NIF: eps 47-9, Xia Jiang's Attack

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:30 am
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
This is the second climax, as tense and emotionally powerful as the Hunting Lodge battle--and there is a third to come.

One of the many things I love about this series is that now, so near the end, it could easily have descending into all grim all the time, but first there was Nie’s surprise reappearance, and then Lin Chen strolls in, and proceeds to tease absolutely everybody with his insouciant wisecracking and unruffled competence.

The result is, the serious scenes still hit with resonating impact, carrying all the emotional velocity of the storyline so far, but we get these delightful moments of relief and delight that keep emotional reaction swinging from bright to dark and back again.

Read more... )

Wednesday is positively summery

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Color of Fear: up to usual standard.

PC Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth: these have definitely succumbed to a kind of Dunnett syndrome, in which there is some huge mysterious meta-arc going on, occasionally alluded to, but each episode deals with some particular problem that Jame (mostly) has to face (there were a few other viewpoint sections in this one) in the foreground and doesn't seem to be advancing the longer game particularly. On the other hand, kept me reading. On the prehensile tail, so not the place to start. (Are there really only 8 books in the Kencyrath sequence? only I have been reading them for decades, so it seems more.)

JD Robb, Echoes in Death (2017), as the ebook had finally come down to a sum I consider reasonable for an ebook. The mixture as usual, pretty much. Okay, not the most sophisticated of mystery plots, I got this and the twist very early on, but it's the getting there, I guess.

On the go

Discovered I had a charity-shop copy of PD James, The Private Patient (2008), the last of the excursions of Dalgleish, which I had not already read for some reason - possibly because I wasn't at that time sufficiently keen on PDJ and AD to shell out for a trade paperback.

Up next

Dunno, really.

News from New South Wales

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:48 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Dearest Lucy

It was the most delightful of pleasures to receive your letter and to hear that you had been safely delivered of a fine baby boy, that I daresay will be walking and talking by the time you receive this. What a very fine man Mr Lowndes sounds to be, I am most greatly sorry I never met him. It is immensely reassuring to me to think that you have the companionship of such an excellent lady with such wisdom in matters of maternity as Mrs Ferraby. I only hope that you do not go about to overdo, betwixt motherhood, your responsibilities towards your pupils, and your writing for Mr Lowndes’ paper.

But, indeed, I am not one to preach upon the matter, for I am quite constantly kept busy here: not only do I begin the Thornes’ dear children on the rudiments, but I continue to find a great desire for education among the convicts of our community, and a wish to have letters written by those that do not yet feel confident in writing them themselves, although there are now some few that have come on to be able to instruct their fellows. I also assist the Thornes with their observations.

And besides that, Abby Mrs Thorne and I find ourselves assisting Mr Carter in matters of nursing the sick. I do not recollect whether I wrote to you before about Mr Carter? – he came to this land in the capacity of surgeon to the scientific expedition, but has fallen so in love with the country that he has determined to stay, to collaborate with the Thornes in their scientific enterprizes, and also to run a dispensary for our people. But I daresay even I had not mentioned this to you, you would have heard somewhat of the matter from Lady Bexbury, for we have applied to her for the provision of surgical instruments, drugs, &C, that are very hard to come by here. There is not a deal of injury and disease, for we practice sound measures of hygiene, but there will always be some accidents and ailments.

Mr Carter is a most excellent man, a most adept surgeon – oh, Lucy, I try to write of him in a sober fashion, but I must tell you, that we find ourselves in a most happy condition of mutual admiration, and purpose to marry very shortly. He is the dearest of fellows, and it is no wonder that he is so greatly esteemed by Mr and Mrs Thorne. Sure I have found myself, to my astonishment and sometimes embarrassment, courted by several gentlemen in this place, from government officers to free settlers, some of whom grow exceeding wealthy on the backs of sheep: but I have found none that I could like as much as Mr Carter.

He is the finest of men, has a most humane spirit – there is very bad treatment goes on of the aboriginal peoples of the land, that he has a great admiration for, saying that when he was with the scientific expedition all were most prepossessed with their abilities in tracking and hunting and finding sustenance in what appeared a barren wilderness, where the products of civilization would have wandered in circles, or sat down and waited for death. He is writing up a memorandum on the subject, and wondered if, did we send it to you when completed, Mr Lowndes might publish it?

Indeed those years with the Duggetts seem like some nightmare from which I have now awakened. I am sure you would laugh and teaze me unmercifully did I tell you how wonderful I find the Thornes; they are quite the finest companions one could have.

But I mind that there was a thing I meant to ask you, about whether there was any in your circles that might pursue the matter. There has lately come about these parts two gentlemen – I say gentlemen because although they show the effect of hardships and are burnt very brown by the sun, they are clearly well-bred educated fellows does one speak to them – Mr Perry and Mr Derringe, that have some intention to set up a school for boys, for there is a considerable desire among the settlers &C to have their sons educated as gentlemen. While they go about to raise interest for this enterprize, they undertake some private tutoring. And one day came to us Mr Perry, half-carrying Mr Derringe that had some fever or other about him, seeking Mr Carter’s aid in this extremity.

We have a few beds attached to the dispensary, and he was laid in one of them, and examined by Mr Carter, who determined that ‘twas some fever very like unto the mala aria: most fortunate he keeps some fever bark about the dispensary, so quite immediate went about preparing a tincture. Meanwhile, he desired me to sponge the fellow to cool his fever.

So I went about this, and Mr Carter managed to convey him some of the tincture, and he seemed a little better, but then Mr Carter was called away, and said to me, dear Miss Netherne, would you greatly mind sitting by Mr Derringe and continuing to sponge him and keep him quiet, giving him a little of the tincture every few hours? Why, said I, I was about to ask was there anything I might do, so he left me with careful instructions.

I sat by Mr Derringe for some hours, and it seemed to me that he was troubled in his mind, and it did not seem entire delirium, and in due course he disclosed to me very halting and in between shivering fits, that he had on his conscience that he had allowed a young lady to whom he was affianced to suppose that he was dead of a fever in the South Seas, and it would have been a better and more honourable course to communicate to her that he had found that he was such a fellow as would not make her a good husband and thus set her at liberty with no obligation to mourn. She was, he said, a Miss Fenster, her father was the vicar of Upper Stobbing.

So to reassure him I said that the Thornes and I had numerous connexions in England that might be able to go about to find the present condition of the lady, but was it not like that she had by now married another? Very like, he said, she was a quite excellent young woman. So, dear Lucy, I write to you to ask are there any in your circles might go about with discretion to discover the present whereabouts of this lady, for it is clear that the business continues to prey upon Mr Derringe’s mind even though he has recovered from his fever, and Mr Carter fears 'twill bring about some relapse.

Oh, my dear Lucy, the only spot upon my happiness is that you may not be present at my wedding, that Mr Thorne will perform, and that I cannot see you and little Andrew and your excellent husband. Please convey my very greatest respects to Mr and Mrs Ferraby and to Lady Bexbury, that great patroness of our enterprize here: oh what a foolish misguided narrow-minded creature I was to so misjudge her fine qualities.

With every affection, your loving sister, Ellie

in a house like this

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:05 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
*dashes in to c&p*
Ann Shayne, Bowling Avenue: A Novel (2012): extended reflection by single thirty-something protagonist upon recently deceased married, separated, and possibly adulterous older sister in Tennessee, with random anomie. So boring. The tickle of a romance arc goes exactly as expected, as does the community re-engagement of the protag.

Let's try that again. Shayne is half of the knit-blog duo behind Mason and Dixon (the other half, Kay Gardiner, lives in New York City), and their blog is a fine blog, yay. At some point I found Bowling Ave used for a dollar, a discard from King County's library system; when I visited King County for business, I took it along. And then---I assume that Shayne herself would have had little argument---I knitted during the plane-ride home instead of reading further.

Meanwhile, my airplane seat mate was reading (text-only, on her phone) a novel featuring the Voynich MS and Ashmole 782 which stars an investigator named Diana. Ah, the internet provides---part of a trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Diana is a witch, and some guy is a 1500yo vampire. Since they're het and Destined for reasons I didn't bother to look up, I guess it's better that the boy be the vampire, though only because that one character and that other character are relatively recent, whereas there are hundreds, probably thousands of years of evil lamia stories....

Anyone want a novel set in a sanitized version of pre-current-crush Nashville? (Between 2012 and a year or two ago, a bunch of artistic folk decided to move there or set up shop there. Now it's home to Fringe Association, Elizabeth Suzann, and so on and so forth.) I'll ship it for the cost of US postage. I doubt you'd want overseas postage, since as an ex-library copy it has a weighty plastic cover.

AKICODW/LJ - washing fabrics

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:00 am
nineveh_uk: Picture of fabric with a peacock feather print. (peacock)
[personal profile] nineveh_uk
Has anyone ever handwashed Liberty Burwood wool/silk? I am very, very tempted by some for a top - I saw the print a few years ago in a Brora dress, but had never seen it for sale as fabric and now I've found it - but it would be pointless if it had to be dry cleaned. I'm willing to wash quite a lot of allegedly 'dry clean only' wool and silk, but there are limits.

I might just buy it anyway, wash the leftovers to see what happens, and put up with dry cleaning if it's the only option. But I'd like not to have to.
oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
[personal profile] oursin

London garden bridge project collapses in acrimony after £37m spent.

And I can't help wanting to say to Boris J that in Ye Bygone Days when people built follies they did so on their own estates and with their own money (though on reflection this was probably ill-gottens from the Triangle Trade and dodgy dealings in India) and didn't ask the nation to pay for them.

(And aren't there already memorials to Princess Di? How many do we need?)

And, you know, it's a pretty idea and in theory I am there with Thomas Heatherwick that 'London needs new bridges and unexpected new public places': except that that is not a part of London that required Yet Another Bridge, there are so many that taking the boat journey along that stretch of river is more like going into a tunnel.

Also, it was not properly a public space:

a link that would be privately run, would be able set its own rules for access, and would close at night and be available to hire for private events.
Not dissimilar from those gardens in London squares to which access is by residents' key. I do not think that is a definition of 'public' that would have been assented to by those urban planners and reformers creating parks and spaces for the benefit of the inhabitants of the metropolis.

I am also boggled by the suggestion that the river is not already pretty much 'centre-stage' in our great city.

I think Mad William would have had things to say along the lines of

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow.
and whether if crowds flowed over the bridge, so many, common and routine usage would have meant that
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

I might go along on the line suggested by this to comment that what good is a garden bridge if the land lies waste?

sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
At this point, it is impossible to stop watching no matter how many times I view this story.

Prince Yu is so much like a cracked diamond, brilliant but flawed. But he goes out as he came in, on his own terms, however morally suspect they might be.

Then there is Prince Jing determined to discover the truth. He does discover the truth. But.

Amid all the emotional strife, there is an awesome surprise . . .
Read more... )

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:25 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] jcalanthe and [personal profile] muckefuck!

Hey ho for Antony Crowley

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:52 am
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Default)
[personal profile] nineveh_uk
The Good Omens TV adaptation cast has been announced. It's not Youngest Sister and my fancast of David Thewlis and Paul Bettany, but we'll take it: Michael Sheen as Aziraphale and David Tennant as Crowley. Roll on 2018 (but not the Apocalypse).

Players Boy timeline

Aug. 14th, 2017 11:57 pm
thekumquat: (Default)
[personal profile] thekumquat posting in [community profile] trennels
I looked at various unfilled prompts and there's a few from 2015 for the Players' Boy - which has a grand total of one fic on AO3.

I finally read both Player's Boy and Players & the Rebels together on holiday, wanted to try writing something, and got stuck in the history despite having studied it a fair deal (via Maria Stuart and the Marlowe Society). I started creating a bit of a timeline to see if I could get any of my plot ideas to hand together without too much waving aside fact, and thought other potential writers might find it useful.


Players Boy timeline

1520 William Cecil (Lord Burghley) born
1535 Burghley goes to St John's, Cambridge
1541 Burghley leaves Cambridge for Gray's Inn; marries Mary Cheke (daughter of a scholar). Served Somerset.
1547-8 Burghley enters Parliament
1549 Somerset and Burghley imprisoned in Tower; Burghley gains favour of Warwick.

1550 Burghley sworn as Secretary of State for Edward VI
1553 Burghley signs Third Succession Act ruling out Mary and Elizabeth from the throne (Act created by Warwick now called Northumberland, forced to sign by Edward himself)
1553 Mary comes to throne.
Burghley conforms to Catholicism, is in Parliament but not chosen to be a minister. Works with Northumberland on lands for Elizabeth.

1558 Elizabeth comes to throne.
Burghley becomes Secretary of State and leader of Privy Council.
?1555-9 Robert Poley born
1559 Burghley elected Chancellor of Cambridge

1561 Burghley given 'lucrative' role of Master of Court of Wards, hence later awarded custody of Essex, Southampton, Oxford (de Vere), and Rutland
1564 ?February Kit Marlowe then ?April Shakespeare born
1565 Essex - Robert Devereux - born
1568 Poley becomes sizar at Clare college Cambridge

1571 Cecil becomes 1st Baron Burghley
1573 Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl Southampton, born October 1573
1576 Essex's father dies and Essex became ward of Lord Burghley.
1577 Essex admitted as fellow-commoner to Trinity College Cambridge
1577 Essex's mother marries Leicester
1579 Essex matriculates at Trinity

1580 Marlowe comes to Corpus Christi College on a Divinity scholarship, matriculates 1580/1
1581 Essex graduates MA.
Harry's father dies, Harry's inheritance&guardianship sold to Lord Howard; then boy and marriage organisation powers to Lord Burghley (lands remaining with Howard), so Harry came to Cecil House in the Strand age 8.

1584 Marlowe gets BA
Essex comes to Court
1984-5 Marlowe absent for long periods from Cambridge and comes into money
1585 Poley working for Leicester as a spy
Southampton to St John's age 12 (Oct 1585),

1586 Poley in Babington plot, under cover as Catholic sympathiser
1587 Essex becomes court favourite.
Marlowe refused MA from Corpus, but someone from the Privy Council intercedes on his behalf citing his 'loyal service to the Queen'
Tamerlaine performed in London
Execution of Mary QoS

1588 Harry admitted to Gray's Inn earlier, Feb 1588.
Essex takes over posts from Leicester
Spanish Armada
Leicester dies.

1589 Harry graduates MA and
Essex fights under Burghley in the Netherlands.
?Marlowe tutoring Arbella Stuart, niece of Mary QoS, cousin of James Stuart
Marlowe arrested, released on bail Oct, in court Dec.

1590 - Burghley starts negotiations for marrying Harry to de Vere
Essex marries Frances Walsingham
Tamerlaine published

1591 Narcissus dedicated to Southampton by John Clapham at Court.
1592 Marlowe arrested in Netherlands, dealt with by Burghley but no criminal record (spying on Catholics and disrupting their counterfeit coin supply?)
Southampton's grandfather dies and he is nominated to Order of the Garter

1593 Essex joins Privy Council
11 May Kyd arrested for libels blamed on him and Marlowe
18 May 1593 Marlowe arrest warrant issued but saved by lack of Privy Council sitting when he presented himself on 20 May
30 May Marlowe killed in Deptford; Robin Poley, Ingram Frizer, Robert Skeres all present.
Venus and Adonis dedicated by Shakespeare to Southampton
Nashe dedicates Unfortunate Traveller to Southampton
Barnes publishes with dedicatory sonnet to Southampton.

1594 - Harry refuses de Vere
Dido Queen of Carthage published
Rape of Lucrece dedicated in flamboyant terms to Southampton by Shakespeare
Henry Danvers shoots Henry Long. Southampton shelters him and elder brother Charles at Titchfield. They are outlawed and push off to France and serve Henri IV.

1595 Markham publishes with dedicatory sonnet to Southampton
1596 John Florio is under pay and patronage of Southampton and has been for some years.
1597 Henry Lok, William Burton make dedications to Southampton
Southampton challenges Northumberland to a duel.

1598 - Burghley collapses and dies at Cecil House. Cecil elder (Thomas) becomes Burghley and later Exeter. Younger (Robert) becomes Exeter, takes on political career, later becomes Salisbury.
1599 - Essex placed under house arrest after poor battles in Ireland
1601 Essex rebellion, executed 25 February.
katstevens: (dogswim)
[personal profile] katstevens posting in [community profile] rglondon
Lituanica, Beckton, London E6
Evening RGL crew!

Our featured article this week is for Lithuanian restaurant Lituanica, which you can find by following the DLR all the way to Beckton. The cuisine of Lithuania sounds carb-heavy, of which I am totally in favour. If you're not hungry, there's other Lithuanian fun to be had nearby, including a bookshop and beauty salon.

As promised the other week, your intrepid RGL team have ventured to parts south-west, to find out what's happening in Nork and write some new articles. Yes, that's right, I said Nork. Some might say Nork is technically part of Banstead, but here at RGL we like to think that Nork is more of a state of mind. Anyway, if you need a cup of tea while you're there, Lilly's cafe is a perfectly pleasant place to while away the hours as you try to figure out what else to do in Nork when there's torrential rain outside. The answer: go to Sutton, where you'll find Antic pub The Shinner & Sudtone (featuring an alarming number of porcelain owls) and Ii-Ma Sushi, which turned out to be a real find (I want to go back and try some different sakes).

If that wasn't enough, there are new pages for the Canada Water Cafe (a short hop from the Jubilee line station) and the Tip Top Cafe in Swanley, plus an update for Moshi Moshi Sushi in Liverpool Street station.

Phew! After all that adventuring I think we need a break - we'll be back in two weeks.

Reading: Murder on the Ballarat Train

Aug. 14th, 2017 07:53 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
In the third of Kerry Greenwood's Phryne Fisher mysteries, Phryne and her companion, Dot, are taking the night train to Ballarat when Phryne is woken from a doze by the smell of chloroform, and discovers that their first-class carriage has been filled with cholorform and that one of the passengers, an elderly lady, is missing. When the missing passenger's body is discovered, her daughter hires Phryne to find her mother's murderer, and Phryne also takes on the task of trying to find the identity of a young girl with amnesia who was found on the same train.

The identity of the murderer was glaringly obvious, but the question of evidence and alibis takes up more time, while the subplot about the amnesiac girl takes a bit more unravelling. The feminist slant of the previous novels remains strongly in evidence here, with Phryne continuing to take down exploiters and abusers of women in the course of her cases, and there are a few knowing nods to other novels; the allusion to Murder on the Orient Express is obvious, but I also spotted a reference to the Megatherium Trust which sets the series firmly in the same world as Peter Wimsey. The series continues to be entertaining feminist fluff and definitely high on my list of comfort reads.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

So, farewell then, printer which has been with me some dozen or so years, also previous computer.

Take it away Bessie Smith:

The usual sturm und drang over setting up the new All In One Computer and the printer which purports to be wireless, but refuses to connect thusly: however it will connect by cable.

Though alas, all the USB ports are on one side of the computer, the one away from where the printer has to go (unless I do some major rearranging), but I think I have contrived.

And of course, various other things still to get sorted.

But, getting there, sorta.

Co-GOH at Bubonicon

Aug. 14th, 2017 09:15 am
sartorias: (Anneandme)
[personal profile] sartorias
Weekend after next is Bubonicon at which I will be co-guest of honor with C.J. Cherryh, with Ursula Vernon as toastmaster.

In case anyone is local to Albuquerque and might want to come.
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
[personal profile] sartorias
Intense personal stakes and brilliant action sequences make this look like the series climax . . .

But just wait. The tension is just beginning.
Read more... )

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