Saturday, July 07, 2018

My Victorian Year #26

What am I currently reading that was published during the Victorian period? Well, it should come as no surprise that I'm still reading Anthony Trollope's Rachel Ray. I read several chapters in the past two weeks. (Yes, I missed last week's post but it was intentional. Really.)

I am also reading Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers.

Rachel Ray

Rachel is missing Luke. He's gone away on business. Luke's mother and the Tappitts have made it their business to smear not only Luke's reputation but hers as well. They are telling everybody--and I do mean anybody with ears whether like gossip or not--that Luke is a scoundrel and that he's never, ever, ever, ever coming back to marry Rachel. They are hoping, of course, that the marriage doesn't happen. They want to speak that truth into the universe I suppose. The Tappitts have their motives. His mother has hers. The Tappitts want Luke to fail in his professional and personal life. His mother just wants to choose whom he marries and when he marries. She wants to be the only woman in his life--for now at least.

Luke wrote Rachel a letter. But Rachel hasn't been allowed to write back because her mother--Mrs. Ray--wants to show the letter around to her friends and get their advice on whether or not Rachel should write back. Rachel is like REALLY?!?!?! She doesn't voice it quite like that. But she is aggravated through and through with her mother's silliness. Though she would never call her mother a goose. (That's one of the accusations against Luke, don't you know, that he had the audacity to call his mother a silly goose.)

The Three Musketeers

First paragraph: On the first Monday of the month of April 1625, the village of Meung, where the author of the Romance of the Rose was born, seemed to be in as total an upheaval as if the Huguenots had come to make a second La Rochelle. Many of the townsmen, seeing women fleeing along the main street, hearing children crying on the doorsills, hastened to put on their breastplates and, backing up their somewhat uncertain countenances with a musket or a partisan, headed for the Jolly Miller Inn, before which jostled a compact group, noisy, full of curiosity, and growing every minute.

Father's advice to his son, d'Artagnan:
You are young, you must be brave for two reasons: first, because you are a Gascon, and second, because you are my son. Do not shrink from opportunities and seek out adventures. I have taught you to handle a sword; you have legs of iron, a fist of steel; fight whenever you can; fight all the more because duels are forbidden, and therefore it takes twice the courage to fight. (7)
Character description of d'Artagnan:
Don Quixote took windmills for giants and sheep for armies; d'Artagnan took every smile for an insult and every glance for a provocation. (8)
The scene that's in all the movies:
"Aha!" he said, "what's this?"
"This is the gentleman I am to fight with," said Athos, indicating d'Artagnan with his hand and greeting him with the same gesture.
"I am to fight with him, too," said Porthos.
"But not until one o'clock," said d'Artagnan.
"And I, too, am to fight with the gentleman," said Aramis, arriving on the scene in his turn.
"But not until two o'clock," d'Artagnan said with the same calm.
"But what are you fighting about, Athos?"
"By heaven, I don't quite know, he hurt my shoulder. And you, Porthos?"
"By heaven, I'm fighting because I'm fighting," Porthos replied, blushing.
Athos, who missed nothing, saw a slight smile pass over the Gascon's lips.
"We had a discussion about clothes," said the young man.
"And you, Aramis?" asked Athos.
"Me? I'm fighting for reasons of theology," replied Aramis, making a sign to d'Artagnan that he begged him to keep the cause of his duel secret.
Athos saw a second smile pass over d'Artagnan's lips.
"Indeed," said Athos.
"Yes a point in St. Augustine on which we disagree," said the Gascon. (54-5)

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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