Now I want a hat with a veil

Happy new year, everyone!

On New Year’s Day, Gwen Mitchell and I went to see “The King’s Speech.” I’m a sucker for:

1) Helena Bonham-Carter
2) historical costume
3) World War II
4) cross-class friendships
5) heroes who are underappreciated by their families
6) stories about disabilities.

Therefore, this movie was perfect for me. I loved it. Also, I was concerned they were going to ignore the future Duke of Windsor’s Nazi sympathies (which were the real reason he was forced to abdicate), and while they certainly focused on the Wallis Simpson stuff, they did bring it up several times so I was pleased.

Plus I saw a preview for the new Jane Eyre movie and it looked AWESOME. The actress is the gymnast girl from In Treatment and I thought she was very talented.

I also spent the last week or so reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters which I ADORED. It’s a sort of Dickensian-thieves’-kitchen gritty historical novel with a lesbian love story. I was recently reading a conversation on historical accuracy on Courtney Milan’s blog and keep coming back to this comment by Robin:

When I think of some authors whose historical world-building seems most successful to me, it’s not as much the “correctness” of specific details (although dates, places, and well-known historical events are easy to get right and less tolerable to me when they are not), as much as feeling of transportation to a fictional world characterized by a cogent but still translatable “otherness” (i.e. verisimilitude). In that place, I feel as if I am placed into an entire universe that extends far beyond what the author shows me, one that remains consistent no matter which direction the narrative turns.

This is a perfect description of the amazing historical world created in Fingersmith, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction, especially Victorian historicals.

I hope the new year brings all of you lots of amazing stuff to read. Tell me a book (besides mine of course) that you are looking forward to in 2011!

10 thoughts on “Now I want a hat with a veil”

  1. Ooh, I just saw The King’s Speech, too, and blogged about it as a movie that follows a formula (Oscar-bait historical biopic wherein Our Hero meets a challenge and overcomes) but was so perfectly executed, charming, and even thought-provoking in its way that I loved every minute of it.

  2. What am I looking forward to? Black Hawk, baby! (Scroll allll the way down.)
    I also have high hopes for Isobel Carr’s League of Second Sons series. (Because I know I can’t be the only person out here with a case of Duke Fatigue. And the first book sounds like a play on Harriette Wilson, and what’s not to love about that?)
    As to The King’s Speech, HBC has lost some of my goodwill in recent years (I have to physically look away from her over-the-top performance in the Harry Potter movies), but she did everything right in this film. Firth wasn’t bad either 🙂

    1. EEEEE there’s a title and release date! There wasn’t even a few weeks ago when I checked. IT’S OFFICIAL NOW! I love Adrian a stupid amount, so I’m also very excited.
      Wow, those Isobel Carr books look great! I was sold at “Their fathers and brothers may rule the world, but they run it”–because underappreciated guys with useful talents are basically my favorite thing. And I do love Harriette Wilson. too.
      I will admit I really love HBC in the HP movies. I think she fits with the tone of the films, and it’s nice to see at least ONE of Voldemort’s followers actually seem enthusiastic about Death Eating. I wasn’t a huge fan of Sweeney Todd, though…But yeah, I loved her in this. And Firth’s amazing acting aside, I was so happy to see him in suspenders and shirtsleeves, and lounging around smoking in dressing gowns, and…

      1. Yes, that’s the line that sold me too. I wonder what professions these second sons will have. Personally I’m hoping for a layabout vicar, you know, one of those guys who accumulates livings, hires a few curates to do all the work, and then spends all his time partying with the beautiful people.
        Oh, and one more thing about The King’s Speech – didn’t it seem like maybe the world was going to spin off its axis when Firth encountered Jennifer Ehle and they didn’t recognize each other? Or am I the only one geekish enough to watch movies that way?

        1. I couldn’t figure out who Geoffrey Rush’s wife WAS until the credits rolled–she looks so familiar! I kept thinking every time she was onscreen, but I just couldn’t place her with the blonde hair. Then I saw her name and yeah, it pretty much broke my brain.

  3. I saw The King’s Speech yesterday and loved it too! So very good of a movie. 🙂
    As to 2011 books other than your book, I’m looking forward to The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch (it’s been delayed before, but I can’t wait for it!) I loved the first book in the series, The Lies of Locke Lamora. The world is fantastic and the characters amazing. And they are con men, which is a plus. 😉

    1. Ooh, I loved “The Lies of Locke Lamora”! I have the second one sitting on my shelf but haven’t got around to it yet–is it as good as the first one?
      And yes, conmen are always a plus. 🙂

      1. Red Seas Under Red Skies is very good. I think Lies is still my favorite, but I’ve reread the second more often. 🙂 And you need to read it before the third, where I’ve heard we finally meet Locke’s lost love in the third. And I can’t wait!

        1. Oh wow! Okay I’ll move Red Seas up in my TBR pile. Though I I must say, she’ll have to be pretty awesome to live up to the hype. 🙂

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