Once; Ruby Lucas

Semi-Friends Only

This journal is now semi-locked.

(Graphics can be found at netherfield_x.)

I suppose it has been for awhile, but I guess this is just making it official. I'll still keep general posts, like fandom info, and memes and things, public, but my journal will be friends only.

At this time I'm not adding any more friends. Thanks for your understanding. :)
Once; Ruby Lucas

Master List of Literary Web Series

For my own reference, and anyone else who is interested. Possibility of reviews to come...?

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Green Gables Fables

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
- Carmilla

Emma by Jane Austen
- Emma Approved
- Emma's Journal
- The Emma Project

Edgar Allan Poe
- A Tell Tale Vlog

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Frankenstein, M.D.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Nick Carraway Chronicles

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
- In Earnest

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- The Autobiography of Jane Eyre

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The March Family Letters
- Lil Women
- The Jo March Vlog

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- From Mansfield with Love

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
- A Midsemester Night's Dream

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
- Nothing Much to Do
- Much Ado About a Webseries

Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- Shakes

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
- East and West

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- Northbound

Persuasion by Jane Austen
- The Elliots

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
- The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
- Notes by Christine

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
- Jules and Monty

Sanditon by Jane Austen
- Welcome to Sanditon

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Misselthwaite Archives

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Elinor and Marianne Take Barton
- Dashwood Days (incomplete)
- Dashwood Diaries (incomplete)
- Mars and Elly

Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Baker Street

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
- Kate the Cursed


Fairy Tales - University Ever After
Various Literature - Classic Alice
Various Literary Couples - Kissing in the Rain
Once; Ruby Lucas

"The White Queen" Episode One Picpam

I feel like there's been so many various things I've wanted to write about, but I never have the words or motivation — so I am drawn to pictures instead, especially with Tumblr. (You can find me here at heatherfield.tumblr.com.)

So it seemed a natural move to express my excitement for the new series The White Queen (BBC and Starz) in picspam form!

Of course, I am still a writer at heart, and this whole "find" has a backstory:

A week or two ago I stumbled across the novel "The Founding" by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. The attractive historical cover proved to contain an interesting story based on the Wars of the Roses, and for the first time since I can remember, I was enthralled with a book and read its 500 pages in a week. A week!

I don't know why, but I've been intrigued by the time period, so I couldn't believe my luck when at the exact same time, "The White Queen" began. I'm hooked! I'm even reading the books, though I haven't been tempted by Philippa Gregory's stories 'til now.

Anyway, I might give more of a review of these various books, and this new show, but for now I think I'll leave you with these lovely pictures.

Oh, and a question — What do you guys think?

Collapse )
Once; Ruby Lucas

Book Review: "Cassandra's Sister" by Veronica Bennett

To try and get my blogging practices up and running, I thought it would be good to write some reviews of books I've read. (I'm done school! I have leisure-time for reading! I didn't know it still existed.) Please let me know what you think! I'm afraid I can feel my four years of English and History essay-writing coming into my style, so I hope it's not too long...

Title: Cassandra's Sister

Author: Veronica Bennett

Number of Pages: 240

Publisher: Candlewick

[SPOILER ALERT if you are unfamiliar with Jane Austen's biography]

"Cassandra's Sister" focuses on young Jane Austen, or "Jenny," as a burgeoning writer and introduces a young, modern reader to the concerns of a woman growing up in Georgian England. The story begins on a surprising note, with the beheading of Jenny's cousin's husband (got all that?) in France and then transitions to Jenny's reaction to her glamourous cousin Eliza's widowhood. Jenny is about seventeen, and already forming her idea of the world as she begins to write "Elinor and Marianne" (later known, of course, as "Sense and Sensibility"). Throughout the novel, we see Jenny's quiet life in the country, and the social restrictions of the late eighteenth century that may seem unfamiliar to modern readers, all framed by the close bond with her older sister, Cassandra. Jane and Cassandra go to balls and meet with friends and family as they follow the "rules" and learn the harsh realities of the world — especially what it means to be a single woman in this time period, dependent on men. Jenny's lessons about love, marriage, money, and relationships become intertwined in her writings, which include her own love affair with Tom LeFroy and a broken engagement with Harris Bigg. The novel ends ten years later, after Jane puts her ideals into practice and escapes a love-less marriage/engagement with a family friend, Harris Bigg, despite the social embarrassment. We leave the heroine, herself aged only twenty-seven, before she has published any of her famous novels, though we have glimpsed into the life and inspirations of the woman who would later become the beloved author Jane Austen.

Veronica Bennett does a decent job of illustrating not only late eighteenth-century England, but specifically the countryside gentry of Jane Austen's England, as an introduction for the young, modern reader. There are many details, and yet, they bombard the reader rather than add to the authenticity of the story. It's as if Bennett tries to pack as much of her research as possible by adding time-specific terms and imagery, such as specific carriage names or how the dresses might be pressed. On the one hand, it is fascinating and meticulous, but on the other, it can overwhelm and drown the story. Connected with the details of the physical world surrounding the Austens is the overwhelming amount of characters packed into a small amount of pages. I myself am familiar with Austen's biography, but it was difficult to keep track of all the names, and why certain people were important. Bennett's research does her credit, but its full presence is unnecessary for a story directed at a younger audience.

As to the greater themes of the novel, Bennet leaves nothing to subtlety, although this could be more positive, given the targeted audience. As a lover of Jane Austen and the history of the time period, I am very familiar on the issues surrounding women — such as the limited options available to them with careers or money, and the importance of a good marriage. These ideas were cemented again and again, leaving the reader feeling bombarded with a very direct message: namely, that Jane Austen forged the way as a female writer who valued love over money when the society in which she found herself did not. From her perspective of her cousin Eliza's heightened status as a rich widow (with both money and marriage), to her navigation of suiters at various balls, to her passionate (yet brief!) love affair with Tom Lefroy, and her sister's tragic heartbreak with Cassandra's fiançé's untimely death, Jenny makes it more than clear how important men and money are in her world. Bennett pounds this message over and over, and it leaves the story feeling jilted and preachy rather than letting it be a united narrative.

One of the biggest annoyances of the whole story is — surprise, surprise — Jenny's "passionate affair" with Tom Lefroy in the middle of the novel. Their encounter is recorded in a brief couple of pages at a ball, and before I knew what happened, Jenny was declaring herself in love with him after he had been torn away. It was as if Bennett was determined to give Jane a reason for her knowledge on love, a real encounter for her to pine away at for the rest of the novel. Now, I'm not a purist in that I don't mind fictionalizing the relationship between Mr. Lefroy and Jane as something romantic, but if it is to be done, it should be made believable! Like I said, I almost missed the entire encounter, it was so brief, so it does not make sense that Bennett's "Jenny" mentions it for the rest of her life in the same way that Cassandra grieves for her lost Tom Fowle. And really, I think it does the real Jane Austen a huge disservice to suggest she needed a real-life love to write the way she did.

I did appreciate the way Bennett portrayed Cassandra and Jenny's sisterly relationship, as well as Cassandra's love for her fiançé. Though I knew it was coming, it still broke my heart when Tom died and Cassandra pronounced herself a widow. It was also sad to see how a young Jenny went about her daily life in expectation of eventually settling down with a husband and family, since I know the end of Austen's life story.

I ultimately have mixed feelings about "Cassandra's Sister." It could be a good introduction for any young reader into the life of Jane Austen, given its detail and its thorough explanation of the themes of love, money, and society. However, I find Bennett simultaneously simplifies Austen's inspiration and bogs down the story in facts and characters that are unnecessary, creating a jilted connection of events rather than a unified story. I would therefore not personally recommend it. (Oh, and was it really necessary to begin the story in France with a random beheading? No, it was not — we don't need random shock value for a Jane Austen story, whatever Andrew Davies might think.)

If you are interested in more fictionalized accounts of Jane Austen's life, I would recommend Just Jane by Nancy Moser and, for a bit of fictionalized romance with the imaginary Mr. Ashford, The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James.

Notes for the next time I write a review: short and concise! Bonus points if you actually read all of that.
Once; Ruby Lucas

Where Heather has some exciting news.


Thomas proposed and we're getting married and it's so exciting and feels so right. God is so awesome and we're so blessed to be where we are.

While we're so happy, there's a lot of planning to happen, and there's already been enough conflict. With all that there is to do, including graduating university and finding jobs, we're planning on May 2013. It should make for a nice spring wedding.

I'm sorry I've neglected my journal here. I'm hoping to resurrect my blogging, and perhaps even start a "proper" blog separate from Livejournal. With my degree in English, I'm hoping to go into publishing and editing, and perhaps something with writing, so this could be good practice for a potential career. Part of me loves the idea of becoming a writer while the practical side of me shrinks from the discipline that it might require. I question if I have the passion and drive for it, but I would like to at least keep writing as a hobby.

Needless to say, 2012 is looking to be an exciting year!
Once; Ruby Lucas

...and drooling over gorgeous, vintage/retro-inspired photoshoots and clothing.

(At the moment, I find myself switching between very flighty things and much more serious issues. This post is about the former.)

"Unending Love" Lookbook" @ Ruche

I think I found Ruche via wikidwitch, and be forewarned, it can be a dangerous site! It bills itself as "a modern boutique with a vintage touch" and everything is adorable. It re-kindles my wish to have a wardrobe filled with lovely vintage clothes, especially dresses. Alas, I shall have to continue to build my vintage-esque wardrobe slowly, but at least I can keep in mind what I like and add specific pieces intentionally to my collection.

Collapse )

I highly recommend looking through Ruche's "Unending Love" Lookbook — it's gorgeous and seems inspired by the movie "The Notebook." Plus, the clothes modelled are reasonably priced and available, should you fall in love with something.

Or you can just enjoy the pretty pictures for inspiration and fun.
Once; Ruby Lucas

Just wishing I had an (old-fashioned English) cottage...

More and more I absolutely love looking at design blogs for inspiration and pretty things. It makes me look forward to a time when I'll have my own place to make home! And with the summer weather I dream that perhaps I can have a cottage... or at least, perhaps fashion my own home with a cozy, cottage feeling. Maybe.

These are a few of my favourite images that I've saved from the blogs Poppytalk and Design Sponge. I hope they have you thinking happy summer thoughts!

Mokkasin blog (via Poppytalk)

I love the crisp white with the bright colours, and with the quaint flowers in the vase — both fun & modern and sweet & vintage.

Collapse )