Sunday, November 02, 2008

For Sanne...why I love English literature

While away for our week at Cranberry Cottage, I had the fortune to be able to meet a Dutch blogger and her family. Janneke welcomed us to her home where we enjoyed tea, a delicious meal and great conversation. I must admit that Janneke is just as she comes over on her blog, a very warm person, and has a beautiful home. We also got to spend the afternoon talking with her husband Wim and her beautiful daughter Sanne.

Now it is to Sanne that I dedicate my story about how my love for English literature started. It did not start with a book but with a filmed version of a book. As a child, I had started watching PBS television back in Ohio. One day, a film was on Masterpiece Theater called The Mill on the Floss. I was hooked. It was my first brush with these wonderful novels being filmed. I find this George Eliot novel to hold much sentiment for me as a result.

I never did get to ask Sanne if she has read or seen this one? You see we started discussing my love for the Brontes in the kitchen while helping her mother make dinner. The discussion continued at the dinner table after we had finished our meal. We talked about books and films and which version of which novel we preferred.

And so I want to share a photo I took in a manor house in Friesland a while ago which fits so well with a favorite quote from the book "The Mill on the Floss".

Do you have a favorite English literature book and quote?

“Oh, dear, oh, dear, Maggie, what are you thinkin’of, to throw your bonnet down there? Take it
upstairs, there’s a good gell, an’ let your hair be brushed, an’ put your other pinafore on, an’ change your
shoes, do, for shame; an’ come an’ go on with your patchwork, like a little lady.”
“Oh, mother,” said Maggie, in a vehemently cross tone, “I don’t want to do my patchwork.”
“What! not your pretty patchwork, to make a counterpane for your aunt Glegg?”
“It’s foolish work,” said Maggie, with a toss of her mane,—“tearing things to pieces to sew ’em
together again. And I don’t want to do anything for my aunt Glegg. I don’t like her.”

~ Excerpt from Chapter II of The Mill on the Floss


Anonymous said...

Hello Heidi,

thank you for your wonderful message! I really loved it when you and Jos were here, especially our talks about english literature. It's so nice to see a post on your blog about it. I want to thank you a lot!

What beautiful music you have, is it not from the Pride & Prejudice version with Keira Knightly?

I haven't read that novel of George Eliot yet, but i'm sure i shall soon. A really nice quote!

My favourite part of a book is the part from Pride & Prejudice.

“From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. - Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.” - mr. Bennet.

Don't you just love it? I doubted between this one and something that mr. collins said about Lady Catherine. I'm sure you'll know it: it is about compliments towards her. And then Lizzy asks if they arise from previous study :).

If there's a new version of a period drama, shall we mail and give our meaning about it?

Well, we keep in touch. Greetings to Jos.

Sanne xx

P.S.: Now i come to think of it; I've read that there's a new version of Wuthering Heights coming...I already look forward to it :)

Judy said...

What a wonderful post. I'm so glad you had such a great time with new friends.

Brigitta said...

Thank you for sharing this with us Heidi. I'm a Jane Austen girl myself, but cannot think of a particular quote right now. Maybe I should start reading them again ;-) Thanks for the inspiration!

Nancy said...

My favorite is Withering Heights. That is a sad story but the movie, not sure which one, was wonderful. I also like Jane Eyre.
The characters are great and well written. I love the Bronte's and their area of England. We like the tomb stones, huh Heidi. " Be careful or you might fallllllllll."
Down you went.
Love you, Mom

Melissa said...


It sounds like you made a new friend who is a kindred spirit.

Thank you so much for your birthday and anniversary wishes.

You are a dear.

Have a great week.


Joni said...

I don't recognize that quote but I do recognize that quilt because I've seen it in that manor house! (Haven't I?) Take care!

Rhondi said...

Hi Heidi
You won my giveaway! I was so excited when your name came up! Please email me your address and I'll get in the mail for you.
Hugs, Rhondi

Anonymous said...

I@ve really enjoyed your post and love the quote...will have to think about my favourite, but I love the novels of Thomas Hardy.

Elizabethd said...

I so enjoyed reading this, thank you.
My favourite author is Jane Austen, but also a more contemporary one is Elizabeth Goudge. Her book The Little White Horse is a childhood favourite of mine.

Anonymous said...

The book has to be Jane Eyre. It was filmed beautifully by the BBC with Tim Dalton and Zelah Clarke and used lots of Charlotte Bronte's original dialogue.

Great post

Elaine Saunders
Author - Fiction Writing Exercises
Complete Text

Sweetie said...

Hi Heidi - This is just crazy. I, too, like Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is one of my favorite characters (probably because he was hammered in my head during literature class in my high school days). I couldn't think of a quote but I found this great quote by Heathcliff on line. "Tell the dirty stable boy to let go of you. He soiled your pretty dress. But who soiled your heart? Not Heathcliff. Who turns you into a vain, cheap, worldly fool? Linton does. You'll never love him, but you'll let yourself be loved because it pleases your stupid, greedy vanity."

Susan in SC said...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." ~Charles Dickens

This is when I fell in love with British Lit!

Dena said...

Oh what a lovely post! I'm currently re-reading one of my favs - Wuthering Heights. I don't think I could pick a favorite quote because I love the whole yummy thing!


Mary said...

Dearest Heidi - thanks for welcoming me back and yes, I do still seem to have some kind of jet lag, and with the time change too everything seems off kilter in my life! I've been so busy sorting through mail, messages, cleaning, laundry, shopping etc. This is a busy week again, keeping Jasmin while school is out for a couple of days, the election, hair appt., and dh has a medical procedure coming up Thurs. I need a vacation....again!
Did have a super trip though and will eventually get to show pics.

Hope Jos likes his new job, that you are feeling well and enjoying Autumn weather.
Hugs - Mary.

Tracy said...

Hi, Heidi! This post really resonated with me, as I love English literature and always have. I read above my reading level in school from rather an early age, so I was reading the English classics from 10 and early teens and on. I also became hooked on all the PBS dramatizations of many of the English classics. Jane Austen is a favorite, of course! ;o) I do love George Eliot, The Bronte sisters's works, Elizabeth Gaskell, Anthony many, I could list all day! And watch the dramatizations all day--LOL! Happy Reading and dreaming, my friend ((HUGS))

Ragged Roses said...

I loved Mill on the Floss!!! I am so grateful to my English teachers at school for making us read all those classics, my eldest daughter does not seem to read them at school and at home she is finding a whole new world opening up for her, she is devouring them, particularly the Brontes and Jane Austen of course. There are so many wonderful words in Wuthering Heights spoken between Cathy and Heathcliff.

The Dutchess said...

Like Susan I love Charles Dickens..wanted to quote just the same fragment!!
Beautiful quilt..and where is that Manor house ..sure want to visit if possible..
Fijn Weekend..