Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones
cleolinda

A rambling entry, because I'm a little headachy:

So. I've spent the weekend reading (rereading Alison Weir's Elizabeth I bio, and reading The Other Boleyn Girl for the first time), and I have a crick in my back now. Ow. About The Other Boleyn Girl--it's a brisk, juicy read, and I'm not a stickler for absolute historical accuracy if the story's engaging, which it is. I do find myself nitpicking tiny things, stylistically and otherwise, like "Questioning glance would have fit there so much better than interrogatory glance," and "if Mary says that she's Just The Other Boleyn Girl™ one more time, I'm going to reach into the book and slap her," and "Oh God, please don't make me read about someone giving Henry VIII a handjob," but really, my biggest problem with the book is the basic premise that Mary Boleyn, the main character, through whom the story is told in first person, is this sacrificial ingenue. The birthdates aren't certain, but it's possible that she was the older sister; it's very likely she should be about 20-21, not 14, when the book starts; and it's generally thought that she was the French king's (Francis? Francois?) mistress before she came back to England and got involved with Henry. If anyone should be coaching her sister in the ways of the court and the world, it's Mary, not Anne (although you do get Mary giving her sister blowjob tips later in the book). I seem to recall one of Weir's other books on the Henrician court citing a quote that Mary was "the most infamous whore of all," or something to that effect. I mean, I like her, and I think that a book on the premise of "the forgotten Boleyn sister" is a great idea. It's just that Gregory creates a fictional persona that does not seem to match up with the historical one very much, and that character is the premise and foundation of the book. I mean, she can make up all she wants about Francis Weston, as far as I'm concerned; he's relatively peripheral. It's a little like writing a book about the loves of Elizabeth I and saying that she was a wallflower. You can fudge as to whether or not Elizabeth had this or that liaison, but her essential persona kinda needs to be there. But I guess Gregory can get away with doing a 180 on Mary Boleyn because nobody outside the history geeks really knew or thought about her much before this book.

That, and she uses the word "sexy" at least twice. Since the book is written in first person from Mary Boleyn's perspective, it's just sort of weirdly anachronistic for me. I can let a lot of subtly modernized speech go, but a word that pretty plainly wasn't in use at the time? (I mean, maybe it was. I don't have access to the OED online at the moment. But I doubt it.) It bothers me. Like "It's okay" at the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean. Even that still bothers me. Anyway, I'm not finished yet--Anne's just had Elizabeth--but I'll probably finish before I go to bed.

Speaking of movies, Jane Eyre (the Charlotte Gainsbourg version, which I really, really like) went over fabulously for Happy Grandma Movie Day. "I'm just going to keep thinking about that," she kept saying. That, and "Oh!" a lot. She got really into it. Very early on she had pinned the mysterious evildoer at Thornfield Hall as Adele's mother--this before we found out what actually happened on that score--which wasn't correct, obviously, but was remarkably close to the gist of the situation. So I now know that she likes Gothic melodrama as well as your Jane Austens and your genteel swashbucklers and your early Hitchcocks, which opens up the field a teensy bit. (Yes, we have already watched Rebecca. No, I don't have Mansfield Park or Persuasion, and I kind of think that the recent, loose adaptation of the former might be a little... earthy for her. No, I don't have Little Women, any version, on DVD, or I'd slap that bad boy on so fast it'd make your head spin. God, I wish I had the old Elizabeth Taylor Ivanhoe.) Mom thinks she'd like Pearl Harbor, which I kind of don't think she would (read: "Good God, don't subject me to three hours of that").

However, before we come to blows over Happy Grandma Movie Day, it looks like we won't be doing it for much longer anyway--my mother did, in fact, get the job at [University], and for more money than we expected. Still less than her old job, but things are looking good. Hell, I think my stepfather's more relieved than she is, he was that worried about it.

Anyhoo. Still writing, still working, mostly feeling good.

(P.S. Be sure you stay at the end of X-Men to see the little extra scene. It's not much as scenes go, but it'll make you feel better. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm going on Tuesday, which seems to be a propitious day for moviegoing at my house.)

Linkspam:

A few notes on the Lost tie-in novel Bad Twin, which seems to have Widmore (as in Penelope Widmore, Widmore Construction, and Widmore Labs Pregnancy Tests) family connections.

(A summary of Our Mutual Friend, as prominently seen with Desmond.)

Helena Bonham Carter to play Bellatrix in the next Harry Potter. I think Helen McCrory is dropping out to have a baby, it said?

First image of Young Snape.

Dame Judi Dench and Ewan McGregor on the street dressed as... well, "foodstuffs," is the only word I can think of.

Sweet Lord, Beth at BPAL has been through some tribulations. I think my favorite part, however, is Our landlord at the last location went batshit, most of which I'm not at liberty to talk about, and among other things, he decides at the last minute of our lease that he wants to give over our space to his son, who wants to put on raves there. 

Back to reading.


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