On Sunday night I discovered I can download whole books onto my new iPhone for a dollar a pop. A couple of taps and I’ve got Emma by Jane Austen and North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. So, I devoured North and South as my afterwork entertainment and relaxation earlier this week.
My, that woman was a shrewd observer of human motivations, not to mention prejudices. She was also a terrific snob.
I liked North and South almost as much as I loved Cranford, where less happens in terms of plot, but which allows more scope for the convincing development of character.
I always feel curiously chastened when I read fiction written in the Georgian/Victorian periods (not to be confused with much of the tripe which is merely ‘set’ in the Georgian/Victorian periods). Partly because the average person’s vocabulary seems to have been so much richer than ours (even taking into account all our new words such as ‘download’ which would have been unknown to them), but also because virtue and vice is so much more keenly felt and sharply delineated.
Makes me realise that I’m not nearly virtuous enough.
Of course, all the virtue in the world won’t cover being plain. Heroines are always beautiful, which makes up for ever so much sin. 😉
I have vowed to make my own lunches this month in order to save my pennies for my trip back to the UK next month. So far, so good. I even found a canned soup that I (quite) like. Normally, canned soup is far too salty for me – I’ve tried a bewildering array of brands, persevering until I hit upon Heinz Pea & Ham. Its not bad, really. Although, when you tip the remaining soup down the office sink, it looks unnervingly like vomit.