Saturday, June 29, 2013

101 Titles

"I declare, after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything but a book!"   ~Jane Austen

 As you probably have guessed by now, I am an avid reader. There are few things I delight in more than a good book! I just love reading about different eras and different places, getting to know and love the characters, rejoicing at their triumphs, laughing at their mishaps, grieving at their sorrows. (Yes, I have been known to cry while reading especially tear-jerking books. But that's alright.) :P
  I have compiled a list of books to read, following the example of Emma Woodhouse, although I couldn't come up with 101 books that I even wanted to read, so I have narrowed it down to 15. : ) Here they are:
 (And by the way, don't you just LOVE the covers of Christian historical fiction?!) ;D

   Emma's Fifteen Titles to Read

   The Heroines Behind the Lines series by Jocelyn Green

 The American Tapestries series by various authors

                                                Queen of the Waves by Janice Thompson

                                                 Where the Trail Ends by Melanie Dobson

                                                   Always Remembered by Janelle Mowrey

                                                       A Lady's Choice by Sandra Robbins

                                            The Courier of Caswell Hall by Melaine Dobson

                                            The Journey of Josehpine Cain by Nancy Moser

  The Lancaster Burning series by Linda Byler

 Book 1 in the Hearts Seeking Home series by Mona Hogdson

Book 1 in the Homeward Journey series by Martha Rogers

                                            Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini

One Glorious Ambition: The Compassionate Crusade of Dorothea Dix by Jane Kirkpatrick

              Bid Time Return (also known as Somewhere in Time : ) by Richard Matheson

                                                  Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

  Oh, and also: I'm sure y'all have heard about Google getting rid of Google Friend Connect? Yes, I know, it's just terrible. Anyway, it seems the only other way to keep following blogs is with this thing called Bloglovin, which I have tried to sign up for, but for some reason it doesn't work. For some reason unbeknownst to me it won't accept my user name (Emma Jane), and if I click "sign in" at the top of the site, nothing happens. So, if anyone with any expertise on the subject could help me at all with it, I should be exceedingly obliged!

Have you ever read any of these books?
What sort of books do you like to read?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

"It's June 27th, 1912..."

                                                        Elise McKenna:"Is it you? Is it?"
                                                               Richard Collier: "Yes."

  Today is June 27th, the day Richard Collier and Elise McKenna, two ill-fated lovers from different eras, meet on the beach by the Grand Hotel!

  I just love this movie! It's one of most beautiful movies I have ever seen. I love it for its beauty, simplicity, gorgeous music and just all-around classic-ness. And the ever-lovely Jane Seymour, of course. : ) Normally I can't stand movies with time travel, but Somewhere in Time is the an exception. The first time I watched it I was a little leery of the whole time travel theme, but somehow they managed to make the transition between eras romantic, whimsical, amusing, and even somewhat believable. (No, I have not lost my mind. Of course I don't believe in time travel, but it is fun to pretend, no?) :P

    The first encounter I had with the movie Somewhere in Time was when I first watched (I say "first" because since them I've probably watched it about seven times) Jane Seymour's A&E biography on the special features of the first season of Dr. Quinn. It showed part of the reunion scene when Richard sees Elise come back and they run to meet each other on the stairs of the hotel, a scene which Sadie and I have since dubbed "one of the most romantic scenes in cinematic history." Someday I'll do a post about those, we have quite a list. Anyway. Of course we were all very intrigued by it, being that is was a period drama set in the early 20th century, Jane Seymour was in it,  and the music was by John Barry, whom my daddy has always admired for his James Bond soundtracks, but it wasn't until last summer that we finally borrowed it from the library and watched it.
  Surprisingly, it wasn't love at first sight. Actually, quite frankly, I thought it was considerably boring (gasp!) and so did both my sisters. It wasn't exactly what we were expecting and I thought it was rather slow (which it is, kind of- the first half-hour or so of the movie takes place in the 1980s and basically just follows Richard Collier on his quest to travel back to 1912, which gets a tiny, dull, and Jane Seymour doesn't appear until 45 minutes into the movie. So in short, I liked it alright, but I wasn't too impressed.
  However, after we watched it I did begin to like it more and more. So when I saw the DVD on sale for only $4, on a whim I bought it for Sadie for Christmas- one of the great things about having sisters with whom you share common interests is that you can buy them exactly what you would want, and then you can use it too- and we watched it again and completely fell in love with it. At least, I did. I think it's one of those movies that you have to already be familiar with to fully appreciate it, because the second time around it was like visiting a place I'd once been, seeing old friends again and uncovering old memories I had almost forgotten. It wasn't hardly boring at all, and soon after it became one of my favourite movies.

    Christopher Reeve is not one of my favourite actors, but I liked him well enough as the playwrite Richard Collier. Richard isn't usually very serious and is somewhat boyish, but also very sincere and I have grown quite fond of him. Jane Seymour is possibly my favourite actress ever and while at first it was very different to see her as such a quiet and somewhat mysterious character, since I've known and loved her as Dr Quinn for so long, I soon grew to like Elise very much. Her dresses are absolutely gorgeous- this is probably my favourite era for fashions, and I just love her dresses! She and Christopher Reeve are not the best screen couple I have ever seen- not like Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant or anything like that- but I think they worked very well together and made quite a charming couple. Jane Seymour was just perfect as the beautiful and refined Elise McKenna, and Christopher Reeve was charming as the playful and boyish Richard Collier.
"I thought I'd lost you!"
"Oh, never! Never, never, never!"
  Another thing I love about Somewhere in Time is the simplicity. The story is, I admit, a little out there with the time travel and all, and if you spend too much time thinking about what happens it gets a really confusing. But still it has such a refreshing simplicity to it- perhaps it's the lovely 1910's era and the beautiful setting- that makes it somehow believable and a joy to watch, and so if you don't spend too much time thinking about what happens you are completely swept away in the utter gorgeousness of the film.

 As with most good movies, the music of Somewhere in Time adds greatly to the beauty of it. The score is composed by John Barry, one of the greatest film composers of all time (in my opinion), and is one of the most lovely I have ever heard. Sadie and I bought the soundtrack last year and have listened to it over an over (and over) and it is truly gorgeous. One of my favourite tracks, Is He the One, is played when Richard Collier first sees Elise's reflection in the window, walking alone on the beach....*sigh*.

   The ending of the movie is not a happy one, however. The first time I watched it I actually got kind of annoyed, because it was just so...strange. It doesn't end happily, but it's not neccessarlily a bad ending either- it's not one of those endings that makes you think, "oh, WHY did I watch that?", but rather, it makes you believe in miracles and the power of true love. (And now I'm getting all sentimental.) :P

   Somewhere in Time fans, do visit the official Somewhere in Time fansite for a fun trivia game, as well as any and all information you could possibly wish to know about the movie and the actors. If you haven't seen Somewhere in Time, I highly recommend that you do. Sink me if you don't love it! : )


                                       He gave up life in the find love in the past.

Monday, June 24, 2013

John Keats ~ When I Have Fears

Hello everyone! As you may have noticed, there has been somewhat of a lack of posting this week- I've been awfully busy these past few days with all that summer brings and have not had much time to spare for posting. However, I do have a special post planned for the 27th- can anyone guess what it might be? : ) I'll give you a very broad hint: 

(I realize that it is only if you've seen Somewhere in Time that you will recognize the significance of June 27th.) :P
 Anyway, today I have decided to share with you one of my favourite poems by one of my very favourite poets, John Keats.

~When I Have Fears~

  When I have fears that I may cease to be
  Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,
  Before high-piled books, in charactery,
 Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain;
 When I behold, on the night's starred face,
 Huge cloudy symbols of high romance,
 And think that I may never live to trace
 Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
 And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
 That I shall never look upon thee more,
 Never have relish in that faery power
 Of unreflecting love, then on the shore
 Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
 Till love and fame to nothingness do sink. ~

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to Hugh Dancy and Samuel West!

    Today is the birthday of two of my favourite actors: Hugh Dancy and Samuel West!

   Samuel Alexander Joseph West was born on June 19th, 1966 in Hammersmith, London England to actors Timothy West (whom you may know from Bleak House and Ever After) and Prunella Scales. View his IMDB page here.

Period Dramas

                             Howard's End as Leonard Bast

    I don't know if I'd recommend this movie: it's one of those movies that isn't very good- in fact, it's rather torturous to watch- but it has such an excellent cast that the actors almost make it good. Leonard Bast is not a very strong character and spends most of the movie being miserable. He is unhappily married and unhappily employed, but he really isn't a bad man, he's just extremely unfortunate and falls into bad ways in his desperation. In spite of his faults I grew to be somewhat fond of Mr. Bast, and was very shocked and disappointed at his untimely death. The acting in this movie was excellent and Samuel West's performance was quite good, but it's not one of my favourites.

            Horatio Hornblower: The Wrong War as Major Edrington
   This is definitely my favourite Samuel West role. The Horatio Hornblower series are my very favourite period dramas and I really liked the character of Major Edrington (or it might be better if I addressed him as "my lord"- he is, in fact, the Earl of Edrington ), the practical and always professional army major. At first he seems a little uppity and somewhat arrogant- most of the soldiers seem to be in Hornblower. He comes from a wealthy family and is hesitant to trust the French "allies", often implying that they are not equal to his own British army, but underneath his imposing ego he really is a very able leader and a wise man, with a very good head on his shoulders. He also has quite a few clever lines that I like to quote. : )

Facts about Samuel West

   -He is a highly respected Shakespearean actor who has played Richard II and Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

   -He is a frequent co-star of his father, Timothy West, and in many of the productions in which they appear together they play father and son.

  -He is a huge fan of Doctor Who.

Hugh Dancy was born on June 19th, 1975 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. His mother Sarah is a publisher and his father Jonathon is a writer and philosophy professor at Reading University. He has a younger brother, Jack, and a younger sister, Kate. View his IMDB page here.

Period Dramas

Recognize anyone else in this picture? : )
                                   King Arthur as Galahad

     This is one of my favourite of Hugh Dancy's roles. This movie isn't really one of my favourites and I kind of have mixed feelings about it, but I really can't help liking it and Hugh Dancy's character Galahad is definitely one of the best characters. Galahad is known as the most noble of all of Arthur's knights, which is quite apparent in the movie. Even though they are all very rough warriors, Galahad somehow seems more refined than the rest. He is honest and even chivalrous, while most of the other knights are less than respectful and can be somewhat uncivil at times. Galahad was from the very first my favourite, a valiant and brave warrior and a gentleman in a time when true gentlemen were scarce.

                          Daniel Deronda as Daniel Deronda

    This is one of my favourite BBC miniseries, and the compassionate and kind Daniel Deronda has become one of my favourite heroes from classic literature. The miniseries has an excellent cast, beautiful music and gorgeous Victorian costumes, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves period dramas! Daniel Deronda is rather unlike any other character I've seen Hugh Dancy play and so it was kind of a pleasant change to see him well-groomed and dressed up, as opposed to dirty and shaggy like Galahad. :P Not that dirty and shaggy is always bad, but it was quite nice to see him as a Victorian gentleman. (I also loved the scenes where he sang!)

Other Movies

                                       Ella Enchanted as Prince Charmont

   This was actually the first movie I saw Hugh Dancy in. I'm not really a fan of this adaptation of Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, mostly because it strays so far from the book, but I cannot help liking Hugh Dancy as Prince Char! I read the book before I watched the movie and really enjoyed it, and so that was the main reason why I was disappointed with the movie. It is actually a rather cute movie, if you disassociate it with the book, but since it's not in any way a faithful adaptation of the book it's hard to even see it as the same story, since they kind of changed the entire story and made it more..hip, I believe, is the right word for it. However, Prince Char was quite charming and I thought he was probably the best character, at least the one that stayed the most true to the book.

Facts about Hugh Dancy

  -He is married to actress Claire Danes.

  -He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature and Language.

  -He is good friends with Ewan McGregor.

  -He speaks fluent French.

  -He and his wife have a son named Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy.

  Very Truly Yours,

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Summer Header!

 Hello, dears!

   As I'm sure you have noticed, For the Beauty of the Earth has a new look! I thought it was time
for a new summer header. The new header has an Emma (2009) theme, but it also has pictures from Cranford and Wives and Daughters, because I thought they would look pretty together. : )

                                      Previous Header

  I am quite fond of the my new header, I hope you like it as much as I do!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Flowers, flowers, flowers!

I just love flowers, don't you? There are few things that make me happier than seeing beautiful flowers in bloom! I've recently awakened and interest in photography and I've been wanting to post some pictures of the beautiful flowers around my house, but alas, I do not have a camera of my own, and nobody in my family has a digital camera (we just always use disposable ones.) However, my cousin was kind enough to lend me his iPod for that very purpose, and I was so pleased with the pictures I took that I have decided to share them with y'all. :P
  Oh, and I took the pictures vertically, so that is the reason why they look kind of smooshed. Sorry about that, I didn't know it was going to happen that way. ;D Also, the iPod camera isn't that great and so that might be part of it.

  These are the flowers on the front porch. :P

  Our exquisite hanging basket, which is becoming somewhat overgrown. Have to do something about that soon. : )

   My sweet sister Molly picked these flowers for me on the evening of me dance recital. : )

    Millie and Katie (Kathleen) wanted their five minutes of fame (hehe), so I put some of the daisies in their hair. :P

    These I picked this morning from a great big bush down by our barn. I have no idea what they're called, but they're very pretty! ; )

Do you love flowers as much as I do? : )
What are your favourite kinds of flowers?

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