Thoughts and other Miscellany

Musing Mondays, Sunday Salon and BTT – all in one!

This week’s Musing Mondays, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, is:

When you walk into a bookstore — any bookstore — what’s the first section you head toward (what draws you)?

Fiction, without a doubt. I’ll quickly glance at the bestsellers, then move on to the general fiction section where I will browse in the alphabetical section at random. Sometimes I browse in crime, but actually not that often considering how much of it I read.

Sunday Salon – from the Hansestadt…

I’m drafting this post as I wait at gate B31 at Hamburg airport for the Lufthansa flight back to Heathrow; I’m hoping to be back at Maison RWT about 9pm GMT. Well, assuming Lufthansa, Heathrow and the Underground behave themselves. (Postscript: shockingly, they did.)

I’ve had a lovely weekend with the RWT family. It was the Musician’s birthday (not a round one, unlike last year) so there was a deliciously silly quantity of restaurant eating to be done, including tagliatelle with truffle oil and truffles in a parmesan waffle basket. Best. Food. Ever. The Musician got the Women of the Cousins’ War trilogy (reviews: Lady of the Rivers, White Queen, Red Queen) from me to keep her entertained on upcoming trips away from home.

Mini-Me broke up from school on Friday afternoon so she was very excited. And The Book Accumulator was, as usual, pleased that I had come to bully him into imposing a little order on his office.

My best friend, known in the family as The Lady J (but I think she will be known on Reading With Tea as The Twin, given how many people think we look alike!), spent much of the weekend at the RWT Parenthouse, much to everybody’s delight, and we chattered away in gabbly German for all of that time apart from a brief period of sleep.

A marvellous weekend, all in all.

Reading notes to come later this week (I have a lot to discuss).

Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character? Who and what about them did you love?

This question is supposed to be about romance so I’m only going to consider fictional male characters; as much as I love Elinor Dashwood and Anne Shirley, I’m not sure I would want to be married to them…

This is a really interesting and tough question.

Unlike apparently every other Jane Austen reader, I did not fall in love with Mr Darcy… I found his arrogance too hard to take. Other Austen heroes have failed to melt my heart, including the generally beloved Edward Ferrars and Colonel Brandon (whom I had always envisaged as portly and greasy-haired before I saw the 1995 adaptation a few months ago featuring the delightful Alan Rickman in this role – suddenly Colonel Brandon became less repulsive!), Captain Wentworth, Mr Knightley etc. All of them annoy me by being either generally a bit useless, weak-willed, or distant. Not that I’m a tough judge.

As for other heroes of the classics, Rochester tries to commit bigamy, the protagonist of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is pretty weak, and as for the “great” Gatsby…

I’ve had a bit more luck tolerating modern male protagonists:

Henry from The Time Traveller’s Wife is a gentle, kind soul with a temperospacial dislocation issue. He tries so hard to spare Clare (Claire? It’s been a while since I read TTTW and I am drafting this post in a plane and thus do not have the internet to check!) pain.

John Barton, the handsome and tragic over-achiever in Looking for Alibrandi, struck my teenage self as a nice sort of guy. Like Josie, I totally failed to understand his sadness and therefore clearly would not have deserved him.

Stephen Colly in I Capture the Castle is my most recent favoured gentle soul. While his love of Cassandra is painfully clear to everybody in the Mortmain house, he is so sweet and devoted to the well being of the whole family that I still think she should pick him (NB no spoilers!).

The common theme here is a gentle giant type, looking out for their lady friends and (apart from in the last case) treating them as beloved friends rather than fair maidens. No surprises there for anyone who knows me and the Physicist!


5 thoughts on “Musing Mondays, Sunday Salon and BTT – all in one!”

  1. stumbled upon your blog while checking up the Victorian Challenge (I think?) and I really like your posts. Here’s a hero to consider: Roger Hamlet from Wives and Daughters. He’s kind, gentle, clever and ambitious. He’s also flawed at first, which makes him convincing. Hamlet is my personal favourite though, but Roger comes a close second.

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