Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ran Spellcheck. Yikes.

Yes, I know, I've been updating like a fiend lately.

When I write, I turn the squiggly spell check and grammar lines off. First of all, because the grammar check never seems to be accurate. Second of all, spell check hates everything. Squiggly lines remind me too much of writing papers in college and it is distracting.

I'm on page 241 of the revision as of now. Miles is getting himself into trouble at the moment. I'm not sure what it says about me that most of my male characters are horndogs in a small way.

Realistic, I should think.

Anyway. So I decided, at nearly 300 pages, that I should run spellcheck on the WIP. Which I did. Come to find that a) my spelling is far more atrocious than it once was and b) I seem to be unconsciously using British spelling, which is wrong when your Word goes by the American English dictionary.

So, I had to change ageing to aging and travelling to traveling and and chiselled to chiseled. Ugh. I seem to think the double "L" is natural, because words like "woollen" and "levelling" and "analyse" seem perfectly all right to me.

Can I blame this spelling tendency on reading Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer?



Monday, July 23, 2012

The Hollow Crown: Henry V



Okay, I know I promised this post yesterday, but I didn't get around to finishing Henry V until now. This story wasn't a complete stranger to me like the past three in The Hollow Crown series, so I had an easier time following the plot. And actually, I didn't have a problem understanding the language either--except for those times when there was very quickly spoken French and my rudimentary high school French couldn't keep up.

This version opens with Henry V's funeral. As I've been waiting for this particular episode, I've been reading about Henry V and his French queen Catherine. Henry, after his military victories, died at 35 from dysentery. He missed becoming king of France by two months, leaving his infant son as the king of two countries. France soon returned to the control of the French royal family, aided by Joan of Arc. England went into the turmoil of the Wars of the Roses. The queen Catherine took up with a Welshman named Own Tudor and became an ancestor of the Tudor dynasty.

So that's the history. Personally, I think there's a lot of potential there for fanfiction and alternative history stories.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Downton Abbey, Season 3 spoilers

PBS had their Downton Abbey season 3 panel on Saturday and these are some spoilers from the third season trailer.

New cast photo:

And spoilers, below:


5,000 views

i just noticed that this blog hit 5,000 pageviews yesterday. Cool!

To wit: Remember the last post? About the Story of England by Michael Wood? Well, I came across a link to an article Michael Wood wrote, about Britain's first black community, dating from Elizabeth England.

I love the excerpts from the parish register. A real taste of average people's lives back then. And the stories he writes about Mary Fillis and Lucy remind me of the stories detailed in the doctoral dissertation I have combed through for research. Real minority people, in the past, and their stories, living among a majority population.

I'll be posting later today about the last of Hollow Crown series, Henry V.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Story of England and small villages

My dad will readily admit to not having an imagination. By this, he means that he doesn't read novels. He likes movies, but prefers documentaries. He doesn't follow serialized television, but the DVR is rather full of documentaries and reality TV.

One of these recent documentary series on our DVR takes care of both of us. It's history and being a pair of history buffs, we happily watched Michael Wood's Story of England, which is available to watch on PBS.org.

Historian Michael Wood tells the history of England--from pre-Roman to the Anglo-Saxons to the Danelaw through to the Norman Conquest and beyond--through the evidence collected from archeological digs, DNA tests, contemporary accounts and very well-maintained records of one English village: Kibworth, Leicestershire.

Now, actually, Kibworth is three villages, I believe: Kibworth Harcourt, Kibworth Beauchamp (prounounced Bee-cham), and Smeeton Westerby.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 2


After reading the play summary for Henry IV, Part 2, I wasn't sure why there was even a part two. I kind of figured that the major events happen in Part One and maybe Part Two was fan service on Shakespeare's part.

After watching it, however, I can see that it completes all the character arcs set up in Part One. Part Two is the ultimate pay off. It sets up Henry V and resolves the longer arcs of the father-son relationship between the king and Hal and Hal's ultimate repudiation of his old hell-raising life. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part 1



I've just finished watching Henry IV, Part 1. I was a little confused in the beginning because I haven't ever seen other movie adaptations of this play, so I wasn't sure of the plot. Apparently, there aren't many adaptations. I wonder if that's because there are two parts to it and would absolutely require a sequel.

Warning: There Be Spoilers After This Point

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Paying Calls

In the 19th century, a great deal of social discourse was done by letter writing and by paying calls.

But what is a call, exactly? In the days before Alexander Graham Bell, a call was a visit.

Back in the day, a well-to-do lady would pay morning calls to her friends and acquaintances. First of all, in the Regency, a morning call was more likely to take place in the early afternoon. Say that this lady has just come to London for the Season. She gets into her carriage and calling cards in card case, takes off for her acquaintances' homes. She has a servant drop her calling card off at the homes.

From Country Living 

The card is dropped onto a silver tray in the front hall by the other person's servants and later given to the mistress of the house for perusal.


Monday, July 2, 2012

The Hollow Crown: Richard II

I'm not sure how many of you know that for the next few consecutive Saturdays, in the UK, as part of the Cultural Olympiad before the London Olympics, the BBC is showing film versions of Shakespeare.

The tetralogy (I learned that word recently; it means a four-part story) began on June 29th with Richard II.

I just finished watching it. It doesn't actually air in the U.S. until January, so I found a link, let it load and plopped myself down. C'est la vie.

Henry IV Parts 1 & 2 and Henry V follow in the successive weeks. The plays are based on three historical kings of England: Richard II, who was deposed by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, who became Henry IV. Then Henry IV found it hard to keep control of his nobles and his kingdom, including his errant son. That son became Henry V, England's great warrior king, who won a decisive battle at Agincourt against the French.

Here's the trailer for the series, which is being called The Hollow Crown after a speech in Richard II.

Edited to add: A podcast interview with the director, producer and Ben Whishaw and Rory Kinner.