Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Book Trail (and some films!)

I have been going on a bit of a connected journey with my reading and film viewing of late. It all started back last year when I read The Mitford Girls by Mary S Lovell, which connected my knowledge of the Duchess of Devonshire (now dowager) with Nancy Mitford. (They are sisters.)
Obviously they own Chatsworth House. One of their ancestors is Georgiana Cavendish, who is played by Keira Knightley in the film 'The Duchess', so I watched that earlier in the year, and loved it. I didn't have to go hunting for it, Missis lent it to me, that's been part of the fun and surprise, that so many of these things have just landed in my lap.
Then I watched 'Becoming Jane' with Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen, which was excellent, especially as James McAvoy was in it.
This was followed by a viewing of 'Pride and Prejudice' with Keira Knightley (again!) as Elizabeth Bennet, but the other connection is that some scenes are filmed at Chatsworth (the circle goes round and round) I thoroughly enjoyed the film, but felt that Matthew Macfadyan as Darcy wasn't a patch on Colin Firth in the BBC version. I thought Donald Sutherland was dreadful as Mr Bennett (what was all that pathetic 'laughing behind your hand' about?) but Judi Dench was brilliant, and so was Tom Hollander as Mr Collins. He plays Cutler Beckett in 'Pirates of the Carribbean', and if you can't stand him in that (the character, I mean) this will truly make you squirm, his portrayal is brilliant.
Then for my birthday in March I visited Hardwick Hall. And the connection? Bess of Hardwick was married to Sir William Cavendish, who owned Chatsworth. On the way out I saw a book called 'The Other Queen' by Philippa Gregory (writer of 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and one of my favourite authors) but decided not to buy it as we are rapidly running out of book space in the tiny cottage. Then, to my surprise, I found it in the library at the weekend and grabbed it quick. It is about Mary Queen of Scots, but more importantly to me, it features Bess of Hardwick, by then married to her fourth husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury. I have only read a few chapters but can hardly put it down.
I am so thrilled at the link between all of these things, and how one has flowed straight from the other. My next book on order from the library is set in Roman times, though, so that should change things a bit.

I am still busy card-making, so I thought I'd show you my latest efforts:

This is the first card I made from my new Jayne Netley Mayhew CDRom. I hope it's obvious from example why I don't need to worry about not having anything to make a 'Mancard' with any more, as there are hundreds of beautiful designs on the CD. Each topper comes with matching backing papers, and I had the gold card in my stash, and just got on with it. This one is for my son David whose birthday it is tomorrow.

I so enjoyed making that one, I decided to make another one. I've printed the picture of the leopard onto photographic paper, and the print quality is incredibly good. I could easily get carried away making these.

On Saturday I bought a guillotine, as I want to cut neater straight lines, and also bought a craft mat and craft knife, as I got stuck on one project as I didn't have the correct tools for the job, so I will get those finished and show you as soon as I can. I also need to make a Thankyou card for Jolly Farmer for letting me use his manege for nearly a year. I need to take him a pressie as well, so I'd better get cracking.

Happy Thursday, everyone!


  1. I too enjoyed the Duchess, so much that I read the book took. I've read all of jessica Mitford's books and plan on reading The Mitford Girls.
    Didn't care as much for Becoming Jane, loved James McAvoy, but not Anne Hathaway as Jane. And to me nothing compares to the BBC Pride and Prejudice. I really like Keira Knightly, but Colin Firth can not be outdone. Loved Lost in Austen which was a rather different take on the whole thing.
    Love your card making.

  2. Good afternoon, my friend~

    I have to agree with Mac n' Janet, NOTHING compares to P&P with Keira Knightly. My all time FAVORITE movie!

    Your cards.....they just keep getting better!

    I hope you have a WONDERFUL day!


  3. While I enjoyed the 2005 P&P, the BBC version (1995) can't be beat. Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle will always be Darcy and Elizabeth for me.

    Your cards are beautiful and shows how clever you are. I envy you for your farm in beautiful Derbyshire.

  4. I loved the film of Pride and Prejudice, as well as being devoted to the BBC series. I thought Matthew Macfadyan smouldered in all the right places even though he clearly isn't Colin Firth!! Also enjoyed Becoming Jane and The Duchess.
    Lovely cards. I strongly recommend a good craft knife and cutting mat - I would be lost without mine.
    Thanks for the comments about my cat - think I will need to make her up a bed somewhere.
    Have a good weekend. M x
    PS - How spooky - my word verification for this post was "colin"!!!!


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