• Book Talk,  Guest Posts,  Uncategorized

    Venetia’s Blackberries: A Needlework Inspiration From Regency Fiction

    “[Venetia] had never been in love; and at five-and-twenty her expectations were not high. Her only acquaintance with romance lay between the covers of the books she had read […]” It is with great pleasure that I come here as a guest today to share a special project and chat about one of my favourite books by a favourite author: Venetia by Georgette Heyer. I’m Anne, an embroidery blogger over at The Diary of a Northern Belle, where I like to share my needlework adventures. A hopeless book addict, I often find embroidery inspiration within the pages of my favourite novels. I mostly read classics and historical romances and have…

  • Book Talk,  Uncategorized

    The Moonstone: How Wilkie Collins Popularized the Detective Genre

    It’s that time of year again where if you live anywhere other than the southern US, (Florida specifically in my case), then you’re probably starting to feel the first crispness of fall in the air. With the changing of the seasons certain genres immediately spring to mind and are reliably popular year after year. One of these is the mystery and detective genre. Whether you like spooky and grisly murder mysteries or cozy whodunits, many people find themselves reaching for these titles as they settle down by the fireside. There is something powerfully psychological, I believe, about autumn and winter that make us all more likely to retreat into ourselves…

  • Film and TV Reviews,  Uncategorized

    TV Shows with Heart: My Feel-good Comfort Shows

    Today I wanted to diverge a little bit from my typical content. Often on here I primarily focus on books, (and occasionally film adaptions as well), but today I wanted to talk about something else I really love: quality TV programming. The past two years have been difficult ones for all of us and I know that I am far from the only one who has sought solace in snuggling up on my couch under a blanket with a cozy show. There is just something about escaping into a fictional story that is wonderfully relaxing. And though I am as big a fan as any of stirring dramas and impactful…

  • Film and TV Reviews,  Uncategorized

    Love, Life, and Tuck Everlasting

    As a lover of period dramas there are countless that I adore, but few have managed to eclipse my love affair with the 2002 film, Tuck Everlasting. I love absolutely everything about this story. From the beautiful costumes, to Winnie’s stunning Victorian house, to the cozy “Tuck” home and the breathtaking scenes of nature, this film is mesmerizingly gorgeous. A coming of age story with a fantastic twist, it tells the story of young Winnifred “Winnie” Foster, played by Alexis Bledel, a young girl on the cusp of womanhood. Stifled by her prim and proper life, and desperate to avoid being sent to boarding school, she flees into the woods…

  • Book Talk,  New Releases,  Uncategorized

    Small Favors: Erin A Craig’s New Twist On A Familiar Fairy Tale

    I really love fairy tale retellings, especially if they’re done well, so when I got a hold of Erin A. Craig’s debut novel, House of Salt and Sorrows, I was very excited. A dark, moody, Gothic retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, the book pulled me right in and had me gripped from the very first page with its lyrical writing. I loved the macabre twists too that reminded me a lot of Edgar Allan Poe, and how the story kept you guessing what would happen next. So after enjoying this book so much, I was especially eager to get a hold of Small Favors, and even more ecstatic when…

  • Aesthetic Playlists,  Uncategorized

    “Of Knights and Maidens Fair” : An Arthurian Playlist

    I asked and you answered, so here is the result! I recently did a poll the other day on my Instagram account asking if my readers would enjoy periodically seeing aesthetic playlists compiled by me. The answer was a resounding “yes!” so here is my first one. I lately have been very interested in the the works of the Pre-Raphaelites, (a school of painters from the mid 19th century) who often featured as their subjects characters and scenes from Arthurian legend so this prompted me to entitle this playlist “Of Knights and Maidens Fair.” In numerous ways, the Victorian era was truly the golden age for those interested in everything…

  • Book Talk,  Uncategorized

    Orlando: An Exploration of the In-Between Spaces of Gender and Love

    When most people think of Virginia Woolf, they tend to think of her signature stream of consciousness style expressed in novels like Mrs. Dalloway, (which I have already written about). But my first encounter of Woolf was actually through one of her lesser known works. Orlando occupies a rather strange place in the Woolf canon. Written after the famous Mrs. Dalloway where Woolf was already transitioning into and developing her signature style, comes this novel. On a surface reading, the style seems to embody a more traditional style. But far from being a slave to convention, the writing of Orlando is more subtly insubordinate. It is also a product of…

  • Book Talk,  Uncategorized

    Handsome, Clever, and Rich: A Review of Emma (Novel and Film)

    By sheer good fortune, (and my birthday being in early March, thus making it predate the first pandemic lock-down), in 2020, I was able to go to the theater to see Autumn De Wilde’s first full length feature film- Emma! I am always a bit nervous whenever there is a new adaption of a classic, if only because I have been dissatisfied in the past because often newer adaptions make changes to the story which I often don’t particularly like. But overall, I found this film to be quite enjoyable and an absolute visual feast! The production quality of this film was extremely high and a costume lover’s dream. I…

  • Film and TV Reviews,  Uncategorized

    Julian Fellowes’ Dr. Thorne

        I have always been a big fan of period pieces and costume dramas, but my family and I have seen so many at this point it can often be a challenge to find one we haven’t seen. Recently, we sat down to watch Dr. Thorne, written by the inestimable Julian Fellowes on Amazon Prime, and we were quite delighted by this charming story! Trollope is actually one of the major Victorian authors whose work I still have yet to read, so I was completely unfamiliar with this story going into it. I feel that this actually enhanced the experience for me though, since I wasn’t able to predict or…

  • Book Talk,  Uncategorized

    Madame Bovary: Romantic Fantasy and Bourgeois Realism.

    Many people, myself included, at one point may have lumped Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary into the same category. On the surface they do bear close similarities. Though Madame Bovary is by far the shorter of the two, both novels feature unhappy women who commit adultery and who are both summarily punished for their actions with unremitting guilt that drives them to suicide. But their situations in life, and how they come about these ends, are different. Emma Bovary’s story is infused with a kind of fate that Anna Karenina’s is not, or at least isn’t to the same extent. These themes, of fate and inevitability, are what drive…