Saturday, September 10, 2005

Saturday morning and a cuppa tea



Just sitting around drinking a cuppa - the last of the tea I brought back from England :-( - and reading through the morning papers. Here're some of the items that have caught my eye.

Want to put on a period drama, Ivory-Merchant, English-style?
The Guardian's "Period Detail" spills the oh-so-familiar formula. Well, obviously you need a big house, an eccentric or two (or twelve), and Helena Bonham Carter - who, according to the article, "Now chiefly plays neurotic chainsmokers with grey teeth. Which must make a nice change." Ha. And ha. My favorite requirement was #10: A Knight (the septugenarian, authority figure), who used to be represented by Sir John Gielgud but is now more often than not played by Dame Judi Dench. Kinda makes me want to see Sense and Sensibility or something.

Ooh, and another one in The Guardian called "Amazons of the Pen" about women who were kickin' ass all over the place during The Enlightenment, but - strangely enough - are completely left out of the canon of the times. Why be that, me wonda? Want names and numbers? How about:
"Voltaire's mistress Emilie de Ch√Ętelet, translator and commentator on Newton's Principia Mathematica, notorious for her daring conciliation of Newtonian physics with the metaphysics of Leibniz. "She was a great man," Voltaire wrote of his brilliant lover, "whose only fault was in being a woman."

Or maybe:
"The most famous feminist philosopher of the revolutionary era was Mary Wollstonecraft, whose A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) was the first feminist text to have real public impact. But others rallied to the women's-rights banner. Mary Hays, an intimate of Wollstonecraft's, was a self-made literary woman whose writings were a virtual compendium of advanced ideas. A champion of rational religion, materialism, and French revolutionary principles, Hays was an iconoclast even by Enlightenment standards." Interesting reading. By the way, it was dear Dr. Johnson that called them "Amazons of the pen."

This from The Times of London about the re-issue of the classic history of England called Our Island History by H.E. Marshall and first published in 1905. Out of print since 1953, the book is a rollicking tale, simply (too simplistically) told to appeal to young readers. The article is full of interesting little tid-bits and is written by Ben Macintyre who wrote such a lovely piece about New Orleans last week.

And you know how I love Broadway musicals. Well, according to the New York Times, some of that dreadful Movie Tunes music we have to endure after paying an arm and a leg for the ticket and snacks and before seeing some mediocre offering at the local cineplex will now be pleasantly interrupted by a few current Broadway tunes. Keep your ears a-perk for songs from "Wicked" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," the first of the tunes to roll out. Of course, the big shame is that the Broadway Movie Tunes will be the highlight of the movie-going experience. Sigh. (Get thee to Turner Classic Movies!.)

Don't forget to see how you can help with Victoria and Grace's efforts to get direct relief aid to the Gulf Coast area. Check out the database here.

'Nuff fo' now. Enjoy the day, my little chit'lins.

2 comments:

LBH said...

Here in the UK we recently had a TV programme about the history behind the theory of relativity, which attempted to make all things sciencey sexy and interesting for the general audience. They had a huge bit on Emilie de Ch√Ętelet which was the first time I'd heard of her.

I think at long last women like her are beginning to get some of the recognition they deserve!

What kind of tea were you drinking, by the way?

MaryB said...

I'll keep an eye out to see if something of that ilk comes across on one of our Public Broadcasting Stations (since they often pull from UK TV). I found the article fascinating and definitely plan to do a little research of my own.

It must've been so frustrating to those women-thinkers to have - by and large - been dismissed by society.

Twinings Classic English Traditional, though I have a soft spot for Earl Grey, as well. We do have a great tea shop here in Atlanta - lots of big brass containers with all sorts of loose teas. During the winter I stock up on peppermint and Lady Grey.

But now it's time for a G&T!