lost_spook: (Dracula)
Far more icons than anyone could ever want from the ITV 1968 Dracula, starring Denholm Elliott, James Maxwell, Suzanne Neve, Corin Redgrave, Susan George, Bernard Archard & Joan Hickson. (I posted a handful of these before; also some of them were originally made for [personal profile] calliopes_pen, who was happy for me to share them further.) Including 8 text only icons.

Teaser:




I have long wished to cross swords with your eminent friend - metaphorically speaking, of course. )
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
But better doing it now than later before I've forgotten everything...

What I've finished reading

I finished several of the things I was reading last time (it was three weeks ago), and also Polly of Primrose Hill by Kathleen O'Farrell. This was a random mid-century girls' story I found on the charity stall in my supermarket. I couldn't resist. It was actually fairly decent for what it was, while also being, well, a mid-century girls' story that's understandably fallen out of sight. Polly is an orphan. She reads a book about a large family with a grouchy grandfather with a beard and decides that what she needs is her very own cross bearded grandfather! (It is original in that much; she doesn't want new parents, because parents are unreliable and abandon you places. Crotchety old men are the way to go!) Luckily for her, she runs into a suitable grumpy and absent-minded old professor and asks him to adopt her on the spot. After refusing, he changes his mind and does, and so she joins his household. Naturally, the housekeeper and her son are secretly stealing things, his sick niece is in fact not sick and there is a secret passage and all ends happily. I read it in an hour and made myself ill, which wasn't the plan, but oh well.

I also found J. Jefferson Farjeon's Mystery in White. I still don't entirely know what to make of his writing, but it was certainly enjoyable with more than its fair share of murder tropes: our heroes are stranded on a snowbound train on Christmas Eve. There is a murder on the train, and they escape to a mysterious abandoned house where another (unconnected) murder has possibly taken place! One of them is an elderly professional ghosthunter who also feels the house is haunted. I feel sorry for the poor clerk, though, who likes fantasizing about adventure (his favourite is rescuing a crashed female aviator, who then falls in love with him) but spends the whole of this one in bed with a temperature. Life, and murder mysteries, are just unfair sometimes. Maybe one day a female aviator will crash in his vicinity and he can save her!

And I even managed to pick up HMS Surprise again, and have finished it! \o/ The sloth was debauched, yes. Also it all wound up with a tortoise.

The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn, which was a very cosy modern-but-set-in-the-1920s murder mystery. Someone recommended the Daisy Dalrymple books to me, and my friend just lent me this one, and it was fairly easy going, even for me, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. I eye the long list of sequels warily, though, because I can't help but feel keeping it going must spoil the fun inevitably, but I'll look out for the next few.

(I have only one criticism, which is that the author is much too keen on phonetic dialogue, to a quite ridiculous level at times. I mean, I know universal country bumpkinese is to be expected, ditto your Common Cockney, but rendering "chauffeur" as "showfer" is baffling and pointless, plus a hundred thousand down points for phonetic Welsh accents with all the 'v's written as 'f'. WHY. WHY. /o\ Luckily, these were kept to a minimum, or Daisy would have found herself hurled at the wall, despite her escapist charms.) I enjoyed it a lot otherwise, but how many more I read will definitely depend on how bad the phonetic dialogue gets!


What I'm Reading Now

The Mauritius Command, following on from HMS Surprise, which I have just started. I'm also taking (family history) notes from Anne Laurence Women in England 1500-1760, because it seemed like a sensible one to follow the general social history for the same period I was reading before.


What I'm Reading Next

Who knows? Something off the TBR pile, hopefully! Oh, and my friend also lent me the first of Robin Paige's Victorian Mysteries, so I suppose that should also get read sooner rather than later.
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
(I found this lurking unposted on my Dreamwidth. I wrote it on April 1st; I don't know why I didn't post it. I suppose a Talking Meme would be no fun if it didn't take me all year to get through it!)

For the Talking Meme, from [livejournal.com profile] dimity_blue: What are your favourite Dumas film adaptations?


I thought this was pretty funny for a minute, as I have only ever actually watched one Dumas film adaptation, and then I eventually remembered that I have in fact seen the 2011 Three Musketeers as well. I suppose I could also count the endless 1980s cartoon version, Dogtanian and the Muskehounds, but it's obvious that there's no competition here. Also I've never seen a Dumas film that isn't The Three Musketeers, so it's really not as if I'm an expert.

Anyway, my favouite out of this *cough* wide line-up is clearly the 1970s Richard Lester films. When I saw them first, I'd just read the unabridged English translation instead of the cartoon and the abridged Puffin version and decided it was one of my favourite things ever after all and that I would never watch an adaptation because no adaptation would get the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the book, and then my Dad made me watch this and while it alters some things, it does indeed get the tongue-in-cheek attitude of the book exactly right, and the cast are hard to beat: Michael Yorke, Richard Chamberlain, Faye Dunaway, Oliver Reed, Racquel Welch, Roy Kinnear, Spike Milligan, Christopher Lee and Charlton Heston.

Cut for graphic )

I have some quibbles about some things, maybe, and obviously it would have been nice if the director had actually paid the actors for two films instead of one, but it still wins easily out of all the three and a bit Three Musketeers adaptations I have seen.
lost_spook: (suzanne neve)
Another of the things I've watched in the period since May, courtesy of the Drama channel, is the 1980s BBC WWII drama Tenko.

I knew that this featured Stephanie Beacham and Louise Jameson, and was largely written by some of the people who were responsible for Wish Me Luck (and some of The House of Eliott), and was about women PoW in Japanese internee camps in Singapore in WWII. And since I like both WML & HoE (both v female-centric 80s & 90s historical dramas) and also things that feature people trapped in relatively small spaces and ensemble casts, I recorded it.

I would write a sensible review, but what I didn't know was that:

Stephanie Cole is in it as a curmudgeonly lesbian atheist doctor who winds up making fast friends with a fearsome Dutch nun, even though she doesn't understand how that is a thing that is a thing. MY HEART.

But, yeah. It's addictive, your mileage will almost certainly vary, has a high death count (something like 14 regulars, mostly in the first season and a half, die, on or off screen), and MY HEART. I think probably I shall be requesting it for Yuletide.

It walks quite an difficult line and mostly, I felt, pretty well, given the subject matter and the fact that the majority of its main characters are privileged and prejudiced, being British (and Dutch) in Singapore, save for one storyline in The Reunion (which isn't bad as such, but they needed a whole series to tackle it properly if they were going to go there; as it is, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth). But YMMV, and I was a bit distracted by all the HEARTS IN MY EYES for most of it.

Anyway, this is why I'm relieved I can watch Secret Army and mostly just think, "Hmm, after this, I have to rewatch 'Allo 'Allo, don't I?" I can't go round casually giving my heart to every problematic old TV show that comes along, or what would be left of me?


I also bought S2 of ITV's 70s anthology series, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes with my birthday money. As the name implies, this is a set of dramatisations of other late Victorian detectives who aren't Sherlock. I got S2 because it promised me more Douglas Wilmer (BBC 1960s Sherlock), and a guest appearance from Suzanne Neve. I'll talk about the rest sometime, as I've deserted it for Department S for the moment. (Not because it was bad, but because it cries out to be watched in winter, and also I wanted a series to get into as opposed to an anthology.)

Anyway, Suzanne Neve guested in "The Absent-Minded Coterie", featuring Charles Gray as M. Valmont, France's greatest amateur detective (which you can find here at YT if you weren't lucky enough to get it in the Network sale), and I will pause to note it here, because it turned out to be made of all the things I like. I mean, if you combined Inspector Neele/Mary Dove's dynamic with Poirot and Sherlock Holmes and Adam Adamant, this is pretty much what you get, with bonus Suzanne Neve. Anyway, clearly a thing calculated to please me is not going to please everyone else, but I am delighted to inform you that France's premier amateur detective is not up to outwitting Suzanne Neve and that she gets to appear mysteriously out of the fog and commit crimes and then be smug while wearing epic hats. I recced it to [personal profile] john_amend_all because the above things are a lot of where our likes meet, and he informed me that the original story doesn't even have Suzanne Neve's character (Miss Mackail) in it, so sometimes 1970s adaptors take the best liberties with things.

Have some hats )
lost_spook: (james maxwell)
(I started writing this post a while ago as I was going to cover more things I've watched over the last couple of months, but a) this bit got overlong and b) [personal profile] liadtbunny told me to post my thoughts on BBC HVIII now, and since doing what Liadt told me worked yesterday, that seemed like a plan.)


The Six Wives of Henry VIII (BBC 1970) )
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
I'm still not recovered from last week, although probably some part of that was my fault for trying to make use of that family history offer over the weekend, but there we go. I'll get there, I suppose.

In the meantime, here's a post.

What I've just finished reading

I have read the next two in the Kate Shackleton mystery series by Frances Brody. I still don't know quite what to make of them - I'm enjoying them, I can read them and yet... I don't know.

I also went to the library and got some Regencies to try and get me back reading again a little better, which worked until I was undone by the Thing last week. They were slight, but no Carolyns, at any rate. (Two more MC Beatons, but nothing that reached the ridiculous/sinister heights of the Mannerling idea.)

However, then I got Snowdrift, the reissued collection of Georgette Heyer's short story collection, Pistols For Two, with three rediscovered stories in it! I mean, her short stories aren't anything to her novels, but this was the most exciting thing reading-wise that has happened to me since I was ill, I think. They were slight, but it was very lovely to have new Heyer words for the first time in probably twenty years.

And then I randomly found on a charity book stall in my supermarket, a weird little teen book I used to have a fascination with back in the 90s, The Bewitching of Alison Allbright by Alan Davidson. It is still a very odd little book, not quite like anything else I can think of & enjoyable to have a revisit, even if not at anywhere near the same intensity as back then. It's not a fantasy - the 'bewitching' involves no magic, just the glamour of riches hiding some sinister/obsessive intentions.


What I'm Reading Now

Nothing, really; I need to get a bit better again. HMS Surprise needs more brain than I have, and I've a few other things started and abandoned, so mostly, nothing and occasionally re-reading some of the older stories in Snowdrift. (I like my new copy better than the old one, which is nice, because it's not always the case.)

I am still taking (family history-related) notes from London in the 19th Century by Jerry White.


What I'm Reading Next

Something, I hope. My TBR pile is far larger than my actual reading ability, but you've got to have optimism and hope and ambition, right?
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
What I've Just finished Reading

Frances Brody's Dying in the Wool, the first of the Kate Shackleton mysteries. I did like this, but the title, cover and first person narration promise a lighter tone than is actually the case - they seem quite serious so far. Kate Shackleton is another ex-VAD detective, and they're set in Yorkshire, which is a nice bonus, and seem pretty well-researched. (In the case of the first one, I'd say maybe too well-researched or too inclined to share it here and there, but it's better than the more common alternative.)

I also finished note-taking from Maureen Waller's The English Marriage, which was very readable, with plenty of examples and quotes from letters, diaries and court cases from the middle ages to the twentieth century, mostly of terrible marriages (but not always).

I think maybe one highlight is the super-sarcastic sentence of a 1845 Judge (Mr Justice Maule) on a labourer convicted of bigamy:Cut for lengthy sarcastic summing up )

And then I also went back through The Rise and Fall of the Victorian Servant by Pamela Horn and now I have notes from it, too. Not magically, but not too painfully either.

I also finished reading Alison Light's Common People, her history of her very 'ordinary' family. It was very interesting. I think the best bit was the Road to Netherne section, following a maternal line (which had a narrower, more distinct focus) but it was very good overall.


What I'm Reading Now

Still not really read much more of HMS Surprise. I tried the other night, but they went on about eating rats, the same day as next door's rats came back, and I was also stressed so I had my Doomwatch-inspired evil rats nightmare and when I woke I knew there actually were rats nearby (even if not irrationally terrifying dream rats; it doesn't help at 4am). I am now eyeing it warily, and instead reading:

A Medal for Murder, the second Kate Shackleton mystery. It is still not light, but it is interesting. (The misleading covers and titles are very misleading! I am not able to shake them off and accept its seriousness yet. I will persevere, because they are otherwise good and it's not Frances Brody's fault if the publishers set about misleading people. Mind, I think I resent the flashbacks. It's a detective story, I'm supposed to have it unravel courtesy of the detective; don't give me flashbacks!)

For note-taking, I have now returned to Jerry White's London in the 19th Century: A Human Awful Wonder of God, which I was forced to abandon six years ago due to illness. I triumph at last! Also, it's very readable and interesting as well as useful. (I have the 20th C and 18th C ones, too, which I am now looking forward to as well, at some point.)


What I'm Reading Next

Who knows? Possibly the collection of Gothic novels I picked up in the free bookshop. Otherwise, I have mostly just started things, so it's a bit early to say.
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
(I found I already had a title for this sort of not-too-belated post).

May was a month full of rl tirednesses and causes of being ill, so inevitably my reading suffered, or at least the precarious novel-reading part of it, did, so there are a lot of started non-fiction books, some of which will undoubtedly fall by the wayside presently, plus those I was doggedly note-taking from. There was not much reading for three weeks, and then I had a sort of burst of birthday books!


What I've Finished Reading

I finally finished In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon's Wars 1793-1815 by Jenny Uglow! I was reading it for family history note-taking purposes, but it was very good and readable and I was sorry to come to the end. (If she wanted to do the previous twenty years or next twenty years in a book, I would read that as well!)

I also re-read my birthday Chalet School books, Jo to the Rescue and Joey Goes to the Oberland - always easy reads. I liked the second one best, and was reminded how much I'm not so keen on the holiday books in general, though. But, yay, collection completed! \o/

Having finished In These Times, I then realised that perhaps it was about time I went back through The Workhouse by Norman Longmate for family history note-taking. I read it quite a few years back, and realised after reading it and Pamela Horn's Rise and Fall of the Victorian Servant, that I should probably note-take from things. I always intended to go back and do those two, except I sort of thought it would magically happen somehow, or the power of having read it once would suffice? Anyway, it is an account of the Workhouse system and the lives of people working and living in it and so interesting, appalling and angry-making by turns. And now I have notes from it instead of just being permanently unable to understand why notes from it aren't in my notebook.

Also on a family history theme, I read My Family and Other Strangers by Jeremy Hardy, which is a humorous book about Jeremy Hardy (who is on the radio show I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue) doing his family history. The problem with this is that it's not all that funny (there's a lot about death in family history and this leads Jeremy to think about other deaths; also he wrote it while his mother was suffering from Alzheimers and Humphrey Lyttleton died), and he's also fairly hopeless at doing his family tree. He doesn't know what he's doing. He doesn't really ask relatives about stuff till the end, and then sort of looks someone up on the census, drives off to visit their house if he can, gets lost because he has no map, finds a map, eventually hopefully finds the house (or grave) often with further assistance, and then wonders why on earth he bothered, for which you can't really blame him. He also discovers that he hates archives and gets immediately lonely, oppressed and depressed in them and runs away from them as soon as possible if he's not accompanied by a more useful friend or relative. The bits that come alive are when he's talking to other people, visiting archives with people (and therefore actually finding stuff and understanding what he's finding) and by the end, he's got the hang of it and might have written a better book.

I still enjoyed reading it anyway, because I only know of two books that are actually about people family detective-ing and this is one of them. The other is also flawed, but very enthusiastic and obsessed. If you mushed them together, you'd get a perfect chatty genealogist's journey in print. Maybe one day someone will write it.


What I'm Reading Now

I keep sort of starting things, so I am currently at least a few pages into about six books: I haven't really read any more of H.M.S. Surprise since last time, because reading fiction is hard. I need another terrible Regency to rescue me again!

I am now note-taking from the also very readable and interesting The English Marriage by Maureen Waller and reading another birthday purchase, Common People by Alison Light, an academic's account of her family history (with a framework of her researches, but mainly a history of her family), which is, as the title suggests, full of working-class people who left little behind them, and it's very good and (to me) inspiring.

The others can wait till I see which of them stick and which don't.


What I'm Reading Next

I probably really do need another Regency to rescue me, alas, but I have none. Maybe the library will oblige again. I am planning to note-take from either London in the 19th Century or the aforementioned Rise & Fall of the Victorian Servant by Pamela Horn, because that didn't magically get into my note-book either & will have to be done, as with The Workhouse.

WIP Meme

23 May 2017 01:24 pm
lost_spook: (pg - lynda)
The return of that meme where you post random lines from any WIPs you have at the moment, because I felt like it.

(I see that I last did it in Jan 2016, which reminds me, I never did post that AAL! snippet as it stands. I should do that.)


More bondage, vampires, and fatal disasters under here )


That's four out of eight which are still the same old WIPs (and three from the previous post which I did complete in the meantime), but, to be fair, I keep writing and finishing other things in the meantime. I mean, I have [community profile] trope_bingo to finish and then I can destroy worlds for [community profile] tic_tac_woe! (I won't say nothing in the world can stop me, because some days it seems that just about anything in the world can stop me, especially in summer.)
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
(My friends came, had a nice time, liked each other, and went. I am now vv tired and also have not yet watched DW, because vv tired so catching up must wait, but in the meantime, one of two posts I made earlier; in this case my final Yuletide recs post. <3)



Somewhat belated, but better late than never, as they say.

19 recs in Discworld, Georgette Heyer, Howl's Moving Castle, Hundred & One Dalmatians, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, King Lear, The Librarians, North & South, Northanger Abbey, Owl Service, Poldark, Timeless & Victoria )
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
What I've Just Finished Reading

I finished Post-Captain by Patrick O'Brian, so I'm now committed to the series! I'm continuing to enjoy them, and this one was probably less technical than the first, or I'm getting to be less of a landlubber. Highlights being the bear escape mentioned last time and when Stephen decided a hive of bees are a perfectly reasonable thing to keep on board a ship. (It's very satisfying to have made a small dent in my TBR pile as well, because I was rather beginning to think I would never read anything new again that wasn't a regency romance.)

Before I finished that, however, I found another Regency romance in a charity shop (well, actually I found two, but the other was the usual, complete with someone called Carolyn) - from 1972!

I complain all the time about the modern ones not being like Heyer, now let me be nothing if not inconsistent and complain about Clare Darcy's Cecily for being too much like Heyer! The blatant copying left me open-mouthed. Her plot is her own, but all the Heyer ingredients and descriptions are present and correct... and, alas, have nothing of the engaging liveliness of Heyer. I'm not surprised Heyer used to get angry about this sort of thing. Clare Darcy was only lucky that Ms Heyer was probably dead by the time this book crossed the ocean.

It was an interesting read, though, and would have been better had the hero and the heroine actually had more time together on the page. Probably. Actually, it would have been better if it had just focused on the heroine's aunt and the hero's mother and their disapproving alliance, because that bit was her own, and a little more enjoyable than the rest. Everyone else should just go home for being pale copies of Heyer characters. Charity Girl was published the same year, and even though that is not my favourite Heyer, it still has a lot more going for it than a copy of the real thing.


What I'm reading now

I am just a few pages into HMS Surprise. There has not been a bear so far, sadly.

I'm still reading and taking notes from Jenny Uglow's In These Times, which continues to be an excellent social history of Britain in the Napoleonic War era. (There are no people called Carolyn in it. So far.)


What I'm Reading Next

I still haven't read that Daisy Dalrymple mystery, because I found two Regency romances for my light-reading needs instead, so that needs to get read so it can go back to the library.

I don't know what else will be next, or if I'll even get to Daisy, but I did find the first of Frances Brody's series of Kate Shackleton mysteries in a charity shop, hurrah, so that'll probably get read sometime soon, because I do need to get to the one I found first with the tantalising title of Death of an Avid Reader.
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
Given that I only do it about once every three weeks, and I was due, I'm going to be a rebel and talk about reading on Saturday...


What I've Finished Reading

I mentioned elsewhere that I read my way through MC Beaton's Daughters of Mannerling series, but I think I have to mention the evil manor house one more time here, because that was the best and most unexpected concept I've come across in a Regency Romance series. I want to steal it and do other stuff with it, but that would be Wrong. (Although, I suppose that is what fic is for. I'm pretty sure there's a crossover there waiting to happen, but I'm not sure what it would be, and I have to return the series to the library this week.)

Otherwise, I have read Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian, as I have a the first few of the Aubrey-Maturin series sitting on my TBR pile and now was the moment, it seemed. I read it okay, even though it's quite dense! (I may have skipped over some sea-related detail, reading is hard work enough as it is sometimes). But I enjoyed it so far and liked the characters a lot, and am looking forward to attempting the rest.


What I'm Reading Now

I temporarily (I hope) abandoned Perdita because it was giving me a headache (which is all to do with me and not with it), but I'm currently re-reading The Foundling by Georgette Heyer. I rashly gave away a whole lot of books when I had 13 libraries of my own to play with and this was one of them, and on Thursday I found it in a charity shop and have replaced it! Naturally, I had to re-read it, and it is probably more entertaining than ever. I didn't like it anything so much as some of the others when I first read it, which I can understand, looking back, given that it's rather less of a romance than most of the others, but it is pretty much a book that can be described as "shenanigans" and that's never something to be sneezed at.

I've also started Post-Captain, the second Aubrey-Maturin novel, but faithlessly abandoned it for The Foundling. (They were on land for a bit, which involved actual women (hurrah!) and obviously necessitated Jack being disguised as a bear. Not because of the women, though.)

In historical note-taking, I'm still working my way through Jenny Uglow's In These Times, which continues to be excellent. (I'm over half-way now and kind of sorry to be in many ways.)

I realise this is all very 'Regency'-flavoured, but that was accidental.


What I'm Reading Next

I have a Daisy Dalrymple murder mystery that someone recommended, and it's due back at the library... on Tuesday. So maybe I'll read enough of that to see whether I want to renew it or not, or perhaps even finish it in time. (It looks fairly slight; I might do it!)

Otherwise, I think I'll be a while with Post-Captain.
lost_spook: (s&s - silver)
For the Talking Meme, from [personal profile] scripsi: Favourite period in history?

I'm not entirely sure I really have one. I'm pretty widely interested in history because, well, history is everything that ever happened and everybody who ever lived anywhere up until now, and people do tend to be odd and fascinating, and it's often the only way to understand how the world interacts - everything starts to make more sense when you learn something of the history of places and people. (Although it's fair to say that I don't enjoy some types of history - like that module of economic history I once had to do. It was useful, though, I have to admit. Even if it did contain terms like 'stagflation.' Economic history = not my thing, except in a more social history context. And I have mixed feelings about 20th C stuff, because it is a bit recent - but, OTOH, also interesting. It's all interesting when done right, that's the problem! History's only ever boring when it's history of a really dull technical subject or history done wrong by terrible history teachers.)

By default and not really by choice most history I've studied has been US or British (and mostly English, because it usually is, although some Welsh; I did go to uni at Aberystwyth) and what I've read most since has been for family history purposes, which means a lot of 18th-20th C British social history.

That said, I definitely love reading about the eighteenth century (usually British, see above, sorry), especially late 18th C and into the early 19th C - it's just far enough away to be alien and fascinating and yet near enough in terms of evidence left behind people, and, of course, it's the first period for which you start to have novels as well as letters and diaries, poems, plays, and official records. So, the long eighteenth century, maybe?

On the other hand, there's always something completely fascinating about seventeenth century history, and sixteenth century - and Shadow of the Tower got me interested in the reign of Henry VII (it's amazing how many history books on the Tudors skip straight to Henry VIII, and yet the period of 1483-1509 is no less lacking in incident just because the king wasn't busy chopping off his wives' heads).

And I've always loved everything around 1066 and want to read loads more about Anglo-Saxon England - and I loved my module on Roman history, and I really ought to be a lot less parochial and fill in some more European gaps, and beyond. And when I was a teenager, I got completely fascinated and obsessed by mid-Twentieth Century Chinese history, too. And I should definitely read more about Disraeli and Gladstone, because Disraeli and Gladstone, and I haven't since I was at college (UK college, not university), which is just wrong.

It's just... a mass of stories and people being stranger and worse and better than anyone could possibly imagine and there'll never be enough time to find out about it all. But I do like late eighteenth century things quite a lot, it's true.
lost_spook: (dw - amy)
My fic is now a thing! It's very weird, I know, but hopefully also entertaining, and at last Count Scarlioni has fic. This involved having to rewatch City of Death for research, which, as you must admit, is about as good as research gets. (I also listened to the commentary and Julian Glover wanted to know about Scaroth's love life/lives, so I felt all vindicated for writing weird borderline-shippy fic. I mean, if Julian Glover asked for it, who am I to disoblige? ;-p)

Anyway, my entry for the Minor Characters Ficathon 2017:

Author: [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook
Title: Gothic Romance
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 7369 words
Characters/Pairings: Scaroth | Count Scarlioni/Clara Splinter, Great Intelligence Splinter (plus bonus guest appearances).
Notes/Warnings: For inevitable Clara splinter death, mainly, plus slight forced marriage of convenience dodginess. With many thanks to Persiflage for beta-ing it at short notice. Written for [livejournal.com profile] dw_guestfest 2017; also for the [livejournal.com profile] dw_allsorts prompt “love is done,” [community profile] trope_bingo square “fake relationship,” and [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo square “tentacles.”
Summary: It is a fact universally acknowledged that any beings splintered in time will inevitably run into each other. No law says it has to end well, though…

Gothic Romance (on AO3) | at the Teaspoon (awaiting approval as yet).

*goes off to have lunch*
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
(Because let's do this thing. :-D)

What I've Just Finished Reading

Nothing, actually. Since last time, I finished The Return of Sherlock Holmes, read two more Regency Romances made of pure fluff, and meanwhile carried on reading and taking notes from Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England (which I haven't yet finished but continues to be very good).


What I'm Reading Now

Currently, a book randomly picked up in a charity shop, Mrs Jeffries on the Trail by Emily Brightwell, which is basically crime fluff rather than Romance fluff - one of a long series* about a Victorian housekeeper who solves crimes for her Inspector employer. Well, actually the whole household solves the mysteries, and she just co-ordinates them and tactfully hints about their finds to the Inspector. I'm not sure when they get the housework done. So far, all I can say is that it's certainly easy reading, which is what I wanted.


What I'm Reading Next

Ah, the part of the meme where I'm supposed to predict the future. Well, meme, it'll either be something off my to-read pile, or something random that I picked up somewhere else, or a safe re-read, I can tell you that much. *nods*

And when I've finished the current NF read, I'll probably start on The Book of Barnstaple, which is a bit more specific than general, but of use to me.


* Going by the list of about 100 others in the front, anyway. Mrs Jeffries keeps busy.
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
(Gosh, bi-monthly. Look at me. :-D)

What I've Just Finished Reading

The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz, which a friend gave me for Christmas. This was the book that looked liked the easiest going off my to read when spoons pile, and it was. It was a recent Sherlock Holmes 'missing adventure' type novel and ticked all the boxes and was fun.

I then happened upon three more actual Sherlock Holmes books in a charity shop soon after and got them, so I've been re-reading for the first time in years The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles, all of which were perfectly readable, yay. (I feel v proud of myself). Interestingly, with the actual books it is very easy to hear Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock, which helps, but not so much with the 'new' one. (Anthony Horowitz was imagining Jeremy Brett, he said. I wouldn't have supposed it would make much difference which classic Holmes model you used but maybe it does.)

I also read and took notes from Barnstaple's Vanished Lace Industry by Peter Christie & Deborah Gahan. Obviously, this was a very specific local history book for family history purposes, so not likely to be of general interest, but it was useful (and not as dull as the title sounds). It did, however, reinforce my feeling from reading the North Devon Journal entries that Barnstaple is very possibly not a real place, although I don't know what that says about me or my Granny's relatives. It could explain a lot...


What I'm Reading Now

The Return of Sherlock Holmes (I got to the bit where Holmes reappeared, as you do; priceless), and in NF note-taking the very light and readable Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England by Roy and Lesley Adkins. I would recommend it to all Regency Romance authors as it included a short section on naming and how most people didn't have middle names. (I know I'm mean about names, but the "What's your middle name?" question is a particularly head!deskworthy point every time it occurs.)


What I'm Reading Next

I don't know, meme! I'm only on the first few pages of "The Empty House", honestly. It depends on my mood and my spoons and what I find next in a charity shop or library to distract me from the to be read pile. But I do feel reasonably sure that there will be a next book now, and that's a good feeling. (Tomorrow, the world, people! \o/)


ETA: I'm still taking questions/topics for the Talking Meme *looks around hopefully*
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
(I'm still not doing anything for [community profile] fandom_stocking. Luckily it should open soon and then I can relax and do something else! I forget, of course, that 'better' when you've been bad is a relative term.

Also I seem to have given the impression to everyone that Manhunt is rubbish and it really isn't; it was just a bit up and down and sexist to begin with & I get very little out of protracted 'action' sequences. It's now reached an impressively consistent high standard. Vincent, Nina, and Jimmy, though, remain the most rubbish. Strangely, everyone was a lot more interested in watching it despite this, much more so than anybody is when I tell them old TV is good. Reverse psychology??)

Anyway, look at me, this makes it twice in a year (not calendar year) at least this time. I probably won't read enough to make it every Wednesday, but hopefully more often. I am optimistic!

What I've Just Finished Reading

And So To Murder by Carter Dickson, which I finished up quite quickly after I posted the other day. It was good fun and I enjoyed it. I still don't know whether to praise the BBC for giving me lovely mental casting (the three characters who were the most fun were played by Suzanne Neve, William Russell, and Stephanie Bidmead) or curse them for burninating it, but it did add to the book, so I suppose I'd better at least be a tiny bit grateful.

As I said, Monica Stanton (aka Suzanne Neve) is a vicar's daughter who writes a steamy Romance novel in 1939; her aunt, distressed, wonders why she couldn't write a nice detective novel, like those by Bill Cartwright (Wm Russell):

Now Monica Stanton, to begin with, had no real grievance against that inoffensive form of entertainment known as the detective-story. She neither liked nor disliked it. She had read a few, which struck her as being rather far-fetched and slightly silly, although doubtless tolerable enough if you liked that sort of thing. But, by the time her aunt had finished, Monica was in such a state that she had come to curse the day Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born. It was a wordless, mindless passion of hatred. As for Mr William Cartwright... Monica felt that she would like to poison Mr Cartwright with curare, and dance on his grave.

Read more... )

Before Christmas, I can now say that I was for obvious reasons, re-reading a lot of Miss Marple as well as reading Dracula for the first time (my reactions are in my Yuletide reveals post).

I also finished Venetia by Georgette Heyer, a re-read, although it was one of the books I rashly gave away a while ago, so it had been a long time. Very enjoyable, of course, and I am very happy to have a copy again. It is very sad that after a year of reading Regency Romances, I still haven't found anyone even a tiny bit like Georgette Heyer. I wish there would be, somewhere, in some period or other.


What I'm Reading Now

I'm a bit between things, but I continue with the very excellent The Victorian City by Judith Flanders in NF. (I am even taking notes for family history, which is a very exciting development as of the last few weeks and months. It's taken a bit of patient building up, but I'm able to do it a little again.)


What I'm Reading Next

That is the question. I was looking at my TBR (when spoons) pile and seeing whether any of them clicked easily, but I haven't decided which one to try next or whether just to re-read something to build up a little more stress-free stamina first before I risk reading a new-to-me book that might get killed by CFS. (I'd rather wait and be fair in my first reading). We shall see!
lost_spook: (b7 - deva)
I have finally started watching The Caesars (ITV 1967/8), after a delay because I wanted a break from non-restored scratchy old 1960s b&w telly (great as it may be). I've now seen episode 1 ("Augustus"). Details under here, especially re. I Claudius for those who are interested )

Anyway, I looked it up on Wiki, wondering if they had any further info - I mean, it can't have been influenced by the IC TV series of course, but what about the book? Was it deliberately being written against that or not even regarding it? Wiki didn't tell me, but it did link me to this entrancingly long list of film & TV set in Ancient Rome. (And, ironically, it's missed off The Caesars, although it is on their list of Historical dramas). Has anyone set out to watch their way through the lot? It's the internet, surely someone must have done?

Which then led to me looking at their linked list historical drama films (& TV). How long would it take to watch through history by fictional series/films?

Is it just me or is the idea of taking a period and watching everything you can strangely enticing? Oh, noes, who let me out near a list? At the very least I want to copy it and tick off everything I have watched and things I know that they missed off (and am not looking at their list of all historical fiction in books, film and TV...)
lost_spook: (Default)
Deciding on what to icon next takes far longer than making icon sets... Anyway, I remembered that I wanted to cap and icon some of the Margaret Lockwood films and as this set was clearly meant for The Wicked Lady (1945), that's what I did. (Featuring Margaret Lockwood, Patricia Roc, James Mason, Griffith Jones & Michael Rennie.)

Teaser:

 photo caroline1_zpscpzef4l7.png  photo kiss1_zpsuraweuks.png  photo ac3_zpsk8v8yh9i.png

Why did you shoot that horse? I'd rather kill a man any day! )

Credits: Screencaps my own. Textures by tiger_tyger. The usual rules apply: want, take, have, credit. Comments = ♥ and hotlinkers will be shot down like a dog on the highway.
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
I really should get on with these because a) they were lovely questions and b) it is really not summer now. It's not even 2015. *cough*

For [livejournal.com profile] persiflage_1: What's the best new-to-you book you've read so far this year?

Well, it has been a while since July 2015 when Pers asked me this, but I think it is fair to say that the answer is still undoubtedly The Count of Monte Cristo, which I managed to read last spring. I had avoided it when reading other Dumas novels as a teenager because it was large and I thought it was about someone being in prison for years and finally getting out and having revenge. While that is kind of true, it turns out, Edmond is in prison only for a small part of the book (I know, I feel v dumb that I ever even vaguely thought Dumas would write endless grim prison fiction, lol me) and it is surely the most entertaining revenge tale ever told.

I don't know how my brain works: I can read so little without getting a headache and then I pick up a 1000 page brick and go "ooh, now this I can manage!" and basically solely in terms of having something long and enjoyable (I so rarely enjoy books because they are just such an effort; it's one of the main things I hate about being ill), it was amazing. I should think it is also a pretty darn great old-fashioned ride of improbable long, complicated revenge scheme even when you're not ill.

If you hate it, btw, this is one of those times when I will love you a lot if you don't feel the need to share that fact with me. Thank you.

Anyway, it is all the things (poison and runaway lesbians and treasure and random drug-taking and pirates and bandits and long-lost relatives and cunning disguises! Other things I have since forgot!) and only slows in a few sections where there is too long an absence of the Count, and it is both awesome and ridiculous, regardless of any faults, and I could have taken another few hundred pages of it, easy.


Coming up some way behind it, I thought The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders was pretty great, too (an NF book about the Victorians and their obsession with murder) but that was not a magical huge novel that only rarely gave me headaches. Which is not its fault. It's definitely a recommended read for people with an interest in such things and a brain. Victorians, newspapers and lurid murders and the growth of detection fiction is a wonderful subject for a history book & the author is pretty reliably good.


Plus, in Jan 2015, I managed to finally finish the last few chapters of The English Civil War by Diane Purkiss, which was also excellent (even if I had five years or so in between the first 3/4s and the last). It deals with the Civil War (duh) but from all sorts of different points of views and aspects & is thoroughly engaging and readable. The author clearly has a passion for the era she's keen to communicate. It also mentioned my home town, which gets it extra bonus points, obviously.


But basically Le Comte de Monte Cristo is a thing of endless delight & my brain is a mystery. I feel bad for teenaged me for missing it when I could have read it totally without any adult reservation or irony or headaches, but on the other hand, I seem to have needed it last year.
lost_spook: (Default)
Well, Reveals have happened, and I'm now free to talk about what I wrote. My assignment, fairly amusingly and not very surprisingly, was for [livejournal.com profile] liadtbunny, who had requested various lovely things, including Adam Adamant Lives!. And you'll remember that this time last year I was all aglow with just having discovered the series and what a joy it was, and now I've wound up all aglow again with having reminded myself just what a joy it is. If you're a Classic Who/Avengers etc. fan you should head off to watch it now.

Cut for some talk about the writing )

Anyway, enough of the waffling, here's the fic:

The Maze of Terror (7274 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Adam Adamant Lives!
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Adam Adamant & Georgina Jones & William E. Simms
Characters: Adam Llewellyn De Vere Adamant, Georgina Jones, William E. Simms, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Yuletide, Hijinks & Shenanigans, Case Fic, Humor, 1960s
Summary: Georgie’s received the invitation of a lifetime, Simms is starstruck, and Adam is on the trail of an unspeakable villain who’s terrifying people to death – literally!


Also I wrote two treats, in The Moonstone and The Reluctant Widow )


And thanks to Liadt, who wrote my Madness SotT/Ten Stupidest Things fic, How Now Brown Monkey! (I knew it was you! In fact, I strongly suspected it was you when I saw someone had posted SotT in the first place. You're a star! ♥) And my gift proper was written by DeCarabas, whom I don't know and maybe doesn't LJ, but oh my, they so made my Yuletide with that wonderful piece. (I'm feeling guilty enough about requesting a super-super-obscure and uncool fandom and making someone write in it; I'm now also eyeing the other two comments on it, because it kind of looks as if they haven't actually got what's going on. I said it was subtle; I didn't think it was that subtle, but maybe it was to someone who doesn't know all the stuff I wrote in my letter? (Or maybe it was just the other aspect they chose to comment on??) DeCarabas got so much of that in, really quietly and non-crackily, it was awesome. (But, okay, what Dr Seward thinks he is doing is not necessarily what he is doing/what's really happening. It's brilliant. I love it to pieces. Usefully ambiguous headcanon totally accepted. ♥)

Bookmarks and Garlic Flowers (1061 words) by DeCarabas
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Dracula (TV 1968), Dracula & Related Fandoms
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Mina Harker/Lucy Weston/John Seward
Characters: John Seward, Mina Harker, Lucy Weston
Additional Tags: Post-Canon
Summary: On rational explanations.


I guessed two of Liadt's fics, and one of Paranoidangel's, and otherwise, I was as clueless as ever, but it was fun. Here's to the last of the reccing and commenting - and to the New Year's Resolution Collection 2016! (I am resolved to write one this year; last year I didn't and I wished I had.)
lost_spook: (Northanger reading)
Forsyte Saga (BBC 1967) Fleur/Jon picspam (10 Tumblr graphics; 88 pics) for [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo square "forbidden love". (And completing two possible bingos at once! \o/ Well, it can still only be one bingo, but I get to choose which one I claim. If I don't complete another possible bingo before I'm done. Ha.)

Notes: Fleur Forsyte/Jon Forsyte picspam (also some Fleur/Michael, Jon/Ann), plus Soames and Irene. Warnings for infidelity & spoilers for very old TV and literature. (Feat. Susan Hampshire, Martin Jarvis, Eric Porter, Nyree Dawn Porter, Nicholas Pennell, Anne Fernald.) It got a bit ridiculously epic, but I blame that on Susan Hampshire's face.

Also, sorry, being obscure again, but, look, a second 'impossible' bingo square completed! How could I not? (I'm still on Team Michael, though.)

I've staked my claim, you're mine )
lost_spook: (I Capture - writing)
Title: All the Hounds of Hell
Author: [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 2736
Characters/Pairings: Henry VII, Ace McShane, Seventh Doctor, Jasper Tudor
Notes/Warnings: Written for [livejournal.com profile] hc_bingo square “culture shock” and from a random characters meme that suggested Henry VII and Ace on a date - not that this could count as a date, except possibly by certain Ace-specific definitions. (I default to The Shadow of the Tower versions, because I do, but that’s otherwise irrelevant, really.) Set sometime in Brittany in the early 1470s.
Summary: Henry Tudor is used to people wanting him dead, but they don’t usually send the hounds of hell after him to accomplish it. Luckily, there’s a very odd girl looking out for him…

Also at AO3 and the Teaspoon (when it's verified).

All the Hounds of Hell )

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