I absolutely enjoyed today. The weather is beautiful (55 degrees, not a cloud in the sky) and I don't have any homework or anything else that absolutely has to be done. Can you believe it? No stress! We finally found the gelato place in Norman,il dolce gelato, because there was a coupon in the ValPack we got in the mail yesterday, so Paul took me for gelato and it was really really good. I had half tiramisu and half vanilla rum.
Earlier today, I worked on my needlepoint while watching Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing, one of my favorite films. I first saw the play at Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park as a child and fell in love immediately and I later rented this movie and fell in love all over again. It really is charming.
Lastly, I finally finished The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I checked it out in October and had to go into the decks to get it. It's in the old part of Bizzell Library at OU and there are 2 decks per floor, but the bookshelves go all the way up, so it's not advisable to look down. Paul and I decided that we liked the decks because they were very Indiana Jones and then I read The Historian and I know all those old libraries were somehow related to the decks. The book itself is beautiful with lots of detail that is nonexistent in the book covers of today.
The front cover:
Detail of the front cover with shields representing England and America:
Frontispiece (don't you just love that word?) and title page:
Detail of title page with fauns holding up a fountain:
Unlike Frances Hodgson Burnett's most famous books, this one is centered around adults and was a pleasant read with glimpses of depth, especially when the narrator and the characters explore the intricacies of Anglo-American relations. For example:
Cheap, pirated editions of English works…brought before Americans soft , home-like pictures of places which were, after all was said and done, the homes of those who read of them, at least in the sense of having been the birthplaces of fathers or grandfathers. Some subtle, far-reaching power of nature caused a stirring of the blood, a vague, unexpressed yearning and lingering over pages which depicted sweet, green lanes, broad acres rich with centuries of nourishment and care; grey church towers, red roofs, and village children playing before cottage doors…Old grievances having had time to fade away and take on less poignant color, the stirring of blood stirred also imaginations, and wakened something akin to homesickness… (51)
Isn't that description just perfect? Another thing I really like about the book is the heroine, Betty Vanderpoel, who is refreshingly capable and intelligent. I think she's great. I know there is a Persephone edition of this book, because their website is what spurred me to look it up in the OU catalog. The Persephone description of the book is worth reading.