"My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express them -- by which means my letters sometimes convey no ideas at all to my correspondents." - Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Beautiful People: Captain Edward Northcliff

Well, I typed this up several weeks ago but apparently forgot to post it! :(  So here it is now...

Hoping ya'll aren't getting tired of the same questions over and over but these particular questions are very helpful for me. I might change them up for the next character I do.

What is his full name? - Edward John Northcliff (probably but John Edward Northcliff is also on my list) 

What name does he go by? - Captain Northcliff, Northcliff, Edward, his brother calls him "Ned" or "Neddy"

 Does his name have a special meaning? - not really. His first name has changed many times over the last few years but his surname has always been Northcliff. At one time he was even christened Henleigh!

What hair color and texture does he have? - Slightly wavy dark brown hair.

What eye color does he have? - I think his eyes are brown but I'm not quite sure yet.

Does he have any facial hair? - Not usually but he can grow a full beard.

Does he have any distinguishing features? - Noble straight nose.

What height is he? - 6 foot

How does he smile and how often? - Quiet but charming, he smiles often with friends but hardly ever in business.

What age is he at start of story? - 2-4 years older than Margaret, his brother Frederick is the same age as her.

What is his family situation? - Comes from a wealthy noble family, he will inherit his father's large house and lands. His mother dies when he's a teenager, his father still lives healthy and strong, close relationship with his younger siblings Frederick and Cassandra.

Who are his friends? - His brother Fred is probably his best friends, William Hargrove & family - a fellow officer, other fellow officers, Henry Hervey is a trusted acquaintance, Margaret becomes a good friend. 

Does he have any enemies? - Richard & Diana Hervey, Margaret sometimes, Napoleon - I suppose.

well, without the wig
What is his place of residence? - On board ship, in Bath near the Hargrove family, Northcliff Manor (in Cumberland, England?) is where he grew up and will one day be his.

What is his social standing and occupation? - Oldest son of a wealthy man, he will inherit. As to his occupation I've been debating this one. Almost from the beginning of his forming in my mind he has been a Navy Captain (and his younger brother is a lawyer). Recently I've had some doubts about whether as the eldest son Edward should be the one who goes into the law (and his younger brother go into the navy). Right now he's still a Navy Captain but there's some details I have to work out.

Right now I'm basing my ideas of Edward being an elder son in the Navy on this quote from General Tilney of Northanger Abbey
"...I am sure your father, Miss Morland, would agree with me in thinking it expedient to give every young man some employment. The money is nothing, it is not an object, but employment is the thing. Even Frederick, my eldest son, you see, who will perhaps inherit as considerable a landed property as any private man in the county, has his profession.” (Frederick Tilney's profession was Captain in the Army)

What education did he receive? - I recently discovered that he probably had some early training with the local vicar Dr. Percival. There really wasn't much of a Navy Academy (that I can tell) in Regency England so I have to figure out the details of how Edward rose to the rank of Captain.

What is his favorite activity or pastime? - Fishing, sailing, riding horses, reading, taking long walks, playing cards or something similar to chess, playing pianoforte.

I've always liked Jack Davenport and he suits Edward to a tea!
Is he serious or witty? - Mostly serious but he does indulge in wit with his friends.

What is his personality type? - Kind, gentlemanly, heroic, gallant, a leader of men, fairly quiet with ladies, talkative and joking with friends, not overly fond of society.

Does he play or sing? - Plays pianoforte quite well, can play the fife, does not sing.

What are his goals and dreams? - Reaching the rank of Admiral, inheriting from his father, perhaps marriage and a son later in life, travel to places he hasn't visited yet.

So that's Edward Northcliff so far...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Beautiful People: Charlotte Lutterell

Charlotte is Margaret's cousin and best friend and is a sort of secondary heroine of The Margaret Story (TMS).

What is her full name? - Charlotte Anne Lutterell

What name does she go by? - Charlotte, Miss Lutterell and sometimes Lottie by her family.

Does her name have a special meaning? - not really, she was named after her two grandmothers.

What hair and texture does she have? - Silky blond.

What eye color does she have? - Medium to dark blue eyes.

Does she have any facial hair? - none

Does she have any distinguishing features? - I can't think of any right now, maybe dimples when she smiles. I know some will pop into my head when I'm writing more about her.

What height is she? - 5'2 to 5'4, and elegant height.

How does she smile and how often? - Her smile is sweet, charming, her mouth like her face is very pretty and she smiles frequently to show friendliness, genuinely and sometimes to cover up hurt or when she disagrees with someone.

What age is she at start of story? - age 6 to 7 at start of story, she's a year or two younger than Margaret, reaches age 19 or 20 by the end of story.

Sort of how I imagine Charlotte as a young girl.
What is her family situation? - Comes from a wealthy family, father, mother, cousin Margaret and younger brother Johnny, Mother's family live nearby.

Who are her friends? - Her cousin Margaret is her best friend, she has several acquaintances in the neighborhood of Glenford, good friends are Diana and Richard Hervey at neighboring Deerfield.

Does she have any enemies? - Richard & Diana Hervey who she thinks are her friends, Peggy sometimes seems like an enemy when she doesn't confide in her, sometimes her parents too.

What is her place of residence? - She was born in Glenford in England (probably the county of Cumberland?).

What is her social standing and occupation? - She is the daughter of a wealthy and respected man and wants for nothing. The occupation of her young life is to attract and marry a wealthy and respectable man.

What education did she receive? - She and her cousin Margaret are trained by their governess Miss Burton is all aspects of an elegant lady. Charlotte quickly picks up the more feminine arts such as sewing, drawing, dancing and playing while Margaret excels at the more intellectual parts of their studies.

What is her favorite activity or pastime? - Sewing, embroidery, letter writing, drawing, reading novels, dancing, playing latest songs on the piano forte, decorating hats, parties, balls and riding.

Is she serious or witty? - Witty, she can seldom be very serious and she's a bit silly.

What is her personality type? - Bubbly, fairly outgoing, sweet, kind, fun-loving, a people person, a bit spoiled by her parents, a bit vain, sometimes impatient, sometimes selfish, fashion and propriety sometimes overrule her heart or sense.

Does she play or sing? - Yes, both. She plays quite well and enjoys learning the latest songs. She sings a bit too and is often asked to exhibit at dinners and parties.

What are her goals and dreams? - True love, marriage, respectability, many children to fill her life, to be popular.

Okay, so now I know you're probably scratching your head and wondering "what does Charlotte actually look like?" The answer - I'm not quite sure myself. Right now I three actresses in mind that fit my idea of what Charlotte looks like.

My first choice was actress Georgia King but my sister said she wasn't pretty at all:

Next was actress Abbie Cornish and she is very pretty but in these photos she looks a bit more mature than Charlotte is:

A new addition to my list is Georgia Moffett, she's very pretty (maybe too pretty for Lottie) and capture the bubbliness and the youth of Charlotte:

So I'm not quite sure right now. Charlotte might just look quite different from these ladies, I'm sure as I write more about her her face will become more and more clear in my mind.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Beautiful People: Margaret Lesley

Beautiful People is something I've seen several writing bloggers do with their characters and I've been finding it very helpful too. Basically it's just answering a bunch of questions about your characters to help flush out their personality and story a bit more. These questions are random ones I've seen other bloggers use before.

Another big thing I've done lately is figure out what my characters look like and been able in many cases to put a face to them. Of course it's not exactly how each character looks but it does help to put flesh and bone to my beautiful people!

Today I'm starting with the heroine of The Margaret Story (TMS).

What is her full name? - Margaret Elspeth Lesley

What name does she go by? - She's called "Peggy" by her father and later her cousins call her that too. The rest of her family calls her Margaret and acquaintances call her Miss Lesley.

Does her name have a special meaning? - Her first name means "pearl" which is of interest only to me at the moment. She was named after her mother and Elspeth is after her paternal grandmother.

What hair and texture does she have? - I've always imagined Margaret with tight auburn curls but now her hair seems a sarker auburn and although she has curls they aren't very tight, more like lots of waves.

What eye color does she have? - Brown eyes, rich brown.

Does she have any facial hair? - No! Unless you count her reddish eyebrows.

Does she have any distinguishing features? - Some freckles adorn her noes like gold specks and she gets more when she's outside without a hat - which is frequently!

What height is she? - 5'8 or 5'9, to quote her aunt "She has grown to an inelegant height indeed!"

How does she smile and how often? - Her smile is friendly, wide, toothy, it depends on the group of people she's with but usually when she's not concentrating too hard it doesn't take much to bring a smile to her face.

What age is she at start of story? - Somewhere between ages 8-10 (haven't quite decided) and she reaches age 21 or 22 before the story ends.

What is her family situation? - Her father was a poor Scots clergyman and her mother was from a wealthy old family and didn't approve of the love match. After Margaret's parents die she goes to live with that wealthy old family - her uncle, aunt and two cousins.

Possibly Peggy as a young girl
Who are her friends? - Her cousin Charlotte becomes her best friend growing up. Her governess Miss Burton also becomes a good friend. Frederick Northcliff is a good chum.

Does she have any enemies? - There are a few children growing up that cause her some bother, later in life it's Richard and Diana Hervey.

What is her place of residence? - She was born in a country vicarage in Scotland (probably the county of Perth). Her uncle's estate is Glenford in England (probably the county of Cumberland?).

What is her social standing and occupation? - Orphaned daughter of a poor clergyman, adopted niece of a wealthy and prestigious uncle.

What education did she receive? - She was taught at home by her parents until their death. At her uncle's she and Charlotte have a private governess, Miss Burton, that teaches as much as Margaret can absorb. Margaret has a lot of head knowledge.

What is her favorite activity or pastime? - Primarily reading and writing about her discoveries. She also enjoys riding horses, taking long walks, gardening, cooking and having adventures.

Probably my favorite photo - captures her personality very well
Is she serious or witty? - She is serious mostly but does have a quick dry wit usually laced with irony or sarcasm.

What is her personality type? - Margaret is a thinker and a planner with an inquisitive mind. She is studious, investigative, fairly independent, talented. She is fairly laid back and doesn't have a sharp temper but she is up front, honest and fairly bold - this sometimes gets her into social blunders.

Does she play or sing? - She can play the piano forte some but is mostly interested in Scotch jigs and airs which she sings well but rarely.

What are her goals and dreams? - Margaret is interested in travel and the quest for knowledge. She has an idea that she might like to teach because she admired her governess Miss Burton. She knows that she should one day marry but she's not very concerned with finding love.

Kelly Macdonald suits Margaret fairly well

I have other questions I could answer but I thought this was enough to start with.

Posting Again

Wow! It's been quite a while since I've posted here at Rather Bookish! Sorry about that folks! Guess I was going through a really dry patch for creative writing. Some inspiration has come back to me over the past month and I've been doing research, becoming friends with my characters and generally plotting up a storm!

So what am I writing? 

Something that doesn't have an official title yet but I'm calling it The Margaret Story (TMS) for now because the main character is named...wait for it...Margaret (big surprise!).
It's a story set in Regency England that is very heavily influenced by Jane Austen's works. TMS is actually connected to a group of four stories that I've been mulling over in my mind for several years now - one of these is the Cassandra Northcliff Story which I had tried to write during NaNoWriMo three years ago but found details at the beginning hard to figure out because I hadn't finished TMS. The other two stories in this group have main characters (one even has a name!) but not a clear outline on either one - these two might not happen but I'd really really love to write Margaret's and Cassandra's stories.

So I'm going to try posting some of the work I've been doing on TMS characters. I'm hoping that maybe if I share bits of my story and characters with other people that my characters will become more real to me and some more bugs in my story will work their way out.

So I'm off to write a bit about Margaret...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Colin Firth on Reading

"When I’m really into a novel, I’m seeing the world differently during that time - not just for the hour or so in the day when I get to read. I’m actually walking around in a bit of a haze, spellbound by the book and looking at everything through a different prism." 
Colin Firth

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: The Lightkeeper's Daughter

The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

Synopsis: "With the lies of the past behind her, Addie finds love...and discovers her true Father.
Addie Sullivan leads a quiet life in northern California lighthouse. She mourns the death of her father and endures her mother's bitterness, until the night a storm brings and injured stranger and a dark secret to her home. The man insists she is not who she thinks she is, but rather "Julia Eaton" - the child long lost and feared dead by her wealthy family. Seizing the chance to be reunited with the Eastons, Addie leaves her lighthouse home but decides to keep her true identity a secret until they can unravel the mystery.
Addie Loves the Eatons' palatial home tucked away among the California redwood forests. She feels secure with the jovial family, adores the young boy who is her charge as governess, and finds romance with his father John, a young widower. But sinister shadows overtake Addie's joy. As dusty rooms and secret compartments give up their clues about her past, Addie finds a faith and a love she could never have guessed. To embrace this new world of promise is to risk her life; but to run away is to risk losing the greatest love she's ever known." - quoted from back cover

Introductions: I had seen this book with it's charming cover design in department stores and bookstores over the past month and picked it up once or twice thinking it looked like a good book. Then when Charity over at Austenitis recommended it highly in her review in May I immediately put The Lightkeeper's Daughter on my reading list. I was so happy when I was able to pick a brand new copy up for $3 while I was on vacation in August. It waited a few weeks, while I finished up one of the books I was already reading, but when I started reading it I was totally engrossed in the world that the author had created!

Author: Having never read anything by Colleen Coble I didn't know quite what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised to find a beautifully told story filled with sweet friendships, family fun, adventure, mystery, a bit of suspense and a charming love story! The subjects of the early Edwardian era, Victorian mansions and lighthouses all correspond with my own interests. In a letter at the end of the book the author says she's never written historical fiction before but her tale is told so well and with many historical details that it's so brilliant. I'd definitely read more in this series and by this author!

Characters: The heroine Adeline "Addie" Sullivan is a spunky red-head who loves sewing, reading Elizabeth Barrett Browning poems, playing ragtime music on the piano, caring for people with her medicine skills and running barefoot in the great outdoors while talking to her Savior. The reader immediately identifies with Addie and like her yearns to learn more about the mystery surrounding her past. The hero, John North, is singled out in the first few chapters and is gallant, charming and loves the heroine for being pure and genuine. I wish there was a little bit more about his background but it is very interesting getting inside his head and sometimes hearing his thoughts about Addie. The other character are well drawn out and true to life, there are a few that I really wanted to learn more about!

My Thoughts: I loved this book so much! The style of writing and the story was quite unique, different from other historical romances I've read. While I was reading there were many points where I was even a bit surprised that the author was so imaginative and was writing details that other authors often forget. And the names she uses are lovely! I highly recommend this book, especially if you like historical fiction and a bit of a mystery! The Lightkeeper's Daughter is the first book in The Mercy Falls Series so I'm very excited there's two other books in the series to enjoy (especially since the next book seems to be about a character from the last)! This book is so good it's going to go immediately on my favorites list and I'll definitely be re-reading it some time soon! I hope you all get a chance to read it too!

Very Truly Your's,
Miss Laurie :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Review: Irish Murders by A.P. Richards

I picked up this paperback volume at a thrift shop for a few dollars. The title caught my attention because it combines two of my interests: murder mysteries and all things Irish.

Synopsis: There are violet events and murders in the history of every country and Ireland is no exception. Through the years, it had its share of violent murders including the murder of its most famous victim, Ellie Hanley or the 'Colleen Bawn', and the recent murder of Tom Nevin, victim of a 'hit' organised by his wife.
Irish Murders presents a series of murders which have occurred in Ireland in the years from the beginning of the nineteenth century - acts of insanity, malevolence, hatred, revenge, desperation, greed and passion, when for someone, somewhere, taking the life of another has seemed the only solution.  - from back cover of book.

My Opinion: I actually really enjoyed this book, it was different from other books I've read. The 27 cases were told factually like a biography or similar to TV documentary programs that tell about old murder cases. Because of the nature of murder all of the stories are quite tragic including tales of hatred, betrayal and sometimes the disposal of the body is rather grotesque. I enjoyed the historical cases more than the modern day cases mentioned toward the end of the book. The cases range in historical eras from the early 1800's to late 1990's. Each chapter covers a different case, they are fairly short and capture the reader's imagination easily. I wouldn't recommend this book for young children because there are some references to sexuality and brutality, but any adult who is a history and mystery buff will find this book very interesting.

Glenveagh Castle in Autumn
I learned a lot of history about Ireland and some about Irish and England law and police practices. I also found a few names of places in Ireland that I now want to visit. One of these is Glenveagh Estate, County Donegal, Ireland which has amazing castle, gardens and walks!