Monday, May 19, 2008

My favorite books

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, is one on my all time favorite books. I was first introduced to the story by my adorable Hans. (I was required to view the 1982 movie version before we married). But it was only years later, when I bought a lovely red leather bound book, that I discovered how much more intrigue and beauty lie in between the pages of the story.
I started reading it to my boys at bed time and discovered that the dialog and plot were a bit too complex for my young audience, BUT I was sucked in almost instantly and found myself sneaking as many chapters as I could before the sun rose. Chauvelin was so much more in love with power than Marguerite, making him all the more ruthless. Marguerite's character was a woman to be proud of; although an actress turned lady, she was willing to sacrifice & suffer for the man she loved. Sir Percy was cold and distant towards his wife, but the author showed us how much he still secretly loved her deeply. Oh, It was marvelous!!!
To think there is The Scarlet Pimpernel musical out there makes me a little obsessive and flustered about where and when it will play next. I'll keep you posted.

And finally Jane Eyre. I love the book. Seriously my heart skips a beat whenever someone say Jane Eyre or Mr. Rochester. I am forever grateful to my friend Tina Mitchell, who emphatically attested that the book was beyond comprehension and a must read for, well, everyone. I logged her testimony in my brain, but did nothing, which is what often happens with book referrals. Until I was stranded in the Denver Airport with a 4+ hour layover with nothing to do. I went to the book store and found my paperback copy of Jane Eyre. The memory still gives me chills and makes me want to cry and smile at the same time. (Yes I know, a little dramatic.)
Did I say I love this book? the play (at the Guthrie) and the movie (I obsessively watched all 4 versions of the movie and hands down, the Master Piece Theater has the best acting, scenery, chemistry between Jane and Mr. Rochester and is the most true to the book.)
Charlotte Bronte, I wish you were alive so I could send you fan mail. Jane Eyre is my hero. Although Jane was orphaned as a young girl and her circumstances as a youth could have given her an excuse to be bitter and lazy, She was strong, empathetic, honest, forgiving, and passionate.
I have so many favorite parts of Jane Eyre, but I tend to come back to this quote because I love how much integrity she has and I hope that I can teach my children to stand firm in their righteous convictions and testimonies, as she did here.

"Feeling . . . clamoured wildly. “Oh, comply!” it said. “. . . soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?” Still indomitable was the reply: “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad—as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation . . . They have a worth—so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane—quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs.” -Jane, Chapter 27


Karen said...

I have only read half the book and I am at the part where Jane and Mr. Rochester are exchanging words. Just wondering if the book gets out of it's slump. I had a hard time keeping interest.

monica said...

Oh Karen, Just wait!!!

Jill Mennig said...

Monica! My memories of the discussions, quizzes, and esays(which I faked), of this book in my high school lit. class would never have been enough to convince my I needed to read it, EVER. But your recomendation softened me and I was never so glad to be wrong. It is a beautiful masterpiece! Can I name my next child Mr. Rochester?
And I will conquor the Scarlet Pimpernail......sometime.

Stacie Morris said...

Oh, Jane Eyre, how I LOVE LOVE LOVE that book! Your entry made me want to dash upstairs, throw myself onto my bed, pull the book out from the nearby shelf and lose myself all over again. How glad it makes me to know that someone else in the world feels the same way I do!!!