What I'm Reading
Last night we watched a video of the first part of Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters (published 1866) with Francesca Annis as the annoying Mrs Kirkpatrick.
Wilhelm’s reaction was, “I’ve ODed on the 19th Century.” In the last couple of weeks he has watched Anthony Trollope’s Palliser Series (14 episodes down, 10 to go), AT’s The Way We Live Now, and Mrs Gaskell’s North and South. I mentioned this morning that we have the DVDs of Madame Bovary, but from the look on his face I’d guess he’s not going to be watching that with me.
My reaction to Wives and Daughters was very different. I find myself in the 19th century for at least part of every day so I was delighted with it. This is exceptional TV and even more exceptional Gaskell.
After we watched the video I went immediately to the book and discovered from the introduction that 1) the novel was left with one chapter unfinished when Gaskell died, and 2) it is considered her masterpiece.
So I dropped all the other things I’ve been reading and am now engrossed in Mrs Gaskell's masterpiece.
The many books I’ve put aside to pursue the career of Molly Gibson:
Miss Marjoribanks (1866) by Margaret Oliphant
The Doctor’s Wife (1864) by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Madame Bovary (1856) by Gustave Flaubert
The Prime Minister (1876) by Anthony Trollope
(You see what I mean about the 19th century.)
I, the Jury (1947) by Micky Spillane
The Cold War (2005) by John Lewis Gaddis
Peonies (1999) by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall
Outside the Bungalow: America’s Arts and Crafts Garden (1999) by Paul Duchscherer
Creating Walkable Places: Compact Mixed-Use Solutions (2006) by Adrienne Schmitz and Jason Scully (Urban Land Institute)