Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Yarn Along: Calm Knitting

I am back to the sweater vest for my husband and enjoying the calm of the project very much. We are still setting up our new house and I so love sitting down to the long stockinette rows at the end of a bustling day. It's a calm color and I am so happy to be knitting for my husband.

This week I read Elizabeth Gaskell's novella My Lady Ludlow. Boy does Gaskell know how to write characters! The story takes place just at the start of the 19th century. Lady Ludlow is an old fashioned British aristocrat who has witnessed the French Revolution and has very old fashioned opinions about everything, especially who should and shouldn't be educated. Her character is captivating, I was hooked from when she is first introduced.

I found it fascinating to follow the education debate in the book. My historical education is somewhat lacking so I had never really heard Lady Ludlow's kind of opinion. I also found her perspective on the French Revolution fascinating. It isn't the same thing that I learned in school.

Of course, I do support education for all, but I hadn't stopped to think about how much power literacy gives someone, especially during a time when many were not literate. It made me think of the good and bad sides of the Internet. Knowledge is good but can be abused so easily and the internet is prime example of that. Strange to find the internet debate somewhat of an iteration of the literacy debate of long ago.

Though the book ends with Gaskell's typical agenda, which I find irksome in its predictability, it is well worth the read. The character sketches alone make it a good read but the intellectual considerations make it even better.

I will be sharing this on Small Things and Frontier Dreams.

 

5 comments:

  1. I read (well, listened to) North and South as my first exposure to Gaskell earlier this year and really enjoyed it. I will have to check out Lady Ludlow in the future!

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    1. North and South is one of my absolute favorites! It's the only book that I have ever read twice in a row. Lady Ludlow isn't as exciting but the characters are excellent so it's a good follow up to North and South.

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  2. If you enjoyed that book, I think she is featured in the Cranford series (there were two of them) put out by the BBC. You used to be able to watch them on Youtube, but I don't know about that anymore. Our library had them, though.

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  3. And I so agree with you about Gaskell's agenda! I'm not sure which part of it you object to, or all of it, or just that it is so blatantly what I call a message story (and each of her stories seem to hold the same message), but it drives me batty.

    Another series and set of books you might enjoy also are the Larkrise to Candleford books and television programming. Again, put out by the BBC, and used to be online.

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    1. Thanks for the tip, I'll have to check those out!

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