Saturday, December 8, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
'Come, Watson, come!' he cried. 'The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!'
Sherlock Holmes Quote from The Adventure of The Abbey Grange
“There is nothing like first-hand evidence.”
Monday, July 9, 2012
... "Your name was implicated in the most terrible confession I ever read. I told him that it was absurd - that I knew you thoroughly, and that you were incapable of anything of the kind. Know you? I wonder do I know you? Before I could answer that, I should have to see your soul."
"To see my soul!" muttered Dorian Gray, starting up from the sofa and turning almost white from fear.
"Yes," answered Hallward, gravely, and with deep-toned sorrow in his voice -"to see your soul. But only God can do that."
A bitter laugh of mockery broke from the lips of the younger man.
The Picture Of Dorian Gray
Our Book Tea for The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde will take place this coming Saturday, July 14th at 1pm at our favorite Tearoom over high tea delicacies, steaming, seductively fragrant china cups of Cream Earl Grey and shared & savored analysis.
You may be with us in person or you may leave us comments here at our blog. In either case, you hopefully enjoyed this Victorian classic by the singular and quite indomitable Oscar Wilde.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The next read for The Jane Austen Tea Society will be – The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Find a copy to start reading now! Our book tea to discuss this enjoyably discussable read will be July 14th, 2012!
Sunday, April 15, 2012
My companion followed me quickly, and cautiously drew the door to, after carefully ascertaining that the lock was a falling, and not a spring, one. In the latter case we should have been in a bad plight. Then he fumbled in his bag, and taking out a match-box and a piece of candle, proceeded to make a light. The tomb in the day-time, and when wreathed with fresh flowers, had looked grim and gruesome enough; but now, some days afterwards, when the flowers hung lank and dead, their whites turning to rust and their greens to browns; when the spider and the beetle had resumed their accustomed dominance; when time-discoloured stone, and dust encrusted mortar, and rusty, dank iron and tarnished brass, and clouded silver plating gave back the feeble glimmer of a candle, the effect was more miserable and sordid than could have been imagined. It conveyed irresistibly the idea that life – animal life – was not the only thing which could pass away.
Dr. Seward’s Diary – Chapter 15
Sunday, April 1, 2012
I seek not gaiety nor mirth, not the bright voluptuousness of much sunshine and sparkling water which please the young and gay. I am no longer young. And my heart, through weary years of mourning over the dead, is not attuned to mirth. Moreover, the walls of my castle are broken; the shadows are many, and the wind breathes cold through the broken battlements and casements. I love the shade and the shadow, and would be alone with my thoughts when I may.”
Count Dracula - From Jonathan Harker’s Journal
From Dracula by Bram Stoker - Chapter 2
Friday, March 2, 2012
"I read that every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horseshoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool; if so my stay may be very interesting. (Mem., I must ask the Count all about them.)"
Sunday, February 12, 2012
by Bram Stoker
"Was this a customary incident in the life of a solicitor's clerk sent out to explain the purchase of a London estate to a foreigner?"
Chapter 2 - Dracula
Have you ever been on a business trip that just went terribly wrong somewhere along the way?
It starts innocently enough. You enjoy the scenery. It’s always fun to try new regional cuisine and you happily take down recipes to share with friends and to try back home. And you love seeing all of the colorful clothes and fashion styles in a new and unfamiliar culture.
No generous expense account is going to help you to feel much better.
If your Hampton Inn desk clerk begs you not to travel on but you insist that this trip is a necessary part of your job… If by chance she gives you a cross…. Just put it on. Seriously.
And so - basically - begins the famous epistolary novel, Dracula by Bram Stoker.
An early, unknown childhood disease kept young Abraham Stoker bedridden and left to his imagination and thoughts. Did time alone engender the stories that would later bring him to fame or was it his mother’s Irish wit and storytelling abilities… some of which may have strayed into the Irish folkloric areas of horror and superstition filled with evil spirits and vampires …
Born Abraham Stoker on November 8, 1847 in the northern side of Dublin, Ireland, Bram Stoker progressed from the innately quiet, pensive child into an athletic youth. Educated at a private school and then at Trinity College in Dublin he graduated with honors in mathematics and showed a flair for philosophy.
But throughout all Bram retained a love for writing and drama, which eventually lead him into the position of theatre critic for the Dublin Evening Mail. He began writing in earnest, producing reviews on current plays, various stories and a non-fiction book.
In 1898 Bram and his wife Florence moved to London for Bram to take a role as acting manager for then celebrated theatre star Henry Irving and to manage Irving’s London theater, the Lyceum. He became acquainted with worldwide high society and the popular literary community of the day. Bram traveled to many countries as Irving’s manager, but never visited the area where his most famous work was centered around – Eastern Europe.
Many theories have spread regarding exactly where the idea for Dracula came from, but the answer is not clear. It is known that he began a story revolving around a vampire after spending seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires and then settled on the key name of Dracula during a visit to Whitby, a town located on the North Sea about 50 miles northeast of York, England. Actually begun in 1890, the book Dracula was first published in 1897.
One of the most prominent of the Gothic authors writing at the end of the Victorian age of literature, Bram Stoker died in London on April 20th, 1912. He was cremated and his ashes placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium and Mausoleum – the first crematorium to be opened in London, and one of the oldest crematoriums in Britain. Should you visit, you can - on request - be escorted to see Bram’s ashes…There is a Bram Stoker Memorial Seat in Whitby where one may sit and look across the harbor to the well-worn & well-known stone steps, St. Mary’s Church and the picturesque Abbey ruins… And as dusk falls on a cold & windblown day, one might easily picture the “Demeter” coming ashore amidst wave & mist. Just don’t sit there until night completely falls.
The next read for The Jane Austen Tea Society and our study of British Victorian authors will be – Dracula by Bram Stoker. You have plenty of time to exorcise a book from your local book monger or library! Start reading! Our book tea to discuss this atmospheric & highly discussable read will be April 21st!
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Sonnet On Chillon
by Lord Byron (George Gordon)
Eternal Spirit of the chainless Mind!
Brightest in dungeons, Liberty! thou art,
For there thy habitation is the heart--
The heart which love of thee alone can bind;
And when thy sons to fetters are consign'd--
To fetters, and the damp vault's dayless gloom,
Their country conquers with their martyrdom,
And Freedom's fame finds wings on every wind.
Chillon! thy prison is a holy place,
And thy sad floor an altar--for 'twas trod,
Until his very steps have left a trace
Worn, as if thy cold pavement were a sod
By Bonnivard ! May none those marks efface!
For they appeal from tyranny to God.
Written in 1816 after Byron and Shelley visited the Castle
The Château de Chillon, located near Montreux, Switzerland, is a sturdy, compact fortress nesting in lovely Lake Léman and resonating with over 800 years of feet pacing the worn stones and voices echoing along shadowed corridors.
When Lord Byron and Shelley visited the castle on the 22nd of June 1816, Byron was deeply impressed by the history of François de Bonivard, a Genevois monk and politician who was imprisoned there from 1530 to 1536. The poet was inspired to write a sonnet and later a longer fable. While in the dungeon, he scratched his name upon a column.
As a young woman I stood in that dim and silent room. I stared long at Lord Byron’s signature above me – preserved forever in stone. I listened to the water high overhead crashing in waves against the wall, the muffled squeak of a mouse hidden nearby and registered deep within that the dust below my feet retained the chill of a grim prison that stilled the beating hearts of countless victims.
But as I walked the hallways, peered through window slits formed for archers and gazed far into the lake from battlements… I found that it was Byron’s spirit that whispered along behind me as I took these pictures…
Saturday, January 14, 2012
... From Our Current Read
Thomas Hardy's Far From The Madding Crowd
“And at home by the fire, whenever you look up there I shall be —
and whenever I look up, there will be you.
- Gabriel Oak
It is one week until we meet for High Tea to discuss this literary masterpiece.