Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Period Dramas

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Period Dramas

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

This week’s topic is open-ended: 10 reasons you love _______. So, I’m taking the opportunity to ramble in delight over period dramas, whether they be film, television, or series productions.

Top 10 Reasons I Love Period Dramas

The Young Victoria. So many amazing costumes! AND it is a true story!

The Young Victoria. So many amazing costumes!

1. History

As a fan of both history and historical fiction, what better way to combine story and facts than a period drama?

2. Costumes

Cravats.

Cravats.

Style HAS certainly changed over time, and it’s fascinating. I’m thankful to live in a modern era where comfy pants are acceptable. But I love seeing the elegance and class of past eras. And cravats. Need I say more?

3. Musical Scores

Essential to enhancing a story, if you ask me! I spent a previous topic talking about some of my favorites.

William & Georgiana (James Norton & Eleanor Tomlinson) in Death Comes to Pemberley miniseries

William & Georgiana in Death Comes to Pemberley miniseries

4. Various Story Formats

Series, movie, miniseries. All great for different reasons.

5. Often adapted from books

Books + visual representation of setting + amazing casting = perfect recipe for a perfect period drama.

The Bennett sisters.... I love the way they are portrayed in P&P 2005!

The Bennett sisters…. I love the way they are portrayed in P&P 2005!

6. Portrayal of Relationships

For some reason, period dramas tend to have a better grip on relationships — or at least they emphasize them. And I’m not talking about romantic relationships, but friendship, sibling, or parent-child ones. Think Anne and Diana in Anne of Green Gables, or the Bennet sisters in Pride & Prejudice, or the closeness of Jo March and Marmee in Little Women. Maybe it’s because our life is more complex now due to technology and travel, but fewer modern stories can emphasize and portray relationships with such gravity.

Heath Ledger & Mel Gibson in "The Patriot". A favorite film set during the American Revolution.

Heath Ledger & Mel Gibson in “The Patriot”. A favorite film set during the American Revolution.

 

 

 

7. Love Stories

Call them chick flicks if you want, but I am a huge fan of love stories. And classifying a production as a period drama almost guarantees some part of the story will involve characters finding love and, hopefully, happiness. Which brings me to….

 

Little Women

Little Women

8. Happily-Ever-Afters!

Yes, I’m aware that not every period drama ends with a happily ever after scene. And that’s ok, I still like some of those! But I’m a sucker for a good ending. Or at least one that offers hope and maybe leaves you wondering about the rest.

 

 

 

9. Variety of Sub-Genres

Mystery, suspense, war, drama, romance, comedy, true stories.

North and South 2004. Drama, love, & social commentary in my favorite miniseries.

North and South 2004. Drama, love, & social commentary in my favorite miniseries.

10. Vocabulary

A little item, yes, but SO important. Language and vocabulary are two more things that have changed so much with time. It’s so interesting to be reminded how people spoke.

Henry Tilney & Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey adaptation.

Henry Tilney & Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey adaptation.

And, sometimes learning new words is a fun bonus! Examples: Plimsolls, quixotic, taciturn.

 

 

 

 

It’s your turn! Why do YOU like period dramas? Or do you prefer another genre of film/TV? Please share your thoughts below!

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Read-Along, Chapters 18-24

I’m participating in the March Read-Along of Northanger Abbey hosted by Amber over at Seasons of Humility. I’m a little behind now, but I’m slowly but surely making progress! I am determined to go through with these discussion posts, too. This one covers chapters 18-24.

Northanger Abbey Read-Along Graphic 2016 (2)

Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week’s reading.

Favorite Quote

While this quote is talking about John Thorpe’s regard for Catherine (ugh, please, give me a break), I do like it because it is an interesting expression:

“You know he is over head and ears in love with you.” -Isabella to Catherine, chapter 18

General Impressions

These chapters, like Amber noted, dragged on a bit, even though a few important things DID happen. My favorite parts were probably Henry and Catherine’s discussions. Especially the one about hyacinths! Such exclaiming over a trivial thing is a sign of their relationship being comfortable and familiar, in my opinion.

Questions

1. If you were Captain Tilney’s sibling, would you say something to him about his behavior toward Isabella? Or if you were Isabella’s friend, would you try to warn or correct her? What do you think of Henry’s reaction to Catherine’s concern about the situation?

I probably would, privately, like I suspect Henry did. After all, siblings are needed for encouragement and the occasional prodding! Isabella NEEDS some advice, but I don’t think she would take it!

I think Henry is very discerning and good for Catherine! He can clearly see Isabella’s inconstancy.

2. After reading all about Northanger Abbey, what are your thoughts of the place? Is it anything like you were expecting? Would you ever want to visit or live there if you could?

I’m not sure….I think it is like I expected! I am all for visiting, but I don’t think I would want to live in such a large place even if I could.

3. How do you feel about Catherine’s thoughts and behavior in this section? Was it all harmless intrigue, or do you thinks it’s possible to be too caught up in daydreams and fictional worlds?

It’s definitely possible to be too caught up in daydreams. I thought her added anxiety was a bit much — especially concerning Mr. Tilney (the father). She doesn’t have any grounds to go on making assumptions or even accusations toward him. I think it will get her in trouble!

 

Check out Amber’s Week 4 post for everyone’s answers/links to other posts.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Read-Along Week 3

I’m participating in the March Read-Along of Northanger Abbey hosted by Amber over at Seasons of HumilityWe’re on to chapters 11-17 now!

Northanger Abbey Read-Along Graphic 2016 (2)

Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week’s reading.

Favorite Quotes

…it is very well worth-while to be tormented for two or three years of one’s life, for the sake of being able to read all the rest of it. -ch 14

Catherine…enjoyed her usual happiness with Henry Tilney, listening with sparkling eyes to everything he said; and, in finding him irresistible, becoming so herself. -ch 16

General Impressions

I’m somewhat concerned about John Thorpe’s comment that he would not drive his sister in a carriage to the country because “she had such thick ankles.” It’s almost comical in considering his remark with our modern vocabulary! His blatant rudeness is no surprise to me, though. Similarly, the insincerity of Isabella is starting to grate on my nerves.

Please don’t think I’m not enjoying this story, with my little observations! Perhaps I’m just impressed (again) with Austen’s ability to write such vivid characters. We KNOW the Thorpes are fickle, Catherine is impressionable yet starting to stand on her own, and Henry Tilney is charming.

Happily, I found a version of my name in chapter 17: Mr. Tilney (the elder) mentioned a General Courteney!

Questions

1. How do you feel about the way Catherine handled herself with John, Isabella, and James when they pressured her into ditching her walk with the Tilneys in favor of their own outings? How do you feel about the way she explained herself to the Tilneys?

I was proud of her! I’m so glad she showed some spunkiness in refusing to let them sway her. And, I’m happy she sought out the Tilneys to offer an explanation.

2. Henry, his sister, and Catherine have an interesting discussion about books and education on their walk. What was your favorite part of that conversation? Did any of their opinions on novels, history, or the difficulties in learning to read resonate with you?

I ❤ the whole conversation about books, reading, and education! Particularly that Henry was so proud of confiscating his sister’s book to read it himself! That showed a playful side of him. As I mentioned on Twitter, he is such a grammar snob, and I like him for it. 🙂 As for their opinions on education, I thought it was a wise observation of regarding the effort and lifelong benefits one can have by reading.

3. We’ve been given more glimpses into Henry’s character – as well as Catherine’s infatuation with him. Do you think Catherine has fallen too hard too fast? Or do you think Henry is proving himself worthy of such admiration?

Hmm. Because I know a little of how the story will play out, I’m going to say I don’t think she’s fallen too fast. So far, they have an amiable relationship which she would like to grow, I think. One way he is proving his character is by how he’s treating his sister (and in later chapters, how he speaks of his brother).

What are your thoughts? Head over to Amber’s Week 3 post for everyone’s answers/links to other posts & to enter the new GIVEAWAY !

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Read-Along Week 2

I’m participating in the March Read-Along of Northanger Abbey hosted by Amber over at Seasons of Humility. We’re already in chapter 10! This discussion post covers chapters 4-10. 

Northanger Abbey Read-Along Graphic 2016 (2)

Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week’s reading.

Favorite Quotes

Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it. I assure you, if it had not been to meet you, I would not have come away from it for all the world. -chapter 6

Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter. -chapter 10

General Impressions

As Amber noted, Catherine seems to be drawn away or distracted from her desires at every turn in these chapters. I find it interesting that Catherine met Mr. Tilney in chapter 3 and didn’t have any real interaction again with him until chapter 10. Maybe Austen wanted the reader to miss him or cheer Catherine on with a little absence? Or it’s a lesson in patience for Catherine. Either way, I’m glad she has met with him again. 🙂

The Thorpes are proving to be a bother. While they are, at least, an acquaintance for Catherine to have in Bath, I’m thinking their motives are not for friendship and kindness but are instead self-focused. And is it just me, or does it seem odd that Catherine’ s brother, James, is staying with the Thorpes instead of spending time or lodging with Catherine? (I know he’s obviously infatuated with Isabelle, but still…)

Now for my even more random thoughts. In chapter 5, there is mention of the Crescent (I think referring to this popular Royal Crescent area). And, in chapter 11, we see mention of a castle and other place names. My question is this: did people of that era get excited about mentions of familiar places like I think we do today? Totally random, but I’d like to think they appreciated Austen including them and maybe thought: “oh, I’ve been there!”

Questions

1. Is Isabella a friend or a “frenemy“? Do you think there’s the seed of a genuine friendship between her and Catherine, or is Isabella only loyal to her own ambitions?

First impressions made me think she would be somewhat of a friend, but now I’m leaning towards frenemy. She is not sincere in her attentions toward Catherine (like ignoring her to talk with James Morland, etc.), and I think Catherine is just a means to get to James. Or, Isabelle is treating Catherine as a friend because she has no better acquaintance to spend time with. Poor Catherine! It makes me feel for her and wish she was not so trusting of Isabelle (because she is so innocent, I don’t think she comprehends the deceit or insincerity of the Thorpes).

2. Let’s talk about John Thorpe, whose presence is obviously a problem! How would you advise Catherine in her interactions with Mr. Thorpe?

Run. Away. Now. hehe 😉

All he talks about are his carriage, horses, and money. Really, Catherine doesn’t need to associate with him beyond acquaintance. Like I’ve said, he and his sister seem very self-centered and I don’t think they will be a good influence or example for Catherine.

3. Do you agree with Mr. Tilney’s comparisons between dancing and marriage? And do you consider dancing an important component of romance?

His comparisons are so interesting! I had not thought of connecting the two in quite that way. It’s definitely a passage to come back to and consider after the book’s over. As for the second question, I have to agree with Kara. I don’t consider it a priority today. For the Regency era, I’m sure it was an important part of a social relationship for many couples–  I will defer to another Austen heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, in suggesting that dancing is the best way to encourage affection.

Head over to Amber’s Week 2 post for everyone’s answers/links to other posts & to enter the fun GIVEAWAY !

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen: Read-Along Week 1

I’m participating in the March Read-Along of Northanger Abbey hosted by Amber over at Seasons of HumilitySo far, we’ve made it through the first few chapters with ease! This is a discussion post for Week 1 which covers the very beginning: chapters 1-3.

Northanger Abbey Read-Along Graphic 2016 (2)

Discussion Format: One favorite quote, some general impressions, and three questions for each week’s reading.

Favorite Quote

As for admiration, it was always very welcome when it came, but she did not depend on it. -Chapter 2, of Catherine

General Impressions

I’m impressed with the narrative voice of the story! The “omniscient” perspective of the writer addressing the reader in telling of Catherine is so humorous and witty! I’m also impressed with how different this story is from more well known Austen works. She really was a great author!

Questions

1. What do you find most endearing about Catherine’s character? Do you consider her to be good heroine material?

So far, I appreciate her innocence and what seems to be a kind demeanor. We don’t know much about her personality yet, but I think that will be revealed. I do think she will make a good heroine — after all, the “writer” has declared her to be the cheerful heroine of the story 🙂 .

2. What are your first impressions of Mr. and Mrs. Allen? What sort of impact do they have on Catherine?

Mrs. Allen has been hinted to be distressing to Catherine later. This made me think of her as an antagonistic woman like Austen seems to always include (like Lady Catherine in Pride & Prejudice or Lady Russell in Persuasion). Right now, they have offered Catherine a great opportunity, but they have a great deal of control over her situation and schedule. We’ll see if this proves a good thing.

3. Has Mr. Tilney already stolen your heart, or are you still forming your opinion of his character? Which of his positive or negative qualities stand out to you most? Do you consider him to be good hero material?

I’m still forming my opinions, though his first impression was close to perfect ;). His wit and kindness stand out the most, especially in his handling of Mrs. Allen and her muslin musings. From the movie adaptation and other readings, I know him to be a unique Austen hero because of his positive nature and general demeanor, so I’m excited to see how this is carried out in the book.

 

Well, there’s my thought process! Head over to Amber’s Week 1 post for everyone’s answers/links to other posts & to enter the fun GIVEAWAY !