In the meantime, here's a quick look at where I've been. Some wonderful reading time has passed.
#29 A rose by any other name would still write as sweet
#30 Movies and books have so little in common
|Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet|
|Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Bennet|
The book is a collection of short essays by Jan Struther, an English writer who is also famous for writing hymns. The essays, each a brief look at the everyday life of a British housewife, were based on Struther's own life and appeared in the London Times from 1937 until 1939. They're lovely, beautifully written, touching peeks into topics as world-shaking as hosting a dinner party and shopping for Christmas presents. Only briefly, towards the end, do the essays really touch on the world at large, once in a very moving piece about the family going to pick up their assigned gas masks, including the miniature models for her two young children. "It was for this, thought Mrs. Miniver as they walked towards the car, that one had boiled the milk for their bottles, and washed their hands before lunch, and not let them eat with a spoon which had been dropped on the floor." She writes also about going to first-aid class and the strange sense of expectation combined with apprehension that has descended on her country. Another woman confides that she likes the class because it makes her feel like she is back at school again. "I know," Mrs. Miniver thinks, "that's the whole point. That is the one great compensation for the fantastic way in which the events of our time are forcing us to live. The structure of our life--based as it is on the every-present contingency of way--is lamentably wrong: but its texture, oddly enough, is pleasant. There is a freshness about, a kind of rejuvenation: and this is largely because almost everybody you meet is busy learning something. Whereas in ordinary times the majority of grown-up people never try to acquire any new skill at all, either mental or physical: which is why they are apt to seem, and feel, so old."
The book was a huge success, in both Britain and the US, where Struther went on an enormously successful lecture tour. The book was such a hit that Franklin Roosevelt credited it for hastening America's involvement in the war. Winston Churchill supposedly said that Mrs. Miniver did more for the Allid cause than a flotilla of battleships.
#31 Did I mention that movies and books have so little in common?
|Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's creature|
|My favorite Frankenstein creature: Peter Boyle in Young Frankenstein|