeling of a good, smooth pen on fresh paper, but a computer is a lot handier and faster and easier to edit with.  Heehee.

Which actor do you think has the coolest-sounding voice (and it can be anyone from any period in Hollywood's history)?

I could listen to Gregory Peck all day, every day.  Also Benedict Cumberbatch.  The whole jaguar-in-a-cello thing.  Sighhhhhh...
...sorry, what was the question?

Who is your favorite Founding Father?

Noah Webster, oddly enough.  What, he wasn't a founding father?  Um, he brought organization and consistency to the American orthographical scene, wrote influential literature on the formation of the United States Constitution, and helped lobby Congress for a national copyright law.  Also he invented diacritical marks.  And he had a wickedly dry sense of humor.

 "As language is the medium of all social intercourse, and the principal instrument by which science, arts, and civilization are preserved and propagated… it is of great importance that its general principles should be well understood by those who superintend the education of youth."

"We are too apt to rest contented with opinions and systems without examining their truth and propriety. There is a kind of vis inertiae in the human mind, which inclines it to rest where it is, rather than be at the trouble of searching for a more eligible solution."

What's one fashion trend from some gone-by era that you reeeeeally wish we could bring back?

Hmmmm... maybe the practice of wearing hats when out in public?  I love hats and nobody seems to wear them anymore, except for really special occasions.   Headgear in general has either gone way downhill in the last fifty years, or else disappeared altogether.  I do not, however, advocate the resurgence of powdered wigs.

"Gee, this wig weighs a ton! What dope'd wear a thing like this?"
"Everybody used to wear them, Lina."
"Well, then everybody was a dope."
~Singin' in the Rain

"How much for the horse tornado?" 
"Madam, that is a carousel." 
"I must have it."
Is that from a book, a movie, or did you just make it up?

It's a writing prompt (author unknown) that I found on Pinterest one day, showed to my friend Petie, and consequently howled over.  We adopted it for our own and created many variations thereupon, several of which can be seen here.

The Elf asked...

Are there any book / movie characters who don't marry each other but you really wish they did?

Do Sherlock and Molly count?  :D 

Are there any new blogs you now follow / read that you discovered through your "I'd Like to Share" series?

Unfortunately the answer to this is, as yet, "no"-- but I'm on the lookout! :D

Have you read any Regency novels written by modern-day authors (e.g. Georgette Heyer / Julie Klassen, etc.) and what did you think? (I realise a lot of the modern ones aren't suitable reading but there are a few out there which are fine.)

I'm actually about a quarter of the way through The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer at this very minute, and enjoying it immensely!  Besides that, I've enjoyed I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend and various stories from Jane Austen Made Me Do It.

If you could invite any five people (living or dead) to a dinner party, who would be on your guest list?

Oooooh, hard call.  I think I'd go with Jane Austen (obviously), Amy Carmichael, L.M. Montgomery or Elizabeth Gaskell (can't deciiiiide), Julie Andrews and my best friend Melody.  (So she could enjoy the presence of the other famous peeps, haha.)

That would be one interesting dinner.

Do you think this blog will still be going in ten years' time?

That's a very thought-provoking question... in one sense I'd like to say yes, I think it will (or at least I hope it will) but at the same time um... I really don't know.  (I'm so decisive.  It's my one strength.)  Ten years from now my life may be very different, and blogging might not be a priority in my life anymore.  (not that it is now... snort.  I mean, I love it, but Other Things are constantly calling.)  Who knows?

So yeah, I think the answer is basically Moriarty's face.  Always a good answer.  :P

Ashley asked...

What is your favorite Dickens novel?

Little Dorrit and A Tale of Two Cities tie.  :D

Do you play any instruments?

*Olaf voice*  Nope!  Wish I did, but I must content myself with listening to others' talents.

What is your favorite food?

Anything that is edible and tastes good.  I'm reasonably adventurous when it comes to trying new things... if you're gonna twist my arm, though, I'll generalize a little bit and say seafood.

Do you like Mountain Dew?

If you'd asked me that just a few months ago, my answer would have been "I don't know," but I have recently tried it for the first time and discovered I liked it.  The best way to drink it, I might add, is in a fancy teacup at two in the morning.  Just ask Melody.

If you could learn any other language, what would it be?

French.  It has a delightfully romantical and old-fashioned sound.

Who is one of your historical role models?

I think the real-life Caroline Ingalls (not the character on the TV show) was pretty amazing... I mean, she started teaching school at 16, married at 21, traveled out West with her husband and three young daughters in a covered wagon, survived grass fires, river crossings and winters on the South Dakota prairie, lost a baby to illness, lived through scarlet fever and raised four daughters to adulthood on various homesteads, all while keeping her sanity, her patience and her love for her family.  I think she was fantastic.

Do you like watching old non-animated Disney movies?

I do indeed!  The Absent-Minded Professor, Old Yeller and The Parent Trap are some of my favorites.

"Say, where'd you learn to play the piano?"
"Uh... they taught us at camp!"
~The Parent Trap

Part Two coming on Monday-- thanks so much to everyone who submitted questions!  If you still have one, feel free to leave it here before Sunday night.  


Naomi Bennet said...

Enjoyed reading this!!!

Hayden said...

Lady Jane Grey!!! Sorry. I just admire her a lot, so I'm always happy when people mention her.

I know you put disclaimers... but still. WHY IS HENRY TILNEY FOURTH ON THE LIST??? *cough cough* okay, I'll behave. You can think what you'd like.... ;) BUT HENRY TILNEY IS THE BEST. Well, Mr. Knightley might be the best. I can never decide between those two.

I was wondering about the horse tornado thing myself...

Sherlock and Molly count. Yes they do.

I don't play an instruments, either. *sigh* We can commiserate over that together.

haha. My dad is obsessed with Mountain Dew. oooh. And we're learning French. It's a lot of fun and amazingly, not as difficult as I thought it would be.

Thank you for putting up with my quite random comments :) Have a lovely day!!!

Marie said...

This was great! Wow you're going through questions in order aren't you...that's very organized, I'd probably just pick out my favorite ones first. :)

Sara Lewis said...

I was hoping you would answer "Gregory Peck" for my fifth question. He's my favorite too. ;-)

I was also hoping you would answer "hats" for my question about fashion trends! I wish we could always wear big fancy hats in public. Also, white gloves and parasols are awesome!

Ashley said...

Thanks for answering! Mountain Dew out of teacups at 2 A.M does sound fascinating! I just read A Tale of Two Cities and it was WONDERFUL!!! And now I have to look up Harriet Lane Johnston :) So glad you got more ideas!!

Danielle Fredrickson said...

I don't think I've commented on your blog before, but I really enjoy reading it! From this post it seems that I have found another kindred spirit!

So it turns out I have been drinking Mountain Dew the wrong way my whole life... And I was very, very pleased to see you mention Lady Jane Grey! I always get excited when I see her mentioned. I am team Jane Grey all the way! :)
Yes, Sherlock and Molly do need to get together!!! And I loved the Caroline ingalls appreciation! :)
A lovely blog post, thank you! (And sorry if you found it a bit weird, me just barging in and telling you all of my opinions on things without ever commenting on your blog before...)

Melody said...

Oh, I didn't give you any of myyy questions yet... I need to do that.

Queen of Snark... heehee. Yezzz.

Although some have called YOU that. :P

*coughs ashamedly at not even knowing who Lady Jane Grey is*

Well, even though I know you dislike me to say such things, *I* DEFINITELY think Henry Tilney should be in third over Edward and Col. Brandon... they're comparatively a bit dull. (COMPARATIVELY.) I mean... HENRY TILNEYYYY.
You need to read NA again. :D

*smiles at the Psycho answer*

Heh... there we go again with our pretty much exact opposite opinions where Food is concerned. :P

I was very bad and kind of skimmed a bit of the Noah Webster answer because I am an uncouth youth. Er, an uneducated hick. Er... well, I actually need to go visit HT before it gets too late. :P


Awwwwww, thanks for including me and letting me in on enjoying the famous peeps and OH MY WORD JANE AUSTEN. Seriously, if you DIDN'T invite me... we would have Words. :P
(All that is not to say that I don't feel very flattered and HI which I do.)

Well, *I* think your blog will still be going in ten years' times. I think it's more likely to keep going than mine is. :P

Hahaha... I have to say, I still don't really understand people's fascination with ATOTC even though I've read the book. I enjoy several of his other stories more even though I did like it... but then, I haven't read the others.

Seafood. Eww.
There we go agaaaain. :P

HAHAHAHA, when I saw the Mountain Dew question, I knew the answer was going to be interesting. :D

French! Me toooo! *high-five*

I've never seen Old Yeller. :P
Although I think in general I've seen more old non-animated Disney movies than you, haha.

I'm so glad you finally watched The Parent Trap. ;) I should find a list of Disney movies somewhere and suggest more to you...

Evie Scott said...

XD can I ask one? if so Have you been to Australia? or if not do you have any questions about it? I am Australian and LOVE your blog!!

Miss Elliot said...

I was wondering who the Benedict Cumberbatch guy was because I knew I had seen him before in some movie. I couldn't figure out the 'jaguar-in-a-cello thing'. Then I realized- 'he's William Pitt in Amazing Grace'. Please correct me if I'm wrong!!
I LOVED the Phantom of the Opera thingy, haha.
Haha, the Parent Trap. Haven't seen that one in a LONG time. We didn't watch it as a family as we usually do, but my sister and I watched it together.
Loverly post, Miss Dashwood.

a reader said...

I don't play piano either, and would also choose to write a play. :-) And learn French!

I need to meet Mr. Knightly. I've not yet read Emma!

I knew you'd pick Jane Austen over the Brontes. :) I love hearing your explanation of "why." You're right: she does depict the everyday exquisitely.

Thanks for answering my questions!! :-)

The Elf said...

Thanks for answering my questions. Gotta say, I'm so glad you enjoy Georgette Heyer! She's my favourite Regency author after Jane Austen..The Grand Sophy is one of her funnier novels; love it too! Arabella and Fridays Child are her two best Regency novels (just letting you know lol!)
It's always fun finding out more about you (in a completely un-creepy, not-too-stalkerish way) in this sort of question series! :)

- The Elf

Caroline L. said...

Thoroughly enjoyable learning more about you, Miss Dashwood. Your use of gifs in this post is very admirable! ;]

Sara Lewis said...

If it's not too late to ask one more question, what does Benedict Cumberbatch have to do with jaguars and cellos?

Emily said...

Aaarrgh! Miss Dashwood, these posts, parts one and two are just TOO funny! How DO you do it? (That wasn't a question, by the way - well, it was, but you know what I mean) That gif of Aaron Tveit is probably the funniest thing I've seen all day! Where do you get them all? (Yes, again, just a general question, not a post question :))

Jane B said...

Just a quick comment to say how glad I am that you like Lady Jane Grey. I've always been interested/obsessed with her (maybe because we share the name Jane!) and have even done a research project on her. If you want more reading material on her let me highly recommend two books, which I think are, so far, the best biographies on her.
First "Nine Day Queen of England: Lady Jane Grey" by Faith Cook. This is a really good overview of her complete life and it helps that the author, Faith Cook, is a Christian, so she understands the Protestant Reformation happening at that time.
The second book is "The Sisters Who Would be Queen: Mary, Katherine and Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Tragedy" by Leanda de Lisle. This is probably the most recent research on Lady Jane and is simply fascinating as the author questions some of the common assumptions about her life. It really makes you think & look at somethings differently. However, the author is not a Christian, so sometimes Jane is portrayed as a religious, narrow-minded prig for some of her beliefs. Don't let that get you though. Read Faith Cook's book to balance the view.
If anyone is more interested in Lady Jane, then I really do highly recommend these two books!

Miss Elliot said...

I'm re-reading these 'great big answer posts', just for fun AND to catch all the Sherlock stuff that I wouldn't have caught before, because I wasn't aware of the awesomeness that is Sherlock. :-p
Oh, Sherlock and Molly. I have great hopes for them in season four (augghhh, why are they making us wait 'til December 2015?????).