dangermousie: (Default)
One of the things I always loved was Alfred Noyes' poem The Highwayman and Loreena McKennitt's song rendition of it...



I am not really in a drama mood right now...I kinda feel like digging out my Sir Walter Scott instead. No idea why, but I want something period and English. Maybe I'll finish Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Paul Clifford (which would make the most awesome mini - why are there nowhere near as many English period shows as are Korean ones?)
dangermousie: (Default)
One of the things I always loved was Alfred Noyes' poem The Highwayman and Loreena McKennitt's song rendition of it...



I am not really in a drama mood right now...I kinda feel like digging out my Sir Walter Scott instead. No idea why, but I want something period and English. Maybe I'll finish Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Paul Clifford (which would make the most awesome mini - why are there nowhere near as many English period shows as are Korean ones?)
dangermousie: (Default)
One of the things I always loved was Alfred Noyes' poem The Highwayman and Loreena McKennitt's song rendition of it...



I am not really in a drama mood right now...I kinda feel like digging out my Sir Walter Scott instead. No idea why, but I want something period and English. Maybe I'll finish Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton's Paul Clifford (which would make the most awesome mini - why are there nowhere near as many English period shows as are Korean ones?)
dangermousie: (Dr Who: snog by likestarlight)
I am not even going to talk about the sheer LUNACY of what is going on behind the scenes with Myung Wol because it is making me want to pummel something. Figures that the first kdrama romcom that I have genuinely loved in years has self-destructed bigger than the Titanic. It might be a divine hint! For the record, with the new actress, she better be playing Myung Wol past plastic surgery. I don't care who plays her, I frelling LOVE Myung Wol as a character and to bring in an entirely new love interest would make no sense storywise (well, even less sense that what will have to go on to explain the new actress). I also think Han Ye Seul has just on-purpose murdered her own career. I don't even know what to think! Why???? Never in all my years of drama-watching have I ever seen anything like this!

To distract self, I am going to talk about three wonderful books, two of them recs from flisties!

1. [livejournal.com profile] gurlygirl10, I totally owe you! When I asked for romance novel recs, one of the books recced was Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I had no interest in conteporaries, but I know gurlygirl is the one flistie I know who is as dedicated as I am to the whole 'dysfunctional alpha hero who is beyond obsessed with heroine and incapable of living without her' trope, so when she told me "I felt like this book showed how much the hero loved the heroine more adequately than any book I've ever read- it is such a train wreck- I really though the hero would die if he didn't have the heroine" I decided to take a chance. And I loved it! The protagonists are college students, Abby and Travis. Abby is a cardican-wearing, no-nonsense, poker-playing freshman with some interesting history. Travis is a tattooed, shaven-headed junior who makes extra $$$ through underground fighting. Sparks fly, things get out of control and they enter a confused, passionate, utterly dysfunctional, codependent, overwhelming relationship which is delicious to read about (though in RL, I'd call for an intervention). This book left me in a state of permanent swoon and reminded me in some ways of my own college romance with Mr. Mousie (who is neither tattooed nor an underground fighter, thankfully :P)

Plus, this quote, from heroine's roomie, cracked me up forever and summed up why I love this trope so much:

Do you know what co-dependency is, Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breathe.

I mean, if this doesn't encapsulate why I am currently obsessed with Family Honor, nothing does.

2. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale has been recced by a number of flisties and I am loving it. Aristocratic stroke victim and a quaker as an OTP? Somehow it works. The whole 'stuck in asylum' plot is reminding me of one of my favorite Victorian novels, Hard Cash by Charles Reade. It was a huge sensation when it came out and resulted in asylum reform. Its brilliant but high-strung Oxonian protagonist, Alfred, is confined in an asylum by his evil father who is afraid his son will reveal his crime to the police. Did I mention this happens on Alfred's wedding day to his OTP, Julia? (Alfred/Julia Forever!!!!) Even though Alfred is perfectly sane, he cannot prove it in any way and nobody is interested. Eventually, after a couple of years of torment, he manages to escape and take his father to court to prove his sanity, with the help of awesome Julia of course. Apparently it was based on a real case.

3. Not recced but stumbled on by myself - Banana Yoshimoto's The Lake, about two damaged and shut-off people - a mural painter and a brilliant biology student, who slowly navigate falling in love and opening up. It's a brilliant novel, even if some of the stuff in it made me viscerally uncomfortable (the male half the the couple, Nakajima, is pretty much permanently and irreparably damaged).

So here is my book report.
dangermousie: (Dr Who: snog by likestarlight)
I am not even going to talk about the sheer LUNACY of what is going on behind the scenes with Myung Wol because it is making me want to pummel something. Figures that the first kdrama romcom that I have genuinely loved in years has self-destructed bigger than the Titanic. It might be a divine hint! For the record, with the new actress, she better be playing Myung Wol past plastic surgery. I don't care who plays her, I frelling LOVE Myung Wol as a character and to bring in an entirely new love interest would make no sense storywise (well, even less sense that what will have to go on to explain the new actress). I also think Han Ye Seul has just on-purpose murdered her own career. I don't even know what to think! Why???? Never in all my years of drama-watching have I ever seen anything like this!

To distract self, I am going to talk about three wonderful books, two of them recs from flisties!

1. [livejournal.com profile] gurlygirl10, I totally owe you! When I asked for romance novel recs, one of the books recced was Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I had no interest in conteporaries, but I know gurlygirl is the one flistie I know who is as dedicated as I am to the whole 'dysfunctional alpha hero who is beyond obsessed with heroine and incapable of living without her' trope, so when she told me "I felt like this book showed how much the hero loved the heroine more adequately than any book I've ever read- it is such a train wreck- I really though the hero would die if he didn't have the heroine" I decided to take a chance. And I loved it! The protagonists are college students, Abby and Travis. Abby is a cardican-wearing, no-nonsense, poker-playing freshman with some interesting history. Travis is a tattooed, shaven-headed junior who makes extra $$$ through underground fighting. Sparks fly, things get out of control and they enter a confused, passionate, utterly dysfunctional, codependent, overwhelming relationship which is delicious to read about (though in RL, I'd call for an intervention). This book left me in a state of permanent swoon and reminded me in some ways of my own college romance with Mr. Mousie (who is neither tattooed nor an underground fighter, thankfully :P)

Plus, this quote, from heroine's roomie, cracked me up forever and summed up why I love this trope so much:

Do you know what co-dependency is, Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breathe.

I mean, if this doesn't encapsulate why I am currently obsessed with Family Honor, nothing does.

2. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale has been recced by a number of flisties and I am loving it. Aristocratic stroke victim and a quaker as an OTP? Somehow it works. The whole 'stuck in asylum' plot is reminding me of one of my favorite Victorian novels, Hard Cash by Charles Reade. It was a huge sensation when it came out and resulted in asylum reform. Its brilliant but high-strung Oxonian protagonist, Alfred, is confined in an asylum by his evil father who is afraid his son will reveal his crime to the police. Did I mention this happens on Alfred's wedding day to his OTP, Julia? (Alfred/Julia Forever!!!!) Even though Alfred is perfectly sane, he cannot prove it in any way and nobody is interested. Eventually, after a couple of years of torment, he manages to escape and take his father to court to prove his sanity, with the help of awesome Julia of course. Apparently it was based on a real case.

3. Not recced but stumbled on by myself - Banana Yoshimoto's The Lake, about two damaged and shut-off people - a mural painter and a brilliant biology student, who slowly navigate falling in love and opening up. It's a brilliant novel, even if some of the stuff in it made me viscerally uncomfortable (the male half the the couple, Nakajima, is pretty much permanently and irreparably damaged).

So here is my book report.
dangermousie: (Dr Who: snog by likestarlight)
I am not even going to talk about the sheer LUNACY of what is going on behind the scenes with Myung Wol because it is making me want to pummel something. Figures that the first kdrama romcom that I have genuinely loved in years has self-destructed bigger than the Titanic. It might be a divine hint! For the record, with the new actress, she better be playing Myung Wol past plastic surgery. I don't care who plays her, I frelling LOVE Myung Wol as a character and to bring in an entirely new love interest would make no sense storywise (well, even less sense that what will have to go on to explain the new actress). I also think Han Ye Seul has just on-purpose murdered her own career. I don't even know what to think! Why???? Never in all my years of drama-watching have I ever seen anything like this!

To distract self, I am going to talk about three wonderful books, two of them recs from flisties!

1. [livejournal.com profile] gurlygirl10, I totally owe you! When I asked for romance novel recs, one of the books recced was Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I had no interest in conteporaries, but I know gurlygirl is the one flistie I know who is as dedicated as I am to the whole 'dysfunctional alpha hero who is beyond obsessed with heroine and incapable of living without her' trope, so when she told me "I felt like this book showed how much the hero loved the heroine more adequately than any book I've ever read- it is such a train wreck- I really though the hero would die if he didn't have the heroine" I decided to take a chance. And I loved it! The protagonists are college students, Abby and Travis. Abby is a cardican-wearing, no-nonsense, poker-playing freshman with some interesting history. Travis is a tattooed, shaven-headed junior who makes extra $$$ through underground fighting. Sparks fly, things get out of control and they enter a confused, passionate, utterly dysfunctional, codependent, overwhelming relationship which is delicious to read about (though in RL, I'd call for an intervention). This book left me in a state of permanent swoon and reminded me in some ways of my own college romance with Mr. Mousie (who is neither tattooed nor an underground fighter, thankfully :P)

Plus, this quote, from heroine's roomie, cracked me up forever and summed up why I love this trope so much:

Do you know what co-dependency is, Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breathe.

I mean, if this doesn't encapsulate why I am currently obsessed with Family Honor, nothing does.

2. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale has been recced by a number of flisties and I am loving it. Aristocratic stroke victim and a quaker as an OTP? Somehow it works. The whole 'stuck in asylum' plot is reminding me of one of my favorite Victorian novels, Hard Cash by Charles Reade. It was a huge sensation when it came out and resulted in asylum reform. Its brilliant but high-strung Oxonian protagonist, Alfred, is confined in an asylum by his evil father who is afraid his son will reveal his crime to the police. Did I mention this happens on Alfred's wedding day to his OTP, Julia? (Alfred/Julia Forever!!!!) Even though Alfred is perfectly sane, he cannot prove it in any way and nobody is interested. Eventually, after a couple of years of torment, he manages to escape and take his father to court to prove his sanity, with the help of awesome Julia of course. Apparently it was based on a real case.

3. Not recced but stumbled on by myself - Banana Yoshimoto's The Lake, about two damaged and shut-off people - a mural painter and a brilliant biology student, who slowly navigate falling in love and opening up. It's a brilliant novel, even if some of the stuff in it made me viscerally uncomfortable (the male half the the couple, Nakajima, is pretty much permanently and irreparably damaged).

So here is my book report.
dangermousie: (Default)
I am not even going to talk about the sheer LUNACY of what is going on behind the scenes with Myung Wol because it is making me want to pummel something. Figures that the first kdrama romcom that I have genuinely loved in years has self-destructed bigger than the Titanic. It might be a divine hint! For the record, with the new actress, she better be playing Myung Wol past plastic surgery. I don't care who plays her, I frelling LOVE Myung Wol as a character and to bring in an entirely new love interest would make no sense storywise (well, even less sense that what will have to go on to explain the new actress). I also think Han Ye Seul has just on-purpose murdered her own career. I don't even know what to think! Why???? Never in all my years of drama-watching have I ever seen anything like this!

To distract self, I am going to talk about three wonderful books, two of them recs from flisties!

1. [profile] gurlygirl10, I totally owe you! When I asked for romance novel recs, one of the books recced was Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I had no interest in conteporaries, but I know gurlygirl is the one flistie I know who is as dedicated as I am to the whole 'dysfunctional alpha hero who is beyond obsessed with heroine and incapable of living without her' trope, so when she told me "I felt like this book showed how much the hero loved the heroine more adequately than any book I've ever read- it is such a train wreck- I really though the hero would die if he didn't have the heroine" I decided to take a chance. And I loved it! The protagonists are college students, Abby and Travis. Abby is a cardican-wearing, no-nonsense, poker-playing freshman with some interesting history. Travis is a tattooed, shaven-headed junior who makes extra $$$ through underground fighting. Sparks fly, things get out of control and they enter a confused, passionate, utterly dysfunctional, codependent, overwhelming relationship which is delicious to read about (though in RL, I'd call for an intervention). This book left me in a state of permanent swoon and reminded me in some ways of my own college romance with Mr. Mousie (who is neither tattooed nor an underground fighter, thankfully :P)

Plus, this quote, from heroine's roomie, cracked me up forever and summed up why I love this trope so much:

Do you know what co-dependency is, Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breathe.

I mean, if this doesn't encapsulate why I am currently obsessed with Family Honor, nothing does.

2. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale has been recced by a number of flisties and I am loving it. Aristocratic stroke victim and a quaker as an OTP? Somehow it works. The whole 'stuck in asylum' plot is reminding me of one of my favorite Victorian novels, Hard Cash by Charles Reade. It was a huge sensation when it came out and resulted in asylum reform. Its brilliant but high-strung Oxonian protagonist, Alfred, is confined in an asylum by his evil father who is afraid his son will reveal his crime to the police. Did I mention this happens on Alfred's wedding day to his OTP, Julia? (Alfred/Julia Forever!!!!) Even though Alfred is perfectly sane, he cannot prove it in any way and nobody is interested. Eventually, after a couple of years of torment, he manages to escape and take his father to court to prove his sanity, with the help of awesome Julia of course. Apparently it was based on a real case.

3. Not recced but stumbled on by myself - Banana Yoshimoto's The Lake, about two damaged and shut-off people - a mural painter and a brilliant biology student, who slowly navigate falling in love and opening up. It's a brilliant novel, even if some of the stuff in it made me viscerally uncomfortable (the male half the the couple, Nakajima, is pretty much permanently and irreparably damaged).

So here is my book report.
dangermousie: (Default)
The macho Guardsman/Foreign Legionnaire hero of Ouida's Victorian adventure classic Under Two Flags is named...Bertie Cecil.

Ahahahahahaha.

Dwell on that!

I have to say, I am enjoying UTF immensely - it's Victorian pulp fiction at its best. I am not that far in and so as of now I am mainly curious how the hero who starts the novel as (1) a bored aristocrat (2) who gripes about the hard hard duty of having to participate in a military parade watched by London spectators (3) wouldn't know how to show or feel a very strong emotion if his life depended on it (4) likes to have his relationships with ladies as skilled and uninvested as he is ends up by the end of the book (yes, I peeked - I love spoilers) (1) in the French Foreign Legion (2) about to be executed by the firing squad (3) in hopeless passionate love with an unattainable woman (4) being emo in a sexy manly way.

I suspect his creepy younger brother is involved. I don't like him already and we barely met him. Don't worry, the book has a happy ending. After Beau Geste, I simply had to know - I don't like Victorian adventures to break my heart.

Also, I am incredibly amused by Hero's relationship with his father.

Father: (launches into rant worthy of a kdrama parent) You are worthless scum and I wish you'd drown in a ditch. I hate you more than anything due to screwed up stuff with your mother.
Hero: Isn't it rather bad form to tell me that stuff? Oh well, am off to look after my horses...

LOL

There is also a Foreign Legion camp follower named Cigarette. Indeed. As I understand it, at one point she dies saving Hero's life at the cost of her own. When his name is cleared, he has her buried in his ancestral lands. It's all noble and admirable but I can't help but wonder how on earth did he travel with a dead body all the way from Algiers to rural England, and also what did his girlfriend* think when her honey returned to her lugging a corpse.

* The girlfriend is the younger sister of Hero's BFF, but in my opinion, Hero's true love is actually his BFF. Oh my. They must have been bunkmates at Eton. Sample of their interaction:

"You are a madman!" cried the man, whose heart felt breaking under this doom he could neither avert nor share. "You think that they shall kill you before my eyes!--you think I shall stand by to see you murdered! What crime have you done? None, I dare swear, save being moved, under insult, to act as the men of your race ever acted! Ah, God! why have lived as you have done? Why not have trusted my faith and my love? If you had believed in my faith as I believed in your innocence, this misery never had come to us!"

"Hush! hush! or you will make me die like a coward."

He dreaded lest he should do so; this ordeal was greater than his power to bear it. With the mere sound of this man's voice a longing, so intense in its despairing desire, came on him for this life which they were about to kill in him forever.


I have never seen anything as slashy as the two of them, with the possible exception of Bertie's trusty servant who dies in his arms, and who I am willing to bet was in love with him with "the love that dare not speak its name."

I have to say, I am adoring Ouida's snark in between all the emo (btw, the writer of these macho military adventures was a woman, who wrote under a pseudonym, which makes this whole thing even more awesome).

Bertie had, on occasion, so wholly regarded servants as necessary furniture that he had gone through a love scene, with that handsome coquette Lady Regalia, totally oblivious of the presence of the groom of the chambers, and the possibility of that person's appearance in the witness-box of the Divorce Court. It was in no way his passion that blinded him--he did not put the steam on like that, and never went in for any disturbing emotion--it was simply habit, and forgetfulness that those functionaries were not born mute, deaf, and sightless.
dangermousie: (Default)
The macho Guardsman/Foreign Legionnaire hero of Ouida's Victorian adventure classic Under Two Flags is named...Bertie Cecil.

Ahahahahahaha.

Dwell on that!

I have to say, I am enjoying UTF immensely - it's Victorian pulp fiction at its best. I am not that far in and so as of now I am mainly curious how the hero who starts the novel as (1) a bored aristocrat (2) who gripes about the hard hard duty of having to participate in a military parade watched by London spectators (3) wouldn't know how to show or feel a very strong emotion if his life depended on it (4) likes to have his relationships with ladies as skilled and uninvested as he is ends up by the end of the book (yes, I peeked - I love spoilers) (1) in the French Foreign Legion (2) about to be executed by the firing squad (3) in hopeless passionate love with an unattainable woman (4) being emo in a sexy manly way.

I suspect his creepy younger brother is involved. I don't like him already and we barely met him. Don't worry, the book has a happy ending. After Beau Geste, I simply had to know - I don't like Victorian adventures to break my heart.

Also, I am incredibly amused by Hero's relationship with his father.

Father: (launches into rant worthy of a kdrama parent) You are worthless scum and I wish you'd drown in a ditch. I hate you more than anything due to screwed up stuff with your mother.
Hero: Isn't it rather bad form to tell me that stuff? Oh well, am off to look after my horses...

LOL

There is also a Foreign Legion camp follower named Cigarette. Indeed. As I understand it, at one point she dies saving Hero's life at the cost of her own. When his name is cleared, he has her buried in his ancestral lands. It's all noble and admirable but I can't help but wonder how on earth did he travel with a dead body all the way from Algiers to rural England, and also what did his girlfriend* think when her honey returned to her lugging a corpse.

* The girlfriend is the younger sister of Hero's BFF, but in my opinion, Hero's true love is actually his BFF. Oh my. They must have been bunkmates at Eton. Sample of their interaction:

"You are a madman!" cried the man, whose heart felt breaking under this doom he could neither avert nor share. "You think that they shall kill you before my eyes!--you think I shall stand by to see you murdered! What crime have you done? None, I dare swear, save being moved, under insult, to act as the men of your race ever acted! Ah, God! why have lived as you have done? Why not have trusted my faith and my love? If you had believed in my faith as I believed in your innocence, this misery never had come to us!"

"Hush! hush! or you will make me die like a coward."

He dreaded lest he should do so; this ordeal was greater than his power to bear it. With the mere sound of this man's voice a longing, so intense in its despairing desire, came on him for this life which they were about to kill in him forever.


I have never seen anything as slashy as the two of them, with the possible exception of Bertie's trusty servant who dies in his arms, and who I am willing to bet was in love with him with "the love that dare not speak its name."

I have to say, I am adoring Ouida's snark in between all the emo (btw, the writer of these macho military adventures was a woman, who wrote under a pseudonym, which makes this whole thing even more awesome).

Bertie had, on occasion, so wholly regarded servants as necessary furniture that he had gone through a love scene, with that handsome coquette Lady Regalia, totally oblivious of the presence of the groom of the chambers, and the possibility of that person's appearance in the witness-box of the Divorce Court. It was in no way his passion that blinded him--he did not put the steam on like that, and never went in for any disturbing emotion--it was simply habit, and forgetfulness that those functionaries were not born mute, deaf, and sightless.
dangermousie: (Default)
The macho Guardsman/Foreign Legionnaire hero of Ouida's Victorian adventure classic Under Two Flags is named...Bertie Cecil.

Ahahahahahaha.

Dwell on that!

I have to say, I am enjoying UTF immensely - it's Victorian pulp fiction at its best. I am not that far in and so as of now I am mainly curious how the hero who starts the novel as (1) a bored aristocrat (2) who gripes about the hard hard duty of having to participate in a military parade watched by London spectators (3) wouldn't know how to show or feel a very strong emotion if his life depended on it (4) likes to have his relationships with ladies as skilled and uninvested as he is ends up by the end of the book (yes, I peeked - I love spoilers) (1) in the French Foreign Legion (2) about to be executed by the firing squad (3) in hopeless passionate love with an unattainable woman (4) being emo in a sexy manly way.

I suspect his creepy younger brother is involved. I don't like him already and we barely met him. Don't worry, the book has a happy ending. After Beau Geste, I simply had to know - I don't like Victorian adventures to break my heart.

Also, I am incredibly amused by Hero's relationship with his father.

Father: (launches into rant worthy of a kdrama parent) You are worthless scum and I wish you'd drown in a ditch. I hate you more than anything due to screwed up stuff with your mother.
Hero: Isn't it rather bad form to tell me that stuff? Oh well, am off to look after my horses...

LOL

There is also a Foreign Legion camp follower named Cigarette. Indeed. As I understand it, at one point she dies saving Hero's life at the cost of her own. When his name is cleared, he has her buried in his ancestral lands. It's all noble and admirable but I can't help but wonder how on earth did he travel with a dead body all the way from Algiers to rural England, and also what did his girlfriend* think when her honey returned to her lugging a corpse.

* The girlfriend is the younger sister of Hero's BFF, but in my opinion, Hero's true love is actually his BFF. Oh my. They must have been bunkmates at Eton. Sample of their interaction:

"You are a madman!" cried the man, whose heart felt breaking under this doom he could neither avert nor share. "You think that they shall kill you before my eyes!--you think I shall stand by to see you murdered! What crime have you done? None, I dare swear, save being moved, under insult, to act as the men of your race ever acted! Ah, God! why have lived as you have done? Why not have trusted my faith and my love? If you had believed in my faith as I believed in your innocence, this misery never had come to us!"

"Hush! hush! or you will make me die like a coward."

He dreaded lest he should do so; this ordeal was greater than his power to bear it. With the mere sound of this man's voice a longing, so intense in its despairing desire, came on him for this life which they were about to kill in him forever.


I have never seen anything as slashy as the two of them, with the possible exception of Bertie's trusty servant who dies in his arms, and who I am willing to bet was in love with him with "the love that dare not speak its name."

I have to say, I am adoring Ouida's snark in between all the emo (btw, the writer of these macho military adventures was a woman, who wrote under a pseudonym, which makes this whole thing even more awesome).

Bertie had, on occasion, so wholly regarded servants as necessary furniture that he had gone through a love scene, with that handsome coquette Lady Regalia, totally oblivious of the presence of the groom of the chambers, and the possibility of that person's appearance in the witness-box of the Divorce Court. It was in no way his passion that blinded him--he did not put the steam on like that, and never went in for any disturbing emotion--it was simply habit, and forgetfulness that those functionaries were not born mute, deaf, and sightless.
dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I don't post about my reading choices much because I get enough real-life outlets in discussing them but this is too entertaining not to share.

I have just started Wilkie Collins' The New Magdalen. Collins is primarily known nowadays for his Victorian suspense classics Moonstone and The Woman in White but he was a hugely prolific author who wrote on a wide variety of topics. My favorite of his works are usually his less-known ones (I adore Poor Miss Finch, about a blind woman who falls in love with a wonderful but disfigured man but then she gains her sight and his evil good-looking twin appears!) and TNM looks as if it will join that list.

The story is deliciously kdramaish. Mercy Merrick is a fallen woman. Poverty once drove her to prostitute herself in the streets. Combination of shame, guilt, and utter lack of other economic options have even driven her to consider suicide. But her life changed when, at the Refuge for Fallen Women, she heard a radical, reform-minded minister Julian Gray preach a sermon of hope and forgiveness. She has resolved to live and be a good woman since then, but whenever her employers find out about her past, they inevitably fire her no matter how good her performance was.

When the novel opens, Mercy is a nurse at the front of the French-German war of 1870, about the only job she has been able to keep. It is there her path crosses with that of Grace Roseberry, an impoverished gentlewoman on her way to London to be a companion to a distant rich relative. When during a German attack, Grace is mortally wounded, desperate Mercy, acting out of wild impulse, assumes Grace's identity and role. Shortly after we find her a beloved companion to Lady Janet, engaged to a promising young correspondent Horace, and living a wonderful life. Only one problem - not only is she driven by crippling guilt, but it turns out Grace did not die after all!

If the truth comes out, Mercy's life is over - she will be expelled from her position, her conservative, conventional fiance will disown her, and she will be back on the streets. What is she to do? Did I mention that Julian Gray, the minister who unknowingly turned her life around, is Lady Janet's nephew and, when he visits his aunt's house, falls in love with Mercy himself?

The stage is set for MAJOR DRAMA!

The central dilemma of the novel is, of course, quite dated - nowadays while Mercy may not be accepted into some really conservative religious circles or high society, she would be able to lead a perfectly normal life, and not be viewed (or view herself) as a cancer upon society. But the human tensions and reactions are fascinating - namely how do those in Mercy's life react to the inevitable revelation - how does Lady Janet react? how does Horace the fiance? how does Julian Gray?

And while Mercy's wallowing martyrdom becomes a bit much at times (though is understandable - the woman has bought hook, line and sinker into the Victorian values of her time), that makes Julian Gray's attitude all the more wonderful. I confess to having a huge crush on him despite the fact that (a) minister is not a sexy profession and (b) he is not described as particularly gorgeous, he is verging on plain, in fact. Julian is introduced as a radical reformer whose aunt disapproves of his views, but to the modern (and Collins') eyes, he is the most enlightened one of the bunch. When push comes to shove, he lives up to his reformist values - he preaches forgiveness and equality, and when he finds out the woman he loves is a former prostitute he puts those values automatically into practice. He does not do it in a "I am so noble" way or "I am sacrificing myself to save the fallen, I am so saintly" fashion. No, he loves her, she is a good woman now, whatever she was before, if she has done wrong before she has repented, so her past does not matter. He sticks to it even if being with Mercy would completely wreck any career prospects. It's all the more awesome when contrasted with the attitude of Mercy's fiance - he is not a horrible person but deeply a man of his own time with his own prejudices.

Plus, the novel is so deliciously emo. Just take a look at this bit from it:

He gave her no time to think. The words poured from his lips without conscious will or conscious effort of his own.

"Mercy, from the first moment when I saw you I loved you! You are free; I may own it; I may ask you to be my wife!"

She drew back from him further and further, with a wild imploring gesture of her hand.

"No! no!" she cried. "Think of what you are saying! think of what you would sacrifice! It cannot, must not be."

His face darkened with a sudden dread. His head fell on his breast. His voice sank so low that she could barely hear it.

"I had forgotten something," he said. "You've reminded me of it."

She ventured back a little nearer to him. "Have I offended you?"

He smiled sadly. "You have enlightened me. I had forgotten that it doesn't follow, because I love you, that you should love me in return. Say that it is so, Mercy, and I leave you."

A faint tinge of color rose on her face—then left it again paler than ever. Her eyes looked downward timidly under the eager gaze that he fastened on her.

"How can I say so?" she answered, simply. "Where is the woman in my place whose heart could resist you?"

He eagerly advanced; he held out his arms to her in breathless, speechless joy. She drew back from him once more with a look that horrified him—a look of blank despair.

"Am I fit to be your wife?" she asked. "Must I remind you of what you owe to your high position, your spotless integrity, your famous name? Think of all that you have done for me, and then think of the black ingratitude of it if I ruin you for life by consenting to our marriage—if I selfishly, cruelly, wickedly, drag you down to the level of a woman like me!"

"I raise you to my level when I make you my wife," he answered. "For Heaven's sake do me justice! Don't refer me to the world and its opinions. It rests with you, and you alone, to make the misery or the happiness of my life. The world! Good God! what can the world give me in exchange for You?"

She clasped her hands imploringly; the tears flowed fast over her cheeks.

"Oh, have pity on my weakness!" she cried. "Kindest, best of men, help me to do my hard duty toward you! It is so hard, after all that I have suffered—when my heart is yearning for peace and happiness and love!" She checked herself, shuddering at the words that had escaped her. "Remember how Mr. Holmcroft has used me! Remember how Lady Janet has left me! Remember what I have told you of my life! The scorn of every creature you know would strike at you through me. No! no! no! Not a word more. Spare me! pity me! leave me!"

Her voice failed her; sobs choked her utterance. He sprang to her and took her in his arms. She was incapable of resisting him; but there was no yielding in her. Her head lay on his bosom, passive—horribly passive, like the head of a corpse.

"Mercy! My darling! We will go away—we will leave England—we will take refuge among new people in a new world—I will change my name—I will break with relatives, friends, everybody. Anything, anything, rather than lose you!"

She lifted her head slowly and looked at him.

He suddenly released her; he reeled back like a man staggered by a blow, and dropped into a chair. Before she had uttered a word he saw the terrible resolution in her face—Death, rather than yield to her own weakness and disgrace him.

She stood with her hands lightly clasped in front of her. Her grand head was raised; her soft gray eyes shone again undimmed by tears. The storm of emotion had swept over her and had passed away A sad tranquillity was in her face; a gentle resignation was in her voice. The calm of a martyr was the calm that confronted him as she spoke her last words.

"A woman who has lived my life, a woman who has suffered what I have suffered, may love you—as I love you—but she must not be your wife. That place is too high above her. Any other place is too far below her and below you." She paused, and advancing to the bell, gave the signal for her departure. That done, she slowly retraced her steps until she stood at Julian's side.

Tenderly she lifted his head and laid it for a moment on her bosom. Silently she stooped and touched his forehead with her lips. All the gratitude that filled her heart and all the sacrifice that rent it were in those two actions—so modestly, so tenderly performed! As the last lingering pressure of her fingers left him, Julian burst into tears.
dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I don't post about my reading choices much because I get enough real-life outlets in discussing them but this is too entertaining not to share.

I have just started Wilkie Collins' The New Magdalen. Collins is primarily known nowadays for his Victorian suspense classics Moonstone and The Woman in White but he was a hugely prolific author who wrote on a wide variety of topics. My favorite of his works are usually his less-known ones (I adore Poor Miss Finch, about a blind woman who falls in love with a wonderful but disfigured man but then she gains her sight and his evil good-looking twin appears!) and TNM looks as if it will join that list.

The story is deliciously kdramaish. Mercy Merrick is a fallen woman. Poverty once drove her to prostitute herself in the streets. Combination of shame, guilt, and utter lack of other economic options have even driven her to consider suicide. But her life changed when, at the Refuge for Fallen Women, she heard a radical, reform-minded minister Julian Gray preach a sermon of hope and forgiveness. She has resolved to live and be a good woman since then, but whenever her employers find out about her past, they inevitably fire her no matter how good her performance was.

When the novel opens, Mercy is a nurse at the front of the French-German war of 1870, about the only job she has been able to keep. It is there her path crosses with that of Grace Roseberry, an impoverished gentlewoman on her way to London to be a companion to a distant rich relative. When during a German attack, Grace is mortally wounded, desperate Mercy, acting out of wild impulse, assumes Grace's identity and role. Shortly after we find her a beloved companion to Lady Janet, engaged to a promising young correspondent Horace, and living a wonderful life. Only one problem - not only is she driven by crippling guilt, but it turns out Grace did not die after all!

If the truth comes out, Mercy's life is over - she will be expelled from her position, her conservative, conventional fiance will disown her, and she will be back on the streets. What is she to do? Did I mention that Julian Gray, the minister who unknowingly turned her life around, is Lady Janet's nephew and, when he visits his aunt's house, falls in love with Mercy himself?

The stage is set for MAJOR DRAMA!

The central dilemma of the novel is, of course, quite dated - nowadays while Mercy may not be accepted into some really conservative religious circles or high society, she would be able to lead a perfectly normal life, and not be viewed (or view herself) as a cancer upon society. But the human tensions and reactions are fascinating - namely how do those in Mercy's life react to the inevitable revelation - how does Lady Janet react? how does Horace the fiance? how does Julian Gray?

And while Mercy's wallowing martyrdom becomes a bit much at times (though is understandable - the woman has bought hook, line and sinker into the Victorian values of her time), that makes Julian Gray's attitude all the more wonderful. I confess to having a huge crush on him despite the fact that (a) minister is not a sexy profession and (b) he is not described as particularly gorgeous, he is verging on plain, in fact. Julian is introduced as a radical reformer whose aunt disapproves of his views, but to the modern (and Collins') eyes, he is the most enlightened one of the bunch. When push comes to shove, he lives up to his reformist values - he preaches forgiveness and equality, and when he finds out the woman he loves is a former prostitute he puts those values automatically into practice. He does not do it in a "I am so noble" way or "I am sacrificing myself to save the fallen, I am so saintly" fashion. No, he loves her, she is a good woman now, whatever she was before, if she has done wrong before she has repented, so her past does not matter. He sticks to it even if being with Mercy would completely wreck any career prospects. It's all the more awesome when contrasted with the attitude of Mercy's fiance - he is not a horrible person but deeply a man of his own time with his own prejudices.

Plus, the novel is so deliciously emo. Just take a look at this bit from it:

He gave her no time to think. The words poured from his lips without conscious will or conscious effort of his own.

"Mercy, from the first moment when I saw you I loved you! You are free; I may own it; I may ask you to be my wife!"

She drew back from him further and further, with a wild imploring gesture of her hand.

"No! no!" she cried. "Think of what you are saying! think of what you would sacrifice! It cannot, must not be."

His face darkened with a sudden dread. His head fell on his breast. His voice sank so low that she could barely hear it.

"I had forgotten something," he said. "You've reminded me of it."

She ventured back a little nearer to him. "Have I offended you?"

He smiled sadly. "You have enlightened me. I had forgotten that it doesn't follow, because I love you, that you should love me in return. Say that it is so, Mercy, and I leave you."

A faint tinge of color rose on her face—then left it again paler than ever. Her eyes looked downward timidly under the eager gaze that he fastened on her.

"How can I say so?" she answered, simply. "Where is the woman in my place whose heart could resist you?"

He eagerly advanced; he held out his arms to her in breathless, speechless joy. She drew back from him once more with a look that horrified him—a look of blank despair.

"Am I fit to be your wife?" she asked. "Must I remind you of what you owe to your high position, your spotless integrity, your famous name? Think of all that you have done for me, and then think of the black ingratitude of it if I ruin you for life by consenting to our marriage—if I selfishly, cruelly, wickedly, drag you down to the level of a woman like me!"

"I raise you to my level when I make you my wife," he answered. "For Heaven's sake do me justice! Don't refer me to the world and its opinions. It rests with you, and you alone, to make the misery or the happiness of my life. The world! Good God! what can the world give me in exchange for You?"

She clasped her hands imploringly; the tears flowed fast over her cheeks.

"Oh, have pity on my weakness!" she cried. "Kindest, best of men, help me to do my hard duty toward you! It is so hard, after all that I have suffered—when my heart is yearning for peace and happiness and love!" She checked herself, shuddering at the words that had escaped her. "Remember how Mr. Holmcroft has used me! Remember how Lady Janet has left me! Remember what I have told you of my life! The scorn of every creature you know would strike at you through me. No! no! no! Not a word more. Spare me! pity me! leave me!"

Her voice failed her; sobs choked her utterance. He sprang to her and took her in his arms. She was incapable of resisting him; but there was no yielding in her. Her head lay on his bosom, passive—horribly passive, like the head of a corpse.

"Mercy! My darling! We will go away—we will leave England—we will take refuge among new people in a new world—I will change my name—I will break with relatives, friends, everybody. Anything, anything, rather than lose you!"

She lifted her head slowly and looked at him.

He suddenly released her; he reeled back like a man staggered by a blow, and dropped into a chair. Before she had uttered a word he saw the terrible resolution in her face—Death, rather than yield to her own weakness and disgrace him.

She stood with her hands lightly clasped in front of her. Her grand head was raised; her soft gray eyes shone again undimmed by tears. The storm of emotion had swept over her and had passed away A sad tranquillity was in her face; a gentle resignation was in her voice. The calm of a martyr was the calm that confronted him as she spoke her last words.

"A woman who has lived my life, a woman who has suffered what I have suffered, may love you—as I love you—but she must not be your wife. That place is too high above her. Any other place is too far below her and below you." She paused, and advancing to the bell, gave the signal for her departure. That done, she slowly retraced her steps until she stood at Julian's side.

Tenderly she lifted his head and laid it for a moment on her bosom. Silently she stooped and touched his forehead with her lips. All the gratitude that filled her heart and all the sacrifice that rent it were in those two actions—so modestly, so tenderly performed! As the last lingering pressure of her fingers left him, Julian burst into tears.
dangermousie: (HYD: Rui book)
I don't post about my reading choices much because I get enough real-life outlets in discussing them but this is too entertaining not to share.

I have just started Wilkie Collins' The New Magdalen. Collins is primarily known nowadays for his Victorian suspense classics Moonstone and The Woman in White but he was a hugely prolific author who wrote on a wide variety of topics. My favorite of his works are usually his less-known ones (I adore Poor Miss Finch, about a blind woman who falls in love with a wonderful but disfigured man but then she gains her sight and his evil good-looking twin appears!) and TNM looks as if it will join that list.

The story is deliciously kdramaish. Mercy Merrick is a fallen woman. Poverty once drove her to prostitute herself in the streets. Combination of shame, guilt, and utter lack of other economic options have even driven her to consider suicide. But her life changed when, at the Refuge for Fallen Women, she heard a radical, reform-minded minister Julian Gray preach a sermon of hope and forgiveness. She has resolved to live and be a good woman since then, but whenever her employers find out about her past, they inevitably fire her no matter how good her performance was.

When the novel opens, Mercy is a nurse at the front of the French-German war of 1870, about the only job she has been able to keep. It is there her path crosses with that of Grace Roseberry, an impoverished gentlewoman on her way to London to be a companion to a distant rich relative. When during a German attack, Grace is mortally wounded, desperate Mercy, acting out of wild impulse, assumes Grace's identity and role. Shortly after we find her a beloved companion to Lady Janet, engaged to a promising young correspondent Horace, and living a wonderful life. Only one problem - not only is she driven by crippling guilt, but it turns out Grace did not die after all!

If the truth comes out, Mercy's life is over - she will be expelled from her position, her conservative, conventional fiance will disown her, and she will be back on the streets. What is she to do? Did I mention that Julian Gray, the minister who unknowingly turned her life around, is Lady Janet's nephew and, when he visits his aunt's house, falls in love with Mercy himself?

The stage is set for MAJOR DRAMA!

The central dilemma of the novel is, of course, quite dated - nowadays while Mercy may not be accepted into some really conservative religious circles or high society, she would be able to lead a perfectly normal life, and not be viewed (or view herself) as a cancer upon society. But the human tensions and reactions are fascinating - namely how do those in Mercy's life react to the inevitable revelation - how does Lady Janet react? how does Horace the fiance? how does Julian Gray?

And while Mercy's wallowing martyrdom becomes a bit much at times (though is understandable - the woman has bought hook, line and sinker into the Victorian values of her time), that makes Julian Gray's attitude all the more wonderful. I confess to having a huge crush on him despite the fact that (a) minister is not a sexy profession and (b) he is not described as particularly gorgeous, he is verging on plain, in fact. Julian is introduced as a radical reformer whose aunt disapproves of his views, but to the modern (and Collins') eyes, he is the most enlightened one of the bunch. When push comes to shove, he lives up to his reformist values - he preaches forgiveness and equality, and when he finds out the woman he loves is a former prostitute he puts those values automatically into practice. He does not do it in a "I am so noble" way or "I am sacrificing myself to save the fallen, I am so saintly" fashion. No, he loves her, she is a good woman now, whatever she was before, if she has done wrong before she has repented, so her past does not matter. He sticks to it even if being with Mercy would completely wreck any career prospects. It's all the more awesome when contrasted with the attitude of Mercy's fiance - he is not a horrible person but deeply a man of his own time with his own prejudices.

Plus, the novel is so deliciously emo. Just take a look at this bit from it:

He gave her no time to think. The words poured from his lips without conscious will or conscious effort of his own.

"Mercy, from the first moment when I saw you I loved you! You are free; I may own it; I may ask you to be my wife!"

She drew back from him further and further, with a wild imploring gesture of her hand.

"No! no!" she cried. "Think of what you are saying! think of what you would sacrifice! It cannot, must not be."

His face darkened with a sudden dread. His head fell on his breast. His voice sank so low that she could barely hear it.

"I had forgotten something," he said. "You've reminded me of it."

She ventured back a little nearer to him. "Have I offended you?"

He smiled sadly. "You have enlightened me. I had forgotten that it doesn't follow, because I love you, that you should love me in return. Say that it is so, Mercy, and I leave you."

A faint tinge of color rose on her face—then left it again paler than ever. Her eyes looked downward timidly under the eager gaze that he fastened on her.

"How can I say so?" she answered, simply. "Where is the woman in my place whose heart could resist you?"

He eagerly advanced; he held out his arms to her in breathless, speechless joy. She drew back from him once more with a look that horrified him—a look of blank despair.

"Am I fit to be your wife?" she asked. "Must I remind you of what you owe to your high position, your spotless integrity, your famous name? Think of all that you have done for me, and then think of the black ingratitude of it if I ruin you for life by consenting to our marriage—if I selfishly, cruelly, wickedly, drag you down to the level of a woman like me!"

"I raise you to my level when I make you my wife," he answered. "For Heaven's sake do me justice! Don't refer me to the world and its opinions. It rests with you, and you alone, to make the misery or the happiness of my life. The world! Good God! what can the world give me in exchange for You?"

She clasped her hands imploringly; the tears flowed fast over her cheeks.

"Oh, have pity on my weakness!" she cried. "Kindest, best of men, help me to do my hard duty toward you! It is so hard, after all that I have suffered—when my heart is yearning for peace and happiness and love!" She checked herself, shuddering at the words that had escaped her. "Remember how Mr. Holmcroft has used me! Remember how Lady Janet has left me! Remember what I have told you of my life! The scorn of every creature you know would strike at you through me. No! no! no! Not a word more. Spare me! pity me! leave me!"

Her voice failed her; sobs choked her utterance. He sprang to her and took her in his arms. She was incapable of resisting him; but there was no yielding in her. Her head lay on his bosom, passive—horribly passive, like the head of a corpse.

"Mercy! My darling! We will go away—we will leave England—we will take refuge among new people in a new world—I will change my name—I will break with relatives, friends, everybody. Anything, anything, rather than lose you!"

She lifted her head slowly and looked at him.

He suddenly released her; he reeled back like a man staggered by a blow, and dropped into a chair. Before she had uttered a word he saw the terrible resolution in her face—Death, rather than yield to her own weakness and disgrace him.

She stood with her hands lightly clasped in front of her. Her grand head was raised; her soft gray eyes shone again undimmed by tears. The storm of emotion had swept over her and had passed away A sad tranquillity was in her face; a gentle resignation was in her voice. The calm of a martyr was the calm that confronted him as she spoke her last words.

"A woman who has lived my life, a woman who has suffered what I have suffered, may love you—as I love you—but she must not be your wife. That place is too high above her. Any other place is too far below her and below you." She paused, and advancing to the bell, gave the signal for her departure. That done, she slowly retraced her steps until she stood at Julian's side.

Tenderly she lifted his head and laid it for a moment on her bosom. Silently she stooped and touched his forehead with her lips. All the gratitude that filled her heart and all the sacrifice that rent it were in those two actions—so modestly, so tenderly performed! As the last lingering pressure of her fingers left him, Julian burst into tears.

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