England (the Southern / Central Part), from East to West and Back: Bookish Souvenirs

Jane Austen's Hampshire - Terry Townsend The Book of Margery Kempe - Margery Kempe, Barry Windeatt Intimate Letters of England's Queens - Margaret Sanders 1415: Henry V's Year of Glory - Ian Mortimer Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors - Chris Skidmore Constable in Love: Love, Landscape, Money and the Making of a Great Painter - Martin Gayford The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science - Andrea Wulf The House of Rothschild: Volume 2: The World's Banker: 1849-1999 - Niall Ferguson The Malice of Unnatural Death - Michael Jecks The Late Show - Michael Connelly

The Trip:

* Chiltern Hills and Thames Valley (to mystery lovers, aka “Midsomer County” — though given that this is an area chock-full of quintessential(ly) English villages, it’s no surprise that it also routinely provides locations for other series, such as Inspector Morse, The Vicar of Dibley, and of course, adaptations of Agatha Christie’s mysteries … Christie herself, after all, also spent her last years in this area, in a village just outside of Wallingford, where she is also buried.)

* Chawton: Jane Austen’s home

* Gloucester and Malmesbury

* The Welsh Borderland: The Welsh Marches, Herefordshire, and Shropshire

* Bosworth and Leicester

* East Anglia: Norfolk, Ely, and Stour Valley (aka [John] Constable Country)

 

The Souvenirs:

* Jane Austen:
– Pride and Prejudice — an imitation leather-bound miniature copy of the book’s first edition
Lady Susan — audio version performed, inter alia, by Harriet Walter
– Teenage Writings (including, inter alia, Cassandra, Love and Freindship, and The History of England)

* Terry Townsend: Jane Austen’s Hampshire (gorgeously illustrated hardcover)

* Hugh Thomson:
– Illustrations to Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion
– Illustrations to Mansfield Park and Emma

* Pen Vogler: Tea with Jane Austen

… plus other Austen-related bits, such as a playing card set featuring Hugh Thomson’s illustrations for Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion, two Austen first edition refrigerator magnets, two “Austen 200” designer pens, a Chawton wallpaper design notepad, and a set of Austen-related postcards.



* Margery Kempe: The Book of Margery Kempe
* Julian of Norwich: Revelations of Divine Love
(have read bits of pieces of both, but never yet the whole thing(s) — something to be remedied soonish)

* Margaret Sanders (ed.):
– Letters of England’s Queens
– Letters of England’s Kings

(“Queens” looks decidedly more interesting, but I figured since there were both volumes there … Unfortunately, neither contains any Plantagenet correspondence, though; they both start with the Tudors.)

* Terry Jones: Medieval Lives

* Ian Mortimer:
– The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England 1327-1330
– 1415: Henry V’s Year of Glory

* Chris Skidmore: Bosworth — The Birth of the Tudors

* David Baldwin: Richard III

* Richard Hayman: The Tudor Reformation

* Glyn E. German: Welsh History

(The last two are decidedly more on the “outline” side, but they’re useful fast, basic references)

* Martin Gayford: Constable in Love — the painter John Constable, that is.

* Andrea Wulf: The Invention of Nature (yeah, I know, late to the party, but anyway … and at least I got the edition with the black cover!)

* Chris Beardshaw: 100 Plants that almost changed the World (as title and cover imply, nothing too serious, but a collection of interesting tidbits nevertheless)

* Niall Ferguson: The House of Rothschild — The World’s Banker, 1849-1999

* Michael Jecks, Knights Templar:
– The Leper’s Return
– The Boy-Bishop’s Glovemaker
– The Devil’s Acolyte
– The Chapel of Bones
– The Butcher of St. Peter’s
– The Malice of Unnatural Death

* Shirley McKay: Hue & Cry (a mystery set in Jacobean St. Andrews, Scotland)

… and finally, two present-day mystery/thrillers, just to balance off (well, not really, but anyway …) all that history:

* Jo Nesbø: The Snowman
* Michael Connelly: The Late Show

… plus several more mugs for my collection (because I clearly don’t own enough of those yet), two Celtic knot bookmarks, a Celtic knot T-shirt, a Celic knot pin, a Celtic knot designer pen (can you tell I really like Celtic knot designs?), assorted handmade soaps and lavender sachets, and assorted further postcards and sticky notes, plus in-depth guidebooks of pretty much every major place I visited (which guidebooks I sent ahead by mail before leaving England, so they’re currently still en route to my home).

ETA:
Oh, and then there’s John le Carré‘s The Pigeon Tunnel, which I bought at the airport right before my departure and am currently reading.  Books that you buy at the departure for a trip do qualify for a vacation book haul, don’t they?

 

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The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — Bonus Entry

Der Weltensammler - Ilija Trojanow  Collector of Worlds, the - Iliya Troyanov

I blacked out my card on Dec. 19 using the “activity” entry for the Kwanzaa square, but since thereafter I did read a book set (partially) in Africa, too, here’s my “bonus entry” post … sorry for reporting in belatedly; blame it on BookLikes posting issues and a surfeit of things going on all at the same time in my life at present. 😦

Not that it still seems to matter greatly to begin with, alas … (sigh).

Der Weltensammler (The Collector of Worlds) is a novelized biography of 19th century polymath and explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton, who traveled widely in India, the Middle East and Africa, visiting Mecca (disguised as an Arab) and seeking — partially successfully, though he didn’t know it — the source of the Nile (he did make it to Lake Victoria, but failed to confirm that the Nile actually does originate from there).  He is best remembered today for his translation of The 1001 Nights.

Interesting, though quite obviously largely fictitious insights into a fascinating life, and a voyage back through time to the Orient, Africa, and British Empire of the 19th century.

 

Snow Globes: Reads
Bells: Activities

 

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Reading progress update: I’ve read 340 out of 928 pages.

Merlin Trilogy - Mary Stewart The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart The Hollow Hills - Mary Stewart

(Page numbers are for the omnibus edition.)

Well, I finished The Crystal Cave (a while ago in fact) and have now moved on to The Hollow Hills, which picks up right where the first book of the trilogy ends.  Merlin is still rather unlike the wise old wizard as whom I’d so far seen him and is becoming ever closer to what I’d so far imagined young Arthur to have been … but I’m still enjoying the read as such.

For those who care, I thought I’d share a couple of photos from the location of the final chapters of The Crystal Cave and the first chapters of The Hollow Hills, Tintagel, where legend has it that King Arthur was conceived … or, well, photos of what’s left of the Tintagel castle ruins (which incidentally date from the 12th, not from the 6th century), as well as the paths that Merlin and Uther would have had to climb, first down to the beach and then back up along the face of the cliff, to get to the castle high up on the promontory:







 

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The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — Task the Tenth: The Holiday Down Under

Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates - Kerry Greenwood   

– Read a book set in Australia or by an Australian author,  or read a book you would consider a “beach read”.

Well, I can see how a screen version of this might work rather nicely, but alas, as written, it wasn’t really for me.  I liked Bert and Cec, and Dr. MacMillan, and Dot (once transformed, though her transformation was perhaps a bit of a rapid one) … but I couldn’t much bring myself to care for either Phryne herself, or the narrative voice, or the story as such.  And I’m afraid the author already lost me right at the beginning, where there is an IMHO not-very-successfully-executed attempt at an Agatha Christie / Arthur Conan Doyle supersleuth-style “instant solution” of a crime committed in Phryne’s presence (which then, even more implausibly, serves as instant motivation for one of those present at the scene, who doesn’t until then have seemed to know much about Phryne, to entrust her with the both expensive and rather delicate task of travelling all the way to Australia to look after his daughter’s wellbeing).  Moreover, both the author and Phryne seemed to share a sneering tone, talking down to the reader and half the other characters alike, which I found rather grating, particularly in a book billed as a “cozy” mystery.  Fundamentally, though, what I found fairly preposterous was the notion that a young woman, who hasn’t been to Australia since her childhood days (when she moved in quite different circles from those in which she is moving upon her return, and who therefore can’t possibly know or anticipate all the pitfalls of her commission), merely needs to show up in Melbourne and, in the space of only a couple of days, manages to solve not one but several crimes that have had the Melbourne police all up in arms for months … and all this by pushing buttons that, in the case of both of the chief criminals, should have stared any halfway competent policeman and / or the criminals’ own associates in the face within about the same amount of time it ended up taking Phryne to discover them.  (But then, Phryne has virtually no faults at all to begin with — she is Superwoman incarnate, which is one of my major pet peeves anyway.)  Add to all that the super-clumsy drop of a clue as to the final reveal fairly early on in the story — the sort of clue that, if used by Christie or Conan Doyle at all, is bound to be a means of the most skillful misdirection, not the dead giveaway it is here — and I was seriously underwhelmend all the way through.

Still, as I said, there were characters I enjoyed, and the writing, narrative voice and major plot implausibilities aside, flowed nicely — and judging by the popularity of  both the book and the TV series, I decidedly seem to be in the minority here as far as my overall opinion is concerned …

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1498490/the-twelve-tasks-of-the-festive-season-task-the-tenth-the-holiday-down-under

Reading progress update: I’ve read 249 out of 928 pages.

Merlin Trilogy - Mary Stewart    The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart

(Note: the page number is for the trilogy’s omnibus edition, which is the book I’m actually reading.)

“Thanks” to having contracted some sort of cold or flu bug and having been out of commission for pretty much all other purposes over the weekend, I’ve progressed fairly well with this book — well there has to be at least one upside to fever, perpetually running nose and clinging headache, I suppose.

Anyway, I’m enjoying this enormously, and I’m so glad I joined this buddy read, so a big thank you to Moonlight Reader for setting this up!

I confess I’m not, or perhaps just “not yet” reading Merlin as the same person as the old wizard known from most other incarnations of the Arthurian saga, though.  It actually struck me, especially in Part 1, how similar this trilogy’s young Merlin is to the young Arthur of some of the other narratives — a misfit and a loner, the kid that nobody really knows where and how to place him, entirely too bright for his own good, and intensely interested in books and learning (even though that doesn’t mean he wants to be shut up behind the walls of a monastery),

And in Parts 3 and 4 we’re now getting the one thing that I sorely miss in accounts like T.H. White’s Once and Future King, great series though that is in all other respects … a glimpse of our hero’s coming of age and (with apologies to James Joyce) a Portrait Our Hero as a Young Man.  So, yey for that, too!  The magic stuff starts when he’s still a boy, but he’s learning more about his own magical powers as we go along now, too, as well as how to deal with other people’s expectations of him (well, that’s bound to happen, I suppose, especially looking at Stewart’s source material and the story — or throw-away line — that she herself says inspired the whole trilogy).

A great read so far, in any event; here’s hoping it’s going to continue this way!

I’m reading this book both for the Merlin Trilogy Buddy Read and for The Twelf Tasks of the Festive Season (Task the Twelfth: The Wassail Bowl).

 

Original post:
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Birthday Monster Book Haul

…  thanks to my mom, who gave me a bookstore gift card, my best friend, who raided my Amazon wish list (isn’t it nice to know your loved ones know just what you’ll be happiest about?) and a few odd things to which I treated myself:

  • Die Briefe der Manns (The Mann Family Correspondence) — newly released
  • Anna Funder: All That I Am
  • Ilija Trojanow (or Iliya Troyanov, as he’s spelled in English): Der Weltensammler (The Collector of Worlds)
  • George Simenon: Maigret & Co. (collection of audio dramatizations of Simenon’s mysteries)
  • Edwidge Danticat: Claire of the Sea Light
  • Jim Butcher: The Aeronaut’s Windlass
  • J.R.R. Tokien: The Lord of the Rings — the legendary BBC audio dramatization starring Ian Holm as Frodo, Michael Hordern as Gandalf, and Robert Stephens as Aragorn
  • T.H. White: The Once and Future King (audio version read by Neville Jason)
  • Christopher Paolini: Eragon (audio version read by Kerry Shale)
  • Patrick O’Brian: Aubrey / Maturin — audio versions of the first six novels, read by Robert Hardy
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street Dozen — audio adaptations of 12 stories, starring John Gielgud (Holmes), Ian Richardson (Watson), and Orson Welles (Moriarty)
  • Val McDermid: Splinter the Silence
  • Michael Connelly: The Crossing
  • Ian Rankin: Even Dogs in the Wild

… and, also courtesy of my friend, Eric Clapton: I Still Do — and a kitty coloring book!

 

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Judith Barrow: Today with Tony Riches

Owen: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches Jasper: Book Two of The Tudor Trilogy - Tony Riches

judithbarrowblog.com/2016/07/13/today-with-tony-riches

Introducing the authors who will be appearing at the Tenby Book Fair (part of the Tenby Arts Festival) in Tenby, South Pembrokshire, Wales, on September 24, 2016 (the festival runs through October 1).  Rats, now I really wish I could travel this year …

Anyway, great interview!

 

Original post:
ThemisAthena.booklikes.com/post/1444657/judith-barrow-today-with-tony-riches

CHINATOWN

“Forget it, Jake … it’s Chinatown.”

“Water is the life blood of every community.” With this statement, the Owens Valley History Site still does, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power‘s website once used to begin its biography of William Mulholland, the real life model of two of this movie’s characters, water department chief Hollis Mulwray (an obvious play on words) and water tycoon Noah Cross. And indeed water, the access to it and the wealth it provides, is what drives everything and everybody in this movie set in the ever-thirsty Los Angeles of the first decades of this century, a budding boom town on the brink of victory or decay … and whether it will be one or the other depends on the city’s ongoing access to drinking water.

William Mulholland (1924):
William Mulholland (1924)

Chinatown‘s story is based on William Mulholland’s greatest coup; the construction of the Owens Valley aqueduct which provided Los Angeles with a steady source of drinking water but also entailed a lot of controversy. Splitting Mulholland’s complex real-life persona into two fictional characters (the noble Mulwray who thinks that water should belong to the people and who refuses to authorize an unsavory new dam construction project and the greedy, unscrupulous Cross who will use any means to advance his personal fortune) creates the movie’s one necessary black and white conflict … other than this, the predominant shades are those of gray.

Into the wars raging around L.A.’s water supply, private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is unwittingly thrown when a woman introducing herself as Hollis Mulwray’s wife asks him to investigate her husband’s alleged infidelity. Before he realizes what is going on he is drawn into a web of treachery and treason, and fatally attracted to the real Mrs. Mulwray (Faye Dunaway), Noah Cross (John Huston)’s daughter. Soon reaching the conclusion that he has been used, he refuses to drop the investigation, and instead decides to dig his way to the source of the scheming he has witnessed – the classical film noir setup.

To say that this movie is one of the best examples of the genre ever made is stating the obvious … actually, it is beyond superfluous. Few other films are as tightly acted, scripted and directed, from Jack Nicholson’s dapper-dressed, dogged Jake Gittes, who like any good noir detective is not half as hard boiled as he would have us believe, to Faye Dunaway’s seductive and sad Evelyn Mulray, John Huston’s cold-blooded and corrupt Noah Cross, Roman Polanski’s brooding direction and Robert Towne’s award-winning screen play, so full of memorable lines and the classical noir gumshoe dialogue, yet far more than just a well-done copy. And throughout it all, there that idea of Chinatown – that place where you do as little as possible, and where if you try to help someone, you’re likely going to make double sure they’re getting hurt.

Chinatown was Roman Polanski’s return to Hollywood, five years after his wife (Sharon Tate) had been one of the victims of the Manson gang. Polanski and Towne fought hard whether the movie should have a happy ending or not. Polanski won, studio politics were favorable at the time, and the version we all know was produced. Towne later admitted that Polanski had been right; and in fact, it is hard to imagine what kind of happy ending would have worked with the movie at all – too deep-rooted are the conflicts presented, none of which lends itself to an easy solution. Unfortunately, being released the same year as The Godfather II robbed Chinatown much of the Academy Award attention it would have deserved; of 11 nominations (best movie, best actor – Jack Nicholson –, best actress – Faye Dunaway –, best director – Roman Polanski –, best screenplay – Robert Towne –, best original score – Jerry Goldsmith –, best cinematography, and others), the movie only won the Oscar for Towne’s screenplay. Generations of fans, however, have long since recognized that Chinatown is a milestone in the history of the film noir and in the professional history of its participants, and one of Hollywood’s finest hours.

 

Production Credits /
Cast and Crew

Production Credits
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures (1974)
  • Director: Roman Polanski
  • Producer: Robert Evans
  • Screenplay: Robert Towne (& Roman Polanski, uncredited)
  • Music: Jerry Goldsmith
  • Cinematography / Director of Photography: John A. Alonzo (& Stanley Cortez, uncredited)
Cast
  • Jack Nicholson: J.J. (Jake) Gittes
  • Faye Dunaway: Evelyn Mulwray
  • John Huston: Noah Cross
  • Darrell Zwerling: Hollis Mulwray
  • Diane Ladd: Ida Sessions
  • Perry Lopez: Escobar
  • John Hillerman: Yelburton
  • Belinda Palmer: Katherine
  • Joe Mantell: Walsh
  • Roy Jenson: Mulvihill
  • Roman Polanski: Man with Knife
  • Richard “Dick” Bakalyan: Loach
  • Bruce Glover: Duffy
  • Jerry Fujikawa: Gardener
  • Roy Roberts: Mayor Bagby

 

Major Awards

Academy Awards (1975)
  • Best Writing, Original Screenplay: Robert Towne
American Film Institute (AFI)
  • Top 100 American Films – No. 19
  • 10 Top 10 (10 greatest US films in 10 classic genres) – Mystery: No. 2
  • Top 100 Thrillers – No. 16
  • Top 50 Villains – No. 16 (Noah Cross)
  • Top 25 Film Scores – No. 9
  • Top 100 Movie Quotes – 74th: “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.”
Golden Globes (1975)
  • Best Motion Picture – Drama
  • Best Director – Motion Picture: Roman Polanski
  • Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama: Jack Nicholson
  • Best Screenplay – Motion Picture: Robert Towne
Directors Guild of America Awards (1975)
  • Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures: Roman Polanski
Writers Guild of America Awards (1975)
  • Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen: Robert Towne
Edgar (Allan Poe) Awards (1975)
  • Best Motion Picture: Robert Towne
BAFTA Awards (1975)
  • Best Direction: Roman Polanski
  • Best Actor: Jack Nicholson
  • Best Screenplay: Robert Towne
  • Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music: Jerry Goldsmith

 

Links

THE RED VIOLIN

A feast for the Senses … and the Everlasting Magic of Music

“Cinque carte” – five tarot cards servant Cesca (Anita Laurenzi) makes her mistress Anna Busotti (Irene Grazioli) draw in 17th century Cremona when Anna, wife of the legendary violin maker Niccolò Busotti (Carlo Cecchi), asks her servant to tell her and her unborn child’s future. And those five cards, along with an auction in 20th century Montreal, provide the framework for the tale that is about to unfold: The Moon – a long life, full and rich, and a long voyage. But there is a curse over her, Cesca tells her mistress as she turns the second card; there is danger to all who are under her thrall, and there will be many … indeed, the Hanged Man is a powerful card! Then there will be a time of lust and energy, her Lazarus soul will travel across mountains, oceans and time, and she will meet a handsome and intelligent man who will seduce her with his talents “and worse” – in short, the Devil. The fourth card Anna has drawn is Justice: There will be a big trial before a powerful magistrate, Cesca tells her; she will be found guilty … “beware the heat of the fire!” And indeed, the last card that Anna turns, much to her alarm, is Death – but the card is upside down and Cesca tells her not to worry because at this point this might be good news: She will be carried by the air and furious wind, but then her voyage will come to an end, “one way or another.” There is “trouble” in this, Cesca says, “but you are strong now, like a tree in a forest.” She will also not be alone; the servant sees a crowd of faces … friends, family, enemies, lovers and a lot of admirers fighting to win her hand (lots of money, too) – and ultimately, a rebirth.

Each card symbolizes one of the stories told about the travels through time and space made by the Red Violin, Niccolò Busotti’s last masterpiece, over the course of the centuries. And each of the violin’s owners we meet symbolizes a stage of life: birth, childhood, coming of age, political awakening and maturity. In that, it is not so much the violin’s voyage that links the five vignettes dealing with its owners’ lives, such as Glenn Gould’s life provided the links between the individual parts of writer-director Francois Girard’s first film, 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould. Rather, the humans’ stories provide snapshots of various stages of the instrument’s existence, brought to life by John Corigliano’s magnificent and Oscar-winning score and Joshua Bell’s virtuoso performance – and of course, it is also obvious throughout that a link exists between Anna Busotti and the violin created by her husband.

The Red Violin is feast for the eyes and ears – luscious and true to detail in its costume design and cinematography, it not only faithfully uses the original languages of its various locations but also actors who are native speakers; to the point of having Suisse-born actor Jean Luc Bideau portray the French teacher of Austrian wunderkind Kaspar Weiss (Christopher Koncz), thus choosing an actor who is on the one hand fluent in German but on the other hand speaks it with a “genuine” French accent … and although I don’t speak any Chinese/Mandarin, I wouldn’t be surprised if the scenes taking place in China were linguistically as faithful to their location as those set in Vienna and elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the movie’s plot lines fall somewhat short of its visual and acoustic splendor. Granted, there was only limited possibility to develop meaningful stories for each of the vignettes. But given the highly symbolic nature of the movie’s five parts, too many gaping holes remain. Although we know the violin’s story doesn’t end with Kaspar, for example, we can only guess as to how it falls into the hands of gypsies. And the following sequence, involving British composer and virtuoso Frederick Pope (Jason Flemyng) and his mistress Victoria Byrd, has rightfully been criticized for the shallow waters it treads: Even if you don’t have a whole movie to develop the relationship between a sensual, gifted and somewhat eccentric composer and his novelist lover (such as 1991’s magnificent and in the U.S. sadly overlooked Impromptu), and even if Greta Scacchi’s Victoria is far from being another George Sand, her talent seems … well, maybe not wasted, but reduced to another “blonde bombshell” role, and not one with as many layers and shades as those of classic Hollywood, but a fairly clichéd one and, thus, unworthy of her Old Vic training. And don’t even get me started on the final scene in Montreal and the “conflict” faced by violin appraiser Charles Morritz … (although Samuel L. Jackson, at least, gives a finely tuned and sensitive performance which almost manages to smooth out the edges of the script’s sometimes scratchy composition.)

But this movie’s real star and ultimately, its saving grace, is the Red Violin itself – not the six models physically representing the instrument throughout the film of course, but the personality it gains through Corigliano’s score and its uniquely beautiful interpretation by Bell, and the idea the violin stands for; that of the everlasting magic of music. For bringing this idea to life alone, the movie is well worth seeing.

 

Production Credits /
Cast and Crew

Production Credits
  • Studio: New Line International (1998)
  • Director: François Girard
  • Producer: Niv Fichman
  • Co-Producers: Daniel Iron & Giannandrea Pecorelli
  • Screenplay: François Girard & Don McKellar
  • Music: John Corigliano (score & orchestration) / Joshua Bell (solo violin) / Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor) / Todd Kasow & Guy Pelletier (music editors)
  • Cinematography / Director of Photography: Alain Dostie
  • Editing: Gaétan Huot
  • Production Design: François Séguin
  • Costume Design: Renée April
  • Sound: Claude La Haye / Jocelyn Caron / Bernard Gariépy-Strobl / Hans Peter Strobl / Guy Pelletier
Cast
  • Carlo Cecchi: Nicolo Bussotti (Cremona)
  • Irene Grazioli: Anna Bussotti (Cremona)
  • Anita Laurenzi: Cesca (Cremona)
  • Jean-Luc Bideau: Georges Poussin (Vienna)
  • Christoph Koncz: Kaspar Weiss (Vienna)
  • Clotilde Mollet: Antoinette Pussin (Vienna)
  • Florentín Groll: Anton von Spielmann (Vienna)
  • Johannes Silberschneider: Father Richter (Vienna)
  • Rainer Egger: Brother Christophe (Vienna)
  • Paul Koeker: Brother Gustav (Vienna)
  • Wolfgang Böck: Brother Michael (Vienna)
  • Josef Mairginter: Brother Franz (Vienna)
  • Arthur Denberg: Prince Mansfeld (Vienna)
  • Geza Hosszu-Legocky: Gypsy Violonist (Vienna)
  • David Alberman: Gypsy Violonist (Vienna)
  • Andrzej Matuszewiski: Gypsy Violonist (Vienna)
  • Jason Flemyng: Frederick Pope (Oxford)
  • Greta Scacchi: Victoria Byrd (Oxford)
  • Eva Marie Bryer: Sara (Oxford)
  • Sylvia Chang: Xiang Pei (Shanghai)
  • Zifeng Liu: Chou Yuan (Shanghai)
  • Hong Tao: Comrade Chan Gong (Shanghai)
  • Xio Fei Han: Young Ming (Shanghai)
  • Rui Yang: Young Xian Pei (Shanghai)
  • Samuel L. Jackson: Charles Morritz (Montréal)
  • Colm Feore: Auctioneer (Montréal)
  • Ireneusz Bogajewicz: Mr. Ruselsky (Montréal)
  • Monique Mercure: Mme. Leroux (Montréal)
  • Don McKellar: Evan Williams (Montréal)
  • Julian Richings: Nicolas Olsberg (Montréal)
  • Paula de Vasconcelos: Suzanne (Montréal)
  • Russell Yuen: Older Ming (Montréal)
  • Sandra Oh: Madame Ming (Montréal)

 

Major Awards and Honors

Academy Awards (2000)
  • Best Music, Original Score: John Corigliano
Genie Awards (Canada) (1999)
  • Best Motion Picture: Niv Fichman
  • Best Achievement in Direction: François Girard
  • Best Screenplay: Don McKellar and François Girard
  • Best Achievement in Cinematography: Alain Dostie
  • Best Achievement in Art Direction/Production Design: François Séguin
  • Best Achievement in Costume Design: Renée April
  • Best Music Score: John Corigliano
  • Best Overall Sound: Claude La Haye, Jocelyn Caron, Bernard Gariépy-Strobl and Hans Peter Strobl
Jutra Awards (Canada) (1999)
  • Best Film (Meilleur Film): Niv Fichman and Daniel Iron
  • Best Director (Meilleure Réalisation): François Girard
  • Best Screenplay (Meilleur Scénario): François Girard and Don McKellar
  • Best Supporting Actor (Meilleur Acteur de Soutien) Colm Feore
  • Best Cinematography (Meilleure Photographie): Alain Dostie
  • Best Editing (Meilleur Montage Image): Gaétan Huot
  • Best Art Direction (Meilleure Direction Artistique): François Séguin and Renée April
  • Best Original Score (Meilleure Musique Originale): John Corigliano
  • Best Sound (Meilleur Son):Claude La Haye, Marcel Pothier, Hans Peter Strobl and Guy Pelletier
Golden Reel Awards (Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA) (2000)
  • Best Sound Editing – Music – Musical Feature (Foreign & Domestic): Todd Kasow & Claude La Haye
Tokyo International Film Festival (Japan) (1998)
  • Best Artistic Contribution Award: François Girard
    – Tied with Smoke Signals.

 

Links

Summer Splurges (AKA: Be Good to Yourself)

The Colour of Poison: A Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery (Volume 1) - Toni MountWars of the Roses - Charles RossLast White Rose: The Secret Wars of the Tudors - Desmond SewardBlood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses - Sarah GristwoodMary Tudor: The First Queen - Linda Porter

Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen - Anna WhitelockThe Sugar Planter's Daughter - Sharon MaasThe Princes of Ireland - Edward RutherfurdThe Rebels of Ireland - Edward RutherfurdThe Chronicles of Narnia CD Box Set: The Chronicles of Narnia CD Box Set - C.S. Lewis, Kenneth Branagh

Largely inspired by Samantha Wilcoxson’s recommendations following up on my read of her books Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen and Faithful Traitor – as well as looking forward to book 3 of her Tudor Women trilogy – I’ve been on a minor shopping spree lately. Not all of these are Samantha’s recommendations, but that’s the way book browsing goes … one thing leads to another!

  • Toni Mount: The Colour of Poison – actually ordered already before my exchange with Samantha on which books she recommends in connection with her own novels, though another recommendation of hers, too; what a pity I probably won’t be receiving it before the end of its “book of the month” status in More Historical Than Fiction.
  • Charles Ross: The Wars of the Roses – though I’ve already got Trevor Royle’s book on the same subject, but it can’t hurt to get another one just for comparison’s sake;
  • Desmond Seward: The Last White Rose – since, after all, the Yorks didn’t just die out all at once together with Richard III at Bosworth in 1485;
  • Sarah Gristwood: Blood Sisters, The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses – since women played an important part during that period and it’s time we finally took note of them … and not just Margaret of Anjou, either (which is why Samantha’s books on Elizabeth of York and Margaret Pole are such a welcome read);
  • Linda Porter: Mary Tudor, The First Queen – since there’s more to Mary I than is hidden behind her epithet “Bloody Mary”;
  • Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor, Princess, Bastard, Queen – ditto (and two books are always better than one, see above)

 … and while I was at it, I also did a bit of wish list cleanup, ordering:

  • Sharon Maas: The Sugar Planter’s Daughter (book 2 of her Winnie Cox trilogy; fresh from the publisher’s press);
  • Edward Rutherfurd: The Princes of Ireland and The Rebels of Ireland;
  • David Suchet: Poirot and Me (since my reviews of some of the Poirot dramatizations starring Suchet are up next for copying over to my WordPress blog)
  • … and then I also found a dirt cheap (used, but near new) offer of the Chronicles of Narnia audiobook set read by Derek Jacobi, Kenneth Branagh, Patrick Stewart, Michael York, Alex Jennings, Lynn Redgrave and Jeremy Northam – which I of course had to have as well.

 And look, the first lovely books already made it to their new home, too:

 

But anyway, I obviously also needed to make space on my wish list for all the other books I found when following up on Samantha’s recommendations:

  • Lisa Hilton: Queens Consort, England’s Medieval Queens (which I hope is going to live up to Helen Castor’s She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth I);
  • Dan Jones: The Hollow Crown (since I’ve already got his earlier book on the Plantagenets …);
  • Charles Ross: Richard III (by all accounts still the standard biography);
  • Chris Skidmore: Richard III (the most recent incarnation of Richard III biographies);
  • Amy Licence: Richard III, the Road to Leicester (I guess there goes my resolution not to give in to the publicity craze of the recent[ish] discovery of his bones);
  • Amy Licence: Elizabeth of York, Forgotten Tudor Queen (and really, I swear it was this book and the RIII bio by Charles Ross that led me to Licence’s book on RIII in the first place);
  • Alison Weir: Elizabeth of York, the First Tudor Queen (one of Samantha’s major “go-to” books for background information on Elizabeth; also, I own and rather like Weir’s bio of Eleanor of Aquitaine);
  • Hazel Pierce: Margaret Pole, 1473-1541, Loyalty, Lineage and Leadership (on which Samantha says she relied substantially in writing Faithful Traitor) and
  • Susan Higginbotham: Margaret Pole (brand new and due out in August 2016).

And then … well, there’s this absolutely gorgeous and super-nice tea and spice store in Frankfurt that my best friend and I discovered when I was living in Frankfurt way back in 2003.  Shelves crammed with goodies from all over the world and an amazing staff … even after I moved to Bonn, we just kept going there; and we still try to make it down there at least once or twice a year.  So last Saturday we decided another splurge was overdue, took to the road – and returned home late in the afternoon laden with delicacies.  This was my share of the bounty:

  • A small bag of Nanhu Da Shan Qinxin Oolong (the prize catch of last Saturday’s shopping trip; and yes, they do actually let you try all of their products in their store);
  • * A foursome of Kusmi tea blends (Kashmir tchai, ginger lemon green, and a double serving of spicy chocolate);
  • One of their homemade rice & spice mixes (in this instance, a blend of Indian basmati rice with currants, cashew nuts, coconut flakes, lemon pepper, cinnamon, sea salt, cardamom, ginger, and pieces of dried mango, apricot, papaya, and cranberries, going by the fanciful name Maharani Rice … one of my absolute favorites);
  • A bottle of Stokes Sweet Chilli Sauce (my kitchen just isn’t complete without this stuff, it goes on practically everything);
  • A bottle of Belberry Spicy Mango Ketchup (new to me, tried it in the store and instantly loved it);
  • A duo of Sal de Ibiza (green pepper and lemon, and ginger and lemon grass);
  • A lidded Chinese dragon tea mug that will go well with the two (differently-colored) mugs in the same style that I’ve already got
  • … and a collection of their very own recipes, all of which they also serve up (though obviously not all at the same time) for tasting purposes in their store.; this particular collection being recipes created by a charming lady from Sri Lanka named Rajitha who has been part of their team since practically forever.

 Alright, so I guess I did splurge.  In my defense, though, I’ll mention that I won’t be able to travel at all this year, nor actually take a whole lot of vacation time or other time off work, so I’m having to make to with what’s available by way of compensation … and is there any better compensation than books and food?