Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Falling in love with Dickens :-)

A "pardnership" broken - the opening scene of the book and the movie
I recently ordered some DVDs from Amazon - my favourite Jane Eyre adaptation, Jane Eyre 1983; and two Charles Dickens BBC series - Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House. I'd seen JE before, but I'd never watched the other two series.
Last Friday I came down with a cold. One of those colds that causes your nose to drip,drip like a tap, no matter how many times you blow it. Ugh! My nose is sore and red yet. Anyways - Friday, sick with a cold, it seemed like a good opportunity to watch one of my new DVDs. I picked Our Mutual Friend. The first episode had me hooked! But then when I started watching what I thought was the second episode, I found myself totally confused. Someone had died, at least two marriage proposals had taken place, and I'd somehow missed it all. I was in fact watching the third episode - I had somehow inadverdently missed ep. 2. But by the time I had figured this out, ep. 3 had gotten so exciting, I simply couldn't stop to go back and watch ep. 2.

So, technically, I have only seen three-quarters of Our Mutual Friend. Next time I watch the series, I'll make sure I see the second episode!
Almost as soon as I'd finished watching the last episode, I decided that I really, desperately wanted to read the book! Fortunately my mum was able to pick it up from the library during her Saturday morning shopping trip [thankyou so much! :-) xoxo] - while I was at home, sniffling away.
It is a massive volume! 900 pages! I knew it was a largeish size book, but I didn't know it would be that big. . .

Bradley Headstone (David Morissey) and Rogue Riderhood (David Bradley)
I am now almost one-fifth of the way through (which may not sound like much, but it equates to a couple hundred pages!), and I am thouroughly enjoying it! Previously, the only Charles Dickens novel I had ever finished was A Christmas Carol. I tried to start The Old Curiosity Shop a couple of years ago, but couldn't get into the story. Now, I feel like Dickens and I are finally getting to know each other properly.

Eugene Wrayburn (Paul McGann) and Lizzie Hexam (Keeley Hawes). All screencaps taken by yours truly!
Dickens' prose in Our Mutual Friend is absolutely delicious! And the characters! The amiable Mr. and Mrs. Boffin; Mr. Venus, the bone articulator; Gaffer Hexam, with his grisly mode of scratching a living; Silas Wegg, the "literary man with a wooden leg"; Mr. Eugene Wrayburn and Mr. Mortimer Lightwood, lawyers and best friends; Mr. and Mrs. Veneering; Mr. and Mrs Podsnap. . . to name just a few. As with any Dickens saga, there are dozens of different characters to have to keep up with.
There is no more effective way of keeping warm on a chilly winters' evening (it's the middle of winter here, remember!) than by curling up in a comfortable corner with a nice fat volume of Dickens for company.
Current Mood: Calm

EDIT: nearly everyone who has read this post has clicked on the second image from top, trying to view it at full size. Well, just for you, I uploaded the full-size screenshot. Click here to view!


Anonymous said...

It looks and sounds very interesting .....
Maybe we'll have to watch it together sometime.
Glad you're enjoying the book too!

Abundantly, Mum

Charleybrown said...

Glad to hear that you enjoyed OMF! The first time I watched it, I found the beginning episode dark and daunting but glad I stuck with it! Dickens sure knows how to reel us in with all the twists and turns of the many characters! I was just talking about this series with a couple of friends today - one who's about to see it for the first time :)

And you got Bleak House as well? I love that one even more! Shake me up Judy!!

The Editrix said...

Mummy - I'd love to watch it with you, though I don't know if you'll like it. . . it's quite dark and morbid at times! We'll see. :-)

Charleybrown - I'm looking forward to seeing Bleak House! Better than OMF? That seems almost impossible. . . ;-)

Charleybrown said...

Bleak House has more to love (8 hours vs. an hour and a half for OMF)! It's one of the few that I bought before seeing because I couldn't find it to rent. I was glad that I did buy it because as soon as I finished an episode, I was eager for the next one!
Don't get me wrong, I love OMF but it took me a while whereas I loved the characters of BH right away! I hope you enjoy it!

The Editrix said...

I'm sure I will! :-)

Anonymous said...

This seems like some sort of coincidence to me. :P I'm kind of in a Dickens frenzy right now, too! Only, I'm trying my best to read BH because the DVD's been sitting in its plastic wrap for months, and after reading Little Dorrit & watching the first few episodes of the 2008 miniseries, I'm like, "I can't wait to see the movie!!!"

Now you're saying OMF is good? Gotta put that on my TBR and TBS (To-Be-Seen) lists!

Thanks for a great post! :) And we've got the air conditioning on up here in the north!


guitargirl said...

You MUST watch "Bleak House"! :-D It's one of my favorite stories of all time! :)

Miss Jen said...

Lovely, Elise! :)
Yes... *sigh* Our Mutual Friend
is lovely except for the bloody
gruesome parts! ( I usually just
skip those scenes) Aren't British Dramas the best? Dickens is quite superb!!

Blessings~ Jen

Alice said...

Oh I want to watch OMF!!!! Bleak House is really really good too!!!!

Livi said...

Oops, that comment from Alice was actually me. Alice is my gmail blogger account and I forget which one I am signed in as, sorry. =)

Anonymous said...

Hi big sis
I just think the book is too big altogether

From little sis N

Anonymous said...

I don't think I would ever be able
to read such a big book, 900 pages!
But I'm glad your enjoying it.

Little sis G

The Editrix said...

Hello twins!! :-D

N - fair enough!

G - thankyou! I really am enjoying it.

Love you both! :-)


Obsessivejaneite - what a coincidence that we should both be going through a decidedly Dickensian phase! :-) Little Dorrit is great. I'd love to get the DVD set sometime. And I can't wait to watch BH!

Guitergirl - I promise you I'll watch it!! Do you think I'd buy the DVD and then not watch it?? Just kidding! ;-)

Jen - I agree, Dickens is superb!

Livi - LOL, that's okay! Nice to hear from you. I'm sorry it took so long for me to respond to your friend invitation on LibraryThing! I don't log in to LT all that often.

Livi said...

LOL I haven't logged in to LT for ages either!

guitargirl said...

Okay. I didn't realize you had got it. LOL! It's the best :) Gillian Anderson (Lady Dedlock) starred in a SciFi series called "The X-Files" that was popular here in the States years ago. It was interesting to see her acting proper instead of chasing aliens for a change. ROFLOL!

Charity said...

I love Dickens. I enjoy Austen and Bronte, but Dickens is my favorite of the Victorian authors, because he comprehended human nature so well.

Bleak House is my favorite, but I have seen them all -- Our Mutual Friend, David Copperfield, Little Dorrit, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, and more. Each has wonderful heroes and memorable heroines, eccentric minor characters and subplots, and terrible villains.

Fabulous stuff, really. You are about to embark on a great Dickens adventure.