June 27, 2011 § 2 Comments
Doro is my nickname for Dorothy Wordsworth, whom I’m really fond of. Not only was she waaaay cooler than her dull brother, yep, that Wordsworth, she wrote a travel memoir that is so perfectly in the Picturesque style that it puts Gilpin to shame. Not that he shouldn’t be ashamed anyway, so atrocious is his prose.
I’m always book hunting and recently found this suuuuper cute Oxford University Press 1958 edition of some of her journals. It includes the Grasmere Journals that I’ve mentioned before.
It’s pocket! And mint green! And a super cute picture on the front! It has “Purchased at Wordsworth’s Cottage Grasmere” stamped on the flyleaf. Sweeeet!
I’ll do a little write up about it when I’ve finished reading. Right now I have to get back to Doro’s slanting woods of an unvarying brown and the half dead sound of the near sheep-bell. O Doro!
March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
Athenian Stuart…Single Speech Hamilton…Capability Brown
March’s Literary Review goes in for a little of one of my favorite topics – Capability Brown. In her atrociously titled piece, “The Earth Moved for Him”, Amanda Foreman reviews Jane Brown’s biography of the über influential master landscape gardener, The Omnipotent Magician: Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown 1716-1783, likewise absurdly titled.
But I’m indebted to Foreman’s otherwise cracking piece for putting me on the track of art historian Dorothy Stroud’s 1950 biography, a work I hadn’t heard of and will now endeavor to find.
March 3, 2011 § Leave a comment
As some of you may know, one of my majors at university is Medieval Studies, and yesterday Jane Austen popped up on campus in the most unlikely of places – my Europe in the Middle Ages history class. Yesterday’s lecture dealt primarily with a comparison between English Common Law and the Laws of Cuenca, one of the pertinent points being that facets of English primogeniture, such as the entail, were already in use in the 12th century.
And on this point our professor commented, “And anybody who’s seen Pride and Prejudice knows what an entail is. All those daughters left without estate or income because the property is legally entailed away from the squire’s natural children in favor of a male heir.” And a murmur of understanding rippled throughout the lecture hall. Nice one, Austen.