19th century gossip

May. 22nd, 2017 05:58 pm
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
I am charmed by Lucie Cobbe Heaton Armstrong’s social column, originally appearing in the issue of * Women’s Suffrage Journal* for 1 May 1884.

It begins “Mrs. Frank Morrison gave a highly-successful ‘At Home’ the other day, at the South Kensington Hotel, for the principal supporters of women’s suffrage. There was quite a brilliant company assembled. I noticed Lady Harberton and Lady Wilde amongst the guests. The meeting was held in a charming room, with cream-coloured panels picked out with a narrow line of pale pink and pale blue,”


I for one applaud the combination of feminism and fashion, bread and roses too.

Life update

May. 22nd, 2017 05:55 pm
emma_in_dream: (trance)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
Despite my utmost foreboding, Pearl’s party was great. There was a break in the weather and the kids could play outside. They were captivated by some very simple party games, with the most popular probably being a Harry Potter Time Turner variant of charades.

1.19 The Honey Offering

May. 21st, 2017 06:23 pm
emma_in_dream: (bucky)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
1.19 The Honey Offering

First Aired 23 April 2001

Dylan tries to bring peace to two warring Nietzschean prides by escorting a princess of one to an arranged marriage with the other, but when Dylan and the princess are forced to escape in the Eureka Maru while Andromeda lures away a fleet, he realizes that things aren't as they seem.

I love all the characters in this. Dylan is competent. Beka gets to be sassy. Tyr is super Nietzchean, trying to barter essentially nothing for something better and then running off away from the superior enemy.

2 things

May. 18th, 2017 05:36 pm
emma_in_dream: (trance)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
1, Pearl’s ninth birthday was lovely and she liked the science kit so much we did an experiment before breakfast. (When you add vinegar to chalk, you get bubbles!)


2, It was book fair today and by raiding the parking money in the car I was able to get what the kids wanted.

3 Things

May. 17th, 2017 04:27 pm
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
I have joined the work gym and find that a little gentle exercise improves my mood.


Both the budget ($11 for 3 months) and the amount of effort required to get there (60 seconds away from my office) are just right. Also, I quite like the small selection of extremely old equipment, including an exercise bike which appears to be identical to the one my grandfather had in the 1980s.

best mother's day ever

May. 15th, 2017 06:23 pm
emma_in_dream: (BTTF)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
This was a fabulous mother’s day, my best ever.


It began with a delicious breakfast in bed, toast and juice. I remember making a cup of coffee for my Mum when I was a child that I made with water from the hot water tap. Poor Mum.


I got fabulous gifts, including a picture of what I have in my handbag (purse, phone, book, leaves, feathers and rocks) and a photo of Pearl. Then the children were whisked away to go to a fair with my parents, which was great because it gave me time to shove tons of stuff into the shed so that the house is less messy. Then morning tea with the family before we headed off to the park in the afternoon.
emma_in_dream: (CaptainAmerica)
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In 1884 the Bigelow Free Public Library in Clinton, Massachusetts, circulated 35,820 books, and listed the most popular writers of fiction as William T. Adams, Horatio Alger, Jr., M. J. Holmes, and Mrs. Southworth.

Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth, or E.D. E. N. Southworth, was the author of *The Hidden Hand* a bestseller. Praised by critics and adored by readers, the narrative was printed in Robert Bonner’s New York Ledger in 1859, 1868, 1869, and again in 1883, before being released in book form in 1888.

*The Hidden Hand* was a cultural phenomenon as well as a literary one. Like Harriet Beecher Stowe’s *Uncle Tom’s Cabin*, Southworth’s novel was both adapted for the stage, with at least forty dramatic adaptations of the novel made during Southworth’s lifetime. One of the most (in)famous featured seasoned actor (and future presidential assassin) John Wilkes Booth in the role of the novel’s most notorious villain, Black Donald. There was also a line of clothing, labelled the ‘Capitola look’ after the heroine.

Echoing a trope of nineteenth-century literature as well as many children’s classics, the thirteen-year-old girl is penniless, homeless, and alone when first introduced to readers. Whisked away at birth to prevent her father’s greedy brother from murdering her, Cap is unaware of her heritage, and her maternal relatives are, in turn, unaware of her existence. For more than a decade, the nurse who brought Capitola to New York and has been serving as her guardian has hidden the Virginia heiress. Now, the aged and ailing Nancy Grewell feels that the time has come to finally reveal the girl’s existence. Leaving her ward with a stock of food and money, Nancy sets out for the South. Although the elderly woman succeeds in her quest, the trip exhausts her. Within hours of revealing the secret to Cap’s uncle, Nancy dies.

This is a shame, as this part of the novel is my favourite, genuinely gothic and horrible, with a dead baby substituted for a live one, a blood red birth mark, a dead woman in an attic, the servant who sees all. I’ll add, too, that though Cap was raised by Nancy she is strangely unmoved by her death.

Back in New York, Capitola’s previously desperate situation has become even more dire. During the months that Nancy has been away, the girl has run out of food and money. Evicted from her tenement home, the would-be heiress is now a homeless street beggar. Harassed each night by lecherous men and forced to sell pieces of her clothing for food, Cap finds herself in both physical want and sexual danger. As she later tells a magistrate about the experience, “‘Oh, sir—I can’t—I—how can I? Well, being always exposed, sleeping out-doors, I was often in danger from bad boys and bad men,’ said Capitola, and dropping her head upon her breast, and covering her crimson cheeks with her hands, for the first time she burst into tears and sobbed aloud”. Cap’s virginity and virtue are always being assailed by bad men, but her verve always keeps them at bay.

Blocked from various forms of employment because of her gender, Cap realizes that her life would be much easier if she were male. As a result, rather than wait for a boy to take care of her, Capitola decides to transform herself into a boy so that she can take care of herself. Cutting her hair short and trading her petticoats for a pair of pants, she announces, “I went into that little back parlor a girl, and I came out a boy”.

When a policeman discovers her gender-bending disguise one day, he arrests her for cross-dressing. Although this event ends her boyish days, it reunites her with her kind if cantankerous maternal relative, Major Ira Warfield. Setting out for New York after learning of his niece’s existence, the gentleman—in one of the many coincidences in Southworth’s novel—happens to be at the police station when his gender-bending niece is brought in. Paying his niece’s fine, Major Warfield brings her back to the South.

Capitola’s reunion with a member of her Virginia family, however, does not signal a happily-ever-after ending. Nor does it signal an end to her tomboyish behavior. When Cap’s villainous paternal uncle, Gabriel LeNoir, learns of her existence, he vows to eliminate her. “Yes! It is that miserable old woman and babe!” he exclaims upon learning of Capitola’s return with Major Warfield, “in every vein of my soul, I repent not having silenced them both forever while they were yet in my power!”.

With the help of the town’s most notorious criminal, Black Donald, he makes repeated attempts to abduct and murder his heiress niece. In keeping with the sensational style that made Southworth famous, each of these plots involves an array of thrilling, page-turning events: Gabriel and Black Donald don disguises, leap out from behind bushes, hide under beds, establish secret hideouts, fall through trap doors, live in haunted mansions, and—in one especially hilarious moment—even impersonate a camp minister.

In spite of such imaginative and persistent efforts, the terrible twosome are unable to capture Cap who emerges triumphant and, I am amazed to say, making rude gestures at them

'Turning as she wheeled out of sight, Capitola–I am sorry to say–put her thumb to the side of her nose and whirled her fingers into a semicircle, in a gesture more expressive than elegant.'

The Devil Take the Hindmost

May. 12th, 2017 05:38 pm
emma_in_dream: (Henry Moore)
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The Devil Take the Hindmost


First aired 16 April 2001


Ack, I find Wayism a really frustrating philosophy. I appreciate the attempt to portray a different religion. There must have been something in the air at the time because DS9 and Babylon 5 both do the same.


But it seems like such a *stupid* religion that I just want to smack the guru around the head.


Upside, more of Rev who I like. Downside, what is Dylan even doing? How is this helping him to restore the Commonwealth?

Norma K Hemming Award

May. 10th, 2017 06:20 pm
emma_in_dream: (trance)
[personal profile] emma_in_dream
It is with much regret that the Australian Science Fiction Foundation announces that, after considered deliberations by the Award Judges, there will be No Award for the Norma K Hemming Award in 2017.
The Norma K. Hemming Award is given to mark excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in a speculative fiction work (e.g. science fiction, fantasy, horror) by an individual author, produced either in Australia or by Australian citizens and first published in the calendar year preceding the year in which the award is given.

The Award will not necessarily be given annually, and a selection will only be made if there is a work that meets an appropriate standard of excellence and meets the eligibility criteria.

Jurors for the award are editor Sarah Endacott, writer, editor and publisher Rob Gerrand and writers Tess Williams and Sean McMullen. The ASFF Committee thanks the judges for their work and commitment on the 2017 competition.

The Norma K Hemming Award for 2018 (for works published in the 2017 calendar year) will open later this year. There will be some changes on how to enter the Norma K Hemming Award for the 2018 competition.