recently i bought the 2 dvd set of pride and prejudice (one of my favorite books of all time. yeah, i know i’m a wuss.) which i think is just great. i watched all 6 hours of it this weekend with andy and it’s definitely one of those rare literary adaptations that succeeds in staying faithful to the book, and the added scenes actually succeed. jennifer ehle is quite good, and colin firth as mr. darcy has these soulful eyes that are irresistible. heh. the rest of the cast is likewise very good.

while on my jane austen kick i picked up this book which had the lengthy title what jane austen ate and charles dickens knew: from fox hunting to whist – the facts of daily life in nineteenth-century england (by daniel pool). the book isn’t bad, although i ended up skimming through a lot of the more boring sections (e.g. the government, the army), and the parts i was more interested in didn’t delve quite as deep as i would have liked. i’ll prob. pick up another book about the same period some time. topics in this book included pudding, dances, the difference between an earl and a marquis, and card games. (i found out that the exotic-sounding whist is actually the familiar game of spades. i have a sudden urge to play it now, heh.) some interesting tidbits:

p. 53: “… when she came out in 1849 Lady Dorothy Neville attended ’50 balls, 60 parties, 30 dinners and 25 breakfasts.'”

p. 58: “In some families a string of underservants in succession in the same position all might be called by the same first name because the family did not want to be bothered learning a new one each time a replacement was hired.”

p. 81: “Quite apart from any damage to hearts or reputations, wax dripped from the overhead candelabra and chandeliers onto the dancers with some regularity.”

p. 205: “Unfortunately … colored food additives were in their infancy: to get gold and silver colors, copper and zinc were added; for blues, iron; and lead was used for reds. Occasionally, arsenic seems to have been used to achieve greens with fatal results in at least one case.”

p. 253: “If you were a suicide, until 1823 you were required to be buried by law at a crossroads with a stake through your heart … The stake was to prevent the ghost from walking, and the burial at a crossroads was believed to dilute the evil influence of the deceased by spreading it in four separate directions.”


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