Thursday, November 29, 2007

Having Fun with Eighteenth-Century France

Madame du Bois by Nicholas de Largillière (copy)
Granted, "Having Fun with Eighteenth-Century France" could probably have been the title of yesterday's post, but I saved it for today. I watched a bit of The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) while I was eating my lunch. I just love that movie. The day it was released on DVD was, no kidding, among the most exciting moments of my life. Anthony Andrews is perfect as Sir Percival Blakeney and Jane Seymour is just so beautiful and Ian McKellen is always great. I wanted to name the rat Chauvelin after Ian McKellen's character, but Paul said that was cruel, so we named him after the emperor Maximilian instead (I don't see how that's any better). Anyway, if you haven't seen this version, get thee to a Blockbuster! You should also read the book. It rocks.

Favorite Movie, Favorite Chocolate


Maximilian

Erika and I went to Dr. Abramson's lecture "Food, Finance, and Social Ascension in Eighteenth-Century France." It was about Marivaux's Le paysan parvenu, which I have not yet read. The questions led to a discussion of another of my favorite books/movies Tom Jones and how its scenes on dining are more about how the characters eat rather than what they eat. Some of the themes brought up really reminded me of "Taste" from In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.

Good news! Dr. Winston said I was welcome to sit in on his Eighteenth-century Philosophes class. See? Today was really loaded with France in the Eighteenth Century. Too bad Erika and I had burgers (or a grilled cheese in my case) and fries for dinner from the restaurant in the student union. I guess we should have eaten pheasant.

[Edited 12/18/08: "Taste" is available online here.]

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