What I am watching
Just before I left for my trip to Stanford for Nicky’s surgery I finished watching the 2nd and, may I say, glorious, season of Victoria.
Because I was enthralled by the Olympics and busy watching Downton Abbey every spare moment, I taped all the episodes that aired on PBS in January and February and then I binged. I love binging!!! I find myself going to Wikipedia to learn more about this person or that person or to learn “if this and that” really happened, and most of the time I am pleased to see it indeed has. I am a very “visual” person, so to learn history this way is very rewarding to me. Victoria and Albert are no longer just figures from the past, but living, breathing human beings I care about, and I love their love story. Learning about history this way is something I will always be a fan of.
And to think in school I always found “History” boring. But the way they teach it is boring, isn’t it?
I am particularly intrigued by Ernest, Albert’s brother. I have seen the actor that portrays Ernest in the “White Queen” and the “Borgias” and to see him completely transform himself in this mischievous, interesting character is very cool.
Thumbs way up!!!
Speaking of History, I watched two movies recently that I had no idea they were related to each other.
I am ashamed to say I wasn’t too familiar with what happened at Dunkirk during WW2. I am very familiar with D-Day, Pearl Harbor, Auschwitz and others, but somehow my radar missed Dunkirk, so I am happy I was able to learn about this event via these two very different movies about two very different perspectives of what happened in late May/early June 1940. I thought the performance by Gary Oldman, who played Churchill was fantastic, he was unrecognizable. I was rooting for him to win the Oscar and I am thrilled he did. In Dunkirk, the human spirit moves on at an incredible pace. Seeing these soldiers and what they tried to do in order to survive truly takes the word “strength” to a higher level. These two movies truly need to be seen together, one after another. It does not matter which one you see first, but one thing is for certain. History comes alive.
What I am Reading
Continuing in my learning about history, I picked up this book again after having started it years ago and never finishing it. I learned a lot about King Louis XV recently (for an interesting reason) and I wanted to see and learn more about how it all ended the way it did. Marie Antoinette’s husband, King Louis XVI, the grandson of “Louis the Beloved”, inherited a mess and ultimately paid the price. Apparently the “beloved” squandered money like crazy. Being a woman, I am also very interested how women lived in different times and since Marie Antoinette was much maligned I wanted to learn why. Remember that famous quote “let them eat cake”? Apparently she never said that. Also, she lost a lot of babies, which is something I always find interesting to read about, and when she left Austria, barely a teen, to marry the future king, she was basically barred from keeping in touch with her family, but somehow she always wrote to her mother.
This book is the result of a thorough investigation about her life from letters she wrote, accounts of her peers and more. It’s quite interesting. I am not sure I am going to like the part where she is decapitated, but, alas. I want to see how it all ends.
It should come to no surprise that yours truly, an obsessed Sassenach, would read the 4th “Outlander” book before the TV show starts airing this fall. I must admit, these books are not the easiest for me to read. I normally don’t have much trouble reading books even though English is my second language. But. There is a LOT of dialogue, which sometimes gets confusing. And they are very long. I mean… 1000 pages? And this is not the genre of books I normally read to boot. But I am so in love with Jamie and Claire that I MUST know what happens next!!!
So far I am about a third through and their escapades after their landing in Georgia are nothing short of the usual “trouble” we come to expect from these two. I am not to the point yet where Brianna goes back through the stones to see her parents (and actually meet her bio-dad!) but I think this will be the pivotal point of the show and the book. The major “hook” so to speak. Just like the reunion was in season 3, the death of Faith in season 2 and the Wedding of season 1. I can’t wait.
Love & Light,